Recognize Diabetes.

first_imgA recent report released by the American Diabetes Association and the Georgia Department of Human Resources showed that more than 217,000 Georgians have been diagnosed with diabetes. Another 108,000 are undiagnosed. And only 6 percent of diagnosed Georgians reported meeting the minimal standards for routine medical care.Detection, Treatment Are Key But early detection and proper treatment of diabetes is paramount to living a healthy life with the disease. The first place to look to see if you are at risk is your family tree. Type 2 diabetes, the most common type, has a strong genetic link. “Often a close relative has the disease,” said Connie Crawley, an extension nutrition specialist with the University of Georgia College of Family and Consumer Sciences. “This should alert someone that they might be at risk.” Other warning signs include extreme thirst, frequent need to urinate, unusual fatigue, an infection or wound that won’t heal, unexplained weight loss and/or blurred vision. “Someone with a history of diabetes in the family should be screened for it regularly, especially after age 45,” Crawley said. “I would think at least every few years, if not yearly. I would really encourage screening if someone is overweight and out-of-shape or has had gestational diabetes when they were pregnant.”Check Family History If you have a family history of diabetes or have symptoms, many health departments now provide blood glucose testing free for adults. You can also be tested at pharmacies, hospitals, federally funded community clinics and doctors’ offices. “Unfortunately, many people either don’t access or can’t access routine medical care,” Crawley said. “So they may have Type 2 diabetes up to 10 years before it is diagnosed. The symptoms can be very subtle and misjudged for just the regular signs of aging.”Where To Get Help UGA Extension Service county offices offer several programs to help Georgians live a healthy lifestyle. The Walk-a-Weigh program is ideal for someone with diabetes. It stresses walking and provides menus for those with the disease. “Every two months, we still publish the Diabetes Lifelines newsletter,” Crawley said. “It is also put up on the Web. We’re just now having it translated into Spanish.” Contact your county extension office, too, for a set of 16 diabetes fact sheets on aspects of diabetes self-management.last_img read more

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Blue Ridge Parkway Highlights

