The funk and groove powerhouse that is Lettuce proves unstoppable once again. Following their 2015 Crush release, the band has committed themselves heavily to the future and, most importantly, to the road. After a summer of hitting virtually all of their market festivals, headlining Red Rocks Amphitheatre, and throwing their own two-day Fool’s Paradise, the band has spent the better portion of 2016 on tour. Moving closer to psychedelic hip-hop, while remaining true to their funky roots, Mr. Crushmore musically demonstrates their explorative characters and line-stepping attitudes, and officially comes out this Friday. Today, we get an early listen to the EP via Red Bull. Turn it up:Yesterday, we sat down with drummer Adam Deitch to discuss the EP and Lettuce’s upcoming dates. “Well, we recorded 20 songs for Crush, and unfortunately only a few of those could go on the record,” he explained. “Some of the songs that didn’t make the album were some of our favorite songs, but they just didn’t fit in the sequence the right way. So, Mt. Crushmore, a lot of the tracks are definitely some of my favorite songs we’ve ever recorded.”You might recognize some of these tunes, played previously under different monikers, but you’ve never heard them like this in the studio. “The title track, we used to call it ‘Wu Tang’ or ‘Lettuce Wu’ or something along those lines, so it kind of has that hip hop feel, that psychedelic-hip-hop feel that we’re moving closer and closer to, so we’re really excited to drop that song and the rest of the record too, of course.” Read the full interview here.Lettuce will be letting loose at NYC’s PlayStation Theater this weekend, on November 11th and 12th, with The Floozies and Red Baraat. Tickets and more information about those shows can be found here. Don’t miss out!Lettuce Tour DatesNov. 9: Headliners Music Hall – Louisville, KYNov. 11: PlayStation Theater – New YorkNov. 12: PlayStation Theater – New YorkNov. 26: Bill Graham Civic Auditorium – San FranciscoDec. 1: Dominican Holidaze – Punta Cana, Dominican RepublicDec. 30: State Theatre – Portland, MEDec. 31: House of Blues – Boston
Hermes Infrastructure has secured 10% of rail company Eurostar on behalf of several pension funds as the UK government sold off its stake in the company for £585.1m (€807m).The UK government owned 40% of Eurostar, as Hermes, the asset manager wholly owned by the BT Pension Scheme (BTPS), was joined by Canadian pension fund manager Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), which took on 30%.The pair created a shell company, Patina Rail, to secure the stake in the rail firm in a hotly contested deal that reportedly included other UK pension funds – the £41.6bn Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) and the £5.5bn Lancashire County Pension Fund (LCPF).The £40.2bn BTPS seeded Hermes’s investment fund and took a stake alongside the £10bn Santander UK Group Pension Scheme and local government pension schemes (LGPS) for Dorset (£2.1bn), Cornwall (£1.4bn) and Barking and Dagenham (£654m). The remainder of Eurostar is owned by national rail agencies for France, Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Français (SNCF) (55%) and Belgium, Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Belges (SNCB) (5%).Both agencies have the option to block the purchase and acquire the UK government’s stake at a 15% premium.However, this is unlikely to occur, with SNCF and CDPQ already having an existing partnership in transport assets.Hermes said it expected the sale to be completed by the end of June.Hamish DeRun, a partner at Hermes Investment Management, said this was the fund’s first direct transportation asset, falling under its ‘value added’ strategy, giving investors exposure to GDP growth-linked assets.“Teaming up with CDPQ made sense because they bring a lot of experience in transportation assets and also in working with SNCF,” DeRun added.Antony Barker, director of pensions at Santander UK, said he was pleased with the investment in the Hermes fund, which came last year as Hermes announced commitments reaching more than £700m.He said the Santander pension fund supported the purchase through the fund and a segregated mandate with Hermes, leaving it with around 4% ownership.“It’s a good deal,” he said. “With a brand-new set of rolling stock about to be delivered and a franchise that extends through France and redevelopment of King’s Cross, we can only see demand increasing.”Hermes Infrastructure said it was approached by UBS, the investment bank brokering the sale on behalf of the government, regarding the sale.It then exclusively partnered with CDPQ after the Canadian investors approached the firm as a UK partner for the bid.“This demonstrates a lot of the characteristics of the infrastructure assets we are looking for,” DeRun said.He said Hermes expected to hold on to its stake for the long term, or at least for the life of the fund, an 18-year cycle.CNDQ has around CAD226bn (€161.5bn) in assets, with CAD10bn in infrastructure, and manages investment for 33 public, para-public and insurance companies in Quebec.It and SNCF have an existing relationship with a 30/70 split of transportation manager Keolis, a French firm operating globally.Macky Tall, senior vice-president for infrastructure at CDPQ, said: “Alongside leading industry players, we are becoming partners of a highly strategic asset that will generate stable and predictable returns. “This major investment is another opportunity for us to further build on our expertise in the transport sector.”The sale of Eurostar forms part of the UK government’s National Infrastructure Plan, involving more than £20bn of public assets by 2020.HM Treasury said the sale price was ahead of expectations and reflected the quality of the asset.
