Campaigners deliver 169 letters to vice chancellor demanding divestment

first_imgMembers of the Oxford Climate Justice Campaign (OCJC) met with vice chancellor Louise Richardson yesterday to hand over 169 letters demanding University-wide divestment from the fossil fuel industry.During the meeting, OCJC members read excerpts of letters aloud and updated the vice chancellor on the divestment campaign within the University, which has seen twelve colleges pass divestment motions since November.The push for divestment follows revelations from the Paradise Papers leaked last November, which revealed that Oxford University Endowment Management (OUem) and several Oxford colleges have been investing in oil extraction and exploration.Pascale Gourdeau, a DPhil in computer science at Trinity, Caitlin Prentice, a DPhil in education at St Anne’s, and Elana Sulakshana, an MSc in geography at St Edmund Hall, were all present at the meeting.Sulakshana told Cherwell: “We entered the meeting with two goals: the first was that we wanted to update the vice chancellor on the state of divestment and the divestment campaign, because from previous interactions she had expressed that she was unaware that there was a campaign still going and she thought that the University had divested already.”“These letters spoke to themes such as the effects climate change is having on people’s homes and communities, the hypocrisy of the University investing in fossil fuels while producing cutting-edge science on climate change, and economic research on the way in which fossil fuel investments are stranded assets,” Sulakshana said.“There is a hypocrisy between what we are learning in the classroom and how the University is making money.” Gourdeau told Cherwell: “The vice chancellor said that she was as concerned as us about climate change, but ultimately what it came down to was that we disagree on how the University should act.“She mentioned a lot of green projects, such as green buildings and research. She thinks that those things should happen, but that divestment should not for various reasons.“First, she said that she can’t tell Oxford University Endowment Management (OUem) what to do. However, she also pointed out that she has influence on OUem’s decisions, so we think she should use that influence to support the concerns of students and faculty members.“She also said that it wouldn’t make financial sense, because the University’s endowment is so much bigger than all the other universities that have divested in the past. This has not been entirely true for lots of universities and institutions, for example the University of Edinburgh, University of California, the City of New York. So it is totally feasible.Gourdeau said that the vice chancellor didn’t “see how divestment would be effective in fighting climate change. She didn’t see that divestment would be worth loosing, for example, scholarship money from fossil fuel companies.“I think overall, at least on my end, it felt a bit frustrating that we didn’t have time to reply and that she didn’t see the urgency surrounding acting on fossil fuel divestment in the same way as us.”The vice chancellor has pledged to take actions addressing OCJC’s concerns.Gourdeau said: “She said that she would actually read all the letters, that she would bring them to the Socially Responsible Investment Review Committee (SRIRC), and that she would bring up divestment at the next OUem investment meeting.“I think that the discussion ended with us agreeing on both sides that this is not the end of the discussion. At least on our end, we made it clear that the pressure would also come from the colleges.” Peck added: “We are committed to continuing this conversation, and she knows that. We’ll now be strategising how to respond, and putting the concerns she came up with to the test of our community.“This community has answers for her, and we didn’t quite get to tell her today – but we’ll make it quite clear in the future.”The letter delivery follows divestment rallies at Cambridge University earlier this week.The delivery also represents the first formal action taken under the campaign’s revamped strategy, which was changed after the University’s disappointing response to divestment efforts in 2014 and 2015.Lady Margaret Hall MCR Green Rep and OCJC member Julia Peck, who recently published a paper outlining strategies colleges may adopt in order to divest its portfolio from fossil fuels, told Cherwell: “What was so troubling about what happened with divestment in 2015 is that Council was ready to approve the plan and timeline to remove fossil fuel investments that OUem had drawn up based on student recommendations, but then the vice chancellor at the time, Andrew Hamilton, stepped in and prevented that motion from being passed in Council.“He basically subverted a democratic process here at the University. That democratic process started with the students and the Fossil Free Campaign, who collected thousands of alumni signatures, thousands of faculty signatures, and wrote an open letter that finally reached Council.“There was a clear democratic mandate that called for fossil fuel divestment [in 2015], and the fact that it wasn’t able to pass was pretty devastating.“We see new leadership in the Clarendon Building, and we’re hoping to hear from her directly about how she can undo that injustice and actually heed the call that’s been alive since 2014.”However, Peck worried about Richardson’s awareness of the divestment issue. She said: “At a 2016 conference here in Oxford about the Paris Climate Agreement, Louise Richardson said that as vice chancellor she does see the University’s responsibility to take steps towards drastic reduction of carbon, including – and I directly quote – ‘in the stewardship of the endowment.’“But then when we asked her at the Oxford Union why she hasn’t done that yet, she said ‘but we already divested,’ which showed a massive misunderstanding at best, ignorance at worst conception of what happened here.”The vice chancellor’s Office and the University have been contacted for comment.This article has been altered to clarify that there was not violence at a rally by the Cambridge Zero Carbon Society. A separate reference to a ‘bin fire’ at the event failed to mention that it was not started by the group and was in fact a protest against the rally.last_img read more

