Professional dilemma

first_imgDo you have an e-learning problem? Then ask our experts to find a solution.E-mail it to the address at the bottom of the page Q I need to implement a learning management system (LMS) for 500 staff –and quickly. How long should it take? A There are some guidelines within which you can work. If it is a straightforward implementation where you need the LMS toadminister and offer courses, it can take as little as a few hours. It reallyis that simple if the software is designed well enough. Incidentally, itshouldn’t matter whether you need the LMS for 500 or 50,000 employees. Integrating the LMS with existing HR software gets a little morecomplicated. This can take just a few weeks if both the internal and supplier’steams are committed. However, BUPA recently integrated its new LMS withexisting HR software (PeopleSoft) in just two and a half weeks. Choosing the courseware can also be quick. It depends on whether the classesrequired can be sourced ‘off-the-shelf’ from the thousands available. If youneed bespoke classes, however, it is a different matter. Getting thespecification right is the most important aspect, as changing things laterslows down the process. You too can help the implementation go smoothly. Understand your company’snetworks and technology. Know the goals of the new training programme, and makesure you abide by agreed project times. Ensure the supplier gets access to theinternal project team, as it will be in touch frequently. The supplier needs to contribute an enormous amount. At first, it shouldoffer good experience and reference-able customers. It should also be able tosource the right courses from a huge range of providers. It may survey some ofyour staff so that it understands the culture, and should also supply a specialaccount consultant to ease you through the process. E-learning is a cultural leap, so your supplier should be able to create andmanage strategies for communication and mentoring to ensure the systems providea strong ROI. Remember, it should be simple for you and the users. Response by Spencer Cohen, head of sales at Futuremedia Plc Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Professional dilemmaOn 1 Jul 2003 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

Los Angeles-class Attack Submarine USS Providence Returns to Naval Submarine Base New London

first_img View post tag: attack Los Angeles-class Attack Submarine USS Providence Returns to Naval Submarine Base New London View post tag: submarine View post tag: Navy April 11, 2011 View post tag: Providence Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Providence (SSN 719) returned to Naval Submarine Base New London on, April 8 after conducting operations in support of Joint Task Force (JTF) Odyssey Dawn. Providence was part of a group of American and British ships and submarines that launched missiles on Libyan air defenses begining March 19.JTF Odyssey Dawn, a U.S. Africa Command task force established to provide operational and tactical command and control of U.S. military forces supporting the international response to the unrest in Libya and enforcement of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, was disestablished March 30.“The crew performed exactly the way we were trained and did everything that the president and our commanders wanted us to do,” said Cmdr. Raymond Gabriel, commanding officer of Providence.Fast-attack submarines like Providence have multi-faceted missions. They use their stealth, persistence, agility and firepower to deploy and support special force operations, disrupt and destroy an adversary’s military and economic operations at sea, provide early strike from close proximity, and ensure undersea superiority.Providence was commissioned on July 27, 1995. She is the fifth U.S. Navy warship named for the capitol of Rhode Island.By Lt. Patrick Evans (navy)[mappress]Source: navy, April 11, 2011; View post tag: London View post tag: News by topiccenter_img View post tag: Los Angeles-class Back to overview,Home naval-today Los Angeles-class Attack Submarine USS Providence Returns to Naval Submarine Base New London View post tag: Naval View post tag: Base View post tag: Returns View post tag: USS Share this articlelast_img read more

