RSF calls for release of whistleblowing website’s editor

first_img RSF_en Follow the news on Tanzania TanzaniaAfrica Condemning abusesOnline freedomsProtecting sources Judicial harassmentFreedom of expressionCitizen-journalistsInternet Melo was arrested at his Dar es Salaam home yesterday after being harassed by the authorities for several months to reveal the identity of anonymous contributors to the site who have helped to exposed major corruption scandals involving leading privately-owned companies. Melo has so far refused to comply with orders issued under article 32 of the very controversial Cybercrimes Act, which gives the police the power to demand such information for the purposes of judicial investigations. In order to be able to respond to these requests, JamiiForums has repeatedly asked the police to say what offences its users are supposed to have committed, but the police have never been able to demonstrate that actual judicial investigations have been initiated. According to Melo’s lawyer, the police have referred their requests to a court for execution without every notifying Jamii Forums. Melo was arrested on the grounds that he did not appear in court for hearings, although he did not know they were taking place. He is facing at least a year in prison or a fine of 3 million shillings (or both) on a charge of obstructing an investigation under article 22 of the Cybercrimes Act although the police have not yet been able to demonstrate that any formal investigation is under way. “We condemn Maxence Melo’s arbitrary arrest, which is meant to intimidate him, and we call for his immediate release,” RSF said. “Judicial issues are being used for political purposes with the aim of gagging the government’s critics. John Magufuli has said a great deal about combatting corruption ever since he became president, but it is the people who exposed corruption who are now being harassed!” As well as asking the police to justify their requests for the identity of sources, Jamii Forums has been challenging the Cybercrimes Act’s constitutionality for the past few months, especially article 32 on disclosing the identity of sources and article 38 allowing interrogations in camera. According to some sources, the Cybercrimes law was drafted specifically with the aim of being used against Jamii Forums, a mainly Swahili-language website on which users can post information anonymously. The site guarantees the anonymity of its users but verifies their identity to prevent disinformation. When Melo met RSF in September, he said more than half of Tanzania’s parliamentarians were subscribers to the site. Several journalists have confirmed that many of their article about corruption were based on information originally reported by Jamii Forums users. Melo’s lawyer Benedict Ishabakaki said: “A source of information is a corner stone of democracy. Once the public is threatened to share information, they are indirectly silenced from demanding accountability and most importantly for advocating for their rights.” Under President Magufuli, who took office in November 2015, the Tanzanian authorities have taken a tougher line with the media. Several radio stations were shut down in the space of a few months and at least ten people have been prosecuted over their posts on social networks. Journalists have told RSF they are no longer free to criticize the president and his associates. If they do, an official soon telephones them and threatens them with prosecution. The Media Services Act that President Magufuli signed into law last month, replacing the Newspaper Act, which dated back to the 1970s, has been much criticized by media organizations and the Media Council of Tanzania, which deplored the failure to take its recommendations into account. The new law provides for heavy prison sentences and fines, and restricts the freedom of journalists by requiring that they be officially registered and by allowing more control of content. It also requires all social media users and contributors to be accredited. Tanzania is ranked 71st out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index. News Organisation to go further February 4, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information November 27, 2020 Find out more Receive email alerts Twitter arbitrarily blocks South African newsweekly and several reporters over Covid vaccine story Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the detention of Maxence Melo, the co-founder and editor of Jamii Forums, East Africa’s leading website for anonymous citizen journalists and whistleblowers, and calls for his immediate release. November 5, 2020 Find out more News Reports News The 2020 pandemic has challenged press freedom in Africa TanzaniaAfrica Condemning abusesOnline freedomsProtecting sources Judicial harassmentFreedom of expressionCitizen-journalistsInternet Tanzanian media unable to cover Covid-19 epidemic December 15, 2016 RSF calls for release of whistleblowing website’s editorlast_img read more

