Living near greenery linked with lower teen depression

first_img Read Full Story Being around trees and other greenery may help teens stave off depression, according to a new study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.Led by Carla Bezold, postdoctoral research fellow in Harvard Chan’s Department of Epidemiology, researchers analyzed data from more than 9,000 teens who began participating in 1999 in a large study of health factors affecting youth in the U.S. The researchers considered information on the teens’ mental health status as well as factors such as substance abuse and race. They used geo-coding to identify where the participants lived and satellite data to determine what sort of environment they lived in, looking at building density and nearness to green spaces and bodies of water.They found that teens living near the highest-quality green space were 11 percent less likely to be depressed than their peers who lived around the least amounts of lush greenery. The link between green space and lower odds of being depressed was strongest among middle schoolers.Other Harvard Chan study authors included Rachel Banay, Brent Coull, Jaime Hart, Peter James, Laura Kubzansky, and senior author Francine Laden.Read a Washington Post article: Study: Being around trees and other greenery may help teens stave off depressionLearn moreMore exposure to vegetation linked with lower mortality rates in women (Harvard Chan School release)last_img read more

Corn Storage Peril

first_imgOnce the grain is infested, its value for feeding livestock drops quickly. The insects eat thecorn, leaving very little weight and nutrition. “I advised a lot of farmers to sell their corn in late July and August when prices were high, anda lot did,” Shumaker said. “Prices are in a dip right now during harvest. But if farmers canstore their corn and manage it carefully, they can see more profitable prices closer to the newyear.” Georgia farmers finally have something to cheer about. They’re harvesting a truly goldencrop. Georgia farmers plan to harvest about 190,000 acres more corn than last year, he said. Anoverall yield of 97 bushels per acre, up from 90 in 1995, will boost the statewide crop. Dewey Lee, an extension agronomist, said Georgia yields were amazingly high. “We saw a lotof yield loss, especially in east Georgia, from a lack of water,” he said. “But irrigated fieldshad great yields.” “The real problem comes when the adult weevils emerge from kernels inside the bin and startmating and laying eggs,” he said. He tells farmers to inspect their corn for weevils every weekfor two months, then monthly after that. Brown and Lee said storing corn in the Southeast isn’t easy. Warm weather and humidity candamage corn and make conditions ideal for insects to thrive in corn bins where food isplentiful. The larvae eat out the inside of the kernel, leaving a powdery residue. They emerge as adultsthrough tiny, clean-edged holes. Adult weevils are eighth-inch-long, black insects with adistinct snout. Georgia farmers and economists expect the corn crop to be worth about $157 million this year.Shumaker said last year’s crop, while good, totaled $102 million. “The numbers are high this year,” he said. “And if they’re in the field, then farmers areputting infested corn into storage.” Lee said timely harvest is one way to keep weevils out of stored corn. “But even beforeharvest, farmers must get bins ready for storage,” he said. center_img Steve L. Brown, an extension entomologist, said he’s seen maize weevils in nearly every cornfield he’s been in. But even while Georgia farmers harvest their crop, tiny maize weevils may be devouring itright under their noses. Many farmers left their corn in the field for several weeks after it was ready to harvest. Leesaid the longer it stays in the field, the more likely weevils will invade. That price dip is partly due to farmers’ harvesting the third largest U.S. crop in history.Shumaker said Georgia’s crop isn’t record-setting, but it’s good. “We’re looking at a corn crop for ’96 that’s about half again as valuable as in ’95,” saidGeorge Shumaker, an economist with the University of Georgia Extension Service. The county extension office gives farmers details on storing and protecting corn in Georgia. “It’s an easy food source for them,” he said. “The adults fly into the field and lay their eggs inthe corn kernels. The larvae mature in the kernel and emerge as adults.” When weevils emerge, fumigation offers the only option for control. “It’s not cheap to do,”Brown said. “But it can save the grain.” Shumaker said too many farmers put the corn in the bin and forget it. But if weevils get to afarmer’s stored corn, he can forget about profits, too.last_img read more

