WASHINGTON, D.C. — Speaking at a State Department forum on Tuesday, Harvard President Drew Faust said that universities can and must play a key role in developing solutions to climate change, citing the research, teaching, and convening strengths of research institutions.Opening the two-day Climate and Clean Energy Investment Forum, Secretary of State John Kerry called confronting climate change “perhaps the defining issue of our generation,” setting the stage for a series of discussions among investors, corporations, philanthropies, universities, and policymakers only weeks before the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, which kicks off in Paris on Nov. 30.Faust set out some important ways in which universities will contribute to efforts to deal with climate change, as part of a panel on “Innovative Models for Climate Solutions.” Citing research efforts to develop new and more-efficient batteries and to convert solar energy into hydrogen with help from a bionic leaf, she highlighted a focus on discovery.“Universities contribute an extraordinary depth and breadth of expertise, a commitment to driving discovery and innovation, and a conviction that the world can be changed by ideas and discoveries,” said Faust.As conveners and collaborators, said Faust, universities also bring people together and spawn new ideas on the issue, “across national borders, across disciplines, and across generations.”She also reinforced the central role of universities as educators, “preparing new generations of leaders to ask and answer the big questions, better equipped to grapple with the complex disruption of climate change, and a world more interdependent than ever before as we seek solutions.”At Harvard, 243 courses are offered on energy, sustainability, or the environment.Harvard’s president appeared on the panel a week after the announcement of a new, multiyear, $3.75 million grant to support research efforts on climate change and China’s issues with it. Harvard also launched the University-wide Climate Change Solutions Fund in 2014, and in January 2015 issued its first seven awards.Throughout her remarks, Faust noted the complexity of the issue, and the importance of a multifaceted approach to tackling it.“Universities, perhaps more than any other institutions, have the remarkable power to convene individuals and institutions around issues that transcend boundaries — boundaries that have shaped, and in some ways limited, our ways of thinking,” she said. “Climate change is a business issue, a policy issue, and a public health issue. It is a challenge for engineers and scientists, innovators and investors, for architects, designers, economists, and historians. It is vast and consequential — and, in its stunning diversity, demands our best effort to work together in new ways.”Joining Faust on the panel, moderated by Andrew Steer, president and CEO of the World Resources Institute, were Nancy Pfund, managing partner at DBL Investors; Glenn Prickett, chief external affairs officer of The Nature Conservancy; Afsaneh Mashayekhi Beschloss, president and CEO of The Rock Creek Group; and Peter W. Davidson, co-founder and CEO of Aligned Intermediary.Pfund and Beschloss noted the importance of anticipating and planning for the effects of climate change, especially among investors and businesses. Prickett highlighted the role of nature itself as a solution to climate change.The climate-change discussion was the culmination of Faust’s two-day trip to Washington, where she met congressional and administration leaders to advocate for increases in federal research funding.Amid budget debates in Washington, Harvard has made the case that federal funding for basic research has stagnated over the past decade, even as investments in science are widely recognized as a major driver of long-term economic growth.While in the capital, Faust also participated in a discussion on trends and the future of the humanities at the American Association of Universities. She joined William “Bro” Adams, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, on the panel.
As of July 13, most of Georgia will be able to water their lawns when they get home from work. The Georgia Environmental Protection Division announced they are relaxing the statewide outdoor water-use restrictions to just odd-even use.In metro Atlanta, however, the 10 a.m.-to-10 p.m. and odd-even restrictions are still in effect. Metro counties include Bartow, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall, Henry, Paulding and Rockdale. Rainfall has been abundant in many areas of the state, but in the metro area, it hasn’t been consistently above average.”Recent rainfall and everyone’s efforts to conserve water have helped us move away from immediate threats to our water supply in most of the state,” said EPD director Harold Reheis.But Drought’s Not Over”Full recovery of all our water supply sources, however, is expected to take a while longer,” Reheis said. “We continue to record below-average stream flows in many locations around Georgia. And low levels in several of our groundwater sources continue to be a major concern.”Therefore,” he said, “we cannot lift restrictions entirely in the 144-county area, and we must maintain the current outdoor water-use restrictions in the 15-county metro Atlanta area for the near term.”Local water utilities may also elect to maintain or tighten their existing restrictions if they deem them necessary to preserve water supplies. Local utilities don’t need permission from EPD to tighten restrictions.For more detailed information, go to the “Drought in Georgia” Web site at www.georgiadrought.org.
