Russians set to back reforms allowing Putin to extend rule

first_imgRussians are set to approve constitutional reforms on Wednesday denounced by critics as a maneuver to allow President Vladimir Putin to stay in the Kremlin for life.The changes were passed weeks ago by Russia’s parliament and copies of the new constitution are already on sale in bookshops, but Putin pushed ahead with a nationwide vote that ends Wednesday to confer legitimacy on his plans.The Kremlin pulled out all the stops to encourage turnout, with polls extended over nearly a week, the last day of voting declared a national holiday and prizes — including apartments and cars — on offer to voters. Putin says the changes are needed to ensure stability and cement Russian values in the face of pernicious Western influences.”We are voting for the country… we want to pass on to our children and grandchildren,” he said Tuesday in a final appeal to voters.”We can ensure stability, security, prosperity and a decent life only through development, only together and by ourselves.” Falling approval ratings Putin’s approval rating has suffered in recent months, in part over early mistakes in the government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, and stood at a historic low of 59 percent in one May poll.Analysts say Putin wanted to get the vote over with before Russians — already suffering from several years of falling incomes — are hit by the full economic impact of the pandemic. Putin said in a recent interview that he had not made up his mind about whether to run again and suggested part of the reason for the presidential reset was to allow Russia’s political elite to focus on governing instead of “hunting for possible successors”.The other political reforms amount to a tweaking of Russia’s system of government.The president is granted some new powers including the right to nominate top judges and prosecutors, while parliament has more influence in naming senior government officials.Russian law is given precedence over international law and top officials are banned from having foreign citizenship or residence permits.The minimum wage cannot be below the subsistence level and state pensions must be indexed to inflation.The reforms also enshrine “faith in God” and Russian as the national language in the constitution, define marriage as between a man and a woman and ban giving away Russian territory or questioning the country’s “historical truth”. Initially planned for April 22, the vote was postponed by the coronavirus pandemic but rescheduled after Putin said the epidemic had peaked and officials began reporting lower numbers of new cases.There is little doubt the reforms — which include patriotic and populist measures like guaranteed minimum pensions and an effective ban on gay marriage — will be approved.A state-run exit poll of more than 163,000 voters this week showed 76 percent in favor.Results are expected to be announced after the last polling stations close at 1800 GMT.center_img Topics : ‘Foregone conclusion’Many Russians, especially those who remember the chaos and economic turmoil of the 1990s, agree.”There are a lot of problems in our country. And the amendments, they will help solve them, not completely but in part,” Moscow subway worker Vladimir Bodrov said after voting last week.”And for me, for my children and for my granddaughter, I think that this is a big plus.”But critics say the reforms are a cover for Putin to extend his rule after nearly 20 years in power.Chief opposition campaigner Alexei Navalny said Putin, 67, wants to make himself “president for life” and has called for a boycott.US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun said Monday the vote was a “foregone conclusion” aimed at “the extension of [Putin’s] rule for what effectively is his natural life.”Divided, weakened by years of political repression and with little access to state-controlled media, Putin’s opponents have failed to mount a serious “no” campaign. Restrictions on mass gatherings imposed by the coronavirus have also prevented demonstrations.Golos, an independent election monitor, says it has received some 1,300 complaints of violations, including people voting more than once and claims employers are putting pressure on staff to cast ballots. The Kremlin is keen to see a high voter turnout and makeshift polling stations cropped across the country, including some in buses, tents and on street benches that were ridiculed on social media.last_img read more

Washington mayor orders face masks worn as soon as ‘you leave home’

first_imgBowser, a Democrat, stressed that Washington residents should “wear a mask” particularly if they are unable to maintain social distancing.There are a few exceptions to the new rule, including for people exercising outdoors and far away from other people.In Washington, as in a majority of US states, the number of COVID-19 cases is starting to climb, even though the capital city has been largely spared from the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic. Topics : The mayor of Washington on Monday tightened rules for wearing masks in the US capital, ordering city residents to don face coverings as soon as they leave their home.”People must wear a mask when they leave their homes if they are likely to come into contact with another person for more than a fleeting moment,” Muriel Bowser’s office announced.The measure was accompanied by the slogan: “It’s simple: when you leave home, you must wear a mask.”last_img read more