The BRO Team Says Farewell

first_imgToday marks the last day for our online editor Jack Murray. For the past few years Jack has been an integral part to the BRO team, helping to develop the magazine’s online presence and social media following. An avid fly fisherman and mountain biker, Jack’s passion for the outdoors will be taking him from our base in Charlottesville, Va., to the cycling hub of Roanoke, Va. Although he will be missed, we wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors. This video was taken from a recent fly fishing trip Jack and I took to Mossy Creek. Cheers man! You have some big shoes to fill. We can only hope that the next guy will be able to sing children’s songs half as well as you.Dear Jack, from Blue Ridge Outdoors on Vimeo.last_img read more

Uruguay Recipient of SOUTHCOM Donation

first_imgThe backpack fire pumps—with an 18-liter water capacity—are easy to use, reload, and store. They were assigned to the Emergency Assistance Sections (SAE, per its Spanish acronym) of the Uruguayan Army’s Basic Units, which collaborate with the National Office of Firefighters to fight fires. The country has 30 emergency sections throughout its territory. “The portable fire extinguishing equipment the U.S. Embassy in Uruguay gave to SINAE on September 26th will be used in the next fire season, which begins in December 2017,” Col. Cobas said. The equipment is located in the Storage Warehouse of the National Emergency Office installed in February 2013 with the support of SOUTHCOM. SINAE develops cooperation processes for risk management with different countries (Costa Rica, the United States, Spain, Japan, Mexico, and Switzerland), with different United Nations agencies, and with various regional or global bodies, through the Uruguayan Agency for International Cooperation. “We value traditional, south-south, and triangular cooperation,” Traversa said. Fewer disasters “We highlight our cooperation in defense, both during the annual technical exchange with the Connecticut National Guard and the outstanding support of SOUTHCOM, which has cooperated with necessary equipment to install the Emergency Department Coordination Centers,” Fernando Traversa, national director of SINAE, told Diálogo. “We also [obtained] various smaller donations that are very valuable for SINAE.” To improve the preparation and response capacities for possible forest fires, personnel from the SAE teams were trained to use their new backpack fire pumps November 14th–16th, 2017, at the Army Park Service in Santa Teresa, department of Rocha. “The Emergency Assistance Sections meet the country’s needs during large-scale disasters,” Col. Cobas said. “Uruguay understands cooperation as an opportunity to receive support, but also to share knowledge and bring solidarity in the form of assistance to neighboring countries when they are faced with emergency situations,” Traversa concluded. “Uruguay is learning to not only be a receiver of cooperation, but also a giver.” “This support complements existing tools to better fulfill our missions,” Uruguayan Army Colonel Roberto J. Cobas, deputy director of operations for SINAE, told Diálogo. “Having more modern and lighter equipment facilitates the soldiers’ difficult and stressful job .” Problem solving bond SINAE’s relationship with the U.S. Embassy’s Office of Security Cooperation in Uruguay dates to 2009. “The relationship with U.S. Southern Command allows us to see their work in terms of disaster prevention and mitigation,” Col. Cobas said. “Their vast experience with these issues and their continuous adjustment to change serve as a reference for us when time comes to plan [our] operations.” In recent years, Uruguay reduced the number of forest fires and other wildfires by 75 percent. According to a SINAE press release, there were 5,010 interventions in the summer of 2011—the number decreased to 1,222 in 2016. The emergency system attributes the decline to prevention, mitigation, and response measures from multiple public and private organizations, as well as the public’s commitment to responsible behaviors. By Julieta Pelcastre/Diálogo December 07, 2017 Through its Humanitarian Assistance Program (HAP), U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) donated 58 portable equipment to Uruguay’s National Emergency System (SINAE, per its Spanish acronym) to extinguish forest fires. With a $15,000 value, the donation will help strengthen the Uruguayan Army’s response capacities during natural disasters. “When time comes to extinguish fires, the results are very positive. Receiving more equipment makes us more effective in fighting fires,” Col. Cobas said. On its website, SINAE indicates that negligence and bad practices cause forest fires and wildfires to destroy thousands of hectares every summer—a situation exacerbated by frequent droughts resulting in severe ecological, economic, and social deterioration that usually persists for years. last_img read more

