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Is internationalism terrorism?

first_imgAngeles MaestroThe author, a spokesperson for the organization Red Network (redroja.net) based in the Spanish state, faces charges based on her organization’s collection of funds in solidarity with Palestine, specifically to repair healthcare facilities in Gaza.Translation by John Catalinotto.Aug. 29 — Recently, the National High Court charged two other compañeras and me with the crime of financing terrorism. The events took place in 2014 and 2015 when, on the occasion of brutal invasions of Gaza by the Israeli army with terrible consequences of death and destruction, the Red Network decided to request financial contributions to help the Palestinian people through a current account installed on its website. The facts are the same as in the documentary film “Gaza,” which received the Goya award last January.Last June, Court Number 6 of this High Court, claiming it found “sufficient evidence of criminality,” refused to dismiss our case and issued an Ordinary Summons. Its pronouncement took place even after our defense presented a document that proved the destination of the funds in question was the reconstruction of healthcare facilities destroyed in the attacks.The argument of the accusation made by the New York-based [pro-]Israeli organization Lawfare Project, and accepted by the National High Court as an indication of criminality, was the delivery of the first amount to Palestinian leader Leila Khaled, herself a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). The rationale is that this organization has been included since 2003 in a European list of terrorist organizations. The U.S. had encouraged putting the PFLP on the list following the attacks on the Twin Towers in September 2001.This list has not been transposed into the legislation of each EU member state, so there is no legal obstacle for representatives of this organization (PFLP) to act freely in the EU. This right was recognized in 2017 by the same National High Court, which, through Judge Carmen Lamela, rejected the complaint of Israeli organizations against Leila Khaled herself and allowed her free entry into Spain. These [Zionist] organizations also accused the Barcelona City Council, sponsor of the Literary Fair in which Palestinian leader Khaled finally participated, of the crimes of “integration into a terrorist organization, collaboration with a terrorist organization, apology and exaltation of terrorism, financing of terrorist activities, embezzlement of public funds and prevarication.” All of these charges were based on the alleged terrorist nature of the PFLP.The PFLP is a founding member and a prominent part of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), recognized since 1974 by the United Nations General Assembly as “the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.”Beyond the specifics of the case against us, the central issue underlying this whole matter is the insurmountable difficulty in finding a definition of terrorism that meets the primary legal requirement of general applicability. Countless questions come to mind. Can resistance against Nazi occupation in World War II be considered terrorist?Was the Vietnamese people’s struggle against the American invader terrorist, or that of the African National Congress against the apartheid regime in South Africa, or that of the Algerian people against the French occupation?The historical examples are numerous and varied, and the attempt to give to the victor or to the strongest party the right to decide who is a terrorist, as the State of Israel claims, contravenes the very basis of international law. This has been recognized in hundreds of resolutions by the United Nations General Assembly, which has always affirmed the legitimacy of the Palestinian people’s struggle.The case against us, as well as the legal proceedings against representatives of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, aims to criminalize international solidarity with the Palestinian people and to assure that the daily crimes that Zionism perpetrates against Palestinians are both hushed up and unpunished.It also persecutes not only solidarity with the Palestinian people, but internationalist solidarity in general, as is reflected in the orders issued by the court carrying out the accusation against us. The “signs of criminality” that it considers us guilty of are based on the internationalist solidarity exercised by Red Network with Cuba, with Venezuela, with Bolivia, with Western Sahara.Euro-U.S. imperialism, in desperate search for cheap raw materials, has multiplied its extortions and aggressions and has disguised them as interventions in defense of human rights, in addition insisting that humanitarian aid — alms intended to cover up the horrors created by themselves or support for refugees fleeing wars provoked by the “West” — must come through NGOs financed by their governments, their bankers and their multinationals.What they are trying to wipe out is political solidarity that takes sides [with the oppressed]. And always this solidarity means standing against the aggression of imperialism and Zionism, regardless of the political quality of the government of the country being attacked. Internationalist solidarity is located at the very opposite end from charity, in that it considers the struggle against oppression and injustice anywhere in the world to be its own struggle.And this attitude is especially incumbent upon the various peoples living within the Spanish state, who had the privilege of living through, up close and personally, the greatest example of internationalist solidarity, strictly political, that humanity has experienced: the International Brigades [during the Spanish Civil War, 1936-39]. With them came thousands of young men and women from all over the world, ready to give their lives to fight fascism. Arabs also arrived, and in particular Palestinians, and many Jews fleeing Nazi persecution in their countries.The most important thing that they contributed to the struggle of the Spanish republic against fascism was not the military support, just as the essential economic aid that reached the Palestinian people through Red Roja was not in its quantity. It was the observation that, in the unequal fight against tyranny, those who legitimately fight against it are not alone.The arrival of the International Brigades was what pulled from the people of Madrid, devastated by the bombardments and crushed by the feeling of defeat before the advance of the fascist troops, the inalienable will to struggle expressed in the cry: “They shall not pass.”Some of that gift of internationalist oxygen must continue to reach the Palestinian people and all the peoples of the world who resist imperialism and Zionism with more force every day.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

