Spain-based USS Donald Cook starts US 6th Fleet patrol

first_img View post tag: USS Donald Cook March 14, 2018 The US Navy’s froward-deployed Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) got underway from Spain, to start a patrol in the US 6th Fleet area of operations.The destroyer’s seventh patrol started on March 12, as the ship and crew departed Naval Station Rota.Donald Cook will be conducting routine operations in the US 6th Fleet and is scheduled to participate in multiple exercises while on patrol.“I am extremely proud of our in-port accomplishments and maintaining operational readiness. We are grateful for the constant support from our maintenance and support teams,” said Donald Cook commanding officer Cmdr. Matthew Powel. “Most importantly, we are thankful for the time we had with our family and friends. Donald Cook is ready to respond to any and all fleet and national tasking.”Donald Cook is one of four destroyers forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, which form a centerpiece of NATO’s ballistic missile defense (BMD) in addition to performing maritime security operations, training exercises and participation in the Standing NATO Maritime Groups. Back to overview,Home naval-today Forward-deployed US destroyer USS Donald Cook starts US 6th Fleet patrol View post tag: US 6th Fleetcenter_img View post tag: US Navy Forward-deployed US destroyer USS Donald Cook starts US 6th Fleet patrol Share this articlelast_img read more

Regent’s Park student dies

first_imgA fresher at Regent’s Park College passed away this week.Antonia Bruch had contracted meningitis and died on Tuesday.Dr Robert Ellis, Principal of Regent’s Park College, said, “The college was deeply saddened by the death of Antonia Bruch, a first-year undergraduate at Regent’s Park College, from bacterial meningitis.”He went on, “Antonia was a student of theology and, although she had only been at Regent’s Park for a short time, she was a popular and valued member of the college. Our thoughts and sympathies are with her family and friends at this very difficult time.”The college is receiving advice from local public health authorities. All students and staff have received advice and information about symptoms to look out for, and the college is keeping students informed.The college and the University Counselling Service are offering additional support to students at Regent’s Park College.There are approximately two thousand cases of bacterial meningitis in the UK every year.Symptoms include headaches, fever, rash, vomiting, neck stiffness, joint pains and drowsiness.Bacterial meningitis should be treated as a medical emergency.last_img read more

