Presenting before an interdisciplinary audience on April 27 at Harvard’s Tsai Auditorium, Dr. Buhm Soon Park, professor of History of Science and Policy at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, showed a slide of Édouard Manet’s “Races at Longchamp.”Each new technology, Park explained, brings the thought that we are in a race: if “we” don’t do it first, somewhere, somehow, someone else will. That technology involves a horse race among scientists and nations was but one of the ideas critiqued at “Editorial Aspirations: Human Integrity at the Frontiers of Biology,” a three-day conference on April 26–28 co-organized by the Program on Science, Technology and Society (STS) at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) and the Center for Biology and Society at Arizona State University (ASU). The goal was to examine the ethical and governance implications of human gene editing technologies. To steer the race, one has to understand its context, including the spectators shown in Manet’s classic work. The event brought together a stellar cast of scientists, social scientists, ethicists, religious thinkers, legal scholars and policy practitioners to do just that. Read Full Story
A 2012 undefeated Notre Dame football season has resulted in excitement, celebration and anticipation for the BCS National Championship Game. At a time when students and fans want to show support and represent their home team, it is no wonder that the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore has stepped up to fill those demands. “Our main strategy is to ensure that all of our customers’ merchandise needs are addressed,” director of retail operations Keith Kirkpatrick said. In order to ensure a positive shopping experience, the Hammes Bookstore hired additional staff to meet increasing demands over the next month. Kirkpatrick said a number of items highlighting the undefeated regular season schedule are currently available and a focus has been placed on potential products related to the National Championship Game. “The release of those products cannot actually begin until the matchup is officially announced on Sunday,” Kirkpatrick said. There are currently select items available for sale both online and in the store, and additional goods will be introduced during the course of the next week. The bookstore wants to ensure that anyone who wants something can purchase it. With the Irish victory against USC on Saturday, Notre Dame became the only eligible undefeated team in the BCS. This game caused an increase in online bookstore traffic, but sales actually picked up much earlier, Kirkpatrick said. “It’s been ramping up steadily over the course of the entire season,” he said. “In-store traffic also is stronger than normal at this point in the season than in years past.” Several off-site bookstores were also constructed at away games this year. The first of these was at the game in Chicago against Miami and the second was at the USC game. These chosen locations are based on the criteria of fan-demand and local alumni support. Kirkpatrick said the sales from the off-site bookstores were quite favorable to comparable years. “The USC game produced the best results we’ve ever had out there,” he said. Sales are strong and the biggest seller over the course of the year is still The Shirt, Kirkpatrick said. Player-jerseys are also favorites among fans in the store, and as a result they can now be personalized at the Varsity Shop. “Notre Dame fans are some of the most consistent in college football today,” he said. “They don’t need undefeated seasons to support their University.” Contact Caroline Huytra at [email protected],A 2012 undefeated Notre Dame football season has resulted in excitement, celebration and anticipation for the BCS National Championship Game. At a time when students and fans want to show support and represent their home team, it is no wonder that the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore has stepped up to fill those demands. “Our main strategy is to ensure that all of our customers’ merchandise needs are addressed,” director of retail operations Keith Kirkpatrick said. In order to ensure a positive shopping experience, the Hammes Bookstore hired additional staff to meet increasing demands over the next month. Kirkpatrick said a number of items highlighting the undefeated regular season schedule are currently available and a focus has been placed on potential products related to the National Championship Game. “The release of those products cannot actually begin until the matchup is officially announced on Sunday,” Kirkpatrick said. There are currently select items available for sale both online and in the store, and additional goods will be introduced during the course of the next week. The bookstore wants to ensure that anyone who wants something can purchase it. With the Irish victory against USC on Saturday, Notre Dame became the only eligible undefeated team in the BCS. This game caused an increase in online bookstore traffic, but sales actually picked up much earlier, Kirkpatrick said. “It’s been ramping up steadily over the course of the entire season,” he said. “In-store traffic also is stronger than normal at this point in the season than in years past.” Several off-site bookstores were also constructed at away games this year. The first of these was at the game in Chicago against Miami and the second was at the USC game. These chosen locations are based on the criteria of fan-demand and local alumni support. Kirkpatrick said the sales from the off-site bookstores were quite favorable to comparable years. “The USC game produced the best results we’ve ever had out there,” he said. Sales are strong and the biggest seller over the course of the year is still The Shirt, Kirkpatrick said. Player-jerseys are also favorites among fans in the store, and as a result they can now be personalized at the Varsity Shop. “Notre Dame fans are some of the most consistent in college football today,” he said. “They don’t need undefeated seasons to support their University.”
