Nature as storm defender

first_imgGittman’s graduate research along the North Carolina coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene in 2011 suggests that the use of “living shorelines” instead of seawalls “can protect private property from these coastal hazards without compromising the habitats.” (The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration defines a living shoreline as one that “uses plants, sand, and limited use of rock to provide shoreline protection and maintain valuable habitat.”)In an area of North Carolina hardest hit by the hurricane, Gittman observed “75 percent of the bulkheads had some kind of damage,” while other types of shorelines, including living shorelines, were damage-free.While such living shorelines won’t work everywhere, they are often a viable option, said Gittman, who helped North Carolina residents plant sea grass for their living shorelines as part of her research. “And with the right amount of education and incentives,” she added, “it’s possible we could push private-property owners in the direction of thinking about the long-term sustainability and resilience and ecological function of their shorelines rather than just ‘I want my property to stay exactly the way it is for the next 30 years.’”Whale chatter amid the clamorThe ocean is a noisy place, explained Ana Širović during her afternoon presentation on whale communication. Natural sea sounds include the songs of marine mammals, as well as the din made by rain, waves, and even the low thunderclap rumble generated by underwater earthquakes. But man also contributes to the clatter, from shipping tankers, oil drills, and commercial and navy sonar.Carefully discerning and studying the songs of giant blue whales is a main focus of Širović, an assistant researcher in the marine bioacoustics lab at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego. Her research, she said, helps shine a light on the distribution, behavior, and population structure of the marine life.Recent genetic analysis suggests that blue whale populations off Chile differ so greatly from those off Australia that the Chilean whales might be considered a separate subspecies, said Širović. She hopes that a close analysis of the whales’ songs will support those findings. “If we can measure the amount of difference in different songs of different populations, we could also form more refined hypotheses on how likely they are to be different populations.”Research suggests that just like human language, whale songs are frequently passed on from generation to generation. Humpback whale songs change and evolve, said Širović, citing an example of a whale that arrived off the east coast of Australia singing the western Australian whale song. “Within two seasons, everybody adopted the [eastern] song.“There clearly is some transmission and exchange between these different populations,” Širović added, “but we don’t really know a whole lot about how that works.” Altered oceans Related For years coastal homeowners have tried to beat back Mother Nature with seawalls, imposing structures of wood and/or concrete intended to fend off angry tides and surging storms. But emerging research suggests that in some areas, biological barriers both better protect against erosion and preserve vital ocean habitats.Not only have seawalls in certain areas been shown repeatedly to fail when tested, but they pose a threat to the delicate ecosystems associated with wetlands and intertidal areas, Rachel Gittman, a postdoctoral research associate at Northeastern University’s Marine Science Center, said during a talk at Radcliffe on Thursday. Instead of absorbing energy generated by wind and waves, seawalls reflect that force back into the water, said Gittman, further eroding the shore and erasing important habitats for fish, crabs, and shore birds.“You are essentially talking about a little over a 25 percent loss in biodiversity and also around a 35 to 40 percent loss in abundance when you have a seawall instead of a natural shoreline.”Gittman’s talk was part of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study’s “Next in Science,” a new program that brings together early career scientists to present their research to the Harvard community and the public. The session, which included speakers from the University of Glasgow and the Sea Education Association, was a preview of Radcliffe’s October ocean symposium, “From Sea to Changing Sea,” as well as a series of upcoming ocean-related talks. Panelists see window for addressing human impact on ecosystems last_img read more

