first_imgCampaigners have welcomed the decision of a controversial right-wing writer and free schools advocate to resign from the board of the government’s new higher education watchdog, and say he should never have been appointed.Toby Young’s resignation came just hours after disabled Tory MP Robert Halfon called on his own government to reverse its decision to appoint the journalist to the board of the Office for Students.There was shock and anger among many disabled people last week when Toby Young was appointed to the board, despite writing articles that included “insulting” and “extremist” comments about inclusive education and eugenics.There had also been outrage at years of misogynist and homophobic remarks Young had made on social media, which he has now deleted from his Twitter account.Simone Aspis, policy and campaigns coordinator for The Alliance for Inclusive Education (ALLFIE), said ALLFIE welcomed Young’s resignation.  But she said he should “never have been appointed in the first place, never mind being forced to resign, bowing to public pressure”.   She said: “Toby Young, who is against the inclusion of disabled pupils in mainstream education, should never have been appointed in the first place, especially when his views are incompatible with the government’s obligations to promote disabled people’s human rights to inclusive education under article 24 [on inclusive education] of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.”Halfon, a former education minister who now chairs the education select committee, had told fellow MPs on Monday of the “quite dark articles” in which Young had supported “progressive eugenics” and written about disabled people and working-class students*.Halfon said: “I find this incredibly dark and very dangerous stuff, and I suggest that [Jo Johnson, the universities minister] looks again at this appointment because I do not think it will give students confidence.”Hours later, Young published an article on the website of the right-wing magazine, The Spectator, in which he said his appointment had become a “distraction” from the “vital work” of the OfS and that he was standing down from its board.He insisted that he was “a passionate supporter of inclusion and helping the most disadvantaged”, but added that “some of the things I said before I got involved in education, when I was a journalistic provocateur, were either ill-judged or just plain wrong – and I unreservedly apologise”.But the resignation came after the prime minister, Theresa May, and the universities minister, Jo Johnson, had both defended his appointment and insisted that he should not be sacked.Johnson suggested to MPs that he had not seen the article on progressive eugenics, telling Halfon that he would “look carefully” at the article, but insisting that Young had “expressed his regret” and had “apologised unreservedly for comments that have been made in some cases going back to the 1980s”.He said that neither he nor the Department for Education were aware of the many offensive messages Young had posted on Twitter until after he had been appointed.Halfon had been one of two Tory select committee chairs who criticised the appointment.Dr Sarah Wollaston, chair of the health committee, told MPs on Monday that Young’s comments “do cross a line and are indicative of an underlying character”.Maria Eagle, a former Labour minister for disabled people, said it was “quite right” that he had resigned.She had told MPs before his resignation: “As a former minister for disabled people, I am appalled by some of his recently expressed views about the place of disabled people in our society.“The minister has said that many of Mr Young’s misogynistic tweets were from many years ago, but his views about disabled people are very recent indeed.“How can the minister appoint somebody who thinks so little of the contribution of disabled people to our society to such an important position? Does he not agree that it is indefensible?”A Department for Education (DfE) spokesman said: “We can confirm that Toby Young has decided to resign from the board of the Office for Students.“Everyone appointed to the board brings valuable experience which will be vital to the role of the new higher education regulator and we remain confident it will deliver for students.”But DfE has refused to comment on whether Johnson had now read the eugenics article, as the universities minister has now been appointed to a post in the Department for Transport as part of this week’s ministerial reshuffle.*Five years ago, in an article for The Spectator about plans to bring back O-levels, Young wrote of how “inclusive” was a “ghastly, politically correct” word, which meant that schools had to have “wheelchair ramps… and a Special Educational Needs Department that can cope with everything from Dyslexia to Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy”.He added: “If [Michael] Gove is serious about wanting to bring back O-levels the government will have to repeal the Equality Act because any exam that isn’t ‘accessible’ to a functionally illiterate troglodyte with a mental age of six will be judged to be ‘elitist’ and therefore forbidden by Harman’s Law.”He later added a footnote that claimed he was not opposed to including disabled people in mainstream education and suggested that critics had misunderstood him.He has also written, in another article, published in 2015, of how he is in favour of “progressive eugenics”, arguing that “it is not through changing the culture that we will be able to solve the chronic social problems besetting the advanced societies of the West, but through changing people’s genes”.He adds: “What I’m proposing is a form of eugenics that would discriminate in favour of the disadvantaged.“I’m not suggesting we improve the genetic stock of an entire race, just the least well off.“This is a kind of eugenics that should appeal to liberals – progressive eugenics.”Picture: Toby Young being interviewed on Channel 4 News in 2014last_img read more

first_imgTags:Labour /Parliamentary Selections /finchley and golders green /Abby King /Aldershot /Sara Conway / Sara Conway has been selected to stand as Labour’s parliamentary candidate in the marginal seat of Finchley and Golders Green at the next election.On Sunday, Conway won the selection race, coming ahead of former parliamentary candidate Christian Wolmar, Corbynite teacher Maryam Asaria and social worker Roly Hunter.The local Barnet councillor will challenge Tory MP Mike Freer, after previous candidates Alison Moore, Sarah Sackman and Jeremy Newmark failed to unseat him in the last three elections.In 2017, the gap between Freer and Newmark was just 1,657 votes. ‘FGG’ is regarded as a bellwether seat, but also as a particular challenge for Labour due to its large Jewish population.The constituency was set to be abolished under the new boundary review, with its wards going to Hendon and a new ‘Hampstead’ seat. But the boundary changes haven’t yet been approved by parliament, so Labour went ahead with the selection process.Congratulations to @_abbylouisee_ the next @UKLabour Parliamentary Candidate for #Aldershot— Labour South East (@SELabour) March 31, 2019Elsewhere, Abby King has been selected as the next Labour parliamentary candidate for Aldershot.The 23-year-old Labour student and Labour Movement for Europe activist, who works for shadow transport minister Matt Rodda MP, was chosen by local members from a shortlist of five women.In 2017, the Labour candidate Gary Puffett lost in Aldershot by a significant margin, securing 15,477 votes to the successful Tory candidate Leo Docherty’s 26,955.There was a comparably large increase in the Labour vote at the last election, but Aldershot is a safe Conservative seat that has never been turned red.Last year, King appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show. She challenged Tory backbencher Andrew Bridgen on Brexit, producing a clip that received praise in pro-EU circles on Twitter.I love how quietly this immense slapdown is delivered to @ABridgen and what a supremely important point it is. “You can’t have what you want” is the one concept Brexiters cannot seems to grasp. Give that woman a big hug @joannaccherry.— Alex Andreou (@sturdyAlex) December 11, 2018last_img read more

