European Parliament to vote on Portability Directive before elections

first_imgJacob confirmed it would only be applicable to contracts entered into after implementation, not existing pension plan memberships.But Withold Galinat, vice-president of Benefits Policies & Coordination at German chemical group BASF SE, said the directive was “dispensable and unattractive”, offering the wrong incentives for HR policies.“The directive favours those that already have occupational pension benefits and increases hurdles for those that do not have one yet,” he said.He said he feared the new regulation would make it unattractive for employers to set up pension plans and argued it would “not help to promote occupational pensions”.Similar to other pension industry representatives in Germany, he claimed that lowering the vesting period from the current five years to three, as set down in the draft of the Portability Directive, would lead to a flight of human capital and greater fluctuation.“Employers might reconsider setting up a pension plan and rather top up people’s salaries with bonus payments,” Galinat said.But Jacob argued that it was “inacceptable” that people who were changing their jobs more often could not profit from occupational pensions.He pointed out that vesting periods in the Netherlands were shorter than in Germany, and said occupational pension schemes remained attractive for employers because the regulatory framework, as well as the tax environment ensured this attractiveness.Jacob also dismissed arguments that the directive would only profit a very small minority of workers who were actually going cross-border, as “most member states have announced they will not discriminate” between domestic and cross-border migration when implementing the new regulations.Georg Thurnes, board member at Aon Hewitt Germany, stressed that a solution would have to be found to the provision that exempts closed schemes from the directive, as this could lead to companies closing pension schemes, he said. The European Parliament is to vote on the current draft of the Portability Directive in its last plenary before dissolution ahead of parliamentary elections in April, confirmed the Rapporteur in charge of the directive, Ria Oomen Ruijten, in Brussels today.Similarly, Ralf Jacob, head of unit for Active ageing, pensions, healthcare and social services at the European Commission, noted at the Handelsblatt meeting in Berlin yesterday that the vote would take place “at the beginning of April”.“Member states will then have four years after it has been published in the official journal to translate the directive into national law,” he added.Five years after that, they will have to report to the Commission.last_img read more

