Dwayne Johnson is a contender in NBC sitcom ‘Young Rock’

first_imgLOS ANGELES (AP) — Dwayne Johnson’s new NBC comedy “Young Rock” is a coming-of-age story inspired by his challenging childhood and youth. The story is framed by the adult Johnson’s reflections on his life as he makes a fictional run for president in the year 2032. Johnson says the approach was designed to give him an ongoing role in the comedy, which debuts in February on NBC. “Young Rock” recounts what Johnson faced before becoming a famous pro wrestler and then film and TV star and producer. Johnson declined to say if he might be preparing America for his real-life run for president someday.last_img read more

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EU tightens vaccine export rules, creates post-Brexit outcry

first_imgBRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union has introduced tighter rules on exports of coronavirus vaccines that could hit shipments to nations like the United Kingdom amid a deepening dispute with drugmaker AstraZeneca over supplies of potentially lifesaving shots. The measure created an outcry Friday in Northern Ireland and the UK, amid fears it would trigger controls on vaccines shipments produced in the 27-nation bloc to the small territory that is part of United Kingdom and borders the EU’s Ireland. Under the post-Brexit deal, EU products should still be able to travel unhindered from the bloc to Northern Ireland. The EU later made clear it won’t introduce controls on vaccines to Northern Ireland.last_img read more

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Students teach fifth graders

first_img Hunter said her students were excited for the field trip, but they relaxed once they were placed in smaller groups with the engineering students. John Enszer, an instructor in the First Year Engineering Department, said he hopes I2D2 becomes an annual event.  “The kids like anything where they get to make something or work with something,” Karen Hunter, a South Bend teacher, said. “It’s exciting for them to see projects from start to finish.” “I can’t wait until I get to go to school here,” said Pangallo. “This is a day in class for us right now, just sitting her playing LEGOs with you,” freshman Erik Jenson said to students. The older students were able to act as mentors to the youth, who learned about energy and motion as well as how scientists and engineers design, build and test their experiments. After experiencing a day like this, students like Pangallo think college must be cool and it gets that thought in the back of their mind. The students participated in the Irish Pet Project and the 2010 Domer Freewheeling Derby. The activities had students brainstorming ideas for robotic pets and building and racing LEGO vehicles. “My favorite part of today was building and racing a car,” fifth grader Martha Alsip said. “It was really cool.” As an outreach project to get more involved with local South Bend youth, the College of Engineering first-year students held a technological discovery day called “I2D2—Imagination, Innovation, Discovery and Design at Notre Dame.”center_img The event was held Friday at Stepan Center and welcomed nearly 350 students from the South Bend Community School Corporation to campus. The afternoon aimed at answering two questions engineers deal with most: “Why do things work the way they do?” and “How do we make them work better?”  “It’s important for the kids to be able to visualize what they’re learning,” she said. “They very much look up to them.” For part of the afternoon, the engineers and fifth-graders broke into small groups to work with LEGOs and  to give the youth a chance to talk with the older students about anything from building a LEGO coconut to what it’s like to go to college. “Today is really fun, but playing with the LEGOs is the best part,” fifth grader Taylor Pangallo said.  Hunter said it is more than an educational field trip to the students.  “It’s an ongoing incentive to go to college,” she said.  “It’s exciting to have fifth graders talking to college kids,” he said. “It’s a chance for them to meet role models and it’s a chance for Notre Dame students to interact with the community.”  last_img read more

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Two New COVID-19 Deaths Reported In Cattaraugus County Overnight

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) CDC Image.LITTLE VALLEY – Two new COVID-19 related deaths were reported in Cattaraugus County overnight.The Cattaraugus County Health Department says a 55-year-old woman developed cardiac failure, while a 78-year-old man developed respiratory failure. Both, officials report, were unable to overcome their illness despite aggressive medical treatment.This is the 28th and 29th COVID-19 related death reported.Additionally, the county recorded 39 new cases of the virus on Tuesday, with 352 active. Twenty-one people are hospitalized in the county and the seven-day average positivity rate is 6.4 percent.The Health Department is encouraging residents who feel they are ill to be tested for the virus. They can sign up for testing at cattco.org/covid-19-test or call 716-938-9119.last_img read more

