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Norway’s sovereign wealth fund will be allowed to buy Iranian government bonds after the country’s finance ministry lifted a previous ban on the back of an international nuclear agreement with Iran in January.The NOK6.9trn (€723bn) Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) had been barred from investing in Iranian government bonds since January 2014.North Korea and Syria remain on the blacklist.The decision, taken in consultation with the state department, was announced by the Norwegian ministry of finance yesterday. It referenced the easing of sanctions after Iran met its initial obligations under the January agreement, and noted that remaining sanctions and restrictive measures against Iran were no longer considered to be extensive enough to maintain the exclusion.The foreign ministry said the GPFG was “not a foreign policy instrument” and that it precluded investment in government bonds only in exceptional cases, where there were particularly extensive sanctions or other international initiatives Norway had joined. The GPFG has never held Iranian bonds, according to a spokesperson at NBIM, which manages the oil fund.
Comments Published on October 20, 2010 at 12:00 pm Facebook Twitter Google+ As the Syracuse field hockey team heads into the biggest weekend of the season, a number of questions surround the Orange and the changes that have been made in the past two weeks. With the deactivation of four starters for undisclosed reasons, the lineup has been shuffled around to the point where many are still unsure if they will see the field. But regardless of the distractions that have partially overshadowed SU’s recent success, players said their focus has never strayed from the weekend’s homestand against No. 4 Connecticut and No. 13 Boston College. The Orange has been working to maintain the composure that it has carried all season, and refuses to let any potential problem interfere with its routine. ‘Every day is just another day to us,’ freshman goalkeeper Rachel Sayer said. ‘It’s another step to a longer season, and we all want the longest season possible. Collectively, we all need to work together and have a great weekend.’ Though Boston College poses a significant threat, the fact that UConn (13-3, 3-1 Big East) is also clawing for the Big East lead makes that game even more important for SU. If the No. 8 Orange (10-4, 4-0) can keep the blinders on and defeat the Huskies on Saturday, the team will clinch the top seed in the Big East tournament and set its course for the NCAA tournament. UConn is coming off of a 5-1 stretch in which its only loss was to No. 1 North Carolina. The Huskies have only allowed 14 goals in 16 games this season. SU assistant coach Guy Cathro said that since the Huskies have been excellent on both sides of the field, the Orange has spent days practicing and preparing for the little moments that can change a game.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text ‘We’ve worked on our fundamentals and the different set pieces that we bring in,’ Cathro said. ‘Corners are very important against UConn because of their good defense, and you need to be solid and secure with your defensive corners and inventive with your attacking corners. Every day, we’ve looked better and we’ve improved different parts of our game.’ Though the focus and approach will be the same regardless of who is on the field, there is concern about the mental readiness of a team that does not have a set lineup going into the biggest game of the season. Of the players who did not participate in the last three games, senior forward Shelby Schraden and sophomore goalkeeper Leann Stiver were both at practice Thursday but without indication as to their playing status. The goalkeeper issue is perhaps the most pressing for the Orange, as any of Stiver, Sayer and freshman Natasha Constantine could be called upon to start in the cage. Cathro said that no starter had been named to this point. But with the recent outstanding performances of new additions to the lineup, including Sayer’s first three career wins, players said that anyone who steps on the field or into the cage has gained the composure necessary to take on the Huskies. ‘I think the freshmen that have come in over the last couple of weeks are gaining confidence in every game they play,’ sophomore back Iona Holloway said. ‘We also have confidence in all of our goalkeepers. If it’s Leann, if it’s Natasha, if it’s Rachel, we have confidence that they can do their job and they can help us do our job as a unit.’ If there is any added pressure to the weekend, Sayer said that it is not because of who may or may not play against UConn and Boston College. It’s because the Orange has an opportunity to make a statement against two quality teams, and that’s why the team has kept its focus squarely on the two upcoming games. ‘These are both top 20 teams,’ Sayer said. ‘If we win these games, it’s going to put our team at a place where everyone’s going to know we’re something not to be messed with, and that we’re going to be a final four team.’ [email protected]