Supporting Enduring Partnerships: The SPP Model

first_imgBy Nathalie Gouillou / Diálogo January 30, 2020 Along the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal, units of the Panamanian Public Forces conducted an operation in response to a mock terrorist threat in early July 2019. Exercise PANAMAX Alpha, coordinated with the Missouri National Guard (MONG), sought to strengthen Panamanian security forces’ crisis response to protect the crucial trade route.Around the same time, in the Andean region of Tolemaida, Colombia, a deployment of 100 South Carolina National Guard (SCNG) soldiers carried out combined live-fire exercises with the Colombian Army. The operation, Together Forward, is aimed at strengthening Colombian service members’ tactics, techniques, and procedures.Just months prior, South Dakota Army National Guard service members partnered with the Suriname National Army to deliver medical and dental services to residents of a rural community on the border with French Guiana. The objective was to contribute to improving the population’s health.Each year, the U.S. National Guard conducts hundreds of similar exercises with partner nations worldwide, under the framework of the U.S. Department of Defense’s State Partnership Program (SPP), administered by the National Guard Bureau (NGB). In place since 1993, SPP, which links a state’s National Guard with a partner nation’s armed or public forces, has been building successful relationships and facilitating cooperation through military engagements in support of defense, security, and humanitarian goals.“It’s all about partnerships and building trust — the importance of interoperability and cooperation,” said U.S. Army Captain Raymond Youngs, SPP program director for the New Hampshire National Guard (NHNG), partnered with El Salvador since 2000. “It’s about understanding each other better, knowing the expectations, and enhancing professionalism and interoperability so that we can better accomplish our missions.”In 2019, SPP included partnerships with 76 nations worldwide, of those 24 fell under U.S. Southern Command’s (SOUTHCOM) umbrella. According to U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Juan Mora, SPP chief at SOUTHCOM, more than 140 events were carried out in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2018, and again in 2019.SPP origins According to the NGB Historical Services Branch, SPP evolved from a U.S. European Command decision to initiate engagements to help former Soviet-controlled republics and Eastern European nations rebuild their militaries. In the 1991 initiative, the National Guard played a prominent role cooperating on issues such as military education, disaster management, and civil-military relations. Two years later, SPP was born, partnering Estonia with Maryland, Latvia with Michigan, and Lithuania with Pennsylvania.SOUTHCOM, NGB said, soon requested that the National Guard formally engage with countries under its command, and by 1996, four partnerships arose: Belize and Louisiana, Ecuador and Kentucky, Panama and Missouri, and Peru and West Virginia. In Latin America, however, SPP can be said to have its very own origins.A 1988 report by the U.S. General Accounting Office on U.S. National Guard activities in Central America indicated that guardsmen conducted training exercises with Central American armed forces as early as the 1980s. The missions included building roads, schools, and clinics, and providing medical care to the population.These exercises became a model for the work the National Guard would conduct during their deployment under SOUTHCOM in the Americas. To this day, medical and engineering development continue to be a major focus of SPP activities.Cooperation building activitiesSPP events are country-specific and planned yearly between partners. For example, according to U.S. Army Major Richard Sambolin, MONG bilateral affairs officer at the U.S. Embassy in Panama, in recent years, exercises in Panama prioritized emergency management preparedness.