New York — The 29th Cuba Friendshipment Caravan kicked off here on June 16 at the Bronx Art Space. Energized by a greeting from Cuba’s U.N. ambassador, Anayansi Rodríguez Camejo and a 30-minute video about U.S. students at Cuba’s Latin American School of Medicine, the gathering generously contributed nearly $2,000 to continue the work of the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization. “Tear down walls and build bridges” is the caravan’s 2018 theme.Continuing its challenge to the U.S. ban on travel to Cuba, Pastors for Peace will fly to the historic heart of the Cuban Revolution, the southeastern city of Santiago. But first it will carry out a 10-day blitz of informational and fundraising meetings in 40 cities across the U.S., from June 22 to July1. For a meeting in your area, see ifconews.org/2018-caravan-map-and-events.In Cuba, the caravanistas plan to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the July 26, 1953, attack on former dictator Fulgencio Batista’s Moncada Barracks. They will pay respects to Fidel Castro, the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, at his final resting place in Santa Ifigenia Cemetery, as well as visit the town of Caimanera in Guantánamo Province, near the U.S.-occupied naval base and infamous torture prison. June 10 marked the 120th anniversary of the illegal U.S. military occupation of Guantánamo.IFCO calls for the base to be closed and the land returned to its rightful owner, an end to all restrictions on U.S. travel to Cuba, and the complete lifting of the unilateral U.S. economic, commercial and financial blockade of Cuba, along with its regime-change programs.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare this
Specialist Chinese manager China Post Global has launched a smart beta exchange-traded fund (ETF) focused on the burgeoning A-shares market.The fund follows a “minimum variance” index, created in partnership with index provider Stoxx, that selects securities based on volatility and trading volume.Danny Dolan, managing director at China Post Global in the UK, said appetite for Chinese exposure was “being held back by concerns about higher volatility”.“The minimum variance approach works to address these volatility concerns while maintaining sufficient liquidity, aiming to give investors access to higher risk-adjusted returns in the medium and long term,” he said. The Market Access Stoxx China A Minimum Variance Index UCITS ETF is listed on UK, Swiss and German exchanges, as well as on the China Europe International Exchange in Frankfurt.It is registered for sale in the UK, Austria, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland.LGIM expands multi-asset ESG rangeLegal & General Investment Management (LGIM) has launched a multi-asset fund designed specifically for UK defined contribution (DC) schemes.The Future World Multi-Asset Fund forms part of a range of institutional funds that includes the Future World Fund launched in 2016 in partnership with the HSBC Bank UK Pension Scheme. It also includes the Legal & General Future World Gender in Leadership UK Index Fund, launched last month.The new strategy consists predominantly of ESG indices, a number of which have been launched this month in partnership with index provider Solactive. These indices offer exposure to equity markets in various regions of the developed world, as well as euro-, dollar- and sterling-denominated investment grade corporate bonds.Emma Douglas, head of DC at LGIM, said: “We’ve seen a marked change in attitudes from savers who want to use their pension to help create the future they want to retire in and research has shown that 85% of millennials would like their future investments to reflect their social and environmental values.”Timo Pfeiffer, head of research at Solactive, added: “With increasing focus from investors and regulators alike, sustainability is becoming the rule, rather than the exception.”
