Britain’s Boris Johnson presses Biden for new trade deal

first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is telling President Joe Biden that he’s eager to forge a new U.S.-U.K. trade deal. The prime minister’s office says the push for a new deal came Saturday in a broad-ranging phone call that touched on the global response to the coronavirus pandemic. Two other points of discussion were Biden’s plans to rejoin the Paris climate accord and the World Health Organization. A new trade agreement between the allies is a higher priority for Johnson than it is for Biden. A White House statement on the call made no mention of discussion on trade.last_img read more

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Zachary Levi May Star in NBC Musical Comedy Tuned

first_img View Comments Broadway alum Zachary Levi may headline a half-hour musical comedy, Tuned, that he is executive producing for NBC with Eva Longoria. According to Deadline, Levi would play a go-getting New Yorker who keeps experiencing musical hallucinations.Levi starred on the Great White Way in 2013’s First Date. His screen credits include Chuck, Less than Perfect, Alvin and the Chipmunks, The Squeakquel, Tangled and Thor: The Dark World.Fall in love with Levi’s voice all over again and check out him recording “First Impressions” from First Date with his co-star Krysta Rodriguez below. Star Filescenter_img Zachary Levilast_img read more

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Vermont Law School: EPA under siege

first_img Vermont Law School, a private, independent institution, has the top-ranked environmental law program and one of the top-ranked clinical training programs in the nation, according to U.S.News & World Report. VLS offers a Juris Doctor curriculum that emphasizes public service, a Master of Environmental Law and Policy degree and two post-JD degrees, the Master of Laws in Environmental Law and the LLM in American Legal Studies (for foreign-trained lawyers). The school features innovative experiential programs and is home to the Environmental Law Centerand the South Royalton Legal Clinic. For more information, visit www.vermontlaw.edu(link is external). With Republicans Attacking the EPA, 2012 Could Be a Turning Point for Environmental RegulationBy Professor John Echeverria and Student Sara ImperialeSUMMARYHouse Republicans and Republican presidential candidates have launched unprecedented attacks on the Environmental Protection Agency, saying environmental regulations are hurting the economy.Among the other things causing Richard Nixon to turn over in his grave may be Republican attacks on the Environmental Protection Agency, which the former president and Congress established in a bipartisan response to public demand for cleaner water, air, and land. Since Republicans regained control of the House of Representatives in the 2010 midterm elections, they have introduced an unprecedented number of measures designed to weaken longstanding environmental protections and block the EPA from putting forth new regulations. Moreâ ¦  With Republicans Attacking the EPA, 2012 Could Be a Turning Point for Environmental Regulation EPA and White House Clash Over Ozone Standards Powder River Basin’s Abundance of Coal at the Epicenter of Energy Development Activists Claim Victory, Temporarily, on Disputed Keystone XL Pipeline EPA, Transportation Department Step Up Sector-by-Sector Regulation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Federal Appeals Court Settles Roadless Ruleâ ¦for Now Fukushima Fallout Affects Global Energy Security, Cost, Safety, Grid Reliability U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Bid to Regulate Greenhouse Gases Under Federal Common Law Landmark Settlement Under the Endangered Species Act Combating Climate Change Through Enforcement: EPA v. TVA Vermont Law School,Vermont Law School today released its second annual Top 10 Environmental Watch List today, spotlighting the nation’s most critical environmental law and policy issues of 2011 and how they may play out in 2012.The Watch List (see below) is available at http://watchlist.vermontlaw.edu/(link is external)This year’s report contains 10 essays, plus a Special Mention essay and three additional issues to watch in 2012. The issues were chosen based on their significance to the environment and public well being and whether a key development is expected in the coming year. ‘This year’s Watch List is especially important given the continuing fallout from theFukushima nuclear disaster in Japan,’ Dean Jeff Shields said. ‘We also saw unprecedented attacks on the EPA as well as the Obama administration’s mixed messages on environmental issues, which have been confusing to the public, conservationists and industry alike. Our Watch List helps to clarify these issues and others that are so critical in the coming election year.’last_img read more

