St Anne’s conducts review of college investments

first_imgSt Anne’s is looking at twosignificant changes: Total Returnand responsible investment. The college recently joined theResponsible Investment Network,a network coordinated by thecharity ShareAction to help withresponsible investment. The college released a comment on Monday, saying that it planned to reduce its fossil fuel involvement “as far and as fast as practicable.” As well as BP and Shell, the college has links to Lloyds Banking Group, Royal Bank of Scotland, and BAE systems. According to their website, Sha- reAction envisions “a world where ordinary savers and institutional investors work together to ensure our communities and environment are safe and sustainable for all.” The workshops, facilitated by ShareAction, explored how investment management works and recent developments in responsible investment, as well as the legal and regulatory constraints that apply. Having begun the review last year, the college opened up the discussion to all members of college this week. John Ford, the Treasurer of St Anne’s told Cherwell: “The main goals of the college’s investments are to support our charitable purpose as an educational institution. This drive for change comesafter Balliol College announcedits divestment from fossil fuelcompanies. “It is therefore a great opportunity to introduce responsible investment into our overall strategy. ShareAction, who facilitated the workshop, is a registered charity that promotes responsible investment, and aims to improve corporate behaviour on environmental, social and governance issues. Both students and staff wereinvited to learn more about thenature and importance of thecollege investments in supportingcollege life.center_img The main driver of the investment review was to ensure that our investments were sustainable from an income perspective to maintain this. With over 50 per cent of all UKuniversities having divested fromfossil fuels, this was a topic thatwas readily discussed, especiallybecause of St Anne’s current linksto BP and Shell. Opening the session, the Treasurer of St Anne’s outlined the reasoning behind the Investment Review: “The world is moving in a particular direction… and I would like St Anne’s to be part of that movement.” “The college is hoping to move from a pure income strategy, where it can only spend what income is produced by its underlying investments, to a total return strategy where some capital gain can be used as income. This change should make the college less reliant on dividends from certain industries, for example the oil & gas sector. “The college is currently consulting students and staff on the proposed changes and hopes to complete the main changes by the summer.” Students and staff were encouraged to share their thoughts on how the college’s investments should be managed, what principles of responsible investment might apply, and how the college might involve third party managers to support its objectives. With 11 per cent of incomefrom Endowment Investmentand 16 per cent from EndowmentInvestment Gains, a large portionof the college’s income is centredaround investment. For the first time in over 20 years,St Anne’s College is undertaking afull review of its investments. “The college recently joined theResponsible Investment Network-Universities (RINU) with a view tobecoming a more actively engagedinvestor. We hope this will giveus more impact in influencingcompany behaviour in areas suchas climate change. The fifth college to announce a policy of divestment, Balliol follows St Hilda’s, Wadham, Wolfson and Oriel.last_img read more

