Non-bailable warrants issued against Balyan, Sadhvi Prachi in riots case

A court here has issued non-bailable warrants against former Union Minister Sanjeev Balyan, VHP leader Sadhvi Prachi, BJP MLA Umesh Malik and two others for not appearing in the court in connection with a case related to the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots. Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Ankur Sharma issued the warrants and asked the accused to be present in court on June 22. Bijnor MP Bhartendu Singh, Uttar Pradesh Minister Suresh Rana, and MLA Sangeet Som, were also accused in the case. They too had not appeared in the court on Sunday. But the court had allowed their application seeking exemption from personal appearance in hearings, the prosecution said. According to the prosecution, the accused are facing charges of violating prohibitory orders, deterring public servants from discharging their duties and wrongful restraint. The accused had allegedly participated in a “mahapanchayat” and incited violence through their speeches in the last week of August 2013. read more

Rebooting Infosys

first_imgIt’s the end of an era at Indian software services firm Infosys. On June 12, at the Bangalore headquarters of the $8.2 billion firm, N.R. Narayana Murthy, the 67-year-old co-founder and executive chairman, announced that after 33 years, he and the other two remaining co-founders — S. Gopalakrishnan, who serves as executive vice chairman, and CEO S.D. Shibulal — were stepping down. What’s more, the new CEO, 47-year-old Vishal Sikka, is not from within the 160,000-strong Infosys talent pool.The trio could have chosen to stay on — Murthy as executive chairman for another four years and Gopalakrishnan and Shibulal (both 59) in executive roles for another year, and in non-executive roles for another five years. Murthy says the trio decided to step down in order to give Sikka a free hand in running the company.According to K. Ramachandran, professor of family business and wealth management at the Indian School of Business (ISB), the departure of the three co-founders is a positive development. He says the move indicates that the founders recognize that “they do not have the capabilities to take the company to the next orbit of growth, which is essential to remain competitive in the industry.” Ramachandran adds: “There also appears to have been some perpetual dilemma of … sticking to the way they have been playing the game all along and … starting to play the game in a new way. It is indeed a challenge many big industry leaders face. It is good that (Infosys) leadership has made this bold move and in some sense avoided the possible fate of a dinosaur.” S. Raghunath, professor of corporate strategy and policy at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB), notes that by appointing a new CEO and giving up his executive chairman role, Murthy has shown that “he has the imagination and courage to take risks on people and ideas.”But some suggest that the founders had no choice but to leave. “It is unlikely that a non-founder CEO would have agreed to join if Murthy had continued for an indefinite period,” says Shriram Subramanian, founder of InGovern, a corporate governance research firm. “It would likely have defeated the purpose of having a (new) CEO lead the company into the future.”Sikka’s appointment, too, has evoked mixed reactions. He comes from the German software firm SAP, where he was a member of its executive board, leading all products and driving innovation. Sikka is credited with developing HANA — High-performance Analytic Appliance — SAP’s flagship in-memory database management system, and is considered to be a visionary who understood the importance of big data well before his peers. He left SAP in May after 22 years. An Indian-born American citizen, Sikka is based in California and will continue to operate from there.Sundararaman Viswanathan, manager at Zinnov Management Consulting, calls the hiring of Sikka “a masterstroke” by Infosys. “The fact that the company has made a conscious choice in favor of an outsider signifies three things. One, it is now open to external input. Two, the company needs to undergo a transformation internally and three, the industry is transforming and Infosys wants to align itself to the transformation,” says Viswanathan.But Sudin Apte, CEO and research director of IT research firm Offshore Insights, points out that Sikka, for all his credentials, has not had any experience as a CEO, at heading sales or even as a profit and loss account owner. According to Apte, Infosys’s existing urgent organizational and structural challenges include: stability, sales and marketing, attrition, pricing strategy and responsiveness to customers. “Sikka may well have these skills, but they are as yet unproven. This is not a movie-making business where you sign up a star and you are done,” says Apte. “Sikka’s capabilities and his thought process are extremely useful for IT version 3.0, or five years down the line. The million dollar question is: Will he deliver in the short and medium term?”Ending the UncertaintyBut many observers agree that the most important part of Sikka’s appointment is that the uncertainty over the new CEO is now over. With him at the helm for the foreseeable future, there will be some stability around Infosys’s strategy and therefore, better execution. Sikka, however, has a challenging task at hand. Over the past few years, Infosys — once an icon and industry bellwether that played a huge role in putting India on the global IT map — has stumbled on practically every front — be it financial, employee engagement or corporate governance.Partha Iyengar, country manager for research at Gartner India, suggests that Sikka will have to move very quickly “to calm the three key stakeholders — employees, customers and investors,” in that order. V. Balakrishnan, a former Infosys board member and contender for the CEO job who quit the company in December after more than 20 years, adds that Sikka needs to create an emotional connection with employees and customers. “He has to rebuild his core team. Also, he comes from the products background while Infosys is a services company. So the challenges are big. Hopefully, with his background and pedigree, (Sikka) will be able to make it work.”Sikka himself is confident. Pointing out that the distinction between products and services is rapidly blurring, he says that Infosys will continue to be a services company that delivers value to customers. “To me, the opportunity to work with clients and go into unprecedented new areas where software is making its way for the very first time is very exciting. The opportunity to build some amazing new products and new applications, including co-innovating with customers, is huge.”How well and how quickly Sikka can lift Infosys back to its former prominence remains to be seen. The big question for now is: What is the root of the crisis at Infosys? And what are the lessons to be learned from it?An Overstayed Welcome?Infosys was started in 1981 by seven co-founders led by Murthy. Two of the co-founders left early on, and the third retired three years ago. The rest took turns in the CEO role. Murthy had the longest run — 21years before voluntarily passing the baton to younger co-founder Nandan Nilekani in 2002.Nilekani, however, only lasted five years as CEO. At Murthy’s behest, he stepped down to make way for Gopalakrishnan. Shibulal subsequently took over in 2011. The same year, Murthy turned 65 and stepped down as non-executive chairman. “Founders bring discipline, passion and a focus on getting things done,” says IIMB’s Raghunath. “This dedication and commitment to the company from successive founders was commendable.”At the time of Murthy’s retirement, Infosys increased the retirement age for chairman from 65 to 70, but with a caveat: The policy would not apply to any of the founders. In an interview in 2011, Murthy said: “That would be putting the individual above the institution.”But Murthy broke his own rule when he returned in 2013 as executive chairman. The company was floundering and Murthy came back to set it right. In fiscal 2012-2013, Infosys grew at a rate of 6.6% — one of its worst performances since the company’s inception. Its growth forecast of 6% to 10% for the year was lower than the industry projection of 12% to 14%. The company’s margins, once the best in the industry, also slipped.Murthy also broke another of his well-articulated and publicized values — that his children would not join the company. When he returned to Infosys for his second go-round, Murthy brought on his son, Rohan Murty, as his executive assistant. He also set up a dual power center in the company in the form of the chairman’s office. Rohan Murty has now left the company along with his father.During Murthy’s second term, the company continued to underperform compared to its peers. More importantly, some of Murthy’s decisions, policies and experiments with the organizational structure resulted in deep employee disengagement. Attrition reached an all-time high, and more than a dozen very senior executives left the company — including the joint-president, head of the Americas division, global sales head, head of delivery, head of strategic sales and head of Infosys’ BPO and India business. Some of those executives had been considered frontrunners for the CEO position.At the time of the new CEO appointment, Infosys promoted president U.B. Pravin Rao to COO, and also elevated 12 executives to the positions of executive vice president and gave them key responsibilities. This move was largely perceived as a bid to stem further exodus. So while Sikka does have a senior team in place, it is a relatively unproven one.A Crisis of Leadership“I do believe the crisis at Infosys is a leadership issue,” says Kartik