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Go Beyond the Webinar: Insights and Strategies into Protecting Youth from the Impacts of Violence

first_imgBy: Bari Sobelson, MS, LMFT & David Lee Sexton, Jr.Our March 22, 2018 webinar was facilitated by Dr. Lauren Marlotte of the Division of Behavioral Health and Nathanson Family Resilience Center at the University of California Los Angeles. In this webinar, 3 broad areas of violence that impact youth were discussed- bullying, relationship violence in teens, and school shootings.  Dr. Marlotte shared highlights of all three of these types of violence but tied them all together by talking about overall risk and resilience factors, taking a family systems approach, and ways to build resilience in families including some resources. Below are some insights, questions and answers, and resources gained from this engaging and helpful webinar.InsightsHere are some insights that the participants and our team took away from the webinar.Adult logic may not be the best fit when looking for solutions to address and combat bullying. Lauren led us through a series of scenarios, asking for our thoughts on the ways in which we would help our children navigate a bullying situation. Many of us were surprised to find that the adult logic we were applying to these scenarios were not, in fact, the best ways to handle them.1/3 teens experience violence with a dating partner. In addition to sharing this alarmingly high statistic, Lauren shared that girls and women between 16 and 24 years old are experiencing the highest rates of Intimate Partner Violence.There are negative consequences for both the bully and person being bullied. Children who are bullied are at higher risk of experiencing negative physical health, mental health, and school consequences such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, low self-esteem, physical health problems, and more. Children who are bullies are at higher risk for engaging in violence and other risky behaviors later in life such as misusing substances engaging in delinquent behaviors, carrying a weapon, and being convicted of a crime or receiving a citation as an adult.School shootings affect more than just the people at the school. It’s not just the school personnel, children, and families of the school who are affected. Anyone who hears about the shooting on the news is also affected.Questions and AnswersThe participants were highly engaged, asking important and relevant questions throughout the webinar. Below are some of the questions by the participants and the answers supplied by Dr. Marlotte.Participant: Why would bullies engage in sexual activity earlier?Dr. Marlotte: “My best explanation would be that kids who engage in bullying are at higher risk of negative consequences [such as] being negatively influenced by their peer groups [or] having less parental supervision or involvement… teens are still developing the frontal lobe, the centers of their brain important in decision making and thinking things out… they may be more likely to be impulsive and make reckless decisions. This is a guess as to why these things might be correlated.”Participant: If children tend to “freeze” and have trouble with a comeback, what would be good advice?Dr. Marlotte: “When a child is under stress, they may experience fight, flight or freeze… That’s why having some sort of preparation to coach children through using these skills can help them with those fight, flight, and freeze responses. Sometimes just acknowledging that that’s the way our brains and our bodies respond to stress can help children understand why they might experience stress in a certain way. Maybe they silently take a breath and then use one of the teasing comments and walk away from the bully. Practice and rehearsal of the bullying strategies, paired with the practice and rehearsal of some of the emotional regulation strategies, can be paired together to be able to use those strategies to the best of the child’s ability.”Participant: This might be difficult for children with developmental disabilities who have trouble with social skills even in the best situations. How would we advise them to handle the situation? Would a bullying social story be a good option?Dr. Marlotte: “I attended a training by [a professional] who developed a curriculum on social skills for children with Autism and she writes in her manual [that] the nonverbal teasing comebacks, are sometimes the most difficult for kids with developmental disabilities. In particular, she works a lot with kids with Autism… They may not have the same spatial awareness about what an eye roll feels like or looks like, or their face may end up making a face they are not intending to when they are trying to look standoffish. So, absolutely! Doing a role play, a rehearsal… I’d say starting with a social story and seeing if the child is able to apply this to their real life as well to make sure they can make that leap. I also think that this is a wonderful thing to do as a prevention strategy. There are lots of ways to have conversations about bullying even if it’s not an issue that comes up.”Participant: What is a good bullying curriculum that can be utilized in schools? Are there any to train teachers to help with bullying prevention in their classrooms?Dr. Marlotte: “I would recommend the stopbullying.gov website (specifically https://www.stopbullying.gov/prevention/at-school/index.html) to find out more information about prevention and evidence-based anti-bullying programs. I would also recommend that schools adopt a social emotional learning approach or curriculum, such as RULER (http://ei.yale.edu/ruler/) or the Families OverComing Under Stress (FOCUS) Resilience Curriculum (https://nfrc.ucla.edu/FOCUS).” Participant: How often is it is a “lone” bully and how often do they have back-ups in their bullying?Dr. Marlotte:  “Since the bully tends to want to get attention and social notoriety, I think there’s typically people around… There might be one kid who’s the instigator or the primary bully, and they may be able to suck other people into what they’re doing rather than having a group of kids decide to be bullies all together. There’s typically a leader with others who are either bystanders or occasionally jumping in.”Participant: Sometimes using the term abusive to a teen doesn’t resonate with them as they do not consider what is going on in their or their friend’s relationship abusive. Possibly breaking it down with some defining- controlling, jealousy, isolating from friends, etc.Dr. Marlotte:   “Yes, using specific examples… Sometimes, it lands a little bit better to say healthy vs, unhealthy [or] acceptable vs unacceptable. If there’s other types of words or language that you’re hearing from your teen, using their language can be very helpful. We have a trauma clinic here and we see a wide variety of families… I’ve had families experience some very traumatic situations and they’re saying, ‘Well, I don’t have it as bad as this situation that was in the media’ or ‘I didn’t experience this type of situation’. So they may not actually consider themselves trauma survivors. So then if THEY choose to not identify themselves in that way, I don’t push that. I talk about the stress impact of their experiences that they have had and allow them to use their own language around that while acknowledging that what they’ve experienced is going to have a large impact on them. But if there are certain words that don’t resonate, that is absolutely fine.”Participant: How do we counter the culture of meanness/name calling/bullying that has developed, been promoted, and modeled in our country in the last couple of years? There is a trickle-down effect from what is modeled from adults and what children (and adults) see on the news on a daily basis.Dr. Marlotte: “It’s important to have conversations with clients/children about meanness and name calling that is present in the media. Positive, supportive adults model appropriate behaviors and discuss and address inappropriate behaviors highlighted in the news and popular culture. Don’t read or watch news sources that engage in name calling or are clearly biased. When mean behavior is observed, engage adolescents in a discussion around the behavior and explore other ways of expressing one’s self while being respectful. This helps reminds adults, too, that being mean or bullying behaviors are unacceptable. Point out examples of positive behaviors that are portrayed as well. Just like we ask parents to ‘catch your child being good’ and provide praise, we should also be in tune with when the media is respectful and uses effective communication.” ResourcesThroughout the webinar, Dr. Marlotte and the Family Development Team shared a plethora of resources. There were also a couple of resources mentioned by participants. In addition to the resources listed below, you can find a comprehensive list of additional resources compiled by the Family Development Team on the event page.NFRC HandoutsNational Child Traumatic Stress NetworkResource Discovery for NCTSN School Personnel ResourcesLove is RespectWonder ClassroomIf you are interested in watching this webinar, the archived version and all of the supplemental materials can be found on the event page. If you are interested in obtaining CEUs for the webinar, they will be available until March 22, 2019. Details of how to obtain the CEUs are on the learn event page mentioned above.This post was written by members of the MFLN Family Development Team. The Family Development team aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network Family Development concentration on our website, Facebook, and Twitter.  You can also listen to our Anchored. podcast series via iTunes and our website.last_img read more

