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first_imgBy Nancy HinkleUniversity of GeorgiaFrom big, fat barn spiders to their yellow garden cousins, between now and Halloween we will be seeing more spiders around our yards. The first hard frost will kill them, but now they are mating and producing egg sacs that will overwinter and re-establish the population next spring. The most commonly seen ones are orb-weaver spiders with large webs.Barn spiders (Araneus cavaticus) can be found on porches, where flying insects attracted to porch lights get trapped in their webs. These spiders are nocturnal, constructing a new web every evening and taking it down before dawn. This rusty brown spider has legs extending about 2 inches, making it look large and noticeable. These spiders hide during the day, but at night are found in the middle of the web, waiting for insects to be trapped. The yellow garden spider (Argiope aurantia) is one of the longest spiders in Georgia. It is frequently found in gardens and around shrubbery, where it constructs large webs to trap flying insects. The abdomen has distinctive yellow and black markings while the front part of the body, the cephalothorax, is white. The female typically remains in one spot throughout her life, repairing and reconstructing her web as it is damaged and ages. Her web may have a distinctive zigzag of silk through the middle, explaining its other common name, “writing spider.” Unlike the nocturnal barn spider, the yellow garden spider can be found in its web anytime. Sometimes a smaller spider will be found in the web with her; this is the male.These spiders have been present all summer, eating pest insects and growing. By late summer, they are large enough that people start noticing them. Georgia has more than 800 species of spiders, all of which are harmless if you leave them alone. All spiders are more afraid of you than you are of them. (Nancy Hinkle is a professor of entomology and Cooperative Extension veterinary entomologist with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)last_img read more

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Update from Appalachian Riverboard Company

first_imgHi from Appalachian Riverboard Company, We’re both a riverboard guide service and riverboard manufacturing company in western NC. While we were still closed for the season due to temperature and scheduled river releases, we have already seen the postponement of one gear show and know that the whitewater industry is facing some delays in beginning commercial operations this year due to social distancing. Our owner is doing their best to take it in stride by plugging away at their day job in home energy efficiency and also using the delays to refine our board building process to bring another batch of riverboards to market. Thank you for supporting the outdoors and beginning the #outsidewethrive movement. center_img Kevin Yount,Appalachian Riverboard Company – owner, designer, trainer, guidelast_img read more

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Emerging leader thrives on challenges

first_imgRachel Guyselman has advice for young credit union professionals who enjoy presenting ideas to their managers: Don’t take feedback personally.The vice president of operations at $73 million asset Tongass Federal Credit Union in Ketchikan, Alaska, often must reshape her initial proposals based on comments from her supportive CEO, Helen Mickel.“Rather than thinking, ‘I’ve been shut down,’ I think, ‘OK, this is just a detour, not a dead end,’” Guyselman tells CUNA News Podcast. “I need to rethink it, absorb that feedback, and come at it from a different angle. If you still believe in your initial thought logically and knowledgeably, present your point.”Guyselman, 30, is the first recipient of the CUNA Emerging Leader Award, to be presented Dec. 4 at the inaugural CUNA Emerging Leader Institute in San Diego. 10SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »last_img read more

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This organization laid out pinwheels. Here’s why.

first_img“It’s a very big concern for us, not just with child abuse, but with domestic violence cases,” Baudendistel said. “We’re trying to plan for and anticipate how we’re going to respond to the uptick [in incidents] we’re expecting.” “I think it’s really important now, especially with a lot more people being home with their kids,” Buadendistel said. “Maybe even doing some education with their kids to really focus on coping skills and, ‘How do we get through this together?'” Baudendistel is encouraging people to make Broome County and other counties they serve a safer place for families and children, but notes the COVID-19 pandemic could play a factor with people staying in their homes more often. BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — April is National Child Abuse Prevention month, and here in the Southern Tier, the Crime Victims Assistance Center is remembering those they help, and are reminding people of resources they can turn to. On April 1, the Broome County Child Advocacy Center, which falls under the CVAC, laid out 302 pinwheels on the front lawn of the CVAC to represent each child abuse victim the organization helped in 2019.center_img But with the time at home, Baudendistel is also optimistic about personal growth in families that may have dysfunction. Executive director Raini Baudendistel told 12 News the number is the largest number the CVAC has ever seen when it comes to child abuse victims in our area, but attributed that number to the CVAC and Broome County CAC’s efforts in broadening the type of abuse they provide services to. The CVAC has taken measures to move their employees remote during the coronavirus crisis. Baudendistel emphasized the 24/7 crisis line is still open, and can be reached at 607-722-4256.last_img read more