Hosanagar, a Wharton professor of operations and information management. He notes that while for a successful company like Infosys, it’s likely that all founders pulled their weight, that doesn’t imply that all founders were good leaders. “Some might have been great within their silos, but not necessarily ideal leaders of the company. Further, once companies scale beyond a certain size, good CEOs are not necessarily good entrepreneurs, but good managers. So it’s not clear if it was a good idea to have the founders succeed one another (as CEO). In hindsight, I think the Infosys board made some mistakes in managing CEO succession.” Hosanagar adds that Infosys has had to deal with other challenges also — new entrants entered the space and the market became more competitive.But Apte of Offshore Insights points out that market conditions have been the same for all firms in the sector. He says that Infosys’ inability to deal with the changing environment is a direct offshoot of its founder-CEO model. “The founders came with a particular mindset. They also created processes and systems that have not changed over the past three decades. They needed to change with the changing times and inject fresh thinking.” InGovern’s Subramanian adds that at different stages of a company’s evolution, different competencies are required. Leadership, he says, should be based on competency and merit. “When a company is started, the founders are well versed in leading it. However, when the company achieves a stage of maturity and becomes large, it is not necessary that the founders … lead the company. Unless all founders are competent, one founder succeeding another never works.”Subramanian also notes that the investments made by Infosys on leadership (it set up a leadership institute in 2001) seem to be largely focused on developing junior and middle management. “The investments don’t seem to have prepared the company for a leadership crisis at senior managerial levels.”Looking back, does Murthy think that the founder-CEO model was a wrong one for Infosys? Should the company have brought in a non-founder CEO much earlier? No, says Murthy emphatically. “I personally believe that every one of the choices we made were the best choices under the circumstances. Just as (K.V. Kamath, chairman of the nominations and governance committee at Infosys) and his team spent lots of days and hours deliberating and looking at data to choose the best (leader in Sikka), let me assure you that as one who believes in the adage, ‘In God we trust; everybody else must bring data to the table,’ we used enough data and facts to arrive at the best possible CEO at that point in time. I have no hesitation in saying that.”But Subramanian also questions the role of the Infosys board. He points out that advisory firms like InGovern and some investors and analysts “raised concerns of founder succeeding founder without any emphasis on merit and competence,” and some large investors “voted with their feet,” selling their holdings. “The board of directors should take a proactive role in leadership and succession planning, and not wait for a crisis to precipitate issues.” T.V. Mohandas Pai, a former Infosys board member, adds: “If the board does not change a non-performing CEO urgently, it compromises itself. A company has to work on the basis of merit at all levels.” Pai was with Infosys for 17 years and seen as a CEO contender. He quit in 2011 when Shibulal got the post.According to Matthew Bidwell, Wharton professor of management, if a board fails to replace a non-performing CEO just because he also happens to be a co-founder, it is a failure of corporate governance. “In theory, the board’s responsibilities are to the welfare of the corporation,” he notes. “If their personal ties to, or respect for, the CEO prevent them from making decisions that are in the best interests of the corporation, then they are failing in their fiduciary duties.” Bidwell adds that such a failure is not unusual. “In most companies, even if a CEO is not a co-founder, the board is often quite deferential. Often, the CEO picks the board members, and they respect him or her and are grateful. This often makes it very difficult for them to sack a long-serving CEO.”ISB’s Ramachandran adds: “This happens when the board members fail to remember their professional responsibilities and go soft on the need to critically examine executive performance constantly. Also, the presence of a very strong and iconic chairman may result in the board not taking tough decisions.” Ramachandran emphasizes that there is a difference between ownership and management. “A co-founder is an owner, but may not always have the qualities required to manage the firm successfully. There are several instances, particularly in the U.S., where the board has fired the founder/CEO for poor performance.”According to Ramachandran, founders must constantly assess their continued relevance to manage the company. “They should know that ownership rights do not give anybody an automatic capability to run the company successfully…. There should be a succession plan in place always. Institution building is neither easy nor automatic. One has to work at it.”Hosanagar says Murthy also made a mistake in bringing in his son. “I personally don’t doubt that his intentions were good. (But) this was bad PR for him and the company, especially in the light of his prior statements. While Rohan’s activities may have nothing to do with the troubles facing the company, it had an indirect negative effect by creating a distraction and raising questions about Murthy’s judgment.”IIMB’s Raghunath, however, has a counter argument: “Murthy as executive chairman was well within his rights to utilize the services of a professional as his executive assistant who also happened to be his son.”But Ramachandran notes that when founders break their own rules, it has an extremely negative impact on employee morale and results in a disconnect between stakeholders. “Both the founders and the board have brought down the reputation of Infosys as an institution that stands for its values and professionalism.” InGovern’s Subramanian adds: “Knowing that the value system professed by the founders and senior management has been compromised, employees may compromise on their own values.”Bidwell, however, says that it is hard to generalize. “We might say that founders should not break their own rules — but you would also have to consider how important those rules are to the employees, and whether breaking them makes things better or worse. Probably the biggest downside of bringing in family members is that it can lead non-family to feel (that they are) no longer eligible for top positions. That may be one of the reasons why senior people left — if they were worried about being passed over for senior jobs by Murthy’s son.”Inside vs. OutsiderSikka’s appointment has also raised the insider vs. outsider debate. “If there is a sense that the culture is broken and radical change is needed, then an outside CEO probably makes sense,” Bidwell says. “If it is more a case of building on strengths and returning to the historical culture, then an insider is probably best.”Pai points out that in the case of Infosys, most of the senior people have already left the company, making it difficult to return to the past. “The next level of leaders is all unit heads. Compared to them, Sikka is far more senior and accomplished. So there is no one left who could feel resentful that someone from outside has come, and has deprived them of their due.”As an outsider though, what extra leadership capabilities does a new CEO need to bring to the table? “He has to consult the top team with an open mind and send the message that he is a team player and believes in the power of collective thinking,” ISB’s Ramachandran notes. “He has to articulate his vision for (the company) fairly soon, which should be a combination of continuity and change. He needs to communicate this very effectively to all the key stakeholders, particularly the employees. He has to evaluate the core resources and capabilities and identify new growth opportunities more entrepreneurially.”According to Subramanian, the outsider-CEO needs to “energize the senior management team toward a common goal.” This, he says, “will prevent senior-level exits while also enhancing the morale across the organization.”Meanwhile, as part of the new CEO appointment, the company has also made a change in its structure and has brought back the position of the COO. In earlier years at Infosys, the COO job, like the CEO, was always a founder. The position was scrapped in 2011 when Shibulal, the last of the founders, became CEO. Though the CEO-COO structure worked for Infosys earlier, this time around not only are both positions held by non-founders, but one of them is an outsider, while the other is an Infosys veteran of 28 years. “This dual power structure does not have a natural equilibrium” because it is not easy to define the roles without a lot of overlaps, says Ramachandran. Taking an analogy from tennis, he adds: “This is like a doubles game where the understanding between the two players has to be perfect and bereft of ego clashes.”If Sikka gets his act right, he could take Infosys places. The world around us, he notes, is getting reshaped and completely transformed by software — high-digital technology and computing. And the fundamental role of technology, he adds, is to amplify and augment the capabilities of people. “As technology becomes more powerful, the end-user becomes more empowered.” Sikka says his vision is to take a lead role “in shaping and accelerating” this change. “Every industry, every company, in every walk of life is going through this transformation, and I am very excited to be working toward bringing (it) about….” Related Itemslast_img read more

