Volume XXXINumber 1Page 23 By Paul A. ThomasUniversity of GeorgiaWhen angel trumpets (Brugmansia sanguinea) first hit themarket, folks were awed by the huge, white flowers. Soon yellows,pinks and bi-colors appeared, and sales soared. Despite the volume being sold, though, very little has beenpublished about how to grow them. A good amount of misinformationis floating about.To avoid confusion, it’s best to use the scientific and standardcultivar names. What many folks call angel trumpet is abrugmansia or a datura.Brugmansias are native to Ecuador, Peru and Columbia and growmainly on the slopes of the Andes mountains. Daturas grow inIndia, Mexico and from Texas to California.These two very closely related species are members of theSolanaceae family and are cousins of the petunia, common tobaccoand the deadly nightshade.CautionHowever beautiful they are, both are poisonous if eaten,especially the seeds and leaves. So it’s not a great gift ideafor someone with young children. However, I’ve grown them indoorsand out, with lots of pets and kids, and no one has gotten ill.Handling the plant isn’t dangerous.I recommend trying Brugmansia arborea or Brugmansiaversicolor hybrids first. Others can be more challenging.B. Arborea hybrids are commonly white with flowers thatpoint outward like an Easter lily. The plant grows upright andcan form small, tree-like branch patterns.The popular long, dangling flowers that look like bells belong tothe B. versicolor hybrids. These can be yellow, golden,peach, pink and orange. They grow upright, too, but with aspreading pattern. Both types can get quite large.EasyBrugmansias and daturas are easy to care for. With full sun andfrequent feeding with standard, soluble fertilizers, your plantswill virtually jump toward the sun.Forgetting to water doesn’t kill these tough survivors, but itdoes reduce the chance of spectacular flower displays.Brugmansias and daturas don’t like 99-degree days. If they’reallowed to dry out in that heat, they go into survival mode.Dropping lower leaves and flower buds is a good sign you’re notdoing your part. Keep them moist and fertilized. Mulch workswonders in Georgia.If you see your leaves becoming blotchy, you may have a plantinfected with a virus — specifically, tomato spotted wilt virusor tobacco mosaic virus.These are common local viruses spread by insects. Don’t dig upthe plant. Just don’t carry it over to next spring. Buying new,clean stock is always a better idea.The only thing you have to do daily is scout for hornworms. Theycan strip a plant in a few days. Brugmansia will quickly growback, though, with little loss of vigor.OverwinteringTwo strategies work for overwintering. One is to dig up theplant, trim it back to solid wood and bring it indoors. Thenstore it in the dark all winter in an unheated basement or garagethat stays in the 50s at night. Water only if soil is dry.Brugmansias tend to “go to sleep.” Just don’t let them freeze.The second approach is the one I’ve done most often. Brugmansiasdo very well in bright, south-facing windows. At this writing inFebruary, my 10-year-old son Avery has a Brugmansia arborea infull bloom.We reduce the fertility and water only when the plant starts tosag a bit. The growth isn’t spectacular, but the flowers are.In the spring, we trim off the weak growth and let the new leafbuds develop in full sun. Once these leaves are a few incheslong, we can plant it in the garden. In north Georgia, this isaround April 15. South of the Fall Line, folks plant them aroundApril 1.The American Brugmansia and Datura Society, Inc., Web site (www.abads.net) features newvarieties and other information.(Paul Thomas is a Cooperative Extension horticulturist withthe University of Georgia College of Agricultural andEnvironmental Sciences.)