Samantha Power: The world in her rearview mirror

first_imgAuthor F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote that there are no second acts in American lives. But clearly, he never met Samantha Power.Part jet-setting diplomat, part sneaker-clad advocate, the Harvard human-rights champion and scholar first shot to fame in 2003, when she won a Pulitzer Prize for her book on genocide, “A Problem from Hell.” Power, J.D. ’99, switched gears when she left Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) to join the longshot 2008 presidential campaign of a U.S. senator from Illinois named Barack Obama. When he was elected president, she became a special assistant to him, serving first on the National Security Council, and later,  as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.More than eight years later, Power has returned to Harvard as the Anna Lindh Professor of the Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy at HKS and professor of practice at Harvard Law School.Power figures prominently in a new HBO documentary that debuted Jan. 19 called “The Final Year.” The film chronicles the behind-the-scenes whirl of key players on Obama’s foreign policy team, including Secretary of State John Kerry and speechwriter Ben Rhodes, the deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, as all three crisscross a world that seems on fire. They organize historic presidential visits to Hiroshima and Laos, and they grapple with the conflict in Syria and the resultant refugee crisis, the Ebola epidemic, mass abductions by Boko Haram militants, and the Iran nuclear negotiations, against the looming backdrop of the 2016 presidential campaign.Power will discuss U.S. foreign policy Thursday afternoon at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, where she is also a 2017‒2018 fellow. (There is a waiting list for seating.) In advance of that session, she sat down with the Gazette to reflect on the ups and downs of her time in the U.S. government and how it feels to be off center stage politically, watching global affairs unfold.Q&ASamantha PowerGAZETTE: Now that you’ve had a year to process it, how do you view your time in the Obama administration? What are you most proud of accomplishing, and are there any misgivings or disappointments?POWER: Definitely, there were both, but my main “headline” on government is that nothing in my life has been as rewarding, as impactful, as purposeful as the eight years I got to spend working in the Obama administration. For me, a textbook case of U.S. leadership that was used to harness a global response to a cataclysmic crisis was the Ebola response. … I was privileged to be at the center of that because Barack Obama decided to deploy 3,000 troops and health workers into the eye of the storm at a time when people were so panicked across the United States. As U.N. ambassador, I got to take his commitment and then try to leverage it with other countries and build a global coalition. And we did that. We defied all of the odds, building the airplane as we were flying it, to vanquish that epidemic.Ambassador Power speaks during “Photojournalism and Human Rights,” a panel discussion held as part of “The First Annual VII Seminar,” April 17, 2005. Harvard File PhotoI feel sometimes when the United States talks about human rights or women’s rights, it can be very abstract. And so, with my team, about halfway through my time in New York at the U.N., we decided that we would focus on 20 women whose voices were being silenced because they had been made political prisoners in their own countries and that we would see what we could do to try to get these people out of jail. We ran this campaign called #FreeThe20 with women who’d been locked up in Ethiopia and Uzbekistan and China. Some of the people had even been locked up protesting sexual harassment — that was the case in China — at a time when the Chinese government was bragging about all it was doing to empower women.And by virtue of our efforts, along with those of NGOs [non-government organizations], and members of Congress who got on board with this campaign, 16 out of the 20 women were, in the end, released from prison. … The only form of accountability that I and my team practiced was not “Did you give a great speech?” or “Are you respected around the world?” but was always about “Are there lives that are different concretely because of the work that we did?”Syria stands out, of course, as the conflict that caused the most human suffering probably per square inch on planet Earth over the life of our time in government. But again, every tool in the toolbox, short of military force, we deployed. It’s just the complexity and brutality, frankly, of what was going on on the ground that made, for us, a solution elusive, it’s fair to say. And then, I also think if we had to do it again, I wish we had not gotten so entangled in the war in Yemen. Initially, to be defending our Saudi partners in the region made some sense — Iranian aggression, Iranian support for armed elements on the ground in Yemen — but then, as we backed the Saudi-led coalition, the amount of carnage inflicted from the air by the Saudi air force was so significant that I think there came a time where we should have pulled the plug on that. And I regret that we didn’t.GAZETTE: For someone known as a vocal champion of action, you worked in an administration frequently criticized for its perceived inaction on a host of global issues and conflicts. Has your view of what the U.S. can and cannot do to solve problems evolved since you transitioned from academia to governing?POWER: For the book I did called “A Problem from Hell,” which led me to Obama … I did hundreds of interviews with U.S. officials. So I was no stranger to understanding that constraints exist. Constraints exist in terms of the effectiveness of U.S. tools, in terms of domestic public opinion or congressional support, and some problems are really hard in the world. That was no secret to me even though I hadn’t served in the executive [branch] before. I think, if anything, I come out more idealistic and more struck by just what the United States can do when it puts its mind to it. I understand and appreciate the criticisms on Syria because it was such a case of savagery and had a set of knock-on effects, as well, regarding terrorism and refugee flow. I understand that criticism.,But in general, there is a habit that has grown up over the years where if something bad is happening in the world, it must be the U.S.’ fault. Sometimes we have it within our power and we turn away, and that is