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Fifteen Wilderness Hikes You’ve Never Heard Of

first_imgWilderness, with a capital “W,” is the most comprehensive and permanent form of environmental protection available, reserved for only the finest examples of North American forests. For hikers and backpackers, the Wilderness designation serves as a stamp of approval, an indicator that what lies within those federally designated borders is pristine and primal. According to the Wilderness Act, these few remaining forests are places where “the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man.” As humans trammel more and more of the planet, Wilderness areas have never been more important—both scientifically and spiritually. They are also some of the most popular destinations for recreation, particularly here in the heavily developed Southeast, where ecosystems of such pristine character are especially rare.♦“Once you call a place Wilderness, it becomes a destination that everyone wants to visit,” says Jim Murray, president of the Virginia Wilderness Coalition, which played an integral role in helping pass the Virginia Ridge and Valley Act. “We all want to go into the woods and find solitude and nature as it was intended.”Wayne Jenkins, executive director of the Georgia Forest Watch, thinks the attraction that we have for Wilderness is in our DNA. “We have this built-in desire for finding solitude and exploring nature at its most primal and rugged edge. You see it played out every weekend in North Georgia. We’re all trying to get away from each other, flooding the highways that lead into the Chattahoochee National Forest.”The Chattahoochee National Forest is home to the Cohutta Wilderness, a victim of the ironic twist that pits so many people in search of such pristine isolation. The Cohutta is one of the most heavily used Wilderness areas in the country. Overuse is such an issue that the U.S. Forest Service banned overnight use near Jacks River Falls, a popular 50-foot waterfall in the heart of the Wilderness.The Cohutta isn’t the only overused Wilderness area in the Southeast. Shining Rock Wilderness in Western North Carolina receives more than its share of hikers, thanks in part to its astonishing scenic beauty. In Virginia, hoards of hikers flock to the Saint Mary’s Wilderness swimming holes, which look more like crowded swimming pools on summer weekends. And the views from atop of the Dolly Sods Wilderness in West Virginia have become a must-see destination for the masses.“The only answer to the paradox we’re experiencing is to have enough places designated as Wilderness so that no one place gets overused,” Murray says. “Luckily, there are still plenty of places worth designating.”To help disperse recreation within Southeastern Wilderness areas, use the following guide to find alternatives to the South’s most popular Wilderness hikes. These trails offer similar scenic beauty, unparalleled backcountry experiences, and only a fraction of the crowds.—Jacks River Trail (Georgia)Cohutta Wilderness, Chattahoochee National ForestThis hike follows the pristine Jacks River for 16 miles, forcing hikers to cross the creek a record 40 times. Along the way, you pass Jacks River Falls, a 50-foot waterfall complete with rock jumps, swimming holes, and big crowds. Jacks River is one of the most popular trails in the entire national forest.Iron Mountain Trail (Georgia)Cohutta Ranger District, Chattahoochee National ForestIron Mountain sits just outside the designated borders of the Cohutta Wilderness, towards the Tennessee border, but it traverses terrain similar to what’s found inside the Wilderness with none of the crowds. The irony here is that you’ll actually get more of a backcountry experience by stepping out of the Wilderness onto the Iron Mountain. Along the trail’s four-mile journey, you’ll cross the deep Conasauga River, pass through wildlife clearings, and have expansive views of the Cohutta Mountains from a ridgetop section. Hook it up with the Conasauga River Trail for a 12-mile loop that includes even more river crossings.Jack’s River is famous for the plunge swimmers take over the falls by the same name. You won’t find a waterfall jump to equal the Jacks River Falls on this alternate hike, but most of the river crossings on the Conasauga are near pools deep enough to swim in. And you won’t have to share your swimming hole with the crowds that swarm Jacks River Falls.Appalachian Trail side trip through the Laurel Fork Gorge (Tennessee)Pond Mountain Wilderness, Cherokee National ForestThis short stretch of the old A.T. near Watauga Lake cuts through the heart of the scenic Laurel Fork Gorge leading to Laurel Falls, a 50-foot tall, picturesque waterfall.Grassy Branch Trail (Tennessee)Citico Creek Wilderness, Cherokee National ForestCitico Creek is the largest Wilderness area in Tennesee, stretching 16,226 acres across the southeastern corner of the state where it connects with the Joyce Kilmer/Slickrock Wilderness in North Carolina. The