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Bette Midler’s No Longer Her Own Boss in Hello, Dolly!

first_imgBette Midler(Photo: Jonathan Pushnik) View Comments Related Shows Hello, Dolly!center_img Show Closed This production ended its run on Aug. 25, 2018 Bette Midler is no stranger to selling out stadiums and Vegas residencies, but now she’s ready to bring the crowds to 44th Street. The Oscar nominee is prepping for her return to Broadway in Hello, Dolly!, and it’s a much different experience than her usual gigs.“I’m the boss when I do my own shows,” the Divine Miss M told Time in a recent interview. “Now, I’m an employee; I’ve been hired, so it’s up to me to bring what I can. But I’m terrified that I’m going to turn around and say, ‘What are all these people doing on my stage?’”You may be sharing the stage with a host of Broadway names, Bette, but don’t worry: that spotlight on the grand staircase is all yours (and Donna Murphy’s at select performances).A classic Broadway musical is a different vehicle than a concert, but Midler, ever the people person, is up for the challenge: “It’s a change of pace, but I think I’m up to it. I’ve met human beings before, so I think I’ll be fine.”Hello, Dolly! begins performances on March 15, 2017 at the Shubert Theatre, where it will open officially on April 20.last_img read more

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Stakes Are High in Federal Review of Coal Lease Program

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享By Devin Henry in The Hill: Miners and Western Republicans are lining up against the Obama administration and environmentalists in what some consider the next front in the “war on coal.”Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced a three-year moratorium on new coal leases on public lands in January, launching a review that could potentially result in mining companies paying  higher rates.“It fits tidily into their overall view of coal,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), the chairwoman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.“You can call it a ‘war on coal,’ you can call it whatever you want. It is a policy directive coming out of this administration that says coal has no part in our country’s energy portfolio. I think that’s short-sighted and very unfortunate.”Administration officials held the first public meeting on the review on Tuesday in Wyoming, with four more to follow. The review is moving ahead at a time when coal has become a flashpoint in the presidential race.Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump is running on a platform of undoing Obama-era environmental regulations and has promised coal-state lawmakers he will do what he can to help prop up the commodity. Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, has been on the defensive after saying she was going to “put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.” She apologized for her choice of words but said she was making a broader point about helping coal miners as their industry shrinks.The federal review of new coal leases could take up to three years and will look at several hot-button issues, including whether the cost of climate change should be incorporated into the fees that mining companies pay. Environmentalists, local officials and mining interests all see high stakes in the review.Green advocates say coal companies have skirted paying proper royalty rates for years. They contend the industry should be forced to pay taxpayers a fair return for using public resources and say they should chip in extra to offset the impact of coal on climate change. “This sort of comprehensive look at climate has not happened before,” said Cesia Kearns, the Associate Northwest Regional Director for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign.“It’s a wonderful opportunity to even have the conversation and to acknowledge the impacts of climate change are bigger than we have considered before in a program like this.”Another underlying issue is the shrinking revenue that the government receives from mining on federal lands. A 2012 report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis blamed flawed Interior market appraisals for undervaluing coal on public land. It said the government has lost up to $30 billion in potential revenue over three decades in the Powder Ridge Basin, a tract of land in Wyoming and Montana that provides 85 percent of the coal mined on public land.“Interior has consistently failed to achieve what the Mineral Leasing Act requires, which is that the taxpayers receive a return based on the fair market value of coal, and that is what Congress has said they are supposed to do and that is what they have failed to do in the past,” Dan Bucks, the former director of the Montana Department of Revenue, told reporters last week. Full article:  http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/280442-coal-war-intensifies-with-obama-review Stakes Are High in Federal Review of Coal Lease Programlast_img read more