2016 Run for the Fallen Honors New Jersey Service Members in Ocean City

first_imgOne Mile, One Flag, One Hero…Each mile of the Run is dedicated to a NJ Hero and the Core Run Team will stop at every Hero Marker (every mile) and present an American Flag and a personal biographical card to the waiting family members, friends and comrades. The intent is to create a 190- mile long memorial trail through New Jersey By Doug OttoOcean City’s American Legion Post 524 will oversee eleven memorial stops of the 2016 Run for the Fallen, as it winds its way through town on Thursday September 22nd.The New Jersey Run for the Fallen is an organization of military runners who travel throughout New Jersey in memory of service members killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and New Dawn. At the end of each mile stands a memorial marker where runners pause to salute service members’ lives and the sacrifices made by their families.The event officially begins at the Cape May Lighthouse early Thursday morning. The Ocean City portion of this four-day, state-wide event begins at Corson’s Inlet at 3:26 PM. The final stop of the day is American Legion Post 524 at 5:30 PM.Coordinating Ocean City’s efforts is the American Legion Post 524 Committee, chaired by Jack Hagan.“Although they visibly run one mile to honor each fallen hero from current conflicts, participants also remember all New Jersey service members who have laid down their lives for the cause of freedom,” said Hagan. “New Jersey has given 16,408 sons and daughters since World War I.”Following the local portion of the run, participants will continue northward on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Friday (September 23rd) the runners will travel from Somers Point to Long Beach Island; Saturday (September 24th) they will run from Long Beach Island to Toms River; and on Sunday (September 25th) the trail starts in Point Pleasant and concludes at the Vietnam Memorial in Holmdel.The Core Run Team consists of dedicated military personnel from Joint Base McGuire, who run a 190-mile course over the 4 days. Along the way, they pay tribute to their fallen comrades and Gold Star Families. Runners come from all branches of the military and gather “on their own time and on their own dime”.Ocean City area residents are invited to take part in the Hero Marker ceremonies to support the runners and to reflect on the sacrifices made by these service members and their families. Here are locations and times of ceremonies:Hero Markers… At the end of each mile is a laminated Hero Marker. Each is assigned to one of New Jersey’s military heroes.last_img read more

Real Housewives of New Jersey’s Kim Pirrella Returns to My Big Gay Italian Wedding & Funeral

first_imgShe’s ba-ack! Kim Pirrella, sister of Real Housewives of New Jersey star Melissa Gorga, is returning for another walk down the aisle in My Big Gay Italian Wedding and My Big Gay Italian Funeral. Pirella will play Lucia Fuccio on January 25 and 26 and February 15 and 16, filling in for current star Liz Gerecitano. Both shows play in repertory at off-Broadway’s St. Luke’s Theatre. Show Closed This production ended its run on Aug. 22, 2015 Related Shows In addition to Wilkinson and Pirrella, Wedding and Funeral both star Hugh Hysell, Donna Castellano, Marissa Perry, Debra Toscano, Meagan Robar, Erik Ransom, Chad Kessler and Brandon Goins. Wedding also stars Joe Scanio, Drew Little, Rocco DeFinis and Paul Moon. Funeral also stars David Demato, Mustafa Gatollari and Beth Dzuricky. Marie Fontaine and Jonathan Wiener round out the ensemble. My Big Gay Italian Weddingcenter_img Pirrella, a food blogger who posts instructional videos about healthy cooking, makes guest appearances on Real Housewives of New jersey. She made her off-Broadway debut in My Big Gay Italian Wedding and Funeral in October 2013. View Comments Starring and written by Anthony Wilkinson, My Big Gay Italian Wedding and My Big Gay Italian Funeral are both loosely based on his own wacky Italian family. Wedding tells the story of Anthony Pinnunziato (Wilkinson), a gay Italian-American who wants to marry his boyfriend Andrew in a traditional wedding ceremony. Funeral centers on the came family, who is mourning the death of Anthony’s father. In both plays, Pirrella plays Lucia, a lipstick lesbian from New Jersey.last_img read more

