Live the secluded island life in the Whitsundays

first_imgThe private lease on St Bees Island is on the market.A PRIVATE island lease complete with a chlamydia-free koala population is for sale for a reduced price in the Whitsundays.The 4.5ha lease on St Bees Island, 13 nautical miles northeast of Mackay, is on the market for just $2.5 million due to the owner’s deteriorating health.St Bees Island from the air.According to the listing on, the private island has a healthy koala population, “free from chlamydia and predators”, seasonal waterfalls, sandy beaches and whales frolicking of the point during the migration season.More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach Northless than 1 hour agoNew apartments released at idyllic retirement community Samford Grove Presented by Infrastructure includes 10 buildings and sheds with a main house on the south end of the lease, where the current owner lives, guest accommodation to the north, and a timber house in the centre.St Bees Island is 14 nautical miles northeast of Mackay.There is also a generator that powers the whole lease area, extra diesel and petrol generators, solar panels, spring-fed water tanks, an articulated loader and shipping container full of spare parts.Optional extras include a loading barge and 17.5m motor yacht.A loading barge is an optional extra in the sale of the St Bees Island lease.“The buyer has access to all the lovely sandy beaches and bays all around St Bees Island to investigate,” the listing states.The island offers bushwalks, rainforest and fishing as well as easy access to coral reefs and wrecks for snorkelling and diving.The sale covers a 4.5ha lease with access to the otherwise uninhabited 1100ha island.last_img read more

Italian regulator calls for consolidation of pensions industry

first_imgItaly’s second-pillar pension funds must now make a decisive paradigm shift, improving their internal processes and managing risks as well as competition, the industry’s regulator has said.In its 2014 annual report, pension fund regulator Covip (Commissione Vigilanza sui Fondi Pensione) revealed that, while membership in complementary or second-pillar pension schemes climbed last year, the number of people who had stopped contributing rose by a similar amount. Presenting the report, Covip president Francesco Massicci said: “The present moment calls for a decisive paradigm shift on the part of the funds.” This shift is necessary, he said, in terms of their internal organisational processes, their capacity to manage risks and deal with competition, changing their investment policies towards an allocation that better suits changes in the market and finding a size that is in the interests of all scheme members.  At the end of 2014, complementary pension schemes covered 6.5m people in Italy, or 29.4% of workers, he said.This compares with the 6.3m people covered, which was reported a year earlier. Membership in the complementary pensions system grew by 5.4% last year due to the increase of individual membership of PIPs (individual pension plans) and open pension funds. However, the number of pension scheme members who had stopped contributions climbed last year to around 1.6m people, Covip reported – up from 1.4m in 2013. This puts the percentage of scheme members no longer contributing at 22.3%, up from 22% the year before. The number of complementary pension funds fell by 13 during 2014, totalling 496 at the end of the year, and consisting of 38 company pension schemes, 56 open pension funds, 78 individual pension plans (PIP) and 323 pre-existing pension funds and Fondinps – part of the national social security institution INPS. Almost 50% of all pension scheme members are covered by the 11 complementary pension funds with membership of more than 100,000, Covip reported. At the other end of the scale, there were 268 pension funds, mainly pre-existing funds, which had fewer than 1,000 members, and these covered just 1% of all people enrolled in pension funds. “Therefore, there is still room to increase concentration in the sector,” Massicci said. “Measures to consolidate could help to achieve more efficiently organised structures.”Massicci put much of the growth in pension scheme membership down to sales networks for PIPs, which were spread throughout the country, with sales remunerated based on the volume of products placed on the market. But he said there were signs of new dynamism within company pension schemes, with a significant increase in membership expected in the construction industry as a result of a newly introduced auto-enrolment regime. Total assets within the second-pillar pension system reached €131bn at the end of 2014, up 12% from the year before.Contributions increased by €600m to €13bn, with €5.3bn of this coming from TFR, or severance pay, Covip said, adding that 82% of this TFR money had flowed into company and pre-existing pension funds. “In 2014,” Massicci said, “pension schemes reported positive returns, benefiting from good progress on the main financial market and helped by very expansive monetary policy and the improved economic conditions globally, despite differences regionally.”Company and open pension schemes returned 7.3% and 7.5%, respectively, last year, with new PIPs returning 6.8% for class 2 plans, and 2.9% for class 1 plans. Asset allocation at the pension funds changed little over the last year. Massicci said investment in direct and indirect real estate, and closed-end funds, was done almost exclusively by pre-existing funds, and pointed out that only 35% of assets, or €34.5bn, were invested in Italy, with €28bn of this in government bonds.Investments in securities issued by Italian companies came to only 3% of pension fund assets, with just 0.8% of assets invested in Italian equities.“There is room, therefore, for pension funds to make a greater contribution to the financing of domestic enterprises and, more generally, to medium and long-term investment projects in our country,” the regulator said.last_img read more

