UN chief urges global alliance to counter rise of neo-Nazis

first_imgUNITED NATIONS (AP) — U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is urging global action to build an alliance against the growth and spread of neo-Nazism, white supremacy and the resurgence of xenophobia, anti-Semitism, and hate speech sparked partly by the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.N. chief also urged international action on Monday “to fight propaganda and disinformation.” And he called for stepped up education on Nazi actions during World War II, stressing that almost two-thirds of young Americans do not know that six million Jews were killed during the Holocaust. Guterres spoke at a service marking Wednesday’s 76th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.last_img read more


Pension bosses call for flexible systems to support increased savings

first_imgMargaret Snowden, chair of the Pensions Administration Standards Association, added: “I think we make it hard for people to save sometimes by insisting that they save X percent every week or every month without fail.“A little bit more flexibility to allow them to increase or decrease contributions as they go through life would be favourable. We need our systems to be a lot more flexible, to cater to what the members actually do.”Bill Galvin, chief executive of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), the UK’s largest pension fund, echoed calls for flexibility to help cope with the rising cost of retirement provision and help individuals “manage through changes in circumstances and changes in their position”.Dean also highlighted research being done by NEST’s Insight arm into the potential benefits of so-called “sidecar savings”. NEST launched a pilot programme earlier this year designed to help auto-enrolled savers build up an emergency pot of liquid savings alongside their pension.She cited Harvard University research that had shown benefits for individual savers in terms of health, financial wellbeing and pension saving, and called for more research into similar areas.“There’s quite a bit of academic research looking at… how can you translate a long-term goal into a short-term goal for someone,” Dean added. “Should you talk about saving a certain amount of money this year? Or is it better to say, ‘you’ve bought a year of retirement’? We need to understand what works in practice: try different things with cohorts of members and do proper A/B testing to see what works.”The PLSA this morning launched a set of “Retirement Living Standards”, an illustrative framework to help individuals picture the lifestyle they want when they retire and what it might cost. Forthcoming regulations should focus on making the UK pension system more flexible for defined contribution (DC) savers, according to speakers at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association’s (PLSA) annual conference in Manchester.Helen Dean, chief executive of £8bn ((€9.3bn) DC master trust NEST, called for a more holistic approach to retirement savings, taking into account long-term and short-term savings as well as “scalable, affordable solutions” for the decumulation stage, in particular for lower earners.“Automatic enrolment has been a great thing – it’s got people saving, and it’s a great foundation to build on,” Dean said. “But having built the foundations, we now need to build the house.”She highlighted women and self-employed workers as two groups requiring more flexibility than the current DC system allows.last_img read more


Song: Gerrard was my Kop idol

first_img “It’s not just focused on one player but I think Gerrard is the best player I’ve seen in a Liverpool shirt for me. It’s my own opinion,” said Song, who is on loan from Barcelona. “I have played against him a lot and every time I play against him, I have thought, ‘Today will be very hard’. “He has achieved a lot of things at Liverpool and is still only 34 years old. But he is still good enough to play – he can play maybe till he’s 40. When I see him run, he is a very good example to the young players coming through. “I think it is very important to have those kind of loyal players who play for Liverpool for a long time. It is a very different team when Gerrard is not in it. “I like Stevie’s style and the way he plays. When you are a midfielder, you try to watch other midfielders and how they play. For me, he is a great player – one of the best. “I always try to watch the best players in my position and try to learn. Gerrard is one of the players I was watching when I was young.” Song’s respect for Gerrard is well-rooted after he first met him during a trip to England to visit his cousin Rigobert Song, who was at Liverpool at the time. He said: “I remember the first time I played against Liverpool was unbelievable. The first time I went to England was 1999 when I was watching Rigobert play. It was crazy because I took some pictures with the players – I was 12 years old. Former Arsenal midfielder Song is in line to make his full West Ham debut, and is likely to spend the afternoon looking to keep Gerrard, the man he believes is Liverpool’s greatest ever player, as quiet as possible. Having made his Hammers bow in Monday night’s 2-2 draw at Hull, the 27-year-old Cameroon international is once again looking forward to locking horns with the former England captain. Alex Song will come up against his idol Steven Gerrard on Saturday – having first met the Liverpool skipper as an awe-struck child. “Then Rigobert gave me Gerrard’s shirt from that day and I have kept it. I was training every single day in it and then when I played at Anfield it was against Gerrard, (Michael) Owen and (Robbie) Fowler – I never forgot this in my life. “That day, I still have the picture I took with Fowler, and I was looking before the game to say their life was crazy and now I’m playing against them. That is a very good thing. “I have still got the shirt. When you are young and someone gives you a shirt, you have to keep it.” West Ham boss Sam Allardyce will be hoping Song is not in awe of Gerrard on Saturday as he looks to prevent the Liverpool skipper having the same impact he did in the corresponding fixture last season. Gerrard scored two penalties either side of a Guy Demel goal to earn a 2-1 win for Brendan Rodgers’ side – their ninth successive victory in what proved to ultimately be an unsuccessful push for the Barclays Premier League title. West Ham will still be without a host of names for the game at Upton Park, with Matt Jarvis (thigh), Andy Carroll (ankle), Kevin Nolan (shoulder) and Joey O’Brien (knee) all missing and James Collins (hamstring) still a doubt. Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is looking to his established players to take up some of the slack while his summer signings bed in properly. The Reds have had a mixed start to the Premier League season with two wins and two defeats in their opening four matches as they try to integrate a number of new arrivals. Rodgers expects his side to consistently find their peak performance level in the second half of the campaign, as they did last season when a brilliant run of results saw them finish runners-up to Manchester City. But while that ‘bedding in’ process continues, Rodgers will look to the players who have worked under him for a while to compensate in some way, highlighted by him giving Jordan Henderson more responsibility by making him vice-captain this week. “I think they naturally do that, I think that is part of the process here,” Rodgers said of the way his senior players spread the load. “We are about the team and we will attack and defend, win and lose as a team, but with the new players coming in it does take a bit of time – but it is not an excuse. “While you are letting the players settle you need to win matches.” Twelve months ago Liverpool had 10 points from four matches, compared to six this season, but that does not concern Rodgers. Defensively there have been lapses while half of their six goals came in a 3-0 win at Tottenham but the Northern Irishman is looking at a longer-term aim. “There’s no magic formula, it’s just constant work on the training field,” added Rodgers, ahead of the trip to West Ham. “I remember this time last year, we were sat in press conferences and the questions I was getting asked were about whether we were going to be able to score goals. We ended up with 101 goals. “It’s just time and patience with players. The way we were playing in March, April and May last season we weren’t playing that way last September. It’ll be the same this year. “I’ve always said by the time the second part of the season comes, we’ll always be stronger and better. “The Tottenham game we were outstanding but had a poor international break because we lost a number of our players and that upset our rhythm a bit coming into the Villa game (a 1-0 defeat last weekend), where we had to change our structure. “Against Aston Villa, we weren’t at our level in the final third. They defended well and got the result, but we moved on from that. “We’ve got players adapting to a different country, not just a new team, so naturally that takes that little bit more time. “I’ve been really pleased with how the players have settled in and experience tells me they’ll get better.” Because expectations are higher there has been criticism of Liverpool’s perceived failure to immediately replicate the style of football which propelled them so far last season with former Liverpool defender-turned-pundit Jamie Carragher offering his opinions. “There are a lot of experts in the game now,” was Rodgers’ response. “I read the papers constantly and I keep getting told how to play and it is the same on the telly. “We will always find different ways to win games, that is something I have always done all my career.” Defender Martin Skrtel returns to the Liverpool squad to face West Ham after recovering from a knee injury which has sidelined him for three matches. Fellow defender Glen Johnson (thigh) is unlikely to be ready to come back while Jon Flanagan has undergone an operation on a troublesome knee. Midfielder Joe Allen has still not recovered from a knee injury sustained on international duty while Daniel Sturridge is edging closer to a return from a thigh strain. Press Associationlast_img read more