first_imgvia GfycatWhat the hell just happened? I asked myself as the guy with the laptop — Jonathan — showed Masha a video in which his friend was floating in the water next to a boat. They tossed him a beer, which he caught and then he slowly floated away. It was not actually a funny video, but everyone was acting like it was. Jonathan kept trying to explain it “he just floated away! Well, we were moving too. But he caught the beer!”He was convinced it got funnier the more he explained it. It did not.I wanted to find a way to ask Masha what the fuck was happening, but she was still surrounded by an impenetrable wall of sailing enthusiasts, and I was suddenly distracted by the arrival of a new bartender. A new bartender! A mustachioed, ballcap-wearing, tattooed, My Name Is Earl-type, named Berto. At last, I thought, KJ gets some help! But instead of double-teaming it, she started to close down and go off shift.“Excuse me,” I asked her as she passed me on her way out: “Can I confirm? Were you really just pouring the drinks, making the sandwiches, busing the tables, working the DJ booth, cleaning up messes and managing the customers, all at once?”“Oh, yes,” she said. “It’s fun.”It turns out they weren’t short-staffed — this is the way it works. Each bartender comes in, and runs everything. “It’s doable,” she said. “It only gets crazy when the Warriors play.”I get the appeal of running your own shop, really making the space yours for a while — to turn it into a kind of song of yourself — but that still seems like a hell of a lot of work. I’m not sure if it’s art or exploitation.It was Berto’s turn to create his song of himself, and he was changing things up. The music suddenly veered from metal to country, with a lot of horns, played at top volume. This switch distracted the sailing swarm, and so I took the opportunity to lean over to Masha and ask what the hell just happened. Had she been expecting to be mobbed by sailing enthusiasts when she’d sat down at the bar? “No, I was very surprised,” she said, but she didn’t mind, because apparently, she is actually interested in sailing. Talking to her attracted Jonathan’s attention, and he explained that there are a bunch of regulars who all have boats, and they often meet at Gestalt during happy hour instead of at the yacht clubs where their boats are docked, because it’s easier to meet new people to go sailing with this way. “You didn’t know this was a sailor bar, did you?” he asked me, needing to shout because the country music was so loud. Email Address I was looking for a dive the other week because my life was not poetry, it was an expletive. So I went to Gestalt, on 16th between Guerrero and Valencia. It’s a long room, dark and divey, with four screens (one especially big). You’ll hear punk music and have your choice of six different pinball machines – pinball being one of those nodes where dive and hipster sensibilities overlap. The fast-paced thrum of the music and the joyous clack clack of the pinball machines gave the room an ongoing charge, a low-level electricity that makes you feel like something is always just on the verge of happening. That’s a really good feeling for a bar.There are no menus, everything is posted on the walls. The food options are trolling you: Your choices are Frito pie, sausages, meatball sub, and German pretzels. It’s a list that spells out “fuck you” no matter how you re-arrange the letters. But the beer menu is obviously the work of someone who cares: A big board posted on the wall opposite the bar divides the selection into drafts and bottles. Each entry lists the beer’s name, style, size, ABV, and price. This is a very good system.I sat at the bar and ordered a Leffe blond and a meatball sub, because, goddamn it, tonight I’m looking for comfort, and those fit. The bartender, a wee slip of a woman named (I think) KJ, corrected my pronunciation of the beer, (my e wasn’t hard enough) and went out of her way to pop open the bottle and make a beautifully perfect pour into the glass. Despite my bad mood, and having been shown up, I was impressed. There was a good crowd here and she’s the only employee I could see, doing all the work, but she seemed preternaturally calm. That is hard to pull off in a dive — but she’s got this. To my right: a woman on her phone (sigh) who occasionally talked about sailing with a guy on a laptop (sigh sigh). To my left was a guy in a dark maroon-colored hoodie who looked deeply depressed, and was also on his phone (sigh sigh sigh).My sandwich came. It was utterly ordinary. I’ve already forgotten how I would describe it, other than, “it was $8.” As I ate, I realized that the bartender was now in the DJ booth, which apparently she was also responsible for, along with everything else. Goddamn it, how did she make this look so easy?I was trying to figure out a way to connect with the potentially depressed guy on my left when suddenly the woman to my right – Masha – was surrounded by a swarm of people all talking to her at once about sailing. Literally, everyone else sitting at the bar, except for the depressed guy in the hoodie, was suddenly pressing around her, telling her about boats and showing her pictures of their sailing expeditions. Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter via GfycatI had not. Amazingly, neither had Jonathan when he first walked in here, six years ago. He’d had no interest in sailing back then. But he met this group, and now he sails twice a week and is always looking for new blood. That’s my phrase, not his, but God help me, this felt weirdly predatory. Like L. Ron Hubbard trying to sign me up for Amway. Not because he needed the money, but because this and Scientology are the only ways L. Ron Hubbard knows how to make friends.“Are you part of Masha’s crew?” he asked me, by which he meant, “will she invite you to go sailing with us? Or do I need to?” It was my opportunity to become the new Jonathan. And I said “No! God, no!” With such speed and fervor that I think I offended Masha. “We just met, right now,” she explained. “Well,” Jonathan said, “people always think that it’s hard to get invited onto somebody’s boat. But no! If you own a boat, you want people! It’s like: Yes, come on board!”He kept telling me all about sailing, and in the blink of an eye my night had somehow become a socially inept man explaining what people don’t understand about boat races and yacht clubs, as twangy country music asked if I can “hear my heat a’calling down the road” so loudly I actually couldn’t hear the pinball machines anymore, and suddenly I hated this bar. So much. I no longer wanted people to come as they are.But Jonathan got Masha’s number, so it’s working for somebody. And Berto was singing along.Read more from Benjamin Wachs here.  The best thing about a dive bar is that it can accommodate your whole range of emotions. High-end cocktail bars implicitly ask you to pretend that you are a high-end customer: Your ups should be Rabelaisian, and your downs Shakespearian, and your life should read like a poem to the person sitting next to you.And don’t get me wrong, I love that. I want more people to be more like that more of the time. But we can’t all be like that all of the time, and when we’re not, dive bars are there for us, saying “come as you are.” Illustration by Molly Olesonlast_img read more

