Unprecedented Coordination Between Aid Groups on Display in Haiti

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore The good news from within the devestation in Haiti this week begins at the airport, where a U.S. Air Force ground control team worked around the clock to restore electric power and the control tower in Port-au-Prince to allow relief supplies, military troops and aid workers to begin pouring into the country from around the world. The U.S. Southern Command is operating the airport, running it around the clock to maximize the ability to get planes in, to unload them and to move them forward. Heavy-lift military cargo jets from the United States and planes from other nations as diverse as Iceland and China have unloaded relief supplies while military ground crews maneuvered forklifts piled high with pallets of goods — generators, vehicles, fuel, communications equipment, food, water, medical equipment and supplies, and shelters. The Navy’s USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier group arrived yesterday bringing 19 helicopters, critical in ferrying relief supplies to areas that cannot be reached over damaged roads. It also brought considerable medical capabilities. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is sending 14,550 tons of food aid in multiple shipments, including 7,000 tons of rice, 4,550 tons of corn-soy blend and 3,000 tons of vegetable oil. The food aid, which is designed to feed 1.2 million people for two weeks, will be distributed by the U.N. World Food Programme and through private voluntary organizations. “Food aid will be critical in the coming weeks,” USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah said. “By acting quickly now, we can help those most affected by this disaster in their time of need.” (Above report includes material from America.gov) The Cluster Approach Makes its Debut in Disaster Relief The Haitian earthquake is the first major test of a new UN logistical system implemented after the Asian Tsunami four years ago — an effort to coordinate relief operations between aid organizations. And, while we see a wave of compassion around the world, with private donations pouring in, the coordination of international aid groups is just as inspiring. Watch this British report via MSNBC that details the incredible effort in all areas of need… AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Original Grand Hotel Stars Reunite for 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration

first_img View Comments Grand Hotel original cast members Karen Akers, Keith Crowningshield, David Jackson, Ken Jennings, Timothy Jerome, Charles Mandracchia, Penny Worth and Walter Willison are reuniting on November 11 for a special pair of concerts toasting the 1989 musical’s 30th anniversary. They will be joined by John Schneider, who played the Baron Felix Von Gaigern in the original Broadway production, Tony Award winner Judy Kaye and more. Willison has written and directed the concerts, which are dedicated to the memory of the late Liliane Montevecchi, who received a Tony nomination for originating the role of ballerina Elizaveta Grushinskaya.Also featured are Grand Hotel cast members Michael Piehl, David White, Jill Powell, Sachi Parker, Harper Lee Andrews (daughter of original cast member Jennifer Lee Andrews), Emily Elizabeth Cobb, Katie Dixon, Matthew Drinkwater, John Drinkwater, Daniel Dunlow and ballroom dancers Erin Marie and Zachary Bordonaro.Directed and choreographed by Tommy Tune, Grand Hotel opened at the Martin Beck Theatre on November 12, 1989 and ran for 1,017 performances. It was nominated for twelve 1990 Tony Awards and won five—two for Tune in categories of Best Direction of a Musical and Best Choreography, two for designers Santo Loquasto (costumes) and Jules Fisher (lights) and one for the late Michael Jeter, who played Otto Kringelein, the dying bookkeeper.The Grand Hotel celebration will take place at 7:00pm and 9:30pm in The Yellow Pavillion in The Fig Room on the fourth floor of YOTEL New York at 570 Tenth Avenue. For tickets and more info, click here.last_img read more