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Business Day (South Africa):Eskom should curtail the construction of Kusile and retire several of its old coal-fired power stations early to save itself billions and shield consumers from excessive energy costs, a new study suggests.The study, by consultancy Meridian Economics, also says that if SA is to pursue a least-cost path for energy generation in the future, it does not need a gas, coal or nuclear procurement programme but should accelerate the installation of more renewable energy, the price of which is falling.The release of the Meridian study at Wednesday’s Windaba conference in Cape Town came as internal Eskom documents on Monday revealed the extent of Eskom’s financial problems, and that by the end of January, the company will be R5bn in the red and unable to pay suppliers or salaries.Eskom also faces an excess of supply – equal to at least the size of the entire Medupi plant – in the foreseeable future.Meridian MD Grove Steyn said that Eskom’s tariffs, which are the highest in SA’s history, were a direct consequence of its large, expensive build programme in a context of stagnant electricity demand.The study modelled scenarios for the least-cost operation of SA’s power system and calculated the cost to it of removing each one of the power stations. It also investigated the incremental costs associated with running a particular station for its remaining life.This makes it possible to estimate the alternative cost of meeting demand if a station is decommissioned early, or if new plant construction is cancelled.“If the system can meet demand over the same period by using alternative resources such as other existing coal stations, wind and solar – but at a lower cost than the cost of electricity from a particular coal-fired power station – it makes economic sense to decommission that station early, or not to complete it,” Steyn said.The key findings were that the early decommissioning of the Grootvlei, Hendrina and Komati power stations would save R12.6bn in present-day values, and that avoiding the completion of Kusile units 5 and 6 could result in a net financial saving of R15bn to R17bn.More: Study suggests ways power costs can be cut Study: South Africa’s Eskom Overexposed to Coal
Jessica Georgia is a hiker and member of the BRO Athlete Team. In 2015, she hopes to inspire more women to join the backpacking scene through her photo essay project: “Women of the Appalachian Trail.” Here is how she describes her venture.As Beyonce would say, “GIRLS, we run the world.” Unfortunately, we don’t run the Appalachian Trail.Backpacking is a male-dominated activity. The Appalachian Trail Conservatory recorded 2,000 milers by decade. From 1930s until 2010, a total of 15,524 hikers have completed the trail. Women made up just 25% of the total hike-completions reported.Personally, I think most women do not backpack due to a lack of experience. Of course, fear plays a significant role, as well as the thought of being a solo backpacker in the woods. It’s daunting. Children and family commitments also play a role in deterring women from backpacking.I am the mother of an amazing 11-year-old daughter. I feel a strong responsibility to empower her and to set a high bar for the definition of a “strong woman.” Most of the major media in this day and age portray women who are 90% photoshopped and it’s unrealistic. I am sure other mothers will relate to this.Change only comes from action. How can we inspire other women to join the backpacker community? How can we uplift each other in the process?For starters, we can begin to share these women’s stories with our daughters, sisters, and female friends.Meet The Iconic Women Of The Appalachian Trail.The first ever female thru-hiker was Mildred Norman in 1952. Her trail name was “Peace Pilgrim.” To be the first of anything is incredible. This inspiring woman went on to walk over 25,000 miles throughout North America.The first ever solo female thru-hiker was Emma Gatewood, trail name, “Grandma Gatewood.” She was 67 years old when she completed it – wow! Talk about a bad-ass female role model. She then completed a second thru-hike at age 69 in 1957. She then went on in 1964 to be the first person to complete the entire A.T. three times.I don’t know about you, but I feel like we need less of Kim Kardashian and more of the Emma Gatewoods of the world.We Really Should Run The Trail.Ladies, how can we form a stronger community?I am personally setting out to thru-hike the entire trail this year. Listen, I don’t have a Ph.D. but I want to do my small part to help empower more women to do more day trips or even start planning their own thru-hikes.I came up with the idea of creating a photo story and I need your help.1. If you are a female thru-hiking the A.T. this year (2015) and are willing to let me photograph you, please reach out to me (jessicageorgiatv @ gmail DOT com).2. Share or contribute to my KickStarter Campaign here.Why are these women doing it? Do they have kids at home? Are they married, single, having a mid-life crisis?! What are they struggling with on the trail? What do they fear, on the trail and in life?I want to capture the power of these women within the landscape. I want to photograph their highs, lows, and everything in between, from their tears to their triumphs.