Avian flu infects two more Vietnamese, hits poultry in China

first_imgJun 21, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – More human and poultry cases of H5N1 influenza are coming to light in Southeast Asia, with reports of two new human illnesses in Vietnam and a second poultry outbreak in China.Two people from northern Vietnam were admitted to Bach Mai Hospital in Hanoi over the weekend and later tested positive for the H5N1 virus, according to hospital director Tran Quy, who was quoted in the China Daily newspaper and other media reports.The spate of confirmed cases in northern Vietnam in June brings CIDRAP’s unofficial tally of Vietnamese cases since December 2004 to 63, of which 18 were fatal. The Thanh Nien Daily newspaper in Vietnam reported yesterday that 23 suspected cases of avian flu had been reported nationwide in the past week.China reported that a second H5N1 outbreak has occurred among domestic birds in the northwestern province of Xinjiang, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report. The outbreak killed 63 geese and ducks and infected at least 128, AFP said, citing new data from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Authorities culled 1,490 birds on that farm and in nearby Changji city.The earlier outbreak in that province occurred the first week of June and led to the deaths from illness or culling of more than 13,000 geese. In early May, China announced its first avian flu outbreak in 2005, which killed more than 1,000 migratory birds of five different species in Qinghai province, to the east of Xinjiang.More information about the migratory bird outbreak may be forthcoming, as teams of experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) and FAO arrived in Qinghai province yesterday to inspect the outbreak area, according to Bloomberg news service. The teams obtained permission for the trip last week, but China rejected their request to travel to Xinjiang province.last_img read more

Brazil’s Bolsonaro plays down coronavirus risk as cases top 1,500

first_imgBrazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has denied the country’s healthcare system will collapse next month, contradicting his own health minister as the number of deaths in the country jumped 39 percent and confirmed cases topped 1,500.The latest health ministry figures on Sunday show that the death toll from coronavirus in Brazil rose to at least 25 from 18 the day before, a rise of 39 percent, and the number of confirmed cases now stands at 1,546, up from 1,128.In an interview with CNN Brasil on Saturday night, Bolsonaro also expressed his frustration with several states’ measures to essentially shut down commerce and restrict people’s movement, saying they have gone too far and are damaging the economy. “I think Mandetta was exaggerating,” Bolsonaro told CNN Brasil, referring to health minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta, who said on Friday that Brazil’s fragile healthcare system will collapse under the weight of coronavirus by the end of April.Bolsonaro said “collapse” was the wrong choice of words.”What we’re doing is lengthening the infection curve. I don’t believe in a collapse,” he said.Bolsonaro tweeted on Sunday that the government is distributing around 10 million coronavirus tests, half of which have been dispatched this month. Sao Paulo state, Brazil’s richest and most populous, on Saturday said a statewide quarantine order would take effect on Tuesday and last through April 7, shutting down all but non-essential businesses and services.Retailer Via Varejo said its 1,000-plus stores of white goods chains Casa Bahia and Ponte Frio are closing indefinitely, meaning thousands of brick-and-mortar shops of Brazil’s most recognizable chains now have their shutters down.A Datafolha poll in Sunday’s Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper showed that an overwhelming majority of Brazilians support many of these drastic measures to beat the spread of coronavirus, although opinion is much more divided on business shutting down.Some 82 percent said they agree with the suspension of church services, a decision Bolsonaro, who was elected into office with massive support from evangelical Christians due to his conservative social agenda, has heavily criticized.Evangelical churches were shut or deserted on Sunday in some of Brazil’s major cities, with many switching to broadcasting services online or via their radio and television channels.The massive doors of the Temple of Solomon, a 10,000-seat place of worship belonging to the Universal Church in Sao Paulo, were closed during what is usually one of their busiest times.Security guards patrolled outside telling visitors that services at the church were suspended for two weeks. Reuters visited five of Sao Paulo’s biggest evangelical churches – all were closed.Ailton Pinheiro, a member of the administrative team at the Assembly of God church in Brasilia, said pastor Hadman Daniel is giving sermons two or three times a week via his Facebook page and that the church will remain closed as long as it is told.”Everybody realizes the situation. Everyone has accepted it calmly,” he said in the church’s deserted car park.Topics :last_img read more

