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George Clinton Discusses His Career, Working With Kendrick Lamar & Flying Lotus In New Interview

first_imgGeorge Clinton is the godfather of funk. As the evil genius behind the Parliament-Funkadelic musical family, Clinton has been involved with many of the most important funk albums of all time. His impact on the scene and its proliferation into the world of pop music is almost unfathomable. Clinton faded into obscurity for some time but has made a big comeback over the past few years. He reunited P-Funk in 2014 for First Ya Gotta Shake the Gate, a 33-song triple-album that announced Clinton’s grand return. Subsequently, he’s gotten involved with Kendrick Lamar, appearing on the opening track of his landmark 2015 album To Pimp A Butterfly. His involvement in that record led Clinton to Thundercat and Flying Lotus and Brainfeeder record label, and Clinton is now preparing to hit the studio with FlyLo for a future release on the label.With so many exciting moves in his career, Clinton recently sat down with Rolling Stone to discuss a wide variety of topics. Clinton talks about his connection with Thundercat and Flying Lotus, how an older artist can remain relevant in such a fast-moving industry, and his opinions on EDM. Clinton is surprisingly forthcoming, delivering an honest take on his role in the music industry and on the greater changes that the industry has gone through since his prime in the 70s.Read some excerpts from the interview below, and click here to read the full transcriptOn staying viable in the music business after a long career…Basically it’s just getting along with the new ones that come along ready to put your ass out to pasture. Get along with them, and realize that it is their day. I’m blessed to still be here, but it is their day – no matter what you think about what they’re doing. Once you realize that, you realize that what they’re doing is the same as what we were doing when were first started. They’re breaking rules and getting on your nerves cause they’re moving you out. Regardless of how adolescent you think it is – that’s what it’s supposed to be.On his interest in house music…Once you start hearing songs, you know this is somebody else that’s diggin’ on the funk. So I definitely had to listen to a lot of it lately. Styles move too fast to be partial to anything. If it’s funk, that’s enough for me.On his work ethic…I pretty much work all the time. When I ain’t working, I’m figuring something else out, trying to figure out the vibe when I hear a group like Chief Keef. [Sings] “That’s that shit I don’t like.” I knew right away that was the shit I did like! It was the same thing as [Funkadelic’s] “Shit! Goddamn! Get off your ass and jam!”On his dedication to the Parliament-Funkadelic brand…The brand is what’s important to me now. I’m not worried about no charts or how long it’s been out. Our records never go away. Free Your Mind … and Your Ass Will Follow didn’t sell shit when we first put it out. Now, the Chili Peppers swear by that album. That makes a whole ‘nother fan base.Read the full interview here.last_img read more

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Notre Dame community reflects on life of Sister Mary McNamara

