While federal negotiations continue on raising the U.S. debt ceiling, Vermont’s State Treasurer is cautioning that the seeming impasse could negatively impact Vermont’s hard-earned Triple-A bond credit rating. ‘Yesterday, we learned from Moody’s Investor Services that even the highest-rated states, including Vermont, would have their ratings reviewed next week in light of the continued U.S. debt ceiling debate,’ said State Treasurer Beth Pearce. ‘However, I’m confident Vermont’s track record of fiscal responsibility will serve us well in any rating review. Vermont has the highest credit rating in New England, one of the highest ratings in the country, a strong cash position and healthy reserves.’ Pearce said such disappointing news concerns her because the State’s high bond rating enables Vermont to borrow funds for critical infrastructure needs at very low rates and save taxpayers millions of dollars in interest payments. On July 13, Moody’s placed the U.S. government’s debt ratings on review for possible downgrade. Moody’s informed the Treasurer’s Office that it also was concerned that states would be negatively impacted by disruptions caused by the failure to raise the U.S. debt ceiling. State and federal governments sell bonds to investors to borrow money to make investments in areas such as public infrastructure. In Vermont, money raised by a bond sale funds a wide range of capital purposes, including State building construction and maintenance, health and public safety, and pollution control projects. The higher such bonds are rated, the more creditworthy a rating agency evaluates the bond issuer to be. Vermont bonds are rated Triple-A by Moody’s and Fitch Ratings and Double-A+ by the Standard & Poor’s Ratings Service. ‘The debate in Washington is a painful reminder that even though Vermont is fiscally sound and we are responsibly managing our finances through this economic downturn, we also are affected by national public policy decisions. It would be regrettable if all of the hard work and sacrifice that State government, employees and taxpayers have made to earn Vermont’s excellent ratings is put at risk due to events beyond our control,’ said Pearce. Vermont’s next general obligation bond sale is not scheduled until mid-October and Pearce said the State has sufficient cash balances and receipts to delay that sale even further if necessary. ‘We are fortunate that we can get through any short- or even medium-term bond market disruption,’ explained Pearce. ‘Many states are not in such an advantageous position. If a resolution to the debt ceiling issue is not forthcoming, debt markets will be volatile. States and municipalities with lower credit ratings may have difficulty accessing the market at affordable interest rates, if at all. I remain hopeful, however, that a resolution will take place before the deadline.’ The Treasurer’s Office has worked closely with State officials to review rating agency concerns and to develop contingency plans. Vermont has sufficient liquid cash reserves to manage delays in receipt of federal funds, and all of its existing debt is fixed rate and long term, which protects it from both rising interest rates and ‘rollover’ risk.
Sir Alex Ferguson insists he is not concerned at Danny Welbeck’s paltry goals return for Manchester United this season. He added: “Maybe he doesn’t appreciate us moving him around in various positions and we’ve maybe overused that because he is young. “But his value to the club is there because I know he can do a job for me in any of those positions. “It’s a fantastic asset when you have a player who is as adaptable as that. “But I think he will find his role through the middle once he gets that maturity and gets into a more consistent way of scoring.” Welbeck has scored just twice for the Red Devils, and only once in the Premier League. It is a remarkable statistic, particularly as he has got three for England, and a massive downturn from the 12 he netted last season. “Last year he had 12 goals, this year he’s only got two, so that’s a big drop,” Ferguson told Inside United. “But that drop doesn’t concern us because he still applies himself really well and still looks to score, still looks to get a chance and with that kind of courage he will eventually become a regular goalscorer.” Press Association
FORMULA ONE-PROTESTSF1 drivers discuss whether to take a knee at season openerLONDON (AP) — Formula One drivers will discuss taking a knee at the opening race of the delayed season in Austria on Sunday. McLaren driver Lando Norris says it will be discussed following the drivers’ briefing with the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association on Friday. Six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton has been vocal about the Black Lives Matter movement and F1′s diversity issues. Black Lives Matter has been supported by soccer players in Germany, Italy and England taking a knee before and during games.BROADCASTS-DISCRIMINATIONSoccer players’ union points to racial bias in broadcastsLONDON (AP) — The soccer players’ union in England believes racial bias is evident during broadcasts of matches based on the language used by commentators in European leagues. The study conducted by Danish research firm RunRepeat in association with the Professional Footballers’ Association found 63% of praise regarding a player’s intelligence was aimed at those with lighter skin, while 63% of criticism for a player’s intelligence was aimed