Today would have been Prince‘s 60th birthday. In celebration of the Purple One’s life and endless contributions to music, the Prince estate announced a new album of previously unreleased home recordings, dubbed Piano & A Microphone 1983–due out September 21, 2018. The nine-track LP includes cassette recordings that Prince made at his piano at his Kiowa Trail in Chanhassen, Minnesota. The extremely intimate version of Prince is previewed in today’s first track release, a cover of the 19th century spiritual, “Mary Don’t You Weep”, which will also appear during the end credits of Spike Lee‘s upcoming movie, BlacKkKlansman.Much of Piano and a Microphone 1983 will feature Prince in his most intimate form, working through future classics like “Purple Rain”, “17 Days”, “Strange Relationship” and “International Love”, as well as a cover of Joni Mitchell‘s “A Case of You.”During the final year of his life, in 2016, Prince embarked on a “Piano & A Microphone” tour, in which the Purple One performed as a one-man show. The tour was of complete legendary status, supporting Prince in his most rare form. It was during this tour that his health complications started to become public, and that fans started to worry that the mystical musician was in danger. He died on April 21, 2016 from an accidental overdose of fentanyl at the age of 57.“This raw, intimate recording, which took place at the start of Prince’s career right before he achieved international stardom, is similar in format to the Piano & A Microphone Tour that he ended his career with in 2016,” Prince Estate entertainment adviser Troy Carter said in a statement. “The Estate is excited to be able to give fans a glimpse of his evolution and show how his career ultimately came full circle with just him and his piano.”According to Billboard, the album cover features a rare image of Prince backstage during the 1999 tour, taken by Allen Beaulieu, who worked closely with Prince from 1979-1984.The Deluxe version of Piano and a Microphone 1983 is set to include a 12″ booklet with new liner notes from Prince’s engineer, Don Batts, as well as never-before-seen candid photos of the Purple One. Fans who pre-order the digital download will get an instant download of “Mary Don’t You Weep,” which you can listen to below:<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span>Piano & A Microphone 1983 Tracklisting:“17 Days”“Purple Rain”“A Case Of You”“Mary Don’t You Weep”“Strange Relationship”“International Lover”“Wednesday”“Cold Coffee & Cocaine”“Why The Butterflies”
The average funding ratio for Swiss corporate pension schemes is at its highest since 2008.Source: Willis Towers Watson Overall, Publica’s developed market investments gained 2.9% in 2017.Equities were the best performing of the main asset classes Publica held in 2017, gaining 5.5%. Its European equity holdings returned 14% on a currency-hedged basis, while its emerging markets exposure made almost 30%.Publica’s bond holdings ended up making a positive contribution to the overall result for 2017, gaining 0.8%. Positive returns from emerging market government bonds, corporate bonds and private debt instruments offset losses on other government bonds.Publica is the multi-employer pension fund for the Swiss confederation and network of governmental universities and research institutions. It comprises open and closed pension plans, and runs different investment strategies for each.The investments for its open schemes, which account for the bulk of the institution’s total assets (CHF36bn), gained 7.1% in 2017. The investment strategy for its closed plans led to a return of 3.3% for 2017.The average funding level of all 20 pension plans within Publica was estimated at 107% at the end of 2017.Publica’s board of directors was due to make further decisions about its technical parameters this month after the Swiss federal parliament late last year rejected a request for funds from the government to cushion the impact on federal personnel from cuts to the parameters.Publica, which is also the pension fund for federal employees in Switzerland, announced the cuts last year, effectively reducing the pension promises to future retirees.Commenting on the federal parliament’s decision to reject the support measures for Publica, the trade union for federal employees (VGB) said the government and Publica’s decision-making bodies needed to come up with a solution.“Reducing the technical interest rate and consequently the conversion rate without accompanying measures is unthinkable,” said the VGB. “The benefit loss for federal employees would be enormous.” Publica came out as Switzerland’s largest pension fund in IPE’s 2017 Top 1000 Pension Funds ranking. Swiss corporate plans on the upSwiss corporate pension schemes’ funding increased by around 1.5 percentage points in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to the latest Willis Towers Watson figures.The coverage ratio climbed from 102.5% to 104% over the period, it said.Positive investment returns had the most significant impact on the consultancy’s Swiss pension index, offsetting the impact of increasing pension obligations from a lower discount rate.The return on investments held by Swiss pension funds was 2.3% higher in the fourth quarter than the preceding quarter, based on the Pictet BVG-40 plus index.This took the return for the calendar year to “a very solid” 7.6% overall, the consultancy said.Adam Casey, senior consultant at Willis Towers Watson, said: “Companies should consider measures to reduce risk in their pension positions as IAS 19 balance sheet levels are close to 10-year highs. This can be done more easily if the pension funds are in a better funding position.” Publica, Switzerland’s largest pension fund, achieved a net return of 6.7% on its investments in 2017, buoyed in particular by the performance of its emerging markets holdings.Excluding currency hedging the 2017 result would have been 8.2%.In 2016 the CHF39bn (€36bn) public pension fund’s investments gained 5.1%.Publica’s emerging markets investments made the biggest contribution to the fund’s overall performance, gaining just less than 3%. Equities gained just under 30%, and US dollar and local currency denominated government bonds returned around 9%.
