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Swiss Re

Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd known as Swiss Re, is a reinsurance company based in Zurich, Switzerland. It is the world's second-largest reinsurer, it acquired GE Insurance Solutions in 2006. Founded in 1863, Swiss Re operates through offices in more than 25 countries. Swiss Re was ranked 118th in Forbes 2000 Global leading companies 2016, it was ranked 313th in Fortune Global 500 in 2015. On 10/11 May 1861, more than 500 houses went up in flames in the town of Glarus. Two-thirds of the town sank into rubble and ashes. Like the fire of Hamburg in 1842, which led to the foundation of the first professional reinsurers in Germany, the great fire of Glarus in 1861 showed that insurance coverage was inadequate in Switzerland in the event of such a catastrophe; the Swiss Reinsurance Company of Zurich was founded on 19 December 1863 by the Helvetia General Insurance Company in St. Gallen, the Schweizerische Kreditanstalt in Zurich and the Basler Handelsbank in Basel; the company's articles of association were approved by the government of the Canton of Zurich on the same day.

The foundation capital, 15% paid up, amounted to 6 million Swiss francs. The official foundation document bore the signature of the poet Gottfried Keller, who at the time was first secretary of the Canton of Zurich. Swiss Re was the lead insurer of the World Trade Center during the September 11 attacks which led to an insurance dispute with the owner, Silverstein Properties. In October 2006, the New York appeals court ruled in favor of Swiss Re, stating that the destruction of the twin towers was a single event rather than two, limiting coverage to 3.5 billion USD. On 31 October 2008, Swiss Re completed a £762 million acquisition of Barclays PLC's subsidiary Barclays Life Assurance Company Ltd. In 2009, Warren Buffett invested $2.6 billion as a part of Swiss Re's raising equity capital Berkshire Hathaway owns a 3% stake, with rights to own more than 20%. In June 2014, the company through Admin Re acquired the UK pensions business of HSBC Life Limited worth £4.2 billion. In May 2016, the Fort McMurray Canadian wildfires caused estimated damages of up to 10 billion CAD with Swiss Re having the most exposure among reinsurers, covering 70-80% of the losses.

The Group consists of the following three business units: Reinsurance: Reinsurance is Swiss Re's largest business in income terms, providing about 80% of gross premiums in two segments: Property & Casualty and Life & Health. Corporate Solutions: Markets insurance to mid-sized and multinational corporations around the world, with over 40 offices worldwide. Offerings range from standard risk transfer covers and multi-line programmes to customised arrangements. Life Capital: Accepts closed books of in-force life and health insurance business, entire lines of business, or the entire capital stock of life insurance companies, enabling clients to divest non-core blocks of business, thus reducing administrative costs and freeing up capital. Swiss Re's leadership consists of the Board of Directors, the Executive Committee and the Group Management Board. Members of the Executive Committee include Chief Executive Officer; the group has offices in over 25 countries. In Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Swiss Re has offices in Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Switzerland, South Africa, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.

In Asia and Australasia, the group has offices in the following countries: Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea. There are offices in the Americas: in Barbados, Canada and the United States. Swiss Re is headquartered in Zurich where the parent company's main premises have stood on the shores of Lake Zurich since 1864, its London office is located in the award-winning 30 St Mary Axe tower, which opened on 25 May 2004. 30 St Mary Axe is London's first environmentally sustainable tall building. Among the building's most distinctive features are its windows, which open to allow natural ventilation to supplement the mechanical systems for a good part of the year; the landmark London skyscraper, designed by architect Norman Foster and popularly known as'the gherkin', was confirmed sold on 5 February 2007 for over £600 million to a group formed of IVG Immobilien AG of Germany and Evans Randall of Mayfair. The American headquarters of Swiss Re is located in Armonk, New York, on a 127-acre site overlooking Westchester County's Kensico Reservoir.