first_imgSAINTS’ back rower Mark Flanagan has received the devastating news that his season is over.He requires a knee reconstruction operation as a result of a serious ACL injury received in the second minute of the Super League game against Hull KR at Craven Park two weeks ago.It is another bitter injury blow for the Saints at a time when their injury list is already running at an all-time high.Saints’ boss Nathan Brown expressed extreme frustration and anger with the situation:“It’s a devastating personal blow for the player and adds further strain to our already seriously depleted squad. We were more than surprised that the offending “tackle” was not the subject of serious disciplinary review. It appeared to be caused by the third player in the tackle in a classic ‘cannonball tackle’.“Anthony Laffranchi also received one shortly after in the same game and again no disciplinary action was taken.“Mark missed the subsequent Challenge Cup Game against Hull KR. He is a great young player whose season is over and yet no action was or has been taken.“It just adds to the growing frustration as to the lack of consistency so often experienced with disciplinary proceedings and which has major consequential effects on players’ careers and club’s seasons.“As a club we will, of course, always accept any punishment our players are given; and all we ask is for the same clarity and consistency for all players and all clubs.”He continued: “There would seem to be no consistency of referral, interpretation or decision in the RFL disciplinary and coaches and players are finding it extremely frustrating as this should be a relatively straightforward process but, for whatever reasons, it doesn’t seem to be.”Saints have accepted Early Guilty Pleas for Jon Wilkin and Ade Gardner. They will miss the next two and one matches respectively.last_img read more

first_imgIt’s the big one! We preview the derby with Justin Holbrook and catch up with Regan Grace after the win over Hull KR on Friday. Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.The podcast is in association with Wish FM.Subscribe!To subscribe to our Podcast, click here or search St Helens RFC Podcasts on iTunes.You can also listen on Stitcher too. Click here to find out more.last_img

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) —  A group of students involved with the Coastal North Carolina Success Academy were able to listen to a group of speakers Saturday morning at Cape Fear Community College.These students heard from two guest speakers including WWAY’s own Amanda Fitzpatrick, who shared advice and tips on how to be successful in the future.- Advertisement – The organization is through the 100 Black Men of Coastal North Carolina, who help mentor the youth in the Cape Fear.last_img read more

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) –  Students in New Hanover County high schools will not have to worry about being at a different school come next August. School board members have delayed redistricting.A 6-1 vote has delayed the decision until next fall. Board members, and some parents,  were ready to approve this redistricting, but the board overall wants more time.- Advertisement – In their final meeting, the board heard mixed emotions on the plan.“By making these students transfer in the middle of their careers, you are creating more risk factors for them,” said Deidre Condon who moved her family here from New York to attend high school in New Hanover County.“I would be very excited to be redistricted from Laney to New Hanover,” said Jill Stockman referring to having her kids attend the other school. She lives in the Landfall neighborhood.Related Article: Mother reacts to potential Belville Elementary redistrictingThe board was divided on many points to the plan. Superintendent Tim Markley was in favor of moving it along considering the work they’ve already put it. Board member David Worthman was also keen to move forward and provide solutions for the parents and students of schools like Laney and Ashley that have student overcrowding.  It was the options to exempt some high schoolers and their siblings that led to a hold on voting in the end.“Please extend the junior senior privilege down to the rising sophomore as well,” Crystal Morgan requested in front of the board in their Tuesday night meeting.“When you look at junior-senior privilege, you look at sibling privilege, and you look at signature program privilege, I’m not sure what other privileges that would come up but when the smoke clears and the dust settled I don’t know if we would have moved anyone,” said board member Don Hayes echoing what he said as the board was weighing Option 1b of the redistricting plan.The plan would move 782, roughly 10% of the student body, around the high schools.After the decision, parents calling it a small victory, others see it as delaying responsibility.“I am very disappointed that the vote is being delayed,” said Gina Fimbel who spoke at the first public meeting on redistricting and has children in the school district. “I also feel that we’ve done so much work, I mean they’ve gotten comment after comment from parents, email after email from parents and I mean it is true you’re not going to make everyone happy, but I feel like to do delay the vote just feels like a step backwards.”Board members will vote in September. In between then, they would like to see the numbers of students who would stay given the privileges.last_img read more

first_img00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — An internationally award-winning designer from the United Kingdom is coming to Wilmington to share how she blends her passion of nature with creating designs used in textiles and wallpaper.Susy Paisley was a renowned conservation biologist who found herself fascinated by Charles Darwin’s renderings of extinct, rare and endangered plants.- Advertisement – “I used to illustrate all of my field photos as a biologist and I begin to think… why can’t they be the tens of thousands of species that need conservation help, why can’t we share with them some love,” Paisley said.This was a springboard for Paisley to launch her own company called Newton Paisley. She has since been the recipient of three top awards during the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York.As Paisley was launching her design career, she teamed up with Big Sky Design founder and principal interior designer Jennifer Kraner.“We were introduced to Susy’s beautiful work and we’re so pleased to be able to showcase this at the Cameron Art Museum,” Kraner said. “Her work is fantastic and beyond ordinary, we just don’t see work like this everyday.”Paisley says storytelling is what drives her passion for creating beautiful images from nature.“I am an evangelical conservationist,” and she added, “I want people to find ways to connect with wild things, to find ways to be passionate about them.”With a flair for color and design, Paisley said her design work allows her to bring the outdoors, indoors.“When you have curtains you might spend thousands of hours just idly drinking your coffee and looking at a repeating pattern and if you know about those species I do a little field guide with all my designs so you can interact with and learn about all the different species,” she said.For every meter of fabric Paisley sells, 100 meters of indigenous habitat are preserved through her company’s agreement with World Land Trust.Paisley plans to share more of her conservation efforts during “An Evening with Suzy Paisley” at Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington.“This is just going to be an amazing event to see a true one-of-a-kind artist and to learn more about her process and also how you can bring that into your home through interior design,” Kraner said.The event will be held Wednesday, Oct. 24 from 6 – 8 p.m. and tickets range from $55-$80. Proceeds from the event will benefit the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust.last_img read more

first_img On Saturday, May 18, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. any active duty or veteran from any branch can get a free sandwich. In honor of National Vietnam War Veterans Day Thursday, March 29, Mission BBQ will honor Vietnam veterans with a free sandwich. (Photo: Mission BBQ) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — During Armed Forces Week, a national barbecue chain will honor each branch of the military.Mission BBQ, which has a location on South College Road in Wilmington, is giving a free sandwich to active duty members and veterans of a different branch every day.Army: Monday, May 13Marine Corps: Tuesday, May 14Navy: Wednesday, May 15Air Force: Thursday, May 16Coast Guard, Friday, May 17- Advertisement – last_img read more

