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first_imgThe frenzy surrounding Andy Murray’s emergence at Wimbledon earlier this year was overwhelming. You could hardly open a newspaper without seeing his face gurning back at you. The way most fans reacted, you would be forgiven for assuming he’d won the competition, rather than been knocked out in the first week.The hype surrounding young British sporting hopes such as Murray is immense, irrespective of his success. After all, Murray’s skills are still limited, as borne out by the straight-sets defeats he suffered at the racket of Federer.This is not to say that Murray lacks the potential to succeed. A year ago, he captured the US Open junior singles title while ranked 479th on the senior ladder. In March, he became the youngest ever British Davis Cup player and as a result, he went into Wimbledon in 317th place. After becoming the first Scotsman ever to reach the third round of Wimbledon he shot up to 213th. And after reaching an ATP final this month, the youngest player to achieve this since Andre Agassi, he rocketed up to 72nd. While this falls short of Federer’s performance at this age, or even fellow young gun Rafael Nadal, it is undoubtedly an impressive climb for someone who was unknown even in Britain a year ago.Murray’s rise coincided with British tennis’ previous golden boy Tim Henman’s slide to 28th in the world rankings: a sharp fall from grace for a man who once found himself inside the top ten. When Henman has underperformed at Wimbledon he has tended to blame to media for inciting ‘public pressure’. Indeed, Henman has been quick to urge Murray to ignore the ‘hype’ and has chastised the press for increasing the pressure on Murray unnecessarily. However, it’s exactly Murray’s appetite for pressure that feeds his game.When asked about the so-called ‘hype’ Britain’s Davis Cup captain Jeremy Bates said “Andy is not going to rest now: he has tremendous drive and fortitude and he will keep going for it”. Murray’s coach Mark Petchey likened him to Wayne Rooney, a noteworthy comparison, considering not only their talent, but their temperament. Last month Murray was asked what it is he likes best about playing tennis. His answer: “I just enjoy winning. Winning is the most amazing thing. I hate losing” therein summing up the difference between himself and the current British number 1: while Henman likes to do his best, for Murray, his best will never be good enough. This is the sign of a true champion.At the moment, the world of tennis seems dominated by one name – Federer. However, Murray is still only eighteen; this leaves him plenty of time to capitalise on the injuries or misfortune of others. And you can rest assured that Murray is not the kind of player to shy away from such opportunities. Despite his preference for clay, Murray’s sheer grit and determination can give the public hope that they may see a British champion again on Wimbledon soil.ARCHIVE: 2nd week MT 2005last_img read more


first_imgUniversity College JCR has unanimously passed an emergency motion condemning an “access” event, which welcomed Radley College students to University College.Michael Slade, who proposed the motion, condemned the decision of the College to host a “very expensive public school that represents privilege” to an access event, calling it “indefensible.” Rose Lynch, who seconded the motion, argued that “it is sending bad message by being presented as access work.” It was alleged at the debate that the College paid for a member of staff to give a talk to the Radley College students and a tour by a University College ambassador, with a complementary lunch. Slade stated to the JCR that while Radley students “should be able to look around,” it seems “silly College should spend money helping to perpetuate their privilege.” Radley College is a boys’ independent boarding school in Oxfordshire, which currently charges fees of £11,475 per term. 15 of its pupils received Oxbridge offers in 2015, down from 16 in 2014. Among its notable alumni are ex-Poet Laureate Andrew Motion, and former England Cricket Captain Andrew Strauss.Oxford Univeristy’s website states that it delivers over 3,000 access events per year, spending over £5.6m per year in the process. The website claims, “We recognise that some groups of students will require different types of support when preparing to apply to Oxford, and our programme of UK and international outreach work reflects this.”A St Hilda’s first-year student told Cherwell, ‘‘This is a scarcely believable incident. I mean you have to seriously ask yourself, if a place like Radley College is getting help with access, who on earth doesn’t need it? I think we all know this is absurd.’’Radley College has been contacted for comment.last_img read more