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Analysis: First estimates of UK equality ruling costs emerge

first_imgThe GMP relates to compensation paid to scheme members in relation to state pension reform. It took years for the courts to decide whether the payments – which are based on the state pension but paid by individual schemes – were subject to EU equality rules.Counting the cost Dixons Carphone, owner of the Currys PC World chain, estimated a £15m GMP equalisation billDefence technology company QinetiQ said in its interim results statement, published on 15 November, that it anticipated GMP equalisation would “increase liabilities by approximately 1-4% of the scheme’s gross liabilities”.As of 31 March 2018, QinetiQ’s UK defined benefit (DB) schemes had combined liabilities of £1.7bn, meaning GMP equalisation could push up its obligations by roughly £17m-£67m.Compass Group, a hospitality services firm, estimated the cost at 1-2% of its £2.4bn of liabilities.“The effects of the [GMP] ruling will be recognised in the next financial year when the obligation to amend the plan’s benefits has arisen,” the company said in its annual report, published on 17 December.In its half-year report from 21 November, chemicals company Johnson Matthey stated: “As there are still a number of uncertainties with respect to the period over which the benefits should be equalised, the group cannot provide a definitive estimate of the income statement impact at this date, although the amount may be up to £30m.”As of 31 March 2018, Johnson Matthey’s DB pension liabilities amounted to £1.8bn.Increasing deficits Transport firm Stagecoach predicted a £24.2m increase in liabilitiesWhile the above three schemes were all in surplus according to their latest figures, other sponsoring employers to have estimated the impact of GMP equalisation faced adding to their DB pension shortfalls.Dixons Carphone, which runs a chain of high street technology retailers, put its estimated GMP cost at £18m. However, according to its 2018 annual report, its DB scheme was just 70% funded with a deficit of £470m, as of 28 April.Transport group Stagecoach estimated its GMP equalisation cost at £24.2m.“We have worked with our actuarial advisers to understand the implications of the judgement for the schemes in which the group participates and the £24.2m pre-tax exceptional expense reflects our best estimate of the effect on our reported pension liabilities,” the company said in its half-year report on 5 December.As well as having its own UK pension fund, Stagecoach participates in the Railways Pension Scheme and the Local Government Pension Scheme.DS Smith, a packaging provider, predicted a £15m cost, equivalent to roughly 1.5% of its DB liabilities. De La Rue, printer of UK banknotes and passports, said it believed GMP payment changes would cost roughly £2m (0.2% of liabilities), while Pennon, a water and waste management company, estimated a £4m cost (0.4%).Other employers have warned investors of potential increases to DB obligations, but have yet to publish estimated costs.Further readingInsurers ‘may have to restructure de-risking deals’ after GMP rulingUK schemes in race against time to deal with GMP rulingcenter_img UK companies have begun to report the estimated impact of October’s pension payment equality ruling on their liabilities.In interim or half-year reports published in November and December 2018, a handful of listed firms estimated that the landmark ruling would raise liabilities by between 0.2% and 1.9%.Since October’s ruling, eight UK listed companies with combined pension liabilities of more than £14bn (€15.5bn) have reported the estimated impact of GMP “equalisation” on their schemes, IPE research has found. The figures are preliminary and will be confirmed later this year once full calculations have been completed.The UK High Court ruled in October that “guaranteed minimum pension” (GMP) payments accrued between 1990 and 1997 must apply equally to men and women, meaning schemes faced having to revisit 30 years’ worth of records and potentially pay billions to members who missed out.last_img read more