By Ricardo Guanipa D’Erizans / Diálogo September 24, 2019 Cuba and Venezuela signed several secret military agreements in 2008; essentially handing over control of the Venezuelan military to Cuba, said to Diálogo retired Venezuelan Army General Antonio Rivero, a former senior officer in exile in Miami since 2014. Three of these confidential agreements the Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba and the Venezuelan Ministry of Defense engaged in included strengthening defense, developing intelligence, and providing technical support to the Venezuelan military.“The presence of Cuban troops [in Venezuela] is consolidated through 15 secret agreements between Cuba and Venezuela [in 2008] to transform the Venezuelan Armed Forces and turn them into the same structure that exists in Cuba,” said Gen. Rivero, who was also head of civil protection and emergency management during the regime of Hugo Chávez, and who spoke with Diálogo about the agreements. “There was initially a lot of resistance in the barracks, but Chávez invested billions of dollars in weapons from the Russians, with Cuban mediation, and this way the Venezuelan military began to leave room for the ‘Cubanization’ of the military force.”According to Gen. Rivero, the creation of a five-year military development between Cuba and Venezuela included the improvement of defense concepts, the creation of a radioelectronic investigative unit and radar system for defense purposes, and the exchange of intelligence. In addition, the plan also included specialized training of Venezuelan troops in Cuba as well as the creation of a Cuban military unit based in Venezuela.All three agreements were signed and initialed by Army General Álvaro López Miera, vice minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba and head of the General Staff, and Venezuelan Army General Gustavo Reyes Rangel Briceño, Defense minister from 2008-2009.From then on, Gen. Rivero said, Cuba began to take control of the Venezuelan military, with Cuban officers developing doctrines, training manuals and leading trainings, leaving some Venezuelan officers to feel as if they were serving in another country’s armed forces. Gen. Rivero remembered taking part in a November 2008 tunnel construction course to “create bunkers, subterraneous commands with a Vietnam War philosophy,” he said referring to the Viet Cong’s network of tunnels used to counter U.S. forces.“The instructor, a colonel from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba, says, ‘from this point on, everything we will deal with in this course is confidential, a state secret,’” Gen. Rivero said. “So I stood up and asked: ‘How is a foreign officer like you going to teach me about state secrecy and security in my country?’”Former Venezuelan Army Lieutenant José Antonio Colina, who fled to Miami in 2003, corroborated Gen. Rivero’s comments. “Once Hugo Chávez corrupted the Armed Forces, Cubans began to enter the military sector,” Lt. Colina told Diálogo. “They would take 200 to 300 junior officers and lock them up for three days in military training centers […] where agents of the Cuban G2 [intelligence services] would tell us that we had to help Chávez bring Venezuela to happiness like in Cuba, that we had to ‘democratize’ Venezuela […] and that the Armed Forces had to change their vision and mission.”Onsite Cuban military unitAmong the agreements Gen. Rivero discussed with Diálogo is the one to create the Cuban Liaison and Cooperation Group (GRUCE, in Spanish), a unit made up of Cuban officers permanently based in Venezuela. The group is described as having “the objective of facilitating and coordinating the provision of assistance to Venezuela in solving its Armed Forces’ military and technical issues, to ensure the work management of military specialists of the Cuban Republic, whose mission is to provide assistance in the assimilation, operation, repair, modernization, and combative use of war material available to the Venezuelan Bolivarian Armed Forces.”According to Gen. Rivero, GRUCE led Venezuelan troops into a five-day nationwide training exercise in December 2017, to prepare service members against eventual operations from the “enemy” — namely the United States. The military training plan cited increasing show of force and “hostility” from neighboring nations under the guise of multinational exercises such as AMAZONLOG 2017. The training plan lists potential enemy activities, adding that “operations against the presence of Cuban collaborators in [Integral Diagnostic Centers — clinics staffed with Cuban health workers], and other missions, including service members, are not to be ruled out.”“The Cuban Liaison and Cooperation Group [is] a Cuban military unit that exits in Fort Tiuna, Caracas, that essentially distributed the Cuban deployment nationally in Venezuela, in commands of the country’s operative and strategic units, and therefore consolidating the Cuban occupation in Venezuela,” Gen. Rivero said.
