Fostering global understanding

first_imgFollowing months of upheaval marked by revolutions, the Middle East and the West find themselves at a rare crossroads. The opportunity now exists for the two regions to build bridges that can foster new levels of cultural, religious, and political understanding and mutual respect through education.That was the message delivered by a panel of scholars made up of the directors of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Centers during a discussion held Feb. 8 as part of the centers’ annual meeting. The international network of academic centers — in addition to the one at Harvard, others have been founded at Georgetown University, the American University in Cairo, the American University of Beirut, the University of Cambridge, and the University of Edinburgh — were created to promote better mutual understanding  through informed education about Islam and America.Moderated by R. Nicholas Burns, professor of the practice of diplomacy and international politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, the discussion drew a standing-room-only audience of more than 100 to Loeb House, and focused on three central issues: How will the revolutions of the so-called Arab Spring affect the rest of the Middle East? How can the West combat the rising tide of Islamophobia? And, finally, what can be done to ease anti-American sentiments in the Mideast?“It is very clear that what took place in some countries in the Arab world is an earthquake to the region,” Prince Alwaleed, whose 2005 gift created the Harvard program, said in describing the Arab Spring. “Those nations that did not receive the earthquake — I hope they have received message. No matter how much social change you create in your country, no matter how many financial or economic benefits you give your people, you need to have some political change whereby the people feel they are involved and can participate in the political system.”In examining the fallout from the Arab Spring revolutions, John L. Esposito, founding director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University, emphasized that new leaders in countries like Libya and Egypt must respect democratic institutions as a first step toward nurturing their fledgling democracies.“The Islamists who have won, they have to demonstrate that they will walk the way they talk on issues like political pluralism, human rights, and inclusiveness,” he said. “The challenge for the EU and the U.S. is to realize that the old narrative –— that somehow support for authoritarian regimes ensures security and stability — is a failed narrative. The challenge on the other side is that those who come into power have to recognize what the democratic process is like, and to come to appreciate the notion of a loyal opposition.”For Professor Yasir Suleiman, director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre of Islamic Studies at Cambridge University, the revolutions of the Arab Spring were about more than emerging democracies, but represented the beginning of the transformation for millions from subject to citizen.“There is now a debunking of the idea of Arab exceptionalism, or that Arabs don’t want democracy,” he said. “They have demonstrated in a very serious way, paying for it with their blood, that they do want a change. When you think about it, it’s not just a question of freedom and dignity, it’s about something far more important: it’s about emancipation.”While the Arab Spring offers hope for the future for millions living in the Middle East, many Arabs and Muslims living in the U.S. and Europe continue to face discrimination simply because of their background or religion. The answer, said Professor Ali Asani, director of Harvard’s the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program, is better education, on both sides.“I think what we are witnessing today is an inability to accept difference,” said Asani. “People talk about a clash of civilizations, but I like to talk about a clash of ignorances. I think at the heart of these phobias, whether it’s anti-Americanism or Islamophobia, is a profound cultural and religious illiteracy.Referring to current political discourses in America that cast doubt on the loyalty and patriotism of American Muslims, he remarked, “We have entered into a culture of fear … and democracy cannot function if we are afraid of our neighbors, and our neighbors are Muslim. Yes, we should be concerned about democracy in other parts of the world, but what about democracy here?”Islamophobia, however, is not a problem that is limited to the U.S., as Professor Hugh Goddard, director of the Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre for the Study of Islam in the Contemporary World at the University of Edinburgh, explained, citing the case of Anders Breivik, whose attack in Norway was sparked by what he believed was political support for Muslims.“One feature I think we should mention is the insidious influence of the Internet,” read more

