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US Navy-hosted undersea warfare drill enters second phase

first_imgBack to overview,Home naval-today Diesel Electric Submarine Initiative Exercise enters second phase off California View post tag: DESI-EX Authorities View post tag: Peruvian Navy September 12, 2017 Diesel Electric Submarine Initiative Exercise enters second phase off Californiacenter_img The US Navy-hosted Diesel Electric Submarine Initiative Exercise (DESI-EX) entered its second phase on September 8.The international exercise, held annually in conjunction with South American Naval Forces, was organized by HSM Weapons School Pacific (HSMWSP) in coordination with Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic International Programs and Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet.DESI-EX is an Undersea Warfare exercise that allows MH-60R aircraft from various CHSMWP and Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft (MPRA) commands the ability to practice their Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) skills against a skilled, foreign adversary in a variety of challenging environments.The event was organized by HSM Weapons School Pacific (HSMWSP) in coordination with Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic International Programs and Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, and will take place.Phase One of the exercise took place July 15 – 20, on the Southern California Offshore Range and Tanner Bank operating area, and involved aircraft and crews from six CHSMWP and three MPRA squadrons that completed 29 sorties over the course of 147 flight hours.Participants trained alongside the Peruvian Navy submarine BAP Pisagua (SS 33), a German Type 209 diesel-electric submarine, to refine their ASW and tactical acumen.DESI-EX was established in 2001 by the United State Fleet Forces Command. Since, it has afforded ASW-centric squadrons the ability to refine coordination among dissimilar U.S. Navy aircraft and have promoted interoperability with allied nations to complete common missions. View post tag: German Navy View post tag: US Navy Share this articlelast_img read more

Protected food firms join forces in new association

first_imgA new association has been formed to boost the profile of regional foods in the UK.The Protected Food Names Association, formed by UK producers of protected regional food products and those who are currently applying for that legal status, met for the first time this week. Regional foods, including Cornish pasties and Melton Mowbray pork pies, can be registered under UK and European law, and can then only be made in the geographical area of their origin and to a specific recipe and precise ingredients.Matthew O’Callaghan, chairman of the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association, was elected as chair of the new association’s steering group. He told British Baker: “We hope this will encourage further applications for protected status from UK producers of regional food. There are 1,600 regional recipes in danger of extinction in the UK. This is a way to save them, as our producers report that attaining protection boosts sales.”Products such as Scotch Pie, Bakewell Pudding and Eccle-fechan tart would be among those likely to be awarded protection, he said, adding that protected status should become a hallmark of quality food in the UK the logo should be the equivalent of a Michelin star.The association, which boasts a combined turnover of £1bn, would be looking at areas such as the marketing of the Protected Food Names (PFN) logos in the UK, explaining to consumers what the scheme means, he said.Under the PFN scheme, food products can apply for one of three European designations to protect regional foods that have a precise quality, reputation or other characteristics attributable to a specific region.Forty British products now have PFN status. Representatives from DEFRA, ADAS and Trading Standards were also at the association’s inaugural meeting.last_img read more

Notre Dame Faculty Senate no-confidence vote against University President Fr. John Jenkins to be…

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ IndianaLocalNews Notre Dame Faculty Senate no-confidence vote against University President Fr. John Jenkins to be rescheduled Facebook Pinterest WhatsApp (Photo supplied/University of Notre Dame video capture) The University of Notre Dame Faculty Senate was expected to hold a no-confidence vote on Tuesday night, Oct. 27, against school president Father John Jenkins, but changed the date out of respect for the mass planned in memory of the two first-year students who were killed after being struck by a car this past weekend.The vote will come at a date to be announced after Jenkins was seen not wearing a mask while attending a White House Rose Garden ceremony for President Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.The president tested positive for coronavirus days later. Jenkins is expected to speak before the Faculty Senate meeting, when it happens. WhatsApp By Jon Zimney – October 27, 2020 5 496 Google+ Pinterest Twitter Previous articleGoshen Hospital reports increased number of COVID-19 patients requiring ventilatorsNext articleSouth Bend’s fall ReLeaf program to start on Monday, Nov. 2 Jon ZimneyJon Zimney is the News and Programming Director for News/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel and host of the Fries With That podcast. Follow him on Twitter @jzimney.last_img read more

