Seminal Rock band Guns N’ Roses are officially back on tour. After the shocking January announcement that Appetite for Destruction-era members Slash and Duff McKagan would rejoin the band for a few shows in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and two headlining shows at Coachella, fans have been chomping at the bit to see the band hit the road on a proper tour. Well, fans got what they asked for last night, as Guns N’ Roses played an incredible show at Detroit’s Ford Field last night to kick off their 25-date “Not In This Lifetime” stadium tour, as originally reported by Rolling Stone.Famous in more recent years for their absurdly late start times, Guns N’ Roses actually took the stage two minutes early at 9:43pm, possibly a tongue-in-cheek reference to their past transgressions, and definitely as a sign that they were ready to blow the roof off the place. The band opened with “It’s So Easy”, before setting the audience afire with their Appetite for Destruction hit “Mr. Brownstone.” GNR ran through most of their most famous tunes, as “Welcome to the Jungle,” “Rocket Queen,” “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” “November Rain,” and “Nighttrain” were all played throughout the evening, leaving the crowd in awe as they got to experience this long-broken-up band playing one hit after another. Singer Axl Rose impressed throughout with his ridiculous vocal range, and Slash melted faces with his incredible guitar playing, including a show-stopping cover of “Love”, the theme from The Godfather that served as a de-facto intro to “Sweet Child O’ Mine”.Guns N’ Roses have always included a series of covers in their sets, and they are a band that always knows how to make the tracks their own. Last night’s show showcased some of their best covers, as the band busted out “Live and Let Die” by Wings, “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd, “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” by Bob Dylan, and “The Seeker” by The Who.Watch Guns N’ Roses tear apart their classic “Welcome to The Jungle” below, courtesy of YouTube user VideoGremmie:Watch video of Slash rip up “Love (Theme from The Godfather)” before leading the band into “Sweet Child O’ Mine” below, courtesy of YouTube user Andy Schupbach:Watch GNR play their epic ballad “November Rain” below, courtesy once again of VideoGremmie:Watch the finale of “Paradise City” below, courtesy of YouTube user Uncle Sam – Alive In Detroit:Check out the full setlist below, and welcome back to the road Guns N’ Roses!Setlist: Guns N’ Roses at Ford Field, Detroit, MI – 6/23/2016Set: It’s So Easy, Mr. Brownstone, Chinese Democracy, Welcome to the Jungle, Double Talkin’ Jive, Estranged, Live and Let Die (Paul McCartney & Wings cover), Rocket Queen, You Could Be Mine, Raw Power, This I Love, Civil War, Coma, Speak Softly, Love (Theme from The Godfather/Andy Williams), Sweet Child O’ Mine, Better, Out Ta Get Me, Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd cover), November Rain, Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door (Bob Dylan cover), NightrainEncore: Don’t Cry, The Seeker (The Who cover), Paradise City
On March 4, 1989, a young band called Phish played their first show at the famous Wetlands Preserve in New York City. Despite an interesting, high-intensity “Mikes Groove” and a quality “Run Like An Antelope,” 3/4/89 was a relatively standard 1989 performance, not often discussed as a particularly significant show from a musical standpoint. However, the show marked a significant milestone in the band’s evolutionPhish was born and raised in Burlington, VT, a city they would call home during their formative years as a band. But while they are undoubtedly a “Vermont band,” there is arguably no other city as closely tied to Phish’s success than New York City. In 1989, after several years honing their crafting Vermont, the band begin break out of their hometown market, playing shows across New England and New York state. After their successful debut at Wetlands, the band would return to the “activist nightclub” four more times in ’89 and three times the following year, bolstering a fervent new fan base in the Big Apple. Over time, the band would outgrow the club, transitioning to bigger rooms in the New York market like The Marquee, Roseland Ballroom, The Capitol Theatre (Port Chester), The Beacon Theatre and, by the end of 1994, Madison Square Garden.These days, the iconic New York City arena has become Phish’s de facto home court: They’ve played there more times than any other venue, and frequently end their years there with a four-night New Year’s run. This summer, Phish will play an unprecedented 13-night residency at the Garden, bringing their total show count at the venue above 50 and solidifying their place in the pantheon of NYC live music legends. There’s no denying that the relationship between Phish and New York City has been a fruitful musical partnership, and it can all be traced back to one night–28 years ago today–at 161 Hudson Street in TriBeCa.You can listen to (nearly) full audio of Phish’s premiere at Wetlands Preserve in New York City on 3/4/89 below, courtesy of YouTube user fromtheaquarium: Setlist: Phish | Wetlands Preserve | New York, NY | 3/4/89 [via phish.net] Set 1: Take the ‘A’ Train, I Didn’t Know, Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Fee, Golgi Apparatus, Good Times Bad TimesSet 2: Possum > Fluffhead, The Lizards, Run Like an Antelope, Contact Fish on trombone.I Didn’t Know featured Fish on trombone. Lizards contained a tease of the I Dream of Jeannie theme from Page. The second set list is incomplete, and only goes through the end of the recording above.