blameworthy. But it is also the case that the United States, as we saw in Iraq, even when it deploys more than 100,000 troops in someone else’s country, is likely not going to be able to simply dictate events. … That is one reason I opposed the war in Iraq in the first place.But I think if you look at the president’s activism on climate, on Ebola, on actually moving to a very different approach in Afghanistan and Iraq where we focus on counterterrorism with a much smaller presence but also emphasize the governance dimension to that, if you look at our Iran deal on nuclear weapons to try to avoid a war, or the Cuba normalization, this was a very activist administration.And the contrast with the current administration could not be more stark, not only because the current administration is pulling out of so many essential international frameworks, whether on trade or climate or nuclear weapons, but because we don’t have diplomatic initiatives, it seems, as they relate to problems that are happening in the world. No one has any idea what we are trying to get done currently as it even relates to the Syria conflict. No one looks to the United States, already just within a year, to be the lead actor in engineering a response to the Rohingya crisis [in Myanmar]. So, everything is relative. Because of how Syria turned out, I very much understand the criticisms vis-à-vis that conflict. But if you look at the full litany of issues on which the United States was the driver of a response, there’s almost nothing that happened within the international system that the Obama administration wasn’t driving either frontally or from behind the scenes.GAZETTE: Is it difficult now to watch what is happening in the world from the sidelines? And how is the world changing since the U.S. has stepped back from its post-World War II role as a leader in world affairs?POWER: Yes, of course it is painful to watch what’s happening, but not because I spent eight years of my life serving a different president and because we orchestrated these initiatives and now the initiatives are being taken away — not for that reason, but just because what is being done is dumb and dangerous. I’m a citizen, and I care passionately about our country. And this president is doing tremendous damage to our society, sowing divisions, waking up every morning and thinking “How do I pit one group of our society against another?” Attacking our democratic institutions, thereby ridding us of the voice that we’ve always been on behalf of democratic institutions in other countries, and the need for them. We have no credibility on those questions. The cruelty and the destructiveness of the approach being taken, for many, many citizens, is very unnerving and very upsetting.And then, part of that is I’m watching an international order that the United States helped shape — not always perfectly, of course — but I’m watching that every day become one that now no longer has underpinning it the confidence that countries had that the United States would help maintain that order. Whether that’s because of the attacks on our allies, the withdrawal from international frameworks and treaties, or just the absence of initiative when it relates to contemporary problems, or even the defunding of really important international agencies, all of that sets up a situation where we have a leaderless world. But it also sets up a situation where China, which has a very different model in mind for what the international order should look like. … If you think you can just allow countries to do what they want within their borders, that’s a recipe for a very, very dangerous tomorrow.China is relishing this moment of U.S. retreat. We see it in climate, where their companies are feeling now that they have a clean shot at dominating the renewables business. We see it at the U.N., where no longer is the United States mobilizing a coalition to block their efforts to avoid discussion of human rights situations within different countries. We see it on trade, where now that President Trump walked away from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, China is seeking to negotiate its own free-trade pact. So this administration, every day, serves up a new gift to a country that was already a major force in the international order and was going to be a major force ultimately anyway. But now we’re just surrendering the stage to them and hastening their domination of various dimensions of the international order.GAZETTE: What do you think of the jobs Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley have done thus far?POWER: I wouldn’t want the job of being a diplomat defending what Trump has done on a given day. I wouldn’t want the job of waking up every morning and seeing some new ally that we work with every day at the U.N. attacked with some tweet. I wouldn’t want the job of trying to stand up for human rights and democracy at the U.N. when my own president is attacking the media, judges, Hispanics, whoever it is on a given day. I think it’s very, very challenging.On Tillerson, it’s very disappointing to see the absence of any articulated diplomatic agenda. John Kerry, you see in the film “The Final Year,” can barely carry himself up the stairs, he’s so exhausted from trying to tackle Yemen, the Paris agreement on climate, Syria, the Iran deal. For Tillerson, the only issue that we associate him with is his desire to cut the staff at the State Department.This administration entered when we already had a situation where there were more individuals who served in Pentagon marching bands than serve as diplomats in our country. You can hardly say that the world suffers from too much diplomacy. And yet, for America’s diplomat-in-chief to make slashing the diplomatic corps his priority is bewildering and deeply problematic. Unfortunately, it makes the work that we do at Harvard and other institutes of higher learning more important because we’re going to have to recruit a whole new crop of young people to take up the mission of being America’s diplomats when we survey the wreckage and try to recover from it in the wake of this presidency.GAZETTE: In “The Final Year,” you said Syria was “beyond frustrating” and “haunting” in part because it was an issue “where my thoughts and feelings and ideas have made such a marginal impact on desperate people.” What else do you wish had been done?POWER: We didn’t use military force against the Assad regime there. I think the critics would say that we had a responsibility to try everything, given the knock-on effects of the conflict. But I don’t think anybody within