By Dan RahnUniversity of GeorgiaCountless gardeners have planted cucumbers with one thought in mind: pickles. Volume XXXIINumber 1Page 6 Cucumbers are easy to grow, said George Boyhan, a Cooperative Extension horticulturist with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.”But they do require some space to spread out,” he said.A number of diseases and insects attack cucumbers, he said, but they’re still fairly easy to grow from transplants or seeds. They’re easier to grow in the spring and early summer. In the fall, insects can be troublesome.Males outnumberedIn packets of cucumber seeds, Boyhan said, 90 percent of the seeds may be brightly colored and 10 percent plain. The bright color indicates a seed treatment and a special type that produces only female flowers and yields more fruit. The untreated seeds produce female and male flowers, providing a pollen source.Plant the seeds an inch and a half deep, usually between April 1 and May 15, leaving 3 to 4 feet between rows and almost as much between plants, he said. Cucumbers need about 60 days to mature.Garden cucumber varieties come in two main types. If you want to eat them fresh, by themselves or in salads, grow a slicing type.”They have dark green rinds with tender, mild flesh,” Boyhan said. “Pick them when they’re about 6 inches long.” If they get much bigger, the seeds will get too hard to eat.The pickling kindIt’s the other type that people have used in pickling worldwide for hundreds and probably thousands of years. “When you think of pickles,” Boyhan said, “you’re thinking of pickled cucumbers.”This type, he said, will turn lighter green or yellowish as it matures. With a more bitter taste, it’s not as good for eating fresh. But its thin skin and spines help it absorb the vinegar solution used in pickling.As with the slicing type, he said, pick these cucumbers when they’re immature, before the seeds begin to harden. Once you’ve picked them, it’s time to pickle them.What began in ancient times as a fermentation process is now most often a fresh-pack or quick pickling process, says Elizabeth Andress, a UGA Extension food safety specialist and director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Center for Home Food Preservation.”Quick pickling is by far the most popular process,” Andress said. “Fermenting limits you to the dill types. But quick pickling allows many more choices of flavors.”With the vinegar brine of the quick pickling process, sugar and many spices can be added to make cucumbers sour, sweet, hot or mild with an almost endless array of flavors.Be carefulThere’s no shortage of recipes out there, but that makes Andress nervous.”If you don’t have enough acid in the pickles, there’s a danger of botulism,” she said. “Always use a recipe from a reliable source, and never substitute any ingredient that could alter the ratio between the amount of acid and the other ingredients.”Even if you’ve never pickled anything before, making pickles of your cucumbers is still an easy option, Andress said. If you can read a recipe, you can do it.”The easiest thing to learn is the quick-pickling process,” she said. “If you want to store the pickles at room temperature, you’ll have to learn at least boiling-water canning, too. You’ll need some jars and lids, and a canner. But it’s not hard.”A number of recipes and other instructions are on the Web at www.homefoodpreservation.com. Another great resource is the new edition of the UGA Extension book, “So Easy to Preserve” and a separate “So Easy to Preserve” DVD.The books are $18 and the DVDs $39.95, shipping included. You can get order forms for either at www.uga.edu/setp. Or contact the county UGA Extension office at 1-800-ASK-UGA1.(Dan Rahn is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)
“The bear population has quadrupled,” a park employee told the newspaper. “It’s not like they aren’t usually here, it’s that they usually hang back at the edges, or move in the shadows.” A park historian, Char Miller, told the Times that the park during shutdown is probably very similar to how it once appeared to visitors back in the 1800’s. Things may be chaotic on planet earth, but President Trump has turned his sights skyward. On April 6, Trump signed an executive order that formally recognizes the rights of private interests to claim resources in space, PHYS.org reports. The order builds on previous directives signed into law by the Trump administration. It states that “Americans should have the right to engage in commercial exploration, recovery, and use of resources in outer space, consistent with applicable law.” It also states that the U.S. does not view space as a “global commons.” Lawson Hammock, a small hammock company in Raleigh, NC, announced major investment from two firms, Ethical Provision Ventures and Sherpa Collaborative. The partnership will help the 15-year-old company grow. Until now, Lawson Hammock has been run entirely by its founder, Wes Johnson. Trump signs executive order to mine the moon Wildlife in Yosemite grows during park closure NC hammock company secures big investment despite challenging economic times California’s Yosemite National Park closed its gates on March 20 in response to COVID-19. In the weeks since, wildlife in the park is booming, the Los Angeles Times reports. During the shutdown, only employees, essential workers, and those who own property inside the park and can show the deeds to their houses are allowed inside the park’s boundaries. “Even through the last recession, the camping industry stayed pretty strong,” Johnson told SNEWS. “There are only so many things you can do for fun right now. Camping or even hanging out in your own backyard happens to be one of them.”