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Jay Z Tapped to Produce In the Heights Movie

first_imgJay Z, Javier Muñoz & Beyoncé(Photo: Bruce Glikas) View Comments His empire state of mind is taking him all the way up to Washington Heights! Hamilton fan and hip-hop legend Jay Z will be a producer on the In the Heights film, Page Six reports. The news was revealed at Harvey Weinstein‘s pre-Oscars party at the Montage Beverly Hills. Power couple Jay and Beyoncé, who caught Javier Muñoz in Hamilton in October 2015, arrived at the event during a live performance by Cynthia Erivo, Chris Jackson and Corbin Bleu of songs from Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s In the Heights.As previously announced, the Weinstein Company is producing the screen adaptation of Miranda’s Tony-winning Best Musical with The Color Purple producer Scott Sanders. The big screen adaptation is set to begin production in the spring. Also as reported, Jon M. Chu is in early talks to helm the film.This is not Mr. Carter’s first jump to the screen. In September, Jay Z and Weinstein signed a first-look movie deal. As a producer and executive producer, Jay Z has worked on Annie, Top Five and The Great Gatsby. So does this mean Beyoncé will play Vanessa or Nina? Fingers crossed!last_img read more

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Shumlin names Larson to head DVHA, to be key player in implementing health care reform

first_imgGovernor Peter Shumlin today announced the appointment of Mark Larson to head the Department of Vermont Health Access. Larson, who serves in the Vermont House, replaces Susan Besio as commissioner.‘I am proud to add Mark Larson to my administration and look forward to his leadership at DVHA,” Shumlin said. “Mark has a deep understanding of health policy in Vermont, including complex systems like Medicaid, which is central to health planning. Mark has also demonstrated his commitment to the principles behind Act 48, and will be a valuable member of my health care policy team.’As commissioner, Larson will oversee management of Vermont’s publicly funded health insurance programs. He will also play a key role in moving forward Vermont’s health care reform efforts, including the new Vermont Health Benefit Exchange and Green Mountain Care. Larson will officially begin the position on August 17.The mission of DVHA includes improving access, quality and cost effectiveness in health care reform; assisting Medicaid beneficiaries in accessing services; and collaborating with other health care entities in bringing proven practices to Vermont Medicaid beneficiaries.Larson, who lives in Burlington, will be a critical player in implementing the governor’s health reforms, and work closely with the newly created Green Mountain Care Board. He has been a member of the Vermont House since 2000, where he has served as the Chair of the House Health Care Committee, Vice Chair of the House Appropriations Committee and Co-Chair of the Vermont Commission on Health Care Reform.‘I am excited to join Governor Shumlin’s health care team,’ said Larson. ‘Under his leadership, Vermont has a historic opportunity to provide all Vermonters with affordable access to health care. I look forward to working with Vermonters to take advantage of the opportunity presented by the reforms outlined in Act 48.’DVHA is located in the Agency of Human Services.last_img read more

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Restoring faith in pensions: Show them, and they shall believe

