Freedom of information loses champion in Mexico

first_img NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say December 31, 2013 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Freedom of information loses champion in Mexico News Reporter murdered in northwestern Mexico’s Sonora state News Reporters Without Borders is saddened to learn of journalist Mike O’Connor’s death on 29 December in Mexico City, where he represented the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Aged 67, he died of a heart attack in the apartment he shared with his wife Tracy Wilkinson, the Los Angeles Times’ Mexico City bureau chief.“We pay tribute to Mike O’Connor’s commitment to defending freedom of information in Mexico and to his constant work on behalf of journalists and human rights defenders in that country, and we offer our heartfelt condolences to his CPJ colleagues, his wife and his family,” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. A former war reporter for NPR, CBS News, The New York Times and other news organizations, O’Connor had been the CPJ’s representative in Mexico, one of the world’s deadliest countries for journalists, since 2009. His many reports and articles helped to shed light on the difficulties and dangers of reporting in Mexico and of covering drug trafficking and the cartel wars in particular.Photo : 2011-2020: A study of journalist murders in Latin America confirms the importance of strengthening protection policies MexicoAmericas Follow the news on Mexico Receive email alerts Reportscenter_img May 5, 2021 Find out more MexicoAmericas April 28, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information RSF_en Organisation News May 13, 2021 Find out more to go furtherlast_img read more

DAILY OIL PRICE: May 3, 2021

first_img Twitter Previous articleCouncil addressing Memorial Gardens erosionNext articleOdessa College plans spring 2021 commencement Odessa American By Odessa American – May 3, 2021 TAGSOil Prices Facebook Local NewsIn the Pipeline DAILY OIL PRICE: May 3, 2021 Crude Oil: 64.49  (+0.91).Nymex MTD AVG:  63.8833.Natural Gas: 2.966   (+0.035).Gasoline: 2.1015   (+0.0252).Spreads: June/July   (+.08)   July/August   (+.31).Plains WTI Posting: 60.97   (+0.91)center_img WhatsApp Facebook WhatsApp Pinterest Pinterest Twitterlast_img read more

