By the people, for the people

first_imgDaniel Ignacio smiled as he gazed across a sunlit Malkin Penthouse at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), cradling an empty wineglass. He was watching the catering staff smooth out some white tablecloths and stock the buffet table with arugula salad and seared salmon.The native of Brazil had seen that view many times before, but on Wednesday night, it looked very different. That night, for once, he wasn’t serving the guests — he was one.“I do this every day,” said Ignacio, 32, gesturing at his co-workers. “In seven years, it’s my first time having some wine” in this room. “I’m so happy to be here. I love working at Harvard — for me, I see my future here.”Ignacio was one of 15 people honored that evening at a dinner to celebrate Harvard employees who have newly become U.S. citizens with help from the Harvard Bridge Program. The program, which offers education and training to faculty and staff in career, language, and computer skills, pairs prospective citizens with student volunteer tutors from the Institute of Politics (IOP) at the Kennedy School. Since it began in 2003, 192 new citizens have completed the program.In her congratulatory remarks, Harvard President Drew Faust, a Civil War historian, spoke of the prominent role that the question of who is an American played during that era.“It was a very important time when the United States asked itself what it meant to be a democracy where citizens had equal access to the privileges of being part of that nation,” Faust said, noting the passage of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments and President Abraham Lincoln’s commitment to a “government of the people, by the people, for the people,” as articulated in his historic Gettysburg Address.“You inspire us to think about those obligations. You inspire us by your dedication to achieving the citizenship that we all share, and you remind us that governments that are about people are something that are too precious to … allow them to perish from the Earth,” she said.Israel Argueta, 40, came to the Boston area 22 years ago from Guatemala to join family members here. He has been working for nearly three years in the Department of Microbiology at Harvard Medical School as a laboratory technician, preparing media for researchers’ use.Argueta spent two years studying for the citizenship test on his own before teaming up with tutor Radhika Jain ’14, and passing the exam last year.“I’ve been waiting on this moment for a long time and finally it’s here,” he said, as his partner, Sulma, and four young children sat nearby. “I feel very excited, very happy.”Jain, now in her fourth year as a tutor, said that as the American-born daughter of parents who emigrated from India, she rarely thought about her own citizenship until she began helping others prepare for theirs.“That process of questioning knowledge and the civics system of which we are a part, for me was really humbling,” she told the group.“What I really admire most about all of our new citizens here is that you deliberately chose to become citizens. And I think that your citizenship is especially powerful, especially significant because you pursued it, you consciously embraced all of the responsibilities and privileges that citizenship confers. I never even had to do that, but the fact that you put the effort in has been really inspiring to me,” Jain said.As valuable as the tutoring experience is for staff, it’s just as cherished by student volunteers, said Jacob Moscona-Skolnik ’16, who coordinates the IOP tutors. More often than not, there are far more students eager to tutor than there are tutees available.“I think many people feel that it’s among the most meaningful experiences at Harvard,” he said. “We’re talking about citizenship, we’re talking about immigration, [and] these are really important policy issues, but the personal element is what I think really gets to people, that sense in which the program really brings together people who, on a normal day at Harvard, wouldn’t necessarily be at the same table or talk about these issues with one another.”last_img read more

Former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan to join Notre Dame faculty

first_imgPaul Ryan, former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, will join the Notre Dame faculty as a guest lecturer in economics and political science, the University announced in a press release Monday.Ryan, who recently finished two consecutive terms as Speaker of the House, has served as a Republican representative of Wisconsin’s first congressional district for the last 20 years. He will be joining former Indiana senator Joe Donnelly and former White House chief-of-staff Denis McDonough as “professors of the practice” at the University, the release said.“The study of political science is strengthened when students hear from people with real-world policy and political experience,” David Campbell, chair of the political science department at Notre Dame, said. “Having former officials in the classroom provides important insights for students — an opportunity to put the theories we study to the test.”Ryan will be lecturing on topics such as the basics of the United States government, current polarization in American politics and the intersection between Catholicism and economics, among other topics, the release said.Ryan has had family ties with Notre Dame for over 20 years, the release said.“[He] has his own connection to Notre Dame, where his brothers Stan and Tobin earned their bachelor’s degrees in economics,” the release said. “Ryan has visited Notre Dame many times over the years and now looks forward to getting directly involved with its students and faculty.”Ryan said he is looking forward to working and collaborating with Notre Dame students.“As an Irish Catholic from the Midwest, the University of Notre Dame has always held a special place in my heart,” Ryan said in the release. “It is an honor to be part of a University where Catholic principles, robust debates, academic freedoms and diverse viewpoints are allowed to flourish. As much as I hope to impart as a lecturer, I know that I will learn a tremendous amount from Notre Dame’s remarkable students as we discuss the big challenges before our nation and collaborate on how best to address them.”Ryan will assume his position as guest lecturer during the 2019-2020 academic year.Tags: denis mcdonough, Joe Donnelly, Paul Ryan, professor-of-the-practice, speaker of the houselast_img read more