South Africa’s second health train rolls out

first_imgWith the introduction of Phelophepa II, Transnet will more than double the number of people who benefit from the facility, taking the total to an estimated 370 000 people every year. The staff can only see so many patients every day, but people are willing to wait in queues and even sleep outside the train as they wait to be treated. Every year the Phelophepa eye clinic dispenses thousands of pairs of spectacles to adults and children. (Images: thys dullaart photography) MEDIA CONTACTS • Thandi Mlangeni  Transnet  +27 11 308 3000 RELATED ARTICLES • SA harbour chief makes world history • Apple Express to pick up steam • SA, Cuba to train more doctors • Boost for trucking wellness drive Wilma den HartighSouth Africa’s second state-of-the art clinic on wheels, Phelophepa II, has hit the tracks, taking much-needed primary health care services to the country’s poorest rural communities.The new train comes equipped with the latest technology, which means it can provide even better health care services to those who need it most.In February 2010, South African rail, port and pipeline company Transnet announced that it had set aside more than R80-million (US$10-million) for a vital corporate social investment project, to boost accessibility to primary health care in rural areas of South Africa.That project was Transnet’s second health care train, known as the Phelophepa II, the latest addition to the company’s Phelophepa fleet.Phelophepa, which means ‘good clean health’ in Setswana, is a flagship project of the Transnet Foundation – Transnet’s specialist unit for corporate social responsibility (CSR).Its predecessor, the Phelophepa I, is known worldwide as a forerunner in primary health care provision.The train made history when it became the first sustainable South African CSR initiative to receive the prestigious UN Public Service Award for its excellence in public service delivery.The second train, which will operate simultaneously with the Phelophepa I that started in 1994, is to follow in its predecessor’s groundbreaking footsteps.With the introduction of Phelophepa II, Transnet will more than double the number of people who benefit from the facility, taking the total to an estimated 370 000 people every year.The train travels 36 weeks a year, visiting regions with inadequate access to medical services. The healthcare staff consists of 20 core employees and close to 30 student interns preparing for careers in a variety of health-related fields.Both health trains are part of Transnet’s commitment to help South Africa achieve the UN Millennium Development goals, which include reducing child mortality, improving maternal health and combating HIV/Aids, malaria and other diseases.A symbol of hopeAt every village and town on its route, the clinic on wheels is changing lives.Phelophepa has become a symbol of hope for many people, bringing life-saving health care to thousands of underprivileged rural communities who cannot afford even the most basic health care services.One patient at a time, the Phelophepa II’s on-board primary healthcare, dental, optometry and psychology services are giving more people an opportunity to live a healthy, quality life.Transnet has published a glossy coffee table book on Phelophepa’s journey, filled with many stories of how the health trains are helping to make South Africa a better place.Onke Mazibuko, manager of the Phelophepa train, says that when the news gets out that the mobile clinic is in town, people come in their numbers, often travelling long distances to be treated.The staff can only see so many patients every day, but people are willing to wait in queues and even sleep outside the train as they wait to be treated.Mazibuko and his team live on the train, staying for a week or two at each of the train’s various stops. In some communities they visit, there is just one doctor for every 5 000 people.“Every place we go there are different stories,” he says.At one of the stations, a farmer complaining of toothache left the train so grateful to the dental team, that he returned later carrying bags of potatoes, tomatoes and oranges.Dr Lynette Coetzee, manager of the health portfolio at the Transnet Foundation, remembers when an 87-year-old grandmother from KwaZulu-Natal visited the mobile clinic.She was hoping to receive a pair of glasses so she could see the letters in her Bible, even though she was unable to read. Her eyes were tested, the glasses were made, and a young optometry student fitted them carefully on her face.“You look beautiful in these,” he told the old lady. She sat in silence for a while, and then she started crying. The student was worried that there was something wrong with the glasses, but the woman was only crying because she was happy – she never thought that a young white boy would tell her she looked beautiful.She was able to see the world clearly for the first time in years.Every year the Phelophepa eye clinic dispenses thousands of pairs of spectacles to adults and children, and adults pay a nominal cost of R30 a pair.Dr Terence Giles, manager of the Phelophepa eye clinic, recalls a visit to a school for the blind in a township just outside Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. The screenings showed that as many as half of the children in the school were not actually blind – they just needed glasses.“It was a wonderful feeling to make the blind see,” Giles says.In the book, the train’s previous manager Sister Magdeline Ntikinca, who passed away in 2010, said Phelophepa gives a voice to people’s health and wellbeing.“A lot of people say to us that the train listens to them,” said Sister Maggie, as she was fondly known. “It hears their concerns and it makes them feel that they matter.”Modern facilities on boardThe Phelophepa II will offer the same health care services as Phelophepa I – it is just more technologically advanced.The 18 Phelophepa coaches are old donor passenger coaches, refurbished – they were completely rebuilt according to new designs and specifications.Phelophepa II is fitted with enhanced communication, ablution and air conditioning systems, wheelchair platform lifts for disabled people and new advanced medical equipment technology.Pharmaceutical company Roche has also expanded its Phelophepa sponsorship. It now includes funding of the primary healthcare clinic, with a diabetes care programme and oncology clinic; a medicine dispensary; school health services and education programs for health workers and staff for both the original and the new train.Roche chairman Franz Humer said that the company is proud to have continuously grown its support for the Phelophepa trains.“It has such a remarkable impact on the lives of thousands of people every year,” Humer said.Some of the other new technological developments on the second train include a vacuum toilet system, the first for passenger type coaches in South Africa.The toilets are connected to a retention tank that prevents sewerage spillage onto the rail tracks. The vacuum toilets also save water and for each flush half a litre of water is used, compared to the conventional system that uses four to five litres.The communication and data system installed in Phelophepa II is the most advanced system yet installed in a train in the country. It is also the first time that optic fibre has been used as a network medium on trains.The air conditioners fitted to the new coaches are much more power efficient, while still providing the best cooling and heating capability. Certain air conditioning units, such as those in the health and dental coaches, have been modified to eliminate the possible spread of germs into the corridors by altering the airflow.The train’s special needs facilities make it possible for disabled people to receive medical attention with greater ease. Wheel chair lifts are fitted at strategic positions on the train, making it possible for people with special needs to access dental, optometry and health care facilities.The wheel chair elevator can lift 300kg, which means that a person in a wheel chair as well as the caretaker can use it at the same time.Cosmetic upgrades to the new coaches are improving patients’ experience of the train. The cubicles on Phelophepa II’s psychology clinic have each been painted a different colour. This was done to make clients feel more relaxed and comfortable during the sessions.In the dentistry coach, the dental cubicles are more spacious, compared to the previous arrangement, and now have ultraviolet devices to help destroy any airborne germs.Lessons in humilityFor the clinic staff, spending time on the train provides ample opportunities for many lessons in humility.“Not everyone in South Africa can take good, clean health for granted,” said Sister Maggie. “More than anything else Phelophepa can teach us why we should never abandon hope.”last_img read more

