Kroc Institute fellow discusses Arab Spring research

first_imgWill Moore, a visiting research fellow at the Kroc Institute and Florida State University professor of political science, addressed the shortcomings of popular perspectives on the events of the Arab Spring. He revisited the dissent and revolutions in the Middle East on Tuesday during the lecture “Dissent, Repression and Outcomes of the Arab Spring.” “Conventional Arab Spring narratives are unpersuasive because they don’t focus on outcomes,” he said. “These narratives also have a very strong ‘blame the victim’ approach, which is ahistorical.” Moore said there should be a focus on the behavior and interactions of dissidents and states. He discussed 24 instances of mass protests in four different countries — Algeria, Egypt, Jordan and Syria — since 1990 and said it was significant that only one of those protests resulted in a victory for the dissidents. “Unless you start paying attention to the interaction of states and dissidents, you can’t understand the outcomes,” he said. Moore outlined the research methodology and theoretical approach for his current project, which will supply the content for an eventual book on the subject. “I don’t yet have the answers to the questions I’m addressing. I’m going to be laying out how I’ve designed a research project,” he said. Eventually, the project will include case studies for every country in the entire Middle East and North Africa, as well as further analyses for the period of 1990 to 2011, Moore said. Currently, he is focused on 10 countries in particular and only has access to data from 1990 to 2004. “During this time and in all of these countries, dissidents and states are interacting. In every single one of these 10 nations, there is a long history of people challenging government and government responding in kind,” Moore said. During the lecture, Moore displayed a graph of dissident and state activity in each of the 10 countries and pointed out that some, such as Tunisia, stood out as having less dissident activity. The data came from a database of news reports, he said. “Something I have to consider is whether there is less news coverage or actually less dissident activity,” he said. Moore said he intends to evaluate the behavior of two actors, the state and the dissidents, along a Hostility-Cooperation Continuum. He said the continuum shows how one side responds to the behavior of the other and how both the desire to stay in power and the influence of constituents are important in determining this behavior. “If you’re halfway up the hostility scale, my people want me slightly … more hostile than you,” Moore said. Moore said the continuum allows him to estimate the average behavior when the other actor does nothing. For example, the state will be very cooperative on average when the dissidents do nothing. He said he can also estimate the average responsiveness to surprise for each actor, though his calculations do not differentiate between hostile and cooperative responses to surprises. Moore said his current data reveals interesting patterns, but he has not analyzed the set thoroughly enough to draw any conclusions. “I haven’t delved into how much I can trust these particular estimates,” he said. “I’m showing you a flavor of what I’m going to be able to do,” Moore said his project might not lead to the kind of results he hopes for, but he believes it addresses something existing literature is missing. “Does this project that I’ve launched give me any leverage? It’s possible I’ll strike out,” he said. “I’ve argued existing scholarship ignores behavior and limits our ability to understand and answer important questions. The missing objective of inquiry is the behavior of dissidents and states.”last_img read more

China Banks Steer Clear of Adani’s Mega Coal Project in Australia

first_imgChina Banks Steer Clear of Adani’s Mega Coal Project in Australia FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享South China Morning Post:Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and China Construction Bank said in separate statements they were not working on the project, after media recently reported that Chinese banks may get involved.Adani was seeking A$2 billion (US$1.5 billion) in financing by March 2018 for the A$4 billion first stage of its proposed Carmichael coal mine in the state of Queensland, a project that has been shrunk from a A$16.5 billion plan to make it more viable.Adani declined to comment on its financing plans on Monday or the statements from the Chinese banks.Australian and overseas banks have balked at granting loans for the project, which environmentalists oppose due to climate change and the potential for damage to the Great Barrier Reef.“ICBC has not been, and does not intend to be, engaged in arranging financing for this project,” ICBC, China’s biggest listed lender by assets, said in a statement on its Australian website.“ICBC attaches great importance to its social responsibilities and keenly promotes ‘green financing’ … This statement is made without any view on or prejudice towards the Carmichael mine project.”The mine’s location 400km from a Pacific Ocean shipping terminal means financing infrastructure costs has been at the forefront of debate over the project’s economic viability.“China Construction Bank is not involved with, nor considering involvement with, the Adani Carmichael Mine project,” an external spokesperson for China Construction Bank in Australia said in an emailed statement on Monday.CCB in China was not immediately available for comment.Reuters has previously reported that Adani was in talks with China Machinery Engineering Corp (CMEC) for a loan, which could have involved China Construction Bank or China Export Import Bank.China Export Import Bank was not immediately available for comment.Tim Buckley, from the pro-renewables Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, said that the news was very significant, but did leave open the possibility for the project to be funded by another Chinese bank.“At the end of the day, any one of these big Chinese banks could fund 100 per cent of the project tomorrow if they wanted. They’re that big,” he said.Carmichael has been delayed by court challenges from environmentalists and indigenous groups concerned about climate change and the impact on native land and water supply, but those challenges have been rejected.Adani hoped to start shipping coal from Carmichael by March 2020 in the first stage of the project, which it bought amid a coal boom in 2010.More: China’s top two banks won’t finance controversial Adani coal mine in Australialast_img read more