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Fish Skin Used to Treat Black Bears Badly Burned During California Wildfires

first_imgA pair of black bears received some unusual treatment after being rescued from California’s Los Padres National Forest with third degree burns on their paws sustained during southern California’s recent Thomas Wildfire.The treatment, which was administered at the California Division of Fish and Wildlife Investigations Lab in Rancho Cordova, CA, involved the use of sterilized fish skins— a burn healing treatment that has proven successful in Brazil but had never been used in the United States.As shown in the above photo, the fish skins were sewn to the bears’ burned paws, and almost immediately, veterinarians began to see results.“The high collagen level in the fish skins helps with healing and acts like a matrix,” said Jamie Peyton, chief of the Integrative Medicine Service at UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. “It would act as protection and it was pretty inexpensive and available.”Before the fish skin was applied, the severe burns had relegated the bears to either sitting or lying in stationary positions, but once the tilapia skins were sutured to their pads and secured with edible bandages made from corn husks, the bears began to stand up and take note of their surroundings.“One of the first things that the bear did was stand up after we applied them,” said Peyton. “She was more mobile, which in my mind is a huge success for pain control.”In a matter of weeks, new skin began to grow back on the bears’ paws, and earlier this month the pair was released back into the wild.Learn more about their incredible recovery here.last_img read more

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Fully Loaded Food and Wine Giveaway!

first_imgFirst Name: Last Name: Email*: Phone Number: Address*: City*: State*: ALAKAZARCACOCTDCDEFLGAHIIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMIMNMSMOMTNENVNHNJNMNYNCNDOHOKORPARISCSDTNTXUTVTVAWAWVWIWYZip Code*: I certify that I am over the age of 18.* denotes required field EAT + DRINK:TOUR & TASTING AT LOVINGSTON WINERYFRENCH CREPE LUNCH, TOUR & TASTING AT DELFOSSE WINERY By entering this contest you are opting in to receive information from Blue Ridge Outdoors and giveaway partners. GEAR: A PAIR OF SALEWA WILDFIRE EDGE SHOES($169.95) LUNCH AT THE BLUE MOUNTAIN BARREL HOUSETOUR & TASTING AT  VIRGINIA DISTILLERY COMPANY STAY: A MID-WEEK STAY AT ORCHARD HOUSE B&BPLAY: HIT THE DELFOSSE TRAIL AND FORTUNE’S COVE PRESERVE Rules and Regulations: Package must be redeemed within 1 year of winning date. Entries must be received by mail or through the www.blueridgeoutdoors.com contest sign-up page by 12:00 Midnight EST on May 30, 2019 – date subject to change. One entry per person. One winner per household. Sweepstakes open only to legal residents of the 48 contiguous United States and the District of Columbia, who are 18 years of age or older. Void wherever prohibited by law. Families and employees of Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and participating sponsors are not eligible. No liability is assumed for lost, late, incomplete, inaccurate, non-delivered or misdirected mail, or misdirected e-mail, garbled, mis-transcribed, faulty or incomplete telephone transmissions, for technical hardware or software failures of any kind, lost or unavailable network connection, or failed, incomplete or delayed computer transmission or any human error which may occur in the receipt of processing of the entries in this Sweepstakes. By entering the sweepstakes, entrants agree that Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and their promotional partners reserve the right to contact entrants multiple times with special information and offers. Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine reserves the right, at their sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who tampers with the entry process and to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Sweepstakes. Winners agree that Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and participating sponsors, their subsidiaries, affiliates, agents and promotion agencies shall not be liable for injuries or losses of any kind resulting from acceptance of or use of prizes. No substitutions or redemption of cash, or transfer of prize permitted. Any taxes associated with winning any of the prizes detailed below will be paid by the winner. Winners agree to allow sponsors to use their name and pictures for purposes of promotion. Sponsors reserve the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value. All Federal, State and local laws and regulations apply. Selection of winner will be chosen at random at the Blue Ridge Outdoors office on or before May 30, 2019 – date and time subject to change. Odds of winning will be determined by the total number of eligible entries received. One entry per person or two entries per person if partnership opt-in box above is checked.last_img read more