remote Wilderness receives a fraction of the visitors that Pond Mountain receives, so you’ll likely have the Grassy Branch Trail to yourself. Try to count how many times you cross the creek on this 3.2-mile hike. If you’re not too soggy, continue on the South Fork Citico Creek Trail, which follows the creek deeper into the heart of the Wilderness, passing old growth trees and stellar campsites.Still looking for the quintessential waterfall experience that the Laurel Fork Gorge presents? Head over to Falls Branch Falls inside the Citico Creek Wilderness. It’s a picturesque 60-footer that cascades over a slick granite gorge wall. The difficult two-mile hike on Falls Branch Trail keeps most visitors out, so you’re likely to have the falls and the 150 acres of potential old growth hemlocks and tulip poplars to yourself. The Art Loeb Trail (North Carolina)Shining Rock Wilderness, Pisgah National ForestThis 32-mile trail has been the darling of the national magazines during the last few years, and it’s received the bump in users to prove it. Hikers are particularly fond of the short stretch that crosses Black Balsam before dipping into the Wilderness area near the Blue Ridge Parkway. From the top of Black Balsam, you feel as if you can see all of the Southern Appalachians.Green Mountain Trail (North Carolina)Middle Prong Wilderness, Pisgah National ForestThe Middle Prong was designated as Wilderness partly to relieve some of the hiker traffic that neighboring Shining Rock received. It doesn’t seem to have worked. The smaller, slightly more remote Middle Prong is relatively ignored compared to its more famous neighbor. Hike the six-mile Green Mountain trail for a taste of what you’ve been missing. The hike summits Green Knob, a 5,900-footer complete with a grassy ridge and views of Sam’s Knob, Black Balsam, and the rest of the Shining Rock Highlands. The trail is unmarked and faintly traveled so pay attention as you cross the open grassy meadows on your way to the summit. Along the way, you’ll ford creeks, pass seasonal waterfalls, duck through rhodo tunnels, and get stuck in high elevation peat bogs. And from the summit of Green Knob, you might even be able to see all the hikers and cars parked at Black Balsam.Shining Rock Wilderness is famous for its 6,000 footers, but the 5,900-foot Green Knob offers comparable views. Just think, if Green Knob were 100 feet taller, it might receive the hordes of hikers that nearby Black Balsam gets.The Red Creek Trail (West Virginia) runs through the heart of the Dolly Sods Wilderness, an area defined by its rocky plains with big vistas. Hikers get to ford Red Creek twice on this particularly rocky hike which leads you through high elevation forests more indicative of Canadian ecosystems.Canyon Rim Trail (West Virginia)Roaring Plains West WildernessTechnically, this is a user created trail that’s unofficially been adopted into the Roaring Plains West trail system. And it’s a good thing. Canyon Rim follows the edge of a one-mile wide, 2,000-foot deep gorge that runs for three miles in the West Virginia high country. The trail is faint and only marked by rock cairns, which you’ll have to consciously locate as you hike through boulder fields with some of the best views in the Mountain State. You’ll get the grassy meadows with big views, wild spruce shaped by the wind, high elevation bogs, and views all the way to Seneca Rocks.Roaring Plains is one of the newest additions to West Virginia’s Wilderness stock, and officially became protected as Wilderness when Obama signed the Wild Monongahela Act (part of the Omnibus Public Land Bill) on March 30, 2009. It consists of one of the highest plateaus in the Eastern U.S. The Plains is surrounded by popular recreation areas like Seneca Rocks, Spruce Knob, Dolly Sods, and Canaan Valley.Saint Mary’s River Trail (Virginia)Saint Mary’s Wilderness, George Washington National ForestThis short hike close to the Blue Ridge Parkway follows the Saint Mary’s River and its series of waterfalls, most of which come complete with swimming holes. The hike has become a popular escape during the hottest months of summer.Rowland’s Creek Falls and Jerry’s Creek Trail (Virginia)Seng National Scenic Area, Jefferson National ForestWhat’s a National Scenic Area? It’s the compromise that some Wilderness advocates in Virginia have spearheaded in order to bring mountain bikers into the Wilderness fold. The NSA gives an area many of the same protections that Wilderness affords, but allows for mountain biking on select trails. The Seng National Scenic Area will permanently protect 5,192 acres, while allowing mountain bikers to continue to enjoy the 12-mile Rowland’s Creek-Jerry’s Creek loop. As a hiker, you’ll also dig this route, which allows you to rock hop through Jerry’s Creek and scramble to the base of the 50-foot Rowland’s Creek Falls. Jerry’s Creek and Rowland’s Creek may not offer the collection of swimming holes that Saint Mary’s boasts, but the creeks are as pristine as you can find in the Southern Appalachians, and wild brook trout hide in shady corners. Bonus: The loop hike will also take you past 216 acres of possible old growth forest.Old is the new NewThere’s nothing “new” about the chunks of Virginia and West Virginia mountains that were recently designated Wilderness in the Omnibus Public Lands Bill—in fact, the ancient character of the forests contributed to their overall Wilderness qualifications. But the federal designations are new, and there’s something about freshly minted Wilderness that gets hikers excited.