Harvard Innovation Labs kicks off 10th Annual President’s Innovation Challenge

first_imgThe Harvard Innovation Labs has kicked off the 10th Annual President’s Innovation Challenge (PIC), a competition designed to bring together the Harvard community to work on compelling solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems. For the 2021 Challenge, winning teams will receive $510,000 in prizes, made possible by a generous gift from the Bertarelli Foundation, co-founded by Ernesto Bertarelli, M.B.A. ’93. “As we kick off this year’s President’s Innovation Challenge, our focus first and foremost is shining a light on the incredible innovators and entrepreneurs across the global Harvard community,” said Matt Segneri, Bruce and Bridgitt Evans Executive Director of the Harvard Innovation Labs. “Over the next six months, we look forward to supporting all of the venture teams participating in the Challenge, and recognizing their many achievements both leading up to and during the PIC Awards Ceremony.”  Participants in the 2021 President’s Innovation Challenge will have access to a variety of Harvard Innovation Labs virtual resources, including advisors and industry experts from around the world, workshops on topics focused on starting and scaling a venture, and panels that are both industry- and stage-specific. Throughout the spring semester, the Harvard Innovation Labs will offer a behind-the-scenes look at what teams are working on through venture stories that showcase the broad range of experience and expertise in the i-lab community. In May 2021, the 10th Annual President’s Innovation Challenge Awards Ceremony will celebrate the work of 25 finalists through a unique, immersive, and interactive virtual experience with focus on a “more human” future. 10 of the finalists will receive $500,000 in Bertarelli Foundation prizes across five tracks: Social or Cultural Impact; Health or Life Sciences; Open for ideas that transcend categories; Launch Lab X GEO for eligible alumni-led ventures, and Life Lab for high-potential biotech and life sciences ventures accepted into the Pagliuca Harvard Life Lab. Additionally, the President’s Innovation Challenge will award $10,000 as part of the Ingenuity Awards, for ideas with the potential to be world-changing, even if they are not yet fully formed ventures. Last year’s grand-prize winners, each receiving $75,000, were Umbulizer for building a reliable and low-cost device that can provide continuous ventilation to patients; Coding it Forward for empowering the next generation of technology leaders to create social change; Fractal for developing a solution for streaming Windows 10 desktops to macOS or Windows devices; Vincere Health for using real-time incentives and behavioral nudges to motivate people to live healthier lives; and Tectonic Therapeutic for transforming the discovery of novel drugs addressing targets in the G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) family. To learn more about the 2021 President’s Innovation Challenge and register for the launch event on Dec. 9, visit innovationlabs.harvard.edu/presidents-innovation-challenge.last_img

London Odds & Ends: Gemma Arterton to Host Oliviers; Imelda Staunton & Bunbury Return

first_img Good People, Starring Imelda Staunton, to Transfer to West End David Lindsay-Abaire’s Good People, starring Imelda Staunton and Lloyd Owen, will transfer from the Hampstead Theatre to London’s West End. Directed by Jonathan Kent, the production will play a limited 10-week engagement at the Noёl Coward Theatre. Previews begin April 10 with opening night scheduled for April 15. Gemma Arterton & Stephen Mangan to Host the Oliviers  Stage and screen stars Gemma Arterton and Stephen Mangan will host the 2014 Olivier Awards, the U.K’s version of the Tonys. The ceremony will take place on April 13 at London’s Royal Opera House. Bond girl Arterton will soon headline a new musical stage adaptation of Made in Dagenham, while Green Wing star Mangan is currently appearing in the West End’s Perfect Nonsense. Julie Walters will supply voiceovers for the evening. Here’s a quick roundup of London stories today. Bunbury’s Back! Revival of The Importance of Being Earnest Heads to London  Who doesn’t love Bunbury? A new revival of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, starring Nigel Havers, Martin Jarvis, Sian Phillips and Cherie Lunghi, is heading to the West End. The Lucy Bailey-directed production will begin performances on June 27, with opening night set for July 17. View Commentslast_img