 

What’s Happening to Mortgage Default Risks?

first_img The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, Headlines, Journal, News  Print This Post Home / Daily Dose / What’s Happening to Mortgage Default Risks? About Author: David Wharton The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Related Articles Sign up for DS News Daily What’s Happening to Mortgage Default Risks? Previous: San Francisco and San Jose Approaching Pre-Crash Highs Next: Ocwen Reports Losses for 2017 Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Subscribe The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago The UFA Default Risk Index, which measures the risk of default on newly originated nonprime mortgages, climbed seven points between Q4 2017 and Q1 2018, hitting 108. According to the latest UFA Mortgage Report released by University Financial Associates of Ann Arbor, Michigan, that means lenders should expect mortgage defaults to be 8 percent higher than the average of similar loans originated in the 1990s.UFA bases their analysis on “constant-quality” loans, meaning loans with “the same borrower, loan, and collateral characteristics.” UFA releases the Default Risk Index on a quarterly basis, evaluating U.S. economic conditions and how they are likely to impact future default rates, as well as “prepayments, loss recoveries, and loan values for nonprime loans.”“Overall default risks are similar to the prior quarter with favorable monetary conditions and falling unemployment rates offsetting the friction from higher house prices,” said Dennis Capozza, Professor Emeritus of Finance in the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, and a Founding Principal of UFA. “Continuing political uncertainty and a new Federal Reserve chairman provide the backdrop for future changes in mortgage risk levels. The Fed has indicated that more increases in interest rates should be expected this year.”According to data released by the S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices last week,  the default rate for first mortgages inched higher between December 2017 and January 2018, increasing from 0.68 percent to 0.72 percent. This put it exactly where it had been a year previously in January 2017.How does this compare to mortgage delinquency rates? According to January mortgage performance data from Black Knight Inc., mortgage delinquencies dropped 8.6 percent between December and January but remained up year-over-year—1.6 percent higher than in January 2017. Black Knight also noted the ongoing impact of 2017’s hurricane season, with 146,000 loans in some stage of delinquency as a result of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, 132,000 of which are now seriously delinquent.Per Black Knight, the top 5 states in terms of 90+ days delinquent percentage were Florida (3.96 percent), Mississippi (3.37 percent), Louisiana (2.68 percent), Texas (2.33 percent), and Alabama (2.13 percent). Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Tagged with: default report Mortgage Defaults UFA Default Risk Index UFA Mortgage Report University Financial Associates Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Share Save default report Mortgage Defaults UFA Default Risk Index UFA Mortgage Report University Financial Associates 2018-02-28 David Wharton Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago February 28, 2018 3,789 Views last_img read more

 