first_imgAs a Sister of the Incarnate Word, Sister Mary McNamara proclaimed the Gospel of love by bonding in community.And at Notre Dame, she found that community in the form of her dream job: being the rector of Breen-Phillips (BP) Hall.Serving as the Breen-Phillips community’s rector was the most fulfilling ministry of her life, Dillon Hall rector Fr. Paul Doyle said.“She expected to be in the ministry a lot longer, but never to take on another one: This was going to be it for her,” Doyle said. “She called it her dream job.” Rosie LoVoi | The Observer Candles at the Grotto spell out ‘Sr. Mary’ in honor of Sister Mary McNamara, the rector of Breen-Phillips Hall who died recently. Acquaintances described McNamara as a a gifted teacher with a sense of humor.Sister McNamara died Feb. 7 due to complications from a stroke, according to an email sent to students by vice president of student affairs Erin Hoffmann Harding. She was 67.Senior Nhi Vu, a resident assistant (RA) in Breen-Phillips Hall who attended Sister McNamara’s funeral in her hometown of Cleveland on Tuesday, was touched to learn that although Sister McNamara only spent six years at Notre Dame, she considered them to be some of the best years of her life.“When we went to Cleveland, everybody was just saying that being a rector was her dream job, it was her favorite job, she loved Notre Dame so much, she loved this, this was her favorite ministry,” Vu said. “And [they said] just how big of a role we actually were and how seriously she took her job and how much she loved us and just all the life and sass and soul she brought to BP.”Attending the funeral, Vu said, enlightened her and the rest of the BP community to the many other ministries Sister McNamara undertook throughout her life, including mentoring people from at-risk communities, such as the mentally disabled and those reintegrating into society after spending time in prison.“She was very interesting. The more we keep learning about her and hearing the other stories, the more we keep learning about who she is,” Vu said. “We know her mostly just from being our rector and that’s just like, the very top of the hierarchy. We always respected her a lot and saw her in that authority role, and I think working with her, as closely as we did as seniors and now hall staff, we slowly learned so much more about it.”Sister McNamara, who celebrated her Golden Jubilee as a Sister of the Incarnate Word in 2017, was a loyal Cleveland native and sports fan, a teacher in the Moreau First Year Experience course and an avid Notre Dame women’s basketball fan — a fact the team recognized by honoring her on the video board in Purcell Pavilion during its Feb. 11 game.Senior and Breen-Phillips RA Kaitlyn Keffler said the outpouring of love for Sister McNamara from the Notre Dame community in the wake of her death, as well as at her funeral, demonstrated how many lives Sister McNamara touched.“It’s made me at least realize just how lucky we were and lucky we are to have known her,” Keffler said. “Like I said, she has our BP community and then the greater Notre Dame community — so that’s one family — and then I’ve met her two families: Her biological family and then her Sisters of the Incarnate Word are both amazing. So that’s at least three, I’m sure there are more people out there.”One member of Sister McNamara’s extended family the BP community has rallied around is Sister Mary Jane Hahner, the rector of Pasquerilla West Hall (PDub) and Sister McNamara’s best friend.“We had the initial stage of grief and then the ‘How’s Sister MJ?’” Breen-Phillips Hall Assistant Rector (AR) Erin Daugherty said. “Because they were inseparable. Absolutely inseparable. And Sister Mary Mac would always just refer to her as her buddy. ‘I’ll see you guys later, I’m going to catch up with my buddy.’”Doyle said he admired the close bond between Sister McNamara and Hahner.“Fr. Bob Loughery of Sorin Hall was over at Cleveland for the [funeral] events over there, and at the wake service he observed to everybody … that he wanted to thank MJ for showing the rest of us what a true friendship was alongside of Mary,” Doyle said. “The two of them saw each other as best friends, but there was an openness in their friendship for including the rest of us.”Along with Flaherty Hall rector Sister Mary Donnelly, Sister McNamara and Hahner called themselves “the Golden Girls.” This friendship started with a shared sense of humor and love for basketball, Hahner explained, but developed into a relationship in which both women could be completely vulnerable.“I always felt at home because I was free to be myself — the good parts and the bad parts — and hopefully I allowed her to have that freedom, too,” she said. “We told each other that we loved one another every day, just about. … And we weren’t ashamed of saying that to one another. And that’s a tremendous gift, to be able to find that and have a relationship that develops that wide.”BP senior Courtney Koch said Sister McNamara’s competitive side emerged in her friendship with Hahner.“I was a captain of the Fisher Regatta and Sister Mary would always come watch us,” she said. “She would always just cheer for BP to beat PDub because she couldn’t let her buddy win, so we had to beat her buddy.”This competitive streak, Hahner said, extended to many aspects of Sister McNamara’s life.“I needed this spice and she said, ‘I’ll bring it over,’ and I said, ‘No, you don’t have to bring it over, I’ll come over and get it,’” she said. “She said, ‘No, I’ll bring it over. I’m gonna beat you,’ and she hung up. And with that … I raced out of here and we met in Siegfried in the circle. Both of us were gasping for air because we tried to run, and we were laughing so hard.”Laughter followed Sister McNamara, Doyle said.“I don’t know that I have words to describe it, but she made funny things happen and laughed at appropriate times — she was just alive,” he said.Daugherty said one of Sister McNamara’s signature habits was telling a joke to start her welcome speech before each hall Mass in BP.“She had an absolutely wonderful sense of humor, whether it was in staff meetings or she always opened Mass with a joke that had something to do with the readings,” Daugherty said. “And I don’t know where she’d get these things from but they were absolutely hilarious and you’re just like ‘I can’t believe she just said that at Mass but it’s pretty awesome.’”Senior Anne Vieser, a BP RA, said the opening joke at Mass was Sister McNamara’s favorite part of her job.