May 26

Courts This Week- A Weekly Round Of Important Legal Developments In The Country [Episode-34]

first_imgTop StoriesCourts This Week- A Weekly Round Of Important Legal Developments In The Country [Episode-34] Sanya Talwar4 Oct 2020 6:23 AMShare This – x …Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?Login Next Storylast_img read more

May 25

€476K approved for Donegal projects under LEADER programme

first_img €476K approved for Donegal projects under LEADER programme Homepage BannerNews News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th Facebook WhatsApp Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic Donegal’s Local Community Development Committee (LCDC) has this week approved €476,000 for 14 new projects under the LEADER Rural Development Programme.The projects funded this week range from festivals to arts, sport and heritage projects to capital works type initiatives in community centres.Chair of the Donegal LCDC Cllr Martin McDermott believes that these funds are instrumental to support development in rural areas in Donegal saying “we have identified a number of objectives in Donegal that we want to see achieved through the LEADER Rural Development Programme including rural tourism, enterprise development, rural towns, broadband, basic services targeting hard to reach communities, rural youth, sustainable use of water resources, improvement of local biodiversity and the development of renewable energy.”The LEADER Rural Development Programme which runs from 2014 to 2020 aims to improve the quality of life in rural areas and to encourage diversification of economic activity in rural areas and almost €13m has been allocated to Donegal under this Programme. In Donegal three key themes have been identified in the roll out of this programme including Economic Development, Enterprise Development and Job Creation, Social Inclusion and Rural Environment.This funding programme is administered by four implementing partners in Donegal including Donegal Local Development Company (DLDC), Inishowen Development Partnership, Údarás na Gaeltachta and Comhar na nOileán and the final decisions on project funding rests with the Donegal LCDC Local Action Group which is supported by Donegal County Council.Cllr McDermott is urging local community groups and businesses to continue to come forward with applications to the LEADER programme saying “this funding presents a great opportunity for groups and businesses across Donegal to deliver innovative and meaningful projects in their local areas and I would encourage any group or business with an idea to engage with the implementing partners to see how the ambitions for their area or business can be supported.” Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows Twitter RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR WhatsApp Loganair’s new Derry – Liverpool air service takes off from CODA center_img Nine til Noon Show – Listen back to Monday’s Programme Pinterest DL Debate – 24/05/21 Facebook Previous articleMan charged in fatal Bundoran charge to be returned for trialNext articleDonegal & Tyrone Ladies name 15 for Mullingar battle News Highland By News Highland – July 19, 2019 Google+ Twitter Google+ Pinterestlast_img read more

May 18

Two men arrested in assault on Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick

first_imgCarlos Barria/Reuters/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesBy ALEXANDER MALLIN, ABC News(WASHINGTON) — The Justice Department has arrested and charged two men who allegedly assaulted Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick with bear spray during the riot at the U.S. Capitol, as authorities continue working to determine whether the assault was a direct cause of Sicknick’s death.Julian Elie Khater of Pennsylvania and George Tanios of Morgantown, West Virginia, were arrested Sunday and are expected to appear in federal court later Monday, a Justice Department official confirmed.In a newly unsealed search warrant affidavit, an FBI special agent cites videos showing the series of events leading up to and after the assault on Sicknick and two other officers guarding a bike rack barrier at the Capitol.The affidavit cites one video that that shows Khater telling Tanios to hand him a bear spray canister near the Lower West Terrace of the Capitol at 2:14 p.m.“Give me that bear sh**,” Khater says.“Hold on, hold on, not yet… it’s still early,” Tanios then replied.Six minutes later, Khater is allegedly seen walking through the crowd up to a bike rack barrier being guarded by Officer Sicknick and two other officers — he then sprayed them with the bear mace from roughly five to eight feet away, the affidavit alleges.The affidavit includes screengrabs from police body camera video and surveillance footage showing the three officers pulling back from the barrier to find water to wash out their eyes, though Khater allegedly continued spraying in their direction before an officer engages him and starts pepper spraying him back.The affidavit notes that all three officers including Sicknick “were incapacitated and unable to perform their duties for at least 20 minutes or longer while they recovered from the spray.” One officer said the spray was “as strong as, if not stronger than, any version of the pepper spray they had been exposed to during their training as law enforcement officers.”Both men have been charged with three counts of assaulting federal officers, conspiracy to injure officers, civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding, physical violence on restricted grounds, violent entry and aiding and abetting.Attorney information for both men was not immediately available as of Monday morning.Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

