first_imgNoyes Named Acting Commissioner of Housing and Community AffairsMONTPELIER, Vt. – The former Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Economic Development has been named the acting Commissioner of Housing and Community Affairs.William Noyes will take charge of the department when acting Commissioner Molly Dugan steps down later this month, according to Commerce and Community Development Secretary Kevin Dorn.Dugan, who has been deputy housing commissioner since 2006, has been filling the top slot since former housing commissioner John Hall stepped down this spring.”Bill’s experience within our agency will serve him well in his new role,” said Dorn, whose agency includes both the housing and economic development departments. “He is familiar with the people and the issues and will be able to hit the ground running.”Noyes, 58, of Barre, joined the Department of Economic Development in June 2006 after serving nine years as second in command at the Vermont National Guard under former Adjutant General Martha Rainville.Prior to that, Noyes spent more than 20 years working in the private sector, including managing two radio stations, WSNO-AM and WORK-FM, before joining the Guard full time.”I’m looking forward to working with the staff at Housing and Community Affairs,” Noyes said. “The Community Development Program, Division of Community Planning and Revitalization, and Division for Historic Preservation are all outstanding teams and make valuable contributions to our state.”The Department of Housing and Community Affairs administers programs related to housing; the Downtown and Community Development Block Grant programs; and planning and historic preservation.”Together, we will continue to provide services that will help strengthen Vermont’s downtowns and village centers and build vibrant communities,” Noyes said.Dugan, who worked for the Vermont League of Cities and Towns before joining the agency in 2001, was head of the Vermont Community Development Program before being promoted to DHCA Deputy Commissioner. She is leaving state government to pursue another opportunity.last_img read more

first_imgGovernor Jim Douglas was honored last night with a 2010 Health Quality Award from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).  Governor Douglas was recognized for his work to improve Vermont’s health care system through a focus on chronic disease prevention and management resources. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius was on hand and provided the keynote address.“This is a tremendous recognition of the work we have done in Vermont to provide quality, affordable coverage to more people,” said the Governor. “Prevention is key to reining in costs and the Blueprint for Health as been instrumental in improving our health quality standards and is a model for the nation.”In 2003, Douglas launched the Blueprint for Health to focus health care in his state on preventing illness and complications, rather than reacting to health emergencies. He signed a comprehensive package of health reforms in 2006 designed to expand access to coverage, improve the quality and performance of the health care system and contain costs.“Governor Douglas’ leadership has produced better health care for residents of Vermont,” said NCQA President Margaret E. O’Kane. “The focus the Governor has put on prevention makes Vermont an encouraging model for improving health care on the national level.”Each year, NCQA presents Health Quality Awards to individuals and organizations that highlight the need for—and drive—health care improvement. Past recipients include Director of the Office of Management and Budget Peter Orszag, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton, former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Secretary Sebelius and actress Mary Tyler Moore and The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.Governor Douglas joined the following individuals and organizations also receiving 2010 Health Quality Awards:v Karen Davis – Davis is the president of The Commonwealth Fund, a national philanthropy engaged in independent research on health and social policy issues. She is a nationally recognized economist and advocate for an affordable, high-performance health care system for all Americans.v Peter Pronovost, MD, PhD – Pronovost is a practicing anesthesiologist and teacher, researcher, critical care physician and international patient safety leader. He is also a professor at Johns Hopkins University. In 2001, he developed a checklist to address line infection, a common complication that may occur when a catheter is inserted into the body. In 2003, he established the Quality and Safety Research Group to advance the science of safety.v The Greater New Orleans Community Organizations, the Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum and the Louisiana Public Health Institute are being recognized for their work in the wake of Hurricane Katrina to develop and implement a community-based care network focused on primary care and integrated behavioral health for residents of New Orleans.v Governor Edward Rendell (D-Pennsylvania) – Governor Rendell is currently serving his second term as Pennsylvania’s 45th Governor. In 2007, he launched Prescription for Pennsylvania, a multi-pronged effort designed to improve the health care of all Pennsylvanians by making care more efficient and cost-effective. This initiative includes the nation’s largest demonstration of the Patient-Centered Medical Home collaborative.Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2010, NCQA is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality.  NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations.  It also recognizes clinicians and practices in key areas of performance.  NCQA’s Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®) is the most widely used performance measurement tool in health care.  NCQA is committed to providing health care quality information for consumers, purchasers, health care providers and researchers.Source: Governor’s office. 3.24.2010###last_img read more

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Police on Long Island are beefing up patrols around temples, synagogues, churches and other houses of worship after a reputed white supremacist allegedly murdered three people at two Jewish centers in Kansas over the weekend.Frazier Glenn Cross, 73, of Missouri, was arrested on a preliminary first-degree murder charge for fatally shooting a 69-year-old man and his 14-year-old grandson outside a Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, Kan. and then gunning down a woman at Village Shalom, a nearby Jewish retirement home, The Associated Press reported.The shootings occurred on the eve of Passover—one of the Jewish high holidays—which starts at sundown Monday.“Our officers are on heightened awareness and there will be increased patrols with both marked and unmarked units during the holidays,” Suffolk police said in a statement.Nassau’s added patrols come on top of previously announced special patrols that were slated for Passover, Good Friday and Easter Sunday.“In light of the circumstances,” Acting Nassau Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter said in a statement referring to the shootings, the department “increased the already established intensified patrols at religious places of worship for the Passover and Easter holidays.”He added: “There is no known threat to any religious institution in Nassau County at this time.”Officials urged members of the public to remain vigilant and call 911 to report any suspicious activity, such as an unattended package, bag or box left at or outside of a church, temple, train station, house of worship, synagogue, mall or high-traffic area.The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a nonprofit that monitors hate groups, published an in-depth profile of the Kansas shooting suspect, a former Klu Klux Klan leader who served prison time for plotting to assassinate the SPLC’s founder.Karen Aroesty, the St. Louis regional director for the Anti-Defamation League, a group that advocates against anti-Semitism, called the shootings “deeply troubling.”last_img read more

first_imgAllan Sloan is an editor-at-large reporting about business and finance for ProPublica. Read his recent story on pension bonds, “When Wall Street Offers Free Money, Watch Out.“Researcher Derek Kravitz contributed to this report. By Allan Sloan, ProPublicaThis story was co-published with the Washington Post.Wealth, jobs and pay inequality are big political issues this presidential primary season, and they’re bound to become bigger once the parties pick their nominees. In the plethora of plans candidates tout for tackling these problems, one favored tool stands out: the federal tax code.But trying to legislate corporate behavior and economic fairness — however you define fairness — through the tax system is a lot trickier than it sounds.Consider the supposed solution to an equality and social-justice issue debated six elections ago — a law designed to limit how much companies could deduct from their taxable income for lush pay packages to high-paid executives.In 1992, as now, key electoral issues included inequality and the spectacle of American jobs moving overseas — underscored by a gaping disparity between executives making multiple millions and ordinary workers with stagnant wages.The idea was to give companies a tax incentive to rein in executive pay or just shame them into it. But a new study done for ProPublica and The Washington Post by S&P Global Market Intelligence shows that the law has