Before shopping, make room for the turkey in the refrigerator. When choosing a turkey, base the size on an allowance of 1 pound of turkey per person.Purchase fresh turkey one to two days before you plan to cook it, and keep it refrigerated at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or colder. Keep frozen turkey frozen until it’s time to thaw and cook it.Thaw the turkey in the refrigerator in the original packaging.To properly thaw the turkey, keep it 24 hours in the refrigerator for each 4 pounds the turkey weighs. Meat and poultry should be stored on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator on a pan or tray to catch any raw juices that may leak from the product.Fresh fruits and vegetables should be placed in a separate location from raw meat and poultry.Also, before cooking the turkey, make sure the proper equipment is available. Prior planning for the feast will decrease the chance of foodborne illness.Be sure there is a food thermometer on hand, and have separate cutting boards for meats and vegetables. Preparing your feast Follow these suggestions to ensure your feast is safe for everyone at your dining room table.When preparing the feast, be sure to wash hands and utensils well between each food preparation step.Utensils and kitchen surfaces can be sanitized using 1 tablespoon of plain, unscented chlorine bleach per gallon of water after washing and rinsing. Allow the sanitizing solution to stay in contact with the item being sanitized for at least one minute.If the turkey is being stuffed prior to cooking, stuff it loosely.Use an oven temperature no lower than 325 degrees F. Cook your turkey and stuffing to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Use a food thermometer to be sure both the turkey and the stuffing have reached this temperature.Once your food is safely prepared, avoid the temperature danger zone. Keep hot foods at 140 degrees F or hotter and cold foods at 40 degrees F or colder for serving. Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables just prior to serving. The meal that keeps on givingMaybe the second best thing about holiday meals — the first being sharing a great meal with friends and family — is the leftovers.If leftovers have stayed at room temperature for more than two hours, they should be discarded, so it’s important to get them in the refrigerator quickly.When putting away leftovers, divide them into smaller portions in shallow food storage containers. This allows food to cool faster, which protects it from sitting for long periods in the temperature danger zone.If leftovers won’t be used within three to four days of the feast, freeze them. Gravy should be frozen within two days.Finally, make sure food is reheated safely. Solid leftovers should be reheated to at least 165 degrees F. Liquids, like soups and gravy, should reach a rolling boil before consuming.Visit extension.uga.edu for more information on keeping the holidays safe and happy. One of the best ways to celebrate the holidays is to gather around the table to enjoy a delicious, home-cooked meal. Follow these simple recommendations to have a turkey feast that will be remembered for years to come, for all the right reasons. Develop a turkey game plan
Northstar Vermont Yankee,An inspection Friday by Vermont Yankee engineers and technicians revealed a dime/quarter size hole at an elbow in a 1 to 1.5 inch diameter AOG drain line, according to a statement released late Friday afternoon. Water and steam Could be seen coming from this hole. Concrete blocks at the junction of the Advanced Off Gas pipe tunnel and the OG-100 drain line connection have been removed allowing telescopic camera and Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) inspection of the tunnel.The ROV inspection of the Advanced Off Gas pipe tunnel and the AOG drain pipe identified to be leaking water continues today, with completion expected tomorrow. The inspection will allow engineers to determine the source for the small amount of leakage remaining internal to the tunnel and develop additional remediation steps that can be taken to completely eliminate the leak. As previously reported, water coming from the pipe is not reaching the environment. The water is being collected in a sump for processing through plant systems as designed. Preliminary planning for both soil and groundwater remediation actions has commenced.Also, the installation of a new groundwater monitoring well is expected to be completed today. This well will help to further characterize