Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York At least three people were killed, 24 injured and nine people missing when a gas explosion leveled two buildings in East Harlem Wednesday morning.The blast and subsequent building collapses on Park Avenue at East 116th Street sent billows of smoke pouring through surrounding blocks and emergency crews and first responders rushing to the scene. The New York Times reports the first call to the New York City Fire Department came at 9:31 a.m. A fire was still burning at the site as of 12:30 p.m.The two leveled buildings were five stories with at least a dozen apartments between the two of them, reports the newspaper, and witnesses reported hearing the explosion from more than a mile away.“We saw people flying out of windows,” a witness told the Daily News. “For weeks we’ve been smelling gas.”“It was loud, like boom, boom!” said another. “It rocked the whole block. A window blew out of the other shop down the street. It looked like the towers all over again. People covered in dust and covering their mouths.”The New York Post identified the buildings to include a piano store and Spanish Christian Church. More than 250 firefighters were on the scene battling a five-alarm blaze.Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed during a press conference near the site that the explosion was due to a gas leak.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A woman’s dead body was found in Medford woodlands by a search party that was looking for a 21-year-old woman who went missing about a week ago, Suffolk County police said.The Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s office will confirmed the body was that of Sarah P. Goode on Saturday, two days after the find, police said.Officers responded to a 911 call at 6:15 p.m. Thursday, when one of more than 40 people who were combing the woods made the find in a thickly wooded area near Camden Court, police said.That was about a mile from where Goode’s car, a BMW Model 328i, was found “under suspicious circumstances,” as police have said.Goode’s sister reported her missing Monday after she did not contact family members for two days, police said.Homicide Squad detectives are continuing the investigation and ask anyone with information regarding this incident to call them at 631-852-6392, or anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.
ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Joe WinnIf you’re reading this, the concept of a credit union supporting their members is unsurprising. It’s what they do, right? By pooling their finances, it enables more competitive rates on lending, lower fees on checking, and a more personal experience. That’s the basis of a savings cooperative, or credit union. And we’re done. Well, this was a nice and short post. I’ll see you next week!Hold on for just a moment.Sure, credit unions support the obvious services, but did you know there is an entire world behind the veneer? Organizations supporting credit unions in their own efforts. These are their stories. (Imagine the Law and Order “bum bum” in there!)Much of this post derives from my time at the CUNA GAC or follow-on conversations with people I met. Never know what you’ll learn when surrounded by 5,000 credit union staff, vendors, and evangelists! continue reading »
CUNA wrote to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) on Tuesday to express concern that the administration’s budget request does not include adequate funding for the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund or the Community Development Revolving Loan Fund (CDRLF).The Treasury’s CDFI Fund and NCUA’s CDRLF are two important funds that help credit unions advance underserved communities. The CDFI Fund makes capital grants, equity investments and awards for technical assistance to CDFIs for community development initiatives such as small businesses, community facilities, and low-income housing.CDFIs such as Community Development Credit Unions (CDCUs) are charged with supplying low-income, distressed communities with traditional banking services such as savings accounts and personal loans, and offering individuals the tools needed to become self-sufficient stakeholders in their own future.“The CDFI Fund is used to grow local economies,” CUNA’s letter reads. “Fully funding the CDFI Fund is an important investment for the federal government.” continue reading » 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
