Pinterest Facebook IndianaLocalNationalNewsSouth Bend Market Previous articleNotre Dame President’s statement on Wednesday events in D.C.Next articleRep. Upton comments on the D.C. riot and attack on Congress Tommie Lee WhatsApp WhatsApp Facebook Sen. Mike Braun changes his mind about protesting the Electoral College result Twitter By Tommie Lee – January 6, 2021 7 863 (Photo supplied/Indiana Senate Republcians) Senator Mike Braun announced Wednesday evening, after the rioting in Washington D.C., that he was flip-flopping his position regarding a protest of the Electoral College results.Braun said he was no longer interesting in dragging out the counting of the Electoral College votes shortly before the Senate returned to work Wednesday night.The Senator from Indiana told reporters “I think today changed things drastically. Whatever point you made before, that should suffice. And we can get this ugly day behind us.”A number of other GOP lawmakers made similar statements before the confirmation process resumed, once the chamber was deemed safe and secure, and Vice President Pence opened the proceedings with a speech about democracy, defying the rioters, and “getting back to the people’s business.” Google+ Google+ Twitter Pinterest
“Restore calm now by saying: whatever we do, we will not be cutting the pensions next year,” he said. “It will also give pension funds the opportunity not to double the premiums. If you don’t do this, you’ll get the debate about the discount rate on the table.” The chief pensions negotiator of Netherlands’ largest trade union has called for calm after a week of heated debates on the discount rate and gloomy reports about pension schemes’ funding ratios.In an interview with Dutch financial publication FD, Tuur Elzinga said the steering group dealing with the particulars of the pension deal should examine the discount rate. “We are busy reviewing all the rules to be applied to the new pension contract – in a speedy fashion, though it will take time,” he said. “In the meantime let’s not not aggravate the situation by having pension cuts become a sword of Damocles hanging over our heads.”FNV has previously called for benefit cuts to be postponed while the details of the new pension system are being fleshed out, and Elzinga reiterated this recommendation in the context of his call for respite. Tuur Elzinga, FNVThe FNV director described pension funds as “up to their necks in it” and the cuts as “just the tip of the iceberg”.According to the current coverage ratio levels, millions of pensions will have to be lowered next year and there is also the risk of substantial premium increases.De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), the pension fund regulator in the Netherlands, this week said there are 12.1 million members in pension funds whose policy funding ratio – the average of funding ratios for the past 12 months – is below the statutory minimum of 104.2%, representing 63% of all members and 70 pension funds.The policy funding ratios of 56 pension funds are above 104.2% but below the 110% threshold required for full or partial indexation. The country’s pension funds’ current funding ratio, meanwhile, fell three percentage points, to 98.1% at the end of the third quarter, DNB confirmed. Both the funding ratio and the policy funding ratio as at the end of the year inform a pension fund’s decision about benefit cuts based on the amount of its minimum required own funds.Discount rate discussion flares up Elzinga’s comments come after the debate about the discount rate for pension funds flared up. Earlier this month dozens of economists and prominent figures wrote an open letter to the lower house of parliament arguing in favour of a higher discount rate, with pension professors countering their view in a reply. According to Elzinga, the debate belongs to the steering group – a group consisting of representatives from unions, employers and the government that is responsible for the further elaboration of the pension deal.In his view, there are more obvious solutions to prevent short-term pension reductions other than an increase in the discount rate. He said social affairs minister Wouter Koolmees could for example call on a provision in the Pensions Act allowing a postponement of pension cuts in exceptional economic circumstances. Elzinga deems a negative interest rate an example of such circumstances.“We are also caught in special circumstances in terms of policy, as we’ve just concluded an agreement,” he said. “This should lead to a new contract with different rules within two years. Our roadmap is very ambitious, in that we should have the contours ready by next spring. This will clarify everything.“To simply cut pension rights and pay-outs within such an organised period – while pension funds are also receiving more premiums than they are having to pay out – only complicates matters. It’s like playing with fire.”
