Shorenstein Center announces spring 2015 fellows

first_imgThe Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School is pleased to announce the appointment of their spring 2015 fellows.“The line-up of Shorenstein Fellows for the spring semester is a group of all-stars – every one of them,” said Alex S. Jones, the center’s director.Shorenstein Center Fellows spend the academic semester researching, writing, participating in events and interacting with students, faculty and the Harvard community. Since 1986, the fellowship program has welcomed more than 250 accomplished journalists, scholars and politicians from around the globe.The spring 2015 fellows are distinguished leaders in political and investigative reporting, digital governance and technology:William E. Buzenberg is the former executive director of The Center for Public Integrity, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative news organization based in Washington, D.C.Jackie Calmes joined The New York Times as a national correspondent in August 2008 and covered the presidential election, the financial crisis and the first five years of the Obama administration.Michele Norris is an award-winning journalist and NPR host and special correspondent. Norris also leads the Peabody Award-winning “The Race Card Project,” an initiative to foster conversations about race and cultural identity.David Weinberger is a senior researcher at Harvard’s Berkman Center and writes about the effect of technology on ideas. Read Full Storylast_img read more

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Professor analyzes history of Christmas star

first_imgAlthough most people associate Christmas with a manger, shepherds and over-booked inns, astrophysicist Grant J. Matthews from Notre Dame’s department of physics enjoys examining the Nativity story from a cosmic perspective. Matthews gave a lecture titled “What and When Was the Christmas Star?” this past weekend.  “There’s actually a wealth of astronomy about the circumstances of how we celebrate Christmas,” Matthews said. The lecture utilized Jordan Hall’s state of the art Digital Visualization Theater to explore potential explanations of the Christmas star, which is described in the Gospel of Matthew. “Within our 10 computers here, we have programmed in memory every star, every object in the sky known to humankind. We can calculate their trajectory and where they’ve been, so we can go forward and back in time,” Matthews said. “Using this, we can go back to the time when that Christmas star first appeared and see how the sky might have appeared to the Magi and might have signaled that there was a newborn ruler in Judea.” Matthews said the Magi were early astrologers who searched for meaning in the carefully followed movements of celestial objects. “[The Magi] believed that each sign of the zodiac referred to a different time of the year and a different geographic location of the world,” he said. The night sky the Magi studied 2,000 years ago is distinctly different from the one we know today, Matthews said. “The location of the vernal equinox changes with time,” he said. “The vernal equinox was just departing the constellation of Aries, which actually fixed a lot of the lore of the time.” Aries, the first sign of the zodiac, is symbolized by a lamb and was considered by the Magi to signify Judea. “Something that would have been seen as important at the time would be represented by something occurring in the constellation Aries,” he said. Though scientists are unsure about what exactly this phenomenon was, Matthews said the four most likely theories suggest it was a comet, nova, supernova, or conjunction of planets. Using records of the Chinese Court, researchers discovered a few comets and supernovae that occurred near the time of Jesus’s birth, Mathews said.  However, Matthews does not think that the Magi would interpret these occurrences as joyous indications of a great leader being born.   “[Comets, novae, and supernovae] were seen as harbingers of a great disaster.  For example, each comet is associated with some catastrophic event: the death of Cleopatra, the death of Caesar, these were not harbingers of joy, they were warnings of disaster” Matthews said. Rather, Matthews said he believes the most likely explanation for what the Magi saw in the sky lies within our own solar system. “[The Magi] would be very concerned with the location of the planets. What they would look for would be where planets line up. Around 6 BC, the sun, Jupiter, and the moon are all in Aries and Venus and Saturn are right next door,” he said. This grouping of planets would have been interpreted eagerly by the Magi. Matthews said different objects in the solar system were thought to represent different symbolic meanings. “Jupiter is the symbol of a powerful leader. The moon means that the leader had a special appointed destiny in their death. Saturn indicated a giving of life. A powerful leader, a newborn king, born in the land of Judea in our time frame of interest.” Matthews said he believes this grouping closely matches the one reported in the original nativity story, sayingd the “Christmas star” most likely refers to this unusual grouping of celestial bodies.   Contact Grace McCormack at [email protected]last_img read more