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The Outdoor Industry Opens Again—with Precautions

first_imgTwo months later, the outdoors is opening again—with precautions. But while the inherent risks may be low, guides and business owners in the outdoor industry are still taking them very seriously. Wildwater suspended all activities in mid-March. As they begin reopening, they’re taking action to ensure the safety of their staff and their customers by encouraging increased handwashing and sanitizing, using online waivers to decrease touchpoints, asking that only group leaders report to the office for check-in, limiting capacity inside facilities, implementing extra cleaning procedures for equipment, and adjusting bus loading procedures to decrease contact. They’re also offering private rafting trips for groups that are weary of mixing with others.  Hiking and running are also considered low risk. “If you’re not on a crowded path where people are brushing past each other, then I think [they’re] a great form of exercise right now,” Kimberly Powers, an epidemiologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was quoted as saying in the same report.  The outdoors is open.  That’s the phrase we heard in March, as the novel coronavirus began its march across the country. It reminded people that, while school, hugs, and public spaces were suddenly ticking time bombs, there was still peace—and adventure—to be found in the great outdoors.  In the last few weeks, Revercomb says that the company has begun opening their gear consignment shop by appointment only and renting paddleboards and other outdoor gear. “We sanitize them and do everything outside,” he says, to lower their chance of spreading the virus. “Our shop has been closed since March 20,” says James Revercomb of Roanoke Mountain Adventures, a full service outfitter offering rentals, shuttles and guided trips for mountain biking, road biking, paddleboarding, kayaking and tubing. “Our thought was we wanted to be on the safe and conservative end of this for staff, customers and the community.” River shuttles, which are a big part of Revercomb’s business, have been shuttered for now. “We don’t feel that’s a safe thing to do at the moment,” he says. Equipment shuttles, however, are on. But as the pandemic worsened, the phrase no longer held true. Trails shut down, campgrounds closed, national, state, and local parks locked their gates, and for the first time in recent memory, the outdoors wasn’t open any longer. “The outdoors are going to be pivotal for a lot of people going forward,” Revercomb adds. “We’re all itching to get outside for our wellness and well-being. We want to restore normalcy. But we want to do that in a safe and responsible manner.” “So much of our job is risk management because of the nature of what we do,” says Trey Barnett, Regional Marketing Director of Wildwater, the oldest outfitter in the Southeast. Wildwater runs whitewater rafting, ziplining, and lodging experiences at five locations throughout Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee. “While the coronavirus is a new risk, the process of looking at it has already been established,” he says, adding that while their experience handling risk “didn’t make us any more comfortable [with the virus], it did make us a little more prepared.” Photo: Blue Ridge Appalachian Mountain Peaks and Spring Rhododendron Flowers Blooming along the Appalachian Trail in Western NC – courtesy of Getty Images “As far as summer activities go, [camping] is least risky from a virus perspective,” Rebecca Katz, director of the Center for Global Health Science and Security at Georgetown University Medical Center told NPR. “You’re outdoors and isolated.” Of course, the risk is higher if you are camping at a crowded campground with shared bathrooms. Barnett says, for the most part, customers have been supportive of the new safety measures. “We don’t have much pushback,” he says. Revercomb, too, says that his customers have also been “great and very cooperative. They understand why we’re doing what we’re doing, and they want to support small business.” Inside his shop, Revercomb has installed plexiglass barriers at the register and is only allowing 10 people to enter at one time. All staff are required to wear masks. Surfaces are sanitized regularly.  A recent NPR article asked medical experts to rank the risk of catching COVID-19 while engaging in a number of beloved summer activities, including camping and exercising outdoors. Perhaps unsurprisingly, both were categorized as low risk. last_img read more

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Colombian Army Destroys Coca Seedbeds in Guaviare

