Variation in zoobenthic blue carbon in the Arctic’s Barents Sea Shelf Sediments

first_imgThe flow of carbon from atmosphere to sediment fauna and sediments reduces atmospheric CO2, which in turn reduces warming. Here, during the Changing Arctic Ocean Seafloor programme, we use comparable methods to those used in the Antarctic (vertical, calibrated camera drops and trawl-collected specimens) to calculate the standing stock of zoobenthic carbon throughout the Barents Sea. The highest numbers of morphotypes, functional groups and individuals were found in the northernmost sites (80–81.3° N, 29–30° E). Ordination (non-metric multidimensional scaling) suggested a cline of faunal transition from south to north. The functional group dominance differed across all six sites, despite all being apparently similar muds. Of the environmental variables we measured, only water current speed could significantly explain any of our spatial carbon differences. We found no obvious relationship with sea ice loss and thus no evidence of Arctic blue carbon–climate feedback. Blue carbon in the Barents Sea can be comparable with the highest levels in Antarctic shelf sediments. This article is part of the theme issue ‘The changing Arctic Ocean: consequences for biological communities, biogeochemical processes and ecosystem functioning’.last_img read more

Michigan State University discouraged student from reporting alleged rape by athletes, lawsuit says

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailDigitalVision/Thinkstock(LANSING, Mich.) — A student who claims three Michigan State University basketball players gang-raped her three years ago is suing the institution in federal court for “discouraging” her from reporting the alleged assault.The civil lawsuit, which seeks both compensatory and punitive damages, was filed in the Michigan Southern District Court by the female plaintiff, referred to as Jane Doe. The suit names the university and the school’s staffers or counselors, who are referred to individually in the document as “Unidentified Roe” at the school’s counseling center.ABC News’ attempts to reach Michigan State University reps were not immediately returned.The document details what Doe claims happened the night of April 11, 2015, into the early morning hours of April 12, 2015.After the Michigan State University Spartans lost to the Duke Blue Devils, 81-61, some players appeared “sometime around midnight” at Harper’s Bar, where Doe was drinking with her roommate, according to the lawsuit.Jane Doe, then a freshman student majoring in sports journalism, said that three basketball team players eliminated from the tourney — referred to as John Doe 1, John Doe 2 and John Doe 3 — arrived and John Doe 1 approached her and “offered to buy her a drink,” according to the lawsuit.She accepted, the lawsuit states.Then the player introduced her to his two teammates, according to the lawsuit.According to the lawsuit, the woman had no romantic “interest in any of the team members” and merely believed she was commiserating with them based on her sports journalism career ambitions.The woman claims in the lawsuit that she was invited to attend a party at an off-campus apartment.Once at the party, the woman claims she was pulled into a bedroom and John Doe 1 allegedly told her: “You are mine for the night.”According to the lawsuit, the woman tried to play a particular song on a laptop when she noticed that “she could not manipulate her hands properly … [she] realized something was wrong and she thought she might have been drugged.”She was allegedly shown some basketball memorabilia by John Doe 2 and she requested some water “because she was incredibly thirsty,” according to the lawsuit.John Doe 2 brought her the water and took the freshman into his bedroom, where she assumed she would be shown more memorabilia.But while she took a sip of water, the room went dark, she claims in the lawsuit.Then, according to the lawsuit, the woman “was forcefully thrown face down on the bed, held in place so she could not move, while John Doe 2 raped [her] from behind.”The lawsuit goes on to allege the victim was crying as the act happened but was incapable of moving or speaking.“At no time did she consent to the sexual activity,” the lawsuit states.Then, after John Doe 2 was finished with the alleged rape, the document states that John Does 1 and 3 then entered the room, held her down, “and took turns raping her.”The woman claims that she awoke “a few hours later” on a couch inside John Doe 2’s apartment and called a taxi to take her back to her dorm room, where her roommate said that she had been looking for her all night “but could not find her,” the lawsuit states.The two students spoke about the alleged rape, according to the lawsuit, and the woman confided in a friend as well.Over a week passed until the friend escorted the alleged rape victim to Michigan State University Counseling Center to report the incident to a rape counselor, the lawsuit states.Upon disclosing that the three alleged attackers played on the school’s basketball squad the counselor “suddenly announced to Jane Doe that she needed another person in the room” and her “demeanor changed,” according to the lawsuit.A second member of the counseling center joined them, the lawsuit states, and the woman claims that she was given two options: to file a police report or “deal with the aftermath of the rape(s) on her own,” the lawsuit states.She was also allegedly informed by the two counselors that filing a police report would yield unwanted media attention, the lawsuit states. The woman also claims she was told “we have had many other students in the same situation who have reported, and it has been very traumatic for them,” according to the lawsuit.“If you pursue this, you are going to be swimming with some really big fish,” the woman alleges she was told, the lawsuit states.As a result, the alleged rape victim “became frightened to the point that she decided she could not report the rape(s) to law enforcement,” according to the lawsuit.Moreover, the lawsuit alleges that the university apparently failed to inform Jane Doe of her rights to file a no-contact order to ban any kind of contact with the ballplayers — whom she she said she occasionally came in contact with at her dorm.As a result, the woman didn’t report the incident for 10 months, the lawsuit states.By then, the woman become “so traumatized, depressed, and withdrawn” to the point that she was admitted to a psychiatric facility for treatment, according to the lawsuit.She quit school for a time and was refunded her tuition money, according to the lawsuit. She later returned, changing her major from sports journalism, a dream that had been “destroyed,” the lawsuit states.The lawsuit also claims that the school failed the woman by not informing her that she could report the incident to the Office of Institutional Equity nor did the school tell her about her Title IX rights — which grant her protections from sexual harassment.The lawsuit goes on to accuse the university of treating its male athletes “differently than they treated non-athlete related sexual assault complaints.”Beyond the damages the lawsuit is seeking, the alleged victim also wants Michigan State University to do away with an “unwritten, official” policy that the lawsuit characterizes as giving male athletes “unwritten permission to commit acts of sexual assault without consequence.The lawsuit also wants to establish a way to do away with the university’s “fostered culture in which female victims are discouraged from reported sexual assaults when those assaults are perpetrated by male athletes, thus protecting the university, the male athletics programs, and the male athletes at the expense of the female victims.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. April 10, 2018 /Sports News – National Michigan State University discouraged student from reporting alleged rape by athletes, lawsuit says Written bycenter_img Beau Lundlast_img read more

