What can a writer teach a designer of the built environment? Perhaps a lot, such as a few basic principles of fieldwork: Learn from both the sky view of data and the ground view of reality. Don’t talk just to the powerful. And stay awhile.Katherine Boo came bearing these and other insights for a week as a senior Loeb Fellow at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (GSD). Boo is a long-form journalist who specializes in poverty and what she calls that socio-economic state’s “tropes of hope and innovation.”She also arrived bearing recognition and status, with the chops to offer a lesson or two. Boo, after all, has already hit the trifecta for nonfiction writers: the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and a coveted gig as a staff writer at The New Yorker. She also won a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, often called the “genius” award.To understand Boo’s reporting methods (immersion is best) and her worldview (hope abides), start with “Behind the Beautiful Forevers,” her brutally factual and vividly novelistic study of Annawadi, a Mumbai slum. That effort won a National Book Award in 2012.Annawadi, which was settled in 1991 on land owned by the nearby international airport, is within sight of five luxury hotels. At one edge is a trash-rimmed lake of sewage. Of its 3,000 residents, only six have permanent jobs. Annawadi models the extremes of capitalism: the flexible, innovative poor struggle against the barriers of education and caste with such energy that there is little of it left over for collective action or the pursuit of justice.The capstone event during Boo’s visit was a lecture in jam-packed Piper Auditorium on Feb. 20. Its fancy title was “Exploitation, Innovation, and Documentation in 21st-Century Slums,” but its lessons — from a writer to designers — pivoted on a single word, one of Boo’s favorites: “granular.” That is, when you research places, get down to the smallest details.With Boo on last week’s GSD visit was another 2014 senior Loeb Fellow: her husband, Sunil Khilnani, an author and a professor of international politics at King’s College, London. He introduced her to Mumbai, where he was convinced her immersive techniques would work.James Stockard, GSD’s curator of the Loeb Fellowship and a former fellow himself (1978), introduced Boo. He got the point of her presence at GSD right away. “The best journalists challenge us to create our own best work,” he said. And reading journalism as pointed as hers “is how we stimulate our best creative gifts.”Stockard read a passage from the Mumbai book. With Dickensian power, Boo described an open lot as “a kind of beachfront for a vast pool of sewage that marked the slum’s eastern border. [It was] bedlam most nights: people fighting, cooking, flirting, bathing, tending goats, playing cricket, waiting for water at a public tap, lining up outside a little brothel, or sleeping off the effects of the grave-digging liquor dispensed from a hut two doors down. …”For her audience, Boo set out to explain how she approached the Annawadi project — reporting for months at a time, over four years starting in 2007 — and what she learned from it. Her field guide of advice, buttressed by 15 years of reporting on poverty in the United States, seemed applicable to designers, to other scholars, and to ordinary visitors. “Empathy is a muscle,” Boo observed, and training to see things as they are is one way to exercise it.Boo included imperatives of attention: stay independent, outside the ken of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), for instance. Listen more than talk. Document everything, using notebooks, audio, and video. Read official documents. (Gathering accepted facts adds “conviction to the writing,” she said, “and keeps me out of libel jail.”)Be frank about why you are suddenly in a place you are not from. (“I don’t play poor,” said Boo, who engages people head-on. “I just try my best to do justice to their reality.”) Meet a variety of people, not just the informal leaders. And stick around for a while. Sheer duration is a strategy that trumps “a five-day studio visit,” she said. “I enter a community knowing I’m going to be there a very long time.”Lastly, know the big data, what Boo called “the God shot” of reality that official statistics represent. But be ready for reality on the ground, too. Her reporting in Annawadi reinforced an idea she had acquired as a young reporter: Small stories can have big power. They can move donors, inform NGOs, and clue in lawmakers. “Better policies might get made,” said Boo, “if we understand individual lives.”In her book, Boo told the small story of Asha, who had a gift for solving problems, but over time used it to exercise political corruption. Asha became Annawadi’s informal ward boss, landlord, and banker.Boo also told the small story of Abdul, a teenager from the slum’s Muslim minority who at age 6 set out to exercise his own gift: mining value from trash. Before long, “what people threw away,” said Boo, created a slum-scale recycling empire that was enough for Abdul “to lift a family of 11 well beyond subsistence.”Abdul’s story was also a point of entry into what Boo called “serial survival entrepreneurship,” the ever-fluid technique of extracting value from circumstances. With admiration, she recalled the ad hoc team of thieves who devised a tool for removing wheel boots from airport