“The subject matter exchanges revolved around all hazard responses with the Summit of the Americas [2015], expansion of the Canal [2016], and the visit of the Holy See [2019],” said Maj. Sambolin. “MONG was able to share lessons learned and methods used to streamline communication, requests for support, and develop common operation practices.”Aviation maintenance and logistics; border, port, and aviation security; humanitarian assistance and disaster response capacity building; peace support operations capacity building; human rights support; and leadership development are among the many activities conducted under SPP. Activities are also meant to strengthen bonds of friendship and trust among partners.In 2020, for example, the Salvadoran Army will send soldiers to New Hampshire to participate in the Best Warrior Competition, a friendly event that seeks to test soldiers’ combat capabilities. In 2019, SCNG deployed four F-16s to take part in Colombia’s F-AIR, an international air show and exhibition dedicated to the aerospace and defense industries — marking the third deployment of F-16s to Colombia since the 2012 partnership debut.Mutual interestsThe enduring efforts to build trust and cooperation between partners are also evident at the time of pairing a state’s National Guard with a nation. According to Lt. Col. Mora, resources, geographic similarities, shared cultural ties, shared natural disaster threats, and prior engagement efforts, are among the criteria taken into account.The long-standing partnership between Panama and MONG for example, goes back to a mid-80s project to build roads, bridges, schools, and water wells. The 2011 partnership between Haiti and the Louisiana National Guard, ushered from relief efforts reservists provided in the aftermath of the devastating 2010 hurricane, both also share a French colonial history.If SPP focuses on a partner nation’s needs, the benefits are mutual. As U.S. Army Brigadier General David Boyle, MONG director of the Joint Staff, put it, “SPP is a win-win.”In Panama, U.S. reservists have been able to use the country’s geographic features to strengthen jungle combat skills. In Colombia and Peru, soldiers build up their guerilla warfare knowledge. The characteristics of the partnership itself can also weigh in.“The Missouri-Panama partnership is unique and important because Panama is one of only two countries in Central America without a traditional military force,” said Brig. Gen. Boyle. “This makes SPP even more relevant, connecting [MONG’s] emergency response mission and expertise with Panama’s security forces — police, fire, emergency management, and sea, air, and ground border security.”While partners tap into each other’s knowledge, nations can also benefit from skills and capabilities of the U.S. National Guard. “The capability is out there for the National Guard to lean on other forces for support,” said U.S. Air Force Captain Stephen Hudson, SCNG SPP program director, citing that SCNG once sought help from the Connecticut National Guard to address a Colombian military request for help with their working dog program.The U.S. and partner nations share a long-term view of common interests. Since its inception in Latin America, SPP has been preserving critical partnerships, while also building stronger bonds for a more secure future. In recent years, SPP welcomed two new countries: Argentina, paired with Georgia (2016); and Brazil, paired with New York (2019).“The SPP is without a doubt a successful program and continues to exceed expectations. Since its inception, the program has managed to stand firm on what is now the Command’s strategic theme, ‘Enduring Promise for the Americas,’” said Lt. Col. Mora. “The SPP served as the catalyst for strengthening and sustaining our alliances and partnerships in the Western Hemisphere, which helps to accelerate and shape the global expansion of the competitive space in ways that advance our mutual interests.”last_img read more