From the service to school

first_imgHarvard College admits an average of 12 transfer students per year from a pool of about 1,500, and veterans represent a growing segment within this select population. These four vets came to Cambridge by way of an enriching community college experience after — and in one case before — serving in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force.Professors say they are impressed by how these students approach their work with a sense of purpose and urgency. David Laibson, Robert I. Goldman Professor of Economics, called Jesse Carlos “one of the most intellectually engaged students in a class of over 600,” and James Casey’s expository writing professor Willa Brown expressed her good fortune to have the vet in her class this way:“He has a sense of self that gives him the confidence to not only speak up when he has an idea, but also when he has a question, and he is a natural leader for his classmates, even when he’s being self-deprecating. But most of all the impressive thing about Jimmy is his dedication to his own education. Having studied in community college, and having served in the armed forces, he is ready to take responsibility for getting the most out of his opportunities.”Alex Walsh ’22,“People are a lot more accepting of all walks of life here. They come from different parts of the world; they all have their own story, and I’m adding mine.” With his parents unable to cosign student loans, Walsh started his college career at Northwestern Michigan College in his hometown of Traverse City. He immersed himself in classes and clubs, becoming news editor for the school paper, and public affairs officer for NMC’s International Club.“I never had the money to travel, so the international club gave me exposure to what life was like outside the U.S.,” he said.Walsh earned his associate degree, and, still unable to get student loans, enlisted in the Navy.“Joining the military felt like a last option,” said Walsh, who deployed as a fire controlman overseas for the better part of six years, including as part of Operation Odyssey Lightning’s Battle of Sirte against ISIS in Libya. “While on deployment, I traveled to 25 different countries and trained with foreign navies around the Mediterranean, Black, and Baltic Seas.”Walsh expected to return to his home state to finish college, but after earning higher-than-expected SAT scores he took a second look at his options. When a peer ambassador for the veteran nonprofit Service to School encouraged him to “shoot for the stars,” he chose Harvard. This fall, he transferred as a first-semester sophomore.At 27, the Quincy House resident, who plans to study economics and international relations, is older than most of his undergraduate peers, but said “the age difference doesn’t bother me too much.”“People are a lot more accepting of all walks of life here,” he said. “They come from different parts of the world; they all have their own story, and I’m adding mine.”Andrew Ulick ’21,“All I really knew was I wanted to fly.” Equal parts computer science nerd and rebel, Ulick was in his second semester at the University of Arkansas when he realized things just didn’t feel right.“Something wasn’t working,” recalled Ulick, a self-described wild child, the product of living in four foster homes from the age 4 to 6 before being adopted. “One of my most positive memories was of my foster father, an Air Force vet, taking me to sit in an F16 on Air Guard Base. All I really knew was I wanted to fly.”He failed the recruiter’s depth-perception test, but soared with one of the highest scores in the state on the language test, and became a Korean linguist for the Air Force. Secretive work in the Middle East extended his service until 2010, which led to six years of intelligence work for a private contractor in several conflict zones.But he kept questioning his purpose, and in 2016, left contracting to take a three-month software engineering boot camp. Soon he was attending the City College of San Francisco.“Not all students at community college are trying, but some are in the middle of a redemption, and it can be a particularly powerful environment,” said Ulick, who took computer science classes, studied with applied math Professor Jamey Bass, and took a course with Stanford lecturer Chris Gregg. “The instructors are wonderful. Jamey was brilliant, and also interested in bringing up the next generation of students.”At Harvard, the 34-year-old CS concentrator is invigorated as much by the buildings and his classmates as the classes, which have included the Gen Ed course “Tech Ethics,” an introduction to machine learning at MIT, and John Stauffer’s “The Rhetoric of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.”