first_imgMany musicians have dreamed of an opportunity to feature an original piece of music in a major motion picture. Though he realized it was an outside chance, that didn’t stop moe. guitarist Al Schnier from writing and producing his own original song to be used for the Quentin Tarantino movie, Django Unchained. With the band gearing up for a Tarantino-themed Halloween show in Philadelphia, PA (find tickets here), Schnier was eager to introduce the song not only to his fellow bandmates, but to his band’s legion of devoted followers.We’ll let him tell the story…“In the Spring of 2012, I had the unique opportunity of submitting a song for consideration for the new, unreleased Quentin Tarantino Western that would be released in several months. I realized that my chances were slim, but the prospect of it even being considered was too good to pass up.The initial version came from something I had been playing on acoustic guitar recently. I submitted a short, uptempo version that was a cross between a surf song & something like a Booker T instrumental.I was shocked when they came back and told me they liked it, and wanted me to make some changes. They wanted to hear a slower, twangier version, with a bigger build up. This is version 2, which has more of a Spaghetti Western / Soundtrack feel.Unfortunately, they ‘went in a different direction,’ and my song never got used. I never won the Academy Award for Most Unlikely Musician To Win An Academy Award For A Demo He Made In His Home Studio. But the cool thing is, we get to use it now. Now that moe. is exploring the weird world of Tarantino for our Halloween show at The Fillmore, in Philadelphia, this seemed like the perfect time to bust this out.We wanted you to hear this song in its infancy before moe. got its hands on it. Who knows how it’ll wind up? A 5 minute rocker? 15 minute powerhouse? 30 minute epic meltdown? We’ll see…Hope to see you all in Philly at The Fillmore.”Without further ado, listen to both versions of the song that Schnier wrote for Django Unchained, exclusively via L4LM!moe. is gearing up for their exciting Tarantinoe. Halloweenoe. run at the Fillmore Philadelphia, running from October 28th and 29th. The possibilities are endless! Tickets are still available for this exciting two-night excursion, and can be found via the band’s website.last_img read more


first_imgSaint Mary’s Registrar Todd Norris said that in the spring 2013 semester, 152 Saint Mary’s students registered for classes at Notre Dame. Sophomore Audrey Kiefer, who is taking an Italian course at Notre Dame this semester, said she enjoyed the opportunity and hopes to continue taking Notre Dame courses. “It’s an awesome opportunity, and to me really the only difference is the guys being there in class,” Kiefer said.  “I am excited to take more Notre Dame courses in the future, and I would encourage any Saint Mary’s girl to try it out.” Norris said Saint Mary’s seniors are allowed to register for two Notre Dame course per semester and other students are allowed one per semester.   Senior Academic Advisor for Saint Mary’s, April Lane said most students who take advantage of this opportunity want to take classes that are not offered at the College or to experience taking a class with new students and professors. Norris said Belles took the Notre Dame classes “Irish Ghost Stories,” “Wind Ensembles,” “Maritime Affairs,” “Abnormal Psychology” and “National Security Affairs,” among other classes during the spring 2013 semester. Norris also said certain groups of students have a greater tendency to take Notre Dame courses than the average Saint Mary’s student. “There are a few groups who consistently take Notre Dame courses, like ROTC, Music majors, and Engineering students,” Norris said. Kiefer said she was worried at first that she might have to confront preconceived ideas about Saint Mary’s students. “I thought it would be intimidating, and that I would have to overcome stereotypes of being a ‘Smick Chick’ at first,” Kiefer said.  “But after about one month of classes, I think everyone forgot I was even from Saint Mary’s.” Sophomore Battol Alsawalha, a student in the dual engineering degree program, said she has not faced any negative stereotypes in her engineering courses.  “When working with my group members throughout the year on different projects, they never treated me differently or belittled my work just because I was a Saint Mary’s student,” Alsawalha said. “Actually, many ND students are interested as to how the dual program functions and ask me about it when they find out I am from SMC.” Senior Leslie Wilson, who enrolled in an Irish Folklore course this semester, said she had not taken a course at Notre Dame before registering for this course. She said she chose the class because she had studied abroad in Ireland. “I found that the course was very interesting and I wanted to take it because I had studied abroad in Ireland my sophomore year,” Wilson said.  “The subject interested me because it focused on an Irish subject, and there aren’t any Saint Mary’s courses like that.” Other students choose to take courses that count toward graduation requirements, since many Notre Dame courses do not fulfill Saint Mary’s major requirements. Sophomore Nicole O’Toole said she registered for a political science course titled “American Marriage” to further her interest in political issues. “I love being in the mix with Notre Dame students,” O’Toole said. “At Saint Mary’s, most of my classes are filled with girls who are very similar to me. It is fun to be in a different setting with people of different backgrounds, races, religions, and, of course, genders. I think it really challenges me.”  Sophomore Grace Harvey, who enrolled in a Catholic Moral Theology course, said her Notre Dame course is less conducive to socializing than her Saint Mary’s courses. “My lecture is double the size my classes at Saint Mary’s, so many of the students do not interact with each another unless they were already friends coming into the class,” Harvey said. “I feel like at Saint Mary’s, we linger behind once class ends to talk to friends, but at Notre Dame, students attend class and leave quickly, like class is strictly business.” Alsawalha said the size of her classes doesn’t make a difference in terms of access to her professors. “Professors always provide office hours for all of their students to come and see them,” Alsawalha said.  “Obviously, the way classes are conducted is very different between the two schools, but both provide an equally incredible teaching environment.” Harvey and O’Toole said their Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s courses are equally challenging.  Harvey said the difficulty levels of her courses vary with each professor’s different teaching styles. “It’s hard to compare course work because it all really depends on the professor,” Harvey said.  “My Notre Dame course is challenging for different reasons, like the take-home tests and the longer readings are both things I don’t have in my Saint Mary’s business courses.” O’Toole said because her Notre Dame course is mostly discussion-based, the content of the course is both challenging and rewarding. “It is interesting that my professor at Notre Dame completely leads the discussions and calls on each student by name,” O’Toole said.  “It definitely makes you want to be prepared for class, whereas at Saint Mary’s we usually respond to each other freely.”last_img read more


first_imgSophomore Kaley Murday —  an older sister, babysitter and godmother — said when she first arrived to Notre Dame, she missed spending time with kids.Then she discovered College Mentors for Kids, a program that aims to show children in the South Bend community the everyday of college life and encourage them to pursue a college degree. Each Tuesday and Thursday, the organization brings first-through-sixth grade kids from St. Adalbert Catholic School to campus. On Wednesdays, the group busses in first-through-fourth graders from Holy Cross Elementary School.“Day-to-day for a mentor, you’re just hanging out with this kid and trying to get to know them,” Murday said. “Every week, we have an activity. We’ve done yoga, ultimate frisbee and we even made gingerbread houses for Christmas. We try to choose engaging activities that paint college in a bright light.”However, College Mentors for Kids is not just about showcasing the college experience. Murday said mentors hope to form connections with their kids and often have the same “buddy” from semester to semester.“I made it a point when making my schedule every semester to keep Thursday afternoons free because that’s when my buddy comes,” she said. “This is my third semester with her. She’s quieter, so she really didn’t open up to me until last semester, but now she tells me about the boys she likes and cute stuff like that.”Senior Danielle Koterbay, vice president of Tuesday programming for the club, has been a member since her sophomore year, when a friend recommended it, she said. Koterbay said one of the special things about the club is it aims to reflect the Notre Dame’s mission.“Notre Dame students love to live out the mission of Notre Dame, which is being a force for good. So I think that this is a wonderful opportunity to do that,” Koterbay said. “It can change these little kids’ lives in ways that they may not see once the program ends, but it’s nice to know that students can have an impact on them, no matter how small.”Each student meets with his or her buddy once a week for about two hours. Junior Joseph Hirshorn, president of the club, said this means anyone can get involved.“I think it’s a great opportunity for people to see how small actions can really make a big difference,” Hirshorn said. “You know, each individual mentor by themselves can have a huge impact on this one child and then on the community as a whole, especially in building this community of support for these two schools, which have been positively impacted from that.”The program closes each year with a banquet at St. Adalbert for mentors, children and their parents.“We get to meet [the parents], and we get to hear how the buddy went home each week and said how much college mentors had an impact on them,” Koterbay said. “It really brings it all full circle, and it’s an amazing close to the year.”Tags: College Mentors for Kids, holy cross elementary school, St. Adalbert Catholic Schoollast_img read more


