Nordic roundup: Swedish AP funds, WWF, OECD, AMF, Morningstar

first_imgAP1, AP2, AP3, AP4 and AP7 own shares in 133 companies in the industry, including Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Total.In other news, private pension assets in Sweden amount to approximately 70% of GDP, lower than in Denmark, Finland and Iceland, according to OECD’s Pension Markets in Focus 2013.Of the select 20 countries, Denmark tops the list, with private pensions constituting 200% of GDP, followed by Iceland’s 150%.In both Canada and the US, pension assets amount to more than 100% of GDP, and in Australia and Finland more than 90%.The assets considered include pension funds, book reserves and pension insurance contracts, as well as other pension vehicles, but pension funds constitute the bulk of the assets at 67.9%.The OECD’s weighted average asset-to-GDP ratio for pension funds increased from 73.5% of GDP in 2011 to 77% in 2012, above the 2007 year-end level of 75.6%, with the Netherlands still achieving the largest ratio in 2012, at 160.2%.Three countries achieved ratios above 100% in 2012 – the Netherlands (160.2%), Iceland (141.0%) and Switzerland (113.6%).In addition to these countries, the UK, Australia and Finland exceeded the OECD asset-to-GDP ratio of 77%, with 95.7%, 91.7% and 79.3%, respectively.Lastly, analysis by AMF, the Swedish insurance and pensions provider, shows that equity and balanced funds with low fees perform better on average than more expensive funds.The analysis was conducted by AMF based on fund statistics from Morningstar.According to the analysis, Swedish equity and balanced funds with fees below 0.5% have on average outperformed funds with higher fees, both over a five and 10-year period.One explanation is that the lower fee translates to more returns for the savers, with fees in more expensive funds eating into part of the excess returns.The clearest difference in performance between funds with high and low fees can be seen among balanced funds.On average, funds with fees below 0.5% over the past 5-10 years have returned 1-2 percentage points more than expensive funds.The lowest average return was found in funds with fees above 1.5%, where the difference in performance compared with the cheapest funds was 4 percentage points per year over a five-year period.Swedish equity funds with a fee lower than 0.5% have returned 14% on average during the past five years and 12% over a 10-year period, equivalent to 1 percentage point per year in outperformance compared with more expensive funds. The Swedish branch of the WWF has criticised Sweden’s AP funds over their investments in coal, gas and oil.The WWF found that five of the six buffer funds owned shares in 133 of 200 of the most carbon dioxide-intense companies in the coal, gas and oil sectors.Håkan Wirtén, secretary general at the Swedish WWF, called on Parliament to change the share-ownership directive to allow the funds to divest fossil fuel-heavy holdings and invest in renewable and sustainable energy.He said the AP funds’ current investments did not tally with the goals Sweden and the rest of the world had expressed in striving to avoid the consequences of “catastrophic” climate change.last_img read more

Condo Association Tells FL Woman to Remove Gay Pride Flag

first_imgA Florida woman is going public with her story, after her condo association told her to remove a gay pride flag.Robin Chipman lives at the Coquina Key Condominiums in St. Petersburg. She recently displayed a rainbow flag in front of her home, in honor of Pride Month.Apparently, one of her neighbors complained. The condo association has warned Chipman that she must take the flag down by Sunday, June 23, or face a fine.She says, “I have friends and neighbors that are in the community. And I want to show my support. And it’s only the biggest celebration in the state of Florida and most of the country. Bigger than New York and it’s probably comparable to San Francisco. So, no it’s not a small deal.”last_img