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​ATP’s geared portfolio dives 9% in last quarter of 2018

first_imgBo Foged, acting CEO, ATPFoged said that since ATP had enjoyed high returns in recent years, it was to be expected that these could not continue.“But our long-term investment horizon and balanced risk approach provide a solid foundation for preserving the real value of our members’ pensions, although we expect returns to be moderate in the coming years,” Foged said.At the end of October, ATP reported that it had made a 5.8% return on the investment portfolio in the first nine months of the year. However, in the fourth quarter, ATP’s annual results showed this return was wiped out by a DKK9.1bn loss.However guaranteed benefits – or the hedging portfolio – grew to DKK693bn, from DKK651bn at the end of 2017. ATP’s total assets therefore rose to DKK785bn, from DKK769bn.Leverage increasedATP increases the firepower of its investment portfolio by borrowing assets from the hedging portfolio at market rates, as well as by using derivatives.This meant that, at the end of 2018, the portfolio had a market value of DKK307.5bn – 3.34 times its actual value in ATP’s accounts of DKK92bn.Hyldahl told IPE at the end of August that the portfolio’s gearing had been around 200% two years ago.With its current high leverage, the investment portfolio return figure is not comparable to overall investment returns published by most other Danish pension funds.According to the Danish FSA’s key “N1” investment return figure, which allows comparability between pension fund results, ATP made a 3.7% return in 2018, up from 2.5% in 2017. Denmark’s biggest pension fund lost nearly a tenth of the value of its investment portfolio in the last quarter of 2018, setting it up for a calendar year investment loss of 3.2%.ATP, the country’s giant statutory pension fund, reported that the investment portfolio’s value fell to DKK92bn (€12.3bn) at the end of December, compared to DKK118bn a year earlier.The investment portfolio consists of ATP’s bonus reserves, whereas the bulk of the DKK785bn pension fund’s money is contained in its hedging portfolio, designed to guarantee its pension promises.ATP recorded an overall DKK25bn loss during the year, mostly because of a DKK20bn adjustment it made at the end of June to cover the impact of a change in its longevity assumptions. Bo Foged, who has been acting CEO since Christian Hyldahl resigned in November, said: “After several years of stable, positive returns, the financial markets, especially towards the end of 2018, were marked by negative returns in the global equity markets and rising interest rates in the US.”Listed international equities and inflation-related instruments were the two biggest detractors from investment profits in 2018, losing DKK6.6bn and DKK5.4bn respectively.Government and mortgage bonds, however, posted a DKK3.6bn profit during the year. Private equity generated DKK3bn and real estate and infrastructure jointly added DKK4.8bn to the pot.last_img read more

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LEGALISING ABORTION: Which MPs voted most consistently for life, science & biology?