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San Antonio utility closes Deely coal plant

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享KSAT:On the last day of 2018, CPS Energy officially closed its coal-fired Deely plant that has been open since the late 1970s. The Deely station was part of the Calaveras Power Station on the Southeast Side near Highway 181 and Loop 1604.The decision was made in 2011 due to the plant needing many environmental upgrades and a big push from the local environmental community. CPS Energy CEO Paula Gold-Williams said the much-needed environmental upgrades are what ultimately shut its doors.“From an environmental standpoint, it was the right decision,” Gold-Williams said.Gold-Williams said that while CPS Energy is steering away from coal, there is another option being considered. “I think a lot of it will be focused on gas and then new technologies coming down the pipe,” Gold-Williams said.“Coal is not the cheapest. Gas is … arguably.” And it’s “consistent, great for reliability and very cost effective,” Gold-Williams said.More: CPS Energy closes coal-fired Deely plant in operation since ’70s to focus on cleaner energy sources San Antonio utility closes Deely coal plantlast_img read more

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Colombian Air Force Integrates Isolated Areas

first_imgBy Marian Romero/Diálogo January 10, 2017 Six metric tons of structures and materials were transported by air to rebuild a 40-meter long pedestrian bridge on the Blanco River in the department of Cauca. The operation took place on December 17th and benefited 1,500 local residents. The Colombian Air Force (FAC, per its Spanish acronym) employed two UH-60 Black Hawk aircraft from Air Combat Command No. 5, a Huey II helicopter, and 14 crew members. The Colombian Army deployed the 27th Brigade to support the project. Major Andrea Archila Álvarez, chief of FAC’s Integral Action Department, is in charge of these operations. “Achieving efficient connections between population centers is fundamental, especially where passage over rivers is done by means of cords or in areas that have ended up isolated due to the destruction of infrastructure as a result of natural disasters. That is why we have always supported the Puentes de la Esperanza (Bridges of Hope) initiative. To close 2016 with a finishing touch, we intervened in Cauca, a region with a large indigenous population which has historically been battered by conflict and fluctuating climatic conditions,” Maj. Archilla said. Puentes de la Esperanza brings regions closer together Colombia is located where the Andes mountain range is divided into three and is home to one of the most diverse river basins on the planet. Its geography has made it difficult to build roads and bridges to reach populations located far away from urban centers, right in the middle of the mountain range. In addition, the decades-old armed conflict made it even more difficult to reach these populations. The organization Puentes de la Esperanza came into existence in 1994 as an independent alternative to reaching those regions and building the pedestrian bridges necessary for the security and well-being of the residents. The people lack access to roads and children, and adults risk their lives daily crossing rivers using cords or very rudimentary constructions. Carlos Barrera, director of Puentes de la Esperanza, explained that the role of FAC consists of airlifting structures, materials, and implements necessary for the construction of bridges in areas where there are no roads, and materials must be transported by donkeys. “We build the structures in Bogotá, transport them by truck to where the road ends, and hand them over to FAC there, so they may be brought by helicopter to the village where they are needed. Once they arrive, they are assembled by the community,” Barrera said. “This partnership has been essential because the materials for each bridge weigh between five and 15 metric tons. Taking that weight by road or by donkey would take months, an amount of time we do not have because it usually rains a lot, conditions are adverse, and the labor force is limited. With the help of FAC, we get it done in one or two days.” Puentes de la Esperanza has used this system to build 93 bridges. In 2016, three bridges were built, and FAC is planning a second phase of the air transport operation for the construction of two additional pedestrian bridges that will connect important rural roads in the same area, between the departments of Cauca and Putumayo. “Once the request is received from the community with basic information on the terrain and the area, we pay a visit to learn the topography and to determine if building one of our bridges would be viable. In Bogotá, we study the designs that can be applied to that specific region,” Barrera said. Social impact Air Force Colonel Carlos Silva, commander of the CACON 5 Base in Rionegro, was in charge of the transport of 28 metric tons of material for the construction of a pedestrian bridge in the town of La Represa, which used to take six hours to reach by mule. “The [people who live in] places where we have come with bridges have suffered a lot because of the collapse of roads and bridges during the rainy season. Many people have died crossing the rivers because the necessary structures were not there. In other cases, the armed conflict kept the population isolated, as insurgents destroyed bridges to force the population to do what they wanted,” said Col. Silva. In 22 of the country’s 32 departments (all in rural areas), the joint work of Puentes de la Esperanza and FAC has improved people’s mobility in the region. Travel time has been shortened from six to two or three hours. A key element of the initiative is the requirement that rural residents who have solicited the help of the organization contribute to the construction of the bridge. “This is empowering work for the community; they help assemble, paint, and do maintenance on the bridge. So, the bridge becomes a piece of the community’s heritage,” Barrera explained. “The current dynamic of the country is encouraging unarmed ways of seeking the enduring well-being of the population, in addition to ensuring their security. We support strategic partnerships like Puentes de la Esperanza, which seek to improve the quality of life of the populations,” Major Archila said. Modular bridges, an appropriate solution The organization began its work helping victims of an earthquake that shook the south of the country in 1994. This quake prompted the melting of the mantle of the Nevado del Huila volcano, and caused landslides and an avalanche that destroyed hundreds of homes and vital infrastructure in the region. After this tragedy, Puentes de la Esperanza began its work with the support of FAC. “The idea of prefabricating structures to transport them more easily and assembling them later in rural areas was the idea of Toni Rüttimann, a Swiss builder who has dedicated his life to building pedestrian bridges without pay for the most vulnerable rural communities around the world. We were able to build 10 bridges thanks to his work and the work of the community, as well as with the unconditional support of FAC and the U.S. Southern Command to help the affected population,” Barrera concluded. Puentes de la Esperanza has a team of engineers and architects who have modified the original designs to be able to build different types of bridges in accordance with the characteristics of every mountain and canyon in Colombia. They now use lighter materials that are easier to assemblelast_img read more

