UN Secretary-General Congratulates Brazil-Argentine Agency For Work On Nuclear Non-Proliferation

first_imgBy Dialogo July 20, 2011 Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon congratulated the Brazilian-Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials (ABACC) for its 20 years of working for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. “On the twentieth anniversary of the establishment of the Brazilian-Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials, the Secretary-General congratulates both governments on this significant milestone,” according to a statement issued by his spokesperson. “ABACC has made a very substantial contribution to regional nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation by providing for a sound regional framework for the application of International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] safeguards and facilitated the entry into force of the Treaty of Tlatelolco, the nuclear-weapon-free zone encompassing of the entire Latin America and the Caribbean region,” the statement said. Brazil and Argentina signed the Guadalajara Agreement for the Exclusively Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy (Bilateral Agreement), in which created the ABACC, in June 1991. It calls for information exchanges and inspections. Brazil, Argentina, the IAEA and the ABACC signed an agreement on 13 December 1991 that consolidated the system for application of safeguards that is currently in force in both countries. The Tlatelolco treaty, named after the district in Mexico City where it was signed, is also known as the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean.last_img read more

adminDecember 20, 2020djjpctLeave a Comment

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Transaction laundering in the payments landscape

first_imgThese days, criminals have turned to internet-based transaction laundering to disguise profits from unscrupulous and illegal enterprises. Transaction laundering has also been referred to as factoring, undisclosed aggregation, and electronic money laundering, and it occurs when an undisclosed online business uses another company’s payment credentials to process unknown transactions on behalf of the undisclosed business. Quite often, the latter is choosing to have their money go through a front organization for payment processing because this effectively anonymizes their transaction.In this blog post, we’ll discuss how transaction laundering works and what the industry is doing to combat it.How Transaction Laundering Works;Transaction launderers’ websites often appear legitimate, and may even advertise “normal” goods and services as a cover for counterfeit or illegal goods and services. Launderers’ insert themselves into the payment ecosystem through various methods, including the use of front companies which disguise criminal activity through the use of a legitimate business; pass-through companies which provide illegal businesses access to a legitimate company’s payment processing account; and funnel accounts which, like pass-through companies, allow one or more companies that are unable to obtain a merchant payment account (because they engage in illicit activity) to “funnel” transactions through a legal business. This allows those who are selling illicit goods and services a way to hide the money they obtained illegally and make it seem as if it came from a legitimate source. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

adminDecember 17, 2020djjpctLeave a Comment

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Looking Behind the Scenes of a Grucci Fireworks Show on Long Island

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York After the sun sets, turning the sky from blue to black, fireworks technicians count down to when it’s time for them to paint their celestial canvas with magnificent fiery bolts of color.Such celebratory explosions will be seen and heard across Long Island throughout Independence Day weekend. Spectators may not think about how such displays are made possible, while curious minds may envision someone lighting fireworks with a match and running away. But that is no longer how it’s done since the professional firework industry was computerized in recent years.“The technology now has given us the ability to discharge all of the fireworks with the computer system,” said Phil Grucci, president and CEO of Bellport-based Fireworks by Grucci. “Back in 1995, we eliminated all of the ignition with manual torches.”Grucci leads the sixth-generation company billed as “America First Family of Fireworks,” which has been lighting up the night skies worldwide since 1850—including dozens of nationwide shows planned this month from Las Vegas to the U.S. Virgin Islands.The fireworks executive recently gave reporters—including one from the Press—a behind-the-scenes look before a pre-Fourth of July fireworks display June 29 at Eisenhower Park, where about 12,000 people were expected in attendance. Like most of their shows, the sights and sounds could be experienced miles away from the ignition site.Long Island Fourth of July 2015 Parades and Fireworks ShowsThe technological advances don’t just make it easier for Grucci’s staff to launch fireworks, it has also made the shows more appealing to the eye. The crew—known as pyrotechnicians—sits behind a protective shelter fitted with two laptop computers that control the “mortar racks” from where the fireworks are shot.“With the computerization, it has given us the ability to synchronize and very tightly choreograph beats of music rather than sequences of time,” said Grucci. “What that means is we’re down to tenths of seconds of accuracy.”The computers can also help the pyrotechnicians start and stop the show whenever they need to adjust the program for issues that arise, such as bad weather conditions.Although it all may sound simple, the Eisenhower fireworks display took about six months of planning and included more than 2,000 devices—all for a show that lasted 23 minutes and 19 seconds.“We start in January designing, picking music, making custom products, so we can make it different each year,” said Grucci.Highlights included fireworks forming smiley faces and sunshine shells. One of the fireworks that Grucci brought back was the “Golden Flitter Split Comet,” which was first developed by Phil’s grandfather.The technological advances don’t benefit only the technicians, either. Grucci has introduced an app for Apple mobile devices that broadcasts the show’s music in perfect synchronization with the performance so spectators can better enjoy the fireworks display wherever they may be. The app can be found on their website; grucci.com Now that’s illuminating!last_img read more