A Gold Coast acreage property in Tallebudgera sells for $1.942 million

first_img14 Dwyer Close, Tallebudgera. 14 Dwyer Close, Tallebudgera.A SYDNEY family has snapped up a luxury acreage property in Tallebudgera for $1.942 million.It was the third highest sale on the Gold Coast this week according to CoreLogic.The five-bedroom home at 14 Dwyer Close has high ceilings, stone feature walls, open spaces, wide windows and sweeping valley views.Other luxury features include a media room, library, resort-style pool and spa, video and audio intercom and an alfresco entertainment area with a games room.More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North10 hours ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa1 day agoThe Prestige Gold Coast agent Anita McDaid handled the sale.She said it sold within three weeks of hitting the market.“The buyers loved the position and that the property was in Tallebudgera Part Estate,” she said.“They also loved the setting of the pool, the fact it was close to town but still had plenty of privacy.” 14 Dwyer Close, Tallebudgera.last_img read more

Publica cuts equity, increases real estate in risk reduction move

first_imgThese two segments would make up 7% of the portfolio, the asset owner said, once the new strategy was fully implemented over the next three years.“Compared to public corporate bonds these asset classes offer additional return and increase diversification in the overall portfolio,” Publica said.Credit Suisse’s latest Pensionskassen Index for the second quarter of 2018 showed this shift in allocation was in line with a general trend.The analysis of a representative sample of the Swiss pension industry showed an increase in real estate exposure by 44 basis points, to 22.84% on average.“This development can mainly be explained by an increase in indirect real estate investments abroad,” Credit Suisse stated in a press release.Alternative investments were also increased to just over 6%. For all other asset classes the analysts reported a slight decline, mainly caused by market effects.Over the first half of the year foreign equities were the only asset class to return over 1%. Other positive contributors were real estate and alternatives with gains of just under 0.5% each.However, these returns were not enough for an overall positive average return at the end of the second quarter: at the end of June Swiss schemes had lost 0.48% on average, despite a “significant recovery” in April.Credit Suisse said that both foreign and domestic bonds had underperformed their respective indices. Switzerland’s biggest pension investor has adapted its investment strategy to “reduce risk” across its portfolio.The CHF39.8bn Publica, which caters for public sector workers, started to reduce its equity quota in July, from 29% to 27%. In turn it increased its international real estate allocation from 4% to 6%.It also reduced the exposure to Swiss non-government bonds by 200 basis points to 8%, and said it would use the proceeds to make investments in private real estate financing and emerging market debt.Money from reducing investments in non-Swiss public corporate bonds would go into “private company and infrastructure debt”, Publica said.last_img read more

Border to Coast secures £1.8bn in private credit, private equity and infra

first_imgBorder to Coast will work with external managers to build diversified global portfolios over the longer term. Investments are selected using a robust investment process incorporating principles of responsible investment, the pool said.As part of its due diligence process, Border to Coast is developing longer-term relationships with key industry participants to enable partner funds to collectively benefit from their investments in private markets.Daniel Booth, Border to Coast chief investment officer, said: “We very much appreciate the confidence shown in Border to Coast by our partner funds, with larger-than-anticipated commitments.”For its private credit offering, Border to Coast has secured £581m from eight partner funds, which launched in October. These commitments are to be invested by 31 March 2021 as part of a programme to provide a diversified global private credit portfolio over the long term across direct lending, real assets, mezzanine/speciality and stressed/distressed.As for private equity, the firm secured £500m from eight partner funds. These commitments are to be invested by 31 March 2020 as part of a programme to provide a diversified global private equity portfolio over the long term across buyout, special situations, growth and venture strategies.To date, Border to Coast has made investments in:GreatPoint Innovation Fund II ($40m)Palatine Private Equity Fund IV (£40m)Baring Asia Private Equity Fund VII ($60m)These commitments provide exposure to several Border to Coast’s targeted themes within private equity, which include operational value add, healthcare, technology and Asia.In infastructure, the firm has secured £675m from 10 partner funds, which are to be invested by 31 March 2020. This offering will provide a diversified global infrastructure portfolio over the long term across core, core+ and value add/opportunistic strategies.To date, Border to Coast has made investments in:Brookfield Infrastructure Fund IV ($125m)Global Infrastructure Partners Fund IV ($60m)These commitments provide exposure to several Border to Coast’s targeted themes within infrastructure, including operational value add and emerging markets. Private EquityInfrastructurePrivate Credit CumbriaDurhamEast RidingSouth YorkshireSurreyTeessideTyne and WearWarwickshireBedfordshireNorth Yorkshire CumbriaDurhamEast RidingSouth YorkshireSurreyTeessideTyne and WearWarwickshirecenter_img Border to Coast Pensions Partnership, one of the largest public sector pension pools in the UK with total assets close to £45bn (€52.7bn), has secured investments worth £1.8bn for three of its investment offerings.These commitments will be invested over the next 18 months, and are in addition to the £15bn the pool already manages.Border to Coast has now launched its private markets offering, a year ahead of schedule to meet emerging partner funds needs, according to a statement.It is an important step in making a difference to outcomes for its Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) partner funds by seeking to enhance risk-adjusted, net of fees, returns from private market investments, it added. BedfordshireDurhamEast RidingNorth YorkshireSouth YorkshireSurreyTyne and WearWarwickshirelast_img read more