UCU calls for donation transparency

first_imgThe UCU said: “Blackstone is one of the world’s largest corporate residential landlords. According to Leilani Farha, the UN special rapporteur for adequate housing, it is significantly responsible for fuelling the global housing crisis.” Responding to the request for the vetting documents to be made public, a university spokesperson said: “Academics from across the Divisions represented on the Committee to Review Donations, and we did involve some students in the plans for the Centre before the announcement… The public release of documents relating to the review process could damage the University’s relationship with an individual or body that has been subject to that process. This could also deter prospective donors.” After expressing their concern about the lack of transparency in the decision-making process, the UCU called for the University to provide “further details of how the decision was made to accept Schwarzman’s donation, including a full account of the steps taken by the University’s Committee to Review Donations and information on the make-up of the Committee.” as well as to “clarify the proposed governance structure of the new “Institute for Ethics in AI”, which will also be housed at the Schwarzman Centre.” Thomas Clements, spokesperson for Blackstone, told Cherwell that “To imply that Mr. Schwarzman played any role – formally or informally – in the Administration’s immigration policy is misleading and irresponsible.” The UCU have released a statement calling for greater transparency regarding the £150 million donation by Stephen A. Schwarzman to the new humanities centre. They called for the University to adopt “new transparent and democratic procedures regarding gifts and donations, including the creation of a democratically elected deliberative body composed of faculty, students, staff, alumni, and local representatives.” The UCU was contacted for comment by Cherwell but responded saying that “Oxford UCU is now waiting for a response from the University and cannot comment further until this is received.” The UCU’s statement follows a motion from the Union Council’s meeting which called for the full details of the University’s vetting and decision making process to be made public. The statement also criticised Mr Schwarzman’s links to the Trump presidency saying that “Stephen A. Schwarzman was an influential advisor to President Donald Trump during the period of the presidency that saw Executive Order 13769, the so-called “Muslim Travel Ban”.” In the statement, the UCU expressed their concern that the acceptance of the donation “contravenes the University’s professed aims regarding (1) equality and diversity and (2) climate change.” last_img read more

Great British Bake Off 2018: meet the contestants

first_imgThe Great British Bake Off is back! Noel, Sandi, Prue and Paul are to return to the nation’s screens on Tuesday 28 August and they’re bringing with them a dozen fresh faces.The 12-strong line-up includes a techno DJ, a full-time father and a research scientist ready to battle it out for the crown (or decorative cake stand).Here are this year’s contestants:Terry, 56A retired air steward with a background in fine art, Terry learned to bake as a child, taught by his grandmother and father. The produce from his own microbrewery and allotment can be found in his baking, which is particularly noted for its precision, science and flavour in his bakes.Ruby, 29Relaxed and boozy is how Ruby would described her baking style. Her love of baking stems from her time at university in which she became ‘mother’ to her seven male housemates, cooking and baking for them. Growing up, she had a fondness for her mother’s jalebis – an Indian sweet.Rahul, 30Rahul describes his baking style as ‘east meets west’ having discovered an abundance of new flavours upon moving to the UK for university at the age of 23. As a research scientist, he undertakes all bakes with an ‘uncompromising attitude to detail’ and is fascinated by the science of baking.Manon, 26The youngest contestant in this year’s line-up, Manon was born and raised in France taking inspiration from her heritage when it comes to baking. However, it was in moving to London that she found her passion for baking after being ‘blown away’ by the selection of goods on offer in the capital.Luke, 30Civil servant and techno DJ Luke has been baking independently since he was 10 years old, making Victoria sponges, fruit cobblers and chocolate cakes for his family. Luke’s minimal and clutter-free attitude is reflected in the clean and precise bakes he produces.Kim-Joy, 27Born in Belgium to an English father and Malaysian-Chinese mother, then growing up in London, Kim-Joy’s mixed heritage is reflected in her open attitude to all types of baking. However, bread is where her true passion lies, having turned her hand to a plethora of styles and types of bread.Karen, 60Karen is the oldest baker in the tent this year. Athough she baked with her mum throughout her childhood, it was during the 15 years that she owned a house in France that her passion for baking was truly ignited. Religieuse buns, profiteroles and foot-long éclairs are particular specialities.Jon, 47Welshman Jon uses baking as a way to relax after a hard day’s work. He loves a showy bake – and a showy Hawaiian shirt – and often wows friends and family with his creations. Family is at the heart of his life and Jon spends a lot of time with his wife and four children.Imelda, 33Recreation officer Imelda grew up in Co Tyrone, Northern Ireland, as one of four siblings. It was here that she was taught to bake by her mother. Now juggling work and family life, Imelda spends her evenings and weekends making soda bread, biscuits and treats for her father and son.Dan, 36Dan is on a quest for perfection when it comes to baking. He considers aesthetics one of the most important aspects of his bakes, aiming to produce beautiful and delicious creations every time. As a full-time stay-at-home father of two small children, home baking is part of his everyday life.Briony, 33Bristol-born and -raised Briony is a self-taught baker who used YouTube tutorials to develop her skills. She has been baking seriously since 2013 and is a whizz at puff pastry, which she makes weekly for her husband and daughter. Briony has also created several wedding and novelty cakes for friends.Antony, 30Self-described Bollywood baker Antony grew up in India, where he learned to bake with his father. His willingness to try new foods, worldwide travels and an ability to ask probing questions to established bakers mean his bakes can be unconventional at times, but are always interesting.Don’t miss our regular blog on the Bake-Off, starting on Wednesday 29 August.last_img read more