Video Clips of the Week: Skijouring

first_imgSkiing and snowboarding are fantastic ways to enjoy winter, but there’s room on the snow for even more. Why not try something new this season? Like skijouring. It’s skiing… with a dog or horse involved… Don’t ask just watch.last_img

Honduras Joins International Humanitarian Aid Effort for Haiti

first_imgBy Kay Valle/Diálogo October 14, 2016 Two natural disasters have struck the Caribbean nation in less than a decade. Still, partner nations have once again responded without delay, offering their assistance without regard to distance or resources. Honduras was no exception; it joined the rescue and humanitarian-aid efforts that Haiti is receiving after the recent onslaught of Hurricane Matthew. “The HONCON (Honduras Contingent) Mission will temporarily stop acting as a peacekeeping contingent in order to function as a rescue contingent,” said Colonel Carlos Portillo, spokesperson for the Honduran Armed Forces. HONCON is the fifth peace mission that Honduras has sent to Haiti since 1995. It is composed of 47 members of the Armed Forces, including commissioned and non-commissioned officers and troops that had arrived in Haiti in June 2016 to work with the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). “The contingent is a show of solidarity from the Honduran government to other peoples and governments. This (mission) allows our military, within the framework of international cooperation, to demonstrate the preparation, capacity and professionalism of its human resource,” according to the Secretariat of Security’s report on October 12th. After Hurricane Matthew, Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández instructed the proper authorities to form an aid commission and to provide assistance to the citizens of Haiti affected by the hurricane. “This cannot wait. I made the decision and gave instructions to the minister of the Permanent Contingencies Commission (COPECO). On Tuesday, October 11th, a plane with humanitarian aid was sent to our Haitian brothers,” stated President Hernández. He also confirmed that the “HONCON peace force will join the effort to help the Haitian people.” Col. Portillo explained that “the Honduran Air Force (FAH, per its Spanish acronym) was responsible for transporting the rescue mission.” Specialized institution After the passage of Matthew, the most powerful Atlantic hurricane in a decade, Haitian authorities expressed concerns over food security to the arriving international partners. “We are concerned with avoiding any possible famines in the country within three months due to the destroyed plantations,” Haitian President Jocelerme Privert expressed to the media. A FAH aircraft transported the aid to Haiti, led by COPECO Minister Lisandro Rosales, who traveled with a committee of members from the Rapid Response Unit. Rosales explained to the media that the aid consisted of four metric tons of non-perishable food. “This will meet the needs of some 10,000 people, which will create a positive impact for approximately 2,500 Haitian families,” he stated as he left for Haiti. The humanitarian aid package was prepared by the FAH and consisted of non-perishable food, basic medications, blankets, four metric tons of purified water, personal hygiene kits, and clothing. The aircraft departed from the Héctor Caraccioli Moncada Air Base in La Ceiba, department of Atlántida. “The FAH personnel have worked very hard to transport aid to the [COPECO] personnel and the media, which will keep us informed about the conditions of the Haitian people. We are thus bringing a helping hand to our Haitian brothers,” stated Lieutenant Colonel Armando Martínez Rueda, commander of the air base. Minister Rosales told Diálogo that Haitian Interior Minister Francois Anick Joseph welcomed his country’s help. The meeting also served to demonstrate the solidarity expressed by President Hernández in the name of the Honduran people. Upon returning to the country, Rosales indicated that “the Honduran government’s willingness to continue providing help to the people of Haiti is firm. The Armed Forces and other institutions like COPECO that are specialized in situations of risk are both well positioned to bring the needed humanitarian aid to the authorities and citizens of Haiti,” he concluded.last_img read more