adminDecember 16, 2020djjpctLeave a Comment

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Hipsters drive billion dollars worth of unit sales in inner Brisbane

first_imgInner Brisbane units attracted over a billion dollars’ worth of sales last year, the latest Place Advisory apartment report has found.HIPSTERS drove over a billion dollars’ worth of unit sales in inner Brisbane last year, latest data shows, but it was a sharp drop on the previous year’s record results.The latest Place Advisory Inner Brisbane apartment report, set for release Monday, found gross sales of new units declined to $1.304 billion as the market continued to soften.It was a 59 per cent fall from 2015’s record sales of approximately $3.194 billion.Place Advisory head Lachlan Walker saw a clear slowdown in the number of units that developers were putting to market, with 2980 apartments released over 2016 in 25 new projects, down by a third over 2015’s figure and almost half the number released during 2014’s peak.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home2 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor8 hours agoThere are currently 47 apartment projects under construction in inner Brisbane. Picture: Jack Tran/The Courier-Mail“Inner Brisbane has undergone a significant transformation. Following a record breaking 2015 which saw the highest volume of transactions on record, 2016 was a considerably tougher year.”Mr Walker attributed softer sales to election year policies, higher construction costs, changes to lending policies for both developers and purchasers plus the crackdown on foreign purchases.There were 47 apartment projects under construction in inner Brisbane last year, compared to 68 in 2015, though still up on 26 recorded in 2011.Mr Walker said there had been a significant shift “away from smaller, more affordable stock to larger apartments” with the proportion of one-bedroom-apartment sales decreasing from 52 per cent in 2011 to just 36 per cent last year. The biggest demand last year was for two-bedroom units (55 per cent), up from 38 per cent in 2011, but three bedroom stock had also made a comeback to 7 per cent after dropping to 4 per cent in 2015.The average price of inner city apartments sold last year was $606,922, a 2 per cent rise on the previous year.last_img read more

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Sale buoys penthouse after next door sells for millions

first_imgThe auction of the penthouse at 104/ 3645 Main Beach Parade, Main Beach (DeVille building). Auctioneer Dane Atherton. Picture: Jerad Williams The north facing penthouse sold under the hammer over the weekend.More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North1 hour ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa21 hours ago The winning bidder (right) celebrates with a friend. Picture: Jerad WilliamsNick McHutchison of Kollosche Prestige Agents is marketing the 103 penthouse, and said the number of influential bidders on the north-facing residence was promising.“This one is asking 20 per cent less than what the north-facing one sold for,” he said.“The owner is keen to secure a result pre-Christmas and is open to reasonable offers.” The two level penthouse is on the 26th floor. The property also features an in-wall aquarium.The three-bedroom, three-bathroom penthouse with rooftop pool is on the market for $2.99 million. Ms Jay Lim pictured enjoying the rooftop swimming pool of the De Ville apartments penthouse at Main Beach. Picture Mike BatterhamIT’S hoped the multi-million sale of a Gold Coast penthouse at auction will motivate buyers to snap up its luxury neighbour. 104 ‘De Ville’ 3645 Main Beach Parade changed hands for $3.66 million, after eight registered bidders lined up for the property. 103/3645 Main Beach Pde, Main Beach is also on the market.last_img read more

