June 9, 2021 Find out more Call for Iranian New Year pardons for Iran’s 21 imprisoned journalists After Hengameh Shahidi’s pardon, RSF asks Supreme Leader to free all imprisoned journalists RSF_en ————-Create your blog with Reporters without borders: www.rsfblog.org News Organisation Iran: Press freedom violations recounted in real time January 2020 to go further Help by sharing this information Receive email alerts January 26, 2006 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Authorities block BBC’s Farsi-language website IranMiddle East – North Africa IranMiddle East – North Africa News March 18, 2021 Find out more News Follow the news on Iran News Reporters Without Borders today condemned the Iranian government’s censorship of the BBC’s Farsi-language website, which has been inaccessible within Iran since 18 January.Iranians are being deprived of an independent and very popular source of news, the press freedom organisation said, condemning the government’s Internet filtering, which has been stepped up in recent months. The authorities have offered no explanation for the BBC site’s sudden inaccessibility.When Iranians try to connect to the site, they now get a message saying, “Access to the site refused.” The BBC’s English-language site is still accessible. The BBC said it had contacted the Iranian government to demand an end to the filtering.The Farsi-language site has become one of the most important for Farsi speakers since its creation in 2001. It is also the BBC foreign-language site that receives the most visitors. Nearly 30 million connections were registered in December, half of them from within Iran.Many Iranian Internet users have asked the BBC how they can get round censorship. Reporters Without Borders points out that there is a Farsi version of its Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-dissidents, which offers technical advice on how to circumvent this kind of filtering. It is available on its website at: http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=15050 February 25, 2021 Find out more
Nasa’s planet-hunting deep space observatory has found hundreds of new potential planets, sparking hopes of finding other worlds similar to Earth…Scientists say the results contradict older theories that had suggested small and Earth-like planets would be less frequent.An astronomer on the Kepler mission, Dimitar Sasselov, professor of astronomy at Harvard University, revealed the findings in a conference in Oxford earlier this month…Read more here
However, John Hattersley, director at the £5.9bn (€8.2bn) South Yorkshire Pension Fund, said in a meeting late last year that, if pressed, LGPS funds with internal investment capabilities would launch a judicial review were they forced into passive strategies.He told IPE that, while the South Yorkshire fund has not formally raised it internally, he has heard it casually mentioned by a number of LGPS.The South Yorkshire scheme, alongside other Northern English funds such as West Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Tyne and Wear, have a long history of internal asset management.Hattersley suggested the South Yorkshire fund would also examine the possibility of becoming a CIV should government legislation go against its wishes.Like many of its peers, the scheme, responding to the government consultation, argued that a mandatory shift to passive would lower standards within the LGPS rather than improve under-performing funds with high costs.Many of the 33 LGPS in London are currently setting up a CIV to pool investments outside of government legislation.Hattersley said funds with internal capabilities should be considered to manage CIVs in order to share experience and protect these capabilities.This could also be utilised if the UK government does force through listed assets and alternatives CIVs.“We are aware some of our peer group are thinking along similar lines, and, if it were an option, it would be one we would want to explore,” Hattersley said.He added that the central government’s delay in making a decision had forced the fund to put its expansion plans to one side.“There is a blight across all LGPS funds,” he said.“In our instance, we have put certain developments on hold, as we want to make sure we know and can see our future, as, like everybody, we are under financial constraints.“We don’t want to do something we would have to unwind fairly quickly if political decisions were taken causing us to do that.”South Yorkshire’s internal team orchestrated an 8.3% investment return over 2014 after strong returns in index-linked Gilts, private equity, property and North American equities.The fund’s £79m absolute return strategy returned 7.9% and made new investments into healthcare, distressed debt and illiquid credit. Local Government Pension Schemes (LGPS) in the UK are considering legal action against the government should it force through a mandatory shift to passive listed investments via collective vehicles.The proposals, first seen last year, have yet to be finalised, with no formal decision expected until after May’s general election due to friction within government departments.As LGPS funds await a formal decision from the government, schemes with in-house investment management teams have been weighing their options, including legal action.Original proposals from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) recommended the creation of two collective investment vehicles (CIVs) for the 89 LGPS in England and Wales, one for all listed equities and bonds and one for alternatives.