LETTER TO EDITOR: Let’s Fix That  by George Lumley

first_imgCOMMUNICATION WITH THE CITY?Communicating with the city of Evansville is very difficult for me.  I try to explain things in simple terms and ask the right people the right questions but the responses I get, when I do get one, are quite odd. It is kind of like watching a candidate debate on t-v where the EMCE ask a question but the politician clearly answers a different question than that posed. I am having trouble communicating recent dealings with the Department of Metropolitan Development (DMD) and the Evansville Brownfields Corp (EBC) regarding my questions about the Hardest Hit Fund’s (HHF) Blight Elimination Program (BEP) being administered by the Indian Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA). The DMD uses all these acronyms and about a thousand more that are specific to their Bailiwick of government and nonprofit.  The acronyms make the communications look like a foreign language but that is not the real problem.The real problem is understanding the manipulation, the conspiring of agendas, and who is representing who in what capacity.  Where there should be independence and open public dialogue there seems to be clandestine private agendas laced with conflict of interest, miss information, and conspiracy. The recent “stop the tax sale hoopla” is a good example.  Note the link to the city ordinance c2015-15 recently passed. http://www.vanderburghgov.org/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=19868 This ordinance was conveniently not posted until I complained to the City Clerk. This transferring of property is nothing new.  Vanderburgh County can and does hold properties from the tax sale each year and transfers them to the EBC.  The City can DEMO all the houses they have funding for without expansion of EBC land banking or stopping the tax sale.  Stopping the tax sale and expanding the land bank was a conspiracy to fund the private activities of the rogue DMD by taking private sector competitive opportunity and gifting it to the EBC as a new revenue stream.Below is an Email to the DMD and EBC.  Although I feel I am asking reasonable questions I have not gotten any response.  Do you think these questions are reasonable?Dear Mr. Coures and Ms. Rusk,I am addressing this to the two of you in your capacity as representing the city of Evansville Department of Metro Development (DMD) and your capacity in what you have termed the “city owned” Evansville Brownfields Corp (EBC).Since coming to Evansville 2 years ago, I have been trying to get a handle on how the city can own and operate a nonprofit and when the city operators, you, Kelly Coures and you, Carolyn Rusk, city employees of that nonprofit, want the advantage of calling it part of the city – it is the city, and when you want the advantage of calling it a separate entity – it is separate.You seem to think this arrangement is fine and commonplace.  I take exception to that.  Especially considering the experience I have had trying to work with the Hardest Hit Fund (HHF) Blight Elimination Program (BEP) this year.  I don’t understand if the issues restricting my project are a lack of follow through with DMD officials or a lack of follow through with EBC officials.  I am starting to think it is a matter of competing interest and an intentional lack of cooperation, intended confusion, and no follow through with the common elements being DMD and EBC representatives – You two.It is so confusing, I don’t know whether to bring my concerns to the DMD or to the EBC.My current issue is the handling of the HHF BEP program.  It appears that when this program was first announced the DMD did not reach out for program partners but chose instead to utilize the funding on their own city DMD/EBC owned or acquirable properties.  (See attached: BEP County Properties) It looks like some of these were later substituted to accommodate the J-bell (d-pat) additions and a couple of other nonprofit organizations that wanted parking lots or houses taken out on properties they had been land banking, like ECHO’s Garfield street properties.  I reference and attach the document included in the grant application detailing the local support, 10 percent match required by IHCDA, as more sustenance for this claim.  (See attached: BEP Match requirement)  Also note in the document, inclusion of taxes as a match.  I have asked how this works but no one has even attempted to explain.  I do see on the local match break down, end of page two, that none of the d-pat lot properties had any charges for weeds, trash, or Building code violations. I assume there were none because these properties were not vacant, abandoned, or even seriously blighted, until the developer started moving residents out.How will the 10% match requirement affect my project?I brought a project to you in February, the success or failure of which was dependent upon the DMD and “their” EBC.  It appears that my project of real – vacant, abandoned, and blighted structures within a neighborhood has been pushed aside or neglected in favor of the city and the city operated EBC projects. Maybe this is why the cities and counties of Indiana were not allowed to be a “program partner” for the Blight Elimination Program.  If the city could not be a program partner how can you justify the cities’ brownfields division being a “program partner”?  Linked is last week’s Sunday C & P newspaper article discussing the tax sale?   http://www.courierpress.com/news/people-living-in-blighted-county-owned-homes-20aa0f35-8e87-20ca-e053-0100007feaad-329659311.html Note it mentions “City-run non-profit Brownfields Corp”.  There are many articles where the relationship is described as such.In legalese – If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, and acts like a duck – it is a duck.  You can call a duck a pig if you like but the courts usually agree that a duck is a duck.Now why should my Reitz school project, located between Howell Park and the School be competing with City DMD/Brownfields if they should not even be eligible as program partner?  Again in Legalese – they should not have a horse entered in this race.You might ask the EBC attorney to consult with the DMD attorney on this issue.  Or if they are one in the same, I guess the attorney could talk to himself about it. But, Could one of you two define some kind of separation for me so I can address my issues to the proper individual?  Maybe decide that you, Kelly represents the DMD and you, Carolyn, represent the Brownfields? Or maybe if I send something in the AM hours you two will be working for the DMD and in the PM hours you will be representing the Brownfields?  I read that you, Carolyn, works 20 hours per week for EBC, are those scheduled on specific days? Do you, Kelly, work a certain number of hours or specific days for the EBC?With the upcoming County Commissioners sale of delinquent tax properties, will the city operated EBC be competing in the bid process?  Will they be bidding on properties in my project, or do I, or other program partners need to do that?  At one time the EBC was to be the program partner on most of my project properties. I still have not had an answer on why that was dropped at the 11th hour.  As the Sale approaches we need a decision on who is program partner – is and if EBC is not the program partner for my project properties, I need to know how much of the program funds can reimburse purchase cost at the auction so that I can Bid accordingly.Could you please respond with two responses one from the city and one from the city owned brownfields so I can determine who I am dealing with and how to address additional questions, like why the brownfields dropped being program partner on my project? Please as DMD employees keep any confidential information I might share confidential and away from my competition, those representing the EBC, unless absolutely necessary to share it.Thank you for your attention to this matter.George Lumley“let’s fix that”, volunteerFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