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ESG roundup: Climate change risks, Towers Watson’s ‘extreme risks’, CDP Water Report, Social Investment Research Council

first_imgHealth progress backfire Insurance crisis Depression Towers Watson Extreme Risks 2013Rank201320112009 8 11 Resource scarcity Deflation 2 Nuclear contamination Sovereign default Sovereign default Webb dismissed the idea that considering climate change falls outside trustees’ legal responsibilities, saying it reflects “too narrow” an understanding of fiduciary duty.He welcomed the Law Commission’s provisional conclusion that fiduciaries such as pension scheme trustees may take into account factors relevant to long-term investment performance, including environmental factors and wider systemic considerations.Green Light is a new multi-year initiative from ShareAction that seeks to support pension funds in becoming more climate-conscious, recognising and acting on the investment implications of climate change for savers’ best interests.A copy of the report can be found here.  Terrorism Banking crisis 6 Protectionism Depression Hyperinflation Excessive leverage Currency crisis 14 Global temperature change Banking crisis Currency crisis Currency crisis Protectionism Sovereign default Major war In other news, the 2013 CDP Global Water Report has found that a misguided approach to water-related risk management has become business as usual at the world’s largest global companies.It revealed that corporate focus is too often directed at reducing water use, which is an inadequate response to increasingly immediate substantive water risks, threatening shareholder value. The key findings of the report – entitled ‘A need for a step change in water risk management’ – are:Water presents substantial risk, threatening profitability and shareholder security, primarily in the energy, materials and consumer staples sectors. Each company in the sample faces an average of seven water-related risks, with three-quarters (70%) stating that water presents substantive risk to their business. Half have already experienced detrimental business impacts in the past five years.Water risks are increasingly immediate. The percentage of risks that companies expect to impact their business within five years (64%) has increased by 16% in the space of one year, and the majority of risks identified in direct operations (65%) and supply chains (62%) are near-term. The most widely identified near-term water risk is water stress or scarcity, followed by flooding and rising compliance costs. Declining water quality, higher water prices and reputational damage are among the other reported risks expected to impact within five years.Corporates wrongly believe water usage is the primary risk driver. One-quarter (23%) of companies do not know if water presents risk to their supply chains.CDP, formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project, is calling on investors to take a leading role in guiding companies on this issue.  Political crisis Climate change UK pensions minister Steve Webb has warned pension funds of the growing financial risks of climate change.Speaking at the launch of ’The Green Light Report: resilient scenarios in an uncertain world’ by charity ShareAction, he said: “Those who at least question the valuation of firms, question what the firms are doing to diversify and question what the firms are doing to mitigate the carbon implications of what they’re doing may well be ahead of the curve and have a competitive advantage.”He continued: “Simply upgrading our electricity infrastructure alone will require more than £100bn of capital investment between now and 2020. These sorts of issues are not marginal or niche. They’re absolutely mainstream and substantive, and some of the biggest pension funds in the land are having to grapple with them.”Ten or 15 years ago, if you’d have invested in coal-fired power stations, you would have thought we were going to need electricity forever. Here we are now, following EU-wide emissions legislation, shutting down coal-fired power stations. The people who spotted that coming years ago were ahead of the curve. There are huge opportunities in this whole agenda.” Stagnationcenter_img Insurance crisis Infrastructure failure Political crisis Climate change 7 13 Euro break-up 3 Resource scarcity* Elsewhere, Towers Watson has warned institutional investors that a food/water/energy crisis is top of the risks they should be worried about, ahead of stagnation and global temperature change.While food/water/energy crisis (previously known as resource scarcity) rose 10 places to take the top slot in the consultancy’s extreme risks ranking.Other extreme risks that have also risen up the ranking this year are global trade collapse and global temperature change, which are up four and three places, respectively.Depression loses the top spot for the first time since the research began in 2009, while sovereign default and insurance crisis have both fallen five places.Tim Hodgson, head of Towers Watson’s Thinking Ahead Group, said: “There has been a high level of turnover in the top 15 this year. This is largely due to our expanding our research into the non-financial extreme risks so we now have a full list of 30.”This illustrates the challenge facing institutional investors, of how they should actually adapt to changing assessments of extreme risks. We would suggest time should be spent on pre-mortems, which are about trying to determine in advance what could, colloquially, kill you – that is, permanently impair an investor’s mission.”According to the research, such pre-mortems should identify which extreme risks matter and which can be ignored.For the former, Towers Watson asserts that the right thing to do is to pay up for the insurance, if available and affordable, given that the prioritisation exercise has shown the investors cannot afford to self-insure.Then an investor should do the simple things: ensure the portfolio is as diversified across as many return drivers as possible, diversify within asset classes and create a strategic allocation to cash to provide optionality.Thereafter, it suggests adding long-dated derivative contracts in a contrarian manner – that is, when they are cheap rather than popular.The top 15 extreme risks now for the first time include stagnation, health progress backfire, nuclear contamination, extreme longevity and terrorism, while those that have dropped out of the top 15 this year are euro break-up, hyperinflation, political crisis, major war, end of fiat money and killer pandemic. 10 Hyperinflation Extreme longevity Killer pandemic End of capitalism 9 War Banking crisis 5 Depression End of fiat money End of fiat money Insurance crisis Disunity in Europe 12 Global trade collapse 15 Infrastructure failure 1 Killer pandemic 4 Finally, a Social Investment Research Council has been set up in the UK aiming to help advance the UK social investment market through consolidating research efforts to generate powerful and practical insights for the benefit of social sector organisations and investors.Nick O’Donohoe, chief executive at Big Society Capital, said: “The council will focus on projects with a potential to transform the social investment market, working in partnership to help understand what information is needed and ensure those needs can be met.”There is a lack of information in the market about how to deliver the right kind of investment products to attract investors, and the industry must work together to commission research to help us meet this challenge.”The council’s founding members are Big Lottery Fund, Big Society Capital, Citi, The City of London Corporation and the Cabinet Office.last_img read more