Drug peddlers: Punjab wants capital punishment

first_imgFacing severe criticism from several quarters over its failure to tackle the drug menace bedevilling the State, the Punjab government on Monday decided to recommend death penalty for drug peddlers and smugglers to the Centre. The Opposition parties, however, continued to lay the blame for dire drugs scenario squarely at the door of the Congress government.The Punjab Cabinet in its meeting held here, chaired by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, resolved to send a formal recommendation of death penalty for drug smugglers and peddlers to the Union government soon.An official statement said that State would also constitute a special working group under the chairmanship of Additional Chief Secretary (Home) N.S. Kalsi to review and monitor, on a day-to-day basis, the action being taken to check drug abuse.The Cabinet also took stock of the cases of deaths resulting from drug overdose, which Special Task Force chief H.S. Sidhu admitted to be a matter of concern. Mr. Sidhu suggested registration of all such cases to enable the identification and mitigation of risk factors, such as supply of spurious drugs and mixing of drugs with other death-causing substances.Leaders and workers of the Aam Aadmi Party held a sit-in demonstration in Chandigarh on the issue of rising drug menace in the State. AAP leaders Bhagwant Mann, Sukhpal Singh Khaira and Balbir Singh marched towards the residence of the Chief Minister but were stopped by the police. The protesters then staged a “dharna” and raised slogans against the government.“The Congress has failed to stop the drug menace in the State. A few influential police officers are part of the drug trade,” alleged Mr. Khaira, adding that a high court-monitored CBI inquiry is must in the case. He also demanded that the Chief Minister immediately call an all-party meeting. “Also a special session of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha on the issue of drugs should be convened,” he said.The Shiromani Akali Dal said that all Punjabis, rising above political affiliations, must fight the common enemy of drugs.last_img read more

