Guard Card project to provide free phone cards to all deployed Vermont Guard soldiers

first_imgToday, Vermont Secretary of State Deb Markowitz announced a new program the Guard Card Project to provide free Verizon telephone cards to all deployed Vermont National Guardsmen and women.  In partnership with the Vermont National Guard, the USO (United Service Organizations) and Verizon, the Office of the Secretary of State has created a program to engage students in service learning projects that will help guard families by putting a free, 100 minute calling card in the pocket of every soldier who is deployed as a result of the mobilization order announced by Adjutant General Michael Dubie last week.Secretary of State Deb Markowitz said, We are pleased to announce this new program to help our citizen soldiers keep in touch with their families while they are serving overseas. With over 1,500 Vermont National Guardsmen and women to be deployed to Afghanistan beginning next fall, every Vermont community will be impacted. When we learned how many Vermont families would be impacted by this historic deployment, we wanted to organize an effort that would bring our schools and communities together to help support our troops and their families.  Missy Shea, Secretary of State s Office Civic Education Coordinator said, Communities across the state will feel this deployment. In many schools students will be impacted when a parent, or another loved one, is deployed. We thought a great service learning project would be to link students with guard families to offer support.Markowitz said, We know through research that students who have had opportunities to practice the skills of civic engagement will be more likely to be active citizens in the future. Our Guard Card service initiative provides this kind of learning opportunity. It is our hope that teachers will use this project to help students learn the meaning and importance of service in our communities.Shea explained that the original concept of the project was for students to provide assistance to guard families either through direct service such as babysitting, stacking wood and mowing lawns, or by raising money to help buy long distance phone cards for each soldier who is being deployed to make it easier for them to keep in touch with their families.   Shea explained that when Verizon was approached with the phone card idea, they offered to provide the calling cards for free through a promotional program they had established with the USO. Shea says it was a pleasure working with Verizon. The company does a lot to support the troops. Their partnership with the USO is what s providing these cards. The fact that Vermont soldiers have a back-up way to stay in touch with their families during deployment is incredibly helpful. We very much appreciate the generosity of Verizon and the USO.Major Randall Gates, Director of the Vermont National Guard State Family Readiness Program, and himself a soldier who will be deployed, adds, “This calling card endeavor is a tremendous showing of community support for our soldiers. While some of our soldiers may use other communication technologies such as instant messaging or personal video, all of our soldiers will benefit greatly from these phone cards.  The soldiers will be able to use the cards during their out-of-state mobilization training or use them for a call from Afghanistan. We commend Verizon and the USO. Our airmen, soldiers and Family Readiness Program have benefited from the ideas generated by Secretary Deb Markowitz’s office, and we look forward to further collaboration.”Now that the cards have been donated, it opens even greater opportunity for schools to develop other service-learning projects in support of the soldiers and their families. According to Shea, some schools have already been inspired by the Guard Card project to raise money to help pay for the distribution of the cards. Benson Village School 3rd and 4th graders have designed phone card envelopes with special messages for the guardsmen and women. At Cavendish Elementary, students hosted an Ed-u-thon , playing learning games through the night to raise $1,400 they will donate. Beginning this fall, the Office of the Secretary of State will be rolling out the Service-for-Service program to link schools with guard family support efforts in their communities. For more information about the Guard Card or related school-based service learning projects, please contact Missy Shea, Civic Education Coordinator, Office of the Secretary of State.Source: Markowitz’s office. read more

Germany to impose Solvency II measures on local pension funds

first_imgIn particular, the VAG’s application of  paragraph 124, concerning investment principles, to IORPs had been criticised and remains unchanged in the final 360-page draft which will now be presented to parliament.It introduces the principle of “entrepreneurial prudence” (unternehmerische Vorsicht) for investments which according to aba was superfluous as IORPs already operated under the prudent person principle.Further, aba noted that IORPs were no enterprises and did not aim to return a profit.One major criticism voiced by the association was a limit on “non-listed” vehicles, which the law said should be “kept to a cautious level”.In its comment on the original draft the aba had cautioned that this would also apply to most real estate holdings and a cap on those would prevent IORPs from accessing illiquidity premiums in future.Similarly, the German actuarial society (DAV) as well as the federal employer association (BDA) warned not to link  paragraph 124 to IORPs as it introduced stricter than necessary regulatory requirements regarding supervision and in parts was not consistent with other regulations applying to this sector.The aba pointed out the limitations under the new legal draft were not in line with the “prudent person principle” which should allow IORPs the freedom to make decisions.One point welcomed by the occupational pension sector were changes to payout structure of the Pensions-Sicherungs-Verein (PSV), the industry’s buffer fund for insolvencies.According to the final draft, the PSV would also be exempt from any new Solvency II-based capital requirements placed on other insurers. In addition, it will in future be more easy to allow partial payments of the levies in years when the number of insolvencies is exceptionally high.,WebsitesWe are not responsible for the content of external sitesLink to draft version of the Versicherungsaufsichtsgesetz The German government’s final draft of the new insurance supervision law (VAG) will impose elements of Solvency II on the country’s Pensionskassen and Pensionsfonds, despite objections by industry and employer bodies. The VAG had to be amended to fulfil requirements under Solvency II but occupational pension groups lamented that the insurance framework was, in part, being transferred onto schemes.The German pension fund association aba told IPE it had not yet had the chance to check the new draft in detail but at first glance it seemed that “unfortunately” a lot of its requests for amendments, made after the first draft was published in late July, went unheeded.One of the main demands of various representatives from the occupational pensions sector had been a completely independent set of rules on the supervision of IORPs – a demand which has not been met.last_img read more

