Oxford’s iconic Covered Market is remaining open, despite new lockdown restrictions, in order to allow non-essential shopping. Full details on which traders are operating can be found on the Covered Market website. Restrictions imposed under the national lockdown in place since January 6th require all “non-essential” shops to close. Shops providing “essential services” include hardware shops, pet shops, laundrettes, banks, and food shops. Traders such as Bonners Oxford grocery, Cardew’s coffee and tea shop, the Oxford Sandwich co. and Ben’s Cookies are remaining open for in-person shopping or providing takeaway food. Other retailers have moved to trading online exclusively, or offering click-and-collect. Image: Jorge Royan/CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons. It is mandatory for shoppers to wear a mask inside the Covered Market. Shoppers will also need to abide by social distancing measures such as queuing systems, which may differ between shops. Seating in the market has also been removed to prevent people from congregating.
By Carl GoldenIn a growing sign that traditional party identification and loyalty are weakening under the stress of internal ideological and strategic conflict, this year’s mid-term Congressional candidates are being advised to utilize opposition to their party leadership as a central campaign theme.The ties that have historically bound Republicans and Democrats to their respective parties have frayed badly and, in some cases, unraveled altogether, replaced by a strategy rooted in personality and style.The late House Speaker Tip O’Neill’s trenchant observation – “All politics is local” – has morphed into “All politics is personal.”Republicans are being counseled to avoid close association with President Donald Trump while Democrats see the benefit in distancing themselves from their House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.Democrats around the country took notice when one of their own, Conor Lamb, won a special election in a southwestern Pennsylvania congressional district carried by Trump by nearly 20 points by breaking with party orthodoxy on gun control and abortion rights, for instance, and promising he would not support Pelosi for Speaker should Democrats regain control of the House.The decision by more than 20 House Republicans to retire rather than seek re-election was interpreted as a warning that Trump had become serious – perhaps fatal – drag on their re-election hopes.Democrats are also preoccupied with a debilitating struggle over the party’s future, attempting to mollify its strident progressive wing who argue the party has lost its philosophical bearings while keeping its more centrist moderate faction calm and united.Pelosi stands between the jaws of this slowly closing ideological vise, absorbing criticism from both sides and fending off their demands by concentrating attention on Trump and the Republican Congress.Republicans confront their own demons as they attempt to chart a course between touting the federal tax cut legislation and an expanding economy and job market and explaining an Administration beset by turmoil and chaos.Trump and Pelosi have become evil twins, campaign flashpoints who arouse emotional responses blotting out efforts to drive a coherent, credible message to voters.Even in an occupation in which hyperbole and exaggeration have become the norm, Trump and Pelosi have raised the bar.The president has spent nearly his entire time in office tweeting demonstrably false, over-the-top commentary while Pelosi has delivered such cringe-worthy comments as warning that the tax reform/tax cut legislation would lead to Armageddon and the end of western civilization.She followed by cementing her reputation as out of touch by characterizing $1,000 bonuses awarded to millions of American workers as “crumbs.”Presumably, the condescension and hypocrisy of her remark never occurred to her.Her San Francisco style liberalism grates on Democrats running in suddenly competitive congressional districts and who rightly fear their association with her and her snobbery will sink their chances.The party was not helped, either, by the recent diatribe from Hillary Clinton who, on a trip to India, attributed her loss to Trump to the backward bigoted people who inhabit that swath of the country between the Northeast and the West Coast.Whether Pelosi shares Clinton’s rationale is irrelevant.Both represent the party leadership and are responsible for its tone, direction, and future.Insulting millions of voters they desperately need if their hopes of a Congressional majority are to be fulfilled is hardly a brilliant strategy.Republicans fear being singed by the flames of uproar and turbulence which have beset the White House from the outset.The executive office seems in need of revolving doors to deal with staff upheavals, resignations, and firings.The President routinely laces into members of his cabinet and advisers, tossing out hints of even more changes to come in an Administration which has established a dubious record for a turnover.Moreover, the special counsel investigation into allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian agents drags on, as does the soap opera of the President’s alleged dalliance with a porn film actress more than 10 years ago.It is small wonder that congressional candidates are ditching their party affiliations, breaking with leadership and establishing their own identities.It’s unlikely the current environment will reach a point at which the traditional two-party system dissolves, opening a path for new political forces or viable third-party candidates.It is, however, a clear indication that, at a time when the American people are fed up with posturing and frustrated at a lack of progress, neither party can continue to rely on unwavering loyalty.FOOTNOTE: This article was posted by the City-County Observer without opinion, bias nor editing.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