Model family court plan being put into action Amy K. Brown Assistant Editor The Florida Supreme Court’s Model Family Court plan, which was released in June 2000, may soon be put into practice by three Florida circuits. The Sixth Judicial Circuit, comprised of Pasco and Pinellas counties; the 20th Judicial Circuit, which includes Lee and surrounding counties; and the 15th Judicial Circuit, which encompasses Palm Beach County, have all taken steps toward creating the Supreme Court’s ideal family court by instituting programs recommended by the court’s Family Court Steering Committee. Both the Sixth and the 20th Circuits received a $400,000 grant from the Office of the State Courts Administrator to initiate their model family court plans. Part of that plan involves giving grants to various circuits in Florida to implement the proposed changes. The 15th Circuit received a promise of equal funding from the Quantum Foundation, Inc., a private West Palm Beach group that supports health and human service projects, after efforts to find matching government grants fell through. The 15th Circuit sought one of the few $400,000 grants given by OSCA, but was denied. “My guess is that they picked three or four circuits and wanted a small, a few medium, and a large circuit, and they already had a large circuit with the Sixth,” 15th Circuit Judge Walter Colbath, Jr., said. “But we’ve been working toward this concept for a good while, and the grant from Quantum is sufficient to obtain the necessary staff support that will allow us to operate for one and maybe even two years.” In 1994, the court’s Family Court Steering Committee was tasked with developing recommendations on the characteristics of a model family court, including organization, policy, staff, and links to community resources, in order to create a more expeditious system. The committee’s model family court, as described in the June 2000 report, centered around the Unified Family Court. “The concept of a Unified Family Court is kind of a return to the old days,” said Circuit Judge Frank Quesada, the UFC administrator for the Sixth Circuit. “It’s a classic pendulum.” Essentially, a Unified Family Court encompasses all family court issues such as divorce, adoption, dependency, truancy, domestic violence, paternity, and child support and brings them all into one courtroom. In the past, the Sixth Circuit has seen families divided among specialty courts, according to Quesada. “It’s like the story of the seven blind men feeling the elephant one touches the elephant’s leg and thinks he’s feeling a tree, one touches the elephant’s trunk and thinks he’s feeling a snake,” he said. “Families in the circuit have been in three different courthouses before three different judges who have no idea what’s going on. The family is running all over town, going to different counseling, and everyone is dealing with a different piece of the issue.” The Unified Family Court may be just the answer, Quesada noted. “If you view the courthouse as a multi-doored building, regardless of which door they come into, we can still treat the problem.” When a family enters the Sixth Circuit courthouse that houses the Pinellas UFC, they are immediately referred to one of three case managers who will enter their information into a relational database, which allows every judge in the state to access the important details of their case. “It used to be that if I had a child in dependency, and I wanted to see if his mom and dad were getting a divorce somewhere in the system, I had no way to do that,” said Quesada. “With this database, I can plug in a child’s name, and the list I get will show me if the child is a victim in a criminal case, will show me if that child is a ward in a guardianship, will show me if the child is named in a paternity action, and I can go out there and pull all the cases in.” Criminal cases do not fall under the jurisdiction of the UFC. However, Quesada noted, it’s important for the presiding judge to know what other cases the family is involved in. The 20th Circuit is implementing a much smaller portion of the model family court plan than the Sixth Circuit did, even though they received equal grants from OSCA. The $400,000 grant has been used to institute a program for client intake, referral, and screening. The 20th Circuit is hoping to “watch and learn,” according to Sheldon Finman, the chair of the circuit’s Quality and Best Practices Committee, and work out any kinks that the Sixth Circuit encounters. Unlike most other circuits in Florida, the 20th Circuit had help from a local group, the Association of Family Law Professionals (AFLP), which analyzed the model court plan and formulated a game plan for the implementation of programs in the circuit. The AFLP formed to promote a non-adversarial judicial process. “We are judges, lawyers, mental health professionals, financial professionals, and court staff who are