US missionary gets 15 years for sex abuse at Kenya orphanage

first_imgPHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Christian missionary from Pennsylvania was sentenced to more than 15 years in federal prison Thursday for sexually abusing girls at a Kenyan orphanage he led. Federal authorities say 61-year-old Gregory Dow of Lancaster ran the Dow Family Children’s Home for nearly a decade before fleeing in 2017.  They say some of the funding for the orphanage came from U.S. churches and faith-based groups. The FBI says Dow abused girls as young as 11. Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams calls his crimes “nearly incomprehensible in their depravity.” Dow’s public defenders said he expressed remorse in court and apologized for his crimes.last_img read more

​Nordic roundup: Velliv, Storebrand, European infrastructure

first_imgAs it was now fully-owned by its customers, and as an integrated part of Danish business, Velliv said, the company would increase its focus on social responsibility factors including responsible investment and sustainability, which it said was a natural thing to do as one of Denmark’s largest institutional investors.The association has been stepping up its ownership of the former Nordea subsidiary in stages over the past three years, targeting full ownership by buying shares from the bank.Scandinavian investors invest €215m in European infra fundScandinavian pensions and insurance firms have invested around €215m in a European equity infrastructure fund managed by Allianz Capital Partners, Allianz Global Investors (AllianzGI) announced.The Allianz European Infrastructure Fund (AEIF) reached its final close after raising €860m and being heavily oversubscribed, AllianzGI said, with Scandinavian pensions and insurance firms accounting for more than a quarter of these commitments.Investments made by the fund are to be funded by both the AEIF and Allianz insurance companies, with the latter contributing at least 50% of invested capital, said AllianzGI, adding that the focus would be on energy, transportation and communication infrastructure providing essential services for the public.Erik Rosensvard, Allianz GI’s head of business development Nordics, said: “Our institutional clients show a strong appetite to invest equity into infrastructure projects together with Allianz.“In this respect, it is an advantage that the seed investment will be undertaken in a Scandinavian country,” he added.AEIF has already made its first investment in Finland’s second largest electricity distribution company Elenia, according to AllianzGI.Storebrand triples fossil-free assetsNorwegian pension provider Storebrand has now almost tripled its fossil-free assets following a divestment decision by its Swedish subsidiary SPP.The move means a third of group assets under management, €26bn, will exclude fossil fuel companies once the SPP move is complete, the firm announced at the COP 25 climate conference in Madrid.Odd Arild Grefstad, Storebrand Group chief executive officer, said: “We believe that companies with a strategy in line with the UN global goals and Paris Agreement will create better returns in the long run.“Along with all other sectors, the financial sector must recognise its important role in channeling investments into low carbon solutions,” he added.Staffan Hansén, CEO of SPP Pension & Insurance, said the pension industry had a natural and important role to play in tackling climate change.“Half of the money on the world’s stock exchanges is pensions money, and capital flows from fossil fuels are likely to accelerate faster than you think,” he said.SPP also cited financial reasons for the divestment, such as the likelihood of increased carbon dioxide tax for companies in the future.Storebrand said it had joined the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance, along with 15 other asset owners, who pledge to achieve net-zero carbon investment portfolios by 2050. Danish pension provider Velliv has announced it is now 100% owned by its customers, after its holding company bought the remainder of shares in the company from the Nordic financial group Nordea.The shares were bought by Velliv Association (Velliv Foreningen), which is owned by the 350,000 customers of Velliv, the former Nordea Life and Pension Denmark, as it lifted its stake in the operating company to 100% from 81%.Peter Gæmelke, Velliv Association chair, said: “The Velliv Association has today become the sole owner of Velliv.”“Now all of Velliv’s profits go to the Velliv Association, which pays a cash bonus to members and supports non-profit mental health efforts,” he said.last_img read more

Rolls-Royce, Partners Eye Zero Emission Ships

first_imgBy combining existing technologies in a new way, it is possible to build ferries that represent a quantum leap for the environment. That is the idea behind a new R&D project involving four major players in the maritime sector – Rolls-Royce, Color Line, Norled and the Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA).The project has now received a NOK 5.9 million (around USD 717,000) grant from the Research Council of Norway’s ENERGIX programme.The Zero Emission Ferry project is intended to result in a new electrical system that not only provides more efficient power output and stable operations but is cheaper to run, easier to integrate and has a lower environmental impact. That is no mean feat aboard a ship, which typically has a hybrid system that is a thousand times larger than a hybrid passenger car, as explained by Rolls-Royce.The four partners aim to achieve this by investigating new ways of combining systems for energy storage, energy management, onboard energy distribution and recharging. The work is already underway and the two ferry operators have specific goals with regard to the outcome.“Our aim is to gradually reduce the emissions produced by our fleet of car and high-speed passenger ferries and become the first Norwegian operator with 100 per cent zero emissions. We are well underway with electrification on our short ferry routes but are waiting for technology to become mature enough to be able to cover longer stretches,” Lars Jacob Engelsen, Deputy CEO at Norled, commented.“This project is completely in line with our environmental strategy, in which the electrification of the fleet plays a key role. We want to exploit the energy on board more efficiently, reduce the operating time for our onboard machine park and ensure that we cover a larger proportion of our energy consumption from ‘green’ onshore power rather than fossil fuels,” Johann Martinussen, Color Line’s Superintendent Automation & Control, said.The Norwegian Coastal Administration Shipping Company was one of the first Norwegian shipowners to use batteries on board. Its multifunctional vessel OV Bøkfjord is equipped with an environment-friendly hybrid system, a new vessel with an even larger battery pack is under construction, and the organisation has an option for a third such vessel.The Marine division of Rolls-Royce is the consortium’s technology partner and will provide both financial and man power. The objective is to develop a system that is commercially attractive for shipowners and as environment-friendly as possible, according to the company.“The aim is for the entire system or its component parts to be capable of use on both short-haul car ferries and big cruise ferries. Norway is far out in front with regard to green shipping, and we see an international export potential for these kinds of systems,” Sigurd Øvrebø, General Manager Product Electric and Power at Rolls-Royce – Marine, said.The partners behind the Zero Emission Ship project represent three different maritime operating environments, and their combined experience forms the basis of the technology that will be developed. The ENERGIX programme demands practical results in return for its support and the objective is to follow-up this two-year research programme with three full-scale installations.Established in 2013, ENERGIX is a 10-year programme under the auspices of the Research Council of Norway. The programme aims to provide new knowledge that promotes the long-term and sustainable conversion of existing energy systems to ones based on more energy-efficient solutions using a higher proportion of renewable energy that provide greater integration with Europe and meet the need for greater flexibility. The programme covers both stationary energy systems and environment-friendly energy for transport purposes.last_img read more