“IS IT TRUE” MAY 11, 2020

first_imgWe hope that today’s “IS IT TRUE” will provoke honest and open dialogue concerning issues that we, as responsible citizens of this community, need to address in a rational and responsible way? IS IT TRUE if people continue to conduct their personal business as they did in the past they could catch this deadly virus and could conceivably become very sick or even die?IS IT TRUE that “Government can’t do for people what they should do for themselves”?  …please wear a mask, put on gloves, stay in as much as possible, and practice safe distancing? IS IT TRUE that a total of 1,379 Hoosiers have been confirmed to have died of COVID-19, an increase of 17 over the previous day?  …that another 129 probable deaths have been reported based on clinical diagnoses in patients for whom no positive test is on record? … that death is reported based on when data are received by ISDH and occurred over multiple days?IS IT TRUE that ISHD reported that only 3,851 people living in Vanderburgh County have been tested for the COVID–19?  …that 185 people have tested positive for the COVID -19 virus and only 2 people have died?  …about 182,000 people live in Vanderburgh County? IS IT TRUE the reality of coronavirus is that it will reach every location in the nation that has airports and interstate travel?…that Vanderburgh, Warrick and Posey County, Indiana are no exception to this rule? …at this point, scientific evidence points to more cases will continue to spread more broadly? Footnote: City-County Observer Comment Policy. Be kind to people. No personal attacks or harassment will not be tolerated and shall be removed from our site. IS IT TRUE according to the ISDH officials only 140,029 Hoosiers out of 6.7 million people living in Indiana have been tested for the COVID-19 virus?  …one could only surmise what the results would be if the majority of the remaining 6.7 million Hoosier were tested for the COVID -19 virus? IS IT TRUE that the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) announced yesterday that 402 additional Hoosiers have been diagnosed with COVID-19 through testing at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and private laboratories?  …this brings to 24,126 the total number of Indiana residents known to have the novel coronavirus following corrections to the previous day’s total? We understand that sometimes people don’t always agree and discussions may become a little heated.  The use of offensive language, insults against commenters will not be tolerated and will be removed from our site.center_img Any comments posted in this column do not represent the views or opinions of the City-County Observer or our advertisers. IS IT TRUE we shouldn’t let the Coronavius pandemic manage us but its time we start managing it? ….behavioral risk mitigation strategies are the best option for slowing the spread of this disease?  …we give our full support and best wishes to the “Evansville Re-Open Task Force” and hope that they will succeed?IS IT TRUE to date, a disappointing 140,029 tests have been reported to ISDH, up from 135,686 on Saturday? …this figure amounts to about 2% of the total population of Indiana? …so far an astounding 18% of the Hoosiers tested positive with the COVID-19 virus? FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare IS IT TRUE that mere 895 people living in Warrick County took the test for the COVI(D -19 virus and 123 tested positive?  …as of yesterday, 20 people have died so far in Warrick County? …that 68,000 people live in Warrick County?IS IT TRUE in Posey County only 212 people were tested for the COVI(D -19 virus?  …15 people tested positive?…so far that no death has been reported in Posey County?  …that around 26,000 live in Posey County? IS IT TRUE a widely cited scientific model is predicting that Indiana reopening is projected to increase COVID -19 virus deaths by 543%?  …we hope and pray that this prediction will prove to have very little has no scientific or mathematical value? IS IT TRUE one of the reasons why Coranvius is considered to be deadly is because currently there are no known Vaccines to protect us against It?IS IT TRUE that 14,000 people have volunteered to be infected with coronavirus?  …they want to be part of a “human challenge trial,” of an ethically controversial vaccine test that infects people with a virus that doesn’t yet have a cure?  ….if selected these volunteers will be part of a “human challenge trial by using a method of vaccine testing that would deliberately infect people with the coronavirus as a means of accelerating development?…we consider these Voleneeters to be true American “HEROS”?IS IT TRUE a proposed contractual agreement was listed on the Public Works Board agenda and was ratified by the Board?  …this contractural agreement was between Lawman Security Consulting of Evansville and the City of Evansville (DMD)?  …this agreement gave Lawman Security Consulting the authority to provide security at Sartor Retreat House that is currently housing homeless persons needing to isolate due to the COVID-19 epidemic?  …this contract states that Lawman Security Consulting would receive $30,000.00 a month for services rendered? …we are extremely puzzled why hasn’t this legal and binding contract been consummated by the Evansville DMD with Lawman Security Consulting?IS IT TRUE that Abraham Lincoln once said: “Let the people know the truth and the people will be safe”?IS IT TRUE when the people fear the Government we have Tyranny!  When the Government fears the people we have Liberty?IS IT TRUE our “READERS POLLS” are non-scientific but trendy?Today’s “Readers Poll” question is: Which state do you feel that has been more forthcoming about the current status of the deadly COVID-19 virus?Please take time and read our articles entitled “STATEHOUSE FILES, LAW ENFORCEMENT, “READERS POLL”, BIRTHDAYS, HOT JOBS”, EDUCATION, OBITUARIES and “LOCAL SPORTS”.You now are able to subscribe to get the CCO daily.If you would like to advertise on the CCO please contact us at City-County [email protected]last_img read more