first_img The director of the center says sea turtles do not nest every year, but once they are in nesting mode they will lay one every two weeks.Director Jean Beasley says turtles lay four to six nests  and at least a 120 eggs in each nest. She says this year is one of the highest for nesting.Beasley says loggerheads are the most common kind of turtles that nest on our beachesshe says it takes loggerheads about thirty five years to be able to nest.Related Article: Ocean Isle Beach sea turtle nest first in NC to hatch“We began our conservation program to protect the nests and the little turtles as they went to the water just about 35 years ago,” Beasley said. “So what beats in my heart is, I hope that what we did all those years ago is beginning to pay off.”Beasley says they know some of the turtles they tagged back in the eighties are now nesting.Beasley says they have found nests with as many as 200 eggs. 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings TOPSAIL BEACH, NC (WWAY) — The sea turtle nests this year just keep getting more impressive.Experts says topsail beach has more than twice as many nests as it did last year and they are not finished counting.- Advertisement – last_img read more

first_imgFour out of five MEP candidates who replied to a questionnaire by Birdlife Malta believe that the EU’s policies on protecting Malta’s marine habitats and fishing should be dealt with nationally.  Alternattiva Demokratika’s Chairman Carmel Cacopardo, the Nationalist Michael Briguglio and the Partit Demokratika leader Godfrey Farrugia, provided views around this area.  However, this differs with Independent candidate Antoine Borg who believes that this is a European problem and that a solution must be collectively found by the European Union.These responses came following the submission of questions to all 41 MEP candidates by the Birdlife NGO. Each MEP was asked to submit his or her response to 10 questions on 5 key local and global environmental priorities the NGO believes the candidates should, ‘consider, promote and endorse.’ These were presented prior to a Breakfast discussion hosted by Birdlife.Protection and mappingBirdlife asked, ‘Mapping and protection of sensitive species and habitats should precede determination of human activities in the marine environment.  Do you agree? What steps will you take to ensure that spatial planning and management plans truly ensure sustainable use of the seas, especially with regards to our Maltese Coastal and Marine Protected Areas?This is how the candidates responded…Antoine Borg – Brain Not EgoThe independent MEP candidate Antoine Borg told Birdlife Malta that he sees the issue of fishing and marine planning as one that must be dealt with through European institutions and not on the national level.Borg said that Europe must have, ‘the authority to work as a single entity to protect our common marine environment,’ and ‘should not be left to national interests.This he says ensures the ‘entire problem’ is handled ‘holistically.’Carmel Cacopardo – Chairman of Alternattiva DemokratikaAlternattiva Demokratika’s Chairman Carmel Cacopardo explained that it was, ‘The role of the EU institutions to monitor government’s implementation as much that this is in line with the acquis. I will take an active role to ensure that government is held to account.’Godfrey Farrugia – Leader of Partit DemokratikaPartit Demokratika leader Godfrey Farrugia also agrees with the questions stating that he has, ‘been upfront to protect our coastal waters and marine life and marine natura 2000 sites.’  He outlines three key points including the creation of a National Aquaculture Strategy based on scientific evidence on fish farming, an end to the leaks of raw drainage from the Gozo Treatment Sewage plant and a condemnation of the dumping of construction waste at sea and land reclamation.Michael Briguglio – Nationalist Party The Nationalist Party MEP candidate Michael Briguglio said that, ‘The marine environment should benefit from spatial planning and management plans which are based on scientific evidence and expertise.’He also added there should be ‘proper enforcement’ of the Coastal and Marine protected areas.Arnold Cassola – Independent The Independent MEP Arnold Cassola takes a harder line on the question, stating that while agreeing with the statements, he believed that the ‘yesmen (and/or women) from Fisheries Directorate should be removed. He also called for a limit in the number of fish farms and those operating should ensure that they fit the rules. This would also include programmes, ‘for sustainable fishing by small scale traditional fishermen and methods.’Increasing EU budgets and the protection of biodiversity and natural ecosystemsBirdlife Malta also asks prospective MEP candidates about whether the EU budget should be increased and of the protection of biodiversity and natural ecosystems. Birdlife states that according to the European Commission only between (9 and 19%) of the EU budget was co-financing the implementation of the Natura 2000 programme.Antoine Borg – Brain Not EgoBorg explains that with the EU investing in hi-tech Research and Development and ‘precision agriculture’, with this potentially being used to protect the environment. Use of this technology could be ‘tied’ to payments from the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP), he adds.He explains that this would mean that there would be no longer be a need to ‘take money away from some other interest group to fund Natura 2000.’Carmel Cacopardo – Chairman of Alternattiva DemokratikaWhile Borg focuses on a solution linked to technology, the AD leader explains that increasing the budget ‘is only part of the problem.’ It is really a case of ‘changing mindset’ and making the ecosystem more appreciated, Cacopardo says.Michael Briguglio – Nationalist Party The PN MEP candidate Michael Briguglio states the budget should increase and is used towards protecting the biodiversity and natural ecosystem.Briguglio also points out that there should be more flexibility over the budget in relation to the ‘needs of the small islands’ and that funding for Malta, ‘should be used wisely to meet local specifications.’Godfrey Farrugia – Leader of Partit DemokratikaFarrugia is also in agreement on increasing the budget and that the funds are ‘formulated on the premise that they are guided by the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals.’While listing a series of local goals including legislation on noise and light pollution, a circular economy for waste management and sustainable construction and demolition, Farrugia also points out that he would ‘declare a war’ on misused chemicals.‘I would definitely declare a war on the use or misuse of certain pesticides and herbicides, commit myself to the reduction in use of single use plastics, ensure that the drinking water directive is more ably worded and stricter targets on carbon footprints are established,’ he explains.Arnold Cassola – Independent Cassola promises to be put pressure on the EU Commissioner and highlight ‘inconsistencies’ of the Maltese government on encroaching development on Natura 2000 and ODZ land.‘Will put pressure on the EU commissioner for the Environment through my role as an MEP. And then, in Malta, highlight all the inconsistencies of the Maltese government that is allowing unbridled development to encroach on Natura 2000 areas and other ODZ areas.’These are just some of the MEP’s responses shared prior to a Breakfast discussion hosted by the conservation NGO, in which MEPs explained their views.WhatsApp <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrintlast_img read more