Add Atmospheric Texture to Your Production with Haze or Fog

first_imgTake a look at how you can use haze or fog to increase the production value of your next shot by adding texture and ambience.If you do a quick search on cinematography blogs, you’ll find that one of the most common questions is How do I create the texture of blinds on a wall? There are two parts to the equation: a hard light source and atmosphere. Typically, this atmosphere is a haze or a fog, which allows you to see the light’s path of your frame. In fact, I remember learning this exact lesson in science class. When you shine a laser pointer from one end of the classroom to the next, without any texture in the air, all you see is the dot on the wall. Spray some hairspray, then shine the laser again — you’ll see the full beam cutting through the air. Basically, the same practice applies to filmmaking when we introduce atmospheric texture. And creating the look of blinds on the wall is just the tip of the iceberg. So, let’s take look at several ways to create this atmosphere. The Industry-Standard OptionThe DF-50 Hazer is the industry standard. You’ll find it at every rental house, and it’s a breeze to use. Typically, it creates an oil-based haze. This formula helps the haze hang in the air for longer, so you’re not constantly re-hazing the scene. While it’s not the cheapest rental, it’s consistent, and you’ll find it on most professional sets.  The Indie-Standard OptionImage vie Vlue.A Halloween (or party fog machine) is a cheap and efficient option. In fact, you can purchase a fog machine for roughly the same price as the hazer rental. You can find them at most party stores, especially around Halloween. However, there are some drawbacks. The fog they create is water-based, so it doesn’t hang in the air quite as long as the fog from an oil-based hazer. You’ll find yourself re-fogging a room much more often. Also, you typically don’t want the fog to look like fog on-screen. You want to fan it around and give it time to settle to make it more uniform throughout the scene. This can slow you down a bit.The DIY OptionImage via Cinecom.If you can’t get your hands on the DF-50, and you need more out of your inexpensive party machine, there are a few tricks you can pull to improve the quality and dispersion of your fog. Or, if you’re handy enough, break out your tools and build a few inexpensive rigs that you can power will household equipment to get truly epic interior fog.The Budget OptionIf you’re on a budget (or working as a one-man band), Atmosphere Aerosol is a great alternative. The compact cans fit right into your camera bag, which is great to keep around for whenever you need fog in a pinch. Cover image via Roberto Sorin.Looking for more video production tips and tricks? Check out these articles.Using Foreground Elements to Elevate your Next ProductionTips for Rewriting Your Screenplay Without Starting Completely OverHow to Get The Best Results When Filming In Natural FogHow to Use Calibration Tools for Footage, Sound, and MonitorsThe Essential Guide to Finding Deals on Video Production Gear The Outdoor OptionIf you need to fog an outdoor scene, you’re going to need a bit more horsepower than a party machine and a fan. With an insect fogger and your own fog tube of death, you can create beautiful, dreamy environments that, with the right approach in post-production, you can turn into perfect horror or fantasy sequences.Overall, adding texture to the atmosphere of your next shoot is a great way to add production value. If you’re looking for a way to make your work more cinematic, fog or haze may be the perfect option.And if you’re in a pinch, or working with someone else’s footage, we’ve got you covered with smoke, fog, and vapor overlays.last_img read more

Pirates to take centre stage at Intrust Super Cup match

first_imgParticipants from the Cairns Pirates Touch Football Association will take centre stage before this Sunday’s Queensland Rugby League Intrust Super Cup match between ladder leaders Northern Pride and Norths Devils. As part of the pre-match entertainment, some of the district’s best players will take to the field in a Mixed Open Touch Football game.The game will feature Australian representative players Theo Majid and Lawrence Oberleuter, as well as a host of other local, regional and state representative players.Cairns Pirates President, Kym Finlay said the match was a great opportunity to promote the alliance between Touch Football Australia and the National Rugby League.“We’ve been working with the Northern Pride on promoting Touch Football to the community and they are very keen to be involved.”“Touch Football is a great way to keep fit and they (the Northern Pride) are very excited about getting their players into Touch Football after the Rugby League season finishes.”Also featuring as part of the pre-match program will be a 14-minute junior Mixed Touch Football game.“Sunday’s games are a great opportunity for the Cairns district to see what Touch Football is all about and with our new senior and junior seasons starting soon it has come at a great time.”As well as the senior and junior matches, Cairns Pirates will have a marquee set up beside the main gate, providing information on the upcoming senior and junior Touch Football seasons.Gates will open at 12.30pm this Sunday, and tickets can be bought now at – LinksCairns Pirates on show!last_img read more