groundwater flow at the site. Tritium levels in test wells have been going down. The Vermont Department of Health and Nuclear Regulatory Commission personnel are at Vermont Yankee monitoring the investigation.Ongoing engineering activities include pipe identification and locations where guided wave technology can be used to inspect piping; inspection options to confirm the integrity of the Condensate Storage Tank; and the installation of two new monitoring wells. One well is to be located between GZ-10 and GZ-7, very near the CST. Installation of the second well, to be located between the Containment access Building and the Construction Office Building will commence this weekend. Down hole geo-physics testing of five wells is complete; the final well will be completed next week. The purpose of this testing is to determine the structure of the bedrock and will help engineers and hydrology experts to better understand how groundwater flows beneath the site.While this investigation continues, it is important to note that there has been no detectable tritium levels found in any samples taken from drinking water wells or the river.For more details on the tritium investigation, the Vermont Department of Health has a thorough status report on the investigation at this web link: http://healthvermont.gov/enviro/rad/yankee/tritium.aspx(link is external)Source: Vermont Yankee. 3.5.2010
Cuba and Venezuela signed several secret military agreements in 2008; essentially handing over control of the Venezuelan military to Cuba, said to Diálogo retired Venezuelan Army General Antonio Rivero, a former senior officer in exile in Miami since 2014. Three of these confidential agreements the Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba and the Venezuelan Ministry of Defense engaged in included strengthening defense, developing intelligence, and providing technical support to the Venezuelan military.“The presence of Cuban troops [in Venezuela] is consolidated through 15 secret agreements between Cuba and Venezuela [in 2008] to transform the Venezuelan Armed Forces and turn them into the same structure that exists in Cuba,” said Gen. Rivero, who was also head of civil protection and emergency management during the regime of Hugo Chávez, and who spoke with Diálogo about the agreements. “There was initially a lot of resistance in the barracks, but Chávez invested billions of dollars in weapons from the Russians, with Cuban mediation, and this way the Venezuelan military began to leave room for the ‘Cubanization’ of the military force.”According to Gen. Rivero, the creation of a five-year military development between Cuba and Venezuela included the improvement of defense concepts, the creation of a radioelectronic investigative unit and radar system for defense purposes, and the exchange of intelligence. In addition, the plan also included specialized training of Venezuelan troops in Cuba as well as the creation of a Cuban military unit based in Venezuela.All three agreements were signed and initialed by Army General Álvaro López Miera, vice minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba and head of the General Staff, and Venezuelan Army General Gustavo Reyes Rangel Briceño, Defense minister from 2008-2009.From then on, Gen. Rivero said, Cuba began to take control of the Venezuelan military, with Cuban officers developing doctrines, training manuals and leading trainings, leaving some Venezuelan officers to feel as if they were serving in another country’s armed forces. Gen. Rivero remembered taking part in a November 2008 tunnel construction course to “create bunkers, subterraneous commands with a Vietnam War philosophy,” he said referring to the Viet Cong’s network of tunnels used to counter U.S. forces.“The instructor, a colonel from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba, says, ‘from this point on, everything we will deal with in this course is confidential, a state secret,’” Gen. Rivero said. “So I stood up and asked: ‘How is a foreign officer like you going to teach me about state secrecy and security in my country?’”Former Venezuelan Army Lieutenant José Antonio Colina, who fled to Miami in 2003, corroborated Gen. Rivero’s comments. “Once Hugo Chávez corrupted the Armed Forces, Cubans began to enter the military sector,” Lt. Colina told Diálogo. “They would take 200 to 300 junior officers and lock them up for three days in military training centers […] where agents of the Cuban G2 [intelligence services] would tell us that we had to help