first_imgThe Parkway is full of expansive views, cultural waypoints, and natural wonders. Once you’ve reviewed our guide, hit the road and check out this list of the highlights.View Blue Ridge Parkway in a larger map1. Humpback Rocks (MP 5.9) Take an easy walk through a restored 1890s farmstead, then walk a mile to the cliffs with views of Rockfish and Shenandoah Valleys.2. White Rock Falls Trail (MP 18.5) A mile walk leads you to a creek with swimming holes and eventually a 35-foot waterfall.3. Otter Creek Campground (MP 60.8) A great place to rest and camp. There’s also a restaurant and Otter Lake, which offers fishing.4. James River (MP 64) The low point on the Parkway (650 feet), the river also marks the beginning of the longest sustained climb on the Parkway.5. Apple Orchard Mountain (MP 76.5) This is Virginia’s Parkway high point at 3,950 feet, offering stellar views.6. Sunset Field Overlook (MP 78.4) Take a 1.2-mile trail to Apple Orchard Falls, a 200-foot cascade.7. Peaks of Otter (MP 85.9) Peaks of Otter features Abbott Lake with three dramatic peaks as a backdrop. There’s also a spiffy lodge, restaurant, and a historic farm.8. Roanoke Valley Overlook (MP 129.6) Pull over for a big view of Roanoke, the largest city adjacent to the Parkway.9. Floyd, Va. (MP 160.9) Take Va. 615 for a trip to this mountain town.10. Mabry Mill (MP 176.1) The restored mill highlights rural life in Appalachia (there’s even a whiskey still) while also serving pancakes that cyclists rave about.11. Meadows of Dan (MP 177.7) A mountain community sitting on the Parkway, MOD is part of the Crooked Road music trail, and has its own fudge factory.12. Groundhog Mountain Overlook (MP 188.8) The 360-degree view from this observation tower is one of the best on the entire Parkway.13. Blue Ridge Music Center (MP 213) This brand new outdoor stage hosts regular old-time and bluegrass concerts.14. State Line (MP 216.9) Welcome to North Carolina.15. Doughton Park (MP 238) 5,000 acres of public land, 30 miles of hiking trails, camping, and restored historic mountain cabins.16. Mountain Music Jamboree (MP 261) Friday and Saturday nights, this hall has live music and square dancing.17. Blowing Rock (MP 291) Bike shop, cafes, B&Bs, wine…everything you need just off the Parkway in this picturesque, small mountain town.18. Linn Cove Viaduct (MP 304.4) Hanging on the flanks of Grandfather Mountain, this is one of the most beautiful and expensive bridges in the country.19. Grandfather Mountain (MP 305) Take US 221 south of the Parkway to hike this gnarly knob. Hiking the mile-high bridge is a must.20. Linville Falls (MP 316.3) An easy trail leads to an overlook of this dramatic waterfall that marks the beginning of the even more dramatic Linville Gorge.21. Orchard at Altapass (MP 330) This century-old apple orchard has evolved into an Appalachian Cultural Center with live music and storytelling. The ice cream is good too.22. Little Switzerland (MP 334) If you’re looking to splurge, consider a night in the Switzerland Inn, the swankiest digs on the Parkway, and the epicenter of this tiny town.23. Crabtree Falls (MP 339.5) A two-mile loop takes you to this 70-footer just beyond a cozy campground.24. Mount Mitchell State Park (MP 355.4) Take the spur road five miles to the top of Mount Mitchell (6,684 feet). It’s a burly climb, but you’ll have ridden to the highest mountain east of the Mississippi. Camping and a restaurant too.25. Craggy Gardens (MP 364.4) Catch the blooming rhodo in June at the gardens, or hike 1.5-miles roundtrip and enjoy the view all season long from the Craggy Pinnacle, elevation 5,892 feet.26. Southern Highland Folk Art Center (MP 382) A showcase of traditional and contemporary crafts associated with the Southern Appalachians.27. Asheville (MP 388.5) Take US 25 into Asheville (see Side Show).28. Pisgah Inn (MP 408.6) The lodge sits on the edge of Mount Pisgah. Crash for the night, hike to Mount Pisgah, or grab some grub and enjoy the view.29. Looking Glass Rock Overlook (MP 417) This view of the 3,969-foot granite monolith is one of the most picturesque along the Parkway.30. Graveyard Fields (MP 418.8) Camping, swimming holes, waterfalls, berry-picking, hiking—this high-elevation valley is a destination all on its own.31. Richland Balsam Overlook (MP 431.4) At 6,053 feet, this is the high point on the Parkway, with the expansive view to prove it.32. Waterrock Knob (MP 451.2) Take the 1.2-mile round trip hike to the top of the Southern Sixer for a panorama of the Smokies. At the visitor’s center, you’ve also completed the steepest climb on the Parkway.33. Parkway Terminus (MP 469.1) This is the end of your trip. Check out the Museum of the Cherokee Indian nearby.last_img read more

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6 More Long Island Restaurants Accused of Covid-19 Violations, Face Liquor License Suspensions