“I do remember always appreciating those tidbits because it just boils everything down,” she said. “And then Fr. Pete [McCormick, director of Campus Ministry], I think it was, was saying that more than half the times that he came to say Mass, Sister would steal whatever message he was going to give in his homily at the beginning. So then he’d have to come up with something else to focus on.”Sister McNamara’s ability to tie a joke into a teaching about the Gospel, Hahner said, was indicative of her natural propensity for teaching.“She was a born teacher, and she did that in everything. If she was supposed to say the prayer for, like, rector training, she went online and she would get something that was comical and then would tie it in,” Hahner said. “ … So she would take that joke, and then she would interpret the Gospel as only a good teacher really could. And she loved teaching Moreau because it was about Notre Dame; it was about life; it was about relationships; it was about healthy living.”Junior Ryan Green, a student in one of Sister McNamara’s first Moreau classes, said her enthusiasm for the course was contagious.“She seemed to have such a good attitude that you couldn’t help but participate and want to be there,” Green said. “It wasn’t like she had these crazy activities, we didn’t go travel the universe in the Magic School Bus or anything like that, but she just — her attitude, I thought, was contagious. … She had such an easy way of making things enjoyable, making people happy.”Her ability to have a positive impact on so many different aspects of Notre Dame in a relatively short time, Keffler said, speaks to Sister McNamara’s ability to lead.“After these last couple weeks, I’ve seen just how many lives she’s touched through her Moreau class, and the other rectors and obviously Sister MJ and all the PDub girls have a special place,” she said. “I mean, everyone in the administration, even. She was a rector for six years, but she’s definitely made an impact and helped mentor a lot of those rectors as well.”One of the biggest examples of Sister McNamara’s leadership was her role in BP’s adoption of an “honorary Babe” last year, Daugherty said.“I think one of the biggest impacts [she had] was her intense desire for everyone in the community to band together, and to band together about things that were outside of themselves,” she said. “So last year, we had an honorary Babe who was a little girl who was really sick, and she actually ended up passing away over the summer. But [Sister McNamara] singlehandedly motivated the entire dorm to write letters to her, write a joke book, to visit her — things like that. … She really pushed people to try and look outside themselves and to see what not only they individually [could] do, but what a group of strong women could do for someone else.”Hahner said Sister McNamara’s faith in the power of women was a core tenant of her beliefs.“You know, she was always very strong for women, and she’s the one who taught me ‘A-men and A-women’ — that there should be an equality in our church, in our world for men and women; that as long as respect was there, life was worth living,” Hahner said.Sister McNamara did not limit her quest for justice to only women. Vieser said everything Sister McNamara did was driven by a desire for justice.“The thing that kept coming up was her favorite beatitude was, ‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall be satisfied,’” she said. “And I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this all makes sense,’ everything she did in her life was for that end. That wouldn’t be something she necessarily shared with us, that that was her favorite beatitude, but I think knowing that now, it all makes sense.”This ultimate goal, Hahner said, spoke to her conviction as a member of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word.“She was a Sister of the Incarnate Word, first and foremost, and that means that she was bringing the Jesus to people, and she would be like, ‘What would Jesus do? What would Mary Mac do?’ because it was usually right,” she said. “You know, God was really important in her life, and so are God’s people.”Keffler said Sister McNamara’s care for others is something everyone in the BP community is trying to keep in mind despite her absence.“She was always telling us to look out for each other and, you know, ‘Best People, Best Place,’ so we still have to live up to that,” Keffler said. “I think that’s something that she truly believed in, and that’s part of the reason why we’re doing OK right now at least.”Sister McNamara would be proud to see the way BP has rallied around each other during their time of loss, Hahner said.“They were her girls,” she said. “ … She was just really very, very proud to be their rector and to live among them, and she considered them a gift from God. And they are.”Aside from the day-to-day tasks of a rector, Koch said, the hardest adjustment for the BP residents has been not being able to turn to Sister McNamara in times of need.“I think the biggest thing is getting used to the fact that she’s not around anymore,” Koch said. “You’d always see her door open and you would pop in and say ‘hi’ or things like that.”While the hall will not be the same, however, Vu said she knows Sister McNamara has not left it behind.“Everyone can feel that BP just feels so empty and different without her, but we still know that she’s watching over us and is still with us,” she said.Doyle said although he misses having Sister McNamara here with him, no one would “begrudge her a trip to where she’s gone.”“[Tuesday] night when we drove back from Cleveland, I was with MJ and Pat Kincaid of Knott Hall, and I said ‘What I would like right now is for Mary to be in the fourth seat here in the car and just telling us about all that she has experienced in the last two weeks, including heaven, you know?’” Doyle said. “I don’t think we look for replacements, we look for successors. Mary was Mary and we were blessed.”In the end, though, Hahner said, perhaps no one felt more blessed than Sister McNamara herself while she was at the University.“We would look up at the Dome and she would say, ‘J, we’re at Notre Dame,’” Hahner said. “ … She didn’t ever cry, but — not never, but she cried at things that were important. And she would always fill up, and she said that — looking at Our Lady — and said that it was the best job she ever had and that she hoped that it would be her last job in ministry. And God took her up on it.”Tags: Breen-Phillips Hall, Sister Mary McNamara, Sisters of the Incarnate Wordlast_img read more