had little effect. In fact, the titans of American industry and commerce shrugged off the statute and moved to pay top executives way more than the deductibility limit.Bill Clinton, the not-yet-a-household-name Arkansas governor, proposed limiting deductions for what he called “excessive executive pay” during his first presidential campaign in the early 1990s. The concept had kicked around Washington for several years and was one of the planks that helped him win the Democratic nomination and deny George H.W. Bush a second term. In 1992, Bush had vetoed a budget bill containing a provision to limit how much companies could deduct for high-paid people.Clinton’s victory and a Democratic Congress resulted in a tax law change that limited companies’ deductions for executives’ compensation to $1 million per executive per year. That’s the amount that Clinton proposed for chief executives in “Putting People First,” a campaign book that he co-authored with Al Gore.The compensation deduction limit, known to tax techies as Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code, was adopted in a 1993 bill that also increased taxes on higher-income Social Security recipients and reduced deductions for business meals.The legislation, however, was stuffed with loopholes. It covered only companies with publicly traded stock; it applied to only five (and since 2007, four) “named executive officers” who aren’t necessarily the highest-paid; and it exempted “performance-based” compensation, including stock options, and huge bonuses based on easily attained goals, allowing unlimited deductions for them.Section 162(m) fulfilled a campaign promise. But, in hindsight, it’s clear that it has had little or no influence on corporate behavior. Says Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), a leading congressional tax maven: “Regardless of how you feel about limiting compensation through the tax code, the current law is like a gnat on an elephant in accomplishing its goal. It’s easy to swataway, and that’s exactly what many companies do.”We decided to see whether that was accurate.Our study looked at the history of executive compensation for the 40 members of today’s “Nifty Fifty” — the 50 companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index with the highest stock market value — that also reported executive compensation information for 1992, the year before the pay-deductibility limits took effect.To compare apples to apples, we eliminated the 10 members of the Nifty Fifty, including Facebook and Alphabet (Google’s parent company), that weren’t publicly traded back then or didn’t exist.In 1992, only 35 percent of the people in our study — executives whose income was reported in companies’ proxy statements — had more than $1 million of income in the categories subject to deductibility limits. (Those are salaries, bonuses and restricted stock that vests over time.) But in 2014, the last year for which corporate salary income is available, the number had risen to 95 percent.(Read our complete methodology.)Given inflation, it’s no surprise that more top execs would breach the $1 million cap. But the numbers also showed something completely unintuitive.From 1992 to 2014, compensation per executive in the limited-deductibility categories rose more rapidly — by about 650 percent, to $8.2 million from $1.1 million — than compensation in categories such as stock options and incentive pay that aren’t subject to deductibility limits. The latter rose by about 350 percent, to $4.4 million from $970,000.“That’s powerful,” Steven Balsam, a leading academic expert on executive compensation practices, said when told what our study showed. Balsam is a professor at Temple University’s Fox School of Business who published a 2012 study on the deduction cap for the Economic Policy Institute. “At best, 162(m) has had a marginal effect,” he said. “It hasn’t had a major impact.”Some of the companies with the most notable increases in compensation subject to the limit include Allergan (to $77.4 million from $378,000), Cisco (to $75.2 million from $1.1 million), Oracle (to $119.4 million from $4.9 million) and Walmart (to $55.4 million from $2.9 million).What happened? It turns out that losing deductibility isn’t all that big a deal to companies — we estimated the effect of lost deductibility on corporate profits at only about 0.2 percent in 2010 for the companies in Balsam’s study. And there’s no reason to think those numbers have changed much.(The 0.2 percent figure is based on Balsam’s estimate that the 7,248 companies in his study paid an extra $2.5 billion of federal tax because of lost deductibility in 2010, and on S&P Global Market Intelligence’s calculation that the 7,722 firms in its slightly larger database had $1.153 trillion in after-tax profits that year.)