PASADENA, CA – JANUARY 01: Place kicker Roberto Aguayo #19 of the Florida State Seminoles kicks the ball off to the Oregon Ducks to start the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual at the Rose Bowl on January 1, 2015 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)For the second consecutive year, the UCF Knights went undefeated through the regular season and conference championship. However, the AAC powerhouse will find itself without an invitation to the College Football Playoff.Of course, the main argument against the Knights is the lack of strong opponents. Yet, it’s hard to overlook a program that has won 25 straight games.There was definitely outrage expected after the Knights were snubbed again, and this time it came from the Director of Athletics at UCF. In a fiery post on Twitter, Danny White made it obvious that he’s not happy with the committee’s decision.It’s not a playoff. It’s an invitational. I’m excited to see what invitational we get to be a part of, and once again show what our team is capable of, ON THE FIELD! Proud of our team. Can’t wait to go bowling with #KnightNation!!!— Danny White (@UCFDannyWhite) December 2, 2018White clearly feels his team deserves the opportunity to compete for a national championship.If the Knights want to really prove they belong with the elite programs, defeating another prestigious team in their bowl game might do the trick. Last season, UCF defeated Auburn in the Peach Bowl, but didn’t get enough respect for the victory.It’ll be interesting to see how UCF schedules its future seasons knowing that its current format doesn’t work in its favor.
The provincial government’s two major pension plans performedbetter than expected in 2003, as stalled financial marketsrebounded. Both the Public Service Superannuation Plan and the Teachers’Pension Plan doubled the targeted rate of return in 2003, for a14 per cent gain over the previous year. The assumed rate ofreturn was seven per cent. Nova Scotia Finance Minister PeterChristie today, July 21, released audited results for the plansas of Dec. 31, 2003. The Public Service Superannuation Plan improved its funded ratioto 86 per cent, almost a four per cent increase over the previousyear. The Teachers’ Pension Plan funded ratio also improved fourper cent to 81 per cent. All pension plans aim to have theirfunds fully funded at 100 per cent, to cover current and futurepension needs. “Pension funds are managed for the longer term, but a 14 per centreturn on investment in one year is impressive,” said Mr.Christie. Over the past 10 years, the province’s pension funds haveaveraged gains of more than nine per cent. The plans havecombined assets of more than $6.7 billion. For the Public Service Superannuation Plan, the unfundedliability decreased to $493 million, a $94 million improvementover 2002. The Teachers’ Pension Plan unfunded liabilitydecreased as well, and is now $871 million, an improvement of$144 million. There are about 26,000 active and retired members of the PublicService Superannuation Plan and the same number in the Teachers’Pension Plan. “Members of these pension plans should know that their pensionfunds are well managed and conservatively invested for theirretirement years,” said Mr. Christie, who is the trustee for bothplans. The overall health of the Public Service Superannuation plan wasstrengthened this year with a one per cent contribution rateincrease for existing employees, along with a matching increasefrom the employer. The contribution increase has closed theyearly funding shortfall and will help secure employees’ pensionsfor the long term. This was the first rate increase in 20 years. The investment funds for both pension plans are monitored by theinvestment advisory committee, which includes representatives ofthe provincial government, the Nova Scotia Government Employees’Union and the Nova Scotia Teachers’ Union. Copies of independent valuation results and annual reports forthe Public Service Superannuation Plan and the Teachers’ PensionPlan can be found on the Department of Finance website atwww.gov.ns.ca/finance/pension .
During his three-day visit to Turkey, UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres said his office (UNHCR) will contribute technical assistance to the Government by identifying the most vulnerable refugees and those with special needs.“Registration is essential for refugee protection,” he said, calling the new registration system “innovative and an example of best practices.”Previously, official Turkish figures only included the 186,000 refugees hosted in 17 Government-run camps. But with growing numbers of Syrians seeking assistance in towns and cities, the Government recently decided to include urban refugees.Under the new policy, some 40,000 refugees in urban areas have been registered to date, with a further 30,000 waiting for appointments to register.Mr. Guterres signed a cooperation agreement with the Turkish disaster relief agency to fund 10 more registration centres as well as an accord with the Turkish Red Crescent on cooperation in logistics, emergency and contingency support to UNHCR’s operations around the world. In addition, UNHCR is funding the production of an additional 18,500 tents through the Red Crescent.At a press conference in Ankara, Mr. Guterres called on the international community to “establish a much stronger bilateral cooperation with Turkey, supporting this remarkable effort, not only helping refugees but contributing to the stability of the region.”He also warned that there could be up to 3 million refugees by the end of the year if the conflict continues. Syria has been wracked by violence since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011. Up to 70,000 people have died, more than 1 million have fled to neighbouring countries, and 2 million have been internally displaced.“Our key objective is to make sure that, whatever the dimension of the tragedy, borders and protection space remain open,” Mr. Guterres said, while praising Turkey’s response to the crisis by welcoming all Syrians regardless of ethnic or religious background into the country.During his visit, Mr. Guterres also met some of the Syrians living in camps when he toured Nizip Camp, home to almost 9,000 refugees in the province of Gaziantep.