Pukka adds chicken Balti pie to retail range

first_imgPukka is rolling out its Chicken Balti Pie, previously only available at football stadiums, to retail.The pie contains pieces of chicken in a Balti sauce, wrapped in 144 layers of puff pastry. It will be joining the company’s chilled single portfolio in Morrisons from 3 June and Tesco from July.The pie comes packaged in 100% recyclable packaging, featuring a stadium-themed design, which Pukka introduced to its portfolio at the start of the year.“We’ve been selling Pukka into stadia for over 30 years and our Chicken Balti Pie has always been a match day highlight,” said Pukka head of marketing Rachel Cranston.“With the nation currently unable to watch their favourite sport live, now is the perfect time to bring our stadia best-seller to UK supermarkets, so the people of Britain can still enjoy the full football experience from the best seat in the house.”The launch will be supported by PR and social media and follows what Pukka described as a “phenomenal year”, with value sales up 10.2% [Kantar 52 w/e 22 March 2020]. It also comes after the brand revealed its coverage sponsorship of ITV’s rerun of the Euro 96 football tournament.To find out more about the 55-year history of Pukka, read our feature: ‘Born & Bread: Pukka Pies’.last_img read more

Papadosio Kicks Off Earth Night With An Instrumental Live PA Set [Gallery]

first_imgLivetronica band Papadosio returned to the Park Street Saloon in Columbis, OH last night, playing the first of their two night Earth Night celebration. Papadosio’s annual Earth Night tradition has been a staple of their calendar for years, entreating fans to consider the planet through the power of musical displays. The band always puts on very special shows for the occasion, and this year was no exception.The first night of the two-night run saw Papadosio perform a Live PA set, in which they play a full instrumental show. These rare occasions are always a treat for the band’s loyal fanbase, and this was no exception. The instrumentals all come with clever song titles as well, like “You’re Gonna Need A Bigger Goat” and “There’s A Snake In My Bootsy Collins”. What fun!Check out photos and the full setlist below, courtesy of Phierce Photo.Setlist: Papadosio | Park Street Saloon | Columbus, OH | 12/16/16Set: How’s My Zenglish?, You’re Gonna Need A Bigger Goat, Guy Of The Tiger, Flibberty Gilbert, A Great Man Once Said… > Never Mind, Weekend at Bernie Sanders, Candy Cain & AbelEncore: There’s a Snake in my Bootsy Collins Load remaining imageslast_img read more