Interesting note about Rio Negro Air Base I saw the spirit of Colombia in that awakening. It was a festival morning, with radiant sun and spring breezes; a Saturday in Medellín, Antioquia. Outside, floats and horses were being decorated; inside, in the intensive-care unit in Pablo Tobón Uribe Hospital, a career National Army Soldier was lying on a bed. His face was lifeless, the left side destroyed, the eye covered by a bandage, his ear, his cheekbone, and his jaw repaired by several sutures. Beneath the sheets, the glimpse of fragile, almost terminal breathing. The night before, while I piloted a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter that belonged to the 5th Combat Air Command (Rionegro, Antioquia), my crew received an alert for an airborne medical evacuation fora soldier wounded in a minefield during combat against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) narco-terrorist organization. In the jungle and amid crossfire, he was aided by one of his comrades, who tore his uniform to make a tourniquet to hold the profuse bleeding. His wounds were atrocious and expelled a nauseating smell, contaminated with human waste contained in the explosive charge. His left foot hung by the tendons, and the edges of the bones had come through the skin. It was nine in the morning when I arrived at the Tobón hospital reception desk, where a nurse informed me that the surgery was over and that the Soldier was recovering in intensive care. I took the elevator and recalled the first hours of that day, when the evacuation of that young man began. At three in the morning, I was piloting the Black Hawk on a steep descent amid the peaks of the Ayapel mountain range. I was flying with night-vision goggles, together with an AH-60 Harpy helicopter that was firing its machine guns to repel the curtain of anti-aircraft fire that the enemy had prepared for us. When I reached the treetops, we began the final approach. The rotor wake stirred up dirt and twigs that formed a whirlwind of lights and shadows from which four soldiers emerged with the stretcher. Our combat nurse and the flight technicians received the patient and positioned him in the cargo bay. As soon as we left that clearing and shut the doors, the smell of his wounds inundated the aircraft. I turned my head to evaluate the situation, and found myself with the figure of a warrior worn down by barbarism, a person with an emaciated face; his clothes were soaked with sweat, blood, and mud. The elevator reached the intensive-care floor, the doors opened, and I was surprised to see a corpse-like figure covered with pink sheets crossing the hallway. I made the sign of the cross without wanting to look too closely, but it was inevitable. The sheets revealed the outline of a cold, somber figure that seemed forgotten, like just another object on that floor. What if it was the soldier? That vision hit me like a stab in the heart. I couldn’t believe that our efforts would have ended like that; I couldn’t accept that idea as true. The fear made me act strangely, and I reached out to uncover the corpse’s face. “Are you a relative?” asked a nurse, who roused me abruptly from my thoughts. “No, no … I’m looking for a soldier we brought in this morning; he was wounded by an anti-personnel mine.” “He’ll wake up soon,” she responded as she appointed to a room at the end of the ward. She then had covered the corpse’s face with indifference and headed off with it; disappearing at the end of the hallway. A doctor heard that conversation. “Are you a relative of the soldier?” he asked. “No, I’m the pilot of the crew that evacuated him early this morning. I came to see him because I wanted to meet him.” “Thank you for what all of you are doing,” said the doctor. “We get soldiers like that almost every day. This man came in half-dead; you brought him in time. Look, he’ll wake up soon. He’s in very serious condition; he’s lost a lot of blood, and we’re trying to control a severe infection caused by the contamination of his wounds. His prognosis is uncertain. We amputated his left foot, and we still don’t know whether he’ll lose the eye. He hasn’t woken up; if he does, don’t give him the news let me talk to him first.” While we were flying, the combat nurse opened the medical kit and shook a flask, injected the contents into the patient’s arm, removed the dirty bandages and examined the wounds, took the patient’s pulse, and asked how long it would take to get to Medellín. I told him 50 minutes. In the distance, behind the mountains, the lights of the city were visible; it was 3:40 a.m. The helicopter’s motors were going at full throttle, almost at the point of blowing out. The city was preparing to celebrate the 2005 Flower Festival. What a paradox, I thought, some celebrating and others fighting steadfastly, whether wounded or unwillingly dealing out wounds in order to survive! The nurse was focused on changing bandages, injecting medicine, and cleaning wounds. I noticed that he murmured a prayer. As I entered the room, I found the soldier unconscious and hooked up to several monitors that were controlling his vital signs. The atmosphere in the room was so thick that I felt that it was weighing on my shoulders. A glacial silence reigned, as in a tomb. His face appeared to be that of a humble fisherman. His wounds were now