You’re more laid back? I’m way more laid back. I’m like, “Just let it brush off your shoulders; nobody is trying to take advantage of you.” When a costume wasn’t working, my attitude was that I’ll make it work. And she’s like, “Say something. This is your show and you need to be comfortable, or you’ll be thinking about it the whole time you’re on stage.” And she’s right. I said something the next day, and it was fixed for me. She takes the initiative and I pull back. Show Closed This production ended its run on Aug. 17, 2014 Related Shows Were you a boxing fan going in? Not so much, although my stepfather is big fan, so he was excited when I got this job. I spent some time training in the fundamentals, and it made me realize how much character and dignity and heart goes into it. Boxing is not just physical. You have to stand up against your own fears and rely on your inner heroism. It comes from your soul, and that makes for great theater. How do you feel about becoming famous? Is that something you’ve always wanted? No, no! I see a lot of young actors who get famous very quickly and then it burns out, or they don’t know how to handle it. I just need work that feels good, like Rocky. I love being on stage, and if fame comes with that, I won’t shy away from it. Could you last a few rounds now against a pro boxer? I would never be that stupid. Never! [Laughs.] How intense has it been to prepare for this role? Do you feel like a different person? Oh, absolutely. A trainer at Crunch basically transformed my body, and I’ve been eating a low carb, high-protein diet with lots of veggies—all the healthy stuff I hate to do! Half of the show is spent in physical activity, and I’m only off stage for about 15 minutes, so it’s important to build the right muscles and sustain the energy for eight shows a week. How do you stay safe while making the fight scenes exciting? Steve Hoggett, our fight director, has been incredible about staging the boxing like a three-act play. It’s choreographed lightly because there are some moments when we just go for broke and hit each other. Rocky is the guy who takes all the punches. I got a black eye the second week of rehearsal, but that was an accident with a different boxer. We’re riding a fine line, but it’s safe and there’s a lot of trust. You and Orfeh recently celebrated your lucky 13th wedding anniversary. Are you the real Rocky and Adrian? She is definitely my real-life Adrian. We met on Saturday Night Fever, dated for six months, got engaged, and got married in Miami a month after that. 13 years later, we’re going strong. Would you get in the ring with Sylvester Stallone? Not a chance. You two have always been so supportive of each other. I come home with aches and pains and sweaty clothes, and she takes care of me and Boo-Boo, the lovely dog we adopted from Legally Blonde. And I totally trust her to give me feedback on Rocky because we have a wonderful working relationship. What’s great about us is that we are opposites in the way we look at certain things, so we can help each other see situations a different way. Rocky Speaking of riding a fine line, what’s the secret to portraying Rocky without veering into a parody of Sylvester Stallone? I’m taking on some of the mannerisms Sylvester Stallone created, but I also have to let it be truthful to me. The music is character-driven and I am naturally a baritone, so the score fits right in my sweet spot. It’s actually pretty simple—for me, and for most of America, Rocky is a living, breathing person, and I’m honoring the character enough that I don’t have to rely on Stallone’s take on everything. He picked me; he’s trusting me with this, and that’s a huge honor. You’re finally playing Rocky on Broadway! What has the response been like? There’s nothing like knowing the audience is losing their minds, from the beginning to the final fight. We give so much of ourselves, and it’s all worth it when the audience gives it back. The only thing that could make them completely lose control is if Sylvester Stallone came up on stage—and he did, after the first preview! It was so much fun. Star Files See Andy Karl in Rocky at the Winter Garden Theatre. Think of the most athletically demanding role you’ve ever seen in a Broadway musical, multiply it by three, and you’ll have some idea of what