Brazilian investigative reporter to face 59 simultaneous lawsuits

first_imgNews BrazilAmericas Condemning abusesProtecting journalists Freedom of expressionJudicial harassment Follow the news on Brazil Alarm after two journalists murdered in Brazil Based in Sobral, city in the northeastern state of Ceará, Wellington Macedo freelances for the Folha de São Paulo newspaper, ISTOÉ magazine, Agência Estado and FuturaPress. The 59 suits were all filed by school principals in the Sobral area between 19 and 27 September 2018 in reaction to a series of reports entitled “Educação do Mal” that he had posted on his YouTube channel during the previous two months. May 13, 2021 Find out more to go further Reports The concerted and coordinated nature of the lawsuits suggest that Macedo is the victim of retaliation by the local government. The one lawyer representing all of the plaintiffs is the Sobral education department’s legal adviser. Each plaintiff is seeking 38,160 reais in damages. The total amount of damages sought is therefore 2,251,440 reais (530,000 euros). Brazil is ranked 102nd out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2018 World Press Freedom Index. Defamation suits are often used by Brazilian officials to intimidate journalists. In 2016, a total of 37 separate libel suits were brought against employees of the Gazeta do Povo newspaper by 35 judges and two prosecutors in the southern state of Paraná over reports claiming they were receiving illegally large salaries. February 18, 2019 – Updated on February 19, 2019 Brazilian investigative reporter to face 59 simultaneous lawsuits Website editors Francisco Costa and Josi Gonçalves were also the targets of abusive libel suits in the northeastern state of Rio Grande do Norte in 2016 after publishing a series of stories about local corruption. “We condemn the persecution of Wellington Macedo by the Sobral authorities,” said Emmanuel Colombié, the head of RSF’s Latin America bureau. “The concerted nature of the lawsuits and the disproportionate amount of damages sought constitute an intimidation campaign designed to have a chilling effect and reduce this journalist to silence. This is a serious violation of the freedom to inform on a subject of the utmost public interest.” BrazilAmericas Condemning abusesProtecting journalists Freedom of expressionJudicial harassment center_img April 15, 2021 Find out more Macedo’s reports exposed fraudulent practices in the system used to evaluate Sobral’s public education, which is regarded as one of the best in the country and is often cited as a model by local politicians. Sobral’s schools have been ranked among the best in Brazil in recent years. Organisation Help by sharing this information Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns local government persecution of Wellington Macedo, a journalist in northeastern Brazil who is due to appear in court tomorrow to face a total of 59 defamation suits in connection with his investigative reporting on the allegedly fraudulent methods used to evaluate local public education. RSF_en News Receive email alerts RSF begins research into mechanisms for protecting journalists in Latin America News April 27, 2021 Find out more 2011-2020: A study of journalist murders in Latin America confirms the importance of strengthening protection policies Macedo’s “Educação do Mal” series of reports included interviews with Sobral school students and teachers who said they had participated in fraudulent tests in order to improve the overall score of the city’s schools in the national quality of education rankings.last_img read more