clean, and his stump, wrapped in bandages, stood out amid the sheets. One of his fingers moved abruptly, and a monitor began to beep. At that instant, he opened his left hand, and suddenly, with a trembling and clumsy movement, he raised his right arm to pull out the tubes that were keeping him alive. The doctor rushed forward and instructed me to help him. A nurse ran in. His energy gradually weakened, until he became calm. His gaze moved around the room. A doctor, a nurse, a strange man, monitors, needles, and bandages surrounded him, and he quickly understood the situation. His right eye met the doctor’s gaze, and the latter, with a sorrowful air, grasped his shoulder in order to speak to him. “Soldier, thank you! Thank you for what you’ve done for Colombia. Yesterday, you stumbled into a minefield and suffered serious wounds. One of your feet was badly hurt, and we couldn’t save it.” The soldier closed his eyes and pressed his lips together. A tear slid down his cheek. There was a silence that transfixed the walls and invaded the entire floor. “Do you want me to call anyone and tell them that you’re here?” I asked. “My commander. Tell him that my morale is high and I still have fight in me. That they should expect me there, that… I’ll walk again. Right, doctor?” The doctor agreed. “And my comrades? How are they?” “They’re well,” I responded. There was a distant happiness in his eyes. “Long live my National Army! We’re going to win, right? That’s my Army,” he said, and fell into uncontrollable weeping. I felt as if something had broken within my soul. “And your mom, do you want me to call her?” I insisted. “No, not her… I’ll talk to her later. I don’t want to worry her.” “Do you need me to bring you anything? Food, clothes…?” “Yes, get me a Bible, please; I need to talk to God.” We remained silent a long while. I had seen the spirit of Colombia in that ravaged face, in that weakened body of great spiritual strength. The courage of this soldier was not false; it was virtuous. A man removed from hypocrisy. The Colombian Air Force had saved the spirit of a valiant man, a symbol of the heroism of all Colombian soldiers. That day, I felt very proud to wear the wings of a Military pilot. I had seen how the commitment of our Air Force made us leaders in adversity and an example for all our fellow countrymen. On the way to Rionegro, to the air base where I lived, I felt as if I had not spoken a single word in my entire life. I felt that I was unable to speak about what was most important, about the object of my deepest thoughts. I perked up my ears, I suppressed the beating of my heart, so as not to miss a single detail of that encounter; my memory needed to preserve this experience, because I would need to remember it each time my spirits or those of a comrade flagged. *A phrase from Homer, the name given to the Greek poet who was the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey. By Dialogo April 19, 2012
Ian Livingston, former CEO of BT Group, memorably stated: “There are two types of CEO, those that know their systems are being hacked – and those that don’t.”That was three years ago. While CEOs are undoubtedly more aware of the risks now, how many have employees who still play fast and loose with customers’ personal data? And how many senior managers have full control over their employees’ practices?Although much may have been invested to protect digital estates, many senior executives are unsure what personal data they retain and where, how well protected it is, who has access to it and – in an age of collaborative commerce, lengthening supply chains, and ecosystem delivery – precisely who is accountable for what.Some still rely on averages (“It won’t happen on my watch”) and apathy (“Everybody loses a little once in awhile”) to get them through any choppy water, should incidents occur and reach the public domain. But if you rely on crisis communications as your main defense (“We are investigating an incident we can’t comment on now; meanwhile the launch of x has delivered stunning figures…”), then there may be trouble ahead.With increasing transparency, tougher penalties, ongoing press interest, and the rise of socially-savvy, digitally-literate citizens and consumers, a casual approach to privacy has to change.Even the best defenses will succumb to attack sometimes. This is as much due to simple human error as it is to the asymmetry of security. The defender needs to protect perfectly on all fronts, while the attacker needs to find just one crack in the armor.Breaches are inevitable, and many customers understand that data loss happens regardless of how well-prepared a business is. How you act during and after a breach – and how you communicate with your members in the hours and days after discovery – is vital.Yes, some members will immediately leave in disgust, no matter what you do. But the vast majority of customers are more likely to leave because they feel your organization does not act with integrity.So how do you reduce the negative impact of any incident and make sure you “don’t waste a crisis,” should one occur?Redirect executive angst to infrastructure attention…If you run the department where the incident arose, you have to expect executives to focus on your operation and to be prepared to endure the heat of micro-management for awhile post-breach. This energy should soon be galvanized to address underlying issues you have probably been aware of for awhile, but which have been in the “vital but not urgent” budget category.Know in advance what to ask for once the immediate crisis is over while decision-makers have intimate awareness of your part of their business. For example, perhaps now is the time to move to the cloud – but have you reviewed the pros and cons from each stakeholder’s perspective?