“I didn’t know who Frederick Douglass was until that class,” he said.In his free time, Ulick powers his body at Cross Fit and is involved with the Harvard Undergraduate Veterans Association (HUVA).“I don’t feel the need to be involved in everything,” he said. “CS is fairly murderous for me, so it takes me a lot more time.”James Casey ’22,“I didn’t think it was a place I belonged, but being here now is honestly a dream come true.” Related Soldiers’ songs of pain — but also healing Crafting war ballads, and thereby facing memories, appears to reduce veterans’ PTSD, study says United front The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news. Deciding to join the Army as a special forces recruit wasn’t as simple as watching “Band of Brothers.” But the San Diego native was hoping the Hollywood depiction of brotherhood in military life would be the foundation of his time as an Army Ranger.Carlos spent the better part of his nine years of service based in Italy, and deployed twice (each time for a year) to Afghanistan as a sniper. Opportunity came during the end of his service at Fort Lewis in Washington when his future wife, Racha Lwali, whom he had met in 2008, and his chain of command encouraged him to attend Highline College in Des Moines.“I got outstanding grades and engineering awards. I took an SAT prep class with 15-year-olds,” recalled the now-33-year-old. “Six months before transfer applications were due, my wife and I talked about where to apply. She was a DACA student when she got her bachelor’s and master’s in engineering, and since the GI bill covers most of schooling, she said, ‘See if you can get in an Ivy.’”Carlos said he didn’t know how motivated he was to be a part of Harvard until the acceptance email arrived. Now engrossed in statistics, writing, and economics courses on campus, he called the curriculum and demanding pace of work “motivating.”“I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. I’m learning so much, and I’m so stressed. With the stresses I’ve always experienced, you can sit down and just be harder to get through them. You just have to be there. In schoolwork, you have to meet a standard. If you don’t, you don’t succeed. Instead of internalizing, it’s constantly reaching,” he said. An Air Force major completes his Ph.D. and becomes a new parent — all in three years Great War left an enduring legacy across Harvard The 24-year-old Mather House resident transferred this fall as a second-semester sophomore from Mass Bay Community College where his communication professor, Carolyn Guttilla, encouraged him to aim for an Ivy League school.“Initially, I laughed it off, but I stewed on it. So three weeks before deadline, I emailed her for help. We both agreed that my odds were slim to none, but I slaved away at the application. Then I got an email to come to the Admissions Office on Brattle Street for an interview, and I knew it was a big deal,” Casey said.The Natick, Mass., native said Harvard was “the last place I pictured myself six or eight years ago” when he enlisted in the Marine Corps during his junior year of high school.“My friend Eric and I used to play soldier in the backyard. As I got older, all I wanted to be was a grunt and immersed in the experience of being a grunt. I wanted to be in some kind of combat, front-line role. I wanted to see if I had what it took to fight for my country, not just serve my country,” he said.Trained as a rifleman (2nd Battalion, 4th Marines), Casey didn’t see the action he’d hoped for and decided not to re-enlist. When he got home in summer of 2017, he took some classes at Mass Bay, became an orientation leader, and PA announcer for the athletics department.His classes at Harvard “haven’t been exceptionally more difficult, but they are more difficult.” His first course load has comprised “The Ancient Greek Hero,” Expos 20, and “Introductory Psychology.”“Everybody here only has so much time, and, as a transfer student, I have even less. It’s led to some late-ish nights and some stress, but it’s nothing I can’t handle,” he said. “I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have the misconception that it was hoity-toity people sitting around thinking about how they’re going to spend their money. I didn’t think it was a place I belonged, but being here now is honestly a dream come true. Everyone’s an equal, and what we have in common is our driven personalities.”Jesse Carlos ’22,“I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. I’m learning so much, and I’m so stressed.” To Serve Better Stories of people committed to public purpose and to making a positive difference in communities throughout the country. In recognition of 100th anniversary, Memorial Church plans performances Rye Barcott has a strategy to bridge the political divide in Congress: Elect more veterans Ready for takeoff Explorelast_img read more