Eco Wave Power to Build Wave Energy Project in Mexico

first_imgEco Wave Power Mexico plans to start the construction of the first wave energy project in Mexico, to be located in Manzanillo Port.This announcement follows the procurement of an interconnection approval from the National Energy Control Center in Mexico (CENACE). The interconnection approval received by Eco Wave Power Mexico is for an overall initial capacity of 25MW, and the company plans to execute it gradually, starting with a 4.1MW wave energy power plant.The power plant will be located in the Cuyutlán/ Tepalcates Beach in Manzanillo, State of Colima, which, along with the Municipality of Manzanillo, are the potential off takers of the energy that will be generated.The project led by Eco Wave Power Mexico is already in a very advanced phase. The company purchased 5000 square meters of land for it’s’ machinery and conducted all relevant studies, including an environmental study, wave study, bathymetry and soil mechanicals, the company noted.Eco Wave Power Mexico also submitted the executive project to SCT and is pending for the last approval, which is the authorization of works by SCT (Ministry of communication and transportation) and Generation permit by the Energy Regulatory Commission.In order to execute the above-mentioned steps, EWP Mexico raised the first $1 million for the project; and intends to raise additional $12 million within the next six months.“We are very excited and looking forward to receive the remaining permits and start the construction of EWP’s first power plant in Mexico” said EWP co-founders David Leb and Inna Braverman.CEO of Eco Wave Power Mexico, Ernesto Delarue said: “This is a great honor for Mexico to be among the first countries in the world and the first in the Americas to generate electricity from ocean waves.“last_img read more

Man Utd shelve director of football plans

first_img Hiring a director of football has been on Manchester United’s to-do list for a while – but the Red Devils may be taking another route now. The Athletic reports Woodward has decided to park plans for a new transfer chief, and will instead trust Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s judgment after a string of successes in the market.Advertisement Manchester United vice-chairman Ed Woodward is convinced hiring a first director of football would be overkill. With Woodward, transfer negotiator Matt Judge and Solskjaer working well together so far, United feel that even if they hired a director of football, that person would not necessarily be given the usual control such a role demands. read also:Man Utd join PSG in transfer race for Super Eagles midfielder The latest name linked with the post has been former PSG and Porto sports chief Antero Henrique. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Promoted Content10 Risky Jobs Some Women DoCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable WayPortuguese Street Artist Creates Hyper-Realistic 3D GraffitiAlbino Animals: A Rare Kind Of Ultimate BeautyWhat Are The Most Delicious Foods Out There?Birds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For ThemTop 7 Best Car Manufacturers Of All Time7 Black Hole Facts That Will Change Your View Of The UniverseA Guy Turns Gray Walls And Simple Bricks Into Works Of ArtWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?San-Francisco Runner Creates Art Just By Jogging AroundThis Guy Photoshopped Himself Into Celeb Pics And It’s Hysterical Loading… last_img read more

8 arrest in drug sweep in Switzerland County

first_imgVevay, IN—A drug investigation conducted on March 5 by the Ohio Valley Crime Suppression Task Force resulted in eight (8) arrests at a residence along Keith Road in Switzerland County. All made appearances in Switzerland Circuit Court for initial hearings on the following charges:Lance D. Hardin of Vevay, IN was charged on allegations of Dealing Methamphetamine, Possession Methamphetamine, Visiting a Common Nuisance, Possession Marijuana, Possession Paraphernalia. $25,000 cash bond.Daniel J. Hardin of Vevay, IN was charged on allegations ofPossession Methamphetamine, Maintaining a Common Nuisance, Possession Paraphernalia. $800 cash bondMelissa J. Rider of Patriot, IN was charged on allegations of Dealing Methamphetamine, Possession Methamphetamine, Visiting a Common Nuisance, Possession Marijuana, Possession Paraphernalia. $25,000 cash bondCourtney R. Konkle of Madison, IN was charged on allegations of Dealing Methamphetamine, Possession Methamphetamine, Possession of Syringe, Possession Marijuana, Visiting a Common Nuisance, Possession Paraphernalia. $25,000 cash bond.Brandon D. Parnell of Patriot, IN was charged on allegations of Possession Methamphetamine, Maintaining a Common Nuisance, Possession Paraphernalia. $500 cash bond.Rebecca M. Hardin of Vevay, IN was charged on allegations of Maintaining a Common Nuisance, Obstruction of Justice. $500 cash bond.Jerry N. Beach of Verona, KY was charged on allegations of Dealing Methamphetamine, Possession Methamphetamine, Maintaining a Common Nuisance, Possession Marijuana, Possession Paraphernalia. $25,000 cash bond.Ryan L. Deitz of Vevay, IN was charged on allegations of Dealing Methamphetamine, Possession Methamphetamine, Visiting a Common Nuisance, Possession Marijuana, Possession Paraphernalia. $25,000 cash bond. Members of the Ohio Valley Crime Suppression Task Force include the Switzerland Co. Sheriff’s Office, Indiana State Police, Jefferson Co. Sheriff’s Office, and Jennings Co. Sheriff’s Office.All suspects are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.last_img read more