Event focuses on Latino community health

first_imgDay of the Dead · The Latino Social Worker Caucus’s annual Dia de Los Muertos event centered around health issues facing the Latino community and ways that social workers can engage with members to build trust. – Iselin Arias | Daily TrojanBefore a room full of silent students, alumnus Martin Lopez Jr. blew four long, somber notes on a conch shell cupped in his hands. The sound signaled the start of the Latino/a Social Worker Caucus’s annual Dia De Los Muertos event, which took place Tuesday afternoon. The event focused on the disparity of health in the Latino community.Lopez started the event with several traditional songs and explained the importance of connecting with the traditions of Latino heritage. He told the history of Dia De Los Muertos, a traditional Hispanic holiday celebrating the dead which is an integral part of Mexican culture.After Lopez finished, student organization representative Iselin Arias introduced a panel of three speakers who specialize in the intersection between health and the Latino community. The panel included Patty Arias, a health specialist for the Pasitos Program; Jesus Diaz, a representative for California State Senator Ricardo Lara; and Lourdes Olivares, director of Behavioral Health at Bienvenidos Health Center.Arias spoke about health concerns in the southeast Los Angeles community, where the Pasitos Program provides health care support and education to 500 children and their families. She said that in southeast Los Angeles, 97 percent of the population is Latino or Hispanic. Fifty percent of the children in that population are obese or overweight, and many more lack proper oral care.The main concern that Arias noted is a lack of education in the low-income Latino communities that she interacts with. This ranges from uncertainty about how to take prescriptions to refusal to seek oral care. The Pasitos Program focuses on the education of both children and parents to combat this problem. Children learn how to develop habits such as brushing their teeth, while parents learn how to read nutrition labels, cook traditional meals in healthier ways and adjust daily eating and drinking patterns.“Many parents aren’t aware why their child is overweight because they’re doing what they feel is proper,” Arias said. “That’s where we see a pattern, and that’s what we’re trying to fix.”After Arias, Diaz spoke about the recent policies of State Sen. Ricardo Lara, who represents southeast Los Angeles and recently passed the “Health For All” act, which expands health care coverage to undocumented children in California. Diaz said that the senator saw a need for this bill after President Obama’s Affordable Care Act in 2010 did not offer coverage to undocumented immigrants.Diaz said that the bill originally offered coverage to all undocumented immigrants, which Gov. Jerry Brown refused to accept. Lara and Brown compromised by providing coverage to the 170,000 undocumented children in California, which will create a $40 million increase in yearly Medi-Cal expenditures. Diaz said that the senator hopes to create further legislation that will expand this coverage to all undocumented immigrants. Diaz hopes that this effort will help undocumented immigrants build trust with their elected officials.“These communities have been held in the shadows for a long time,” Lara said. “They’re very wary of government policies and elected officials. We need to make sure our families, our children and our communities know that not all politicians are bad politicians.”Continuing with this theme of trust, Olivares spoke about the need for undocumented immigrants to seek medical care before it becomes an emergency. She pointed out that many undocumented immigrants will refuse to see a doctor until health problems become chronic. This is a pattern that she hopes to change at her center, which works to pre-screen and educate both documented and undocumented members of the Latino community.“We must demystify the fear of going to the doctor,” Olivares said. “They won’t go because they’re undocumented, because they’re afraid they’ll call [immigration]. And that just doesn’t work, it isn’t safe.”Olivares also focuses on treating mental health. She stressed the importance of social workers in this field. When a patient at her center is referred from a medical doctor to a mental health specialist, a social worker guides that patient through necessary and difficult steps toward treatment. Olivares also stressed the importance of Latino students remaining bilingual, as the increase for social workers fluent in Spanish and English increases.“If you’re rusty on your Spanish, practice it at home,” Olivares said. “You are golden in these opportunities if you can relate to these people in their own language.”At the conclusion of the event, each of the panelists received questions about a variety of topics — ranging from tips on choosing a specialty to advice on how to find care for an undocumented father — from the students in the room. Each of the panelists continued to stress the importance of focusing on the intersection between the Latino community and the health care industry, an intersection that each felt is both vital to the community and often overlooked.last_img read more

Alpena City Fire Department and Alpena Co. Emergency Services Honored With National Award

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisThe Alpena Fire Department and Alpena County Emergency Services were honored with a national award. That award was the Congressional Fire Service Institutes Excellence in fire based EMS Award.The special achievement is given to one fire department and one volunteer service each year. The Alpena Fire Department was selected for its Comprehensive Emergency Cardiac Care Program.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisContinue ReadingPrevious Alcona Community Schools receiving new key and lock system thanks to state grantNext Living Hope Church puts their packing skills to the test for Operation Christmas Childlast_img