Access denied: Oxford admits more Westminster pupils than black students

first_imgCollege splitsMansfield College continues to blaze the trail for state school admissions, with 88.2% of its 2015–17 intake coming from state schools.At the other end of the scale, state-educated students made up less than half of the intake at six colleges — Exeter, Keble, Magdalen, St Peter’s, Queen’s, Trinity.Trinity was the lowest of all, with just 41.1% of its intake (81 students) attending state schools. Its state intake was 6.1 percentage points lower than at any other college.In 2017, the college’s senior tutor and and tutor for admissions Lucinda Rumsey said: “How we got where we are is partly that we started a long time ago.“We decided nearly 20 years ago to run a project to encourage students from further education colleges to apply to Oxford. We formed a consortium with several other Oxford colleges and extended the outreach project to sixth form colleges.”88.2% of Mansfield’s 2015–17 intake came from state schools Cherwell’s analysis of the University’s first-ever undergraduate admissions report also shows that:17 of the top 20 schools for Oxford admissions are fee-payingThere is still a huge disparity between colleges in terms of access dataBME students typically apply for the most oversubscribed coursesPrivately-educated students apply for the most undersubscribed courses Course choicesState educated students in the UK apply disproportionately for the most oversubscribed subjects.Between 2015 and 2017, 35% of state applications were for five of the most oversubscribed subjects at the University — Economics and Management, Medicine, PPE, Law, and Mathematics — while only 29.8% of independent applications were for the same subjects.Conversely, 21% of applications from independent schools were for five of the most undersubscribed subjects — Classics, Music, Modern Languages, Chemistry, and English — compared with 16% of state applications.77.8% of the students admitted for Computer Science in that time period were state-educated, while 71.1% of Classics students attended independent schools. Private dominanceAccording to data obtained by Varsity, 17 of the top 20 schools for Oxford admissions in 2017 are fee-paying, while the other three are prestigious grammar schools. Regional splitsLondon and the South East account for 47.9% of the University’s 2015–17 intake, despite the regions comprising just 26.6% of the UK’s population.Meanwhile, there was a particularly disproportionately small number of students admitted from Scotland. Students from the North East are disproportionately successful in their applications, with 24.7% of those who applied from the region between 2015 and 2017 gaining places.Meanwhile, students from Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales were comparatively unsuccessful: pupils based at schools in those regions took up places in just 17.3%, 17.8%, and 18.4% of applications. Demographic disparityThe report shows that the number of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) students admitted to Oxford rose from 13.9% in 2013 to 17.9% in 2017, but that black students are still underrepresented.The number of UK-domiciled BME applicants to the University has increased by 38% in the same time.The disparities between colleges in terms of their access data remain vast.While BME students made up 20.3% of the total UK students admitted to Keble College between 2015–17, this figure was just 10.8% at St Edmund Hall in the same period.Of the 120 black students admitted to the University between 2015 and 2017, only one was admitted to Corpus Christi College, while seven other colleges — Balliol, Exeter, Jesus, Magdalen, New College, Univ, and Worcester — admitted just two.center_img Westminster School topped this list: out of 98 students that applied, 54 received offers, and 49 were eventually admitted to the University.Eton College (45 students), St. Paul’s School (37), and King’s College School (31) were the other fee-paying school to make up the top five.Peter Symonds College (31), which is a non-selective sixth form college in Winchester, was the only non-independent school in the top five.Hills Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge (26) and Pate’s Grammar School (17) were the only other non-fee-paying schools to send more than 15 students to Oxford last year.However, the University did not give a breakdown of school types other than ‘state’ and ‘independent’ in its print report, despite the University of Cambridge releasing that data earlier this month. A spokesperson said that more specific data would be released online. Oxford admitted more pupils from Westminster School than black students in 2017, Cherwell can reveal.49 students from the London independent school accepted offers to study at the University last year, while only 48 black students were admitted. Disability disparitiesThe number of students declaring a disability on application, and the number of those students being admitted has been increasing annually since 2013.In 2017, 7.7% of the University’s intake had declared a disability on application, compared to 5.6% in 2013.However, disabled students still made a much smaller proportion of Oxford’s 2017 intake than Russell Group universities and all UK universities. According to the report’s data, 13% of all UK universities’ 2015 intake declared a disability, while 11% of all Russell Group universities’ intake had declared a disability. ReactionIn response to the report, the University has announced a 50% expansion of its Uniq spring and summer schools, which will cost £150 million.Vice chancellor Louise Richardson said: “Uniq is a wonderful example of what can happen when bright students are given the chance to realise their potential, increase their confidence and raise their aspirations.”The expansion will be jointly funded by the University and by a joint donation from businessman Sir Michael Moritz and his wife, novelist Harriet Heyman.Universities Minister Sam Gyimah said: “This Government has introduced new measures that will require all higherUniversities minister Sam Gyimah said: “Data like this shines a light on those who need to do more to increase access for disadvantaged and underrepresented groups.”education institutions to publish data on disadvantaged groups in the future including on admissions, but I welcome Oxford University’s action in pre-empting this and being transparent and open. Data like this shines a light on those who need to do more to increase access for disadvantaged and underrepresented groups. “Next year universities will spend around £860 million on measures to improve this type of access and retention of disadvantaged students, so I want to see progress and action that goes beyond just data, particularly at our most selective institutions.“To support this I have asked the Office for Students to work with the sector to ensure that expenditure in this area is backed by evidence, ensuring greater value for money on their spending.”This article was edited to clarify that Peter Symonds College is a non-selective sixth form college and not an independent school.Reporting by Oscar Baker, Fred Dimbleby, Ryan Gould, Isabel Morris, Greg Ritchie, and Matt Rollerlast_img read more