MIDDLETOWN – They may have raised the necessary money to sustain Mater Dei Prep for another year but it is only one of the hurdles going forward for supporters of the struggling Roman Catholic high school.The next step is to establish Mater Dei Prep as an independent Catholic school, like Christian Brothers Academy, Lincroft. Mater Dei Prep currently functions as a parish school overseen by the Diocese of Trenton, according to a committee member.But before that can happen, the school must submit the required paperwork to the state Department of Education, have the appropriate insurance and apply and receive approval from the municipality, along with meeting other administrative requirements and ultimately receiving approval from the Diocese of Trenton.That requires volunteers working with the campaign to establish a separate legal entity, a state registered not-forprofit corporation that will be used as an endowment to administer the donated funding. In the future, supporters hope that endowment will have a role akin to an independent educational foundation, continuing fundraising and assisting in purchasing equipment, helping pay for capital improvements as well as other services, accordingto a committee member who is not authorized to speak for the committee.The school representatives will have to meet with Bishop David M. O’Connell and others from the Diocese of Trenton to discuss the school’s plan for its future. However, no date has yet been set.Repeated calls to the diocese seeking comment on the process going for ward were not returned; nor were calls to the Rev. Jeff Kegley, the school’s executive director and St. Mar y’s Parish pastor, and principal Craig Palmer.The school is accepting registration for the coming year and all the grade levels are scheduling for the 2015-16 year, said the committee member.“We’re doing everything we feel is necessary to open Mater Dei Prep’s doors in September,” Jim Shaw said in an email last week. “We are fully committed to the success of Mater Dei Prep and based on our conversations with current and prospective families, we believe the entire MDP community is as positive as we are.”In simple terms, explained Elizabeth Wulfhorst, public relations chairperson for the Seraph’s Fund, “We’re moving from surviving to thriving.”On Feb. 3, Kegley announced that Mater Dei Prep, which was celebrating its 50th anniversary, would have to permanently close its doors this June due to a longstanding budget deficit, unstable enrollment and the announcement late last year that the diocese would discontinue its financial support.Suppor ters, made up of families of current and former students and alumni, rallied, working to raise the money to sustain the school for the coming year and working on an extended plan for the school’s continued viability.The $1 million number was announced as the needed target to continue operations for 2015-16 and to provide the financial groundwork for the future years.— By John Burton
Perry said when the meeting’s discussion turned to a proposed regional shared service agreement he was immediately intrigued, but admits pulling it off could take some effort, especially when Middletown stands to shoulder a great deal of the operational burden. “What we’re looking to see is if, as employees retire, instead of replacing completely, can the three of us share the costs of bringing in someone new to oversee all of our operations,” Gonzales said. “These are the types of things that will save taxpayers and the towns money. And it aligns with what the state is looking to do.” Perry views the new town hall construction as a possible centerpiece for this regional shared service accord and called it a potential resource for the entire Bayshore community. “We don’t need the state to tell us that shared services are the way to go. We’ve all been doing that already,” Middletown Mayor Tony Perry said. “Reducing duplication and allowing for cost savings to occur is our responsibility.” “We used to use a database so we can seeif Joe Smith had been arrested previously inother municipalities. There is other softwarein use today, but it proves how useful regionalservices can be.” According to Middletown Township administrator Tony Mercantante, the investigation could go out to bid in July. Bayshore area towns share a similar geography and comparable maintenance obstacles. That has some municipal officials pondering the benefits of a regional shared service agreement. “There’s absolutely a benefit to shared services in general, let alone regional collaboration. We would not be doing our job if we didn’t consider it. Fiscal responsibility lies with all of us,” Hubeny said. “Right now, if we want to do work with Union Beach or Hazlet, we can’t, because we don’t have an agreement in place and there is a process we would need to go through,” Gonzales said. “With a joint agreement in place, any town in the Bayshore region could opt in if they wanted to.” County and municipal government reform and the use of additional shared services is a pillar of the state Legislature’s Path to Progress, a bipartisan plan to rescue New Jersey from what Senate President Steve Sweeney called a “fiscal crisis.” In addition to expanding interlocal shared services, Path to Progress calls for pension and benefit reform, leveraging assets to stabilize the pension system, education reform at the administrative level – including the concept of regional districts to create fewer administrative-level employees – and reworking the state and municipal tax structure. According to Gonzales, Highlands is currently using free DCA services for an audit of each of the borough’s municipal departments to determine if future personnel sharing is an option with the neighboring boroughs of Atlantic Highlands and Sea Bright. Last week Middletown broke ground at the future site of its new town hall complex, a 72,000-square-foot facility that will place all municipal operations, including the police department and court services, under one roof. Some think it could work, and one borough administrator says she’s already taking the steps to test the viability. Hubeny said his borough currently works with neighboring Highlands for mechanic work on municipal vehicles, as well as courtroom services. Another agreement is in place for Middletown to handle the borough’s brush and leaf collections. Earlier this month, Middletown announced its plans to investigate the Bayshore’s main thoroughfare, Route 36, as an area in need of redevelopment. The investigation will study about five miles of highway from the border of Keansburg at Palmer Avenue to the intersection of Leonardville Road and Route 36 near Atlantic Highlands. The goal is to create mechanisms that will entice developers to work with tricky properties that remain undeveloped, underutilized or abandoned. “A lot of towns are leaning on Middletown and it’s because of our size and resources. But there’s benefits to us. One of the reasons we’re building the new town hall is because of the potential it creates to expand our shared services. I already see the potential court sharing, which already happens a lot in the Two River area. The more we share, the more we can reduce taxes for residents,” Perry said. Though the investigation is limited to Middletown properties, better collaboration and a pooling of resources could lead to similar research and development in other Route 36 municipalities. Since the meeting, which occurred in May and included representatives of Aberdeen, Atlantic Highlands, Hazlet, Holmdel, Keansburg, Keyport, Matawan and Middletown, Gonzales said she has had preliminary discussions with the New Jersey Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) to lay the groundwork for an eventual feasibility study. Atlantic Highlands Borough administrator Adam Hubeny is a former police officer who said he’s witnessed the fruits of similar collaborative efforts at the technological level. During a recent monthly meeting of the Bayshore mayors the topic was broached and approximately “90 to 95 percent” of the municipalities in attendance expressed interest in striking such an accord, said Highlands Borough administrator Kim Gonzales. “We investigate every shared service and sometimes proposals don’t get implemented because we don’t see enough of a benefit for the town. For this to work each governing body is going to have to weigh in on what they can bring to the table, Middletown included, and compare it to what they’re getting back. It will be a process, but it’s possible,” Perry said. But a regional agreement could expandthe benefits. The Bayshore mayors are due to meet again Friday, June 28.