first_imgThe European pensions industry has been contemplating the idea of ‘trust’ for some time, as a growing number of consumers lose faith in the sector. In light of a number of less-than-favourable events, ranging from the Maxwell case in the UK to recent rights cuts in the Netherlands, many feel that pensions, rather than secure income in retirement, will simply let them down. Whether by one means pension funds, trustees, insurance companies or asset managers when referring to the “industry” makes little difference. In the eyes of consumers, they’re all the same – providers providing only for themselves. But none of this is new. Since the financial crisis, financial services in general have seen little good light, with one delegate at this year’s World Pension Summit in The Hague lamenting how it had even fallen behind the press in terms of trustworthiness.Restoring trust in pensions has become a staple of almost any conference these days. But an idea floated by the interim director of the National Pensions Commission in Nigeria succeeds in bringing together two very hot conference topics – trust and infrastructure – and discusses how they could help each other.Chinelo Anohu-Amazu told delegates in The Hague about the first-pillar pensions system in her country pre-2004. It was not one that invoked confidence among the people. Many citizens retired expecting the unfunded system to provide them with promised benefits. However, the financing of the scheme became unsustainable, and many participants ended up in long queues awaiting payment, with some never seeing their promised benefits at all. In 2004, the government, backed by political consensus, moved to reform the system, and after drawing inspiration from Chile and Mexico, created a defined contribution system, with payments taken directly from salaries and managed by the private sector, away from government hands. In the 10 years since, the scheme has moved from being $15bn (€12bn) in debt to acquiring assets of around $27bn. It now has more than 6m savers with individual accounts.This year, the country then amended the system, which increased coverage and allowed greater investment freedom for the scheme’s assets. The investment amendments allow the scheme to invest in classes Anohu-Amazu said can “assist the pensioner” – namely real estate and infrastructure.Trust was still an issue given the disastrous systems of the past, and Anohu-Amazu said new reforms added education to help build trust. But there was more to be done, more information, and a convergence with investments. “Investment into assets that contributors can see,” she said. “Better roads, rail and housing. It will make the reforms more acceptable and more involving.”Let us take this idea forward, and combine it with calls from almost all EU states for infrastructure investment from pension funds, the long-term investment platform announced by the European Commission, and the need for pension funds to invest in long-dated, inflation-linked assets, and you could almost have a perfect pie.Of course, it is not that simple, but the basic premise is positive. Investment in infrastructure, as IPE has suggested on several occasions, is a popular concept but difficult to implement. And the trust issues faced by pension schemes are arguably, and ironically, down to schemes falling victim to the very same reasons members no longer trust financial services.But, pension schemes are unfortunately banded together with financial services. One way to shed that might be to show the schemes are not merely out for themselves. Building bridges with members – as well as for them – might just be a start.last_img read more

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​Danica to divest weapons exporters to Saudi Arabia after govt ban

first_imgResearch was currently being conducted on the arms trade to Saudi Arabia, taking into account the Danish government’s decision in November as well as companies’ due diligence on arms trading, he said.“We have followed the situation surrounding the conflict closely, and following Denmark’s ban on Danish companies’ arms exports to Saudi Arabia, we have in this special case decided to support Denmark’s ban,” Svennesen said.“We have thus made it clear that we will not invest our customers’ funds in companies if they do new deals for weapons exports to Saudi Arabia that would have been against the ban for a Danish company.”According to a recent report in Danish newspaper Information, 14 of the 17 biggest pension funds in Denmark have invested more than DKK1.1bn in firms that supply military equipment to Saudi Arabia.Last November, the Danish foreign ministry decided to suspend the approval of arms exports and “dual-use products” sales to Saudi Arabia following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and developments in Yemen. One of Denmark’s largest pension providers is to blacklist investments in companies that export arms to Saudi Arabia, along with its parent company Danske Bank.Danica Pension – Denmark’s second biggest commercial pension fund with total assets of DKK566bn (€76bn) – and Danske Bank backed the Danish government’s ban on domestic companies exporting weapons to Saudi Arabia, a spokesman for Danica Pension confirmed to IPE.Anders Svennesen, CIO of Danske Bank Asset Management and Danica Pension, told IPE: “Decisions to divest will be made on a case by case basis, based on thorough research and company dialogue.”As yet, he said he had no estimate of how much money the divestment would involve.last_img read more

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RNC Day 1: Miami Cuban Immigrant Delivers Most Powerful Speech

first_imgFlorida businessman and Cuban migrant, Maximo Alvarez, stole the show at the Republican National Convention on Monday.Alvarez, the founder of Sunshine Gasoline Distributors, fled Cuba with his parents at the age of 13 as Fidel Castro and his communist regime took control of the island. Speaking in support of President Trump, an emotional Alvarez alleged that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is “mostly concerned about power” and would allow socialist policies to take hold in America.“I’ve seen movements like this before. I’ve seen ideas like this before. I am here to tell you – we cannot let them take over our country,” Alvarez said. “I heard the promises of Fidel Castro. And I can never forget all those who grew up around me, who looked like me, who suffered and starved and died because they believed those empty promises. They swallowed the communist poison pill.”Alvarez argued that Democrats have bad ideas such as free health care and calls to defund the police which he says are “false promises” that “sound familiar” based on his experiences in Cuba. The Trump administration has accused Biden and running mate Kamala Harris of embracing far-left policies in their platform.last_img read more

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