taxis when they could no longer disassemble new construction “screw by screw.” Either way, the metal was worth cash. It was a story, said Boo, that explained “the nature of work” at the fringes of the global economy: flexible, clever, independent, and often extra-legal.This same kind of enterprising but solitary work has a dark side, she said. Factory work, which is disappearing fast, offered opportunities for collective effort and provided workers with an informal sense of commonweal. The person you worked next to could lend you a bit of money, or help you care for a child. If you are on your own, earning informal wages, you fear taking time for others. “The conditions of collective action are sabotaged,” she said.Individual initiative — the soul of capitalism — has another dark side. “People up the ladder innovate too, sometimes to improve exploitation,” she said, setting off a dynamic of power that crushes those with the least. “Hope is a double-edged thing.”But there is always hope in the act of investigation. Over time, Boo saw that the people she was writing about became her “active co-investigators” in documenting how conditions really were. When homeless teenagers took over her video camera, she said, they used it for fun for a while, but then they used it to record their lives. (Boo’s lecture was illustrated by a looping slideshow of images taken by slum children.)The same teenagers even joined in an investigation into the murder of a friend. In the end, said Boo, “they saw this random journalist standing in front of them as the only hope they had.”
By Julieta Pelcastre/Diálogo June 29, 2016 Some 7,500 members of five Colombian indigenous communities are able to drink potable water for the first time, thanks to collaboration between the Colombian Navy and the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá that assembled 1,250 water filters to help the quality of life of many communities of the Pacific coast of Colombia. The Colombian Navy’s efforts to aid the indigenous communities across the Pacific coast were led by the 2nd Brigade of the Marine Corps Department of Integrated Action with support from the 24th Marine Corps Fluvial Battalion and a mothership class surface unit from the Surface Fleet of the Pacific Naval Force. The United States donated the filters through the Office of Strategic Planning and Cooperation Group (J5) of the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá. Waves for Water (W4W), a U.S. non-profit organization that helps provide clean drinking water to the poorest communities in the world, participated in the activity, said U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Carlos Alberto Hernández, Deputy Chief of the J5. W4W provides access to clean water through the distribution of portable water filters, the digging and renovating of wells, and the construction of rainwater harvesting and storing systems in places where groundwater is not accessible. “[It will help counter and prevent forced recruitment of minors in those areas along the San Juan river, which is a very convenient avenue for drug trafficking,” added Lt. Col. Hernández. “With clean water, that child will spend his days at school or in some positive activity.” For his part, Colombian Marine Corps Colonel Sarung Chilito Rodríguez, commander of Colombia’s 2nd Marine Corps Brigade, agreed with Lt. Col Hernandez. “The filters will help lower the number of cases of people who become sick due to diseases of gastrointestinal origin due to the consumption of contaminated and non-potable water,” he told Diálogo. “This is a special program we’ve been advancing in the social sphere in alliance with the United States and the group of Integrated Action of the Colombian Navy, all of whom have been making a very big effort across the entire Pacific coast of Colombia, beginning with bringing the U.S. Navy’s floating hospital, the USNS Comfort, to the area as part of the Continuing Promise initiative,” Lt. Col. Rodríguez said. Continuing Promise is an initiative under the auspices of the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) that provides humanitarian assistance and conducts joint civilian and military operations with partner nations in the Caribbean and Central and South America. During the 2015 mission, the hospital ship was anchored off the port of Buenaventura for ten days in which close to 10,800 locals benefited from the many free medical services offered. In order to follow up with the “Continuing Promise” initiated then, the J5 organized the water filter project to provide access to drinking water to the local populations. They partnered with Waves for Water, whose personnel trained a Colombian Navy working group to carry out proper install and use of the filters on the premises of 24th Fluvial Battalion in Buenaventura After learning to do it themselves, members of the Colombian Navy spent three days assembling the filters and training the recipients how to operate the water purifiers in the indigenous municipalities of Unión Balsalito, Docordó, Aguas Claras, Buenavista, Las Palmas, and Tiosilidio, located along the banks of the San Juan River. Each filter is expected to last four years and is easy to use: the user simply fills a bucket with water and turns on the filter to purify the water. According to Col. Rodríguez, the 2nd Brigade, along with indigenous leaders and local authorities, is working on an