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Four restaurants in Suffolk County and to more in Nassau County recently had their liquor licenses suspended after authorities said the businesses violated New York State-issued coronavirus restrictions. The eateries were Rockwell’s Bar & Grill in Smithtown, Station Pub in Sayville, Buen Ambiente in Patchogue, Best Pizza and Dive Bar in Amagansett, Bachata in Hempstead, and Cabo Sports Bar & Mexican Grill in New Hyde Park, officials said.“As we move into the colder weather and are forced indoors, it is imperative that businesses stay compliant across the state,” State Liquor Authority (SLA) Chair Vincent Bradley said. “New Yorkers must continue wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and following the life-saving protocols put into place to keep us all healthy.”The six local establishments were among 36 statewide that had their licenses suspended for alleged violations in recent weeks. They are among 279 that have faced similar action since the pandemic restrictions began.At Rockwell’s Bar & Grill, investigators said they spotted patrons standing, drinking, and walking without facial coverings in the packed bar on Nov. 20, shortly after prior violations were issued there.On the same date at Station Pub, investigators similarly spotted mask-less patrons walking around, no evidence of food being served as required to be served alcoholic beverages, and a bartender not wearing a facial covering. The bar was also allegedly after the state-mandated 10 p.m. closing time.“The owner refused to wear a facemask and became belligerent with investigators, refusing to provide the establishment’s liquor license or his ID — both serious violations,independent of Covid-related rules,” authorities said in a statement.  A GoFundMe campaign was started to help raise money to pay the fines, calling the bar’s closure “a loss to all in this community.”On Nov. 18, investigators found 43 patrons crowded inside Cabo Sports Bar & Mexican Grill, which has a maximum occupancy of 25 under Covid-related regulations, and documented numerous patrons and employees without masks, tables improperly spaced, and a complete disregard for social distancing protocols. When the investigator returned at 10:30 p.m., the patrons were still drinking, congregating, and smoking hookah.At Buen Ambiente, Suffolk County police responded to a shooting on Oct 24. While reviewing surveillance video, the restaurant was found to have hosted a large event with more than 50 people standing shoulder-to-shoulder, drinking, dancing and smoking hookah, with two exotic dancers performing lap dances, according to the SLA. Two people were treated at a local hospital for treatment of gunshot wounds.At Best Pizza and Dive Bar, plainclothes officers from the East Hampton Town PoliceDepartment entered the establishment and observed about 20 patrons seatedat and standing around the crowded bar, mingling, ignoring social distancing, and notwearing masks on Nov. 15, authorities said. No food was served with alcoholic beverages, they added. And bartenders also continually removed their facial coverings to talk to patrons, officials added.Lastly, at Bachata, Hempstead village police and the Nassau County Fire Marshalls Office discovered 71 patrons packed inside the premises, many crowding around the bar, despite a maximum occupancy of 44 on Nov. 8. In addition to patrons ignoring social distancing rules, three employees were observed working without facial coverings and no food of any kind was observed being served, according to the SLA.For more coronavirus coverage, visit longislandpress.com/coronavirusSign up for Long Island Press’ email newsletters here. Sign up for home delivery of Long Island Press here. Sign up for discounts by becoming a Long Island Press community partner here.,Sign up for Long Island Press’ email newsletters here. Sign up for home delivery of Long Island Press here. Sign up for discounts by becoming a Long Island Press community partner here.last_img read more

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India and coronavirus: lucky escape or emergency ahead?

first_imgTesting times Jha said India should be testing many more people at its 52 facilities nationwide.South Korea has been conducting around 10,000 tests per day, or 220,000 in total as of Wednesday, more than 40 times that of India.But K. K. Aggarwal, a former Indian Medical Association president, said the official number of those infected is “absolutely correct” and that India is doing enough.”The practice is to examine symptomatic patients,” as is the case for example in Iran and Italy, Aggarwal told AFP.And India’s healthcare system has shown itself capable before.During an outbreak of the much deadlier Nipah virus in Kerala in 2018, deaths were kept to 17 and human-to-human transmission successfully contained.”I am quite hopeful that in another 10-15 days things will settle down,” said Rajan Sharma, national president of the medical association.The coming hot season may help, Aggarwal added.”SARS and MERS all reduced when summer came. Maybe the heat and humidity will kill the virus,” he said. Topics : Tough border  India on Friday imposed some of the world’s toughest border measures in the current crisis, barring most foreigners and suspending visa-free access for millions from the vast diaspora.Those arriving, including Indians, who have travelled to virus hotspots such as China and Italy must be quarantined for 14 days. At land borders there is “robust screening”.More than a million air passengers have been screened and authorities have stepped up efforts to identify those with the virus and people in contact with them.Hotels in tourist destinations such as Rajasthan have told foreigners to get health certificates. “We waited two hours at a hospital,” a woman named Selina from Germany told AFP.All mobile calls begin with a recorded health message, preceded by coughing, while social media, newspapers and television carry advice.Top sports events are being played to empty venues, while the start of the Indian Premier League — cricket’s most lucrative competition — has been postponed.Masks and hand sanitizer have sold out in many chemists and online.”We are running 24 hours to produce as much as we can,” said Ashish Kotadiya at a mask factory in Ahmedabad.Domestic flight bookings have plunged 16 percent and tickets are on sale for under $15 on many routes.Firms such as Google in Bangalore have asked staff to work at home, while Chinese phone maker Xiaomi, India’s top brand, has cancelled new product launches. “One girl was tested positive for coronavirus and hence my entire team at Accenture is working from home,” said Vaishnavi S., an employee with the consultancy in Pune. Virus paradise Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that India could “break the chain” in the spread of the virus, but in many ways the country is a paradise for infectious diseases.Some 70 million people live in extreme poverty, many in teeming unhygienic slums where working from home or “social distancing” is not an option.Around 420 people are crammed into every square kilometer of India compared to 148 people in China. Millions also move about internally to find work.Health spending is among the world’s lowest at 3.7 percent of GDP, according to Bloomberg News. Some 70 percent of Indians live in rural areas where healthcare is patchy.center_img “It’s hard to imagine there are only so few cases in India,” Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, told AFP.”India’s a big country where a lot of people live in very close, compact spaces. It is unclear to me why India would somehow magically skip this pandemic.” Cow dung Some experts say India is not doing enough to create awareness about the coronavirus or to reduce public gatherings.Holi, the recent Hindu festival where people smear paint on each other’s faces, still saw big crowds in many places. Wedding season also appears largely unaffected.There has been some distinctly unscientific advice, with one government ministry pushing homoeopathic and ayurvedic medicine, and social media awash with disinformation.Some lawmakers from Modi’s party have extolled cow dung and urine, while the chief minister of the most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, suggested yoga could offer protection. Despite being poorer and more densely populated than China and having a shakier healthcare system, India has officially recorded only 81 cases of the coronavirus and just one death.This has raised hopes that the virus that has infected more than 130,000 people and killed 5,000 worldwide might largely pass the world’s second-most-populous nation by.But with only about 5,000 Indians tested, some experts doubt the official figures and warn that if there is a major outbreak, the country of 1.3 billion is woefully unprepared.last_img read more

