Not everyone will be hurt by tax plan

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion It seems all the pundits are criticizing the new tax proposals as being a disaster for the middle class, especially in New York and other highly taxed states.I don’t claim to be a tax expert, but basic mathematics is still within my grasp.I understand that the new program will eliminate some valuable deductions. But at the same time, they are proposing to double the standard deduction.I pay taxes on several pieces of real estate and we have had fairly large medical expense. But the last few years, we couldn’t exceed the standard deduction allowance. The retirement incomes of my wife and I are low-middle class, so these very vocal individuals must either own a stupendous amount of property or be complaining for completely political reasons.Maybe they might know a very clever, but not really honest tax attorney. If so, please refer me.Peter HenningsonSaratoga SpringsMore from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Schenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30%EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censuslast_img read more

Continue reading

Syrian doctor arrested in Germany for ‘crimes against humanity’

first_imgHe then proceeded to beat the man with a plastic pipe. “Even after he had gone down, Alaa M. continued the beatings and additionally kicked the victim,” the statement said.The next day, Alaa M. and another doctor are said to have subjected the victim to further beatings. He later died, though the cause of death is unclear.Alaa M. left Syria in mid-2015 and moved to Germany, where he also practiced as a doctor.Syria’s civil war, which started with the brutal repression of anti-government protests, has killed more than 380,000 people and displaced nearly half the country’s pre-conflict population. A Syrian doctor living in Germany has been arrested on suspicion of carrying out crimes against humanity at a prison in his war-torn country of origin, prosecutors said Monday.The suspect, identified as Alaa M., is accused of having “tortured a detainee … in at least two cases” at a prison run by Syrian intelligence services in the city of Homs in 2011, said German federal prosecutors in a statement.Alaa M. was called to the assistance of a man who had suffered an epileptic fit after being detained for taking part in a protest, the statement said. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group estimates that at least 100,000 people have died from torture or as a result of horrific conditions in government prisons.In April, the first court case worldwide over state-sponsored torture by Bashar al-Assad’s regime opened in Germany.The two defendants are being tried on the principle of universal jurisdiction, which allows a foreign country to prosecute crimes against humanity.Germany has taken in more than 700,000 Syrian refugees since the start of the conflict.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Continue reading

Half of Tokyo residents oppose Olympics in 2021: Poll

first_imgThe Games are now scheduled to begin on July 23, 2021, although they will still be known as the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.Officials from Japan and the International Olympic Committee have warned it will not be possible to postpone again, and even the year-long delay has created significant financial and logistical headaches.The poll, conducted ahead of the Tokyo gubernatorial election on July 5, also found incumbent Yuriko Koike leading her opponents “by a large margin”.Her precise lead was not specified, in keeping with a media tradition of not publishing polling figures in the days before a vote.Koike has been heavily involved in preparations for the Games, travelling to Rio for the handover ceremony after the last Summer Olympics.Earlier this month, she told AFP that the rescheduled Olympics will be safe despite the coronavirus pandemic, pledging a “120-percent effort” to ensure the first-ever postponed Games can go ahead. Just over half of Tokyo’s residents don’t think the postponed 2020 Olympics should be held next year, backing either a further delay or outright cancellation because of fears over the coronavirus, according to a poll published Monday.The survey carried out by two Japanese news organizations is only a single data point, but comes after health experts warned that even a year’s delay may not be sufficient to hold the Games safely.The poll conducted over the weekend found 51.7 percent of respondents hope the Games in 2021 are postponed again or cancelled, while 46.3 percent want to see the rescheduled Olympics go ahead. Among those opposed to a 2021 Games, 27.7 percent said they want them cancelled altogether, while 24.0 percent would prefer a second postponement.The telephone poll, conducted by Kyodo News and Tokyo MX television between June 26-28, received 1,030 replies.Of those who said they want to see the Games held next year, 31.1 percent said the event should be in a scaled-back form, including without spectators, while 15.2 percent said they wanted to see a full-blown Olympics.Tokyo 2020 was postponed in March as the coronavirus spread across the globe, causing the worst disruption to the Olympics since two editions were cancelled during World War II.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Continue reading