The facility, which houses more than 1,000 employees, was completed in 1999 and expanded in 2004. Swiss Re has offices in Alpharetta, Calabasas, Cape Town, Dallas, Fort Wayne, Kansas City, Marlton, New York City, San Francisco, Schaumburg and Windsor. Swiss Re has two Canadian offices, in Vancouver. List of investors in Bernard L. Madoff Securities Official website

Bilevel rail car

The bilevel car or double-decker train is a type of rail car that has two levels of passenger accommodation, as opposed to one, increasing passenger capacity. In some countries such vehicles are referred to as dostos, derived from the German Doppelstockwagen; the use of double-decker carriages, where feasible, can resolve capacity problems on a railway, avoiding other options which have an associated infrastructure cost such as longer trains, more trains per hour or adding extra tracks besides the existing line. Bilevel trains are claimed to be more energy efficient, may have a lower operating cost per passenger. A bilevel car may carry up to about twice as many as a normal car, if structure and loading gauges permit, without requiring double the weight to pull or material to build. However, a bilevel train may take longer to exchange passengers at each station, since more people will enter and exit from each car; the increased dwell time makes them most popular on long-distance routes. Bilevel cars may not be usable on older railway systems with low loading gauges.

With the exception of Bombardier MultiLevel Coaches, this includes much of the rail network in the Northeastern United States, including the Northeast Corridor, as well as the entire British rail network. In some countries such as the UK new lines are built to a higher than the existing structure gauge to allow the use of double-deck trains in future. Double deck carriages date to at least as early as the second half of the 19th century. In France several hundred voitures à impériale with seats on the roof were in use by the Chemins de fer de l'Ouest, Chemins de fer de l'Est and Chemins de fer du Nord by 1870, having been in use for over 2 decades. In the 1860s M. J. B. Vidard introduced two-storied carriages on the Chemins de fer de l'Est, with a full body and doors. Vidard's carriages had a total height of 13 feet 8 inches with the head height in the lower part of the carriage only 5 feet 5 inches; the Chicago and Quincy Railroad placed bilevel cars in commuter service in the Chicago area in 1950.

These were successful, led to the Atchison and Santa Fe Railway introducing long-distance Hi-Level cars on Chicago–Los Angeles El Capitan streamliner in 1954. In 1968, the four experimental double-deck power cars entered service in Sydney, enabling the first double-deck Electric Multiple Unit passenger train in the world; the double-deck design includes lowering the bottom floor to below the top level of the wheels, closer to the rails, adding an upper floor above. Such a design will fit under more bridges and power wires. For cost and safety, this design minimizes car height and lowers the centre of gravity. Depending on train station platform heights, three designs can be used for entry – high platforms require use of a "split level" car design, where the doors are located on a middle level, with access into the upper or lower level branching off – with stairs or ramps going both up and down. For low train station platforms, a "two-floor" design with level entry onto the lower floor is used.

A third tall "two floors over-wheel" design is used. This is a traditional single floor car "with a second story" design with, when using low platform, requires steps up to a traditional floor height and internal stairs up to the upper floor. There are four important height measurements above the railhead: platform height, traditional floor height, downstairs floor height and upstairs floor height. Platform height determines the level entry height for wheeled objects, such as luggage, strollers and bicycles. Platform height is ideally standardized across all stations. Traditional rail car floor height matters for end doors connecting to existing single floor rail cars. Downstairs or lowest floor height is determined by the thickness of the beams connecting the span between the wheels and bogies of a rail car; the upstairs floor or highest floor height is above the lowest floor and must fit under bridges and tunnels. Level entry floor height must match the platform height. Either the traditional or downstairs floor height matches the platform height.

Despite the name "bilevel" or "double-decker", for maximum compatibility the rail car will have up to four different floor heights. High platform design is troublesome. Most low-platform double-decker trains have level entry onto the lower level of the car, allowing wheelchair access. There are two-floor heights in these "bilevel" cars. There is a staircase between floors inside the car. Connecting doors between cars are either at the upper floor or at an intermediate level over the bogies. In the former case, connecting directly to a single level car causes drag and connecting door problems. In the western USA, cars are of the upper-level-connection type, they use low-platform stations, because the traditional single floor trains all h

TMNT (film)

TMNT is a 2007 American computer-animated martial arts superhero film written and directed by Kevin Munroe. Based on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic book series, the film stars the voices of James Arnold Taylor, Nolan North, Mikey Kelley, Mitchell Whitfield, Chris Evans, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Kevin Smith, Patrick Stewart and Zhang Ziyi and is narrated by Laurence Fishburne, it is the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film made with computer-generated imagery created by Imagi Animation Studios as well as the first feature film in the franchise in 14 years. It is loosely connected to the original 1990–1993 trilogy; the film sees the four Turtles grow apart after their final defeat of their archenemy the Shredder, when strange things are happening in New York City as ancient creatures threaten the world and the Turtles must reunite to save it. The film was released theatrically by Warner Bros. Pictures and The Weinstein Company on March 23, 2007 to mixed reviews from critics yet was a commercial success, grossing $95 million worldwide against a budget of $34 million.