On the Blogs: Emerging Economies Lead Renewable Investment Surge

first_imgOn the Blogs: Emerging Economies Lead Renewable Investment Surge FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Tim Smedley for Raconteur.net:The biggest renewable investors included Chile ($3.5 billion, up 157 per cent) South Africa ($4.5 billion, up 329 per cent) and Morocco ($2 billion, up from almost zero in 2014). India saw investments rise 22 per cent to $10.2 billion while China, now the world’s biggest investor in renewable technology, spent $102.9 billion on renewables (36 percent of the world total).If you consider investments relative to annual GDP, the top five investors globally were actually Mauritania, Honduras, Uruguay, Morocco and Jamaica. Meanwhile, Costa Rica is remarkably close to becoming the first developing country to have 100 per cent renewable electricity.“Wind and solar power are now being adopted in many developing countries as a natural and substantial part of the generation mix,” says Michael Liebreich, chairman of the advisory board at BNEF. “They can be produced more cheaply than often high wholesale power prices; they reduce a country’s exposure to expected future fossil fuel prices and, above all, they can be built very quickly.”While Europe is looking to more expensive offshore wind options to appease not-in-my-back-yard voters, many developing countries are happy with cheaper on-shore and solar options. This in turn means the companies selling those technologies are increasingly looking towards emerging markets. Total renewable investment in Europe actually slipped 21 per cent to $48.8 billion in 2015 and today’s growth market is in the global south.Kirsty Hamilton, an expert in renewable energy investment at Chatham House, outlines the mix of factors at play, including cost-reductions, strong government policies and investors actively looking for opportunities. The big European projects, such as Germany’s Energiewende, may have driven the growth in renewable energy technology, says Ms Hamilton, but recent political flip-flopping has seen investors “head to the least risky countries”.India’s prime minister Narendra Modi launched a global solar alliance at the Paris climate conference in December, with his own country aiming to increase solar installations from just below 5GW to 100GW by 2022. To put that into perspective, the UK’s entire nuclear capacity is currently 10GW. This would be more than double the present solar capacity of current global leader China.The project might sound far-fetched, but it is already underway. SB Energy, a joint Japanese-Taiwanese venture, recently won a bid for a 350MW project in India’s Andhra Pradesh province. The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis describes India as “executing one of the most radical energy sector transformations ever undertaken.”Full item: Developing countries lead in clean energylast_img read more

Blue Ridge Outdoors Top Towns Nominee: Robbinsville, North Carolina

first_imgPerched high in the mountains of Western North Carolina, Robbinsville, North Carolina is the county seat of Graham County. The town itself is tiny, with a year round population of just over 600, but the nearby public lands are vast and varied in their scenic value.For starters, there is the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest. Dedicated in 1936 to honor a poet killed in action during World War II, the Joyce Kilmer is an inspiring place where old growth yellow poplars, some as many as 400 years old, tower as much as 125 feet above the forest floor alongside oak, basswood, giant hemlocks, and sycamore trees. Other outdoor attractions include the Nantahala National Forest, the Cherohala Skyway, Lake Santeetlah, and the Cheoah River.Cudas_IB_0814_2Did you know? Once a hiding place for Cherokee Indians trying to evade the Trail of Tears, the 10,000-acre Snowbird Backcountry Area makes a great venue for primitive camping and backcountry fly-fishing.Vote for your favorite outdoor town now at blueridgeoutdoors.com!last_img read more