first_imgBritish Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday said she would quit, triggering a contest that will bring a new leader to power who is likely to push for a more decisive Brexit divorce deal. Rough cut (no reporter narration).British Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday said she would quit, triggering a contest that will bring a new leader to power who is likely to push for a more decisive Brexit divorce deal. Rough cut (no reporter narration). The United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Theresa May, has officially resigned her leadership of the Conservative Party today but will stay on as Prime Minister until a new leader is chosen.The move comes after making her tearful announcement outside Downing Street on almost a fortnight ago (24th May).Her resignation could be seen as an inevitability after months of media speculation and meetings with high profile Brexiteer and Remainer Conservatives and her own statements that she would tender her resignation in order to get her negotiated deal through the Parliament.Read more:The end of MayUK PM hints at resigning to get her Brexit deal through ParliamentBrexit: UK PM meeting with senior Tory MPs; Will UK PM be ousted?Brexit means BrexitMay had entered the Prime Ministerial role on the 13th July 2016, no more than three weeks after 52% of voters voted for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, replacing the former Conservative leader David Cameron.From the moment of entering the office, she promised to ‘fulfil the will of the British people’ by triggering EU legislation Article 50 and beginning the process of negotiating a withdrawal deal from the European Union.Mrs May was helming a highly divided cabinet, party and country over Brexit. While spending two years negotiating a deal over withdrawal, Brexiteer MPs within her cabinet voiced their objections to aspects like the Irish Backstop, which they argued would effectively keep the UK locked into aspects of European legislation and therefore not the full separation they desired. This encouraged the movement for the UK to crash out of the EU on the first official Brexit day, March 29th.  At the same, Remainers within her party wanted the Prime Minister to find ways that would protect the UK’s interests and a future relationship with the EU bloc.  This was likened to the nomenclature of ‘Soft’ and ‘Hard’ Brexit realities.Despite Mrs May regular visits to Brussels to re-negotiate the deal, key EU officials like the European Commissioner Jean Claude Juncker said that the deal could not be re-negotiated. However, as it latterly panned out, the EU was prepared to work through a series of different options which would form the UK and EU’s future relationship.Back home, MPs on both sides of Brexit began to divide further on their positions for a No Deal Brexit while others were pushing for the possibility of a Second Brexit Referendum. Then of course are the numerous resignations of key cabinet ministers like Boris Johnson, Dominic Raab (both to hold Foreign Secretary role) and Andrea Leadsom (Commons Leader)Votes, Amendments, DelaysTheresa May tried to win support for her Brexit three times in the House of Commons but failed to win a majority resulting in deadlock in the Parliament.On her first attempt in January, the Prime Minister only managed to win 202 MPs over to her deal while 432 voted against.May’s deal thrashed; no confidence motion debated tomorrowThen in March, the Prime Minister attempted a further two occasions, incremently winning more support but not enough to get the deal through the Parliament.2nd vote – 391 votes against to 242 in favourUpdated: Brexit deal defeated, for the second time3rd vote –  344 votes against to 286 in favourUpdated: 344 MPs reject the third Brexit vote on the withdrawal agreementWith each occasion, the Prime Minister promised MPs more chances to have a say what they wanted from the deal to include, like concessions on customs unions with the EU, Brexit delays and whether the UK should have a second referendum.Update 5: Parliament votes in favour of Brexit delay until June 30thBrexit: May loses symbolic vote in parliament Updated (3): MPs reject all eight alternatives to May’s Brexit plansWhat was clear from the Amendments was that MPs at the time wavered over whether it was right to have a NO-Deal Brexit with the most conclusive agreement being that the UK needed more time  beyond the original March 29th Brexit deadline.Two extensions laterMay 22nd or April 12th – The first officially agreed extension of the Brexit process was negotiated between Theresa May and the EU and its member state leaders on the 21st March. If MPs could not support the Brexit deal beyond May 22nd, they would have until April 12th to ‘indicate a way forward.’Updated: UK to get delay until 22 May if MPs support deal next MondayUnfortunately, once again MPs could not agree on May’s deal and the Prime Minister was back in Brussels requesting a further extension that would alleviate the deadlock even further.Finally in the middle of March, EU leaders and member state representatives finally agreed to give the UK a much larger extension on the proviso that the UK participated in the European Elections and that the UK did not waste the opportunity to agree the withdrawal deal so that the future relationship could be processed after the UK’s official departure.Now the UK has until October 31st to leave the EU. Before then, the Conservative Party has to select a new leader.11 contendersThere are understood to be 11 contenders for May’s job including a mix of Brexiteers and Remainers from the Conservative Party; Boris Johnson, Dominic Raab, Jeremy Hunt, Michael Gove, Sajid Javid, Matt Hancock, Esther McVey, Rory Stewart, Andrea Leadsom, Mark Harper and Sam Gyimah.The first ballot for the candidates will take place on Thursday 13th June with three rounds set to take place on the 18th, 19th and 20th.It will be up to the 160,000 Conservative Party Membership then have the final choice over the two remaining candidates.By the 22nd July, there will be a new Conservative Leader.WhatsApp <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrintlast_img read more