May 3

57 Percent Of 2016 Indiana Law Graduates Have Full Time JD Jobs

first_img57 Percent Of 2016 Indiana Law Graduates Have Full-Time JD-Required JobsMarilyn Odendahl for www.theindianalawyer.comA little more than half of the 2016 graduates of Indiana law schools have full-time, long-term jobs where bar passage is required, according to American Bar Association employment statistics.In total, 771 individuals graduated from Indiana’s four fully accredited law schools in 2016 and, as of 10 months after graduation, 442 – or 57 percent – have full-time, permanent positions that demand a license to practice. Comparatively, the Indiana Class of 2015 had 765 graduates with 466 – or 61 percent – having full-time, long-term bar passage required jobs.Nationally, 37,124 individuals completed their legal studies in 2016 across the country. Of this, 62 percent have full-time, long-term jobs that require bar passage.Selected stats from Indiana law schools for full-time, long-term jobs are as follows:Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law 248 graduates204 employed121 bar passage required66 J.D. advantageIndiana University Maurer School of Law191 graduates160 employed133 bar passage required24 J.D. advantageNotre Dame Law School172 graduates141 employed131 bar passage required5 J.D. advantageValparaiso Law School160 graduates84 employed57 bar passage required22 J.D. advantageThe ABA data also breaks down the employment numbers by job type. For IU McKinney, the public sector was the biggest employer of its 2016 graduates while the largest segment of IU Maurer graduates were evenly divided between the government and business & industry jobs. Notre Dame and Valparaiso sent more graduates to law firms.Top three providers of full-time, long-term jobs for graduates of Indiana law schools are:IU McKinneyGovernment – 46 graduatesBusiness & industry – 45Law firm with two to 10 attorneys – 42IU MaurerGovernment – 29Business & industry – 29Law firms with more than 501 attorneys – 19Notre DameLaw firms with more than 501 attorneys – 39Government – 19Law firms with two to 10 attorneys – 15ValparaisoLaw firms with two to 10 attorneys – 24Government – 21Business & industry – 14Around the country, the bulk of law school graduates — 44 percent — secured positions with law firms. This was followed by 14 percent who went to work in business and industry and 12 percent who worked in the government.Also nationally, 9 percent of the 2016 graduates had clerkships in state and federal courts. Comparatively, IU Maurer and Notre Dame led Indiana law schools with 17 and 16 graduates, respectively, getting clerkships. IU McKinney had six members of the Class of 2016 take clerkships and Valparaiso had three.The ABA did not have any data on the 2016 graduates of Indiana Tech Law School, which is scheduled to close June 30.To see more employment statistics, click here.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

May 3


first_imgIS IT TRUE on the other hand we consider 8th District Representative Larry Bucshon local field office staff ito be extremely aggressive and knowledgeable?  …whomever takes on Mr. Bucshon in the primary and/or in the general elections better have one hell of a campaign staff and a political war chest?IS IT TRUE the best Indiana State Senators in recent years are Joe O’Day and Venetta Becker?IS IT TRUE the most effective Vanderburgh County Coroner in recent time is Anne Groves?  …the current County Coroner Steve Lockyear is during an excellent job?IS IT TRUE the most effective Vanderburgh County Auditor over the years is none other than Indiana  Lt. Governor Susan Crouch?IS IT TRUE the former State Representative Larry Lutz did an outstanding job in that position?  …that Hollie Sullivan and Wendy McNamara are doing a creditable job as our State Representatives?IS IT TRUE that Perry Township Trustee Rick Riney has proven to be an outstanding public servant?   …Pigeon Township Trustee Mary Hart is considered to be the best Trustee in modern time?FOOTNOTES: Todays “READERS POLL” question is: Do you feel that the Veterans Memorial Coliseum should be saved from the wreaking ball?We urge you to take time and click the section we have reserved for the daily recaps of the activities of our local Law Enforcement professionals. This section is located on the upper right side of our publication.If you would like to advertise or submit and article in the CCO please contact us City-CountyFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare IS IT TRUE at last nights City Council meeting Evansville City Councilman Justin Elpers  requested that someone from VenureWorks appear before Council on April 24, 20117 to explain and update them about the financial activities of the Evansville Thunderbolts and Ford Center?  …we commend Mr. Elpers for requesting this long overdue financial review and update of the Thunderbolts and the Ford Center?  …we wonder why City Council Finance Chairman Dan McGinn didn’t request to be done long ago?  ,,,,we can’t wait to find out if the Ford Center made an honorable profit or lost around $1 million to $1 1/2 million dollars this year (not in included in this projection is the annual $8 million bond note payment on the Ford Center)?  …we also look forward in hearing if the Thunderbolts lost any money during the home games and if so who are covering these losses?IS IT TRUE that the inspection of the Soldiers and Sailors Coliseum in downtown Evansville was supposedly completed by a person who is trained to inspect houses?…while some things about a Coliseum and a house may be similar like wood and concrete, the structural issues and failure mechanisms are not so similar?…it looks like someone made a poor choice to hire a home inspector and paid him over $6,000 for him to do this task?  …. that the President of the Vanderburgh County Commission has asked the Evansville/Vanderburgh Building Inspectors office to do a walk through inspection of the Soldiers and Sailors Coliseum? … this seems like the same approach taken by former Evansville Mayor Wienzapfel with the Roberts Stadium building in order to declare it unsafe for public events?IS IT TRUE that it has often been said that “you can’t make a good deal with a bad person”?…this is particularly true when that person is a head of state that has no reason whatsoever to do one any favors?…now that the Trump Administration has pushed the button on an airstrike on a Syrian air base in retaliation for the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons on its own people, people are questioning why this took so long for the United States to do?…President Obama did indeed draw a line in the sand and warn Bashir Assad that use of chemical weapons would result in American retaliation, but did nothing when Assad used the weapons?…former Secretary of State and 2004 democrat nominee for President John Kerry was quite proud of making a deal with the Russians and the Syrians to never use chemical weapons?…Kerry made deals with bad people so he should not be surprised that they didn’t do what they said they would?…we don’t know if the air strikes will change anything, but we do know that when you draw a line in the sand and do not follow through, the message received by your adversary is that you are weak and inconclusive?…it looks like those days are over for the United States for the time being? IS IT TRUE we find it interesting that Senator Donnelly is trying to appease the GOP leadership by backing some of their nominees in order to convince them that he is nonpartisan?  …the real truth is that GOP leadership considers Senator Donnelly to be extremely vulnerable when re-election times comes around?  …Mr. Donnelly may also be  extremely venerable because his local field staff seemly lack the follow through needed to launch a successful re-election campaign on his behalf?last_img read more