Party lines

first_imgWhat policies are you proposing to assist SMEs and those starting up businesses with accessing credit and business support?MARK PRISK, SHADOW BUSINESS MINISTER, CONSERVATIVES:We would use Government guarantees to create more diverse sources of affordable credit for businesses, building on our proposals at the start of the recession for a bold and simple National Loan Guarantee Scheme.To help local firms, we will:l Make small business rate relief automatic, as is already the case in Wales. This will be worth up to £1,263 a year in lower taxes for small firms in 2010-11.l Give councils the power to offer local business rate discounts, in order to provide targeted local support (e.g. local pubs, local Post Offices, or promote a local business park, etc).l Allow councils to keep the proceeds of business rate growth from new development for six years, to create a new incentive to help local firms and promote economic growth.l Stop any new supplementary business rate being imposed on local firms, by requiring a referendum of local firms to endorse it.We will undo Labour’s changes to planning rules, which have weakened councils’ ability to stop unwanted out-of-town development, and we will ensure a ’needs test’ is re-adopted. We will also enable councils to take competition issues into account when drawing up local plans.Pat mcfadden, minister for business innovation and skills, Labour:We have done everything possible to get viable businesses through the global downturn. We moved to stabilise the financial system by preventing the collapse of the banks. And the cut in VAT put money into the economy at a critical time to increase consumer spending.Over 200,000 businesses, which collectively employ 1.4 million people, have been able to delay £5bn in taxes through the Time to Pay Scheme. This has given businesses breathing space, by allowing them to pay their business taxes on a timetable they can afford. The Enterprise Finance Guarantee, meanwhile, has guaranteed loans to thousands of businesses up and down the country. This will be extended for another year meaning an additional £500m of bank lending.It has been tough, but small business failure is less than half the rate of the recession of the 1990s. We recognise businesses will continue to need a helping hand. This is why schemes like the Time to Pay initiative and the Enterprise Finance Guarantee will continue with Labour.As we look to lock in the recovery, we do not want to penalise people who wish to invest in their businesses. So we are doubling the Annual Investment Allowance from £50,000 to £100,000, provi-ding greater tax relief. As a result, 99% of businesses will be able to deduct all investments in plant and machinery in the first year from their taxable profits.Unlike the Conservatives, we will not abolish these allowances, which give incentives for businesses to invest. So if you are thinking about investing in your business, or if your workplace is considering purchasing some new kit, the Conservatives would remove the tax relief that makes it easier for businesses to make these decisions. This is the wrong choice at a time when we need to support businesses that will create the most growth and jobs.Getting credit from the banks is a real issue, so the taxpayer-backed banks will be required to lend £94bn over the next 12 months, with nearly half going to small firms. A new small business credit adjudicator will also have powers to make sure that small businesses cannot be unfairly turned down for bank loans.And to help new businesses, as well as existing ones, business rates will be cut for a year from October. This will reduce the fixed costs of starting and running a small business for around 500,000 businesses in England. This change will mean a tax reduction for almost 100,000 shops.JOHN THURSO, SHADOW BUSINESS MINISTER, Liberal Democrats:We will make sure that SMEs can get the capital they need to succeed and grow. First, we will get the banks lending at affordable rates and at the volumes required to sustain the recovery particularly the semi-nationalised banks, which should be working for the benefit of UK plc. In the longer term, we will split low-risk retail banking from high-risk investment banking, so that the UK once again has a banking industry focused on lending to businesses to support economic growth.Second, we will help to create new sources of equity through Local Enterprise Funds and Regional Stock Exchanges. These will connect businesses with investors in their own region and significantly increase the supply of equity to smaller businesses.We will improve business support by reforming Regional Development Agencies to focus solely on economic development.In what ways will you reduce the burden of bureaucracy and the barriers to running a successful business?PRISK: Labour has drowned business with reams of red tape. The average small firm spends seven hours a week form-filling according to the Federation of Small Businesses. We will slash red tape through an innovative ’one-in, one-out’ rule, whereby no new regulation can be introduced without cutting another with an equivalent cost elsewhere plus an extra 5% cut to the net regulatory burden.Regulatory quangos will be tamed through the introduction of ’sunset clauses’ (laws with expiry dates), where each one will have to justify their existence at the end of a fixed term.Tax is a major barrier for small firms. That is why we will make small business rate relief automatic, saving eligible firms up to £1,200 this year and we will cut the small companies’ corporation tax rate from 22p to 20p. To help those wanting to start and grow a business, during the first two years of a Conservative government, we will abolish tax on the first 10 jobs new firms create within their first year.Through our proposed Office of Tax Simplification, we will also conduct a thorough review of all small business taxation with the aim of reducing its complexity.It takes around 13 days to start a business that employs people in the UK. So we