Concern about two Tunisian journalists missing in eastern Libya

first_imgNews News LibyaMiddle East – North Africa September 19, 2014 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Concern about two Tunisian journalists missing in eastern Libya News Follow the news on Libya On Libyan revolution’s 10th anniversary, authorities urged to guarantee press freedom December 17, 2019 Find out more RSF_en February 23, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts June 24, 2020 Find out more Help by sharing this information Chourabi is the host and producer of the programme “Dossiyates” for Tunisia’s First TV. He and Ktari, a photographer, went to Libya with the initial aim of covering the situation in the Tunisian-Libyan border region.After being detained by a militia in Brega, in eastern Libya, on 6 September, they were released a day later. According to the information obtained by Reporters Without Borders, they went missing near Ajdabiya the next day (8 September). There has been no word from them since then.“We calls for the immediate and unconditional release of these two journalists,” said Olivia Gré, the head of the Reporters Without Borders bureau in Tunis. “The authorities and all those involved in the transitional process in Libya must do everything possible to ensure that they are able to return safely to Tunisia.”Gré added: “The Tunisian authorities must support the mediation that has been initiated in order to speed the release of these two men. Our organizations supports the Chourabi and Ktari Support Committee set up by the National Tunisian Journalists’ Syndicate (SNJT) and the Arab Institute for Human Rights (IADH).”First TV CEO Kais Mabrouk told Reporters Without Borders: “I assigned Sofiène Chourabi the task of going to Libya to purse his investigation. Sofiène is an investigative journalist who is well known for his professionalism.”Reporters Without Borders Libya bureau chief Barbara Néault said: “Like Chourabi and Ktari, many journalists have unfortunately been abducted in Libya since it descended into its current state of all-out security chaos. This is the latest in a grim series of acts of violence against media personnel. Many journalists have had to flee abroad because the threats to their safety are so great.” to go further Reporters Without Borders is very concerned about the fate of Tunisian journalistsSofiène Chourabi and Nadhir Ktari, who went missing near Ajdabiya, in eastern Libya, on 8 September and were apparently abducted. RWB calls for their immediate release. Six imprisoned journalists to finally appear in court in Istanbul LibyaMiddle East – North Africa Well-known Libyan journalist missing since his arrest News Organisation last_img read more

California wildfires death toll climbs to 87, more than 600 still unaccounted for