May 2

Bayonne Briefs

first_imgCorrectionOn August 23 the Bayonne Community News ran a story about Piero’s Music. Lou Fanacone did not move to Florida as reported. Lisa Fanacone was incorrectly identified as Lou Fanacone’s wife. She is his daughter. Electrical Systems is not on Broadway, and a Bayonne High School band of the 1980s was referenced incorrectly. We regret the errors. ×The second annual Bridge Arts Festival will take place on Saturday, September 8. Bridge Arts Festival enters second yearIn its second year, the Bridge Arts Festival will take place on Saturday, September 8, beginning at 11 a.m.Festival cofounder Cheryl Mack said this year’s event will be bigger and even more vibrant than last year. “Last year we got the sense that everyone who attended the festival had a blast, whether they were families, young artists seeking inspiration, or people just looking to have fun and soak in culture,” said Mack. “This year we are staging an even more exciting and diversified event.”The festival will include two music stages featuring dance and theatrical performances, themed, “From Brooklyn to Bayonne.” The dance stage, hosted by the exquisite Heather Smith, will showcase performances by the award-winning Jersey City Ballroom Dancers, Dance with Me Dance Studio, #TapLife and the Surati Dance Company.Music performers include the Anthony Fuscaldo Trio, of Bayonne, followed by Conundrum, an instrumental R&B, funk and hip-hop band that features graduates of Bayonne High School. Alicia Olatuja, a jazz vocalist who performed at President Obama’s second inauguration, will perform, followed by Los Hacheros, a Latin music group.There will be a vendor market with work by visual artists and artisans, a crafts corner will be set up for kids, and a food truck row will offer food and beverages, and a beer garden will be set up. New to the festival will be the Animodules Sculpture Garden provided by the Barat Foundation.“Art is very alive in Bayonne, and we’re thrilled about the artistic expression that people will be exposed to,” said Mack, who moved to Bayonne from Brooklyn. “This year we have a 25-percent increase in participation from visual artists. And I really think the sculpture garden is going to be a huge hit.”Religious leaders sue Hudson County over ICE contractHoping to invalidate Hudson County’s renewed contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to detain immigrants in the Hudson County Jail, religious leaders filed a lawsuit that alleges county officials violated New Jersey’s public meetings law, the Open Public Meetings Act. The suit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of the seven Hudson County religious leaders.The suit says the process “reeked of secrecy and deception,” with a rushed vote intended to avoid public scrutiny amid growing anger over the contract, according to WNYC.The board of chosen freeholders on July 10 unanimously voted to hold an August vote on renewing its expired contract with ICE. However, another freeholder meeting was scheduled for two days later.The vote surprised activists hoping to convince freeholders to sever the contract. They did not attend because they believed the vote would take place at the later meeting.According to the complaint the religious leaders who filed suit are Rev. Thomas Murphy, a Jersey City resident and rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Jersey City; Rev. Gary Commins, a Bayonne resident and associate priest at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and Church of the Incarnation in Jersey City; Ashraf Eisa, Jersey City resident who serves as board member of the Islamic Center of Jersey City; Rev. William Henkel, a Secaucus resident and pastor at the First Reformed Church of Secaucus and member of the Reformed Church of America; Rev. Frances Teabout, a Roselle resident serving as pastor at the Open Door Worship Center in Jersey City; Rev. Elaine Ellis Thomas, a Hoboken resident serving as rector at the All Saints Episcopal Parish in Hoboken; Rev. Laurie Jean Wurm, a Maplewood resident and rector at Grace Church Van Vorst in Jersey City.Henry Repeating Arms to sponsor NASCAR for first timeHenry Repeating Arms, which manufactures guns in Bayonne, sponsored the NASCAR Xfinity Series #90 Chevrolet Camaro driven by Andy Lally in the Johnsonville 180 that took place on August 25. Elkhart Lake is a few hours away from Henry’s manufacturing plant in Rice Lake, Wisconsin. The plant makes shotguns, centerfire rifles, and parts for some of the firearms produced in Bayonne.Prosecution of marijuana cases to resume in NJState Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced on Wednesday that prosecution of marijuana-possession cases will resume in September, according to The Record. Last month Grewal directed municipal prosecutors to adjourn the marijuana cases until after Sept. 4. He took that action after Jersey City