One Man’s Fight to Save His Creek, and His Life, with a New Vision for Rural Appalachia

first_imgRicky Handshoe just wanted his own little slice of paradise.At first, he thought he had found it—76 acres at the head of a picturesque valley in Northeastern Kentucky that seemed to have everything: verdant woodlands, rolling hills, abundant wildlife, and Raccoon Creek, which burbles from a hillside on the property and eventually flows into the 29-mile-long Big Sandy River, a tributary of the Ohio River. For years, the 56-year-old retired radio technician for the Kentucky State Police and his daughter basked in the singular beauty and tranquility of the Appalachian countryside.Today, Handshoe is homeless.The trouble started when a coal company carved a strip mine into the earth a few miles from his property. Shortly thereafter, in 2012, he and his daughter noticed soccer ball-sized piles of foam drifting in formerly pristine Raccoon Creek and another nameless Ohio River tributary that also coursed through the property. Then the neighbor’s chickens got sick, and wildlife—fish, frogs, deer—began to perish.Handshoe and his daughter were concerned but didn’t stop drinking their tap water—that is, until their bodies began to deteriorate. First came the rash on Handshoe’s legs and arms, followed by deformed fingernails that twisted his digits into knots. His daughter, who was 21 at the time, started losing her hair, and Handshoe was beset by multiple kidney infections and constant fatigue.The doctors initially didn’t have a clue. “No one knew how sick we were,” he says. “Then we started realizing what was in the water. It was the shiniest water I’d ever seen in my life. When the sun beat down, it was like a mirror.” Subsequent tests revealed that the streams on his property that used to provide clean drinking water and hours of carefree recreation were now loaded with arsenic, beryllium, aluminum, manganese, and other toxins from the mine. “Growing up there, you could actually drink from Raccoon Creek right out of the mountain,” he says. “Now you can’t. We saw that creek completely destroyed.” Worse, the pollution’s effects cascaded down the valley. Much of the deer and other wildlife fled, the birds fell silent, and an eerie stillness descended. The plants and animals that remained became inedible. Most important, Handshoe’s tap water was no longer potable because the water in Raccoon Creek, which periodically ran an iridescent orange, indirectly fed the intake for a municipal water system that serves him and more than 6,000 others in two counties. In short, the mine had contaminated the landscape to such an extent that Handshoe’s doctor told him to leave immediately, forever. So he and his daughter packed up their belongings and abandoned the family homestead they loved.It’s been about a year now, and in some ways, things are looking up; Handshoe is mostly off his meds, and his daughter’s hair has grown back. But the emotional scars, the sense of powerlessness in the face of a deep-pocketed coal company and seemingly apathetic government authorities, remain. According to Handshoe, both the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection and the federal Environmental Protection Agency have tested the water and know exactly what happened, but did nothing.“The state ought to be ashamed of themselves because they let our health go downhill, and they knew it,” he says. “I tried everything I could to save that place. I challenged permits, I protested. But they still let them mine.”And then there’s the small problem of where to live. Handshoe still owns the uninhabitable property, which is now worth approximately nothing. “Who’s going to buy it?” he asks. “I’ve got to tell them about the pollution because if I don’t, it’s like putting a gun to their head. I’m not going to do that.” But without proceeds from a sale, buying a new home will be difficult at best.Handshoe and his daughter weren’t the only ones affected. Three of his former neighbors also suffered kidney infections and other maladies at roughly the same time. “People living in that valley downstream are getting scared,” he says. “They’re drinking this stuff, and the state knows about it and won’t stop it. What a commercial for Kentucky: ‘Come and hunt the biggest elk east of the Mississippi, but sure as hell don’t eat them.’”Handshoe’s experience is not an isolated one. All over Appalachia, people by the tens of thousands have essentially developing-nation-level access to clean drinking water, and pollutants leaching from coal mines are a major (although not the only) culprit. Eric Chance, water quality specialist for Appalachian Voices, says underground mines are often located directly in the water table. Arguably even worse are surface mines, which require blowing up mountains to expose coal, along with rocks that contain toxic heavy metals and salts. These unavoidably end up in rivers and other sources of drinking water. Once consumed, they can wreak havoc on the body, causing cancer, central and peripheral nervous system defects, circulatory problems, and kidney disease, among other ailments.Then there’s coal slurry, a waste product from cleaning coal, which Chance points out is loaded with “all sorts of nasty chemicals” and is often stored in large surface ponds where it can seep into groundwater. Likewise coal ash, a byproduct of burning coal, can escape from containment areas and befoul wells and streams.Although virtually everyone agrees that contaminants from coal mines are bad for human health, rigorously proving cause and effect is problematic. Perhaps that’s why the Environmental Protection Agency and its state equivalents have yet to regulate a variety of chemicals that no sensible person would consume in any quantity. “The EPA sets standards for