Funding roundup: JPMorgan AM sees 6.5% funding level drop for UK schemes

first_imgPPF 7800 Index shows an estimated aggregate deficit increase of £47.8bnThe Pension Protection Fund (PPF) has released the latest data for its PPF 7800 Index, which shows that the aggregate deficit of its 5,422 schemes is estimated to have increased to £176.3bn (€196bn) at the end of May 2020, from £128.5bn at the end of April 2020.The index – which shows the latest estimated funding position, on a section 179 (s179) basis, for the defined benefit pension schemes potentially eligible for entry to the PPF – also revealed that the funding ratio of the idex schemes decreased from 93.1% at the end of April 2020 to 90.9%.The PPF also said that total assets stood at £1.8trn, while liabilities were recorded at £1.9trn. There were 3,621 schemes in deficit and 1,801 schemes in surplus.The deficit of the schemes in deficit at the end of May 2020 was £290.1bn, up from £256.4bn at the end of April 2020.Lisa McCrory, PPF chief finance officer and chief actuary, said: “This month the funding ratio as measured by the PPF 7800 Index has gone down despite improvements in equity markets as the expectation of future inflation has increased the liabilities of schemes.”She added that although many schemes do have some exposure to inflation linked assets, “the falling index linked gilt yields have increased scheme liabilities by more than the assets.”On the PPF 7800 Index’s latest figures, Sion Cole, head of UK fiduciary business at BlackRock, said: “The month was marked by lower volatility in equity markets, implying that investors are cautiously monitoring the situation.” The average UK scheme experienced a 6.9% fall in funding level between the end of December 2019 to the end of March 2020, according to JP Morgan Asset Management (JPMAM).The manager said that “it’s potentially going to take up to three years to recover the serious dent to funding levels incurred over the past three months”. It would require a surplus return – assets in excess of liabilities – of 2.4% per annum for the next three years, it added.“The good news, however, is that we estimate a 58% chance of achieving this based on current allocations,” said Sorca Kelly-Scholte, EMEA head of pension solutions and advisory at JPMAM.“That said, as we know, not all pension funds are equal,” she added. Sion Cole, head of UK fiduciary business at BlackRockHe added that a decline in infection rates in many countries were also a reason for optimism. “Confidence that we have hit the peak number of cases and a flattening of the new case curve serve as key catalysts for driving a market recovery, alongside a significant policy response globally and liquidity in the financial markets.” Cole said, however, that despite this positive market sentiment, pension schemes are still some way off where they ended 2019.“This will no doubt have sparked conversations on whether changes need to be made to journey plans and how trustees and sponsors can ensure their schemes’ investment strategies are appropriate,” he added.He said BlackRock has seen an increase in the number of pension funds considering fiduciary management as a new approach, “to quickly take advantage of market dislocations, improve risk management and reduce trustees’ governance burden in this rapidly evolving landscape”.Dutch schemes’ funding levels see slight improvement in MayThe average funding levels of Dutch pension funds have slightly increased in May, largely thanks to improving equity markets and rising interest rates, according to consultancies Aon and Mercer.The duo said that coverage ratios had risen by up to 2% to 92% on average. However, schemes’ “policy funding” – their average coverage over the past 12 months, and the main criterion for rights cuts – had decreased to 98% on average, below the temporary required minimum of 100%, according to the firms.Based on the current rules, and without improvement before year-end, this will require a reduction of pension rights and benefits next year.Mercer said the 30-year swap rate – pension funds’ main standard for discounting liabilities – had risen by 10 bps to 0.4%, reducing liabilities by 0.9%.Aon attributed the more than 3% increase of equity holdings to investors regaining confidence because of eased lockdown measures, the proposed €750bn EU emergency fund for hard hit member states as well as rising oil prices.Emerging market equities, however, lost 1% due to tensions between the US and China, Aon stated, adding that real estate fell almost 3%.According to the consultancy, high yield had gained 5%, following narrowing spreads in the wake of improving investor sentiment.Mercer added that commodities had generated 2.7%, while euro-denominated government bonds and ditto for credit had returned 0.2% and 0.3%, respectively.To read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine click here. Hedgers – which potentially experience liquidity, income impairment and contribution impairment, if their employer is distressed – tend to review their liquidity, collateral and cashflow management, while refocusing on core real assets and raise the quality in credit exposures.Re-riskers – which potentially experience the same as hedgers but are less likely to have a distressed employer – tend to take advantage of credit opportunities, diversify their real asset exposure and re-risk into sustainable or growth equity strategies, in addition to reviewing their liquidity, collateral and cashflow management.Re-balancers – which can potentially experience heavy drawdowns and could be forced to sell assets if in a negative cashflow – tend to diversify into higher-returning credit and real asset strategies, and also revisit currency hedging.De-riskers – which can experience similar risk circumstances as re-balancers but are more likely to have a distressed employer – focus on diversifying as a means of derisking and go for liability-aware credit instead of liaility-driven investment. Kelly-Scholte has identified four types of pension fund and mapped out the kinds of levers they can potentially pull in today’s environment, faced with choppy returns and renewed funded status challenges.last_img read more