Chairman of Board of Pasadena Armenian Genocide Memorial Announces Resignation

first_imgTOP STORY Chairman of Board of Pasadena Armenian Genocide Memorial Announces Resignation Published on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 | 1:02 pm Community News More Cool Stuff Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. First Heatwave Expected Next Week Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * 5 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it Business News Subscribe Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website center_img Top of the News Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday Make a comment William M. Paparian, former mayor of Pasadena, has announced his resignation as chairman of the board of directors of the Pasadena Armenian Genocide Memorial amid allegations that the board treasurer provided fraudulent background information about himself, that the treasurer failed to follow California law regarding legal filings and that other board members did nothing to address it.“California law requires that the board of directors carry out their responsibilities in good faith and with such care, including reasonable inquiry, as would be used by an ordinarily prudent person,” said Paparian. “It is my belief that the board has failed in that fiduciary obligation owed to the community.”The memorial, approved by the Pasadena City Council in September 2013, has been scheduled to be completed and dedicated at the north side of Memorial Park in April 2015 to mark the 100th anniversary of the killing of 1.5 million Armenians over a three-year period beginning in 1915.On Aug. 6, the webmaster and social media coordinator for the memorial reported to the board that the bio of the treasurer had been removed from the website ( due to the discovery that his claims of being a certified treasury professional and a former paid employee of the cities of West Hollywood, Sierra Madre and Pasadena were false.Three days later, Paparian informed the board that the report from the webmaster was corroborated by a background investigation by another municipality, which found that the treasurer had made material misrepresentations about his professional and educational background in his application for appointment to an advisory committee and that he had been removed as treasurer of an Armenian community organization in Pasadena for the same reasons.The Pasadena Armenian Genocide Memorial Board of Directors severed ties with the webmaster and took no action on the allegations against the treasurer.On Aug. 27, Paparian was informed by the board’s independent certified public accountant that the treasurer had never registered the Pasadena Armenian Genocide Memorial with the California attorney general’s Registry of Charitable Trusts as required by state law, although the treasurer informed the board on May 19, 2013, that he had filed the registration.Paparian also learned that no financial reports had been filed by the treasurer for the past two years with the California attorney general as required by state law. Paparian said he was shocked to learn that the board had been unintentionally receiving donations for the memorial illegally as a result.“Members of the board include a retired police officer, an active duty police officer and a candidate for elected public office,” Paparian said. “It is shameful that the board’s reaction to the treasurer’s fraudulent background information and the unlawful receipt of donations has been denial and coverup. They have failed to take decisive action, which I believe makes them complicit with the treasurer’s actions.”The Pasadena Armenian Genocide Memorial is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization. The Internal Revenue Code prohibits direct or indirect participation in any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for elected public office. Paparian said one of the board members is a candidate for the California Senate and that the board treasurer, who is the candidate’s campaign fundraiser, organized a fundraising event for the candidate in Glendale on June 26 during which attendees were urged to donate to the candidate because of his membership on the board of the memorial.“This put the Pasadena Armenian Genocide Memorial’s nonprofit status at risk and is shameful and disrespectful to the memory of the victims of the Armenian Genocide this project is intended to remember,” Paparian said.“I am the first-born son of a survivor of the Armenian Genocide and have dedicated myself to the pursuit of justice for the Armenian nation all of my adult life, and this was a major focus of my 12 years as an elected public official,” Paparian said. “For the past two and a half years I have worked tirelessly on the Pasadena Armenian Genocide Memorial project.”“My fiduciary obligation as chairman of the board of directors is more than merely a legal requirement; it is part of an unspoken promise to honor and cherish the memory of those who perished in the Armenian Genocide and the triumph of those who survived,” he added. “I cannot continue to be associated with this board of directors since they continue to ignore the facts.” faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Virtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes Community News Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadena EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS HerbeautyWant To Seriously Cut On Sugar? You Need To Know A Few TricksHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty15 Countries Where Men Have Difficulties Finding A WifeHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty10 Secrets That Eastern Women Swear By To Stay Young LongerHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyAmazing Sparks Of On-Screen Chemistry From The 90-sHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyYou Can’t Go Past Our Healthy Quick RecipesHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyFinding The Right Type Of Workout For You According AstrologyHerbeautyHerbeautylast_img read more