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The Fans Have Spoken! Your Bewitching Top 10 Favorite Bernadette Peters Roles

first_imgAnnie Oakley, Annie Get Your Gun Leigh Conroy, Smash Rose, Gypsy Cinderella’s Stepmother, Cinderella Sally Durant Plummer, Follies Witch, Into the Woods Lily St. Regis, Annie Desiree Armfeldt, A Little Night Music Dot/Marie, Sunday in the Park with George With Broadway favorite Bernadette Peters celebrating her birthday on February 28, we took a look back at her illustrious career. The three-time Tony recipient—one for being a self-proclaimed “doganizer”—has graced the stage and screen with her unforgettable voice (and hair) in myriad roles. In honor of the actress’ big day, we asked you to rank them on Culturalist.com. Did you #FeeltheBern? Indeed! Here are your top 10 favorite Bernadette Peters’ roles. Happy birthday, Bernie! Bernadette Peters in Into the Woods, Gypsy and Cinderella.(Photos by Martha Swope, Joan Marcus and Disney) Sophie, Anastasia View Commentslast_img read more

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First-of-Spring Color

first_imgSince the mid-1800s Southerners have enjoyed the early spring show of Japanesemagnolias. This year will be no exception. “We often refer to these trees as saucer magnolias,” said Jim Midcap, a University ofGeorgia Extension Service horticulturist. “They can be seen from the Georgia-Floridaline to the north Georgia mountains.” They tend to be large shrubs to small trees. Young plants are six to eight feet tall andmost will mature to 20 to 25 feet. “They are perfectly hardy here,” Midcap said. “They don’t need many chilling hours.You see them in the Thomasville and Cairo areas and even in north Florida. Winter weather often steals the show when early warm spells cause Japanesemagnolias’ buds to swell. Cold weather on the heels of a warm spell can zap the budsand be a real show-stopper. “In the northern areas of the state, we see the buds get nipped by frost about one out ofevery three winters,” Midcap said. * Provide ample water for them to get established the first year. After that, they don’trequire much maintenance and don’t have many disease or insect problems. Unlike many flowering trees, Japanese magnolias aren’t too fussy about winterweather. * If they come out of a container, break up the root ball. Japanese magnolias are like other magnolias in the look of their flowers. Both havelarge flowers with many petals and a group of stamens in the center. For your own personal spring flower show, plant Japanese magnolias just as any otherwoody ornamental. Japanese magnolias are deciduous trees that bloom in early spring before the leavescome out, which makes for a great flower show. “We get a flush of nice pink flowers on them that are usually 3 to 4 inches tall and justabout as wide,” Midcap said. “The big, showy flowers last for a week or so.” “Japanese magnolias are good small trees that give nice spring flowers and then fadeback into the landscape for the rest of the year,” he said. * Don’t plant them too deep. Plant them at the dame depth they were growing in thenursery. “Japanese magnolias are easy to recognize because they get a fuzzy flower bud that’sabout a half-inch around and an inch tall and is covered with long silky hairs,” Midcapsaid. “They’re sitting out there just waiting for the temperature to warm up.” Midcap offers these tips:last_img read more