trying to improve family law practice,” said Finman. “We’re trying to make it a more consumer- and child-friendly process, a cheaper process.” The 20th Circuit’s case management program is similar to the Sixth Circuit’s and also employs case managers to act as a “concierge” and help steer incoming clients through the often-confusing court system. “With case management, we’re able to differentiate what kind of track [clients will take] litigated track, expeditious track and we can monitor the cases once they’re in the system,” Finman said. “Part of the initial screening and referral process is asking questions. What appropriate resources do any of these family members need? Do they need a lawyer if they’re pro se? If so, we can look into unbundled legal services. Do they need parenting education and information? We can make a referral for that. Do they need any other type of assistance by way of social work or social resources? We can steer them in the right direction.” This new process will have the biggest effect on pro se litigants, according to Finman. “It’s going to streamline the process, and it’s going to make the process a lot easier,” he said. “It’ll make for a much more efficient and informed pro se person.” The AFLP also garnered an $18,000 grant from Florida Gulf Coast University for its client cooperation assessment a psychological assessment program for divorce cases which is a unique process, according to Finman. When spouses enter the court system seeking a divorce, they will be given a client cooperation assessment by a case manager, in order to gauge how easily their divorce will move through the system. The assessment looks for potential problem cases in order to monitor and expedite them. Both Quesada and Finman note that without help from community sources, the projects would never have come to fruition. “This entire project is keenly dependent upon our community-based services,” Quesada said. “Our emphasis from the very beginning has been to involve all of our social service providers. We have over 70 agencies involved.” Similar to the 20th Circuit’s AFLP, the Sixth Circuit utilizes its Juvenile Welfare Board, a tax-supported county agency with a near-$21 million budget. “They provide a lot of support to all of our agencies,” Quesada said. “They provide family centers throughout our community. They provide grants for our visitation centers that conduct supervised visitations.” Colbath said the circuit’s “One Court/One Family” program is targeted toward families caught up in numerous divisions of the court system, and it functions much like a pared-down version of the Sixth Circuit’s Unified Family Court. The 15th Circuit’s program, which will be up and running in September, will be targeted at children between the ages of 6 and 12 who have crossover cases between the dependency and delinquency divisions. Any family with a child who falls into that category will be pulled into the One Court/One Family program, according to Colbath, even if other children in the family don’t fit the guidelines. Until the computerized Juvenile Information System is up and running approximately four to six weeks after the program actually starts the majority of case management must be done by hand. Shortly thereafter, the Civil Information System will follow suit. “It’d be easier to just convert the whole system over [to a Unified Family Court],” Colbath said, “but that would take $2 to $3 million to do. As it stands, I expect probably 400 to 450 families to get involved.” Unified family courts and case management programs have been in place for years in areas such as Australia, Canada, Atlanta, Kentucky, and New Jersey, and Florida has been able to take the best portions of each program for itself, according to Quesada. Participating Florida circuits have found that a unique part of the non-adversarial court system is being able to get to the root of a family’s problem, Quesada and Finman both noted. A good example of this would be a case of a neglected child. When the same judge is able to meet with the family each time they come to court, “we really start finding out that the true issue is a chemical dependency Mom’s part, grossly contributed to by Daddy’s domestic violence. The neglect or abuse is just a manifestation of the true problem a symptom,” Quesada said. “Now, instead of treating the symptom, we can treat the problem.” Finman said the 20th Circuit is also seeking these multi-faceted remedies. “Our goal is to alleviate all the harm from the adversarial process,” he said. “Ultimately, the Family Court Steering Committee will have an opportunity to assess whether the projects are working and whether they should be implemented statewide,” Finman said. “The committee has a national court consultant on these kinds of projects who visits the pilot projects and troubleshoots, guides, and directs.” The end result, said Finman, will be a determination by the committee about the success of the Sixth and 20th Circuits’ programs. If the projects are successful, the committee may attempt to take them statewide. Since the 15th Circuit’s program is not state-funded, they will not have to answer to the committee. However, because this is a pilot program, the results will be scrutinized by circuits of similar size. July 15, 2001 Assistant Editor Regular News Model family court plan being put into action