The possible health benefit behind a haircut

first_img“It’s a place to talk, it’s a place to visit and feel connected,” Wilmarth said. “[Hair stylists and barbers] serve as almost informal counselor, if you would. That’s just been a societal norm of ours.” Jessica Miller has been a client of SalonTREND in Vestal for the last two years, but has gone without a haircut the last few months due to the COVID-19 pandemic shutting the salon and other businesses down. Miller says she feels that level of bonding when she’s at the salon. Alan Wilmarth serves as the administrative director of the behavioral health at UHS, and said something as simple as a haircut can be beneficial to some people’s mental health. “I think that any time a person has the chance to feel good about how they look, it can improve their sense of well-being and their sense of confidence,” Wilmarth added. Wilmarth emphasized this feeling may not apply to people dealing with severe mental health issues, but added that investment in personal appearance is a sign of improved mental health. That focus is painted on the the walls of the salon, reading: “Change, create, inspire,” the motto for the salon, its staff and their interactions with clients. “If you look good, you feel good,” Parker stressed. “[The clients] can talk about themselves, we can focus on them.” But during the quarantine and shutdown, salon owner Sherette Parker came to a realization. “Once my hair is done, I’m like this ideal version of myself,” she said. VESTAL (WBNG) — For some people in our area, haircuts can be more than just a visit. “The mental aspect behind being a hair stylist is we’re more than a hair stylist, we’re a psychologist,” Parker said. “Our job is to make them feel like a million dollars when they leave here.” “It’s much more than just getting your hair done,” Parker said. “People can say that it’s not, but anyone that goes to a salon the regular will say that the bond between a hair stylist and the salon is something so unique and so special.” As for the connection between the stylist and the client, it’s more than meets the eye. But Parker is taking the relationship a step further.last_img read more

Hunting licenses on the rise in New York

first_img“I love seeing more women taking it, more youth taking it because what was happening was our hunting public was aging out and are an older demographic,” Bailey explained, “It’s great to see more youth and more women getting involved in the sport.” While Bailey says it’s great to see this increase, what’s really encouraging is seeing who is buying these licenses and taking hunter safety courses. With an increase in attention to the sport, Bailey says more people are now getting a better understanding of hunting and how to be safe while doing so. The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation is seeing a large increase in people buying sporting licenses this year, especially hunting. Mary Bailey, an Environmental Program Specialist with the DEC, believes the increase is due to more people wanting to spend time outside and social distancing during the pandemic, so they’re turning to sports like hunting and fishing. For more information on getting your New York State hunting license and hunter safety courses/guidelines, click here. (WBNG) — The original social distancing activity is on the rise in New York State. As of right now, the DEC is doing hunter safety courses online-only and if you buy your license online, Bailey added it can take about two weeks for your license to arrive in the mail once you order it. “I love that more people are taking those courses and getting the background and history of hunting. They’re also learning about the safety aspects of it and really becoming familiar with what the sport is about,” Bailey said.last_img read more

Allies! We have allies again! Foreign leaders rush to congratulate Joe Biden and Kamala Harris

