Lecture explores U.S. role

first_imgWhat would happen if America ceased to be – if it failed to provide the leadership in the international arena for which it is best known?   Professor Paul Collier, director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies at the University of Oxford, raised these questions and more in his lecture Wednesday titled “International Human Development: Has the U.S. a Leadership Role?” Collier, whose research includes the political economy of democracy and poverty, emphasized the distinct way in which the United States must exert its influence in the world so it may more effectively foster human development. He said the United States must lead by employing soft power, the power of influence and example, as opposed to the traditional notion of hard, physical power. With its “power of example, of imitation, [soft power] is much, much stronger than people appreciate,” Collier said. The U.S. should also use soft power to communicate particular values that have empowered America but are lacking in Africa, he said. Motivation is an important aspect of any healthy, vibrant society, including the United States, Collier said. Prosperous nations and successful organizations empower individuals to make a leap of identity, internalize objectives and become motivated. Africa, he said, suffers from a chronic “failure of motivation.” “If you look at the public sector across Africa – schools, health clinics – the fundamental problem is the astonishingly low productivity of the labor force because the labor force is not motivated,” he said. Collier defined another pivotal value, neutral regard, as two-pronged: it empowers individuals to achieve a cooperative solution to problems and allows for redistribution from the better-off to the worse-off in society. Here too, he said, the developing world struggles and must look to the developed world as an example. “Quite systematically, there are big variances, big differences, between the ability of different societies to reach [a] cooperative outcome,” he said. “It is much more difficult for poorer societies than wealthy societies.” Collier emphasized the power of integrity, which has reeled in the shadows of dictatorships and crumbling democratic governments. “The poorest countries have enormous problems with high levels of corruption, low levels of integrity in their government,” he said. But Collier said the virtue of stewardship – one that even Americans have not fully embraced– is one of the most pressing. “Stewardship is the central task of the present generation of African decision makers,” he said, “in the next decade there is going to be a resource boom.” Collier praised American society as an exemplar, but stressed the urgency of communicating its values to a world greatly in need. “[The developing world] needs role models of high integrity,” he said, “which is something that America has been able to deliver dramatically over the years.”last_img read more

See More

Cotton Boll and Consumer Judging

first_imgThirty youth participated in the 2020 Georgia 4-H State Cotton Boll and Consumer Judging Competition sponsored by the Georgia Cotton Commission on Dec. 12. In previous years, this contest was held in person at the Rock Eagle 4-H Center in Eatonton, Georgia. This year, the contest was held in a virtual format.The Cotton Boll and Consumer Judging Competition is part of the Georgia 4-H Healthy Living Program. This competitive judging contest teaches 4-H’ers to make wise consumer decisions and educates participants on cotton as an agricultural commodity in Georgia. The competition offers youth the chance to build critical thinking, public speaking and life skills in consumer economics.“Consumer Judging teaches youth how to think critically and make smart consumer decisions,” said Courtney Brown, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension 4-H specialist. “The skills learned in preparation for this competitive event are real-life skills that youth will continue to use throughout their lives when making purchases.” The state contest consists of two competition areas: judging classes and advertisements. In the judging class portion of the competition, 4-H’ers are required to judge four classes of consumer items or services and rank items based on provided details, factors and scenarios, as well as provide oral reasoning for their selections. The advertisements portion requires 4-H’ers to promote cotton and its use through a presentation.Prior to the state competition, 4-H’ers from ninth through 12th grades competed in virtual district-level contests. The first and second place senior teams at each district area contest continued on to compete at the State Cotton Boll and Consumer Judging Competition. Although the contest was held online, all contest elements were maintained. Cotton presentations were prerecorded and judged virtually. Participants examined the classes and scenarios using a timed platform, Qualtrics, and presented their reasoning to the judges live via Zoom.The first place Senior Team winners and High Overall Individual will receive Georgia Master 4-H’er status, be honored at Georgia State 4-H Congress in July in Atlanta, and represent Georgia in the Consumer Decision Making contest at Western National Roundup in January 2021 in Denver, Colorado. The second place team will also travel to Denver to represent Georgia 4-H in the Western National Roundup Family and Consumer Science Skill-A-Thon or Family and Consumer Sciences Knowledge Bowl.The winners of the 2020 Georgia 4-H Cotton Boll and Consumer Judging Competition are:TeamsFirst place: Ashley Braddy, Liam Jay, Timothy Lord and Lauren Wixson – Ben Hill CountySecond place: Liz Pridgon, Sydney Pridgon, Dana Wells and Amare Woods – Tift CountyThird place: Sierra Arnold, Lydia Belflower, Veronica Lee and Lucy Weigert – Bleckley CountyIndividualsHigh Overall Individual: Liam Jay – Ben Hill CountyHigh Presentation: Liam Jay – Ben Hill CountyHigh Placing and Reasons: Ashley Braddy – Ben Hill CountyGeorgia 4-H empowers youth to become true leaders by developing necessary life skills, positive relationships and community awareness. As the largest youth leadership organization in the state, 4-H reaches more than 190,000 people annually through UGA Extension offices and 4-H facilities. For more information, visit georgia4h.org or contact your local Extension office.last_img read more