first_imgABC News(PARADISE, Calif.) — Hundreds of people remain missing in the wake of a pair of deadly wildfires that have been burning across both ends of California. The two monstrous blazes, which both ignited earlier this month, have claimed at least 87 lives while laying waste to a total area of nearly 400 square miles, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Officials said that the remains of at least 64 people have been positively identified so far.The vast majority of the deaths — 84 in total — were due to the Camp Fire in Northern California’s Butte County, making it the deadliest and most destructive wildland fire in the state’s history.The number of people missing or unaccounted for in Butte County was down to 536 on Wednesday evening but back up to 605 on Thursday, according to the Butte County Sheriff’s Office. That number is expected to fluctuate as officials continue to account for residents.“We haven’t taken the day off,” Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said in a video message on Thanksgiving Day. There were 820 people in the field continuing search and rescue efforts on Thursday, as well as over 100 law enforcement officers protecting the areas that have been evacuated due to the Camp Fire, according to Honea.A multiagency task force, at the request of the Butte County Sheriff’s Office, has captured detailed aerial imagery maps of damaged properties in most of the burn areas in the town of Paradise, as well as video surveys and 360-degree drone panoramas of all major roads in the area, according to the sheriff’s office.Officials hope the maps will provide valuable information to the search and recovery teams on the ground, multiple agencies coordinating response and to the residents of the community impacted by the Camp Fire.“This has been a tough situation for all of us,” Honea said in his video message Thursday. “We’re in this together. We are Butte County strong.”Firefighters have made significant progress in containing both wildfires in recent days, and much-needed rain is expected to douse the scorched areas through Friday. However, heavy rain could bring new dangers to the burn scar areas in the form of flash floods and mudslides, which would hinder search and rescue efforts.The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for the burn areas in Northern California.Here is more about the fires that have been devastating Northern and Southern California. The Camp Fire in Northern CaliforniaThe Camp Fire ignited Nov. 8 near Pulga, a tiny community in Butte County nestled in the Plumas National Forest. The blaze exploded as strong winds fanned the flames southwest, enveloping Paradise, a bucolic community of 27,000 people in the Sierra Nevada foothills.The fire has virtually decimated the entire town.Melissa Schuster, a Paradise town council member, said her house was among those leveled by the Camp Fire.“Our entire five-member council is homeless,” Schuster said in a Nov. 13 interview on ABC News’ “Start Here” podcast. “All of our houses have been destroyed.” The death toll from the Camp Fire increased to 84 on Thursday, after officials found still more bodies in the burned-out rubble of homes and melted cars, according to the Butte County Sheriff’s Office, which has warned that the remains of some of the missing may never be recovered due to the severity of the fire.Thom Porter, chief of strategic planning for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said the body count is expected to climb higher as search crews continue sifting through the destruction.“It is by far the most deadly single fire in California history and it’s going to get worse, unfortunately,” Porter has said of the Camp Fire.Many of the deaths have ocurred in Paradise.“The entire community of Paradise is a toxic wasteland right now,” Schuster said om Nov. 13, holding back tears. “In addition to that, and this is the hardest part for me to even talk about, the number of fatalities is [among] things that we don’t know at this moment and that’s something that has to be determined before people can move back in.” The Camp Fire, which has scorched a total of 153,336 acres in Butte County, was 95 percent contained Thursday night as thousands of exhausted firefighters worked around the clock to quell the inferno, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.More than 18,600 structures have been destroyed by the blaze.Two prison inmate firefighters were among a total of three firefighters who have been injured while battling the Camp Fire, officials told ABC News.Last week, Gov. Brown toured the devastation caused by the Camp Fire along with Brock Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), as well as U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.“This is one of the worst disasters I’ve ever seen in my career, hands down,” Long told reporters at the scene Nov. 14. The Woolsey Fire in Southern CaliforniaThe Woolsey Fire also ignited Nov. 8 near the city of Simi Valley in Ventura County and rapidly spread south to Los Angeles County. The wind-driven flames jumped the 101 Freeway before sweeping through the celebrity enclaves of Malibu and Calabasas.The entire city of Malibu and a sprawling naval base near the seaside city of Oxnard were among the areas under mandatory evacuation orders, as officials warned the blaze could potentially spread all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Evacuation orders have since been lifted for some areas, including parts of Malibu, as firefighters successfully stretched containment levels.The Woolsey Fire, which has torched a total of 96,949 acres in Ventura and Los Angeles counties, was fully contained by Wednesday night, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.In all, 1,500 structures have been destroyed and another 341 have been damaged. The blaze burned down a portion of Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills known as “Western Town,” where hundreds of movies and television shows, including HBO’s “Westworld,” have been filmed, dating back to the 1920s.The Woolsey Fire has been blamed for the deaths of at least three people, and three firefighters sustained injuries while battling the flames, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. A public health emergencyU.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar has declared a public health emergency in California, where the wildfires forced the evacuation of at least two hospitals and eight other health facilities.“We are working closely with state health authorities and monitoring the needs of healthcare facilities to provide whatever they may need to save lives and protect health,” Azar said in a Nov. 14 statement. “This declaration will help ensure that Americans who are threatened by these dangerous wildfires and who rely on Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program have continuous access to the care they need.”The smoke from the flames descended across the Golden State and choked the air in major cities. Smoke advisories were issued for the affected region amid concerns that smoke from the fires could present a “significant health threat” for people with asthma and other lung conditions, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Residents were advised to stay indoors as much as possible and to wear a protective mask when venturing outside.Berkeley Earth, a California-based nonprofit that analyzes air quality in real-time, ranked San Francisco, Stockton and Sacramento as the world’s three “most polluted cities” on Nov. 16.Meanwhile, there has been an outbreak of norovirus at a shelter in Butte County housing evacuees, according to Lisa Almaguer, public information officer for Butte County Public Health.People who are ill at the shelter have been taken to a separate location, are using separate restroom facilities and are being cared for by public health experts, according to Almaguer, who said the presence of the contagious virus is “not uncommon,” especially at this time of year and “with hundreds of people living in close quarters.” President Trump tours unprecedented devastationPresident Donald Trump arrived in California on Nov. 17 to survey the scene of surreal devastation and meet with firefighters, alongside California Gov. Jerry Brown and the state’s governor-elect, Gavin Newsom.The president stopped first in the town of Paradise, where he called the damage “total devastation.”“We’ve never seen anything like this in California, we’ve never seen anything like this yet. It’s like total devastation,” Trump told reporters. “I think people have to see this really to understand it.” The president later visited Malibu to tour the destruction from the Woolsey Fire.Trump pledged federal assistance to California following his visit, just days after he threatened to withhold funds from the state due to what he described as “gross mismanagement of forests.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