“Decisions on the pay mix are not guided by the deductibility factor,” said Steven Seelig, executive compensation counsel for Willis Towers Watson, a big consulting firm. “Compensation committees are certainly mindful of the tax rules and meet the deductibility rules when they can. But the decision on the pay mix that’s appropriate is guided by their companies’ unique circumstances.”One of the reasons that the deductibility limit has been so ineffectual is that it was watered down from what was originally proposed.According to coverage by Tax Notes, which tracked the progress of 162(m) in great detail, the intellectual godfather of the legislation was then-Rep. Martin Sabo, a Minnesota Democrat.Sabo, who represented Minneapolis and some of its suburbs, said in an interview that his goal had been to reduce economic inequality. “My proposal was trying to send a message,” he said. “This was a sort of symbolic thing because I felt that those at the top should care about the bottom.” He had pushed for deductibility limits in the 1992 tax bill that Bush vetoed.But what became Section 162(m) a year later wasn’t Sabo’s original concept. “What I proposed was that you couldn’t take a tax deduction if the compensation exceeded 25 times the compensation of the lowest-paid employees,” he said.That idea began life as the Income Disparities Act of 1991. Because it applied to all employees, not just top officers, the legislation would have had a sweeping impact across corporate America. How did it morph into something that affected only a few executives at publicly traded companies?“I don’t know,” Sabo said.A hint of what happened comes from former congressman Tom Downey. The New York Democrat was a member of the House Ways and Means Committee and was involved with Sabo’s 1991 legislation, but he left Congress before 162(m) became law.“There are all sorts of things I did to try to get rich people to pay more in taxes, and none of it worked,” Downey said. All sorts of people were upset by Sabo’s proposal, Downey said, and major attacks “came from my friends in Hollywood.”It’s doubtful that anything resembling Sabo’s proposal would have been adopted. What Clinton proposed in “Putting People First” — a $1 million cap — was a simpler and easier sell.“This is an example of a law that’s so watered down it’s meaningless. It’s still on the books, but it has no value,” said Graef “Bud” Crystal, a compensation consultant and critic of excessive executive pay. “It should be put out of its misery.”Crystal had a 1991 phone conversation with Clinton about limiting deductions for executive compensation that was widely publicized at the time. Crystal said he told Clinton that the proposal not only wouldn’t hold down executive pay, but would hurt shareholders by increasing the after-tax cost of CEO pay packages.Crystal said that when people told Clinton that the legislation was so diminished it would have no effect, “he said, ‘Bud Crystal made me do it.’” Actually, Crystal said, “I told him just the opposite.”What does Clinton think of how ineffectual his legislation has been? That’s a mystery. The former president was campaigning in New Hampshire for his wife, and his spokesman declined to respond to a list of detailed questions.On the campaign trail these days, Republicans say that eliminating the corporate income tax (Sen. Ted Cruz) or cutting it sharply (Donald Trump) will set off a hiring boom. Democrats say that jacking up tax rates (Sen. Bernie Sanders) or changing capital gains rules (Hillary Clinton) will reduce the advantages that rich people enjoy over the rest of the populace.It’s impossible to know whether any of these ideas will become law. But based on history, it’s a safe bet that if they do, they are not likely to produce the results their proponents predict. Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York center_img ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for their newsletter.last_img read more

first_imgThe above-mentioned video material, as well as a digital brochure, have been prepared for this communication concept. The campaign will be mostly conducted through social media, with plans to promote it in larger cities such as Zagreb, Split and Rijeka. The second phase will be communication to foreign markets that will follow immediately after the opening of borders. “There were two sisters, two princesses. Both owned land, called Lika and Krbava. There they got the land after their father’s death. One sister, Karolina, got Krbava and the area was named after her. The other sister got today’s Lika. That princess was sickly so she traveled around looking for a cure. He is thirsty and drinks water near Ribnik. The pain turned for the better. She saw that the water did her good, that it just looked like her (healed). That water became a “character” for her, so