Andy Karl is doing in Rocky. Before the title character’s thrilling boxing match with Apollo Creed, Karl has already survived one onstage fight, delivered a song while doing pull-ups and jogged for 10 minutes after downing raw eggs. On top of that, the actor woos Margo Seibert as Adrian, pounds on sides of beef and juggles ballads and show-stopping anthems. For Karl, playing Rocky Balboa is the culmination of 15 years of steady but often low-profile roles on the New York stage. As his chat with Broadway.com makes clear, however, he is more than ready for the star-making challenge of carrying a musical he describes as “the perfect blend of intimate scenes and spectacle, powerful music and script, nostalgia and something beautifully new.” View Comments You’re getting this break after years of stage work in New York. Do other actors tell you “It’s about time”? Yes, and it’s a weird compliment because I’m proud of the success I’ve had. I loved playing opposite my wife [Orfeh] in Legally Blonde, and I’ve never laughed so hard as when I was in The Mystery of Edwin Drood. But I’m happy this is happening with a character I trust myself to be good at. There are some leading roles around town I would never want to play, but I feel very comfortable in this. Doug Sills [Tony-nominated star of The Scarlet Pimpernel] and I did a reading a few months ago, and I was saying, “[Rocky] is a huge role. There’s so much involved, with the Tonys and all that stuff.” And he said, “You’ve been preparing for this your whole life.” Get ready for this show to open doors for you! Last summer, I did a Rob Reiner film with Michael Douglas, And So It Goes, about real estate agents. My first day of shooting with Michael Douglas was the day after I performed the opening number on the Tonys with Jersey Boys, and I got the call about Rocky the same day. I thought, “What is my life?” I’m living the dream right now, and it feels so good. Andy Karl read more


first_img View Comments The national tour of Wicked will have two new leading ladies running the Emerald City as Emily Koch and Amanda Jane Cooper take over the roles of Elphaba and Glinda, repectively. The actresses will join the cast on December 9 while the tour is in St. Louis. Newcomers Megan Masako Haley and Sam Seferian also join the cast as Nessarose and Boq, respectively.Koch comes directly from the Broadway company of Wicked, where she was the Elphaba standby and Cooper is returning to Wicked after having played Glinda in the First National Tour. The company also features Wendy Worthington (Madame Morrible), Stuart Zagnit (The Wizard), Jake Boyd (Fiyero), Chad Jennings (Doctor Dillamond) and Mary Kate Morrissey (Elphaba standby).The ensemble includes Allison Bailey, Kerry Blanchard, Beka Burnham, Bridie Carroll, Jordan Casanova, Kennedy Caughell, Michael Di Liberto, Michael Drolet, Kelli Erdmann, Ryan Patrick Farrell, Dominic Giudici, Dan Gleason, Kali Grinder, Lauren Haughton, Ryan Jackson, Kelly Lafarga, Lauren Sambataro, Wayne Schroder, Tregoney Shepherd, Mark Shunkey, Ben Susak, Travis Taber, Jeremy Thompson and Justin Wirick.A vivid reimagining of the classic The Wizard of Oz, Wicked spotlights the untold stories of Oz’s most famous characters: the Wicked Witch of the West and her unlikely friend, Glinda the Good. The show follows the tale of green-skinned Elphaba through the life-changing events that eventually label her “wicked.” Fun for the whole family, Wicked is a tale about love, friendship and trust that reveals that there are two sides to every story. The Grammy-winning score by Stephen Schwartz (and book by Winnie Holzman) features the songs “The Wizard and I,” “Popular” and “Defying Gravity.”last_img read more


first_imgEquinor, Orsted submit bids for New York’s 2.5GW offshore wind solicitation FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Newsday:Norwegian energy conglomerate Equinor has bid to create another 2,500 megawatts of offshore wind power for New York state and Long Island with two projects. One, which would connect to the local electric grid in Nassau County, would more than double the number of turbines off Long Island to some 200. A second would be built around 50 miles from Montauk Point and connect to the state grid in Queens. The plan would also include conducting assembly work in Brooklyn.In disclosures Tuesday in response to a state request for proposals, Equinor said it would bolster its already state-awarded, 819-megawatt Empire Wind project off Long Island’s South Shore with another called Empire Wind 2 that will add 1,260 megawatts. Turbines of at least 10 megawatts each would mean that the prior project’s 80 or so turbines could be joined by another 120. Equinor’s federally approved lease area off Long Island encompasses some 80,000 acres, starting 15 miles due south of Long Beach and extending east and south.Equinor on Tuesday also submitted