will make it easier for people to set up new enterprises by cutting the time it takes to start a new business, and making Britain the fastest place in the world to start a business. The Conservatives will reduce the number of forms needed to register a new business, and move towards a ’one-click’ registration model.Most importantly, we will stop Labour’s tax on jobs, which will kill the recovery by cutting Labour’s waste. We will raise the secondary threshold at which employers start paying NICs by £21 a week, saving employers up to £150 for every person they employ relative to Labour’s plans. This will reduce the cost of Labour’s tax rise on employers by more than half.The choice for the industry at this election is clear five more years of Gordon Brown making things worse, or change with the Conservatives who have the energy, leadership and ideas to get the economy moving again.MCFADDEN: We take costs to business very seriously. We will continue the Business Link service, which offers comprehensive practical advice to businesses, including free access to inter-active tools and model documents that are quick and easy to use. This help has already saved businesses an estimated £418m in administrative costs in the last year.If used correctly, regulation can help drive innovation, as well as protect workers and consumers. We will make further progress in cutting the costs of regulation on growing businesses, especially the smallest. We will seek to reduce the costs of regulation by more than £6bn by 2015. This new target will cut the cost of regulation through £1.5bn in unnecessary paperwork and record-keeping, and £5bn in the wider regulatory costs that impact upon business. This will be met by looking at the following areas: Built Environment; Business Law; Consumer Issues; Employment and Skills; Health and Social Welfare; Natural Environment; Transport and Workplace Health and Safety.THURSO: Businesses are hamstrung by an ever-growing tide of regulation, uncertain public finances and a shortage of key skills.We will reduce red tape and manage the introduction of new regulations by ending the gold-plating of European directives; adopting a ’one-in one-out’ policy; using sunset clauses; and introducing independent checks on the costs of regulations.Stable public finances are vital to maintain low interest rates and provide clarity over future levels of taxation. We need a credible plan to reduce the deficit based on economic indicators, not political dogma.With tax rates already high for businesses, the deficit must be tackled through controlling public spending. The Liberal Democrats have gone further than any other party in identifying over £15bn of annual savings, such as capping public sector pay rises to £400 a year, abolishing the Child Trust Fund and scrapping the last tranche of Eurofighter.The education system is failing to provide many young people with the basic skills they need to hold down a job. We will ensure a better balance between academic and vocational education and take urgent action to boost the economy though a £3.3bn stimulus package. This includes support for vocations such as bakery by fully funding the off-the-job costs of adult apprenticeships and funding 15,000 more Foun-dation Degrees, which combine study with practical workplace learning.What is your position on the growing power of the supermarkets with regards to supplier relationships and store expansions negatively affecting businesses?PRISK: Supermarkets provide consumers with a rich variety of choice and great convenience, but there is evidence that the big retailers have used unfair practices to squeeze the profit margins of producers. We will introduce an ombudsman, in the Office of Fair Trading, to enforce the Grocery Supply Code of Practice and curb abuses of power, which undermine suppliers and act against the long-term interest of consumers. We also believe co-operation should be encouraged to give farmers more influence in the marketplace and will promote the expansion of local food networks.MCFADDEN: The power that large grocery retailers can wield over their suppliers can still create pressures on small producers, which ultimately may impact on consumers. Free and fair competition is the key to a healthy market and it is right that there should be an enforcement body to make sure that the market is working in the best interests of consumers. In our manifesto we announced that, in order to protect farmers and food suppliers from unfair and uncompetitive practices by major retailers, we will create a supermarket ombudsman.THURSO: For years, Labour and the Tories have twiddled their thumbs, while the supermarkets have pushed suppliers and rural shops to the brink. We seriously doubt that belated proposals for a supermarket ombudsman will properly rein in these big beasts. That’s why the Liberal Democrats are committed to an independent food market regulator, with the power to enforce a legally binding Code of Practice. A regulator would have the power to pro-actively investigate abuses of market power and ensure that supermarkets no longer exploit suppliers or consumers. Invoicing rules will mean that refunds will appear on bills and cannot be negotiated down at the end of the year. Selling staple items, such as bread, at a loss will be regulated.Successive governments have allowed the planning system to favour the construction of large new retail developments, even when there are existing high street shops standing empty. We will ensure a more strategic approach, strengthening planning laws by bringing in a local competition test and requiring local authorities to develop sustainable retail plans. Key policies l One-in one-out rule to slash red tapel Review of small business taxationl Cut the time it takes for new start-ups Key policies l Annual Investment Allowance doubledl Regulation costs cut by £6bn by 2015l A supermarket ombudsman created Key policies l Get banks to lend at affordable ratesl Create new sources of equityl Reform RDAs to improve supportlast_img read more

