In the spirit of Veterans Day, Harvard Undergraduates Honoring Veterans (HUHV) will be hosting its first-ever charity benefit, Standing Tall for Veterans, on Oct. 26 at 4 p.m. in Lecture Hall B of Harvard’s Science Center, 1 Oxford St. At the core of the event, HUHV will honor prominent stand-up comic and television personality Kathy Griffin with the inaugural Distinguished Service Partner Award.Pursuant with the objective of the event, HUHV will donate all ticket proceeds to the Home Base Program, the arm of the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital, that provides clinical support for veterans with PTSD. At the conclusion of the event, the Red Sox Foundation will open up a silent auction of Red Sox memorabilia to the general public (no ticket required) in the arcade of the Science Center, the proceeds of which will also be donated to the Home Base Program.Tickets for the charity event go on sale Oct. 8 at the Harvard Box Office, Holyoke Center, 1350 Massachusetts Ave. A limited number of seats will be available to former and current military personnel (veterans and ROTC members) free of charge with valid identification. Harvard student tickets are $10 and general admission tickets are $15.HUHV is a student group of Harvard College dedicated to easing the transition of local veterans into civilian life, while making their stories and faces more visible among the student body.
The 72nd annual University of Georgia Southeastern Turfgrass Conference will be held on Thursday, April 26, at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center in Tifton, Georgia.At the conference, UGA Cooperative Extension researchers will provide updates on turfgrass breeding, muscadine trees and pesticides, according to Brian Schwartz, turfgrass breeder on the UGA Tifton campus.“This is a historically relevant program to which people keep coming, and we try to provide information, not only on the future of turfgrass, but on the training they can receive as well,” Schwartz said.Drought-tolerant turfgrass varieties, such as Bermuda, zoysia and centipede grasses, along with technological advancements, like unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and sensors, will be discussed.“Drones can produce 3-D maps for growers and provide data for irrigation and nitrogen management,” Schwartz said.Schwartz said more farmers are incorporating drone technology into their daily practices. This tool provides farmers with information about soil moisture levels and overall plant health, which can increase efficiency and profits for growers.Researchers will also address the decline in the bee population and the steps necessary to protect these endangered pollinators.Beyond the discussion, Schwartz believes that the field training portion of the conference is also vital.“Researchers will demonstrate new sprayers, and people will get to have some hands-on training with them,” Schwartz said. “I think it’s important to take something from the event you can incorporate into your daily practices.On-site registration for this year’s conference begins at 7 a.m. Presentations will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and end with an optional field tour of the turfgrass research plots.For more information or to register for the event, visit www.caes.uga.edu/campuses/tifton/conference-center.html.
Red Wing Roots Music FestivalMt. Solon, Va., July 11-13The Blue Ridge-based band The Steel Wheels recently made an explosion onto the contemporary Americana scene with their unique mountain sound and on-stage energy. In 2013, The Steel Wheels hosted their first music festival, appropriately named Red Wing Roots after their breakout album, at the Natural Chimneys Park in central Virginia.“It’s the best,” says lead vocalist Trent Wagler. “Can I really be relied on to be impartial here? Well, no, but let me say that between the varied acts under the “Roots Music” name, the children’s activities, and cycling events, this is one of the best the area has to offer.”From both a performance and organizational perspective, Wagler says there are a number of things that make a music festival great.“The best festivals pay attention to diversity of taste and time,” he says. “A good festival organizer creates a flow to the day, just like a great artist puts together a seamless show. Giving opportunities for people to interact with each other and the outdoors in informal and formal ways is always important.”From group bike rides to trail races, scenic settings, and a variety of top artists from different music genres, Wagler suggests Red Wing and the following four festivals to add to everyone’s calendar. redwingroots.comAlbino Skunk FestivalGreer, S.C., April 10-12 • albinoskunk.comMerleFestWilkesboro, N.C., April 24-27 • merlefest.orgBristol Rhythm & Roots ReunionBristol, Va./Tenn., September 19-21 • bristolrhythm.comThe Festy ExperienceRoseland, Va., October 9-12 • thefesty.com