ARCADIA, Calif. (May 25, 2016)–A runaway 16 ¼ length first-out maiden winner at 6 ½ furlongs on April 10, Nick Alexander’s homebred Enola Gray heads a field of six California-bred or sired 3-year-old fillies in Saturday’s $200,000 Melair Stakes at 1 1/16 miles.Originally run at Hollywood Park in 1996, the Melair was taken last year by trainer Phil D’Amato’s Sheer Pleasure and will be run for the third consecutive year at Santa Anita on Saturday. HACKTIVISM: Owned and bred by Reddam Racing, LLC, this Square Eddie filly clipped heels late and was placed fifth, beaten 3 ¼ lengths, in Golden Gate’s Campanile Stakes May 1. A maiden winner at a mile on turf here two starts back on March 10, Hacktivisim has run three good races on turf, but it remains to be seen if she can be effective on dirt, as she was well beaten going six furlongs on the main track in her debut here on Jan. 2. Hacktivism, who is out of the Irish-bred mare Prima Creatura, will make her fifth career start in the Melair.THE $200,000 MELAIR STAKES IN POST POSITION ORDER WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS Race 4 (of 11) Approximate post time 3:30 p.m. PDT SHY CARMELITA: D’Amato’s second entrant, she is also owned and bred by Alexander and is by Grazen, from the Malek mare Malley Girl. A first-out maiden winner at six furlongs Jan. 30, she comes off 4 ¼ first condition allowance win here going six furlongs on May 7. Shy Carmelita, who has shown she can press the pace or come from behind in four sprints, will try two turns for the first time in the Melair. MELAIR IS ONE OF FIVE CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH DAY STAKES FOR HORSES BRED OR SIRED IN CALIFORNIA ENOLA GRAY: Trained by Phil D’Amato, Enola Gray is by the Alexander-owned Grazen and is out of his More Than Ready mare, Unsung Heroine. Off at 4-1, she demolished eight rivals with a front-running blitz under Tyler Baze in her debut and will likely employ similar tactics as she stretches out in the Melair. First post time on Saturday is at 2 p.m. Admission gates will open at 11:30 a.m. For scratches, late changes and complete morning line information, please visit santaanita.com. ALLSQUARE: A chestnut filly by Square Eddie out of the Decarchy mare, Showtime Apollo, Allsquare, who was bred by D’Amato, is his third entrant in the race. A game maiden winner going a flat mile on turf here two starts back on March 31, she disappointed as the 5-2 favorite in the mile turf Campanile, finishing seventh, beaten four lengths by Cheekaboo. CHEEKABOO: Trained by Peter Eurton, this chestnut filly by Unusual Heat from the Souvenir Copy mare Sandy Cheeks comes off a come from behind win going one mile on turf in state-bred Campanile Stakes at Golden Gate Fields on May 1. Owned by Sharon Alesia, Mike Burns and Joseph Ciaglia Racing, LLC, Cheekaboo broke her maiden coming from off the pace on dirt here four starts back on Jan. 10. With Enola Gray in the lineup, there figures to be a solid early pace and if good enough, Cheekaboo will hope to be flying late. Her overall mark stands at 6-2-2-1, with earnings of $137,680. Enola Gray–Tyler Baze–120Allsquare–Joe Talamo–120Cheekaboo–Rafael Bejarano–124Hacktivism–Mario Gutierrez–120The Spiral Jetter–Santiago Gonzalez–120Shy Carmelita–Martin Garcia–122 THE SPIRAL JETTER: Originally fourth, beaten two lengths by Cheekaboo, this Andy Mathis-trained filly by Don’tsellmeshort, out of the Renteria mare Early Arriver, was placed third in the Campanile Stakes and will try natural dirt for the first time in the Melair. A 2 ½ length open maiden special weight winner going a flat mile on synthetic Tapeta at Golden Gate three starts back on Feb. 7, The Spiral Jetter, who is 5-1-2-1, has been ridden in all five Golden Gate starts by Julien Couton, but will be handled for the first time by Santiago Gonzalez on Saturday.