Norwich and Montpelier’s Union Elementary School partner on playground

first_imgVermont Business Magazine Norwich University’s Architecture Design Build program, called 802LAB, has partnered with Montpelier’s Union Elementary School (UES) and the community to design and build an outdoor classroom/playhouse as part of the school’s planned playground renovations.Leading faculty member Tolya Stonorov and students in the 802LAB program have worked closely with a UES volunteer committee comprised of parents, teachers, administrators and community members as well as the students of Union Elementary School to define the project and how it serves the needs of the larger playground. The process began with precedent research that included diagrams, drawings, images and a detailed scaled model. These were presented to the committee and analyzed for their feedback.“Our vision for the new playground at UES has always been to create an outdoor space that not only provides students and our community with a place to play but also one that will ignite their creativity,” says Jay Ericson, UES parent and Playground Project Manager. “The students in the 802LAB and Tolya have helped make this vision a reality. The NEST will be the cornerstone of the new playground and will be a place for students to learn, create, and experience an individualized connection to the outdoor environment.”After gathering the committee’s hopes and requirements for the project, the students embarked on individual design responses. These were grouped according to likeness, further refined through a consensus process, and a final design was agreed upon and approved by the committee. DeWolfe Engineering in Montpelier, Vt., is generously working with 802Lab to engineer the project on a pro-bono basis.According to Stonorov: “Design-build supports the idea that building, making and designing are intrinsic to each other: knowledge of one strengthens and informs the expression of the other. Hands-on learning through the act of building what is designed translates theories and ideas into real world experience.” This project exemplifies Norwich’s value of service to others as a community architecture project, one that is developed and executed in response to a community need and in close cooperation with those the structure will serve. The playhouse is affectionately called “The NEST.”Source: NORWICH UNIVERSITY OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS April 20, 2018last_img read more

Review of 130 studies suggests gun restrictions can help reduce gun deaths

first_imgShare on Facebook Share on Twitter “In most countries, we saw evidence of reduction in the firearm death rates after the enactment of firearm legislation” said Julian Santaella-Tenorio, a doctoral student in Epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School and the study’s lead author.Santaella-Tenorio and his Columbia co-authors, Professors Magdalena Cerdá and Sandro Galea, also found evidence that specific laws, such as background checks and rules on storage, reduced specific kinds of gun deaths including intimate partner homicides and firearm unintentional deaths in children, respectively.By comparison, laws in place about carrying concealed weapons or standing your ground either had no effect on gun deaths or increased gun violence. “While our review is not proof that gun laws reduce violence, and also taking into account that for some countries there are very few papers examining firearm laws effects, we did see evidence showing an association between firearm laws and a decline in firearm homicide and suicide rates,” noted Santaella-Tenorio.“Since we limited our review to changes in firearm policy and not ownership in general or other types of policy, the debate should not end here.” Pinterest LinkedIncenter_img Email A study by researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health looked at the associations between firearm-related laws and firearm homicides, suicides, and unintentional injuries and deaths. The paper is the first to explore the evidence from around the world on gun laws and gun violence to determine whether gun restrictions help reduce gun deaths.While the research did not conclusively prove that restrictions, or relaxation of laws, reduce gun deaths, the results indicate that gun violence tended to decline after countries passed new restrictions on gun purchasing and ownership. Findings are published online in the February issue of Epidemiologic Reviews.The researchers reviewed the findings from 130 studies conducted from 1950 to 2014 in 10 countries that had overhauled their gun law, mostly in the developed world, including the U.S., Australia, and Austria. A few studies looked at gun laws in middle-income countries, including Brazil, Colombia and South Africa. Sharelast_img read more

