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Note to Correspondents: Joint Press Release Annual Meeting Between Secretariats of ASEAN and the United Nations

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NEW YORK, 22 September 2017- The Secretariats of ASEAN and the United Nations, acknowledged the strong cooperation and collaboration between both organizations at their annual meeting held at the UN Headquarters yesterday.

This annual Secretariat-to-Secretariat Meeting was established in March 2011 as a formal mechanism to consolidate and strengthen ASEAN-UN relations, review projects and activities and decide on new areas of cooperation and collaboration.

Yesterday’s Meeting reviewed the progress of implementation of the first ASEAN-UN Plan of Action (2016-2020), which was adopted in September 2016. This is a wide-ranging, comprehensive Plan promoting ASEAN-UN cooperation in areas such as peace and security, economic integration, disaster response and sustainable development.

Both sides recognised the good progress in the implementation of the Plan of Action as a reflection of the commitment of ASEAN and the UN to work together for mutual benefit and to share experiences.

They welcomed the adoption of the first ASEAN-UN Action Plan on Environment and Climate Change (2016-2020) on 13 September 2017 in Brunei Darussalam. In their discussion, both sides reiterated that clear complementarities between the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development have the potential to promote comprehensive regional solutions. A joint report by Thailand, the ASEAN Secretariat and UN ESCAP on the complementarities will be launched at the ASEAN-UN Summit in November 2017.

Secretary-General of ASEAN, Le Luong Minh, highlighted that the two Secretariats’ collaboration is an important aspect of the ASEAN-UN Comprehensive Partnership, and its role has gone beyond reporting progress implementation of the Plan of Action, but also to review and explore potential areas of cooperation between the two organisations. He added that it has become more important than ever to create a network of effective and mutually reinforcing regional and global mechanisms that would be responsive to current peace and security challenges.

Head of the UN Secretariat delegation, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Miroslav Jenèa, stressed: “The United Nations’ engagement with regional organisations is increasingly important in implementing the Secretary-General’s prevention initiative in addressing pressing global and regional challenges, and in this context the ASEAN-UN Comprehensive Partnership is of vital and growing importance across all areas of the UN’s work.”

The Secretariat-to-Secretariat Meeting was co-chaired by Secretary-General Le Luong Minh and Assistant Secretary-General Miroslav Jenèa. Participation from the ASEAN Secretariat included Hirubalan V P, Deputy Secretary-General for ASEAN Political-Security Community. The United Nations was represented by Shamshad Akhtar, Under Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia-Pacific (ESCAP), Haoliang Xu, Assistant Secretary-General, UNDP Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific and Rashid Khalikov, Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Partnerships with the Middle East and Central Asia.

The ASEAN-UN Secretariat-to-Secretariat Meeting was followed by the ASEAN-UN Preparatory Senior Officials Meeting and the ASEAN-UN Ministerial Meeting.

Battlegrounds Developer Attacks Fortnite For ‘Replicating’ Game

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Earlier this month, developer Epic Games announced a Battle Royale mode for its game Fortnite, and as it turns out, the makers of that other Battle Royale game aren’t too thrilled.

In a press release this morning, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds developer Bluehole took a shot at Epic Games, calling out Fortnite for cloning the 100-man PVP gameplay style with its upcoming free update ‘Battle Royale.’

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“We’ve had an ongoing relationship with Epic Games throughout PUBG’s development as they are the creators of [Unreal Engine 4], the engine we licensed for the game,” Bluehole vice president Chang Han Kim said in the press release. “After listening to the growing feedback from our community and reviewing the gameplay for ourselves, we are concerned that Fortnite may be replicating the experience for which PUBG is known.”

And he kept going: “We have also noticed that Epic Games references PUBG in the promotion of Fortnite to their community and in communications with the press. This was never discussed with us and we don’t feel that it’s right.”

This may be a reference to Epic creative director Donald Mustard’s note on the PlayStation Blog, in which he wrote: “We love Battle Royale games like PUBG and thought Fortnite would make a great foundation for our own version.”

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Bluehole’s Kim closed the press release with the ominous note that he and his company plan to “contemplate further action.”

This is some good drama. One might even say that both companies just jumped off a plane into a big battlefield, and that the last one standing will win.

Press Release: NORTHBAY TRAUMA CENTER EARNS 3-YEAR VERIFICATION

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NorthBay Trauma Center received a remarkable review from the American College of Surgeons, earning a three-year verification, the longest possible, during a recent assessment by the nationally known leader in trauma.