Broadway Grosses: The Great White Way Welcomes a Fishy Larry David

first_imgLarry David’s Fish in the Dark opened on Broadway on March 5; the production quickly swum up the boards during previews, establishing itself as a consistent placeholder in the top shows by capacity. The Audience, starring Helen Mirren, also celebrated its opening night this past week on March 8, concluding its preview period with two consecutive weeks of exceeding capacity. On the Twentieth Century, the next show to roll out the red carpet (on March 15), chugged along at a modest capacity—we expect numbers to climb with Peter Gallagher’s (hopefully safe and speedy) recovery and growing word-of-mouth about Andy Karl curling Kristin Chenoweth. Meanwhile, the perennial hit The Book of Mormon took the top spot by both gross and capacity. Source: The Broadway League UNDERDOGS (By Gross) 5. On the Town ($474,989) 4. Mamma Mia! ($417,314) 3. On the Twentieth Century ($364,904)* 2. The Heidi Chronicles ($316,904)* 1. Honeymoon in Vegas ($310,450) FRONTRUNNERS (By Gross) 1. The Book of Mormon ($1,450,723) 2. The Lion King ($1,450,034) 3. Wicked ($1,352,213) 4. Aladdin ($1,148,004) 5. Beautiful: The Carole King Musical ($1,049,875) View Comments UNDERDOGS (By Capacity) 5. Jersey Boys (64.62%) 4. Mamma Mia! (61.45%) 3. It’s Only a Play (58.84%) 2. Honeymoon in Vegas (48.83%) 1. On the Town (48.47%) *Number based on eight preview performances **Number based on six preview performances and one regular performance ***Number based on three preview performances and five regular performances ****Number based on nine regular performances Here’s a look at who was on top—and who was not—for the week ending March 8: FRONTRUNNERS (By Capacity) 1. The Book of Mormon (102.60%) 2. Fish in the Dark (101.39%)*** 3. The Audience (100.65%)** 4. Constellations (99.78%)**** 5. Aladdin (99.31%)last_img

Cows’ diets matter

first_imgBy Sharon OmahenUniversity of GeorgiaFor health-conscious shoppers, a new kind of beef may be gettingonto the dinner menu. University researchers in three states andthe U.S. Department of Agriculture say Appalachianforage-finished beef has a lot to offer.In a three-year joint research project, cattle were raised solelyon forages in Virginia and West Virginia. The meat was then sentto the University of Georgia to be analyzed. Animal’s diet matters”The goal of this project is to document how animal feedingsystems impact meat quality,” said Susan Duckett, an animalscientist with the UGA College of Agricultural and EnvironmentalSciences.Duckett analyzed the beef in the project in her Athens, Ga.,lab.U.S. beef cattle normally start out grazing grass or otherforages. But they “finish,” or gain their last 400 pounds or so,eating corn or other grains in feedlots.Duckett compared the forage-finished beef with grain-finishedbeef in quality, composition, tenderness, palatability,juiciness, flavors, fat coloring and marbling. Some taste differenceForage-finished meat is a healthy alternative to traditionalbeef. But it tastes different. It can be gamey, Duckett said,like venison and lamb.For the past five years, Gwen Roland of Pike County, Ga., hasdriven three and a half hours one way to pick up her yearlysupply of forage-finished beef.”If you buy from a producer who uses breeds that finish well ongrass and who uses the right forages, it’s the best beef you’reever going to eat,” Roland said. “I’ve bought from two farmers,and they both supply outrageously good meat.”The research project includes researchers from the USDAAgricultural Research Service, Virginia Polytechnic Institute andState University and West Virginia University.This fall, the team plans to begin taste-panel studies and startcomparing three types of forage feeding systems.”We need to determine how the feeding systems impact flavor andpalatability,” she said. “Our first objective was to look at thequality and production. Now that we see benefits, we’d like topartner with someone in the retail arena to get the product outto consumers.”Through a separate project in Georgia, Duckett started theGeorgia Grass-fed Beef Initiative, which has helped educatefarmers on finishing their cattle on forages. Niche-market for farmers”Several producers in our state are marketing forage-finishedbeef,” she said. “They usually market directly from their farm.”Farmers in Argentina raise forage-finished cattle and sell theirbeef for premium prices in specialty markets. They also supplyU.S. restaurants, supermarkets and health food stores.”Appalachian beef could capture some of this market and increasethe net income of the farmers in this area,” Duckett said.The researchers’ main goal was simply to compare the effect ofdifferent feeding systems on beef quality. “In the process,”Duckett said, “we found a way to help small farmers increasetheir profits.” Lower fat, better omega ratioShe found the fat content of the forage-finished steaks to be 40percent lower than that of grain-finished steaks. It had higherconcentrations of omega-3 fatty acid, too, and a better ratio ofomega-6-to-omega-3.”Health professionals recommend a balance of 2-to-1 or less ofomega-6-to-omega-3 fatty acids,” she said. “Grain-finished beeftypically has a 5-to-1 ratio or higher,” she said.The forage-finished beef had a ratio of less than 2-to-1. Duckett said the forage-finished beef was higher in fat-solublevitamins like Vitamin E and beta carotene. It also had doubleconcentrations of conjugated linoleic acid. CLA is acancer-fighting compound in products like milk, ice cream,butter, beefand lamb.”It all comes down to the fact that the forage contains a lot ofthese things,” Duckett said. “And when the animals consume thisdiet, they’re able to deposit these valuable phytochemicals intothe meat.”last_img