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Tickets Now on Sale to See Hamish Linklater & John Noble in Posterity

first_img Related Shows The new play explores the nature of artistic success and the fear of being forgotten as Norway’s most celebrated sculptor (Linklater) prepares to commission a portrait of Henrik Ibsen (Noble). The playwright proves to be a hot-tempered, sitter, and the two wage war over his legacy. Tickets are now available for the world premiere of Posterity, starring Hamish Linklater and John Noble. The play, written and directed by Tony and Pulitzer Prize winner Doug Wright, will begin performances on February 25 at the Linda Gross Theater. The Atlantic Theater production will open officially on March 15 and run through April 5. Posterity Show Closed This production ended its run on April 5, 2015 In addition to Linklater and Noble, the cast includes Dale Soules, Henry and Mickey Theis. View Commentslast_img read more

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Victims Outraged with FARC Claim They Don’t Have Hostages

first_img Relatives of victims of the armed conflict in Colombia were outraged on September 6, at the claim by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) that they no longer have hostages in their possession, and they requested a place at the table of peace negotiations between the guerrillas and the government, which will be established in October in Oslo. Dozens of relatives of the abductees and missing assembled on September 6 in Bogotá’s Plaza Bolivar to have their position on the start of a peace process between the communist armed organization and the government of Juan Manuel Santos known. They asked the government for “two famiy members of the kidnapped and two family members of the missing to attend the dialogues as thematic participants” pointed out a statement from the association “The Missing,” read by Colombian journalist Herbin Hoyos. Maria Elena Gálvez, who is seeking information regarding the whereabouts of her father, kidnapped in 1991, asserted to AFP that someone who suffers these crimes “must be present”. The families demanded that the investigation of all their cases be the first item on the agenda that the government and the FARC discuss. They also considered it “unacceptable” that the FARC delegates assured in a news conference in Havana, that a query with all battlefronts concluded that they do not have any captives. “Then where are all the kidnapped and missing people we were fighting for?” Gálvez asked in amazement. In the press conference, the guerrilla commanders hinted that abductions committed by other groups were wrongly attributed to them. The NGO País Libre, which provides help to the families of the hostages, has documented 405 cases of people that would be held by the FARC, but asked the government to disseminate official figures on the kidnapped and missing people, which some organizations say are in the thousands. The FARC announced they were relinquishing the act of kidnapping civilians for extortive purposes in February, and in April, they released the last 10 police and military captives that they said they had. By Dialogo September 10, 2012last_img read more

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How successful leaders ensure continued success

first_imgThe work environment over the last several years has largely taken on a global outlook. Because more companies do business on an international scale, it is necessary for successful companies and their employees to have a focus towards global success. The executives who run such companies need to make a global outlook part of their major strategy.Fahad Al Rajaan and other successful executives in a global business environment have shown skill in using their most successful careers to their advantage. Those who want to be successful in today’s competitive, global environment will likewise need to take full advantage of their opportunities.One of the many advantages of a global outlook is being able to adapt to business changes that affect the business environment in meaningful ways. By being able to adapt to these global changes easily, companies will have a broader reach within the wider world. continue reading » 5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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LGBTQ Latino voters ‘show up and show out’ for 2020 election