Changes in BLSE rules to allow lawyers to use initials in ads to indicate they are certified and to change trial requirements for business litigation certification and recertification have been approved by the Bar Board of Governors.The board at its April meeting agreed with the recommendations of the Program Evaluation Committee on the BLSE items.PEC Chair Frank Walker said the first change would allow certified lawyers to use the initials “BCS” to indicate they are board certified specialists in one of the Bar’s areas of certification.The second change would allow applicants to be certified in business litigation to substitute an advanced trial advocacy seminar for one of the eight trials required, Walker said. Those seeking recertification could substitute the course for one of the five trials required.The change recognizes the growth of mediation and arbitration and the consequent reduction in the number of trials, Walker noted.Civil trial certification already has a similar provision.The board approved both changes by voice vote. The rule on using BCS will now go to the Supreme Court for review. The change in litigation standards will come back to the board for final approval at its June meeting.The board also approved the PEC’s recommendation to allow the Board of Legal Specialization and Education to create an annual award to recognize a lawyer who promotes public knowledge about the certification program. It will be called the Excellence in the Promotion of Board Certification Award. May 15, 2006 Regular News New certification rules approved New certification rules approved
The Youth and Sports Ministry has vowed to support preparations for the 2023 Special Olympics World Summer Games, which will be held in Berlin, and the 2022 Asia Pacific Special Olympics Games in Jakarta.Special Olympics Indonesia (SOIna) is gearing up for the two games as Indonesia also prepares for other sporting events, like the U-22 World Cup and the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup.“We must not forget the work of SOIna,” Youth and Sports Ministry secretary Gatot S Dewobroto said recently in a press statement sent to The Jakarta Post. The statement came following his meeting with the SOIna team led by Warsito Ellwein.Gatot added that the government also planned to introduce more of SOina’s work to the public so they would be more aware of its achievements.The government has also awarded an intellectually disabled athlete who secured 19 gold medals from the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Los Angeles, the United States, in 2015.Warsito appreciated the gesture, saying that more opportunities for disabled athletes would better enable them to adapt to society and also inspire others to welcome them as members of society.Topics :
In the past year Berkshire Hathaway and the governments of Sweden and Ireland were among financiers to drop several billion dollars worth of gas project funding, it noted. ‘Economically unsound decision’While its proponents push LNG as a “bridge fuel” because it is less polluting than coal, a new gas-fired power plant has roughly the same environmental impact as a new coal plant, given the leakage of methane throughout the supply line. Methane is dozens of times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide over a 100-year time scale. The landmark 2015 Paris climate deal enjoined nations to limit global temperature rises to “well below” two degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) over pre-Industrial Revolution levels. The accord also commits countries to work towards a safer warming cap of 1.5 degrees Celcius. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the safest and surest way to reach the 1.5 degrees Celcius goal would require a 15 percent decline in gas use by 2030 and a fall of 43 percent by 2040. Global Energy Monitor said that any new gas infrastructure “directly contradicts the Paris climate goals”.The European Investment Bank (EIB) – the world’s largest multilateral lender – said last year it was ceasing funding for nearly all new fossil fuel projects.EIB vice-president Andrew McDowell said investing in new LNG capacity “is increasingly an economically unsound decision”. “We need to take advantage of opportunities that put us firmly on the path to reaching net-zero by 2050 whilst securing more jobs in the short and long term,” he told AFP. “This will undoubtedly be challenging, and it can’t be instant. But it must happen.”Topics : Global natural gas capacity under construction has doubled in a year according to new analysis that warned Tuesday the investment boom in the world’s fastest-growing fuel risks a “perfect storm” of climate chaos and stranded assets.Capital expenditure on liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities has surged from US$82.8 billion to $196.1 billion over the last 12 months, according to a report by Global Energy Monitor.Following a string of divestment from high-profile LNG funders, the report warned that at least two dozen projects were recently cancelled or are in serious financial difficulty. “LNG was once considered a safe bet for investors,” said Greg Aitken, research analyst at Global Energy Monitor. “Not only was it considered a climate-friendly fuel, but there was substantial governmental support to make sure that these mega-projects were shepherded to completion with all the billions they needed. “Suddenly the industry is beset with problems,” Aitken said. As the coronavirus pandemic squeezes investors and a growing social movement against new gas projects gathers pace, the report said troubled projects were facing a range of difficulties in sustaining finance.