first_imgBy Myriam Ortega/Diálogo July 05, 2018 The Colombian Army destroyed nearly 5 million coca plants in 29 seedbeds located in different parts of the department of Guaviare, southern Colombia, in operations conducted from January to June 2018. “These efforts hindered coca cultivation in 477 hectares,” Colombian Army Colonel Federico Alberto Mejía Torres, commander of the 22nd Jungle Brigade deployed in Guaviare, told Diálogo. The area transitions between the Amazon jungle and the eastern Colombian plains, where certain geographical conditions favor the presence of narcotrafficking groups. “The department of Guaviare attracts a variety of criminal organizations that intend to profit from illicit drugs,” Col Mejía said. Jungle Corridors The Apaporis, Guaviare, Inírida, and Vaupés rivers run through vast and sparsely populated territories and rugged national parks, such as Nukak and Chiribiquete. The inhospitable area makes permanent government control difficult. Organized crime groups use rivers as corridors that become outlets to ship drugs to other Colombian departments and border countries, such as Venezuela and Brazil. “There are four main mobility corridors in Guaviare. Due to geographic location and lack of logistics and operational reach from units of the Army and Navy, these areas are difficult to access,” Col. Mejía said. “Major drug traffickers use these strategic corridors.” According to its Survey of Territories Affected by Illicit Crops 2016, the United Nations indicated an 18 percent increase in coca cultivation in Guaviare department from 2015 to 2016. “This increase resulted in high production indexes [in the department of Guaviare], and the area becomes a fertile ground for [criminal] organizations to grow, precisely because the corridors allow for products to circulate freely,” Col. Mejía said. Latest findings “On May 16th, we found [the most recent] two seedbeds: one with 500,000 plants and another with 400,000 plants in the area of Guanapalo, San José del Guaviare,” Colombian Army Major Carlos Francisco Reyes Rodríguez, commander of the 77th Land Operations Battalion Héroes de Arauca, told Diálogo. “We started at 3:00 a.m. and walked about 15 kilometers, because destination points were in isolated areas in the middle of the jungle. Sixty men from Buffalo Company led by Capt. Forero, carried out the operation. They reached the objective at 5:00 p.m., and destroyed the seedbeds the next day.” Authorities perform the eradication manually. Plants are extracted and bundled together before being crushed with pickaxes. Plants are then set on fire to ensure complete destruction. “What we’ve done is reach the epicenters, which troops couldn’t reach before. We found the seedbeds, the starting point of the drug trafficking chain,” Maj. Reyes said. “We found well-organized seedbeds, equipped with shading mesh and organized, fertilized furrows, with plants 25 to 30 centimeters tall, ready to fill the fields or territories deforested for coca crops.” The Colombian government implemented the National Comprehensive Program for the Substitution of Illicit Crops in Guaviare, as was done in other areas affected by the armed conflict. The program consists of a government offer to farmers, both in kind and cash, under the condition they commit to substituting their illegal crops with legal, alternative, productive crops. “The goal of the project is to discourage the production of coca leaf through the implementation of new subsistence economies that provide farmers with alternatives, so they can continue to live in these areas,” Col. Mejía said.last_img read more

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Board takes a look at lawyer discipline study