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New Zealand to reopen malls, cafes from Thursday as virus curbs eased

first_imgNew Zealand businesses including malls, cinemas, cafes and gyms will be allowed to reopen from Thursday as tight restrictions put in place to stop the spread of the coronavirus were further eased on Monday.The Pacific nation was locked down for more than month under “level 4” restrictions that were eased by a notch late last month. It has continued to enforce strict social measures on many of its citizens and businesses, helping prevent widespread community spread of the virus.Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the move to “level 2” restrictions will mean retail, restaurants and other public spaces including playgrounds can reopen from Thursday. “I am announcing that Cabinet agrees we are ready to move into level 2, to open up the economy, but to do it as safely as possible,” Ardern told a news conference.Businesses will be required to have physical distancing and strict hygiene measures in place.Schools can open from next Monday while bars can only reopen from May 21, Ardern said. Gatherings would be limited to 10 people.”The upshot is that in 10 days’ time we will have reopened most businesses in New Zealand, and sooner than many other countries around the world,” Ardern said. The country’s borders would remain closed except for returning New Zealanders.The measures would be reviewed again in two weeks, Ardern said.Three new cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, were confirmed on Monday, the health ministry said in a statement.The cases – two hospital nurses and one related to overseas travel – bring New Zealand’s total confirmed COVID-19 infections to 1,147, the ministry said, adding that 93% of all confirmed and probable cases have recovered.The government will unveil its annual budget on Thursday, and has warned the country would run fiscal deficits for years while debt will increase to levels well beyond previous targets due to its economic support measures.center_img Topics :last_img read more

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Railway company PT KAI to resume limited services within Java

first_img“We will allow for extraordinary train travel for individuals who are exempt from the government’s restriction as stipulated [by the COVID-19 task force] under strict health protocol,” PT KAI spokesperson Joni Martinus said in a press release on Sunday.All trains would operate at a passenger load factor of no more than 50 percent to promote physical distancing, Joni added.Tickets are available for purchase at train stations starting Monday and passengers can purchase tickets seven days prior to departure.However, passengers must provide a permit from the COVID-19 task force in order to travel. They are also required to show negative COVID-19 test results, an official letter of duty, a personal ID and a letter explaining their purpose of travel, among other documents. State-owned train operator PT Kereta Api Indonesia (PT KAI) is scheduled to open three temporary routes to accommodate travel starting Tuesday after travel restrictions for certain individuals were relaxed.For the operation, which starts Tuesday and ends on May 31, the company will run three temporary routes connecting Gambir Station in Jakarta, Pasarturi Station in Surabaya, East Java, and Bandung Station, West Java.The routes include the Gambir Station-Pasarturi Station northern line, Gambir Station-Pasarturi Station southern line and Bandung Station-Pasarturi Station line. Topics :center_img To contain the virus, the government is currently restricting all types of passenger travel under Transportation Ministerial Regulation No. 25/2020 as part of its ban on the Idul Fitri mudik (exodus).However, the national COVID-19 task force issued a circular on May 6 exempting state officials, private sector workers and state-owned enterprise (SOE) employees from the government’s ban on travel to and from virus red zones.Several Indonesian airlines have also resumed domestic passenger flights, which are scheduled to be reopened gradually this month in accordance with the task force’s new regulation.Garuda Indonesia officially resumed domestic passenger flights on Thursday after previously suspending them in compliance with the government’s large-scale social restrictions (PSBB).Members of the Lion Air Group – Lion Air, Wings Air and Batik Air – resumed domestic passenger flights on Sunday, with tickets available for purchase at the company’s counters, call-centers and websites.All airlines will require passengers to provide ground staff with medical letters from hospitals stating that they do not have COVID-19.last_img read more