he called it “Lika”, and from the water the whole area got the name Lika “.according to legend, source: Danica 1992, Author of the text Ante Rukavina). Precisely with the slogan “A character is a character “, a campaign was launched by the Tourist Board of the Municipality of Plitvice Lakes and the Tourist Board of the City of Gospić (op.a. synergy) Wow who is talking, I was personally fascinated that Lika was named after a medicine or a character. A phenomenal link with nature, local and organic food, sustainable development and of course active tourism. “We must certainly note that the Strategy we have been working on will improve the implementation of sustainable and responsible tourism, the transition to a circular economy and coordinated action. Tourist agencies, family farms are involved, an agreement has been reached with local family farms that will deliver their offer of local and fresh products to guests in their current accommodation. We have remained positive and we will not give up our intention to work together, in coordinated action to present and promote our destination and offer the most valuable and the best we have.. ” concludes Strinić. “Family accommodation, camps, smaller family hotels have a great opportunity this year. Guests will certainly look for places with fewer people and with private facilities, places where they have complete peace and privacy where Lika has a great advantage and corresponds to the current market conditions. That is why we must listen to the market, offer security, privacy, care, unpolluted air, clean nature, water, outdoor activities, and tourists will look for individual transport, individual accommodation and individual activities” The campaign was hit hard, because this is a great opportunity for rural and continental tourism. And great demand will be just for weekend trips. Lika is the largest county in Croatia, with the smallest population, which in this case has been turned into an advantage. Let me tell you a tourist story and legend. The campaign is currently intended for the domestic market, and we are sending a message and the importance of staying in nature, a message that we offer guests security and privacy, says Maja Strilić, director of the Gospić Tourist Board and adds: Watch short and effects videos with a great narrative, as an announcement of the campaign – Lika is a character. Lika is certainly a real sustainable tourist beauty full of life, and with strong trump cards such as NP Northern Velebit, No Paklenica, Pag, Nikola Tesla, Gacko, rivers and lakes… Of course there are NP Plitvice Lakes that attract the masses, and the imperative is part to disperse tourists all over Lika, in order to extend the number of days of tourists in Lika, and certainly complete a great weekend, even a week full of activities and experiences. The campaign is aimed at presenting key tourist attributes such as beautiful nature and a rich outdoor offer, and an invitation to everyone to visit Lika for the weekend. Bravo for TZG Gospić and TZO Plitvička jezera, for an excellent campaign and proactivity. As I pointed out, now is the opportunity for positioning and branding, because there will be a great demand for such content.last_img read more

first_img2/7 Boodera Road, Palm Beach.WITH a rooftop terrace and spiral staircase this duplex could easily be mistaken for a trendy bar in Palm Beach.The ultra-stylish duplex sold under the hammer on the weekend for $1.168 million.Andy Hogarth and Lauara Dean from McGrath Palm Beach marketed the property which sold to an interstate buyer.2/7 Boodera Road, Palm Beach.Homeowners Cory Hinds and Jasmine Haran bought the block last year to create the ‘entertainers dream’.Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:45Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:45 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenClose Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Summer Dream Home: Currumbin01:45 Related videos 01:45Summer Dream Home: Currumbin01:34Paradise for sale…01:16Dream home: Broadbeach Waters01:33Dream Home: New Farm01:36Dream Home: Brookfield01:00Mermaid BeachMr Hinds said the home was only completed late last year.“Jasmine and I noticed there wasn’t many three story designs in the area and we wanted to create something unique,” he said.2/7 Boodera Road, Palm Beach.The couple said they originally knocked down the older style house on the block to make way for the trendy designs.More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North4 hours ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa1 day ago“We decided to subdivide the block and get more out of it,” Mr Hinds said.“It is our first house project so we are really excited to be living in the other duplex.”2/7 Boodera Road, Palm Beach.Mr Hinds said he grew up in Burleigh and loved the southern end of the Gold Coast.