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FairPoint to expand broadband coverage to East Dover

first_imgConsolidated Communications,FairPoint Communications, a leading telecommunications provider in northern New England, is working with the town of Dover to bring high-speed Internet access to more than 200 homes and businesses in East Dover for the first time. FairPoint will be in East Dover at the Town Hall on Wednesday, December 7, from 6 to 8:30 pm, to answer questions and start signing up people for high-speed access.Dover town officials turned to FairPoint to expand its VantagePoint services in East Dover where residents do not have high-speed Internet access. VantagePoint services are provided over FairPoint’s IP-based network, the largest network of its kind in northern New England. ‘We understand the critical need for high-speed broadband services for both business and residential needs,’ said Ken Black, economic development specialist with the town of Dover. ‘In an effort to expand this to a group of rural, non-serviced users, the town of Dover approved funds to engage FairPoint to build and supply this capability.’Refreshments will be served and there will be prizes and giveaways for all who join in this high-speed, high-fun event. Interested residents can also find out more about FairPoint’s products and promotions prior to December 7 by calling 877.491.6706, or by requesting a call from a customer service representative through the Contact Us form at www.FairPoint.com/contactus(link is external). The expansion project consists of three zones. FairPoint is finishing work in Zone 1, which includes approximately 120 locations along these streets: Elva’s Way; 77-133 Goose City Road; 141-169 Holland Road; 7-16 Jenne Road; Jockey Hollow; 5-87 Locust; 6-295 North Street; 21-60 Robbins Way; 1-5 Rocky Lane; 6-52 Sherman Road; 11-34 Turner Road; 2-58 Wakelee Road and 15-95 Whites Hill Road. The Dover Select Board approved $59,000 to cover Zone 2, which includes approximately 110 locations along these streets: 6-14 Beech Tree Lane; 1-109 Captain Copeland Road; 5-117 Cooper Hill Road; 178-261A Dover Hill Road; 235 Dover Road; 1-51 Harris Road; 8-100 Higley; 22-109 Holland Road; 5 Morse Road; Rice Hill; 13-14 Robbins Road; 20 Robins Road; 138-193 Taft Brook Road and 6 Timberview Road. Pending town approval, a third project is being considered for 2012 to bring high-speed service to Zone 3, covering approximately 175 locations along these streets: 1-40 Brickyard Road; 90-129 Captain Copeland Road; 15-80 Carroll; 35-160 Dover Hill Road; 23-64 Goose City Road; 52 Harris Road; 12-26 Mandy’s Road; 2-79 North Street; 20-36 O’Neil Road; 8-101 Snow Road; 4-111 Taft Brook Road; 5-11 Thomas Lane and 15-179 Yeaw Road. FairPoint, which completed Vermont’s largest broadband expansion project to date, now provides access to nearly 90 percent of its Vermont customers. ‘This is an exciting opportunity for FairPoint,’ said Mike Smith, Vermont state president. ‘When it comes to getting high-speed access to more Vermonters, FairPoint has led the way. We thank the town of Dover for their confidence in us.’ About FairPoint Communications, Inc.FairPoint Communications, Inc. (NasdaqCM: FRP) is a leading communications provider of high-speed Internet access, local and long-distance phone, television and other broadband services to customers in communities across 18 states. Through its fast, reliable network, FairPoint delivers affordable data and voice networking communications solutions to residential, business and wholesale customers. FairPoint delivers VantagePointSM services through its resilient IP-based network in northern New England. This state-of-the-art network provides Ethernet connections that support video conferencing, e-learning and other broadband based applications. Additional information about FairPoint products and services is available at www.FairPoint.com(link is external). You can also connect with FairPoint on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/myfairpoint(link is external)) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/myfairpoint(link is external)).SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (Nov. 29, 2011) ‘ FairPoint Communications ###last_img read more