adminSeptember 29, 2020djjpctLeave a Comment

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Belgian insurer Ethias establishes multi-employer pension fund

first_img“Employers are transferring insured pension schemes to pension funds, and insurers are looking into setting up multi-employer pension funds from which to run defined contribution schemes for third-party companies given Solvency II regulation,” she told IPE. Insurers are struggling to meet guaranteed returns on pension contributions given the low-yield environment and Solvency II, leaving plan sponsors with a shortfall to make up. OFPs, like other Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision (IORPs), are not subject to harmonised capital requirements like those facing the insurance sector since January this year. Although still in the development stages, the new Ethias OFP has a board of directors and recently appointed a “delegated director”, effective 31 May. Philippe Lallemand, a member of the Ethias management committee and board of directors, was nominated to the position. Lallemand is one of six members of the board of directors of Ethias Pension Fund.The FSMA, the Belgian supervisory authority for occupational pensions, had yet to grant a licence to the Ethias Pension Fund as at 1 July 2016, according to the FSMA website. Ethias is the main insurer for Belgium’s public sector and its agents, and provides pension insurance for first and sector-pillar schemes in that sector.It is majority-owned by the Belgian state and the Walloon Region and Flemish Region.  As at the end of the first quarter, it had a total balance sheet of €18.43bn, and a Solvency II margin of 110.92%. Belgian public sector insurance company Ethias has set up a pension fund using the country’s dedicated legal vehicle for these purposes, the Organisme voor de Financiering van Pensionen (OFP).The “organisation for financing pensions”, as the Flemish term for the country’s pension fund legal form translates into English, was set up in December 2015 and is called Ethias Pension Fund.The pension fund is still in the early stages of its establishment, and a spokesperson for Ethias said the company did not wish to comment at this point of its development. Ethias’s move is part of a general trend toward providing workplace pensions via pension funds rather than insurance companies, according to Elke Duden, counsel at Linklaters.last_img read more

adminSeptember 29, 2020djjpctLeave a Comment

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Large Dutch schemes not keen on investing in energy firm Eneco