Q&A with Dan Shore

first_imgHarvard University’s latest annual report reflects the effects of difficult strategic choices made during tumultuous economic times. The results are encouraging, but Chief Financial Officer Dan Shore says that Harvard will need to continue managing its expenses cautiously as it works through the lingering ramifications of the Great Recession. Shore spoke with the Gazette about the latest snapshot of University finances. GAZETTE: This report represents the first full fiscal year after Harvard had to make some adjustments to meet changed financial circumstances. What’s the bottom line?SHORE: I think the year went very well. The most important thing we needed to do was to realign our organization and our finances with the reality of the endowment having lost 27 percent in fiscal 2009. We were able to do that in very significant ways. We reduced our overall spending. But perhaps even more impressive, we reduced our controllable, nonsponsored spending by 6 percent year over year, and in the process saved $130 million — the equivalent of a new $2.6 billion gift to the endowment. That was a major success for the year, and it’s something that everyone should be very proud of. It took a lot of coordinated work across the entire University to achieve our budgetary objectives.GAZETTE: There were a number of difficult choices made as the University worked through its financial challenges: wage freezes for faculty and exempt staff, work force reductions. Did those measures have a direct effect on the operating results for the past fiscal year?SHORE: Yes, you can absolutely see that the mandated belt-tightening, as well as some of the more difficult steps, made a big difference. Expenses related to supplies and equipment declined by 11 percent, utility and maintenance costs dropped by 19 percent, travel expenses were down 13 percent. In total, expense-management efforts yielded about $88 million in savings. Personnel costs were trimmed by 3 percent, for about $31 million in savings.GAZETTE: Now, the operating result was still a $4.7 million deficit, and of course a deficit never sounds like good news. But can you put that in perspective relative to the overall size of the University’s budget?SHORE: The University’s overall budget is $3.7 billion, and if you take that as the context, then $4.7 million is a shade over a tenth of 1 percent of that budget. You never want to have a negative operating margin, but if you’re going to have it, you might as well have one of this magnitude. We have achieved an approximately break-even result, which is a good place to be, given everything we needed to get done this past year.GAZETTE: There were a lot of questions around the risk factor in the University’s portfolio after the previous annual report. Is Harvard in a more conservative position now?SHORE: We are. There are two dynamics to look at. One is our endowment, and Harvard Management Company’s judgments about the optimal risk profile and management approach for our endowment funds. I’d refer you to [President and CEO] Jane Mendillo’s excellent report on the Management Company’s strategies, and her successes for the year.The second area in which we think about portfolio risk is what we have invested alongside the endowment. This year, we are in a better position. We have reduced risk in our operating accounts by converting some of our related investments into cash and other highly liquid securities held outside the long-term investment pool. From a liquidity-management standpoint, this is a safer posture for the University.GAZETTE: That makes the University a little more nimble in a volatile financial climate, so that it can react more quickly to any challenges that may present themselves.SHORE: That’s exactly right. If the Management Company is charged with looking at a very long-term investment horizon, you want to have financial resources somewhere else at the University with a much shorter investment horizon, and over the past couple of years we have been doing more of this. We will continue to think about the best investment mix for the University — one that optimizes our long-term investment returns without jeopardizing our ability to satisfy nearer-term spending needs.GAZETTE: While there have been checks on spending in many areas, the report says that financial aid increased by 4 percent. Given the change in the University’s economic circumstances, are such increases sustainable?SHORE: That is a very important priority for the institution. We are committed to making sure that we can attract the best candidates for our degree programs and that a Harvard education is accessible to all qualified students, regardless of their economic circumstances. To the extent that requires further investments in financial aid, we will do whatever we can to accommodate those incremental funds in our budget. Offering robust grant aid is a very strong institutional commitment that we have every expectation of continuing into the future.GAZETTE: Are there any other parts of the report that you would like to highlight?SHORE: Well, I would point to our success in earning sponsored awards from the federal stimulus program. That is a testament to the quality of researchers that we have across the University. We were able to get awards that over the next several years will provide almost $200 million worth of revenue. In the past year, we spent about $50 million of that amount. At a time when reduced endowment payouts might have meant something very different to our labs, the stimulus funding allowed them to continue to thrive.The other thing that’s noteworthy in our financial statement this year is the slowed growth in debt. It went from $6 billion at the end of 2009 to $6.3 billion at the end of fiscal 2010. That is the result of a very conscious set of decisions to bring our capital program into closer alignment with our financial circumstances and our core academic priorities.We will continue to think about opportunities to use debt advantageously, particularly because we are still in a very attractive environment for interest rates. But we’ll be judicious as a general matter with our overall debt load.GAZETTE: What challenges do you see facing the University over the next year or two?SHORE: With an 11 percent investment return on the endowment, you can be lulled into a sense that whatever we went through in the past no longer presents challenges for the University. But the reality is that our primary sources of funding all face considerable uncertainty: The endowment is very dependent on macroeconomic conditions and capital markets that continue to be volatile; research funding is largely subject to budgetary uncertainties at the federal government level; and most of our incremental tuition revenue gets plowed back into financial aid.All three of those funding sources easily could be under considerable pressure over the next several years, and so we will continue to think about smart things that we can do to operate more efficiently, and thereby free up budgetary capacity.last_img read more