Bruce rues lack of killer touch

first_img “We had to make two changes at half-time and we’re already a bit makeshift. “We struggled in the second half and it looked like it had all caught up with us.” Bruce added: “I don’t want to make excuses. In the first half it didn’t really matter. In the second half we gifted horrible goals which isn’t like us. “The one thing we’ve prided ourselves on in the last couple of years is if you’re going to score against us, you’ll have to earn it. “In the second half we simply weren’t good enough and we have to accept that.” Bruce confirmed he is on the lookout for a new assistant but denied the Tigers had made a bid for Blackburn striker Rudy Gestede. “I have never made a bid,” Bruce said. “We had a conversation with them – apparently an agent made a bid on our behalf which is news to me and the owner. “I don’t know where all the nonsense has come from, I can confirm there’s no way we have bid £4.5million and we won’t be doing so.” On his search for a new coach, Bruce added: “I wouldn’t say I’m close but I’ve got two or three people to see this week. “My plan was always to get to these couple of weeks where I can concentrate on getting someone in to give me a hand. “We should know more about that by the end of next week.” The victory means West Ham climb above Liverpool into seventh in the table, four points off fourth place. The Hammers were booed off by their own fans at half-time and manager Sam Allardyce admits he told his team to be more direct in the second period. “All this tippy-tappy stuff – everybody keeps on going about the right way to play football – is all a load of b******s sometimes,” Allardyce said. “Getting the ball into the opposition box as quickly as you can with quality is definitely sometimes the best way forward and that’s what we did in the second half and that’s why we won the game.” Allardyce had no complaints with the crowd venting their frustration but believes Tuesday’s penalty shoot-out win over Everton in the FA Cup may have had an effect on his players. “We weren’t good (in the first half),” Allardyce said. “When you’ve had an exciting game like Tuesday night, it was disappointing for the fans to see how poorly we played in the first half, they didn’t expect it. “I haven’t seen us pass so poorly this entire season as we passed in the first half. “That can only be a legacy of the efforts they put in on Tuesday night.” “The way we played in the first half delighted all of us connected with Hull but in my experience you have to score,” Bruce said. “For all the good work we did, it unravelled really. You can’t let them off the hook like that. “You come away from home, play against a good team like West Ham and have two or three good opportunities to score and we didn’t. “That’s the disappointment and frustration for us all.” Hull were without their three top scorers this season as Nikica Jelavic, Mohamed Diame and Abel Hernandez were all injured. There was more bad news for the Tigers too as Alex Bruce went off with a thigh strain and James Chester was taken to hospital with a dislocated shoulder. “We invested heavily in strikers and unfortunately they’re not there to take the chances that we created today,” Bruce said. “Of course they’re all bitterly disappointed and you look round and see so many players injured. Press Association Hull manager Steve Bruce admits his side paid the price for not taking their chances after the Tigers were beaten 3-0 at West Ham in the Barclays Premier League. Hull dominated the first half at Upton Park but failed to score, Sone Aluko the main culprit, and Andy Carroll, Morgan Amalfitano and Stewart Downing all found the net for the Hammers in the second period. Defeat means Hull are 18th in the table and now have won just twice in 15 league matches. last_img read more

White House lock down lifted after protesters surrounded complex

first_imgOn Friday the White House was placed on lock down for about an hour after protesters surrounded the gates. The White House protest was one of many taking place nationwide in response to the death of George Floyd. Floyd was killed on Monday while in police custody. The initial decision to lock down the White House grounds was made by the U.S. Secret Service, according to tweets by NBC News reporter Peter Alexander.last_img