first_img– Advertisement – According to the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, 21% of LGBTQ people are not registered to vote, 22% of registered LGBTQ voters are Latino, and 13% are Black. Familia TQLM says these numbers indicate there is a lot of work to be done when it comes to reaching trans and queer Latino communities.Familia TQLM Campaign and Organizing Director Úmi Vera told Prism that the work the organization is doing is “unique.” Familia TQLM uses direct action tactics in advocating for the abolition of ICE. As state violence ramped up under the Trump administration, Vera said the organization decided to launch Vota Jota instead of standing on the sidelines for the 2020 presidential election.- Advertisement – “I’m the state director for a civic engagement organization, but I’m also a drag performer so everything I do is with this queer lens. For me, drag has always been political and drag is another organizing tool that I can successfully use to reach young voters,” Arevalo said. “I can’t vote, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a role to play in this election.” Of increasing concern to organizers is the voter suppression that LGBTQ people of color may face at the polls this year—especially if their identification doesn’t match their gender identity. In this election, there are 35 states that have laws requesting or requiring voters to show some form of identification at the polls. Arizona has one of the strictest laws in the nation. This is why Poder Latinx has focused heavily on know-your-rights trainings.“There are layers to being a LGBTQ voter. It’s not always as simple as showing up at your polling place. This is why we want to make sure that LGBTQ people understand how to navigate this very unjust system,” Arevalo said. This is also a concern for Siembra NC. The organization is best known for its advocacy on behalf of Latino immigrants in North Carolina and for its organizing against anti-immigrant sheriffs, but the group’s new Queer Caucus aims to turn North Carolina into a place of power for queer Latino community members. Cris Batista is a member of Siembra NC’s Queer Caucus and as part of the Vota Jota campaign, she and other members have focused on voter registration and voter education, especially as it relates to the intimidation Spanish speakers may face at the polls. North Carolina is a purple state where 28% of the region’s 890,000 Latino residents are eligible to vote. Batista told Prism there is little outreach in these communities and in rural areas like Alamance County, there is an “outright anti-Latine atmosphere.” Voting as a Latino person in a hostile area gets more complicated if a person presents as queer, Batista said.“We are working hard to make people feel safe if they are speaking Spanish at the polls and are queer presenting,” Batista said. “The other goal is to really support our undocumented queer community and to let them know that we understand voting is a privilege they don’t have, and we are going to use this privilege to vote with them in mind as we fight for a better future.” QLatinx Executive Director Christopher Cuevas told Prism that in the rare instances that campaigns seek to engage Latino voters, a “blanket identity gets wrapped around the community,” one that erases LGBTQ people, Afro-Latino populations, and other groups. “We’re not a monolith. We’re very diverse—that includes our cultural practices, ethnicities, the languages we speak, and the issues that matter to us,” Cuevas said. “Latinx voters are the largest voting minority in the U.S. We have a lot of untapped power, and trying to hispander to us isn’t going to work. It’s going to take more than talking about immigration. Health care, housing, basic income, the lack of these things is killing our communities.” In Florida, QLatinx has focused on engaging Latino communities through literature drops, door-knocking campaigns, phonebanks, and text message campaigns. It’s “painstaking work,” the executive director told Prism, and so are the inroads the organization is trying to build with national organizations that focus on civic engagement. The goal, Cuevas said, is to get these organizations to go beyond “rainbow narratives” and begin to advocate more widely for criminal justice reform, access to reproductive health care, and to shift their understanding of immigration as a fundamental LGBTQ issue.The Vota Jota organizers who spoke to Prism all reported feeling uneasy headed into the presidential election, especially in light of the Supreme Court being stacked with President Donald Trump’s appointees and swirling concerns about a potential coup. Even if former Vice President Joe Biden wins the election, Cuevas said the work cannot stop. “I’m thinking a lot about where all of this momentum will go after the election. Like AOC said, there’s no going back to brunch if Biden is elected. We can maybe get some takeout, but there is no going back to ‘normal,’” Cuevas said. “Biden and Harris are not going to be our saviors. They may stop the bleeding, but this country has a lot to fix and we have to continue mobilizing our communities. We need to show up and show out—not just on Election Day, but every day.”  Tina Vasquez is a senior reporter for Prism. She covers gender justice, workers’ rights, and immigration. Follow her on Twitter @TheTinaVasquez. Prism is a BIPOC-led nonprofit news outlet that centers the people, places and issues currently underreported by our national media. Through our original reporting, analysis, and commentary, we challenge dominant, toxic narratives perpetuated by the mainstream press and work to build a full and accurate record of what’s happening in our democracy. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. This includes the Arizona chapter of Poder Latinx, North Carolina’s Siembra NC, and Florida’s QLatinx, which formed after the Pulse Nightclub massacre that took the lives of 49 people, most of whom were members of the queer Latino community. The strategies for engaging voters have varied significantly in each of these battleground states, but all seek to speak directly to LGBTQ communities. Poder Latinx has historically focused on civic engagement, but this year the organization partnered with ArizonaDrag.com as part of the Vota Jota campaign. What emerged was the Drag Voter Squad, a group of Arizona-based drag performers working in coalition to produce voter education materials. As part of these efforts, Poder Latinx has also organized webinars, know-your-rights toolkits, streaming debate parties, and phonebanking events the organization called “drag-a-thons.” The Arizona state director for Poder Latinx Adonias Arevalo is a queer and undocumented drag performer. In fact, Arevalo was the first Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient to compete in the Miss Gay America drag pageant. – Advertisement – “Our ultimate goal is to empower trans and queer immigrant folks. We want them to know how to register to vote and how to have conversations about the importance of voting with their loved ones who are able to vote,” Vera said. “The way I see it, we are integrating electoral strategy into our radical abolitionist politics.” The Vota Jota campaign does come with a list of demands: universal basic income; universal health care for all; housing; abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the police; and ending the criminalization of trans-queer workers, including sex workers, drag performers, day laborers, and service and retail industry workers, among others. “An incredible amount of people are not eligible to vote in the Latinx community because they have been disenfranchised through the criminal justice system, and our people are disenfranchised because of their immigration status, which leaves millions of our parents, family members, and beloved queer and trans siblings unable to vote,” Vera said. “Organizing around this election is just another strategy in our toolbox, and it is allowing us to strengthen our movement by building this campaign with queer and trans organizations and organizations that do civic engagement work.”- Advertisement –last_img read more