See More

U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Appeal of Coal Exec Convicted in 29 Miner Deaths

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Charleston (W.V.) Gazette:The U.S. Supreme Court will not hear former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship’s appeal of his criminal mine safety conviction, the court announced Tuesday.Justices turned down Blankenship’s petition, including it on a weekly order list of more than 200 cases in which a request for a “writ of certiorari” — the type of order in which the Supreme Court agrees to hear a case — was denied without any reason given or further comment offered.In doing so, the court allowed to stand Blankenship’s conviction for conspiracy to violate federal mine safety and health standards at Massey’s Upper Big Branch Mine, where 29 miners died in an April 5, 2010 explosion.“We are pleased with but not surprised by the Supreme Court’s decision to deny the Blankenship petition,” said U.S. Attorney Carol Casto. “Now, hopefully, the families of those lost and others impacted by the UBB explosion and long history of safety violations can find some closure and begin the long and difficult process of healing.”Two years ago this month, jurors in U.S. District Court in Charleston began hearing testimony against Blankenship in the high-profile case involving charges against a coal executive who was once one of the region’s most powerful figures in a trial that focused on the rampant safety violations at Upper Big Branch in the months leading up to West Virginia’s worst coal-mining disaster in a generation.Blankenship, 67, was convicted of conspiracy to violate safety rules and then sentenced by U.S. District Judge Irene C. Berger to pay a $250,000 fine and spend one year in prison, both the maximum allowed under current federal law that classifies criminal mine safety violations as misdemeanors. Blankenship completed his one-year prison sentence in early May, and is currently serving his one year of supervised release. Berger recently modified the terms of Blankenship’s supervised release so that he could report to probation officials in Las Vegas, where he now lives.Earlier this year, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond affirmed Blankenship’s conviction.Blankenship had argued on appeal that Berger incorrectly instructed the trial jury that Blankenship’s ”reckless disregard” of federal mine safety standards amounted to the criminal willfulness needed for a conviction and that Berger was wrong to deny the defense the chance for a second cross-examination of former Massey official Chris Blanchard, a major government witness. Coal industry lobby groups from West Virginia, Ohio and Illinois had warned that Blankenship’s conviction would pave the way for coal executives to be prosecuted for making “tough decisions” necessary to “operate a successful company.”More: US Supreme Court won’t hear Don Blankenship’s appeal U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Appeal of Coal Exec Convicted in 29 Miner Deathslast_img read more

See More

ISP releases “Operation C.A.R.E.’ results

first_imgVerailles, In. — The Indiana State Police have participated in the Combined Accident Reduction Effort (C.A.R.E.) since the inception of this multi-state enforcement project in 1977, of which Indiana and Michigan were the founding members. Now, more than three dozen local and state law enforcement agencies nationwide participate in this life-saving enforcement project.For the Thanksgiving Holiday Project C.A.R.E. was operational from November 21stthrough the 25th.  Below are the Indiana results from this five day enforcement project.While most information is self-explanatory, ‘CMV’ stands for Commercial Motor Vehicle and ‘Motorist Assists’ reflects the number of times motorists were assisted by state police officers while roadside. Examples of the type of assistance provided would include help with directions, changing a flat tire, calling a tow truck, obtaining fuel or other types of services to assist the motoring public.last_img read more