EU to enter contract talks with J&J over 200 mln doses of potential COVID-19 vaccine

first_imgThe European Commission has concluded exploratory talks with Johnson & Johnson to buy 200 million doses of a potential COVID-19 vaccine, the EU executive and the US pharmaceutical company said on Thursday.The EU executive arm said this paved the way for contractual talks and the possible purchase of the vaccine on behalf of all 27 EU states once it has proven safe and effective. The commission also said it could purchase an additional 200 million vaccine doses.Johnson & Johnson, through its Belgian subsidiary Janssen, “will now enter into contract negotiations with the European Commission,” J&J said in a statement, confirming the volumes indicated by the Commission. “If regulatory approval for the company’s vaccine is received, the Commission would be expected to facilitate a process for allocation of the vaccine doses among the member states,” Johnson & Johnson said.J&J could produce up to 1 billion doses of its vaccine by the end of 2021, a company executive told Reuters on Tuesday. Its vaccine is likely to be administered in a single shot, the executive said.Reuters exclusively reported in June that the US company was in advanced talks with the EU for the supply of its COVID-19 vaccine under development.”Our citizens’ lives and our economy need a safe and effective vaccine against the coronavirus. Today’s talks bring us closer to achieving this,” the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement.The move follows similar announcements in July about the conclusion of preliminary talks between the EU and Sanofi SA for the purchase of 300 million doses of its potential COVID-19 vaccine that it is developing together with GlaxoSmithKline Plc .The EU is using about 2 billion euros ($2.4 billion) from an emergency fund to strike advance purchase deals with several vaccine makers in a bid to have enough shots for its population of 450 million.It is also in talks with Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and CureVac to buy upfront their potential COVID-19 vaccines, EU officials told Reuters in July.Topics :last_img read more

Family First launches streaming website

first_imgNZ Herald 24 December 2015Family First has started its own streaming TV and movie site, akin to Netflix or Lightbox.Launched today, Family First TV offers online content from the conservative Christian lobby group, as well as overseas movies and television series.A video announcing the service says its content will make viewers “feel good about the world”.Family First says the service is different due to its system of parental controls, which rates content under four categories: language, violence, sexual themes and adult themes.Content under these categories is rated on scale of 1 to 5 — with a 1 for sexual content representing an on-screen kiss, a 3 for “implied sex” or a morning-after scene, and a 5 for multiple discreet sex scenes or “gratuitous sex”.Parents can set up profiles for their children based on their age and designate appropriate viewing.Family First spokesman Nick Hitchens said the system had been contracted from an overseas service called Good TV, which had been developed over the past two years.“A lot of organisations such as ours spend a lot of time talking and it’s quite nice to actually be able to do something that’s really proactive, that gives families a tool that they can then take and proactively use,” he said.While current TV and film ratings weren’t lacking, he said they could go further.“We don’t think they necessarily go far enough to give parents the kind of control that they need to keep their children safe in the internet entertainment space.”Using the recent Star Wars movie as an example, Mr Hitchens said many parents were faced with a “quandary” when their children asked to see the M-rated film; many were unsure whether it would be suitable.“The beauty of the system that we’ve put together is it just gives that little bit more information that parents at a glance can see: what is behind this rating, what can I expect to see in this film, how severe is it.”In September, Family First successfully appealed against a decision of the Office of Film and Literature Classification to scrap an R14 rating on New Zealand author Ted Dawe’s prizewinning young-adult novel Into the River.As a result, the book received an interim ban and could not be sold or supplied in New Zealand — the first book to be banned in the country in 22 years.The ban was rescinded about a month later. up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.last_img read more

Systematic review uncovers cannabis withdrawal syndrome among 47% of regular cannabis users