3,000 years ago, warlord Yaotl opens a portal into a parallel universe and becomes immortal, but his 4 sibling generals are turned to stone. The portal releases 13 immortal monsters that destroy his army and his enemies. In the present, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have grown apart after defeating the Shredder. Donatello works as an IT specialist, Michelangelo works as a birthday party entertainer called "Cowabunga Carl", Raphael continues to fight crime at night as a vigilante known as "the Nightwatcher", which he keeps a secret from his family and friends; the Turtle's old friend April O'Neil now operates a company that locates and acquires relics for collectors, assisted by her boyfriend, Casey Jones. April travels to Central America for work and finds Leo, telling him that the Turtles have drifted apart, she returns to New York City with a statue for wealthy tycoon Max Winters. Leo returns, April and Casey deliver the statue to Winters. Winters hires Shredder's former second-in-command and her ninja Foot Clan to search the city for the 13 monsters before the portal opens again.

Raph encounters Casey, who reveals his knowledge of Raph's double identity and joins him in hunting criminals. Winters, Yaotl and is still immortal, reanimates his four stone generals using technology created by his company. Leo returns to the sewer lair, reuniting with his brothers. Splinter forbids the Turtles from fighting. While training, the Turtles encounter one of the 13 beasts, battling the Foot Clan; the Turtles engage Bigfoot, going against Splinter's orders. When Raphael visits Casey, they encounter Vampire Succubor, one of the monsters, witness its capture by the Foot and the Stone Generals, who spot them. Despite a successful escape, Raph is knocked unconscious. Casey takes Raph back to the apartment while April calls the other Turtles for help and reveals the identities of Yaotl and his generals. After being revived, Raph suggests they pursue Yaotl, but Leonardo forbids him to go until Splinter gives them his permission. Raphael angrily investigates alone. Leo and Mikey plan their next move, while Donatello discovers the next portal will open over Winters' tower.

Splinter tells Leonardo that his team is incomplete, that he knows what he must do. After 11 monsters have been captured, General Aguila questions Yaotl's plans for them and the portal; the generals conspire to betray Yaotl, wanting to remain immortal. As the Nightwatcher, Raph encounters the Jersey Devil, one of the remaining monsters, but drives it off. Leo, not recognizing Raph, fights the Nightwatcher, believing him to be nothing but an arrogant thug. After Raph's helmet is knocked off, he and Leo argue about how much things have changed since Leo left. Another fight breaks out, but when he breaks Leo's swords, Raph runs away in a fit of guilt and shame; the generals seize a weakened Leo, intending to substitute him for the 13th missing beast, Raph decides to make amends by rescuing Leo. As the portal opens, Yaotl discovers his generals' treachery, while Splinter and the Turtles, accompanied by Casey and April, fight their way through the Foot Clan cordon and breach the tower. Yaotl reveals the truth to the heroes: he only wants to send the monsters back to where they came from and be freed from his curse of immortality.

The generals reveal that they wish to preserve their immortality, but to use the portal to bring in more monsters to conquer the world. Having refused to betray Yaotl in exchange for serving the Generals, April and the Foot Clan work together, searching for the final monster, the Sea Monster, while the Turtles fight the generals. Splinter and Yaotl fight off numerous monsters emerging from the portal. April and Karai arrive at the tower with the Sea Monster; the Sea Monster crashes into the Generals. Karai warns them to enjoy their victory while it lasts, cryptically claiming they will soon contend with faces from their past before vanishing. Yaotl, now mortal, honors Splinter and the Turtles, thanking them for fulfilling his wish before dissipating. Splinter places Yaotl's helmet among his trophy collection, as well as Raph's Nightwatcher helmet and Mikey's "Cowabunga Carl" head; as they return to their roles as the shadowy guardians of New York City, Raph says that the Turtles will always be brother