KiwiBlog 24 February 2018Family First Comment: Excellent commentary by ex-ACT MP David Garratt….“The first thing Labour needs to change is the common leftie perception that most prisoners are hapless boys who have had one lamentable lapse – a sudden mad or drugged urge to commit an aggravated robbery perhaps. The reality is very different. The average prisoner has 46 convictions – yes you read that right – forty six , and has served the gamut of non-custodial sentences before finally being incarcerated. Of the 5% who have less than five convictions, they will invariably be in prison for murder or a very serious assault….”“….In my view there are only two ways to achieve the safer society that Little says he wants. First and best would be to stop pretending that every form of whanau is equal, and admit that a stable two parent family is best for society. To acknowledge that there is in fact a universal moral code to which all civil societies subscribe – the ten commandments contain the main elements of it: not stealing from ones fellows; not bashing or killing them; recognizing that parents are in a better position than some 14 year old punk to decide what is and isn’t good for that young person. Sadly, despite the efforts of groups like Family First, such a change is most unlikely.”Andrew Little has said he is utterly committed to creating a safer New Zealand – a laudable goal, but one which he simply cannot achieve given Labour’s present assumptions about offending and penal policy. His colleague Kelvin Davis wants to reduce the prison population by 30% – impossible unless we release those convicted of violent offences. Some leftie claimed on National Radio the other day that the jails are “full of people convicted of cannabis offences”. This is a myth. In fact, only 12% of the prison population are there for drug offences, the vast majority of them for manufacturing, distributing or importing P. None are in jail for possession of cannabis.The first thing Labour needs to change is the common leftie perception that most prisoners are hapless boys who have had one lamentable lapse – a sudden mad or drugged urge to commit an aggravated robbery perhaps. The reality is very different. The average prisoner has 46 convictions – yes you read that right – forty six , and has served the gamut of non-custodial sentences before finally being incarcerated. Of the 5% who have less than five convictions, they will invariably be in prison for murder or a very serious assault.Do-gooders like Workman like to mock people like me by suggesting that we have an unreasoning and irrational fear of a mythical “Other”; that those in jail are really pretty much ordinary people, just like the rest of us. While this picture may have been at least partly true 50 years ago, it is emphatically not so today. By and large, prison inmates are fundamentally different from the rest of us. They are people who have not only utterly rejected, but laugh at the principles by which most of the rest of us try to live: not to steal from or beat up our fellows; not to take advantage of the weak; to try and help the vulnerable, or at least not to do them further harm. They are indeed “The Other”, and we justifiably fear them.How did we get here? By two main routes in my view: firstly by abandoning the idea of a universal moral code to which all decent members of society should subscribe, evidenced by the decline both of organized religion, and the ideal of service above self. All the members of Bomber Command in WW II – of whom 30% never returned – were volunteers. Does anyone really imagine that would happen today?We declared two generations ago that the “ordinary” nuclear family of Mum Dad and the kids was no better than any other family – or whanau, as it is now. We declared that society had no business criticising a solo mum with five kids to three different fathers – a whanau that may have utterly different values to the mainstream. And we have reaped the consequences of that foolishness.READ MORE: https://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2018/02/guest_post_labours_goal_of_a_safer_society_doomed_to_fail_unless_there_is_a_radical_re-think.htmlKeep up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.
RAVICHANDRAN Ashwin is back in the top ten for Test bowlers in the ICC rankings after his match haul of eight wickets in his first international match in 2019, the first Test against South Africa in Visakhapatnam. Rohit Sharma, who marked his Test opening debut with twin hundreds, vaulted 36 places to a career-high 17th while his captain Virat Kohli had his points drop below 900. Steven Smith continues to lead the Test batting rankings with 937 points, opening up a 38-point lead over Kohli.During the Test, Ashwin also became the joint-fastest to 350 Test wickets along with Muttiah Muralitharan. The triumphant return has helped him move from 14th place to tenth among bowlers.Rohit also enjoyed a productive Test, setting several records as a Test opener. Notably, he hit 13 sixes, the most by a batsman in a Test match. Mayank Agarwal, Rohit’s opening partner who converted his maiden Test hundred into a double-century, jumped from 63rd place to 25th. Ajinkya Rahane, meanwhile, dropped three places to tenth.Among the South Africans, Quinton de Kock, who made 111 in the first innings in Visakhapatnam, broke into the top ten, claiming seventh place ahead of openers Tom Latham, Dimuth Karunaratne and Rahane. Opener Dean Elgar also gained five places and made it to 14th, having struck 160 in a big partnership with de Kock in the first innings.Mohammed Shami, who enhanced his reputation as a second-innings specialist, moved up two places to 16th, achieving a career-high 710 points on the table led by Australia’s Pat Cummins.Ashwin broke into the top five among allrounders too, while Ravindra Jadeja has gone past Shakib Al Hasan to the second spot. West Indies’ Jason Holder tops the rankings with 472 points.