City-centre retail lettings sluggish

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Sweet and low

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Biden-Trump showdown looms after Sanders ends presidential bid

first_imgBiden seeks party unity Biden immediately hailed Sanders as “a good man, a great leader, and one of the most powerful voices for change in our country.”He urged Sanders supporters to join his campaign, which already has the backing of nearly all other ex-rivals in the race including senators Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar, and former Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg.”I see you, I hear you, and I understand the urgency of what it is we have to get done in this country,” Biden said in a statement to Sanders and his supporters.”I hope you will join us. You are more than welcome. You’re needed.”Trump made his own pitch for Sanders’s supporters, though in a more abrasive tone.”Bernie Sanders is OUT!” the president posted on Twitter. “The Bernie people should come to the Republican Party, TRADE!” Trump said.Trump won the 2016 election with help from disaffected working-class voters who believed they were being left behind by politicians in Washington.Sanders also appeals to those voters.He said he would not remain in an unwinnable campaign that would “interfere” with important anti-coronavirus work while the country is gripped by crisis.Biden said his focus is on ending the pandemic, but promised to continue campaigning despite the logistical challenges.”First things first: how we’re going to keep America safe and get this crisis under control and provide economic assistance,” he said during a virtual fundraiser.  Leftist US Senator Bernie Sanders suspended his presidential campaign Wednesday, clearing the way for rival Joe Biden to secure the Democratic nomination and challenge Donald Trump in November.The feisty 78-year-old democratic socialist shook up the 2020 race with his relentless pursuit of “economic justice” for all Americans and a demand for universal health care.But he acknowledged his campaign had fallen short, as party voters determined Biden would be a stronger candidate to go up against Trump in the general election.  ‘Strengths where I have weaknesses’ And he repeated a pledge to choose a woman as his running mate — a topic on which he said he has asked former president Barack Obama for advice. At a second virtual fundraiser later in the day, he seemed to imply he had an eye on former rival Harris, who had hoped to become the first black woman president.The two had one particularly memorable clash on a debate stage before she dropped out of the primary in December and later endorsed his candidacy. “And I’m so lucky to have you as part of this, this partnership going forward,” Biden said of 55-year-old Harris, who also made a virtual appearance Wednesday.”We can make a great deal of difference, and the biggest thing we can do is make Donald Trump a one-term president. So I’m coming for you, kid,” Biden said. Trump injected his own comments into his rivals’ contest during a coronavirus briefing, wondering why Obama had not yet endorsed his former vice president, who Trump regularly dismisses as “Sleepy Joe.” “He knows something that you don’t know,” Trump warned voters of Obama’s silence so far. But Obama did not endorse the previous Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, his former secretary of state, until June 2016, after it became clear she would be the party’s nominee. Sanders stressed he would remain on the ballot and seek to gain as many delegates as possible in order to “exert significant influence” over the direction of the party.And while Biden may be to the center of Sanders, former Obama team member Jon Favreau pointed out last month that Biden “will run on the most progressive platform of any Democratic nominee in history,” crediting Sanders and his supporters for that change in the party’s ideology.  But he was eclipsed by a surging Biden, who won the vast majority of remaining primaries and now holds a commanding lead in the all-important race for delegates who choose the nominee.Sanders brought his liberal ideological platform — including a call for universal health care and a $15 hourly minimum wage — into the mainstream.”Together we have transformed American consciousness as to what kind of nation we can become, and have taken this country a major step forward in the never-ending struggle for economic justice,” Sanders said.Several lawmakers have come out in support of his policies, and Biden has shifted leftward to incorporate some Sanders positions, although he does not support Sanders’s Medicare for All plan.center_img “I have concluded that this battle for the Democratic nomination will not be successful,” Sanders told supporters in a livestream from his home, where he has remained for the bulk of the coronavirus pandemic that put all in-person campaigning on hold.”Vice president Biden will be the nominee,” he said, adding that he congratulated his rival, a “very decent man, who I will work with to move our progressive ideas forward.”Sanders, who challenged Hillary Clinton for the party’s nomination in 2016, mounted a formidable 2020 bid.He raised astonishing amounts of money from record numbers of donors, becoming the frontrunner early this year and earning the most votes in the first three state-wide contests. Topics :last_img read more

