The petition sought to take advantage of momentum after 17 European Union member states in July urged caution in dealing with businesses profiting from or funding settlements in the West Bank. It added: “In the wake of the terrible violence unfolding in Israel-Palestine, we, citizens from around the world, are deeply concerned about your companies’ continued investment in companies and projects that finance illegal settlements and the oppressive occupation of the Palestinian people.”Meanwhile hundreds of critical comments have been placed on ABP’s Facebook account.Earlier this year, the €152bn Dutch healthcare scheme PFZW, decided to withdraw its investments from the three banks, a decision that was criticised at the time over the manner in which the divestment decision was reached. Cees de Veer, ABP’s vice chairman indicated that he took the responses seriously. “At the end of August, our board will discuss the case,” he said, adding that the meeting with Avaaz was scheduled for September-end.For now, ABP is to stick with its investments in Israel. “Until now, we have been unable to establish whether the three banks are involved in violation of humans rights. They merely facilitate payments in the occupied territories,” De Veer commented.He said that he was not sure whether the banks also issue mortgages to finance building activities in the disputed settlements. “These facts need to be established during our board meeting and talks with Avaaz,” he pointed out.“However, we noted that the signatories of the petition do not necessarily represent the opinion of the average ABP participant.”He said that he received 6,000 emails during the past weeks about ABP’s investments in Israel, most of them from abroad.,WebsitesWe are not responsible for the content of external sitesLink to Avaaz petition The €325bn civil service scheme ABP has accepted an invitation from international activists network Avaaz to discuss its current €68m exposure to three Israeli banks.Last month, Avaaz urged ABP as well as five other companies – including Barclays and G4S – to divest from Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi and Bank Mizrahi Tafahot, as they are allegedly involved in financing disputed settlements in what is deemed occupied Palestinian territory.The move comes despite the fund saying in February that it did not view the activities of the three banks as in breach of international law. In the opinion of Ricken Patel, Avaaz’s director, ABP needed to act quickly to protect its reputation, following 1.6m people worldwide signing the petition requesting divestment.
Chilean company Sociedad Matriz SAAM signed a deal with Dutch Royal Boskalis Westminster relating to the acquisition of the equity stake held by Boskalis in SAAM SMIT Towage.Under the agreement, SAAM will own 100% of the joint venture which is valued at USD 560 million. Boskalis is expected to receive around USD 201 million in cash for its interest.Formed in 2014, the towage joint venture between Boskalis and SAAM covered at the time the respective towage activities in Brazil, Panama, Mexico and Canada. Since then, the joint venture has expanded its presence and realized efficiency savings and commercial synergies, according to Boskalis.“The partnership with Boskalis has been very productive: In just over four years, we have grown the business in Canada and improved our position in Brazil. Today we want to take another step forward. Since the towage area is at the core of our business, SAAM can play an important role in consolidating and growing this industry,” Macario Valdés, SAAM’s CEO, commented.As a result of the deal, SAAM will acquire 49% of the business in Mexico, Panama and Canada and 50% in Brazil.The joint operations boast a total fleet of 106 tugs operating in 30 ports in four countries, including three of the five most important terminals in the Americas — Santos (Brazil) and Colón and Balboa (Panama).This agreement is subject to the approval of regulatory agencies in the respective countries involved. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2019, Boskalis said.“We perform over 100,000 towage maneuvers each year in the 60 plus ports where we operate. Every five minutes we begin a new maneuver somewhere in the Americas. This is a business we want to strengthen and develop for the future,” Valdés added.As a result of this agreement, SAAM consolidates as one of the main global operators, with a total fleet of 153 tugs and operations in nine countries in the Americas.