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For complete Oakland Raiders coverage follow us on Flipboard.ALAMEDA — The Raiders will be without running back Marshawn Lynch for at least a month and it remains to be seen if he’s played his last down for his hometown team.Lynch sustained a groin injury in a 27-3 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in London. Coach Jon Gruden said Tuesday the running back was injured, the severity was not determined, and the Raiders were still gathering information. A team source confirmed an NFL Network report …
Brand South Africa’s chief executive, Miller Matola, believes South Africa has unique strengths that can boost its global competitiveness. (Picture: Shamin Chibba)GIVEN the rapid changes in technology and the global economy, South Africa must work to improve its competitiveness if it is to keep up with the rest of the world, especially with fellow developing countries – which is the reason behind the South African Competitiveness Forum (SACF).Brand South Africa will launch the forum on 25 July at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Johannesburg, during a pan-Africanism and African integration panel discussion.The launch will act as an introduction to the inaugural SACF, to take place on 5 November 2013.The company intends to use the SACF as a platform to identify competitive strengths and weaknesses in the South African economy, explains Brand South Africa’s research manager, Petrus de Kock. With the help of the government, business and civil society, it will comprehensively examine domestic and international factors that could affect the country’s competitiveness.The manner in which domestic as well as international investors perceive a country’s competitiveness, or that of a specific sector, impacts on the country’s global reputation as a trade partner and investment destination. “Brand South Africa’s mandate is focused on managing South Africa’s reputation.And we see a strong link between competitiveness and reputation,” says De Kock.Competitiveness Forum launchesBrand South Africa is playing a significant role in creating a competive country economy – identifying strengths that support trade, investments and partnerships across the continent.Here is the presentation made at the launch of the National Competitiveness Forum. [1.2Mb, PPTX file]Pretoria News – Business Report07/25/2013Competitiveness forum tackles reputation hurdles – M MatolaSouth Africans will be encouraged to become active participants in the economy to achieve the goals of the National Development Plan (NDP), which include poverty alleviation, job creation and quality health care. “One of the main goals of the SACF is to solicit the right input [from experts].We just need to go to the NDP to see what needs to be improved.”Brand South Africa expects three outcomes from the SACF, which should go a long way in enhancing the country’s competitiveness. These are:Establishing a Forum Working Group and writing up session reports that will contain recommendations and actions that need to be implemented;Producing a ministerial debriefing and final analytical report presentation for the Ministry of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation in the Office of the Presidency; and,Developing a unique South African competitiveness index with the help of experts in various fields.The forum will be split into five breakaway working sessions to cover topics such as education and skills, products and services, governance and leadership, infrastructure, and foreign direct investment competitiveness.A leader among developing countriesAccording to the 2012/2013 Competitiveness Report from the World Economic Forum (WEF), the country fares well when compared to other emerging economies, especially those of the Next11 group. It is the global leader in legal rights, regulation of securities exchanges, and efficiency of corporate boards, and it has strong auditing and reporting standards. It is second when it comes to availability of financial services and third in financing through the local equity market.South Africa has improved in three of WEF’s competitiveness pillars in the last three years, says the report, namely institutions, financial market sophistication, and technological readiness.Miller Matola, Brand South Africa’s chief executive, says the country, when compared to other Brics nations, comes first in five of the 10 criteria the World Bank uses to assess ease of doing business. These include starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting credit, protecting investors, and paying taxes.These positive aspects, he adds, mean South Africa offers protection to foreign direct investments and has a suitable environment for new trade, investment and