NGO Shipbreaking Platform: 24 Deaths Recorded at Beaching Yards in South Asia

first_imgSo far this year, 24 deaths and 9 injuries were recorded at beaching yards in South Asia, NGO Shipbreaking Platform said citing data from its sources.Between July and September, three workers lost their lives when breaking ships in Alang, India.According to trade unions, a worker lost his life on August 27 while working at Shri Gaitam Ship Breaking yard, located on the beach of Alang, India. Four days later, two more workers died at Alang yard Honey Ship Breaking, owned by RKB Group, the platform said in a quarterly update.“While cutting the cruise ship Ocean Gala, formerly known as MS Scandinavia and MS Island Escape, they both fell and died on the spot. In 2018, after spending several months laid up in Dubai Khalifa, the Ocean Gala sailed to Alang, where it was beached on April 4,” the quarterly report reads.There have been no severe accidents reported in Bangladesh and Pakistan during the period, while there has been a significant decrease in scrapping activities in Chittagong, due to the monsoon season and increased pressure for safe working conditions from unions following the disastrous accident record of the first half of 2018.In July a fire broke out in Gadani on the German-owned tanker ADA beached at plot 116. The rescue team evacuated all the workers from the ship and there were no casualties reported.“Activities at Gadani continue to take place in breach of decent working and environmental standards. This type of incident could have been avoided if the ban on dismantling oil tankers, which was placed following a series of accidents in 2016 and 2017, had not been lifted in April 2018,” the platform said.79 Ships Sold for BeachingThere were a total of 113 ships broken in the third quarter of 2018. Of these, 79 ships were sold to the beaches of South Asia for breaking.US, Greek and Indian ship owners sold the most ships to South Asian yards with 10 vessels beached each, followed by German and Singaporean owners, data from the report shows.NGO Shipbreaking Platform said that Norwegian ship owners continue to sell ships for scrapping in South Asia.As informed, the eight ships sold in June by Nordic American Tankers for USD 80 million were beached. Three of these vessels ended up on the beach of Alang for breaking – five reached the beach of Chittagong.“According to local sources in Bangladesh, the cutting operations of most of these ships have started without the required permission of the Department of Explosives and other relevant authorities. The Nordic Saturn was delivered to Bangladeshi SNT Shipbreaking Yard, where one worker died last December. The Nordic Jupiter and the Nordic Fighter were also bought by yards with a particularly poor track record,” the report said.No ship had a European flag when it was beachedMore than half of the ships sold to South Asia this quarter changed flag to grey- and black-listed flags of convenience. All ships sold to the Chittagong, Alang and Gadani yards pass via the hands of scrap-dealers, also known as cash-buyers.“The high number of flag changes should induce serious concerns with regards to the effectiveness of legislation based on flag state jurisdiction only. These flags are not typically used during the operational life of ships and offer ‘last voyage registration’ discounts,” the platform concludes.last_img read more