1st anniv of demonetisation: DMK to observe Nov 8 as Black

first_imgDayChennai, Oct 24 (PTI) The DMK, an ally of the Congress, today said it would observe November 8, the first anniversary of demonetisation, as Black Day and stage demonstrations in all district headquarters of Tamil Nadu.In a statement, DMK Working President M K Stalin said party workers, wearing black shirts, would observe November 8 as “Karuppu Dhinam” (Black Day) and stage protests.He invited the public “affected by the note ban” to join the agitations by sporting black arm bands.Stalins statement is in line with the Congress announcement in Delhi that it would observe November 8 as Black Day.Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “Eighteen political parties have decided to hold protests in every state in their capacity against the governments decision which caused hardship to the people.”A group of 18 opposition parties has been standing together against the government and formed the seven-member coordination committee comprising leaders of the Congress, TMC, SP, BSP, DMK, the Left and the breakaway JD-U faction.The coordination committee of opposition parties had met yesterday in the Parliament House, where it authorised Azad to talk to other parties and finalise the protest plan on November 8.Stalin said, “This unilateral decision (of demonetisation) by the BJP government has affected the unorganised sector, daily-wage labourers and farm workers, besides hurting MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises).””The countrys economy is sluggish today,” he alleged.The DMK leader said former prime minister Manmohan Singh had warned of the ill-effects of the note ban and many political leaders had also expressed concerns about it then.advertisementHe claimed that people stood in ATMs for long hours and wasted their precious time while those without debit cards, such as villagers, were further affected.The BJP government had not come forward to condole in Parliament deaths which occurred in queues in banks and ATMs, Stalin alleged.Taking a dig at the BJP, the DMK leader also alleged the party had not implemented its pre-poll promises such as “depositing Rs 15 lakh in each Indians bank account” and ensuring economic growth. PTI SA APR NSDlast_img read more

MEN: compact embedded Box PC with Intel Apollo Lake I

first_imgWith the BC51M box PC, MEN expands its innovative, modular family concept. The fanless and maintenance-free device is used in graphics and memory intensive applications in trains, buses or commercial vehicles and, thanks to its numerous communication interfaces, is highly variable. The BC51M is based on the Intel Atom E3900 series – optionally with two or four cores, up to 1.6 GHz. The scalability within this series gives the user the necessary flexibility. With 8 GB DDR3 SDRAM memory, a rear accessible SD card, an integrated eMMC memory and an optional SATA HDD/SSD, the box PC has the necessary storage capacity e.g. for entertainment servers or video surveillance systems. The BC51M was designed for mobile use in trains, buses or commercial vehicles and takes over wireless on-board functions such as Internet on board, positioning via GNSS, entertainment or predictive maintenance.The box PC supports up to two DisplayPort interfaces with a maximum resolution of 4K, as well as two Gigabit Ethernet interfaces, one USB 2.0, one HD audio and two variable connections for serial I/O, CAN bus, MVB or IBIS. Two PCI Express Mini Card slots and two micro-SIM slots provide flexibility in implementing mobile service standards up to 4G LTE or WLAN. The system is designed for fanless operation at temperatures from -40 to +85°C. Thanks to the integrated 30 W/24 VDC wide-range power supply, the box PC complies with the railway standard EN 50155 and ISO 7637-2 for road vehicles.Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Boards & Modules Continue Reading Previous IBASE: extended temperature SBCs powered by NXP i.MX 6Dual Cortex-A9 processorNext Sensirion presents its particulate matter sensor at IoTE 2018last_img read more

Mason Rudolph Becomes Oklahoma State’s All-Time Leading Passer

first_imgWe knew he would get there sooner rather than later this season, and No. 2 did it in just his second game of the year. With this 15-yard toss to Chris Lacy in the second quarter, Rudolph surpassed Brandon Weeden as the all-time passing yardage leader in Oklahoma State football history. The top five leading passers are a who’s who list of former Oklahoma State QBs. Arguably the five best in Cowboy history.Oklahoma State All-Time Passing LeadersRudolph: 9,293 yards (as of halftime against USA)Brandon Weeden: 9,260 yardsMike Gundy: 8,473 yardsZac Robinson: 8,317 yardsJosh Fields: 6,090 yardsIt’s not just a matter of him playing more games, either. Rudolph has averaged 310.9 yards per game coming into this game excluding the the 2015 OU game (which he probably should not have played). Weeden averaged 346.3 a game in his 26 starts.Now Rudolph will have 11 or 12 (or 13?) more games to try and distance himself from B-Weeds. Here’s to hoping he sets a record that never gets touched.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img read more

Boris Becker to auction trophies, souvenirs to pay debt

first_img Next Boris Becker to auction trophies, souvenirs to pay debtSix-time Grand Slam champion Boris Becker, who went bankrupt in 2017, is to auction his trophies to clear off a part of his debt. Indo Asian News Agency LondonJune 24, 2019UPDATED: June 24, 2019 15:54 IST Boris Becker is to auction his trophies to pay off his debts. (IANS Photo)HIGHLIGHTSTennis great Boris Becker is to auction his trophies to clear off his debtBoris Becker went bankrupt in 2017Becker won 49 titles and more than 20 million euros in prize money during his tennis careerIn a move to clear off a major chunk of his debt, bankrupt German tennis legend Boris Becker has decided to auction his trophies and personal souvenirs online from Monday.Becker will conduct the online auction in association with British firm Wyles Hardy. According to reports, the tennis star is auctioning 82 items, which includes his medals, cups, watches and photographs. The sale will end on July 11, Wyles Hardy announced on its website.One of the trophies include a replica of a Challenge Cup, which was awarded to Becker after his Wimbledon wins, and the three-quarter size replica of the Renshaw Cup presented after he became the youngest ever Grand Slam singles champion. Meanwhile, Becker’s Wimbledon finalist medal from 1990, when he was beaten by Swede Stefan Edbergis will also be up for grabs at the auction.The 51-year-old was declared bankrupt in 2017 but reports suggest that even an auction will not help him get rid of his debt which is over millions of pounds. Becker, a six-time Grand Slam winner, won 49 titles and more than 20 million euros in prize money during his tennis career.Also Read | Ashleigh Barty dethrones Naomi Osaka to become World No. 1Also Read | Roger Federer defeats David Goffin to win record 10th Halle Open titleAlso SeeFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAnita Jat Tags :Follow Roger FedererFollow Boris beckerlast_img read more