Man charged in relation to May disturbances in Derry

first_img Facebook Pinterest By News Highland – July 10, 2018 Twitter News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th Homepage BannerNews Twitter Journey home will be easier – Paul Hegarty Google+ Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows Harps come back to win in Waterford RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHORcenter_img Google+ Facebook Man charged in relation to May disturbances in Derry A 50-year-old man is due at Derry Magistrates Court tomorrow charged with intentionally encouraging or assisting riot.The man was arrested near the scene of disorder in the city last night, however, the charge relates to an incident in Rossville Street in the city on May 28, 2018. WhatsApp WhatsApp Previous articleConwal footpath issues to be raised at September workshopNext articleMeghan and Harry ‘so pleased’ to be in Ireland News Highland DL Debate – 24/05/21 Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic Pinterestlast_img read more

Gardai urge road users not to take unnecessary risks on the roads

first_img Nine til Noon Show – Listen back to Monday’s Programme Google+ Homepage BannerNews Twitter WhatsApp Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Gardai urge road users not to take unnecessary risks on the roads Gardai say the Roads Policing Unit in Buncrana detected a driver who tested positive for drug driving this morning.This afternoon, the Letterkenny Roads Policing Unit also detected a driver who was travelling at a very high speed.Gardai are urging road users not to take unnecessary risks on the roads.Gardai are out on the roads day and night conducting checkpoints, speed checks and patrols and say it only takes one poor decision on the roads to destroy lives. Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows DL Debate – 24/05/21 News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th center_img Previous articleGovernment’s promised €18 million to Global Vaccine AllianceNext article4 new confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Donegal News Highland Google+ Pinterest WhatsApp Facebook Pinterest Facebook Twitter Loganair’s new Derry – Liverpool air service takes off from CODA By News Highland – May 4, 2020 last_img read more

COVID-19 live updates: More European countries limit Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine

first_imgFeb 04, 12:07 pmUS hospitalizations at lowest point since ThanksgivingAcross the U.S., 91,000 patients are in the hospital with COVID-19– the lowest number since Nov. 28, which was two days after Thanksgiving, according to ABC News’ analysis of data compiled by the COVID Tracking Project.Hospitalizations have declined by nearly 30% in the last three weeks.In the span of three weeks, the national seven-day average of daily COVID-19 cases has declined by 45.6% — the steepest and most consistent non-holiday-related drop in cases the U.S. has seen since the summer.Feb 04, 11:25 amDenmark, Norway join growing list of European nations that won’t give Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine to older age groupsDenmark and Norway have joined the growing list of European countries that have said they won’t recommend older age groups receive the COVID-19 vaccine developed by England’s University of Oxford and British-Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca until more data from clinical trails becomes available.The Danish Health Authority said Thursday that it will recommend the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine to people under the age of 65 who are not at risk of serious illness from COVID-19. The drugs regulator citied a lack of documentation as to the vaccine’s efficacy in older age groups.Meanwhile, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health said it will also limit use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine to those under 65 because there had been few participants older than that in the trial conducted by AstraZeneca.Belgium, France and Germany have made similar moves recently, while Switzerland went a step further and declined to authorize the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine for any age group, citing insufficient data.Feb 04, 11:02 amCOVID-19 fatality rate in Africa is now higher than global averageThe director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday that the COVID-19 fatality rate on the 54-nation continent “is becoming very troubling,” as it climbs higher than the global average.John Nkengasong told reporters during a press conference that the death rate from COVID-19 in Africa, the world’s second-largest and second-most populous continent, is now 2.6% while the global rate is 2.2%.Nkengasong said 20 African nations, including South Africa and Sudan, have COVID-19 fatality rates higher than the global average as the continent grapples with new, more contagious variants of the virus. More than 3.5 million people across Africa have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic and nearly 89,000 of them have died, according to the latest data from the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.The African Union regional bloc has secured 670 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from various manufacturers. In addition, the continent is expecting around 600 million doses from the vaccine-sharing facility COVAX.Feb 04, 9:59 amDoses secured to vaccinate all US Capitol Police personnelEnough COVID-19 vaccine doses have been secured to inoculate all U.S. Capitol Police personnel, according to Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman, who credited “efforts of the Congressional Leadership, especially House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Administration.”The federal police force has been hit hard by COVID-19 infections since the Jan. 6 siege at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.“The Department expects delivery of the vaccines to occur shortly, and is already working with the Office of Attending Physician on logistics to administer them to our employees as quickly and safely as possible,” Pittman said in a statement Thursday.Feb 04, 9:45 amDoses secured to vaccinate all Capitol police personnelEnough vaccine doses have been secured to inoculate all Capitol Police personnel, Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman said in a statement, crediting “efforts of the Congressional Leadership, especially House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Administration.”The Capitol Police Department has been hit hard by COVID-19 infections since the Jan. 6 siege at the Capitol.“The Department expects delivery of the vaccines to occur shortly, and is already working with the Office of Attending Physician on logistics to administer them to our employees as quickly and safely as possible,” Pittman said.Feb 04, 8:54 amAnother 779,000 Americans filed for unemployment insurance last weekAnother 779,000 workers lost their jobs and filed for unemployment insurance in the United States last week, the U.S. Department of Labor said Thursday, as the pandemic-induced economic crisis continues to upend the labor market.This is a decrease of some 33,000 compared to the previous week’s figure, though the latest tally remains highly elevated by historical standards. Moreover, the Labor Department said that some 17.8 million people were still claiming some form of unemployment benefits through all programs as of the week ending Jan. 16. For the comparable week last year, that figure hovered just above two million. Thursday’s jobless claims tally comes ahead of Friday’s highly-anticipated jobs report — the first to be released since U.S. President Joe Biden took office. The report is expected to paint a more complete picture of the state of the U.S. labor market and the pace of the recovery.Feb 04, 8:51 amIsrael expands vaccination drive to anyone over 16Israel is now offering COVID-19 vaccines to anyone over the age of 16.“From this morning, anyone over the age of 16 can get vaccinated,” Israeli Health Minister Yuli Edelstein announced via Twitter on Thursday. “Take advantage of the opportunity that almost no country in the world has.”The Israeli government aims to vaccinate the country’s entire population of nine million people against COVID-19 by the end of March. So far, more than 3.3 million individuals have received their first dose of the vaccine, including over 1.9 million who have also gotten their second dose, according to Edelstein.Israel has confirmed more than 672,000 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, including just under 5,000 deaths, according to data complied by Johns Hopkins University.Feb 04, 7:25 amCOVAX unveils plan to distribute over 330 million vaccine doses to poorer nationsThe COVAX Facility has announced its plan to distribute more than 330 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to developing nations in the first half of 2021.In an interim distribution forecast published Wednesday, the vaccine-sharing facility said distribution would cover an average of 3.3% of total populations of 145 countries taking part in the first rounds. The allocation includes 336 million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine — 240 million manufactured by the Serum Institute of India plus 96 million made by AstraZeneca — as well as 1.2 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.The COVAX Facility, which is coordinated by the World Health Organization, Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, noted that the plan is “non-binding and may be subject to change,” with allocations and distributions subject to a number of caveats, including WHO emergency-use approval for vaccines and countries’ readiness.“We will soon be able to start delivering life-saving vaccines globally, an outcome we know is essential if we are to have any chance of being able to beat this pandemic,” Seth Berkley, chief executive of Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, said at a press conference Wednesday.Feb 04, 6:18 amUS death toll from COVID-19 tops 450,000An additional 3,912 fatalities from COVID-19 were registered in the United States on Wednesday, bringing the country’s cumulative total over the 450,000 mark, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.Wednesday’s tally is still less than the country’s all-time high of 4,466 new deaths on Jan. 12, Johns Hopkins data shows.There were also 121,469 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed nationwide on Wednesday, down from a peak of 300,282 newly confirmed infections on Jan. 2, according to Johns Hopkins data.COVID-19 data may be skewed due to possible lags in reporting over the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday weekend last month.A total of 26,557,031 people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and at least 450,805 have died, according to Johns Hopkins data. The cases include people from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and other U.S. territories as well as repatriated citizens.Much of the country was under lockdown by the end of March as the first wave of the pandemic hit. By May 20, all U.S. states had begun lifting stay-at-home orders and other restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The day-to-day increase in the country’s cases then hovered around 20,000 for a couple of weeks before shooting back up over the summer.The numbers lingered around 40,000 to 50,000 from mid-August through early October before surging again to record levels, crossing 100,000 for the first time on Nov. 4, then reaching 200,000 on Nov. 27 before topping 300,000 on Jan. 2.So far, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized two COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use — one developed by U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, and another developed by American biotechnology company Moderna and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. More than 33 million vaccine doses have been administered nationwide, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved. Ovidiu Dugulan/iStockBy MORGAN WINSOR, ERIN SCHUMAKER, IVAN PEREIRA and EMILY SHAPIRO, ABC News(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now infected more than 104.5 million people worldwide and killed over 2.27 million of them, according to real-time data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.Here’s how the news is developing Thursday. All times Eastern:last_img read more

