Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Suffolk County police are investigating a pair of armed home invasions one week and four miles apart in Wyandanch and North Amityville.In the first case, two men broke into a house on 30th Street in Wyandanch through a rear basement door, flashed a gun at victims inside and stole a Playstation 3 video game console shortly after midnight Wednesday, May 7, police said.In the second case, a resident at a 45th Street home in North Amityville opened their front door for a man with a gun who forced his way inside, ransacked the house and fled the scene empty handed shortly after 3 p.m. Tuesday, May 13, police said.Neither a description was available, nor arrests made in either case. There were no reported injuries.First Squad detectives are continuing the investigation into both cases.
4 Reasons at a GlancePhysical securityInformation securityBusiness ContinuityRegulatory ComplianceFinding a solution you can trust The pressure to cut costs and grow a loyal member base is a significant factor when it comes to cloud adoption for your credit union. You’re probably struggling to meet increasing demands from members and regulators while working with fewer resources and shrinking margins. This challenge not only puts you in a tough spot from a business perspective, but also leaves you with legitimate security concerns while weighing the benefits and risks of moving sensitive member data to the cloud.Apprehension and judgment are a few common emotions when it comes to the “cloud” conversation, but proven, secure solutions do exist, and they can give your financial institution an appropriate competitive advantage while meeting your security needs. There are several things to take into consideration as you evaluate your options.#1 Physical SecurityData security involves much more than firewalls and antivirus programs to keep your institution and consumers protected. If you’re considering a cloud service provider, start out by making sure they have physical safeguards to keep your data protected from human and natural incursions.Minimal security protocols should include:Biometric scanning and a PIN needed for entry24/7 recorded video surveillancePhoto ID and security escort required for all visitorsEquipment cages and locksPhoto ID key card badge required for access#2 Information Security Protection from cybercriminals is imperative when it comes to the security of your data. Recent security breaches in the news might have you increasingly concerned that the current solutions you have in place are not be enough to keep your data out of the wrong hands.Providers of well-secured cloud services utilize enhanced measures such as redundant firewalls, proactive patch and vulnerability management and data encryption to protect sensitive data, which is comforting for decision makers searching for a cloud solution.#3 Business ContinuityDisaster recovery and business continuity are about expecting the unexpected and preparing for system failure, which makes these priorities top of mind for industry leaders looking to migrate to a cloud solution. Credit unions need proof that their data would be safe in the event of a natural disaster, if an employee leaves and even if a workstation becomes infected with malware and requires a restore.SaaS providers should offer a sound business continuity plan with safeguards like these:Geographically distant, redundant data centersRedundant power, cooling, and network connectivity at each data centerContinuous, SAN-to-SAN replication between data centersAnnual functional disaster recovery testingPrivate circuit connectivityInternet-based backup connectivityIndependent carrier feedsBattery backup and diesel generatorsYour provider should guarantee 24/7 monitoring of their systems as well. Not only will your credit union experience maximum business continuity, better performance, fewer glitches and maximum uptime, but problems are also detected early, which can help prevent them from escalating.#4 Regulatory ComplianceThe “Where’s your data?” question can be incredibly daunting and probably has a long-winded answer without a secure cloud solution in place. With the mobile device explosion and consumerization at an all-time high, data can be accessed and viewed via smartphones, servers, external hard drives, USB sticks, laptops, tablets … you name it!A cloud-based solution solves the proliferating data problem by keeping sensitive information in one place where it’s secured, audited and built with these compliance best practices in mind:Developed and operated in accordance with FFIEC guidelinesSubject to multi-agency examinationReviewed by third-party audit and security firms to ensure industry standards and regulations are more easily metIn ConclusionThough trust cannot be bought, it can be earned and proven with the right technology. Understanding where your data is, how it is secured and how it’s being managed is essential to gaining the peace of mind you – and your members – deserve. Cloud solutions can provides enterprise level physical and information security while promising business continuity and the best IT management the industry has to offer.A good SaaS provider can deliver the maximum uptime, predictable costs and physical security you need to stay protected and prepared. In adopting a cloud solution, credit unions will have the ability to:Respond rapidly to business needs in a more secure mannerMeet compliance, high availability and business continuity objectivesCreate a predictable and scalable environment that addresses the futureChoosing a proven SaaS provider like D+H for your core, lending, and other channels is a wise first step for credit unions in search of a solution built for the future of the financial services industry. 70SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Kristen Keely Kristen Keely is a Cloud Solutions Marketing Manager at D+H with years of experience in technology communications. Prior to D+H, she specialized in sales training and corporate mobility. … Web: www.dh.com Details
