China passes sweeping HK security law, heralding authoritarian era

first_imgBeijing on Tuesday unveiled new national security laws for Hong Kong that will punish crimes of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison, heralding a more authoritarian era for China’s freest city.As the law came into force, authorities were set to throw a security blanket across the heart of the city’s financial center on Wednesday after activists vowed to defy a police ban and rally against the measures.Local media said up to 4,000 officers would be deployed to stamp out any protests. “The punitive elements of the law are stupefying,” Simon Young, a law professor at the University of Hong Kong’s law school and a barrister, told Reuters.”Let us hope no one tries to test this law, for the consequences to the individual and the legal system will be irreparable.”The legislation pushes Beijing further along a collision course with the United States, Britain and other Western governments, which have said it erodes the high degree of autonomy the city was granted at its July 1, 1997, handover.Britain and some two dozen Western countries urged China to reconsider the law, saying Beijing must preserve the right to assembly and free press.The United States condemned the legislation as a violation of Beijing’s international commitments and vowed to go on acting “against those who smothered Hong Kong’s freedom and autonomy.”Washington, already in dispute with China over trade, the South China Sea and the coronavirus, began eliminating Hong Kong’s special status under US law on Monday, halting defense exports and restricting technology access.China, which has rejected criticism of the law by Britain, the European Union, Japan, Taiwan and others, said it would retaliate.Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, in a video message to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, urged the international community to “respect our country’s right to safeguard national security”.She said the law would not undermine the city’s autonomy or its independent judiciary.Authorities in Beijing and Hong Kong have repeatedly said the legislation is aimed at a few “troublemakers” and will not affect rights and freedoms, nor investor interests.As the law was passed in Beijing, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army garrison in Hong Kong held a drill which included exercises to stop suspicious vessels and arrest fugitives, according to the Weibo social media account of state-run CCTV’s military channel.’Overpowering’In their most severe form, crimes will be punishable with life in prison. Punishments otherwise largely go up to 10 years. Properties related to crimes could be frozen or confiscated.The security legislation will supersede existing Hong Kong laws where there is a conflict and mainland Chinese authorities could exercise jurisdiction over some major cases.Interpretation powers belong to the Chinese parliament’s top decision-making body.Judges for security cases will be appointed by the city’s chief executive.According to the law, a new national security agency will be set up for the first time in Hong Kong and will not be under the jurisdiction of the local government. Authorities can carry out surveillance and wire-tap people suspected of endangering national security, it said.Those asking foreign countries to sanction, blockade or take other hostile action against Hong Kong or China could be guilty of colluding with foreign forces.Authorities shall take necessary measures to strengthen the management and servicing of foreign countries’ and international organizations’ branches in Hong Kong, as well as foreign media and NGOs in the city, the law says.”We can all start again,” pro-Beijing heavyweight Maria Tam, a member of China’s National People’s Congress, told reporters.Activists and pro-democracy politicians said they would defy a police ban on a rally on the handover anniversary on Wednesday.”We will never accept the passing of the law, even though it is so overpowering,” said Democratic Party chairman Wu Chi-wai.A majority in Hong Kong opposes the legislation, a poll conducted for Reuters this month showed, but support for the protests has fallen to only a slim majority.Dozens of supporters of Beijing popped champagne corks and waved Chinese flags in celebration in front of government headquarters.”I’m very happy,” said one elderly man, surnamed Lee.”This will leave anti-China spies and people who brought chaos to Hong Kong with nowhere to go.” Topics :center_img China’s parliament passed the detailed legislation earlier on Tuesday, giving Beijing sweeping powers and setting the stage for radical changes to the global financial hub’s way of life.Beijing had kept full details shrouded in secrecy, giving Hong Kong’s 7.5 million people no time to digest the complex legislation before it entered into force at 11.00 pm (1500 GMT) on June 30.The timing was seen as a symbolic humiliation for Britain, coming just an hour before the 23rd anniversary of when Hong Kong’s last colonial governor, Chris Patten, a staunch critic of the law, tearfully handed back Hong Kong to Chinese rule.Amid fears the law will crush the city’s freedoms, prominent activist Joshua Wong’s Demosisto and other pro-democracy groups said they would dissolve.last_img read more