Sharia jurist Mawla graduated from the Islamic Sciences College in Mosul.A former officer in the army of Saddam Hussein, he joined the ranks of Al-Qaeda after the US invasion of Iraq and Hussein’s capture in 2003, according to the Counter Extremism Project (CEP) think-tank.He took on the role of religious commissary and a general Sharia jurist for al-Qaeda.In 2004, Mawla was detained by US forces at the Camp Bucca prison in southern Iraq, where he met Baghdadi.Both men were later freed, and Mawla remained at Baghdadi’s side as he took the reins of the Iraqi branch of Al-Qaeda in 2010, then defected to create the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), later the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).In 2014, according to the CEP, Mawla welcomed Baghdadi to Mosul “before leaving al-Qaeda and pledged allegiance and full support to the radical’s mission, providing ISIS the support to quickly take control of the city”.A profile drawn up by the CEP said that Mawla “quickly established himself among the insurgency’s senior ranks, and was nicknamed the ‘Professor’ and the ‘Destroyer'”.He was well respected among IS members as a “brutal policymaker” and was responsible for “eliminating those who opposed Baghdadi’s leadership”, it said. US officials later came to believe that al-Qurashi was Mawla’s nom de guerre, recognizing him in March as the new head of IS.The State Department immediately placed him on its “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” list, sparking a quest to learn more about a most-wanted man who now has a $10 million bounty on his head.One thing everyone seems to agree on is Mawla’s brutal nature.He is probably best known for playing “a major role in the jihadist campaign of liquidation of the Yazidi minority [of Iraq] through massacres, expulsion and sexual slavery,” according to Jean-Pierre Filiu, a jihadism analyst at the Sciences Po university in Paris. With monikers as divergent as the “Professor” and the “Destroyer”, the Islamic State group’s new head has a reputation for brutality, but otherwise remains largely an enigma.Amir Mohammed Said Abd al-Rahman al-Mawla replaced Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi after his death in a raid by US special forces last October.Mawla was initially presented to the world by the Islamic State (IS) as Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi — a man about whom America and Iraq had little intelligence. The new IS leader was born, likely in 1976, in the town of Tal Afar, some 70 kilometers from Mosul.He was born into a Turkmen family, making him a rare non-Arab to ascend the ranks of IS, which at its height ruled vast parts of Iraq and Syria and drew volunteers from the West.His ethnic origins prompted the United Nations to predict in a January report that he might be a “temporary choice until the group finds a more legitimate ’emir’, a direct descendant from the Quraysh Hashemite tribe who could therefore command the full support of the remote provinces.” Down but not out Analysts believe Mawla will now seek to prove he is his own man by attempting to reboot an organization weakened by years of US-led assaults and the loss of its self-proclaimed “caliphate” in Syria last year.And he may choose to act now that the US is withdrawing troops from Syria.In a portent of things to come, IS fighters have carried out an attack every three days on average in Syria in recent months, according to the Washington-based Centre for Global Policy (CGP).Hisham Al-Hashimi, a Baghdad-based specialist on the extremist movement who was assassinated in Baghdad this month, recently estimated the group’s monthly revenues in Iraq from investments and taxes it collects at some $7 million.”Despite its serious losses in territory and manpower, it remains financially solvent, creative, lethal, and once again confident enough to threaten those who violate its principles,” CGP analyst Abdullah Al-Ghadhawi wrote.This means Mawla has both the incentive and the means to assert himself.”There are complaints about him from the field, there are still questions about what kind of organization he will be running, how competent of a leader he is going to be, how successful he’ll be in reconstituting a caliphate, how inspiring he’ll be,” Seth Jones of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington told AFP.”There is going to be a lot of challenges, in inspiring the field but also avoiding to be killed like Baghdadi,” Jones said.”If he is successful and recreates a caliphate, if the US withdraws its forces, if they’re able to capitalize in other countries, that could go a long way to reduce concerns about his background,” he warned.While the group’s weakened position renders unlikely a major strike such as the 2015 jihadist assault on Paris unlikely for now, officials should not rule out smaller, less devastating but symbolic attacks on the West, Jones added.Topics :