2016 Pan Pacific Masters Games

first_imgThe 10th Jupiters Pan Pacific Masters Games will be held from Friday, 5 November until Sunday,13 November 2016 on the Gold Coast. More than 13,000 participants from Queensland, interstate and overseas will converge on one of the world’s most popular holiday destinations to compete in one of Australia’s premier multi-sport events.Touch Football is one of more than 40 sports to be played at the event, the world’s biggest masters’ games event. The Touch Football component of the event will be played from Wednesday, 9 November until Saturday, 12 November at the Gold Coast Touch Association. Several Men’s, Mixed and Women’s divisions are on offer at the event. For more information or to register your team, please click on the link below: Related LinksPan Pacific Masterslast_img read more

10 months agoBurnley boss Dyche warns Arsenal: You’ll be facing reality today

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Burnley boss Dyche warns Arsenal: You’ll be facing reality todayby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveBurnley boss Sean Dyche has warned Arsenal to expect a dose of “reality” today.Dyche vowed to continue with his “reality tactics’ when required, as he looks to get his side back on the up.He said: “It’s very simple. If everyone thinks that every team in the Premier League is going to play the beautiful game, at the moment there is only one winner and that is Manchester City.“If we are all going to roll it out from the back and play 600 passes, they win… end of story!“You have to find a way and that’s what we’ve done consistently well here; find a way to be successful.“We’ve had to fight, we’ve had to work, we’ve played some good, productive stuff at times, and always found a way.“That doesn’t change because when you play these powerful clubs, it’s very difficult.“It’s reality tactics, rather than negative tactics, and we’ve tinkered with the side many times before.” last_img read more

Pair of stars align to fuel onfield success

Sometimes chemistry in sports is created; other times it just comes naturally. However that connection comes about, it is necessary to be successful. The Ohio State men’s lacrosse team has two sophomore attackers, Logan Schuss and Jeff Tundo, who have a special relationship both on and off the field. “On the field, everything clicks,” Tundo said. “It just seems to work — there’s a chemistry there that’s kind of automatic.” Last season, as freshmen, Schuss and Tundo were OSU’s two leading scorers. Schuss finished the 2010 campaign with 31 goals and 25 assists for 56 points, and Tundo added 20 goals and 15 assists for 35 points. Schuss’ play in 2010 led to him being named Eastern College Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year and an honorable mention All-American. “He’s a great player. He’s one of the best players, I think, in the country,” Tundo said. “It’s just easy to play with him.” The two display their combined talents on the field, but also became good friends when they arrived at OSU. “I usually get a ride home from practice with Jeff,” Schuss said. “We’re all about driving around with the windows down, having the sunroof open and blasting some tunes and dancing out.” The type of music they enjoy might surprise some people. “Right now we’re kind of in the techno stage,” Schuss said. “We’re all about the techno.” OSU coach Nick Myers said he also noticed something special between the two almost instantly, even though they came from different areas. Schuss hails from Ladner, British Columbia, and Tundo from Orchard Park, N.Y. “They come from very different places,” Myers said, “but have immediately found chemistry with each other the moment they stepped on campus.” In OSU’s 13-8 upset victory against No. 3-ranked North Carolina (1-1) on Saturday, Schuss and Tundo played a large role in leading the Buckeyes to their third straight victory. Schuss led the way for OSU (3-0), scoring three goals and handing out two assists. Tundo added one goal and one assist, which was to Schuss. Tied, 6-6, at halftime, the Buckeyes started the second half with four goals in the first 4:11. Of those goals, Tundo scored the first and Schuss scored the next two. Tundo has 7 goals and 3 assists, and Schuss has 4 goals and 3 assists this season. Schuss said the two do not live together but have talked about being roommates their senior year. Apart from playing lacrosse, they spend a lot of time together. “(Schuss) loves to dance. He’s a big dancer,” Tundo said. “He’s just a really funny kid.” Schuss said Tundo has some funny moments too, making fun of his teammates. “He likes to mimic other guys on our team,” Schuss said. “For me, he likes to poke fun at my Canadian accent. He loves doing that.” Whether they are on the field or off, it is not hard to see the connection the two have developed. The Buckeyes say they are hopeful Schuss and Tundo can lead the team the rest of the season. “I think the sky is the limit for those two,” Myers said. “They’re as competitive as any of the guys on our team. They aren’t satisfied and know they can get better.” read more