Cllr O’Donnell says former public reps should hand gratuity payments back

first_img 75 positive cases of Covid confirmed in North Previous articleCooney’s Home and Garden in Letterkenny to create 30 new jobsNext articleChurchill/Glenswilly fails water tests News Highland Pinterest A Donegal Cllr is calling on all former public representatives who received gratuity payments to give them up.It was revealed last week that five former Donegal County Cllrs are to share €200,000 in gratuity payments.They are David Alcorn, Padriag O Doherty and John Boyle, who will all receive around €48,000, Noel McBride who will receive around €33,000 and Mickey Doherty who gets €16,000.Two other former Cllrs, Dessie Larkin and Brendan Byrne are also entitled to gratuities once they reach their 50th birthdays.Independent Cllr John O Donnell says they should do the right thing and hand them back:Audio Playerhttp://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/jod10.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Main Evening News, Sport and Obituaries Tuesday May 25th Further drop in people receiving PUP in Donegal Man arrested on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences in Derry Facebook Facebook Gardai continue to investigate Kilmacrennan fire Twitter Google+center_img Cllr O’Donnell says former public reps should hand gratuity payments back WhatsApp Pinterest RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR News Google+ Twitter By News Highland – October 16, 2014 365 additional cases of Covid-19 in Republic WhatsApplast_img read more

 

Need To Ensure That E-Lok Adalat Remains The ‘People’s Lok Adalat’: Justice N.V Ramana