officials said they would not prosecute marijuana cases and tried to decriminalize marijuana inside the city. Grewal issued guidelines on Wednesday telling prosecutors that they may use discretion but that they may not unilaterally decriminalize marijuana possession.Two priests removed amid sex misconduct inquiriesThe Roman Catholic Church has removed two New Jersey priests from their parishes amid allegations of sexual misconduct, according to The Record. The Rev. Gerard Sudol, who had been cleared of previous allegations years ago, was removed from Our Lady of Czestochowa Catholic Church in Jersey City after a new accuser came forward. The Rev. Jim Weiner of St. Andrew’s Church in Westwood was removed after church officials said they were reopening an inquiry. Weiner had been scheduled to be installed as pastor on Sept. 15.Revised school bond act approved by lawmakersMembers of the Senate and the Assembly convened on Monday to pass one piece of legislation, the Securing Our Children’s Future Bond Act, according to NJTV News. The measure, passed unanimously in both chambers, asks voters to approve a $500 million bond issue to expand county vocational-technical schools, among other things. Originally, the state had planned to seek $1 billion for schools. But Gov. Phil Murphy vetoed that measure, saying the state’s bonded indebtedness was already high.Murphy expected to veto 5-cent fee on plastic bagsNJ Gov. Phil Murphy is expected to veto a bill passed by the legislature in June that would put a 5-cent fee on single-use plastic and paper bags. Sen. Bob Smith, who chairs the Senate Environment Committee, announced the coming veto at a meeting in Toms River on Thursday. HCCC Poetry Bootcamp Explores the creative writing processesIndividuals who wish to explore their creative side and learn the skills needed to unlock their imagination are invited to take part in the “Poetry Bootcamp” at Hudson County Community College (HCCC). The program offers three sessions and will be held on Friday, Sept. 14, 21, and 28 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in the College’s Gabert Library at 71 Sip Avenue in Jersey City. Space is limited, and the cost is $99 per person.The instructor, Sarah T. Jewell, is the author of How to Break Your Own Heart (Dancing Girl Press, 2017), and has read her poetry at The New York Public Library, The Cornelia Street Café, and other such venues.Those who wish to attend the “Poetry Bootcamp” may register online at or by calling (201) 360-4224. Payment by credit card, money order, cash, or check payments is due at the time of registration.More information may be obtained by calling (201) 360-4262 or emailing [email protected]‘Therapy, Bro’ premiers at the 2018 Golden Door International Film FestivalOpen Iris Entertainment’s “Therapy, Bro” will be screened at the Golden Door International Film festival Film Festival on Sept. 22 at 1 p.m. in The Landmark Loews Theatre at Journal Square.Therapy, Bro stars Wally Marzano-Lesnevich (Almost Paris), Francesco Nuzzi (Star Crossed Lovers), Heather Brittain O’Scanlon (House Broken), and Garry Pastore (HBO’s The Deuce). The film directed by John Hedlund (Three Minutes to Air) has received multiple awards.This is among more than 100 films that will be shown during this year’s festival.The Golden Door International Film Festival is in its 8th year and is considered New Jersey’s premiere film festival. After taking submissions since late last year, the festival is the culmination of the awards season. The festival will present films at multiple locations throughout Jersey City from Sept. 20 to 23; the opening gala at the Loew’s will be held on Sept. 20. The opening reception will have live music and will be hosted by New Jersey’s bad boy comic, Mike Marino.Sarah Q, directed by John Gallagher and starring Garry Pastore, who portrays NYPD Detective John Belson, will have its World Premiere at the festival as well.Guests attending the festival will include actors involved with Sarah Q such as Pastore and his brother Vincent Pastore; Federico Castelluccio and Tony Sirico from The Sopranos, Burt Young from “Rocky,” Steve Stanulis, from “The Fifth Borough” and other films, as well as other actors.The guests also include actors and staff associated with films being shown such as “Maternal Secrets,” “Doubting Thomas,” “The Pretender,” “Yellow Scare,” “Sisters Plotz” as well as this year’s celebrity rock star, Steve Conti.Local moviemakers are involved in this year’s festival including a number from Bayonne, Hoboken, Jersey City and Union City.Also expected to attend are actors involved in the film “Miami or BUST – A Hoboken Bet,” which includes Susan Varon, of “Boardwalk Empire,” and Chris Depirro of “Tony and Tina’s Wedding.”For ticket information and a schedule of shows go to The second annual Bridge Arts Festival will take place on Saturday, September 8. last_img read more