“When an area gets a capital ‘W,’ people get excited about exploring some of these places that they never would have heard of unless they were federally protected as Wilderness,” says Mike Costello, executive director of the West Virginia Wilderness Coalition.Here’s a look at the stellar recreation that awaits the intrepid explorer in some of the newly designated Wilderness areas in Virginia and West Virginia.West VirginiaBig Draft Wilderness, Monongahela National Forest (West Virginia)This 5,242-acre tract of forest has been a popular hiking destination for locals of Lewisburg and White Sulphur Springs for years. Big Draft sits between the Blue Bend Recreation Area and the Greenbrier River, making it one of the most accessible Wilderness areas in the Mon. Check out the Anthony Creek Trail, which follows the river of the same name for four miles, providing access to the creek’s many swimming holes. Boaters also take note: Anthony Creek provides five miles of class I-III whitewater through the heart of the new Wilderness Area.Spice Run Wilderness, Monongahela National ForestYou want solitude? How about a 7,000-acre chunk of steep forest that requires fording the Greenbrier River to access? The Spice Run is now one of the most remote Wilderness areas in the Monongahela, sandwiched by the Greenbrier River, Calvin Price State Forest, and mountainous private land. There are no designated trails within the new Wilderness, so bushwhacking and orienteering are a must if you want to explore Spice Run.“This is where you go if you want that true, rugged backcountry experience that you can’t always find on designated trails,” says Mike Costello, executive director of the West Virginia Wilderness Coalition.There’s an old dirt road along the ridge that separates the new Wilderness area from Calvin Price State Forest, and another that climbs Slab Camp Mountain, the highest point within the Wilderness. Besides these two un-maintained grades, Spice Run is a blank canvas.Cranberry Wilderness Expansion, Monongahela National ForestRepresenting the largest chunk of new Wilderness to be designated in the Wild Monongahela Act, the Cranberry Expansion adds 12,000 acres to the already sizable Cranberry Wilderness. With the new acreage factored in, the Cranberry is now the third largest Wilderness area east of the Mississippi. The expansion beefs up the Cranberry’s western flank, and is dissected by half a dozen mountain streams. For a trip that runs through the “old” Cranberry and “new” Cranberry, hike the 22-mile North-South Trail, which crosses the Wilderness area on high ridges, connecting the Cranberry and Tea Creek Campgrounds.VirginiaStone Mountain Wilderness, Jefferson National ForestThe 3,270-acre Stone Mountain Wilderness might be small in size, but it pays off big in dividends. This block of the Jefferson is considered to be the “least disturbed tract of forest in Southwest Virginia” by Wilderness researchers and offers a couple of rugged trails and 100 acres of potential old growth oak, maple, and 300-year-old eastern hemlocks. The 14.2-mile Stone Mountain Trail climbs the crest of Stone Mountain largely without the aid of switchbacks. The trail is steep, the footing is rugged, and the views from the ridge top stretch into Kentucky. You’ll also pass massive boulders and vertical cliff faces. If it’s hot, take the side trip to Keokee Lake, a secluded 92-acre lake that sits just outside the Wilderness border.Raccoon Branch Wilderness, Mount Rogers National Recreation AreaDickey Creek is a trout stream running along the southern border of the newly designated Wilderness. The terrain climbs up the slope of the long Dickey Ridge, which peaks at 4,000 feet along a four-mile section of the Appalachian Trail. The area receives the heaviest traffic from A.T. hikers and equestrians using the Virginia Highlands Horse Trail, which runs through the heart of the new Wilderness area. But step off of these two thoroughfares and you’ll get a taste of the solitude Wilderness affords. Check out Dickey Knob Trail, which starts at the confluence of Dickey Creek and Raccoon Branch and climbs 2.5 miles to the 3,649-foot Dickey Knob (former site of a fire tower) which has views of the Rye Valley to the north. And the long forgotten and much overgrown Scott Branch Trail in the southeastern section of the Wilderness probably offers the best chance for solitude. This 1.5-mile trail doesn’t even show up on most maps of the area.last_img read more