the administration who advocated that course, who wanted to use force, for instance, after the chemical weapons attack that Assad’s regime carried out, I don’t think any of us could speak with any dogmatism that, had we done that, that things would look so very different afterward.In Iraq, the Bush administration deployed more than 100,000 troops and still, years later, you had ISIS planting its flag there and drawing on the deep divisions within the society to carry out grotesque acts of violence. In Syria, you had the complete abdication of leadership and brutality by the Assad regime, plus Iran and Russia working on the ground on the side of the regime. Russian involvement was not a dimension you had in Iraq. So, there was certainly no silver bullet to Syria. But I think, given how much suffering occurred within Syria, the amount of instability caused by the conflict in the countries that surrounded it, the flow of refugees into Europe — which may well have been a factor behind Brexit — we definitely have to ask ourselves, “Gosh, really, was there not something that we could have done?”And maybe the overemphasis on the military tool is not the right one. Maybe the diplomacy that Secretary Kerry carries out in the film in 2016, which he had really embarked upon in 2015, if something like that had been done back in 2011, could that have nipped it in the bud? These are counterfactuals we’ll never know the answer to, but I think a lot of us who are writing now and reflecting and teaching, we have a responsibility not to be defensive about that and really unpack what was available to us that we failed to follow through on.,GAZETTE: You famously condemned the Russian Federation in your final U.N. speech one year ago for destabilizing the world in an effort to tear down the existing world order. In the film, Obama’s deputy national security advisor, Ben Rhodes, concedes it took “too long” for the U.S. to realize that leader Vladimir Putin pursues his interests, not Russia’s. Did the U.S. misjudge the global threat posed by Putin?POWER: The playbook that Russia executed around our election is one we had seen it do in Georgia before we took office, in Ukraine, Bulgaria, and Estonia. This hybrid warfare, this use of hacking, fake news, cyberattacks, that was evident to us. I think there are questions about whether more could have been done to shore up our defenses in light of that. The kind of alertness people have now to Russian hacking … would there have been a way for our society to be on guard in a manner that offered at least some inoculation? I ask that question because I think it’s legitimate. It’s shameful that the current administration is not seized with this issue because it just happened a year ago, and it’s inevitably going to happen again, whether it’s with Russia, China, or some other actor.But the truth is that the U.S. government doesn’t have an obvious lever as it relates to social media, to fake news. We’re a democracy, where it would be very perilous if our government were in the business of deciding what was on one side of the line. But now that some companies themselves, like Facebook, are beginning to do this thinking, I believe we have to ask ourselves: “Shouldn’t they have been doing this thinking from the minute we saw Russia behave this way in Ukraine, given the strategic threat posed by Putin?” So now we just need them to accelerate that thinking and try to assist people. Many of us just read what we read and assume that if it’s coming into our feed it’s true. So blunting that impression is going to be very important, as is really looking out for who is making large ad buys that could affect how political candidates are seen or how divisive an issue becomes in our own society.GAZETTE: If you were still at the U.N., what would you advise, if anything, be done in response to Putin’s interference in the 2016 elections of the U.S., France, Germany and the U.K., among other nations?POWER: I don’t think you need to go to the U.N. and jump up and down about election interference. At the U.N., Russia is a permanent member of the Security Council with a veto, so you are disabled by the very countries that are themselves carrying out these assaults on our institutions. But certainly making sure in our diplomacy around the world, whether bilaterally, using the U.N. as a platform just to engage a lot other countries, or through our embassies throughout the world, we should be sharing everything we know about this playbook and about the tools we have found effective in combating the elements of this hybrid warfare. This is another reason it’s so problematic that we don’t have ambassadors in so many key countries to be leading this interface among democracies about how to make ourselves more resilient to this interference.,GAZETTE: Do you ever see yourself returning to government?POWER: Oh, I’d love to return to government. It’s the best thing I ever did. The wreckage in the wake of this administration will be so great that I think all of us are going to have to find a way to help chip in, whether it’s from academia [or] … encouraging people to go into government or being back in government. You do realize, especially when you see somebody like Trump, but even working for somebody as unique as Obama, that the individual you work for makes a huge difference in terms of whether you are able to effectuate your agenda or even just make sure your voice is heard. Obama, even when we disagreed, was really unusual in seeking out alternative viewpoints. From the very beginning, he said “I want a team of rivals.” Bringing me in as a member of his cabinet — a human rights activist, a former journalist — I think was also a reflection of that — just wanting the widest possible range of views to be heard before he pulled the trigger in making a decision.GAZETTE: What are you working on now? I understand that you’re writing a memoir?POWER: Yes, I’m writing a book that’s provisionally called “The Education of an Idealist” that’s really meant for young people who want to make the world different, and are skeptical that government or state institutions can be the right venue for them. I aim to convince them that there’s almost nothing more impactful that they can do, even though it’s not always easy, but that the solidarity and the integrity of the enterprise is just immensely satisfying and that, even though the media will always cover the bad news, I aim also to show the kind of impact that public servants can have when they put their minds to it.This interview has been edited for clarity and length.last_img read more