Kenya Seeking Support From OECS for Seat on UN

first_imgBRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – During his visit to the Caribbean, Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta urged the seven-member Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) to support his country’s bid for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for the period 2021-22.“Kenya’s candidature is informed by the critical role the UN Security Council plays in the maintenance of international peace and security. Kenya has continued to play a leading role in peace, security and conflict management in the Horn of Africa region and other parts of the world.“We, therefore, seek and look forward to the support of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States for our bid,” Kenyatta said on Friday during talks with OECS leaders.The meeting was also attended by the host Prime Minister Mia Mottley and the Secretary-general of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Irwin Larocque.Kenyatta had earlier visited Jamaica and held bi-lateral talks with Mottley during his three-day visit here.He told the regional leaders that when the decision was made for his first Caribbean visit, his “desire was clear: to engage with each Caribbean country.“When this became logistically impossible to achieve, I opted for the second-best option, to try and have a space for the exchange of views on our common destiny and shared future. This desire is driven by the force of history, the reality of today and imperative of the future,” he said, adding that the visit, the first by a resident of Kenya to the West Indies offered him a unique opportunity for meeting and discussing with regional leaders.He said earlier this week he had the honour of attending, as a special guest of the Jamaica government, the island’s 57th anniversary of political independence from Britain and together with Prime Minister Holness launched the decade of people of African descent.“Each of these events has strengthened my belief for the need to strengthen the links between CARICOM in general and Africa in general and Kenya, in particular,” he said, adding that it also presented an opportunity “to rekindle our historic heritage of the global African community that subscribed to the Pan-African ethos.“These values are not new. Our forefathers were bound by them as they worked for the African cause. The entire of free Africa today, particularly the Sun-Saharan Africa, is forged on this anvil of African solidarity and Pan Africanist.“We in Africa consider our Brothers and sisters in the Caribbean as our diaspora or the 6th region of Africa. Within the African Union, the African Diaspora, consists of peoples of African origin living outside the continent; irrespective of their citizenship and nationality; and who are willing to contribute to the development of the continent and the building of the African Union.”Kenyatta described his meetings with Holness and Mottley as “very constructive engagements” focused on enhancing cooperation in diverse areas between the two regions, serving also as a catalyst for rebuilding the global African family, in the service of the development and integration.“This is an imperative especially in the current and foreseeable world – characterized by narrow nationalisms, growing trade war between the East and the West, the European crisis and the evident marginalization of the development agenda – and with it the African agenda. If we are to shape the evolving global trends we must take charge of the course of history. It seems to me that the moment for that is with us”.Kenyatta said he was inviting the Caribbean countries to establish diplomatic missions in Kenya and in United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and UN-Habitat to facilitate and deepen frequent consultations, as well as follow up on environmental and human settlement matters.“Your individual Countries diplomatic presence in Nairobi, the global headquarters of United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and UN-Habitat, will enable you to participate directly in addressing environmental challenges that call for collective international action, informed by scientific research and technical innovation.“This process of regular consultative dialogue and active engagement focused on matters of mutual interest in the international arena, will result in symbiotic benefits on matters peace, security, and development.”He said on the economic front, there are enormous opportunities between the countries of both regions to expand trade relations, noting that Intra- African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) trade stands at less than 20 percent.“This situation needs to be changed if the promise of our solidarity is to be meaningful to our people. We need to create the right environment to encourage each region’s private sector to invest and trade at all levels – large, medium and small size enterprises. As government, we can support these through enabling connectivity and movement of people, goods, and services. “He said through Kenya any business from CARICOM into the African market, and gain access to an African population of 1.2 billion.“We also have large diasporas across the world that can be leveraged. So far, diaspora remittances outweigh most of the financial aid for many countries. The diaspora resource can become entry points to the countries of their settlement. “Kenyatta said that an immediate matter that is of concern to both Africa and the Caribbean is the Post-Cotonou negotiations within Europe. The existing agreement is due to expire next year.“We should focus on South-South cooperation and the strengthening of the ACP relationship. Kenya and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States play key roles in the Post-Cotonou negotiations. Let us work, invest, develop and deal with global challenges together as a group. We must strive to speak in one voice. This partnership, if implemented well, will be a force to reckon in the years to come.”He said he was also encouraged by the position adopted by the OECS in crafting of the framework of the negotiations for the successor agreement between ACP member states and the European Union.“ We must speak with one voice on issues that concern us. In this regard, I urge that we consult closely and pay close attention to the substance of the ongoing post Cotonou negotiations.“The next session of the Summit is scheduled to take place in December this year in Nairobi. I hope to these you all in Nairobi and I very much look forward to fruitful deliberations as we push the ACP agenda forward,” Kenyatta said, noting that “despite the ACP-EU relations having some positive impact in our regions, we have not yet harnessed its full potential”.He said in order to address this gap, he is proposing that trade, investment, tourism and culture cooperation between Caribbean Community and East African Community be crafted through a regional free trade agreement under appropriate World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.“Through this route, our respective countries stand to gain from the benefits of trade and most preferably through a duty-free, quota-free trading mechanism. The most fundamental question we need to ask is, must African, Caribbean and Pacific countries relate through Europe?“I believe that the current discussions to have direct links between Africa Union and Caribbean Community and by extension Organization of Eastern Community States are important and highly welcome, this should also be extended to the Pacific region. There is need for us to engage and share ideas on a regular basis as ACP countries.”In seeking support from the region for a position on the UN Security Council, Kenyatta said that it has been 25 years since the “Security Council reforms” item was first placed on the UN General Assembly agenda.“All of us are in agreement that the reforms are necessary in order to ensure that the body is representative, responsive, efficient and above all effective. However, long-standing differences on the nature of reforms have held back substantive progress.“Kenya and Africa as a whole, are committed to the UN Reforms and in particular the need to correct without further delay, the historical injustice that some regions continue to endure. We believe our brothers and sisters in the Caribbean and Pacific will continue to be part of the journey that speaks cohesively with one voice in unity of purpose on all aspects of the reform process,” he said, adding “this is crucial if we must have equity and justice in the world we are living in”.last_img read more