first_imgxCongratulations to US President-Elect @JoeBiden. Joe Biden has been a true friend of Greece and I’m certain that under his presidency the relationship between our countries will grow even stronger. 🇬🇷🇺🇸— Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) November 7, 2020The mayor of Paris welcomes back America,xWelcome back America ! Félicitations à @JoeBiden et @KamalaHarris pour cette élection ! Alors que nous allons célébrer les 5 ans de l’Accord de Paris, cette victoire est un beau symbole pour plus que jamais agir ensemble face à l’urgence climatique. 🇺🇸 #Election2020— Anne Hidalgo (@Anne_Hidalgo) November 7, 2020 xI want to congratulate the new President Elect of the USA @JoeBiden Joe Biden has been a true friend of this nation throughout his life and I look forward to working with him in the years ahead. I also look forward to welcoming him back home when the circumstances allow! 🇮🇪 🇺🇸— Micheál Martin (@MichealMartinTD) November 7, 2020EU Council President Donald Tusk has an almost familiar name … and a powerful message.President of France.- Advertisement – Prime Minister of Ireland.- Advertisement – So should this one from the Prime Minister of India.x x xCongratulations, @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris. Our two countries are close friends, partners, and allies. We share a relationship that’s unique on the world stage. I’m really looking forward to working together and building on that with you both.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) November 7, 2020This one has to sting for … oh, you know, that guy.- Advertisement – xOn behalf of all Zimbabweans, a huge congratulations to President Elect @JoeBiden on his election victory. Zimbabwe wishes you every successes in leading the American people. I look forward to working with you to increase cooperation between our two nations.— President of Zimbabwe (@edmnangagwa) November 7, 2020The prime minister of Fiji has his eye on the most important issues, and is anxious to see the return of U.S. leadership instead of angry isolation.So does Portugal.xCongratulations to President Elect @JoeBiden. We look forward to working with the new #USA Administration to reinforce transatlantic relations and cooperate on global issues, such as climate change, defense of democracy and international security.— António Costa (@antoniocostapm) November 7, 2020Prime minister of Belgium.xCongratulations @JoeBiden with your election as 46th President of the United States.A record number of people have cast their vote in this election. This illustrates the vibrancy of the American political life and its democracy.— Alexander De Croo (@alexanderdecroo) November 7, 2020President of Italy.xCongratulations to the American people and institutions for an outstanding turnout of democratic vitality. We are ready to work with the President-elect @JoeBiden to make the transatlantic relationship stronger. The US can count on Italy as a solid Ally and a strategic partner— Giuseppe Conte (@GiuseppeConteIT) November 7, 2020Chancellor of Austria.xCongratulations to @JoeBiden, the new President-elect of the United States. Europe and the United States share a system of values – values that we stand up for together. Looking forward to our future cooperation!— Sebastian Kurz (@sebastiankurz) November 7, 2020 xMy warmest congratulations to @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris. Looking forward to strengthening excellent US-Swedish relations and to work jointly for multilateralism, democracy and global security. Together, we can lead a green transition creating jobs for the future.— SwedishPM (@SwedishPM) November 7, 2020Ahem … President of Ukraine. Maybe Biden could make this his first overseas stop, just for fun.xCongratulations to @JoeBiden @KamalaHarris! #Ukraine is optimistic about the future of the strategic partnership with the #UnitedStates. 🇺🇦 and 🇺🇸 have always collaborated on security, trade, investment, democracy, fight against corruption. Our friendship becomes only stronger!— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) November 7, 2020Of course, not every message is so welcoming. – Advertisement –last_img read more

The third quarter is crucial because it brings 64% of the total tourist traffic

first_imgAccording to the eVisitor system, in the commercial and non-commercial segment and nautical charter, in Croatia during the first three months 635.000 arrivals (-33%) and 1.893.500 overnight stays (-20%) were realized, while in March realized 118.236 arrivals (-75%) and 518.530 overnight stays (-53%). And currently there is no tourist traffic. The problem will be much more visible in the second, and will be especially emphasized in the third quarter, when about 64% of the total annual foreign exchange tourist revenues are realized. The second quarter has certainly been completely lost (this would be, according to data for the second quarter of last year, 2,3 billion euros of “lost” foreign exchange income from tourism), and for the most important third (when 6,6 billion euros of revenue was generated last year) ) the severity of the fall remains uncertain.  On the other hand, optimistic estimates of the World Tourism Organization show a reduction of tourist arrivals by 20 to 30%, and foreign exchange earnings by a third (but as these data from March 26, ie now two weeks old, new estimates are likely to be more drastic ). These estimates are still much more drastic than the impact of the financial crisis on the decline in global tourism in 2009 (only 4% in arrivals) or the SARS epidemic in 2003 (a decrease in the number of arrivals of only 0,3%).  So now is the time to prepare a new strategy and mostly prepare promotional campaigns for the day after the coronavirus. Then the most important thing will be to react immediately and aggressively promote tourism, ie the entire offer, in order to activate tourism as soon as possible. So, prepare a campaign and keep them on Stand by. And the main focus will be on the domestic guest. For now, there are too many unknowns and assumptions, so in a time where the situation is changing day by day, it is very difficult to predict anything, and therefore be optimistic. But hope dies last. Realistically, according to the current situation, we can expect tourist activity only in the spring of 2021, and of course not in the same numbers as before. And as for this year, we can optimistically hope that we will still (assuming that the situation in Croatia and Europe calms down, ie the coronavirus disappears) catch the second part of the peak season, mainly through domestic guests and a small part of guests from Austria and Slovenia, in order for tourism to get at least a little “cash flow”. This is not yet a major problem for the balance of payments, as very little income from foreign tourism was generated in the first quarter (only about 4,5% of total annual revenue, EUR 486,2 million last year). The third quarter is important Although tourism has always recovered very quickly, unfortunately, this blow will already shake the entire tourism sector, and recovery is expected in the next 2-3 years. In Croatia, the annual decline in 2009 was also mild: in foreign tourist arrivals below one percent, and in foreign exchange income from tourism by only 14%. The difference between these two crises can already be seen in March, when, according to eVisitor data, a drastic annual decline in arrivals (-80,3%) and overnight stays (-64,5%) of foreign tourists was visible, and cumulatively in the first quarter (-41,3% in arrivals and -27,2% in overnight stays of foreign tourists). last_img read more