Zagreb and Zagreb County have shown how tourism is developing today. A story from which Dubrovnik can learn a lot

first_imgLogical and natural cooperation, which is a win-win for both destinations. More on that in the attachment. / / / EXCELLENT COOPERATION BETWEEN TZGZ AND TZZŽ AT THE DESTINATION CAMPAIGN – AROUND ZAGREB Once again, praise for the synergy because Around Zagreb is a win-win, both for Zagreb and for Zagreb County. After all, tourists, like tourism, do not know our invisible borders of municipalities, cities and counties. Imagine that Dalmatia (Split-Dalmatia, Šibenik-Knin County, Zadar County) is one destination and one brand – Dalmatia. How much content does the whole of Dalmatia have, and how much more efficient would it be to communicate through one brand and one platform. That’s why it’s important to brand regions. From Slavonia, Istria, Kvarner, Lika, etc.… In order to prolong the stay, increase tourist spending, reduce overtourism (because in seven days every guest would certainly come to Dubrovnik for one day – smart and strategic tourism) and most importantly increase the overall experience of tourists throughout the destination. But unfortunately Dubrovnik is “soloing”, looking only at itself, and not seeing the bigger picture. At the same time it “drowns” in its own mud ( overtourism ) which he created himself, just because there was no vision, courage and strategic development of the destination’s tourism. This is a great example and story from which Dubrovnik can learn a lot. I sincerely hope so. We know how the video works best at the moment and gives a vivid picture and so important additional context and storytelling. A great example of what every travel website should look like. Also, the example of Zagreb should certainly be followed, if not already be the leader, Dubrovnik. Personally, I think that Dubrovnik should brand or sell the entire area around the city. Use your financial and communication power as well as the power of the brand to just spread the story to the entire region. From Ston (Ston walls are the second largest walls after the Great Wall of China, it is the story of the Dubrovnik Republic, it has a top delicacy – oysters), Peljesac (indigenous and top wine variety Dingač) Korcula (island of Marco Polo) Mljet, Neretva Valley, etc.… because that top and quality content that Dubrovnik needs. Also, it is an interesting web presentation of the tourist offer, which consists of a simple and modern web solution, with ideas for excursions, calendar of events, gastronomy, ideas for excursions and stories about what to do for three days… and all of course in several languages , eng, slo, njem). Also, there is the Around Zagreb video series, which brings various stories about tourist facilities in Zagreb and Zagreb County and gives a personal note and motive more for experiencing Zagreb County. Stories play a major role. And that is exactly where the key element of this story is. What Zagreb and Zagreb County recognized as a win-in situation. As for Zagreb, to offer quality content just half an hour or less from the city center, as well as for Zagreb County to finally position itself as the top green ring of the capital. And so, congratulations for the proactivity of the directors of the tourist boards, Martini Bienenfeld and Ivana Alilović, and for showing the way. It’s possible, it’s up to the people. “In the summer period of the campaign, notable results were achieved, so most visits to the site www.aroundzagreb.hr came from Croatia (40%), but also from the market where the campaign was conducted – from Slovenia (35%) and Austria, Germany and Bosnia and Herzegovina (25%). It is interesting to note that we are also recording the interest of Americans, although no special promotion has been done in that market. This certainly shows that the topics of nature and outdoor living and active tourism are obviously interesting to the US market and represent a kind of guideline for future activities.”Point out from the Zagreb Tourist Board. Two months ago, the Zagreb Tourist Board and the Zagreb County Tourist Board launched an excellent partnership, promoting the capital and the Zagreb Green Ring through a unique destination campaign under the slogan “Near the city, close to the heart” / “Around Zagreb”. center_img The producer of the film is Mrs. Martina Miličević, whose video “Zagreb Wine Story” / “Winetasting Path Home” won third place in the world video competition of the highest circulation wine magazine. W. It is a great step forward that the film was made in English (so logical, but unfortunately also a rarity) with subtitles in Croatian, as well as that in the completed segments the film’s actors are foreign nationals, which cleverly and indirectly emphasizes that it is modern and urban. European city and more than interesting surroundings, which wants to attract tourists from around the world. A small but important detail. The joint campaign “Close to the city, close to the heart” was created with the aim of creating a year-round platform to promote the rich offer of the capital and its surroundings. In this sense, it is planned to address emitting markets throughout the year, and now represents an attractive autumn offer of Zagreb and its ring. Today it is part of a destination campaign “Near the city, close to the heart” / “Around Zagreb”, a special promotional film was published, which puts emphasis on greenery, staying in nature, recreation, as well as on the rich cultural and gastronomic offer of the capital and the Zagreb Green Ring. Explore the entire tourist story of Zagreb and Zagreb County at www.aroundzagreb.hr. The narrator in the film is again Mr. Rob Reider, a five-time American winner Emmy awards for her shows and musical compositions, with which TZGZ has already had a great collaboration on the film “Zagreb Loves You”. Also, another important element that is a rarity in the promotion of our tourism. More than a great start, platform and cooperation, which I hope will not only stop at a one-time promotion, but as a permanent strategic and tourism project.last_img read more