action plan to develop permanent potable water purification systems in these communities. Each indigenous leader will make sure the filters are used correctly and for the agreed-upon purposes. “Through the development of integrated action activities in these communities, the tactical units of the Marine Corps 2nd Brigade will carry out visits and provide consulting to the indigenous with regard to any possible problems that could arise,” Col. Rodríguez said. Cooperation among partner nations Some of the initiatives undertaken by the 2nd Brigade with the assistance of the Colombian Navy include connecting indigenous communities in hard-to-access zones with health taskforces and developing infrastructure projects supported by the private sector. “The United States is our ally in a variety of strategic humanitarian-aid actions we’ve taken in the central, southern, and northern parts of the Colombian Pacific. We plan to bring the filters to all these communities so they can enjoy the benefits of having potable water,” Col. Chilito said. He highlighted the fact that the Colombian Navy has made it a priority to safeguard the well-being of the most vulnerable and needy populations of the Colombian Pacific region. “What we do is help contribute to the rebuilding of the social fabric and bolster national development through plans and programs that help lower the extreme poverty indexes, basic unsanitary conditions, and illiteracy in these indigenous communities,” Col. Chilito said. The Colombian Military Forces are bringing positive change to the country, especially in remote areas that have suffered the effects of illegal armed groups such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. “Colombia is designing its post-conflict models and how to face the country’s new political phase. The fact is that Colombia can’t leave empty spaces that the [illegal] armed groups can take advantage of; the State must be present [in these areas], so, the help offered by the U.S. Government, SOUTHCOM, and all other elements of social humanitarian aid investments are essential in building this new country,” said Néstor Alfonso Rosanía, from the Center for Security and Peace Studies in Colombia. .
This post is currently collecting data… ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr This is placeholder text continue reading » Given the current low-rate environment, I’ve again been getting some questions on “negative rates” and the impact they would have on financial institutions, and more specifically interest rate risk modeling. We’ve all heard about negative rates in Japan and parts of Europe, so it would seem reasonable to wonder about the impact that negative rates could have here in the U.S.Negative Rates for Assets and LiabilitiesLet’s first review what we mean by “negative rates” and, perhaps more importantly, what we don’t mean. The conversation about “negative rates” is really in regard to the rate that a central bank (in the case of the U.S., the Federal Reserve Bank) charges individual banks to hold money at the Fed. If we all think back to Econ 101, we remember that interest rates are one of the main tools the Fed uses to adjust monetary policy. The Fed funds rate guides how individual banks and lenders then set their own rates. As such, the idea behind negative rates would be to disincentivize banks to hold cash at the Fed (or other correspondent banks) and instead drive them to lend it to potential borrowers. More simply put, the theory is that banks would rather lend the money to borrowers and earn at least some interest than be charged to hold their money at the Fed or in a correspondent account.As previously noted, negative rate strategies have actually been employed in other countries. Sweden’s central bank was the first to deploy them in July 2009 when the Riksbank cut its overnight deposit rate to -0.25%. As this is written, the central banks in both Switzerland and Japan have negative rates (-0.75% and -0.10%, respectively). With that said, it’s important to highlight that here in the U.S., the Fed appears to remain against implementing negative rates as a tool to help stabilize the U.S. economy. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has repeatedly said that negative rates are not something that will be implemented, though it is uncertain what, if any, impact the incoming administration will have on that position.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A Rocky Point man was sentenced Wednesday to two years in prison for driving while high on heroin when he crashed head-on into another vehicle, seriously injuring a woman in Shoreham two years ago.Denis Karachopan had pleaded guilty in 2013 at Suffolk County court to charges of vehicular assault, operating a vehicle while impaired by drugs, heroin possession and failure to stay in lane.Police had said that the 24-year-old was driving his BMW westbound on Route 25A when he crossed into the opposite lane of traffic and hit an eastbound Nissan shortly after 11 a.m. Feb. 6, 2013.Investigators discovered heroin and drug paraphernalia in his vehicle. The victim suffered two broken legs and other injuries, but her then-3-week-old infant, who was also in the car, was not hurt.Prosecutors had recommended a six-year prison term for Karachopan.Judge Richard Ambro also sentenced Karachopan to three years of probation and suspended his driver’s license for six months.