EU directive to increase employees’ rights could be law by next year

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. EU directive to increase employees’ rights could be law by next yearOn 13 Feb 2001 in Personnel Today The European Commission’sproposals to force all employers with more than 50 staff to consult theirworkforce on key business decisions could become law in Europe by next year. A European directive onconsultation and information is due to be discussed at a meeting of the socialaffairs ministers of the European Council on 7 May 2001. Sweden, which assumedthe European Union presidency in January, has put the directive firmly on theEU’s agenda. Advocates of the directive suchas the European Parliament Socialist Group are pressing the commission for aEuropean law on information and consultation for all firms by next year.Germany and the UK havepersistently blocked the directive, drafted by the European Commission in 1998.At present, only firms with more than 1,000 staff and employing more than 150in two or more countries have to consult with staff through European workscouncils.Convener of the EuropeanParliament Socialist Group on employment Stephen Hughes said, “Germany isnow ready to vote for a common position. With German and Danish ministers nowbacking the law, Ireland and the UK do not constitute a sufficient blockingminority.”The CBI, however, argues thatthere is little possibility of the EU directive on information and consultationbecoming enshrined in UK law. Simon Blake, employee relations policy adviserfor the CBI, said, “There has been a sustained campaign ofrumour-mongering by proponents of the directive. We know that the members ofthe blocking minority such as Germany, the UK and Denmark remain opposed to thedirective. I think it is highly unlikely that the directive will be passed nextyear.”  The CBI is strongly opposed to thedirective being incorporated into UK law. Blake said, “Our first objectionis on the grounds of principle. We already have legislation in place whichgoverns transnational issues such as the European Works Councils directive. “Second, the directive woulddamage good practice in employee relations. It will ride roughshod overpractices that companies already have in place by forcing a ‘one size fits all’policy on them.”The Government argues forsubsidiarity over employee consultation, with these matters being dealt with anational level. The Union of Industrial and Employers’ Confederation of Europe(Unice) supports this stance. Social affairs director Therese De Liederkerkesaid, “Legislation on information and consultation in purely national firmsshould not be regulated at a European level. All European countries havepolicies in place which cover employee consultation and this directive willupset national industrial relations policies.” The CIPD also opposes thedirective. Diane Sinclair, employee relations adviser for the CIPD, said,”Our position is that effective involvement is based on trust.”By Karen Higginbottom Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more


first_imgITS TIME FOR ANNA HARGIS TO TAKE ON CITY BUDGET SHORTFALLSThings don’t seem quite right at our Civic Center these days, They’re especially out of kilter on alternating Mondays at City Council meetings, when 1st Ward Councilman Dan McGinn chairs the finance meetings.  The City Council majority is Democratic, but Council President Missy Mosby (D) chose a Republican retired attorney for that powerful position on the City Council. We wonder what led her to make that decision. Maybe it was to emphasize the “collaborative” nature of her relationship with Mayor Winnecke and his wife.  But to be totally honest we just he don’t understand her thinking in this matter .When the public tunes in on those City Council meetings every other Monday, they see money shuffled between accounts to cover expenditures, with plans to replace the juggled funds from yet-to-be collected payments.  Whats amazing is that Finance Chairman Dan McGinn rarely questions City Controller Russ Lloyd’s when he states that everything will come out okay in the end.We can’t help but remember McGinn’s tenure as Mesker Park Zoo Director.  Amazonia was his pet project, he assured us it would turn the zoo’s finances around if we support this project.  We been told that he produced a six-figure cost over-run on the project.  We are now told that the Zoo is losing hundred of thousands of dollars every year, due in large part of the unexpected annual upkeep of the Amazonia.  We now understand why many of our readers worry about Mr. McGinn’s financial judgement.Also, we can’t help but wonder if Ms. Mosby felt the need to appoint a Republican to be Finance Chairman why didn’t she choose 3rd Ward Councilwomen Anna Hargis.  Mrs. Hargis is a CPA and during last election  she promised  the voters that she will serve as a financial watchdog for the taxpayers but so far has failed to deliver on that promise.  We think its time for Mrs.Hargis to start challenging the deficient spending practices of the Winnecke administration.In the upcoming 2017 budget hearings we hope that Anna Hargis, CPA will start challenging the city deficient spending practices and do a better job in questioning the continued waste of our hard earned tax dollars.Bottom line, we have become more concerned about the City’s finances with the passing of every City Council meeting, and urge all of our readers to keep a closer eye on what is being done with our hard earned tax dollars.We have a gut feeling that the city finances are in bad shape.  We feel that City Council Finance Chairman Dan McGinn or City Controller Lloyd,  Jr may not be giving the taxpayers of this community a true and accurate picture of our financial condition maybe Anne Hargis, CPA will. .FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Mayor’s Update August 5th