Speech: Race to change the face of the diplomatic civil service

first_imgIn the mid-1960s, three high-performing civil servants from a BAME background were denied entry into the Diplomatic Service because they weren’t trusted to be loyal to the country. Seventy years ago, we suspect that the only way people like our grandparents or great grandparents would have been allowed into the Foreign Office would have been to serve tea to British diplomats.We have come a long way since then – the FCO is now more diverse than it has ever been with more BAME ambassadors and one of the highest rates of BAME graduate new entrants across Whitehall. We can reflect on the progress led by pioneers like Noel Jones, who would go on to become Britain’s first ever BAME ambassador when he was posted to Kazakhstan in 1993; and Robin Chatterjie, who was the first BAME entrant into the diplomatic service fast stream (graduate entry). There were also enlightened politicians and civil servants who were prepared to challenge convention.And of course, it is also down to the extraordinary resilience shown by our parents’ generation settling in the UK as Commonwealth citizens in the 1960s and 1970s and the changes they helped to introduce in wider British society. Overcoming significant hurdles including significant racism, they worked all hours, often for little money, to ensure that their children and grandchildren had the best access to opportunities.Yet, as the note concludes, we have a long way to go. The new BAME entrants appear to be predominantly from a south Asian background. We are still struggling to attract black candidates. Too many of our BAME staff are stuck in the most junior grades. And even when you think you have finally made it, there are still people who think you have only got to where you are because of the colour of your skin.This has to change. It matters to us that we act as agents of this change. When the three of us joined the FCO in the 2000s, we felt like fish out of water. Our extended families wondered whether it was even allowed for non-white, second-generation immigrants to be British diplomats. And in the FCO, we were acutely aware of being watched by the granite statues of former diplomats who had governed our forefathers in the colonies.It is true that each of us has experienced some form of racial discrimination in our careers, whether that’s being refused entry into an event (because they had assumed we were drivers), being stopped more frequently at airports or military checkpoints, or simply being ignored in favour of white colleagues. However, our diversity has enabled us to develop deep relationships and build influential networks, often challenging and breaking down tired stereotypes of the quintessential British diplomat. Since we joined, we have had incredibly rewarding careers which have given us unique experiences. We feel proud and privileged to work for the FCO, to represent the UK overseas, and to play a role in keeping the UK safe, secure and prosperous. Sir Simon McDonald, the FCO’s permanent under-secretary recently said that it was “essential we make further progress to ensure our modern diplomatic service reflects the best of the diversity of the UK”. We couldn’t agree more.Our country needs to attract the best talent from all backgrounds in society to fulfil this responsibility. This also means that we embrace and ensure that we make the most of our uniqueness and our heritage links – to be who we are.Diversity is a huge strength for our country. Two of us come from the West Midlands, not all of us went to Oxbridge, our heritage links span three continents, we went to state and non-state schools, and speak several languages. From Baghdad to Dhaka to Kuala Lumpur, we have taken our diversity with us wherever we have been posted. For those reading this article, we would encourage you to read the history note. And if you feel, like us, that you could be a part of a bold and diverse diplomatic service, look at potential careers in the FCO and help us make history, like our parents and grandparents who didn’t accept the status quo.We owe this to our current and future generations of British diplomats, and to the country that we represent. We hope that a future version of this note will say that the FCO recruits the very best from society irrespective of background, and that the diplomatic service at all levels now reflects modern Britain. This is not just because it’s morally right to have a diverse diplomatic service, but because our diplomacy needs it. a person of un-English appearance or speech might be unsuitable for a situation in which he would act as a representative of the United Kingdom to foreigners. On a cold autumn afternoon last month, nearly 200 British civil servants and diplomats packed into the Locarno Room at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to mark a historic moment. For the first time in such detail, the history of black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) staff in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) – our history – was published and discussed.The note, Black Skin, Whitehall: Race and the Foreign Office, 1945 to 2018, written by FCO historian James Southern tells the story of BAME officers in the context of decades of debate in the UK on the legacy of the Empire, immigration and integration of minority communities. It was an emotional moment for us all.The historical parts of the note make for deeply uncomfortable reading. In the early 1950s, successive Civil Service commissioners argued that,last_img read more

VIDEO: Alford on legal reform and the future of China

first_imgHarvard Law School Professor William Alford ’77 was a participant and panelist at major events on the political and legal future of China, held recently at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., the Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia, and the Fairbank Center at Harvard.On Nov. 28, Alford spoke on a panel titled “Rule of Law in China: Prospects and Challenges” at the Brookings Institution along with Jerome Cohen, professor at New York University School of Law, and Paul Gewirtz, professor at Yale Law School. Jon Huntsman, former U.S. ambassador to China, moderated.Watch video of the panel on C-SPAN.orgIn October, Alford participated on a panel titled “What’s Next for China?” at the Carter Center in Atlanta, Ga., along with Joseph Fewsmith, professor of international relations and political science at Boston University, and Yawei Lui, Carter Center vice president for peace programs. And on Nov. 30, Alford delivered a talk titled “How Law Doesn’t and Does Matter” at a major international conference, Chinese Politics Past and Present: The 18th Party Congress, held to mark the retirement of Roderick MacFarquhar, Leroy Williams Professor of History and Government at Harvard.Read more about the panels and view footage on the Harvard Law School website.last_img read more