OPEN ACCESS operators will be able to use the tracks of Polish State Railways from October 14, when PKP’s automatic monopoly of rail traffic is abolished. The legislation to open up the network has been signed by President Aleksander Kwasniewski, as the first stage of a restructuring programme which could eventually lead to privatisation. The introduction of competition is expected to spur further rationalisation at PKP, with cost saving measures likely to include 12000 redundancies.According to Krysztof Celinski, head of the railway department at the Ministry of Transport, a new financing structure for PKP will be put in place by January 1, together with access charge and subsidy rates, common technical standards for rolling stock and infrastructure, and regulations on staff responsibilities and safety procedures. A rail safety inspectorate will be set up within the Ministry to oversee rail operations. PKP and four steel and coal companies already running their own trains will get operating licences automatically, but new entrants will have to be registered in Poland before submitting a formal application to the Ministry. o
Over the past two years, the leverage from the internal loan has increased to 3x from 2x, ATP said, with derivatives boosting the gearing on top of this.Before tax and expenses, ATP said it made a 3.4% return, or DKK4.1bn, on its investment portfolio between January and June. Christian Hyldahl, CEO, ATPATP’s return on total assets was 2.9%, according to the Danish regulator’s performance measure, designed to allow comparability between pension funds.Private equity was ATP’s biggest contributor, returning DKK1.8bn, followed by infrastructure with a DKK1.5bn gain. Listed international equities made a DKK2.1bn loss in the period.As announced at the end of June, ATP set aside an extra DKK20bn because of a change in its long-term forecast of life expectancy, transferring this amount from the bonus potential to the hedging portfolio.After this update, ATP said its results for the first half were negative by DKK17.7bn.Hyldahl said that despite this major adjustment to longevity provisions, he believed the pension fund would manage to keep up with future changes to expected lifespans.“We make adjustments when we have new data coming in, and normally this is plus or minus one billion kroner – but what we have done just now was a major redesign,” he said.In its interim report, ATP said the standards it used to estimate future pension liabilities are more conservative than both EIOPA’s yield curve and the Danish regulator’s life expectancy model.If both of these external measures had been used, it said its guaranteed pensions would have been DKK67.7bn lower at the end of June – and the bonus potential correspondingly higher. ATP, Denmark’s biggest pension fund, increased the leverage on its return-seeking investment portfolio in the first half of this year, as the fund as a whole took a hit from a major longevity adjustment.In its interim report, the statutory pension scheme reported a rise in total assets to DKK783.8bn (€105bn) at the end of June, from DKK768.6bn at the end of December.Chief executive Christian Hyldahl told IPE that ATP had “increased risk by 10% in the first half” for the fund’s DKK100bn leveraged investment portfolio, which consists of reserves for bonus payments.ATP increases the firepower of its investment portfolio by borrowing from its DKK683.9bn hedging portfolio at an interest rate of 3%, and on top of that by using derivatives.
Image courtesy of NakilatQatari LNG shipping giant Nakilat on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding with Norway-based Höegh LNG to jointly explore the floating storage and regasification unit business.FSRUs have become the technology of choice for countries without LNG receiving terminal infrastructure, enabling better accessibility of clean energy, especially those which would otherwise not be able to utilize natural gas, the two companies said in a joint statement.Nakilat’s managing director Abdullah Al-Sulaiti said that the LNG shipping company sees this deal with Höegh LNG as “a huge stepping stone for further growth.”“This agreement paves the way for greater business opportunities to create substantial platforms for local players to get involved in the project, exposing them to innovative technologies and expertise that would be beneficial to their growth and the development of Qatar’s energy and maritime industry,” Al-Sulaiti said.Sveinung Støhle, Chief Executive of Höegh LNG added the two companies plan on working together towards expanding the global market for LNG.“The alliance with Nakilat is a confirmation of Höegh LNG’s leading position in the FSRU market and offers the opportunity to further accelerate our market presence beyond the projects we undertake on a sole basis,” Støhle said.Nakilat’s LNG shipping fleet is the largest in the world, comprising of 63 LNG vessels. Höegh LNG currently operates seven FSRUs and has three more under construction.