plans to offer a second project called Beacon Wind that would be built 50 miles from Montauk Point, off the coast of Massachusetts. It would be 1,230 megawatts and connect through Long Island Sound to Queens.The new proposals came in response to a New York State Energy Research and Development Authority bid request. In a statement, Siri Espedal Kindem, president of Equinor Wind U.S., said the company’s plans would include “significant new benefits for New York — from workforce training, economic development, and community benefits — alongside a tremendous amount of homegrown, renewable energy.”Meanwhile, Denmark-based Orsted, working with New England power company Eversource, has also submitted plans for a new offshore wind project called Sunrise Wind 2, a proposal that includes “multiple bids” that would create “hundreds of new jobs, and infrastructure investment,” according to a company statement. Con Edison Transmission will also work to develop transmission facilities for that project, the companies said.Orsted and Eversource already have contracts to develop a 130-megawatt wind farm for LIPA to serve the South Fork, and an 880-megawatt wind farm for the state. All of its hundreds of turbines would be based in a lease area off the coast of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.[Mark Harrington]More: Scores more wind turbines proposed for Long Island’s South Shorelast_img read more


first_imgBy Lorena Baires/Diálogo August 24, 2017 The armed forces of Central America and the Dominican Republic will remain united in the fight against emerging threats such as drug and illicit arms trafficking. They will increase the number of joint operations for strengthening their information exchange as well as increasing the coordination and operational readiness of all binational and trinational military units. The agreement was reached between the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, all of which are member nations of the Central American Armed Forces Conference (CFAC, per its Spanish acronym), at the 36th meeting of the organization’s High Council held July 11th–14th in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. The protocol containing their operational commitments specifies that the armed forces shall focus on increasing their surveillance, reconnaissance, and identification of potential areas used for clandestine landings and unauthorized crossings at the borders, employing technicians, the latest technology, and canine teams to detect drugs, arms, and other illegal items. “Excellent results have been obtained by conducting coordinated operations on our shared borders. This has allowed us to reinforce vulnerable spaces on the borders that are threatened by various illegal activities,” said General Julio César Avilés Castillo, the commander-in-chief of the Nicaraguan Army. One example of the success achieved through this joint effort is Operation Jaque, which dealt a blow to the Mara Salvatrucha gang’s finances in El Salvador, thanks to the intelligence work conducted by Guatemala’s and El Salvador’s armed forces and other security agencies. From 2015 to 2016, along the coast of El Salvador, the Salvadoran Navy (FNES, per its Spanish acronym) detected a network of local fishermen who were providing night time assistance to a drug trafficking outfit that supplied the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico, and that moved cocaine from Ecuador to Guatemala. “The local outfits provided assistance moving illicit substances that were headed to the north of the continent,” Salvadoran Minister of Public Safety and Justice Mauricio Ramírez, explained to Diálogo. “There are several places where the drugs would be received, after which they would be moved via land routes, thereby continuing their journey northward.” As a result of this operation, 28 fishermen and another four people who had logistics roles providing supplies to the powerboat pilots were captured. A fleet of 14 powerboats, 10 outboard motors, GPS devices, tablet computers, cell phones, four vehicles, cash, and various weapons were also seized. These seizures were made possible thanks to the ongoing exchange of information that FNES maintains with its counterparts in the region, who send out alerts about the routes taken by suspect vessels. That is how they established that the drug traffickers had delivery points on the border between Guatemala and Mexico, as well as between El Salvador and Guatemala. Joint task forces The success achieved in exercises such as Operation Jaque is just one example of the improved results that CFAC nations expect. They also agreed to carry out more coordinated patrols, install new observation posts, and search people, vehicles, and merchandise at the borders. The officials underscored how the level of coordination reached during the “Meetings of Commanders of Military Border