Long Island Snow Storm to Bring 8 Inches, Flooding

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York More snow is coming to Long Island.Four-to-8 inches of snow forecast to blanket Long Island on Thursday is expected to disrupt school, business and travel, possibly causing power outrages the day before Valentine’s Day and President’s Day weekend.The National Weather Service upgraded a winter storm watch to a winter storm warning from midnight Thursday to 6 a.m. Friday. The agency also issued a high surf advisory from 1 p.m. Thursday to 6 p.m. Friday and warned of coastal flooding between 5 p.m. Thursday and 1 a.m. Friday.“Snow will develop late tonight…and will mix with sleet and rain Thursday morning,” meteorologists in the agency’s Upton office said in a statement. “A complete changeover to rain is likely during the day…before changing back to snow Thursday night.”The changeover is forecast to come when subfreezing temperatures overnight warm up to the high 30s during the day. The snow will resume when the temps drop back into the 20s overnight.Northeast winds of 20-to-30 mph with gusts up to 45 mph are expected to reduce visibility to as low as ¼ mile during the worst of the storm, which combined with slippery roadways will make for treacherous driving conditions.Accumulation is likely to be lighter on the South Fork, but the heavy, wet snow is expected to collapse roofs and down tree branches, in turn causing power outages.Six-to-10-foot Atlantic Ocean waves are expected to cause minor barrier beach erosion and flooding in bay-front communities on the south and north shores since the full moon Friday, traditionally called the snow moon, will cause tides astronomically two-feet higher than usual.Once the storm breaks, the forecast for Valentine’s Day on Friday is partly sunny with temps in the 30s and a slight change of snow overnight into Saturday. Mostly sunny skies return Sunday into President’s Day on Monday.The Long Island Rail Road run special train cars modified to put antifreeze on third rails to keep them clear of ice. The LIRR also called in hundreds of extra personnel who will keep platforms at their nearly 250 stations clear of snow.PSEG Long Island officials said that snow usually isn’t an issue for utilities, but the possibility of sleet, ice and strong wind gusts can increase the likelihood of downed wires.last_img read more