first_imgPsyPost 11 August 2020Family First Comment: More harms – which will increase with legalisation…“The findings suggest that almost half of regular marijuana users will experience cannabis withdrawal, something the authors say many people are unaware of. Cannabis withdrawal appears to be highly prevalent among people who consume cannabis regularly, or who are heavy consumers. Clinicians should be aware of its existence so that they can provide support to people who are considering cessation of or reduction in cannabis use. The literature suggests that cannabis withdrawal may be a driver of continued use…”A literature review of 47 studies found that nearly half of cannabis users met criteria for cannabis withdrawal syndrome. The review was published in The Journal of the American Medical Association.Although cannabis is typically seen as a relatively safe drug, research has pointed to various risks associated with regular use. Short-term risks include memory impairment and paranoia and long-term risks range from addiction and cognitive impairment to suicide. More recently, researchers have identified the presence of cannabis withdrawal syndrome (CWS) in a subset of regular users.Despite the emerging evidence of CWS, little is known about the prevalence or risk factors associated with its occurrence. “Cannabis withdrawal is a fascinating topic. We were not certain on the prevalence or risk factors for cannabis withdrawal, which was the basis of the study,” said study author Anees Bahji, an addiction psychiatry fellow at the University of Calgary.The researchers consulted 8 electronic databases and ended up with 47 studies that met criteria to be included in their review. All studies included a validated assessment of CWS or CWS symptoms. In total, the studies involved 23,518 participants, 69% of whom were men. The studies involved 50 different cohorts; half of them were users seeking treatment and most (76%) were from North America.The meta-analysis revealed an overall prevalence of cannabis withdrawal syndrome of 47%. The researchers further analyzed the results by study setting, to see if the likelihood of CWS differed depending on the sample used in the study. The highest prevalence of CWS (87%) was found in inpatient samples. Outpatient samples had a prevalence of 54% and population-based samples had a 17% prevalence of CWS.“The finding that the prevalence of CWS was substantially higher in clinical populations—particularly inpatient samples—is consistent with the notion of a bidirectional association between cannabis use and mental health disorders . . . This finding may indicate that people with CWS are more likely to present to clinicians for help compared with those without CWS, notwithstanding the fact that CWS can be diagnosed and untreated,” Bahji and colleagues say.READ MORE: read more

New Miss Dominica to be crowned today

first_imgEntertainmentLocalNews New Miss Dominica to be crowned today by: – February 17, 2012 Tweet 227 Views   no discussions Share Sharecenter_img Share Sharing is caring! Queen contestants (L-R; front row): Kimberly Dana Jno. Charles, Francille Lavanier, Nadira Lando. Second row (R-L): Ameka Cognette, Indiana Griffith and Shanel Dubique. Photograph by ASHTON SHILLINGFORDA new Miss Dominica will be crowned on Friday evening when the annual Miss Dominica Pageant gets underway.Six beautiful women from various communities around the island who are vying for the Miss Dominica Pageant 2012 have assured patrons that year’s show will be a spectacular one.They are Ameka Cognet, Fancille Lavinier, Indiana Griffith, Kimberly Dana Jno. Charles, Nadira Lando and Shanel Dubique, at Carnival City on February 17th, 2012.The ladies will appear on stage in five rounds; Spectacular Wear, Swim Wear, Evening Wear, Talent and Interview Segment which includes a quiz segment.Reigning Miss Dominica Jacthina FaganThe reigning Miss Dominica Jacthina Fagan is expected to give her final speech and take her final walk during the pageant.She will also crown tonight’s winner who will receive a scholarship compliments the government of Dominica and a pair of diamond earrings compliments Jeweler’s International and the Sign Man among other gifts.The show will commence at 8pm at the Festival City in Pottersville. Dominica Vibes Newslast_img read more

‘Let’s make Dinagyang safe for everyone’

first_imgAs law enforcers, Sangrines said they want to ensure a peaceful holding of the Dinagyang, one of the country’s biggest festivals that has been drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors to this southern city every fourth Sunday of January.     The ICPO deployed 3,300 police personnel included in the augmentationforces from the Police Regional Office 6 and the Armed Forces of thePhilippines. “The public is aware of these tight security measures we are implementing,”said Sangrines. She also cited ICPO’s latest record where no gun ban violators were apprehendedyet since it took effect on Jan. 22. The gun ban will last until Jan. 28. This was the appeal of Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) spokesperson,Police Captain Shella Mae Sangrines.  ILOILO City – Follow rules and regulations so that everyone will enjoythe 2020 Dinagyang Festival. According to Sangrines, authorities have not yet recorded a major crime incident as of 4 p.m. yesterday. “Since Friday until Saturday in the afternoon, we are happy to announce that we have zero crime incident and we are hoping peace and order would be maintained until our festival culminates,” she said. Sangrines added that no trouble makers or unruly spectators so far havebeen detained in the mobile patrol of the Bureau of Jail Management andPenology that are being used as temporary detention cell for those who willcreate disturbance. Sangrines said signal jamming will start today in some parts of thecity, which include the performance areas to make sure that spectators andcontestants are well guarded and lawless elements could not launch theiratrocities. The signal shutdown will start at 6 a.m. until 2 p.m./PNlast_img read more