related economic interactions. “These indicators highlight that South Africa has unique competitive strengths in the context of the developing world.”Brand South Africa’s report on the country’s competitiveness is just as optimistic. It states that the population “can have confidence in the capabilities, skill and knowledge necessary to improve the country’s overall global competitiveness”.De Kock points out that competitiveness is affected by internal and external factors. “The former can be rectified but the latter is not as easy. For instance, the rand value can go down and suddenly a South African product is not competitive anymore. So we have to find areas where it is possible for us to intervene.”To boost its competitiveness, de Kock suggests that more partnerships between private and public sectors need to be established to support education and skills development. “We are looking at a practical solution and not trying to reinvent the wheel. These partnerships need to have foolproof strategies to run efficiently.”Reputation affects competitivenessIn terms of its reputation, which is a key indicator in a country’s competitiveness, South Africa remains stable. According to the 2012 Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brand Index, which measures a nation’s reputation, South Africa retained its 36th spot – out of 50 – for a second consecutive year. This is a great feat, considering two-thirds of countries on the list experienced a decline.Though culture is South Africa’s strongest asset, it slid to 28th on the index. The country continues to rank 34th for tourism and 16th for sporting excellence.Brand South Africa’s annual international investor perception study, titled Project Thrive, indicates that there has been a steady improvement in investors’ views of the country as a business destination, despite the recent labour issues in the mining industry. It also shows that the country’s economic environment is seen to be full of opportunity.This is evident in the slight upturn in investment in South Africa in 2012, which is yet another achievement when considering Brics partners Brazil and India experienced a dip in the same period. The Project Thrive study notes that South Africa could attract more foreign direct investment if it could offer suitably qualified labour to investors.On 30 August, De Kock will host a research reference with the purpose of gathering stakeholder and expert input into the breakaway working sessions to take place at the Competitiveness Forum on 5 November 2013.Date: 25 July 2013Time: 18:00 for 18:30Venue: Hyatt Regency Hotel, RosebankRSVP: Khensani Mthombeni – [email protected]
Free Webinar Series! Create a culture of value creation. Signup for this free webinar! In three, short, power-packed webinars, you will learn what you need to do to create a culture of value creators who create and win new opportunities. Download Now Excuses Are DisempoweringThe main reason we make excuses for poor performance is to absolve ourselves of responsibility. Making excuses doesn’t absolve you of your responsibility. It only demonstrates that you are struggling to own the outcome.But excuses do even more harm. They disempower you.You are creative, even if you are out of practice exercising your creativity. You are resourceful, or you have the power to be resourceful. You have a limitless imagination, even though you may have had it stomped out of you on your journey to adulthood.Excuses rob you of the most powerful of all human attributes: resourcefulness (read: creativity, imagination, ideation, etc.)Not Facing a Difficult Reality is DisempoweringIf you are a leader, you may refuse to accept any excuses. You have no control over the economy. You have no control over how your competitors price their offerings. You have no control over dozens of factors that might be used as an excuse for poor performance. You shouldn’t accept these factors as excuses, if you’ve done your job well.Not facing a difficult reality is the same as making an excuse. It disempowers you and your people. Yes the economy was soft and you still needed to make your number. But for you to be clean here, you would have had to provide the “how” necessary to overcome that factor. You can’t control your competitor’s pricing, but you do have to provide the strategy to combat their lower price offering in the marketplace.Demanding performance without helping to provide the way forward because the problem is extraordinarily difficult is a dereliction of your duty. It’s your job to lead.Empowered by AccountabilityOwning an outcome is empowering. You get to exercise your resourcefulness, your creativity, and your imagination. You get the opportunity to exercise your professionalism in taking responsibility for getting things done. You get to make a contribution by tackling tough challenges–even if you fail.Avoiding accountability means avoiding these positive outcomes. It also means avoiding growth.