Pope to receive Putin at Vatican on July 4

first_imgVatican City: Pope Francis will receive Russian President Vladimir Putin for an audience next month, the Vatican said on Thursday. “The Holy Father will receive the president of the Russian Federation… this upcoming July 4,” interim spokesman Alessandro Gisotti said in a statement. The meeting will be the third between the two men, with Francis having received Putin most recently in 2015, when the pope urged all parties to the conflict in Ukraine to make a “sincere effort” for peace. Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests’ The meeting lasted an unusual 50 minutes. Only audiences with former US President Barack Obama and French President Emmanuel Macron have been longer. But the pope did not go further than calling for “an important and sincere effort to achieve peace” in Ukraine, where Russia is accused of carrying out a proxy war, after annexing Crimea in 2014. Francis first met Putin in 2013, as the Roman Catholic Church sought to improve ties with the Russian Orthodox Church. Also Read – Pak Army chief accompanies Imran at key meetings in China Only in 2009 did the Vatican and Moscow re-establish full diplomatic ties which had been severed during Soviet times. Relations between Russia and the Vatican have improved since the coming to power in the same year of Patriarch Kirill, who headed up the Russian Orthodox Church’s diplomatic arm for years. The Russian Orthodox Church has frequently accused the Catholic Church of proselytising in Russia, an Orthodox Christian country of 144 million. The pope in 2016 held an historic meeting with Kirill in Cuba, the first encounter between the heads of the two largest Christian churches since Christianity split into Western and Eastern branches in the 11th Century — an event known as “The Great Schism.” The two wings have been estranged ever since with each maintaining for centuries that they are the true inheritors of the early Christian church established by the apostles of Jesus Christ. While relations have warmed of late between Rome and other branches of the Orthodox tradition, the Russian one, the most influential in the Eastern family, is historically the most guarded. Putin previously met the pope’s now-retired predecessor Benedict XVI as well as late pope John Paul II.last_img read more

Slash Teams With IFAW To Stop Elephant Slaughter

first_imgRock legend Slash has partnered with International Fund For Animal Welfare (IFAW) to release a song to raise awareness of the slaughter of elephants which is leading to their early extinction.While on tour in South Africa, Slash and the lead singer of his band, Myles Kennedy, witnessed the devastation of the elephants first-hand and knew they had to act. Together, they wrote the song “Beneath The Savage Sun” from the perspective of an elephant whose family has been wiped out. The hypnotic rock song is a highlight on the group’s critically acclaimed current album WORLD ON FIRE.“An elephant is killed every 15 minutes for its ivory and the result is the elephant population has declined 95% in the past century,” explains Slash. “Seeing that these majestic animals are on the path to extinction, possibly within the next decade, we wrote ‘Beneath The Savage Sun’ and partnered with IFAW. Donate to IFAW’s work to take action and protect elephants.”IFAW’s CEO Azzedine Downes expressed gratitude to Slash and Myles Kennedy for calling attention to the current elephant poaching crisis, “To save elephants from this senseless slaughter, we need everyone to stand up and demand stronger protection and we need to help fund action on the ground in Africa and Asia. We are grateful to Slash, Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators for reaching out to their fans to share this important message.”To find out more about how you can download the song and watch the video, click here.last_img read more

Tom Brady To CoChair Best Buddies Challenge

first_imgBest Buddies International, a nonprofit dedicated to creating opportunities for friendship, employment and leadership training for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), is pleased to announce that the 16th Annual Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port, will take place on May 29 – 30.More than 2,000 people are expected to participate in the Challenge – a charity walk, run and ride to benefit Best Buddies International. Tom Brady, New England Patriots Quarterback and Best Buddies Global Ambassador, will serve as Honorary Co-Chair and lead Team Tom Brady to the finish line.Celebrity Chef Guy Fieri and Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy III will join Brady as the event’s Honorary Co-Chairs. John Hailer, President & CEO of Natixis Global Asset Management for the Americas & Asia, has committed to serve as the Event Chair. During the event, John Hancock will be honored with the organization’s Spirit of Friendship Award.“Best Buddies is a fantastic organization with a great message to spread, and I am so proud to support their work,” said Tom Brady. “I hope my role as Honorary Co-Chair will continue to bring attention to the organization’s mission of friendship and inclusion for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities across the world.”“It’s gratifying to be part of an organization that recognizes the immense potential in people with intellectual and developmental challenges and strives to build a world of inclusion,” said John Hailer, President & CEO of Natixis Global Asset Management for the Americas & Asia. “Civic engagement is everyone’s responsibility, and I look forward to doing my part in this year’s Challenge.”“We are delighted to be returning to Massachusetts for our sixteenth Challenge and we are thrilled that Tom Brady, Guy Fieri and Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy, III will join us as Honorary Chairmen of this event,” says Anthony Kennedy Shriver, Founder and Chairman of Best Buddies International. “Their dedication to the Best Buddies mission of inclusion – along with that of all Challenge participants – has helped bring an even greater awareness to the infinite abilities people with intellectual and developmental disabilities possess.”Several New England Patriots, past and present, including Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski, Danny Amendola, Tedy Bruschi, Nate Solder, Jerod Mayo, Dan Koppen and Scott Zolak are expected to attend the Tom Brady Football Challenge at Harvard Field; along with Celebrity Chef Guy Fieri.During halftime, Hublot’s Chief Executive Officer Ricardo Guadalupe and Rick de la Croix, President of Hublot Latin America, will officially launch a new Hublot Limited Edition Best Buddies Cycling timepiece.“Hublot is honored to partner with Best Buddies, and to support this great cause that makes a significant impact in serving those with intellectual and developmental disabilities around the world. Similar to the Shriver family, Hublot has a long history of serving our local communities,” said Ricardo Guadalupe, CEO of Hublot. “We are proud to join Anthony Shriver, Tom Brady, and cyclists George Hincapie and Christian Vande Velde to kick off the Best Buddies Challenge, and to announce the launch of our Classic Fusion ‘Best Buddies’ timepiece, for which Hublot will donate a portion of the proceeds from all sales to Best Buddies.”The game will be followed by the Guy Fieri Celebrity Chef Tailgate Party, hosted by Guy Fieri, a best-selling cookbook author and host of several Food Network shows, including “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” and “Guy’s Big Bite.” Steve DiFillippo of Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse and eleven of Boston’s top chefs, will be partnered with Buddy Sous chefs to prepare this fabulous feast.During Friday night’s festivities, Best Buddies will present John Hancock with Best Buddies International’s esteemed “Spirit of Friendship Award” for the company’s outstanding generosity and visionary leadership in employing individuals with intellectual disabilities and contributing to a more inclusive work force. Since 2009, Team John Hancock’s 439 Challenge cyclists have raised a total of $823,188 to support Best Buddies’ mission of friendship and inclusion for individuals with intellectual disabilities.On Saturday, May 30, hundreds of cyclists, including professional cyclists George Hincapie, Christian Vande Velde, Ted King and Cameron Wurf – will take the starting line at Boston’s John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum for the picturesque 100-mile ride portion of the Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port, from Boston to Hyannis Port. The Challenge is open to participants of all ages and abilities and is designed to showcase the Best Buddies mission in action. It also features alternative 50 and 20-mile cycling routes, as well as the Carl Lewis Challenge, a 5K run or walk.Several other celebrities, professional athletes and special guests are also expected to participate in the Challenge, including: “Glee’s” Lauren Potter, who is also a Best Buddies Board Member, Actress Maria Menounos, Actor Michael Chiklis, American Horror Story Actress and Best Buddies supporter Jamie Brewer and Comedian and Actor Dane Cook; Miss USA 2014 Nia Sanchez; Miss Teen USA 2014 K. Lee Graham; Miss Massachusetts USA 2015 Polikseni Manxhari; Miss Massachusetts Teen USA 2015 Sophie Baird; Miss Maine USA 2015 Heather Elwell; Miss Maine Teen USA 2015 Syler Gaudette; Miss New Hampshire USA 2015 Samantha Poirier; and Miss New Hampshire Teen USA 2015 Eleanor Lathram. They will all be invited to compete in the “Friendship Races” on tandem bicycles.The Challenge will be capped off by a New England-style clambake and private concert by musical group 38 Special which all participants and special guests are invited to attend.In addition to Brady, Congressman Kennedy and Fieri, Steve Finch, John Hancock; Patrick Flavin, The TJX Companies, Inc.; and Ed Ansin, President, Sunbeam Television, Corp. have committed to serve as Challenge Co-Chairs.This year’s Challenge sponsors include: Hyannis Port Club Sponsors BNY Mellon, Hublot, Pepsi, Seyfarth Shaw Attorneys LLP, Natixis Global Asset Management, Pepsi-Cola Company, The TJX Companies, Inc and Greenberg Traurig LLP; Cape Club Sponsors CVS Health, John Hancock, NBC/WHDH and Santander Bank; Craigville Beach Club Sponsors Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Bob’s Discount Furniture, Cooking with Kids Foundation, Crescent Capital Group, Eaton Vance Investment Management, EMC, Energi, FIJI Water, the official water of Best Buddies International, The GEO Group Foundation, Inc, Kobi Karp Architecture and Interior Design, Mark Edward Partners, Market Basket, The Parthenon Group, Pilot Freight Services, Putnam Investments, William Grant & Sons, Ltd., Harpoon Brewery; and Media Sponsors Bicycling Magazine, The Boston Globe, CBS Radio/98.5 The Sports Hub, Getty Images, the official photography sponsor of Best Buddies International, Boston Common Magazine/Niche Media, the premier magazine sponsor of Best Buddies International and 90.9 WBUR.last_img read more