first_imgNews UpdatesNeed To Ensure That E-Lok Adalat Remains The ‘People’s Lok Adalat’: Justice N.V Ramana LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK23 Aug 2020 6:47 AMShare This – xRajasthan State Legal Services Authority (RSLSA) under the aegis of National legal Services Authority organised the state’s first online lok adalat . It was organised all over the state, including the aspirational districts such as Barmer, Dhaulpur, Jaisalmer, Karauli, and Sirohi. In the online lok Adalat, 47,654 cases were taken up out of which 33,476 cases were settled. Out of…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginRajasthan State Legal Services Authority (RSLSA) under the aegis of National legal Services Authority organised the state’s first online lok adalat . It was organised all over the state, including the aspirational districts such as Barmer, Dhaulpur, Jaisalmer, Karauli, and Sirohi. In the online lok Adalat, 47,654 cases were taken up out of which 33,476 cases were settled. Out of the settled cases, 29092 cases were pending in the courts and 4384 were settled at prelitigation stage. The virtual accomplishment ceremony of the online Lok Adalat was attended byJustice N.V.Ramana, Judge, Supreme Court of India and Executive Chairman, National Legal Services Authority; Justice Ajay Rastogi, Judge, Supreme Court of India;Justice Dinesh Maheshwari, Judge, Supreme Court of India; Justice Inderajit Mahanty, Chief Justice, Rajasthan High Court& Patron-in-Chief RSLSA; and Justice Sangeet Lodha, Judge Rajasthan High Court & Executive Chairman, Rajasthan State Legal Services Authority. In his address, Justice N.V.Ramana, Judge, Supreme Court of India and Executive Chairman, NALSA said that the concept of Online Lok Adalat has the potential of transforming the legal landscape of India, and is reflective of the innovative approach being adopted by Legal Services Authorities since the onset of the pandemic. He pressed for the need to ensure availability of online Lok Adalats down to the grassroots level, where the facility of video conference is not always available. He said “We have to ensure the e-Lok Adalat remains the ‘People’s Lok Adalat’, and take it to other parts of the country.” His Lordship further said that ” As a result of the pandemic, people’s lives have changed drastically. Social stigma with respect to the disease, had led to a number of issues such as forced evictions of frontline workers, families of Covid patients, and even of people who are merely suspected of having the illness” . He emphasized that during such times, the role of Legal Aid Institutions has become all the more important and we at NALSA are constantly striving to ensure justice is accessible in such unprecedented times. “In order to ameliorate the situation, a broad range of legal services have to be provided to the needy including victims of domestic violence, daily wagers, tenants, undertrials, convicts and migrants.” His Lordship further said ” One such service, during these difficult times, is the introduction of e-Lok Adalat. A well-organized digital solution in the form of Online Dispute Resolution (ODR), a combination of technology and ADR, will give new momentum to Lok Adalats in India. However, the crucial challenge lies in popularizing the idea of e-Lok Adalat at the grossroots level, and take steps to provide access in those areas where people do not have the facility of video conferencing. His Lordship further said “The Legal Services Authorities also received numerous grievances relating to denial of wages. As many as 32,782 of cases were received by the Legal Services Institutions. The plight of the migrants did not go unnoticed by the Legal Services Authorities, assistance was provided to 57,79,546 migrants in coordination with the District Administration in terms of transit, food, and medical aid. The Legal Services Authorities have ensured that justice is not denied to any individual due to lack of legal representation. Legal Services Authorities across the country have evolved procedures to ensure implementation of directions for easing pressure on prisons. SLSAs have actively assisted High Powered Committees identify and complete the necessary formalities for the release of prisoners, both under trials and convicts, during the pandemic. Accordingly, Legal Services Authorities provided legal assistance to 22,024 undertrial prisoners during trial. Moreover, representation has been provided to 19,184 persons at the remand stage, wherein 8,779 bail applications have been filed for such persons at the remand stage out of which 6,113 applications have been allowed. 6,311 convicts were assisted in filing applications for parole/furlough.” He further said “Legal Services Authorities with the aid of the National Legal Aid Helpline and State Legal Aid Helpline effectively provided legal advice and assistance in 6,26,369 cases. Online Lok Adalats are being organized by Legal Services Authorities.” ” Technology has played a critical role in this transformation and the Legal Services Authority have been trying to keep up with the changing times by using technology as its strongest aide. A number of webinars have been conducted by the Legal Services Authorities on numerous legal topics in order to enhance the Knowledge of the masses, critical for enhancing access to justice.” Justice Ajay Rastogi, Judge, Supreme Court of India said ” A system of Justice delivery which is within the reach of poverty stricken is a measure of the quality of our justice. The failure to provide equal justice to all threatens the stability of our institution”. He further said that the alternative dispute mechanism has to reach to the disadvantaged persons residing in the remote corners of the country. Justice Dinesh Maheshwari, Judge Supreme Court of India praised the efforts of the Rajasthan State Legal Services Authority in reaching out to the needy and marginalised sections of the society. He further highlighted the importance of ” Access to Justice” Justice Indrajit Mahanty , Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court and Patron in Chief of Rajasthan State Legal Services Authority said that during pandemic Rajasthan High Court disposed of maximum cases. He also highlighted the crucial role being performed by Legal Services Institutions in the State of Rajasthan. Justice Sangeet Lodha, Judge, Rajasthan High Court, Executive Chairman, RSLSA, said “The challenge was to conduct the Lok Adalats in a way that they not only get familiar with the Online System but also participate in it. From the very beginning, this aspect was kept in view, and the operational framework of the Online Lok Adalat was devised accordingly.” He also added that RSLSA intends to organise more such Lok Adalats in the near future. NALSA took up online Lok Adalat in the State of Rajasthan as a pilot project and is planning to expand it in incremental manner to the other parts of the country. The project was approved in the month of May 2020, and the operational framework was developed in a manner as to make it accessible to the common man. Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Storylast_img read more

 