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BLOG: S&P Threatens Pennsylvania With a Downgrade Due to Our Budget Deficit

first_img March 07, 2016 Budget News,  The Blog Last week, Standard and Poor’s Ratings Services cited Pennsylvania’s structural budget imbalance as the primary reason that the commonwealth’s AA-minus general obligation rating could be downgraded by the end of March.Governor Wolf has warned for years that Pennsylvania’s $2 billion plus budget deficit is a time bomb, ticking away. If it explodes, Pennsylvania will experience a fiscal catastrophe the likes of which we have never seen.Last week’s S&P downgrade warning is a stark reminder of the consequences of failing to address Pennsylvania’s budget deficit. It’s time to pass a budget that addresses the budget deficit and fully funds our schools and other key services.Key takeaways from the report:“We believe that the failure of lawmakers to agree on a complete budget package for fiscal 2016 in the coming weeks would impair their ability to address the projected fiscal 2017 budget gap in a timely manner. If the legislature and governor do not enact a fiscal 2016 budget that addresses structural balance by the end of the March sessions, we will likely lower the rating. On the other hand, if lawmakers do agree on a budget that addresses long-term structural balance in this timeframe, we could revise the outlook back to stable.”“The $30.3 billion budget passed by both the house and senate is, in our view, structurally unbalanced and does not include pension reforms negotiated in the previously agreed-on budget framework. As proposed, the budget had a $510 million budget gap for fiscal 2016 and left a $2.2 billion budget gap for fiscal 2017. It did not include a previously proposed revenue increase package and relies on $46.6 million of one-time revenues in fiscal 2016. Increases to basic education funding in House Bill 1460 were less than the budget compromise bill, and, when including cuts to school construction, it cut $95 million to education.”“In our view, the immediate credit concern is that failure to act in the current fiscal year could compound future fiscal gaps.” Read more posts about Governor Wolf’s 2016-17 budget.Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf SHARE Email Facebook Twittercenter_img BLOG: S&P Threatens Pennsylvania With a Downgrade Due to Our Budget Deficit By: Jeffrey Sheridan, Press Secretarylast_img read more

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New York real estate guru Leonard Steinberg shares his journey from fashion to property and how to succeed in both gigs