first_imgNo Maltese nationals were affected by the Greek earthquake today, the Foreign Minister has explained.According to Carmelo Abela, the Maltese representation in Greece has reported to the Minister that there had been no reports of anyone hurt in the quake.From info received, no Maltese national was hit by the earthquake that occurred in #Athens. The @MaltaInGreece is following the situation closely. @MFAMalta @MaltaGov— Carmelo Abela (@AbelaCarmelo) July 19, 2019Abela’s tweet comes as a 5.1 magnitude earthquake hit Athens earlier today. According to the European Earthquake Monitoring Centre, the epicentre of the quake was measured at 22km Northwest from the capital.The impact caused power and telecommunication lines to be knocked out across Athens.According to the authorities, 3 people which included a Belgian tourist, received light injuries from falling debris. Strong quake jolts Athens, three people lightly injuredA magnitude 5.1 earthquake rattled the Greek capital Athens on Friday, briefly knocking out power and telecommunications in parts of the city and sending people running from buildings in panic.The European Earthquake Monitoring Centre recorded the quake’s epicentre at a point 22 km (14 miles) northwest of the city. Its website quoted a witness as saying the quake was “strong but fortunately not very long”, while another compared it to a “strong bounce” lasting about 15 seconds.The Acropolis, a complex of ancient Greek buildings including the Parthenon located on a rocky hilltop overlooking the capital, was intact, according to the authorities. It is one of the world’s most visited historical landmarks.Reuters correspondents saw people evacuating buildings in the sprawling capital, and hundreds crammed into central Syntagma Square.Three people including a Belgian tourist were lightly injured by falling debris, health ministry officials said. In the port city of Piraeus, an abandoned structure on a port quay collapsed.The quake occurred at a depth of 15 km (9.3 miles) in an area affected by earthquakes in the past. Greece, along with Turkey, is among the most tremor-prone regions of Europe. Damaged buildings in city’s downtown are seen following an earthquake in Athens, Greece, July 19, 2019. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis People are seen on the Syntagma Square following the evacuation of nearby buildings after an earthquake in Athens, Greece, July 19, 2019. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis Damages in city’s downtown are seen following an earthquake in Athens, Greece, July 19, 2019. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis A police officer stands on a street next to a damaged car following an earthquake in Athens, Greece, July 19, 2019. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis Damage is seen on the bell tower of Church of the Pantanassa at the Monastiraki Square following an earthquake in Athens, Greece, July 19, 2019. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis Damage is seen on the bell tower of Church of the Pantanassa at the Monastiraki Square following an earthquake in Athens, Greece, July 19, 2019. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis A car with a damaged windshield is seen on a street following an earthquake in Athens, Greece, July 19, 2019. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis People stand outside a department store on the Syntagma Square following the evacuation of nearby buildings after an earthquake in Athens, Greece, July 19, 2019. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis 1 of 10 A man walks past damaged buildings in city’s downtown following an earthquake in Athens, Greece, July 19, 2019. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis “The earthquake was close to the surface, which is why it was felt so much,” seismologist Manolis Skordilis told Greece’s Star TV.Citizens’ Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis said there had been 30 calls asking the fire brigade for help in rescuing people trapped in elevators, while some abandoned buildings were damaged.He said the sequence of post-quake tremors was normal, which the Athens Geodynamic Institute considered to be a positive sign.Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the response of state services to the earthquake was satisfactory.“We have learned to live with earthquakes, this was one more quake,” he told reporters after visiting the civil protection coordinating centre in Athens, a metropolis of almost 4 million people.“The situation is gradually subsiding. The city withstood this and can handle it. There is no cause for concern,” said Nikos Hardalias, general secretary for Civil Protection.Around 40 minutes after the first tremor, residents felt another strong quake, which the EMC rated magnitude 4.4, with an epicentre in the same region at the foot of Mount Parnitha.In 1999, an earthquake of magnitude 5.9 in the same area killed 143 people.WhatsApp SharePrint Damage is seen on the bell tower of Church of the Pantanassa at the Monastiraki Square following an earthquake in Athens, Greece, July 19, 2019. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

first_imgMEETING DAVE CLARK (part 3) MEETING DAVE CLARK (part 2) There’s a few shorties on the card and I’ll leave those for you navigate through.The bet for me is Cafe Au Lait in the closing 4:35 Visit Our Shop ‘Star Sports Mayfair’ Handicap Hurdle.The handicapper has left him on 96 after a half length second to Age Of Glory at Wetherby last time out – if the half length had gone the other way he would no doubt have been nudged up a couple of pounds such is life.… if you go back far enough in the form book you’ll see he won over course and distance off 108 in 2014.What it did show was that he is more than capable of winning off this level. Indeed, if you go back far enough in the form book you’ll see he won over course and distance off 108 in 2014.Having gone close in three starts for Dan Skelton he surely deserves another win here. I’m hoping an each-way wager has very limited downside.I can’t be having hat-trick seeking Goodnight Charlie whose win here last time was 262 days ago and on good to firm ground whilst Just Spot is up 4lb for scrambling home at Wincanton. See what I mean about the handicapper not liking winners…RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)BACK CAFE AU LAIT (4.35 Towcester) 4 points each-way at SP with Star SportsPROFIT/LOSS SINCE JAN 1 2017: PROFIT 108.54 points MEETING DAVE CLARK (part 1) It’s a Star day at Towcester this afternoon with us sponsoring all six races on the card and soft ground is predicted, or more accurately ‘dead and holding’ according to the BHA web site.Check out the Star Specials below including money back offer if you lead over the last and get collared. How many times has that happened up the Towcester hill?The Star six race card gets underway at 1.40pm and look out for Simon Nott’s tweets this afternoon direct from the course – cold day, current temp +2c, some guys get all the good jobs 1:40 Mares’ ‘National Hunt’ Novices’ Hurdle2:15 Call Star Sports On 0800 521321 Handicap Hurdle2:50 Star Sports Daily Specials Handicap Chase3:25 Star Sports Daily Specials Novices’ Hurdle4:00 Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Chase4:35 Visit Our Shop ‘Sports Mayfair’ Handicap HurdleEarlier Lofty (Martin Chapman) ran through the card to give his thoughts to racegoers….LOFTY AT TOWCESTERlast_img read more

first_imgIt’s been a busy week with seven winners since Monday including a treble at Lingfield on Friday – I don’t mind being kept busy when the winners are flowing!Marhaban completed the treble and he stepped up nicely on his Wolverhampton debut to win this for Charlie Appleby. He’s definitely going the right way and seemed to appreciate the step up in trip too.I’ve got four rides at Lingfield on Saturday.SATURDAYLINGFIELDVIENTO DE CONDOR (12.50pm)I don’t know too much about this fella who I’m riding for the first time for Tom Clover and I’m in the multi-coloured silks of owner Dr O Rangabashyam! He starts off in handicap company off a mark of 64 so will probably need to find some improvement from his three runs so far as it looks quite a competitive opener with a couple of last time out winners.PRIMERO (2.00pm)A small field for this decent prize, it’s a class 2 handicap in which Redicean is going to be a tough nut to crack after his easy course success last time out. I’m on Primero for David O’Meara who was fourth in that Lingfield race won by Redicean so we’ve got some ground to make up – along with Seafarer (2nd) and Lord George (3rd). That race is clearly the best form guide as it’s a virtual action replay.AMPLIFY (2.35pm)Even fewer runners for this class 3 handicap. I have just two rivals and it’s a race that could easily get tactical over the mile trip. My fella showed plenty on his debut at Ascot when second but didn’t really build on that in two starts since. He has experience of the all-weather at Newcastle so hopefully that will help here and the step-up in trip also hopefully be a positive on his handicap debut. Chelmsford winner Originaire is also in a handicap for the first time and will have a big chance.BIG TIME MAYBE (3.40pm)Has just looked poorly handicapped recently and takes another drop down the weights so hopefully we are getting to the level where he can get a little more involved. I’m riding him for the first time.Good luckADAM YOUR SAYIf you have a question for Davy drop us a line at and we’ll try and include in the next blog…last_img read more