Chávez bring Venezuela to happiness like in Cuba, that we had to ‘democratize’ Venezuela […] and that the Armed Forces had to change their vision and mission.”Onsite Cuban military unitAmong the agreements Gen. Rivero discussed with Diálogo is the one to create the Cuban Liaison and Cooperation Group (GRUCE, in Spanish), a unit made up of Cuban officers permanently based in Venezuela. The group is described as having “the objective of facilitating and coordinating the provision of assistance to Venezuela in solving its Armed Forces’ military and technical issues, to ensure the work management of military specialists of the Cuban Republic, whose mission is to provide assistance in the assimilation, operation, repair, modernization, and combative use of war material available to the Venezuelan Bolivarian Armed Forces.”According to Gen. Rivero, GRUCE led Venezuelan troops into a five-day nationwide training exercise in December 2017, to prepare service members against eventual operations from the “enemy” — namely the United States. The military training plan cited increasing show of force and “hostility” from neighboring nations under the guise of multinational exercises such as AMAZONLOG 2017. The training plan lists potential enemy activities, adding that “operations against the presence of Cuban collaborators in [Integral Diagnostic Centers — clinics staffed with Cuban health workers], and other missions, including service members, are not to be ruled out.”“The Cuban Liaison and Cooperation Group [is] a Cuban military unit that exits in Fort Tiuna, Caracas, that essentially distributed the Cuban deployment nationally in Venezuela, in commands of the country’s operative and strategic units, and therefore consolidating the Cuban occupation in Venezuela,” Gen. Rivero said. By Ricardo Guanipa D’Erizans / Diálogo August 08, 2019
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Three reputed MS-13 street gang members were charged with allegedly killing three men on Long Island less than a month apart four years ago and trying to kill four others, authorities said.Edwin “Scarface” Acosta-Martinez, 26, of Huntington Station, 31-year-old Sergio “Taz” Cerna and 22-year-old Arnolvin “Momia” Umanzor Velasquez, both of whom are from Brentwood, were indicted on federal charges of murder, attempted murder, conspiracy and racketeering.“MS-13 is a scourge on our communities,” said Diego Rodriguez, assistant director-in-charge of the FBI’s New York Field Office. “The three defendants charged today with murder demonstrate the extraordinary violence of this gang.”Federal prosecutors said Cerna, who was also known as “Lechon,” and Velasquez, who was also known as “Lito,” fatally shot brothers Ricardo and Enston Ceron “execution-style” in the head in the victims’ hometown of Brentwood on Dec. 18, 2011. The gunmen killed Eston because he was distancing himself from the Brentwood clique of the gang, whose members feared that he would become an informant, authorities said. They allegedly killed his brother, who was member of another MS-13 clique, to pre-empt his presumed retaliation. The victims were giving the suspects a ride home from a party at the time.When the suspects got out of the car, Cerna and Velasquez allegedly shot at another car that stopped at the scene, hitting the driver in the chest, authorities said. The second driver survived.One month prior to the double murder, Acosta-Martinez allegedly gunned down 23-year-old Brandon Sotomayor of Central Islip when the alleged gunman and another MS-13 member, who was then a juvenile, set out to kill a rival gang member in Baywood on Nov.2, 2011, according to investigators.Acosta-Martinez believed that Sotomayor, who was wearing a red hat, was a member of the rival Bloods street gang when, prosecutors said, the alleged gunman shot the victim in the neck and torso, killing him, while the victim sat in a car.The same 9mm and .22 caliber semi-automatic handguns were used in both shootings, authorities said.Aside from those shootings, Acosta-Martinez is accused of shooting at two suspected members of the Latin Kings in Brentwood, wounding one of them on Dec. 22, 2011. In addition, Cerna was charged with shooting and wounding two suspected rival gang members Oct. 23, 2011.FBI agents apprehended Velasquez on Tuesday in Georgia. He was arraigned in Atlanta and is expected to be transferred to face the charges on LI. Cerna and Acosta-Martinez, who were already in federal custody, will be arraigned at Central Islip federal court.
“I hope that instead, you decide to ground yourself in values that last, like honesty, hard work, responsibility, fairness, generosity, respect for others.”The ceremony, carried by all the major American television networks, flashed between stirring speeches and performances students and celebrities alike, including basketball superstar Lebron James and singers the Jonas Brothers.James echoed Obama’s call for the students to step up, urging them to “Stay close to home” and help rebuild communities devastated by the virus and shutdowns.Uncertain future The US leads the world with coronavirus cases and deaths, at 1.4 million and nearly 90,000, respectively.This year’s graduates face a grim reality: the US unemployment rate has shot up to nearly 15 percent and more than 36 million people have filed for unemployment benefits as America grapples with the fallout from months of lockdown and business closings.The gravity of Obama’s message was underscored by the fact it was the second time in a week he had hit out at the response to the pandemic, having pointedly refused to criticize Trump in public in the three years since leaving office.He kept his profile low despite being frequently attacked by the president.But on May 9, in remarks leaked from a web call with people who worked in his administration, he called Trump’s handling of the pandemic a catastrophe.”It would have been bad even with the best of governments. It has been an absolute chaotic disaster when that mindset — of ‘what’s in it for me’ and ‘to heck with everybody else’ — when that mindset is operationalized in our government,” he said in that call.In his comments Saturday, Obama also highlighted how the health crisis has underscored racial inequality in America, and expressed outrage at the shooting death of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery, killed on February 23 while out for a jog in Georgia.”A disease like this just spotlights the underlying inequalities and extra burdens that black communities have historically had to deal with in this country,” he said at the first ceremony.”We see it in the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on our communities. Just as we see it when a black man goes for a jog and some folks feel like they can stop and question, and shoot him, if he doesn’t submit to their question,” he continued, without naming Arbery.Topics : “A lot of them aren’t even pretending to be in charge,” he said as he discussed the implications of the pandemic during the online event, without naming any specific leaders.That celebration was followed by a second, star-studded prime-time ceremony for high school students in which Obama continued along the same lines, telling students to step up where leaders had failed.”If the world is going to get better, it’s going to be up to you,” he said.”Doing what feels good, what’s convenient, what’s easy –- that’s how little kids think. Unfortunately, a lot of so-called grown-ups, including some with fancy titles and important jobs, still think that way -– which is why things are so screwed up,” he continued. Former US President Barack Obama on Saturday criticized the response to the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging America, in what was widely regarded as a rare public rebuke of his successor Donald Trump.His remarks came as he spoke at two virtual commencements for high school and university students locked down instead of celebrating their graduations, a rite of passage every spring in the United States.”More than anything, this pandemic has fully, finally torn back the curtain on the idea that so many of the folks in charge know what they’re doing,” Obama told graduates from several dozen historically black colleges and universities at the first ceremony.
Casillas joined Portuguese side Porto in 2015 after a tearful departure from Madrid. He suffered a heart attack in May last year.He played 167 times for Spain, winning the 2010 World Cup and the Euros in 2008 and 2012 in a golden age for Spanish football.He lifted five La Liga titles and the Champions League on three occasions during his time at the Santiago Bernabeu.”The best goalkeeper in the history of Real Madrid and Spanish football joined us at the age of 9. He was formed here and defended our shirt for 25 years, becoming one of our most emblematic captains of all time,” the club said in a statement. “Today one of the most important footballers in our 118 years of history calls it a day as a professional player, a player we love and admire, a goalkeeper who has made the Real Madrid legacy bigger with his work and exemplary behavior both on and off the pitch,” they added.Former club and country team-mate Sergio Ramos was among many players to praise the veteran, nicknamed ‘The Saint’, on social media.”Football thanks you, man. Forever a legend @IkerCasillas,” Ramos tweeted.Ex-Spain and Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta followed suit.”All the best for you and your family in this new stage that will be presented in your life”, he tweeted.Madrid’s current goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois also showed his appreciation for Casillas.”Idol, companion, rival, reference… you are exemplary in many facets, but the main one in being a great person!! Congratulations on the road @IkerCasillas and thank you for everything!!” he posted on Twitter. Topics : ‘Hero’ Vicente del Bosque, who coached Casillas at Madrid and with Spain also hailed his efforts.”Casillas has been a hero of the national team and Spanish football,” he said.Madrid president Florentino Perez said Casillas had left a lasting impression at the club.”Iker Casillas says goodbye as a professional player, having contributed to further enhance the myth and legend of Real Madrid,” Perez told the club’s website. “His legacy will always be here. Iker knows that this is and will always be his home”,Former Italy captain Gianluigi Buffon, who played against Casillas on numerous occasions and is also seen as one of his country’s finest ever goalkeepers, echoed Ramos and Del Bosque’s praise.”They say competition makes us better than others but not perfect faced with ourselves. Maybe this futile pursuit of perfection is what made us who we are. #Grac1as Iker, without you, everything would have been less meaningful,” Buffon tweeted.In June, Casillas said he was ending his bid to run for the presidency of the Spanish Football Federation, because of the coronavirus pandemic. Spain’s World Cup-winning goalkeeper Iker Casillas announced his retirement on Tuesday, after being sidelined for more than a year with a heart problem.Casillas, 39, also won the European Championship twice with his country in a trophy-laden career which included more than 700 games for Real Madrid.”Today is both one of the most important and most difficult days of my sporting life, the time to say goodbye has arrived,” he said on Twitter.
Ruud Hagendijk is to step down from MN after 10 years as chief executive and 18 years at the company. Hagendijk broke the news himself last week at a Christmas gathering at the MN offices in The Hague.“After 10 years, it is time to hand the baton over to someone else,” Hagendijk said.“We have developed a vision for the role of MN. It will be good for someone other than me to get started.” The chief executive will remain in his position until a successor is found.Since Hagendijk became chief executive in 2005, MN has grown to become the third-largest pension provider in the Netherlands, with €110bn in assets.It manages the PME and PMT metal schemes and that of the Koopvaardij, or merchant navy.The organisation now plans to shed 220 jobs as part of its ‘MN 3.0’ plans.“In recent years, we in the pension sector have constantly been behind the curve in terms of the changing regulations from The Hague and Brussels,” Hagendijk said.“Last year, we looked at how we could regain control. This is where the need for ‘MN 3.0’ arises.”Hagendijk was relatively cautious about the firm’s UK business, which started in 2008.“We had a different strategy at that time, and expectations for a European pension market,” he said, adding that Dutch clients since the financial crisis had required greater attention from their provider.“The change in strategy does not mean we will leave England,” he said.“We have €6bn under management, and we are not going to let it fall out of our hands. We see there is still considerable need for Dutch pension solutions in the UK.”MN has grown considerably in recent years, largely through the growth of its shareholder and client PME, which has consolidated the pension assets of a number of industrial companies that previously ran their own pension funds.MN is not currently seeking new funds, other than through existing clients.Hagendijk, who was MN’s director of operations prior to 2005, added: “‘MN 3.0’ is a programme for change that encompasses personnel, processes, leadership and the shape of the organisation.“We can automate more processes … IT is important, but the people who work here make the difference.”The out-going chief executive does not expect the streamlining of the organisation will lead to many compulsory redundancies.
However, it also made clear that the increase in liabilities triggered by falling interest rates – the criterion for discounting liabilities – exceeded its quarterly return by €525m.As a consequence, the pension fund’s ‘policy funding’ decreased by 1.4 percentage point to 111.2%.“Due to the stricter rules in the new financial assessment framework (nFTK), including its requirement for larger financial buffers, indexation is unlikely for the coming years,” it said.Vervoer’s results come as a number of Dutch schemes lament the low interest rate environment and the effect of the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing (QE) programme.In mid-April, four of the five largest pension funds were forced to re-submit recovery plans after falling interest rates hit their funding ratios.The schemes, which reported quarterly returns of up to 11.8%, attributed their deteriorating position chiefly to QE.This week, Pensioenfonds PostNL, the €7.7bn scheme for Dutch postal services, reported a 9.4% return during the first quarter of 2015, attributing 4.1 percentage points to its interest hedge through swaptions.It made a 13% return on its equity portfolio, due largely to the depreciation of the euro against the US dollar, which boosted the value of its holdings of European equity.PostNL added that holdings in healthcare companies continued to perform well, and that emerging markets generated better results than developing countries.Equity options contributed 1.1 percentage points to its quarterly return on the back of rising equity markets, while fixed income and real estate returned 3.2% and 7.6%, respectively.In contrast, the Pensioenfonds PostNL lost 6.4% on its commodities portfolio due to the effect of the oil price drop on energy and utility companies.At March-end, the scheme’s policy funding was 110.2%.The €4.2bn pension fund for the merchant navy, Koopvaardij, returned 10.6% during the first quarter, with government bonds and interest hedges delivering a combined result of 12.7%.Equities returned 10.3%.Despite the scheme’s quarterly performance, its coverage ratio increased by just 0.3 percentage point to 113.7%.The €1.7bn pension fund of coffee processor Douwe Egberts saw its funding drop 0.7 percentage points to 112.7%, despite a quarterly result of almost 10%. A number of large Dutch pension funds have reported that funding levels remained flat or even dropped over the first quarter due to the impact of plummeting interest rates on returns. Vervoer, the €22.4bn pension fund for the private road transport sector, returned 13.6% over the period, yet falling interest rates largely wiped out the strong performance. It attributed the return largely to the impact of falling interest on its 58% fixed income portfolio, which returned 12.6%, as well as on its derivatives covering the interest risk on its liabilities.Vervoer, which also reported a 20% return on its equity portfolio, said the discount rate for liabilities fell from 2% to 1.38% in Q1.
Industriens, PenSam, European Commission, Resaver, Hermes IM, VTB Capital, L&G, Deutsche Bank, IIGCC, AP2, BNP Paribas, Ashburton, UBS, Penfida, BestrusteesIndustriens Pension — Kasper Lykke Meisner has been appointed by Industriens Pension in Denmark to the role of head of investment risk, filling the vacancy left by Sofie Grathe who decided to leave the company in the first quarter of this year. Lykke Meisner comes to Industriens Pension from PenSam, where he was risk manager. He takes up his new job today.European Commission – Andreas Dahlén has left the commission, where he has been a policy officer in the research department and helped set up Resaver, the multi-employer cross-border pension fund for researchers that became operational a few months ago. He was also involved in co-ordinating the implementation of the European Long-Term Investment Funds regulation. Dahlén joined the Commission in 2011.Hermes Investment Management – The asset manager wholly owned by the BT Pension Scheme has hired Orla Murphy as research director, a newly created role. She will be responsible for procuring equity and credit research from brokers and independent research providers. Hermes said Murphy would also be responsible for transaction cost analysis, managing the group’s research budget, and assessing the value of research. Asset managers must disclose how much they pay for research under MiFID II regulations by 3 January 2018 when the Europe-wide regulations come into force.Murphy joins Hermes from VTB Capital, where she held roles including business manager for international equities and cross-asset business manager. She has also held business management and analysis positions at Barclays Wealth and Fidelity Investments.Legal & General – The insurance giant has appointed Pretty Sagoo as head of strategic business within its pension risk transfer arm. She will oversee large scheme pension buy-ins, buyouts, and longevity insurance transactions, L&G said. She joins from Deutsche Bank where she led its insurance and pensions solutions team. Sagoo has also worked for AXA Sun Life and Goldman Sachs. She was also a trustee of the Abbey Life Pension Scheme until November last year.IIGCC – The Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change has appointed Rachel Ward as its head of EU policy. She joins from the UK’s civil service where she worked on EU and international climate change, energy, and transport policy for 10 years. In her new role she will identify and track key policy developments and work to “strengthen [members’] collective voice, engagement and influence”.In addition, IIGCC has appointed Christina Olivecrona and Helena Viñes Fiestas to its board. Olivecrona is a sustainability analyst at AP2, one of Sweden’s buffer funds for its public pension system. Fiestas is head of sustainability research at BNP Paribas Investment Partners.Ashburton Investments – The investment management firm has hired Robert Lea as head of global equity research. He will lead a newly created research team, which will provide analysis for the firm’s equity and multi-asset funds. He joins from UBS, where he was a global equity research sector head and strategist. Ashburton has also appointed Jonathan Aldrich-Blake to the research team – he was previously an investment manager at the firm.Penfida – The UK advisory firm focused on sponsor covenant advice has appointed a former chair of the country’s pensions trade body as a senior adviser. Peter Thompson joins from Bestrustees, an independent trustee firm, and previously worked for Mercer for 25 years. Between 2001 and 2003 Thompson was chair of the National Association of Pension funds (now the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association), part of an 11-year tenure at the trade body. He has also advised organisations responsible for the UK’s railways and universities on their industry-wide pension provisions.