XELLZ has acquired an additional 100.000m2 of land at the Port of Rosslare in Ireland to establish an offshore wind supply base. “There are many OWF’s to be installed and operated in Ireland, UK, and across the continent and having a Free Zone will help ease the flow of goods and keep projects moving.” “This gives companies who locate in the Rosslare Europort Business Park Free Zone (EBP-FZ) the ability to operate and install offshore wind farms (OWF) in a cost-effective and competitive manner,“ said Phonsey Croke, Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) of 24shore Ireland. The space will also house a new training facility for the renewable industry where the young can undertake professional training for the offshore wind energy industry. According to XELLZ, the decision to obtain this new land also progressed plans to create a Free Zone at Rosslare Europort and the Europort Business Park (EBP), which is a customs area within the EU where non-Union goods can be introduced free of import duties, taxes and commercial policy measures. These goods may, following time in the Free Zones, be released to the domestic market, subject to payment of import duties and other charges. The EBP is said to offer storage and assembly areas to manage the wind turbines, transition pieces and mobilization equipment. At the beginning of the year, the Dutch company secured about 200.000m2 of land to facilitate a supply base for installation and operating companies for the near future offshore wind industry.
Press Association “Signing for Manchester United is a dream come true,” Herrera said. “I have played at Old Trafford for Athletic Club in the Europa League and it was one of the highlights of my career so far. “I have joined United to do all I can to help the team reach the club’s objectives. “Having arrived on Tuesday I’m excited to now be living in Manchester and I can’t wait for my first game in United’s famous red shirt.” Herrera has signed a four-year contract, with United holding an option to extend his stay by a further year. Bilbao had earlier released a statement turning down a bid from United but it was thought to have been a political move aimed at appeasing the club’s fans rather than a serious stumbling block. On completion of the transfer, Bilbao said: “The Football League has certified Athletic Club that player Ander Herrera Agüera has fulfilled the requirements of the applicable regulations valid for unilateral termination of the employment contract that bound him to our club, by depositing today the amount of compensation established in the contract. “The club thanks Ander Herrera for his dedication during the three seasons he has enjoyed at the club and wishes him the best in his future sports projects.” Herrera caught the eye at Old Trafford in March 2012 when Bilbao pulled off a shock 3-2 victory in the first leg of their last-16 Europa League tie. Manchester United have signed Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera after the player bought out his contract with Athletic Bilbao. United had a bid of £28.85million for the 24-year-old rejected earlier on Thursday but the deal was soon finalised before Bilbao revealed Herrera had paid compensation to complete the transfer. Herrera is the club’s first major signing since Louis van Gaal – currently in charge of Holland at the World Cup – was confirmed as manager last month. The Red Devils attempted to sign the talented playmaker last summer but failed to complete the deal on deadline day with reports suggesting the transfer had been interfered with by pranksters pretending to act on the club’s behalf. Then-manager David Moyes instead bought Marouane Fellaini, who endured a disappointing debut campaign and failed to solve the team’s long-term problems in central midfield. Herrera, who scored 11 goals in 128 appearances for Bilbao, will be charged with bringing added control to the United engine-room, where he will compete for a place with the likes of Fellaini, Michael Carrick, Darren Fletcher and Tom Cleverley. He is yet to play for Spain’s senior team but has been capped at Under-20, Under-21 and Under-23 level. “Ander is a fantastic young player, with great energy and creativity,” assistant manager Ryan Giggs said. “We believe him to be one of the brightest young prospects in Spain and I am certain he will be a big hit with the United fans. “I’m delighted he has made the decision to come to Manchester and play his part in the club’s future. I’m looking forward to seeing him in action on our summer tour to America.”