News story: New appointees to British Transport Police Authority board

first_img The BTPA prides itself on having the expertise and experience to guide British Transport Police performance and objectives, and the new board members will bolster these vital qualities. With passenger numbers at record levels, it is vital that we ensure an effective and efficient network police force continues to maintain exceptional safety standards, guided by a skilled and adept board. I am delighted to welcome our 4 new members – Graham, Craig, Andy and Kenna. They bring a wealth of experience from across policing, industry and the public sector and I look forward to their contributions towards the work of the authority. new members bring wide range of experience and expertise to BTPA board backgrounds include rail industry, police force, parliament and nuclear industry authority plays vital role in overseeing effective and efficient police coverage on rail network BTPA chair Ron Barclay-Smith said: Four new members have been appointed to the board of the British Transport Police Authority (BTPA), Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has announced today (21 May 2019).Sir Craig Mackey, previously Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service is appointed alongside Andy Cooper, soon-to-retire as Managing Director of Cross Country Trains, former MP and parliamentary private secretary Graham Evans, and former member of the Civil Nuclear Police Authority Kenna Kintrea.They officially joined the body that oversees the British Transport Police (BTP) on 20 May and will work with Chair Ron Barclay-Smith who took on the role in March last year.Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: Rail media enquiriescenter_img Out of hours media enquiries 020 7944 4292 Media enquiries 020 7944 3021 Switchboard 0300 330 3000 The BTP is a specialist, national force that provides a service to rail operators, their staff and passengers. It also polices other networks – the London Underground, Docklands Light Railway, Croydon Tramlink, Tyne and Wear Metro and Glasgow Subway. It has around 3,000 police officers and around 600 PCSOs and special constables.The BTPA was established in 2004 to improve the public accountability of the BTP. It is responsible for setting objectives, strategic direction and performance standards for the BTP. It works closely with train and freight operators to ensure adequate policing levels across the network on trains, at stations and other railway property.last_img read more