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Trump says unproven coronavirus drugs could be ‘gift from God’

first_imgUS President Donald Trump on Monday said antimalarial drugs that are under investigation to treat the new coronavirus could be a “gift from God” despite scientists warning against the dangers of overhyping unproven medicines.Trump announced last week his administration was working to dramatically expand access to hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, a related compound, following promising early studies in France and China that found the drugs helped patients suffering from the COVID-19 illness.Many scientists including Anthony Fauci, the United States’ leading infectious disease expert, have urged the public to remain cautious until larger clinical trials validate the smaller studies. “I saw it sitting on the back shelf and thought, ‘Hey, isn’t that the stuff they’re talking about on TV?'” NBC quoted the unnamed woman as saying.Banner Health, a non-profit health care provider based in Phoenix, said on its website that “a man has died and his wife is under critical care after the couple, both in their 60s, ingested chloroquine phosphate, an additive commonly used at aquariums to clean fish tanks.”Banner Health warned against self-medicating to treat or prevent the COVID-19 illness.Trump has been criticized by some in the scientific community for overhyping the drugs — which could create shortages for Americans who need them to treat lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, diseases for which they are approved.New York is set to begin a clinical trial on Tuesday that would treat patients with hydroxychloroquine taken together with azithromycin, an antibiotic used to clear secondary bacterial infections. Separately, Vice President Mike Pence announced that self-administered nasal swab tests for the illness would be made available this week, thus reducing part of the burden on the overstretched health care system.At present, the test is administered by health care workers wearing personal protective gear, which is in short supply.The US has almost 44,000 cases and 560 deaths, according to a tracker maintained by Johns Hopkins University.Topics : But Trump demonstrated no such restraint at a White House press briefing on Monday.”The hydroxychloroquine and the Z-Pak, I think as a combination probably is looking very, very good,” he said.”There’s a real chance that it could have a tremendous impact, it would be a gift from God, if that worked it would be a big game changer,” he added, quoting the example of a patient who was ill but recovered after taking the drug.NBC reported that a woman in Arizona, who heard Trump talk about chloroquine, ended up in hospital and her husband died after they took a form of chloroquine she had used to treat her koi fish.last_img read more

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Fears of new COVID-19 cluster at North Sumatra University as rector tests positive

first_imgThe rector of the North Sumatra University (USU) in Medan, Runtung Sitepu, along with deputy rector Rosmayati and the university’s board of trustees member Darma Bakti have tested positive for COVID-19, local authorities confirmed on Sunday. “There are three USU executives who tested positive for COVID-19. To contain the spread of the virus, we urge all those who have been in close contact with them within the last 14 days to take a swab test at the USU hospital or other swab test centers located in North Sumatra,” USU hospital director Syah Mirsya Wali said on Sunday.The three confirmed cases in USU have raised concerns of a new COVID-19 cluster in the region as the campus remains open, with computer-based exams (UTBK) as part of the annual state university entrance test (SBMPTN) set to continue until the end of the month with as many as 35,794 participants. USU spokesperson Elvi Sumanti said the matter was “still being coordinated with the executive board,” adding that all campus activities would continue normally.“The rector tested positive, without showing any symptoms, based on the independent swab test that he took,” she told The Jakarta Post. Runtung himself confirmed his health status to the press via phone on Sunday. “I am fine and I don’t feel like I am sick,” he said.He also urged anyone who had been in close contact with him to take a COVID-19 swab test immediately. “I don’t want to cover it [positive COVID-19 result] up, that is why I am asking this matter to be published.”Meanwhile, North Sumatra COVID-19 task force spokesperson Aris Yudhariansyah called on USU to do comprehensive tracing and implement strict health protocols to curb the spread of the virus in one of the biggest and most prestigious universities in the region. According to the official government count, North Sumatra has 2,323 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 123 deaths as of Sunday.(trn)Topics :last_img read more

