Pension funds in Ireland saw their assets rise by 9% on average in the first half of this year on the back of bond price rises, but liability values rose by around 15%, according to consultancy Mercer. Sean O’Donovan, head of DB risk at the firm, said: “Global equities saw strong growth over the period. “The majority of outperformance can also be attributed to falls in bond yields, which have seen fixed income assets increase in value by more than 10%.”However, the same market dynamic expanded pension fund liabilities. Because falls in government bond yields were echoed by corporate bonds – which companies refer to when valuing pension liabilities – pension fund liabilities rose by around 15% in the six months to the end of June, Mercer said.It said this had more than offset the gains made on scheme assets, with accounting deficits climbing to €7.6bn from €5.4bn.In 2013, deficits narrowed by €1.8bn.Mercer said employers and trustees wanted to capitalise on the big recovery in equity markets, but the problem was where to invest these assets, with bond yields now at historic lows.“More and more clients are looking for a half-way house between equities and long-dated bonds to capture equity gains until such time as bond yields hopefully increase”, O’Donovan said.
Close has been coaching Division I basketball for 29 years, and he has spent the last 13 of those years on Wisconsin’s bench.It was assumed that head coach Greg Gard wished to retain the entire staff consisting of assistants Close, Lamont Paris and Howard Moore, who Gard hired as soon as he took over on an interim basis, and all had said they hoped to return for the first full season under the new head coach.It appears, according to a statement by Close, that family is the driving force of his next professional decision, but he could not have expressed greater appreciation for the players he has coached and the coaches he had the opportunity to work with.According to his statement:“Being an assistant coach at the Division I level is an increasingly demanding position. While I plan to keep basketball a part of my future plans, I do want my next professional stop to provide me with greater flexibility to spend more quality time with my wife and two growing children.“I want to thank Bo Ryan for giving me the opportunity to be part of this tremendous run here. I want to thank the other coaches and men’s basketball staff, as well as the athletic department support staff, and especially all the loyal Badger fans who have been so supportive of me and my family over the years.“Finally and most importantly, I want to say thank you to all those terrific players whose hard work and dedication over the years has brought so much joy to me, my family and this community. From the All-Americans to the walk-ons, each and everyone played an important part in the success of this program and to our lives. To have had the opportunity to help them in a small way, chase their dreams and achieve their goals, is an experience I will always treasure, one filled with moments that I can look back on with great satisfaction and pride.”The most popular name to pop up as a potential replacement for Close on the bench is former UW-Milwaukee head coach Rob Jeter, who was just fired following the team’s 2015-16 campaign.Jeter not only played under Bo Ryan at UW-Platteville, but also served as an assistant coach at the school under Ryan from 1994-1998. He then, after serving as an assistant coach at Marquette for one season, went back to coaching under Ryan as an assistant at both Milwaukee and Wisconsin from 1999-2005 before taking over the head coaching job at Milwaukee.Jeter’s familiarity with the program is likely going to intrigue Gard, but the head coach will surely have a lengthy list of candidates to replace Close.“On behalf of the team and staff, I want to thank Gary for his dedication to the Wisconsin basketball program,” Gard said in a statement. “He has been a consistent piece of our success over the last 13 years and we all wish him well with his next endeavor.” University of Wisconsin Athletics announced Wednesday morning that longtime Wisconsin men’s basketball assistant coach Gary Close will be stepping down from his position on the staff to pursue other professional opportunities. The story was first reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Tuesday night.