Units” proved decisive in organizing and directing these operations. The accuracy of the decisions made in those meetings raises the level of success for these strategies. There are plans to stop the illicit trafficking of arms and merchandise between Honduras and El Salvador using the Lenca-Sumpul Task Force, between Honduras and Guatemala using the Maya-Chortí Task Force, and between Honduras and Nicaragua using the Morazán Sandino Task Force. “The work done by our forces has resulted in the important capture of people linked to both petty and organized crime, drug seizures, and the prevention of crimes being committed against the civilian population,” said Army Brigadier General Fredy Santiago Díaz, the secretary of Defense for Honduras, and president of CFAC’s High Council. In November 2016, the nations of the Northern Triangle deployed the Trinational Task Force as part of an agreement to mount a common front against transnational criminal organizations. This task force brings together intelligence experts, special units, and justice agents from the three nations: 224 Honduran personnel [from the Lenca Task Force], and the same number of personnel from Guatemala [with the Maya Chortí Task Force], and El Salvador [soon with the Maya-Pipil Task Force]. The strategy is backed by the “Plan of the Alliance for Prosperity in the Northern Triangle,” with $750 million in funding approved in 2015 by the U.S. Congress, which seeks, among other things, to raise the security levels in that region and to fight drug trafficking. Equipment deployed to face threats CFAC representatives acknowledge that, in order to improve the effectiveness of these agreements, their armed forces must be provided with modern vehicles and weapons. “In Central America, we are equipping ourselves to counter these transnational threats and to face off against them,” Army Brigadier General David Munguía Payés, the minister of Defense for El Salvador, stated. “We are working together.” Army Major General Williams Mansilla, the minister of Defense for Guatemala, agrees. He added that the beauty of integration is that we are stronger when we combine our resources together. That’s why we’re working as a region, to strive for our common welfare.” “For now, the armed forces are looking for alternatives to better equip the task forces, since the joint strategies being implemented are already helping to identify threats, challenges, and objectives for all of our nations,” Air Force Major General Julio Cesar Souffront, a representative from the Dominican Republic’s Ministry of Defense, summed it up. “It’s all about having the capacity for the accurate exchange of information that will help us counter this scourge.” Effectiveness during emergencies CFAC’s armed forces have recognized that one of the most important challenges to winning in the short-term is standardizing the humanitarian rescue units. For example, defining what kinds of humanitarian aid protocols and tools to use according to the threat being faced because, in the near future, it may be necessary to come together to provide relief to civilians in regional emergencies. The officials agreed to continue their military forces’ educational and training exchanges. The goal is to move forward in specialized professionalization at CFAC’s Regional Training Centers: make progress in Guatemalan peacekeeping operations, in the fight against transnational crime in El Salvador, in humanitarian aid in Honduras, in international humanitarian demining in Nicaragua, and on human rights and international humanitarian law in the Dominican Republic. At the close of the meeting, the building where CFAC’s offices will be housed was inaugurated. Thus, these partner nations ratified their commitment to working out agreements to fight drug trafficking, organized crime, illegal regional migration, criminal organizations, and gangs.last_img read more


first_imgFSU, attorneys team up to assist children July 1, 2002 Regular News FSU, attorneys team up to assist childrencenter_img What do special education and health care have to do with each other?Plenty when it comes to helping children, say the lawyers and law students at the Children’s Advocacy Center at the Florida State University College of Law.Thanks to a $60,000 grant from The Florida Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of The Florida Bar, the Children’s Advocacy Center’s Special Education/Health Care Law Project is flourishing.“I can’t say enough about what an important grant this is in the state of Florida,” said Clinical Professor Paolo Annino, co-director of the Children’s Advocacy Center.“These are children who would have been injured or not receiving services needed to flourish, but for The Florida Bar Foundation grant. That $60,000 grant really is our backbone, the keel of our ship.”There are 41 ongoing cases involving the neediest of children – homeless children, abused and neglected children in the dependency system, and pregnant teenagers.One recent case Annino described is a 4-year-old severely autistic child, who runs away, jumps out of car windows and loves to sit in the middle of the road.