At the conclusion of a meticulous two-day review earlier this year, ACS surveyors found no deficiencies in the Fairfield-based Level II trauma center.

“To have the most rigorous verification organization in the country come, examine our program and validate that we provide optimal care for the critically injured patients in our community is extremely gratifying,” said Dr. J. Peter Zopfi, Trauma medical director at NorthBay Healthcare. “It solidified our commitment not only to those in need of life-saving care, but also to our community, which deserves the highest level of care.”

“The hospital functions as an essential component of the Solano County emergency response system at multiple levels,” evaluators wrote in their report, adding that NorthBay Medical Center works effectively with UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital and nearby academic hospitals’ trauma units to provide more advanced care that creates “a novel solution to a community need.”

NorthBay Trauma Center received high marks for its performance improvement efforts, its community education programs and its commitment to helping train pre-hospital emergency response teams to ensure the best possible outcome for critically injured patients.

“The program is very active in the community in education and outreach activities,” reviewers said.

Dr. Zopfi and Trauma Program Director Heather Venezio were singled out as “knowledgeable and organized with systems in place for effective management of the program,” as well as being leaders in the community.

“Achieving and maintaining the highest level of verification from the ACS is no small feat,” explained Heather. “These are exceptional experts in the field. They understand trauma requires collaboration of every person on the team who comes into contact with a critically injured patient.”

In a letter to NorthBay President and CEO B. Konard Jones, the two leaders of the ACS’s Verification Review Committee, R. Todd Maxson, MD, and Daniel Margulies, MD, wrote, “The Committee on Trauma would like to extend its congratulations to the NorthBay Medical Center on its verification as a Level II trauma center.”

Other strengths that set NorthBay Trauma Center apart from most programs, the examiners said, included:

• A cohesive staff of surgeons dedicated to the trauma program’s goals;
• A “strong collaborative relationship” between the emergency department and the trauma team;
• NorthBay neurosurgeons who are responsive and work effectively with trauma team leaders;
• A fellowship-trained orthopedic trauma surgeon on the NorthBay staff; and
• Regular participation in disaster drills with Fairfield Fire Department and other public safety agencies.

NorthBay Medical Center became the first hospital in Solano County to become a Level III Trauma Center in 2012. In 2014, After NorthBay Medical Center added 24-hour coverage with neurosurgeons, plastic surgeons and oral maxillofacial surgeons, the American College of Surgeons verified it as the first hospital in Solano County to earn a Level II Trauma Center designation.

Pershing Square Sends Communication to Investors Regarding Press Release to ADP Shareholders

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AMSTERDAM–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Pershing Square Holdings, Ltd. (LN:PSH) (NA:PSH) today released an email
sent from Pershing Square Capital Management, L.P. to its investors. The
text of the email is set forth below:

Dear Pershing Square Investor,

We want to provide some updates about one of our largest positions, ADP
(NASDAQ: ADP). This past Wednesday, September 20, 2017, Pershing Square
issued a press release that:

  • Announced the publication of a letter to fellow ADP shareholders
    emphasizing the significant opportunity for improvement at the
    company. The full letter may be viewed here: Letter
    to ADP shareholders
    .
  • Highlighted the first in a weekly series of unanswered questions for
    ADP. The question is available here: Question
  • Unveiled the first in a series of videos for shareholders. The video
    may be viewed here: Video

The complete press release is available here: press
release
. We will continue to update our web site www.ADPascending.com
where you will find all of these and other materials. Should you wish to
receive notification of updates to www.ADPascending.com,
please go to the web site and submit your email address.

In addition, on Wednesday, Bill appeared on CNBC to discuss our views on
ADP. To watch the video please click here:

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

Best Regards,

Pershing Square IR

IR@persq.com

About Pershing Square Holdings, Ltd.

Pershing Square Holdings, Ltd. (LN:PSH) (NA:PSH) is an investment
holding company structured as a closed-ended fund that makes
concentrated investments principally in North American companies.

Federal Reserve Press Release in Plain English September 2017

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Federal Reserve Press Release in Plain English 23.0 - Quicken Loans Zing Blog

The Federal Reserve had its September meeting the last two days and they chose to leave short-term interest rates right where they stand. That was more or less expected.

The real water cooler gossip capturing the attention of most economic analysts is what the Fed would do in order to reduce the amount of assets on its balance sheet. This is important for many areas of finance, including mortgages. Almost a decade ago now, when the economy was in pretty rough shape, the Federal Reserve decided to help stimulate the economy by buying massive amounts of assets, including a ton of mortgage bonds in order to keep rates low.