The day the president died

first_img In 1959, Sen. John F. Kennedy, Class of 1940, attended Harvard’s Commencement. Kennedy spoke with Harvard Treasurer Paul C. Cabot (left) and Sidney Weinberg, senior partner at Goldman Sachs, who received an honorary degree that day. Kennedy’s suite in Winthrop House has been restored to reflect its former resident. Three of the Kennedy brothers, John, Joseph, and Edward, lived in Winthrop House. File photo by Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer AT SUPREME COURT, JUSTICES HUDDLED OVER A TINY TVAlan M. DershowitzFelix Frankfurter Professor of LawHarvard Law SchoolShortly after I began working as a law clerk for [Supreme Court] Justice [Arthur] Goldberg, I was in his secretary’s office while she was talking on the phone to her husband, who was an officer in the U.S. Armed Forces. He had something to do with communications because he told her that shots had been fired in Dallas.We turned on a small television set that had been in my cubicle ever since I had brought it from home to watch the World Series a couple of months earlier. Nothing was yet on the news. A few minutes later, everyone in the world knew that President Kennedy had been shot. It was a Friday, and the justices were in their weekly conference, which no one else was allowed to attend. I had been given strict instructions never to interrupt the justices during one of these conferences, but I knew this was an exception. I went to the door of the conference room and knocked. Justice Goldberg, being the junior justice, answered and gave me a dirty look, saying, “I told you not to interrupt me.” I said, “Mr. Justice, you are going to want to know that the president has been shot.”Several of the justices immediately gathered around my TV, which, it turned out, was the only one in the entire Supreme Court building. We watched as the news got progressively worse, finally leading to the announcement that the president was dead. The chief justice asked the justices to disperse for fear that there might be a conspiracy involving attacks on other institutions, such as occurred following the Lincoln assassination. The clerks stayed behind.The following night, Justice Goldberg asked me to drive him to the White House. He was closely connected both to the Kennedy family and to Lyndon Johnson, and the new president wanted his advice. I picked the justice up in my old Peugeot, which was filled with children’s toys, and I drove him to the White House gate. Goldberg asked me to wait for him, since the meeting would be relatively brief, and drive him home. When the White House guard looked into the car, he immediately flung the back door open and grabbed a toy gun. Nerves were tense. When Goldberg emerged from the meeting, he seemed relieved:  “The transition won’t be smooth, but it will work out.” It did.President Kennedy’s death affected me both directly and indirectly. Justice Goldberg had arranged for me to have a job with Attorney General Robert Kennedy, a job that I was considering taking. It soon became clear that Robert Kennedy would not remain in his job long enough for me to serve under him, so I did not pursue that opportunity. The assassination affected me indirectly in that it instilled a sense of cynicism in me about American politics and American justice. To this day I believe that it is likely that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, but I will never know for sure because the process by which the Warren Commission reached that result was deeply flawed. A FOCUS UP IN SPACE, AND THEN ON DALLASIrwin ShapiroAstrophysicist, Timken University ProfessorHarvard UniversityIn 1963, Shapiro was working on jam-proof communications as part of the U.S. Defense Department’s Project West Ford, which launched into orbit millions of tiny metal fragments, called dipoles, that functioned as antennae.A little before 1, I was at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory’s labs on 185 Alewife Brook Parkway. They had a Baker-Nunn system, which were cameras located on the Earth that took pictures of the sky, following satellites and stuff like that. I was there because their cameras should have detected these dipoles when they were closely packed, before they had spread out in a ring. They were launched something like Oct. 21, 1963, and this was about a month later. They had spread quite a bit but not all the way around. I wanted to see if they could detect them or not with the Baker-Nunn cameras.Someone had the radio on, and I heard that the president was shot, and he was being taken to the Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas. From the description, it didn’t sound to me as if he would get there alive. I was just totally shocked. The general response was shock, but it wasn’t that all work stopped. I have to admit it: We kept on working. Even though it was going around in my head, I still was able to work, and did.I don’t think my work was changed at all [with the assassination]. I remember being worried about Johnson being president and then being uplifted by his speech, which was impressive to me. I didn’t think he was capable of it.I’d like to believe he [Kennedy] would not have gone whole-hog into Vietnam. It’s easy to say, but who can prove it? But that’s what I thought in retrospect may likely not have happened. Of course, the whole country’s succeeding history would have been very different … Now, would we have made progress in civil rights like we made with Johnson?I would like to believe it, but I can’t do the experiment. Kennedy’s academic records reflected his campus memberships as “Football, Swimming, Chairman of Smoker Committee.” JFK at Harvard “GOOD LORD, I WONDER WHAT’S HAPPENED?”Francis M. BatorLucius N. Littauer Professor of Political Economy EmeritusHarvard Kennedy SchoolI was having lunch at the Metropolitan Club in Washington with an old friend who had been a colleague at the [Massachusetts Institute of Technology] Center for International Studies. We were sitting at a table fairly near the window. About 10 minutes after we began, [national columnist] Walter Lippmann came in … and sat down for lunch, and we waved hello. About halfway through lunch, I noticed that someone from the desk downstairs at the Metropolitan Club came running up the stairs, literally ran into the dining room to Lippmann’s table, and whispered something in his ear.Lippmann, 74 years old, not a spring chicken, bolted upright, and headed at a fast trot for the stairs. And I remember … saying … “Good lord, I wonder what’s happened?” Word passed quickly around the dining room that the president had been shot.At one point soon after the election, I had had lunch with [Kennedy adviser] Ted Sorensen at the MIT faculty club, and he asked if I’d be interested in going to work for the Kennedy administration, and I said yes, depending on the job. But other than occasional minor consulting, nothing came of it until September ’63 when I did go down as economic adviser … for David Bell, who had been Kennedy’s first budget director and went to run the Agency for International Development. That’s why I happened to be in Washington at the time of the assassination. … It was a ghastly thing to have happened, and though I barely knew John Kennedy, there was no doubt an element of personal shock. Wasn’t there for most Americans?You ask about how it affected my life personally. I am sure that I had hoped that eventually I might end up working directly for J.F.K. in the White House. …  As it happens, I continued in my A.I.D. job, but in March or April of ’64, [White House adviser] McGeorge Bundy did ask me to become the senior economist on the National Security Council staff, and I accepted, ending up as deputy national security adviser for Lyndon Johnson.I suppose it’s not inconceivable that’s where I would have ended up for Kennedy, but that’s just idle speculation.center_img Kennedy was photographed as he arrived to attend a Harvard Board of Overseers meeting on Jan. 9, 1961, less than two weeks before he was to be inaugurated as president. REALIZING SHE KNEW BOTH KENNEDY AND OSWALDPriscilla Johnson McMillanCenter associate, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian StudiesAuthor of “Marina and Lee” (1977, reprinted 2013)McMillan is believed to be the only person who