Imagining impact, and believing in it

first_img“There has to be a better way to do this.”From common roots — intellectual curiosity and the desire to make life just a little bit easier — 64 ideas blossomed this year in the Harvard College Innovation (I3) Challenge.Pursuing innovation not for its own sake alone, but out of a conviction that problems can be solved, students wrought lasting impacts, typically inspired by some challenging life experience.For Majahonkhe Shabangu ’14, a biomedical engineering student from Swaziland, it was something deeply personal: a relative who was living with HIV had stopped taking an essential medication. That’s all too common in patients taking a drug whose side effects can feel worse than the disease itself. But defaulting on a medication can lead to drug resistance, and it can allow HIV to advance or even kill — as it did Shabangu’s relative.During summer internships at a health clinic in South Africa, Shabangu and Nathan Georgette ’13 worked to help patients keep up with their medications. They made personal phone calls to support those who seemed most at risk of default, but they also spent hours sifting through paperwork to keep up with everyone’s treatment. There had to be a better way, they thought.Shabangu, Georgette, and collaborators Dario Sava ’13 and Roy Zhang ’13, won the $5,000 Senior Social Start-up Prize this year for Sawubona, a software program that automates clinical record-keeping, sends text messages to remind patients to take their medication, and identifies a “high risk” group of people who might need that extra phone call.Last summer, the group tested a prototype of Sawubona (the name is a Zulu greeting), analyzed the results, and quickly realized the impact they could make.“If we implemented this program [in one clinic] over 10 years,” says Zhang, an applied mathematics concentrator, “we could actually prevent 300 people from contracting HIV.”“There are over 2,000 clinics in the entire country, so you can imagine scaling this to cover South Africa, and out beyond the country [it could] have a huge impact in cost savings and the HIV incidence rate,” adds Sava, who studies engineering sciences.“Imagine, invent, and impact” — that’s the motto of the I3 Challenge, as it’s known on campus. Run by the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard (TECH), and based at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), the program involves more than just a competition. Over six years, I3 has grown into an independent study course (ES 95r), a mentorship program, a series of workshops, and a rigorous training program in idea development, pitching, legal issues, marketing, and technology research and design. Many of the projects grow out of assignments for courses such as CS 50 (Intro to Computer Programming I), Soc 159 (Social Entrepreneurship), or ES 139 (Innovation in Science and Engineering).Of the 64 teams participating in the challenge this year, 20 were selected as semifinalists, and six were announced as prizewinners on March 4 at the student start-up showcase and reception at the Charles Hotel in Harvard Square. Two additional teams were given second-place grants.The program was especially beneficial to Olenka Polak ’15 and her older brother Adam, whose personal experiences revealed a problem in the film industry and an innovative solution, but not an obvious path to market.“I grew up in a Polish-speaking house with parents who spoke little to no English, and they never came to movies with us,” recalls Polak, who is studying economics at Harvard. “We thought they didn’t like us,” she jokes, “but in fact it’s because they didn’t understand the language spoken on screen.”MyLINGO, the proposed solution, is a phone-based app that offers moviegoers a selection of audio files in various languages. What’s really new in myLINGO is a technique called “audio fingerprinting,” which automatically keeps the sound in synchrony with what’s happening onscreen. Arrive late to the theater, and the dialogue picks up at the right place, in any language.Through I3, Polak and her brother were able to find a mentor (electrical engineer Dan Ellis at Columbia University — “the exact guy” they needed, Polak says), find collaborators at the Graduate School of Design, identify the right studio contacts, and walk through the so-called “user funnel,” the route by which a potential user learns about the app, commits to it, and then accesses the audio files.Their project won the McKinley Family Grant for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Leadership in a Commercial Enterprise, a $10,000 award.“The great thing is that we can actually launch a movie with that sum of money because of how much we’ve already done,” Polak says. “We could go to market without even raising capital.”Common to every successful I3 project is the desire to create and share something good.Project Lede, a $10,000 McKinley Family prize winner in the social category, wants to bring journalism workshops and newspaper starter kits to middle schools. “It’s such an awkward and vulnerable time,” says social studies concentrator Jacqueline Schechter ’15, who developed the project with a friend from her hometown. “We realized we could take our newspaper experience and scale it down to the middle school level to help engage and empower kids.”OpportunitySpace, developed by masters students at the Harvard Kennedy School, aims to facilitate the most cost-effective use of government properties — land and buildings — to advance policy goals.“Our students don’t sit back,” says Paul Bottino, executive director of TECH. “When they see a need in health care, in government, or in everyday life, they also see tremendous innovative solutions. But more importantly, they believe in their own ability to make change. These awards are meant to celebrate that and to help push their ideas to the next level of development. The drive to bring them to fruition after I3 continues, and so does our support.”Dario Sava ’13 (left) and Roy Zhang ’13 helped create Sawubona, a software program that enables health clinics to stay in touch with HIV patients who are at risk of stopping their medications.The winners are as follows:McKinley Family Grant for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Leadership in a Commercial Enterprise$10,000 awarded to: myLINGOOlenka Polak ’15 (Economics)Adam Polak (Johns Hopkins ’12)$5,000 second place awarded to: Theratech (video here)Nikhil Mehandru ’15 (Engineering Sciences)Aaron Perez ’15 (Mechanical Engineering)Alydaar Rangwala ’15 (Applied Math)Brandon Sim ’15 (Physics)McKinley Family Grant for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Leadership in a Social Enterprise$10,000 awarded to: Project Lede (video here)Jacqueline Schechter ’15 (Social Studies)Elizabeth Quartararo (University of Delaware)Public Sector Innovation Award, presented by Accenture$10,000 awarded to: OpportunitySpace (video here)Cristina Garmendia, M.P.P. ’13Alexander Kapur, M.P.P. ’13Andrew Kieve$1,000 second place awarded to: textMEdVishal Arora ’14 (Economics)Tracy Lu ’14 (Computer Science)Divya Seth ’14 (Neurobiology)Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard: Senior Start-up Prize$5,000 awarded to: Get It TogetherAndrés de la Llera ’13 (Engineering Sciences)Phillip Galebach ’13 (Government)Nevin Raj ’13 (Applied Mathematics)Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard: Senior Social Start-up Prize$5,000 awarded to: Sawubona (video here)Nathan Georgette ’13 (Applied Mathematics)Dario Sava ’13 (Engineering Sciences)Majahonkhe Shabangu ’14 (Biomedical Engineering)Roy Zhang ’13 (Applied Mathematics)Harvard Student Agencies PrizeAwarded to Butucu (video here)Neel Patel ’16 (Computer Science)James Ruben ’16 (Economics and Computer Science)Nithin Tumma ’16 (Computer Science and Mathematics)About I3The Harvard College Innovation Challenge is known on campus as I3, for “invent, imagine, impact.” Students compete for project grants and incubator space to help them realize their innovative visions. It is a yearlong program that cultivates, coaches, and showcases Harvard’s rapidly growing group of student entrepreneurs.Now in its sixth year, I3 has provided more than $600,000 worth of grants, incubator space, and professional services to students pursuing commercial and social start-ups on campus, online, and internationally.The students compete to win summer funding and space by submitting proposals and presenting their ideas to expert panels. The McKinley Family grants are awarded only to underclassmen; the TECH Prize is given to the best senior project.I3 relies on the support of several sponsors, including: The McKinley Family, The Lumry Family Endowment for Technology and Entrepreneurship, Accenture, WilmerHale, and The Coop.last_img read more