Schalke drop Rose interest

first_imgSchalke 04 have dropped their interest in signing Danny Rose on loan from Tottenham Hotspur this summer, according to Sky Sports.The Spurs’ defender won’t be leaving the club for Schalke this summer anymore. Rose has been looking for a way out of Tottenham all summer after falling down the pecking order but a move has failed to materialize.Reports in the German press suggested that Schalke were keen on bringing the player to the Veltins Arena on loan but the club have changed their mind as they seek more permanent option.The Bundesliga side have a budget of £6million for that position which is way below what the Spurs hierarchy would demand.Harry Kane, England‘I’ve never done it!’ Harry Kane hits back at diving claims Andrew Smyth – September 9, 2019 Tottenham striker Harry Kane has hit back against suggestions accusing him of diving twice already in the new Premier League season.Rose was left out of the club’s match-day squad that defeated Newcastle 2-1 at the St. James Park on Saturday.The left-back has been at Tottenham since 2007 scoring a beautiful goal on his debut two years later against eternal rivals Arsenal.Rose has featured on 161 different occasions for Spurs scoring 10 goals but failed to score in 17 appearances last season. A move away from the club looks very unlikely for the England international this summer, but he’ll be hoping to force a move when the January window starts.last_img read more

Paul Scholes United are dull to watch

first_imgPaul Scholes has revealed that Manchester United’s performances are making it difficult for him to watch his former club playUnited once again failed to win any of their last 4 games across all competitions and are struggling to win a home fixture since their triumph over Leicester City.However, Red Devil’s legend Paul Scholes went further to suggest the Old Trafford outfit are no longer an exciting side to watch.“We talk about them being dull and we talk about the first 10 games (of this season), but you go into last season as well,” he said.“It’s been dull to watch. I don’t know how many times we’ve sat in the studio watching games and we end up watching the other screens looking at the other games to find some goals. That’s just the way it is.“But they’re still in a strong position in the group, they’ll still go through the group. But hopefully, that Juventus game (the next one in the group) will liven it up a bit.”Jose Mourinho, Lionel MessiMourinho: “Lionel Messi made me a better coach” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho believes the experience of going up against Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi at Real Madrid made him a greater coach.Before the match, Scholes was critical of Mourinho’s tactics for the defeat at West Ham on Saturday.“I’m surprised he survived after Saturday,” he said.“The performance was that bad. The attitude and performance were nowhere near.“He’s coming out in press conference, he is constantly having a go at players, he’s having a go at people above him because he is not getting what he wants.“I think his mouth is probably out of control and I think he’s embarrassing the club.”last_img read more

Valverede skeptic of Barcas chances to rehire Neymar

first_imgBarcelona boss Ernesto Valverde doesn’t seem convinced by the possibility of his side bringing Neymar back to Camp Nou anytime soon.The 26-year-old Brazilian part company with the Catalans last year to join Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record busting transfer just when Valverde took charge of the team.The Parisians had to splash out a staggering €222 million to secure the services of tricky forward, who at the time wanted to escape Leo Messi’s shadow.However, it seems that Neymar’s fortune let him down again, as he now finds himself in a shadow of Kylian Mbappe, the most talented youngster on the planet.Therefore, the ex-Santos star would like to leave Parc des Princes, and it appears that PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has put a release clause in his contract, which will become active in the summer of 2020.According to the Spanish news outlet, Marca, Valverde is still skeptical about Blaugrana’s chances of landing the former talisman in the forthcoming period.David Villa, SpainQuiz: How much do you know about David Villa? Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to test your knowledge about Spanish legendary forward David Villa.“I coached him for 15 days.“Any time of the season is a good one to ask these questions but Neymar is at another team, it’s all speculation.“We aren’t in the market to sign players.“It’s a good topic for speculation, but we don’t know what could happen.“It’s difficult, I don’t know… We’ll see.”As things stand, in case the current La Liga holders decide to rehire Neymar, they would have to allocate nothing less than £190 million to make the deal go through.last_img read more