Notre Dame passes reaccreditation review

first_imgThe Higher Learning Commission (HLC) gave Notre Dame the highest marks in all criteria in its decennial reaccreditation review, according to Fr. John Jenkins, president of the University.“The report praised the academic distinction of many departments and observed that faculty showed an ‘unusual’ commitment to their undergraduates,” Jenkins said in a faculty address. “‘In short,’ they wrote, ‘Notre Dame [provides a high-quality education across the broad] in a way that is truly exemplary.’ … I thank every faculty member for making the University a place that merits such high praise.”Dan Hubert, accreditation program director, said the University must complete this process every 10 years in order to remain accredited.“Without being an accredited institution, [Notre Dame] does not qualify for federal financial aid, we don’t qualify for federal research dollars,” Hubert said. “Your credits, if you transfer somewhere else, may not transfer and as well as accepting credits from another institution coming in, they have to be accredited. There’s a lot that plays into being an accredited institution.”The reaccreditation process consists of a self-study based on HLC criteria and a follow-up visit during which an evaluation team verifies and further explores the report, Hubert said.“It was about a two year process for us to thoroughly look at the University,” Hubert said. “… We worked with about 120 faculty to gather the information to address these five criteria that the Higher Learning Commission has for us. We then had to write that up into a report for submission: it was a 245-page report, with links to almost 1,000 other documents.”The five overarching criteria components that a university must meet are mission; ethical and responsible conduct; teaching and learning: quality, resources and support; evaluation and improvement; and planning and institutional effectiveness, according to the HLC website. Hubert said each criteria component had a team assigned to it.“When we design the self-study team we chose faculty leaders to head up each of the five criteria areas,” Hubert said. “They shepherded the process and were well-respected faculty that had also held previous leadership roles on campus … It is one of the thankless things that the faculty and staff do on campus.”Hubert said the Higher Learning Commission is in the process of adopting a different reaccreditation schedule.“Instead of going for a full 10 years and having to do a whole report every 10 years, we are on a new system called Pathways, which in four years, we will provide an update to [the HLC],” Hubert said. “Then, three years after that, we will provide another update, and then at the 10-year mark, we will provide another update but it will only be for a three-year period. We will be continually updating our report along the way.”Hubert said the report was an overall success.“We hit everything because across the board, they gave us the highest marks that you could receive, so we really give kudos to the faculty and staff that worked on it to make sure we had everything covered,” Hubert said.Tags: Higher Learning Commission, HLC, reaccreditation reviewlast_img read more

Green Mountain Power Named to Business Week Magazine’s List of Best Performing Small-Cap Companies

first_imgGreen Mountain Power Corporation (NYSE:GMP) has beennamed to Business Week magazine’s list of top-performing small-capcompanies. The Company was ranked 25th out of 50 companies ranked and wasthe only Vermont-based company included. The list was compiled by rankingthe Standard & Poor’s SmallCap 600 stocks by one-and three-year totalreturns as of Feb 14.”It is very satisfying to see Green Mountain Power included in BusinessWeek’s list of top performing companies. We have vigorously pursuedimproving customer service while finding new ways to control costs. Theresults have clearly benefited our shareholders right along with ourcustomers,” said Christopher L. Dutton, president and chief executiveofficer of Green Mountain Power.According to the Business Week article, most of the best companiesprospered by increasing productivity and aggressively cutting costs.Green Mountain Power’s three-year total return was 181.5 percent.The article is available on-line at: www.businessweek.com/bw50/content/mar2003/a3826058.htm(link is external)and thelisting of the 50 companies is available at: www.businessweek.com/bw50/content/mar2003/a3826059.htm(link is external).last_img read more