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Beijing’s mass testing for the new coronavirus will soon enter a “fast track” as the city’s testing capacity expands, a senior municipal health official said on Tuesday, following a sudden return of COVID-19 nearly two weeks ago.The city of more than 20 million residents reported its first case in the latest outbreak on June 11. The infections were linked to the sprawling Xinfadi wholesale food center in the southwest of Beijing, which had until then reported no new cases for nearly two months.In the 12 days since, 249 people have been infected in the worst outbreak in Beijing since the novel coronavirus was identified at a seafood market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year. Beijing can now administer more than 300,000 nucleic acid tests per day compared with 40,000 in March, Zhang Hua, deputy director at the Beijing Municipal Health Commission, told reporters.Beijing took samples from 2.95 million people between June 12 and June 22, Zhang said.”The strategy of Beijing’s nucleic acid screening is mainly based on the level of risk and on severity,” Zhang said, when asked if everyone in Beijing would be tested.Testing will be done in batches and according to the profile of individuals, he said.”We’ll give priority to testing high-risk groups in Xinfadi and other markets involved in the outbreak as well as surrounding communities,” Zhang said.”On this basis, we’ve tested workers in restaurants, supermarkets, marketplaces, as well as residents in high-risk neighborhoods. Food delivery workers and parcel couriers have also undergone large-scale testing.” Topics :
The sex ratio in Seoul’s population slid by 0.5 percentage point, from 95.3 in June 2019, and by 2.2 percentage points from 97 in June 2015. The figure for June 2020 marked an all-time low.Busan was not far behind with a sex ratio of 96.1, followed by Daegu at 97.5Gwangju ranked fourth-lowest with the ratio of 97.9, followed by North Jeolla Province at 98.8, Sejong at 99.4 and Daejeon at 99.7.In contrast, the remaining 10 of the 17 major population areas in Korea still saw men outnumber women. In this regard Ulsan, a manufacturing-oriented city, topped the list with a sex ratio of 105.7. The female population overtook the male population five years ago in South Korea. The turning point was June 2015, when the gender ratio fell to 99.9 — the first time in history it had dropped below 100 since the nation began compiling relevant data.According to the Ministry of Interior and Safety, women outnumbered men by 131,534 as of June 2020. The sex ratio, or the number of men per 100 women, posted an all-time low of 99.49 last month.Seoul recorded the lowest ratio of males to females, 94.8 per 100 or 4.73 million to 4.98 million. Women in the capital have tended to outnumber men for more than a decade. Topics : The second and third-highest were South Chungcheong Province with 104.1 and North Chungcheong Province with 102.7.Gyeonggi Province, the nation’s most populous area, posted a sex ratio of 101.2 with 6.71 million males and 6.62 million females. Other areas that hovered around the 100 mark included Incheon, Jeju Province, North Gyeongsang Province and South Gyeongsang Province.“The gender ratio showed deviations among the nation’s eight major cities and nine provinces,” a government official said. “The disparities stem from regional characteristics such as urbanization and the presence of farming communities, service industries, military zones and manufacturing towns.”Meanwhile, the recent change in the sex ratio in Korea could be attributable to women’s longer lifespan compared to men. Interior-Safety Ministry data showed that the number of men between 70 and 79 was 1.64 million across the nation as of June 2020, while the figure for women in the corresponding age group tallied 2.01 million.The demographic disparity was even more pronounced for people aged 80 and over: The figures for those in their 80s were 588,000 (men) to 1.09 million (women). For those in their 90s, the gulf was still wider at 54,000 to 188,000 and for centenarians it was 5,133 to 16,001.According to some genetics research across the globe, the probability of male newborns slightly exceeds that of female newborns. While Korea also sees the same probability, the childbirth gap between boys and girls has been narrowing as the preference for sons is drastically waning.The ratio of boys born per 100 female babies exceeded 110 in the 1990s, according to some unofficial statistics.The sex ratio among newborns has been about 105 or under over the past few years.