Werder Bremen hints at imminent debut for Sargent

first_imgWerder Bremen sporting director Thomas Schaaf says teenage striker Josh Sargent will likely make his senior debut soon. Sargent signed with Bremen in February when he turned 18, but was not eligible to play for the club until this season. Since making his debut in July the U.S. international has been impressing with the club’s U-23 side, scoring five goals in eight appearances. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! The striker also found the back of the net for the senior side in a friendly earlier this month, showing he isn’t far off from contributing for the first team. Speaking to Sport1, Schaaf confirmed as much, saying: “I think it will not be long. We know what we have with him.”Sargent played two friendlies with Bremen’s first team earlier this month, with the Bundesliga club reaching an agreement with U.S. Soccer for Sargent to stay in Germany rather than join up with the U.S. national team for a pair of friendlies. The Missouri native has already earned three senior caps for the United States, scoring one goal.last_img read more

Rangers Win – Force Game 7

first_imgTweetPinShare0 Shares WASHINGTON, DC – After a thrilling season saving goal with about a minute left in Game 5, the New York Rangers finally showed why they had the best regular season record in hockey this year, jumping out to a commanding 4-1 lead in the third period, only to see the lead erased to a single goal. For the umpteenth time in a row, the game was decided by a single goal. Rangers won 4-3, which means the seventh and deciding game will be played on May 13 at Madison Square Garden, the Rangers’ home ice.The Capitals absolutely bombarded the Rangers’ star goalie Henrik Lundqvist, firing 45 shots his way, of which he saved a magnificent 42.Chris Krider, a clutch playoff performer, scored two goals for the Rangers in the first period, and though the game went down to the wire, the Rangers never lost the lead.last_img read more

Tourism Minister Says Disaster Risk Management Must be Addressed

first_img Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says unless the issue of disaster risk management and mitigation is seriously addressed, the Caribbean will not be able to maximise its potential as a global force in tourism.“More than any other time in our past, tourism authorities in the region must now seriously address the issue of disaster risk management and mitigation,” the Minister noted.He was addressing the introductory session of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Global Conference on Jobs and Inclusive Growth at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, Rose Hall, St. James, on November 27.“It is clear that in recent years, the region’s tourism sector has become increasingly vulnerable to both natural disasters and external shocks, particularly climate change, which can now be reasonably described as an existential threat to our tourism sector,” Mr. Bartlett said.The Minister emphasised that the time has come for the region to urgently respond to, and strengthen its resilience against threats such as natural disasters, climate change, pandemics and epidemics, terrorism and cyberattacks.“We need to enhance our regional capacity to manage a range of chronic transnational challenges that can be destabilising to our tourism sector,” he added.“Aspects of this approach could involve developing a framework of indicators to measure resilience; promoting innovation systems for climate adaptation and resilience; fostering deepened knowledge of cyberspace policy, promoting counterterrorism studies, developing urban resilience and building meaningful partnerships,” the Minister suggested.Mr. Bartlett argued that meaningful risk management strategies for the region must focus on priority areas and outcomes, such as collaborations, information-sharing, collective action, capacity-building, resource allocation and funding, public education, planning and management of projects, behavioural modifications, monitoring and evaluation, environmental conservation, alternative and renewable energy and the adoption of green practices in the tourism sector.He implored conference delegates to use the opportunity to push a global sustainability agenda that will ensure the survival and resilience of the tourism sector, on which billions of people across the world depend, directly and indirectly, for their sustenance and livelihoods.“In addressing shared risks and threats, insularity and narrow self-interests must be replaced by fruitful engagements and collaborations that seek to develop cross-cutting solutions and unite tourism players under a common mission, which is to save a sector that is so dear to all of us,” the Minister said.In the meantime, Mr. Bartlett pointed out that the Caribbean remains the most tourism-dependent region in the world, and is the single largest generator of foreign exchange in 16 of the 28 countries in the region.“The Caribbean has a higher proportion of total employment and percentage of GDP [gross domestic product] derived from tourism than any other region in the world,” he noted.“Despite this, however, Caribbean countries face a greater degree of vulnerability to the worst effects of major environmental disasters, particularly climate change, a phenomenon to which they have contributed the least,” the Minister said.Mr. Bartlett said this year, the resilience of the tourism sector in the region has been tested with the passage of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, which affected 13 of the most tourism-dependent countries in the region, including St. Martin, Anguilla, Dominica, Barbuda, the British Virgin Islands, the US Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.He noted that some territories have suffered almost total devastation or over 90 per cent damage to their infrastructure from the hurricanes, adding that it will take many years and substantive investments to bounce back. The Minister emphasised that the time has come for the region to urgently respond to, and strengthen its resilience against threats such as natural disasters, climate change, pandemics and epidemics, terrorism and cyberattacks. Story Highlights He implored conference delegates to use the opportunity to push a global sustainability agenda that will ensure the survival and resilience of the tourism sector, on which billions of people across the world depend, directly and indirectly, for their sustenance and livelihoods. Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says unless the issue of disaster risk management and mitigation is seriously addressed, the Caribbean will not be able to maximise its potential as a global force in tourism.last_img read more