“Palm Beach was our top pick for building a home like this,” he said.“The plan has been in the pipeline for the past two-and-a-half years and Jasmine and I are really impressed with how its turned out.“It is exactly what we had imagined, maybe even better.”Mr Hinds said the couple originally planned to put up a stylish screen on the front balcony to hide the spiral staircase.2/7 Boodera Road, Palm Beach.“In the end we decided against it because the spiral staircase made a feature out of itself and it looked great from the street,” he said.The 28-year old said the rooftop captures hinterland views from Burleigh Headland to Mt Warning.The duplex is packed with modern technology including a fingerprint entry and tile heating.A freestanding bath is the showpiece of the ensuites main bedroom.2/7 Boodera Road, Palm Beach.last_img read more

first_imgLast year, PGGM increased its holdings in companies linked to climate, healthcare, food and water to €14bn, relative to its 2020 goal of €20bn. Eloy Lindeijer, PGGMLindeijer said PGGM was currently in discussions with private equity managers, and that investments would be subject to the same risk and return requirements as PGGM’s other private equity investments.As the funds in question were relatively young, PGGM’s private equity team wanted to spend a lot of time getting to know the funds, he said. PGGM has also taken a stake in sustainable unlisted firms directly, for example in SCW Systems, which extracts methane from waste. It has also shown an interest in taking over green energy company Eneco in a co-operation with Shell.Going big in small capsOther Dutch pension funds are also seeking ways to increase their sustainable investments in smaller companies.The €431bn Dutch civil service scheme ABP has invested €50m in Anet, a local energy transition fund investing in smaller companies involved in energy generation and distribution, such as hydrogen, energy storage, thermal grids, biomass and chargers for electric vehicles. Anet was established by ABP.The metal and engineering sector schemes PMT and PME have taken stakes in Innovation Industries, a Dutch private equity fund aimed at innovative companies in the construction sector. Innovation Industries focuses on making technologies developed at technical universities ready for the market.Separately, in its ESG report PGGM said it would not necessarily divest its full stake in companies mining oil from tar sands.It said it had already sold its stake in many tar sand firms because of their carbon footprint, and that it expected better results from engagement with its remaining holdings.Biggest Dutch schemes focus on sustainable mortgage holdings  One of the Netherlands’ largest asset managers is turning to private equity funds to increase its exposure to small, innovative companies and broaden its impact investment policy.PGGM, the €217bn asset manager of the Dutch healthcare pension scheme PFZW, is seeking thematic private equity funds to achieve its goal for investments in the four themes of climate, healthcare, food and water, according to its head of asset management Eloy Lindeijer.PFZW recently indicated in its annual report that it was unlikely to meet its sustainability investment target for 2020 as it was experiencing difficulties finding sufficient scale for direct sustainable investment in smaller companies.In the asset manager’s ESG report for 2018, Lindeijer said that PGGM had only found sufficient scale in investments in solar and wind farms in the US. Companies with promising innovations were usually too small for PGGM to invest in, and the risks were high.center_img PFZW intends to increase the sustainability of its mortgage holdings by offering homebuyers a discount if their property has the highest energy efficiency rating.It has already increased its sustainable mortgage holdings to €400m, which equates to one-fifth of its entire mortgage investments.PFZW offers its own members mortgages through the Attens brand, with buyers getting a discount of 40bps relative to the going rate, for a maximum of €25,000 of their loan. It said the ceiling would limit the negative impact on the scheme’s returns. Mortgages deliver 150-200bps relative to risk-free investments.According to a PFZW spokesperson, the discount offered to homebuyers would ultimately produce a bigger gain, as it would deliver “a more valuable and liquid collateral”.“In addition, a more energy-efficient home usually leads to a lower energy bill, improving the affordability of the property,” the spokesperson added.ABP, for its turn, said it wanted to lend €500m to homebuyers opting for a property with energy label A, the highest level.It currently works with mortgage provider and Rabobank subsidiary Vista Hypotheken, which offers a 10bps discount for homes with the highest energy rating.The pension fund said it intended to increase its mortgage portfolio with Vista to €800m.Sustainability plays an increasingly important role in the issuance of mortgages. Several providers allow homebuyers to borrow more than 100% of the property value if they increase its sustainability rating, for example through installing thermal insulation.During the past few years, many pension funds have replaced part of their government bond portfolios with mortgage investments, as they are seen as delivering better returns than government paper.last_img read more