Of brass and khakis

first_imgTwo gray vans with smoked-glass windows and U.S. government plates idled at the curb on Boston’s Commonwealth Avenue. Quickly, a line of unusually well-dressed teenagers streamed into each, and the vans swiftly pulled away.Was this the opening scene of a thriller? In a way. The teenagers are entering freshmen at Harvard and other area colleges, and they were in their opening moments of military service as midshipmen fourth class (MIDN 4/C), the entry level of the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC). Ahead of them are four years of academic and military education, followed by commissions as ensigns in the Navy or second lieutenants in the Marine Corps.Before entering those vans that late August day, the Harvard freshmen first swore an oath to serve their country. There are currently 21 Harvard undergraduates in local ROTC units, including nine with the Navy, seven with the Army, and three with the Air Force. Two students at Harvard Extension School, both seniors, are in Army ROTC.The oath-taking ceremony had special meaning for Harvard, which had stopped formal recognition in 1970 and 1971, although its students continued to participate in ROTC through a consortium based at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Boston University. But last March, Harvard and the Navy signed an agreement to bring an NROTC presence back to campus, and opened the door to officer-training programs run by the other services.The change hinged on the legal demise of the military policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” which the University viewed as discriminatory because it disallowed service by anyone who was openly gay.That policy expired on Tuesday, and two NROTC offices officially opened in the Student Organization Center at Hilles in the Quadrangle off Garden Street.“Granting openly gay and lesbian citizens the opportunity to serve the nation creates new possibilities for men and women to pursue their aspirations, to grow as leaders, and to devote themselves to the noble work of supporting and defending the Constitution,” said Harvard President Drew Faust at the opening ceremony at Hilles. “It not only affirms our shared interest in an inclusive society, but also deepens the reservoirs of talent on which the military so vitally depends.”Those who are in ROTC, she added, “combine learning and service, thought and action to the benefit of humanity.”***Sebastian Raul Saldivar of Dallas was one of the Harvard freshmen who took the oath on Aug. 21. “I remember watching 9/11 unfold in a third-grade class,” Saldivar explained as his main inspiration to serve. “I saw innocent and helpless men and women attacked. I knew I wanted to protect. I saw so many Americans unite to help, I knew I wanted to serve.”The terror attacks, he added, were “the first time outside of a movie theater I witnessed evil. I knew I wanted to be on the other side.”Joseph Brennan, another Harvard freshman entering NROTC, said the discipline and dedication required by the program would help generally in life. But he offered a more basic reason for joining. “Service to my country and beyond has always been a calling for me,” said Brennan, who is from Boerne, Texas, “and joining the military was the best way I saw to heed that call.”Saldivar and Brennan joined the other NROTC candidates for the oath ceremony. Their first lesson in military bearing — how to stand at attention — came even before the oath, which was administered by U.S. Navy Capt. Curtis R. Stevens, commander of the NROTC consortium, which also includes Boston College, Tufts University, and — for nurses only — Northeastern University. He told the gathered freshmen, “This is the opportunity of a lifetime.”Learning how to stand at attention began six intense days of indoctrination into the military, which would be completed before any of the freshman set foot on their new campuses.When they arrived at MIT and broke into squads, Brennan reported to a basement classroom lined with photos of military aircraft and portraits of American naval heroes. His squad got a second glimpse of military life: paperwork. They filled out service agreements, travel voucher profiles, emergency contact sheets, and forms about medical data, drug policy, and even the locations of their tattoos. The initial barrage they faced in the Navy involved paper. “My first advice,” said one instructor to the midshipmen: “Have a pen.”Upstairs, two hairdressers, hired for the day, were busy clipping away. Curly locks piled up on the floor, largely from the men, who soon were nearly bald. (Only one women midshipman needed a trim, just enough to keep her hair off the collar.) During any down time, the new midshipmen stood at attention reading the “gouge” book, a manual of basic Navy lore, from insignia and Navy fleet information to the chain of command and general knowledge. “Gouge” is Navy jargon for the skinny, the scoop, the final word on something — the answers to the test.In less than two hours every new MIDN 4/C had been issued 26 pieces of gear, including “bag, duffel” and “boots, black 9-inch, steel toe.” They packed it all into big green sea bags. They changed from jackets or skirts into Navy or Marine physical training gear. Saldivar, wearing his new gold Navy T-shirt and blue running shorts, sat to try on the boots. “It’s nice to get out of that suit,” he said.***At midday, the midshipmen picked up box lunches and filed into vans for a two-hour ride to Naval Station Newport. There they would awaken at 4:30 a.m., make their beds tight in two minutes, run from place to place, and obey shouted orders from older midshipmen, including squad leader MIDN 3/C Catherine Brown ’14.“The greatest thing about yelling,” remembered MIDN 3/C Christopher J. “CJ” Curtis ’14, “is you get to yell back.”But the stress in Rhode Island only pushes so far, said Stevens. “This is not boot camp,” he said. “But there’s fire to it.” There’s inspiration too. Stevens, a 29-year Navy veteran who retires next year, said the indoctrination sessions are student-run, which is “the best leadership experience we get to do.”MIDN/3C Catherine Philbin ’14, who participated in the Rhode Island “indoc” last year, said teamwork was a big lesson, along with perspective. “A lot of it is learning you won’t be perfect,” she said, “but you do your best.”Stevens also sees the earliest weeks of midshipman service as a compressed introduction to the values that an officer embraces: “honor, courage, commitment, and discipline.”Those values enhance and complement the college experience too, said Stevens, who spent his early career as a submariner. “They know how to behave,” he said of the midshipmen, even in little ways. Stevens remembered telling one NROTC mother that her son would learn how to iron his own shirts. “She just beamed,” he said.