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Attorneys participate in clinic for South Florida foster teens

first_img Attorneys participate in clinic for South Florida foster teens Melinda Melendez Assistant Editor While many in Florida’s foster care system face bleak prospects after “aging out” of the Department of Children and Families’ care, a new South Florida initiative is working to brighten those prospects by providing essential life-skills training for at-risk youth in the foster care system.“The reality is that many of the individuals aging out of the system are not equipped for adult life,” said Dade County Judge Beth Bloom, who helped organize the It’s Your Life training partnership, a joint effort of many organizations in the Miami-Dade area. “A lot of the kids are still in high school. The goal of the program is to provide these young people with the skills they will need as adults.”The project is a joint effort of many organizations in the Miami-Dade area, including the University of Miami School of Law Children & Youth Law Clinic, the 11th Judicial Circuit, Dade County Bar Association, Legal Aid Society of the Dade County Bar, Miami-Dade County Guardian Ad Litem Program, Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers – Miami, and various other legal and child advocacy groups.The first It’s Your Life training program was held October 9 at the University of Miami, and included a curriculum of classes and workshops for foster kids aged 13-18 from the DCF, CHARLEE, and the Children’s Home Society. The kids learned a variety of valuable life skills essential for survival as an adult, such as money management, housing, employment, education, and consumer issues. Kids who attended the workshops also were drilled on basic skills ranging in complexity from how to read a rental agreement to how to find bargain clothing. Educate Tomorrow, a nonprofit organization whose goal is securing state funds for use by foster kids in college, also provided the teens with information on how students can apply for financial aid, obtain scholarships, and finance their college educations.While the workshops focused primarily on teaching skills necessary to survive as an adult, the kids were also provided with birth certificates, Social Security cards, and state identification. Many foster kids are without these essential items, and without them, it is nearly impossible to open a savings account, apply for financial aid, or even register for school.“Some of these kids have nothing. It really was overwhelming to see,” said Scott Fingerhut, president of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, who took part in the program. “They aren’t put into school, they aren’t given jobs; they’re just thrown out.”In addition to being provided proper identification, the students were also supplied with $50 certificates to open savings accounts, bus passes, and 18-year-olds were given the opportunity to register to vote.Judge Bloom said many of the kids who attended the clinic are at a critical crossroad and are in dire need of strong guidance. Bloom attributes the success of the event to the many organizations who came together to lend time, funds, and make donations. “Seeing the tremendous collaboration both public and private, many of whom are lawyers, that really was the true beauty of the program,” said Judge Bloom, who first became involved with the foster care program while helping her son perform volunteer work at a local foster group home.“The program was incredibly beneficial to the kids,” Fingerhut agreed. “You had a very diverse faculty. Some had a lot of experience handling kids, some didn’t. For a huge group of children who haven’t been dealt the best hand, it is important for them to have some real adult contact.”The It’s Your Life workshop was the first in what is intended to be a long-term effort to educate and empower teens aging out of the foster care system. The next series of workshops are tentatively planned for April.“It was all about hope and setting goals, giving the kids good, adult role models,” Fingerhut said. “To see all these professionals giving these kids a shot at a real adult life was both significant and heartening.”Those interested in becoming involved with the project may contact Judge Bloom at (305) 548-3349. Attorneys participate in clinic for South Florida foster teens November 1, 2004 Assistant Editor Regular Newslast_img read more