Tough love: Jeanie Buss promises changes if Lakers don’t hit timetable

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak recently reported he will prioritize the team’s financial flexibility and youth this summer over signing veteran free agents, a strategy that might compromise Kobe Bryant’s quest to win his sixth NBA championship in the 2015-16 campaign in what could mark his 20th and last NBA season. Lakers executive vice president of player personnel Jim Buss, who is Jeanie’s brother, has promised the Lakers would reach the Western Conference Finals within three years.And if not?“Then we owe it to our shareholders, fans and partners that we have to move in a different direction to get this team back into contention,” Jeanie Buss said. “We made a commitment that we would operate the team the way Dr. Buss ran it.”Jerry Buss, the father of both Jim and Jeanie, oversaw the Lakers collecting 10 of their 16 NBA championships after purchasing the team in 1979. But Jerry Buss’ passing on Feb. 2013 has coincided with the Lakers experiencing some other tumultuous moments.Bryant remains sidelined with a surgically repaired right shoulder, representing one of the five Lakers’ season-ending injuries that could eclipse last season’s mark, when players missed a combined 319 games due to various ailments. The Lakers also failed to retain Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol in consecutive offseasons, while striking out last summer in the LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony free agency sweepstakes. Byron Scott represents the Lakers’ fourth coach in the past five seasons. The most controversial hiring involved the Lakers choosing Mike D’Antoni on Nov. 2012 over Phil Jackson, who won five of his 11 NBA titles with the Lakers and is Jeanie’s longtime companion. Yet, Buss stressed that issue is “not standing in between” herself and Jim after Jackson left last year to become the New York Knicks’ president.“I can understand where Phil would be a disruption,” Jeanie Buss said. “I asked my brother if Phil could have any role in the organization. He and Mitch made it clear they didn’t need Phil, nor did they need anybody else. They felt they have everything covered and didn’t need another voice in their vision and plan for this team.”That explains why Buss will not comment on issues related to the Lakers’ basketball operations. But the Lakers’ president continues to oversee the team’s business operations, a job description she also held for 14 years as the team’s executive vice president of business operations.“This is uncharted territory I am not prepared for,” Buss said. “I hear the fans and hear their frustration. I’m hoping with every game, it’s going to get better. I’m as impatient as any other Lakers fan.”The Lakers’ current struggles has kept Buss fairly busy in ensuring the business stays strong.Forbes recently valued the Lakers at $2.6 billion and reported last year they made an NBA-record $104 million in operating income, partly because of the team’s cable deal with Time Warner Cable SportsNet, worth $5 billion through 25 years. But the Lakers’ games this season televised on TWC SportsNet have averaged a 1.85 Nielsen rating. That marks a decline from the average household ratings for televised games in 2013-14 (2.11) and 2012-13 (4.63). The Lakers also snapped a 320-game home sell-out streak, dating back to the 2006-07 season. Last season, the Lakers also failed to sell out in nine of their 41 home games at Staples Center. The Lakers did not sell out in two of their 29 home games thus far for the 2014-15 campaign, one of which featured Bryant playing.Buss called those numbers “upsetting” and added she feels “anxious to reverse that trend.” But she declined to discuss whether the Lakers would consider lowering ticket prices. Buss then pointed out the Lakers did not raise ticket prices last season. Buss also highlighted another thing that would still make the Lakers a box office draw.With Bryant set to return for the 2015-16 season in what could mark his last year, Buss said the Lakers are “talking about a bunch of different things” to honor Bryant in his 20th season with the Lakers at home games. Buss promised “we will make it special.”The Lakers honored former Lakers center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar during his 20th and final season with the Lakers, 1988-89, with the Hall of Famer receiving a 1989 Rolls Royce in his final regular-season game at the Forum.Buss suggests Bryant’s tribute will be different.“We’re not asking the NBA to celebrate Kobe,” Buss said. “With Kareem, it was endearing to watch every city do something special and thank him for all that. But that was clearly Kareem’s last year. I don’t know if we’re going into this clearly knowing that this is Kobe’s last year. Only Kobe can decide that.”The Lakers have more definitive plans on other things that they hope could attract marquee free agents for reasons beyond their financial flexibility and storied championship history.They will build a modern practice facility at some point elsewhere in El Segundo, which will provide more room to run their day-to-day operations. The Lakers will also host training camp in Honolulu, Hawaii, for the first time since 2007, marking the 13th time the team had training camp there since Jerry Buss originated the idea in 1988.“Former players always felt that was something unique and special,” Jeanie Buss said. “I would like to think the new players will feel the same way.”Buss also outlined other appeals about the Lakers when they met last summer with Anthony. She represented part of the Lakers’ business pitch with executives from TWC SportsNet and AEG. That included the Lakers presenting a four-minute trailer of Anthony’s life, made by movie producer Joel Silver and narrated by Tobey McGuire. Anthony still stayed with the Knicks, but he lauded the Lakers’ effort.“Carmelo is a really special person,” Buss said. “I totally understand why he made the decision he made. But we gave a very compelling pitch to him. That makes us better at doing it.”The Lakers could target other marquee free agents such as Memphis’ Marc Gasol, Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge, Cleveland’s Kevin Love, Dallas’ Rajon Rondo and Miami’s Goran Dragic. But Jeanie Buss stressed it remains up to Jim Buss and Kupchak on whether she will pitch the Lakers’ business appeal in any free agent meetings this summer.“They need to tell me and communicate with me what they need me to do,” Jeanie Buss said. “I will do whatever it takes because I believe the Lakers are the best organization in the NBA.”Buss said those words as her eyes stayed fixed on the team’s championship trophies in her office, determined that she will soon add another one.center_img The memorabilia in Jeanie Buss’ office provides a visual reminder on where the Lakers’ storied franchise once stood.Paintings of the Lakers’ title teams during the Showtime Era and earlier this decade hang on the walls. Buss has 10 of the 11 Lakers’ NBA trophies they won in Los Angeles sit on a shelf in her office that remains adjacent to the window overseeing the team’s practice court.Those images contrast to the Lakers’ presently dire state. The Lakers (16-44) enter Friday’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies (43-17) at FedEx Forum a month away from missing the NBA playoffs for the second consecutive year and only the seventh time in franchise history.“I’ve been assured by our basketball operations that the team will be back in contention soon. If we are not meeting those goals, then changes have to occur,” Buss said in a recent interview with Los Angeles News Group in her office at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo. “I have no reason not to believe them when they tell me that’s what they can deliver. I don’t see what would be holding them back.”last_img read more