K Line Sets Out Growth Path

first_imgzoom Japanese shipping company K Line plans to tap into potential of the tanker market that has seen a clear upswing  in the second half of 2014.Namely,  better performance of K Line’s Energy Transportation Business, which includes the healthy LNG and LPG carriers segment, is expected in 2015, as explained by the company’s President & CEO Jiro Asakura.Asakura added that the company is studying possibilities for participating in several additional projects that will line up with five LNG carriers that have already been ordered.The 2015 will mark the beginning of an intense fleet rejuvenation programme for  K Line.Namely, from March this year and into 2018, the company will take delivery of 10 large 14,000-TEU containerships, 10 large car carriers capable of carrying 7,500 cars (thus meeting specifications for transport of large construction equipment and rail cars that the market is expected to demand), and 25 dry bulk carriers.“Our main purpose here is to replace existing vessels that are deficient in terms of fuel economy and transport efficiency with state-of-the-art vessels.  By doing so, we intend to achieve lower operational costs and per-unit capital costs with the latest environment-friendly and fuel-efficient vessels and to improve our competitiveness in the market,” said Asakura.K Line also sees strategic growth opportunities in its Offshore Energy E&P Business,  including expansion of the company’s offshore support vessel business and FPSO.“We intend to reinforce our efforts with regard to the three points of corporate governance reform (which we have been initiating sequentially since last year), elimination of long work hours, and full compliance.  However, if we are to achieve success here, we will need to employ an approach that moves simultaneously from the bottom up and top down,” Asakura concluded speaking of the plans for the future.last_img read more

Premier Offers Condolences on Passing of Former LtGov Kinley

first_imgPremier Darrell Dexter is offering his condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of John James Kinley, former lieutenant governor of Nova Scotia, who died today, May 1. He was 86. “Jim Kinley was an engineer, businessman and serviceman who served his country in the Second World War as a Merchant Mariner and with the Royal Canadian Navy,” said Premier Dexter. “My sympathies go out to Mr. Kinley’s family, friends and colleagues. He will be remembered as a respected community member, accomplished businessman and loving family man.” Mr. Kinley served as Nova Scotia’s 29th lieutenant governor from 1994 until 2000. Born in Lunenburg, Mr. Kinley served as president of the family foundry and engineering company in his hometown for more than 50 years. In 2002, he was appointed to the Order of Nova Scotia and awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal. The flags at Province House and Government House in Halifax have been lowered to half-mast in honour of Mr. Kinley’s contributions.last_img read more

KKR fret over Russell fitness, spotlight on Brathwaite

first_imgKolkata: Kolkata Knight Riders’ impact player Andre Russell was forced to skip the practice session on Thursday, owing to a shoulder injury sustained while batting in the nets on Wednesday. KKR will take on Royal Challengers Bangalore in an IPL game on Friday and Russell’s possible absence could pave the way for Carlos Brathwaite’s inclusion in the playing XI. The Barbados all-rounder, who is KKR’s costliest pick of Rs 5 crore at the auctions, played only one match for KKR, against Delhi Capitals here that they lost by seven wickets. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhFretting over Russell’s fitness, KKR skipper Karthik however did not rule out the Jamaican who has been a revelation with six explosive 40-plus scores on the trot. “He’s got a preliminary X ray yesterday and it’s not even be 24 hours. By tomorrow, we will a get much better idea as to how he feels,” Karthik said of Russell. It was during the fag end of the practice on Wednesday that Russell failed to negotiate a rising delivery from net bowler Minad Manjrekar and fell on the ground, writhing in pain. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterIt was the same left shoulder where Russell was hit by a Harshal Patel delivery during KKR’s match against Delhi Capitals at the Kotla. Russell had also suffered a wrist injury in their away match against Chennai as it remains to be seen whether the team will risk playing the Jamaican. KKR have suffered a hat-trick of losses as Karthik urged his batsmen and bowlers to buck up. “I’m not going to shy away from the fact that we can bat better a little better definitely and definitely bowl a little better.” Meanwhile, RCB top order batsman AB de Villiers also skipped the training, while skipper Virat Kohli took a few throw-downs from coach Gary Kirsten after a game of football. Rejuvenated by a World Cup call-up, Karthik would be eager to impress India captain Virat Kohli and also arrest the Kolkata Knight Riders’ three game losing streak, when they lock horns with Royal Challengers Bangalore in an Indian Premier League clash here on Friday. In their first-leg clash in Bengaluru, Russell made all the difference with a whirlwind 13-ball 48 to drag KKR out of the woods and guide them to a remarkable five-wicket win. While Russell’s availability is a big concern for the home side who have not won in their last three matches, and placed sixth in the points table, there would be no shortage of inspiration for 33-year-old Karthik. Kohli has his own problems as far as RCB is concerned with the team all but out of the competition if they lose on Friday. Rock-bottom in the table with just one win from eight matches, RCB just haven’t been in the groove this year. From the remaining six games, they would have to win all to give themselves any chance of a playoff berth. Kohli has also not led from the front, cutting a forlorn figure on the field more often than not and also failing to fire with the bat. The team’s main problem has been their bowling which has been poor to say the least, except for Yuzvendra Chahal. In KKR, they would face an opponent hungry to return to winning ways after losing back-to-back home games.last_img read more