George Mason professor explains reasoning behind U.S. invasion of Iraq

first_imgGeorge Mason University professor Ahsan Butt presented “Why did the U.S. invade Iraq in 2003?” to students and faculty Tuesday afternoon in Jenkins and Nanovic Halls. The presentation, named after Butt’s research paper of the same title, was presented by the Notre Dame International Security Center.Butt focused on one of the most commonly acknowledged reasons for the Iraq war: Saddam Hussein’s possession or mobilization of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). In addition to noting that the Bush administration was “sincerely wrong about this intelligence,” he went on to further squash this WMD argument.“Many believe that uncertainty of intelligence led to the decision for war, but I would argue that the decision for war led to uncertainty of intelligence,” Butt said.He continued by saying WMDs certainly can lead to war, but there was no evidence for that in this example.Instead, Butt said the U.S. invasion of Iraq can be attributed to performative war thesis, an argument dependent on status and hierarchy. He said anxiety regarding the United States’ status led to a need to demonstrate hegemony and establish order. The United States’ motivations fell into three factors: the need for a “new beginning,” repairing reputation and avoiding peaceful bargain.“The ’90s were a time of great peace and prosperity for the U.S., and all of that ended on 9/11 and America became vulnerable for the first time,” Butt said. “It led to a desire to show that we are in fact the hegemon and are not vulnerable.”Thus, this new beginning was about fixing the United States’ global status, Butt said.“The Bush administration wanted to remake the world’s political map,” he said. “These aren’t small goals and they didn’t have to do with WMDs.”Another important point made by Butt was that Afghanistan, a vulnerable country itself, wasn’t enough, so why invade Iraq? The fact that Hussein was still reigning and powerful following the Gulf War presented a threat to which the U.S. could prove its hegemony, Butt said.Lastly, Butt argued that there was never an opportunity for a peaceful bargain, for example, working through the United Nations following 9/11. The invasion of Iraq, Butt said, was not a question of if, but when.“If there even was a decision, when was it taken?” Butt said. “Most likely on 9/11 and no later than October or November of that fall.”Butt concluded his work on the performative war thesis by saying a bargaining model isn’t everything, and the case of the U.S. in Iraq was “rooted in assertive nationalism and American exceptionalism.”Tags: 9/11, Afghanistan, Ahsan Butt, iraq, Iraq warlast_img read more