4 easy ways to measure an employee’s performance

first_imgUnless an employee’s job is to sweep the floors, it can sometimes be tough to immediately gauge their performance. If you’ve been in this situation before, here are four things you can look for when measuring an employee’s performance.Quality: Take a good look at your employee’s work. Are there any obvious red flags? Are they delivering a finished product that is what you expected? If they’re consistently delivering what’s asked of them, that’s something to be proud of.Execution: A well done project is worthless if it’s not done on time. How is the employee prioritizing their tasks? Are they finishing the right jobs in the right order? If a good employee is having trouble sorting out tasks, that may be easily remedied with a short conversation.Improvement: Nobody is perfect. When evaluating, don’t seek perfection but look to see that employees are striving towards it. Reward those employees that are improving every day (or week, month, year, etc…). Your best employees will be those that make the effort to constantly improve themselves and become better at what they doAttitude: Some employees may do decent work, but might also have issues in the workplace that can be detrimental to the team mojo. When meeting with supervisors, find out if there are any “bad seeds,” and ask employees if there’s anything in the workplace that bothers them. If someone is bringing the team down, it may be best to remove them. 29SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,John Pettit John Pettit is the Managing Editor for John manages the content on the site, including current news, editorial, press releases, jobs and events. He keeps the credit union … Web: Detailslast_img read more

Pew report urges limiting antimicrobial use in animals

first_imgMay 6, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – After a 2-year study of the effects of large-scale farm animal production, a panel of experts has called for phasing out the nontherapeutic use of antimicrobials in farm animals in order to maintain the effectiveness of antibiotics in humans.The 100-page report by the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production says industrialized animal production often poses unacceptable risks to public health, the environment, and animal welfare.The document, titled “Putting Meat on the Table: Industrial Farm Animal Production in America,” says limiting the use of antimicrobials in animals for reasons other than treating illness is necessary to reduce the risk of microbial resistance to medically important antibiotics. The panel also calls for increased monitoring and veterinary oversight of antimicrobial use in food animals, a disease-monitoring program to permit 48-hour traceback of each food animal’s history, and creation of a federal “Food Safety Administration,” among other steps.”The present system of producing food animals in the United States is not sustainable and presents an unacceptable level of risk to public health and damage to the environment, as well as unnecessary harm to the animals we raise for food,” writes John W. Carlin, chair of the commission and former governor of Kansas, in the introduction to the report.The study, which began in 2006, was funded by a grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The 15 authors of the report include experts in public policy, veterinary medicine, public health, agriculture, animal welfare, the food industry, and rural sociology.In conducting the study, the commission visited production facilities; held two public hearings; consulted with industry stakeholders and public health, medical, and agriculture experts; and reviewed technical reports.Defining industrial animal productionThe report focuses on industrial farm animal production, referred to as IFAP, the system of raising food animals “in large numbers in enclosed structures that resemble industrial buildings more than they do a traditional barn.” The document uses “IFAP” to mean the most intensive production practices, such as using gestation and farrowing crates in swine production, regardless of the size of the operation.Raising many animals in close confinement increases the risk of spreading pathogens from animals to humans and promotes the emergence of resistant microbes as well as new pathogens, according to the report.The risk of animal-to-human transmission is increased because workers in confinement facilities today are “often exposed to thousands of pigs or tens of thousands of chickens for eight or more hours each day,” the report says. In addition, workers care for sick or dying animals daily, far more often than was the case on traditional farms.The use of antibiotics to promote animal growth began in the poultry industry in the 1940s and has continued since, according to the commission. Resistance can develop fairly quickly in the presence of antimicrobial agents, and resistance genes can be transferred among bacterial species. The report says further that farmers can buy antimicrobials for livestock without a prescription or veterinary oversight, and some classes of antibiotics used in humans, such as penicillins and tetracyclines, are allowed in animal feed to promote growth.Sweden banned the growth-promoting use of antibiotics in food animals in 1986, and Denmark followed suit in 1998, according to the report. In 2006 the European Union did the same. The document says the World Health Organization determined in 2002 that the Danish ban sharply reduced the food animal reservoir of antibiotic-resistant enterococci without affecting the overall health of the animals or significantly raising production costs.US urged to ban new approvalsIn its public health recommendations, the commission says the government should “phase out and ban” the nontherapeutic use of antimicrobials in animals. It calls for an immediate ban on new approvals of antimicrobials for such uses and for investigations of previously approved antimicrobials. It also recommends that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) provide programs to educate producers about how to raise food animals without growth-promoting antibiotics.The commission also calls for steps to provide better information on the quantity and methods of antimicrobial use in animals:Pharmaceutical companies should be required to provide calendar-year reports of the quantity of antimicrobials sold for use in animals.Producers should be required to report the use of antimicrobials in food animals, and the data should be included in the USDA’s National Animal Identification System.As was urged by the National Research Council in 1999, federal agencies should develop a comprehensive plan to monitor antimicrobial use in food animals.In other recommendations related to infectious disease concerns, the report calls for:Improved monitoring and surveillance of antimicrobial resistance in the food supply, the environment, and animal and human populationsIncreased veterinary oversight of all antimicrobial use in food animal production to prevent overuse and misuse of antimicrobialsCreation of “a disease-monitoring program and a fully integrated and robust national database for food animals to allow 48-hour traceback through phases of their production”In addition, the report advocates the creation of a “Food Safety Administration” to combine the food safety responsibilities of the USDA, Food and Drug Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, and other federal agencies.Criticism from industryThe Pew report has been criticized by agribusiness leaders. Richard Lobb, a spokesman for the National Chicken Council, said every recommendation the commission made would increase food prices just as the world is facing a food supply crisis, according to a report in the industry newspaper Feedstuffs.The National Pork Producers Council agreed that the recommendations would increase the cost of meat and of food animal production, according to Feedstuffs. The council said the commission was composed mostly of members “opposed to modern livestock production,” the story said.See also: Full text of Pew Commission reportApr 29 Pew Commission news release read more