Council Agenda: Abandoned Properties, Boardwalk and Bulkhead Contracts

first_imgAbandoned Getty and BP gas stations greet visitors coming over the Ninth Street Bridge into Ocean City. Across the street is a vacant former Exxon Station.City Council on Thursday will consider an ordinance that would allow the city to take control of abandoned properties that become a nuisance to the community.Council passed the first reading of the ordinance in a 6-0 vote on April 23, and the second and potentially final reading is scheduled for council’s public meeting 7 p.m. May 14 at City Hall.The proposed ordinance would authorize the mayor to assign an officer to create an abandoned properties list based on a variety of criteria (see full documentation in PDF below). The city would then have the right to take control of properties, borrow money to rehabilitate them, then recover costs through liens on sale of properties.Read more: Council moves to take control of eyesore gas stations and other nuisance properties.Other items on Thursday’s agenda that might be of interest include:Honoring Don and Susan Doll: Council will pass a resolution honoring the Dolls, who were recently honored as recipients of the Ocean City Exchange Club’s 50th Book of Golden Deeds Award.Racquet Court Facilities: Council will consider a resolution to advertise for bids on improvements to “various racquet court facilities.” The agenda packet does not specify which facilities, but a growing group of Pickleball devotees has been lobbying for dedicated courts, and the city has budgeted money to accommodate them.10th Street Bulkhead: City Council will vote on awarding a $254,545 to Walters Marine Construction of Ocean View to replace the bulk on the bayfront at 10th Street and to install a 40-by-40-foot fishing pier (the pier is structured as a $101,840 alternate bid).Boardwalk Reconstruction: City Council will vote on awarding another contract to Walters Marine Construction of Ocean View — to rebuild the boardwalk between Plaza Place (just north of Seventh Street) and Eighth Street. Walters underbid the contractor for the first two phases of a multiyear boardwalk reconstruction project, Fred M. Schiavone Construction, and eight other companies with a winning bid of $1,888,347. The project will include adding two more access points for the disabled. (In a separate resolution, Council will vote on approving a change order to Schiavone’s most recent contract — the project came in almost $34,000 under budget.)Shuffleboard and Basketball Courts: Council will vote to pay the contractor rebuilding the track at Carey Stadium an extra $66,000 to rehabilitate 16 shuffleboard courts at Fifth Street and to overlay and restripe the basketball courts at the Sixth Street Civic Center.Dredging Spoils Agreement: The City of Wildwood lowered its price to accept Ocean City’s dredge spoils from $14 to $10 per cubic yard. Ocean City had found another site that offered a better deal. Council will vote on a new shared services agreement with Wildwood. Download (PDF, 4.67MB)last_img read more

 

Choc full of taste

first_imgMuntons has launched Maltichoc a new ingredient designed to enhance chocolate baked goods, while reducing raw material costs.Andrew Fuller, Muntons product development technologist, said a reduction of 50% in cocoa powder was achievable with the inclusion of Maltichoc, while seeing no loss of product quality. “In fact in our sensory panels many tasters preferred products made using the Maltichoc recipe,” said Fuller. The ingredient is a blend of roasted malt flours and dried malt extracts, which has a bitter/roasted flavour, with a sweet background flavour, according to the firm.Fuller added: “The addition of this new ingredient to a value product or to a core recipe instantly enhances the product, providing a richer chocolate flavour, and dark chocolate colour.” The clean-label ingredient is available in 25kg sacks, with samples available on request.last_img read more

 