TeamChild at risk of losing the funding game

first_img TeamChild at risk of losing the funding game Associate Editor “What would you do with a 14-year-old, retarded pregnant girl charged with battery on her mother?“Or a child, cared for by her octogenarian great grandmother, who is severely mentally ill and harasses her equally aged next-door neighbor to get an exciting ride in a police car?“How might one hope to arrange effective supervision of probation for a child whose own parents are incarcerated?”Second Judicial Circuit Judge Jonathan Sjostrom posed those very tough questions in a February 4 open letter.This Tallahassee juvenile delinquency judge already knows the answer:Let TeamChild, a program combining the skills of social workers and lawyers— through the Second Circuit Public Defenders Office, Legal Services of North Florida, and Florida State University College of Law’s Advocacy Center—tackle these most difficult cases of children charged with crimes.But as successful as TeamChild is in serving all of the needs of the whole child charged with a crime, the program is in danger of ceasing to exist because it is running out of money. Generous three-year start-up funding totaling $1.38 million from The Florida Bar Foundation for the TeamChild program ran out in June 2003. Last year’s legislative budget crisis nixed the hope of the program being funded through the Department of Juvenile Justice, as anticipated.“We are holding it together with spit and polish,” said Second Judicial Public Defender Nancy Daniels, who employs a social worker in her office to refer juvenile delinquent cases to legal services lawyers.“I’ve seen all the good it’s done with many, many delinquent children and their families. We need manna from heaven. If we had our druthers, we would have a steady funding source.”Instead, Kris Knab, executive director of Legal Services of North Florida, is furiously applying for mini-grants, dipping into her own pocket, squeezing a few thousand from the Tallahassee police chief, organizing Jazz for Justice benefits, arranging to reap some proceeds from donated goods at a thrift shop, and otherwise begging for more to keep the $121,500-a year program running that serves 112 clients in Leon and Gadsden counties. She has enough money to keep the program afloat through June. Legislators, she wonders, are you listening?“These children are on the edge of falling into nothingness for the rest of their life. Once they go over the edge, it’s hard to get them back up,” Knab said.“They’ve been labeled and kicked out, because at some point, too, your family gets disgusted you are a burden. This program is catching them right there at the edge of disaster and turning them into total successes.”She is quick to add: “Not all of them. We can’t catch all of them.”But there are so many successes to celebrate.Victor Williams, the social worker at the Second Judicial Circuit Public Defender’s Office, can put names and faces on those successes. Without TeamChild, Williams said he knows children will be placed inappropriately in juvenile delinquency residential commitment programs that won’t meet their real needs, because they don’t address the underlying issues that contribute to criminal activity: the need for special education services and mental health care, for starters.“I know most of the clients and their families, and it’s pretty cool to really help out,” Williams said. “I’ll be at a grocery store and bump into a kid’s mom, who tells me she appreciates her kid is on the honor roll now.“Or I may see someone who was a problem kid who DCF (Department of Children and Families) placed with a sister, and he tells me, ‘Yeah, man, I’m staying with my sister and I’m working on my GED at Lively (Vocational-Technical School) now.’“This program gives the client a sense that someone is listening to their needs,” Williams said. “And we don’t just drop the case. When problems arise, they know they can call me, and I can speak with a civil attorney and get things done. It makes parents feels like there is someone to reach out and touch.”TeamChild’s triumphs go beyond anecdotal stories.Proven success has been measured by an independent evaluation by Stefan Norrbin, a professor of economics, and David Rasmussen, dean of the College of Social Sciences at FSU.The goal of their 2002 study was to find out whether or not TeamChild significantly reduces the arrest rate among troubled youth who had been previously arrested two to three times a year. The evaluation found that the TeamChild program lowered post-treatment arrest rates by 45 percent. And the project generated between $2.44 and $3.91 of benefits for each dollar spent by saving law-enforcement and social-services costs, and as well as losses suffered by victims.“Whether a kid recidivates isn’t affected,” Rasmussen explained in an interview. “But if they do recidivate, it’s not as often. These kids are incredibly troubled, and there’s been lots of child abuse. The idea of saying they will never do anything again is probably heroic.”TeamChild, he concluded, is a cost-effective, beneficial alternative to “not just warehousing kids terribly cheated by society, by their parents actually, as a matter of fact, because they have had no one to advocate for them.”“The results are excellent on this one-year study,” said Kent Spuhler, director of Florida Legal Services. “If you look at that study, they were saying, ‘Boy, we really want to study these children two, three years from now, because it looks like the results will be even more impressive.”Spuhler said the TeamChild project advocates “ran into the perfect storm.”“You do something that you hope will work. We conceptualized it. Fortunately, The Florida Bar Foundation is willing to do risk funding, so they were able to put the money in the project when it was our idea. Then, when our idea was proven to work, we had the budget storm (during last year’s legislative session),” he said.And there was a shipwreck of funding that has left a scramble to piece it back together.“What we find is families have legal barriers, not just social service barriers. And if you don’t get rid of the legal barriers, social service work doesn’t have an opportunity to achieve success,” Spuhler said.The original TeamChild program was created in 1995 in Seattle, Washington, and has been replicated in Leon and Gadsden counties, as well as Broward County, with great success through the Foundation start-up funding. (Broward County’s TeamChild program serves only girls and the county’s special children’s services taxing district has prevented the program from shutting down, Sphuler said.)TeamChild’s fans include a cross-section of court officials, including Florida Supreme Court Justice Barbara Pariente, who chairs the Steering Committee on Families and Children in the Court; Pat Badland, chief of the Office of Court Improvement at the Office of the State Courts Administrator; Second Judicial Circuit State Attorney Willie Meggs, president of the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association; Daniels, president of the Florida Public Defender Association; and Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell. They have written letters of support in a desperate search for funding that runs out in June.In his letter, Judge Sjostrom summed up TeamChild with a strong endorsement:“Our laws promise to both punish criminal conduct and also to address social, educational, mental health and other basic needs that, when neglected, breed juvenile crime. In my experience, TeamChild was indispensable in keeping the second part of the promise to the most troubled children.“Without TeamChild, each case would simply be processed as just another juvenile crime. I cannot pretend that we succeeded with all such children. But without TeamChild, many, many more children would have been lost in the system.” TeamChild at risk of losing the funding game March 1, 2004 Jan Pudlow Associate Editor Regular Newslast_img read more