NRG and BioTek named Vermont’s Best Places to Work

first_imgIn an awards ceremony Wednesday evening, NRG Systems of Hinesburg and BioTek of Winooski were the big winners at the 2009 Best Places to Work event hosted by Vermont Business Magazine, the Vermont Chamber of Commerce and the Vermont Society of Human Resource Management. The event was held at the Main Street Landing Film House in Burlington. The companies were honored based on the results of surveys given to each company’s employees. The awards honored five large companies (Over 150 employees) and 10 small & medium sized companies (15 to 149 employees). NRG was named the top company to work for in the small/medium sized category and BioTek was named the large company winner. Of the many companies whose employees were surveyed by Best Companies Group from Pennsylvania, only these 15 were named the Best Places to Work in Vermont.The recipients of this year s awards were:Small/Medium Companies: Edward Jones Instrumart MBF Bioscience NRG Systems. Inc Resource Systems Group Inc Small Dog Electronics TPW Management VELCO (Vermont Electric Power Company) VocRehab Vermont Wells River Savings BankLarge Companies: BioTek Instruments, Inc. Gardener’s Supply Company Green Mountain Power King Arthur Flour Company Merchants BankSmall/Medium Size companies (15 – 149 employees)10) VocRehab VermontVocRehab Vermont takes pride in creating an environment that values and empowers all their employees. Their mission is to help people with disabilities find and maintain employment and help employers find qualified job applicants. Their employees enjoy a high degree of autonomy. They trust their judgment and ability to make wise decisions about the services they can provide to their customers. Their belief is that when employees are treated from a strengths-based, holistic perspective, they will do the same when assisting their customers and will achieve amazing results. The fruit of this philosophy is borne out in them being ranked the number one state vocational rehabilitation organization in the country two years in a row.9) Resource Systems GroupGiven that RSG was founded in 1986 by three Dartmouth professors, it s no surprise that their offices have a campus casualness and a buzz of intellectual curiosity and spirited hallway conversation. Their 60+ employees in their White River Junction headquarters and other offices, including Burlington, enjoy dog-friendly workplaces, flexible schedules, varied assignments, and weekly catered seminars to learn about peers and projects. Last year s carbon offset challenge to work and lifestyle choices took their corporate environmental principles and made them personal. With Vermont offices on the Connecticut River and Lake Champlain, loving where they work comes naturally.8) VELCOVelco obviously can t be sure, but they believe they may have won this award because of their commitment to building a collaborative environment built on trust and integrity.  That requires honesty.  Honesty in sharing with each other what works and the much more difficult task of identifying what doesn t.  This honor is particularly meaningful because of the honest feedback from their Associates.  VELCO is powered by passionate people in an industry that is in the midst of a transformation and while there is still work to be done, they take great pride in this achievement and are reaffirmed that integrity is the essence of everything worthy of success.7) MBF Bioscience We are honored to receive this recognition,” says MBF Bioscience President Jack Glaser. MBF Bioscience strives to create an environment that fosters creativity, teamwork, and innovation, and they recognize that their employees are the most important determinant of their success. Their products are designed to help scientists pursue their research in curing diseases and better understanding human health. Their work environment and the creativity of its employees translates into cutting-edge products and great service for their customer.6) Small Dog ElectronicsThere are many facets to working at Small Dog that would explain why they are one of the Best Places to Work. They are a socially responsible company, which means they have a multiple bottom line the effect they have on the environment, community, customers and employees is just as important as maintaining their profitability. People, planet and profit.  Small Dog does not exist solely to make money, they exist to do good, to make good jobs, to have a great workplace, to be involved in their community, to protect their planet and to be a different type of company.   They like to think of themselves as a family at Small Dog Electronics. They are committed to providing employees a livable wage and excellent benefits5) TPW ManagementTPW Management remains one of the Best Places in Vermont to Work due to its core principles; Honesty, Integrity and Communication. These principles are valued by all those within the TPW family. As a family-owned, Vermont-based Company, TPW has grown to be the # 1 community management company in Vermont. With better satisfaction of their customers, their motto stands on its own, GO PLAY, LEAVE THE WORK TO US. In addition to a great place to work, TPW encourages its employees to have fun and at the same time be civic minded. This past year the TPW family has helped a number of causes; among the many are the Stratton Foundation, Susan G. Komen VT Race for a Cure, Burr & Burton Academy and the Make a Wish Foundation of Vermont. This, once again, provides the employees of TPW a sense of belonging and reaffirms that TPW is one of the Best Places in Vermont to work . 4) Wells River Savings BankWells River Savings Bank has a caring and understanding environment where decisions are generally made based on what is the right thing to do for staff and less on how it affects the bottom line. Many of their employees have worked together a long time–26% of their staff has been there more than 20 years, with the average tenure of their current staff at twelve years. As a result, they go through all stages of life together, celebrating the good times and helping out in the bad times. This is part of the reason that employees often refer to the bank as being more like a family than an employer. The bank and its employees frequently combine their efforts and resources to help out an employee or community member in need. They have maintained this family atmosphere as they have added employees and branches, all the while keeping pace with advances in technology by continually updating their systems and providing opportunities for growth and advancement for their employees.3) Edward