Continuing the legacy: Alyson Gombas

first_imgShe was a force of nature, a loyal and caring friend, a tireless advocate for women’s and girls’ education, and an international worker in multiple countries. And when Laura Kavazanjian, Ed.M.’10, was killed in a car accident in 2011, her HGSE classmates and friends wanted to find a way to carry on both her name and her work.“I had never met anyone so determined to make a difference in the world,” says Catie Corbin, Ed.M. ’10, a classmate and close friend of Kavazanjian’s. “Apart from being brilliant, Laura was able to engage people with stories around why education professionals needed to prioritize girls’ education. Because of her conviction and her passion, she gained a series of followers.”In the fall of 2013, the Laura Kavazanjian Memorial Scholarship Fund awarded funds to Gombas, a student in the IEP Program whose passion aligns closely with Kavazanjian’s. A former Peace Corps member and Fulbright scholar, Gombas has worked and taught English in India, Turkey, and Kyrgyzstan. She came to HGSE to learn more about the policies affecting international education and the questions surrounding access to education for women and girls — just as Laura did.Gombas is now stepping into a legacy of activism for the education of women and girls. The scholarship will be awarded annually to an HGSE student with an interest in international education, particularly in improving female access to education. Read Full Storylast_img read more

Read More →

MEPs call on European Commission to explain accounting reforms

first_imgFurther details have emerged of the challenges the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) faces in its battle to win credibility among politicians in Europe.Two leading members of the European Parliament, Syed Kamall and Sven Giegold, have called on the European Commission to explain the procedures it has followed to the possible adoption of a new financial instruments accounting standard in the European Union (EU).Separately, a source close to the issue has revealed that the expectation among even the most ardent opponents of the London-based IASB is that the EU will eventually endorse International Financial Reporting Standard 9, Financial Instruments.The reluctance of the Parliament to exercise its veto, however, could come as part of a trade-off that could see MEPs approve a highly critical motion on the IASB and its parents body, the IFRS Foundation. In a letter dated 16 July obtained by IPE, the MEPs detail seven demands for the Commission to meet to satisfy them they should support IFRS 9.The parliamentarians want the Commission to explain why it has failed to produce clear guidelines on the meaning of ‘the public good’ and ‘the true and fair view principle’.They are concerned the Commission has no apparent plan to carry out a thorough impact assessment on either the measurement or impairment requirements of IFRS 9.They warn that a knock-on effect of banks squirrelling away more capital could be that small and medium-sized enterprises will find it harder to secure loan financing. In addition, the MEPs also advise that long-term investors might find “equity investments less attractive”.The parliamentarians also want the European Systemic Risk Board to comment on whether the impairment and measurement requirements could have procyclical or other implications for financial stability.They called on the Commission to explain how it would address the concerns raised by the EU’s technical advisers on accounting issues that fair-value measurement requirements under IFRS 9 are “problematic”, particularly in relation to dividends and transparency for investors.They said they needed more information about how banks would implement the new proposals, and, lastly, they want the Commission to explain how IFRS 9 would interact with prudential requirements such as the International Regulatory Framework for Banks (Basel III).The demands are linked to increasing agitation in the EU in many quarters over the bloc’s decision to outsource its standard-setting functions to the IFRS Foundation, a Delaware-based quango.Reform of financial instruments accounting has been a hot-button topic since the financial crisis.Critics of the IASB’s current financial-instruments accounting model claim it resulted in banks recognising losses on underwater loans too late.The principles for recognising and measuring financial assets, liabilities and some contracts to buy or sell non-financial items are currently set out in IAS 39.The IASB has been working on a replacement standard, IFRS 9, since 2009. This effort was originally a joint effort with the US FASB.The US standard setter walked away from the effort largely because of irreconcilable differences with the IASB on the issue of impairment, the process by which losses or likely losses on amortised cost financial assets are written down.Against this background, former EU internal market commission Michel Barnier instructed Philippe Maystadt to look at how the EU could enhance its influence on the IASB’s processes.Maystadt also looked at the ways the EU could improve governance of the European bodies involved in developing these standards.Maystadt delivered his findings to an ECOFIN Council meeting on 15 November 2013. His recommendations received wide support from EU member states.IFRSs are currently mandated for use by all listed companies across the bloc. Under the current endorsement mechanism, the Commission receives advice on the suitability of individual IFRSs for endorsement from the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG).EFRAG also works with European national standard setters on outreach activities designed to stimulate debate among interested parties in Europe on accounting matters.In addition, the Commission receives advice from the SARG or Standards Advice Review Group. On the basis of this advice, the Commission presents a draft regulation to the Accounting Regulatory Committee for approval.The Accounting Regulatory Committee is made up of representatives drawn from individual member states with the Commission as its chair.Subsequently, both the European Council and the Parliament assess whether the Commission has complied with the EU’s accounting directive or not.Effectively, this endorsement mechanism gives a veto to the Commission, the Parliament and the ARC. The Parliament has yet to exercise its veto over an IFRS.Meanwhile, well-placed sources close to the issue have told IPE they do not expect the Parliament to block IFRS 9 – despite recent sabre rattling.Speaking on condition of anonymity, the sources explained that, because IFRS 9 is a delegated act under EU procedure, this means the Parliament is unable to amend it. Instead, it must either accept it or reject it.What is likely, however, is that the Parliament will vote on a non-binding own-initiative resolution of its ECON Committee that could be highly critical of both the IFRS Foundation and the IASB’s standards.IPE has also learned that this report could possibly make reference to the recent opinion of George Bompas QC, in which he questioned the legality of IFRS accounts in the UK.Alongside George Bompas, both the Basel Committee and the Bank of England have raised concerns about IFRS 9.IASB chairman Hans Hoogervorst has previously attempted to sell IFRS 9 as an escape hatch for underwater Greek government debt.Addressing the July 2011 IFRS annual conference, Hoogervorst said: “The endorsement of IFRS by Europe has been extremely important for IFRS.“We still have a small problem now with IFRS 9. There are many people who now think they should adopt it quickly because it gives a little bit more leeway in terms of the Greek government bonds.“Right now, most of them are held available for sale. If you impair them, you have to impair them at the going market rate – not very high, I believe, 30% – whereas, if they are at amortised cost, as IFRS 9 makes possible, then you still have the possibility of making at least some sort of judgement.”last_img read more