drinking water, but they’re pretty behind the times because they have to do a bunch of studies to determine safe levels for every chemical,” Chance says, “People are inventing new chemicals much too fast for the EPA to keep up.”So what can be done about a problem this seemingly intractable? Appalachian Voices, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, and other groups have sued to enforce existing laws like the federal Clean Water Act, which they say coal companies routinely flout. And Chance says everyone can make a difference by getting involved. Support environmental groups that are fighting the good fight. Challenge mining permits on environmental grounds, procedural grounds, whatever works. Lean on regulators to enforce water pollution laws and develop stricter limits on pollutants. Tell members of Congress to support the Clean Water Protection Act, which would substantially curtail mountaintop removal mining. In other words, stop complaining and do something positive.Roy Silver, a professor of sociology at Southeastern Kentucky Community and Technical College, is leading by example. He’s trying to protect the water in his hometown of Benham and nearby Lynch, where he works. In both of these locales, six mines—two on the surface and four underground—threaten drinking water supplies. Silver and others aren’t taking this prospect lightly and have filed protests against the surface mine permit applications, the cause of which was not helped when, tragically, a giant boulder hurdled down from one of the surface mines and slammed into a house, crushing a three-year-old boy in his sleep.These events, combined with a tanking coal market that currently makes some of the stuff economically unrecoverable, have so far kept the dogs at bay; one application has been withdrawn, and the rest are currently on hold or otherwise not being pursued. Of course, that could change if and when the coal market recovers. “The water is our most valuable resource,” says Silver. “We should do everything we can to protect it.”Attorney Tim Belcher of Elkhorn City, Ky., agrees. He’s been working with a local nonprofit to promote tourism on the Russell Fork of the Big Sandy River, where the city sits. A whitewater park is in the works, a recent paddling clinic drew about 150 boaters, and there’s been a push to promote trail running races. “We’ve been trying to establish an economy ‘beyond coal’ for our community,” he says. “The more people we get in here to spend their money, the better. The locals understand that we can have a tourism-based economy that’s not based on coal, but we have to have good-quality water to keep that going.”Belcher realizes that not every Appalachian town is blessed with Elkhorn City’s natural advantages, especially its location on a popular river. But he says even if other towns can’t base their entire economies on tourism, they can take steps in that direction.“A lot of people will wait around for the federal government to come in with the big bucks, but they shouldn’t,” he says. “Just start with something. Every little thing you can do to make your community a better place to live and unique for visitors, that’s what you’ve got to do. It might require ten small projects before you can do something big.”Belcher thinks taking local economies “beyond coal” is plausible in the long run, but it will require a paradigm shift. “Part of the issue is educating people and politicians, who all have been relying on coal severance tax funds,” he says. “That money’s going to dwindle. It didn’t redevelop our economy the way it’s supposed to. It’s a process of educating the leaders and citizens to see that certain things can be done.”As for Handshoe, he’s been waging an all-out blitzkrieg to get someone in authority to care about the pollution in Raccoon Creek that’s mucking up everyone’s drinking water. In addition to inviting Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear to visit his property (which Beshear did in 2011), he sued the coal company responsible and hosted hundreds of tours of his property for journalists, state and federal officials, and others. He also tirelessly samples the water himself with the same type of equipment that state inspectors use, and reports what he finds—complete with photos of vile-looking liquid and copious notes.Those reports appear to be falling on mostly deaf ears. When asked for comment, Dick Brown, a spokeman for the Kentucky Department for Natural Resources, would only say that after “investigating” the 59 complaints Handshoe has filed thus far, the department issued six notices of non-compliance to various coal companies. No mention of whether they’ve actually been fined or otherwise held to account besides having pieces of paper thrown at them, or even whether officials believe Handshoe’s story at all. Maybe someone keeps spilling orange Gatorade into the creek.Handshoe is not willing to quit. In a lengthy case study he prepared for regulators and anyone else who would listen, he eloquently articulated a battle cry for a healthy community:“I am often asked by public officials, ‘What is it that you people want?’ It’s not really that big a mystery. I want our water quality and mining laws to be enforced. I want public agencies and elected leaders to hold coal companies accountable and make them do everything possible to fix the problems they have caused. I want the health of my family and neighbors to be valued more than coal company profits. I want state and federal agencies to stop giving new mining permits in our mountains if they can’t prevent problems like what’s happened to my community. And I want elected officials to get serious about helping create a different economy in this region, one that doesn’t depend on destroying our land and water.”last_img read more