Hunger Is Campaign Has Raised More Than 20 Million In Total To

first_imgThe Albertsons Companies Foundation and the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) announced today their 2017 in-store, month-long campaign raised more than $5 million in donations for Hunger Is, a joint charitable initiative designed to raise awareness and funds to end childhood hunger in America.These funds, collected from September 15 through October 15, bring the total raised since the 2014 inception of Hunger Is to more than $20 million to support hunger relief programs throughout the country.This year’s “Hungry for More” campaign highlighted the importance of daily breakfast for children. With the money raised, Hunger Is will meet its goal of providing five million breakfasts this year to children in need, thanks to the generosity of customers at Albertsons Companies’ Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, ACME Markets, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Carrs and other stores.Coinciding with this year’s “Hungry for More” campaign was the “$30K in 30 Days Project,” an initiative that granted an additional $30,000 to organizations helping to eradicate hunger in their communities by sharing compelling stories via social media. Each day of the in-store campaign, the Hunger Is team selected a participating organization and granted it $1,000 to support its respective programs. Winning organizations’ stories were shared on Hunger Is social media channels to raise awareness about the importance of ending childhood hunger in America. This campaign generated significant engagement for both customers and grantees during the month-long challenge. Approximately 450 customers shared over 775 posts about the campaign, and nearly 100 of the organizations who benefited from the initiative shared a total of 361 posts. Overall, the “$30K in 30 Days Project” reached over 4.8 million people and garnered more than 15 million impressions.Hunger Is Ambassador Viola Davis continues to publicly share her compelling personal story about growing up hungry and lend her voice to the initiative’s public service announcements that run on television, radio, print, out-of-home and digital media outlets.“The continued success of this program is not only exciting but it’s a sign of the strength our communities possess to bring about positive change. Too many children go without breakfast in this country, and it’s all of our duty to work toward fixing that problem,” Davis said. “I’m honored to lend my voice to this important conversation. My gratitude goes out to everyone who continues to donate and help spread awareness of childhood hunger in America.”According to the USDA, one in six children in America struggles with hunger, a statistic that has seen improvement in the last year, thanks in part to Hunger Is and other organizations that are working to address the issue. This important marker of progress underscores the need to continue to work toward eradicating childhood hunger in the U.S.“Every child needs and deserves a good, healthy start to the day,” said Christy Duncan Anderson, Executive Director of the Albertsons Companies Foundation. “We are committed to meeting that need and are thankful that customers, communities and partners like EIF and Viola Davis are standing with us to make it happen.”“It is so inspiring to see the powerful impact that communities have continued to make in fighting childhood hunger,” said Entertainment Industry Foundation Board Chair Chris Silbermann. “We are so grateful to the Albertsons Companies Foundation and Viola Davis, who remain committed to helping ensure that all children in this country are able to get the nutrition they need to reach their full potential.”Since its inception, Hunger Is has awarded grants to more than 270 programs addressing childhood hunger. This fall, Hunger Is will invite regional and community-based programs in Albertsons Companies’ operating areas across the U.S. to submit grant proposals. Grants will be awarded to programs that have potential to alleviate childhood hunger.Albertsons Companies’ store divisions help select grant recipients in their region, in collaboration with the Hunger Is Advisory Committee. Members of the committee are leaders from the most-respected hunger advocacy organizations in the U.S., including the Center for Hunger Free Communities (Drexel University), a community-engaged research, service, advocacy and policy center; Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity; Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute, an internationally renowned biomedical research institute focused on pediatric health; the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC), the leading national nonprofit organization working to improve public policies and public-private partnerships to eradicate hunger and malnutrition in the U.S.; Hunger Free America, which operates the national hunger hotline and sponsors the nationwide Anti-Hunger and Opportunity Corps AmeriCorps VISTA program in 32 states; Share Our Strength, whose No Kid Hungry campaign connects kids in need with nutritious food and teaches their families how to cook healthy, affordable meals; and WhyHunger, which supports grassroots solutions to end hunger and poverty by connecting people to nutritious and affordable food, and building the movement for food justice.More information about the issue and ways for individuals to donate is available at HungerIs.org.last_img read more