Related Behind the art AMOC’s open-endedness makes for an audacious, engaging residency As opening night neared, there wasn’t a moment to waste. The actors onstage went through their scenes. The stage director and lighting designers peered down from the control booth, ticking through every lighting transition in the production.“Is that comfortable?” asked Madeleine Snow ’20, the stage director. Arianna Paz ’19, the lead actress in her blue Cinderella dress, agreed it was. Then she stepped into an unlit spot. “Oh man, we need to light that,” Snow said. A lighting designer, with the click of a few buttons, adjusted the beam. They all continued doggedly like this until Snow declared a lunch break. Then shortly after everyone cleared the Agassiz Theatre, a pair of technical directors stepped onstage, paintbrushes in hand, taking advantage of the moment to work on the set.These are the meticulous preparations of the Harvard College Opera, the undergraduate-run company that has mounted a full-length show each February for more than 25 years. This year’s production is a six-show run of “Cendrillon,” French composer Jules Massenet’s 1899 adaptation of the classic Cinderella fairytale.With opening night this Friday, the students have worked long hours since returning early from winter break, putting together the set, landing key notes, and stepping in wherever needed, often coming in on days when no work was scheduled.,The massive work going into “Cendrillon” reflects much of what makes the company’s productions so special and unusual: undergraduate students drawn to the arts, regardless of their experience, coming together to feed their passion while working as a team to produce a high-quality opera.“Most of the time, opportunities for undergraduates to perform opera are really limited,” said Samuel Rosner ’20, one of the lead actors in the production. “Conservatory productions tend to focus on their graduate students. … It’s so nice to have this opportunity that’s so focused on undergraduates and how they can make music together.”Since the production is entirely student-run (undergraduate cast, production team, and orchestra), the students tackle all the creative and technical work. They select the opera the previous April, conceptualize every piece of it, budget it, cast it, and stage it. During the fall, they hammer out details like choreography or props. In January, they put the show together and run full rehearsals.The company has about 80 members. As in any well-organized production company, each of them holds specific roles based on experience and interest. These range from becoming cast members to designers to producers, such as Jessica Shand ’21, who coordinates public relations. Other producers oversee set production and finances, such as deciding ticket prices.Yet just because members hold specific titles doesn’t mean their roles stop there. One of the strengths of the opera company is its culture of teamwork, especially to solve problems.“We kind of just pick up work wherever it needs to get done,” said Shand, who also plays flute for the orchestra.That willingness to jump in and help each other is almost a trademark of the company, some members said. It’s why the stage director ran through the lighting cues with some of the cast, and why the musical director, Benjamin P. Wenzelberg ’21, didn’t hesitate to help when Paz needed to adjust the train of her glitter-covered dress. And it’s why cast members were happy to help build the set after finishing rehearsals, said assistant technical director Serena Chen ’22 as she and technical director Jonathan Castillo ’21 painted part of a 16-foot platform while the cast went for lunch.“It was wonderful to see everyone collectively join together,” Castillo added.The experience helps members of the company fully understand the production process and expand their skills while also connecting with their classmates.“Being here [in January], you really watch this show develop from its very beginnings in not that long of a time,” Rosner said. “It allows us to get to know each other in a very special way. I think being so involved in the process of putting the show up allows you to fill other roles in the organization.”Snow and Wenzelberg can attest to that, as they have filled multiple roles during their time with the company. They now hold the two most important staff positions in the production. Their rise shows the opportunity there for all company members, even those new to opera.Take Ruva Chigwedere ’21, who’s playing one of Cinderella’s stepsisters. The role is her first in an opera, and she feels she’s been fully supported and welcomed.,“It’s kind of wild,” Chigwedere said. “I didn’t imagine myself at the beginning of the year, when I was auditioning, doing an opera, and I knew nothing about Harvard College Opera at all. Now to be completely immersed in the environment, it’s crazy to me. But they really look for everybody to have a part — from the production side, from the creative team, from the cast and the [orchestra] — everybody.”The welcoming nature of the company upholds its focus on making opera more accessible to the greater Harvard community. Critics have praised the annual productions for their quality and inventiveness. The company also is known for hosting smaller events throughout the year, including screenings, recitals, and solo performances. The success has helped make the company a fixture on the Harvard arts scene since 1992.Few members are more passionate then Wenzelberg, the music director. The sophomore is young, but he’s a veteran. He was a soloist and chorister with the Metropolitan Opera for eight seasons, conducted at the Boston Pops, wrote an award-winning opera, and performed with notable companies such as the New York City Opera and at prestigious venues such as the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.Wenzelberg, who attended Juilliard Pre-College as a composition major, has been passionate about singing and writing music from early childhood, even bringing it into his elementary school.