Continue reading

A Doctor-Assisted Disaster for Medicine

first_imgWall Street Journal 17 August 2015Since the voters of Oregon narrowly legalized physician-assisted suicide 20 years ago, there has been a profound shift in attitude toward medical care—new fear and secrecy, and a fixation on death. Well over 850 people have taken their lives by ingesting massive overdoses of barbiturates prescribed under the law. Proponents claim the system is working well with no problems. This is not true.As a professor of family medicine at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, as well as a licensed physician for 35 years, I have seen firsthand how the law has changed the relationship between doctors and patients, some of whom now fear that they are being steered toward assisted suicide.In one case a patient with bladder cancer contacted me. She was concerned that an oncologist treating her might be one of the “death doctors,” and she questioned his motives. This was particularly worrying to her after she obtained a second opinion from another oncologist who was more positive about her prognosis and treatment options. Whichever of the consultants was correct, such fears were never an issue before.Under Oregon’s law, a patient can request lethal drugs only if he has a terminal illness and less than six months to live. However, it is nearly impossible to predict the course of an illness six months out, and many patients given such prognoses live full, rewarding lives long past six months.The law requires that patients be referred for psychological examination if the doctor suspects they have depression or mental illness. But some doctors see suicide as a solution to suffering and depression as rational given patients’ circumstances. Last year only three of the 105 patients who died under the law were referred for a psychological exam.http://www.wsj.com/articles/a-doctor-assisted-disaster-for-medicine-1439853118last_img read more

Continue reading

Three full-time firemen become official

first_imgBatesville, IN—The City of Batesville held a swearing-in ceremony on Monday evening between the Batesville Board of Works meeting and the City Council meeting.  The three newest full-time firemen are from left to right Lucas Garvey, Michael Orlando, and Christopher Decker.  They have already completed schooling and will begin training in the city immediately.last_img

Continue reading

Watford appoint new head coach

first_imgRelatedPosts EPL: Watford battle Gunners for survival Premier League: Our survival in our own hands — Coach Pearson overwhelmed by fans support after Watford sacking Championship club Watford have confirmed the appointment of Vladimir Ivic as their new head coach.The 43-year-old has agreed a one-year contract, with the option of a further year held by the club. Former Maccabi Tel Aviv manager Ivic succeeds Nigel Pearson, who was sacked two games before the end of the season.Watford were relegated from the Premier League after losing their final game at Arsenal, with former player Hayden Mullins in caretaker charge.That result ended a five-year stay in the top flight for the Hornets, who were FA Cup finalists in 2019.“It’s my first time in England and I need to adapt as fast as possible, to do the best for the club is very important to me,” said Ivic, who represented Serbia and Montenegro at international level as a player.Ivic is Watford’s fourth full-time boss in less than 12 months as Javi Gracia and Quique Sanchez Flores were both sacked in the early weeks of last season, leading to Pearson’s arrival in December. He was a free agent after leading Maccabi Tel-Aviv to two consecutive league titles in Israel and has also previously managed Greek club PAOK, with whom he won a domestic cup.“I’ve worked with my coaching staff for three years, so I know that we will ask the most from ourselves so we can help the players to achieve the club’s goals,” Ivic said.Tags: Maccabi Tel AvivNigel PearsonVladimir IvicWatfordlast_img read more

Continue reading

Ireland frustrated by rain

first_img Press Association Wins from their last two games, against Uganda on Friday and then Hong Kong on Sunday, will see Ireland into the semi-finals as group winners. Ireland’s 100 per cent record in the ICC World Twenty20 qualifying was ended by the weather as their meeting with Italy was washed out without a ball being bowled.center_img Having beaten the United States by 75 runs on Wednesday, confidence was high in the Ireland camp ahead of the Abu Dhabi meeting. Heavy rain put paid to that, though, leaving the sides to take a point each. Ireland are still top of the group, one point ahead of Hong Kong. last_img read more