InfluenceMap analysed 118 funds marketed as free from fossil fuels or otherwise climate-relatedHowever, it also found 22 climate-themed funds exposed to fossil fuels. In addition, InfluenceMap said, the aggregate thermal coal intensity for the 118 funds was roughly equivalent to that of the iShares MSCI World exchange-traded fund.The think tank said its research pointed to the need for greater oversight of the climate-themed and broader ESG investment sector in relation to how funds and their impacts were marketed and described.“Efforts under way within the EU, including its taxonomy framework and application of the EU Ecolabel to financial products, aim to do just this,” said InfluenceMap.It also proposed the development of “a pathway for discerning and regulating the impact of these funds on the real economy and on actual emissions reductions, particularly as several pieces of research cited in this report indicate real world impact is a key motivator for investors in climate and ESG funds”. The organisation noted that many climate-themed funds remained invested in fossil fuel companies and pursued engagement with them in a bid to drive positive change in the world. Report ‘misses important nuances’: State StreetTwo of the funds covered by InfluenceMap’s analysis are State Street funds with “fossil fuel reserves free” in their name: SPDR MSCI EAFE Fossil Fuel Reserves Free ETF and SPDR MSCI Emerging Markets Fossil Fuel Reserves Free ETF.The think tank said they “contained fossil fuel reserves” through holdings in companies including energy corporate RWE and mining company Vale.According to Matthew Bartolini, head of SPDR America Research at State Street Global Advisors (SSGA), InfluenceMap’s report “misses some of the most important nuances in the nomenclature relating to addressing carbon in portfolios”.“As we continually perform range management and ensure that our solutions are fit for purpose, we continuously provide feedback to our partners on clients’ needs,” Bartolini said.“As a result, based on their own consultations, MSCI, the index provider, will implement changes to the MSCI ex Fossil Fuels indices as part of a November 2019 semi-annual index review that addresses some of the more stock-specific nuances of companies residing in a low-carbon industry.”Pure metallurgical coal companies would still not be excluded, however, Bartolini said, as this “reflects the current nomenclature and reinforces the nuances associated with ESG”.In its report, InfluenceMap said that the use of indices to construct climate-themed funds was likely to be “a significant driver of the presence of companies controlling fossil fuel reserves”. According to InfluenceMap, many asset managers selling climate funds “appear to have actively eliminated companies controlling fossil fuel reserves from their funds”. The presence of companies with coal mining activity in climate-themed funds suggests the need for greater oversight of the environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) fund sector, a climate change-focused non-profit organisation has argued. London-based InfluenceMap identified and analysed 118 climate-themed funds marketed to retail investors, examining the presence of what it referred to as “fossil fuel reserves” owned by companies held in the funds. The think tank said that, although fossil fuel companies were not necessarily barred from climate-themed funds for legal or other reasons, “it is reasonable to assume that purchasers of such funds would expect exposure to fossil fuel reserves within the funds to be minimised in line with the manner in which the funds are named and described in the fund marketing materials”.Policymakers in the EU were anticipating that such funds would both meet buyers’ expectations as well as “drive genuine impacts in the real economy”, it added. Index provider MSCI is to make changes to its fossil fuel exclusion indices in November“It should be noted,” it added, “that most of the climate-themed funds connected to S&P and MSCI indices identified as containing fossil fuels are ‘optimised’ with respect to the method by which they track their affiliated index.“Given that the degree of input implied by ‘optimisation’ is variable, it is uncertain whether the inclusion of fossil fuel holdings in the index funds originates with the fund manager or the index provider.”Nathalie Wallace, global head of ESG investment strategy at SSGA, told IPE that in the financial world, fossil fuel reserves was understood as a reference to the oil and gas sector.“Thermal coal is embedded in our data providers under brown revenues, which includes all extractive industries that have a high pollution or high carbon emission output.”She added: “What we see is that everybody is looking at climate and asking what the funds are doing. If we only target one fund then you come to the conclusion that it’s not delivering on the promise to save the planet, but what we do is address different climate challenges with different products that respond to demand from clients.”Thomas O’Neill, co-founder and research director at InfluenceMap, said: “Coal is the single biggest contributor to climate change and investors and the public alike would reasonably expect that a fossil-free fund does not contain coal. “Our data shows that certain asset managers will need to greatly improve their climate offerings or risk losing the trust of increasingly engaged investors.”Earlier this week the European Commission approved an asset swap between RWE and E.ON that RWE said would make it “one of the world’s leading renewable energy companies”. It said it would focus primarily on electricity production based on renewables. The utility also mines coal in Germany.