first_imgImage courtesy of Petronet LNGImports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) into India soared during the month of February. Data from the oil ministry’s Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) shows that 3.45 billion cubic meters of LNG have been imported into India during the month under review 67.7 percent up when compared to February 2019.PPAC noted that the cumulative imports for the period of April 2019 to February 2020 reached 30.81 billion cubic meters, 16.9 percent higher when compared to the corresponding period last year.The cost of LNG imports for the month of February 2020 edged up to $0.8 billion from $0.7 billion in February 2019, while the cost of imports in the April 2019-February 2020 period reached $8.8 billion, dropping from $9.5 billion reported in the corresponding period last year.Ministry’s data shows that Petronet LNG’s Dahej terminal continues to operate above full capacity utilization. Namely, the terminal operated at 104.2 percent capacity utilization during the fiscal year so far with the Hazira LNG terminal operating at 98 percent capacity utilization.Dabhol LNG terminal operated at 22.3 percent capacity while Kochi and Ennore LNG terminals operated at 16.3 and 8.1 percent utilization capacity, respectively.last_img read more

first_img 81 Views   no discussions Share Tweet Share Conde Nast Digital StudioLet’s put the debates to rest. Perfect fried chicken–golden brown, with a flaky-crisp crust and juicy meat–is easily accomplished at home. Here’s how to achieve irresistible goodness every time, from the ultimate spice rub to a delicate dredge. (And yes, the pan you use matters, too.)Hunter Lewis, Bon Appetit We could go on for days singing chicken-fried hallelujahs to comfort food’s holy grail, but sentimentality won’t get you a crunchy, superbly seasoned bird. Our guide to the right ingredients, technique, and tools will. So put on your apron, grab a cast-iron skillet and a cold one (lemonade, sweet tea, beer-your call), and let’s start frying.1. The Bird: Think Smaller Fried chicken was traditionally a spring dish in the South, and the young chickens used were dainty compared with today’s hefty birds. To approximate those pared-down poultry, cut a three- to four-pounder into ten pieces, or use the equivalent weight in thighs, drumsticks, and breasts. (If you fry anything larger than four pounds, the crust will burn before the meat has cooked through.) Promote even cooking by halving the breasts, then cutting them crosswise. Antibiotic- and hormone-free or organic chickens are worth the expense. It’s not like frying is an everyday affair, so start with a good bird.2. The Rub: Keep It Kosher When it comes to seasoning your bird, Linton Hopkins, chef at Atlanta’s Restaurant Eugene, says to break with tradition and forget about the buttermilk brine: “The danger of brining in buttermilk is that you never get the skin crisp enough.” Embrace the overnight dry rub instead. Kosher salt is the key: It keeps the meat juicy and carries the flavors of the spices to the bone. Our rub recipe goes spice-rack retro and calls for onion and garlic powders, which give the chicken an almost bacony meatiness.3. The Dredge: Do Not Double Dip! Now that the interior of your bird is seasoned, it’s time to address the surface. A good wash and dredge–that marriage of wet and dry ingredients–should complement, not bury, the skin. The loose buttermilk-egg wash imparts rich color and encourages the flour mixture to cling. A single dip accentuates the skin’s texture as the fat renders and the skin becomes crackling. This thin shell will fry up as a delicate layer: No fried chicken should suffer the indignity of a bulky overcoat with padded shoulders.1) Let the seasoned chicken come to room temperature. It won’t cool the oil as much when it hits the skillet, and it will cook more evenly. Meanwhile, set up your dredging station from left to right.2) A quick dip into buttermilk and egg sets up the chicken for a golden, craggy crust. Designate one hand as your wet-dip hand so you don’t turn yourself into a papier-mâché project.3) Using your dry hand, roll the chicken pieces in a blend of flour and cornstarch (the latter