David Luiz looking forward to joining fellow summer signings Nicolas Pepe and Dani Ceballos at Arsenal

first_imgArsenal landed highly rated winger Pepe from Lille in a club-record deal (Picture: Getty)Asked about Arsenal’s new signings, and who he is most excited to play with, Luiz told the club’s official website: ‘Like I said, I think it’s a great squad with a lot of quality.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT‘I just hope me, Dani Ceballos and Pepe can give a lot for this squad, for this club, to improve and to help everybody.’More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityOn why Arsenal appealed to him, he continued: ‘It’s a big club – not just in England, but everybody around the world knows how big Arsenal is.‘When I had an opportunity to come to this kind of big club, I had to take it. That’s why I’m here.’ Luiz feared for his game time at Chelsea and jumped at the chance to join Arsenal (Getty)Asked which Arsenal players have caused him the most trouble over the years, he added: ‘It has to be the strikers!‘It was always these opponents I had to try to stop. I’m happy now that I can have Lacazette and Aubameyang on my side, so it’s much easier now!’More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal David Luiz looking forward to joining fellow summer signings Nicolas Pepe and Dani Ceballos at Arsenal The Brazilian is excited to link up with his new teammates at the Emirates (Picture: Getty)David Luiz says he is excited to start working with the rest of Arsenal’s summer signings, while he is thrilled he no longer has to defend against the Gunners’ frontline.The Brazilian completed a surprise deadline day move to the Emirates from Chelsea in an £8milllion deal, despite having only signed a new contract with the Blues just a couple of months ago.He joins Real Madrid loanee Dani Ceballos, £72m man Nicolas Pepe and Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney in moving to Arsenal, and is excited by the squad that has been assembled. Metro Sport ReporterFriday 9 Aug 2019 9:59 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link2.2kSharescenter_img Comment Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more