Destroying Drug Labs, Preserving the Environment

first_img Community Support But Ares is the only task force under the direct command of the Air Force. Col. Garzon said 77 tons of cocaine pass through his area of responsibility in a year, moved by criminal gangs and the 10th and 16th fronts of the terrorist group Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Ares’ other security responsibilities include eradicating coca plants, stopping criminal and terrorist support networks, seizing illegal chemicals used for cocaine production and halting shipments. This remote area is exploited by narcotrafficking and terrorist organizations, which process cocaine and ship it down the morichales toward the Venezuelan and Brazilian borders before being shipped covertly to Central America and beyond. Ares Task Force is charged with stopping drug movement by land, water and air in the Colombian departments of Arauca, Guainía and Vichada. It operates from a base situated alongside the Tomo River and Tuparro National Park. In executing its mandate, Ares is protecting Colombia’s environment and indigenous communities from the harsh chemicals that drug processors dump indiscriminately onto the land and into the water. “If there is not an intervention to disassemble and dismantle these laboratories and the infrastructure for coca processing, it’s a permanent activity,” she said. During the “summer months, when the rains come, all these chemicals seep into the earth and end up in the waterways.” While drug laboratories are often located far from communities, their impact is sometimes felt in the form of adverse health conditions as well. Morales said that indigenous communities have complained about health impacts on infants. Col. Garzon added that community members have respiratory ailments. Both agreed that Ares is following special protocols to manually destroy cocaine laboratories in a way that minimizes further environmental damage. Colombia’s eastern savanna covers an area of more than 107,000 square miles of green plains where tea-colored water flows in the dry season. The waterways are known as “morichales,” named for the 20-meter-high hardwood trees that grow thickly on the banks. “This is our operational concept: Basically, what we are trying to do is negate, block, seize and destroy everything that has to do with narcotrafficking,” said Colonel Sergio Garzon, commander of Ares Task Force. Colombia’s Espada de Honor (Sword of Honor) strategy established nine joint commands in 2012 to fight narcoterrorists in the country. All are interagency, with Army, Navy, Air Force and National Police components working together. To Col. Garzon, the Tuparro National Park has special significance. A protected area of more than 1.2 million acres in the department of Vichada, Tuparro is home to more than 500 species of plants, 74 species of animals and 320 species of birds. Ares conducts daily aerial surveillance of the park and has eradicated 326 acres of coca plants, destroyed six laboratories and seized 1,000 gallons of fuel within the limits of the protected area. “This is the crown jewel for us, the Tuparro National Park. Truthfully, we have a special place for it – all the base’s actions are directed at protecting this jewel,” he said. The results after one year of work are telling. Ares has neutralized 28 drug labs, seizing 15,507 gallons of gasoline, 2,260 gallons of diesel and 630 gallons of recycled hydrocarbons used in the production of cocaine. The seizures are believed to have prevented the production of 209 kilos of cocaine and immeasurable negative impacts to the local environment and community. By dramatically cutting cocaine production in the area, Ares also reduced the number of detected illegal drug flights from 58 in 2012 to six in the first half of 2013. Restoring the Environment Elssye Morales, advisor for illicit crops in the Colombian Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development, which oversees the nation’s national parks, said the growing and processing of illicit crops has many tangential impacts. Those include burning areas to be used for coca growing and processing, introducing nonnative plant and animal species to support the personnel at the laboratory, introducing trash and motor vehicles, and most importantly, polluting the waterways along which labs are often constructed. By Dialogo July 01, 2013 To win this campaign, Col. Garzon and his force of 150 men must operate in such a vast and remote territory, deal with underdeveloped communications systems that can impede intelligence gathering, and unpredictable weather that can threaten a mission. Most importantly, winning the support of the local population is critical to the Ares Task Force mission. Col. Garzon explained that the criminals processing drugs are causing environmental damage and putting the health of local communities in danger. “Generally, the people who are hiding in these remote areas can cause significant environmental damage. They destroy the foliage and hide their laboratories in the middle so that they cannot be detected by air or by land,” he said. “We are trying to reach the hearts and minds of the enemy as well as the population that lives here,” Col. Garzon said. Three-quarters of the base’s operations are designed to reach out to the 70 percent indigenous and 30 percent farming population in Vichada, he said. In addition to weekly meetings with community members, the base provides medical treatment, food and even barber services. One of the most popular and important programs helps indigenous people gain land titles so they can farm. Morales said there is close coordination between the environmental ministry and security forces in the region, a necessity, she said, due to the heightened security situation. The environmental ministry provides cartographic information about the parks to public security forces. The cooperation in Vichada, for example, led Ares to help restore zones used for coca growing and processing. After seeing an affected area firsthand, Warrant Officer Figueroa said, “When you go to the areas where there was a laboratory nearby, there is a lot of fuel and the vegetation is dead, lying dead on the soil,” he explained. “They do not treat the chemicals. They simply process them and throw them in the river because their principle objective is to process a certain tonnage of cocaine, a certain tonnage of coca paste, and they don’t care what happens to the ecosystem.” “At the same time that they eradicated the zones, they planted species so that the zone could be restored,” she said. Morales explained that replanting native species where illicit activities were taking place allowed the ecosystem to be brought back into balance. As commander of Ares, Col. Garzon praises the efforts of his men, and the progress made through interagency cooperation to achieve the many goals set for the new task force. “We group together all these capabilities in order to work together in direct action. These operations are very quick; we enter, strike a blow and exit right away,” he said. Underscoring a goal that has yet to be realized, he continued: “Our dream – because you always have a vision, something social, we all have something altruistic –is that Vichada will be the first department of the Orinoco basin free of illicit crops. I think we’re on the right path.”last_img read more