JonesEdward Jones is a partnership possibly the country s largest operating partnership with more than 11,000 limited partners, including more than one-third of the firm s associates. Associates see how they personally have an impact on the firm s success and helping each other is part of that partnership. Sharing the success and supporting each other is great for morale, which naturally is great for business. Everyone has the opportunity to become a partner in the firm, and to earn trimester bonuses and profit sharing when the firm is profitable. Each branch traditionally includes one financial advisor and one BOA, who have the freedom to set their own hours, work on community projects they enjoy, as well as serve clients well the way they best see fit. Many branches employ part-time BOAs, each working different days and times, according to their individual needs. Edward Jones offers a mountain of opportunities and the tools, training, guides and maps to climb it. Associates need only passion, stamina and determination to strike out for lofty goals. Unlimited opportunity is part of the package at Edward Jones.2) Instrumart It is great to have fun at work, but Instrumart takes exceptional care of its employees too. All employees get full health and dental benefits, free gym membership, 401k and profit-sharing, and other “perks” that are unusual for a small business to offer. Employees take Instrumart’s success personally, and everyone there works as if it was his or her own company. Their employee retention rate is 100% over the past 5 years. Although they are now 33 employees strong, it still feels like a “family” business.1) NRG Systems NRG Systems, manufacturer of wind measurement equipment, strives to build and maintain an exceptional workforce and workplace. Their employees share a common goal: to provide a renewable energy future for their children and for the planet. Through their products and practices they aim to walk the talk every day, whether it s through their LEED-gold certified building, their lean operations, or their green benefits. They don t see these as trade-offs to profitability, but rather practices that drive their profitability. The most remarkable aspect of NRG Systems workplace, on the face of it, may seem very basic. It is the sense of challenge, autonomy and responsibility employees feel for their work. It is that essence of meaningful work that keeps turnover close to zero and makes NRG Systems a dynamic and exceptional place to work.Large Companies (150 or more employees)5) Gardeners SupplyGardeners Supply is an employee owned (ESOP), open book company. They couple employee ownership with education, so each employee understands their business and how he or she can make a difference in their results. They also offer extensive gardening education. They foster a culture in which they expect everyone to be an active participant in achieving their company s mission & goals. They have nine staff meetings each year and have an employee newsletter, As The Compost Turns , published about six times a year. Their annual Town Meetings are an opportunity for everyone, in groups of 10-20 employees, to meet with the CEO to ask any question and discuss any topic they would like. They shut down the entire company for their annual shareholders meeting. Their ESOP Committee actively solicits input from employees twice a year in a process called A Brownie for Your Thoughts . They also fulfill their triple bottom line (profits, people and planet) by involving employees in community activities, including employee directed donations and paid volunteer time.4) King Arthur FlourKing Arthur Flour is America s oldest flour company and premier baking resource, and has twice been named Vermont s Best Place to Work. King Arthur Flour offers its employees an open-book management philosophy, a family-friendly work environment, a commitment to social and environmental responsibility, and much more. Perhaps most important to King Arthur Flour s success is the culture of respect and inclusion cultivated through employee-ownership. Employee-owners understand that their contributions shape the success and the future of the organization. Employee-owners are honored for their passion and dedication, and they re empowered and encouraged to share suggestions and concerns, successes and challenges. This respect and caring is felt by customers and business partners, too, who find the passion and enthusiasm at King Arthur Flour inspirational.3) Green Mountain PowerConsistent with its corporate values, Green Mountain Power stands out in the way it has created a positive work environment for all employees. The corporate culture is open, transparent, and nimble. An open physical environment fosters productive personal interactions and creates a team approach to problem solving. Profit sharing engages employees and empowers them to make the best decisions. Employees are given the technology and tools they need to get the job done safely, effectively, and efficiently. A culture of responsibility encourages a team approach to tackling challenges, recognizes and rewards success, while always looking for opportunities to improve. employees are encouraged to participate in community projects, including a company volunteer day packing food at the FoodBank and working with Mobius, The Mentoring Movement. GMP s benefits are consistent with corporate ad social values.2) Merchants BankMerchants was named among the top five “Best Companies to Work for in Vermont” in the Large Company category (150+ employees), recognized for high marks for overall work environment, role satisfaction, corporate culture and communications.”Merchants Bank is honored to be given this award and recognized for its efforts to create a positive work environment for its employees,” commented Merchants Bank’s President and CEO, Michael R. Tuttle.1) BioTekBioTek is more than just a job, it s a second family. Summer barbeques, yearly company parties, and departmental potlucks help foster a fun atmosphere of team building and mutual respect. The owners of the company regularly communicate strategic goals and encourage employee feedback. They are completely involved and know every employee (and their children) by name. The accessibility to executive level leadership and the autonomy and trust that they provide their employees is truly unique.This family atmosphere and culture of mutual respect, as well as flex time, good benefits, and profit sharing contribute to the average 11+ year tenure of a typical BioTek employee. BioTekkers enjoy coming to work and we know that each one of them is making a difference.last_img read more