knew both Kennedy (for whom she worked in 1953 in his Senate office) and gunman Lee Harvey Oswald (whom she interviewed in 1959 as a reporter in Moscow).I was living in the basement of the Brattle Inn [near Harvard Square]. At that time it was a collection of little wooden buildings … at Brattle and Story [streets]. A friend of mine drove into the parking lot and told me Kennedy had been shot. I was angry at him, at my friend, for telling me, angry for telling me the news. Later I was walking past when I ran into one of the secretaries at the Russian Research Center, where I was then a fellow. I said, “Have they caught anybody?” and she said, “Yes. His name was Lee Harvey …” I knew the rest. I did not know he was back in this country. At that stage of the Cold War, it wasn’t so easy to come and go. That was a shock, of course.I remembered that I had written a profile of Oswald when I met him in 1959. So I got in touch with the North American Newspaper Alliance, for which I had been a reporter, to see if they still had that story … I still have a copy of it, of my story. It was a profile of a defector. We didn’t have many defectors in Moscow at the time. People came to Moscow for career reasons. There had never been someone in my experience who claimed to want to live there because he was a Marxist. Nobody believed in the system anymore, including the Russians. Someone who came, an American, as an ideological defector, was very unusual.I just described him. It was just a news story. He had just had his 20th birthday. He was slight. He was about 5 feet 8 inches or 9 inches, and thin. When he said “ask,” he said “axed.” He spoke through a fog of Marxist lingo. I tried to talk to him about himself, but he wanted to talk about Marxian economics.[After hearing that the president had been shot] I was very nervous. I tried to talk to people at the office. It sort of blew out the center of me. And the shooting of Oswald [two days later], even more so. It was so graphic.McMillan, who speaks Russian, met Marina Oswald, Lee’s wife, the following year and spent six months near her, eventually writing a book about their marriage called “Marina and Lee.”It took a lot emotionally out of me because I was trying to get inside of Oswald’s mind, and to a lesser extent her mind. But mostly I was trying to understand what went on in his mind … before he shot at President Kennedy. I was trying to get inside of their minds. When you write about something in depth, you see right through to the bottom of life. It changed me as a person. At the end of that, I understand a lot more about life itself.I just had a life. I got married and moved to the South. My husband was a reporter in the Civil Rights Movement. I was always in touch with Marina and would call her [with questions]. She was very patient, and we were good friends. For a while, all I did was review other people’s books. I appreciated what it took to write a book, and I wanted to see that other authors got a fair shake. I couldn’t think what I wanted to do next. The Class of 1940 Freshman Red Book, given to students once the semester was under way, listed John F. Kennedy’s address as Bronxville, N.Y., his dorm room as Weld 32, and his high school as Choate. Photos courtesy of the Harvard University Archives They are the touchstone moments, the rare flashpoints in American life where all who experienced them remember exactly where they were, how they felt, how their lives changed. The 9/11 attacks provide one such memory, the Pearl Harbor bombings another, and the killing of President John F. Kennedy a third.Kennedy’s assassination happened 50 years ago, but those affected remember the details of Nov. 22, 1963, as if it were yesterday. The Gazette’s reporters asked five members of the Harvard community how they recall that day, and how it affected them. Here’s what they remember, and what happened afterward:IN SHOCK, WALKING AWAY FROM THE STORYMarvin KalbEdward R. Murrow Professor of Practice EmeritusHarvard Kennedy SchoolI was the chief diplomatic correspondent for CBS News during those days. And I had just been at a briefing that Gov. Averell Harriman gave about a trip to Southeast Asia that he had just completed. He tried to persuade us that all of Southeast Asia was in support of the war in Vietnam. I wrote a 50-second radio spot and went into the radio booth that CBS had on the second floor of the State Department. When I picked up the earpiece to call in to the studio to do the recording of the piece, I heard the voice of Allan Jackson, who was one of the principal radio anchors at the time, telling the American people that the president has just been shot.I did not immediately understand that he was speaking of President Kennedy. I was in a bit of a haze until I heard him later in the broadcast speak specifically about President Kennedy, about Dallas, and the seriousness of the wound. At the very beginning, I didn’t know which president he was talking about. And I did not think it was Kennedy. My mind simply wasn’t there. And then when I heard him specifically say — I remember sitting in this very small, darkened broadcast booth in a state of some shock. I was not responding in a very professional way, by which I mean: “Wow, what a great big story this is, and I wonder what part I can play in it.” I was in a state of shock, and I sat there until finally, I believe it was 1 o’clock, I heard Walter Cronkite announce quite specifically that “President Kennedy is dead.”I knew immediately that my bureau chief would call me to come into the studio and help with the anchoring of the CBS News, and I also knew that I couldn’t do it. And so I did what I hope was the only totally nonprofessional thing I’d ever done in my life: I left the broadcast booth, left the State Department, and began to walk around the building itself trying to compose myself. And when I had completed this rather long walk, because it’s four long blocks, I still felt that I could not, that my mind was not clear enough to do a broadcast. That’s why I walked around it a second time. And then I felt as if I was together. I could do anything at that point — I felt I could anyway — and I walked back to the booth. Both phones were ringing. My boss was on both phones, and he was saying something like, “Where the hell have you been?” And I said, “I just found out.” I lied. And I said, “What can I do to help?” He said, “Get your ass in here.” Which I did.I think it had a major impact on America over the next decade or two. I think it was part of the beginning of massive changes within American society, changes to our politics, changes to race relations, changes to women’s rights, changes to popular uprisings against the continued war in Vietnam. I feel that if Kennedy had lived — I’m not saying these things wouldn’t have happened — but I am saying it would have happened in a different way. And he might, might have had the capacity to take a different view of the war in Vietnam and bring the troops home. I don’t know that he would have done that — in fact, I suspect he would not have — but there was that possibility.But without Kennedy, without the comfort, the security that comes with knowledge that there is a president doing his job, the White House is occupied, we would not have had to live through the trauma of his death, absorbing what it meant, and I think we would have been better off … And I say that in full recognition that the words may convey something less than I feel. I feel very strongly that, had he lived, America would have been a different and better place.Professionally, I’m embarrassed to say that I went back and did what I assume was a very good job because I got better and better assignments after that. I can only tell you, at the time, I was quite devastated. Like everybody who read a history book, I knew about other American presidents who had been killed. And of course, Lincoln was always on my mind. But I never believed that in my lifetime presidents would be killed. I thought that was in the past, something we had lived through and advanced beyond. But it was not true. And it is not true even to this day. Kennedy, who was elected to the Harvard Board of Overseers in 1957 and served until 1963, held an Overseers’ meeting at the White House on May 13, 1963.last_img read more