Federal court approves settlement for Indian day school class action

first_imgStudents in front of Trout Lake Indian Day School in Ontario. File photo.APTN NewsThe Federal Court has approved a settlement agreement for survivors of Indian day schools.Under the terms of the settlement, survivors will be able to apply for individual compensation for harms, including physical and sexual abuse, linked to attending one of the federally-run institutions.Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett says the court’s decision marks recognition of the hard work undertaken by all sides toward finding a lasting and meaningful resolution for former students and their families.“The mistreatment of Indigenous children is a tragic and shameful part of Canada’s history that has had devastating effects on generations of families,” Bennett said in a statement Monday. “Canada is deeply committed to reconciliation and healing, and will continue the important work of making amends for past wrongs.Garry McLean launched a class action lawsuit in 2009 against Canada over the abuse and harms inflicted upon Indigenous students who were forced to attend Indian Day Schools across Canada.McLean, a day school survivor, died earlier this year from cancer — just two months after he and federal government officials announced they had reached a tentative agreement for the settlement.Garry McLean, the lead plaintiff in the Federal Indian Day School class action lawsuit, died last February at the age of 67. File photo.The class action was certified on consent in June 2018.The plaintiffs and government concluded a settlement agreement on March 12 of this year, just a few weeks after McLean’s passing.The settlement provides compensation to Indian Day School survivors based on the level of harm suffered and establishes a $200 million legacy fund to support commemoration events, wellness and healing projects, and the restoration of Indigenous languages and culture.A 90-day opt-out period and a 60-day appeal period will begin now that the settlement has been approved, meaning that any class member who does not agree with its terms can choose to remove themselves from the process.Nearly 200,000 Indigenous children attended more than 700 Indian day schools beginning in the 1920s, often enduring trauma that in some cases included physical and sexual abuse.The schools operated separately from the residential school system and were not included in the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement approved in 2006.Survivors of federal Indian Day Schools were excluded from the 2007 Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.With files from The Canadian Press.news@aptn.ca@aptnnewslast_img read more

New bird flu outbreaks seen in poultry but humans mostly spared UN

In a press statement from Geneva, WHO said among its priorities for 2006 would be to continue to work closely with its 192 member States and with international organizations to improve surveillance of the disease, but despite recent human cases in Turkey and Iraq a surge in human deaths seems unlikely.“This is still pretty much an animal disease and is rare in humans. The control measures should be containment of the source, at the farm level,” said Dr. Margaret Chang, Director of the WHO’s Communicable Disease branch.Commenting on the test results of the recent suspected human cases of bird flu in Iraq, Dr. Chang confirmed that a 15-year old girl who died of pulmonary conditions had the H5N1 virus. Results on two others were not yet available, Dr. Chang said, but she corrected rumours in the media that there were large numbers of people infected with the avian influenza in Iraq.During the last two years, several countries have reported outbreaks of avian influenza caused by the H5N1 virus in people, and close to 100 have died, most of them in Viet Nam. In addition more than 140 million chickens have been slaughtered in an effort to contain.So far, the virus has only spread from infected animals to humans, but WHO has warned that it could change into a form that spreads easily from person to person, triggering an influenza pandemic that could kill tens of millions of people worldwide.In humans, treatment with antiviral medicines is one way to reduce death and illness, and WHO has been building up drug stockpiles at different locations worldwide for quick distribution in case of an emergency.Dr. Chang said the agency has been assisting the Government of Iraq in building its stockpiles of drugs and that a shipment of the anti-viral drug Tamiflu was on its way to the country.Last month, donors pledged $1.9 billion to fight the spread of the disease, and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan called for a massive, coordinated international response to the virus. read more

Beekeeper says 700000 of her insects may have been killed by rival

A beekeeper whose hives have been torched twice in a year says she may be the victim of a jealous rival. Michaela Tullet, who is the owner of Api-Bees in Kent, said she was devastated after an arsonist poured petrol over 20 of her beehives and torched them – killing more than 700,000 bees. A further 26 of her beehives were torched in June last year, leading her to believe that somebody may be targeting her farm. She said: “It makes you think as it is exactly the same area that was attacked last year. “It could just be a jealous beekeeper. One of the farmers that works here has argued with some young children after they were caught littering. Maybe they thought the bees belonged to him, but I don’t know.”If somebody decides to come in the middle of the night and set it on fire, there is not a lot we can do.”Ms Tulett added she was “numb with shock”, adding: “They are live animals. It’s disgusting and a senseless act of violence.” The attack took place at the farm in the village of Sellindge just before 10pm last Tuesday, and there are now only around five hives left.  A Kent Police spokesman said: “Police are investigating a report of arson in Sellindge.”More than 20 bee hives were reportedly destroyed during the fire.It is the latest in a series of bee crimes, predominantly thefts. Hundreds of thousands of bees have been stolen from apiaries across England and Wales since 2011, a trend which has also been blamed on rivalry between beekeepers.  Kent Police are investigating the arson, however Ms Tullet believes that there is little they can do without witnesses. She is also unsure what the farm can do to stop a repeat of the attack, saying: “All we can do is remove the bees from the site. We could set up CCTV, but that’s not really going to help.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

Edmund J Longyear being inducted into International Mining Technology Hall of Fame

first_imgBoart Longyear, leading provider of integrated exploration drilling services, equipment and performance tooling, “is honoured to announce that Edmund J. Longyear will be inducted into the International Mining Technology Hall of Fame’s inaugural class for his role in exploration. Fourteen inductees will be honoUred during a gala dinner hosted at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Saturday, February 22, 2014.” “Edmund truly was a pioneer in mineral exploration and drilling,” said Richard O’Brien, President and Chief Executive Officer of Boart Longyear. “He deserves the recognition that the International Mining Technology Hall of Fame bestows upon its inductees.”Longyear’s influence in contract diamond drilling, geological services and shaft sinking in the early part of the 20th century served the rapidly growing U.S. iron ore mining and steel industry. This led to him winning the exploration nomination.“In 1890, Longyear drilled the first diamond core hole in the Mesabi Iron Range in northern Minnesota. He later formed the E.J. Longyear Company, which would eventually become Boart Longyear.“A panel of experts and leaders in the fields of exploration, mining and processing determined the final inductees from a large field of nominations from the international mining community. The International Mining Hall of Fame is the only hall of fame to recognise the global innovators in the mining industry.” www.im-halloffame.comlast_img read more