March 1

Take your passport and go, Amanpour says

first_img Ode to Harvard Senior MacKenzie Sigalos delivers one of two Harvard orations, a Class Day tradition. The occasion also featured the humorous Ivy orations. Graduation gathering Sanjey Sivanesan ’10 (from left), Kaartiga Sivanesan ’06, and their mother, Renuka Sivanesan, listen carefully. CNN, reporting in International television correspondent Christiane Amanpour was the main speaker for this year’s Class Day ceremonies, traditionally organized by the seniors and held the day before Commencement. Friends and families Audience members pay close attention to the speakers. Class Day 2010 Temperature up, jacket off Featured speaker Christiane Amanpour succumbs to the heat and removes her jacket. Sea of listeners Seniors and their families gather in Tercentenary Theatre for Class Day festivities. Tune time Audience members listen to the Harvard Band at the close of the day’s ceremonies. Having a heat wave A.C. Gomez ’13 waits for empty water containers to be picked up. The lighter side Jose Robles (from left), Silvia Robles, and Victoria Robles enjoy the speeches. Rose Lincoln, Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographers Getting the message Christopher Miller ’10 listens to Amanpour’s words of advice to the senior class. Moments for memories Amanpour poses for photographs with seniors and their families. International television correspondent Christiane Amanpour urged Harvard’s graduating class to take a year before plunging into the job market and head overseas to work on the myriad problems facing the world.“I hope you will take this moment to think about traveling,” Amanpour said. “There is so much opportunity out in the developing part of the world … where I have been for the past 27-odd years. People are waiting for you. They’re waiting for an army of energetic idealists like you to help build small businesses, to run schools, to teach class … It will change your lives, and it will set you on the road to your future.”Amanpour, who has been a fixture on the front lines of conflicts and disasters overseas for CNN, was the main speaker for this year’s Class Day ceremonies, traditionally organized by the seniors and held the day before Commencement. In her 25-minute speech Wednesday (May 26), Amanpour hearkened back to the Marshall Plan, the massive European aid effort unveiled at Harvard’s 1947 Commencement by Secretary of State George Marshall. Just two years after the end of World War II, he outlined the assistance that was pivotal in helping Europe to rebuild from its rubble. Today, Amanpour said, America’s challenge is similar, involving stabilizing Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Haiti, all important to America’s peace and security.“Beyond the armies and treasure of the United States deployed to these places, they need armies of people like you who are graduating today, civilians wielding … high ideals, smart ideas, smartly deployed to really make development work,” Amanpour said.Amanpour delivered her address in Harvard Yard’s Tercentenary Theatre. Amanpour said she too was graduating, after a fashion, moving on after 27 years at CNN to host ABC’s Sunday morning “This Week” program.She was one of several speakers to address the seniors during Class Day, which offers a less formal setting than Commencement’s scripted rites and provides a chance for class members and College officials to address those attending.Harvard College Dean Evelynn Hammonds briefed the students on what was coming Commencement Day, describing the exercises as “full of incantation and free of explanation,” and warning the students that the time will likely pass quickly for them, joking that it may seem especially quick since they probably won’t be paying attention.Hammonds said the students will be sent into the world to “advance knowledge, promote understanding, and serve society,” goals she hoped they’d advance. She also added a personal farewell to the students and wished them luck.The ceremonies also featured two Harvard orations, delivered by MacKenzie Sigalos and Benjamin Schwartz, the humorous Ivy orations, delivered by James Wilsterman and Alexandra Petri, and remarks by class officers and the president-elect of the Harvard Alumni Association, Robert Bowie.Bowie said that though departing Harvard will be tinged with sadness for the students, they are embarking on an exciting journey. Although the closeness of House life will be gone, the students will become part of an alumni network that spans the world and can prove helpful virtually anywhere.The Ames Awards, given annually to the man and woman who have dedicated themselves to service, this year went to Talya Havice, who took a leave from Harvard in 2001 to join the Marine Corps and who was commissioned a second lieutenant earlier in the afternoon, and Adam Travis, who worked tirelessly for the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter.Amanpour, who got her start at then-fledgling CNN in 1983 after graduating from the University of Rhode Island, urged students to take risks and work in some field that they’re passionate about, that will spur them to work hard, and increase their chances of becoming successful.“Mastery, mission, purpose: Those … were my greatest motivators,” Amanpour said. “Right now, I passionately wish for all of you to find something that sets you on fire, that fills you with joy, and love, and commitment.”Despite the economic difficulties now facing journalism, Amanpour said, there is still as large a need for quality, professional journalism as ever. Amanpour called journalism “a public trust” and a critical element of democracy.Other prominent speakers who have headlined Class Day include NBC’s “Today” show anchor Matt Lauer last year, Federal Reserve Board chairman Ben Bernanke in 2008, and former President Bill Clinton in 2007. Earlier speakers have ranged from the serious (humanitarian Mother Teresa) to the silly (comedian Sacha Baron Cohen). An audience request Seniors Caitlin Lewarch, Anne Calkins, and Laura Garvin playfully gesture for the band to play the second stanza of “Ten Thousand Men of Harvard.”last_img read more