Our nuclear insecurity

first_imgAs the intense conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues, and talk of a return to Cold War-style politics heats up, top world leaders, including President Vladimir Putin and President Obama, are slated to meet later this month to discuss how best to contain what all agree is a significant and growing international threat: nuclear terrorism.While nuclear arms control and disarmament talks between nations have long been a cornerstone of diplomacy, making sure nuclear materials don’t fall into the hands of individuals or groups bent on harm has not received that same level of attention from the international community until recently.“Unfortunately, the global … framework for nuclear security is quite weak,” said Matthew Bunn, professor of practice at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) and co-principal investigator for the Project on Managing the Atom, a nuclear research and policy program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.“It’s not like nuclear verification, where countries have signed treaties that allow the International Atomic Energy Agency legal rights to come and inspect. There’s nothing like that on nuclear security. It is considered a sovereign matter for each country to make up its own mind about what kind of security it should have.”According to the first survey of nuclear security experts around the world, co-authored by Bunn and published this month by HKS, nearly all of the respondents said their nations’ policies and practices had become “much more stringent” in the last 15 years. The biggest catalyst for tightening up, they reported, was a major terrorism incident like 9/11, followed by reviews conducted either internally or by the International Atomic Energy Agency that revealed security inadequacies.The survey is among several on the state of nuclear security made available on a comprehensive new website from HKS, as authorities prepare for the third Nuclear Security Summit to be held March 24-25 in The Hague, Netherlands.Started at Obama’s urging to bring greater attention to the danger of nuclear terrorism, the summit convenes every two years, bringing together presidents and prime ministers from 58 invited countries to discuss ways to reduce the amount of nonmilitary caches of separated plutonium or highly enriched uranium that are vulnerable to terrorists; to improve security at sites where such nuclear materials are stored; and to develop better cooperation and accountability among nations to reduce the likelihood of nuclear terrorism.“Nuclear terrorism is a combination of motivation, capability, and opportunity,” said Laura Holgate, senior director for weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and threat reduction at the National Security Council, during a March 3 panel at HKS about this year’s summit. Holgate and Gary Samore, the Belfer Center’s executive director for research, organized the first summit, held in 2010. “The only term in this equation that states have control over is the opportunity. It is the material. If you don’t have the material, you don’t have nuclear terrorism.”Nuclear terrorists would be expected to pursue three goals: making a crude nuclear bomb that could decimate an entire city; sabotaging a nuclear facility to cause a meltdown or other tragedies; or building a dirty bomb that spreads radiological material that may not necessarily kill a large number of people, but would cause panic and massive disruption, and prove costly to clean up. All require surprisingly minimal nuclear expertise to accomplish.“Unfortunately, it doesn’t take a Manhattan Project to make a nuclear bomb. More than 90 percent of the work in the Manhattan Project was actually about making the nuclear material. Once you have the nuclear material, making the actual bomb is not as difficult,” said Bunn.Thus far, 27 countries have eliminated all of the nuclear material on their soil, while almost all the remaining countries participating have taken meaningful steps to improve the security of their nuclear stocks, a development Bunn called “dramatic progress.”“The reality is that nuclear security isn’t an on/off switch,” said Bunn. “It’s not something where it was vulnerable and now it’s secure. Rather, it’s a spectrum, and it’s a continuing process of always trying to look for vulnerabilities, find them, fix them, looking for ways you might be able to do things better, looking for ways to adapt to changing circumstances or changing threats.”Participating countries are expected to arrive in The Hague prepared to deliver on their own security promises, referred to as “house gifts,” or to join a small group of nations that have reached consensus on certain security measures, known as “gift baskets.”“Certainly, the countries with the largest stocks of material have taken fairly significant action to improve security, including the United States, including Russia, including the United Kingdom, France, China, etc.,” Bunn said. “It is true, however, there’s a lot more to be done. We did not succeed in four years in making sure there wasn’t any vulnerable nuclear material in the world anymore. We succeeded in making a lot of progress toward that objective, but we didn’t cross the finish line.”How countries balance the need to assure each other that they have taken the appropriate steps to effectively secure their nuclear materials with the desire to maintain secrecy over which threats they’re targeting will be a key topic of discussion during the summit, said Bunn.“Everyone has an interest in making sure all the other countries are fulfilling their responsibilities, and we don’t really have an international mechanism for countries to be able to exercise that interest,” he said. “One concern I have is we may end up with agreement on the principle of assurances, and may end up with assurances that don’t provide any assurance,” he said.In the United States, the sometimes-tenuous state of nuclear security was dramatically tested during a 2012 protest against the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn. Three anti-nuclear protesters, including an 82-year-old nun, breached layers of security at the complex, then spray-painted slogans and smeared blood on the walls of a storage facility that held weapons-grade uranium. Eventually captured by a guard, the protesters were sentenced to prison last month.Bunn says the event was a “profound breakdown” of security culture, proof that human failure can undermine even the most sophisticated equipment.“It was a real wake-up call for the United States, and I think it’s a real wake-up call for the nuclear community in general, that you can spend a lot of money on fences and alarms and cameras and so on, but if the people aren’t motivated to pay attention, you’re going to have a problem,” said Bunn.“That suggested that even in countries like the United States, which probably has tougher rules and spends more on nuclear security maybe than any other country, there’s still more to be done.”A new report by Bunn and HKS faculty Martin B. Malin, Nickolas Roth, and William H. Tobey on the progress countries have made to secure nuclear materials, weapons, and facilities found that while many countries have made noteworthy strides since the 2010 summit — including 13 nations that have eliminated highly enriched uranium or separated plutonium on their soil entirely — “significant gaps” remain. Many nations still have no on-site guards to protect nuclear sites, conduct no background checks before allowing access to facilities or materials, and have limited protection from insider theft. Few adequately test their security measures or have programs to assess and strengthen security culture, the report said.last_img read more