“My parents got a call from my first-grade teacher, who had a notebook that was supposed to be for writing and basic grammar. … [Mine] was filled with music notes,” he said. “It’s been something that I’ve always had been in my head. I’ve always loved performing. I’ve always loved writing.”For Wenzelberg, all that passion converges in opera because the field merges many of the musical elements that he loves most. Joy in the arts and opera is the driving attraction for him, as it is for many company members. Work on productions can stretch beyond allotted schedules, sometimes well past mealtimes or into the night. There are few serious complaints, however, Wenzelberg said. The reason is simple. The students enjoy what they’re doing.“The common thread that runs between us all is that we care so much,” Wenzelberg said. “We all put our all into it and really commit to it. It doesn’t feel like work, and that’s why I love it so much. It’s something that we are all willing to do and want to do. It’s a true joy for us.”The Harvard Opera Company will perform “Cendrillon” at the Agassiz Theatre on Feb. 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, and 10. Tickets are available. A whirlwind of opera Backstage with the Lowell House Opera at Harvard
WASHINGTON (AP) — Relatives and supporters of an American contractor who was abducted a year ago in Afghanistan and is believed to be in the custody of a Taliban-linked militant group are pressing the new Biden administration to bring him home. They also want to condition future peace talks or troop withdrawals on his release from captivity. Navy veteran Mark Frerichs vanished on Jan. 31, 2020. U.S. officials believe he is in the custody of the Haqqani network. The Taliban have not publicly acknowledged holding him. It’s unclear to what extent, if at all, Frerichs’ fate will be complicated by the declining American military presence in Afghanistan committed to by the Trump administration.
The program has four part-time radon educators, housed inextension offices in Gwinnett, Hall, Walton and Sumter counties.The program has also provided training on indoor air quality andradon for all extension agents in family and consumer sciences.Through the radon educators and the FACS extension agents, 5,000free radon test kits are being offered to Georgia homeowners.About 1,000 have already been issued. Testing for radon is the only way to tell whether it’s in yourhome. “If after testing the air you find elevated levels ofradon,” Atiles said, “consider testing your water if you get yourdrinking water from a well.” University of Georgia The data from the testing will help evaluate the risk of radongas for Georgians. The current EPA estimate, Atiles said, is thatone in five homes is at risk of dangerous radon levels. “Wesimply don’t know until we test,” he said. If the radon level in your home tests high, Atiles recommendstesting your home again with a similar device. An odorless, tasteless and invisible gas, radon is released bythe natural decay of uranium in soils. It can easily enter homesthrough foundations and well water. (April Reese is a student writer with the University of GeorgiaCollege of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.) Testing for radon is easy. Get a free test kit through the UGARadon Education Program from your county UGA Extension Serviceoffice. You can buy test kits, too, from home improvement storesor from county health departments. For training in measurement and mitigation, contact the SouthernRegional Radon Training Center at 1-800-626-2703. The program will only provide one free test. You will have to buyfollow-up tests on your own. You can get them, though, at adiscounted price ($6.95) with a UGA discount coupon provided byAirChek, Inc. But through a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency initiative,the University of Georgia Extension Service and the UGA Collegeof Family and Consumer Sciences now have a program designed toshow how to test for radon in your home. Detail information onthis program is offered at www.gafamilies.com/housing. Jorge Atiles, UGA’s Extension Service housing specialist, headsthe program. “You can reduce and prevent the entry of radon inyour home,” he said. “And testing is the first step.” “About 1-2 percent of radon in indoor air comes from drinkingwater,” Atiles said. “However, breathing radon released to airfrom household water increases the risk of lung cancer over thecourse of your lifetime. Drinking water containing radon couldalso present a risk of internal organ cancers, primarily stomachcancer.” If your radon level is high, Atiles suggests contacting the UGARadon Educators Center to determine the best way to limit theradon level. The University of Georgia Center for Applied Isotope Studies(CAIS) can test water for radon. There is a fee for the test.Contact radiochemist Michael Neary (706-542-6115 [email protected]) to test your well water. According to the EPA, radon in drinking water causes 168 cancerdeaths per year, 89 percent from lung cancer caused by breathingradon released from water, and 11 percent from stomach cancercaused by drinking radon-contaminated water. A list of certified radon mitigators is on the Web athttp://radongas.org. You can learn more about radon mitigation athttp://www.radonfixit.org/. Radon causes cancer. Experts say it’s the second-leading cause oflung cancer in the United States, after tobacco smoke, killing15,000 to 22,000 people a year. Now, a new program can help youavoid it. By April Reese