March 1

Will business fill the Paris void?

first_imgIn addition to opposition from environmentalists, governors, and mayors, many prominent business leaders reacted with dismay to President Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement. Members of the higher education community also recommitted to fighting climate change, with Harvard President Drew Faust among a dozen leaders of research universities issuing a joint statement this week in support of the Paris agreement and the importance of transitioning to a low-carbon economy. Among the CEOs voicing disagreement with the president were the heads of companies whose interests clearly lie in a clean energy future, like electric cars or renewable energy. But they weren’t alone. Leaders across a range of sectors worried that the U.S. is turning its back on the future, suggesting that it may fall to the business community to lead the way on the issue.  George Serafeim, Harvard Business School’s Jakurski Family Associate Professor of Business Administration, is an expert in corporate performance and social impact, including corporate sustainability. In a Q&A, Serafeim discussed corporate views on the Trump announcement and how the Paris exit might affect U.S. competitiveness in the years to come.GAZETTE: What was your reaction to President Trump’s announcement, and what are the important issues to think about with respect to U.S. businesses?SERAFEIM: I was very disappointed, but at the same time not surprised, given that he has given lots of indications that he’s skeptical about it. He’s trying to distance himself, I think, from the global community and this is the primary example of the world finally getting together and achieving global cooperation.I think what many people are worried about in business is that this is going to fundamentally decrease American competitiveness, because it’s putting the U.S., at least from a federal policy standpoint, at odds with where the world economy is going. The world economy is going toward low-carbon infrastructure … transportation systems, electricity infrastructure in the city, and so forth. This is a signal that at the federal level — not necessarily at the state level, because we have seen already that some states are drawing their own path — there’s not going to be support, and actually there’s going to be active resistance toward that low-carbon pathway.The U.S. [would be] losing the cutting-edge technology, skills, and capabilities that could revolutionize our transportation system, that could revolutionize the fuel that we use in our cars and trucks and vehicles — whether that is electricity or hydrogen. We might lose our cutting edge when it comes to creating a decentralized, digitized, powered-by-renewables electric grid, and so forth.‘When you have politics against science, at the end of the day science is going to win.’GAZETTE: Do the objections of some business leaders mean they recognize that there may be costs to addressing climate change, but that they accept those costs as part of the price to modernize and to participate in this low-carbon future you’re talking about? Or do they just disagree with the president that the Paris agreement is a bad deal and bad for the economy?SERAFEIM: I think many people disagree with that. It is not clear that it will be bad for the economy. If you actually look at the data, many economies have reduced their carbon emissions at the same time they have grown their economy, so I think that argument is just false. What’s happening is that many business leaders want to have a seat at the table [to determine] how you create institutions and policies and regulations and infrastructure to guide that low-carbon pathway forward. And with the U.S. withdrawing, you’re losing that seat at the table. You’re not actually going to be part of the conversations that are going to be happening. As a result, instead of shaping that agenda, you’re going to be on the back end of the process.GAZETTE: Some corporate leaders are talking about the business community stepping in to provide leadership, echoing what we’ve heard from some governors and some mayors. Does the business community have the capacity to step into a leadership role? Is there a lot that it can do without government?SERAFEIM: There is a lot that has already happened without government, and for a long time. You look at companies — especially large companies — that have committed to long-term contracts to purchase renewable energy. You see many auto manufacturers making tremendous investments for electrification of their models and so forth. The world is moving on and, personally, that’s what I’m worried about from a U.S. competitiveness standpoint.When you have politics against