Richards targets derby return

first_imgManchester City defender Micah Richards has set his sights on a return to action in next month’s derby against Manchester United. The 24-year-old has been sidelined since suffering a knee injury that required surgery in City’s Barclays Premier League win over Swansea last October. Richards had been in just his fourth match back after missing the start of the campaign with ankle trouble. The England international has been out longer than hoped, having initially been sidelined until the end of February, but he is now back training, and told the club’s website, “In the last 10 days I’ve been training outside again, doing two days of running and then a recovery day after that.” Press Associationcenter_img He went on: “I had a big fitness session on Tuesday and I’m starting to feel really good again so, when the lads are back from international duty, I should be taking part in partial sessions with them as I continue to close in on a return. “I think the Newcastle match will come too soon for me, though I hope to have been training normally by then. “Realistically, I’m looking more to the game away to United and then the FA Cup semi-final, maybe against United again, to be properly involved again – two relaxing games in a week on the horizon! “I’ll be trying my best to get back into the squad and it will be great just to be back among the lads and getting a feel for everything again.” last_img read more

Gardner delighted with Baggies move

first_img Press Association Albion on Tuesday announced Gardner had signed a three-year deal, with a further year’s option in the club’s favour, ahead of officially joining on a free transfer on July 1 when his contract at Sunderland expires. The 27-year-old former Aston Villa and Birmingham player was restricted to only 12 starts in all competitions for the Black Cats in 2013/14. “He made a significant leap forward during the second half of last season and showed great maturity. “Yet again, credit must go to our academy staff for bringing him through the ranks successfully. “The final few months of the campaign were an invaluable experience for Liam in his footballing education. “The test for him now is to see if he can flourish in and around the first-team squad next season.” A potential January switch to West Brom failed to materialise, b ut, with the deal now done, Solihull-born Gardner said on “It’s obviously a pleasure, it’s a great club. “I’ve got a lot of friends here and I’m just buzzing that I’m back at home in the midlands where I enjoy my football the most and feel I play my best football. “I was linked with West Brom previously and I was just praying it happened this time. Now eventually it has happened so I’m over the moon.” He added: “People say you have to be happy at home to be happy in your job – and when you’ve got your friends and family around you encouraging and supporting you, then that’s when you’ll play your best football. “Thankfully now I’ve got that.” Meanwhile West Brom have handed a new deal to academy product Liam O’Neil. The 20-year-old, whose first-team game time so far amounts to three substitute appearances in the second half of the past Barclays Premier League season, will officially put pen to paper on July 1 on a one-year contract, plus a further year’s option in the club’s favour. Albion director of football administration Richard Garlick said: “We are delighted to hand Liam a new deal. Midfielder Craig Gardner was “praying” for his move to West Brom to be secured.last_img read more

Fast reaction: 3 quick takeaways from Syracuse’s 90-77 first-round NIT victory over North Carolina-Greensboro

first_imgSyracuse took down North Carolina-Greensboro, 90-77, in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament on Wednesday night in the Carrier Dome. The game was originally scheduled for Tuesday but postponed due to snowstorm Stella.The No. 1 seed Orange (19-14, 10-8 Atlantic Coast) took a 10-point halftime lead over the No. 8 seed Spartans (25-10, 14-4 Southern) and cruised to the 13-point win. SU will next host No. 5 seed Mississippi in the Round of 16 on Saturday at 11 a.m.Here are three reactions from the game.Nonconference redemptionA key reason Syracuse missed out on the NCAA Tournament is because of its “bad losses” to Connecticut, Georgetown and St. John’s in the nonconference portion of its schedule. The Orange went 8-5 in nonconference play this year, the first time ever under head coach Jim Boeheim that SU lost five non-league games.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAfter dealing with the ACC schedule since the start of 2017, considered by most to be the toughest conference in the country, Syracuse got a chance to blow off steam from the disappointment of missing the Tournament.Boeheim said on Monday that UNCG is as good as any team the Orange would face in the Tournament, where it wouldn’t face a conference opponent until at least the Sweet 16 if SU was in it. But getting redemption for nonconference games in the postseason only means so much when it comes in the NIT.White still carrying offenseWhile Syracuse’s games no longer have an NCAA Tournament at-large bid on the line, Andrew White still carried the Orange’s scoring output. He scored 19 points in the first half on 4-of-5 shots from behind the 3-point line. No one else on SU scored in double digits before halftime.White transferred from Nebraska for his final year of eligibility and led Syracuse in scoring entering Wednesday with 18 points per game. He impressed again and his made 3-pointers were one of the only things that lifted the slim Dome crowd to its feet on a regular basis.He finished with 34 points, his second most in a game this season, on 7-of-9 shooting from three.Not In TournamentWith Syracuse missing the NCAA Tournament and accepting the NIT’s bid on Sunday night, the short notice and snowstorm Stella certainly affected Wednesday’s attendance, which was announced at 4,288. At opening tip, 17 students occupied the student section. The drop-off was a significant one from the Orange’s season average of 22,682.Prior to the game, three fans sat up in the upper deck of the Dome — one because he wanted to find a quiet spot for a video conference for his occupation while the two others wanted to sit where their season tickets are during the regular season. Season ticket locations were not honored since it was a tournament game.Dome staff members said finding people to work security and as ushers was a slight problem since the game was only scheduled two days before Tuesday, when the game was originally planned for until it got postponed to Wednesday.When Syracuse approached 70 points, students chanted “We want tacos!” and once let out a “We want a new selection committee,” a jeer at SU missing the NCAA Tournament. Comments Published on March 15, 2017 at 9:08 pm Contact Paul: | @pschweds Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Gallery: Syracuse decimates Colgate, 79-39