***At its core, becoming an officer is also about the NROTC program’s strict academic requirements: eight naval science courses, which cover history, leadership, ethics, and amphibious warfare, as well as technology, including courses on a ship’s engineering and weapons systems. NROTC midshipmen on scholarships also are required to take two semesters each of physics and calculus.Summers are also an important part of the path to becoming officers. For entering freshman, there is the week of indoctrination. The next three summers are expansive explorations of careers in the Navy and Marine Corps. Midshipmen work and learn side-by-side with active-duty line officers.Exploring careers is most explicit the summer before the second year of college. Midshipmen like Curtis and Philbin spend four weeks in CORTRAMID, or Career Orientation and Training for Midshipmen. Midshipmen third class (MIDN 3/C) spend a week learning about each of the Navy’s main options: surface warfare, submarines, aviation, and the Marines. “That’s the nice thing,” said Curtis, a lithe 19-year-old who is the NROTC’s fitness officer this semester. “You get to see it all.”Think of CORTRAMID as summer camp, but complete with machine guns, attack submarines, helicopter simulators, bail-out training, swimming pools rigged with parachute drags, and a 20-minute ride in a two-seat turbojet that does steep dives and parabolic barrel rolls. “It was a beautiful day,” said Curtis of his over-the-ocean aerobatic training flight at Naval Air Station Miramar in San Diego. “It’s cool to see the water upside down.”Then again, aerobatics in a T34C trainer can impart up to three Gs of inertial acceleration to those in the cockpit. It makes an occupant feel leaden, and sometimes nauseous.When Philbin went on her orientation flight this summer in San Diego, she had a plastic bag tucked into the front of her flight suit. Earlier in the day, one instructor issued a warning about what to eat beforehand. “Bananas taste as good coming up as going down,” he said.“I lot of people got sick when they pulled Gs,” said Philbin. “But I liked it.” Aviation is not a career track she is likely to pursue — she wants the submarine service — but the CORTRAMID summer allowed her a bit of stick time on an aircraft, a stint at sea in a surface vessel, and time at nearby Camp Pendleton, where she slept under the stars, fired a grenade launcher, and kicked in the door of a suspected terrorist house, M16 in hand.Curtis recalled, “I lost my voice the second day, and my legs were toast” from quick-marching around Pendleton’s sandy hills. He studied amphibious vehicles, hunted for weapons caches and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), learned how to extract intelligence from a captured house, and fired a variety of weapons — the M2 .50-caliber machinegun, the M4 rifle, and the belt-fed M240 machinegun. “Every week has been a blast,” he said. “Each experience is very different.”***Curtis, a San Diego native whose father is a Navy SEAL, is not saying yet what his career path will be. But he knows one thing about the Navy: “I wouldn’t want to do anything else with my life.”During her aviation week, Philbin did more than take a head-spinning, 20-minute trip in the T34C. She learned about hypoxia — oxygen deprivation — in a gray, steel training chamber that simulates high-altitude unpressurized flight. She flew a simulated SH-60B Seahawk helicopter (“I came in a little hard, sir,” she told an officer afterward), and she spent an afternoon in water-survival training.The highlight for her was swimming in a saltwater pool in a flight suit, helmet, and steel-toed boots. Speed was not the point; staying alive was. “No one here is Michael Phelps,” said one instructor. The secret to the survival breaststroke is treading slowly. Pull, breathe, kick, and glide as you edge through the water, head up and bulbous, like a turtle. “We take the swimming part seriously,” said Capt. R. Brad Robinson, a naval flight officer. “We do a lot of flying over water.”Robinson, who commanded the training cycle that Philbin and Curtis were in, oversees the NROTC unit at the University of Florida.Sampling the four main career tracks, one intense week at a time, “gives them a heads up,” said Robinson, a 28-year Navy veteran. The so-called “officer service selection” does not come until the summer before the students’ senior year, he said. But long before that, most midshipmen “know what they want to do.”***Second-year midshipmen have four weeks of lectures, adventure, physical effort, and exposure to Navy jobs. The submarine service may offer the most challenge. Less than 5 percent of Navy personnel elect to go on long deployments while gliding under the sea in a war machine that — depending on rank — offers its warriors just three to nine square feet of living space. Then there’s the sensory deprivation. “There’s one window on a submarine,” the Navy joke goes. “The window on the washing machine.”When Curtis came aboard for a tour, the USS Hampton (SSN-767) was moored and matted with seaweed. The Hampton is one of six Los Angeles Class fast attack submarines in the San Diego-based Submarine Squadron 11. Launched in 1992, it is a sleek propulsive tubular craft that is 365 feet long, 50 feet high, and designed to hunt and kill other submarines.In the control room, past the manhole-like hatches and the narrow ladders and interior decks, Curtis peered through the periscope at his hometown. The duty officer, Lt. Ron Hatt, explained the trim controls, ballast, and other balancing factors that make the sub handle “like an aircraft” underwater. Curtis was full of questions, about turning radius, power generation, and emergency drills, as well as the effects of currents, strong seas, and water temperature on undersea performance. “Those are good questions,” said Hatt. “You should definitely go submarines.” In answer, Curtis just smiled.Earlier in the day, at Naval Base Point Loma, Curtis underwent “wet training” at the O’Kane Submarine Learning Center. At the bottom of a two-story cylindrical simulator, nine midshipmen at a time are put through a drill that simulates undersea disaster in the boiler room. Ten leaks spring from valves and flanges, some with enough water pressure to knock a person over. The seawater is a chilling 58 degrees, the lights suddenly go out, and students are left with just electric torches, Kevlar gloves, Adams clamps, and balls of twine. Seal the leaks or “die.”Afterward, in dry clothes and wearing his smile again, Curtis shot hoops on a sunlit patio. With his Kevlar gloves still on, he pumped in a few jump shots and reflected on the drill. “I’ve missed cold water,” said Curtis, who grew up with the Pacific Ocean’s frigid surf. “Water is supposed to be 50 degrees.”***Now back at Harvard, Curtis and other NROTC midshipmen — two freshmen, four sophomores, two juniors, and one senior — awaken at 5 a.m. to attend military science classes at MIT. They work out one to three times a week. And every Wednesday they wear their uniforms on the Harvard and MIT campuses, barely drawing a glance from undergraduates.With the rancor of the Vietnam era far in the past, other students are simply curious about ROTC, said Evan Roth ’12, a midshipman first class. They wonder what it is, how it works, and what it requires, he said. Eventually they get the idea that military service is a form of public service, a unique kind of civic duty — a notion, said Roth, “that sometimes gets lost at elite universities.”Sometimes that curiosity turns to envy, said the Dunster House government concentrator. Last summer, many of his friends had jobs at big financial firms, working in offices for 12 hours a day. Meanwhile, Roth took a summer training cruise for junior officers. He flew into Hong Kong and sailed to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, destinations that made his friends have second thoughts about their own planned careers. “At this point,” said Roth, “they’re kind of jealous I won’t be sitting behind a desk when I graduate.”last_img read more