first_imgReal estate guru Leonard Steinberg will speak about the New York property market at AREC 2017.He made waves through the industry three years ago when he announced his defection from Elliman to Compass — a tech-centric real estate start-up with 60 employees.It now has 1600 staff and 30 offices across the United States. “Real estate’s a walk in the park next to fashion,” he said.“Think of fashion as vegetables. You make fashion and it’s perishable because after a few weeks it becomes stale. “Real estate has a much longer lifespan.”Both professions do have one thing in common in his view — entrepreneurship.“You have to think like an independent small business,” he said.“It’s not just about selling a pretty dress or an apartment. You have to look at finance, marketing, etc. “If you think of those components every single day you’ll have a successful career. It’s taken me 52 years to learn that.”Mr Steinberg’s goal as president of Compass was to make it a movement within the industry, not just a company.“There is an old fashioned way of doing real estate and there’s the new way, and the best is the blending of both, where you embrace all the traditional things real estate brokerage entails but also embrace the new world that we live in,” he said.In his segment at AREC 2017, titled The Gentleman’s Guide To New York Backstabbing Brokerage, Mr Steinberg will explain why most people see New York real estate agents in the worst possible light.More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North8 hours ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa1 day agoReal estate guru Leonard Steinberg will speak about the New York property market at AREC 2017.Mr Steinberg believes consumers hate two things about real estate agents — paying them commission and bad behaviour.“There’s some really bad behaviour in our business,” he said.“But if you have a company that doesn’t let any of those agents in then you have added value to the equation.”He recalls a time when a speaker at a previous employer’s annual meeting referred to the company’s top real estate agents as ‘killers’.“At that point I made a vow that if I ever achieve success in this business, I don’t want it to be because I’m a killer,” he said.“I’m not proud of much in my career, but the one thing I will boast is I am the poster child for being a real estate agent in New York and actually being honest and ethical and kind and decent. “I can wake up in the morning, look in the mirror — I don’t like what I see — but I can look in the mirror and feel good about myself.”Mr Steinberg will also share his tips on what’s driving the New York property market.One of the New York real estate market trends Mr Steinberg will share at AREC 2017 is the emergence of the lazy buyer.“They want to walk in to an apartment or home and it must be beautiful,” he said.“For the consumer today, we’re seeing a common thread of people who don’t want to do the big renovation.”The other key selling point is ease — anything that makes life easier and saves time for the buyer because, he points out, “time is a luxury”. “The global nomad is spoiled by the service you get in a hotel and then they get home and miss it.” Real estate guru Leonard Steinberg will speak about the New York property market at AREC 2017.He’s worked with a long list of powerful people, from Oscar winners to global financial leaders, although refuses to reveal names.He also sold and helped develop one of New York’s most iconic residential buildings — 200 Eleventh Avenue in fashionable West Chelsea.Designed by famed architect Annabelle Selldorf, it features a garage in the sky — no doubt what attracted Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban to the building.In fact, the star couple were Mr Steinberg’s neighbours until he moved out recently.But success hasn’t come easy.Mr Steinberg suffered a setback early in life when he was lucky to survive a car accident that left his face disfigured.“For two years my head was a big bloated elephant man mess,” he said. “It taught me to reapply myself.” “I entered the biggest fashion competition in South Africa in the young designer section and I won.”He moved to New York in the mid-1980s where he worked as a designer at Victor Costa then Christian Dior, before starting his own company, Julie & Leonard.The label was a success, selling in high-end department stores Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and Saks.A decade later, Mr Steinberg kicked off his real estate career at the Corcoran Group before moving to Douglas Elliman in 2001. New York high-end real estate agent Leonard Steinberg will be speaking at AREC 2017.ASK Leonard Steinberg what he attributes to his success and the answer might surprise you.“It’s my fake British accent.”“In America people love British accents.”In truth, success hasn’t come easy for the South African-born fashion designer turned real estate guru, who will be in the country in May to share his story at the Australian Real Estate Conference 2017 on the Gold Coast.At an age where most people are just finding their feet, Mr Steinberg went through an early midlife crisis.He was 30 years old, and after several years of surviving in the cutthroat fashion industry, he’d had enough. “I loved fashion but fashion was killing me,” he said.He tried his hand as a musician, albeit “a really bad one”, before switching to another tough gig — selling real estate. And he’s never looked back.The president of New York residential real estate firm, Compass, has marketed many of New York’s most luxurious buildings and sold over US$3 billion worth of property in a career spanning two decades.center_img Real estate guru Leonard Steinberg will speak about housing affordability at AREC 2017.When it comes to the housing affordability debate raging here in Australia, he believes New York is similar to most large global cities — including Sydney — where strong demand and short supply is pushing up property prices.“There’s only one solution to affordable housing globally — you have to build a lot of real estate,” he said.“If you aren’t building enough property, the prices go up.”And he has some blunt advice for first home buyers: buy your first home, not your dream home. “We have a generation who are not used to making sacrifices,” he said. “A lot of millennials want instant gratification.“If you want to live in a big expensive city you have to get your foot in the door and you also have to compromise.”Who is speaking at AREC 2017?International keynote speakers include:*Chris Voss*Bob Wolff*Robert Cialdini…and many more Australian real estate industry identitiesThe Australian Real Estate Conference will be held on the Gold Coast on May 28-29. For more details, or to register for AREC 2017, visit www.tret.com.au or call 1800 335 336.last_img read more

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Dutch sector fears ‘unworkable political compromises’ for new system

first_imgAs worst-case examples, Riemen cited “a pensions system with individual assets” or “we support a freedom of choice combined with full mandatory participation”.“These kind of statements could be very paralysing, as they raise a lot of questions,” he said.Riemen stressed that there was no margin for paralysis, “as millions of participants can’t be waiting in fear of rights cuts every year”.In his opinion, employers and unions (known as the “social partners”) and the pensions sector should produce a plan before the formation of a new government starts.Benne van Popta, employer chairman of the €67bn metal scheme PMT, agreed, arguing that an accord between these parties would offer the negotiating political parties a widely supported solution.Earlier, Jetta Klijnsma, state secretary for social affairs, repeatedly urged the social partners to reach a deal for a new pensions contract.She warned that, without a joint proposal, the social partners and the pensions sector would lose the direction, leaving the decisions to the negotiators for a new cabinet.Representatives of employers and unions were reportedly in favour of waiting until after Dutch elections next month to announce a deal. They are thought to believe that announcing a plan during coalition negotiations would help avoid unwanted government interference.Van Popta said that in the worst case scenario, with differing political views on pensions, there could be “a very complicated compromise which has to be implemented by the sector within a short period”. The Dutch pensions industry has voiced fears of “unworkable political proposals” for a new pensions system, if the sector doesn’t come up with proposals of its own.Gerard Riemen, director of the Pensions Federation, warned that a government coalition agreement wouldn’t offer any footing for a sound system update.Speaking to IPE’s Dutch sister publication Pensioen Pro, Riemen said his biggest worry was that a coalition agreement would contain “ill thought-out sentences” that “nobody knows how to implement”.A new government is expected to comprise four or even five political parties, with widely differing views on a future pensions system.last_img read more