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Haitians Vote for Their New President in Atmosphere of Calm

first_img Almost five million Haitians voted to elect a president on 20 March, in a day without serious incidents but marked by the return of former president Jean Bertrand Aristide and by some irregularities at polling places. Preliminary results of the balloting will be announced on 31 March, and definitive results are expected for 16 April. “Democracy has triumphed, and allow me to salute the primary architect of this victory: the Haitian people,” said Gaillot Dorsinvil, the president of the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP), during the press conference that brought an end to the day of voting. The 4.7 million voters were charged with designating the successor to the current president, René Préval. The winner of the contest between Mirlande Manigat, a seventy-year-old academic and former first lady, and singer Michel Martelly, fifty years old, will have the task of rebuilding the poorest country in the Americas, devastated by a January 2010 earthquake that left 220,000 dead and by a cholera epidemic. In a statement issued Sunday night, the UN mission in Haiti (Minustah) congratulated Haitians “for the patriotic spirit, calm, and discipline they demonstrated. The obvious enthusiasm of the voters shows the importance that the Haitian people ascribe to democracy.” The voting marked the end of a long and turbulent electoral season that erupted in accusations of fraud and episodes of violence after the first round on 28 November. According to the last poll before the election, published on Thursday, Martelly, better known as “Sweet Micky,” was the choice of 53.4% of those intending to vote, against 46.6% for Manigat. However, turnout, expected to be weak, made prediction difficult: only 23% of the 4.7 million eligible voters cast ballots in the first round. In another development, the second round was complicated by the return after seven years of exile in South Africa of former president Jean Bertrand Aristide, very popular among poorer Haitians. Aristide, fifty-seven years old, who gave up power in 2004 under the threat of an armed insurrection and pressure from the United States and France, did not endorse either of the competing candidates. Likewise, the return of former dictator Jean-Claude ‘Baby Doc’ Duvalier on 16 January, after twenty-five years of exile in France, had already complicated the political panorama. Both in Port-au-Prince and in the rest of the country, most of the 11,000 polling places were guarded by 23,000 police officers and Minustah blue helmets. By Dialogo March 22, 2011last_img read more

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Valley Stream Hit-and-run Victim Critical, Driver Sought

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York New York State Troopers are looking for a hit-and-run driver that struck and critically injured a 28-year-old woman in the victim’s hometown of Valley Stream.Danalee Daley was walking across the Central Avenue exit ramp of the westbound side of Southern State Parkway when she was hit at 11:45 p.m. Wednesday, police said.The victim was taken to Jamaica Medical Center, where she is in critical condition and undergoing treatment for head trauma.State Police are continuing the investigation and ask any witnesses to this crash to call 631-756-3300.  All calls will be confidential.last_img read more

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Broad health preparedness bill advances in Senate