At last, global fretting on climate change

first_imgAs negotiators make their way back to their home countries from the Paris climate talks, the world is taking stock of the agreement that many analysts describe as a landmark shift in global climate cooperation but some criticize as lacking mandatory targets to keep temperatures to a rise of less than 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels.To gain a greater understanding of the agreement, the Gazette spoke with Robert Stavins, the Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government at the Harvard Kennedy School and head of the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, who traveled to Paris and conducted briefings and side discussions for delegates from various nations. GAZETTE: From your perspective, were the Paris talks a success or failure?STAVINS: The Paris talks were absolutely a success in that the agreement that was achieved is one that meets all of the requirements of what would be a meaningful foundation for long-term action. But it’s only a foundation, so whether the agreement itself is ultimately successful, that’s something that can be judged only 10, 20, or even 30 years from now.GAZETTE: You call it a foundation, but some scientists have gone on record calling it a fraud and saying it falls far short of action needed to reach the 2-degree-Celsius target to avoid serious global impact from climate change. Where do you think the difference in interpretation is there?STAVINS: Can I answer that with a metaphor? You and I are walking down the street and we see a construction site. There’s a sign with an artist’s rendering: “70-story office tower going up on this site.” That’s pretty impressive, and so we walk over to get a closer look. We can see two stories of the 70 are already above ground level. But when we look down into the construction site, we are shocked to see that the foundation for this 70-story office tower is 10 feet by 10 feet. We know it’s going to collapse on itself — they’ll never be able to build to that height.That’s the Kyoto Protocol, the current approach. Participating countries account for only 14 percent of global emissions: the European Union (EU) and New Zealand.Under the new approach, you and I go back to the construction site. We look: The same sign is there for the 70-story office tower, but we don’t see the two floors. We look over the edge and discover that they’re constructing a new foundation, but now the foundation is not 10 feet by 10 feet, it’s a full square block. That’s a lot more meaningful than a two-story building that’s going to collapse and not go anywhere. This new foundation is what the Paris agreement provides.It was absolutely impossible with the previous structure to make meaningful emissions reductions, because 100 percent of the growth in emissions is outside of the OECD countries — the wealthier countries of the world [in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development that are covered by the Kyoto accord]. The growth is the large emerging economies: China, India, Brazil, Korea, South Africa, Mexico, Indonesia.So unlike the 14 percent of the Kyoto Protocol, there are now 186 countries that have submitted what are called “intended nationally determined contributions” (INDCs), and together they account for 96 percent of global emissions. That’s a dramatic change, and it is a necessary condition for meaningful progress. It’s not a sufficient condition; one also has to look at what the stringency is, of course. Now the stringency of even this very first step, I think, is remarkable, because the business-as-usual predictions of temperature increase by the end of the century without the Paris agreement were about 6 degrees [Celsius]. With the Paris agreement, if it’s fully implemented, even a conservative estimate would be 3.5 degrees [Celsius].Is that more than the 2 degrees? Yes, it is, but it still represents a very significant bending of the emissions trajectory, and, more importantly, this is only the first step. Part of the Paris agreement is that every five years they revisit progress; there’s monitoring, reporting, verification, assessment. In this “stock-taking,” they compare the overall effects to the 2-degree target, and then countries submit new, more stringent INDCs. So it would be shortsighted to focus on the immediate temperature effects of what is a foundational agreement that establishes a system for progressively greater emissions reductions over time.GAZETTE: What about the impact on the business community, and how important is the signaling to business and to everyone else?STAVINS: There are signals to the business community and others in two ways. One way is that, for example, people listened to the radio this morning, and if you’re a CEO, then when you get to the office you might be likely to have a conversation about the possibility of carbon prices increasing. I don’t mean actually a carbon tax or cap-and-trade carbon allowance price, but simply a shadow price on carbon — it being more costly to use fossil fuels. That will be perceived to be more likely than it was the day before. That’s the direct effect.The indirect effect, which is the more important one, is through domestic policy in the 186 countries that submitted INDCs. In the case of the United States, for example, the INDC target is a 26 to 28 percent reduction of carbon dioxide emissions below the 2005 level by the year 2025. That’s going to be achieved through a combination of federal actions: the Clean Power Plan in the electricity sector, CAFE standards — Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards on motor vehicles — appliance efficiency standards, California’s very ambitious climate policy, and the Northeast Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). That’s how companies and individuals will really feel it. It’s the domestic policies used to implement the international agreement. The same is true in the EU, and the same is true in China. It’s through domestic policy actions that individuals and firms will feel the effects of the agreement.GAZETTE: How comfortable are you that the voluntary nature of this agreement will actually result in meaningful change?STAVINS: The voluntary nature of it internationally is not, from my perspective, an issue, because all international agreements, with the partial exception of trade agreements, are fundamentally voluntary.In the case of the Kyoto Protocol, which was binding under international law, when it got to the end of the first commitment period, 2008-2012, Canada recognized it was going to be very costly or difficult for it to comply, and if it didn’t comply, it would face a fine. So you know what it did? Canada withdrew; it dropped out. So the key binding law is not at the international level. Where these agreements bind is in domestic laws and regulations that themselves are binding under domestic law.So in the United States, for example, if the automobile companies did not comply with the motor vehicle fuel-efficiency standards, they’re going to be fined and possibly find themselves in court. If the U.S. government itself does not follow through on the Clean Power Plan, it will be sued by green organizations. This is where the agreement’s provisions are not voluntary — in domestic laws and in regulations used to implement the deal in each country.GAZETTE: What happens going forward? When is the next big conference?STAVINS: One year from now in Marrakesh, Morocco. They happen every year, and during the year there are also meetings that take place, typically in Bonn.The big work now is going to be implementation. In the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements we’re going to be working on a wide variety of research questions that come up in regard to how the Paris agreement is implemented. So, for example, something that we worked on a great deal — and I’m proud to say we had a significant part in — is Article 6 of the Paris agreement. That is where linkage comes in, the ability for countries to share their emissions-reductions responsibilities. There are many questions now of how that will be done, how that will be tracked, how double-counting will be avoided. So for us, it will be research on implementation. For the parties involved, it will be a whole series of decisions that will have to be made in order to implement.GAZETTE: Can you suggest how linkage might work?STAVINS: I’ll give you an example of two cap-and-trade systems. Europe could say to the firms in Europe that, in addition to using one of the emissions allowances they get from the EU to comply, they can use an Australia allowance. If Australia says the same thing about European allowances to its firms, then we have a bilateral linkage. And if the allowance price was initially different in the two jurisdictions, which it inevitably is, firms would trade, and that would lead, if the market is robust enough, to a convergence of allowance prices, and cost-effectiveness is achieved.Now that’s the example of two cap-and-trade systems, but linkage can also be between a cap-and-trade system and a carbon tax. It can also be between a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system and a performance standard. It’s a very important issue, so we’ve done a great deal of work on this in the Harvard Project.GAZETTE: What would you say is the most vulnerable part of the U.S. carbon-reduction plan should the next president be hostile to the idea of fighting climate change?STAVINS: The most vulnerable part is the Clean Power Plan, without a doubt. The CAFE standards on motor vehicles are already in place, are bipartisan, and were approved by Congress. The appliance efficiency standards are in place and are bipartisan. The California climate policy is important because that state is a large part of the U.S. economy. Both houses of the California legislature are controlled by Democrats, and the governor is a Democrat. Given demographic change in the state, that’s unlikely to change.In regard to RGGI in the Northeast, these are among the most liberal states in the country, so they’re not going to reverse their policies. That leaves the federal Clean Power Plan under the Clean Air Act. It’s the only vulnerable component. It’s vulnerable to being invalidated through the courts. Several states’ attorneys general have sued the government, and are asking for a stay while lawsuits proceed in order to stop implementation. I don’t know if those will succeed.But if the stays do not succeed and the lawsuits go forward, my view is that the next president — even a Republican — will not try to overturn the Clean Power Plan. I say this because the electric utilities are already planning how to comply. If the federal government then comes forward a few years from now and reverses course, that’s going to create stranded assets for those companies. The utilities will want it to go forward at that point. So I think it’s less threatened than commonly thought. That question about what a future Republican president would do with the U.S. policies to implement the INDC was the most frequent question I received when I spoke with delegations from other countries — Europeans, Chinese, everyone. They’re very aware of U.S. politics, and very concerned.GAZETTE: How long do we have to get to standards that would limit the globe to a 2-degree increase? Do you think that will be a natural process, or at some point is it going to require a lot of pain?STAVINS: It’s very difficult to make predictions about this, partly because of technological change, which is notoriously difficult to forecast. Price signals exist in the private sector to carry out research and development of less carbon-intensive technologies across the board. That kind of technological change can turn out to be very important, but it is very difficult to predict.The 2-degree target may be an important political target, but it is not a target that comes directly from the science, although most scientists seem to support it. There isn’t a bright line, a discontinuity in the damage function that occurs at that specific level. Nor does it come from economic analysis. Higher levels are worse, that’s clear, and there are probably increasing marginal damages at those higher levels. I’m not saying there isn’t urgency. It is important to be working as hard as we can right now.last_img read more