Hong Kong activists discuss ‘parliament-in-exile’ after China crackdown

first_imgHong Kong pro-democracy activists are discussing a plan to create an unofficial parliament-in-exile to keep the flame of democracy alive and send a message to China that freedom cannot be crushed, campaigner Simon Cheng told Reuters.Hong Kong, a former British colony that returned to Chinese rule in 1997, was convulsed by months of often violent pro-democracy, anti-China protests last year against Chinese interference in its promised freedoms, the biggest political crisis for Beijing since the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.Hong Kong police fired water cannon and tear gas and arrested more than 300 people on Wednesday as protesters took to the streets again in defiance of new, sweeping security legislation introduced by China to snuff out dissent. “We are developing an alternative way to fight for democracy,” Cheng said. “We need to be clever to deal with the expanding totalitarianism: they are showing more powerful muscle to suppress so we need to be more subtle and agile.”He said more and more people were “losing hope that it is effective to go out on to the streets or run for election” to Hong Kong’s Legislative Council, or mini-parliament.”We should stand with the Hong Kong people and support those staying in Hong Kong,” he said.’Very good signal’Asked about HSBC’s support for the sweeping national security law, Cheng said the British government should speak to senior British capitalists to make them understand the importance of democracy.After Prime Minister Boris Johnson offered millions of Hong Kong residents the path to British citizenship following China’s imposition of the law, hundreds of thousands of people would come to the United Kingdom, Cheng said.”The UK has given a very good signal,” Cheng said. “At least hundreds of thousands of people will come.”Almost 3 million Hong Kong residents are eligible for the so called British National (Overseas) passport. There were 349,881 holders of the passports as of February, Britain said.”One day we will be back in Hong Kong,” Cheng said.Hong Kong returned to China 23 years ago with the guarantee of freedoms not enjoyed on the mainland, including its independent legal system and rights to gather and protest, under a “one country, two systems” formula.Huge protests calling for democracy, especially on the anniversaries of the June 4, 1989, Tiananmen crackdown, were common and brought major streets to a standstill for 79 days in the Umbrella movement of 2014.The national security law punishes crimes of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison, will see mainland security agencies in Hong Kong for the first time and allows extradition to the mainland for trial.Topics : The law pushes China’s freest city and one of the world’s most glittering financial hubs on to a more authoritarian path. China, which denies interfering in Hong Kong, has warned foreign powers not to meddle in its affairs.Cheng, a Hong Kong citizen, worked for the British consulate in the territory for almost two years until he fled after he said he was beaten and tortured by China’s secret police. Cheng, who has since been granted asylum by Britain, describes himself as pro-democracy campaigner.”A shadow parliament can send a very clear signal to Beijing and the Hong Kong authorities that democracy need not be at the mercy of Beijing,” he told Reuters in London. “We want to set up non-official civic groups that surely reflect the views of the Hong Kong people.”He said that while the idea was still at an early stage, such a parliament-in-exile would support the people of Hong Kong and the pro-democracy movement there. He declined to say where the parliament might sit.last_img read more

Real estate roundup: Norges Bank, Prologis, PGGM, Behringer Harvard

first_imgNorges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) has signed an agreement to invest $450m (€330m) into a new joint venture with Prologis, while PGGM has invested $300m into a new arrangement with Behringer Harvard.The investment by Norges is part of a $1bn joint venture with Prologis in the US. Norges holds a 45% interest in the JV, and Prologis the remainder.Karsten Kallevig, CIO for real estate at Norges, said: “We are investing in a solid portfolio of logistics assets close to key transportation hubs.” The transaction between Norges and Prologis is expected to close before 28 February. The portfolio to be acquired is unencumbered by debt, and no financing will be involved in the closing.The assets in the transaction total 12.8m square feet (1.2m sqm) of industrial and logistics properties in the US. The assets comprise 66 properties located in eight states and nine markets, including Southern California, Pennsylvania, the San Francisco Bay Area, New Jersey, Las Vegas, Chicago, Seattle, Atlanta and Miami.In addition to the venture on the existing portfolio, both parties have announced the signing of a definitive agreement to form the Prologis US Logistics Venture (USLV). This relationship anticipates adding to the initial portfolio over time with future investments in the US.It has not been publicly disclosed how much additional capital will be invested in the USLV venture going forward. The idea would be to acquire logistics properties in the country in gateway markets over the next several years.Norges and Prologis formed the €2.4bn Prologis European Logistics Partners Sari in 2013. This relationship consisted initially of 195 properties in Europe totalling 4.5m sqm of assets.Meanwhile, the capital from PGGM has gone into the PGGM Private Real Estate Fund. Behringer Harvard Multifamily REIT I, the real estate manager of the fund, contributed $360m of its own equity to the venture. With 55% debt, the venture’s total capitalisation is around $1.6bn-1.7bn.The ownership stake in the venture is 55% to Behringer Harvard and 45% to PGGM.Much of the capital has already been placed into an existing apartment portfolio in the US owned by Behringer Harvard Multifamily REIT I. There are a total of 13 assets in the portfolio located in a variety of markets including Florida, Virginia, Dallas, Houston, Denver and Atlanta.Mark Alfieri, president and COO at Behringer Harvard Multifamily REIT I, said: “Our plan would be to invest the capital in development projects. “Our company has only acquired one existing property the past two years. There is a tremendous amount of competition for core apartment assets, and pricing is very aggressive. “The market demographics are strong now for apartment development and should remain that way for the near future.”Alfieri also pointed out the big difference in returns for developments versus core assets.“The floor for returns for developments are around a 12% net IRR on invested capital,” he said.“This compares to a 7-7.5% net IRR for the acquisition of existing properties.”last_img read more