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​PenSam keeps Nordea for new €2.16bn climate-tilted equity mandate

first_imgAt the time, PenSam confirmed to IPE that the remaining half of the global equities portfolio would continue to be handled by Nordea.In Monday’s statement, the €20bn pension fund said it was pleased to keep working with Nordea Asset Management, due to the manager’s experience regarding both equity risk premia and ESG investing.Anders Madsen, head of institutional and wholesale distribution in Northern Europe at Nordea Asset Management, said the firm had worked with sustainable investing for many years, via traditional, fundamental processes as well as within more quantitative, risk premia-oriented processes.Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here. Danish labour-market pension fund PenSam said it has converted its various passive equity strategies run by Nordea Asset Management into a €2.16bn global equity risk premia mandate, to be managed by the same firm with a climate focus.Claus Jørgensen, PenSam chief investment officer, said in yesterday’s announcement: “Changing the existing mandates to this new global mandate ticks the box for PenSam on a number of crucial parameters.“The mandate provides exposure to equity risk premia and at the same time manages to integrate the goals that PenSam has set in relation to climate and sustainability.”PenSam said back in February that it was adopting the MSCI All Country World Index (ACWI) Climate index for its entire €4.8bn global listed equities portfolio, and early this month announced it had selected Amundi to manage €2.6bn of this, with the French manager to track the climate-tilted index while incorporating customisations specific to PenSam.last_img read more

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Strong families, prosperous states: Do healthy families affect the wealth of states?

first_imgAmerican Enterprise Institute 19 October 2015Poverty Studies, Society and CultureEconomics has its roots in the Greek word oikonomia, which means the “management of the household.” Yet economists across the ideological spectrum have paid little attention to the links between household family structure and the macroeconomic outcomes of nations, states, and societies. This is a major oversight because, as this report shows, shifts in marriage and family structure are important factors in states’ economic performance, including their economic growth, economic mobility, child poverty, and median family income.Strong Families, Prosperous States documents four key sets of facts about the links between families and the economic welfare of states across the country:•Higher levels of marriage, and especially higher levels of married-parent families, are strongly associated with more economic growth, more economic mobility, less child poverty, and higher median family income at the state level in the United States. When we compare states in the top quintile of married-parent families with those in the bottom quintile, we find that being in the top quintile is associated with a $1,451 higher per capita GDP, 10.5 percent greater upward income mobility for children from lower-income families, a 13.2 percent decline in the child poverty rate, and a $3,654 higher median family income. These estimates are based on models that control for a range of factors—from the educational and racial composition of a state to its tax policies and spending on education, and to unchanging characteristics of states—that might otherwise confound the family-economy link at the state level.•The share of parents in a state who are married is one of the top predictors of the economic outcomes studied in this report. In fact, this family factor is generally a stronger predictor of economic mobility, child poverty, and median family income in the American states than are the educational, racial, and age compositions of the states.•The state-level link between marriage and economic growth is stronger for younger adults (ages 25–35) than for older adults (36–59). This suggests that marriage plays a particularly important role in fostering a positive labor market orientation among young men.•Violent crime is much less common in states with larger shares of families headed by married parents, even after controlling for a range of socio-demographic factors at the state level. For instance, the violent crime rate (violent crimes per 100,000 people) sits at 343 on average for states in the top quintile of married parenthood, whereas those in the bottom quintile average a rate of 563. This is noteworthy because high crime rates lower the quality of life and real living standards and are associated with lower levels of economic growth and mobility.Given the importance of strong families for the economy, we propose four policy ideas to strengthen the economic and cultural foundations of marriage and family life in states across the country:http://www.aei.org/publication/strong-families-prosperous-states/last_img read more

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Study Says: Get Married, Live Longer.