first_imgIt appears that the majority of MPs who supported legalising abortion and removing any legal recognition of the unborn child also wanted an extreme radical abortion law that has very little restriction.Sadly, they got their way,And our children, women & families (and society) will suffer for it. When the abortion bill was looking likely to pass (as was always likely with the current parliament that we have), attempts were made by pro-life MPs during the Committee stage to ‘soften’ the harms of the bill and to take the extreme aspects away from this flawed bill.Below is a record of how the MPs voted on the key votes that happened during the abortion debate – including the final vote. As you will see, most pro-abortion MPs voted against all and any attempts to have provisions included in the law relating to foetal pain, born alive abortions, parental notification and late-term abortions, amongst others.It is also disturbing to note that some MPs eventually opposed the bill, but also opposed any attempts to remove the extreme elements of this already-dangerous bill.The proposed amendments that were all defeated (and are recorded in our voting record sheet in order of the list below) were:* BORN ALIVE: requirement that a qualified health practitioner who performed an abortion that results in the birth of a child after an attempted abortion has a duty to provide the child with appropriate medical care and treatment, no different than the duty owed to provide medical care and treatment to any other child born. Because of international experience here, here and here, it was vital to have an express provision in the abortion legislation to reinforce this obligation.* SEX SELECTION: explicit ban on sex selection abortions which do happen both here and and overseas* DISABILITY: explicit ban on disability discrimination abortions* PARENTS: parental involvement – abortion for minors treated like other health procedures. In all other health contexts, the health practitioner is required to assess the child’s capacity prior to a medical procedure and, where capacity is lacking, obtain the consent of a parent or guardian. Why can parents be deliberately excluded from this procedure?* FOETAL PAIN: requirement for abortion procedures post-20 week to ensure that foetus does not feel pain (as per the Animal Welfare Act which requires vets to ensure that animals don’t feel pain!)* LATE TERM: abortions post-20 weeks only for extreme circumstances* CONSCIENCE: keeping conscientious objection standards the same as they currently are (the bill currently weakens the protections)* REFERENDUM: a referendum so that we all get a say on this crucial issue, similar to euthanasiaclick on the charts below to see the full voting recordlast_img read more

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12 Foods You’re Eating Wrong

first_img Share 135 Views   no discussions Share Sharing is caring! Tweetcenter_img HealthLifestyle 12 Foods You’re Eating Wrong by: – October 10, 2014 TOMATOESWrong: Though tomatoes are delicious with a sprinkle of salt and some balsamic, eating them raw is actually not your best bet.Right: Cook them. Adding heat and oil to tomatoes makes it easier for your body to absorb lycopene, according to research from Harvard University. And a 2011 study published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine found that lycopene helps reduce the risk of stroke, certain cancers, and heart disease.CARROTSWrong: Many people eat these veggies raw, either for dunking purposes or in salads.Right: Research from Columbia University published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention found that cooking carrots increases the bioavailability of carotenoids—they boost your immune system and heart health and decrease your risk of disease, especially certain cancers and eye disease—so your body is then better able to absorb those important nutrients. TEAWrong: You may do as the Brits do and add milk to it. Or if you’re drinking green tea, you may add sugar.Right: Skip the milk. A 2013 study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that doing so actually takes away from the cardiovascular benefits that tea provides. And if you’re going green, forget the sugar—it sounds odd, but add a bit of juice to sweeten it up instead. According to a study from Purdue University, the vitamin C in juice may make the nutrients in green tea easier to absorb.GARLICWrong: Perhaps you sauté an entire clove of garlic, or cut it up into bite-size chunks to sprinkle on meals.Right: It’s better to crush garlic first, then let it sit for 10 minutes, according to a study from the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Why? That allows enough time for allicin, an enzyme that’s been shown to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by improving blood flow, to be released.APPLES AND PEARSWrong: Chances are, you probably eat these fruits before they’re totally ripe. For apples, that means they’re not brown in any way, and for pears, that they’re still hard.Right: Wait another few days. One Austrian study found that the ripening process allowed apples’ and pears’ chlorophyll to break down better, which, in turn, produced more “highly active”—and thus healthier—antioxidants in the fruits.POTATOESWrong: You choose white potatoes, and either mash, bake, or eat them in French fry form.Right: Skip white potatoes altogether, and go for purple ones instead. According to a 2012 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, they lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of cancer. But whatever type of potato you eat, be sure to keep the skin on—that’s where the fiber is.SQUASHWrong: People often peel the skin off, unaware that it’s actually edible.Right:Roast squash or mash it up with the skin on, says registered dietitian Lisa Young, Ph.D., author of The Portion Teller Plan. That’s where the fiber lies. BROCCOLIWrong: Most people cook the vegetable in a pot of water.Right: Steam your broccoli in a pot rather than cooking it in H2O. This preserves more of its vitamin C, says Young. Why? Vitamin C is very sensitive to destruction and oxidation from air, light, and water, so cooking a food containing it allows water to “pull out” the nutrient. However, vitamin C isn’t as sensitive to steam.ORANGESWrong: You cut an orange into slices, then leave them in a bowl in your fridge.Right: Always be sure to cover sliced-up oranges, whether you store them in a Tupperware container or put them in a bowl with tin foil over them. Limiting exposure to air and light ensures less vitamin C is lost, says Young.OATMEALWrong: Chances are, you make your oatmeal with water and sweeten it with a little bit of brown sugar.Right: Fix it with milk instead of water, says registered dietitian Keri Gans, author of The Small Change Diet. The protein—about 8 percent of your RDA in half a cup—helps fill you up. And rather than topping with sugar, add berries and slivered-up almonds. Unlike sugar, which can make you hungry sooner, both contain filling fiber.Msnhealthyliving Sharelast_img read more