River Valley Tech Center works with Okemo

first_imgIt takes a carefully crafted team of more than 1,200employees to keep the resort operations at Okemo Mountain running smoothly12 months out of the year. A dedicated workforce of professionals who areexperts in their fields fill a variety of positions that include indoorsand outdoors, full-time and part-time.Okemo’s Vermont student workforce is an integral part of the overall operation. But, when the local school systems do not share the sameholiday vacation week as the rest of the eastern states, Okemo’s HumanResources team “kicks into action” to fill those much-needed positions.Remo Paul, Co-op Coordinator at the River Valley Technical Centerworked closely with Crystal Stokarski, Okemo’s Director of Human Resourcesto develop a program where students could work in a number of servicerelated positions at Okemo and gain experience while on the job. Theseexperiences were directly linked to their course of study at the RiverValley Technical Center.”This was truly a win-win situation for everyone,” commented RemoPaul. “Our Technical Center students were able to receive credit fortheir work-based experience in the resort industry, and we were able toassist Okemo during their busy season.”For Okemo, it’s all about exceeding guest expectations. This is doneby hiring staff members with a positive, professional, guest orientedattitude. Students from the Business, Human Services and Culinary Programsat the River Valley Technical Center worked closely with Okemo supervisorsto provide the best possible experience for visiting guests. Studentslearned that the development and delivery of the product stimulates apersonal sense of pride and fulfillment in being a part of a successfulbusiness.”The vacation week was a tremendous success from both the student’sand Okemo’s perspective,” commented Crystal Stokarski. “Some studentsplan to return to Okemo to work during their holiday break continuingtheir work-based learning experience.”last_img

“Best Companies to Work for in Vermont” announced

first_imgThe “Best Companies to Work for in Vermont” ceremony will take place April 1 at Main Street Landing in Burlington. We will honor five Large Companies (over 150 employees) and 10 Small & Medium Sized Companies (15 to 149 employees) as the Best Companies to Work for in Vermont. All the honorees are listed below. The rankings in each category will be announced at the event.  Presented by Vermont Business Magazine.Partnered with: Vermont Chamber of Commerce, Society for Human Resource Management-Vermont State Council, Vermont Department of Labor, the Vermont Department of Economic Development and Best Companies Group.Small/Medium companies (15-149 employees)In Alphabetical orderEdward JonesInsrumartMBF BioscienceNRG Systems. IncResource Systems Group IncSmall Dog ElectronicsTPW ManagementVELCO (Vermont Electric Power Company)VocRehab VermontWells River Savings BankLarge Companies (150 employees and up)In Alphabetical orderBioTek Instruments, Inc.Gardener’s Supply CompanyGreen Mountain PowerKing Arthur Flour CompanyMerchants BankCeremony and Networking Reception, $35 per person. To register call 802-865-5202 or email [email protected](link sends e-mail).Time & Location: April 1, 2009, 4 pm. Main Street Landing Film House, at the corner of Lake & College Streets, Burlingtonlast_img