Restored steam locomotive rolls to anniversary event

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — It’s longer than two city buses, weighs more than a Boeing 747 fully loaded with passengers and can pull 16 Statues of Liberty over a mountain.The Big Boy No. 4014 steam locomotive rolled out of a Union Pacific restoration shop in Cheyenne over the weekend for a big debut after five years of restoration. It then headed toward Utah as part of a yearlong tour to commemorate the Transcontinental Railroad’s 150th anniversary.Big Boys hauled freight between Wyoming and Utah in the 1940s and 1950s. Of the 25 built by the American Locomotive Company in Schenectady, New York, from 1941 to 1944, eight remain. Only No. 4014 will be operational.Engineered for steep mountain grades, each Big Boy had not one but two huge engines beneath a 250-ton (227-tonne) boiler able to hold enough water to cover an area the size of a basketball court to the depth of a high-top shoe.The locomotives are not only big, they’re so complex that steam train buffs long considered restoring one to a fully operational state all but impossible, said Jim Wrinn, editor of Trains magazine.They were the “pinnacle of steam locomotive design” in the years before diesel engines took over as the less expensive, more efficient standard for U.S. railroads, Wrinn said.“It’s a pretty big deal,” said Wrinn. “Nobody ever thought that a Big Boy would be restored to operation. Ever.”Union Pacific hasn’t said how much the restoration cost, but Wrinn estimated at least $4 million based on similar restorations. The result will be one of just six to eight steam engines still operational on mainline U.S. railroad tracks.The last steam locomotive delivered to Union Pacific, the “Living Legend” Northern No. 844, has remained in service since 1944. Big Boy No. 4014 will join in No. 844’s publicity work as a railroad version of the Goodyear Blimp, Wrinn said.The locomotives will tour the Union Pacific system throughout 2019 in honour of the Transcontinental Railroad’s 1869 completion. They will be in Ogden, Utah, this week for an event featuring UP and Utah officials and an ancestor of one of the Chinese workers who helped build the railroad.Few train engineers these days know what it’s like to drive a steam locomotive, though retired Union Pacific engineer Mickey Cox once got a brief turn driving No. 844.The cab had no air conditioning behind the big coal-fired boiler and got dirty, Cox recalled of his jaunt that included driving through a tunnel between Cheyenne and Laramie.“Everybody in the cab is, you know, covered with soot by the time you go through the tunnel on those things. And it gets very hot. By the time you get out to the end of the tunnel, you’re welcome to see daylight,” said Cox, whose father and grandfather worked in the rail industry in Wyoming. “It would’ve been a tough job back in the day, I’m sure.”Converted to burn fuel oil instead of coal, Big Boy No. 4014 will be less filthy, but even fewer people alive today know the experience of driving it. Big Boy No. 4014 was retired in late 1961, and no Big Boy engine has run since 1962.One retired Union Pacific employee, Jim Ehernberger, remembers the Big Boys well. He joined the railroad at age 16 in 1953.“You could sure tell when a Big Boy left town. The ground kind of vibrated a little more than it did with the other types of locomotives. They were very, very powerful,” Ehernberger said.Union Pacific towed Big Boy No. 4014 to Cheyenne in 2014 after acquiring it from a museum in Pomona, California.“They had to basically completely disassemble the locomotive down to just the frame and the shell,” Wrinn said. “It was an immense undertaking.”___Follow Mead Gruver at https://twitter.com/meadgruverMead Gruver, The Associated Press read more