first_img Board takes a look at lawyer discipline study Gary Blankenship Senior Editor A long-awaited report on the Bar’s disciplinary system has been delivered to the Bar Board of Governors, which could begin acting on the recommendations at its July 28 meeting.The Special Commission on Lawyer Regulation, chaired by incoming Bar President Hank Coxe, looked at 25 specific issues, ranging from the intake of complaints to training referees to consistency of disciplines.It made a variety of recommendations, some of which have already been acted on by the board and the Supreme Court in rule amendments. The preliminary report was distributed to the board at its June 2 meeting.One finding is that an effective grievance process is essential to preserving the independence of the legal system.“The commission recommends maintenance of a strong disciplinary system through funding, training, and accessibility as an example of how an independent legal system serves the state well,” the report said.The commission’s complete preliminary report, along with minutes of its meetings and other records, can be found on the Bar’s Web site at floridabar.org. Click on “Inside the Bar” on the left-hand menu, then select committees and then special committees to get to the link to the special commission.The commission was appointed almost three years ago by former President Miles McGrane and charged with studying ways “to increase the speed with which matters are evaluated and conclusions are reached within the lawyer discipline system, yet preserve the fairness of the system where existing levels of fairness are appropriate and enhance the levels of fairness to all participants where possible. The commission also set a goal to reduce the expense of the system of lawyer regulation where appropriate.”Among the recommendations, the commission proposed all complaints to the Bar be screened through its Attorneys and Consumers Assistance Program. ACAP already takes phone complaints and, where appropriate, attempts to mediate those disputes before they become grievance complaints.The change would add 8,500 to 9,000 written complaints annually to ACAP’s workload. The report noted that the 2006-7 Bar budget has three new attorney positions and one additional support staff position to accomplish that goal. Having a uniform and central intake system, the commission said, will improve the grievance process.“All inquiries concerning the conduct of members of the Bar should be screened to determine which cannot be handled within the disciplinary process; which can be handled within the disciplinary process, but may also be appropriately resolved in other venues; and those which must be handled within the disciplinary process,” the report said. “Requiring screening and intake analysis of all inquiries allows the disciplinary process to apply its finite resources where most needed, yet provides for opportunities to resolve complaints in programs not associated with discipline.”The commission also recommended maintaining the Bar’s Practice and Professionalism Enhancement Program, which is a disciplinary diversion program for cases that lack harm and most likely would not result in a sanction. That program includes the Bar’s ethics school, professionalism workshop, various CLE courses, anger management workshop, advertising rules workshop, fee arbitration program, grievance mediation, and the Florida Lawyers Assistance, Inc., referral and monitoring programs for substance abuse and mental ailments.Listing all grievance sanctions, from admonishments through disbarments on the Bar’s Web site is another recommendation.The Bar now posts no grievance information online, although all closed case files, with few exceptions, and all cases that have passed the grievance committee level are public record. The information is available to those who contact the Bar.Bar staff had proposed to the commission that all grievance case records that are public be posted online, which would save staff time responding to public inquiries. However, the Citizens Forum recommended a more limited approach, saying posting information about dismissed cases could be unfair to those lawyers.“Publishing information about cases in which discipline is imposed provides public record information concerning proved allegations,” the report said. “Not posting information about other cases balances fairness considerations involved with what is, in essence, publishing the allegations without the full benefit of response.”The commission also noted that the Communications and Disciplinary Procedure committees had studied posting disciplinary information online, but without reaching a consensus.“A decision to publish public record information about discipline cases on the Web site will require adoption of an editorial policy by the Board of Governors,” the report noted. “If this portion of the commission’s report is adopted, the board should refer the issue of how publication may be accomplished to the Communications Committee and the issue of exactly what information should be published on the Web site to the Disciplinary Procedure Committee.”Other recommendations and findings from the special commission include: • There should be no change to the rule which does not require standing to file a complaint against a lawyer. “Imposing a standing requirement would result in prohibiting consideration of some valid complaints concerning conduct of members of the Bar,” the commission said, noting frivolous complaints from those sources are easy to filter out.• Current time guidelines should be reduced to process cases while maintaining fairness. That includes reducing the time it takes a grievance committee to handle a case from 180 to 120 days and cutting the time it takes to file a formal complaint after a grievance committee finds probable cause from 120 to 30 days.• Bar rules require that if a grievance committee asks a respondent lawyer to appear, the complainant must also be notified and given the chance to attend. Respondents and complainants can also request to appear, but the committee is not required to grant that. The commission recommended adopting uniform policies on how respondents and complainants are informed of how they can request to appear before a committee. The panel, though, also recommended that the respondent not be given the right to appear instead of a paper hearing because of the increase in grievance committee workload. “[S]uch. . . a mandatory hearing will result in significant delay without substantial improvement in the quality of grievance committee decisions,” the report said.• Circuit and county judges who act as referees in grievance hearings should have better training, including mandatory training at the new judges’ college, mandatory ongoing training at circuit and county court judges’ conferences, and review a training video on the grievance process and precedents.• Respondent attorneys and the Bar should retain the automatic right of appeal of a referee’s findings to the Supreme Court.• All public reprimands should be administered before the Bar Board of Governors instead of utilizing options such as having the reprimand administered by a local judge or the referee in the case or by publication of the reprimand.• There should be enhanced communications between the Bar and judges who have referred lawyers to the grievance process.• The maximum length of time probation can be imposed should be increased from three to five years, which makes it consistent with conditional bar admission cases from the Florida Board of Bar Examiners. “Current medical opinion is that mental health and some other impairments on impediments to practice require evaluation for a minimum of five years,” the report said.• Bar members should be educated about the grievance process, including through CLE courses and in the News. “The majority of Bar members have little or no involvement with the disciplinary system and have very limited understanding as to its processes,” the report said.• There should be a study of funding of the discipline system, and that recommendation should be reviewed by the Program Evaluation and Budget committees. Some of the commission’s recommendations have already been acted on. Those include approving policies to guide Board of Governors members when they act as designated reviewers, changing disciplinary resignations to disbarment on consent in Bar rules, and tightening rules on reporting lawyers’ felony charges and convictions, including when a felony suspension takes effect.The commission recommended that lawyers convicted of felonies should be suspended when they plead guilty or are found guilty, not, as under current rules, when the judgment and sentencing are imposed which can be months later. Also, judges, state attorneys, court clerks, and the lawyers involved should notify the Bar when felony charges are filed against a Bar member and a conviction entered. The board approved rules making those changes last year, and they are pending at the Supreme Court. Board takes a look at lawyer discipline study July 1, 2006 Regular News Commission makes two dozen recommendationslast_img read more