Colombia Neutralizes Leader of FARC Dissidents

first_imgBy Myriam Ortega/Diálogo August 07, 2018 Colombian authorities captured Reinel Natalio García Mojica, alias Pija, leader of a residual Organized Armed Group (GAO in Spanish) of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC, in Spanish) that operated in Cauca and Casanare departments. The Unified Action Group for Personal Freedom Arauca, attached to the Colombian Army’s Eighth Division, and the Judiciary Police Against Organized Crime of the Office of the Attorney General of Colombia combined forces in an operation that resulted in his arrest, June 7, 2018. “About six months of intelligence work from troops and intelligence service members led us to capture the subject,” Brigadier General Álvaro Vicente Pérez Durán, commander of the Colombian Army’s Task Force Quirón, told Diálogo. “Pija constantly moved from one place to another; he had security rings who did intelligence for him to conceal his location.” In early June, authorities set up a unit in the municipality of Tame, Arauca, where military troops deployed in the area around his house. “Thanks to the training of our troops, we were able to get inside the external ring that protected him and capture him,” Brig. Gen. Pérez said. According to the Army, authorities seized war material, ammunition, and valuable military intelligence documents. All was handed over to the competent authorities. Alias Pija Alias Pija’s criminal record includes assault against security forces, including three attacks in the departments of Cauca and Santander, where six soldiers were killed and six others were injured. He is also accused of killing three civilians and a police officer with a car bomb that exploded at a police station in the municipality of Villa Rica, Cauca. The man is also charged with attacking a military base in Santana, Cauca, where he kidnapped one police officer, killed a second one, and hurt another. According to the Ministry of Defense of Colombia, alias Pija had an Interpol arrest warrant and will face additional charges for illicit recruiting, manufacturing, trafficking, and carrying weapons and explosives meant for the exclusive use of the armed forces. Other achievements “So far this year [2018], we have [apprehended] 20 dissidents in regional military operations,” said Brig. Gen. Pérez. “A few days ago [on June 13th], the Colombian Air Force, Army, and the Office of the Attorney General of Colombia carried out a joint interagency operation near the municipality of Fortul, in the department of Arauca, where 18 dissidents were [neutralized].” The group was wanted for several terrorist acts, such as the attack on a nurse at Hospital de Saravena in Arauca, a pistol plan against the population and security forces in the region, and attacks against oil infrastructure, the General Command of the Colombian Military Forces reported in a press release. “The department of Arauca works with the National Police, the Office of the Attorney General, the Navy, the Colombian Air Force, and the Army, uniting all their capabilities to counter instability in the region,” Brig. Gen. Pérez said. The rest of the country also saw results. “To date [July 13th], we’ve neutralized 479 residual GAO members, which is practically a third of their armed force—53 were killed in military operations, 312 were captured, and 114 were brought to justice,” Colombian Minister of Defense Luis Carlos Villegas told the press.last_img read more

Phroogal helps millennials live their dreams

first_img 19SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Thirty-day road trip spreads the financial education Jennifer WoldtJason Vitug was a rising star at a Silicon Valley credit union when he realized he was living life without a purpose.He resigned from his job and took off on a 20-country backpacking trip around the world in 2012.It was during that trip that he had an “a-ha” moment: Give millennials financial information in bite-sized, easily absorbable pieces to help them make better financial decisions—and live their dreams.When people lack access to personal finance information, they often make poor choices, “preventing them from living their dream lifestyle,” Vitug says.In October 2013, Vitug created Phroogal, a digital platform that crowd sources and curates financial information to help consumers make better financial decisions. Nearly 600 people worldwide contributed $78,501 via a crowd-funding website to launch the initiative. continue reading »last_img read more