science, at the end of the day science is going to win. Politics may win short-term, but science is going to win in the long term. The world will decarbonize, the world will move forward, the world will create the low-carbon economy, and, if you close your eyes and remain blind to that, you will actually fall behind. That is the fundamental risk that the U.S. economy is facing because of federal inertia.GAZETTE: Was there anything that you heard from members of the business community that surprised you? A particular leader who spoke out and you didn’t expect it, such as Tesla’s Elon Musk stepping down from presidential advisory councils?SERAFEIM: Elon Musk is running a giant solar company, and denying the fact that solar is going to be a big part of our energy revolution is just incompatible with everything that he represents. So that completely makes sense. I saw Jeff Immelt from General Electric and that makes a lot of sense. General Electric has a huge business that has to do with the energy revolution.But at the same time, I saw someone like Lloyd Blankfein from Goldman Sachs coming out and saying this is the wrong path forward. The business importance is less obvious for Goldman Sachs compared to a company like General Electric or Tesla. That gives me a sense that many business leaders are worried not only about their companies, but about the nation overall, and at the end of the day, about the world.GAZETTE: I also want to ask you about the shareholder action at the ExxonMobil annual meeting last week. They apparently pushed through a requirement that the company report on the impact of measures to keep climate change to 2 degrees Celsius. We hear about shareholder activism now and again, but how rare is this, and is this particular action significant?SERAFEIM: This is huge, in my opinion. Such climate-related resolutions have been filed for many, many years now, but you never heard of them because they were basically ignored. People are realizing the huge investments that companies might be making to develop carbon-intensive assets, with long payback periods and high marginal costs, might become stranded assets. They might not be economically viable projects anymore. [Investors] are asking for information about the resilience of the asset and the rationale for those investments in a world compatible with a 2-degree scenario. I think that’s very reasonable because at the end of the day it speaks to asset quality. It speaks to how good a steward management is of the asset and it speaks to the resilience of the company to be able to compete in a low-carbon world. So what you are finding this year is that a huge moment has arrived where finally investors and their proposals on climate-related topics have received majority support in more than one oil and gas company. [They are] asking for this information that allows for better modeling of the risks that these companies are exposed to. That is a recent development.GAZETTE: Just to help people interpret this, we’re not talking about a climate activist effort to harass the company, but rather a level-headed examination by investors of what this company is really going to be worth 20 years down the road, particularly if demand for their product goes down.SERAFEIM: Absolutely. If you’re an index fund, for example, you’re going to hold this company for a very long time. So what they’re asking is: You’re spending on exploration and production this year, $15 billion, $10 billion, $20 billion — whatever that number is — and is this money well spent? Is this money completely wasted? Will you be able to compete in the future? Are you investing in technologies that are going to make you competitive in the future? And so forth. So it’s a huge moment, I think, for changing mindsets inside companies, inside boardrooms, boards of directors. Because those shareholder proposals were opposed by the board of directors. The investors voted against the recommendations of the board of directors. At the same time, it’s completely consistent with a rigorous investment analysis that requires you to have a model about how risks are going to unfold.GAZETTE: How influential can shareholders be? Can they redirect the company’s actions?SERAFEIM: Those proposals are advisory in nature. They’re not binding. But it’s a very strong signal that your investor base wants you to take action in a particular way. In most of the cases when this happens — you have majority support from the investors — the company acts on that. My expectation is that companies are really going to act on this. I would be surprised if they just ignored it. It has become such a strong business issue, it’s hard for anybody to ignore.Interview was edited for clarity.last_img read more