Press Association Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is coming under increasing scrutiny having gone six matches without a win in 90 minutes. Scraping past League Two Carlisle on penalties in the Capital One Cup has not eased the pressure and Press Association Sport looks at the issues facing the Reds boss. GOALS Liverpool have not scored more than once in a match so far this season and have found the net twice in a game just two times in 21 matches stretching back to March 8. The return to fitness of Daniel Sturridge should help and the form of Danny Ings, with two in two, offers some hope. DEFENCE Last season they conceded 48 goals in the Premier League, which included the 6-1 defeat at Stoke. This campaign began promisingly with three successive clean sheets but they have conceded in the last five, with West Ham putting three past them at Anfield. Martin Skrtel and Dejan Lovren are not a commanding centre-back pairing and the latter – now injured – lost his place to Mamadou Sakho. INJURIES Sturridge’s hip injury meant Rodgers was denied his best striker for the start of the season and it will take a while for the England international to get back up to speed. A hamstring strain to Christian Benteke, the man brought in to ease the burden on Sturridge, will prevent Rodgers pairing the two together for another couple of weeks. An operation on a broken foot, after an unassociated heel problem, has sidelined captain Jordan Henderson and denied the team some much-needed energy in midfield. Midfielder Joe Allen missed the first seven weeks of the season and Adam Lallana was sidelined for a month. TACTICS Rodgers began the campaign setting up 4-3-3 but played youngster Joe Gomez out of position at left-back and has not given £29million summer signing Roberto Firmino a run in his preferred position off the striker. Has switched to 3-4-1-2 – as he did last December – and dropped Gomez for the more experienced Mamadou Sakho and moved Emre Can into the back three. Still doesn’t appear to know his best team or formation. SIGNINGS Benteke, at £32.5million, has yet to really show what he can do, James Milner has disappointed as the senior professional in midfield, Firmino is still trying to adapt to a new country and style and 20-year-old striker Divock Origi looks out of his depth. Gomez has done as well as can be expected playing in an unfamiliar position. Right-back Nathaniel Clyne and forward Danny Ings are the two summer arrivals to shine so far. Of those that remain from last year’s transfer window Lallana, Can and Lovren have still not made their mark on the team while Alberto Moreno’s form is sporadic.
Here, Press Association Sport assesses if he justified his transfer fee during City’s 4-1 Premier League defeat at Tottenham. ATTACKING Press Association Manchester City forward Kevin de Bruyne, at £55million, became the Premier League’s second most expensive player when he signed from Wolfsburg towards the conclusion of the summer transfer window. There is little question De Bruyne was recruited for his abilities in the final third and, with him usually likely to remain wide on the right alongside David Silva and Raheem Sterling as one of three forwards behind a lone striker – Yaya Toure will likely routinely be used as a defensive midfielder – he provides a directness Silva and Sterling sometimes lack. De Bruyne encouragingly played with as few touches as possible at White Hart Lane, as was demonstrated by the 24-year-old’s fine finish when giving City the lead with a first-time strike beyond Hugo Lloris. He looked less comfortable playing as a number 10, however, after Toure was substituted, and City looked less effective with him there. He may still be adjusting to the Premier League but he showed few signs of the vision and ability to dictate tempo and play that the best number 10s possess. DEFENDING From his starting position, playing in front of Bacary Sagna, even with Spurs’ Son Heung-Min and Christian Eriksen rotating between playing through the middle and wide on the left, De Bruyne appeared to have few defensive responsibilities. City, incidentally, had started with Yaya Toure, Fernandinho and Fernando, which helped him in that respect, but De Bruyne was still at fault in the build-up to Spurs’ equalising goal, when a misplaced pass – not the first of his afternoon – gifted possession to goalscorer Eric Dier. Early in the second half, however, he impressed in preventing a potential Spurs counter-attack by tracking back and making a well-timed challenge. UNDERSTANDING Yaya Toure starting at number 10, instead of David Silva, reduced City’s flexibility, but De Bruyne’s positioning was largely excellent, and he still occasionally rotated with Raheem Sterling, who started wide left. In contrast to Jesus Navas, who he has so far replaced in City’s first XI, De Bruyne showed his ability to read his new team-mates well, playing a lot of one-touch football which included a reasonable variety to his passing and the timing for his run when scoring CIty’s goal. OVERALL This was another demonstration of his potential, but far more is required if De Bruyne is to prove good value as the most expensive player in an already-expensive squad. The Belgian had a fine first half, despite his role in Spurs’ equalising goal, scoring with a quality finish and playing with ambition, but his influence waned as City’s performance deteriorated. That he finished the game playing through the centre, however, did not help.
