PARIS (AP) — Floodwaters that devastated vineyards and orchards are receding in southwest France but rising elsewhere, including in a French town where people were evacuated from flooded homes. In the Paris region, the Seine River overflowed its embankments for a fifth day. North of Bordeaux, the Charente River flooded dozens of streets and homes in the western town of Saintes, and was expected to keep rising. Mayor Bruno Drapron called on authorities Saturday to declare a natural disaster to facilitate aid and insurance payments. The local government says more than 2,000 residents may have to be evacuated. The 95 inmates at Sainte’s 19th century prison were evacuated Friday as a preventive measure and placed in other facilities.
Every Notre Dame athlete is encouraged to ‘play like a champion today,’ a motto that aspiring coaches among Notre Dame’s student body are learning to pass on to local youth teams. Notre Dame’s physical education department has devised a coaching certification program in order to give students the tools to coach youth sports teams effectively, said Stephen Bender, visiting associate specialist in the physical education department. “This program allows Notre Dame students to become certified coaches,” Bender said. “This program offers a pretty solid base to help our students get their feet in the door.” Notre Dame’s coaching certification program, supported by both its physical education department and the Institute for Educational Initiatives, certifies students through the American Sport Education Program, Bender said. Certification requires two courses – “Social Foundations of Coaching” and “Principles of Coaching” – as well as an exam, Bender said. “The social foundations class is more about ways to motivate people, while the principles class is about teaching coaches how to coach … and getting them to realize that there is a lot more to coaching than just going out onto the field,” Bender said. The social foundations of coaching course teaches the essentials of the “Play Like a Champion Today” Educational Series, an initiative that instills positive coaching techniques in organizations around the United States, Associate Program Director Damian Kearney said. “The research behind this philosophy was conducted by Professor Clark Power, who found that a high percentage of children were leaving sports, basically because it wasn’t fun anymore,” Kearney said. “The concept of youth sporting around the country had become so focused on winning and professionalization that the end had strayed from what ‘youth sports’ had been meant to be initially. We want kids to have fun, maintain good physical fitness and to make friends.” The “Play Like a Champion Today” staff teaches clinics throughout the country, Kearney said. He said the undergraduate course is more academic. “We read social psychologists who have written on ‘flow’ in sports and how the best performances come from athletes when they’re feeling an equal amount of challenge and fun – we get more into the science of how our philosophy came about,” Kearney said. “The end goal of the course would be for our students – if they go on to be coaches in communities – to know the reasons we get into coaching in the first place and to use these techniques to raise not only good athletes, but good people.” Bender said he seeks to offer a coaching practicum that allows interested students to get hands on experience outside of the classroom. “If students want to get into the coaching practicum – which is basically student teaching for a semester by getting hands on coaching experience – I go out and find positions for those girls and guys to coach for a whole season at local high schools,” Bender said. “I find coaches to take them under their wings while they coach – it’s an awesome experience.” Junior Nick Conrad said the best part of his coaching experience was becoming a part of his team’s community. “For me, I was fortunate enough to work at St. Joseph High School in South Bend, where I was welcomed into their family of players, coaches and staff,” Conrad said. “It was amazing how in four months I was able to become so invested in the school and football program. I still stay in touch with coaches and players and plan on volunteering again next year.” Conrad said dealing with the interpersonal aspect of coaching proved to be the biggest obstacle. “The most challenging experience of coaching is understanding your players,” Conrad said. “Understanding personalities and how to motivate is key. Since this was my first coaching job, it was also a challenge to recognize what drills and practice techniques were actually translating to field success and where I needed to focus my attention for practice plans.” Bender said this practicum helps students to discern if they would like to pursue further coaching opportunities. “The practicum solidifies their passion. They might be a little skeptical going out into the real world and seeing what coaching is all about, but everyone that we’ve placed has come back and said, ‘that was the greatest thing I’ve done at Notre Dame,’” Bender said.