at those with darker skin tones. ‘A dark past’: MVPs say time to pull Landis name off plaquesNEW YORK (AP) — As monuments, statues and memorials around the world come under increased scrutiny, some former Most Valuable Players in Major League Baseball are saying they’d like to see a change in future MVP plaques. The trophy is engraved with the name of Kenesaw Mountain Landis in large letters. Landis was baseball’s first commissioner and there were no Black players in the majors during his reign from 1920 until his death in 1944. His name has been on every American League and National League MVP plaque since then. Barry Larkin, Terry Pendleton and Mike Schmidt say they’d like to see it pulled off.Toward the end of his tenure as commissioner, Landis told owners they were free to sign Black players. But there is no evidence he pushed for baseball integration. June 30, 2020 Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditMLB-YANKEES-INJURIES Yankees confident that stars will be healthyNEW YORK (AP) — Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is optimistic right fielder Aaron Judge, left-hander James Paxton, center fielder Aaron Hicks and designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton will be ready to play in the time for New York’s rescheduled opener at World Series champion Washington on July 23. Judge did not play in any exhibition games due to discomfort in his right pectoral muscle and shoulder that he felt when swinging. Paxton had surgery Feb. 5 to repair a herniated disk in his back. The positive tests occurred on June 23, the first day all members of the team were tested as part of the NBA’s plan to restart the season, which was suspended in mid-March because of the pandemic. Griffin says the Pelicans have had no players test positive since.When the Pelicans return to action on July 30 against Utah at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports complex outside of Orlando, Florida, they will be 3½ games out of the Western Conference’s final playoff spot with eight games left.VIRUS OUTBREAK-NHL-HURRICANESHurricanesRALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Members of the Carolina Hurricanes have returned to their home ice at PNC Arena as the team began voluntary training sessions amid the second phase of the NHL’s return plan. Cashman said some players may arrive late because of travel. He was not sure whether workouts will start Friday or Saturday.VIRUS OUTBREAK-NBA-PELICANSThree New Orleans players test positiveNEW ORLEANS (AP) — Pelicans general manager David Griffin says three New Orleans players have tested positive for COVID-19 and will be in self-isolation until testing shows they can return to team activities without infecting others.Griffin declined to identify the players, citing medical privacy laws. Update on the latest sports MLB-ORIOLESOrioles sign second overall pickBALTIMORE (AP) — Outfielder Heston Kjerstad agreed to a minor league contract with the Baltimore Orioles that includes a $5.2 million signing bonus, well below the slot value of $7,789,900 assigned to the No. 2 overall pick.The 21-year-old joins a rebuilding Orioles team that has lost at least 100 games in two straight seasons and used the No. 1 pick in 2019 to secure catcher Adley Rutschman out of Oregon State.NBA-RACIAL INJUSTICE-MORANT APOLOGY In a video conference with reporters, captain Jordan Staal said the players went through safety protocols that included wearing a mask and getting a temperature check when arriving at the arena, as well as “keeping your distance as best you can.”The team had announced last week that roughly 16 players were expected to participate, divided into two groups, with workouts closed to the public and media.In other developments related to the coronavirus:— The LPGA Tour lost another tournament when the Canadian Women’s Open was canceled because of travel restrictions and quarantine requirements from the COVID-19 pandemic. The CP Women’s Open was scheduled for Sept. 3-6 at Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club in Vancouver. The LPGA Tour and Golf Canada say it will return to Shaughnessy the last week in August next year.— Up to 800 spectators per day will be allowed at a tennis exhibition in Berlin in mid-July. This, even after four players tested positive for the coronavirus after playing in a similar event fronted by Novak Djokovic. Organizers of two tournaments in Berlin say the city health authorities have approved a limited number of spectators. The maximum is set at 800 per day for a July 13-15 outdoor event on grass, and 200 per day for a hard-court event in a hangar at the disused Tempelhof airport from July 17-19. Grizzlies’ Morant apologizes for anti-police Instagram postMEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Memphis Grizzlies rookie guard Ja Morant posted and deleted an Instagram photo suggesting he’d replace his name with an expletive on his number 12 jersey in a protest against police. Morant then apologized, saying the post didn’t “accurately convey” what he wanted to share. Morant said he knows “there are good cops” out there.The league, Nike and the players association are reportedly working on a deal that would allow players to replace the names on the backs of their jerseys with social justice statements. MLB-RACIAL INJUSTICE-MVP PLAQUES Associated Press The study looked at 80 matches in the Premier League as well as the top divisions in Italy, Spain and France this season.