highlights For all the Latest Sports News News, Football News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. New Delhi : Maurizio Sarri says he cannot understand why his position as Chelsea boss is under threat when he considers Pep Guardiola’s first season at Manchester City. The 60-year-old Italian is clinging to his job, seven months since his appointment, after Chelsea’s humiliating 6-0 defeat at City, leaving them outside the Champions League qualification places.Yet Sarri’s Chelsea has more wins at this stage of the season than City did in Guardiola’s first season at the Etihad Stadium in 2015/16.Guardiola had a history of success at Barcelona and Bayern Munich and was given time and funds to overhaul City, who will be bidding to win a second successive League Cup against Chelsea at Wembley on Sunday.History suggests Sarri is not likely to receive the same leeway but he also pointed to the praise given to Arsenal boss Unai Emery in the Spaniard’s first season in the Premier League.Sarri, who is seeking the first trophy of his management career, said: “We are in the first final of the season. We are one point from the top four, the same points as Arsenal, and (people say) Arsenal are doing well. Chelsea will be up against Manchester City on Sunday. Liverpool currently tops the table. Manchester United will play against Liverpool on Sunday. “We are doing a little bit better because we are in a final, and yet our season is a disaster. I don’t understand.”I want you to remember that last season, this team gained 70 points, not 100. Then, in the summer, we changed everything. So there is another problem to solve. So it is not easy.”Tottenham visit Stamford Bridge in the Premier League on Wednesday in a big week for Chelsea, with Sarri acknowledging the basic facts.He said:”In my job, I need the result. Nothing else.” Sarri succeeded Antonio Conte in July after Chelsea’s fifth-placed finish behind champions City.Guardiola’s style of play took time to implement and he had an expensively assembled squad to work with.Sarri clearly feels he should be given the same time, although Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is not renowned for his patience and the transfer ban imposed by FIFA on Friday could have a major impact.Chelsea was unbeaten for the first 18 competitive games of Sarri’s spell as head coach until Spurs inflicted the first defeat.Since then, Chelsea has been inconsistent, with high points including a 2-0 win against City at home and a League Cup semi-final success over Spurs, but Blues fans targeted Sarri in Monday’s FA Cup loss at home to Manchester United.Sarri says the two results against City, on December 8 and February 10 are not a true reflection of his Chelsea side.He said: “The truth is in the middle. It’s really very important for us to stay in the match for a very long time. Then we will be able to do something.”During the United loss, Chelsea fans delivered an expletive-laden critique of ‘Sarri-ball’, the possession-based style the Italian favours. But he does not recognise the moniker.He added: “As I said in England on the first day, I don’t know what Sarri-ball is.”
For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. Karachi: Senior Pakistan players Shoaib Malik, Junaid Khan and Muhammad Hafeez are set to lose their central PCB contracts for the next fiscal year. A meeting was held at the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) headquarters on Thursday to discuss the new central contracts structure but ended without a final decision.“One thing is clear that the board will not be offering 30 to 33 players the new contracts and the list of contracted players is going to be cut down to around 18 to 20,” one reliable source in the board said.Although the players could get enhancements in their monthly salaries and match fees, the board has decided now to only award contracts to players who have done well in the last one year and have a future with the Pakistan team.“It seems unlikely that Shoaib Malik, Hafeez, Junaid, and some others will get these central contracts now.”Malik announced his retirement from ODIs after the World Cup and will only be playing T20 cricket from now onwards while left-arm pacer Muhammad Aamir has also announced his retirement from Tests and will only play limited-overs cricket.“The board also doesn’t feel that Hafeez has a long time ahead of him since he has also said goodbye to Test cricket while Junaid Khan’s fitness has been a matter of concern for some time now,” the source said.