March 1

The biggest land conservation legislation in a generation

first_img National parks’ economic benefits put at over $100B annually HKS: The Trump administration has been criticized for its efforts to roll back protections for a number of national monuments as well as plans to privatize some services in the national parks. How did the White House come to support one of the largest parks and conservation bills to pass through Congress in years?BILMES:  It is ironic that President Donald Trump will get to have his signature on a historic milestone that has eluded conservationists for decades. The Trump administration has undermined public land protection more than any in my lifetime. It slashed Bear Ears National Monument in Utah by 85 percent, reduced Grand Staircase Escalante by 50 percent, removed protection for millions of acres of sage-grouse habitat in Western states, opened the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and most of the U.S. coastline to oil and gas drilling, reduced protections for wetlands, and weakened the Endangered Species Act. Earlier this year, Trump proposed cutting discretionary spending on the Land and Water Conservation Fund by 97 percent.  As recently as last month, the president held a huge event at Mount Rushmore, refusing to honor the park superintendent’s request to cancel it due to high fire risk at the adjacent forest — a ban has been in place for a decade.But 2020 is a crazy year. In yet another reversal, Trump will sign the Great American Outdoors Act in a big White House ceremony. After winning final bipartisan approval in Congress last week, a bill that will pump billions of dollars into overdue repairs and maintenance of U.S. national parks is now headed to the president for his signature. It’s an unlikely success story: bipartisan support in a polarized legislature for an environmental and conservationist initiative to which the Trump administration has shown itself hostile until only recently. Linda Bilmes, the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Senior Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), served on the bipartisan National Parks Second Century Commission and on the U.S. Department of Interior National Parks Advisory Committee from 2011 to 2017. She is also co-author (with John Loomis) of “Valuing U.S. National Parks and Programs: America’s Best Investment” and is an expert on the national parks’ complicated budgeting and chronically scarce funding. We asked her about the new legislation.Q&ALinda BilmesHKS:  What is the Great American Outdoors Act and what will its impact be on the national parks and federal conservation funding more broadly?BILMES:  The Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) is the biggest land conservation legislation in a generation. The National Parks Conservation Association, the leading advocacy organization for the parks, is hailing it as “a conservationist’s dream.”The legislation has two main impacts. First, it establishes a National Park and Public Lands Legacy Restoration Fund that will provide up to $9 billion over the next five years to fix deferred maintenance at national parks, wildlife refuges, forests, and other federal lands, with $6.5 billion earmarked specifically to the 419 national park units.This funding is needed badly. The number of visitors to the national parks system has increased by 50 percent since 1980, but the parks’ budget has remained effectively flat. This imbalance has led to a $12 billion backlog of maintenance to repair roads, trails, campgrounds, monuments, fire safety, utilities, and visitor infrastructure — which will finally be addressed.Second, the GAOA guarantees $900 million per year in perpetuity for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), a flagship conservation program paid for by royalty payments from offshore oil and gas drilling in federal waters. The LWCF was established in 1964 with an authorization level of $900m, but in most years Congress has appropriated less than half of this amount. The LWCF is especially important because it helps fund the four main federal land programs (National Parks, National Forests, Fish and Wildlife, and Bureau of Land Management) and provides grants to state and local governments to acquire land for recreation and conservation.“The National Parks Conservation Association … is hailing it as ‘a conservationist’s dream,’” says Professor Linda Bilmes of the Great American Outdoors Act. Jon Chase/Harvard file photoHKS: As the author of a leading study on enhancing funding for the national parks, do you feel that this legislation puts the parks on sounder financial footing?BILMES:  The GAOA will help to safeguard the national park units and other public lands. However, it is not a panacea. As I have outlined in my “Valuing U.S. National Parks and Programs: America’s Best Investment,” the park system is funded through a complex formula that includes federal appropriations, revenue generated from concessions and user fees, private philanthropy and in-kind donations. This model creates wide variation in the resources available to different park units and is volatile from year to year. Each component of the formula needs to be reformed to provide the parks with a more sustainable, stable funding structure.HKS: When Congress and much of our political system is buckling under the weight of political polarization, how did a piece of legislation with significant cost implications manage to pass both the House and the Senate on such a broad bipartisan basis?BILMES:  Congress passed the legislation by huge bipartisan majorities, in the House (310-107) and Senate (73-25). Although many elected officials of both parties have long supported conservation, the unusual show of bipartisanship that led to enact this legislation is largely due to the political and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.The national parks are intertwined with the economy of Western states. Visitor spending in and around national parks — which are mostly located in the West — contributed more than $40 billion to the U.S. economy last year and supported 340,500 jobs. But these communities are now struggling and many of the jobs related to tourism have been lost. The GAOA is expected to create more than 108,000 new jobs to repair park infrastructure, including access roads and bridges in these adjacent communities.In general, support for the national parks cuts across party lines. But this year, several incumbent Republican senators and members of Congress face tough electoral battles in November. Republican Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado is running against the popular former Gov. John Hickenlooper, and Montana’s Republican Senator Steve Daines is running neck and neck with Democratic Governor Steve Bullock. These two seats are critical to Republican hopes of holding the Senate. This is the main reason that President Trump, who had rejected previous efforts to fund the LWCF, agreed to sign the legislation.The pandemic has also led Americans to rediscover the outdoors. The national parks not only provide economic benefits but also health and enjoyment. My research has found that the public values national park land, waters, and programs at $92 billion per year — at least 30 times the annual budget they receive from Congress. The public is now appreciating the outdoors as never before and calling on its elected representatives to provide adequate financial support. But professor warns agency is underfunded, and behind $12 billion in maintenance Relatedlast_img read more

February 8

Testing times: Organizers say Aussie Open will start on time

first_imgMELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The Australian Open tournament director expects the year’s first tennis major to start as scheduled next week despite 160 players being among the 507 people forced back into isolation after a hotel quarantine worker tested positive for COVID-19. Craig Tiley says “We will be starting on Monday and we have no intention of changing times.” Melbourne Park was almost empty as Tiley spoke to media. All matches in all six warmup events were postponed Thursday after the state government announced the new coronavirus case overnight. Tiley says all 160 players would undergo testing and the tuneup tournaments will resume Friday.last_img read more