Bob Knight does one of the best things for his players by coming back to Indiana

first_imgThey’ve been waiting nearly four years for this, since the night in November 2016 when Indiana staged a 35th anniversary celebration for the most improbable of Knight’s three national championship teams, the one that featured the most famous and talented player he ever coached, Isiah Thomas, but that had stumbled, at times, to a 21-9 regular-season record.Eleven players showed up to be acclaimed at Assembly Hall, on the night IU was playing North Carolina in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Thomas was there. Landon Turner, the gifted power forward who was paralyzed in an automobile accident just months after the Hoosiers claimed the 1981 NCAA championship.Knight spoke privately in advance of the occasion to one of the reserves on that team, Phil Isenbarger, and conveyed a message. “As you might imagine, when you have a conversation with Coach Knight you do a lot of listening. What he said, what he wanted me to convey to everybody up here — and these were his exact words — he ‘could not have been more thankful or grateful for the opportunity to coach this group at Indiana University.'”He declined to spend the evening with them, however. He would not be back at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall until Saturday, when Indiana fans who longed for the opportunity merely to say thank you got their chance at halftime of the Hoosiers’ game against Purdue.MORE: Big Ten displaying unparalleled parityThe estrangement between Knight and the university where he became a legend and an icon and a Hall of Famer and a champion endured beyond the death of Myles Brand, the school president who had dismissed him; beyond the passing of Neil Reed, the former Hoosiers guard who had been struck by Knight during a practice session and whose experience helped lead to Knight’s punishment, and beyond changes in the athletic administration and board of trustees.He made many public appearances in the state during those two decades, infamously at a Purdue fundraiser in February 2016 at the Indiana State Fairground in Indianapolis, the same year he also campaigned in Indiana for presidential candidate Donald Trump.He heard myriad pleas from people close to him, people who loved him, to make his return to the university and give his people one more chance to applaud him. He declined. Until now. (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/4f/6e/indiana-knight-020820-getty-embedjpg_1l3dwrh9s3iju1huudvzh7na70.jpg?t=675798344&w=500&quality=80 They have been waiting nearly 11 years for this, since the day in September 2009 when he was elected to join the Indiana Athletics Hall of Fame. There were two months between that announcement and the induction ceremony, plenty of time for Knight to come to grips with the idea he would be returning to the campus where he still was revered.He is in so many Halls of Fame, and this one covered the smallest universe. He is in the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, the National College Basketball Hall of Fame, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. What’s one more? Except this one was different.Former Hoosiers All-American A.J. Guyton wrote an open letter on Facebook asking Knight to put aside the resentment he felt toward the university. Guyton would be going into to the Hall that same night. Knight’s return would have overwhelmed the night for every other member of the class, but Guyton was willing to be disregarded on his big night if it meant his coach would come home.“I feel the Indiana basketball community is torn,” Guyton wrote. “My loyalty is and has always been with Bob Knight. I attended IU because there was an opportunity to play (and) people said I couldn’t make it under Coach Knight. He didn’t overly recruit me, there was no press conference. He simply asked after my visit, ‘So are you coming to Indiana or not?’, as he gripped my shoulder tightly.”‘Yes, sir,’ I replied. That was it!”The turning point from deciding to go to Michigan State was Coach Knight’s one simple statement to me and my parents. ‘I can’t guarantee you’re going to play right away but you will have a fair opportunity to earn minutes, you will graduate in (four) years, you will leave here a better person, and there’s nothing I won’t do for you once you graduate.'”Guyton wrote that he called on Knight on four occasions after he completed his studies at Indiana, and each time Knight was willing and able to fulfill the request.Guyton then said he was extending Knight “a public invitation for you to do ME a favor, attend the induction ceremony.”That was one time Knight was not willing to “do anything” for a former player. “But he’s here,” Wittman said. “I think a lot has transpired over the last couple of years. He’s moved back here. He’s happy back here. And I just think at this point in his life it was time to not only let the fans see him and respond to him, but as we saw today, he loves the fans. And he responded to them. . . .  