March 1, 2006 Letters

first_img March 1, 2006 Letters LettersRighting Wrongs I am a criminal defense attorney in Miami. I was a prosecutor here many years ago. I read the story in the February 1 News about Wilton Dedge being released after many years in prison as a result of DNA evidence. I am really glad to see that the prosecutor said he was sorry it happened. When I was a prosecutor, I handled a minor case against a juvenile. I had doubts about her guilt. I dug deeper and found out she was innocent, beyond any doubt. I nolle prossed and I apologized to her and her family on the record. I was told later that “we don’t apologize.. . . ” I cannot think of many times when government attorneys ever said they are sorry, but I can think of thousands of times when they should have. I commend the prosecutor, Chris White, for his comments. Michael A. Catalano Miami Reading the February 1 article “Dedge prosecutor details decision-making process” containing the conciliatory words of the assistant state attorney in which he tells how sorry he is for the “injustice done to an innocent man.. . . ,” but claims not to know how to avoid making the same mistakes again, was upsetting. Perhaps, in the future, he might discount the generally perjured testimony of uncorroborated jail house snitches who speak with the thought of obtaining a better deal for himself. Perhaps the assistant state attorney might not hire a bogus dog to sniff out two-years-old “evidence” and call it science. Thirdly he might consider even though victim/witness eyewitness testimony is generally known to be less than accurate and, in this case, the age, weight, and height of the defendant did not come close to that victim/witness’ description, just maybe he might have considered not prosecuting. Fourth, he might try to listen to the words of the alibi testimony from six co-worker witnesses indicating Dedge was at work at the time of the crime. As for the $2 million compensation Dedge received, I wonder if any prosecutor would give up 22 years of his or her life for a crime they did not commit for a paltry $2 million. If prosecutors thought they might have to take the place of the wrongly convicted, perhaps they would consider first trying to find the truth instead of trying to close a file. The state attorney is the public’s shield and should not be motivated by something other than finding the truth. In making this error, the real rapist went free, probably to rape again and again. Louis E. Slawe Philadelphia IOTA Pioneer Henry Zapruder passed away January 24. Henry practiced law in Washington, D.C., and was not a Florida lawyer. His contribution to the poor, to law students, and to the administration of justice in Florida was inestimable, however. When the Florida Supreme Court adopted a first-in-the-nation program for utilizing the interest from unproductive lawyers’ trust accounts for the benefit of the poor and the improvement of the administration of justice, the program required a ruling from the IRS to become effective. The court, the Bar, and the Bar Foundation turned to Henry, a youthful but talented D.C. tax attorney, to attempt to get the necessary tax ruling. Henry was immediately receptive to the concept of the program, and worked with Florida’s IOTA proponents on a pro bono basis. The product of Henry’s efforts was the tax opinion which made possible the implementation of IOTA in Florida, and the implementation of comparable programs (called IOLTA) in 49 other states and the District of Columbia. Henry’s contribution to Floridians and residents throughout the U.S. did not stop there. He worked tirelessly and gratuitously in the years that followed with jurists, bar leaders, and legislators in other states to help them attain and preserve favorable income tax treatment for their distinctive IOLTA programs, both individually as called upon and generically as tax counsel to the ABA’s IOLTA Commission. Henry also counseled attorneys throughout the United States who were defending IOLTA programs in the courts from relentless assaults by individuals and organizations opposed to aiding the poor with the interest generated from otherwise unproductive lawyers’ trust accounts. The name “Henry Zapruder” is not a household word among lawyers, and there is no building, street, or monument in Florida that bears Henry’s name. Henry’s unheralded tribute is in the heart of every Florida law student who participated in an IOTA-funded Legal Services Summer Fellowship Program, every legal aid attorney who participated in IOTA’s Law School Loan Repayment Assistance Program, and the administrators of every Florida organization that was able to deliver legal services to the poor from an IOTA grant. Henry’s reward was knowing that, since 1981, he made it possible for Florida’s IOTA program to receive more than a quarter billion dollars, and for programs nationwide to receive more than $1.5 billion. Dollars, however, cannot possibly measure Henry’s contribution. Henry leaves an immeasurable legacy of goodwill for those who have benefited from his efforts, and an indelible memory of boundless admiration and pure joy for those who knew him. Few have improved the lives of so many people out of the pure goodness of their hearts. Henry will be missed, but never