Facility level measurement of offshore oil and gas installations from a medium-sized airborne platform: method development for quantification and source identification of methane emissions

first_imgEmissions of methane (CH4) from offshore oil and gas installations are poorly ground-truthed, and quantification relies heavily on the use of emission factors and activity data. As part of the United Nations Climate & Clean Air Coalition (UN CCAC) objective to study and reduce short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs), a Twin Otter aircraft was used to survey CH4 emissions from UK and Dutch offshore oil and gas installations. The aims of the surveys were to (i) identify installations that are significant CH4 emitters, (ii) separate installation emissions from other emissions using carbon-isotopic fingerprinting and other chemical proxies, (iii) estimate CH4 emission rates, and (iv) improve flux estimation (and sampling) methodologies for rapid quantification of major gas leaks. In this paper, we detail the instrument and aircraft set-up for two campaigns flown in the springs of 2018 and 2019 over the southern North Sea and describe the developments made in both the planning and sampling methodology to maximise the quality and value of the data collected. We present example data collected from both campaigns to demonstrate the challenges encountered during offshore surveys, focussing on the complex meteorology of the marine boundary layer and sampling discrete plumes from an airborne platform. The uncertainties of CH4 flux calculations from measurements under varying boundary layer conditions are considered, as well as recommendations for attribution of sources through either spot sampling for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) ∕ δ13CCH4 or using in situ instrumental data to determine C2H6–CH4 ratios. A series of recommendations for both planning and measurement techniques for future offshore work within marine boundary layers is provided.last_img read more

Hilary term 2021: when does your undergraduate course resume?