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Nussle: CUNA continues push for ADA website clarity

first_img 24SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » CUNA remains engaged in combating predatory class action threats related to website accessibility requirements surrounding the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle wrote to members Monday. Credit unions have been hit with increasing lawsuit threats over uncertainty about ADA website requirements.“CUNA has been working diligently to combat this predatory litigation,” Nussle wrote. “Since it continues to be a major problem for credit unions, it is a top advocacy priority for us, as we continue engagement with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Congress.”Nussle added that CUNA is also working closely with state leagues to identify legal advocacy opportunities, and will be meeting with Congressional counsel next week to discuss ways to stop these threats.Nussle also cited a recent CUNA Removing Barriers Blog entry that details a recent DOJ decision to rescind two Advance Notices of Proposed Rulemakings regarding ADA.last_img read more

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Water: The refreshing way to get more members

first_img 8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Matt Ward Matt is the founder of Breakthrough Champion…In 2002 Matt began working with business owners through his website agency, inConcert Web Solutions, to improve their bottom line, gain more clients, … Web: www.Breakthrough-Champion.com Details Recently my friend Antoine Dupont posted an image on Facebook of a small refrigerator full of water.  Antoine had ventured into a Dry Cleaners, and realized that they offered water and some bite sized chocolates, to their patrons.  When Antoine realized this, he was so impressed that he took a photo and shared it on social media.His caption reads: Customer Experience 101 – a small, simple and inexpensive idea. My local dry cleaner offers a cold bottle of water to everyone. You don’t need to ask, just grab one and run. #customerexperience #hugepowerofsmallIsn’t this the type of viral marketing and word of mouth referral marketing that you would like for your credit union?I’ve mentioned this before in similar monthly articles that I write for CUInsight, that our goal is to over deliver, listen, surprise, and provide non-self-serving acts, so that people we interact with (members and non-members) will start (or continue) to talk about the credit union in ways that is unheard of.When you see a post like this from Antoine, it immediately makes me think, why aren’t any credit unions doing things that result in similar posts?  Regardless of how much we think we are doing, the fact is, only posts like this show us the impact we are having!What if, low cost bottled water, available to anyone in your branch, was available? And what if that resulted in posts like this being made to social media?  It’s time to start thinking out of the box, in different ways, to ensure that we are creating experiences, for people that interact with us, so that they will be amazed, and surprised. The result is that they will tell others about us, about our CU, and about our branch! Antoine brings up a very valuable point with his hashtag #hugepowerofsmall.  It’s the little things that make a big difference. It’s because those little things often stand out more because none of the competitors are doing them.Go buy a mini fridge, and stock it with water. Then put a label or sign on it that says, FREE: Help Yourself!  Start adding value to members one bottle of water at a time!!!!last_img read more