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DAVID AND GOLIATH: US and Antigua still at odds over internet gaming

first_imgST JOHN’S, Antigua, CMC – The Antigua and Barbuda government has expressed disappointment at the decision by United States authorities to arrest and indict a number of individuals engaged in on line internet gaming.Finance and Economy Minister Harold Lovell described the indictments as the latest efforts by Washington to shut off competition in remote gaming in violation of international law.“I am concerned that at this point in time United States authorities continue to prosecute non-domestic suppliers of remote gaming services in clear contravention of International law.“I am not aware of any other situation where a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has subjected persons to criminal prosecution under circumstances where the WTO has expressly ruled that to do so is in breach of an International treaty,” Lovell said.The two countries are at loggerheads over the issue of internet on line gaming with St. John’s seeking to recover millions of dollars in lost revenue based on a WTO ruling that Washington has not yet fully accepted. “The WTO ruled that these kinds of laws criminalizing the provision of remote gaming services are contrary to the obligations of the United States under the WTO agreements,” said Antigua’s legal counsel in the WTO matter, Mark Mendel.“The United States, being a very heavy user of the WTO rules to its own benefit, simply cannot continue to prosecute persons for engaging in legitimate International commerce,” said Mendel.He said there have been recent initiatives to authorise remote gaming in various American states and the proliferation of state sanctioned gambling in America generally.“What the United States has attempted to cloak as a moral issue is now clearly nothing but economic protectionism at its worst. Rather than engaging with Antigua and the world gaming community to reach a reasonable accommodation on this relatively new but now globalised form of economic commerce, the United States has instead determined to protect its domestic gaming interests regardless of International legal obligations.“This is very hard to reconcile not only with its pronouncements regarding the imperative of other countries to strictly observe their WTO trade obligations but also with stated official United States government policy of adherence to the rule of law.”A government statement said that having won a hard-fought dispute at the WTO against the United States some years ago over laws criminalizing the provision of remote gaming services to American consumers, “Antigua has spent considerable time and effort trying to reach a compromise with American authorities that would recognise the legitimacy conferred by the WTO judgement with respect to Antiguan remote gaming services, while addressing any material concerns United States authorities might have with respect to the provision of these services from abroad.“Last weeks’ indictments and other recent developments would seem to indicate that the United States is still unwilling or unable to tackle the issue of offshore remote gaming services in a mature and legally compliant fashion.”Lovell said that in light of these developments “we are examining all of the options we have against the United States as a result of the WTO decision.“We are confident that the WTO rulings have significant strength and we are now looking into ways to capitalise on that in order to achieve our objectives,” Lovell said.Mendel said that “given the time that has been spent by the Antiguan government on sincere attempts to negotiate a reasonable settlement with the United States, and the very meagre results that have come of those discussions, it might be time for Antigua to go back to the WTO and compel American compliance with the rulings that this very small country fought so hard for and deserves to see implemented.” Share Tweet Share Sharing is caring!center_img Share 12 Views   no discussions NewsRegional DAVID AND GOLIATH: US and Antigua still at odds over internet gaming by: – April 21, 2011last_img read more

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