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on December 6, 2017 at 11:39 pm Syracuse (9-0) blew out Colgate (4-5), 79-39, on Wednesday night in the Carrier Dome. Syracuse shot 42.5 percent from the field while holding Colgate to less than 30 percent. SU also buried the Raiders with a barrage from deep, hitting 13 3-pointers. Commentslast_img

Nation’s top teams face tough road to No. 1 spot

first_imgSeven weeks of upsets, domination and struggle have already come and gone in the world of college football. With the midway point to the season now upon us, legitimate BCS talk begins. The first BCS rankings released Sunday put Alabama, Florida, Oregon, Kansas St. and Notre Dame at the top. Each team owns a perfect 6-0 record, but with six more games to be played, will all, or any, remain in the top 5?The No. 1 Crimson Tide show no real weaknesses, but their competition will drastically improve in the second half of the season. The toughest game left on their schedule will be the much-anticipated SEC West rivalry against LSU on Nov. 3. Although suffering a loss to Florida in Week 6, the No. 6 Tigers turned things around quickly, proving they are still a huge threat with a key win over South Carolina Saturday.Also left on the docket is undefeated No. 12 Mississippi State and No. 18 Texas A&M. While Alabama has not played a ranked team since then-No. 8 Michigan in Week 1, it seems unlikely Alabama will succumb to any of these upcoming threats. Their defense, ranked top in the nation averaging just 7.5 points allowed per game, is supported by Heisman hopeful AJ McCarron, their quarterback who has led the offense to average just over 40 points per game.Alabama looks like it will march its way to another national championship game. Rated No.1 since Week 2 and with a favorable schedule, there shouldn’t be much change at the top spot in the polls.Alongside Alabama, the No. 5 Fighting Irish could very well make it to 12-0. While they have a tough schedule still ahead, Notre Dame has proven this season they can take on, and defeat, quality teams. So far they have downed Michigan, Michigan State and, most recently, Stanford.Linebacker Manti Te’o is undoubtedly one of the best defensive players in the nation right now. Recording 11 tackles against Stanford, what perhaps is most impressive about Te’o is that 11 tackles is right around his average each game. In six games he has made 57 tackles, averaging 9.5 a game.Notre Dame will play No. 9 Oklahoma in two weeks and then No. 10 USC to end the season, both games on the road. For both opponents, offense is their strength, but Te’o and the Fighting Irish defense average the second fewest points allowed per game with 8.7. If the Irish offense can post several scores, they have a good chance at beating Oklahoma.USC is going to be the biggest challenge. Having their hopes at a perfect season and a spot in the national championship game ruined in Week 2, the Trojans now play a spoiler role this second half of the season as they fight for a BCS bowl game spot. Notre Dame’s fate will likely come down to this final game.USC also has the potential to devastate their Pac-12 rival, No. 3 Oregon. The Ducks have remained in the top 5 this first part of the season, but have yet to face any real challenges. Their explosive offense led by running back De’Anthony Thomas has picked apart every defensive opponent, scoring 42 points or more in all six games. Three conference games against ranked teams like USC, No. 20 Stanford and No. 8 Oregon State will finally test the Ducks. USC and Stanford have each suffered a loss already this season and both do not want to make it two.Oregon’s defense is nothing special. While they shut out Arizona, they have given up an average of 24 points in the other five games against teams that are not near the caliber of these three upcoming opponents.With an even tougher schedule ahead of them, No. 2 Florida will also have to fight hard in order to keep its top five status as well. After beating LSU without even allowing the Tigers a touchdown, Florida earned its spot in the top five. But No. 2? That could be a stretch. The Gators barely escaped Texas A&M back in Week 2 and even against LSU they were unable to put a score on the board until the second half.With No. 7 South Carolina and No. 11 Georgia back-to-back in the next two weeks, I don’t see Florida making it out untouched. Quarterback Jeff Driskel showed his ability to run on Saturday, rushing for 177 yards against Vanderbilt for three touchdowns. However, a much tougher South Carolina defense awaits the Gators in the near future. And even if they do push through to 8-0, a trip to Tallahassee to face Florida State to end the season could also spell out a loss.Finally, there is the case of the No. 4 Kansas State Wildcats, who have taken the Big 12 by storm this year. They will travel to play No. 13 West Virginia Saturday, with Mountaineer quarterback Geno Smith looking to regain his prominence in the Heisman race.However, West Virginia’s defense is ranked an abysmal 112th in the nation in points against, and Wildcats’ quarterback Collin Klein will exploit this. If Kansas State can get to 7-0, they still face several strong Big 12 opponents. It’s going to be a tough road for the Wildcats in conference play.So who is going to join the top five then? If South Carolina can get by Florida, the rest of their schedule poses no serious threats. They remain the team to beat in the SEC East.Whatever the case is, it’s still evident there is plenty of football to play and the rankings at the top will always change. But that’s the fun of the game.Follow Caroline on Twitterlast_img read more