Survey reveals widespread pessimism on economy

first_imgChatib Basri, who served as Finance Minister from 2013 to 2014, said Thursday that support for delaying the new normal transition among elementary school graduates was lower, because most of them were informal workers, whom the pandemic hit disproportionately.The National Development Agency (Bappenas) reported that the pandemic affected trade, manufacturing, construction, transportation and warehouses, accommodation and the food and beverages sector. The proportion of workers with an elementary school background accounted for between a quarter and one-third of the total labor force in each sector, according to SMERU Research Institute.“The large-scale social restrictions is a policy biased toward the middle class if there is no social protection, as the majority of Indonesians are informal workers,” said Chatib.“Staying at home is a luxury,” he added. “It is more costly than going back to work despite the risk. And the lower class prefers to go back.”Rosan Roeslani, the chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin), which oversees 200 business associations, said Thursday that the number of affected workers reached 6.4 million as of late May. The number is more than double the Manpower Ministry’s official tally at 3 million or 2.3 percent of the national workforce.He said most of them were furloughed and only 10 percent of them were laid-off, since firms could not afford the severance pay.“The survey is consistent with our observation,” said Rosan. “But businesses know that even if we ease the restrictions, it is still a long way to recover to pre-COVID-19 levels, because productivity will definitely decline due to physical distancing.”Topics : With the coronavirus restrictions hitting economically disadvantaged groups hardest, they showed greater support for the government’s policy to transition toward a so-called new normal, or reopening the economy while implementing health protocol.The share of Indonesians who said the country should transition toward the new normal right now stood at 83 percent among those with income below Rp 2 million (US$141.32), higher than among those with income levels above that.By educational background, the share of Indonesians who said the new normal transition should be delayed was highest among workers with a college degree at 22 percent and lowest among those with elementary school or lower background at 12 percent. The share of Indonesians who say the economy has worsened over the past year has reached a record high.Public opinion pollster Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting (SMRC) found that 92 percent of the respondents surveyed from May 12 to 16 believe Indonesia’s economy is worse than in 2019. That number reflects the highest negative sentiment since the survey began in 2003, or five years into Reform Era.The highest previous spike of such sentiment was 58 percent in mid-2008, when the global financial crisis unfolded.But the share of respondents with that bleak view slightly declined to 85 percent in the latest survey from June 18-20.“We can say that Indonesians’ optimism is now in its worst shape,” Ade Armando, the director of communication at SMRC, said in a virtual briefing on Thursday. “Now that it has reached 85 percent, there is a sign of more optimism in June.”The survey comes at a time when countries around the world are trying to re-emerge from lockdown as the pandemic prompted international institutions to keep revising down forecasts for growth globally, including in Indonesia.In its June forecast released earlier this week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected a 0.3 percent contraction of Indonesia’s economy this year. The fund also slashed the country’s growth forecast by 2.1 percentage points to 6.1 percent next year.With millions of job losses, the pandemic has slowed the country’s growth to 2.97 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, the lowest since 2001, as people lost their income and did not spend as much.SMRC described a similar picture. Only 34 percent of the respondents said Indonesia’s economy would be in better shape next year.However, that marks a slight increase in the share of respondents with an optimistic outlook from 27 percent during the record-low in May, as some provinces and cities started easing restrictions and reopening businesses.last_img read more

A Nerang property combines French Provincial style on an acerage property

first_img29 Country Crescent NerangThe mortgage broker who works from home describes the property as a place that feels a million miles away but is close to town. “Location was a big one for me,” Mrs Davies said. “The best way to explain the place is private. “There is land every which way you look.” More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North12 hours ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa1 day agoMrs Davies, who was married on the back deck, said the property comfortably hosted a band and 90 wedding guests. 29 Country Crescent Nerang 29 Country Crescent NerangTHE GRAND entrance to this French Provincial style home at 29 Country Crescent is eye-catching, but for owner Lepa Davies it was the location she couldn’t resist.Poised on a picturesque 6474sq m block in Nerang, Mrs Davies bought the acreage home seven years ago. 29 Country Crescent NerangMrs Davies said the home had been extensively renovated. “The list is endless,” she said. “The kitchen and the bedrooms have been renovated to have a French theme.“The bathrooms were on my to do list but I didn’t get a chance.“I was meaning to add claw-foot bath tubs to finish the look.” 29 Country Crescent Nerang“The neighbours are friendly and they are all on acreage properties too,” she said. The five-bedroom home has three living rooms and a study.“I use one of the living rooms to work from home,” Mrs Davies said. “I do spend most of my time in the kitchen and on the back deck.”last_img read more