Keeping employees engaged during the holiday season

first_imgThe air is crisp and Halloween is over, that means Thanksgiving and Christmas are around the corner. While some may revel in turkey and togetherness, others find the holidays especially stressful. Those that fret about this time of year often let their anxiety carry over into their work life. This can lead to a less than engaged workforce, which can be quite challenging to leaders expecting an efficient staff. Consider the following three tips for keeping your workers focused and involved during the festive season ahead.Don’t ignore the holidaysWhile you don’t have to hold tacky Christmas sweater competitions or encourage employees to exchange gifts, it is best to remember they will want to celebrate. Therefore, don’t pretend like the holidays aren’t happening, as that will only make your staff resentful. Acknowledge it’s a special time by scheduling a holiday lunch or dinner for your staff and their families. Or, on a smaller scale, simply decorating the office or playing Christmas music can subtly create a festive and fun working environment.Offer flexible hoursIt’s natural for your staff to want time off from work to spend with family during the holiday season. But, because everyone can’t be off at the same time, it’s important to communicate your expectations with them up front. Don’t deny them adequate holiday leave, but set appropriate standards and an effective schedule. Not only will this ensure the work gets done, but it will also demonstrate your consideration for your staff’s happiness during the holidays.Prepare for end of yearJust because it’s a special season, doesn’t mean work deadlines go out the window. Keep your staff engaged with their work by reminding them of the importance of meeting year-end goals. Provide them with valuable incentives for accomplishing tasks (an extra afternoon off, for example) and continuously encourage them to work together to end the year on a high note. 20SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Wendy Moody Wendy Moody is a Senior Editor with Wendy works with the editorial team to help edit the content including current news, press releases, jobs and events. She keeps … Web: Detailslast_img read more

Can Apple or Amazon become full stack banks?

first_img continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr In a blog post titled Full Stack Startups, Chris Dixon wrote:Suppose you develop a new technology that is valuable to some industry. The old approach was to sell or license your technology to existing companies. The new approach is to build a complete, end-to-end product or service that bypasses existing companies. Prominent examples of this full stack approach include Uber, Tesla, and Netflix. Most of these companies had partial stack antecedents that either failed or ended up being relatively small businesses. The problems with the partial stack approach include: 1) bad product experience; 2) cultural resistance to new technologies; and 3) unfavorable economics.The full stack approach lets you bypass industry incumbents, completely control the customer experience, and capture a greater portion of the economic benefits you provide. The challenge is you need to get good at many different things. The good news is that if you can pull this off, it is very hard for competitors to replicate so many interlocking pieces.”Most Fintech Startups are Partial StackDixon’s articulation of ‘full stack” versus “partial stack” startups helps explain why so many fintech startups–many of whom claim to be disruptive–are anything but disruptive. Plain and simple, they’re partial stack companies.last_img read more