first_imgGroup 2 – 25th January The University has advised students to arrive at least four days before whichever date applies to their course in order to take two lateral flow tests. Colleges have issued advice to their students about how they should plan their return to accommodation in light of social-distancing guidelines and when in-person teaching for their subject resumes. Social SciencesBA GeographyBA Human Sciences Undergraduate courses are listed below according to which group they fall into. Group 1 – 18th January MPLSBA/MBiol BiologyMChem ChemistryBA/MEarthSci Earth SciencesBA GeologyMEng Engineering ScienceBA/MEng Materials ScienceBA/MPhys PhysicsBA/MPhysPhil Physics and Philosophy Following the publication of new guidance from the government for students returning to university after the Christmas vacation, Oxford University has staggered when in-person teaching is due to begin in Hilary term. For some students, this will mean they do not need to return to Oxford until first week to begin in-person lessons in second week. Social SciencesBA Archaeology and AnthropologyBA Economics and ManagementBA JurisprudenceBA Jurisprudence (with Law in Europe)BA Philosophy, Politics and Economicscenter_img Humanities – * indicates that students in years which were not directed to return by 18th January should now do so.BA Ancient and Modern History*BA Classical Archaeology and Ancient History*BA Classics*BA Classics and English*BA Classics and Modern LanguagesBA Classics and Oriental StudiesBA English and Modern Languages*BA English Language and Literature*BA European and Middle Eastern Languages*BA History and Economics*BA History and English*BA History and Modern Languages*BA History and Politics*BA History of ArtBA History*BA Modern LanguagesBA Modern Languages and LinguisticsBA Oriental Studies*BA Philosophy and Modern LanguagesBA Philosophy and TheologyBA Religion and Oriental StudiesBA Theology and Religion Medical SciencesMBiochem BiochemistryBA Experimental PsychologyBA Psychology, Philosophy and LinguisticsPre-clinical (years 1-3) and Clinical (years 4-6) Medicine Graduate Entry Medicine Subjects have been sorted into two groups. In-person teaching for courses in group one will begin from Monday 18th January, and Monday 25th for group two. Subjects requiring in-person practicals such as sciences and medicine, and finalists reading for humanities have been prioritised for return at the beginning of term. For students studying subjects in group two, any scheduled teaching which takes place before their return date will take place online. HumanitiesBA Ancient and Modern History – Finalists onlyBA Classical Archaeology and Ancient History – Finalists onlyBA Classics – Year 2 onlyBA Classics and English – Finalists onlyBA English and Modern Languages – Finalists onlyBA English Language and Literature – Finalists onlyBA European and Modern Languages (Arabic) Finalists onlyBA Fine ArtBA History and Economics – Finalists onlyBA History and English – Finalists onlyBA History and Modern Languages – Finalists onlyBA History and Politics – Finalists onlyBA History – Finalists onlyBA MusicBA Oriental Studies – Arabic, and Arabic and Islamic Studies Finalists onlyBachelor of Philosophy MPLSBA/MCompSci Computer ScienceBA/MCompSciPhil Computer Science and PhilosophyBA/MMath MathematicsBA/MMath Mathematics and StatisticsBA/MMathCompSci Mathematics and Computer ScienceBA/MMathPhil Mathematics and Philosophy The Pro-Vice Chancellor and Chair of the Conference of Colleges have recommended that students refer to communications from their department and college, and the Christmas vacation section of the university’s coronavirus website for further information.last_img read more

Another step in the wrong direction

first_imgThe world made a down payment on decades of dangerous weather last month, reaching an average atmospheric carbon dioxide level above 400 parts per million.“No human being — ever — has witnessed this atmosphere, so breathe in deeply,” Daniel Schrag, the Sturgis Hooper Professor of Geology and the director of the Harvard University Center for the Environment, said Monday during an event at the Geological Lecture Hall.Though daily carbon dioxide concentrations did top 400 parts per million at times last year, April marked the first time the monthly average topped that mark, reaching 401.33 ppm, according to Ralph Keeling, a Scripps Institution of Oceanography geochemist and son of the late Charles Keeling, whose “Keeling curve” alerted the world to rising carbon dioxide levels in the 1960s.At one point during the conversation, Keeling was asked how to persuade climate change skeptics and create greater momentum for action. He called for a stronger emphasis on outreach and building trust.“Just shouting louder doesn’t do it, they’ve already tuned us out. You don’t build trust by shouting louder.”The event, titled “Brave New World! Entering an Age of Climate Change Beyond 400 PPM,” was sponsored by the Harvard University Center for the Environment and included a video address from former Vice President Al Gore. It came a day before a major report from the National Climate Assessment warned that climate change is already being felt across the United States — dry regions are growing drier, torrential rainstorms are increasing, heat waves and wildfires are becoming more severe, and forests are under attack from invasive pests accustomed to warmer temperatures.Four hundred ppm is not a functional climate threshold that will suddenly trigger more dire consequences, Keeling and Schrag noted. It is, however, an indication that our best chance to avoid climate change has passed. Carbon dioxide concentrations are now nearly 50 percent higher than preindustrial levels, thought to have been 270 to 280 parts per million. A system as huge and complex as the planet’s atmosphere changes slowly; even a dramatic response tomorrow — cutting emissions to zero — would likely be too late to halt dramatic effects.“We’re way out of the natural range,” Keeling said. “If there’s a symbol of us being at a dangerous level, it’s that we’re already at 400 parts per million.”Though Gore expressed optimism that significant action to address the problem was possible — citing changing public attitudes and declines in prices for renewable energy supplies — Keeling didn’t share that feeling.With fossil fuel burning largely unabated today, there’s little chance of stabilizing atmospheric carbon dioxide within a few decades at 450 ppm, he said. Five hundred ppm, nearly double pre-industrial levels, is a more likely target, Keeling said — one that would be preferable to accelerated burning with no controls. He estimated that the Earth has enough fossil fuel reserves for atmospheric carbon dioxide to approach 2000 ppm, a level that would undoubtedly have devastating consequences and take thousands of years to lower significantly.Halting carbon dioxide rise wouldn’t take a complete cessation of burning fossil fuels, Keeling said. Scientists have known for some time that the increase has been slower than expected from the levels of fossil fuel burning. This is because the ocean and land act as carbon “sinks,” absorbing significant amounts of carbon dioxide — roughly 43 percent of our emissions, meaning fossil fuels would have to be reduced by 57 percent to stop the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. (Though ideally the actual reduction would be a bit more, Keeling said, to compensate for an expected slow decline in absorption by natural carbon sinks.)International organizations seeking to address climate change have called for an effort to minimize warming to an average of 2 degrees centigrade. That target is probably too high to avert dangerous change, Keeling said, and also low enough that there’s probably no way to avoid it.“If we’re worried about dangerous climate interference, I think what we have to accept now is that we’re already there,” Keeling said. “We shouldn’t be talking about avoiding dangerous climate interference, we should be accepting that something like 400 ppm is already a threshold. There’s a loss of innocence that we’ve already bought into this problem deeply enough that the conversation has to change to being what do we do next.”last_img read more