Consumers are increasingly looking for greater ﬂexibility in ﬁnancing their vehicles. As an example, some like residual financing, such as the balloon lending program credit unions can offer as an alternative to traditional leasing or loan programs through Auto Financial Group. This program reduces consumers’ monthly payments by letting them pay off just a part of the principal during the term of the financing. When all the payments are made, the borrower pays the lender a lump sum or “balloon payment” for the difference.According to Experian Automotive, all types of leasing, including residual-based ﬁnancing, have grown from 24 percent to 31 percent over the last ﬁve years.This is not surprising when you consider that Experian Automotive also finds the average auto loan amount has increased 16 percent since 2011. In 2011 the average was $25,873, while today the average loan amount has increased to $30,032. Some consumers are unable or unwilling to purchase a new vehicle and are looking to ﬁnancial institutions for financing options.In all of this, used cars, including certiﬁed pre-owned vehicles, have become an attractive option for consumers looking to lower their monthly payments and shorten their terms. According to a recent survey by Swapalease.com, an online car lease marketplace, 78 percent of drivers said they would consider using lease options, including residual-based ﬁnancing, for their purchase of a used car or truck. continue reading » 12SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
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A flight chartered by the Chinese Consulate-General picked up 61 Chinese nationals from Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport on Saturday to bring them back to Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in China. The tourists, comprising 49 adults and 12 children, had been stranded in Bali since Wednesday following the Indonesian government’s decision to temporarily halt all flights to and from mainland China.Read also: Thousands of Chinese tourists stranded in Bali as govt halts flights to and from China “The China Consulate General said it had picked up its residents today because they want to celebrate Cap Go Meh [15th day of the first month of the lunar calendar] in their home country,” Ngurah Rai Airport general manager Herry Sikado said on Saturday.The flight took off from I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport at 2:11 p.m. local time, having arrived in Bali from Guangzhou at 12.20 p.m.In an attempt to prevent the new coronavirus from spreading, tight procedures were implemented before and after the flight took off. Airport management prepared an isolated parking area for the plane, located as far as possible from the main terminal. None of the flight crew were allowed to get off the plane during take-off preparations. And before takeoff, a joint team consisting of the flight crew and a medical team sprayed disinfectant throughout the aircraft, the cockpit crew and baggage area. The passengers were also required to undergo a medical checkup in a designated area.“All passengers were healthy during their stay in Bali. Before they boarded the plane, the medical team checked their temperatures, which were normal,” Herry said. (dpk)Topics :
US officials say they plan to keep sanctioning Iran to try to force it to curb its nuclear, missile and regional activities despite the coronavirus outbreak, which has killed 2,234 people in Iran.Treasury accused those designated of “malign activities” including selling Iranian oil to Syria, smuggling arms to Iraq and Yemen and backing Iraqi militias that attack US forces.The sanctions freeze any of their US-held assets and generally bar Americans from dealing with them.The five targeted companies are Mada’in Novin Traders and Reconstruction Organization of the Holy Shrines in Iraq, both of which are based in Iran and Iraq; Bahjat al Kawthar Company for Construction and Trading Ltd, also known as Kosar Company, and Al Khamael Maritime Services, which are both based in Iraq; and Middle East Saman Chemical Company, which is based in Iran. The action also blacklists 15 individuals who are associated with the companies or officials of the Quds Force and Kataib Hezbollah.Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif urged the boycott of US sanctions, though it was unclear if he was responding to the latest actions. “Does the US want a ‘forever pandemic’? Moral imperative to stop observing the bully’s sanctions,” he tweeted.Humanitarian supplies are exempt from sanctions Washington reimposed on Tehran after President Donald Trump abandoned Iran’s 2015 multilateral deal to limit its nuclear program.However, broader US sanctions deter many firms from humanitarian trade with Iran.The United States and Switzerland this year finalized a Swiss channel to get humanitarian goods to Iran. As of March 19, one transaction had been processed.Separately, Washington renewed a sanctions waiver letting Iraq import electricity from Iran but vowed to blacklist anyone who used it to help terrorist groups. The United States blacklisted five Iran- and Iraq-based companies and 15 individuals on Thursday for supporting terrorist groups, its third round of sanctions on Iranian targets in the last two weeks even as Tehran battles the coronavirus outbreak.In a statement, the US Treasury Department accused those targeted of supporting the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and its Quds Force elite foreign paramilitary and espionage arm and of transferring lethal aid to Iran-backed militias in Iraq such as Kataib Hezbollah and Asaib Ahl al-Haq, all of which Washington deems foreign terrorist organizations.The Pentagon blamed Kataib Hezbollah for a March 11 rocket attack that killed one British and two US personnel in Iraq. Topics :