The debate over mammograms

first_imgWhen Mette Kalager published the results of her study of routine mammography screening in two Norwegian counties in September, controversy erupted.The study indicated that such screening in women ages 50 to 69 every other year had a much smaller impact on breast cancer mortality than commonly thought. The decline due to screening was somewhere between 2 and 10 percent, much less than the 15 to 25 percent mortality reduction estimated in the United States.If correct, the study calls into question the benefit of a routine medical service provided to millions of women around the world, at a cost of not just health care dollars but also false positives that require re-testing, and overdiagnosis, for which women actually undergo some type of treatment.Kalager and other authorities in the field gathered at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) Tuesday afternoon (March 8) to debate the benefits of what one New England Journal of Medicine editorial said is perceived as “one of the most important services provided by modern medicine” but that may actually be “a close call.”Kalager, a visiting scientist at HSPH and an Oslo University Hospital surgeon, was joined for the discussion by Flavia Bustreo, assistant director general for family and community health for the World Health Organization, Felicia Knaul, director of the Harvard Global Equity Initiative and associate professor of social medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Julie Gralow, oncology professor at the University of Washington Medical School. The event, the latest from The Forum at Harvard School of Public Health and available for viewing online,  was moderated by former Washington Post health editor Abigail Trafford.The Norway study took advantage of the phased implementation of a national screening program to compare the breast cancer mortality rates of older women from 1996 to 2005 in the two counties; one county had the screening program while the other one didn’t. Further, the researchers contrasted results over time, comparing breast cancer death rates for those counties before the national program began and afterward. The study also looked at breast cancer mortality in women over age 70.Both counties saw a reduction in breast cancer mortality over time, 30 percent in the county with screening and 20 percent in the county without it. This likely resulted from greater awareness of the disease in the population and better training of medical personnel. The results indicated there was a 10 percent decrease in breast cancer mortality explained by the screening program. It is possible, however, that even that 10 percent overstates the screening’s effectiveness, because that county also had multidisciplinary medical teams to better treat breast cancer. Women over age 70 in that county — who did not have routine screening but who were treated by the multidisciplinary teams — saw their mortality rate decline by 8 percent.Much of the discussion Tuesday concerned the difference between breast cancer in industrialized Western nations such as Norway and the United States and in poor and middle-income nations, where a lack of education, screening, and treatment combine to make breast cancer one of the deadliest diseases for women, Knaul said.Though Kalager’s study called into question the usefulness of mammography screening, Gralow said many previous studies have proven the value of it and credited the gains made against the disease in industrialized countries through early detection and treatment. Because the Norway study focused only on mortality as an easily measurable endpoint, it left out other outcomes important to women that are also affected by early detection of the disease, such as the prospect of a lumpectomy instead of mastectomy and of catching the disease early enough to avoid chemotherapy, Gralow said.Knaul added a personal aspect to the discussion, since a routine mammogram detected breast cancer in her several years ago. Without that screening, the disease would have been more advanced when finally detected, with perhaps a worse outcome.Knaul said it is likely that countries like the United States and Norway are victims of their own success in treating breast cancer, since their populations are educated and aware of the disease, doctors and nurses are trained at detecting it, and screening and treatment programs function effectively. Collectively, those factors may reduce the effect of mammography screening alone as a lifesaver.In the developing world, on the other hand, breast cancer is an enormous problem where fear of the disease is common. When women there are asked why they don’t seek what few screening services are available, Knaul said, they respond that they don’t want to lose a breast because they would be “ugly” and lose their husbands. It’s better not to know, they said.Further, the disease seems to affect different populations in poorer countries, with more young women developing it, Knaul said.Knaul argued that increased education and screening in those countries are key to removing the stigma from the disease, to helping people understand its prevalence in the population, and to spurring wider treatment.“The bottom line is we’re talking about investing in women,” Knaul said.One of the problems in treating breast cancer around the world, Bustreo said, is a lack of data. In many countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, there is little information about breast cancer on which to base intervention efforts. She said she hears a lot of arguments about breast cancer that echo the discussion of treating AIDS in resource-poor countries a decade ago, before a major international effort against that disease was launched.That lack of data would argue for a research-based approach, said Kalager. She said that trials of the effectiveness of mammography screening should be conducted before designing large-scale screening programs and that, given a choice, resources should go toward building up general health care systems before targeting breast cancer specifically.“I think the mammography screening field is a lot about beliefs, emotions. We need the science first,” Kalager said.Knaul countered that women dying of breast cancer shouldn’t be asked to wait while clinical trials are conducted.“We can’t wait to do a trial with the No. 2 killer of women,” Knaul said.last_img read more

