3 Compelling Stories from Home & Away
By Emily Maxwell
NATIONAL – from bbc.com
Golden Ray cargo ship: US Coastguard plans rescue for crew
The US Coast Guard has made contact with four crew members of a cargo ship that capsized off the coast of the state of Georgia on Sunday. All are now confirmed to be alive. Rescue teams will drill a hole in the hull to send through supplies while they plan their extraction.
Car carrier the Golden Ray overturned early on Sunday morning after leaving the port of Brunswick. Authorities only managed to save 20 of the crew before fire forced them back.
Those remaining on board are all South Korean nationals, the country’s foreign ministry said.
Rescuers have now made contact with those crew members still aboard the Golden Ray and are planning an extraction, the US Coastguard has tweeted.
“Response crew will drill a hole to deliver supplies,” they added.
Footage from the scene showed a US coastguard helicopter landing on the heavily listing Golden Ray, and rescue teams assessing the vessel’s hull.
Six South Koreans, 13 Filipinos and the US ship pilot were evacuated from the vessel on Sunday, South Korea’s foreign ministry reportedly said.
The reason for the ship’s capsize is under investigation, a coastguard news release stated. The National Transportation Safety Board has assigned two investigators to help.
Golden Ray is owned by the Hyundai Glovis logistics company and operates under a Marshall Islands flag.
INTERNATIONAL – from bbc.com
Russia’s ruling party hit badly in Moscow election
Russia’s ruling United Russia party has suffered major losses in Sunday’s election to the Moscow city parliament, nearly complete results show.
The party lost nearly a third of the seats in the 45-member parliament, but remains on course to retain its majority with about 26 seats. With most opposition candidates disqualified, the Communists, independents and others gained seats.
The exclusion of the opposition candidates triggered mass protests. Thousands of people have been detained, and riot police have been accused of a brutal crackdown on demonstrators.
With nearly all the results in, United Russia is predicted to get 26 seats in the city parliament (Mosgorduma).
The party’s brand has become so toxic lately that all its members ran as independents, the BBC’s Sarah Rainsford in Moscow reports. In a major upset, the party’s leader in the Russian capital, Andrei Metelsky, was not re-elected. The Communist Party is expected to get 13 seats, while the liberal Yabloko party and left-leaning Just Russia will each have three seats.
Opposition leader Alexei Navalny promoted a strategy of “smart voting” after his own allies were all barred from running in this election. Mr. Navalny’s team exposed what they called “undercover” United Russia candidates, and campaigned for those best placed to defeat them. He described the result as “fantastic.”
ALASKA – from adn.com
Alaska Permanent Fund grows despite state spending of billions on services and dividend
Despite a $2.7 billion transfer to the state treasury, the Alaska Permanent Fund earned enough from its investments to grow by $1.4 billion, or 2%, during the just-ended state fiscal year. As of June 30, the fund stood at $66.3 billion, up from $64.9 billion on the same date in 2018.
Under a system approved in 2018 by the Alaska Legislature, the Permanent Fund is now more important to the state budget than the oil industry and all other taxes combined. The $2.7 billion was spent on both dividends and state services: $1 billion was spent on last year’s $1,600 dividend and the remaining $1.7 billion paid for services used by Alaskans.
The year-end figures, discussed Thursday in a committee meeting of the Permanent Fund Corp.’s board of trustees, show that the system worked as intended during its inaugural year. The fund earned 6.32% on its investments and transferred out 4.3%, leaving a small amount for growth. The figures will be made final at the corporation’s annual meeting later this month.
“I think it was a really solid year,” said Bruce Tangeman, commissioner of the Alaska Department of Revenue and one of the corporation’s trustees.
“We kept up and added to the earnings reserve account,” said Angela Rodell, executive director of the corporation.
The Permanent Fund consists of two main accounts: The corpus, which is constitutionally protected and cannot be spent without a statewide vote, and the earnings reserve, which can be spent.
Until 2018, there were no limits on how much could be spent from the earnings reserve. In that year, the Legislature approved — and then-Gov. Bill Walker signed — Senate Bill 26, which calls for a regular transfer of 5.25% of the fund’s average value to the state treasury.