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters agrees to sell Filterfresh business to ARAMARK for $145 million

first_imgGreen Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc., (GMCR) (NASDAQ: GMCR), a leader in specialty coffee and coffeemakers, today announced a definitive Stock Purchase Agreement pursuant to which ARAMARK Refreshment Services, LLC (ARAMARK), a leading provider of office coffee and refreshment services, will acquire all outstanding shares of Van Houtte USA Holdings, Inc., also known as the Van Houtte U.S. Coffee Service business or “Filterfresh” business from GMCR, for an aggregate cash purchase price of approximately $145 million. The purchase price is subject to adjustment based on Filterfresh’s working capital and indebtedness as of immediately prior to the transaction’s closing. “ARAMARK and Filterfresh are both leaders in providing excellent service and quality office coffee and other refreshments to employees in the workplace,” said Jonathan Peters , Executive Vice President, ARAMARK Refreshment Services. “We look forward to satisfying even more customers through this new partnership.””We believe there is a strong strategic fit between the Filterfresh business and ARAMARK and we look forward to continuing to work with ARAMARK as a valued distributor,” said Dave Manly , General Manager of the Away From Home business for GMCR’s Keurig business unit.The Purchase Agreement contains customary representations, warranties and covenants, and is subject to various closing conditions, including obtaining regulatory approval in the United States. Subject to certain limitations, each party has also agreed to indemnify the other for breaches of representations, warranties and covenants and other specified matters.On December 17, 2010, GMCR acquired Van Houtte through the purchase of all of the outstanding capital stock of LJVH Holdings, Inc. At the time of the acquisition, GMCR announced it would pursue a sale of a portion of the former Van Houtte business, namely Van Houtte’s U.S. Coffee Service business, also known as Filterfresh. GMCR has accounted for all the assets and liabilities relating to the Filterfresh business as held-for-sale in its most recent financial statements.About Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.As a leader in specialty coffee and coffee makers, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (GMCR) (NASDAQ: GMCR), is recognized for its award-winning coffees, innovative Keurig® Single-Cup brewing technology, and socially responsible business practices. GMCR supports local and global communities by offsetting 100% of its direct greenhouse gas emissions, investing in sustainably-grown coffee, and donating at least five percent of its pre-tax profits to social and environmental projects.GMCR routinely posts information that may be of importance to investors in the Investor Relations section of its website, including news releases and its complete financial statements, as filed with the SEC. GMCR encourages investors to consult this section of its website regularly for important information and news. Additionally, by subscribing to GMCR’s automatic email news release delivery, individuals can receive news directly from GMCR as it is released.About ARAMARKARAMARK is a leader in professional services, providing award-winning food services, facilities management, and uniform and career apparel to health care institutions, universities and school districts, stadiums and arenas, and businesses around the world. The company is recognized as the industry leader in FORTUNE magazine’s “World’s Most Admired Companies,” and as one of America’s Largest Private Companies by both FORTUNE and Forbes magazines.Through its Refreshment Services group, ARAMARK provides a wide range of food and beverage services, supplying more than one billion cups of coffee annually to business and industry clients worldwide. ARAMARK offers a single source for office coffee service, water filtration, brand-name beverages, and food and break-room essentials. More information can be found at aramark.com or aramarkrefreshments.com.GMCR Forward-Looking StatementsCertain statements contained herein are not based on historical fact and are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the applicable securities laws and regulations. Generally, these statements can be identified by the use of words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “feel,” “forecast,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “potential,” “project,” “should,” “would,” and similar expressions intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Owing to the uncertainties inherent in forward-looking statements, actual results could differ materially from those stated here. Factors that could cause actual results to differ read more