…and fresh opportunityInvestment shouldn’t stop at just fixing. Privacy confidence stems from the certainty that scrutiny brings.While there should be due caution about not rushing into another faux pas, a crisis handled well, and an intimate understanding of what data you hold, should give you new opportunities to engage anew with members. So long as they feel charmed and not persecuted by your renewed familiarity with them.Practice (don’t just document)Most businesses have well-documented if not oft-rehearsed or realistically-simulated emergency response plans. Practicing, not just writing down, your incident response plan builds organizational “muscle memory.” The best data breach is a staged one. One that reawakens people to the real world impacts that could occur if we mishandle the personal information entrusted to us.Institutionalizing the right habits is essential. Think how many people have read your fire policy and how many know what to do because the company has rehearsed a fire drill regularly. Then consider how much more likely a data breach is than a fire. 38SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Nick Rhodes Nick Rhodes specializes in benefit realization and privacy. He has been with BAE Systems Applied Intelligence for 19 years helping clients plan, prioritize and push-through change. He works through the … Web: www.baesystems.com Details
In 2019, Arena Hospitality Group continues the investment cycle and invests HRK 128 million in the Arena Kažela camp. Also, at Verudela in Pula, plans are being finalized for the comprehensive renovation of the Hotel Brioni, which will have a 5-star categorization after the reconstruction. The project starts at the end of 2020 with the aim of opening a hotel in 2022, and it is planned to invest 190,0 million kuna. The hotel will carry the Park Plaza brand, which will position the hotel among the best hotels in the hotel chain. The first part of the investment cycle started last year in the settlement of Pomer, where one of the smaller camps from the group is located, and it was decided to invest in a completely new camping trend. The former Pomer campsite has been transformed into the first Croatian luxury glamping resort – Arena One 99 Glamping. In Germany, Arena Hospitality Group is finalizing plans to renovate the hotel art’otela berlin kudamm. The hotel is located in Berlin’s famous Charlottenburg district and is dedicated to the works of pop art artist Andy Warhol. The investment will include a complete accommodation part of 152 rooms, and all other hotel facilities. It is planned to invest around HRK 53,0 million. It was opened in June, and at the end of the season it received a number of prestigious awards such as “Tourist Flower 2018” of the Croatian Tourist Board for Camp of the Year with the best glamping offer in Croatia, and the Golden Goat Award for Tourist Product of the Year. The amount of the investment was HRK 70 million. It is important to point out that this is a 100% glamping concept, the first of its kind in Croatia. Hotel Brioni, Pula After the completion of the investment, the camp will offer its guests 1.300 spacious pitches and 164 new Premium Camping Home mobile homes. It is planned to invest around 60 million kuna in the tourist resort Verudela Beach in the second half of 2019. Ten accommodation units will be renovated for this season while the remaining 146 units and 20 villas will be renovated for the 2020 season. Upon completion of the investment, the settlement will carry the brand Arena Hotels & Apartments. Camp Arena Kazela In 2019, an investment cycle of HRK 500 million In mid-2017, Arena Hospitality Group raised around HRK 750 million through a public offering on the Zagreb Stock Exchange in order to continue its investment cycle. Taking into account these investments, Arena Hospitality Group will invest more than half a billion kuna in the period until 2022, which will place it alongside the largest investors in the Croatian tourism sector. “In addition to these investments, further investments in the existing portfolio of the Group can be expected, and in addition, work is being done on the possibility of expansion in the region, and in Central and Eastern Europe.”Conclude from the Group. Strengthening the position in Germany and expanding in Central and Eastern Europe Hotel group Arena Hospitality Group dd, (formerly Arenaturist) currently offers a portfolio of 27 facilities owned, co-owned, leased or managed by more than 10.000 rooms and accommodation units in Croatia, Germany and Hungary. Interestingly, AHG is the first Croatian hotel company to own and manage hotels outside Croatia and the first with the exclusive right to manage and develop hotels under the internationally recognized brands Park Plaza Hotels and art’otel (Park Plaza, art’otel, Arena Hotels & Apartments and Arena Campsites ).