American Horror Story Cult Rewards Those Who Stay Loyal

first_img I don’t think there’s been a season of American Horror Story that’s had as many ups and downs as this one. The first few episodes were some of the worst the show had ever had. It turned things around a few weeks in, and since then, it’s fluctuated between being below average and mostly okay, with the occasional genuinely good episode. Last night’s was one of those. In conversation, its hard to tell people where I stand on this season because my opinion changes wildly from week to week. Even when it does something right, I have to wonder if it was worth the slog it took to get there. The payoff is great, but is it enough to justify the uneven or outright terrible episodes that set it up?That question will be easier to answer once we reach the season finale and see what all this is leading to. Even after enjoying last night’s episode, I’m still of the mind that Ryan Murphy better have one hell of a magic trick planned to make up for what most of this season’s been. But it’ll be two weeks before we have to worry about that. Let’s talk about last night’s surprisingly solid and scary episode. This one was particularly extreme right from the jump. No better way to unsettle your audience than with footage of real dead bodies, I guess. Kai began the hour by telling his cult members three stories of real-life suicide cults. Heaven’s Gate, the Branch Davidians and Jim Jones’ original Kool-Aid-drinking cult. Real footage was intercut with reenactments shot on low-resolution cameras so it all blended together. Even not knowing where the episode was going yet, it was a cool effect. The mass suicide scenes felt all the more real because of it.Evan Peters, Cooper Dodson (Photo via FX)While Kai’s telling the men this, the women are planning an escape. Kind of. Winter printed off some directions from Wiki-How. Credit where it’s due, that’s pretty funny. Their plans are interrupted when some of Kai’s men show up and force the women to come with them. The scene that follows is AHS at its best. This is the kind of storytelling this show does really well. It sets up the idea of mass suicide at the top of the episode, and brings it back around. Kai pours Kool-Aid for everyone and asks them to drink. The first man refuses and is shot. Now at this point, it’s pretty obvious to the audience that there’s nothing in the Kool-Aid. We’ve just watched a scene where Kai laid out some grand plans for the future. Plans he needs his followers alive for. Still, he’s just crazy enough that there’s a little bit of uncertainty. Even though you know he’s not going to kill everyone right here, there’s a small voice at the back of your mind asking, “what if he does?” That tension is enough to make an otherwise predictable scene into a heart-pounding few minutes.The idea of poison drinks carries all the way through the episode too. Ally is all the way over her phobias. She has gone all the way dark and I’m kind of loving it. Sarah Paulson is a fantastic actor. That much, we knew already. The problem in her earlier episodes was that she wasn’t given anything to work with. She was scared at absolutely everything, which quickly became annoying. It doesn’t matter how good an actor someone is. If they’re only given one emotion, that’s going to get old real fast. Now that her character is over that, Paulson has so much more to work with. She even had me thinking she had forgiven Ally. Right up until the moment she started serving dinner. I don’t know if it was a slight change in Paulson’s performance (seriously, I can’t say enough good things about her work here), or a subtle change in the score. As soon as she started serving dinner to Ally while discussing her plan to get Ozy back from Kai, I knew something was up. Suspicions were confirmed when she waited for Ivy to drink her wine and very obviously didn’t have any herself. I was wondering why Ivy continued to drink it even when Ally admitted wanting revenge. Then, Ivy said Ally’s newfound courage was just a phase. She didn’t believe Ally could actually go through with revenge or murder. As far as justifications go, it’s acceptable. It’s hard to argue with it once Ivy’s horrific death scene begins. Good job AHS, you scared me on Halloween.Alison Pill (Photo via FX)American Horror Story is best when it cleverly undermines our expectations, and this episode managed to pull that off multiple times. When Kai had Ozy convinced that he was his real dad, Ally went down to the sperm bank and discovered that no, he’s not. She then invited Kai over for more sloppy joes. (Speaking of which, I wonder how Manwhich feels about being namedropped so often in relation to cults and poisoning.) The dinner scene is even better than the one that came before it. Again, Kai eats his sandwich while Ally doesn’t touch hers. We expect him to keel over at any second. But he doesn’t. Ally instead tells Kai that he actually is Ozy’s father, convincing him that they made a messiah baby. She’s using the same recruiting techniques on him that he used on his followers and it’s amazing to watch. I still think there was something in that Sloppy Joe, since Ally didn’t touch any of it. Just not poison. Maybe it was drugged to make him more susceptible to manipulation? In any case, she and Kai dispose of Ivy’s body in Kai’s parents’ bedroom. That’s still the creepiest thing about this season.The best part of any good horror movie is when the protagonist becomes the monster. That’s where we are now. I wish we had gotten to like Ally a little more before this turn but hey, at least we like her after. That’s almost as good. I still can’t believe a season as rocky and uneven as this could produce an episode this good. Now I just have to hope it can keep up this level of quality for two more weeks. I still have my doubts it can even do that, but we’ll see. At least I’m genuinely interested to see what happens next.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Top Movie and TV Trailers You Might Have Missed This WeekAmerican Horror Story Takes Us Back to the Days of Witches and Warlocks Stay on targetlast_img read more

Ask an Economist Earthquake recovery will help economy but not enough to

first_imgConstruction began immediately to repair the ramp at the intersection of International Airport Road and Minnesota Drive after it collapsed during a magnitude 7.0 earthquake on Friday, November 30, 3018 in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo by Rashah McChesney/Alaska’s Energy Desk)Alaska has been in recession for three years. And, though there are reasons to be optimistic right now, state economist Neal Fried is still not ready to call it’s end. And, he says new economic activity driven by last month’s major earthquake is not going to pull the state out of recession.COLLINS: Neal, we talked a few months ago about the recession. At that time you said things are looking pretty good. People are feeling pretty optimistic, but you weren’t quite ready to call the end of the recession.FRIED: I’m still not.COLLINS: You’re still not.FRIED: No. By your question, ‘is the recession going to end?’ The answer is it could. I think a lot of people do believe that sometime next year employment could potentially turn positive. And that would sort of signal the possible end of a recession. The losses have moderated considerably. But they’re still not over.COLLINS: What exactly would it take for you to be confident in saying ‘we’re here, it’s over,’ or, ‘I can see the end’?FRIED: It’s probably going to be over for a while before we are really going to see it and say it’s over. It’s positive employment growth for a while, for at least a couple of quarters. And, what’s important here is for a lot of people, some people didn’t even go into recession — or certain industries didn’t. Some of them are already out of recession. We were talking earlier about construction. Well, construction is not losing ground anymore, it’s actually growing some. So, they’re not in a recession anymore. They’re not in full recovery by any means. Not anywhere close. But, they’re not in what we call a recession. And there are a lot of industries that are, broadly speaking. There are a lot of places in the state that aren’t in a recession.COLLINS: We in Anchorage and around Southcentral were rocked by this big earthquake on Friday. Is the earthquake what it will take to get us out of the recession? Could this generate some jobs? What’s your take on that?FRIED: (laughs) No. I mean it will generate some economic activity. It already is. There’s no doubt about it. If there was the ’64 earthquake the answer would probably be yes. Not that we’d want to with that upon us. Because a lot of losses occur in an earthquake. All this inventory. Some of it won’t be recovered. There’s no doubt it’s going to provide a small boost. And it’s providing a boost to an industry where this is the lowest time of the year. Construction really slows down here in the wintertime. Highway construction is nonexistent usually in the wintertime and look what’s going on. No, I don’t think this will be enough. This is more like, it’s going to just happen sort of slowly and modestly. It’s not going to be some major economic event.COLLINS: Does that happen, in states that have experienced recession?FRIED: Some people claim that the ’64 earthquake did that. But I looked at the data, and we were growing before the ’64 earthquake. It certainly caused a lot of economic activity because there was so much destruction. And the federal government did pour a lot of money into Alaska.This interview is part of a new series addressing economic news and trends in Alaska. If you have question about the economy you’d like answered, email acollins@alaskapublic.org.last_img read more

Jitesh Pillai apologises to Hina Khan after actress gives befitting reply over

first_imgHina Khan at Cannes Film Festival 2019ReutersPopular TV actress Hina Khan made a stunning debut at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival 2019 on May 15, wearing a shimmery grey gown by Lebanese designer Ziad Nakad. Her pictures from the red carpet have gone viral on the internet with millions praising her for her big outing.However, Jitesh Pillai, a popular film magazine editor, chose to mock Hina’s Cannes appearance on social media. Sharing Hina’s picture from the red carpet, the editor commented on whether Cannes has become Chandivali with a question mark.While many of her colleagues came to her rescue and bashed Pillai, Hina too gave a befitting reply to the editor. “I was persistent, I m constant n I will b efficient again n again again. Don’t know where I belong, don’t know if I have to, as d Place don’t define me! Bcause as always I will work my a** off n I will make my own PLACE. My promise,a proud outsider from my Chandiwali studios,” she wrote on her Twitter handle.Perhaps, Hina’s tweet brought some kind of realisation and Pillai took to Instagram to state that his comment was misconstrued.  It should be mentioned here that post-Jitesh’s remark against Hina, many netizens as well as the actress’ colleagues, including Nia Sharma, Karanir Bohra and Arjun Bijlani, came out in her support and bashed Jitesh. Kangana Ranaut’s sister Rangoli too attacked him for his insensitive post.last_img read more