It was one of the greatest and emotional things for me personally.“I don’t know if we’ll see something like this again in college basketball that he came back. This is where he belongs. He moved back here. I told him, when I called him I said, you’re back here for a reason, because this is where you belong. And I said you need to come back with us. We love coming back and seeing each other in these reunions. And I just told him it doesn’t mean anything to us anymore if you’re not a part of it. Because we came here because of him. It wasn’t because of the weather.”The ice melted at last on Saturday, even though it was freezing outside. (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/7b/6d/bob-knight-return-020820-getty-ftrjpg_1iz0pz1rnq9rh1rcybea2bwh21.jpg?t=676012376&w=500&quality=80 It was worth the wait. A man famous for his stoicism, for his temper, for his intransigence, Knight laughed with joy as he was surrounded by scores of his former players during a Hoosiers reunion staged on the day of IU’s rivalry game against Purdue. Even longtime rival Gene Keady showed up to applaud his return.And, eventually, Knight was moved to tears.It’s doubtful anyone had ever seen Knight cry in public. With former greats Quinn Buckner and Randy Wittman and Mike Woodson nearby, with players fighting through screens to embrace him, with the love of the Indiana fans pouring from above, cascading down the steep sideline seats at Assembly Hall, he held out for a while but not for long.His health is obviously not great. He walked gingerly out of the tunnel, accompanied by several former players. Knight did not speak to the crowd, except to engage the sideline nearest to ESPN announcer Dick Vitale in a chant of “Defense!”Afterward, Wittman and Woodson spoke with reporters to tell what the moment had meant to them. Woodson called it “one of the best highs I’ve had in a long time.” Wittman chose not to explain what finally broke this impasse. (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/53/9d/bob-knight-iu-020820-getty-embedjpg_1cxnmnjeny7zh15jva5qnc2hm0.jpg?t=675634928&w=500&quality=80 They have been waiting nearly 20 years for this, since the day in September 2000 when Bob Knight stood on his front lawn as an enormous crowd of Indiana University students gathered and beseeched him to declare he wasn’t really fired and wasn’t going anywhere and still would be their coach.It was all true, though. Knight had been dismissed by the IU administration and would not be back to coach the team in the 2000-01 season. The university found he had violated the zero-tolerance policy installed against him the prior spring and chose no longer to employ the state’s most famous and popular figure.last_img read more

Costa accelerates and already runs on tape

first_imgThe goal is Liverpool. Arrive by then. Be prepared. Again this winter, like last, that is the signing of Cholo, for the team and especially for the front. His presence in the eleven against Juventus, then, was the letter with which the rojiblancos assaulted the Italian team in the first round of the Champions League. Operated on Thursday, November 21, two months have passed since a recovery which was estimated at two and a half-three and the Spanish-Brazilian accelerates in its recovery: it already runs at a good pace on the tape. Diego Costa himself showed it this noon on his social networks, once rojiblanco training was finished. Since his operation, the striker has worked in the shadow of the gym but within the deadlines. Four days ago I walked. He is running today. In the next few weeks he will jump on the grass again, getting closer to what the Cholo so much desires, the return of The beast. The Hispanic-Brazilian, priority of SimeoneAlthough since his return to Atlético, he returned to play in January 2018, they have not been those of the Costa who left, less this season (two goals in 15 games, with three assists), his presence always intimidates the rivals. Rooted in the name of Cavani in the signing of ‘9’, a commitment of Cholo as it was in his day the return of Costa, the Argentine coach has not lost faith in the Hispanic-Brazilian and his plan is clear: to play as soon as he is ready. There is little left.last_img read more