Published on November 29, 2014 at 4:11 pm Contact Phil: [email protected] | @PhilDAbb CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — It’s finally over.Syracuse’s downward spiral of a season — one that was effectively over when SU fell out of bowl contention, and one that felt over well before then — officially met its end with the final whistle of the Orange’s (3-9, 1-7 Atlantic Coast) 28-7 loss to Boston College (7-5, 4-4) on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Stadium. Having dropped nine of its last 10 games, Syracuse finishes the injury-plagued season with just three wins for the first time since 2008.“It was one of those years, very difficult season for us,” SU head coach Scott Shafer. “We had a lot of uncontrollable moments, a lot of things that weren’t easy for our kids and our coaches, to be honest with you.”Some of the season-long themes carried through Saturday’s loss, like SU’s special teams woes and its defense turning in another stout performance to keep its offense within distance despite its continued inability to sustain drives.When the Eagles’ Myles Willis returned Saturday’s opening kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown, it resembled the returns by Duke and Pittsburgh to the end zone that were called back in SU’s last two games.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBut this one counted, and BC took all of 12 seconds to generate more points on a special teams return than SU did all season.Quarterback AJ Long provided the equalizer near the end of the quarter with a 4-yard run for a score. But that would be his lone highlight in the game — even with a restored starting offensive line.He finished 7-for-18 passing for 59 yards and didn’t add much, if anything, to his case for taking Terrel Hunt’s job next season. Austin Wilson’s last pass attempt of the game, a fourth-quarter interception, didn’t either. As the most-tested youth SU has, their struggles cast doubt on the Orange’s future.“Looking from the outside in, everybody would see this as, ‘Ah, this was a poor season,’” Long said. “It was a poor season football-wise. But by far … this is my favorite season of football I’ve ever played.”The SU defense forced a fumble to end BC’s next possession, but after instigating a chippy mini-brawl with the Eagles, SU had to put Riley Dixon to use for one of his nine punts.Eagles quarterback Tyler Murphy hit wide receiver Sherman Alston on a wheel route for a 26-yard touchdown, exposing a Syracuse secondary that will be much more unproven next year, when cornerback Brandon Reddish and as many as three safeties are gone.A pair of rushing touchdowns, including a 42-yard score by Baldwinsville native Tyler Rouse, ran up the final margin of victory for Boston College.As SU’s players slowly walked off the Alumni Stadium field, they were surrounded by fans invading the field in celebration of a team that has one more game on its schedule.“It’s tough because you have to think and understand why and, at the same time, what we didn’t do wrong,” senior left tackle Sean Hickey said of the season. “… There were some things that we couldn’t control, but there was a lot that we could’ve.”Syracuse’s seniors didn’t leave without positive notes — Prince-Tyson Gulley dashed through a hole in an SU offensive line one last time for a 30-yard gain, and outside linebackers Cam Lynch and Dyshawn Davis were tackling machines for one final game.But now, the future of SU is in the hands of its youth. For weeks, Shafer has spoken positively of the experience his underclassmen have received due to the myriad of injuries that befell the Orange.At face value the on-field results, for the time being, don’t forecast much success for Syracuse going forward.“You never work to go 3-9,” SU left guard Rob Trudo said. “But I mean, there’s nothing you can do about it. You just get played the wrong cards sometimes.”Only time will tell for certain if the Orange’s youth is handed a better deck. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+