Klopp looks on bright side after Chelsea draw

first_imgLiverpool, United Kingdom | AFP | Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said he would take the positives from his side’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea despite the disappointment of conceding a freak 85th-minute equaliser.Mohamed Salah’s goal against his former club looked set to restore Liverpool to winning ways after their calamitous 3-3 draw against Sevilla, only for Willian’s mishit cross to earn Chelsea a point.It ends level at Anfield. pic.twitter.com/0hKHrS9eZ3— Liverpool FC (@LFC) November 25, 2017Liverpool remain fifth and will fall 14 points off the pace in the Premier League if Manchester City win at Huddersfield Town on Sunday, but Klopp said he had been encouraged by his team’s display.“In our situation, if we would really think about Manchester City we would be crazy,” said Klopp, whose side had let a 3-0 lead slip against Sevilla in mid-week.“How can we get Manchester City? We have to win games, but if they go on winning all their games, we can do whatever we want.“I’m happy about big parts of the performance. I’m really proud of the attitude. Everything was good until Willian crossed the ball.“The world is in a strange, crazy place at the moment and there are much more important, crazy things that are happening. I can easily live with a point against Chelsea.”Willian struck two minutes after coming on for Davide Zappacosta, drifting across the box from left to right before lifting a cross towards the back post that dropped beneath the crossbar.Klopp had been trying to send on the fit-again Adam Lallana in order to change to a back three and said he was mystified by referee Michael Oliver’s initial refusal to allow the change to take place.“In my mind, Ragnar Klavan would have been in exactly the position where Willian crossed the ball,” Klopp said.A 15th #LFC goal for Mo Salah, but the Reds have to settle for a point.Report from Anfield: https://t.co/nM6nV3JEvR pic.twitter.com/lfumjKjDbt— Liverpool FC (@LFC) November 25, 2017“That means we would have blocked the cross. So you don’t feel too good when the ref doesn’t allow you to change the system because he thinks maybe it’s time play (wasting) or something.“I’ve no idea why he said no.” Klopp said Chelsea had played more defensively than he had expected and summarised their approach as: “Deep defending and giving the ball to Eden Hazard.”– Versatile Hazard –But Chelsea manager Antonio Conte felt his team had “dominated” the second half and said Liverpool’s goal — tucked away by Salah following a loose touch by Tiemoue Bakayoko — had also been fortunate.Asked if Willian’s lob had been deliberate, Conte smiled and said: “It’s not important. It was important to score.“But at the same time I think that we conceded the first goal in an unlucky way.“It was a fair result, but in the end I think that we deserved a little more than Liverpool.”81: Salah plays it out to Coutinho who responds with a great ball for the Egyptian, but Chelsea manage to put it out for a corner.[1-0] https://t.co/9y2LZ5Qas9 pic.twitter.com/5okxXB9Kme— Liverpool FC (@LFC) November 25, 2017The result kept Chelsea in third place, but they now trail second-place Manchester United by three points and will fall 11 points behind City if Pep Guardiola’s side prevail at Huddersfield.Although his influence faded, Hazard was Chelsea’s stand-out performer, his every touch in the first half oozing sophistication.Having missed the start of the season after ankle surgery, Hazard has returned to top form in recent weeks, whether playing as a wide forward or — as at Anfield — supporting Alvaro Morata in a 3-5-2 system.“The start of this season was full of trouble with Eden because he had an injury with the national team and then we started the season without him,” Conte said.“When you have this type of injuries and you need surgery, it’s very important to have the best time for your recovery.“Now Eden is in really good form. He likes to play as a striker. There is a good link with Alvaro.“For me it’s also a great opportunity to have the possibility to play with two different systems.“Against Qarabag (who Chelsea beat 4-0 in the Champions League) we played with a 3-4-2-1, today we started with a 3-5-2. It’s very important that we don’t lose our identity in both cases.”Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more