See More

The City of Miami issues notice due to possible flooding from King Tides

first_imgOfficials in Miami have issued a community notice about the second round of King Tides that is said to take place on select dates through October 3rd. While the flooding from King tides is a reoccurring event, officials are reporting that the tides this year has been extremely high and are causing more flooding than usual, especially in low laying areas and areas with poor drainage systems.Rising water levels at the Pelican Harbor Marina have already been reported.Some reports state that water levels are expected to be 3 feet higher than normal in some areas.The City of Miami says they are making preparations for the coming floods including putting temporary water pumps and generators in place to reduce the effects of flooding.They have also created a webpage with tips on how you can keep your family and your property safe during this time.last_img read more

See More

A Day of Fun and Fond Memories in LS

first_imgLITTLE SILVER – It was a fun day but for many of those attending the Little Silver Men’s One Pitch Tourna­ment, it was also a day to remember their friend and neighbor.This year’s event was in honor of Jonathan Bitman, a borough resident, borough councilman and a longtime member of the Little Silver Crocs, the over-40 softball team, who died on Sept. 4 at age 52 after battling pancreatic cancer.The tournament, held Saturday, Sept. 29, on the sports fields behind borough hall and the public library, featured the usual softball games, cheers and shouts of players and spectators, music, laughter and conversations, along with the sizzle of grills cooking burgers and hot dogs. It was a great day for the participants, families and community members but for some, including event organizers Doug Glassmacher and Peter Roskowinski, it was a bittersweet day with Bitman’s absence felt by those who knew him.According to Glassmacher and Roskowinski, Bitman was a member of the Crocs since the team was formed more than a decade ago.“Jon was a catcher,” Glassmacher said. “He was like Yogi Berra back there,” joking and trash talking with teammates and to the batters.As a catcher, Bitman was “very effective” and always batted in the same spot in the lineup – last, Roskowinski said.During this year’s tournament there were six Little Silver teams, one from Rumson and another from Shrewsbury competing in a series of games with batters facing one pitch, which allowed for quite a few games during the day, Glassmacher said.The day was – and has been – more than about softball. Bitman always saw it as a sort of community day, with music, food, and activities for the kids.“Our motto is ‘there’s more to being a Croc than playing ball,’” Glassmacher said. “Like Jon, we’re very community-oriented.”“All I can say is Jon would have been the first person setting things up” and he always spent time behind the grill, said Little Silver resident Chris Curley. “He’s still here in spirit.”“It’s a sad day,” resident Cindy Mendoza said, “but it’s a good day.”Mendoza has been a “Crocette,” one of the women who help out, since the beginning. “I’m one of the originals,” she said as she sold 50/50 tickets.She acknowledged that residents of the borough are usually quick to answer the call for help when situations arise. “That’s what impressed me about this town,” she said. “People do step up.”Rich Movelle, who lives in Tinton Falls, played for the Rumson team. About six years ago the event was dedicated to helping a member of his team who was stricken with ALS. Movelle said that while he takes his softball seriously, “the game is not as important as the money to help the family.”“He did love the Crocs,” said Bitman’s sister, Paige Ascher of Maplewood.“And he always enjoyed a good burger,” said Russ Ascher, Paige’s husband, jokingly recalling his brother-in-law.“He would be the first one out here to help another person,” Paige Ascher said. “This really is a fitting tribute to him.”The proceeds raised throughout the day and afterward will go to help Bitman’s daughter, Cori, a college sophomore, continue her education, Roskowinski said.The fundraising had gone well and “exceeded our expectations,” Roskowinski said after the event.People can still contribute by mail to the Jon Bitman Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 143, Little Silver, NJ 07739; or through sites.google.com/site/lscrocs/home. By John BurtonJon Bitman remembered at softball tournamentlast_img read more

See More