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CUs breaking new ground for member attraction, retention

first_imgCredit unions are breaking ground for new initiatives that may help them attract new members and hold on to the ones they serve.The $211 million Michigan Legacy Credit Union in Pontiac, Mich., is taking a completely different approach in delivering branch services to members and potential members, while the $5.3 billion Redstone Credit Union in Huntsville, Ala., partnered with a national retailer to attract new rural members and the $446 million Nutmeg State Financial Credit Union in Rocky Hill, Conn., worked with the state DMV to reach a new pool of members.Sharp declines in branch visitations led Carma Peters, president/CEO of MLCU, and her leadership team to develop an idea that may help redefine banking convenience. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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Firm wins grant for fast way to make DNA vaccines

first_imgJun 14, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Vical Inc. has been awarded a $6 million federal grant to develop a DNA vaccine manufacturing process that the company says may dramatically speed up production of vaccines for influenza and other diseases.In announcing the grant in a Jun 12 news release, the San Diego company said its process has “the potential to produce several million doses of vaccines in a matter of days.” But officials predicted it will take several years to develop and scale up the process to produce even enough vaccine for clinical trials.The 3-year grant was awarded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.Vical President Vijay Samant said the company’s RapidResponse system is designed to allow fast, large-scale production of DNA vaccines at low cost and is ideal for responding to emerging diseases such as pandemic flu and SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome).The company said the system uses polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to make small segments of DNA, called linear expression cassettes, that include only the DNA sequences essential for the vaccine.Conventional flu vaccine production involves growing the target virus in eggs, which takes several months, and then killing the virus before incorporating it into a vaccine (though one vaccine involves a live, weakened virus, also grown in eggs). Several companies are working on producing flu viruses or pieces of them in cell cultures, a process said to be more flexible and somewhat faster than egg-based production. The European Union approved a cell-based flu vaccine this week.DNA vaccines contain small pieces of the target pathogen’s genetic material instead of a killed or weakened form of the virus. In a separate project, Vical is developing an H5N1 avian flu vaccine that is produced in cell culture, but the RapidResponse process represents a step beyond that, the company said.”The new RapidResponse platform does not use any type of cell-based process. It’s a chemical synthesis enzyme reaction,” Alan Engbring, Vical’s executive director of investor relations, told CIDRAP News.Engbring said the RapidResponse system “has potential use for a wide variety of pathogens, but our development work is likely to be with influenza. It’s a readily accessible virus, it’s well characterized, the biology of protection is well understood, there are ready assays available to determine immunogenicity, and there are animal models available.”Initial research on the process was funded by the US Defense Advance Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the company said. In that work, a single 2-microgram dose of the PCR-produced vaccine protected mice from a lethal dose of H3N2 flu virus, a common human subtype.Engbring said he expects that the 3-year NIAID grant will enable Vical to speed its process to make enough doses of vaccine for clinical trials and to do some preclinical tests. He said it is too early to predict how long it might take to develop the process to the point of commercial-scale production.The company statement said the RapidResponse process could potentially be scaled up by using larger equipment without adding to production time, “conceivably allowing production of hundreds of millions of doses of DNA vaccine during the earliest stages of an outbreak.”Vical’s ongoing H5N1 vaccine project is well ahead of the RapidResponse program, Engbring said. For the H5N1 vaccine, Escherichia coli is used to produce a plasmid, or loop of DNA, containing genetic material from the target virus. Production time is “measured in weeks”—faster than with egg-based production, but slower than what the RapidResponse system promises to make possible, the company said.The company’s goal is to start a phase 1 clinical trial of the H5N1 vaccine in the second half of this year, Engbring said. “It wouldn’t make sense to stop that program to wait for this one to catch up. We do intend to keep moving forward with the plasmid-based H5N1 program. Eventually these could merge somewhere down the road, but right now we’re keeping them separate.”See also: Jun 7, 2006, CIDRAP News story “Firm gets funds for work on avian flu DNA vaccine”last_img read more

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