Harvard licenses powerful molecular screening platform to Kyulux

first_imgA powerful materials discovery platform created at Harvard University to dramatically accelerate the process of screening millions of molecules for use in future technologies will now speed the commercial development of next-generation electronic displays. Harvard has licensed the deep-learning software platform, dubbed the Molecular Space Shuttle, to Kyulux, Inc., a Japan- and Boston-based developer of OLED display and lighting products.The screening platform, featured last week in a Nature Materials publication, was developed by a group of Harvard researchers led by Alán Aspuru-Guzik, Professor in Harvard’s Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology.The license agreement grants Kyulux the right to use the copyrighted software in the discovery of materials for display and lighting applications. Coordinated by the Harvard Office of Technology Development (OTD), the agreement puts the innovative platform to work in the development of useful new products, in a company that is now expanding its presence in the Boston area.“Our screening software has great potential to really change the nature of materials discovery in commercial R&D,” said Aspuru-Guzik. “As new cheminformatics and machine-learning methods are adopted across fields that have been limited by computational cost or manpower, it will open up a wide realm of new technological possibilities.” Read Full Storylast_img read more

Student senate reviews departments

first_imgThe student senate convened Wednesday night to review the functions of the eight other branches of student government and to prepare questions for a University Health Services (UHS) representative’s visit in March.“Hopefully, these presentations [will give] you guys an idea of how you can stay involved in student government after this year,” student body vice president Becca Blais said. Student Union Board (SUB) executive director Louis Bertolotti said SUB was divided into eight departments: AcoustiCafe, AnTostal, the collegiate jazz festival, concerts, festivities, ideas and issues, movies and special events. Three directors of programming moderate three of the departments each, he said. “SUB is huge, so it can be easy to get lost in,” Bertolotti said. “We have over 100 members and the largest budget in the entire student union, so there’s a lot going on.”Bertolotti said he encourages freshman to submit applications for next year’s SUB team.Representatives from each of the class councils also shared with the senate the activities they had planned throughout the year for their classes.“We have this budget and we can decide what to do with it,” Junior Class Council president Sara Dugan said. “ … As far as what juniors have been doing, a lot of our class is abroad, so there’s a lot of focus on keeping the community together. We’ve had letter-writing events and cookouts.” Hall Presidents Council (HPC) co-chair Elizabeth Feeley said HPC mostly dealt with choosing the halls of the year.“All of the work that we do with our presidents throughout the year focuses on developing programming and making sure they’re fostering great communities within their halls,” Feeley said.Student body president Corey Robinson said the executive cabinet consisted of department directors who work to coordinate projects, set goals and discuss the needs of student body. “Basically, what we do as student government, is we’re the mouthpiece to the administration,” Robinson said. “ … We take all that information [from all the departments, councils and boards] to the administration and we work with them. We’re the last frontier between the students and the administration.” Senators also heard from representatives from the Student Union, Judicial Council, Club Coordination Council, Campus Life Council and Off-Campus Council. Following the branch presentations, Flaherty Hall senator Jade Martinez addressed the senate regarding director of University Health Services Sharon McMullen’s visit to senate in March. Senators made suggestions for questions to ask McMullen about STD testing on campus, cost differences between drop-in and scheduled appointments, RecSports training and payment and access to birth control on campus. Tags: judicial councils, RecSports, Senatelast_img read more

Michael Watson is London’s Jersey Boys’ New Frankie

first_img View Comments The Tony and Olivier-winning musical tells the story of how Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons went from being unknown New Jersey kids to international pop superstars. The show features over 30 hit songs, including “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.” The tuner opened in London at the Prince Edward Theatre in 2008. Watson, who has previously served as the Frankie Valli alternate, has appeared in the West End in We Will Rock You, Imagine This, Sister Act and Shrek the Musical. He joins a cast that includes Edd Post, Jon Boydon and Matt Nalton. Sandy Moffat will play the role of Frankie Valli at certain performances.center_img There’s a new big man in town! Michael Watson will don the flashy red jacket as Frankie Valli in the West End production of Jersey Boys beginning April 29. Watson takes over for John Lloyd Young, who crossed the pond to reprise his Tony-winning performance at the Piccadilly Theatre.last_img read more