UK legacy schemes granted year to tackle problem of high fees

first_imgThe independent body tasked with tackling high fees levied by legacy UK defined contribution (DC) workplace pensions has told scheme providers to find their own solutions and agree remedial action by the end of next year.Campaign group ShareAction immediately slammed the proposals as shockingly weak, and the union umbrella group TUC responded by calling for strong action from regulators and government.The Independent Project Board (IPB) — which includes representatives of the Association of British Insurers (ABI), Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Pensions Regulator (TPR) — made the proposals in its final report of a review into charges and benefits in legacy DC workplace pension schemes. The IPB was charged with the audit of old, high-charging contract and bundled trust schemes, following the now defunct Office of Fair Trading’s (OFT) September 2013 study of the DC workplace pensions market.  In its study, the OFT also agreed a series of measures with government and industry including singling out poor-value schemes, improving transparency and bolstering governance.The IPB said it was writing to the provider of each scheme where savers were “potentially exposed to high charges”, recommending that they review their data, identify what action they could take to improve outcomes for savers and give this information to their relevant governance body — the new independent governance committees (IGCs) or trustees — by the end of June 2015.“The IPB recommends that governance bodies agree remedial actions and an implementation plan with their provider by end December 2015 at the latest,” the ABI said.On top of this, it said the IPB recommended the DWP and FCA jointly review the progress the industry was making with this, and report on it by the end of 2016.Carol Sergeant, chair of the IPB, said the audit had “highlighted the importance of understanding the impact of scheme design on individual savers and has shown that there is no ‘one size fits all’ charge structure that will ensure all savers get value for money all of the time.”The IPB said it had collected a comprehensive set of data on charges and benefits from providers. It found that around £900m (€1.1bn) of assets under management (AUM) in the DC schemes were “potentially exposed” to charges above 3%, although the majority — £42bn of the total £67.5bn of AUM — had charges of less than 1%.Schemes where savers were potentially exposed to the very highest charges were more likely to have complex charge structures, the report found.Most of the AUM with charges of more than 3% was held by savers who had pots of less than £10,000, it said, adding that more than 90% of this was held by savers that had stopped contributing.“For such savers the impact of monthly fees can result in a very high impact of charges,” it said.In its response to the report, ShareAction said the boards of the insurance companies — not the IGCs — should bear the responsibility to remedy the situation.“Independent Governance Committees will only come into existence in April 2015 and their effectiveness is not yet proven,” the group said.Catherine Howarth, chief executive of ShareAction, said: “Today’s report is shocking in terms of the scale of rip-off fees uncovered and the weakness of the action proposed in response.”The FCA needed to show it could take decisive action to protect consumers from “the worst excesses of a financial services industry which has been ripping them off for decades,” she said.“The government needs to set out clearly the steps pension providers need to take and what will happen to them if they fail to clean up their act,” Howarth said.Meanwhile, TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said it was not good enough for the industry to be given more time to put its affairs in order. “The worst offenders need to be named and swift measures taken to end these shocking practices,” she said.“We need to see strong action from regulators and government to ensure that there’s no loss of public faith in the pensions system at the very time millions of people are getting their first pension savings, thanks to automatic enrolment,” O’Grady said.last_img read more

Fernandes: I can’t wait to play with Pogba

first_img The Portuguese midfielder arrived in January and has impressed in the Premier League and Europa League since then. But he has not played with Pogba, as the latter was injured for the majority of this season. Now both are fit and could play together when the league resumes in mid-June.Advertisement “Yes of course [excited], I think Paul is one of the best players in Manchester and in the world,” he said in an Instagram Live chat with former Macedonian international striker Mario Djurovski. read also:Fernandes appreciates Man Utd teammate Mata “He was injured for a lot of time. “The opportunity to play side to side with him is fantastic because you want to play with the best players you can.” FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Manchester United star, Bruno Fernandes, has said that linking up with Paul Pogba excites him.center_img Loading…last_img read more