first_imgShareCONTACT: David RuthPHONE: 713-348-6327E-MAIL: Former JSC Director George Abbey available to comment on Obama NASA speech, planFormer NASA/Johnson Space Center (JSC) Director George Abbey will be available Thursday to comment on President Barack Obama’s speech at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Obama is expected to lay out his much-anticipated vision for NASA. The speech is to be delivered Thursday at 2:45 p.m. EDT/ 1:45 p.m. CDT.Abbey, who is a senior fellow in space policy at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy in Houston, was director of JSC from 1996 to 2001. Rice University’s Baker Institute has a TV and radio studio with uplink capability. To book an interview with Abbey, contact David Ruth at 713-348-6327 or AddThislast_img read more

first_imgAddThis ShareMike Williams713-348-6728mikewilliams@rice.eduDavid Alexander, Mike Massimino to lead retooled center at Rice UniversityHOUSTON — March 6, 2012 — Rice University solar physicist David Alexander has been named director of the Rice Space Institute (RSI), which coordinates the university’s space-related research, education and outreach programs.The institute is strengthening its collaborations with NASA; as part of that effort, astronaut Mike Massimino, on loan from NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC), has joined RSI as executive director.Alexander takes over for longtime director Patricia Reiff. Both are professors of physics and astronomy at Rice. Reiff will remain with RSI as associate director of outreach programs.“By sharing the leadership among research enhancements, NASA cooperative efforts and outreach, we’ll be able to do far more than before,” Reiff said. “David has already proven his vision and energy, and having Mike on board is very exciting.”Last September, the institutions signed the Rice-NASA Space Act Agreement to streamline educational and research collaborations. The signing came during the university’s NASAversary, which celebrated the 50th anniversary of Houston’s selection as the site of the Manned Spacecraft Center, now JSC, built on land donated by Rice.Retooling RSI is a way to meet the new collaboration’s goals, Alexander said. “We want strong partnerships with NASA and other local space efforts, and we need a healthy and vital research environment at Rice that takes advantage of those connections,” he said. “We compete with the best universities in the country to attract the best students. If the connections we have forged with NASA JSC leads students to choose Rice over our competitors, we’ve succeeded.”Alexander said RSI’s immediate goal is to increase awareness about the broad scope of space-related research at Rice. That includes solar, space, Earth, astronomical and life sciences; materials, nanotechnology, electronics and robotics research; national and international policy studies through the Baker Institute for Public Policy, and work at the National Space Biomedical Research Institute, based at Rice’s BioScience Research Collaborative.“NASA has been a strong partner for 50 years. We want to strengthen our institutional collaboration with Johnson Space Center to bring together complementary expertise,” Alexander said.“In addition to providing focus and points of contact, the institute will make us aware, on a regular basis, of engineering and science activities at Rice,” said Kamlesh Lulla, director of the University Research, Collaborations and Partnership Office at JSC. Lulla said he’s particularly interested in biomedical and biosensor devices, green energy technologies and “areas of research that will help us propel faster and better.”Massimino, a veteran of two shuttle missions to repair the Hubble Space Telescope, will help solidify links to JSC as RSI’s first executive director. Massimino, an adjunct professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at Rice since 2004, has joined the university full time for a year under NASA’s Executive on Loan program.“My job usually gives me good access to facilities at NASA, so I see my role as helping to build relationships,” Massimino said. “NASA is supporting this arrangement at its highest level, at JSC in particular. They know it’s a great opportunity to build a strong relationship with a school that’s one of the best in the world.”“Having Mike, one of our most experienced astronauts, work with the university will be a great opportunity for both organizations to exchange ideas and share expertise, furthering our mutual goals of understanding the universe,” said Peggy Whitson, chief of NASA’s Astronaut Office and a veteran of two missions to the International Space Station, the second as commander. Whitson earned her doctorate at Rice and is an adjunct professor of biochemistry and cell biology.“Mike understands the opportunities and needs of both NASA and academia and will help us identify the unique role Rice can play in these arenas,” said Daniel Carson, dean of Rice’s Wiess School of Natural Sciences, the Schlumberger Chair of Advanced Studies and Research and a professor of biochemistry and cell biology.Massimino has become the public face of NASA since his last mission to the Hubble in May 2009, one of the riskiest ever. On that mission he not only became the first astronaut to send messages via Twitter from space but also gained notoriety when, during a spacewalk, he ripped a stuck handle from the space telescope to gain access to an instrument due to be repaired.Since returning to Earth, Massimino has appeared on a number of talk shows and hosted a NASA-produced series of videos, “Inside the International Space Station.”George Abbey, the Baker Botts Senior Fellow in Space Policy at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, said Massimino is “a great asset” and noted, “He’s a great individual and we’re really fortunate to have him.” Abbey joined NASA as an engineer during the Apollo era; as director of JSC, he served as Massimino’s boss.Abbey said RSI is “going to really reinvigorate Rice’s involvement in space activities. David will have a very active Rice Space Institute, and I think that’s going to be good for Rice and good for our relationship with NASA.”Rice and NASA share a history of collaboration that goes back to the early 1960s and President John F. Kennedy’s famous “we choose to go to the moon” speech at Rice Stadium. Several Rice-built experiments went to the moon with Apollo, and a Rice emeritus professor, Robert O’Dell, was the original chief scientist on the Hubble Telescope.Public outreach will continue to be an important aspect of RSI under Reiff, who earned her Ph.D. at Rice analyzing data from Apollo experiments and co-produces planetarium films with the Houston Museum of Natural Science (HMNS). Through RSI, Reiff will coordinate such public activities as the highly successful annual Sally Ride Science Festival, the many Discovery Dome outreach events and the Space Frontiers Lecture Series.-30-Related materials:Rice Space Institute:“Of Owls and Eagles,” a history of the relationship between Rice and NASA: Massimino’s Twitter feed:!/Astro_MikeVideo: for download: Alexander, left, has been named director and Mike Massimino, right, executive director of the Rice Space Institute. The institute enhances research efforts and cooperation with NASA Johnson Space Center and coordinates public outreach activities. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University) Alexander (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University) Massimino (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University) Mike Massimino smiles at his crewmates inside the shuttle during one of two spacewalks to repair the Hubble Space Telescope in 2009. Massimino, on loan from NASA, has been named executive director of Rice University’s Rice Space Institute. (Credit: NASA)last_img read more