New Online Appointment System Launched For County DMVs

first_imgWNY News Now Image.MAYVILLE – The Chautauqua County DMV has launched an online system for booking appointments.County Clerk Larry Barmore says appointment blocks are set at 15 minute and 30 minute intervals depending upon the transaction type.He says customers should arrive 15 minutes before their appointment and will need to wear a mask and practice social distancing.“Any transactions not listed, such as registration renewals, are to be done by drop box or U.S. Mail as these transactions are not time sensitive,” explained Barmore. “Automobile dealer transactions should be placed in the drop box.” The Clerk says dropbox transactions will be processed in a timely fashion.To register for an appointment click here.Barmore says DMV offices will be open from 8:30 am thru 4:30 pm until further notice. Locations are currently closed as staff work to catch-up on backlogged work. The three county locations are expected to reopen next Monday.Additionally, at this time, only Chautauqua County residents will be processed at county DMV offices. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Meet the Court: Justice Leander J. Shaw, Jr.

first_imgMeet the Court: Justice Leander J. Shaw, Jr. January 1, 2002 Jennifer Krell Davis Regular News Meet the Court: Justice Leander J. Shaw, Jr. [Editor’s Note: This is the second installment in a series of brief profiles on the justices of the Florida Supreme Court as produced by the Bar’s Public Information and Bar Services Department. These profiles are to let Bar members and others get to know each justice as an individual.] Bar Public Information CoordinatorJustice Leander Shaw never consciously decided he wanted to become a Supreme Court justice.“It would have been pretty optimistic to say, all of the sudden, ‘I want to be a Supreme Court justice,’” he says laughingly. When he was appointed as a justice, however, he saw it as an opportunity to have a direct impact on the lifestyles of the people of Florida, his adopted home state.Justice Shaw names several U.S. Supreme Court justices who inspired his entering into law as a vocation.“I thought when I got out of the service, this country was being changed by lawyers, especially in civil rights,” Justice Shaw said. “I was getting into medicine before that, but lawyers were changing this country.”Justice Shaw said he admired Justices Thurgood Marshall and William Brennan for being “visionaries.. . able to see where the country was heading.”Justice Shaw’s legal career includes teaching law at Florida A&M University’s original law school, working in a public defender’s office, as well as in a state attorney’s office, then moving to private practice. He values all of those experiences as part of what he brings to the bench. “You’re a composite of all of your life experiences.”One thing Shaw thinks that lawyers should learn in law school, but don’t, is to relax. As a lawyer and then as a judge you are primarily a problem- solver, and there are certain rules and parameters that you work within to solve these problems. And you do yourself, and you do your client, a favor when you just relax and you don’t climb on your horse and ride off in all directions,” Justice Shaw advises calmly.The most valuable lessons from law school for Justice Shaw were that, “When you graduate you are going to be able to do things for yourself and for other folks that the average person cannot do. Forever and ever, now you will have a sense of confidence, as a result of being a lawyer, that you know your rights, not easily intimidated, and you can do things for people that they can’t do themselves. And you owe something back.”Although he wouldn’t give up the legal profession, Justice Shaw jokes that in another life he “would probably like to be a forest ranger and be out there with Smokey the Bear doing nothing but fishing and looking out for forest fires.”Last on the list of alternate occupations, however, is insurance salesman. Justice Shaw attempted that profession in college and wryly says that being a salesman was not his calling.Justice Shaw, however, does feel strongly about his calling to the legal profession. He has learned that “when you are privileged or blessed, there’s a debt that goes along with that. . . because life is short, and when you leave here, many things that you think are so important are not important at all. And, if you are going to leave any type of legacy at all, it will be what you did for other people and how you helped their lives.”Even at night Justice Shaw finds legal problems working themselves out. “It’s always on your mind.”Outside the courtroom, Justice Shaw tries to keep life as stress-free as possible. Jazz and fishing are his top two passions. He enjoys fishing on the beach in front of his house near Jacksonville. He also loves to listen to his collection of jazz and blues artists. He doesn’t have to choose between them. Thankfully, his headphones accompany him on his fishing excursions.last_img read more