At least 70 FARC operatives demobilize thanks to the Army’s Jupiter Task Force

first_img For former FARC and ELN operatives to reintegrate into society successfully, they must have safety, a fair judicial process, and economic opportunities, Massé said. And for many former FARC and ELN operatives, reintegrating into society means learning a new way of life, the security analyst said. “Many of them were (with the FARC or the ELN) for 10 or 15 years and only know how to handle weapons,” Massé said. “They learned to read and write there and that’s not enough to have a successful reinsertion, and limits their economic options.” By Dialogo September 10, 2014 Jupiter Task Force is reaching out to members of the FARC and the National Liberation Army (ELN), encouraging them to demobilize and return to the civilian population. The Army reaches out to FARC and ELN operatives through various methods, including TV and radio announcements and brochures. “In Colombia, before the soccer games and other TV programs with high audience ratings there are government and Army ads inviting the guerrillas to demobilize,” Massé said. “These actions have had great impact and worked very well.” These methods are proving effective in different parts of the country. For example, on Aug. 8, as the 13th Brigade of the Colombian Army was conducting operations in rural areas of the municipality of Facatativa, department of Cundinamarca, a man surrendered to them and told them he was running away from the 56 unit of the FARC. The Army authorities placed him into the Program for the Attention of the Demobilized, which the government offers to all those who want to return to civil society. Reintegrating battle-hardened members of the guerrilla groups into society is a top priority of the government, which in 2002 created the Agency for Reintegration under the Ministry of Defense. The Agency of Reintegration has helped more than 57,000 men and women demobilize from guerrilla organizations. In 2013, more than 1,000 people voluntarily left the FARC, and about 300 deserted the ELN, according to Alejandro Eder, director of the Agency for Reintegration in Bogotá. Reintegration can be challengingcenter_img Security initiatives by the Colombian National Army have prompted dozens of members of the terrorist group the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) to surrender and demobilize, military officials said. At least 70 former FARC members have demobilized since the Jupiter Task force began operations in November, 2013, according to authorities. Most have turned themselves in to the Jupiter Task Force, military officials said. The Jupiter Task Force is part of the Sixth Division of the Army. Efforts by the Army to encourage demobilization among members of FARC and the National Liberation Army (ELN) are paying off. “We keep inviting the guerrilla men and women who want to demobilize to take the step and to go to the closest military unit,” according to a statement from the Colombian Army. “There, your National Army will protect you so that you begin to take advantage of the opportunities and guarantees such as education, training, housing, food and a quiet life with your family.” Outreach by Jupiter Task Forcelast_img read more

US election 2020: Inside the White House on election night

first_imgAfterwards Adams flew back to Washington with his colleagues, and a charter bus dropped them off at the White House. “It was eerily quiet,” he says. “There was nobody there, celebrating.” When he heard about the party that Trump planned for the White House this evening, Adams was not pleased. “It rankles,” Adams says. – Advertisement –last_img

After a rough year, dividend stocks may finally be ready to shine — Here are some buy-rated plays

first_imgTraders work the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.NYSE (This story is for CNBC Pro subscribers only).As equity investors start to look forward to a post-vaccine world, it might be a good time to buy dividend stocks, according to Ned Davis Research.The firm said in a note on Tuesday that dividend stocks performed in a unusual way during the coronavirus recession, trailing non-dividend payers during both the market decline and the rebound. Normally dividend stocks are a safe haven during times of a recession and market volatility, but in this case the coronavirus pandemic hit key dividend payers like REITS and banks while rewarding internet stocks which don’t pay a dividend.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – – Advertisement – That atypical pattern has put dividend stocks at an extremely oversold position.“The bottom line is that Dividend Payers are exiting the worst phase of the bull market cycle relative to Non-Payers in their most oversold state in a decade,” the note said.last_img read more