African Union Day of Peace

first_img African leaders declared 2010 the Year of Peace and Security in Africa, culminating with a celebration on September 21 as part of the International Day of Peace. Established by a U.N. resolution in 1982, the Day of Peace provides an opportunity for individuals, organizations and nations to perform acts of peace on a shared date, according to the organization. The African Union is taking part in the festivities in hopes of ending hostilities in conflict zones so humanitarian aid can safely reach the needy living in those areas, reported news website “Peace Day aims at putting peace in practice, through a collective, cooperative moment of unity,” said Jean Ping, chairperson of the African Union Commission. “The goal is to demystify peace-building and to portray it as the responsibility of all communities and all individuals.” By Dialogo July 01, 2010last_img read more

Laughing for Peace: Colombian Army soldiers perform in traveling circus

first_img The soldiers of Laughing for Peace are part of the 13th Brigade, which assigned to the National Army’s Fifth Division. Laughing for Peace performs in remote villages every week. For their performances, the soldiers trade their camouflage uniforms and dress in bright costumes. The bright costumes help bring their characters to life and make some villagers laugh. There are 17 soldiers in Laughing for Peace. The Army formed the circus in 1996, with the goal of using entertainment to improve ties with the improving ties with the civilian population. Many villagers who attend the free performances are astonished at first, but are ultimately delighted. “At first, (the people) get scared when watching it, of course. Colombian soldiers and a circus, what’s the relationship?” said Army Sgt. Oscar Francisco Yela, one of the circus performers, according to published reports. “Having fun is important to human beings,” the sergeant said. Reaching out to the civilian population When they are not fighting the FARC or other transnational criminal organizations, the Army soldiers who comprise the Colombia Circus bring fun and joy to people in remote communities throughout the country. The mission of the circus, which is also known as Laughing for Peace, is to strengthen ties with civilian communities by entertaining them. Laughing for Peace staged a show in mid-March, 2014, in Tibiritá, Cundinamarca. The town of 3,000 residents is near the place where drug trafficker José Gonzalo Rodríguez Gacha, who is known as “El Mexicano,” was born. El Mexicano was a member of the Medellín Cartel, one of the most dangerous and feared drug trafficking organizations in Colombia in the 1980s and early 1990s. The cartel was led by kingpin Pablo Escobar. Security forces killed El Mexicano in 1992, and Escobar in 1993. Laughing for Peace is part of a comprehensive military strategy that calls for the Armed Forces to battle the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), the National Liberation Army (ELN), Los Rastrojos, Los Urabenos, and other organized crime groups while also forging closer ties with the civilian population, said María Victoria Llorente of the Ideas for Peace Foundation. “It is important for the Army to show another side to their actions. The Colombia Circus is part of a relationship-building approach with communities involved in conflicts and illegal markets,” Llorente said. Wherever they go, the soldiers who are in the circus go door-to-door to invite residents to enjoy the show. In Tibiritá, the mayor sent a bus to remote areas to bring people into the village to watch the show. Each performance lasts about two hours. The Tibiritá show started around seven in the evening, as twilight gave way to nightfall. Some soldiers performed as clowns, others juggled or engaged in acrobatics. One breathed fire. One soldier walked across a rope suspended above the ground. In previous year, the performance included a goat who walked across the tightrope. The spectators enjoyed the show, and the soldiers had a good time performing. “The moment a soldier transforms himself into a clown, he can feel the humanity and is ready to offer something to our children, to our families,” Euclides Quintana, a soldier who is known as “Botoncito” in the military circus, said in a television news interview. Following the performance, Tibiritá government officials honored the circus in the town’s main park. Many of the soldiers in the circus have patrolled areas where the FARC, the ELN, Los Rastrojos and other transnational criminal organizations operate. “The Colombia Circus leaves a great message and wonderful memories in the minds and hearts of residents and officials in this town,” Tibiritá Mayor Gonzalo Rojas Calderón said. For the next several months, Laughing for Peace will continue to perform in different villages and towns in the department of Cundinamarca, “bringing a message of peace to Colombians, and in this way, building scenarios of reconciliation and love for our country,” the National Army said in a statement. Since the circus was formed, it has performed in remote areas in the departments of Boyacá, Cesar, Norte de Santander, Bolívar, and Santander. Soldiers convey the message that all Colombians can contribute to the battle against transnational criinal organizations. During each performance, soldiers advise spectators to avoid drugs, violence, and excessive alcohol consumption. In late February 2014, the Colombia Circus performed in the town of Chocontá, where every show had an audience of at least 800 people. Gen. Félix Iván Muñoz Salcedo, the Army’s chief of recruiting, and Brigadier Gen. Jorge Humberto Jerez Cuellar, the commander of the 13th Brigade, watched some of the performances with town officials. The traveling circus is a good way for the Army to build trust in remote communities, Llorente said. “The most important task is to build a state presence in the outlying regions,” Llorente said. “The Colombian experience systematically demonstrates that in order to control the territory and combat criminal organizations, government institutions need to carry out more initiatives and actions to pacify these areas despite the difficulties.” A positive message A comprehensive strategy By Dialogo April 09, 2014 I love both articles, we all realized that the first one was a fraud because several people had barely began serving as voting witnesses to count the votes and they already had the final winning number of votes registered in favor of Santos. Few people voted in Barranquilla. Maybe the suffering spirits voted, because the living were nowhere to be seen. Since there are no longer any newspapers or news reporters that are free-thinkers, I’d like to pay for the subscription. Phone is 1 6431932 Institutions should approach the community in a way that inspires trust and awakens solidarity, so that they can constitute a single team and fight organized crime efficiently.I admire the work of the soldiers and officials that courageously fight terrorists. There are a lot of good Colombians that are ready to support the National army, which we are proud of.Congratulations to the army. Congratulations to our soldiers, they are the pillars of democracy. Spectacular. Thank you for bringing so many smiles to the whole worldlast_img read more

Recurring transactions are the future of payments: Is your credit union getting left behind?