Paraguay looks to modernize its fighter planes to face new threats

first_imgInspired by the Cuban guerrillas and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the group is of concern to security agencies and is a challenge to the Armed Forces. In addition, there is the continuing use of the nation’s air space as a flight corridor for illegal trafficking operations, especially for smuggling drugs. Brazil’s “Abatement Act” and Argentina’s increased policing of its airspace along its borders have caused drug traffickers from Brazil, Argentina or Bolívia to choose to fly their planes over Paraguay. GAT is divided into three squadrons: the First Fighter Squadron “Guaraní,” which operated AT-26 Xavante planes; the Second Fighter Squadron “Indios,” which operated AT-33 planes; and the Reconnaissance and Attack Squadron “Moros,” currently designed the Third Fighter Squadron, which operates AT-27 Tucano planes. It is the unit’s only squadron that is currently active and is considered an elite force. The agency responsible for controlling and monitoring the nation’s airspace is called CIVA (Comprehensive Air Monitoring Center). The process of modernization requires that over the next year, the air force obtain at least two of the four planned three-dimensional, long-range radars, capable of covering the country’s entire territory. Today, there is still a deficiency in this area, with several regions without radar coverage, a situation that has been exploited by drug traffickers who are able to fly there without being detected. By Dialogo October 31, 2014 Even without the circumstances being ideal to fulfill its Constitutional mission as fully as necessary, the Paraguayan Air Force is continually preparing its aviators for a future that, who knows, may not be that far away, when it will be equipped to the highest level of the country’s strategic ambitions, recognizing its importance for maintaining regional security, protecting the nation’s borders, keeping the peace and ensuring the national sovereignty of the skies over Paraguay. Inspired by the Cuban guerrillas and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the group is of concern to security agencies and is a challenge to the Armed Forces. In addition, there is the continuing use of the nation’s air space as a flight corridor for illegal trafficking operations, especially for smuggling drugs. Brazil’s “Abatement Act” and Argentina’s increased policing of its airspace along its borders have caused drug traffickers from Brazil, Argentina or Bolívia to choose to fly their planes over Paraguay. Silvio Pettirossi International Airport bears the name of the pioneer and patron of aviation in Paraguay. Its entrance is located off one of the main roads in Asunción, called “Aviadores del Chaco,” in memory of the brave pilots who fought in the war against Bolivia and entered the continent’s military history by conducting the first night bombing mission and engaging in the first aerial combat in the Americas. While Paraguay currently has the weakest air force in the region in material terms, the same cannot be said of it in terms of human talent. The FAP has a team of courageous and highly-motivated pilots, many of them trained at foreign air force academies. Several are graduates of the Brazilian Air Force Academy in Pirassununga (SP), and others had the opportunity to take the FAB fighter pilot in Natal. All of these factors are worrisome to the country’s government. According to information provided by Paraguayan authorities, President Horacio Cartes – who has a professional background in aeronautics – has recognized the need to modernize the Air Force, especially combat planes, in order to ensure that they are capable of fulfilling their Constitutional mission. As is true of many countries, historical aviation events are a source of national pride in Paraguay. The area by the airport at Ñu Guasu (Guarani for “large field”) Air Base is home to, among other things, the First Brigade of the Paraguayan Air Force (FAP), which include the combat unit Aero Tactical Group (GAT), the only fighter plane unit in the country. While Paraguay currently has the weakest air force in the region in material terms, the same cannot be said of it in terms of human talent. The FAP has a team of courageous and highly-motivated pilots, many of them trained at foreign air force academies. Several are graduates of the Brazilian Air Force Academy in Pirassununga (SP), and others had the opportunity to take the FAB fighter pilot in Natal. Recently, CIVA has received two field radars that are able to detect targets at a distance of 104 km, at an altitude of up to 25 meters. One of them was installed at the same air base to support military organization operations, while the other was mounted on a truck adapted as a command station and mobile monitoring unit. This radar is frequently sent to the borders read more

Congressional bill calls for RBC rule review

first_img 4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Michael MuckianA new Congressional bill introduced Monday takes the NCUA to task for the standards it has established for subjecting credit unions to its revised risk-based capital requirements. If passed, the bill would delay the finalizing and implementation of RBC2 and force the agency to provide more information on whether risk-based standards are even necessary.The bill, named “The Credit Union Risk Based Capital Study Act of 2015” was introduced by Reps. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.), Bill Posey (R-Fla.) and Denny Heck (D-Wash.) Its language would direct the NCUA to conduct a public study of the appropriate capital requirements for credit unions, as well as other stipulations regarding their actions in the matter.Specifically, the bill would require the NCUA to review capital requirements for both federal and state-chartered credit unions. One of the bill’s emphases focused on whether the NCUA has the clear legal authority to prescribe separate risk based capital thresholds for institutions deemed either adequately capitalized or well capitalized. continue reading »last_img