Caricom hails West Indies men, women

first_imgGEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC: CARICOM Secretary-General Irwin LaRocque has congratulated the West Indies women and men’s teams for winning the ICC T20 World Cup on Sunday. Ambassador LaRocque says the victories are evidence that the people of the region have the ability to lead the world, not just compete. The West Indies women defeated the defending champions Australia to win the Women’s World T20 title for the first time, while the men crushed England a few hours later to become the first team to win the men’s World T20 title twice. “Once again, the West Indies cricketers have brought glory to our region,” said LaRocque. “I congratulate the women and men’s teams on their victories in the International Cricket Council World T20 competitions, which demonstrated their ability to overcome the challenges they faced.” LaRocque also praised the teams’ coaching and support staff, noting that their hard work ensured that the players maintained their focus. He also expressed the hope that the victories including the Under-19 World Cup captured by West Indies earlier this year, will inspire the region’s youth in particular. “I also want to congratulate the teams’ coaching staff for their efforts. The teamwork and team spirit in both teams were evident throughout the competition as the hard work of the coaching and support staff ensured that the players, very well led by the captains, kept their focus on the ultimate goal,” he said. “These triumphs underscored the fact that our people have the ability, not only to compete, but to lead the world.”last_img read more

Steele fails to report to camp, replaced by Chambers

first_imgOfficials have reportedly been unable to locate or make contact with Edino Steele, a member of Jamaica’s 4x400m relay pool, who has failed to report to the team’s pre-championships camp in Tottori, Japan, up to yesterday. This, according to our sources, is the reason behind the late call-up of North American Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Senior Championship 400-metre bronze medal winner Ricardo Chambers, who will now replace Steele, who himself finished fourth at the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA)/Supreme Ventures Limited National Senior Championships several weeks ago and was expected to compete in the 4x400m. It is understood that the JAAA was forced to add Chambers to the squad after neither officials from the organisation nor Steele’s coach, Glen Mills, have been able to touch base with the athlete, who formed a part of Jamaica’s silver medal-winning team at the last World Championships in 2013 as well as the team that won bronze at the World Indoor Championships a year later. Steele last competed in Sweden on July 30. According to team manager Ludlow Watts, Steele had some passport issues ahead of the start of the camp, but the JAAA has not been able to contact the athlete to determine the status of his documents, and were, as a result, forced to make the decision to replace him in the squad. “Yes, he (Steele) has been replaced on the team by (Ricardo) Chambers,” Watts said. “We were aware that there was a passport issue with him, but we have not been able to determine whether it was resolved or otherwise. We have made several unsuccessful attempts to contact him.” Chambers was surprisingly left off Jamaica’s team to the championships even though he is the third fastest Jamaican in the world this year. Apparently, unaware of the reasons behind his sudden inclusion, he told The Gleaner yesterday morning that he was notified earlier, that he will be joining the team within the coming days. “I actually got a notice this morning and I am really happy. All I want to do is focus right now on going to represent my country,” he said. He is expected to travel to Jamaica before the end of the weekend to sort out his visa arrangements and then depart to join the team later in Beijing, ahead of the August 22-30 championships. The mile relay squad already includes Javon Francis, Rusheen McDonald, Peter Matthews, Dane Hyatt and Jonia McDonald. Chambers’ season-best time of 44.93s that was run in the semi-final at the NACAC Championships in Costa Rica ranks him third behind Francis (44.50) and Rusheen McDonald (44.60). In an earlier interview with The Gleaner, where he then sought to explain Chambers’ exclusion, team manager Watts said that under the rules there could simply be no room for Chambers on the team unless there was a withdrawal. “In the case of (Ricardo) Chambers, there was no scope for him to get in because they already selected six athletes for the 4x400m pool, so he could only have been named to the squad if someone withdrew,” Watts explained to The Gleaner on Wednesday. SUDDEN INCLUSIONlast_img read more