UNAfrican Union peacekeeping operation in Darfur marks oneyear anniversary

The hybrid force, known as UNAMID, was set up by the Security Council to protect civilians on the western flank of Sudan, where an estimated 300,000 people have been killed and another 2.7 million have been forced from their homes since fighting erupted in 2003, pitting rebels against Government forces and allied Janjaweed militiamen.One year on from transferring the task of suppressing the violence to UNAMID from the AU Mission in Sudan (AMIS), some 12,374 blue helmets are now in place across Darfur, which is 63 per cent of the 19,555 military personnel authorized by the Security Council.“The Secretary-General applauds the efforts of UNAMID and troop-contributing countries in reaching this target in the face of serious difficulties, including the volatile security situation in Darfur,” Mr. Ban said in a statement. “To ensure that the Mission continues to grow and reach full strength, troop- and police-contributing countries will have to work together with the United Nations to expedite the deployment of all outstanding capabilities,” Mr. Ban said while underscoring the importance of the continued cooperation of the Government of Sudan in achieving full deployment.Concerned that civilians will continue to suffer from the savage conflict in Darfur, and that both UNAMID and humanitarian personnel will remain under threat in the absence of serious dialogue, the Secretary-General urged the parties to work with the UN-AU Joint Chief Mediator for Darfur, Djibril Bassolé, towards a comprehensive political solution. The mission’s website today noted that “while an all-inclusive peace agreement has yet to be achieved, UNAMID’s dedicated work has facilitated humanitarian relief, local conflict resolution, and security so as to establish and strengthen conditions that can enable the people of Sudan to resolve this tragic conflict.”It also acknowledged the efforts of its predecessors, saying “former AMIS soldiers, police officers, together with their civilian colleagues serving in UNAMID, have worked tirelessly under difficult and often dangerous circumstances to sustain a presence throughout Darfur.”On behalf of the AU-UN Joint Special Representative Rodolphe Adada, his deputy, Henry Anyidoho, reaffirmed UNAMID’s commitment to its mandate and the determination of its soldiers, police officers, and civilian members to build on initial achievements. 31 December 2008The joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping mission, tasked with protecting civilians in war-ravaged Darfur and quelling the violence in the Sudanese region, commemorated its first anniversary in operation today as Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon confirmed that troop levels have exceeded 60 per cent of the full authorized strength. read more

Security Council assumes foster care for injured African elephant rescued from trap

“The Security Council has become a parent today,” Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock of the United Kingdom told reporters, explaining that the 15-member body was the “foster parent” of the elephant, which was rescued by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi after being caught by a snare.The elephant, whose ear had been “practically torn off” by the trap, was now doing very well, according to Ambassador Greenstock. “So it’s not just peace and security in Africa, it’s also wildlife the Security Council is at least temporarily showing its concern for,” he said.”There was a very touching look of parental affection on the faces of the members of around the Council,” he observed. “I think they wondered for a moment what the UK mission was doing, but I think they then got the point.””I hope the young elephant will also be a sign of the long memory of the Security Council for things that go both right and wrong in Africa,” he added. read more