helps the flour adhere and promotes a good crust), then knock off any excess by tapping the chicken against the edge of the dish. “You want a rumor of flour,” says Scott Peacock, former chef of Decatur, Georgia’s Watershed restaurant and co-author with the late Edna Lewis of The Gift of Southern Cooking.4) Gently lower the pieces into 350° oil. 4. The Fat: Solve the Peanut Riddle Vegetable oil and shortening work just fine, but we love peanut oil, and we’re not alone. Dense, with a slightly earthy flavor and a high smoke point, peanut oil is “the lard of oils,” says Scott Peacock. Frying in peanut oil produces a lovely, mahogany-brown crust.Careful frying in shallow oil will render the fat from the skin, resulting in a coveted crust. But an excess of oil that remains while the chicken cools can translate to a greasy finish. The solution? Use tongs to lift each piece out of the oil and hold it at an angle for a good three seconds while the fat drips back into the pan. Transfer it to a rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet so air can circulate and keep it from getting soggy. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before digging in. Finally, if you don’t have a deep-fry thermometer, don’t worry. The oil will shimmer slightly when it’s hot enough, and a piece of bread should bubble on contact and brown quickly.5. The Skillet: Cast a Little Black Magic A cast-iron skillet–inexpensive and basically indestructible–is the prized frying vessel for a reason. It retains heat better than most pans, which helps regulate the oil temperature and ensures even frying. If you don’t own one already, this recipe should provide ample motivation.6. The Finish: Give ‘Em More to Love This chicken doesn’t need any embellishments, but these sure won’t hurt. Rosemary Honey Tie 3 rosemary sprigs together with kitchen twine and use as a brush to slather this fragrant honey over everything from biscuits to chicken.Bring 1/2 cup honey, 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, 1 rosemary sprig, and a pinch each of salt and pepper to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Remove from heat and let steep for 30 minutes before serving. Dip the rosemary brush into the honey and use to drizzle over the chicken.Sichuan-Spiced Dipping Salt A little of this Chinese-style spiced salt goes a long way. Serve it in small bowls for dipping, or sprinkle it over fried chicken.Combine 2 Tbsp. each of Sichuan peppercorns, cumin seeds, and kosher salt in a small skillet over medium heat. Heat, stirring often, until spices are toasted and very fragrant, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; let cool. Finely grind mixture in a spice mill or in a mortar with a pestle.Pepper Vinegar Southern cooks use their chile-infused vinegar to add a tart, floral kick to dishes like chicken or greens. You can also use it to wake up salad dressings. Customize it by adding bourbon or fruit liqueur and using your favorite chiles.Combine 2 cups distilled white vinegar, 2 dried chiles de árbol, and 2 Scotch bonnet chiles (or any of your favorite dried or fresh chiles), quartered lengthwise, in a 1-pint jar. Seal and shake. Let sit at room temperature for 1 week before using.A Couple Extras: Your No-Fuss Fried Chicken ToolboxBowl: Choose one large enough to hold all the chicken pieces and that has room for tossing with the spice rub. An airtight container works, too.Tongs: Long-handled tongs give you the reach you need to turn the chicken pieces as they cook. Frequent flipping encourages even browning.Skillet: A 10″-12″ cast-iron pan is just right for this recipe. If cooking more than one bird, use the same pan and work in several batches.Thermometer: Take the guesswork out of frying with a deep-fry thermometer. The chicken will cool the oil; adjust the flame as needed.Rack & Pan: Wire cooling racks aren’t just for cookies. The rack allows air to move around the pieces as they cool. The sheet pan catches any drips.Leftover Chicken? It May Be Even Better Than the Real ThingCold fried chicken is more than a slice of pizza you found in the fridge: It’s a dish unto itself. Growing up, all of the chicken I ate at Southern picnics, tailgates, and church potlucks taught me how to read a drumstick.I learned that a recipe’s merit shouldn’t be judged by how the chicken is right out of the skillet but by how it tastes the next day, after time spent cooling. Is the meat still juicy and flavorful? Is the crust fused to the skin, yielding the slightest crunch and toothsome tug? Was the grease drained properly? Answer yes to all, and you’ve done good.By bon appétit magazineYAHOOcenter_img Food & DiningLifestyle 6 Steps to Perfect Fried Chicken by: – January 30, 2012 Share Sharing is caring!last_img read more

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