“His mom and dad are wonderul working folks, out there trying to keep their heads above water,” Annino said.“But they have their hands full and have two other autistic children. The 4-year-old needs a behaviorial management plan, and to get that you have to have a Medicaid waiver.”But the state of Florida refused to grant such a waiver, Annino said, because there was no crisis.“They were saying he hadn’t been hospitalized yet — the very thing we’re trying to avoid.”So Annino and his students represented the child at a contested hearing before an administrative law judge June 13, and they await a ruling.While Annino has no trouble getting grants for pamphlets, education, and community outreach, it is difficult to get money for litigation on behalf of children.“A lot of places don’t feel comfortable about children having legal rights and going into court. But the Foundation does,” a grateful Annino said.What makes this project unique is the way it links special education and health care, because at least one-third of the kids the Children’s Advocacy Center represent have both special education and health care issues.Described as a model for the state and nation, the project has joined forces with the Leon County Health Department, the Public Defender’s Office, the Guardian ad Litem Program, and the Child Protection Team to address special education and health care issues. This collaboration has given the Children’s Advocacy Center access to essential information to help vulnerable children who often fall through the cracks.The work is carried out by Annino, a full-time clinical professor, a part-time program assistant and two dozen law students, who are required to work a minimum of 20 hours a week on the project.They address the systematic violation of federal rights of disabled children by litigating individual cases in Northwest Florida, primarily by using the legal vehicles of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).A key objective is trying to keep the child in school, when school districts are routinely expelling special education children.And they navigate the bureaucratic maze on behalf of eligible children to enroll in Healthy Kids and make sure they are receiving the health care services they need.“A large part of health care advocacy is outreach: finding the children who have fallen through the cracks,” according to the Center’s successful grant proposal.The health department deputizes the law students to act as volunteer health department officers, giving them access to the Leon County School’s National School Lunch Program applications, which every poor child’s guardian must sign in order for the child to receive a subsidized breakfast/lunch.“This federal form asks whether the child has health care insurance. My students have copied several hundreds of these forms,” Annino said. “The Children’s Advocacy Center had created a protocol, a questionnaire, and a ‘telemarketing’ script. The students telephone the numbers and offer our services to get the child enrolled in a subsidized health care plan. If the guardians want our services, we schedule an in-person interview at the CAC. During the interview, we provide full legal services. In addition to health care, we inquire about educational, delinquency, dependency, and disability issues.”Another way the law students find children in need of services is setting up a booth at the annual North Florida Fair, offering health care advocacy to parents and children who walk by.They also receive clients by referrals from Legal Services of North Florida for SSI cases, a majority of which also have special education and health care access issues.The Public Defender’s Office has assisted in obtaining school and medical records, and has actively participated with the CAC in negotiations with the School District and Medicaid office.A new collaboration with the Child Protection Team will bring more referrals of special education and health care cases to the CAC. In return, the CAC has agreed to provide the Children Protection Team with ongoing advice on abuse, neglect, and abandonment cases.The Guardian ad Litem Program has referred cases to the CAC and has been a great source of information on children, as well as being tremendous allies in foster care cases.“They have supported us in arguing before the court for appropriate placement and services for our children,” Annino said.“FSU’s health care access project can be and should be replicated across the state,” he said. “It has great potential for success: to enroll a large group of children, who fall through the gaps, for health care services.”last_img read more