More than 60 threats to Jewish Centers across the US, authorities investigating

first_img Related iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — In the wake of 11 new threats Monday against Jewish centers, from New York to New Mexico, the FBI said it is investigating, along with the Department of Justice, bomb threats to the centers across the country.Federal authorities are looking into threats communicated to at least 60 Jewish centers around the country this year. The threats started in January and the FBI began investigating later that same month. The threats have come in “different waves,” with more threats phoned in to centers Monday, according to one source familiar with the matter.The FBI said they are “investigating possible civil rights violations in connection with threats to Jewish Community Centers.”“The FBI will collect all available facts and evidence, and will ensure this matter is investigated in a fair, thorough, and impartial manner,” the FBI said in a statement. “As this is matter is ongoing, we are not able to comment further at this time.”This year, a total of 69 threats to 54 JCCs have spanned 27 states and one Canadian province and came in four waves: Jan. 9, Jan. 18, Jan. 31 and then Monday, the JCC Association of North America said.In Monday’s wave of threats 11 JCCs received bomb threats over the phone, the JCC Association of North America said. All threats were determined to be hoaxes and all JCCs returned to normal operations, they said.The threats Monday included a JCC in St. Paul, Minnesota, a JCC in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and two Jewish centers around Buffalo, New York.The Department of Homeland Security has also been working on this matter. Almost immediately after the threats are reported to federal authorities, the DHS is informed and disseminates the information nationwide through the Homeland Security Information Network channel “so that others can see that these calls are going on and respond accordingly,” one source said.David Posner, director of strategic performance at JCC Association of North America, said that while the JCCs that received the threats have all resumed operations “with a heightened level of security,” he added, “we will not be cowed by threats intended to disrupt people’s lives.”“While we are relieved that all such threats have proven to be hoaxes and that not a single person was harmed, we are concerned about the anti-Semitism behind these threats, and the repetition of threats intended to interfere with day-to-day life,” Posner said. “Local JCCs serve not just the Jewish community, but the entire community. Participants from all different backgrounds come to their local JCCs.”The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said in a statement Monday that the threats are “alarming, disruptive, and must always been taken seriously.”“We look to our political leaders at all levels to speak out against such threats directed against Jewish institutions, to make it clear that such actions are unacceptable, and to pledge that they will work with law enforcement officials to ensure that those responsible will be apprehended and punished to the full extent of the law,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in the statement.At a press conference last week, when a Jewish reporter started to ask President Trump about a rise in anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S., he said it wasn’t a fair question and told the reporter to sit down. Trump then said he is “the least anti-Semitic person you’ve ever seen in your entire life.”He later responded to questions about possible anti-Semitic activity saying, “As far as people, Jewish people … I think that you’re going to see a lot different United States of America over the next three, four, or eight years. I think a lot of good things are happening, and you’re going to see a lot of love.”White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Monday, in response to the threats, “Hatred and hate-motivated violence of any kind have no place in a country founded on the promise of individuals freedom. The President has made it abundantly clear that these actions are unacceptable.”Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.Powered by WPeMaticolast_img read more