Brazilian Air Force Officer Joins Grand Scale Peacekeeping Mission

first_imgAs a General Staff officer, Maj. Luanda works with the mission’s Operations Control sector. The unit plans all military and police operations of military observers at Team Sites—small military bases strategically set up in different areas of Darfur to monitor peacekeeping. “To facilitate operation control, the Darfur region is divided into sectors,” Maj. Luanda said. “Several sectors, such as intelligence, operations, communications, and civic organizations, jointly carry out the mission’s planning, always with the purpose of making the best decisions for the country.” Upon joining UNAMID, military personnel go through a training period to get familiar with the area and the mission. They also take part in security procedure training. Only then are they assigned to a work site. UNAMID is one of 15 peacekeeping operations of the United Nations (UN). The African Union—an international organization whose purpose is to promote cooperation and development among African nations—coordinates the mission with UN. According to UN data from October 2017, UNAMID counts 17,187 professionals—including service members, general staff officers, military observers, police officers, civilians, and UN volunteers. As for daily tasks, the hardest part, she says, is getting used to all the different English accents, as English is the mission’s official language. She also enjoys the support of more experienced personnel. “Here at UNAMID, we have service members of different nationalities with a range of professional backgrounds. Many of them already participated in other peacekeeping missions and in other roles, bringing with them lessons learned to guide the newer participants. However, we know that each mission is unique and that each nation has its own needs,” Maj. Luanda concluded. For Maj. Luanda, Darfur’s unique environment was the first challenge. The area has a dry climate, scarce natural resources, and temperatures that frequently hover around 40 degrees Celsius. “From there, reports are passed on to those in charge, so that they can reinforce security or take measures to bring the situation under control,” Maj. Luanda said. According to the mandate approved by the UN Security Council, UNAMID’s objective is to protect civilians, provide security for humanitarian aid efforts, monitor and verify compliance with peace agreements, promote the development of an inclusive political process, and advocate for human rights and the rule of law. center_img Maj. Luanda’s group performs duties directly related to headquarters operations. The group receives daily reports and messages from all smaller sectors and Team Sites to check on significant events, such as assaults, deaths, illnesses, attacks from rebel groups, and food scarcity. Personnel hail from 46 nations. Rwanda is among the most represented countries, with 2,469 blue helmets in Darfur and its surrounding areas. Brazil on the other hand counts three general staff officers. Among them is Brazilian Air Force (FAB, in Portuguese) Major Luanda dos Santos Bastos, who joined UNAMID August 27th, 2017—her first experience with a peacekeeping mission. Challenges in Darfur By Andrea Barretto/Diálogo January 02, 2018 Established in 2007, the United Nations–African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) protects the Sudanese people from the effects of the civil war in the region of Darfur, a western province of Sudan. Conflicts between the Sudanese government and armed local groups already claimed more than 200,000 lives since 2003. The war also displaced close to two million people who mostly sought refuge in neighboring countries like Chad.Most of the population in Sudan is Arab, but the people of the Darfur region are predominantly of Central African origin with multiple ethnicities. last_img read more