Bergen court dismisses claims by former workers against GC Rieber

first_imgPolar Onyx, one of GC Rieber’s vesselsA lawsuit by former employees of Norwegian offshore shipping firm GC Rieber Shipping against the company has been dismissed by a court in Bergen.Following the liquidation of GC Rieber’s subsidiaries, GC Rieber Crewing AS (GCRC) and GC Rieber Shipping AS (GCRS), the company was sued by a number of former employees who lost their jobs as a result.GC Rieber said on Tuesday that the Bergen District Court ruled in favor of GCRC and GCRS with each of the parties being liable for its own legal costs.According to the company, the court ruling may be appealed within one month. As per the report, 17 former employees had filed the lawsuit in the Bergen District Court (Bergen Tingrett).last_img

VIDEO of the UK’s First Ever Sandscaping Scheme

first_imgNorth Norfolk District Council yesterday presented the latest video demonstrating the work undertaken under the ‘Bacton to Walcott Coastal Management Sandcaping Scheme’.The beaches in front of Bacton Gas Terminal and the villages of Bacton and Walcott have been transformed over the last month as a result of the Sandscaping scheme.The project was executed by Van Oord and Royal Haskoning DHV, working as part of Team Van Oord.During the works, approximately 1.8 million cubic meters of sand was dredged and placed onto the Bacton to Walcott beaches.According to the council, the UK’s first ever sandscaping coastal flood scheme costed around £19 million.last_img

1,500 delegates to join WVPRISAA today

first_imgROXAS City – Around 1,500 delegate-athletes, coachesand officials from various private institutions in the region will slug it allout at the start of the Western Visayas Private Schools’ Athletic Association(WVPRISAA) Meet today.  The winners of the sporting and cultural events from different private institutions will represent Western Visayas in the National PRISAA on April 18 to 24 in Tuguegarao, Cagayan Valley. The CAPRISA member schools, Capiz Commercial School, Filamer Christian University, Hercor College, and Colegio de la Purisima Concepcion,  will serve as venue of the event and the billeting of the delegates. The 2020 WVPRISAA will host over 20 sports and cultural eventsincluding  athletics,badminton, basketball, beach volleyball, billiard, chess, dance sports,football, karate-do, lawn tennis, “mutya sang WVPRISAA,” oration, prisayawan,sepak takraw, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, vocal solo, vocal duet, andvolleyball.    Last year, WVPRISAA emerged as the overall champion of the 63rd National PRISAA Games in Davao – with 212 gold, 146 silver and 97 bronze medals.        Rt. Rev. Msgr. Cyril Villareal, president of the CapizPrivate Schools’ Association (CAPRISA), perceives the weeklong competition asan “exciting one” with the support of the local government.  Delegates of the Western Institute of Technology men’s football team are set to represent Iloilo in the 2020 Western Visayas Private Schools Athletic Association meet in Roxas City, Capiz starting Feb. 1. ROBERT BLANCE “This event will be more memorable because of thesupport extended by the Capiz provincial and Roxas City government, ensuringthe security and safety of the delegates and at the same time, extending theCapiznon warmth and hospitality,” Villareal said.  Founded on Feb. 17, 1953, the PRISAA commits to bring exposure andcredibility among private schools across the country./PNlast_img read more

Applications available for 2019 Senate Page program

first_imgIndianapolis, In. — Applications are now open for the 2019 Senate Page Program. Through the full-day program, students in grades six through 12 can tour Indiana’s Statehouse, listen to debates and help staff with age-appropriate tasks. Students also have the opportunity to meet with their state senator.The Senate Page Program will begin in January and run through mid-April. Serving as a page is considered an excused absence from school. Positions fill quickly, so it is important to apply early.Pages are scheduled for Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays during the legislative session. They begin their day at 8:30 a.m. and are dismissed at 3:30 p.m. Groups serve together on Wednesdays.Click here for more information or to apply.last_img

Essequibo Coast/Pomeroon Umpires’ Association to be resuscitated

first_imgFORMER senior national Umpire Dasroy Balgobin is spearheading an effort to resuscitate the dormant Essequibo Coast and Pomeroon Umpires Association (ECPUA) with the aim of securing more qualified umpires from the Region to officiate both locally and nationally.The highly regarded umpire, who also officiated in matches in North America, is of the view that with a vibrant organisation, more persons will become interested in the profession. Balgobin further contended that “on the Essequibo Coast, most of the organised matches are affected due to the lack of qualified umpires and this is affecting the standard of the sport there”.He has since set out to mobilise a pool of interested persons to begin the process of reconstituting the organisation and to commence classes for the preliminary umpires’ examination next year.Meanwhile, national senior umpire Shannon Crawford, who is based in Essequibo and is attached to the Anna Regina Fire Station, has indicated his interest to support the initiative and has pledged to provide his expertise both in theory along with practical training.The ECPUA is currently headed by Deva Dass, but the organisation has not held a statutory AGM for the past three years. Balgobin is appealing to anyone desirous of being an umpire to contact him on 626-1112 for more information. (Elroy Stephney)last_img read more