By Myriam Ortega/Diálogo December 14, 2017 The military humanitarian logistics exercise AMAZONLOG17, held November 6th–13th, integrated the armed forces of the Amazonian tri-border area (Brazil, Colombia, and Peru) and simulated natural disasters. Eighteen members of the Colombian National Army General Staff joined the temporary multinational base in Tabatinga, Brazil. “Both logistics and operational capacities were measured in a typical jungle environment, where communication and supply lines are more difficult,” Colombian Army Colonel Jorge Eduardo Cepeda Jiménez, director of the AMAZONLOG17 Multinational Exercise for the Colombian Army, told Diálogo. “This is the first time that such an exercise is done in the hemisphere, with participation of the tri-border nations.” Colombian presence The Colombian delegation consisted of the 26th Jungle Brigade, the Counternarcotics Infantry Brigade, the Military Health and Engineers Command, and the Development and Integral Action Support Command. “Colombia participated in the exercise with 145 men belonging to the disaster response brigade and 14 tons of medical supplies, food, and logistics equipment for the exercise,” Colombian Air Force Colonel Osman Eucardo González Ortiz, commander of the Amazonas Air Group, told Diálogo. “During the planning of the exercise, we saw the need to involve the other forces,” Col. Cepeda said. “So, the Colombian Air Force and Navy joined in. Each contributed the necessary logistics for the exercise.” The Colombian Air Force (FAC, in Spanish) transported Colombian personnel and cargo for the logistics deployment of the exercise in Leticia. “[FAC] participated with a Bell 212 helicopter equipped for rescue and medical evacuation missions, and an airplane capable of conducting special mobility operations, prepped for cargo drops, paratroopers, and large-scale medical evacuation,” Col. González said. “It also brought a C208 [airplane] capable of conducting command, control, and surveillance missions of affected areas.” For its part, the Colombian Navy (ANC, in Spanish) put three motorboats, a ship, and two inflatable boats at the Army’s disposition. “We all support each other. If anyone lacks something, there is someone from another force to supplement them,” ANC Lieutenant Commander Tomás Gabriel Contreras, commander of the Amazonas Coast Guard Station, told Diálogo. General Staff members of the three countries planned the events and coordinated scenarios and strategies at the base in Tabatinga. Each country carried out most exercises in their own territory. Colombia’s first exercise was in Tabatinga and consisted of airdrops to supply a simulated isolated Colombian community in Brazil. “We simulated delivery of provisions, water, and medication to a [partially flooded] island that we could not otherwise reach,” Col. González said. “We needed to supply these types of supplies to ensure the people’s survival.” Fantasy Island Colombia’s other exercises took place in its own territory and were based on a flood scenario on Fantasy Island—a wooden hamlet built on stilts in the middle of the Amazon River. The site—where people live in poverty— had a high flood risk. “The exercise consisted of evacuating 120 people. The Navy first led a rescue unit from the Colombian Army,” Lt. Cmdr. Contreras said. “This unit was responsible for moving people toward the island’s exit point on land. We did an extraction with our units to evacuate people and take them to Victoria Regia dock [in Leticia].” ANC used the ARC Arauca vessel to command and control boats’ movement. “We had transport boats and a rapid response unit to escort people in case someone fell into the river,” Lt. Cmdr. Contreras said. “At night, we marked the area [with flares] to rescue people who were not evacuated on time during the day, so that the Air Force and Army helicopters could carry out the rescues.” Synergy among forces “We performed a mock evacuation of certain patients in critical condition who could not move on their own,” Col. González said. “Techniques used involved stretchers with safety hooks and a rescue long line.” All people rescued were brought to the dock, where groups from Civil Defense, the Navy, the Army, and the Red Cross provided medical care. They were then transported to a campsite at the Stadium in Leticia. “We prepared 100 tents with shelters. The Health Battalion, Integral Action, and Strategic Communications participated during the day,” Col. Cepeda said. “At night, in a mock situation, a family had lost a relative. We sent out thermal drones, activated a rescue group from the Aerial Assault Division, and performed the rescue.” The exercise ended the next day with the community’s return. “Those were hours filled with challenges and learning,” Col. González concluded. “When we dedicate forces or equipment solely and exclusively to these types of activities, everything flows in a very efficient manner.”
44SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Karen McGaughey Karen McGaughey is passionate about helping business leaders align their cultures and brands and cultivate highly engaged employees. She is responsible for guiding overall strategy and large-scale change efforts for … Web: https://www.strumagency.com Details News not to miss: One credit union CEO’s sudden realization of missing a moment to share gratitude with all employees, members and community partners led to a partnership to give a simple, inspiring campaign away free to every credit union in the U.S. and Canada. Read on.Shell shock is subsiding for thousands of credit union leaders as they make their way through their first phase of COVID-19 emergency response planning and execution. As the fog of crisis begins to clear, credit unions note their employees’ tremendous dedication and acts of kindness in helping struggling members and small business owners. It’s truly a defining moment for credit unions everywhere as their staff delivers essential help across their communities.This new way of working is challenging for many credit union employees. Remote teams are less engaged and feeling connected is tough. Days of isolation can be stressful and people aren’t always appreciated as worried members vent frustrations and share their disappointment about economic losses and health, to a general fear of the future, and even simple day-to-day inconveniences.In the midst of this unfolding crisis, stories of caring, responsive service and kindness are coming in from staff, generous members, and local community heroes stepping in—not just those on the front lines of the healthcare crisis. Essential help shows up in many places that are inspiring and encouraging in small ways.This got one credit union CEO, Brice Yocum, at Tucoemas Federal Credit Union in Visalia, California thinking about the essential work being done by his team and so many others in their community. “I had to remind myself amidst the constant flow of actions we’ve taken, that our employees are among those resilient essential workers. They’re adapting, showing up every day and fighting to help our members in distress,” explains Yocum. “I am filled with tremendous gratitude watching them help members and each other. These acts of selflessness and can-do attitude encouraged me to recognize this tailwind of optimism and hope in our communities.”Yocum decided he had to immediately do something to recognize people fighting to make a difference. “I called Karen McGaughey, the leader at Strum Agency who is managing our current strategic branding program to see what creative ideas their team might come up with to tackle this moment in time and help us honor deserving people all around us.”This led to the development of a gratitude campaign our team called, “&Essential”. The goals were simple: no products, no selling, just pure gratitude. Yocum adds, “The word essential means ‘absolutely necessary; extremely important.’ At Tucoemas that meant to show up, get things done, make sure the front-liners can take care of our members and our community in this crisis, as we rise up together.”Josh Streufert, Creative Director/Principal for Strum stresses, the &Essential campaign message and tone is built around the truth that essential workers, “are more than just their job. They are mothers and fathers, friends and colleagues, community volunteers, caregivers and much more.”From the local restaurateur serving meals to healthcare workers, the church providing childcare for law enforcement, to credit union staff teaching senior members how to use the ATM and online banking, our communities are filled with essential workers deserving of our thanks. Yocum adds, “It means being the person behind another person and providing a critical backbone of support. As our design emphasized, it’s not just about us, but about the whole essential community, all across our state and our country.”“What could happen if we gave it away to others?”We called Brice after he launched the campaign and asked if he’d be willing to partner with us and share out the &Essential gratitude campaign with every credit union for free so others could take the idea and make it their own. We’re always better together.CEO Brice was totally game. “It’s a great opportunity to share why credit unions are cooperatives who believe that people can truly make a difference together. We’re trying to unite people around us by showing how much we care about those making a difference,” he says.Tucoemas FCU and Strum decided the idea was worth sharing with everyone to pay it forward.To use the campaign, you can download the free artwork from Strum here. There’s a range of artwork for social media templates, t-shirt gift artwork, stickers and more. Use it any way it benefits your communities, members and your staff.