forgotten. Arthur J. England, Jr. Miami Metadata I am troubled by the Bar Board of Governors recent pronouncement in the January 1 News that lawyers should not be looking at metadata. Metadata has been around for more than 10 years and is an invaluable tool for ferreting out fraud and unethical individuals. For example, a customer of the corporation I represent presented us with a counterfeit part and a certificate of conformance, claiming that it was a genuine part made by my company. I examined the metadata on the certificate and discovered that it was not generated by my company, but instead was written by the Chinese broker who sold them the counterfeit part. Further, negotiating agreements is a part of my daily life. Tracking additions and deletions (i.e., metadata) is part of the normal process until the parties reach an agreement. I have encountered attorneys and others who make changes to documents without turning on the “Track Changes” feature of Word, thereby attempting to conceal what they changed. Those individuals should bear the brunt of the “unethical slime” label given by the letter writer in the February 1 News, not the individual who discovers such underhanded tactics. If the board does not fully appreciate the ethical usage of metadata, they should not be so quick to issue a wholesale condemnation. Douglas A. Balog Palm Bay Lawyer Regulation Our system of government demands that the legal profession command the public’s full trust and confidence. A recent survey by The Florida Bar’s Research, Planning and Evaluation Department revealed 68 percent of those surveyed say the public does not have confidence in the legal system. Under the current system, Florida’s attorneys are licensed, supervised, and regulated by the Florida Supreme Court through The Florida Bar, which is the delegated administrative arm of the court. While self-regulation of the profession by the Bar may have been a worthwhile experiment, it is becoming increasingly apparent that it fails to even-handedly regulate lawyer misconduct. The Bar’s failure is a disservice to both the public and the professionally responsible attorneys who suffer by association. Among the greatest flaws in the Bar’s grievance and disciplinary process are inadequate investigation and documentation to support grievance committee decisions. Written records are not ordinarily kept of grievance committee proceedings. The discussions are typically oral and not, routinely, recorded. This fosters cronyism characterized by a lack of meaningful investigations and nod-nod, wink-wink decisions when well-connected lawyers are involved. Many firms are political juggernauts that enjoy a unique shield against consequences for violating the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar. Is there a solution to the Bar’s inability to appropriately regulate lawyer misconduct? It doesn’t seem capable of investigating itself. Maybe the current system just cannot be fixed and must instead be changed. Legislators, public officials, and special interest groups have in the past called for the regulation of the legal profession by an entity other than the Supreme Court. Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation seems the logical entity to take over since it already oversees licensing and regulation of most other professionals including accountants, veterinarians, contractors, and about 200 other occupations. It seems likely the DBPR would be a far better watchdog over the legal profession than the current system of the Bar and the Supreme Court of Florida. The fox has guarded the hen house long enough. Jeffrey R. Hill Jacksonville Paralegal Regulation I read with great interest the February 1 letter in the News regarding paralegal regulation. I’ve worked in the legal profession for approximately 30 years, working my way up through the ranks. I received my CLA/CP certification a few years ago. If attorneys aren’t familiar with the intensity of the tests or the wide range of legal knowledge and skills required to pass this test, I encourage them to do so. The attorney I work for was quite amazed when he reviewed the review course book and mock tests for this exam. In order to be in a position to comment, one would have to know that the CLA/CP exam is a two-day, multi-sectional test that involves comprehensive testing in areas such as legal writing, legal research, and other practice areas that are much more than just multiple choice or true/false questions. In my position, and with my years of experience, I can honestly say that I perform many of the tasks a new associate would, and more. In cases where our clients have been awarded fees, my hourly rate was awarded by the court at $l25 per hour, and considering this is the tiny town of Clearwater, I believe that is significant. While my salary isn’t anywhere near the $60,000 figure mentioned in the letter, I will say that, unlike a new lawyers’ salary that will undoubtedly soar, mine will not as I’ve pretty much reached the salary cap for paralegals. Our purpose for wanting to be regulated is not driven by salary increases, but rather to indicate our dedication to our profession. Isn’t that why attorneys strive to become board certified? Lynn Adams Buckley Clearwater March 1, 2006 Letterslast_img read more