Letters to the Editor, September 1, 2002

first_imgLetters to the Editor, September 1, 2002 September 1, 2002 Regular News Judicial Elections The widely published statement of the Florida Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee that the recent United States Supreme Court decision announced in Republican Party of Minnesota v. White “has no impact on the statutory or code provisions which regulate judicial elections in Florida” (The Florida Bar News /August 1) appears misplaced. Fundamental to our established principles of evolving jurisprudence, decisions of the United States Supreme Court and other courts of appeal have broad, guiding effect. The State of Minnesota arguably could not sidestep the Supreme Court by replacing its code with that of the fundamentally identical code of the State of Florida; neither can the State of Florida reasonably believe the decision of the Supreme Court has no impact on it because its code has an identical meaning to that of the Minnesota code but utilizes insignificantly different wording.The evident deferential regard the Supreme Court has for the First Amendment of the United States Constitution should be followed and shared by the Florida Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee. The guiding legal requirements that follow the Supreme Court decision announced in White arguably apply to all the states, of which no one state is self-exempt. Brad Peterson Ft. Lauderdale Dignity in Law President Tod Aronovitz’ “Dignity in Law” campaign is grossly misguided. Rather than trying to change the public’s perception of lawyers, the Bar should concern itself with correcting lawyer conduct.Since I was admitted in 1993, I have observed a steady increase in discovery abuse, obstructive litigation tactics, abuse of process, baseless claims and defenses, and an unbridled willingness to misstate the law and mislead the court. This behavior is pervasive in every circuit and county in which I have litigated. It is not a “South Florida lawyer” problem. There is a general decline in civility and collegiality among litigators. Countless lawyers disregard their Oath of Admission, the Rules of Professional Conduct, the Rules of Civil Procedure, and the Evidence Code.Instead of spending money on marketing lawyers, the Bar should devote its resources to investigate complaints against lawyers and rid the Bar of lawyers who have no respect for the law and the rules they swore to uphold and protect.Florida’s appellate and trial courts have failed to enforce the rules and punish lawyers’ wrongful conduct and tactics. The courts have failed to apply sanctions with regularity. The legislature addressed the problem by putting more “bite” in F.S. §57.105. The legislature will continue its attempts to wrest oversight of the profession from The Florida Bar until the Bar and the courts enforce the rules.If the Bar acted vigorously to restore professionalism to the practice of law, it would not need to resort to an advertising campaign. Dignity in the Law will exist only when the courts enforce the rules. Dignity in the Law will exist only when The Florida Bar focuses upon its duty to regulate lawyers. Dignity cannot be restored through an advertising campaign or a slogan designed to convince the public that all lawyers are professionals and that the profession is not in trouble. Any profession needing spin control to change public perception is very much in trouble.If President Aronovitz asks for voluntary contributions for serious housecleaning, I’ll send my check. So will thousands of other lawyers. As to President Aronovitz’ request for my voluntary contribution to Dignity in Law, I decline. Earl K. Mallory JupiterNot long ago I sent out a request for admissions in a multi-million dollar case asking the defendants to admit a certain contract between them contemplated actions that would tend to prove they intended to misappropriate my client’s trade secrets.The written response went something like this: “Objection. Defendant cannot answer, because the contract is an inanimate object and therefore cannot contemplate.”When judges begin to show greater respect for law by issuing contempt citations for such antics, there’ll not be such a pressing need for the present costly efforts to raise our shrinking esteem in the eyes of the public.If we truly want the public to respect the Bar, we should urge the bench to bear down on lawyers who toy with our courts for personal gain. Urge our judges to enforce discovery rules so evidence gets on the record before trial and before our clients’ pockets are completely drained by the hijinks we are hated for. Frederick D. Graves Stuart Contingency Fees This is a comment regarding the July 1 letter harshly criticizing “[t]he widespread use of contingent percentage fees which invest lawyers with a direct and crucial personal financial stake in civil damage claims” that are tried before juries composed of “lay citizens deliberately selected without any regard whatever for any expertise or academic or other competence.”I am a retired board certified Florida civil trial lawyer whose practice during the latter years was devoted substantially to the prosecution of legal malpractice claims. Most of my clients in these cases were people of very modest means who could not possibly afford the legal fees and costs for complex litigation usually defended by highly skilled and well-paid defense lawyers. Many years ago a highly respected Florida Supreme Court justice remarked, “The contingent fee is the poor man’s key to the courthouse.” The writer neglected to tell us how my clients could have achieved redress but for the contingent fee.My concept of professionalism was that competent representation of a client must always be a more important motivation for a lawyer than possible financial reward, but even so I don’t see how having a personal financial stake in a damage claim can do anything but enhance that motivation.The first time I filed a legal malpractice case I decided that it was too complicated for a lay jury. I learned the hard way that trial judges, recalling their own mistakes as lawyers, tend to protect lawyer defendants, unconsciously I will assume. I then discovered that if I did my job as a trial lawyer with an accurate, detailed opening statement, an orderly presentation of evidence, and a thorough closing argument, juries randomly composed of a broad spectrum of occupations and educational levels would understand the case and try very hard to do the right thing.It is easy to understand why the insurance industry mindlessly detests the contingent fee, but it seems to me that lawyers should be able to comprehend what an important part of the judicial system it is. Charles J. Cheves Blairsville, Ga. (Editor’s Note: This letter originally appeared in the August 1 News . A typographical error, however, garbled the opening paragraph.)last_img read more