School Finance Testing Fiasco Topped 2016 Education News

first_img Share Laura Buckman for The Texas TribuneProtesters at a press conference held by Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick in May, 2016 calling on Fort Worth Independent School District Superintendent Kent Scribner to resign over the district’s bathroom guidelines for transgender students.A new Texas education commissioner vowed to crack down on district and campus accountability, a drawn-out court case over school finance ended and federal officials began investigating an alleged cap on special education services in Texas school districts — those are among the highlights of the year 2016 in Texas public education.1. Court rules school funding system constitutional, troubledOn May 13, the Texas Supreme Court unanimously found the system Texas uses to fund its schools constitutional but in need of serious reform, marking only the second time the court has upheld the system in seven rulings since the 1980s. The decision worried officials from more than 600 school districts who brought the original case challenging the system, but it left room for legislative change. Adding fuel to the fire, Houston Independent School District residents voted in November not to send $165 million in local property taxes to poorer school districts, a hit on the “Robin Hood” state plan intended to ease financial inequity between districts. Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath sent a letter to HISD officials saying the education agency would likely move commercial properties from the district’s tax rolls to the tax rolls of another district to make up the money.2. Feds investigate alleged cap on Texas special ed servicesA Houston Chronicle series alleging that the Texas Education Agency was capping special education services for public school students at 8.5 percent turned heads across the country – and resulted in a federal investigation. Agency officials denied the allegations and said they would change the system, in case it was confusing districts. The U.S. Department of Education joined TEA on visits to five Texas cities to gather public comment on special education and see whether the state is denying services to students with disabilities.3. STAAR exam errors prompt testing backlashIn the first year New Jersey-based Educational Testing Service developed and administered the state STAAR exam this March, a computer glitch wiped out answers on more than 14,000 tests. School district officials also reported receiving test results for students not enrolled in their districts and improper handling of student Social Security numbers. Though Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath said the problems affected a small number of students, the errors fueled groups already opposing the STAAR exam. The head of an administrators association argued the scores should not be used to rate schools or determine student graduation. Meanwhile, a special panel charged with recommending changes to the state’s testing system decided not to recommend scrapping STAAR, signaling the Legislature likely won’t get rid of the test.4. State officials decry school district’s accommodations for transgender studentsAfter the Obama administration in mid-May ordered every school district in the country to let transgender students use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity, some Texas Republicans were furious and vowed to block the directive. The fight came closer to home when Fort Worth Independent School District Superintendent Ken Scribner approved a bathroom policy to accommodate transgender students in line with the federal directive. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick called for Scribner’s resignation and prompted Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to issue an opinion saying Forth Worth ISD had violated state law. Fort Worth ISD then revised the guidelines, continuing to accommodate transgender students but striking a passage that allowed school staff to withhold information about a student’s gender identity from parents.5. Mexican-American studies textbook rejectedThe State Board of Education unanimously voted Nov. 18 against a controversial Mexican-American studies textbook that Hispanic activists and scholars had spent months critiquing as racist and inaccurate. Cynthia Dunbar, former board member and CEO of the company behind the textbook, said that any move to reject the book would be “unconstitutional.” That week, the board also issued another call for ethnic studies textbooks for 2018, which could include Mexican-American studies.This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2016/12/23/school-finance-testing-topped-2016-education-news/.last_img read more

Whippings Linked to Enslavement Trauma Social Frustration

first_imgChild advocate Stacey Patton understands clearly the indignities of child abuse and the long-lasting impact violence has on the mental and emotional development of children – particularly Black children.Stacey Patton read from her new book ‘Spare the Kids: Why Whupping Children Won’t Save Black America’ recently in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Shantella Sherman)But as the Morgan State University professor and historian explains, convincing African Americans that whipping children is not only harmful to their children and larger society, but also counterintuitive, has proved an uphill battle. Patton’s new book Spare the Kids: Why Whupping Children Won’t Save Black America, examines parallels between the treatment of enslaved Blacks and the prevalence of whippings among Black parents.Patton garnered national, albeit mostly angry, attention after criticizing the New York Post for proclaiming Baltimore mother Toya Graham ‘Mother of the Year’ for publicly beating her son Michael during the city’s 2015 riots.  Patton said the footage of Graham was reminiscent of an archival article detailing a North Carolina lynching of a child.“This Black boy had stolen something and a mob of White men grabbed him, tied him down and called his mother.  She was described as a big, heavy-set, loud woman, who marched out, pulled her sons pants down and whipped him in front of those people, and then lynched him.  I put that piece on my coffee table and kept watching Toya Graham and I saw the parallels,” Patton told the AFRO.  “Now, she didn’t lynch her son, but she strung him up, compromised his dignity, trust, and safety for the rest of the world to applaud.”Patton said that following the thunderous applause many Blacks and the media gave Graham, an uptick was noted in the number of parents recording themselves shaming and beating their kids and posting the footage to social media.Opponents of Patton’s message often comment that hitting Black children is good parenting, that it was what their parents utilized and they turned out ‘fine,’ or that children must be made to obey and toughened up inside the home or will become victims of White supremacy in the streets.“When I was bad, my mother whipped my butt, and she whipped me good with anything she could get to quickly,” Adina Staff told the AFRO at a D.C. book talk for Patton on March 27.  “I felt like it was for my own good, but years later I was dealing with an abusive man, I was hitting my own kids, and one of my sisters, who was caring for my mother, was now beating her back.  We have to come to a point where we talk and listen, rather than use our hands to communicate.”Patton details that in the past 10 years, African Americans have killed over 3,600 children as a result of physical abuse and maltreatment.  The whippings are also known to erode developmental growth, causing cognitive impairment and long-term developmental difficulties. Research shows that spanking reduces gray matter – the connective tissue between brain cells and an integral part of the central nervous system that influences intelligence, speech, emotions, and memory.“When you look at the statistics, Black children are more at risk for being seriously assaulted, injured or killed by their own parents and the biggest perpetrators and killers of these Black children are Black women – 40 and under,” Patton said.  “And I want to dispel this myth that whipping kids is a Black thing.  It is not.  It may be prevalent in our communities, but it is not native to us.  In West African cultures we did not do this to our children. In fact, they saw children as reincarnated ancestors, as gods, as spiritual beings.  You would never hit a child because it would separate them from their essence or their spirit guide.”Patton said it was Europeans who did not recognize that children were distinct from adults until the 15th century – and who for thousands of years, brutalized their own kids before ever reaching Africa.“When Black people say that I am trying to get them to act like White people by telling them not to whip their kids, I say whipping a child is the perhaps the Whitest and most effective thing you can do to destroy a Black child,” Patton told the AFRO.  “I want to change the cultural conversation.  I want to speak up for these children and their bodily integrity.”last_img read more