Homegrown plan

first_imgBy Brad HaireUniversity of GeorgiaGeorgia’s economy “must grow from within” in the 21st century, Gov. Sonny Perdue told the 150 participants at the Georgia Summit on Entrepreneurship March 20 in Tifton, Ga. Local entrepreneurs, he said, will be the root of this new growth.Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology Development Center and the Georgia Economic Developers Association sponsored the two-day summit at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center.The program focused local, state and national leaders in entrepreneurship on one question: How can Georgia fan and sustain the flame of entrepreneurship, especially in the state’s rural economies?Homegrown planThe top economic-development strategy in Georgia’s future is encouraging entrepreneurship, Perdue said.The state must create an atmosphere that encourages, promotes and nurtures people who want to take a “homegrown” risk for profit, he said. That’s especially true for those who want to stay in their communities and add to the local economy and job market.For years, Perdue said, Georgia successfully lured companies with low business costs and cheap land and labor. This model and strong economic times helped Georgia become the fastest-growing state east of the Rocky Mountains. That was the past.”The world has changed,” he said. Global trade and stiffer international competition have “moved our traditional jobs overseas.”Due to this shift and the current economic downturn, the state moved from No. 1 in job creation to dead last in 2002, he said.Georgia will continue to recruit businesses from other states and countries. “But I think that game is about played out in the cost of it,” he said.Community leadCommunity leaders will have to take the reins and guide this new entrepreneurial spirit in Georgia. Rural communities can no longer wait for “the state to ride in on a white horse and deliver a company that will employ all the residents” with long-term jobs.”Those days are gone,” he said. “And you know it as well as I.”The communities that will thrive will be those that commit to growing their own economies. If communities do this, he said, the state will do its part.”We will give you the resources to support you as you set your own economic course,” he said.State’s partPerdue charged the Georgia Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism to broaden its mission and provide more opportunity for entrepreneurship statewide.”It will act as a clearinghouse for state resources, coordinating efforts between our universities and local colleges and nonprofit support shelters,” he said.Entrepreneurs at the summit said Georgia needs a one-stop, easy-access place for financial, business and personal advice. Georgia entrepreneurs who were guest speakers attributed much of their success to the help of the U.S. Small Business Administration in Georgia.Perdue said he understands the risk in starting a business. He was an agribusiness entrepreneur in Houston County in the mid-1970s.”I look forward in hearing your ideas on how we can do this job better,” he said. “I’d like to suggest that this summit become an annual event.”last_img read more

Permitting slows European onshore wind installations, but investment remains high

first_imgPermitting slows European onshore wind installations, but investment remains high FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Investments in new onshore wind farms in Europe rose to the highest level ever last year, even as the biggest wind markets on the continent saw a slowdown in new installations, according to an annual report from industry group WindEurope.In 2018, project developers made final investment decisions worth €16.4 billion, up by 11% from the previous year, to finance a total of 12.5 GW of onshore wind capacity, according to the trade body. Wind energy investments continued a trend of geographical diversification, with smaller markets attracting more money for new projects. Investments in non-E.U. countries rose by 75% to reach €5.1 billion even as stalwarts like the U.K., Spain and Sweden continued to attract the most resources.Despite the record investment, WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson warned that the slowdown in permitting procedures that has bogged down onshore projects in major markets like Germany and France, as well as a more challenging environment amid the switch to competitive auctions for renewables in many countries, were seriously threatening the future of the sector.“Beneath the surface, many things are not right” for onshore wind, said Dickson, highlighting that 2018 was the worst year for new installations since 2011. “Growth in onshore wind fell by over half in Germany and collapsed in the U.K. And twelve E.U. countries didn’t install a single wind turbine last year.”Europe installed 11.7 GW of gross additional wind power capacity in 2018, down by 32% from the previous year. In Germany, where a clumsy switch to competitive auctions for renewables and ongoing permitting issues have led to a large backlog of projects, capacity additions decreased by more than half, from 5.3 GW to 2.4 GW. In France, where permitting processes for wind projects have been delayed or even suspended in some parts of the country, installations fell slightly, from 1.7 GW to 1.6 GW.More ($): Onshore wind investment at record high as growth slows in major European marketslast_img read more