Trace Walker The man who is suspected of shooting a Jamaican national to death in the parking lot of a fish market in Lauderhill, South Florida is now behind bars.He has been identified as Trace O’Brian Walker.Walker was caught on video as he pumped 13 bullets into the upper body of 34-year-old Gary Wallock on January 16 outside the Lobster and Seafood Warehouse, 1854 NW 38 Avenue, Lauderhill.Wallock’s female companion, who was with him at the time of the murder managed to escape although the suspect aimed his handgun and fired two shots in her direction as she scampered to safety.Walker was arrested in Palm Beach County without incident by the Lauderhill Police Department with the assistance West Palm Beach Police Department, Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Marshalls Service.Walker is in the custody at the Broward Main County Jail being held without bond.The Lauderhill Police say they have established no motive for the murder but word on the ground in his hometown of Flankers in Montego Bay, Jamaica is linking the incident to an ongoing lotto scam.
Two Guyana Defence Force (GDF) ranks who were implicated in a rape and robbery on the Essequibo Coast, Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), have been fired.A source close to the investigation told Guyana Times on Wednesday that the two were fired on Tuesday.“Because of the nature of the allegations, it was in the best interest of the GDF to let them go,” the source said.Meanwhile, a close relative of the rape victim told this publication that she remains traumatised by the incident, which occurred last Saturday at the Anna Regina Community Centre Ground.When contacted for an update on the case, Commander of G Division (Essequibo Coast and Islands), Khalid Pareshram, disclosed that the two men, both of whom were attached to the Sixth Infantry Battalion, Anna Regina, are still in custody, even as legal advice is being sought.According to the Commander, the woman who was raped is in her 20s while her boyfriend is 18.Reports are the couple were at the Anna Regina Community Centre Ground, which is close to the GDF base, for an event and at about 23:30h as they were enjoying an evening together, the two ranks attacked them.Guyana Times was told that the soldiers dealt the young man several blows about his body, took away his money and gold chain, and demanded that his girlfriend have sex with them or else they would rape him.At first, this demand was shut down, but the two ranks severely beat the young man. They then allegedly took turns raping the woman as she wept bitterly and asked them to stop.The young man had no choice but to watch his girlfriend being sexually assaulted. After the ordeal, the young couple reported the matter to the Police station. At the Police station, the couple were told that there were no ranks available to search the area.Family members then took it upon themselves to look for the two perpetrators. Upon seeing the angry mob of residents, the two men escaped. The couple was taken to hospital where the young lady was admitted. The Police subsequently took statements from the two traumatised young people and an investigation was launched.An identification parade was done on Monday afternoon at the Suddie Police Station and the two perpetrators were positively identified by the victims. This newspaper was told that while the ID parade was in progress, colleagues of the implicated ranks were heard shouting derogatory remarks towards the victims.Guyana Times understands that the young male victim is an acquaintance of both ranks. The GDF in a release on Monday stated that it would give the necessary support to the Guyana Police Force as investigations continue into the heinous crime.Residents in the area said young people would usually “hang out” in the area and never expected something like this coming from workers in the respectable office. Regional Chairman Devanand Ramdatt recently penned a letter to this newspaper calling for urgent action to be taken by the relevant authorities to address the rape allegation.“The entire region, known for its peace, is very much concerned about the allegations raised. The RDC further reiterates its call for all the relevant authorities and agencies to be involved in addressing these serious allegations, so that a timely, fair, and just process can be achieved,” Ramdatt said.