first_img Share 34 Views   no discussions Share New research shows that getting married could lengthen your life for up to 17 years. A study published in The American Journal Of Epidemiology reveals that single men have a 32 percent higher chance of death than married men across a lifetime. That means they could die eight to 17 years before the average married man — of loneliness?Single women fare a bit better: They have a 23 percent (or about seven to 15 years) lower life expectancy compared to their married peers. This data is based on 90 studies of around 500 million people compiled over the last 60 years by researchers at the University of Louisville: No small feat.Younger singles face greater chances of early death. The risk of death for 30 to 39-year-old singles was 128 percent higher than for married people of the same age. On the other hand, 70-year-old singles only had a 16 percent higher risk of death. Perhaps it’s because they’ve survived a single youth and emerged unscathed.These findings may make the independent singletons among us bristle: Why does marital status have such a dramatic effect on physical longevity?Explains David Roelfs, assistant professor of sociology at the university: “With the concurrent decline in public assistance, health benefits and the family wage in Western societies, single women are more economically and medically marginalized now than in previous years and are therefore at a higher risk for health problems and early death.”Married couples enjoy a stronger support network, while single people, even if they have family and friends, by default have less social support, says Roelfs. Plus, those family and friends are probably pressuring them into getting married.No wonder gay couples are making all that fuss about legalizing marriage; they know it’s the secret to long life.Written by Jessica Cruel for YourTango. Sharecenter_img Sharing is caring! LifestyleRelationships Study Says: Get Married, Live Longer. by: – August 30, 2011 Tweetlast_img read more

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Real Madrid join Liverpool tracking Sevilla defender

first_img Loading… Goal says Real are watching Carlos as a potential long-term successor for captain Sergio Ramos. Ramos is in line to be offered a new two-year contract, but Real are now actively seeking an eventual replacement for the veteran.Advertisement Real Madrid are tracking Sevilla defender Diego Carlos this season. Carlos is emerging as a top target and his Sevilla contract carries a €75m buyout clause. Read Also:Liverpool willing to splash out €75m for Carlos Along with Real, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is also having Carlos watched this season. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Promoted ContentBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever Made6 Extreme Facts About Hurricanes7 Universities In The World Where Education Costs Too Much8 Weird Facts About Coffee That Will Surprise You7 Theories About The Death Of Our UniverseTop 10 Most Populated Cities In The World7 Universities Where Getting An Education Costs A Hefty PennyBeautiful Mutations: 15 Staggering Photos Of Heterochromia7 Mind-Boggling Facts About Black HolesHere Are The Best Movies Since 1982 You Should Definitely SeeFrom Enemies To Friends: 10 TV Characters Who Became CloseWho Earns More Than Ronaldo?last_img read more

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Brescia hires Fabio Grosso

first_imgRelatedPosts Live stream Premier League, La Liga, Serie A on Showmax Pro this weekend Juve’s Pirlo gamble makes new Serie A season the most open for years Pirlo bags UEFA coaching badge Brescia has hired Fabio Grosso as its new coach, replacing Eugenio Corini.The Serie A club made the announcement on Tuesday, two days after Corini was fired following a 2-1 defeat at Hellas Verona.Grosso, who won the World Cup in 2006 with Italy as a player, previously coached the Juventus youth team as well as Bari and Verona.The 41-year-old Grosso was fired by Verona at the beginning of May despite the team being in the Serie B playoff positions.Brescia, which also earned promotion to Italy’s top flight last season, is 19th in the 20-team division, a point from safety, although it has played a match less than nearly all of the other teams.It is the fifth coaching change in Serie A this season.Tags: Fabio GrossoSere ASerie Alast_img read more

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Casey fights back to win Irish Open

first_img Casey carded five birdies in six holes from the eighth at Carton House, the same venue where he finished second to Thomas Bjorn when the event was last staged here in 2006. That gave the 35-year-old a three-shot lead and seemingly one hand on the trophy, but after dropped shots at the 15th and 16th cut his three-shot lead cut back to one, the former Ryder Cup star sealed the win in style with an eagle from 45 feet on the par-five 18th. Press Association Paul Casey claimed the 12th European Tour title of his career in dramatic fashion after overturning a four-shot deficit in the final round of the Irish Open.center_img A closing 67 gave Casey a total of 14 under par, three shots clear of playing partner Robert Rock (71) and overnight leader Joost Luiten, who had been looking for his second win in three events but could only manage a 74. Spain’s Pablo Larrazabal finished fourth after a closing 75, with former Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal a shot further back in a share of fifth. Olazabal, 47, had moved into a share of the lead with four birdies in his first 10 holes but bogeyed four of the last eight to card a 72. Casey was ranked third in the world in 2009 but began the week 169th after form and fitness problems, most notably in 2012 after suffering a broken collarbone while snowboarding. His last European Tour victory came in Bahrain in January 2011 but he qualified for the recent US Open with a round of 64 at Walton Heath and was inspired by seeing former Ryder Cup team-mate win his first major title at Merion. last_img read more

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