first_imgEneco itself emphasised that it was at the forefront of sustainability and energy transition due to its public stakeholders, and said that a new owner should also provide stability, have a long time horizon and be a responsible investor.It also said it wanted the new owner to invest in innovation and have assumptions for returns that match Eneco’s sustainable projects.Union FNV said a new stakeholder must be Dutch, and reminded that earlier takeovers of domestic energy firms had led to thousands of redundancies, citing the 2009 deals involving Swedish firm Vattenfall’s acquisition of Nuon and German company RWE’s purchase of Essent.The shareholders committee of Eneco also indicated that the company’s 53 council owners wanted to set sustainability requirements for a new owner.The €67bn PMT simply said it was not considering taking a stake in Eneco, while its €45bn sister scheme PME explained that it “lacked a mandate for actively searching for such deals”.ABP said that it would assess a possible share purchase against its usual criteria of risk, return, costs and sustainability.PGGM, the asset manager for PFZW, for its turn, indicated that it only passively invested in equity, and that it “would assess all interesting opportunities for private equity and infrastructure”.Its spokesman declined to be specific about Eneco. The Netherlands’ largest pension funds are not enthusiastic about taking a stake in Dutch sustainable energy company Eneco, which is currently owned by local councils.When asked by IPE’s sister publication Pensioen Pro, the metal industry schemes PMT and PME indicated that they were not interested in participating in a sale.Last week, four councils with a 60% majority – Rotterdam, The Hague, Dordrecht, and Leidschendam-Voorburg – decided to divest their stake. The sale is expected to yield between €2bn and €3bn.Eneco and connected workers’ unions, however, oppose the sale and are trying to influence the decision regarding the eventual buyer. Union CNV explicitly indicated that a “sustainable and solid stakeholder, such as the large Dutch pension funds, would be by far preferable to random foreign owners”.last_img read more

adminSeptember 29, 2020djjpctLeave a Comment

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Gazprom: TurkStream offshore section complete

first_imgRussian giant Gazprom said the construction of the offshore section of the TurkStream gas pipeline in the Black Sea has been completed by the pipelaying vessel Pioneering Spirit. “Construction of TurkStream – a new gas pipeline connecting Russia and Turkey via the Black Sea – is entering its final stage. The work is well ahead of schedule: the offshore section of the gas pipeline was completed as early as today instead of in December as planned earlier,” Gazprom’s head Alexey Miller said.He added that in late 2019, the gas pipeline will be brought into operation.TurkStream gas pipeline stretches across the Black Sea from Russia to Turkey and further to Turkey’s border with neighboring countries. The first string of TurkStream is intended for Turkish consumers, while the second string will deliver gas to southern and southeastern Europe.Each string will have the throughput capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters of gas per year.South Stream Transport is responsible for the construction of the gas pipeline’s offshore section, while the construction contractor for both strings of the TurkStream gas pipeline’s offshore section is Allseas Group, that owns the Pioneering Spirit vessel.In Russia, a landfall has been built near the town of Anapa and the ongoing start-up operations will be finished in 2018. In Turkey, a receiving terminal is being constructed near the settlement of Kiyikoy.last_img read more

adminSeptember 28, 2020djjpctLeave a Comment

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Gov’t troops overrun NPA lair in NegOcc

first_imgBY DOMINIQUE GABRIEL BAÑAGA BACOLOD City – Soldiers of the Philippine Army’s 15th Infantry Battalion (15IB) overrun a lair of New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Barangay Camindangan, Sipalay City, Negros Occidental. Lieutenant Colonel Erwin Cariño, commanding of 15IB, said his troops were conducting patrol operations in the village on Tuesday when they encountered around 20 NPA fighters. A 15-minute gun battle ensued before the members of NPA’s South West Front Platoon 2, Sentro de Grabidad backed away, according to Cariño. Cariño commended the locals for giving them information about the NPA’s presence in the area, adding their cooperation is a clear manifestation of growing mass resistance against the rebels. “We will continue to conduct focused military operations, and with the support of the locals in the area, more NPA lairs are expected to be seized and cleared in the coming days,” he added./PN Cariño said they didn’t suffer any casualties in the fight, adding the insurgent group’s lair can accommodate at least 60 individuals.They recovered from the hideout an improvised explosive device, a generator set, electrical wires, a pair of binoculars, a blood pressure apparatus, and a computer printer. Other items found included subversive documents, teach-in materials, office supplies, a map of Negros Island, containers of gasoline, personal items, foodstuff, and cooking utensils.Troops recovered improvised explosive devices, a generator set, binoculars, medical kits, assorted office supplies, food and cooking supplies, and the insurgents’ personal belongings which include several subversive documents.last_img read more

adminSeptember 25, 2020djjpctLeave a Comment

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