Back where she began, but much changed

first_imgThis is one in a series of profiles showcasing some of Harvard’s stellar graduates.Graduate student Talia Gillis, quarantining in Israel, planned to have her own commencement ceremony upon graduating from Harvard Law School.“My father will act as Middlesex Sheriff, my mother will be the Class Day speaker, and my husband, Avi, will receive an honorary degree for his work on crowd control. Elia (age 3) will deliver his address in Latin.”A year ago, Gazette readers were introduced to Gillis, who was undertaking two doctoral programs while pregnant with twins and chasing a toddler at home.Along with husband, Avi Turgeman, Gillis and all three children (Elia and year-old twins Bella and Libi) arrived in Israel on March 15. When they came out of their 14-day quarantine, COVID-19 had locked down the country.While the government is now starting to allow people to return to work and young children to return to school, Gillis predicts another lockdown. In the meantime, her family of four adults and three children share office and play space in the 1,000 square feet in which she grew up. Her parents’ apartment looks nothing like some of the serene Facebook posts she’s seen. Instead, says Gillis, their days are “chaotic crisis management” — but that didn’t stop her from writing her thesis from her childhood bedroom.Talia Gillis doing yoga with her 3-year-old son, Elia.Gillis drew inspiration from female advisers and mentors. Together they shared thoughts and experiences and she gained some perspective on being a mother and having an academic career. Like many graduate student parents, their lives consisted of carefully crafted child care plans, and the difficult reconciliation of graduate studies with family life, and Gillis stressed the importance of good and affordable child care even during good times.In harder times, such as in the current pandemic, Gillis, who is also an economist, said, “I think that the current crisis will have a profound effect on household finances and financial decision-making, topics which I have studied for the past few years. We often highlight the fact that many households don’t have access to the required liquid funds if they incur a cost like a medical bill or car repair, let alone the funds to weather a pandemic. I expect we will learn a lot about the ways in which people accumulate debt and how life experiences shape overall financial resilience.“I think the crisis puts the spotlight on the implications of economic inequality and lack of public health services accessible to all,” she continued. “It also highlights how mutually dependent we are on one another in maintaining public health, within the U.S. and worldwide. I hope that my kids do not experience another pandemic in their lifetime, but that we also internalize that when many people are financially and socially fragile in the best of times, the implications at a time of crisis are catastrophic.”From a March 2019 photo session in Cambridge, Talia Gillis and husband Avi following the birth of twins, Bella (left) and Libi. Rose Lincoln/Harvard file photoGillis plans to return to the U.S. in the summer and begin a position as an associate professor at Columbia Law School, teaching contracts to 1Ls in the fall. To increase her chances of having an in-person commencement at Harvard, she will postpone her business economics Ph.D. graduation for a few months.These days, her family spends as much time as they can on their balcony or in the garden enjoying Jerusalem’s beautiful spring weather. Wrote Gillis, “Thankfully, my family is doing well … Being around family has been great, especially for the kids, who get to spend time with their grandparents. It’s also good for morale because with four adults there is more likely to be at least one optimist at any given time.” Home and economics Talia Gillis became pregnant with twins while taking on two doctoral programscenter_img Relatedlast_img read more