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Governor Wolf Makes Jobs That Pay Tour Stop at ‘PLEDGE IT’

first_img January 28, 2016 Governor Wolf Makes Jobs That Pay Tour Stop at ‘PLEDGE IT’ Economy,  Jobs That Pay,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today continued his Jobs That Pay tour by visiting ‘PLEDGE IT’ by PledgePlatform, LLC, a company that produces a fundraising website that allows sports teams and athletes to raise money for charities or causes based on their performance. PledgePlatform was recently approved to receive funding support from the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Central & Northern PA in the amount of $200,000.“It is exciting to visit a company like PledgePlatform and see firsthand how our efforts are supporting tech startups,” Governor Wolf said. “It is important that we continue to support our partners like the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Central & Northern PA so that entrepreneurs feel safe to take risks on their business ideas and know that they are supported in their efforts to do so.”PLEDGE IT is used by athletes of all sports at all levels, from pro-athletes supporting their favorite charities to youth teams raising money from new uniforms. Some notable customers include:NFL players: Larry Fitzgerald, Devon Still, Philip RiversMLB players: Kyle Seager, Alex Gordon, Jason MotteNCAA Teams: Penn State, Notre Dame, Florida StateHigh School/Youth/Charitable Partnerships:Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Coaches Assocation, American Cancer Society, Ronald McDonald House“Governor Wolf’s support of innovative programs like Ben Franklin Technology Partners make Central Pennsylvania the ideal location to start a company like PLEDGE IT,” said Scott Shirley, CEO of Pledge Platform, LLC. “Our technology platform has a global impact by empowering teams and athletes to raise money for various causes, but our growing business is creating jobs and generating revenue to the benefit of my hometown. That is a win-win.”The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Central & Northern PA provide startup funding and business support services to tech-based startups and small manufacturers located in the 32-county coverage area.The largest early-stage seed investor in the region, Ben Franklin Technology Partners/CNP — an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and funded by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority (BFTDA) — provides funding, operational assistance, and business support services to emerging tech-based companies and small, existing manufacturers for the purpose of creating and retaining jobs in Pennsylvania.Recognized nationally and internationally as a model for technology-based economic development, the BFTDA ensures that the variety of technology-based economic development organizations and initiatives throughout the commonwealth are working collaboratively to fully leverage the wealth of research, capital sources and support services available to build a comprehensive infrastructure that supports company growth.In 2015, the BFTDA approved $3.5M for each of the four Ben Franklin Technology Partners (BFTP) to encourage investments that advance the competitiveness of commonwealth companies in the global economy.The BFTPs are designed to play a leadership role in building the state’s technology economy, strengthening regional economies and creating and retaining high-wage, high-skill jobs.With four regional offices strategically located across Pennsylvania, the BFTPs provide critical seed and risk capital to start and grow technology firms throughout the commonwealth.For more information on the Ben Franklin Technology Partners and other DCED initiatives visit: www.newpa.com.Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolfcenter_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