SHENZHEN, China (Reuters) – Ashleigh Barty finished the season in style by beating defending champion Elina Svitolina 6-4 6-3 to add the WTA Finals title to her end-of-year world number one ranking on Sunday.Barty, who became the first Australian to top the WTA rankings at the end of the year since they were introduced in 1975, capped a stellar season in Shenzhen having also won the French Open at Roland Garros in June.Barty became the first Australian to win the WTA Finals since Evonne Goolagong Cawley claimed her second title in 1976.“It’s been the most incredible year for me,” said Barty, who pocketed a record $4.42 million for her victory in Shenzhen, where the tournament was being held for the first time as part of a 10-year residency.“It’s been an incredible new era in women’s tennis and to play in front of this spectacular crowd has been amazing.”There was little between the pair until the penultimate game of the first set when Barty fended off a break point before putting Svitolina’s serve under pressure in the following game.The Australian took the opener when she converted a break point at the third time of asking, punishing Svitolina’s second serve with a firm forehand.The tension increased in the second set as neither player was able to hold serve consistently.Svitolina broke early to give herself a lifeline, only for Barty to win the next three games — including two breaks of serve. Yet another slip-up on her own serve allowed Svitolina back into the set.Barty broke yet again, however, claiming the eighth game of the set when she converted her third break point as Svitolina pulled a shot wide and secured her fourth title of the season with a hold to love in the next game.Hungary’s Timea Babos won the doubles title for the third year in a row, partnering with Kristina Mladenovic from France to see off Barbora Strycova and Hsieh Su-wei 6-1 6-3 in the final.“We played some great tennis,” said Babos. “There was no-one out there on this tournament who could beat us. That’s really amazing.“Of course, to share it with Kiki, to play on the biggest stage with her, to get the title together, it’s an incredible story.“I’m just really, really happy to lift that trophy again.”
UNHERALEDED West Indies middle-order batsman Larry Gomes has rated his century against India at Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad and Tobago as his best.Gomes, 66, played 60 Tests for the West Indies between June 1976 when he made his debut against England and March 1987 when he played his last Test against New Zealand. He scored 3171 at a decent average of 39.63, amassing nine centuries and 13 half-centuries along the way.However, his knock of 123 against India in 1983, he says, was perhaps his best.“The one that stands out for me would be the one in Trinidad. If you remember, we were three wickets down with one run with Gordon, Desmond and Viv back in the pavilion, and then I came in and together with Clive and we put on 200-plus run for the fourth wicket.I think that hundred stands out because we had to build back that innings and we got a respectable total,” said Gomes who now lives in Canada while speaking on Mason and Guest in Barbados on Tuesday night.“That was more refreshing.”In the match played from March 11-16, Gomes scored (123) and Captain Clive Lloyd (143) as the pair shared in a stand of 237. Gomes batted for 446 minutes and faced 333 balls in his obdurate knock that included only 12 boundaries.Jeffrey Dujon (31), Michael Holding 24 and Joel Garner, an unbeaten 21, helped the West Indies to 394 in reply to India’s first innings of 175.The match ended in a draw as Mohinder Armanath (117) set the stage for strong Indian second innings that saw Kapil Dev smash 100 from just 95 balls with 13 fours and three sixes as India piled up 469 for 7. Yasphal Sharma contributed an even 50 to the mammoth total.Gomes took 1 for 45 as the West Indies fast bowlers toiled on the docile Queens Park Oval pitch.Gomes said he will always remember his first Test century. He scored that one against Australia at the Bourda Oval in Guyana in 1978. Jamaica’s Basil ‘Shotgun’ Williams also scored a century in that match.Batting first the West Indies scored 205. Gomes scored only 4 as Jeff Thompson and Wayne Clark taking four wickets each.Australia replied with 286, their captain Bobby Simpson top-scoring with 67.Batting a second time Gomes scored 101, Williams 100 and Sew Shivnarine 63 as the West Indies posted a total of 439.However, Graeme Wood (126) and Craig Serjeant (124) laid steered Australia to 362 for 7 and a three-wicket victory over the West Indies.(Sportsmax)