The Federal Reserve is the biggest purchaser of mortgage bonds in the market right now. When they start selling those bonds, it’s reasonable to assume yields will have to go up in order to attract other buyers. When that happens, rates may go up. As of right now, the Fed plans to start selling some of these assets in October.

Fed officials have said they will be careful with the program so as not to cause any market shocks, but if you’re thinking of buying a house or refinancing right now, rates are looking really good. If you see a deal you like, don’t hesitate to lock your rate.

The Fed specializes in speaking in “econo language,” so I put my plain English analysis of what they told us today in bold below.

Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in July indicates that the labor market has continued to strengthen and that economic activity has been rising moderately so far this year. Job gains have remained solid in recent months, and the unemployment rate has stayed low. Household spending has been expanding at a moderate rate, and growth in business-fixed investment has picked up in recent quarters. On a 12-month basis, overall inflation and the measure excluding food and energy prices have declined this year and are running below 2 percent. Market-based measures of inflation compensation remain low; survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations are little changed, on balance.

This is the “report card” paragraph where the teacher (the Fed) grades the student (U.S. Economy). The Fed gives the U.S. Economy pretty good grades this time. The labor market is rising nicely this year

  • A-minus: Household spending (what you and I spend on stuff) as well as business spending is also growing
  • B+: Inflation (prices of stuff) have declined (which, oddly, bums the Fed out a bit)
  • In all, the U.S. economy gets a solid B and should go up on the refrigerator.

Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria have devastated many communities, inflicting severe hardship. Storm-related disruptions and rebuilding will affect economic activity in the near term, but past experience suggests that the storms are unlikely to materially alter the course of the national economy over the medium term. Consequently, the Committee continues to expect that, with gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace, and labor market conditions will strengthen somewhat further. Higher prices for gasoline and some other items in the aftermath of the hurricanes will likely boost inflation temporarily; apart from that effect, inflation on a 12-month basis is expected to remain somewhat below 2 percent in the near term but to stabilize around the Committee’s 2 percent objective over the medium term. Near-term risks to the economic outlook appear roughly balanced, but the Committee is monitoring inflation developments closely.

This is where the Fed guestimates what it thinks will happen in the economy in the near future. The Fed mentioned the recent hurricanes having an effect on the economy. The committee sees the economy continuing to do well, although it sees rising gasoline prices (caused by the disruptions in Texas from Hurricane Harvey) increasing inflation some. Bottom line – the Fed feels pretty good about the balance between growth of the economy and prices. 

In view of realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation, the Committee decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 1 to 1 1/4 percent. The stance of monetary policy remains accommodative, thereby supporting some further strengthening in labor market conditions and a sustained return to 2 percent inflation.

This is the “money paragraph.” This is where the Fed announced it isn’t changing short term rates. Yay.

In determining the timing and size of future adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate, the Committee will assess realized and expected economic conditions relative to its objectives of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation. This assessment will take into account a wide range of information, including measures of labor market conditions, indicators of inflation pressures and expectations, and readings on financial and international developments. The Committee will carefully monitor actual and expected inflation developments relative to its symmetric inflation goal. The Committee expects that economic conditions will evolve in a manner that will warrant gradual increases in the federal funds rate; the federal funds rate is likely to remain, for some time, below levels that are expected to prevail in the longer run. However, the actual path of the federal funds rate will depend on the economic outlook as informed by incoming data.

This is where the Fed tells us the types of things the committee looks at. It will decide whether it will increase short term rates (federal funds rate), based on employment and inflation. The committee wants to target a 2% inflation rate (we’re below that right now). The Fed says it thinks the future will bring “gradual increases” in short term rates. That’s generally good news for both the economy and mortgage rates. Nice.

In October, the Committee will initiate the balance sheet normalization program described in the June 2017 Addendum to the Committee’s Policy Normalization Principles and Plans.

“Balance sheet normalization program” means the Fed is trying to find ways to reduce the giant amount of mortgage bonds and longer term treasury bonds that it purchased during the financial crisis to drive longer term rates down. This plan (feel free to Google it if you need a sleep aid) kicks off in October.

Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were: Janet L. Yellen, Chair; William C. Dudley, Vice Chairman; Lael Brainard; Charles L. Evans; Stanley Fischer; Patrick Harker; Robert S. Kaplan; Neel Kashkari; and Jerome H. Powell.

All the Fed agreed!

Press Release: Clean up in Barbuda

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Director of NODS Philmore Mullin

A number of persons representing key agencies travelled to Barbuda this morning to aid in the clean-up and restoration of the island.