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Child abuse protection systems failing NZ kids – judge

first_imgONE News 16 June 2013Damning new figures released to ONE News reveal efforts to curb child abuse are failing. Rates of child abuse have risen by 32% in the last five years, with instances happening to children who are already in the care of the state. A district judge has now spoken out, saying it is time for a new approach. Figures show more than 21,000 New Zealand children were victims of child abuse last year alone. Around one-fifth of them (4000) were taken from their families and put into Child, Youth and Family care homes. But it was in these supposedly ‘safe homes’ that at least 23 vulnerable children were further abused.http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/child-abuse-protection-systems-failing-nz-kids-judge-5466483last_img

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Kids of Single Parents More Likely to Witness Domestic Violence

first_imgFamily Studies 5 January 2015Many studies have found that young people raised in single-parent families show more achievement and behavior problems than those who grow up with both their biological parents. Family sociologists often attribute these developmental problems to the meager financial resources that single parents command, and the less adequate supervision they can exercise over their offspring. But research has also shown that childhood disturbances are linked to conflict between parents, especially when the conflict is intense or prolonged. My analysis of recent national survey data here shows that children of divorced and never-married parents are far more likely to have been exposed to domestic violence than children in married two-parent families.In the 2011-2012 National Survey of Children’s Health, conducted by the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, parents of 95,677 children aged 17 and under were asked whether their child had ever seen or heard “any parents, guardians, or any other adults in the home slap, hit, kick, punch, or beat each other up.” Among children living with both married biological parents, the rate of exposure to family violence was relatively low: for every 1,000 children in intact families, 19 had witnessed one or more violent struggles between parents or other household members. By comparison, among children living with a divorced or separated mother, the rate of witnessing domestic violence was seven times higher: 144 children per 1,000 had had one or more such experiences. (See Figure 1.) These comparisons are adjusted for differences across groups in the age, sex, and race/ethnicity of the child, family income and poverty status, and the parent’s education level.One might suppose that women who had never married would be less likely to get into violent arguments with the fathers of their children than separated or divorced mothers. Yet the rate of witnessing domestic violence among children living with never-married mothers was also elevated. It was 116 per 1,000, six times higher than the rate for children in intact families. (Some of these fights involved subsequent partners or boyfriends of the mother, rather than the father of the child.) Even children living with both biological parents who were cohabiting—rather than married—had more than double the risk of domestic violence exposure as those with married birth parents: 45 out of 1,000 of these children had witnessed family fights that became physical. Note also that a child’s family structure was a better predictor of witnessing family violence than was her parents’ education, family income, poverty status, or race.Experiencing family violence is stressful for children, undercuts their respect and admiration for parents who engage in abusive behavior, and is associated with increased rates of emotional and behavioral problems at home and in school. For example, among children of never-married mothers who had witnessed family violence, 58 percent had conduct or academic problems at school requiring parental contact. The rate of school behavior problems for those who had not been exposed to family fights was significantly lower, though still fairly high (36 percent). Likewise, among children of divorced or separated mothers, nearly half of those exposed to family violence—48 percent—had had conduct or academic problems at school. Even among the small number of children in intact families who had witnessed family violence, just over half—51 percent—presented problems at school. This was twice the rate of school problems among students from intact families who had not witnessed domestic violence. (See Figure 2.) These figures are also adjusted for differences across groups in age, sex, and race/ethnicity of children, family income and poverty, and parent education levels. Children experiencing domestic violence were also more likely to have repeated a grade in school and to have received psychological counseling for emotional or behavioral problems. This was true in intact as well as disrupted families.http://family-studies.org/children-in-single-parent-families-are-more-likely-to-witness-domestic-violence/last_img read more

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