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Norway’s sovereign wealth fund has revoked its exclusion of US defence firm Raytheon from its investment universe, after blacklisting its shares back in 2005.Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), which manages the oil revenue-funded the NOK7.4trn (€827bn) Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), said it had excluded the company from its investment 12 years ago due to the company’s involvement in the production of cluster munitions.NBIM said: “The executive board’s decision to revoke the exclusion was made on the basis of a recommendation from the Council on Ethics, which regularly shall assess whether the basis for observation or exclusion still exists.“The Council on Ethics has received confirmation from Raytheon that the company no longer has any activities associated with production of cluster munitions.” The council said in its recommendation, dated 22 August 2016, that Raytheon has issued a statement on its website saying it did not manufacture or sell cluster munitions — nor did it make or sell land mines, nuclear warheads, or biological or chemical weapons.In 2008, a number of Nordic pension funds blacklisted Raytheon because of its involvement in the making of cluster bombs along with other companies involved with the controversial munitions.The four Swedish national pensions buffer funds AP1, AP2, AP3 and AP4, Industriens Pension and Danica Pension in Denmark were among those divesting from Raytheon and other companies and removing them from their investment universe.The Council on Ethics for the GPFG exists to evaluate whether the fund’s investments are consistent with the fund’s ethical guidelines.The Convention on Cluster Munitions was signed in December 2008 in Oslo, prohibiting all use, stockpiling, production and transfer of the weapons, and so far it has been signed by 119 states. These weapons are considered a danger to civilians in a conflict both during war and for years afterwards, since the ‘bomblets’ can wander off course and remain unexploded, like landmines.
CLEAR LAKE — The Clear Lake City Council last night reviewed a proposed letter of intent with the Clear Lake Community School District on the proposed wellness and recreation center project that would be constructed just south of the current high school gymnasium. City Administrator Scott Flory says the letter of intent would show the community that both entities agree to work in good faith towards a formal partnership and/or sharing agreement related to the center that would mutually benefit the citizens and residents of Clear Lake. “We agree at some point to execute a formal Chapter 28E agreement, we put in the letter of intent that would occur no later than 30 days following the successful passage of a public referendum proposed by the school district for the calendar year 2020. The letter of intent can be terminated at any time by either party here, or if the referendum would not pass, then the letter of intent would terminate at that point.” Flory says the school district would lead the design and construction phase and be the lead financing entity for the project. “In terms of the financing of the building, the school will construct and own the center, and will be the lead financing entity for the overall project. The city, subject to all the statutorily required things that we have to go through, would propose to issue a $700,000 general obligation bond and also a $300,000 contribution from the general fund in support of the project, primarily for costs associated with the elevated walking track, multi-purpose rooms, indoor playground rooms, and areas and other amenities that may yet be determined.”Flory says the city would lease the new center from the school district and be responsible for its operation. “The school being the owner of the center and would lease to the city for not less than 25 years following a hearing as required by law. The parties would enter into a 28E agreement that promotes the following collaboration: the city would be responsible for the day-to-day operation to the center, including staffing the facility, cleaning the facility, general maintenance, routine repair; the city would be entitled to any revenue generated by and responsible for any expenses at the rec center.” The approximate cost of the rec center is just over $10 million. The rest of the funds from the $17 million bond issue that school district voters will decide on March 3rd would be earmarked for other projects at each school building as well as at Lions Field. The Clear Lake council will likely vote on the letter of intent at their December 16th meeting.
Authorities in the Bahamas are restricting US travel to the Islands in an effort to curve the rising cases of COVID-19.The announcement was made by Prime Minister and acting Health Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis who plans to have the order go into effect on Wednesday.According to the Bahamas Ministry of Health, they have had 153 cases of the virus and 11 deaths as of Sunday.Those traveling from Canada, Europe, and the United Kingdom are still welcomed to the islands, while travel from the US has been restricted to emergencies and essential travel.Those traveling to the islands must also be tested for the virus by an accredited lab and have a negative test 10 days or less before traveling or they will be required to quarantine for 14 days.The order will be a huge blow to the Bahamian economy which relies heavily on American tourism and who is still working to recover from Hurricane Dorian.Under the new order, beaches and parks have also been closed and indoor dining, weddings, funerals, religious services, and sporting events have also been banned in Grand Bahama.