Now comes an offseason with some familiar questions about when, or even if, the 37-year-old Werth and other members of the core group that’s been around for these early exits can take the next step. “A lot of people have played baseball a lot longer than me and never even made the playoffs. I cherish getting to the playoffs. Everyone wants to win the World Series. Everyone wants to, obviously, get to the next level and get in a deep postseason run. The truth of the matter is, it’s really hard to do. You have to obviously play well, get some lucky breaks and have a few things go your way,” said first baseman Ryan Zimmerman, the Nationals’ very first amateur draft pick more than a decade ago. “I think we should look at the positives and look what we’ve done in the last five years. Obviously, we’re all disappointed right now. But we’ve done a lot of good things.”Dusty Baker was the latest manager to get Washington into the postseason but not to an NL Championship Series, pulling all the right strings during his first regular season with the team but seeing some moves not quite pan out against LA, especially in Game 5.That added to his decade-plus, four-club track record of failing to win games that would have concluded a series.In the aftermath of elimination, Baker was asked whether it’s inevitable that a team or a city goes through difficult moments before getting to a championship. “You do have to go through some pain. It’s not a very pleasant pain. I’ve gone through that pain a few times now,” Baker said. “But you have to persevere. That’s the story of life. It’s how you deal with the down times and how you deal with pain. And if you just keep persevering, then something will happen, something good will happen. You can’t stop trying. You can’t stop trying to reach your goal.”Bryce Harper went from being the youngest unanimous MVP in baseball history in 2015 to a bit of a mystery in 2016. His numbers went way down to a .243 average, 24 homers, 86 RBIs in the regular season, and he had only one RBI in the playoffs. The big question is whether he or the Nationals will ever explain exactly what his health status was — because if he wasn’t badly compromised by injury, then his lack of production at the plate becomes a lot more worrisome. The best news for Washington might be the emergence of rookie Trea Turner, who batted .342 with 13 homers, 40 RBIs and 33 steals despite only 307 at-bats and while learning to play center field.Surgery for RamosNationals catcher Wilson Ramos had surgery on his right knee and his rehabilitation is expected to take six-to- eight months.Washington says Ramos had the operation on Friday, hours after the team’s season-ending loss to the Dodgers.Ramos was injured last month, during the last week of the regular season. During Friday’s surgery, he had his knee’s ACL reconstructed and the medial meniscus and lateral meniscus repaired. He batted .307 with 22 homers and 80 RBIs this season, a career year right before he can become a free agent. Jayson Werth knew this season’s NL Division Series defeat following a division title felt different from the same scenarios that played out for the Washington Nationals a couple of other times recently.How so?“I don’t know,” the team’s left fielder said, then repeated that phrase in a silent, somber clubhouse in the early hours of Friday after a 4-3 loss to the Dodgers in Game 5. “Words are not really coming to me to describe it. It’s pretty heavy. It’s going to take some time to digest.”For the third time in five years, Werth and Washington won the NL East. And for the third time in five years, they failed to win a postseason series. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
MASON CITY — A Mason City man has pleaded not guilty to illegal possession of weapons charges. 35-year-old Carlos Cooper is accused of being in the back seat of a vehicle that was stopped by a Cerro Gordo County Sheriff’s deputy in the 900 block of North Adams on the night of December 6th, where the deputy allegedly saw a sawed-off shotgun in the back seat. Cooper was charged with carrying weapons, possession of a firearm as a convicted felon and third-offense possession of marijuana. Cooper’s arraignment hearing was scheduled for today but he filed a written plea of not guilty to the charges in Cerro Gordo County District Court on Monday. District Judge Adam Sauer has scheduled Cooper’s trial to start on March 2nd. Another person in the vehicle, 31-year-old Marcus Jones of St. Paul, fled from the scene during the traffic stop and was arrested a week later in northeastern Mason City. He pleaded not guilty last week to weapons and drug charges and is scheduled to be tried on February 18th.
Tobias Bowen, a 47-year-old Liberian and Chief Administrator of the Redemption Hospital in New Kru Town, who was charged in 2010 with allegedly raping a child in western New York, has been captured in Britain.The Onondaga County, New York sheriff’s office says Tobias Bowen had been spending his time leading Liberia’s Redemption Hospital and was taken into custody after getting off a plane Saturday at a London airport.Officials say Bowen was charged with rape and criminal sex acts in March 2010, when he lived in the Syracuse, New York suburb of Liverpool.After his $10,000 bail was posted, Bowen fled to Liberia, and subsequently became Chief Administrator of Redemption Hospital, in one of Liberia slum communities.After Bowen disappeared, sheriff’s detectives assigned to the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force were able to track his travels to Liberia and the United Kingdom.It wasn’t long before his seedy past caught up with him and a local newspaper reported in August 2011 that Bowen was a ‘fugitive from justice.’The article said Bowen was wanted for having alleged sexual contacts with two children. A local newspaper had published the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office warrant with Bowen’s photo; yet he continued to run the hospital.With help from the U.S. Marshals International Investigations Branch, investigators found out that Bowen was landing in London on Saturday, where he was apprehended when he got off the plane.Detectives teamed up with the Department of State, Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs and the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office to make their move.Bowen is awaiting extradition back to the United States where the Sheriff’s office says he will face several felony related sex offense charges and an endangering the welfare of a child charge.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)