Jamaican group to invest millions in regional agricultural project

first_img“The Nest”It said the seven-year project, dubbed ‘The Nest’, is the group’s first Hybrid Growth Centre (HGC) in Jamaica, housing multiple operations that are environmentally inter-dependent.It said it plans for the HGC to operate like an ecosystem of sorts, where outputs from one operation will be used as inputs in another, to generate less waste, use less energy, emit less greenhouse gas emissions and to overall be a better global citizen.The Nest, described as an incubator of innovation, is already home to the Group’s livestock research center, Hill Run Farms, where they have been testing new equipment, feed rations and growing techniques over the past four years.The group said that the long term goal is to structure how crops are grown, similarly to how it raises chickens and pigs, by partnering with independent farmers.“CB’s new processing plant will also be the first in the region to utilize Air Chill technology, a superior process that is mandatory in Europe and used by the most advanced processing plants in North America. “This will result in the company saving some 200 million liters of water annually,” the company said, adding “it intends to take biological by-products from the processing operation and convert it into valuable proteins, that will be exported and earn much needed foreign exchange for the country. The Jamaica-based Caribbean Broilers Group (CB) says it is investing US$120 million in a series of agricultural projects it hopes will bolster food security within the region.The group, which operates three separate divisions including a vertically integrated farming, processing and distribution business that focuses on locally produced meats, said that the investment will increase its capacity by over 25-per cent and will allow it to double production, to meet the regional export market.“Several Caribbean countries still import poultry meats from outside the region. And the CB Group hopes to significantly reduce these imports from the UK, Europe, North and South America, and help to fill the gap for other local processors, and ultimately improve upon food security within the region,” CB said in a statement.last_img read more