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What’s beyond mobile payments for 2016?

first_img 27SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr New stats indicate that millennials will drive the future of the mobile wallet.  They are the up and coming group considered “mobile disruptors” that are reshaping the thought process of the payments industry. As wearables and mobile wallets pick up momentum with the younger audience, it’s important for credit unions to understand behavioral trends not only for payments, but also for money transfers within mobile banking.A 2015 Mitek and Zogby Analytics poll, “Millennials the Next Mobile Disruptors” revealed that 86% of millennials made purchases or conducted transactions from their smartphones.  Three in five millennials already feel comfortable using mobile devices for exchanging money, both sending (61%) and receiving (63%), according to the poll.When asked what they’d like to do in the future, 19% said pass funds among friends by taking pictures of their debit cards, and 21% said they’d like to establish a budget by taking pictures of their paychecks, bills and bank statements. continue reading »last_img read more

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Organized study trip for foreign journalists dedicated to the promotion of cycling tourism

first_img“EuroVelo 8 – Mediterranean Cycling Route” will connect the area from Cádiz, Spain in the west to Greece and Cyprus in the east, and is one of 15 transnational EuroVelo cycling routes. It is considered the future cycling highway of the Mediterranean, as it passes through as many as 11 countries. The Croatian part of the route, about 1.100 km long, passes through all seven coastal counties. The goal of the “MedCycleTour” project is the development and promotion of sustainable tourism and cycling tourism in the Mediterranean through the establishment of EuroVelo 8.  “Cyclotourism has become one of the important parts of the overall tourist offer, which is increasingly developing in all parts of Croatia. By participating in the EU project MedCycleTour, ie through cooperation at the international level, we want to give additional impetus to the further development and promotion of Croatia as an attractive cycling tourist destination.”, Said the director of the CNTB Kristjan Staničić, adding that the tourist boards of Istria, Primorje-Gorski Kotar, Lika-Senj, Zadar, Šibenik-Knin, Split-Dalmatia and Dubrovnik-Neretva counties also participated in the realization of this study trip. The trip was attended by journalists from France, Italy, Finland and Slovenia, and the program included daily rides on selected sections of the route from Istria through Rijeka and Lika to the islands of the Zadar archipelago Ugljan and Pašman, Biograd na Moru, Kastela Riviera, Solin, Split and Makarska all the way to Pelješac, Ston, Dubrovnik and Konavle. The Croatian National Tourist Board organized a specialized study trip for foreign journalists dedicated to the promotion of cycling tourism, ie the promotion of destinations and locations on the Croatian part of the route “EuroVelo8 – Mediterranean cycling routes”. The trip was realized within the EU project “MedCycleTour”, which aims to promote the Croatian part of the route, but also joint transnational cycling products related to the route. During the four days, the journalists cycled about 150 kilometers of the EuroVelo8 route in Croatia, and among the many attractions on the route they visited the Pula Arena, Velebit House – Visitor Center of the Northern Velebit National Park in Krasno Polje, the site of the ancient Salona, ​​Biokovo Nature Park, Peljesac vineyards and UNESCO sites in Split and Dubrovnik. center_img As they themselves pointed out, the journalists were delighted by the contrast of the Croatian coast and interior, as well as the diversity of natural beauties combined with the rich and preserved cultural and historical heritage and the authentic eno-gastronomic offer. The unique combination of the coast, islands and hinterland with numerous cultural and natural sights make the Croatian part of the EuroVelo 8 route extremely attractive throughout the year for all cycling enthusiasts.   Source / CNTB / Photo: Marko Prpić / PIXSELL Study trip cycling discovery of the Mediterranean route EUROVELO8, fourth day ride Makarska-Peljesac-Kuna-Zuljana-Konavle / Photo: Marko Prpic / PIXSELLlast_img read more