Share LocalNews Association is for all says President of the Dominica Haiti Friendship Association by: – August 13, 2011 20 Views no discussions Share Tweet Sharing is caring! Share President of the Dominica Haiti Friendship Association, Mr. Frantso Moise.President of Dominica Haiti Friendship Association Frantso Moise is calling on all Haitian nationals residing in Dominica to become a member of the Association and work together .“I am calling on all Haitians, the association is not for one person, and it’s not for two persons. Today I am the President, tomorrow it can be somebody else, a woman or a man because sometimes the women suppose to get the chance too; they can do what we doing too. That’s why I call all women and tell them come into the association, let us make one, let us just be together,” Moise said.Mr. Moise told Dominica Vibes News that the success of the association is dependent on the cooperation it receives from the membership and therefore admonishes them to come and play their part.“Don’t stay outside and give the association a bad name or say we not doing nothing. If you stay outside and criticize, it’s not good; you have to come in, come to put your hand. So when you there you can say something we did not see. If you stay outside and just criticize; we not doing that, we not doing this, your help in very important in the association.”Mr. Moise is also advising his fellow Haitian nationals to know the laws of the Commonwealth of Dominica so as not to create a headache for Government officials.“We don’t want the Government in Dominica or the Chief of Police, or the Chief of Immigration or police officer from Marigot to have no headache. When the Haitian have to come down here, the Haitian have to know the law, how he has to fix his papers to come here. The law says you have to have four hundred dollars deposit and another way you have to have three, four, five hundred going up, pocket money but you have to have somebody to give you the information or it will just be a waste for you.”Meantime Moise who has been living on the island for nine years says in time past, the relationship between the Government of Dominica and Haitian nationals was a very good one, and he is hopeful that this cordial relationship can be restored.“I tell my people the Government of Dominica; we cannot just say they bad because it was good before, because when I came I didn’t have those kind of problems there, it was good for me it was sweet. If now they have a little issue with us, we have to sit down to see how we can solve the problem. I can say is not the Prime Minister that is the problem, is not the Government, is not the Chief of Police, it is us. That’s why I tell them come to the meeting for us to talk about how they suppose to have a good comportement [behavior] in the country,” Mr. Moise said.Dominica Vibes News
The St. Louis 5th grade Red Team traveled to Mt. Carmel and lost 22-12.The Cards were led offensively by Sam Voegele with six points and Jack Forbeck with four points. Brandon Simmermeyer had two points. Michael Wanstath and Jon Grieshop played excellent defense.The Cards are now 1-2 on the season.Submitted by Coach Rob Schebler.The St. Louis 6th grade boys basketball team lost a close game to the Mt. Carmel Vikings by the score of 22-18.For the second game in a row the Cardinals put together a great defensive effort as the score was tied 12-12 going into the 4th quarter.Jacob Deutsch led the inside game with 6 points and several rebounds. Other contributors in a balanced scoring attack were Joey Gutzwiller with 4 points and Adam Scott, Abe Peetz, Aaron Weber, and Adam Moster with 2 points each.The next game for the Cardinals will be at home on Thursday night November 14th against Laurel. The 5th grade game starts at 6:00 with the 6th grade game immediately after.Submitted by STL Coach Bruce Scott.
INDIANAPOLIS – Area high school students are challenged to sign a statewide pledge to refrain from abusing or sharing prescription drugs.The challenge was initiated by Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller in partnership with the Indiana Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Task Force and the Indianapolis Colts.Zoeller and his partners urge high school students to recognize the dangers of prescription drug abuse and reduce troubling statistics by taking the online pledge.One in five Indiana teenagers has admitted to abusing pills, and recent studies have found that high school football players are more likely to abuse prescription drugs than other athletes.The school with the highest percentage of pledges will win a $5,000 award from the Indianapolis Colts.The award will be presented to the school by the organization and the school will also be featured in Colts media and recognized as a proactive community leader in combatting prescription abuse.To take the pledge students can click here >>The pledge challenge was announced last month and will run through October 22. The winning school will be announced in November.