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Economy, Infrastructure, Jobs That Pay, Port Development, Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf and Senator Bob Casey celebrate the recent arrival of the first two super post-Panamax cranes at The Port of Philadelphia (PhilaPort), marking another major milestone spurred by the governor’s port development plan.“Pennsylvania’s ports are vital to the economic success of the entire commonwealth and I will continue to invest in our assets that strengthen Pennsylvania’s economy and support new job growth,” said Governor Wolf. “The new cranes positioned along Philadelphia’s waterfront will serve as a visual reminder that business is booming in Pennsylvania.”“Having worked years to help secure funding for the Delaware deepening project, I’m pleased to see what can come of effective federal, state, and private collaboration efforts,” said Senator Casey. “These cranes will do a great deal to help ensure that PhilaPort remains a global competitor and I look forward to watching their role in strengthening the economy of southeastern Pennsylvania.”Once fully operational, the 32-story high cranes will stand 13 feet taller than the neighboring Walt Whitman Bridge with its boom in the upwards position.“For over a year we have been working hard to prepare the terminal for these cranes and it is great to see them here,” said Jeff Theobald, Executive Director and CEO of PhilaPort. “Last year we hit an East Coast record of 19 percent container growth. To sustain that type of growth, these new cranes are a necessity.”The arrival of the cranes marks another significant milestone since the governor announced his plan to invest more than $300 million in PhilaPort’s infrastructure, warehousing, and equipment in 2016. Since implementing the infrastructure improvement plan the port realized record breaking cargo volumes and nearly 20 percent container growth in 2017, and just last month welcomed the arrival of the largest container vessel to ever call at the Port.“Saturday was one of most momentous days I can recall when it comes to advancing the Port of Philadelphia. All governors, since I have been in office, have assisted the Port in creating jobs. However, Governor Wolf’s commitment to the dredging project and to turning Packer Avenue into a modern marine terminal is without equal,” said Representative William F. Keller. “The governor understands the job retention and job creation associated with the Port will have no rivals throughout the commonwealth. I want to thank Governor Wolf on behalf of the residents of the commonwealth for the thousands of jobs he has maintained and to thank him for the thousands of jobs he is creating.”Development is slated to continue through 2020 and is projected to support thousands of jobs and generate an increase of more than $100 million in state and local tax revenues annually. Governor Wolf, Senator Casey: Philadelphia Crane Arrival Highlights Success of Port Growth March 27, 2018 SHARE Email Facebook Twitter
PWRI, the pension fund for disabled workers in the Netherlands, and healthcare scheme PFZW have abandoned their plans to merge the schemes.The €7.5bn PWRI said in a statement that both parties had decided to end negotiations, which had been resumed in July.PWRI and the €179bn PFZW had been discussing a possible merger since last year but decided to suspend talks last spring, citing “decreasing funding and volatile financial markets”.PWRI’s annual report later suggested that previous negotiations had stalled because of differing views. During the resumed talks, much attention was paid to both schemes’ financial positions, according to PWRI.In the meantime, however, their financial positions have failed to improve, while coverage ratios have fallen.PWRI said the resumed negotiations had lead to the conclusion that a merger would “not provide sufficient benefits for the participants under current circumstances”.Its spokeswoman declined to elaborate on the exact reasons why the talks broke down, or how PWRI envisaged its future.The pension fund has been closed to new entrants since last year, following the introduction of new legislation aimed at shifting disabled workers from “sheltered” workshops into the general workforce.As a consequence, PWRI participants will be increasingly joining the pension plans of their new employers.Last year, the scheme still had more than 94,000 active participants working in sheltered workshops.The pension fund said it expected its contributions would have to rise following the gradual ageing and thinning of its population.Because it also foresees that it will need to reduce its investment risk, and that the potential for indexation will decrease, it concluded that it would require a “large, robust merger partner”.As of the end of August, funding at PWRI stood at 99.8%, while coverage at PFZW stood at 91.1%.