Topics : He also asked the government to relax import tax and duties for machinery and raw materials needed to produce protective gear and masks. The government could also push state banks to facilitate low-interest loans to buy machinery and expand the necessary facilities to produce such items.”ASPAKI supports government policies that prioritize domestic needs and develops domestic production to meet needs during the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.Meanwhile, Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) vice chairman for industrial affairs Johnny Darmawan said on April 1 that the association had put forth stimulus suggestions in March to help low-income families and affected industries, some of which had already materialized.These include electricity discounts rolled out last week. Postpaid customers in the 450 volt-ampere (VA) category will not be charged for electricity for April, May or June while postpaid customers in the 900 VA category will receive a 50 percent discount on their electricity bills over the same three months.He also pointed to several tax breaks for employees and companies as well as aid directed at informal workers and small businesses, among other incentives needed to keep the economy going.”For companies, [incentives] are ways to keep the ball rolling despite cash flow problems, as companies still need to pay salaries and for maintenance,” said Johnny, referring to corporate tax and loan rescheduling policies. The Industry Ministry has reallocated Rp 113.15 billion (US$7.01 million) from its initial budget and is currently proposing a stimulus in a bid to salvage industries that are hardest hit by the COVID-19 outbreak.Industry Minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita said in Jakarta on Monday that among the hardest hit industries were the automotive industry, the aviation industry, the electronics industry and the textile industry.”Generally, almost all industrial sectors are affected by COVID-19 and thus need extra attention,” he said during a teleconference meeting with the House of Representatives. Out of the Rp 113.15 billion, Rp 92 billion will be used to aid small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by spurring new entrepreneurship potential, restructuring SMEs’ machinery and equipment, assisting with raw materials and strengthening SME centers in the metal, transportation, machinery and electronics sectors.Meanwhile, the ministry is proposing an additional stimulus that includes a soft loan to help companies’ cash flow, a fixed rate for buying gas from state gas distributor PGN and delayed payments to the Workers Social Security Agency (BPJS Ketenagakerjaan).It will also suggest revisions to waste management that have hampered industries, relaxations of loan payments and interest rates as well as a loan scheme for companies to pay Idul Fitri holiday bonuses (THR). It will also guarantee industries producing and distributing essential goods in a bid to maintain supplies for the public.Asked about what stimulus his industry needed, the Indonesian Association of Medical Device Manufacturers (Aspaki) Division I head overseeing domestic product promotion, Erwin Hermanto, on Tuesday suggested that the government could subsidize raw materials, stabilize the rupiah exchange rate and ensure that transportation, logistics and imports were not disrupted by the government’s partial lockdown measures.
Topics : It also highlighted the revocation of the autonomy of Kashmir, which was India’s only Muslim-majority state, and allegations that Delhi police turned a blind eye to mobs who attacked Muslim neighborhoods in February this year.The Indian government, which has long been irritated by the commission’s comments, quickly rejected the report.”Its biased and tendentious comments against India are not new. But on this new occasion, its misrepresentation has reached new levels,” foreign ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava said.”We regard it as an organization of particular concern and will treat it accordingly,” he said in a statement.The State Department designates nine “countries of particular concern” on religious freedom — China, Eritrea, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.Pakistan, India’s historic rival, was added by the State Department in 2018 after years of appeals by the commission, which was appalled by attacks on minorities and abuse of blasphemy laws.In its latest report, the commission asked that all nine countries remain on the list. In addition to India, it sought the inclusion of four more — Nigeria, Russia, Syria and Vietnam. A US government panel on Tuesday called for India to be put on a religious freedom blacklist over a “drastic” downturn under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, triggering an sharp rebuttal from New Delhi.The US Commission on International Religious Freedom recommends but does not set policy, and there is virtually no chance the State Department will follow its lead on India, an increasingly close US ally.In an annual report, the bipartisan panel said that India should join the ranks of “countries of particular concern” that would be subject to sanctions if they do not improve their records. “In 2019, religious freedom conditions in India experienced a drastic turn downward, with religious minorities under increasing assault,” the report said.It called on the United States to impose punitive measures, including visa bans, on Indian officials believed responsible and grant funding to civil society groups that monitor hate speech.The commission said that Modi’s Hindu nationalist government, which won a convincing election victory last year, “allowed violence against minorities and their houses of worship to continue with impunity, and also engaged in and tolerated hate speech and incitement to violence.”It pointed to comments by Home Minister Amit Shah, who notoriously referred to mostly Muslim migrants as “termites,” and to a citizenship law that has triggered nationwide protests.