first_imgDear Friends,Ocean City learned last week that our community has achieved Class 5 in the National Flood Insurance Program’s Community Rating System (CRS).That means all policy holders in Ocean City now receive a 25 percent discount on their flood insurance. The CRS program rewards towns that take action to make properties less vulnerable to flooding. The new rating means Ocean City’s 17,019 policy holders collectively save more than $2.8 million every year – an average savings of $165 per participating home. Any policy that renews after May 1, 2016 will see the savings.Ocean City has a Floodplain Management Committee made up of city team members, community members and experts working to suggest new building regulations, flood protection measures, educational efforts and other activities to reduce the potential risk of flood damage. Ocean City joins 13 other New Jersey communities at Class 5, the lowest (best) attained by any municipality in the state. The team is already hard at work on actions that could lead to a Class 4 rating, which would deliver another 5 percent savings. We should all applaud their success and wish them the best in their continued efforts.Opening ceremonies for the 2016 Olympic Summer Games are tonight, and the Route 52 causeway bridges will be lit in red, white and blue. I want to wish all our nation’s athletes a safe and successful Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.Finally, I’d like to remind everybody that Ocean City will host a Green Fair 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday (Aug. 8) on the Ocean City Music Pier. The community-wide event is sponsored by Ocean City in conjunction with the Environmental Commission and is designed to educate and encourage people of all ages to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle. I hope you all get a chance to attend.Warm regards,Jay A. GillianMayorCheck on the latest project updates and sign up for email alerts. Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillianlast_img read more

Winners Announced in Ocean City’s 2018 Pamper Scamper

first_imgBabies race with all their might in the Pamper Scamper. (Courtesy City of Ocean City) More than 60 of the youngest and fastest new Ocean City residents and visitors raced in the Pamper Scamper on Tuesday morning.The annual event is a crawling race for children 15 months old and younger. The races start with the competitors in the center of a parachute. First one to crawl to the perimeter and the waiting arms of mom or dad is the winner. After several heats divided into age categories, the winners of the championship round were as follows: ·         Nora Romano, West Chester, Pa., 9 months old·         Axl Miller, Ocean View, N.J., 10 months old·         Kenzie Waltman, York, Pa., 10 months old Nora had the morning’s fastest crawl at a blazing 27 seconds, according to a city press release. Nora Romano bested the competition in the Pamper Scamper Tuesday. (Courtesy City of Ocean City)Bowfish Kids was the event’s main sponsor. Other sponsors contributing prizes were Air Circus, Annarelli’s Bicycles, Crazy Susan’s Cookies, Gillian’s Wonderland Pier, the Ocean City Pops, Ocean City Theatre Company, Ocean Treasures, Ready’s Coffee Shop and Restaurant, Varsity Inn and We Make It Personal.The Pamper Scamper is a precursor to the 109th annual Ocean City Baby Parade, which will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday.The parade features children cruising the Ocean City Boardwalk in themed strollers, wagons and floats. It starts at Sixth Street with children finishing at 12th Street and all other entries continuing to 14th Street.The parade is free to watch from either side of the Boardwalk. Spectators are welcome to bring beach chairs to watch from the railing along the ocean side of the boardwalk. On the parade morning, the boardwalk will close to bicycle traffic at 10 a.m.Babies ride on some interesting floats. (Courtesy City of Ocean City)last_img read more