first_imgJul 19, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – A US Senate committee today approved a bill packed with a wide variety of provisions designed to improve the nation’s ability to handle public health emergencies, including pandemic influenza.The bipartisan “Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act” was unanimously approved by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, according to Laura Caudell, a spokeswoman for Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., the bill’s author.”We passed it unanimously this morning out of committee, and now it’ll be put on the legislative calendar in the Senate,” Caudell told CIDRAP News.Among other things, the bill names the secretary of health and human services as the government’s leader for health emergencies, requires states to meet preparedness standards and to share some of the cost of preparedness, seeks to coordinate and strengthen the nation’s system of medical volunteers, and calls for tracking of influenza vaccine supplies so that doses reach high-risk groups.The measure reauthorizes the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002, which was passed following the terrorist attacks of 2001. That law is set to expire at the end of September, according to a Jul 18 news release from Burr’s office.Burr, chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Bioterrorism and Public Health Preparedness, said discussions with New Orleans health officials last week about Hurricane Katrina underscored for him the need for the legislation.”Everyone I met agreed we must ensure our hospitals and health care facilities are better prepared to respond to a disaster,” he said in the news release. “This legislation is a first step toward making sure our federal, state, and local governments and public and private health care systems have more tools to better manage an emergency be it a hurricane, a terrorist attack, or a pandemic.”The bill, introduced yesterday, is cosponsored by Sens. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo.; Tom Harkin, D-Iowa; and Ted Kennedy, D-Mass. Caudell said the sponsors consulted with the Bush administration in developing the legislation and that it has the administration’s support.Enzi, chair of the Senate committee that approved the bill today, said in a news release that the measure “would integrate local, state, and federal public health infrastructures and create a clear chain of command.”Burr’s office cited five major objectives of the bill:To “put someone in charge” by designating the HHS secretary as the lead official for responding to public health emergencies. Caudell said current law doesn’t specifically assign that job to anyone.To “speed up coordinated responses to medical emergencies” by improving training, logistics, and planning for healthcare providers and by promoting the use of “mobile medical assets and alternative federal facilities” for accommodating surges of patients.To establish standards of preparedness for states. “The legislation requires individual states to meet performance standards developed by the Secretary of HHS to ensure all states have a basic level of preparedness for disasters,” the release states.To fund public health and medical preparedness. The bill authorizes $824 million for state and local preparedness and $474 million for hospital preparedness for fiscal year 2007, plus “such sums as may be necessary” for 2008 through 2011.To create a system to promote, organize, train, and support healthcare volunteers for emergency response work.Regarding funding, the legislation requires states to match federal preparedness grants at the 5% level starting in 2009. The states’ share would increase to 10% and then 20% in the two following years.To improve state accountability, the bill calls on HHS within 6 months to develop “measurable evidence-based benchmarks and objective standards that measure levels of preparedness.” In addition, HHS is directed to provide the states with criteria for an effective plan for responding to pandemic influenza.States that fail to meet standards or submit a pandemic response plan would lose 10% of their annual grant the first year. With continuing failures, the penalty would rise to 15%, 20%, and 25% in the second, third, and fourth years.Concerning flu vaccine supplies, the legislation directs HHS “to track and facilitate the distribution” of vaccines so that supplies can go to high-priority groups. It does not suggest how this should be done. The information gathered by HHS for this purpose must remain confidential.The legislation also calls for some changes in lines of responsibility for emergency response. In particular, it transfers the National Disaster Medical System from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) back to HHS, where it was before the DHS was established in 2002.In addition, the bill moves the management of the Strategic National Stockpile of drugs and medical supplies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to the office of the HHS assistant secretary for public health emergency preparedness, according to Caudell. The name of the latter position would change to “assistant secretary for preparedness and response” under the bill.Concerning medical volunteers, the legislation “codifies” the existing system of local Medical Reserve Corps teams and puts them under a director appointed by the HHS secretary. The bill sets standards for the composition of the corps and the training and certification of its members.Also under the bill, HHS would tie existing state volunteer verification systems into a nationwide network of systems that could quickly verify volunteers’ credentials in an emergency.Sen. Enzi’s news release cited two other provisions of the bill as important:A clause promoting “public health situational awareness with a nationwide, near real-time network, built on existing surveillance systems, to detect and contain public health threats”A provision for grants to people who agree to serve in a state or local public health department in an underserved area.See also: Jul 19 news release from Sen. Richard BurrJul 18 news release from Sen. BurrNovember 2002 CIDRAP News article on establishment of the DHShttp://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/bt/bioprep/news/homelnd.htmlCDC information on the Strategic National Stockpilehttps://www.cdc.gov/phpr/stockpile/index.htmlast_img read more