Continue reading

Mourinho: “It’s not easy to defend”

first_img Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers said defensive coaching was not difficult after Chelsea’s snatch-and-grab win at Anfield last season and Wenger, who has yet to beat one of Mourinho’s teams in 12 attempts, repeated the barb ahead of this week’s contest. The Arsenal boss said: “It is easy to defend.” Mourinho said: “It’s not easy. If it was easy, you wouldn’t lose 3-1 at home to Monaco (in the Champions League last 16). “If he defends well he draws 0-0 against Monaco and wins in Monte Carlo. It’s not easy to prepare a team to defend.” Mourinho refused to budge from his view that Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City are in contention for the title until mathematically ruled out. “I don’t care about other things,” Mourinho added. “We are the best team since day one and we want to be the best team until the last day. But, mathematically, they can still be champions.” Mourinho cares little how Chelsea are judged if, or more likely when, they become champions. “It matters what I feel, not what people feel, think or say,” he said. The change of the free-flowing attacking philosophy which had many observers purring earlier in the season was prompted by injuries and suspensions to key personnel, including Diego Costa, Fabregas and Nemanja Matic. “We lost progressively the balance of our team,” Mourinho added. “When you lose crucial pieces, the team loses certain qualities. “It (the switch in style) was just a consequence of things.” Mourinho insists his longer-term plan is to return to the more appealing way. “I hope to start next season the same way we started this season,” he said. “This is the way we want to play, this is the way we played during the season, and the team we enjoy more. “But it’s (also) very enjoyable to deal with a difficult moment, to deal in a strategic way. “When you are in the sea and have no boat, you need something to survive. A raft. “In football, team spirit and team ethics and strategy is this.” Mourinho pointed to Andre Schurrle’s goal in the opening game at Burnley as evidence for Chelsea’s stylish side. “We repeated that almost week after week,” he said. “If we manage to win the Premier League, we did everything right. “Looking at where Chelsea were in the last four or five years, in terms of the Premier League, it means a lot. I think it’s a great achievement for us.” Chelsea have not won the title since 2010, but won the Champions League “in the worst Premier League season Chelsea had had in the last decade”, when they finished sixth in 2012. Mourinho, who won the title in 2004 and 2005, is building a team for the next decade, with teenagers Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Dominic Solanke potentially core members of the squad. Mourinho says it is important for the pair to stay at Chelsea, rather than go out on loan. “When they are so young it’s better for them to stay at Chelsea and develop at Chelsea,” Mourinho said. Chelsea have more than 20 players out on loan, with Mourinho admitting the strategy of owning talent is good for the Blues. “It’s not just about players to be ready for Chelsea, it’s also about players with a market value and players that we use to raise funds to renew these players on loan, or to buy players ready for the first-team,” he said. Jose Mourinho has retaliated after Arsene Wenger questioned Chelsea’s defensive tactics. Press Association Mourinho’s side lead Arsenal by 10 points and could take a significant step to winning the Premier League with victory at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday. The Blues boss has deployed a “more strategic, less artistic” approach in recent weeks, including in the 1-0 win at QPR when Cesc Fabregas scored with their only shot on target and last weekend’s defeat of Manchester United, who dominated possession at Stamford Bridge. last_img read more

Continue reading

GSA nips Dexter in EM Class C girls’ soccer quarterfinal

first_img Bio Is this the kind of government we deserve? – July 10, 2017 Like he did in the ’60s, Noel Paul Stookey sings out in troubling times – December 27, 2017 DEXTER — In an Eastern Maine Class C girls’ soccer quarterfinal on Tuesday in Dexter, the fifth-seeded George Stevens Academy Eagles nipped the fourth-seeded Dexter Tigers 1-0 on a goal by Morgan Dauk.The Eagles improved their record to 10-5-0 with the win. Latest Posts Hugh BowdenExecutive EditorHugh writes editorials, covers Hancock County sports and helps out where needed in The American’s editorial department. When he’s not on the sidelines, he enjoys playing jazz and tennis. hbowden@ellsworthamerican.com Latest posts by Hugh Bowden (see all) GSA surges in 4th to win Northern Maine title – February 26, 2017 This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textlast_img read more

Continue reading