Battling climate change on all fronts

first_imgThe next time the Arctic’s mud season rolls around, Harvard scientists will be there, testing the air to record what the ground is releasing, searching for evidence of a climate change wild card that could spring a nasty worldwide surprise.The wild card consists of methane — a powerful greenhouse gas — and carbon dioxide, perhaps the best-known climate-changer. The gases would be released, possibly in enormous quantities, by rotting organic material that for centuries was inert, frozen year-round in the subterranean permafrost.When it comes to climate change, Jim Anderson is stalking surprises. Harvard’s Weld Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry, Anderson has turned his lab’s focus toward the complex Earth-ice-atmosphere interactions of climate change that remain poorly understood despite the efforts of thousands of scientists worldwide.To find out what’s going on in the Arctic, Anderson is outfitting a recently developed, robotic, fuel-efficient plane with a new instrument created in his lab by research associates Mark Witinski and David Sayres. Next spring, they plan to fly it remotely at low altitudes over the Arctic, sniffing away and seeing what gases are in the air over these melting regions, and in what quantities. The results will inform not only our understanding of the planetary forces at work, but also will influence estimates of the changes going on around us and our responses to them.From pole to poleAnderson isn’t the only one working on climate change at Harvard. In fact, he’s not even the only one flying a gas-sniffing plane to better understand the atmosphere. Colleague Steven Wofsy, Rotch Professor of Atmospheric and Environmental Science, is flying another from pole to pole to reveal the atmosphere’s makeup in more detail. Wofsy has been working on climate change for years. One of his experimental towers has been standing among the trees in the 3,000-acre Harvard Forest in Petersham for nearly two decades, providing a mountain of data on temperature, atmospheric water vapor, and carbon dioxide flow from the atmosphere to the trees. The forest is one of the oldest and most extensively studied on the continent.Climate change is one of the most complex and pressing problems of the age, and faculty members across the University are bringing the tools of their disciplines to bear on its many facets.Atmospheric and Earth scientists are examining the global-scale processes involved, pushing back the frontiers of knowledge on how the planet functions. Biologists are examining feedback concerning life, cataloging tropical trees’ growth to assess their capacity to store excess carbon, and even tracking changes at venerable Walden Pond, where Harvard graduate Henry David Thoreau spent two years in the 1840s living simply, albeit surrounded by somewhat different plant life.Climate change, of course, is not just a scientific problem. Caused by human industry and exploitation of the natural world, its solutions are entwined in everyone’s daily activities and in the larger values that regulate how people live. As such, climate change touches governments that struggle to divine effective, politically possible solutions; it touches businesses that ponder their responsibilities beyond making a product, providing a service, and turning a profit; it affects health and medicine, as physicians and public health officials face the potential for shifting disease patterns and changes in drinking water availability; it affects those who conceive and design structures and plan cities.Harvard’s faculty members are addressing these problems and many more. Government, business, public health, design, religion, and even literature are represented.“Climate change is a global problem and one of the great challenges of our time,” said Harvard President Drew Faust. “Harvard’s great strength lies not just in the depth of its scholarship, but also in the breadth of the expertise found across our campus. Our faculty members are deeply engaged in this issue, helping us to better understand the complexities of our natural environment, the forces driving climate change, and the ways in which we can move toward a more sustainable future.”Spanning the spectrumHarvard’s climate-change efforts span the spectrum, from sober academic teaching to environment-themed cartoon contests, and the campus fairly buzzes with climate change-related activity. Research and teaching on the subject are augmented by a host of centers, programs, and student groups. Lectures abound and draw not just prominent authorities from around the world, but also capacity crowds eager to better understand the planet and others’ points of view.The Harvard University Center for the Environment (HUCE), for example, sponsors a long-running series examining a key issue driving climate change: the energy used to power diverse activities. HUCE’s “Future of Energy” lecture series has hosted oil company executives, government officials, and proponents of alternative energy, enriching the climate change discussion through diverse points of view.