There is continued strong demand within the Queensland property market for houses and apartments, according to the latest realestate.com.au Demand Index.Chief economist Nerida Conisbee said the findings were surprising given recent concerns about oversupply.She said there were no doubts there would continue to be challenges in the inner city Brisbane apartment market, with stock aimed at investors a major problem.“This is slowing demand as buyers wait for better quality stock,’’ she said.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home2 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor2 hours agoRealestate.com.au chief economist Nerida Conisbee said the apartment market could continue to suffer. Ms Conisbee said in other parts of the state demand remained high, particularly on the Gold Coast.Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:47Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:47 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.Close Modal DialogThis 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 Rate1xFullscreenMonthly Core Index – July00:47She said nationally after a choppy few months, demand for property had surged during July and even the struggling Western Australia market was starting to “hit its stride”.In July the realestate.com.au demand index hit another peak with only apartments in New South Wales experiencing a slight drop in demand.Tasmania remained the standout property performer with far more people wanting to buy there than there were properties available.
Denmark’s PFA Pension has sold an office property in York in the UK for £43.5m (€54.4m) to Standard Life Investments on behalf of one of its segregated clients.The purchase price for King’s Pool – a 142,221ft2 office complex – reflects a net initial yield on the property for Standard Life investments of 5.9%, according to UK property firm Strutt & Parker, which advised PFA Pension.Simon Bland, head of national markets at Strutt & Parker, said: “With the investment market so strong for long-let, well-secured assets benefiting from fixed rental increases, PFA Pension decided the timing was now opportune to sell King’s Pool, which was their last remaining direct UK investment holding.”PFA Pension – Denmark’s largest commercial pensions provider, with DKK417bn (€56bn) in group assets – had owned King’s Pool since 1994, Strutt & Parker said. The office property is let to several government departments on a long lease running until March 2028.It is located close to York Minster, as well as the city’s retail and leisure amenities, the property firm said.Next to the property is a 10-acre development site, called Hungate, which has outline planning consent for 720 residential buildings and more than 200,000ft2 of commercial space, it said.Standard Life Investments said the purchase reflected its strategy to invest in well-positioned, grade-A office space with the potential to deliver strong long-term returns.Standard Life Investments was represented by CBRE in the deal.
Pension funds will be the subject to a climate disclosure framework being drawn up by a group convened by the Financial Stability Board (FSB).The Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), chaired by US businessman Michael Bloomberg, also said it would look to enhance the disclosure framework for unlisted asset classes, including real estate and infrastructure.Initially convened to design a consistent disclosure framework for listed companies to benefit institutional investors, the TCFD has now said it will also look at “effective” reporting by the financial sector.Publishing its first report since being announced at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris last year, the TCFD noted the “growing demand for decision-useful climate-related information” by financial market participants, which it said had led to a proliferation of different disclosure frameworks. However, the report added that the information resulting from the numerous frameworks was often inconsistent and incomparable, acting as a “major” obstacle to considering climate-related risks as part of the investment process.“Evidence suggests the lack of consistent information hinders investors from considering climate-related issues in their asset valuation and allocation processes,” it said, citing a paper published by consultancy Mercer last year.Outlining areas on which its final report, due by December, would focus, the TCFD said it would examine the role of larger institutional investors, and included pension funds in its list, which also named insurers and asset managers.It said the comprehensive list of stakeholders would ensure all parts of the credit and investment chain were covered.The report also said it would look at opportunities to improve the climate-related disclosure for real estate and infrastructure but also debt and other non-equity asset classes.Stephanie Pfeifer, chief executive of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), welcomed the phase 1 report.“In the light of the Paris Agreement, investors need better disclosure on how companies are adapting to this new policy framework, as well as the physical impacts of climate change,” she said.“We strongly support the focus on more standardised disclosures and forward-looking quantitative and qualitative information.“This will help investors better assess and address carbon risk in their portfolios.”The focus on climate-related disclosures by infrastructure projects is also likely to be welcomed by the EDHEC Infrastructure Institute-Singapore, which is developing an investible benchmark for the asset class.During the recent EDHECInfra conference in London, several participants cited the need for further research on climate-related disclosures and said EDHEC research chairs would examine the social and environmental outcomes of infrastructure projects.,WebsitesWe are not responsible for the content of external sitesLink to ‘Phase 1’ report published by TCFD