Veteran Congress leader and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday filed his nomination as the Congress candidate for the by-election to the Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan. He filed four sets of papers in the chamber of Returning Officer and Assembly Secretary Pramil Kumar Mathur in Jaipur.Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, his deputy Sachin Pilot, AICC general secretary Avinash Pande and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shanti Dhariwal accompanied Dr. Singh. Dr. Singh was received in the morning by Mr. Gehlot and senior Congress leaders at the Sanganer airport.The by-election follows the death of State BJP president Madan Lal Saini on June 24 last. He was elected last year.The ruling Congress is confident of Dr. Singh’s victory, as it has the majority in the 200-member Assembly, while two seats are at present vacant. The Congress, which has 100 MLAs, enjoys the outside support of all the six BSP MLAs and 12 independents, and its alliance partner Rashtriya Lok Dal has one seat. Dr. Singh’s candidature was supported by the BSP and independent members as well.Dr. Singh, 86, was a Rajya Sabha member from Assam for five consecutive terms between 1991 and 2019. His tenure in the House ended on June 14 last.Dr. Singh told reporters on the Assembly premises after submitting his papers that he was grateful to the Congress Parliamentary Party for nominating him to the seat. “I will do my very best to do whatever is possible to promote the cause of the people of Rajasthan,” he said, while expressing condolence for the late Saini.The BJP, which has 72 seats in the Assembly, is unlikely to field a candidate in the bypoll. Leader of Opposition in the House Gulab Chand Kataria said the party’s high command would take a decision.The desert State has 10 Rajya Sabha seats. The remaining nine seats are with the BJP.As per the schedule announced by the Election Commission of India for filling up the vacancy, the notification for by-election was issued on August 7 and the last date for filing of nominations is August 14. The polling, if required, will be held on August 26 and the results declared the same day.
South African President Jacob Zuma wishes the founding father of the nation and first President of a united democratic South Africa, Nelson Mandela, a happy 95th birthday.Madiba remains in hospital in Pretoria but his doctors have confirmed that his health is steadily improving.“On behalf of government and all the people of South Africa, we wish Madiba a joyous 95th birthday. We are proud to call this international icon our own as South Africans and wish him good health. We thank all our people for supporting Madiba throughout the hospitalisation with undying love and compassion. We also thank all for responding to the call to give Madiba the biggest birthday celebration ever this year,” said President Zuma.Happy 95th birthday, Tata Madiba!
Hope Paige Designs, the foremost designer of fashionable medical accessories, has announced the release of their second annual celebrity-driven campaign after the previous year’s immense success.Angela Bassett, Mayim Bialik, Carrie Ann Inaba and Daniele Jonas have recently joined the existing eight stars to create customized Hope Paige medical ID bracelets to benefit a variety of charities and raise safety awareness.Hope Paige Celebrity Charity Bracelets.Credit/Copyright: PRNewsFoto/Hope Paige DesignsThese celebrities will join recurring philanthropists Melissa Joan Hart, Kimora Lee Simmons, Leeza Gibbons, Misty May Treanor, Dot Marie Jones, Greg Grunberg, Meatloaf and Kenton Duty as they raise awareness for great causes.Hope Paige will donate 100% of the profits from each celebrity’s bracelet to the charity of his or her choice. Last year, celebrity bracelet charity donations totaled $50,000.00 and this year, Hope Paige hopes to increase this amount. Bracelet pricing begins at $29.95 and the entire collection can be found at hopepaige.com.Married to Jonas star Danielle Jonas has chosen to support The Change for the Children Charity, while Emmy nominee and star of The Big Bang Theory Mayim Bialik is supporting Golisano Children’s Hospital. Dancing with the Stars judge Carrie Ann Inaba’s donations will go to Sjogrens Syndrome Foundation, and American Horror Story star Angela Bassett is helping the Rahel Formula Fund.“We are so appreciative that these celebrities have come on board to help us raise awareness about the importance of wearing a medical ID bracelet,” says Shelly Fisher, founder of Hope Paige. “The creativity of these charity minded celebrities are sure to encourage people to be safe while donating to some truly great causes.”While each celebrity has a different reason for participating, they all have an inspiring story to share. Visit https://sp2.img.hsyaolu.com.cn/wp-shlf1314/C2060/IMG14983.jpg” alt=”last_img” />