“There are so many climate-related events that it’s hard to get through the week and get my work done,” said Daniel Schrag, Sturgis Hooper Professor of Geology, professor of environmental science and engineering, and HUCE director.As the major University-wide center for environmental issues, HUCE provides a coordinating, collaborative clearinghouse where researchers in far-flung fields can gather and discuss climate change. Among its many activities, the center provides a home for fellows researching environmental issues, fosters a community of doctoral students interested in energy and the environment through a graduate consortium, and provides seed grants to spur early-stage research.The center also promotes less-formal discussions between faculty members working on environment-related issues, through regular breakfasts and dinner discussions. Faculty members working on climate science attend weekly ClimaTea talks with graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, fostering a collegial atmosphere and an exchange of ideas. Several other Schools also have their own centers, programs, classes, and courses of study on the environment, climate change, and related issues.Grace Brown, a junior environmental science and public policy concentrator, said her classes in economics, policy, and science provide a broad background for understanding these complex issues. During her time at Harvard, Brown has designed a study on organic foods at Harvard Dining Services and works with the Harvard College Environmental Action Committee. She intends to continue working on environmental issues and plans to intern this summer with the U.S. Department of Energy. Eventually, she hopes to attend law school and work in government.“I came to Harvard as a crunchy environmentalist, wanting to save the forests,” Brown said. “I understand now how climate change impacts not just the forests, but our lives, my life. It makes climate change bigger and scarier when you understand its impact on people. It’s not just saving trees.”The University itself has made becoming a sustainable institution a high priority in recent years, taking an array of steps to lessen its impact on the environment, from switching to energy-efficient lighting to purchasing renewable energy to running shuttle buses on biodiesel. (See the related story on Harvard’s internal efforts.)Unraveling complexityIn many ways, the problems of climate change have highlighted how little we know about Earth. Climate change affects the most fundamental natural processes, some of which are well understood, and some not.Just as important as understanding the processes is discerning the ways they affect each other. Even slightly warmed ocean waters affect the tongues of Greenland’s glaciers sticking into the sea, causing earth-shaking calving that can be detected at Harvard; drinking water for millions is affected by melting Asian glaciers, being studied by Peter Huybers, assistant professor of Earth and planetary sciences, and Armin Schwartzman, assistant professor of biostatistics at the Harvard School of Public Health. Researchers such as Schrag study the dramatic swings of past climates, including such extremes as “snowball Earth,” for clues to processes and feedbacks that affect the planet’s behavior and look to the future as well, providing a foundation for climate change mitigation efforts, such as carbon capture and sequestration.Global political leaders look to the scientific community to inform their actions. But, given the pressing nature of the climate problem, leaders can’t wait to act until all the answers are known. Harvard’s authorities on governance are examining the knotty problem of how to forge a planetwide consensus on what actions are needed. At the Harvard Kennedy School, faculty members such as Jeffrey Frankel, Harpel Professor of Capital Formation and Growth, and Robert Stavins, the Pratt Professor of Business and Government who heads the Harvard Project on International Climate Change Agreements, are working to identify and advance policy options based on sound scientific and economic reasoning.In the wake of December’s failed Copenhagen climate summit, Stavins’ project is examining options for moving forward. It plans to bring together authorities to discuss alternatives with an eye toward the next chance at forging international consensus, a December meeting planned for Cancun, Mexico. The group’s activities have already resulted in two books, and Stavins expects upcoming discussions to be published and available to representatives at the Cancun meetings.The spiritual sideOutside scientific and policy circles, Harvard’s specialists in the humanities are addressing climate change in their own way. For instance, James Engell, chair of the English and American Literature and Language Department, examines the intersection of the environment and literature, and professor of history Emma Rothschild has written on the decline of the auto industry and the need for increased use of public transportation and other alternatives.Donald Swearer, director of the Center for the Study of World Religions, said it’s important for religion and the humanities to play a role because they get to the heart of what makes us human, what our values are, and how we define our relationship with the natural world. In a recent conversation, Swearer talked about “enoughness,” and how people should live thoughtfully in concert with their lifestyle’s impact on the natural world.Swearer, who edited a recent book called “Ecology and the Environment: Perspectives from the Humanities,” said climate change stems from millions of choices made by individuals over many years. Once the science is known and the policies passed, success will still depend on influencing individual behavior.Though society’s inertia on these issues may seem impossible to overcome, Swearer pointed out that we got here through many changes over the years, so change can lead us to a new future.“What we need to be able to do is create a positive vision of what those changes can be,” Swearer said.last_img read more