Indonesia reports H5N1 in healthy chickens

first_imgOct 6, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – In a development that could complicate avian influenza control efforts, an Indonesian official said this week that some apparently healthy chickens showed evidence of H5N1 virus infection, according to the Jakarta Post.Rachmat Setiadi, who heads the West Java Animal Husbandry Office, announced the findings 2 days ago after serologic testing of 20 chickens around the home of two people from Bandung who died of H5N1 infection at the end of September, the newspaper reported yesterday.”The test has shown that four healthy chickens were infected with H5N1. We should be more cautious,” Setiadi was quoted as saying. He also said healthy chickens with H5N1 were found in other cities and regencies, but he didn’t name them.Setiadi said the finding means that healthy chickens could carry the virus, according to the story. He recommended that residents stop keeping chickens in their backyards or near their homes. The Post reported that of Bandung’s 26 cities and regencies, only two were free of H5N1 virus in poultry.The story did not indicate whether actual H5N1 viruses were isolated from the chickens. Serologic evidence of infection usually means the presence of antibodies to the virus, which suggests the host was exposed to the virus at some point but doesn’t necessarily mean the host is a current carrier.Though the Asian strain of H5N1 is usually lethal in chickens, there has been at least one other report of asymptomatic chickens testing positive for the virus. In February, researchers reported that they found H5N1 viruses in apparently healthy chickens in live-bird markets in southern China. The researchers had analyzed flu viruses collected from thousands of wild and domestic birds in China and Hong Kong (see link below).The human H5N1 deaths that Setiadi referred to appear to be connected to an outbreak in Bandung that raised suspicions of a family cluster. A 20-year-old man was confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Sep 27 as Indonesia’s 68th case-patient; he died later that day and was the country’s 52nd victim. His 23-year-old brother died of similar respiratory symptoms on Sep 24, but he was buried before samples could be collected for testing. Their 15-year-old sister was hospitalized with a fever and cough the same week, but tests suggested she had seasonal influenza.The brothers were reported to have fed dead chickens to their dogs. The head of Bandung’s agriculture office, Yogi Supardjo, told the Post that tests on 11 dogs kept by the family came back negative.In another Indonesian development, an analysis of H5N1 viruses from birds on Sumatra, Java, and Bali islands indicated that the virus has not mutated to become more transmissible to people, the Indonesian agriculture ministry said yesterday.The ministry said tests on 49 samples showed no major changes in the virus, according to a Bloomberg News report yesterday. The analysis was done by a World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) reference laboratory in Geelong, Australia, the story said.The samples were collected between September 2005 and March 2006, Elly Sawitri, an agriculture ministry official, told Bloomberg. Officials plan to submit additional samples collected in the past 6 months for analysis.In other news, the WHO on Oct 3 confirmed Indonesia’s 69th human case of H5N1 disease, in a 21-year-old woman from East Java. Indonesian officials had reported the case Sep 29.The woman became ill on Sep 19 and was hospitalized 6 days later. She is the sister of an 11-year-old boy who died of H5N1 infection on Sep 18. The WHO said the boy’s death prompted contact tracing, which revealed that his sister was ill. She was given the antiviral medication oseltamivir and isolated in a hospital.The WHO said poultry deaths in the family were noted before and after the brother’s illness, and though the woman was probably exposed to poultry, the source of her infection was under investigation.Elsewhere in Indonesia, seven people with possible avian flu symptoms have been admitted to a hospital in South Sulawesi, the Jakarta Post reported today.Most of the patients are younger than 10 and have high fever and vomiting, the Post reported. A hospital representative said avian flu was suspected on the basis of signs and symptoms, but blood samples from the seven patients were negative for the H5N1 virus. He said nasal samples from the patients were sent to a lab in Jakarta for analysis.Family members reported that sick and dead chickens were found near the patients’ homes.Meanwhile, China has reported another H5N1 outbreak in poultry, according to an Agence France-Presse article yesterday. The outbreak involved 1,000 poultry in a village in northern China’s Ningxia Hui region. The Chinese news agency Xinhua reported that 72,930 domestic poultry were culled to control the outbreak.An outbreak that came to light last week affected 985 chickens in northern China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Xinhua reported. The two outbreaks are the first in about 6 weeks.See also:Sep 27 WHO statement 10 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences article with information about apparently healthy chickens infected with H5N1: “Establishment of multiple sublineages of H5N1 influenza virus in Asia: implications for pandemic control” [Abstract]Feb 10, 2006, CIDRAP News story “Report depicts China as launching pad for avian flu”Oct 3 WHO statement read more

Indonesia, Australia to implement comprehensive economic partnership agreement on July 5

first_imgIndonesia and Australia have agreed to implement the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) on July 5, according to the Indonesian Trade Ministry.Indonesia ratified the partnership agreement in late February.“In a virtual meeting with my counterpart, [Australian Trade, Tourism and Investment] Minister Simon Birmingham, we agreed to implement the IA-CEPA as soon as possible because it is important for the two countries to help with post-COVID-19 recovery,” Trade Minister Agus Suparmanto said as quoted in a statement on Friday. Under the agreement, Indonesian exports to Australia will get zero tariffs. Likewise, most of Australia’s exports, including live male cattle, frozen beef, dairy products and sugar, may enter Indonesia without any duties. The Trade Ministry expects the export of some Indonesian products to Australia, such as automotive products, timber, textiles, electronics and communication tools, to increase despite recording a US$3.2 billion trade deficit last year.The pandemic, which has infected over 3.7 million people worldwide and at least 13,100 people in Indonesia, is slowing not only trade but also investment between countries. Foreign direct investment (FDI) to Indonesia declined 9.2 percent year-on-year to Rp 98 trillion ($6.5 billion) in the first quarter of the year, according to data released on April 20 by the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM).Despite relying heavily on household spending to grow the economy, Indonesia seeks to attract more investment from Australia through the IA-CEPA, especially in the higher education, vocational education, healthcare, construction, energy, mining and tourism sectors.In the first quarter of the year, foreign investment from Australia reached $86 million with 321 projects, according to BKPM data.“We hope businesses, including small and medium enterprises, from both countries can reap the benefits from the IA-CEPA to spur trade and investment between the two countries,” Agus said.The ministry’s international trade cooperation director general, Imam Pambagyo, said Indonesia was preparing ministerial regulations on tariffs and the issuance of certificates of origin, in addition to providing state institutions with updates on the latest developments of the agreement.Topics :last_img read more