Source: WikipediaThe former offices of Delta Lloyd in AmsterdamFollowing the transfer, Delta Lloyd’s 2,766 active participants will accrue pension rights in a less mature pension fund, as the NN CDC scheme has 5,300 workers and just 200 pensioners.This demographic has allowed NN CDC to implement a much more aggressive investment policy, with a return-seeking portfolio worth 40% of its assets. The Delta Lloyd scheme has 24% invested in return-seeking assets.In addition, the Delta Lloyd fund is in a relatively strong position to pay inflation-linked bonuses, whereas NN CDC has limited options for indexation given its lower funding level.Inge de Vries of trade union De Unie acknowledged that the unions had made a concession on pensions during the transition negotiations, but highlighted improvements on pay and labour conditions for former Delta Lloyd staff.The annual report of NN CDC stated that its internal supervisors had urged closer co-operation between NN’s three pension funds, which included the €28bn closed ING Pensioenfonds.NN’s CDC scheme shares services with ING’s CDC scheme. Both schemes were established following the split of original parent company ING into the separate companies ING and NN Group, in 2011.The board of NN CDC said it wanted to continue the co-operation with ING CDC for now as both schemes had significant similarities and were facing the same issues. Theo Krekel, the scheme’s manager, said the pension fund was assessing several options, including joining a general pension fund (APF) or remaining independent with some increased co-operation with NN’s €522m CDC scheme.A third option would be a buyout with an insurer, he said.The board decided against transferring the legacy scheme to the CDC fund as the different funding levels – 126% at Delta Lloyd and 109% at NN CDC – would be an obstacle. The €3.2bn Dutch Pensioenfonds Delta Lloyd is to close following the takeover of its insurance company sponsor by NN Group two years ago.Pensions accrual will continue in NN’s collective defined contribution (CDC) scheme, according to the annual reports of both pension funds.The decision followed the introduction of a new collective labour agreement (CAO), amending labour conditions for staff of NN and former insurer Delta Lloyd.Pensioenfonds Delta Lloyd will close to new entrants from next year. It currently has 13,000 members.
Qatar Petroleum has signed a sale and purchase agreement to directly supply China with 600,000 metric tons of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) per year for a period of five years.The long-term agreement was inked by Qatar Petroleum for Sale of Petroleum Products Company (QPSPP) and Oriental Energy (Singapore), with the contract scheduled to start in January 2019.“We hope this deal will further enhance our energy relationship with China, as we place greater importance to meeting the needs of the world’s largest growing LPG market,” Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, President & CEO of Qatar Petroleum, said.Qatar Petroleum announces a 5-year LPG supply agreement with China’s Oriental Energy#QP #QatarPetroleum #Qatar #Energy #China #LPG https://t.co/488qgZzeG1 pic.twitter.com/PRvz9dpMkv— Qatar Petroleum (@qatarpetroleum) October 16, 2018“Through this first step, we hope to build a strong and sustainable relationship with Qatar Petroleum and to continue exploring other areas in which Qatar Petroleum and Oriental Energy can further collaborate on,” Yan Jia Sheng, Vice-President of Oriental Energy Group and Managing Director of Oriental Energy (Singapore) International Trading, commented.Oriental Energy (Singapore) is a subsidiary of Oriental Energy which is China’s largest LPG player with the largest LPG distribution network and LPG storage facilities in China. In addition, it has five LPG importing terminals along with several petrochemical facilities.The LPG industry continues to enjoy sustainable growth in China where LPG is used for domestic use and the growing petrochemical sector.The recent agreement comes amid a trade dispute between China and the United States. As Chinese importers of LPG have started to pay higher tariffs for LPG originating from the US, they are looking for alternatives.For Qatar, the trade war could be an opportunity to boost its gas output to China.