Asian shares set to dip as investors await key data

first_imgAsian shares looked set to open lower on Tuesday as investors shifted focus to upcoming data and central bank meetings although positive developments around potential COVID-19 vaccines and increased deal activity are likely to stem losses.Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 futures were down 0.22 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index futures lost 0.08 percent. Japan’s Nikkei 225 futures were flat after Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga won a ruling party leadership election, paving the way for him to succeed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.E-mini futures for the S&P 500 gained 0.11 percent. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan ended up 1.06 percent.The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 1.18 percent and the S&P 500 rose 1.27 percent while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite added 1.87 percent.US stocks rose after drugmaker AstraZeneca said it resumed its British clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine, one of the most advanced in development. Pfizer Inc and US-listed shares of Germany’s BioNTech gained after proposing an expansion to regulators for their phase 3 trial to about 44,000 participants.Technology shares rallied after cloud services company Oracle said it would team up with China’s ByteDance to keep TikTok operating in the United States, beating Microsoft Corp in a deal structured as a partnership rather than an outright sale.Elsewhere, SoftBank Group jumped 8.96 percent to mark its biggest daily gain since March 25, after the company said it would sell chip designer Arm to Nvidia Corp for as much as US$40 billion in a deal set to reshape the semiconductor landscape.The US dollar dropped 2.2 percent against a basket of currencies, hitting a two-week low versus the yen, as demand for the safe haven currency eased amid the rise in equities.US crude recently rose 0.35 percent to $37.39 per barrel.Topics : On the economic data front, China’s industrial production and retail sales for August are expected to show an improving economy later on Tuesday. Chinese house price data for August is also due.“The global economic recovery is currently being driven by China’s fast rebound,” said Joseph Capurso, head of international economics at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. “As a result, market participants will likely be very sensitive to any downside surprises to the Chinese data.”US retail sales figures from August are due Wednesday.Investors will also look to central banks for direction, with the US Federal Reserve starting a two-day policy meeting on Tuesday, the first since unveiling a landmark shift to a more tolerant stance on inflation in August. The Bank of Japan and the Bank of England announce their respective policy decisions on Thursday.last_img read more

Developing DC property options ‘exciting edge of industry’ – Forum Partners

first_imgThe co-founder of Forum Partners said Australia was “probably as far advanced as anyone” in addressing the problem.The Australian model of Super funds is largely DC and active in both the real estate and infrastructure market.Platt said there were ways of tackling the problems that stemmed from requirements to revalue property holdings on a daily basis, and also that the use of real estate securities could offer ways of allowing for limited liquidity required by some DC investors.“The Australians have come to a very common-sense view,” he added. “Even if we have to allow for daily liquidity and portfolio changes among our underlying superannuants, not everyone is going to move from one side of the ship to the other at the same time.”He said many investors would instead take on a limited amount of implied liquidity and either create an internal trading market or invest instead in real estate securities.“That kind of approach, certainly from the largest players in the industry, is what we will see adopted more broadly,” he said.“Australians view real estate securities not as an add-on or the icing on the cake, which is typical of perhaps Americans and Western Europeans, where REITs aren’t as entrenched. Rather they view it as the foundation of a real estate portfolio.“The world is probably going to move more in that direction, and in that sense, again, Europe is playing catch-up.“Finding ways to crack this, there is not going to be any single solution, but a series of product innovations. It’s probably the most exciting edge of the real estate industry, as far as I’m concerned, finding ways to deliver liquid alternatives.”Property holdings by DC fund are not unheard of outside of the UK, and the National Employment Savings Trust has considered the use of REITs as a way of providing it access to the real estate market – both domestically and globally. The property industry is only just beginning to consider how defined contribution (DC) funds could invest in real estate, but must find ways to deliver liquid alternatives, according to the chief executive of Forum Partners.Russell Platt said the innovation needed to allow for such investments would be exciting, but that Europe was “playing catch-up” compared with the more advanced Australian superannuation market.Speaking at a La Française Asset Management event – less than a year after Forum and the French manager agreed a strategic partnership that saw La Française acquire a 24.9% stake – Platt identified the shift from defined benefit pension funds to DC as one of the biggest challenges facing his industry.“People now are just beginning to turn their attention to it, and it’s not easy – particularly if you want to provide lower-volatility direct real estate and equity assets into a defined contribution plan,” he said.last_img read more