Database lists choice pandemic-planning resources

first_imgSep 24, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Public health officials looking for ideas and tools to help them prepare for an influenza pandemic can find an online collection of peer-reviewed resources on a Web site that was officially launched today: PandemicPractices.org. According to the release, the site describes approaches that communities have developed to address three key tasks: altering standards of clinical care, communicating effectively about pandemic flu, and delaying and reducing the impact of a pandemic. Specific topics cover a wide range, from triage of possible flu patients and reopening closed hospitals to guidance for schools, isolation and quarantine strategies, and mortuary planning. The site describes and links to 130 “promising practices” from four countries, 22 states, and 33 counties. It was developed by the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), publisher of CIDRAP News, and the Pew Center on the States, part of the Pew Charitable Trusts. Items for the database were gathered through a combination of Web-based research, targeted surveys, interviews with key public health leaders, and collection of material at conferences, said Amy L. Becker, MPH, the project coordinator at CIDRAP. She said more than 200 practices were considered. “Pandemic Influenza Mortuary Planning Guidelines.” The materials recount how a committee in Barron County, Wis., assessed the county’s capacity for processing human remains and established a Unified Mortuary Preparation Facility and a Family Assistance Center. The group developed a “strategy to increase remains processing capacity through resource sharing and utilization of a unified command structure.” The database can be searched by state or topic and by area of special interest, such as materials translated into multiple languages, materials for vulnerable populations, and tool kits for schools. Jim O’Hara, director of health policy at the Pew Charitable Trusts, said the federal government’s pandemic flu plan will be “useless” if states and local communities are unprepared for a pandemic. Promising Practices sitehttp://www.pandemicpractices.org/ “Isolation and Quarantine in Alexandria, Virginia.” The document details the city’s strategy for invoking and enforcing isolation and quarantine for any contagious disease that poses a public health threat. “There are strong examples throughout the database of innovative practices developed in one part of the country that would be applicable elsewhere,” Sue Urahn, managing director of the Pew Center on the States, said in the news release. Here are a few examples of resources in the database: “Communities across the country are facing the challenge of translating broad requirements into local action, often with limited resources,” he said in the news release. “This database is an excellent tool to help public health officials inform their own pandemic planning and may save valuable time and resources that would be spent crafting strategies from scratch.”center_img See also: More materials will be added to the database in time, Becker told CIDRAP News. “Compiled as a resource to save communities and states time and resources, the database enables public health professionals to learn from each other and to build on their own pandemic plans,” states a news release from CIDRAP and Pew. “Reopening Shuttered Hospitals to Expand Surge Capacity.” The materials, provided by the federal Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, describe the authors’ experiences in reopening a closed hospital in Boston and offer an extensive tool kit to address problems others may encounter in doing the same. Work on the project began in July 2006 with Jill M. DeBoer, MPH, associate director of CIDRAP, serving as principal investigator. “North Carolina’s Ethical Guidelines for an Influenza Pandemic.” A task force of public health and medical experts, according to the description, carefully addressed three ethical issues: the responsibility of healthcare workers to provide care and to be protected, the balance of individual and community needs, and the “prioritization” of limited resources. “Stay at Home Toolkit for Influenza.” The kit, from Montgomery County, Md., is “a user-friendly guide for family reference, including tabs.” “We’ve already received new submissions that will be entering the review process soon,” she said. “As we get those reviewed by, first, our internal staff experts and then some of the expert reviewers nationwide, we’ll post those materials on the site. I would encourage people to check back for updates.” The database provides a brief description of each resource along with comments from the reviewers and links to the resource. The reviews were done by a group of 27 experts, including CIDRAP staff members, national reviewers from various disciplines, and an advisory committee. CIDRAP-Pew news releasehttp://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/files/94/pprelease.pdflast_img read more