Bellbird Park’s newest school is helping local land sales peak

first_imgThe Smith Family (L to R:) Charlize, Kirsty, Levi and Corey are pleased to have bought into Brentwood Forest estate where Charlize is enjoying the new school at Bellbird Park.A NEW school is making waves in the western corridor, driving more families to the area and fuelling property demand. Bellbird Park State Secondary College opened this year, with developers reporting a subsequent boom in land sales.Set in the heart of AVID Property Group’s Brentwood Forest estate, the colleges services the Greater Springfield and Ipswich region.Carpenter Corey Smith said location was a major deciding factor when choosingBrentwood Forest.“Our little girl started Year 7 at the new school. She is really happy — she loves it so far,” Mr Smith said.“We are only two streets away from the new school and have access to everything we need, which is ideal for my family.“We’re in a great spot, on a hill and the community at Brentwood is really homely. The convenience of being so close to the school will make our lives so much easier.” Brentwood Forest estate.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home5 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor5 hours agoAVID general manager Bruce Harper said the estate was a major drawcard for families looking to buy in the catchment area of Queensland’s newest high school.“Facilities like this school and the new childcare centre proposed for the area are really drawingyoung families to Brentwood Forest,” Mr Harper said.“The secondary college is a welcome addition to the community, providing young families in theBellbird Park area with the opportunity of a great education for their kids, close to home.”The College’s principal Michael West said the school would provide students with a range of first class facilities.“We have three hospitality kitchens, a robotics studio, an art and music precinct, and designtechnology workshops where students will be able to create projects with the aid of lasers,” Mr Westsaid.“Our college is fully wireless, which allows digital technologies to be integrated into all classes and all subjects.”Land prices in Brentwood Forest start at $172,000 with block sizes ranging from 250sq m to 563sq m.The estate is 30km from the Brisbane CBD, with plenty of open space, playgrounds and quiet streets.last_img read more

Dutch watchdog urges schemes to prepare for a hard Brexit

first_imgThe implementation of over-the-counter derivatives contracts, concluded with UK-based parties and extending beyond the Brexit date, could also become stuck, he warned.“These counterparties would possibly no longer have the required authorisation to offer investment services to EU counterparties, or conduct investment activities related to these derivatives contracts,” Hilbers said.Meanwhile, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said it continued to prepare for a range of scenarios, including a hard Brexit.The FCA is to be tasked by the UK’s treasury department with amending and maintaining EU rules and technical standards after the UK’s membership ends on 29 March 2019. This is in line with the EU (Withdrawal) Act, recently passed by the parliament, which allows the transferral and conversion of EU law to UK law and gives ministers powers to make amendments as necessary.The FCA said its work would “sit underneath the EU regulations and directives and provide technical detail of how those requirements must be met”.Last March, the UK and the EU agreed on a transitional period from 29 March to December-end 2020.During this time, EU law would remain applicable to the UK, with firms, funds and trading venues continuing to benefit from passporting between the UK and EEA as they do today, according to the FCA.“Obligations derived from EU law would continue to apply, and firms must continue with implemention plans for EU legislation that is still to come into effect before the end of December 2020,” the FCA added. Dutch supervisor DNB has urged pension funds to prepare for a so-called ‘hard’ Brexit, as the preliminary agreement for a transition period after the UK leaves in March is not yet legally binding.On DNB’s website, Paul Hilbers, director for financial stability, said that if the UK and the EU failed to reach an agreement on their future relationship, the transitional arrangement could be cancelled.He warned that a hard Brexit could come without equivalence certificates for the UK, which are necessary for companies and financial institutions to access each other’s markets.DNB’s financial stability director explained that pension funds ran the concrete risk of loosing acces to infrastructure in the UK, such as central counterparty (CCP) clearing.last_img read more