first_imgShare1David Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduJeff  Christopher Smith named Baker Institute Advisory Board Fellow in Energy StudiesSmith will research global energy poverty, energy resource development in developing nations and how regions are affected by shifts in energy-use patterns across the USHOUSTON – (May 1, 2017) – Christopher Smith, former assistant secretary for fossil energy at the U.S. Department of Energy, has been named the Baker Institute Advisory Board Fellow in Energy Studies at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, the institute announced today.CHRISTOPHER SMITHAs assistant secretary from December 2014 to January 2017, Smith led the DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy, including scientists and engineers working at 11 sites across the U.S. In this capacity, he oversaw the department’s fossil energy research and development program (coal, oil and natural gas), the National Energy Technology Laboratory and the natural gas regulatory process, including liquefied natural gas (LNG). He was also responsible for the U.S. Petroleum Reserves, the largest strategic petroleum stockpile in the world.Smith’s appointment marks an expansion of the institute’s Center for Energy Studies (CES), which is ranked No. 2 among the world’s energy- and resource-policy think tanks, according to the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program’s 2016 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report. The center provides policymakers, corporate leaders and the public with high-quality, data-driven analysis of issues that influence energy markets. Smith will work with Kenneth Medlock, the James A. Baker III and Susan G. Baker Fellow in Energy and Resource Economics and senior director of CES.“Chris will be working with us to address some of the most daunting energy-related issues of the day, and he brings a wealth of knowledge and a unique perspective,” Medlock said. “His interest in addressing energy poverty, fostering resource development to create a stable and sustainable platform for long-term economic growth, and his desire to understand how shifts in energy-use patterns can displace jobs in the near term and affect local communities are all products of his experiences in the private sector and at DOE. We are very excited Chris is joining the CES.”At the institute, Smith will work on energy poverty and energy resource development in developing nations, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. He will also expand on his interests in carbon markets and energy transitions and how policy can address concerns of local communities adversely affected by shifts in energy-use patterns. This builds on previous work he spearheaded at the DOE, and it fits within the broad research aim of the CES to address the challenges facing global energy use and sustainability.Smith joined the DOE in October 2009 and served as principal deputy assistant secretary for fossil energy and as deputy assistant secretary for oil and natural gas. During his tenure, he served as the designated federal official for the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, established by President Barack Obama to investigate the root causes of the Gulf oil spill.Prior to his roles in federal government, Smith served in managerial and analytical positions in the private sector. Most recently he spent 11 years with Chevron and Texaco focused primarily on upstream business development and LNG trading, including three years negotiating production and transportation agreements in Bogotá, Colombia.Smith began his career as an officer in the U.S. Army and served tours in Korea and Hawaii. He subsequently worked for Citibank and JPMorgan in New York City and London in the area of emerging markets and currency derivatives.Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering management from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Cambridge University.-30-For more information or to schedule an interview with Smith or Medlock, contact Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at or 713-348-6775.Related materials:Baker Institute Center for Energy Studies: bio: the Center for Energy Studies via Twitter @CES_Baker_Inst.Follow the Baker Institute via Twitter @BakerInstitute.Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Founded in 1993, Rice University’s Baker Institute ranks among the top five university-affiliated think tanks in the world. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute conducts research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows, Rice University faculty scholars and staff, coupled with its outreach to the Rice student body through fellow-taught classes — including a public policy course — and student leadership and internship programs. Learn more about the institute at or on the institute’s blog, AddThislast_img read more

first_img Share  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   Share this article White House Backs Strategist at National Security Meetings By The Associated Press January 29, 2017 Updated: January 29, 2017 The White House on Sunday said the addition of President Donald Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, to regular meetings of the country’s top national security officials was essential to the commander in chief’s decision-making process.Trump took steps Saturday to begin restructuring the White House National Security Council, adding the senior adviser to the principals committee, which includes the secretaries of state and defense. At the same time, Trump said his director of national intelligence and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff would attend “where issues pertaining to their responsibilities and expertise are to be discussed.”Bannon served in the Navy before attending Harvard Business School, working at Goldman Sachs, starting his own media-focused boutique investment banking firm and later heading the ultraconservative outlet Breitbart News.“He is a former naval officer. He’s got a tremendous understanding of the world and the geopolitical landscape that we have now,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer told ABC’s “This Week.”Spicer said “having the chief strategist for the president in those meetings who has a significant military background to help make — guide what the president’s final analysis is going to be is crucial.center_img In this Jan. 24, 2013 file photo, Executive Producer Stephen Bannon poses at the premiere of “Sweetwater” during the 2013 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP, File) US Show Discussionlast_img read more

first_img  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   Show Discussion Why It Took Police 72 Minutes to Find Las Vegas Shooter By Petr Svab October 4, 2017 Updated: October 5, 2018 A police officer points his weapon at a car driving down closed Tropicana Ave. near Las Vegas Boulevard after a reported mass shooting at a country music festival nearby in Las Vegas on Oct. 2, 2017. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images) It took more than an hour from the first call to police to the point where a SWAT team blew up the door to the hotel room of Stephen Paddock, the shooter who killed at least 59 and wounded over 500 on Sunday, Oct. 1.At 10:08 p.m., the police received the first call about shots fired at Route 91 Harvest country music festival on Las Vegas Boulevard.People heard the shots, but it wasn’t easy to discern where the shots were coming from.Around 15 minutes after the first call, police received the first indication the shooter was possibly in room 135 on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, a large hotel diagonally across the street from the concert venue.A minute later, someone requested through police radio a SWAT team to get to room 135.About two minutes after that, the hotel security reported shots fired at the 29th and 32nd floors. A security guard was shot in the leg, according to the police scanner recording. Police started searching on the 29th floor and then moved up. When they got on the 32nd floor, they said they immediately knew it was the right one, according to NBC News. It is not clear how they knew.About an hour and 11 minutes after the first call, the SWAT team was about to blow up the doors to the room 135.“We have sight on the suspect’s door. I need everybody in that hallway to be aware of it and get back. We need to pop this and see if we get any type of response from this guy to see if he’s in here or if he’s actually moved somewhere else,” an officer reported on the radio.Fifteen seconds later an officer said, ‘breach, breach, breach’ followed by an explosion.Paddock was found dead inside. Police said he shot himself.According to police, Paddock, 64, of Sun Valley, California, acted alone. His motive is unknown.Details on the attack are still emerging, but according to former FBI agent Marc Ruskin, the sound of the gunfire strongly suggested Paddock was using an illegal automatic weapon. Follow Petr on Twitter: @petrsvab center_img US News Share Share this articlelast_img read more