No. 8 Trojans continue preparation as they move closer to matchup with Idaho

first_imgWednesday morning’s football practice was more focused and intense compared to the previous day’s practice despite the over 90 degree temperature before 10 a.m. Head coach Steve Sarkisian said he was happy with the team’s energy and focus throughout practice.“The heat has been good for us,” Sarkisian said. “It’s a positive that we have to work through it.”Sarkisian sees practices as a whole as what’s most important for the team. He said when the team plays hard consistently throughout practice, that’s what prepares them for the games.“We have to be hard on one another because that’s going to make us better and help us perform better on Saturdays,” Sarkisian said.Sarkisian spoke about how true freshman inside linebacker Osa Masina has been playing much more confidently over the past two to three weeks and is playing to his strengths. Masina grabbed another interception during the team portion of practice Wednesday.Defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox also praised Masina’s performance after practice. Masina delivered an immediate impact for the Trojans in his debut after returning a fumble recovery 46 yards for a touchdown.Wilcox pointed out that the defense will continue to see a significant amount of substitutions. He’d like to continue to see a lot of balance in the number of snaps his plays see in each game. The team’s fluidity is dependent on themselves, not the opponent.“It’s about getting fresh bodies in the game,” Wilcox said. “Getting the guys who can help us win the game.”Though the defense played well and held Arkansas State to only a touchdown, Wilcox would like to the team fortify its coverage against dual threat quarterbacks.“We had chances to make some negative plays that we did not make,” Wilcox said. “Those things need to improve.”On offense, Sarkisian said he was was glad that the young offensive line was challenged against Arkansas State. He said that being challenged on the first series of the first game will be beneficial for the team later on in the season.“In the grand scheme of things, we’re still a little young,” Sarkisian said. “But I still think we are going to be very good.”Redshirt sophomore safety Chris Hawkins, who had an interception and a fumble recovery last game, thought that the defense’s performance as a unit was a good one with so many different players seeing playing time against Arkansas State.“It’s valuable to mix guys up,” Hawkins said. “It gets a lot of guys experience.”When it comes to Idaho, the team is not treating them any differently from a Pac-12 opponent.“We have to look at them as if they’re the best,” Hawkins said. “So we can do our jobs.”Sophomore wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, likewise, isn’t taking the team’s week two opponent lightly.“Idaho is going to give it their all,”  because they’re playing against USC,” Smith-Schuster said.Even though Smith-Schuster is only a sophomore, he’s already aiming to emerge as one of the team’s unsung leaders.“You don’t need a ‘C’ on your chest to be a captain,” he said.In practice, Smith-Schuster has been seen as the type of player who is always communicating with his teammates, on the field and on the sidelines.Against Arkansas State, Smith-Schuster was double-teamed  frequently.  Instead of  becoming frustrated by double coverages,    Smith-Schuster decided that he was going to embrace it and uses it as motivation.He is also happy about the advantage that the double-teams give to his teammates because it , in turn, makes it easier on them to get the ball and score.“If I win on double-team, it looks good for NFL scouts,” Smith-Schuster said. “I love it.”The No. 8 Trojans will return to Howard Jones Field for one final practice before taking on Idaho at the Coliseum on Saturday night.last_img read more