Powerful Documentary 13th to be Screened at Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York For those who don’t have access to Netflix but have been meaning to check out the streaming service’s powerful documentary 13th, you’re in luck.The evocative film traces the history of racism in America while shining a light on the horrors of mass criminalization and current state of the sprawling American prison industry, as well as its devastating impact on black Americans. It will will be screened at Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington on Sunday, Feb. 19 at noon, for Free. The event also includes a discussion by former Newsday columnist Les Payne and radio host Ahmad Ali.13th is the work of Ava DuVernay, the director of Selma. The documentary is an Oscar Nominee for Best Documentary Feature and was reportedly the first-ever such film to premiere at The New York Film Festival on its opening night—an accomplishment that may portend good things come Oscar night.The film is named for the 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which famously abolished slavery and stipulated: “Neither slavery not involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist in the United States.”From Jim Crow to the Civil Rights era and President Bill Clinton’s 1994 crime bill, the documentary follows the meteoric increase of the prison population and the rise of for-profit prisons in the US. It mixes old footage from the Civil Rights movements and other historic events that contributed to America’s era of mass incarceration and interviews with leading activists and politicians as it documents the effects of institutional racism. Perhaps the most jarring scene comes when DuVernay juxtaposes black-and-white footage showing harassment of a black man walking down a street with then-candidate Donald Trump’s rallies.“I love the old days,” you can hear Trump saying over the footage, which was taken from one of his campaign stops. “You know what they used to do to guys like that when they were in a place like this? They’d be carried out on a stretcher, folks.”DuVernay explained last year that playing the Trump soundbite was “vital…because he’s taken this country to a place that is gonna be studied and considered for a long time.”13th will be screened at Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington. cinemaartscentre.org CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO RESERVE YOUR SEAT! Free. Noon. Feb. 19.last_img read more

On Compliance: When following the rules pays off

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » The last thing you want as a credit union leader is for your organization to make headlines for exposing or losing customer data. Should this happen, you not only suffer a blow on your CU’s reputation but also accrue financial and legal jeopardy arising from non-compliance with federal regulations designed to protect such data.Cyber threats like the Equifax breach, which affected over 143 million people, have changed the way security is viewed in organizations. Security professionals concluded that this attack was an efficacious intelligence operation targeting to spy on U.S. citizens. The breach served as a wakeup call for the financial industry’s risk profile, highlighting the need for financial institutions to shift focus from risk mitigation within the institution to addressing risk profiles with a broader perspective and implement comprehensive security reaching beyond the walls of the institution.Credit unions and other financial institutions can use various levels of technology and compliances to counter cyber-attacks and ensure they are maintaining compliance and keeping customer data safe. Effective security checks to implement in your CU should be focused on data-at-rest defense, application encryption, tokenization, security event, information management systems and privileged user access management.last_img read more