In Iceland UN chief highlights that fate of Arctic and that of

Also today, Secretary-General Ban spoke at a seminar commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Summit between US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, which despite of failing to achieve its goals, provided a path that ultimately led to the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), eliminating all American and Soviet intermediate and shorter-range ground-based missiles. “Thirty years later, Reykjavik’s lessons have never been more relevant,” said Mr. Ban in his remarks. “As difficult as the international situation is today, current tensions fall well short of what President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev faced during the Cold War.” Expressing concern at the resurgence of “Cold War ghosts,” the UN chief also noted that the world faces serious challenges in arms control and disarmament as well as non-state actors seeking to procure nuclear materials. “So my message to world leaders today is clear: Let us summon the spirit of Reykjavik,” he said and emphasized: “Our common aspirations for peace, human rights and sustainable development require us to find a new paradigm for sustainable security without reliance on weapons of mass destruction.” “And we need to put those ideas into action. In policies, in legislation, in treaties and in the real world.”Meetings with the President and Prime Minister of Iceland “The Arctic supports key pillars of the climate system regionally and globally. The fate of the Arctic is tied to the fate of Miami, Mumbai, Shanghai and coastal cities across the world — and so much else of course,” said Mr. Ban in an address to the Arctic Circle Assembly in Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik. “When the Arctic suffers, the world feels the pain. And when the planet is under assault, the Arctic is likewise a casualty,” he added. Noting that the Arctic region is “ground zero” for climate change, Mr. Ban pointed out that according to scientific research, it is warming more quickly than the rest of planet and that an increase in global temperatures by two degrees Celsius – the upper limit of what the Paris Agreement calls for – could mean a change of four and even five degrees in the Arctic. He also highlighted with the ratification by 79 countries, representing 59 per cent of global emissions, the Paris Agreement would enter into force on 4 November and underscored the importance of its implementation. “Few expected such swift action. I thank all of you for your contributions to this historic step. Political leaders, scientists, citizens in the street — all played a role in grasping the gravity of the threat and mobilizing to set the world on a safer, more sensible path,” he said. In his address, Mr. Ban also hailed the recent agreement by members of the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) on a new global market-based measure to curb carbon dioxide emissions from international aviation and said that it is an important step by Governments, industry and civil society, building on the strong momentum provided by the Paris Agreement. The Secretary-General further called for reducing short-lived climate pollutants, such as black carbon, which contributes to the rapid warming of snow and ice as well as appealed for more financial resources to help developing countries reduce their emissions and adapt to the inevitable consequences of climate change. The UN chief also underlined the importance of indigenous peoples’ traditional knowledge systems and said that their contributions will be essential to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as in combatting climate change. He urged the Assembly to ensure that indigenous peoples, their rights and their sociocultural contributions, remain central as we address these shared challenges. “We need governments to reach consensus next week in Kigali on a critically important amendment to the Montreal Protocol, which will phase down hydrofluorocarbons,” he said, adding: “This could help prevent up to half a degree of warming by the end of the century.” 30th Anniversary of the Reagan-Gorbachev Summit ‹ › Further today, the UN chief held meetings today with Guðni Thorlacius Jóhannesson, President of Iceland, and with Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson, the country’s Prime Minister. According to a readout issued by Mr. Ban’s office, the Secretary-General congratulated Iceland for its ratification of the Paris Agreement and encouraged it to establish a mechanism to oversee the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. The Secretary-General and the two leaders also agreed on the responsibility for UN Member States to implement the commitments made during the recent UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants, in particular the need to make addressing root causes of displacement a priority. Also today, Secretary-General Ban held a joint press conference with Lilja Alfreðsdóttir, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iceland. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) meets with President Guðni Thorlacius Jóhannesson of Iceland. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (right) speaks at a joint press conference with Lilja Alfreðsdóttir, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iceland. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon delivers closing remarks at the University of Iceland’s Institute of International Affairs on the 30th Anniversary of the 1986 Reagan-Gorbachev Summit. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) meets with Prime Minister Siguður Ingi Jóhannsson of Iceland. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas read more

Redskins lineman Williams hospitalized after Dallas game

ARLINGTON, Texas — Washington left tackle Trent Williams was taken to a hospital for unspecified precautionary reasons after the Redskins’ loss to the Dallas Cowboys.The team didn’t provide any other details on Williams’ condition Thursday.The six-time Pro Bowl player returned against the Cowboys after missing three games with a dislocated right thumb.Williams appeared to get injured along the sideline at the end of an 8-yard run by Kapri Bibbs in the third quarter. Williams returned to the game, and coach Jay Gruden didn’t include the 30-year-old in an update on injuries after the game.___More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFLThe Associated Press read more

All Blacks to wear rainbow laces in support of Thomas

The All Blacks have become the latest rugby team to say they will be wearing rainbow laces in their boots this weekend in a show of support for Gareth Thomas after the former Wales captain was the victim of an anti-gay attack.Thomas, who announced in 2009 he is gay, recorded a video last weekend saying he was assaulted in Cardiff in “a hate crime for my sexuality.” He had bruises on his face in the video.Police in Cardiff have said a 16-year-old boy has admitted to carrying out the assault.New Zealand said in a tweet on Friday that its players would wear the rainbow laces in a tribute to Thomas in Saturday’s test match against Italy.Wales, England, and France have already said they would do the same during their games on Saturday.Thomas reacted to the All Blacks tweet by saying on Twitter, “I wish I could put in words what this means.”___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_SportsThe Associated Press read more

Inside the NBA Shaqtin A Fool Vol 3 Episode

Shaquille O’Neal and “Inside the NBA” are back with a new season of “Shaqtin’ A Fool.” Take a look at this week’s nominees in the first episode of the what has to be the funniest NBA show on TV.In its debut episode, “Shaqtin’ A Fool” regulars Kendrick Perkins and JaVale Magee make an early appearance. Perkins does what he does best, and on a fast break attempts to lob an alley-oop pass to a teammate, but throws the ball out of bounds.  Magee, who some believe is trying to get on  “Shaqtin’ A Fool,”  somehow ends up on a player’s back during a fastbreak.Two rookies made their “Shaqtin’ A Fool” debut, who probably won’t be segment regulars like Magee and Perkins.Later, a cameraman made it on the list because he tries to play it cool after his leg falls asleep resulting in a funky two set dance.Watch the video above and vote for your nominee for the Best Foolish Moment here. read more