Partners Group launches first private markets fund for UK DC sector

first_imgHe said the firm had talked to DC plan sponsors when designing the fund.“As the pensions market worldwide continues to evolve and become more sophisticated, we expect private markets firms like Partners Group will become increasingly involved in DC investment management,” Frei said.The fund is structured as a non-UCITS retail scheme (NURS), in contrast to the illiquid limited partnership vehicles traditionally used for private markets investments, the firm said.The underlying portfolio includes “a significant allocation” to return-seeking private markets asset classes, and an allocation to a yield-seeking credit portfolio, it said. It is given liquidity by having some assets invested in diversified listed private markets, the firm said. Partners Group added that the fund was designed “to be included as a performance driver within a professionally-managed DC plan,” for example as part of a corporate scheme’s default fund in the growth accumulation phase.The question of illiquid investments has long been a troublesome question for UK DC funds, with Russell Investments five years ago calling for the development of products allowing daily pricing with access the illiquid asset class.The £830m (€1.1bn) National Employment Savings Trust in 2013 appointed LGIM to a property mandate investing in Real Estate Investment Trusts, although the DC scheme also has a system in place allowing for it to sell holdings between cohorts to avoid the future sale of less liquid assets. Switzerland-based investment manager Partners Group is launching a private markets fund designed specifically for use by UK defined contribution (DC) pension plans, allowing the schemes requiring daily pricing access to private equity, private debt, private infrastructure and private real estate.The fund, named the Partners Group Generations Fund, will allow DC sector access to these private markets but also provide daily liquidity and pricing as well as meeting the regulatory requirements DC platform providers have for standardised purchase and redemption procedures, the firm said.While claiming the new launch is the first to allow UK DC funds access to private market holdings, it is not the first vehicle to allow DC investors access to traditionally less liquid holdings – such as real estate, for which Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) launched a proposition in 2011.André Frei, partner and co-chief executive at Partners Group, said: “Private markets asset classes have long been an important source of returns for defined benefit pension schemes, but until now UK DC pension schemes have been unable to invest in them for structural reasons.”last_img read more

The Townsville suburb where people are paying the most mortgage in North Queensland

first_imgThe Townsville suburb where homeowners have the second highest mortgage repayments is in Gumlow, followed by Alice River, Mount Low and Idalia, which all revealed monthly repayments of more than $2000. Property agent Janice Gallagher said people were willing to spend more for a property at Castle Hill to gain the lifestyle and location that comes with it. It is the most in Northern Queensland and the second highest in the state, alongside the town of McKinlay in the north west. The result will come as no surprise to many Townsville residents, with the suburb being known for its spectacular location and luxury properties. More from news01:21Buyer demand explodes in Townsville’s 2019 flood-affected suburbs12 Sep 202001:21‘Giant surge’ in new home sales lifts Townsville property market10 Sep 2020Data from the 2016 Census showed the average Queensland mortgage repayment was $1733 per month, with the average in Townsville being $1668. This property at 60 Yarrawonga Drive sold for just over the median house price of $942,500 in Castle Hill earlier this year.SOME Townsville residents are forking out more than double in mortgage repayments than the average homeowner in Queensland.The most recent data released by CoreLogic has shown that homeowners in the suburb of Castle Hill were paying a median of $3000 per month in mortgage repayments in the year to March. READ MORE NEWS Where the most houses are selling in Townsville The hardest place in QLD to sell a housecenter_img “It’s obviously a fantastic location with beautiful views,” Ms Gallagher said.“There’s not much for sale in Castle Hill at the moment, I’ve only got one listing there at 1 Balmoral Place. “People are willing to pay a bit more to live there.”The Falls in Darling Downs was the highest suburb in Queensland for mortgage repayments with the median monthly repayment being $3367. READ MORE NEWSlast_img read more