Tight-knit structures Known for their ferocious support and stadium protests, the “ultras” are the organized front of German football’s famous fan culture. Earlier this year, ultra groups were slammed for tasteless protests against Hoffenheim club owner Dietmar Hopp, who was smeared as a “son of a bitch” in stadiums across the country.Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge referred to them then as “the ugly face” of football, but in recent weeks they have proved the opposite. Fans at major clubs such as Borussia Dortmund and Schalke have also organized volunteer delivery services similar to the one in Stuttgart, while Bayern supporters have called for donations to food banks.The ultras’ tight-knit structures make it easier to organize spontaneously in times of crisis, Knoedler told AFP.Since 2013, his own group have made annual donations to local causes such as a children’s charity and a homeless center. “We know that we are able to get relatively complex things going in a short space of time. On issues like social media production, telephone contacts and printing flyers…we have a pool of people to fall back on.”Even so, he added, the sheer size of the volunteer network they have built up in the last few weeks is “new ground”. “We are doing this for our city and our region. That is part of our self-understanding as ultras, that we are ready to help out where we can,” said Knoedler. “In the week after the Bielefeld game it became clear that something would change. We met up and asked ourselves what we were going to do.”Along with other supporter groups across the country, Knoedler and his fellow ultras decided to mobilize in support of their local community. Where he once led thousands of Stuttgart fans in cheering on their football team, Knoedler now organizes around 80 volunteers to pick up groceries and prescription medicines for those who can’t leave their homes. The project sprang up in a few days, and now encompasses six different districts in Stuttgart and the surrounding area. When their side played promotion rivals Arminia Bielefeld in the German second division on March 9, Stuttgart fans did not realize that it would be the last game before the coronavirus lockdown.A week later, football was suspended in Germany and Stuttgart’s “ultras” were focusing instead on helping the elderly and vulnerable during the health crisis. “A lot of people are ready to put their own egos to one side and come together to help the community,” Clemens Knoedler of Stuttgart ultra group Schwabensturm told AFP. Banners and beers Elsewhere in Germany, football fans have been making smaller contributions to the fight against coronavirus. In cities across the country, ultras have hung up banners outside hospitals and supermarkets.Normally used to display political protests or insult rival teams, the banners now bear messages of support for frontline workers in the crisis. “You are heroes!” read one sign visible form the window of a hospital in Osnabruck. Other supporters have joined together to save their teams from impending financial ruin, with clubs across the board struggling to stem the loss of matchday and TV revenues. At third-tier Hansa Rostock, ultras have urged fellow fans to “panic buy” official merchandise in a bid to boost club coffers.Meanwhile top-flight outfit Union Berlin have given fans the chance to buy virtual beers and sausages online, an idea which has also caught on at other clubs.And Union’s old city rivals BFC Dynamo have gone a step further.The fourth-tier club are selling tickets to an imaginary fixture against “Germany’s most hated club”: a certain “FC Corona COVID-19”.Topics :
Its triennial valuation revealed the deficit rising from £934m in 2011 to £2.8bn by 2014, leading to the new funding plan.On an IAS 19 basis, the group’s overall pension scheme deficits increase to £3.9bn from £2.6bn, despite what Tesco described as “strong asset performance”.Tesco said an 80 basis point fall in real corporate bond yields affected the discount rate, resulting in the deficit spike.In other news, Barnett Waddingham analysis of UK defined benefit schemes with more than £1bn in assets showed the use of alternative investment strategies has declined slightly, with the proportion of assets classed as ‘other’ moving to 18% from 22%.The ‘other’ category, the consultancy said, is normally classed as hedge funds or derivatives, or where allocations between Gilts, equities and property cannot be distinguished.Data was taken from public accounts for the accounting year ending October 2014.The survey also found the average deficit recovery plans was around £94m per annum.However, the companies ranged between £7m and £400m. Barnett Waddingham said it made little impact, with funding levels remaining stagnant at 94% from 2013.The large DB schemes paid an average levy to the Pension Protection Fund of £3.2m, around 0.03% of assets.Barnett Waddingham said investment fees were still the largest cost factor, with the average among the funds working out to 0.2%. Tesco has approved a new £270m (€375m) per annum deficit-reduction plan with its pension scheme after the triennial valuation revealed a nearly 200% rise in its deficit.The UK high-street supermarket, which revealed an overall £6.4bn annual loss after significant write-downs, has been suffering recently, restating accounts after reporting its quarterly profit to be £250m higher than realised.It now faces investigations from the UK’s Financial Reporting Council (FRC) and Serious Fraud Office (SFO), as well as a potential lawsuit from institutional investors over allegedly misleading financial statements.The £8.1bn Tesco Pension Scheme is now likely to be closed to future accrual after the supermarket announced a consultation earlier this year.
Brunel Pension Partnership is embarking on a new climate policy aimed at systemic change in the investment industry, as part of which it will consider whether to ditch asset managers and companies if they have not lived up to expectations.The new policy is the result of in-depth consultation with Brunel’s founding 10 local authority pension fund clients, who have £30bn (€35bn) in assets between them.Faith Ward, chief responsible investment officer at Brunel, said its clients had large and ever-increasing demands with respect to climate change but that Brunel had found “the financial system isn’t going to be able to deliver what we want in its current form”.According to the pool, the financial system is not “fit for purpose” for keeping the global average temperature increase to well below 2°C compared with pre-industrial levels. Faith Ward, chief responsible investment officer, Brunel Pension PartnershipIt is at this stage that Brunel could decide to scrap asset managers and/or exclude companies.For now, because its goal is to drive change in the way asset managers work, the asset pooling company has decided not to issue exclusion criteria for companies.Ward said exclusions “make life really easy for the asset manager”.“It doesn’t actually make them change their analytics, their investment process, how they think,” she told IPE.As part of stress-testing its portfolios under a range of climate scenarios Brunel challenge its investment managers to demonstrate reduced exposure to climate risk as well as effective corporate engagement that puts companies on a trajectory to align with warming of at most 2°C.Managers that fail to do so risk having their mandates removed. Brunel has said that where it has found asset managers’ engagement with companies to be ineffective, it would also consider whether it should introduce specific exclusion criteria for companies instead of sacking managers.2°C-alignment projectsThe product-focussed prong of the pool’s new climate policy relates to its view that there is “a general absence of investable investment products that make a substantive contribution to climate change mitigation or adaptation”.Under the new policy, the pool will be looking to extend the range and quality of products available to its clients, for example in fixed income, and invest in the development of more innovative products.A specific aim is to seek a decarbonisation of at least 7% year-on-year in its listed equity portfolios, a target that it will also review as part of the 2022 stocktake.Brunel has pledged that by 2022 it will have assessed the degree to which its main listed equity portfolios, and possibly other portfolios, were at least 2°C-aligned.Acknowledging that the methodologies and frameworks to carry out this type of assessment were under development, Brunel said it would therefore prioritise supporting efforts, for example by piloting methodologies, that enabled it to assess and report on its portfolio performance.“Benchmarks are fundamentally flawed when it comes to climate”Faith Ward, chief responsible investment officer at BrunelBrunel also has improvements to benchmarks in its sight, with Ward describing these as “fundamentally flawed when it comes to climate”.According to its climate policy document, the pooling vehicle will explore the role that investment benchmarks play in driving investment decisions and “in constraining our ability to invest in areas that make a meaningful contribution to climate change mitigation and adaptation”.“We will press the industry to make the core benchmarks more compatible with a 2°C-aligned world,” it said.Earlier this month Brunel announced that around 50% of its clients’ assets had been transitioned to the pooling vehicle. Its new policy consists of a plan built on five principal areas where Brunel considers “there is a critical need for action and where we believe we can make a significant difference”: policy advocacy, product governance, portfolio management, positive impact, and persuasion.The policy will guide Brunel’s work on climate change over the next three years. In late 2022, to tie in with the 10 client pension funds’ upcoming triennial valuation and investment reviews, it will review the policy.“We’ll be taking stock of the whole policy,” said Ward. “What’s worked, what hasn’t, how have asset managers, service providers and companies responded to the challenge.”