Minecraft Lego gets official concept development has started

first_imgAt the beginning of December last year hopes were high that Minecraft would be getting its own line of official Lego products. If there was ever a better match in the history of Lego collaborations I can’t think of it, and it seems Lego think so to as it is going to happen.Last year a submission was requested from developer Mojang for the Lego community and crowd sourcing site Cuusoo. Cuusoo allows new ideas to be shared for Lego models and the community gives feedback. If 10,000 people support an idea then Lego review it and consider turning it into an official product. If it gets that far, Lego gives the idea’s owner a 1% royalty on sales, a royalty Mojang has already said would go to charity.As you’ve probably guessed, it didn’t take long for Minecraft Lego to get the required 10,000 supporters and Lego started an official review. Yesterday, the news everyone wanted to here was announced via the Cuusoo Blog. Lego has passed the idea in review and is now working on concepts for the official Minecraft Lego products. No details have been released yet as to when Minecraft Lego will go on sale, and Cuusoo has stated “these things take time.” So it could be a while before they appear. Hopefully we’ll get to see the final range in picture form long before it launches, though.Lego accepting the idea should have been an easy decision. Minecraft has in the region of 20 million registered players and 4 million game purchases recorded so far. It’s pretty much guaranteed a decent percentage of those players will buy some Minecraft Lego.More at the Lego Cuusoo Bloglast_img read more

Trump ditches media for golf game offers New Years wishes

first_imgWEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — President-elect Donald Trump ditched his press pool once again, traveling to play golf at one of his clubs without a pool of journalists on hand to ensure the public has knowledge of his whereabouts.Before he went golfing Saturday, Trump tweeted an unusual New Year’s message to friends and foes: “Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don’t know what to do. Love!”The president-elect planned to spend New Year’s Eve at his private Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach. He was throwing a private party expected to draw hundreds of guests, including action star Sylvester Stallone.A member of Trump’s golf club in Jupiter, Florida, posted a photo on Twitter of Trump on the greens Saturday morning and said about 25 U.S. Secret Service agents accompanied the president-elect. Reporters had not been advised of the visit to the club.Transition aide Stephanie Grisham confirmed that Trump had made a “last-minute trip” to Trump National Golf Club Jupiter, which is about a half-hour drive from his Mar-a-Lago estate, where Trump has been spending the holidays. He returned to the estate at midafternoon.last_img read more

Cities smart to grow together

first_imgKristin Tufte thinks the journey toward smart cities can be simplified into three words: People, intention and coordination.“It’s data and technology and service of people,” said Tufte, Smart Cities Liaison for Portland State University. “Is the pedestrian on the street safer because of our work? Does the woman taking the bus to work know it will get her to work on time so she can relax on the bus?”Tufte was one of three speakers Wednesday at Regional Transportation Council’s Smart Cities Workshop, which focused not only on smart cities but some regional opportunities.The general aim in being a smart city is to use information technology to not only increase efficiency and improve government but to better share information with the public while improving their lives.Connecting communitiesJesse Berst, chair of the Smart Cities Council, said the only way cities can move forward is to communicate with each other and share data.“Many American communities are falling behind in this race,” Berst said. “It’s a race for the connected lifestyle but also for a better government. If you believe in accountability, in transparency, we have the tools now.”last_img read more

Students take on monumental task at Old City Cemetery

first_imgAn early Vancouver cemetery was established near what now is The Academy, but the graves had to be relocated when a road through the site was planned. The city purchased 10 acres in July 1867 for what now is the Old City Cemetery.Even history that is etched in stone doesn’t last forever.Sometimes, it barely lasts a century.That’s why some students at Vancouver’s annual archaeological field school are taking a side trip this summer to the Old City Cemetery.Instructor Jacque Marcotte set five college students to the task Wednesday of documenting and recording gravestones and monuments in the 144-year-old cemetery.Some of the markers have been vandalized, and some just have been victimized by a century or more of weathering.“A lot of the marble stones are eaten away by rain,” said Marcotte, a teaching assistant at Portland State University. “They lose their inscriptions.“We can’t stop it,” she said. “But those we catch early enough, we can record it.“You see more granite in the 1910s and 1920s. It holds up better,” Marcotte said.Sarah O’Keefe, a senior at Washington State University Vancouver, was using a tape to measure a family monument flanked by individual headstones. There was a jagged spot atop the monument, where something had been snapped off.“There has been a lot of damage” in the cemetery, O’Keefe said. “It’s sad that people could be so disrespectful.”O’Keefe logged the dimensions in a four-page form. Other students had their own copies of the form, and were filling in categories such as inscriptions, material, design and condition.last_img read more