 

Health disparities between blacks and whites run deep

first_imgBeing a person of color in America is bad for your health. That’s the theme of a new op-ed written by David Williams, Florence Sprague Norman and Laura Smart Norman Professor of Public Health at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Writing in U.S. News and World Report, Williams and Lavizzo-Mourey say that acknowledging the links between racism and poor health will be critical to closing the health equity gap.In the U.S., health disparities between blacks and whites run deep. For example, blacks have higher rates of diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease than other groups, and black children have a 500% higher death rate from asthma compared with white children. Williams and Lavizzio-Moruey write that geography plays a large role in all of this because, “where we live determines opportunities to access high-quality education, employment, housing, fresh foods or outdoor space — all contributors to our health.”The authors write that some cities have been successful in reducing health inequities. In Philadelphia, a focus on prioritizing physical activity in schools and improving access to fresh foods has helped childhood obesity rates fall by 6.3% in the last seven years, with the biggest drops among black and Asian children.According to Williams and Lavizzo-Mourey there is no single solution to the societal racism and poverty that contribute to poor health, but they write that, we now know enough to improve the situation. Read Full Storylast_img read more

 

University releases plans for coronavirus testing

first_imgNotre Dame announced plans regarding COVID-19 testing, contact tracing and daily health checks in an email sent to the campus community Friday.According to the email, all students who reside outside of St. Joseph County, as well as St. Joseph County residents who will live in Notre Dame residence halls will undergo testing prior to the start of fall semester. The University has partnered with a third-party test provider to distribute tests to students, and for University Health Services to receive said results prior to students arrival on campus.Additionally, any students who test positive for the virus are asked to delay their return to campus until being medically cleared to do so.The University is developing a COVID-19 Response Unit — consisting of medically-trained and administrative personnel — which will be fully operational by July 20. This team will oversee the daily health checks required of all students, faculty and staff, in addition to operating the on-site testing center “for those with symptoms of COVID-19 or for those who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive.”The testing will be free for all currently enrolled students, all faculty teaching or conducting research and all staff members.In regard to contact tracing, the COVID-19 Response Unit will be able to do so through the daily health check system. The email said Bluetooth-enabled electronic notification systems will not be used in the contact tracing process.Tags: 2020 fall semester, contact tracing, COVID-19, covid-19 response unitlast_img read more

 