Grow and keep your top IT talent

first_imgThe concepts of developing and retaining information technology (IT) employees go hand-in-hand. If you want your IT people to stay, you must give them opportunities for professional growth. If you want them to be worth keeping around, you need to make sure they continually get better at what they do.Yet many leaders believe retention and development work at odds with each other—that if your IT people learn new skills, other employers will lure them away.That’s always a risk, acknowledges Mike Atkins, vice chairman of the CUNA Technology Council and CEO of Open Technology Solutions, a credit union service organization (CUSO).“The question that arises is, ‘What if we train our IT staff and they leave?’” Atkins says. “The right response is, ‘What if we don’t train them and they stay?’ Your credit union won’t get far that way.”Brian Kidwell, executive vice president at D. Hilton Associates, echoes this sentiment. Consumers judge an organization’s strength and stability by the caliber of its technology, he says.“They’ll look at the quality of your website and your technology services,” he says. “Without quality talent to drive your organization’s technology, you re done-for in the marketplace.” continue reading » 15SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Travelcircus: Demand for Croatia is growing in Germany, Austria and Switzerland

first_imgInterestingly, the data show that this year those who like to travel mostly avoid last-minute vacations. Compared to the previous year, this type of vacation lost an average of 89,93% of searches. City or city break trips also suffer from a drop in interest due to the pandemic, and record a search loss of 77,85%. Austrians also love to relax. With a growth of 30,68% since the summer of 2019, wellness holidays are the number 2 most popular types of holidays in Austria. Third place went to travel to cultural and other attractions, with a growth of 14,5%. Demand for hotels fell, while demand for holiday homes rose by more than half. Focus on active vacation and wellness “The data from the research show that the Austrians showed the greatest demand for domestic travel, which put Austria as the destination in first place in terms of demand. The great news is that Croatia took second place in terms of demand, which is an excellent result in these circumstances, while Germany took third place. It is also important to note that no other country outside the DACH region has recorded a positive increase in holiday demand as Croatia. “, he pointed out Branimir Tončinić, adding that the demand for hotels in the Austrian market has fallen this year, and the demand for accommodation in holiday homes has increased. The volume of hotel searches decreased among Austrians (-18,07%), while accommodation such as holiday homes, apartments and houseboats increased by 13-26%. Holiday homes are the absolute winners, both in this research and on the Croatian market this year. It’s about the results of an online booking platform survey Travelcircus on changes in the travel habits of tourists due to the coronary virus pandemic from the DACH region, ie Germany, Austria and Switzerland.center_img The interest and demand of Germans, Austrians and Swiss for travel to Croatia in 2020 is at least 50 percent higher than the year before, said the director of the Croatian National Tourist Board in Austria Branimir Tončinić.  According to the results of this research, in 2020, interest in travel to Croatia, Germany, Austria and Switzerland increased, while some countries competing with Croatia also performed worse. Namely, in the entire DACH region, interest in Spain and Italy fell by 10 percent, and only in Austria did the demand for Italy, France, the Netherlands, Sweden and Norway fall by more than 30 percent compared to 2019. Guests from Austria this year were more looking for an active holiday. According to the survey, in June and July 2019, Austrians searched an average of 13.835 times for a combination of an “amusement park” and a tourist destination; and in the summer of 2020, there were 23.040 searches of the same search. This corresponds to a growth of 66,53%, and compared to 2017, an impressive 185,68% growth can be seen. The data clearly speaks of a trend that has been growing for years, and now, at the time of the coronavirus pandemic, it has further jumped out and accelerated development for quality facilities, not just the sun and the sea. See the entire research in the attachment: Travelcircus / SO VERÄNDERT CORONA UNSER REISEVERHALTENlast_img read more

ING, IPE surveys reveal appetite for bank loans

first_imgInstitutional investors have increased their exposure to senior bank loans over the past six months, and will continue to do so, according to interviews conducted by ING Investment Management (INGIM) with 84 pension funds around the world this year. These findings agree with IPE’s latest Focus Group survey of 22 European pension funds and fiduciary managers, with average assets of €8.8bn. Senior bank loans are extended to non-investment grade companies and traded in a private secondary market; are generally secured by a borrower’s assets; and first in priority in receiving payments when a borrower is servicing its debts. Investors have favoured them over recent months as yields have been comparable to those available from high-yield bonds for a position higher in the borrower’s capital structure.Four of the respondents to IPE said that they already invested in syndicated loans and five reported exposure to direct lending. One more is considering syndicated loans and five more are thinking about direct lending. More findings from this survey on alternative credit investments will appear in the May 2014 issue of IPE.Another attractive feature of senior bank loans in today’s low-interest rate environment is the fact that payments are generally set at Libor plus a spread, with an average rate-reset period of about 60 days.INGIM said that this makes the income earned from a senior loan portfolio generally very responsive to changes in short-term interest rates.This is reflected in the INGIM survey findings. Asked what is the most attractive benefit of senior bank loans, the highest proportion (29%) of respondents cited their diversification benefit within fixed income portfolios.The paper’s risk-adjusted returns were cited by 19%, low default risk by 14%, and protection against rising interest rates by 10%.When asked what the main benefit of investing in senior bank loans is, 29% of pension funds said diversification of a fixed income portfolio, followed by 19% who said attractive risk adjusted returns.One in seven said it was because the default risk is low.“Senior bank loans offer an excellent balance of income and security, and these characteristics have fuelled strong demand for this asset class over the last couple of years,” said Dan Norman, group head of INGIM’s senior bank loans team.However, IPE’s Focus Group survey also revealed that investors were evenly split about whether or not they were confident that the asset management industry could provide suitable syndicated loan products in sufficient size for pension funds. They also expressed deep scepticism that their consultants would be able to assess managers’ competence in the asset class.The respondents saw direct lending as an even bigger challenge on these fronts.Furthermore, not everyone is persuaded that loans are good protection against rising interest rates.“It seems to me in the current interest rate environment the Federal Reserve and many investors believe Libor is likely to stay low for an extended time period, and long-term rates are expected to rise much more,” said Phillip Schaeffer, senior portfolio manager at Scott’s Cove Management, a US long/short credit manager with a specialism in high-yield. “The interest rate protection you think you have will not occur until Libor starts going up.”Moreover, Schaeffer noted many loans have a LIBOR floor set at 1% or more, meaning the coupon would not increase until Libor passes that level.“A Libor floor would further lengthen the time period before which the coupon on a leveraged loan increases,” he said. “A lot of people do not appreciate the risks they are taking that long-term rates increase before Libor increases.”INGIM’s survey found that 42% of pension funds believe their peers’ exposure had increased recently, against just 2% that thought it had fallen. Over the next 12 months, 40% of the interviewees expect institutional investors to increase their loans exposure against 8% who expect it to fall “slightly”last_img read more

Stylemaster Homes’ Sharon Piconi has listed her designer home

first_img Follow Reshni Ratnam on Instagram Much-loved features of the home include the grand staircase which Ms Piconi designed herself, and a stunning walk-in robe which protects her clothes and shoes from dust.She said the kitchen and butler’s pantry was also a favourite which made multi-tasking a breeze.“This really is a low maintenance family house,” Ms Piconi said.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus11 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market11 hours ago The perfect place to relax and unwind at 70 Algoori St, Morningside.Place Bulimba selling agent Shannon Harvey said: “Only every so often you come across a home that has it all”.“It surpasses expectations of what you require,” Ms Harvey said.Other features of the home, which is on a 405sq m block, include a mineral pool and a patio with a fireplace.There is an entertainment which can be enjoyed in the nearby cinema room with its raised seated area, surround sound system and large screen. Stylemaster Homes’ Sharon Piconi is selling her designer home at Morningside.The Morningside home of award-winning Brisbane interior designer and general manager of Stylemaster Homes Sharon Piconi has hit the market. 70 Algoori St, Morningside has just hit the market.Ready to move onto her next project, Ms Piconi said the four-bedroom, four-bathroom home at 70 Algoori St was just 10-months-old. The Hamptons-inspired home is expected to sell for around the mid-$1 million price range. The solid stone bathtub at 70 Algoori St, Morningside.A stunning bathtub made of solid stone cost $14,000, and is one of many statement pieces within the home.“No expense has been spared in this home, everything you see is super expensive as I have access to the most expensive products,” Ms Piconi said.center_img Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 2:13Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -2:13 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenFormer Block winners reveal what goes on when cameras go off02:13last_img read more