first_img continue reading » With the rise of new payment methods, such as mobile wallets and P2P, I often get asked about the future of credit and debit cards. The truth is, cards aren’t going away anytime soon. However, you’re going to “see” a lot less of them.As buyer’s habits have shifted from in-person to online purchases, fewer shoppers are pulling a piece of plastic out of their leather wallets. Just as importantly, as the role of these cards shifts from the traditional swipe or dip, to loading and saving on a merchant’s website, the decision of which card to use will no longer be made at the point of purchase.It will have been made long before.Worldpay sits at the point of purchase at over 800,000 merchant locations, allowing us to collect sophisticated data on 21 billion transactions annually. By integrating, linking, and enhancing this information using Worldpay’s proprietary Vivid Data EngineTM, we can compare transactional usage trends between credit unions and national banks. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

With cancellation, Rumble Ponies shift focus to 2021 season

first_imgBINGHAMTON (WBNG) — With the cancellation of the 2020 Minor League Baseball season, Rumble Ponies owner John Hughes says he expects negotiations between Major League Baseball and MiLB to pick back up. The current PBA between MLB and MiLB expires at the end of September. “It is a bit of good news because now we can turn our attention solely to working on the PBA (Professional Baseball Agreement) and making sure it’s going to go our way,” said Hughes. “That’s the only thing we have to focus on now which is the silver lining. We can focus our attention one-hundred percent trying to get on what’s best for Binghamton and the Rumble Ponies together.” “We’re trying to be good partners with Major League Baseball and what they have in front of them is a monumental task. We’re not calling there every day and complaining or even talking about our situation.” Negotiations have been on pause since the MLB season was put on hold due to the pandemic. With MLB resuming later this month and the MiLB season canceled, Hughes says he anticipates a meeting within thirty days. Minor League Baseball President Pat O’Conner fielded questions about the pandemic’s impact on the the negotiations during a press conference following the news of the cancellation. In addition to the teams at risk of being eliminated, a number of teams are dealing with the financial loss of missing out on an entire season. O’Conner said he cannot answer whether or not every minor league team team will be back next season. last_img read more

Federal officials warn of dengue threat to the US

first_imgJan 10, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The United States could be the next country to experience an epidemic of dengue illnesses if the disease keeps aggressively expanding, senior officials from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) warned this week.The range of mosquitoes that serve as vectors for dengue—Aedes albopictus and A aegypti—has expanded globally at an alarming rate, wrote David Morens, MD, NIAID’s senior scientific advisor, and Anthony Fauci, MD, director of NIAID, in a commentary that appears in the Jan 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The authors said A albopictus was first seen in the United States in 1985 and has since spread to 36 states, and A aegypti has been found in several southern states.Severe dengue epidemics are already occurring in US tropical territories and commonwealths such as Puerto Rico, the authors pointed out. In August, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that dengue fever is gaining a firmer foothold in south Texas, where an outbreak of the disease in Brownsville in 2005 sent 25 patients to the hospital, 16 of them with dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF), the most dangerous form of the disease.Global health officials haven’t pinpointed exactly what drives the expansion of dengue disease; however, some theories include global urbanization, increased air travel, or climate change.Dengue fever is a flu-like illness that typically involves headache, rash, cramps, and back and muscle pain. DHF, a potentially deadly complication, is characterized by high fever, bleeding, thrombocytopenia (low blood platelet levels), increased vascular permeability, and, in the most severe cases, circulatory failure. Dengue shock syndrome (DSS), another dangerous complication, is characterized by capillary leakage of intravascular fluids and other effects such as pleural and pericardial effusions and decreased blood pressure. DHF and DSS primary occur with second dengue infections. No effective treatment or preventive vaccine is available.Morens and Fauci are calling for more research to understand and combat dengue. “The formidable challenges of understanding dengue pathogenesis and of developing effective therapies and vaccines must be met to effectively fight this important reemerging disease,” they wrote.However, they highlighted several challenges researchers and public health officials face as they work to control the spread of dengue. For example, they wrote that the complex relationship between viral phenotype, virulence, and host immunity make it difficult to develop vaccines and vaccination strategies.”A key remaining question is whether vaccines will elicit antibodies that decline over time to the point at which they no longer protect from but may enhance infection,” they wrote.In recognizing the public health threat from dengue fever and its complications, NIAID allocated $33.2 million in fiscal year 2007 for nearly 60 dengue research projects, according to a Jan 8 press release from NIAID. The projects range from basic research on dengue, DHF, and DSS to clinical vaccine trials.NIAID said its dengue research priorities include:Developing animal models to study basic infection mechanisms and perform initial tests of vaccines and treatmentsDesigning and testing vaccines and treatmentsUnderstanding how dengue viruses elicit antibodies that help them infect host cells and exacerbate diseaseLearning why capillaries leak plasma when patients have DHF and DSSUnderstanding genetic factors in people and the virus that influence disease severityIdentifying biological markers that can predict if an individual is protected from dengue viruses and if a patient with dengue fever will likely develop DHF or DSSMorens DM, Fauci AS. Dengue and hemorrhagic fever: a potential threat to public health in the United States. JAMA 2008 Jan 9;299(2):214-6 [Abstract]See also:Jan 8 NIAID press release 9, 2007, CIDRAP News story “Dengue fever expanding its foothold in Texas”Sep 10, 2007, CIDRAP News story “Chikungunya fever gains foothold in Europe”last_img read more