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Analysis: Long-term investors – all talk, no walk?

first_imgDupré acknowledged that one of the reactions the organisations get is that this topic is “nothing new under the sun”, and that failings of short-termism have been “on the agenda for basically as long as capitalism exists”.“Some asset managers claim to perform long-term research internally, but we didn’t have evidence of fundamentally long-term oriented buy-side research”Stan DupréThe research developed by the 2° Investing Initiative and Generation Foundation is different, he argued: it is not about the short-termism of financial markets, but about the short-termism of supposedly long-term investors.A traditional response to short-termism accusations is that markets need both short- and long-term investors, Dupré said.Large asset owners such as pension funds may say they manage their money with a long-term view because they have liabilities of, say, 30 years – but this, Dupré argues, is “BS”.The organisations failed to identify “a single long-term investor“ in the course of their research, he said.Regulatory action?Dupré’s claims are based on the findings behind two reports produced so far by the 2° Investing Initiative and Generation Foundation under their joint research programme.One, entitled “All Swans Are Black in the Dark”, argues that equity research analysts and credit rating agencies miss risks to the long-term viability of companies because they tend to only look three to five years ahead. A lack of demand from investors for long-term research is at least partly to blame, it says.The other report, entitled “The Long and Winding Road”, is based on a study of equity portfolio turnover carried out by Mercer Investment Consulting. It analysed 3,500 long-only institutional equity portfolios from 2004 to 2016 and found they were managed “with short-term horizons, turning them over every 21 months on average”.Dupré told IPE that the organisations set out to find investors who commission, expect, and/or use long-term research. They did not identify analysts who highlighted this type of client or demand, nor asset managers who commission or use long-term research.“Some asset managers claimed to perform this kind of long-term research internally, but we didn’t have evidence of fundamentally long-term oriented buy side research,” he added.This is not to say that long-term investors don’t exist, according to Dupré. ”What we say is that they are at best very rare, and clearly [do] not create demand for long-term analysis (equity or credit) on the market.” He said the research could spur regulatory action.   The study on portfolio turnover points to a “huge” principal-agent concern, with it being “really sub-optimal” to have investors turning over portfolios so frequently when they are supposed to maximise returns with a longer horizon, Dupré said. The research found no evidence of any attempt among asset managers or asset owners to backtest the level of turnover and to understand if lower turnover would benefit returns. Dupré suggested this could amount to a breach of fiduciary duty.He also noted that long-termism is a topic on the agenda of the “High Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance” that was recently set up by the European Commission. His expectation was that “if we [do] a good job in the next few months” there will be “policy responses” from the financial services department in the Commission (DG Fisma), he said.The reports can be found here. For all the talk from institutional investors about being long-term, they aren’t.In fact, it’s a load of, well, “BS”.So said Stan Dupré, founder and CEO of the 2° Investing Initiative, when he spoke to IPE about new research it has carried out with the Generation Foundation, a not-for-profit advocacy initiative of Generation Investment Management. The research was conducted under a “Tragedy of the Horizon” research programme into short-termism in the finance sector.But before your eyes gloss over…last_img read more

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