Astronomy Night showcases telescope

first_imgAs darkness fell over campus Monday night, sophomore Patrick Whalen stared at a perfect image of the face of the moon. Whalen joined nearly 100 other students for Astronomy Night on the roof of Nieuwland Hall as they gazed through the recently refurbished Napoleon Telescope. “I could see a clear image of the moon,” Whalen said. “It was cool because I could see all the craters in sharp detail.” Physics Professor Peter Garnavich said the Napoleon Telescope was a gift to the University from Napoleon in 1866. The telescope was originally located in the Main Building, but is now housed in the Nieuwland Observatory Garnavich said the original six-inch objective lens remains on the telescope, but the exterior has been refurbished in recent years. “It used to be in a roll-off roof observatory, but it was falling apart,” Garnavich said. “We decided we needed a new dome to protect the Napoleon Telescope.” A new power dome covers the outside of telescope in Nieuwland, Garnavich said. “Because of water damage, the physics shop cleaned up the rust and made sure all the parts were working,” he said. Students at Astronomy Night could gaze at the moon through the telescope in the Nieuwland Observatory, but others stared at its face from several smaller telescopes on North Quad near Stonehenge. Seniors Maureen Choman and Elizabeth Flood said they were excited to catch a more detailed glimpse of the night sky. “We ran from Lewis,” Flood said. Choman said the girls had planned to see the telescope before they graduate. “They have it every year, and it’s on our bucket list,” Choman said. Law student Colin Littlefield showed students an image of a supernova, or a recently exploded star, on his computer. “This supernova is about 25 million light years away,” he said. “It exploded about five weeks ago.” Littlefield said he studied astronomy before attending law school, and he is now a teaching assistant for Introduction to Astronomy. The supernova is located in the M101 galaxy, a spiral galaxy not unlike the Milky Way. “This particular supernova was part of a star not much bigger than Earth,” he said. “It kept pulling matter off a smaller star until it got so heavy it finally exploded. The supernova is expanding at about 30 million miles an hour.” Junior Bailey Moser, a physics lab assistant, said students could access telescopes at other times of the year as well. “They are always set up in the observatory,” he said. “Anyone can come up after sundown on a clear night.”last_img read more

New York Sheriffs’ Association Details Desired Proposals To NY Lawmakers

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window),the only ones I agree with are the benefit for seriously injure/die on the job, and the holiday (provided we make voting day a holiday too), the rest are insane and 100% Authoritarian“failure to retreat” a felony???recording an officer a felony????? wtf!!this is scary shit. how do we block this? What bills are coming up that will have these provisions snuck in them? Logo via – Members of the New York State Sheriffs’ Association have a new set of legislative proposals they would like to see lawmakers review.This comes after several police reforms have recently passed through the state legislature.“That’s what this is about is to say, fine, let’s do a lot of things for the defendants out there, but let’s also look after the law enforcement officers who are out there every day,” said Peter Kehoe, NYS Sheriffs’ Association Executive Director.Some of the proposals include increasing the charges for resisting arrest, failure to retreat, and assault on a police officer. Last year, the state legislature passed criminal justice measures like bail and discovery reform. And in June, several police reform bills passed through the legislature, including a ban on chokeholds, and the repeal of 50-A, which shielded police disciplinary records. “We’ve seen these bills come across in favor of the criminal defendants, in favor of no bail, things like that. And we think it’s time that the legislature consider bills like these that would support law enforcement,” said Washington County Sheriff Jeff Murphy.The Sheriffs’ Association would also like to see police officers included as a protected group against hate crimes. Other proposals include making May 15 a state holiday for Police Memorial Day.They’re also advocating for a $500,000 benefit for police officers who “are seriously disabled or die from injuries incurred in the line of duty.”last_img read more