SBA announces support for 10 regional ‘Innovative Economies’ clusters

first_imgSBA Administrator Karen Mills announced today the U.S. Small Business Administration’s support for 10 regional economic development and job creation efforts through a new pilot program, ‘Innovative Economies.’The pilot program supports small businesses participation in regional economic ‘clusters’ ‘ collaborations between small businesses, the public sector, economic development and other organizations.‘Maximizing a region’s economic assets is one of the best ways to create long term job growth, and that’s what SBA’s new Innovative Economies pilot initiative is doing,’ Mills said. ‘Today we are announcing funding support for 10 regional economic clusters. SBA’s support will help expand the opportunities and the role small businesses play in these regional collaborations, which are enhancing the ability to create jobs locally and compete on a national and global scale.’The 10 ‘Innovative Economies’ awardees selected from among 173 applicants to participate in the pilot program represent a wide range of diverse geographic areas and industries. From urban to rural and clean energy to robotics, the applicants focused on leading research and commercializing new products.SBA’s funding will be provided to each cluster’s organizing entity to strengthen opportunities for small businesses within the cluster. The funds can be used to provide services, including mentoring and counseling small businesses, as well as to attract more small business participation.SBA is supporting two types of innovative economies: Regional Innovation Clusters and Advanced Defense Technologies. The seven Regional Innovation Clusters focus on providing business training, commercialization and technology transfer services, counseling, mentoring and other services that support the growth and development of small businesses in the cluster region.The SBA also worked with the U.S. Department of Defense to identify areas around the country where regional innovation clusters can help meet critical defense technology needs. Three Advanced Defense Technology awardees will focus on providing business training, counseling, mentoring, matchmaking and other services to small businesses that focus on critical DoD technologies.The 10 Innovative Economies Include: Agriculture Innovation Cluster (Monterey ‘ Santa Cruz ‘ San Benito, Calif.) The AIC focus is on agricultural innovation, including production, related physical and human capital infrastructure, and leading-edge agriculture research.Carolinas’ Nuclear Cluster (N.C., S.C.) The Carolinas’ Nuclear Cluster provides strategy, structure, and on-the-ground execution to grow the North and South Carolina businesses that serve the nuclear energy industry locally, regionally, and multi-nationally.Connecticut Hydrogen-Fuel Cell Coalition (Conn., N.Y., Mass., Maine, Vt., N.H., R.I.) The Connecticut Hydrogen-Fuel Cell Coalition/Cluster, administered by the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, works to enhance economic growth by developing, manufacturing, and deploying fuel cell and hydrogen technologies and associated fueling systems.Enterprise for Innovative Geospatial Solutions (Miss., La.) EIGS organizes complimentary geospatial businesses, government agencies, and educational institutions in Mississippi and the Louisiana Gulf Coast to help create a trained workforce, transfer geospatial technology from public institutions into the market, and foster new business growth. Geospatial technology is the combination of GPS (global positioning systems), GIS (geographical information systems), and satellite or aerial image-based remote sensing.Illinois Smart Grid Regional Innovation Cluster (Ill.) The ISG-RIC is a collaboration of more than 100 entities (including 70 businesses) in the Chicago region, focused on the acceleration of Smart Grid innovation, deployments, and new market development. The Smart Grid is a convergence of technological and investment interests across multiple sectors, focused on using advanced technology to improve inefficient and outdated electric transmission infrastructure.NorTech (Ohio) NorTech focuses on technology-based economic development in 21 counties of Northeast Ohio. Funds will help small business development within NorTech’s FlexMatters initiative, which focuses on advanced energy and flexible electronics. Flexible electronics, which are electronic devices printed on flexible substrates, are emerging as a newly commercializable science, and a growing manufacturing opportunity.Upper Michigan Green Aviation Coalition (UMi-GAC) (Mich.) The Upper Michigan Green Aviation Coalition is a public-private partnership with 41 active members, focused on expanding the green aviation industry.Defense Alliance of Minnesota (Minn., N.D., S.D., Wis.) The Defense Alliance of Minnesota connects high technology innovation to defense industry opportunities and accelerating technology transfer of R&D and into commercial markets.San Diego Advanced Defense Cluster (San Diego, Calif.) The San Diego Advanced Defense Cluster focuses on autonomous systems and cyber security, as well as other technologies applicable to defense needs.Von Braun Center for Science and Innovation (Huntsville, Ala.) VCSI’s primary focus is Aero-Space technology with applications for NASA, DoD, and NOAA. Its projects have included robotics for the detection of Improvised Explosive Devices, supporting spacecraft launches and building new micro satellites.last_img read more