The Vermont Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities & Health Care Administration (BISHCA) has issued administrative charges against UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company to determine whether a fine or other sanction should be imposed on the national insurer for deceptive advertising. BISHCA alleges violations that include failing to file Medicare Supplement advertisements for approval by the Department and engaging in unfair insurance practices. The charges state that throughout the fall, UnitedHealthcare placed unapproved Medicare Supplement advertisements in various Vermont newspapers and other media. It is also alleged that representations contained in some of the advertisements at issue are untrue, deceptive or misleading. A preliminary pre-hearing conference on these charges is scheduled for Tuesday, December 13. ‘The facts are for the hearing officer,’ said Clifford Peterson, BISHCA’s General Counsel. ‘The Department’s primary concern is that consumers get accurate information, which is why Vermont law requires insurers to submit certain proposed advertising material for our prior review.’ BISHCA 12.9.2011
It was this time last year that I was just getting turned on to the country stylings of Nashville/Athens- based singer/songwriter Boo Ray.Boo is a country fan’s country artist, complete with the monosyllabic Southern forename and songs bound together by chicken wire and sawdust.When he isn’t working on long players of his own, Boo Ray is partnering up with musician pals in the Boocoo Amigos series. So far, Ray has teamed up with Both Lilly Winwood and Elizabeth Cook to record and press three seven inch singles, printed up by the good folks at Kindercore Vinyl.The latest in the Boocoo Amigos series hits the streets tomorrow and has Boo Ray joined by renowned chef Sean Brock.To Ray, it was a no-brainer to get Brock out of the kitchen in his famous Husk restaurants and behind his guitar for the project.“Sean’s a badass guitar player and has a really cool tone and great feel. He’s been back into picking guitar for a year or so now and claims a strong spot in the band with us for a three-guitar attack. Sean plays great rhythm guitar and picking these great triple guitar solos has me hangin’ ten.”This month, Trail Mix features “Saint Misbehavin,” a track co-written by Ray and Brock.“Sean and I wrote this one as a celebration of our tattooist pal Mitchell Atkinson, who has a wild rebel soul and always drove some kind of radical hot rod, dune buggy, jacked up truck, or chopper. We talked about the song having a Jerry Reed and Georgia kind of vibe, since we both knew Mitch from Pain & Wonder Tattoo Studio in Athens and we’re both Jerry Reed fans. There’s just something special about that cultural intersection of hot roads, that ‘red clay’ Georgia guitar sound, and Georgia asphalt, right where you pull up off a dirt road onto the blacktop.”I also wanted to get Sean Brock’s take on the project, so I reached out to him and he was kind enough to take time from his insanely busy schedule of handling some of the country hottest restaurants to tackle some questions on his Appalachian roots, getting into a Nashville studio, and what would make a Boo Ray inspired dish so tasty.BRO – When you think of music from Appalachia, what is the first name that comes to mind?SB – Lesley Riddle, a one-legged African American musician. His relationship with the Carter Family is undeniably responsible for what country music is today, has been, and will continue to be. If you have never heard of him, I highly suggest venturing down that rabbit hole.BRO – Tell me about your guitar.SB – My main guitar that I reach for every time is a Novo Serus J made by Dennis Fano and his incredibly talented team. It’s light as a feather and sounds like an acoustic guitar when it’s unplugged. The neck is like a stick of butter that’s been sitting on the counter for the perfect amount of time.BRO – What got you interested in playing with Boo?SB – As soon as I heard Boo’s lyrics, I knew that we were cut from the same cloth. Not many people are blessed with the sense of humor and wit he was given.BRO – Playing guitar in the studio. Did that have you outside your comfort zone?SB – I don’t think I have ever been more nervous or humbled in my life. Sitting in a studio in Nashville is a place I never thought I would end up. I was so nervous I forgot to eat that day and around 3:30 in the afternoon I started hallucinating a little. I guess that’s how some of the best music has been made, so I’ll take it.BRO – If you were to whip up a dish for Husk called The Boo Ray, what might the secret ingredient be?SB – A spoonful of elixir pulled from the coffee can sitting on the stove full of country ham and bacon drippings. Greasy and groovy as all get out.Plan ahead on a trip to Charleston (SC), Savannah, Nashville, or Greenville (SC) and you can grab some of Sean Brock’s Southern cuisine at one of his four Husk locations.Boo Ray will be at The 5 Spot in Nashville on Tuesday, August 28th, for $2 Tuesday. If you are around, swing by and check out some of the best songwriters in The Music City in what is one of the best showcases in Nashville. For more information on Boo Ray, his tour dates, or how to grab his recordings, check out his website.And make sure you grab your copy of the latest Boocoo Amigos release, featuring Boo Ray and Sean Brock, which drops tomorrow, August 24th. You can take an early listen to “Saint Misbehavin,” along with tracks from Jonathan Scales Fourchestra, Kevin Gordon, Beth Snapp, and more on this month’s Trail Mix.
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Fans dancing at an electronic music festival, long lines at breakfast stands, gridlocked traffic — the scenes in coronavirus ground zero Wuhan these days would have been unthinkable in January.The central Chinese city’s recovery after a 76-day lockdown was lifted in April has brought life back onto its streets.The queues snaking outside breakfast stands are a far cry from the terrified crowds that lined up at the city’s hospitals in the first weeks after the city was quarantined in January to curb the spread of COVID-19. The hazmat suits and safety goggles that were once the norm have given way to umbrellas and sun hats as tourists shield themselves from the scorching summer sun, posing for photos in front of the city’s historic Yellow Crane Tower.But all is not back to normal.Business remains slow in Wuhan, a city of 11 million people where the coronavirus was first detected late last year before it unleashed a global pandemic.”In the first half of the year, we only opened some projects that had been decided before the outbreak,” Hu Zeyu, an employee at a local real estate company, tells AFP. Topics : “Business volume has been greatly reduced.”Food stall owner Yang Liankang says things are improving slowly, with sales growing from around 300 yuan ($28.72) a day a month ago to more than 1,000 yuan.”It’s not as good as my ideal,” he says.In some Wuhan neighborhoods, plastic barriers ubiquitous during the lockdown continue to restrict traffic.Many of the people first found to be infected worked at the Huanan Seafood Market, which was sealed off by the authorities.It still stands empty behind blue barriers. Some vendors have reopened their stalls elsewhere.Wuhan has also had time to look back on its trauma, though only some memories make it into the official narrative.At a pandemic-themed exhibition, families peer through glass at autographed hazmat suits used by medical workers at the height of Wuhan’s outbreak, in an attempt to document an unprecedented period in the city’s history.China has largely brought its domestic epidemic under control, but sporadic outbreaks and a summer of severe flooding have exacerbated the economic fallout.Despite fears of a resurgence, some Wuhan residents are keen to enjoy the city’s recovery.”Now I enjoy every day as if it were the last,” says Hu Fenglian.”I don’t want to worry too much.”
Allison Bryant (left) and Lyn Rocha from Wishart are good neighbours and great friends. Photo: Mark Cranitch.OUR reputation as a neighbourly nation is under threat according to a recent study by realestate.com.au. Of the more than 1000 survey respondents, 37 per cent said they had no interest in getting to know their neighbours.Even a wave over the fence was in peril with 15 per cent saying they avoided chatting to their neighbours, while one in 10 admitted to having spied on the people next door. Not all discussions are neighbourly. The survey showed one in five of us have had a dispute with our neighbours. Photo: Matt ThompsonRealestate.com.au executive general manager, Andrew Rechtman, said the findings showed our ‘Ramsay Street’ reputation was, for the most part, more fact than fiction.“The results are somewhat surprising when you consider Australians are known for their relaxed and friendly nature, but it seems that doesn’t always extend to our neighbours,” Mr Rechtman said.Mr Rechtman said friendly neighbours were a ‘must have’ for many house hunters.“Good neighbours can make or break a street,” Mr Rechtman said.But we need to work on building closer ties given the study showed one in five of us have had a dispute with a neighbour, Mr Rechtman said.“We know that more connected neighbours can lead to safer communities, as residents are more inclined to look out for one another,” he said.For 53-year-old Lyn Rocha of Wishart, the results don’t ring true.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home2 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor2 hours ago“I think it’s a bit sad really,” Mrs Rocha said.She and neighbour, Allison Bryant, are the best of friends.Mrs Rocha said Mrs Bryant was always on hand for assistance — even helping care for her daughter with special needs.“I’ve been able to ask her to just pop over and just sit with my daughter if I’ve had to run out and same with her. She’s got four young boys and I’ve always kind of just run over and helped her out,” Mrs Rocha said.Mrs Rocha said the companionship from nice next-door relations was always appreciated.“We just have a chit chat about what’s going on around the place just over the back fence.”She said it was disappointing more people hadn’t got to know their neighbours.“People just seem to think they’re too busy to chat,” Mrs Rocha said.“Having people around that you know makes you feel safer in your little area. We feel safe here because we know our neighbours. I can feel free to give them a call,” she said.Mrs Rocha said it was everyone’s responsibility to make an effort.“When somebody moves in its just nice to just pop round, say hello and introduce yourself.“It’s nice to have people to call on and to be there for other people if they need you,” she said.Follow Kieran Clair on Twitter at @kieranclair or Facebook on Kieran Clair — journo
The investment committee is responsible for making proposals to the pension fund’s board regarding investment principles, reviewing the fund’s investment performance, and monitoring its risk tolerance. The committee holds “up to six” meetings per year at CERN in Geneva, according to the job description.The job description said candidates should have “board level experience and a good working knowledge of investment committees”, as well as knowledge of asset management, portfolio construction, and risk management.“Candidates are sought with experience of managing the assets of pension funds, or similar long term institutional investors, such as endowments, foundations, and sovereign wealth funds,” the advert said.The full job description is available on CERN’s website. The CHF4bn (€3.7bn) CERN Pension Fund is advertising for a new investment committee member.The defined benefit scheme’s investment process is overseen by its internal team with the assistance of the committee, which includes internal staff and external experts.It is currently chaired by Alessandro Raimondo, with the pension fund’s CEO Matthew Eyton-Jones and CERN’s director for finance and human resources Martin Steinacher as members.The external experts are Jayne Atkinson, CIO of Unilever’s UK pension fund, and Pierre Sauvagnat, senior vice president at Banque Cantonale de Genève.
Swiss collective pension investment foundations (IFs) – Anlagestiftungen or fondations d’investissement – will in future be allowed to hold more than 50% of their assets in equities given the low-interest rate environment, according to a new draft law.Pension funds are also to be given more say in board decision-making at the foundations.Under current regulations, IFs offering mixed portfolios have to keep their equity allocation below 50% and are also restricted in diversifying into alternative asset classes.A new legal draft put forward by the Swiss federal government for consultation is now set to change this. The changes to the law governing the foundations – the ASV (Anlagestiftungsverordnung) – would allow them to have an equity weighting of more than 50% and also raise the cap on alternative assets to 25%.The federal government said these steps had become necessary in the current market environment.“The low interest rate environment has led to greater demand for investment vehicles with higher equity allocations, for example in the 1e plans,” Joseph Steiger, deputy divisional head for occupational pensions at the Federal Social Security Office (BSV), told IPE.“With the planned new regulation Anlagestiftungen can better serve these demands,” he added.Other proposals include allowing direct investments in alternative assets.In a statement, the BSV said that changes to the legal framework would help IFs compete with fund providers.The Anlagestiftung association KGAST welcomed the proposals, saying in a preliminary statement on the legal draft that changes had been long overdue and a problem since the law was passed back in 2012.“It has always been incomprehensible why Anlagestiftungen,which are operating for Pensionskassen, are disadvantaged in their investment options compared to their own investors – most of this will now be amended,” KGAST said.The association promised a more detailed assessment as part of the consultation phase, which ends on 14 December.Another major area of regulatory overhaul for the foundations is governance, with pension funds set to be given more say in the decision-making process.Steiger noted: “The aim is to strengthen the position of investors in general.”He said there were no particular cases which had triggered these amendments.“But the new regulation can help with clarifications in case of conflicts”, he said.Investment foundations – vehicles in which Pensionskassen pool their assets to invest in certain funds or direct investments – have exisited since the 1960s, but it was only in 2012 that a unified legal framework for these vehicles was created.Demand had increased in recent years, especially for real assets.Some focus on single asset classes such as real estate or infrastructure, while others offer mixed portfolios.