How Customers Are Redefining Their Businesses

first_imgBefore leaving baggage claim during a recent business trip, I checked into my hotel, made dinner reservations using OpenTable, and ordered car service via Uber. These seamless real-time mobile experiences were impossible just a few short years ago. But, in business (and life), the only true constant is change. As advances in technology become the agents of enablement, those who adapt quickly and with purpose are the ones most likely to succeed.This shift to mobile and real-time transactions is a major movement in the IT industry that Jeremy Burton addressed in Crossing the Bridge to the 3rd Platform of IT. With the 3rd platform ushering in the age of social enablement, the real time data capabilities of next generation applications connect customers and our smart devices in ways that were previously unimaginable.As a part of EMC’s Executive Briefing Program, I have the opportunity to witness the impact of this shift with thousands of our customers and partners across a range of industries and geographies. It’s no surprise that they recognize the need to redefine their businesses to embrace mobile, social, and real-time analytics. This shift ultimately forces many companies – EMC included – to reevaluate their strategy and evolve to remain relevant. For EMC, this changing landscape means transforming from a storage infrastructure provider to a Federation of strategically aligned companies that enable and redefine businesses accordingly.I’ve observed that a couple of these are areas of particular interest to customers right now:The 3rd Platform of Information TechnologyWhile the 3rd platform intrigues customers, some aren’t ready to fully commit. Though the potential and value in these emerging applications is clear, customers struggle with balancing competing priorities. Most are still entrenched in the necessity and complexity of the 2nd platform, but they look to us for advice on investing wisely in new areas without making significant sacrifices to these ongoing operations.However, early adopters are not only embracing the mix of 2nd and 3rd platform, they are also gravitating towards a software-defined enterprise that combines virtualization of storage, network, and application deployment frameworks.By embracing virtualization, automation and infrastructure orchestration, these customers also have a clear understanding of their application workloads and have achieved the “>90% virtualized” milestone—their reconciliation of performance, capacity, and data services enable them to leverage the platforms best suited to deliver on these requirements.The EMC Federation StrategyThe move to the 3rd platform ultimately forces many companies to reevaluate their strategy and evolve to remain relevant. For EMC, this means redefining our approach from a storage infrastructure provider to a Federation of strategically aligned companies supporting customers’ current and future needs.In Our EMC Federation Strategy, Joe Tucci explains the Federation and the alignment of the four major component companies: Pivotal, VMware, RSA and EMC Information Infrastructure. As individual entities, each is an industry leader, and together they offer a comprehensive approach providing end-to-end enablement that bridges all three platforms.In briefings, customers have been very receptive to the Federation strategy. Many see the Federation as a way to ensure complete solutions, and they highlight benefits similar to that of VCE—the Federation enabling a streamlined approach to purchasing and support, with solutions that have been validated across domains.“Choice” is also resonating significantly well with customers, and they appreciate the Federation’s commitment to ensuring customer choice while allowing for a rich set of offerings and support in the larger ecosystem of providers, competitors, and partners.As we redefine our business, products, and ourselves, face-to-face conversations allow us to explore current and future customer needs.If you’re looking to learn more about EMC, our strategy, products, or solutions, let me know—we’re always happy to arrange a briefing for you with any or all of our Federation teams.last_img read more