According to Director of the National Office of Disaster Services (NODS), Philmore Mullin, among the delegation are personnel from the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA), the Central Board of Health (CBH), Defense Force, National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) and a number of Barbudan residents, Survey Department and the Emergency Medical Services (EMS).

Mullin says the APUA workers are expected to begin working on their system to see how soon electricity and water can be restored to the island, while the other groups will be responsible for the cleaning of the island, paving way for the rebuilding process.

CBH personnel will be specifically tasked with the fogging, disposal of dead animals and the pumping of stagnant water from the area.

As it stands, Mullin says the team will travel over to the island every day until suitable arrangements can be made for their accommodations in the form of pre fab houses and tents.

This work is estimated to take approximately 2 to 3 weeks.  – the end

Press release: National Office of Disaster Services reports on hurricane Maria in Antigua & Barbuda

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NODS (Source;nods.gov.ag)

Antigua and Barbuda was spared any major damage from Hurricane Maria Monday night into Tuesday morning however, about two families in the Grays Green area and an individual in Ottos had to be rescued from their homes and taken to shelter.

There were a number of fallen trees and utility poles, flooded buildings and it was reported that two APUA transformers blew out.

Barbuda did not report any damage. Mostly heavy rains and strong winds affected the island.

Due to the rain bands associated with Maria, flash flooding may still be possible.

Meanwhile, Antigua and Barbuda, through the National Office of Disaster Services (NODS), has made preparations to offer support to Dominica which has been devastated by Hurricane Maria.

A medical team, security personnel and search and rescue teams are on standby for deployment.

Along with the teams, a number of supplies to include blankets, water and hygiene kits will be delivered to the nature-isle.

Dominica felt the full force of Hurricane Maria Monday, causing widespread destruction on the island. Prime Minister of Dominica Roosevelt Skerrit, who lost his house roof in the hurricane, reported that the island was brutalized.

Meanwhile, the British Virgin Islands has requested the assistance of Antigua and Barbuda’s fire personnel following the passage of Hurricane Irma which caused serious destruction there.

Marriott Vacations Worldwide Provides Hurricane Irma Update

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“Our deepest and heartfelt thoughts go out to those who have been impacted by Hurricane Irma, and our first priority has been the safety and security of our owners, guests and associates,” commented Steve Weisz, Marriott Vacations Worldwide’s president and chief executive officer.  “As the storm has passed and their safety assured, we have turned our focus to the continued operations of our properties that were in Irma’s path.  While our St. Thomas resorts are not expected to be at full operations for some time, we have made great progress getting our other impacted resorts and operations open.  I am very proud of our team for how they have handled this difficult time, and we are continuing to move forward on our remediation efforts, including working with our insurers on property and business interruption claims.”

The company is still in the process of assessing the impact on its operations resulting from Hurricane Irma.  However, the company expects that mandatory evacuations, shutdowns and cancellations of reservations and scheduled tours resulting from Hurricane Irma will adversely impact sales operations at several of its locations, primarily those located on St. Thomas (USVI), in Florida and on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.  The company also expects rental and ancillary revenues will be impacted adversely across these locations.  As of today, all of the impacted resorts and sales centers have re-opened, either fully or partially, except for the company’s two resorts and sales center on St. Thomas, one resort and sales center in each of three locations in Florida (Singer Island, Marco Island and Ft. Lauderdale), and two resorts on Hilton Head Island.  The company expects all of its resorts and sales centers will be fully or partially open by the end of September, except for its two resorts and a sales center on St. Thomas.  The company is not currently in a position to predict when its resorts and sales center on St. Thomas will reopen.

The company previously provided updated full year 2017 financial guidance on August 3, 2017 in connection with its second quarter earnings release. Prior to Hurricane Irma, the company expected its results would have been within such guidance. Based on its preliminary assessments of the impacts of Hurricane Irma and currently available information, however, the company expects that its 2017 contract sales and rental and ancillary revenues could be negatively impacted by approximately $16 million to $20 million and $2 million to $3 million, respectively.   Further, the company expects its 2017 net income, adjusted EBITDA and adjusted net income could be negatively impacted by approximately $6 million to $8 million, $6 million to $8 million and $4 million to $6 million, respectively.  In addition, the company expects both its 2017 net cash provided by operating activities and adjusted free cash flow could be negatively impacted by approximately $10 million to $13 million. Non-GAAP financial measures, such as adjusted EBITDA, adjusted net income and adjusted free cash flow, are reconciled and adjustments are shown and described in further detail in Appendix A that follows.