“This will be a process in getting Donald Sterling to agree toward selling the franchise,” said NBA TV analyst Stu Jackson, who previously served 13 years as the league’s executive vice president of basketball operations. “It’s going to be a battle of intellect, legal expertise and what they can finagle behind the scenes.”Attempts to reach Sterling and his lawyer, Robert Platt, have been unsuccessful. But shortly before the NBA’s ruling, Fox News contributor Jim Gray reported speaking with Sterling, who vowed he would not sell the team.The NBA’s constitutional bylaws require a three-fourths vote, and sources among the NBA, the Clippers and law experts believe that ruling will become unanimous. But the sense within the league suggests they are resigned toward Sterling dragging this case out through litigation. “There is no way that man walks away without a battle,” said Lakers legend Magic Johnson in an appearance Monday at Cal State Long Beach where he downplayed talk he would partner up with an ownership group to buy the Clippers. Sterling rarely shied away from the courtroom amid his 33 years overseeing the Clippers’ franchise. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error His words sounded forceful. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver classified Donald Sterling’s racially disparaging remarks on an audio tape “as deeply offensive and hurtful.”His punishment seemed harsh yet fair. Silver issued Sterling a life-time ban, a $2.5 million fine and urged the league’s Board of Governors made up of NBA owners to force him to sell the Clippers franchise. His actions seemed quick. Silver plans to appoint a new chief executive officer to oversee the Clippers, and the NBA announced Tuesday that president Andy Roeser will take an indefinite leave of absence. The NBA will likely hold a vote this week that rules Sterling must sell the team. But with the NBA acting as swiftly and as powerfully as a Chris Paul lob to Blake Griffin, it appears that momentum could get stalled in court and could drag out for years. He successfully fought off an employee who sued him in 2003 on sexual harassment. In 2009, the court dismissed a case former Clippers general manager Elgin Baylor filed against Sterling that charged both employment and racial discrimination. That same year, Sterling paid $2.7 million to settle a lawsuit that accused him of practicing housing discrimination in various L.A.-based real estate properties to blacks, Hispanics and families with children. In 2011, former Clippers coach and general manager Mike Dunleavy was awarded $13.5 million through arbitration after the Clippers initially stopped paying him the remainder of his contract after he was fired in March 2010. In this case, law experts believe Sterling will seek an injunction and then file suit, raising both breach of contract and antitrust claims. Yet, under Article 13 of the NBA constitution, an owner can be terminated with a three-fourths vote from the Board of Governors if the franchise fails “to fulfill its contractual obligations to the Association, its Members, Players, or any other third party in such a way as to affect the Association or its Members adversely.” In Article 24 of the NBA constitution, the commissioner’s duties are listed as “protecting the integrity of the game of professional basketball and preserving public confidence in the League.”“The league is on pretty solid footing,” USC law and business professor Michael Chasalow said. “They have contractual rights to terminate Sterling. The only limit with that is whether the league did not act in good faith in enforcing its rights. That’s impossible to prove given he started the whole thing with his outrageous comments.”Sterling criticized a female friend named V. Stiviano for posting pictures of herself and Johnson on Instagram and for bringing black friends to Clippers games. Yet, Sterling could invoke privacy laws after an audio recording of that conversation leaked to both TMZ and Deadspin.“He might try to become a crusader and martyr for privacy rights,” USC law professor Jody Armour said of Sterling. “With the current day concerns about the NSA intrusions into ordinary citizens’ privacy, there are a lot of folks who believe privacy rights are valuable. They may believe people deserve some protection.”Silver dismissed such concerns about that topic, saying, “Whether or not these remarks were shared in private, they are now public and they represent his views.”But will such issues slow down the Clippers transition process?Unanswered questions persist, including the nature of Sterling’s trust that includes his wife, Shelly, and whether she will stay on as the team’s co-owner. The NBA players union has said the league cannot allow that to happen. “I am concerned that if this process continues on, it may be at the sacrifice of one the 30 NBA clubs,” Jackson said. “What’s going to happen with that franchise during the time that this battle rages on?”Jackson then cited the Clippers losing a flurry of sponsors and uncertainty whether coach Doc Rivers and star players, such as Paul and Griffin would want to stay if a lengthy legal fight ensues. Even amid this uncertainty, however, law and sports economics experts find some hope Sterling will concede defeat. Coupled with the Clippers’ playoff resurgence, a potentially new cable deal and an expected bidding war among competing ownership groups, experts predicted the Clippers could sell as high as $1.6 billion. That number marks a stark increase from the $575 million Forbes currently tabs as the franchise’s worth. “If he wants to, he could tie it up for a very long time,” said Notre Dame sports economics professor Richard Sheehan. “But I bet that he wouldn’t. The cost of him doing so would be very extreme.”Staff writer Chris Trevino contributed to this report.