Read More →

Nothing but good times

first_imgExpressions of interest in 107 King Arthur Terrace, Tennyson, closes on March 20For the past 13 years this north-facing, flood-free home at Tennyson has been the perfect place for Phil and Karon Wikman to entertain their friends and family.Memories of big birthday parties for their three children and many school functions have not been forgotten.“We have had two 18th birthday parties and a 21st. We’ve also celebrated two 50th birthday The two-storey, five-bedroom home has an imposing facadeparties,” Mrs Wikman says. “We’ve celebrated many milestones in this home and the most people we’ve entertained here is about 200.”Mr Wikman says the house is “at its best” when it is full of people. “There’s plenty of space to entertain — inside and out,” he says. “My favourite part of the home is the outdoor terrace, because of the river views.” Even the TV room in the five-bedroom, three-bathroom home has been transformed into a disco room, according to Mrs Wikman, who says they also had DJ playing in the space. There is plenty of entertaining space in the family homeWith the inclusion of an infinity-edge pool and private pontoon with a jet-ski dock, the Wikmans say there is little chance of being bored at 107 King Arthur Terrace, located about 7km south of Brisbane’s city centre. And for those who love a nice drop of wine, the Wikmans have repurposed a secure vintage bank vault into a 440-bottle wine cellar — a quirky hidden addition. The kitchen was recently upgraded and has a marble island benchtopOnly a few steps away from the cellar is the spacious kitchen, which the couple updated three years ago. It features a statement marble island bench, soft-close drawers, a stainless-steel Miele convection microwave/speed oven, wall oven, induction cooktop, integrated dishwasher, and concealed preparation space, to accommodate small appliances.Describing it as “sleek and sophisticated”, Mrs Wikman says it is a nice spot from which to enjoy the views of the Brisbane River.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus9 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market9 hours agoThe upper level of the house, accessed via a 5m walkway, has a spacious parents’ retreat with a jaw-dropping en suite and views of the golf course.“There’s a few boats that go past and you can sometimes hear the rowers in the morning too. Having said that, it’s a nice quiet stretch of the river,” Mr Wikman says. The mezzanine has a billiards table and chillout zoneAlso upstairs is another of the home’s chillout zones — a mezzanine billiards’ room overlooking the open living areas below and taking in sweeping river views. With a built-in bar, the billiards room maintains connectivity with entertaining spaces on the lower level, while offering a separate games’ zone.The Wikman’s are looking to stay in the area, but want to move to an apartment with their 11-year-old dog Coco.They hope a family with school-aged children buy their much-loved home.The property is close to the Queensland Tennis Centre and the Tennyson Reach riverfront lifestyle precinct, which is under construction.last_img read more

Read More →

Manson Family disciple denied parole again

first_imgShea’s remains were later found buried near the Spahn movie ranch in Chatsworth, where Manson and his disciples lived. Davis was not involved with other Manson followers in the 1969 murders of pregnant actress Sharon Tate, grocery store chain owner Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary. Manson and his co-defendants have repeatedly been denied parole — with Manson losing his latest parole bid on May 23 and Leslie Van Houten being denied parole last Thursday. A one-time Manson Family disciple convicted in connection with two killings in 1969 was denied parole today. A parole board panel meeting at the California Men’s Colony at San Luis Obispo decided Bruce Davis should next be eligible for parole in 2008. This is the 25th time Davis has been denied parole. Davis, now in his 60s, was convicted along with others in the stabbing death of musician Gary Hinman in his Topanga Canyon home and the slaying of Donald “Shorty” Shea. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Read More →