Bundesliga: Leipzig hold leaders Bayern to stay point behind

first_img Bayern coach Hansi Flick expects this season’s title race to go to the wire. “The Bundesliga will be tense until the end,” he said. “There are a few teams with a chance. “We want to keep our position, but it’s going to be a hard path to stay on.” Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann said his side showed the bravery required to win in Munich. “In the second-half, we had much clearer chances to win the game,” he said. “We were brave, defended high up and had a good grip on the game.” – Werner’s huge miss – Loading… Read Also: Bundesliga: Can urges Dortmund to ‘win dirty’ after Leverkusen collapseWith 10 minutes left, Leipzig goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi came to his side’s rescue with a stunning, diving save.The Hungarian did superbly well to deny Goretzka who had broken through the defence, but was left with his head in the hands as Gulacsi pushed the ball around the post.At the other end, Bayern’s Joshua Kimmich intercepted ex-Everton winger Ademola Lookman’s cross, meant for Werner, just before the final whistle.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Leipzig striker rues his missed chance with an hour gone at Munich’s Allianz Arena.Leipzig striker Timo Werner, who missed a golden opportunity on 63 minutes, rued his team’s missed chances, including a skied effort by captain Marcel Sabitzer.“In the beginning, it seemed just a matter of time before we scored,” admitted Werner.“But in the second half we played as our coach (Julian Nagelsmann) wanted and were the better team. We could have won.”The top-of-the-table clash, in front of 75,000 spectators, was the only top-tier fixture in Germany on Sunday.Borussia Moenchengladbach’s home game against Cologne was postponed earlier due to severe weather warnings.Despite dominating possession, Bayern could not finish the first-half opportunities which fell to Lewandowski, Leon Goretzka and Thomas Mueller.It was not until after the break that the visitors really threatened Bayern’s goal, as three huge chances went begging.Sabitzer fired an effort over the crossbar, with the goal at his mercy, at the start of the second half.Then Werner then pinched possession and rounded Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who had come to the edge of the box for a clearance.But Bayern defender David Alaba got back to block his shot and deny the striker a 21st league goal of the season.With 53 minutes gone, Bayern were awarded a penalty when Lewandowski went down in the area after Leipzig centre-back Dayot Upamecano clipped his boot.The Poland striker was poised to add to his league-leading tally so far of 22 Bundesliga goals this term, but was denied by VAR.Then just after the hour mark, Werner wasted a golden chance served up to him.He was set up perfectly by Leipzig winger Christopher Nkunku, but the could only watch as his shot flew wide of the Bayern goal.There was good news for the hosts in the second half as defender Lucas Hernandez and winger Kingsley Coman came on for their first appearances after long-term injuries.Sabitzer regrets firing a clear second-half chance over the crossbarcenter_img RB Leipzig held Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich to a goalless draw at the Allianz Arena on Sunday to stay just one point behind the defending champions in the title race. Leipzig worked tirelessly to thwart the hosts, for whom victory would have opened up a four-point gap after third-placed Borussia Dortmund’s 4-3 loss at Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday. Mueller’s Bayern were held to a goalless draw Bayern are bidding to win an eighth straight league title. They were awarded a second-half penalty which was then reversed when VAR showed Robert Lewandowski had been offside. Second-placed Leipzig often rode their luck to repeatedly frustrate Bayern, but wasted a series of second-half chances themselves. “The problem was that both teams could live with a 0-0 draw,” admitted Bayern forward Thomas Mueller. “In the end, neither team wanted to take the absolute risks, which meant we didn’t play to our strengths.”Advertisement Promoted Content8 Best 1980s High Tech Gadgets7 Ways To Understand Your Girlfriend BetterThe Highest Paid Football Players In The World7 Ways To Understand Your Girlfriend BetterBest Car Manufacturers In The WorldCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable WayTop 10 Most Romantic Nations In The WorldWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?Birds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For Them2020 Tattoo Trends: Here’s What You’ll See This Year10 Risky Jobs Some Women Do5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parkslast_img read more

Iwobi’s Everton in market for new shirt sponsor

first_imgEverton are in the market for a new shirt sponsor. The Daily Mail says Everton will embark on a search for a blue-chip shirt sponsor after severing their current deal with gambling firm SportPesa. The Goodison Park club had two years to run on their terms with SportPesa, who are based in Africa, but after negotiations involving the parties, a decision has been made to cancel the £9.6million-a-year agreement at the end of this season.Advertisement It is understood Everton do not have to pay a financial penalty for terminating the partnership and that negotiations were amicable with SportPesa, who first had their name on Everton shirts in 2017. Read Also:Spurs rival Everton for Roma defender Smalling An Everton spokesperson said: ” This has been a difficult decision but one that allows us to best deliver on our commercial plan and to grasp the new opportunities now open to us.” FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Promoted Content7 Universities In The World Where Education Costs Too Much10 Big Movie Stars Who Got Famous Thanks To Soap OperasCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable Way7 Black Hole Facts That Will Change Your View Of The Universe10 Risky Jobs Some Women DoThe 18 Most Visited Cities In The WorldThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read MoreReal Faces Of The Women From World Famous Paintings8 Things You Didn’t Know About Coffee2020 Tattoo Trends: Here’s What You’ll See This YearTop 7 Best Car Manufacturers Of All TimeWho Earns More Than Ronaldo? Loading… last_img read more