Jeremy Woolfe: MiFID II crystal ball still clouded over

first_imgBut other commentators are less optimistic on the clearance by Brussels of the supplementary rules. One large pension fund investor reports that it would not be surprised to see the Commission publish the RTSs as late as October. Another source comes up with a similar timing, “bearing in mind past experience”. Such is sensitivity in the field that both authorities prefer not to be identified.On top of an October estimate, even if further delay of 3-6 months were required for clearance by the Parliament and Council prior to publication in the Official Journal, there does still appear to be time for compliance procedures to be effected. Michael Lewis, MiFID expert at law firm Pinsent Masons, puts the time needed for IT sections to build, implement and test their compliance systems to be in the order of nine months. The work would include coverage of transaction reporting, which would have to be done electronically, he tells IPE.But is there any need to worry about the time factor? “Hard to say,” says Lewis. “It depends on what comes out of ESMA and how substantial the delegated acts are. It is very difficult to crystal ball at this stage.” He does find the present one-year implementation delay to be much welcome in the investor sector.While many of the 28 RTS articles will not require IT system development, Lewis notes that fund managers could well face having to build IT systems to cope with so-called “appropriateness”. He foresees the possibility of an expansion of scope from what exists under MiFID I. He expects that smaller pension funds will have to buy in the necessary IT development for consultancies. It remains to be seen whether such costs could be absorbed internally or passed on to the pension beneficiaries.In the meantime, the issue of derivatives trade transparency, which first arose last year, has been highlighted by PensionsEurope. The institution states that, under current MiFID rules, as drafted by ESMA, pension funds could be discouraged, by the expense, from hedging inflation or interest-rate risk against long-dated liabilities. The liquidity definition for many derivatives sub-classes is of fewer than 10 trades taking place during a one-day period, it adds. It comments that ESMA mis-designated illiquid derivatives sub-classes as liquid. The trades-per-day threshold for determining the liquidity of derivatives sub-classes should be set cautiously. PensionsEurope’s Ursula Bordas questions whether the authority has made a mistake in this matter, which she judges to be not less important than the compliance-timing matter.Taking a similar line on clearing venue calibration of liquidity, Roger Cogan, head of European public policy at the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, says: “We remain concerned that 10 trades per day – one trade per hour – is a very low bar for designating derivatives as liquid for the purpose of applying trade transparency requirements.” At the time of writing, the Commission declined to comment on the matter but has been under pressure from the US authorities to come into line with them on derivatives clearance. Estimates for the publication of the ‘delegated acts’ rules for MiFID II remain unclear, Jeremy Woolfe writesEstimates for when the European Commission will publish the ‘delegated acts’ rules for the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) remain unclear. Indications are that there will be an adequate interval for the IT-compliance exercise by portfolio managers to meet the new implementation date of 3 January 2018.The most optimistic report on the streets of Brussels has it that the European Commission will have completed its work on MiFID’s Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) before the summer holiday. This would leave a generous margin of time for fund managers to deliver their compliance work on time. Unsurprisingly, when challenged on this timing, the Commission avoids fixing on a firm date.However, it does state: “We are working to finalise the rest of the level II package in the coming months. We will adopt and send RTS for scrutiny [by the Parliament and Council] as soon as they are ready (rather than sending them together).” Cautious to the last, the Commission also covers itself by adding: “At this stage, there is no legal deadline by which the Paris-based European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has to propose amended drafts”.last_img read more

Elliot gets Ireland call-up

first_img The former Charlton player has been drafted in as a replacement for Darren Randolph, who injured a shoulder in Birmingham’s 2-1 home defeat by Bolton on Saturday. Crystal Palace defender Damien Delaney, who was drafted into the provisional squad earlier this week, remains in the final 23, while striker Jon Walters will be assessed by Stoke’s medical staff after being substituted during the 1-0 defeat to Fulham with a groin problem. Paul McShane, Stephen Quinn and Paul Green have been placed on stand-by. Ireland face the Germans in Cologne on October 11 and the Kazakhs in Dublin four days later. Newcastle keeper Rob Elliot has been called into the Ireland squad for the first time for the World Cup qualifiers against Germany and Kazakhstan.center_img Press Associationlast_img read more