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Eager bidders brave rain to fight for classic beauty

first_imgThe home at 27 Winifred St, Clayfield. Photo: supplied.TORRENTIAL rain couldn’t stop a 100-strong crowd and 14 registered bidders from watching a Clayfield three-bedder sell at auction for $1.315 million.The picture perfect home at 27 Winifred St attracted nearly 80 groups of home hunters during its four-week sale campaign.The auction started strongly with a first bid of $900,000, soon climbing to $1 million, before stalling briefly at $1.25 million.The property was declared on the market at $1.29 million, and three bidders fought until the end.More from newsFor under $10m you can buy a luxurious home with a two-lane bowling alley5 Apr 2017Military and railway history come together on bush block24 Apr 2019The home at 27 Winifred St, Clayfield. Photo: Supplied.Marketing agent Marion Sheerman of Ray White New Farm said it was a “textbook auction” and a credit to the vendors, who were well prepared to go to market.“I have worked with the sellers for a number of months as they have bought their new home through me also in Clayfield,” she said. “This home was so beautifully presented — preparation was the key.”The tastefully renovated circa 1920 Queenslander has three bedrooms and two bathrooms spanning a single level on a 610sq m block. Clayfield has a median house price of $1.135 million, according to analytics company CoreLogic.last_img read more

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IORP trialogue yet to resolve numerous issues, rapporteur concedes

first_imgThe MEP said the “whole question” of whether cross-border pension funds should be fully funded at all times remained unresolved, as did the cross-border transfer of pension assets.“The whole question of depositories,” he added, “is an issue yet to be determined” – in spite of member states’ urging, since 2014, that the appointment of a depository should be decided at the national level based on the “nature, scale and complexity” of pension funds.“But my central point is,” Hayes said, “with a fair wind and political support and determination, I hope we can conclude by the end of the Dutch presidency.”He said it was his and the Parliament’s “firm view” that, when it came to authorising cross-border IORPs, there should only be a single point of regulatory authorisation.Thomas Mann, fellow MEP and a member of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee, previously spoke of the “pretty big row” brewing during trialogue negotiations over the designation of pension funds as financial service providers. Pension-tracking serviceHayes also threw his support behind the creation of a pension-tracking system, which the European Commission has agreed to support with a €2.5m grant covering the majority of the estimated €3.3m start-up costs associated with the venture.He said the pilot of the venture was a “no-brainer” and that there was a necessity for tracking systems, including in his native Ireland.His support for a European tracking service is in line with that of his own political party. Fine Gael said in its manifesto for February’s Irish general election that it would support the launch of such a venture to help attract home Irish émigrés. European institutions have yet to agree a final stance on key measures proposed in the revised IORP Directive, according to Brian Hayes, with disagreements remaining on matters of cross-border funding and the use of depositories.The Irish MEP – who, as IORP II rapporteur, is representing the European Parliament in closed-door trialogue negotiations with the European Commission and EU member states – said the ongoing discussions were “very intensive”.While speaking at the launch of the business plan for a European pension-tracing service by the TTYPE Consortium, Hayes said he was hopeful IORP II discussions would conclude before the end of the Dutch presidency of the Council of the EU at the end of June.“We have made progress in a number of key areas, but it’s fair to say quite a number of outstanding issues remain,” he said.last_img read more

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Swiss retailer makes ESG standards mandatory for external managers

first_imgThe CHF23.8bn (€20.2bn) pension fund for the Swiss retail giant Migros has started to roll out a new sustainable investment strategy.The Migros Pensionskasse (MPK) said all external managers would be required to adhere to “minimum environmental, social and governance [ESG] standards”.“These will be based on Swiss laws and international conventions Switzerland is supporting,” the fund said in its latest annual report.In addition, MPK said it would engage with its largest shareholdings in foreign companies as an active shareholder. The new ESG approach was agreed by MPK’s trustee board in November last year. A month later MPK joined SVVK-ASIR, the Swiss association for responsible investment that was founded in 2015 by several pension funds.“MPK is convinced sustainable investment can improve the risk-return ratio to benefit members without diminishing returns,” the fund said.In addition, MPK said it would also “include ESG criteria in all investment selections”.In an unrelated move, the pension fund last year pooled all its real estate investments into a separate vehicle that it created at year-end 2016. Over the first quarter of 2017 the pension fund transferred CHF5.2bn in domestic real estate assets to an unlisted vehicle especially created for Swiss institutional investors. The vehicle will facilitate management and administration of the real estate portfolio.Last year, MPK posted a 9% return on its assets, compared to 5.3% the year before. The result was well above the 2017 market average of around 7.5%. At the beginning of the year the pension fund’s foreign equity benchmark was switched to MSCI’s ESG index. Since then, the pension fund has overweighted companies with a strong ESG rating from MSCI.MPK’s equity holdings made up more than 19% of the total portfolio as per year-end 2017.last_img read more

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