Regus boss says future is bright

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Governor Wolf Honors Victims’ Rights Boost with Ceremonial Bill Signing

first_imgGovernor Wolf Honors Victims’ Rights Boost with Ceremonial Bill Signing Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today signed six bills that will expand protections and support for crime victims. He was joined by Pennsylvania Victim Advocate Jennifer Storm, legislators and advocates at the ceremonial bill signing. Gov. Wolf first signed the bills on June 28.“We’re here today to recognize a successful joint effort at bringing a package of bills across the finish line that will help ensure Pennsylvania’s criminal justice system supports victims,” Gov. Wolf said.The bills include:• House Bill 315, which criminalizes female genital mutilation by making it a first-degree felony.• House Bill 502, which amends the Crime Victims Act to allow the victim to be present in any criminal proceeding unless the court determines the victim’s own testimony would be altered by hearing other witnesses.• House Bill 504, which prevents prosecutors from bringing up the victim’s sexual history or prior allegations of sexual abuse while prosecuting certain crimes.• Senate Bill 399, which makes updates to the Sexual Assault Testing and Evidence Collection Act, including requiring the Pennsylvania State Police to create procedures for anonymous victims and establishing timelines for submitting, testing, and storing rape kits.• Senate Bill 469, which establishes procedures protecting victims and witnesses with intellectual disabilities or autism spectrum disorder, including allowing for testimony and questioning to take place outside of a courtroom.• Senate Bill 479, which expands the list of crimes for which an out-of-court statement made by a child under 12 can be used.“This legislative session has been unprecedented and historic in its passage of laws that seek to protect crime victims in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” Jennifer Storm said.“These bills will make it easier for prosecutors to pursue justice by eliminating some of the deterrents that are keeping victims from speaking out,” Gov. Wolf said. “Victims have been through enough. They deserve the most support we can possible give them.” July 15, 2019center_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

New home that rose from ‘meth house’ ashes to go to auction

first_imgPlace Coorparoo agent Ben Salm, who is leading the sales campaign, said they had had over 45 groups through the property since it launched four weeks ago. “We have had interest from local buyers, interstate buyers, and I am registering a buyer (for the auction) from China,” he said. “There has also been quite a lot of interest from the French (community).“I have been selling here for years and never seen so many French people through an open inspection.” The couple and their children have lived in the house for over a year, but are now selling to embark on their next project.“My brother-in-law has also moved overseas after finding love so he is starting his next chapter,” Mrs Gamez said. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:44Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:44 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p288p288p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenHow to bid at auction for your dream home? 01:45A NEW house that rose from the ashes of an alleged ‘meth house’ is just one of 12 properties that will go under the hammer tomorrow night.The original house at 7 Tegula St in Mansfield was destroyed by fire in 2015, with the Courier Mail reporting at the time that two occupants of the house escaped unharmed. The original house at Mansfield before it was destroyed by fire. CoreLogicRemains of the charred shell were levelled, and the vacant 645sq m block, which is located within the sought-after Mansfield State High School catchment, was sold for $490,000 in 2016. What remained of the original house after the fire. Supplied.The owners – husband and wife Jonathan and Elizabeta Gamez, and brother-in-law Christian Gamez – have since built a modern, five bedroom “family entertainer” on the block. What the current owners bought for $490,000 back in 2016Mrs Gamez said neighbours had told them that the original house – a housing commission property – was destroyed after a fire broke out under the house, supposedly due to a tenant “cooking drugs”.“We knew Mansfield was an up-and-coming area and within one of the state’s top high school catchments so we bought the land and built this architecturally-designed house,” she said. The new build was the trio’s first major project, with the husband and wife duo having previously completed a number of renovations. The house at 7 Tegula St in Mansfield now Mr Salm will also auction off another property – 17-21 Ajinby Close at Thornlands – at the event.Called Hawstead, that historic Queenslander sits on a whopping 6994 sqm block and was built by Colonel Edward Drury back in 1876.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus10 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market10 hours agoMr Salm said that house, which has been extensively restored and renovated, is also being sold after the vendor found new love.“It is love all around,” he laughed. The house at 17-21 Ajinby Close, Thornlands, after it was renovated.And it is hoped that new love will be found for all of the properties on the auction roster, with the last Place auction event in September setting a new record.At that event, a riverfront mansion at Bulimba cemented a residential auction record when it sold under the hammer for $8.4 million, equalling the highest ever auction sale in the city, a record set a decade ago.While it is unlikely any of the new properties will set a record, some are expected to attract top dollar.Among them is 10 Aaron Avenue at Hawthorne, a stunning riverfront property on the same street as some of the city’s most exclusive properties. Currently owned by the founder of Goodlife Health Clubs, it has four bedrooms and sits on a 606 sqm block. 10 Aaron Avenue, HawthorneA classic Queenslander on a 1012 sqm block at Bulimba, a single-level house just 600m from Hendra’s Racecourse Village, and five apartments, will also go to auction at the event, which is being held at Coco Republic and starts at 6pm.last_img read more