The ten OPEC members’ crude output stayed unchanged in April at 31.85 million barrels per day compared to March, according to an S&P Global Platts survey released today. OPEC is still showing high compliance with its production cut agreement, as increases in Angola and Nigeria were offset by declines from Libya and Iraq, the energy intelligence group said“OPEC members can go into their May 25 meeting in Vienna feeling good about their compliance levels. Even countries, like Iraq and the UAE, which have come in for some criticism over their production levels, moved closer to compliance in April. But an extension to the production cut agreement is far from a done deal, with many details to be negotiated, including cut levels, exemptions and duration, amid an increasingly skeptical market. OPEC still has much to discuss,” said Herman Wang, OPEC Specialist, S&P Global Platts.Thus, the April production figures in the S&P Global Platts survey and the five other secondary sources used by OPEC to monitor output will be some of the final data points that the organization considers at its meeting. OPEC’s collective April output was some 80,000 b/d above its stated ceiling of 32.5 million b/d, when Indonesia, which typically produces about 730,000 b/d, is added in. Indonesia suspended its OPEC membership in November and is not included in the S&P Global Platts survey estimates for 2017.OPEC’s largest producer Saudi Arabia averaged 9.97 million b/d in April, according to the survey, below its quota under the deal of 10.058 million b/d. The kingdom is seen as a driver of OPEC’s production cut deal, with energy minister Khalid al-Falih saying at a conference in Abu Dhabi last month that there appeared to be a growing consensus on a need to extend the cuts, as global inventories remain stubbornly high.Iraq, which has faced criticism for not fully complying with its required cut, produced 4.36 million b/d in April, the survey found, as the Taq Taq field in the Kurdistan Region of the country has seen output decline, while exports from Iraq’s Persian Gulf terminal also fell during the month. The country’s April output is 9,000 b/d above its quota under the deal, the closest it has been to compliance. Over the January through April period, however, its average remains 60,000 b/d above its quota, the highest among OPEC members.Iran, which is allowed a slight output increase under the deal, held production steady in April at 3.77 million b/d, the survey found, below its quota of 3.797 million b/d. The UAE, also under pressure from fellow OPEC members to come into compliance with its quota, lowered production slightly to 2.84 million b/d, down 10,000 b/d from March, the survey found.Exemptions in FocusAngola saw new production come online in its offshore East Hub development, with the country’s output rising 80,000 b/d in the month to 1.68 million b/d. Nigeria, meanwhile, ended maintenance on key export grade Bonga in April, with production at the field ramping up throughout the month. The country’s output averaged 1.65 million b/d in April, according to the survey.In Libya, a blockade of a pipeline from the Sharara field to the Zawiya terminal in the country’s west by a militia knocked production down significantly in the month to 550,000 b/d. Libya’s National Oil Company declared force majeure on Zawiya on April 9, but NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla last week announced that a deal had been struck with the Petroleum Facilities Guard militia to reopen Sharara, as well as the nearby El Feel field. Nigeria and Libya, both impacted heavily by militancy over the last year, are exempt from the production deal, which led some OPEC watchers to doubt the effectiveness of the agreement, if production from the two countries were to recover and offset any cuts. But the two countries’ combined January-April average output of 2.273 million b/d is just 6,300 b/d higher than their October levels, according to the S&P Global Platts survey.Strong complianceOf the 11 members of OPEC that have a quota under the deal, compliance is 117%, based on January through April averages. If Iran is not included, the 10 members of OPEC required to cut production have achieved a collective 105% of their cuts, based on January through April averages. Since the deal covers an average of January to June output, month-to-month fluctuations are to be expected. The S&P Global Platts estimates were obtained by surveying OPEC and oil industry officials, traders and analysts, as well as reviewing proprietary shipping data.In concert with OPEC, 11 non-OPEC countries led by Russia have also agreed to cut output by a combined 558,000 b/d in the first half of 2017, with many of those countries phasing in their reductions or relying on natural declines. Russia last week announced it had reached its commitment to cut 300,000 b/d. Ministers from those 11 non-OPEC producers will also be meeting in Vienna with OPEC on May 25 to review their participation in the deal and any extension.Source: S&P Global Platts