Stuff co.nz 9 April 2017OPINION: You thought you know Family First founder Bob McCoskrie’s conservative views? Then this may surprise you. No more victim-blaming, he says.To my daughters,There’s been a huge public discussion about “consent” and “rape culture”, and the concern that most guys have no respect for you or for your consent. It’s great that we’re having this discussion. The statistics and the stories are disturbing. It seems this culture is everywhere.There are some mongrel guys out there who want to take advantage of you. Some go to Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat and think that in the privacy of social media, they can speak in degrading terms about their sexual prowess and their disrespect for females.They’re feeding their minds with pornography which leads to negative stereotypes of women, the desire for sexual activity at a young age, and increased aggression towards girls. That’s what the research shows, and I bet you can see some of the evidence.And it’s not just the boys at school. The objectification and the narrowing down of you and your friends to just your sexuality is everywhere in your world – online, in the media, in movies, in advertisements. By adults who should know better and who should be protecting you, not exploiting you for financial gain.I can understand the pressure you are under to look skinnier, look prettier, look sexier, and the weight of the message that that is where your value lies. It is unacceptable pressure and I’m sorry and I’m angry you’re having to experience it, and that so few people are connecting the dots between sexualisation in the media, the porn industry, and the sexual aggression of which you could be a victim.But here’s the good news.The overwhelming majority of guys are not like that. They’re not sexually aggressive towards you. When they’re with you and talk to you, they respect all of you.There will be those guys who don’t automatically give you the respect you deserve and don’t offer it when you demand it. If you happen to find one of these guys, lose him. Fast. Don’t even risk it. Don’t think you can change him. If and when he changes, maybe then. But that’s not your job. Your welfare and wellbeing come first.Back in 2014, Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence spoke about some stolen nude photos of her that were published all over the internet. It was a disgraceful act by whoever stole them and then published them. But in justifying why the nude photos were taken of her in the first place, she said: “… either your boyfriend is going to look at porn or he’s going to look at you.”That’s not correct. Not at all. That’s not demanding the respect you deserve – that’s buying into the rape culture we all deplore. Boys and men do not need to look at porn. Those that do need help, not enabling.By suggesting a female needs to provide naked images to her boyfriend, he betrays both her and their relationship. It objectifies the female and reduces her to little more than a sex object designed to satisfy the sexual desires of a male.If it happens to you, don’t feed it. Don’t even provide a snack. You’re more than that. Please know that.Guys who respect themselves and respect others don’t do this.There are guys out there who will respect you. Who will treat you well. Who will see the value of the whole you, not just the sexualised being.As you know from living with me and your brother, males are not perfect. Far from it. And the culture that we live in tries to tell you that you’re only as good as you look, and that your value is to be measured by how much guys appreciate your sexuality.But know this. You are worth so much more than that. I love you and would do everything to protect you. I see your potential. I see your worth in who you are, and not in what you do or how you look. I want the absolute best for you.Set that as your litmus test.I have great confidence that there are many young men who will hold to that same standard.Anything less – and he’s not worth it.Love, Dad.http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/91357215/bob-mccoskrie-letter-to-my-teen-daughters-about-consent-rape-culture-and-mongrel-guys
The African stars who sang the Strong girl anthem. Poverty is not only an African phenomonen but it touches on all corners of the earth. But there are countries that bear the brunt more than others.‘The one Campaign’ is urging world leaders this years to help those most affected by poverty around the world.One campaigns says women and girls need empowerment:”Poverty is sexist, and we won’t end it unless world leaders act now to help girls and women reach their full potential. No matter how you cut it – socially, economically, legally – girls and women in the poorest countries get a raw deal.”The campaign has been trending on social media under the #WithStrongGirls .We take an African angle to it asking as Africa prepares to celebrate the Africa Day on 25th of May an annual commemoration of the 1963 founding of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), presently recognized as the Africa Union (AU), what do women and girls of Africa have to celebrate about? Have African leaders empowered women and girls enough?The African Union, comprised of 53 member states, has brought together the continent of Africa to collectively address the challenges it has faced, such as armed conflict, climate change, and poverty. Have they done their work?The campaign is asking world leaders to act on these issues.:-For the girl denied an education or forced into marriage.-For the mother who risks death when she gives life.-For the farmer prevented from owning the land she works on.All over the world, girls and women are showing their strength and fighting back. They are achieving extraordinary things, despite the barriers they face. But your voice can help turn personal victories into global ones.Have you noticed a difference in your community? Are women and girls standing up for themselves in your community ? Have they achieved a lot or nothing yet?The campaign has joined forces with 9 of Africa’s most talented artists to create a new anthem that celebrates the power of girls and women everywhere to make the call for girls and women empowerment. What is your say?