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Nassau County police have identified the third of four suspects allegedly involved in a Roosevelt home invasion shooting that ended in a police chase crash last year, authorities said.Terrance AlstonTerrance Alston was identified Monday in a wanted poster issued by First Squad detectives and released to the media along with a photo of the suspect. Two other suspects have been arrested and the fourth assailant has yet to be identified.Police said Alston and three others allegedly entered a Washington Avenue home, forced the victim into his bedroom and stole $1,700 worth of electronics and clothing in the early morning hours of Monday, Jan. 12, 2015.One of the suspects fired a gunshot while in the victim’s bedroom, but the victim was not injured, police said. In an update on the case released Monday, police added that the suspects had kicked in the rear door of the home and forced six family members into one room before confronting the seventh victim.After the four assailants fled the scene in a Chevy Malibu, First Precinct officers tried to stop it on Clinton Avenue, but the suspects continued on to Hausch Boulevard, where it crashed into a curb, police said at the time.The assailants fled the car on foot. Police apprehended 47-year-old Aurnree McBrown of Bay Shore on the grounds of Roosevelt High School. McBrown pleaded guilty Jan. 26, 2016 to a charge of attempted burglary. He is scheduled to be sentenced March 22.A second suspect, 30-year-old Quincy Lewis, was arrested in September and pleaded not guilty to charges of burglary, robbery, criminal possession of a weapon and other charges. He is due back in court on Feb. 22.Nassau County Crime Stoppers is offering a $5,000 reward to anyone who can locate Alston, or call in any information about this crime to their toll free hotline: 1-800-244-TIPS (8477).
North Dade Community Development Federal Credit Union’s run-in with federal regulators and eventual demise over anti-money laundering violations offers a cautionary tale on the need for continued vigilance in complying with the Bank Secrecy Act and USA Patriot Act. In reporting its investigation and resulting $300,000 fine, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network charged that the $3 million credit union had exposed the U.S. financial system to significant risks of money laundering and terrorist financing from high-risk countries in the Middle East and Central America.North Dade Community Development FCU was liquidated in 2015 by the National Credit Union Administration as a result of the violations. The credit union had been contracted to provide services to 56 money service businesses in high-risk areas. It handled almost $2 billion in financial transactions for those MSBs and in the process failed to comply with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing obligations to verify clients, file reports, undertake risk assessments, report suspicious transactions and maintain robust controls to mitigate associated risks.This case serves as a warning to credit unions that they must monitor clients and related businesses rigorously and cannot rely on third parties to conduct due diligence and comply with AML requirements. continue reading » 9SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
Every new year brings new opportunities to create healthier lifestyle habits, establish goals and objectives for the coming year, and in some ways start life over. Unfortunately, most new year’s resolutions focus on physical health, rather than fiscal health. That’s an oversight few credit union members – or anyone, for that matter – can afford on their journey to long-term financial well-being.Now is an excellent time for credit unions to help their Hispanic members improve their financial practices, foster wise money spending decisions and more effectively manage their own financial futures.The first step is to help Hispanic members identify their financial goals for the new year. Here are a few questions credit unions can ask their members to help them chart the right course.What dreams do you have for yourself or your family? This is the first and most basic question to ask. In order to establish an effective financial plan, it is important to help the members visualize what they are working towards and what small steps they can take to someday achieve their goal. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr