IMF questions German coalition government pension measures

first_imgThe International Monetary Fund (IMF) has indirectly criticised Germany’s coalition government’s pension reform plans, saying there were better ways to support adequate replacement rates than the measures it has pledged.The deal struck by the CDU/CSU and the SPD parties earlier this year included measures to cap the pension contribution rate at 20% and set a floor on replacement rates at 48% of average salaries until 2025.In its 2018 Article IV Consultation report on the country this week, the IMF said this was not expected to have a large fiscal cost up to 2025, but would be burdensome if it stayed in place afterwards.A more “durable and growth-friendly way” to achieve adequate replacement rates, according to the IMF, would be to pursue pension and labour market reforms that would make it more attractive for people to extend their working lives. These would have multiple benefits, including lowering risks of old-age poverty, lowering the public pension bill, increasing growth, and reducing the need for workers to save, it said.The German government has installed a pensions committee to develop a plan for the state pension system from 2025 onwards. The IMF’s headquarters in Washington DCThe IMF noted that public pension expenditure in Germany is expected to rise by 1.9% of GDP between 2016 and 2040, compared with an average increase of 0.8% in the European Union. Pension replacement rates were projected to decrease.Earlier this year consultancy Willis Towers Watson said contributions to German occupational pension plans would need to double to compensate for falling payout levels from the first pillar.Gesamtmetall, the employer association for Germany’s metal industry, said the IMF’s recommendations – not just on pensions – were “in nearly every detail diametrically opposed” to the coalition agreement.The IMF also recommended that Germany improve pension transparency, including as a possible means of reducing household “precautionary” savings.Improving the transparency of future pension payouts at the household or individual level would reduce uncertainty about future pension income and could help reduce precautionary savings, it said.Article IV reports are produced after bilateral discussions are held, usually every year, between the IMF and the fund’s country members.last_img read more

Troubled Monaco face PSG fire

first_imgMonaco lost 4-0 to Club Bruge on Tuesday (Photo by Agency)The troubled beginning to Thierry Henry’s Monaco managerial career comes under even more intense focus on Sunday night when runaway leaders Paris Saint Germain visit the beleaguered principality club.Five games after replacing Leonardo Jardim, Les Bleus record scorer still finds himself without a single victory. One week after another,  Monaco’s chequered campaign goes from bad to worse.Tuesday’s 0-4 setback at the hands of Belgian champions Club Brugge was the club’s worst-ever home loss in European competition. It was preceded by Ligue One losses at Strasbourg and Reims.A Champions League draw away to Club Brugge and home stalemate with struggling Dijon are the only two occasions Henry’s Monaco have registered points. In contrast, PSG arrive in Monaco on a roll. The Parisians’ twelve-match winning streak at the start of this season, is a record in Europe’s top five leagues.But it is not all gloom for Monaco who face former star Kylian Mbappe Lottin one year after selling him to Thomas Tuchel’s PSG for an astonishing £166m. Injuries at the 2016/17 French champions are easing up. Monaco’s two most experienced stars – top scorer Radamel Falcao and Swiss keeper Diego Begnaglio are available for selection.Joint second-placed Lille Metropole and Montpellier both have an opportunity to slice leaders PSG’s eleven point advantage when they play Strasbourg and Angers respectively.  Lille’s much vaunted ‘BIP’ attack of Jonathan Bamba,  Jonathan Ikone and Nicolas Pepe test their mercurial skills against Alsace region kingpins Strasbourg on Friday night, before Montpellier, who whitewashed Olympique Marseille last Sunday confront Angers a day later.Elsewhere, Bruno Genesio will demand a better defensive display from Olympique Lyon at basement club Guingamp as they surrendered a two-goal advantage to draw two-all with Hoffenheim mid-week.Rudi Garcia’s star-studded Marseille are meanwhile highly fancied to topple Dijon at Stade Velodrome.FRIDAY: Lille Metropole v Strasbourg @10:45pmSATURDAY:Guingamp v Olympique Lyon @07:00pmAngers v Montpellier @10:00pmNimes v Nice @10:00pmSaint Etienne v Reims @10:00pmToulouse v Amiens @10:00pmSUNDAY:Bordeaux v Caen 05:00pmMarseille v Dijon 07:00pmRennes v Nantes 07:00pmMonaco v Paris Saint Germain 11:00pmBET ON ALL THESE GAMES @Bunga BetComments Tags: French Ligue Onetoplast_img read more

Punjab Warriors thrash Kalinga Lancers 6-1 to clinch maiden HIL title

first_imgHaving lost the final in the last two seasons, the Jaypee Punjab Warriors finally struck gold to become third-time lucky and clinched the Hockey India League (HIL) title in the fourth edition of the six-team tournament at the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium on Sunday.The Chandigarh-based outfit beat Kalinga Lancers 6-1 in the summit clash where Armaan Qureshi, Matt Gohdes and Satbir Singh scored a field goal each for the Warriors. Skipper Moritz Fuerste scored the Lancers’ lone goal of the match, coming in a penalty corner. The unique feature of the tournament was that each field goal counted for two.The Warriors were on the gas right at the start as their forward Armaan Qureshi gave the Punjab team exactly what they needed by scoring a goal as early as in the fourth minute. Qureshi got past two defenders and at the right moment reverse flicked the ball past Lancers’ goalkeeper Andrew Charter, becoming the Warriors’ top goal-scorer of the tournament with four.The Warriors were clearly the dominant team in the first half of the match, keeping possession and regularly playing in the Lancers’ half of the pitch. Australian Charter was a busy man in the evening as he had to make multiple saves to keep his team in with a chance.Lancers’ skipper and two-time Olympic champion Fuerste of Germany showed his class in the 24th minute when he managed to put the ball past Warriors goalie Clemons Tristan to make it 1-2 for the Lancers, who qualified for the knockouts for the first time in the HIL.advertisementAfter the mid-way break, the Warriors came out even more aggressively, continuously pressing the Lancers’ defence deeper into the scoring arc. The efforts finally bore fruit in the 39th minute when forward S.V. Sunil worked out a brilliant ball and passed it to Australia’s Gohdes, who had no difficulty in converting it into a goal.The score went up to 4-1 in favour of the Warriors thanks to some brilliant work from Sunil and a nice finishing touch from 2014 World Cup-winner Gohdes.The Warriors did not have to wait long enough as three minutes later Satbir built a fantastic ball, moving past the Lancers’ defenders with quick pace to finally score the last of the match to make it 6-1 in the 42nd minute.By now the game was beyond the reach of the Bhubaneswar-based team, who seemingly appeared jaded in the last quarter of the match. Just moments later, the hooter blew loudly in the stadium to give the Warriors their first trophy in the four-year history of the tournament.Earlier in the day, 2014 edition winners Delhi Waveriders defeated last year’s champions Ranchi Rays 2-0 in the third place match. Mandeep Singh’s lone field goal was enough for the Delhi-based team to seal third position in the tournament. The Waveriders had lost the semi-final 1-3 to Jaypee Punjab Warriors here on Saturday.Waveriders’ defender and penalty corner expert Rupinder Pal Singh was named the player of the tournament.last_img read more

NASAs next Mars rover will land in Jezero crater which once hosted

first_img Northeast Syrtis Update: NASA today announced the destination for its next Mars rover, due for launch in 2020. The agency said it would send the rover to the 50-kilometer-wide Jezero crater, which billions of years ago harbored a lake that half filled the 500-meter-deep basin. The crater also contains within its rim a fossilized river delta, the sediments from a river that spilled into the crater—a promising place to search for evidence of past life. “Getting samples from this unique area will revolutionize how we think about Mars and its ability to harbor life,”  Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA’s associate administrator for science in Washington, D.C., said in a press conference.Mars scientists also wanted to visit a nearby site, called Northeast Syrtis, which contains rocks formed in the presence of mineral springs. So NASA dangled the possibility of a two-for-one special—that after visiting Jezero, the rover might climb out of the crater and travel 25 kilometers to Midway, a site that contains many of the same rocks as Northeast Syrtis. Zurbuchen said the possibility of an extended mission to Midway is not ruled out, but he wants the team to focus on Jezero crater for now. “Come the time, we want to talk about it,” he said. “But at this moment we’re focusing on the prime mission.”The 2020 rover will be tasked with gathering and caching rock and soil samples for eventual return to Earth by subsequent missions. At a workshop attended by hundreds of Mars scientists a month ago, Jezero was one of the leading landing sites. Here is our previous story from 10 October: NASA’s next Mars rover will land in Jezero crater, which once hosted a lake and a river delta Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Jezero Columbia Hills Elysium Mons Email North pole Elysium Mons A happy medium Jezero and Northeast Syrtis, two attractive landing sites for NASA’s Mars 2020 rover, are close to each other. A new landing site, Midway, might allow the rover to study rocks from both terrains. Sometimes, a problem really can be solved by meeting halfway. For the past 4 years, planetary scientists have wrestled over where to send NASA’s next Mars rover, a $2.5 billion machine to be launched in 2020 that will collect rock samples for eventual return to Earth. Next week, nearly 200 Mars scientists will gather for a final landing site workshop in Glendale, California, where they will debate the merits of the three candidate sites that rose to the top of previous discussions. Two, Jezero and Northeast Syrtis, hold evidence of a fossilized river delta and mineral springs, both promising environments for ancient life. Scientists yearn to visit both, but they are 37 kilometers apart—much farther than any martian rover has traveled except Opportunity.Now, the Mars 2020 science team is injecting a compromise site, called Midway, into the mix. John Grant, a planetary scientist at the Smithsonian Institution’s Center for Earth and Planetary Studies at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., who co-leads the landing site workshops, says the team wanted to know whether a rover might be able to study the terrains found at Jezero and Northeast Syrtis by landing somewhere in the middle.So far, the answer appears to be yes. The Mars 2020 rover borrows much from the design of the Curiosity rover that has been exploring another Mars site for 6 years. But it includes advances such as a belly-mounted camera that will help it avoid landing hazards during its harrowing descent to the surface. This capability allowed scientists to consider Midway, just 25 kilometers from Jezero and close enough to drive there. At the same time, Midway’s rocks resemble those of Northeast Syrtis, says Bethany Ehlmann, a planetary scientist at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena and member of the Mars 2020 science team.Midway and Northeast Syrtis both hail from a time, some 4 billion years ago, when Mars was warmer and wetter. Surveys from orbit suggest the sites harbor rocks that formed underground in the presence of water and iron, a potential food for microbes. The rocks, exposed on the flanks of mesas, include a layer of carbonate deposits that many scientists believe were formed by underground mineral springs. Sheltered from a harsh surface environment, these springs would have been hospitable to life, Ehlmann says. “We should go where the action was.”Nearby Jezero crater has its own allure, etched on the surface: a fossilized river delta. Nearly 4 billion years ago, water spilled into the crater, creating the delta. “It’s right there,” says Ray Arvidson, a planetary geologist at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. “It’s beautiful.” Geologists know deltas concentrate and preserve the remnants of life; they can see that on Earth in offshore deposits of oil—itself preserved organic matter—fed by deltas like the Mississippi’s. New work to be presented at the workshop by Briony Horgan, a planetary scientist at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, will show that Jezero crater has a bathtub ring of carbonate—a strong sign that it once contained a lake. On Earth, such layers are often home to stromatolites, cauliflowerlike minerals created by ancient microbial life.Right now, the Mars 2020 team favors landing at Jezero and driving uphill to Midway, says Matt Golombek, a planetary scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) in Pasadena, and the other workshop co-leader. For the past year, the team has scoured potential routes between the two. “We haven’t identified any deal-breakers,” says Ken Farley, the mission’s project scientist and a Caltech geologist. The rover’s advanced autonomous driving should allow it to cover more ground than Curiosity, which often stops to plan routes. Even so, the path from Jezero to Midway would take nearly 2 years, Farley says. That means the rover could explore only one site during its primary 2-year mission, when it must drill and store 20 rock cores, to be picked up by future sample return missions. Exploration of the second site would have to come during an extended mission, after the rover’s warranty expires. “The further away you land from your gold mine, the higher the risk you might not get there,” Arvidson says. S30⁰ Curiosity rover Landing sites under considerationcenter_img N30⁰ By Paul VoosenNov. 19, 2018 , 12:35 PM Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe North pole Equator OlympusMons Jezero crater holds a fossil river delta, which may have concentrated and preserved signs of life. Spirit rover NASA/JPL/JHUAPL/MSSS/BROWN UNIVERSITY (GRAPHIC) A. CUADRA/SCIENCE; (DATA) NASA Midway Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Left out of those plans is the last leading candidate site: Columbia Hills. “I have a sense there’s a hill to climb,” says the site’s chief advocate, Steven Ruff, a planetary scientist at Arizona State University in Tempe. “I’ll go in with a lot of questions of whether they can make that drive between Midway and Jezero.” Columbia Hills sits within the large Gusev crater that the Spirit rover explored from 2004 to 2010. Driving backward while dragging a bad front wheel, Spirit gouged a trench that revealed opaline silica, a mineral that on Earth is a sure sign of life-supporting hot springs. Ruff has even proposed that the martian silica deposits are stromatolites.The engineers building Mars 2020 will be glad to settle on a destination, says Matt Wallace, the rover’s deputy project manager at JPL. The lab’s clean room is starting to fill up. The “sky crane” that will lower the rover to the surface is done. The spacecraft that will shepherd the rover to Mars is nearly complete—it just needs a heat shield, which is being rebuilt after testing revealed a crack. Several weeks ago, the chassis of the rover arrived and is now being filled with computers, batteries, and other electronics. Assembly of its complex drilling and sample storage system is underway, with other scientific instruments due by the end of February. “This is the mad scramble,” Farley adds. “It is full bore get it done, get it done now.”At the workshop’s end, scientists will vote on the candidates, followed by a closed-door meeting of the rover team to make a final choice. Engineers have deemed the sites safe for landing, Golombek adds, so it will come down to the science. The team’s recommendation won’t be the final word—the choice is ultimately up to NASA science chief Thomas Zurbuchen. But expect a decision within the next few months, if not sooner.*Correction, 12 October, 11:20 a.m.: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that no rover has traveled more than 37 kilometers or visited 4-billion-year-old martian terrain. The Opportunity rover has done both.last_img read more