Shawn Porter holds onto WBC title — barely

first_img— Former bantamweight titleholder Juan Carlos Payano (21-1, nine KOs) earned an easy and lopsided eight-round decision over then-unbeaten 21-year-old prospect Damien Vazquez (14-1, seven KOs). Payano couldn’t miss with the lead left hand and battered Vazquez, who was clearly in over his head in his first real step-up in competition.MORE: Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a year— Eimantas Stanionis (8-0, five KOs) won a clear shutout against game, but outclassed, Samuel Vargas (11-2, four KOs) in the opening bout of the FS1 prelim portion of Saturday’s card. The Lithuanian welterweight, a 2016 Olympian, showcased his varied offense, turning Figueroa’s head on a swivel a number of times with lead hooks. Vargas was game, taking flush shots well while also firing back his own offense. Stanionis didn’t work much of a jab and showed some defensive holes, but it was a good showing in the 24-year-old’s young career. MORE: Join DAZN and watch Canelo vs. Jacobs on May 4Porter fought a much different bout than we’ve come to expect from him. Instead of bullying his opponent and taking the fight to the inside, he boxed on the outside against the longer Ugas. It was an odd gameplan to see, but Porter was just effective enough to earn the nod, thanks to the 12th-round score of Max DeLuca, which kept this fight from being a draw. The other two judges saw the final round for Ugas, and the prevailing thought was he won that round clearly. The 116-112 and 115-113 scores for Porter overruled the 117-111 score in favor of Ugas.You’d be hard-pressed to find a clear round to give to either guy, though. Ugas did a tremendous job of working the body, which helped keep Porter at arm’s length. Porter eventually found a home for overhand rights, but never had Ugas’ back against the ropes.”I’m a little frustrated that I wasn’t able to get to the body as much as I wanted or as much as we had planned,” Porter said. “As the clock ticks, you have to do what’s working. Tonight the foot movement was working and it made Ugas have to reset.”He added: “The crowd was expecting a big brawl, but that’s not the way this fight needed to go tonight. That style that we used left the fight close. We got the win, we’re still champion and we’re looking forward to what is next.”Porter nearly missed weight, coming in almost two pounds over on his initial try on Friday. After an impromptu haircut, Porter made the weight in time to keep his title. Porter said it had no effect on his performance.”The weight cut didn’t affect me at all,” Porter said. “I was on my toes all night. I was very focused the entire fight and just listening to my corner.”Ugas proved he’s a viable name in the welterweight division even in defeat. He’s a tough out for any of the top names at 147 pounds, but will likely find it difficult to land another title opportunity after showing he can be a nightmare for guys in Porter’s class.”There’s no doubt about it, I was robbed tonight,” Ugas said afterwards. “After the first round, I figured him out and dominated the fight. He had no answer when I was pushing him back. I dominated the fight in my opinion.”* * *— A bout between welterweight fringe contenders turned out to be one of the most exciting of the night. Abel Ramos (24-3-2, 18 KOs) and Francisco Santana (25-7-1, 12 KOs) were pressed into action on a few weeks’ notice when light heavyweight Andrzej Fonfara retired unexpectedly. Ramos got the nod via a 10-round unanimous decision. Both were intent on trying to steal the show and the leather went flying. Santana took an early lead when he scored a second-round knockdown off a stiff left hook, but Ramos came on as the fight continued. Santana narrowly avoided being knocked down in the seventh when Ramos buzzed him with an uppercut. Ramos sapped Santana of all his power and took over the fight around the midpoint, winning by scores of 95-94, 97-92, and 98-92.— Unbeaten heavyweight Efe Ajagba (9-0, eight KOs) made quick work of Amir Mansour (23-4-1, 16 KOs) in his first test, kicking off the PBC on Fox broadcast Saturday night. Ajagba dropped Mansour twice in the opening round and hurt the 46-year-old gatekeeper with nearly every shot that landed. Mansour’s corner called the fight at the end of the second round. Ajagba is the project of Richard Schaefer’s Ringstar Sports. Big paydays loom ahead for Shawn Porter — he just had to hold onto his WBC welterweight title. “Showtime” did so, just narrowly.Porter earned a razor-thin split decision over game Cuban challenger Yordenis Ugas, who entered the fight a winner of his last eight bouts. Porter maintains his hold onto one of the four major title belts and a shot at a big opportunity, whether it be Keith Thurman — who can enact a fight for the WBC title at any point — or someone else.last_img read more