The company expects a portion of the adverse impact to its contract sales and rental and ancillary revenues will be mitigated through business interruption insurance; however, it cannot quantify the extent of any such mitigation at this time, and any business interruption insurance income would most likely not be recognized in 2017.

The company is also still estimating the impact of the property damage to all of its resorts; however, it expects any significant damage to the resorts will be covered by property insurance and that any remaining costs and deductibles will not have a material impact on the company’s results or the relevant owners associations.

About Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation
Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation is a leading global pure-play vacation ownership company, offering a diverse portfolio of quality products, programs and management expertise with over 65 resorts.  Its brands include Marriott Vacation Club, The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club and Grand Residences by Marriott.  Since entering the industry in 1984 as part of Marriott International, Inc., the company earned its position as a leader and innovator in vacation ownership products. The company preserves high standards of excellence in serving its customers, investors and associates while maintaining a long-term relationship with Marriott International. For more information, please visit www.marriottvacationsworldwide.com.

Note on forward-looking statements: This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of federal securities laws, including statements about future operating results, estimates, and assumptions, and similar statements concerning anticipated future events and expectations that are not historical facts. In particular, the forward-looking statements included in this press release regarding the impact of Hurricane Irma are based on the company’s preliminary assessments.  The company is continuing to assess that impact, and actual results may differ, perhaps materially, from those included in this press release as a result of, among other things, the actual dates on which resorts and sales centers that are currently closed reopen, the occurrence of additional storms or other events outside the company’s control that hinder the remediation process, the length of time that may be required after re-opening to return to normal operations and sales pace, the length of time that may be required for the markets in which the company’s resorts and sales centers are located to return to normal operations, and whether damage to any resorts is more significant than expected.  The company cautions you that these statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, including volatility in the economy and the credit markets, supply and demand changes for vacation ownership and residential products, competitive conditions, the availability of capital to finance growth, and other matters referred to under the heading “Risk Factors” contained in the company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) and in subsequent SEC filings, any of which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in or implied in this press release.  These statements are made as of September 19, 2017 and the company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

Appendix A Follows

MARRIOTT VACATIONS WORLDWIDE CORPORATION
NON-GAAP FINANCIAL MEASURES
(In millions)

In this press release, we present the estimated impact of Hurricane Irma on certain financial measures that are not prescribed by United States generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”).  We reconcile the estimated impact on the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure to each estimated impact we present on a non-GAAP financial measure (identified by a double asterisk (“**”)) below.  Please be aware that these non-GAAP financial measures have limitations and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for revenues, net income, earnings per share or any other comparable operating measure prescribed by GAAP.  In addition, these non-GAAP financial measures may be calculated and/or presented differently than measures with the same or similar names that are presented by other companies, and as a result, the non-GAAP financial measures we present may not be comparable to those presented by others.

IMPACT OF HURRICANE IRMA ON 2017 ADJUSTED NET INCOME OUTLOOK

Fiscal Year

2017 (low)

Fiscal Year

2017 (high)

Net income

$

(6)

$

(8)

Adjustments to reconcile Net income to Adjusted net income

Bonus payout 1

3

4

Insurance 2

Provision for income taxes on adjustments to net income

(1)

(2)

Adjusted net income **

$

(4)

$

(6)

IMPACT OF HURRICANE IRMA ON 2017 ADJUSTED EBITDA OUTLOOK

Fiscal Year

2017 (low)

Fiscal Year

2017 (high)

Net income

$

(6)

$

(8)

Interest expense 1

Tax provision

(3)

(4)

Depreciation and amortization

EBITDA **

(9)

(12)

Non-cash share-based compensation

Bonus payout 2

3

4

Insurance 3

Adjusted EBITDA **

$

(6)

$

(8)

IMPACT OF HURRICANE IRMA ON 2017 ADJUSTED FREE CASH FLOW OUTLOOK

Fiscal Year

2017 (low)

Fiscal Year

2017 (high)

Net income

$

(6)

$

(8)

Inventory

(4)

(5)

Net cash provided by operating activities

(10)

(13)

Free cash flow **

(10)

(13)

Adjustments:

Net change in borrowings available from the securitization of eligible vacation ownership notes receivable through the warehouse credit facility 1

Adjusted free cash flow **

$

(10)

$

(13)

 

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SOURCE Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation

Related Links

http://www.marriottvacationsworldwide.com

New Synthetic Muscle Puts Us One Step Closer to Lifelike Robots

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