Zimbabwe’s rugby players were forced to sleep on the street in Tunisia just a few days before their World Cup qualifier this weekend after facing issues with their accommodation.Zimbabwe are in Tunisia for a Gold Cup match against the North African nation in Monastir on Saturday. This match serves as a qualifier for next year’s rugby World Cup in Japan.However, social media went abuzz with images of the players sleeping on the street outside their allocated hotel.It was known that the players did not check in the hotel because they found it substandard. On the other hand, Zimbabwe players have also not been paid their meal allowance for a World Cup qualifier trip and it is their South African coach Peter de Villiers who is funding their food and drink.Zimbabwe national rugby team forced to sleep on the streets of Tunisia… @WorldRugby pic.twitter.com/MGcug87P0lBrian Mujati (@MujatiBrewing) July 3, 2018Rugby Africa and the Tunisia Rugby Union (TRU) apologised to Zimbabwe and their players because of the trouble they had to face.”We would like to reassure the Zimbabwean Ministry of Sports, Zimbabwe Rugby Union, and all partners and fans that the situation was addressed immediately, and an acceptable solution has been found this morning,” Rugby Africa said in a statement on Tuesday.”Tunisia Rugby Union took the Sables (Zimbabwe) management to visit another hotel which was accepted,” Rugby Africa said in a statement on Tuesday.”Rugby Africa and Tunisia Rugby Union would like to express their sincere apologies to the Sables team and management for this unfortunate situation,” it added.advertisementKhaled Babbou, an executive member of both TRU and Rugby Africa, said there was no intention to disrupt Zimbabwe’s preparations for the match.”I can assure you that there was absolutely no intention to destabilise our opponents and we will make every possible effort to ensure they have a good preparation ahead of Saturday’s match,” Babbou was quoted as saying by South Africa’s News24.Zimbabwe loose-forward Takudzwa Mandiwanza said the issues started ahead of the team’s previous match, a 45-36 loss to Kenya in Nairobi last weekend.”We have not been paid our daily allowances for our duration in Kenya, including our match fees that we did not receive. Now we’re in Tunisia, we were detained at the airport for close to six hours, with no allowances given to us,” he told Zimbabwean radio station Capitalk FM, adding De Villiers had paid for the players to eat.”We’d be hungry right now. The situation is very frustrating and disheartening,” he added.There was no immediate comment from the Zimbabwe rugby authorities.Namibia currently head the Gold Cup standings with a full haul of 15 points from three matches, including an 118-0 victory over Tunisia. Zimbabwe have a draw and a defeat from their two matches.Only the top team advances automatically to the World Cup, with the second-placed side entering a play-off.(With Reuters inputs)
TORONTO – Toronto police have laid more charges in an investigation into allegations of sex assault at an all-boys’ private school in Toronto.They say five youth have now been charged in connection with an alleged sexual assault. They are facing sex assault and assault charges for an incident at the school that was caught on video. Four of them are already accused in a separate incident at St. Michael’s College School.READ MORE: How the St. Michael’s College School sex assault scandal unfoldedPolice say they have investigated eight separate incidents at the school so far, and they don’t expect further charges. However, a seventh teen has been arrested in connection with incidents at the school. The boy, 15, reportedly turned himself into police. According to police all of the incidents allegedly took place in the fall of this year.READ MORE: 7th St. Michael’s student arrested: reportsIn mid-November, St. Michael’s College School’s administration said it received a video of an assault that took place in a boy’s washroom at the school. CityNews has viewed the video and it shows an underwear-clad teen being slapped and splashed with water by several boys. Another video of a separate incident shows a group sexual assault in a school locker room that involved a broomstick.Two top school officials resigned in wake of the scandal. The school’s principal Greg Reeves and board president Jefferson Thompson both resigned. St. Michael’s has since established a “respect and culture” review panel that’s set to report its findings by the summer. READ MORE: St. Mike’s principal, board president resign amid student sex assault scandalREAD MORE: Exploring the power dynamics in locker rooms