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Kushner urges Saudi to normalize ties with Israel

first_imgSaudi Arabia, the Arab world’s biggest economy, has been silent on Trump’s surprise announcement last Thursday that the UAE, a close US and Saudi ally, and Israel had decided to normalize relations.In return, Israel agreed to suspend the annexation of occupied West Bank territories, although Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the plan was not off the table in the long run.Saudi King Salman and his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, had repeatedly expressed their desire for an independent Palestinian state with economic opportunities, Kushner said.”What they basically said is that they … want to see the Palestinian people have a state and economic opportunities,” said Kushner, the architect of Trump’s Middle East peace plan, which was wholly rejected by the Palestinians. US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and White House advisor Jared Kushner said Monday it would be in Saudi Arabia’s interest to normalize ties with Israel as the United Arab Emirates has agreed to do.It would also weaken their common foe Iran’s influence in the region and ultimately help the Palestinians, Kushner told reporters during a telephone briefing.”It would be very good for Saudi business, it would very good for Saudi’s defense, and, quite frankly, I think it would also help the Palestinian people,” Kushner said. The landmark UAE-Israel deal is only the third such accord the Jewish state has struck with an Arab country, and raises the prospect of similar deals with other pro-Western Gulf states.Trump said leaders from the two countries would sign the agreement at the White House in the coming weeks. Common enemy Iran Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) Bahrain and Oman have welcomed the deal, while Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar have yet to comment. Home to Islam’s holiest sites, Saudi Arabia would face sensitive political calculations before a formal recognition of the Jewish state.”It is in the interest of a lot of these countries from a security point of view and from an economic point of view to have relations with Israel,” Kushner said. “A lot of GCC countries want to have breakthroughs.”The more that countries come together like Israel and the UAE… the harder it will be for Iran to divide and conquer.”Saudi Arabia and Israel have a common enemy in Iran, which most Gulf countries have accused of supporting militant groups in the region. “If you think about the people who don’t want Saudi Arabia and Israel to make a peace agreement, the number one opponent for that is going to be Iran,” said Kushner.”That shows that is probably the right thing to do.”Last week, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the UAE’s decision to normalize ties with the Jewish state was a “big mistake” and warned “against opening the path of Israel to the region”.On Monday, Vice Admiral Jim Malloy, commander of US Naval Forces in the Middle East, said he did not believe the recent UAE-Israel deal “heightens tension”. “I think it is a tense region where partners need to operate closely together,” Malloy said in a telephone briefing.  Topics :last_img read more

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Cruise Ships Push Fincantieri’s Revenues Up

first_imgItalian shipbuilder Fincantieri delivered a higher revenue in the first quarter of 2018, mainly driven by the increase in the volumes of the cruise ships business.The shipbuilder’s revenue for the period ended March 31, 2018 by 11% to EUR 1.22 billion from EUR 1.1 billion reported in the same quarter a year earlier, in line with the Business Plan 2018-2022 targets.EBITDA as of March 31, 2018 stood at EUR 89 million, up 33% year-on-year, with EBITDA margin of 7.3%, improved from the 6% of the first three months of 2017.Total backlog was at over EUR 27.7 billion, covering approximately 5.5 years of work if compared to 2017 revenues. Backlog as of March 31, 2018 was EUR 21.8 billion, against EUR 20.8 billion at March 31, 2017, with 104 ships in the order book.“The first quarter 2018 results are a confirmation of the strategic lines of development set forth in the business plan we presented at the end of March, and are in line with the growth trends registered in the past two years. With production volumes and margins yet again growing, our company continues to prove its ability to create value in an extremely complex sector,” Giuseppe Bono, Fincantieri’s Chief Executive Officer, said.“Bolstered by this important first step, we will continue along the growth path that will see us taking center stage in the world shipbuilding industry in the coming years,” Bono added.Shipbuilding margins confirm the positive trend, reporting further improvements due to the construction of more profitable cruise ships and to the positive contribution of the advancement of the activities related to Italian Navy’s fleet renewal program.Offshore revenues recorded an increase of around 17% compared with the first three months of 2017, despite the negative impact of changes in the Norwegian Krone/Euro exchange rate. This performance is largely due to the continuation of diversification strategy operated by VARD, which has generated an increase of production volumes, especially in Romanian shipyards.In a context of gradual recovery of revenues growth, the segment’s profitability reflects the continuing process of adjustment of the production structure to the challenges of the portfolio diversification efforts.Full year 2018 results are expected to be consistent with the 2018-2022 Business Plan targets. For 2018, the group confirms a growth in revenues of 3/6% and an EBITDA margin around 7.5%, mainly related to higher profitability in the shipbuilding segment.last_img read more

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