UN renews MONUSCO’s mandate in DRC

first_imgMONUSCO has rejected the presence within DR Congo army of two generals suspected of committing human rights violations. Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the UN Mission for Stabilization of Congo (MONUSCO) have began talks over the renewal of their partnership.This comes after the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution on Thursday to renew for 12 months the mandate of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the DRC, despite a request from the Kinshasa government to cut the force in half.Head of the MONUSCO forces,Martin Kobler is reported as  saying that there may be a lot of challenges in the relationship between MONUSCO forces and the government of DRC, but there’s need for the two to renew their relationship.The relationship between DRC and MONUSCO is tense.  Kinshasa has asked the UN Security Council to withdraw MONUSCO troops engaged in peacekeeping in eastern DR Congo, whereas the UN wants a gradual withdrawal.Already, the DR Congo government has rejected MONUSCO’s aid in tracking down the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda rebels in the east of the country.On the other hand, MONUSCO has rejected the presence within DR Congo army of two generals suspected of committing human rights violations.A month-long Congolese army (FARDC) campaign against the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebels has achieved little and revived doubts about the will and capacity of Congo to defeat a group at the heart of two decades of conflict in Africa’s Great Lakes region.In a unanimously adopted resolution on Thursday, the 15-member Security Council extended the mandate of the U.N. peacekeeping force for one year and said “the swift neutralization of the FDLR is a top priority in bringing stability to and protecting civilians of the DRC.”The Congolese government had wanted the U.N. force of some 22,000 troops and police to be more than halved, but a strategic review by the world body dismissed that as impractical and instead recommended a decrease of nearly 10 percent.The Security Council passed a resolution on Thursday to renew for 12 months the mandate of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the DRC, despite a request from the Kinshasa government to cut the force in half.The Security Council resolution endorsed the suggested cut of 2,000 troops but refused to permanently reflect the change in the mandated strength of the peacekeeping force.The council expressed “its intention to make this troop reduction permanent, through a revised troop ceiling … once significant progress has been achieved regarding the priorities of MONUSCO’s mandate, including the fight against the FDLR.”last_img read more

Paris stabbing kills 4

first_imgAccording to French media, he stabbedthree people inside two offices and two women on a stairway before a policeofficer shot him dead inside the building’s courtyard. The attack came a day after policewent on strike across France over the increasing violence towards officers. At around 13:00 local time (11:00 GMT;12:00 BST) on Oct. 3, the attacker began stabbing colleagues with a knife.     There has been no official statementon a possible motive for the attack. However, police union officialssuggested the attacker may have been involved in a workplace dispute.(BBC) PARIS – A knife-wielding man killedfour staff at police headquarters in this French capital. Police and security forces cordoned the area in central Paris where a stabbing incident claimed four lives on Oct. 3. EPAlast_img read more

Allam: Hull finalising Jelavic deal

first_imgHull owner Assem Allam has hailed striker Nikica Jelavic as “our biggest ever signing” after revealing his club expect to complete a deal for the £6.5million-rated striker on Tuesday afternoon. The 28-year-old Jelavic is finalising his move to the KC Stadium after publicly declaring his desire to join the Tigers from Everton, where he has rarely figured in new boss Roberto Martinez’s first-team plans. Allam told Sky Sports News: “He (Jelavic) will sign today – our biggest ever signing. The club is moving forward. We are paying a lot of money for first-class players.” Press Associationcenter_img Allam also confirmed the Tigers are closing in on a deal for West Bromwich Albion striker Shane Long, who came within hours of moving to the KC Stadium in September before a last-minute hitch. He added: “We have agreed terms. It is a matter of getting the club to release and the player to agree.” Allam clearly sees the record signing of Jelavic in particular as a serious statement of intent and there will be many at Goodison Park sorry to see him go. Jelavic joined Everton in a £5.5m deal from Rangers in January 2012 and made an immediate impression, scoring the winner on his full debut against Tottenham and going on to hit 11 goals in 16 games before the end of the season. But he struggled to maintain his momentum during the following campaign and has found his first-team chances increasingly restricted – although he did score twice in the 4-0 FA Cup win over Queen’s Park Rangers earlier this month. Meanwhile the move for Long appeared harder to finalise with Long admitting this week he would be quite happy to stay with the Baggies. Long told the Birmingham Mail: “I have always said I’m happy and settled here and I’ve got family who like living in the area. “I suppose if a club doesn’t want you what’s the point in staying? “It’s business at the end of the day and we’ve got a lot of options up front. If they do want me to go we’ll deal with that hurdle when it comes, or if it comes. But at the moment I’m a West Brom player and that’s all I’m concentrating on.” last_img read more