Rep. Johnson works to develop a culture of peace

first_imgContact Kaitlyn Rabach at [email protected]: congresswoman, eddie bernice johnson, first woman, rep. johnson, saint mary’s, texas house committee When Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX-30) became the first woman in state history to lead a major Texas House committee, the Labor Committee, her supporters knew this would not be the only barrier this Texas native would break.Johnson, who graduated from Saint Mary’s in 1956 with a degree in nursing, was first elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1972. She said her first stint running for office in the Texas State House was largely motivated by timing in her home state and the support of community organizers.“In Texas that year, it was considered the year of the women,” Johnson said. “We had outstanding female candidates for governor, and it was really seen as the year of encouragement. That encouragement extended to my community, and I was pushed to run.”After a successful stint in state office, Johnson said President Jimmy Carter appointed her in 1977 to serve as regional director of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare because he recognized her advocacy for workers, children and families.“I left the administration after President Carter was defeated, and I remained active in the community,” Johnson said. “I had many people suggesting that I get into office again, so that is the reason I ran for the State Senate.”In 1986, Johnson said she was elected a Texas state senator, becoming the first female and African American from the Dallas area to hold this office since the Reconstruction. In 1992, she retired from the state senate because she was encouraged to run for Congress.Johnson began her term in the House of Representatives in January 1993.‘Confident about the education I received’Although she said she does not believe Saint Mary’s as a whole prepared her for a career in politics, she said the College allowed her to feel confident about her educational background.“I think it is important that anyone who decided to run for office have a good educational background,” Johnson said. “I feel very confident about the education I received at Saint Mary’s and am very proud of everything I achieved there.”As the first nurse elected to the House of Representatives, Johnson said her background in psychiatric nursing gave her the skills to work well with people.“The main thing I learned in nursing was the importance of paying attention to detail,” Johnson said. “With this career and training, I developed a strong habit of doing homework and a focus on planning, which I believe has helped me throughout my political career.”Johnson, who serves on the Committee of Science, Space and Technology, said her background in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields gave her the knowledge and ability to contribute to discussion on the committee’s legislation. From 2000 to 2002, she was the ranking member of the subcommittee on Research and Science Education. While on the subcommittee, she said she emphasized education in STEM disciplines.“I really think it is time for America and American women to understand that all professions should be, and for the most part are, open to women,” Johnson said. “Many of the professions that require very strong background in STEM courses have been dominated by males, but we need all the brain power that we can muster to meet the challenges of a global society.”Because of the many strong role models present at the College, Johnson said she was exposed to a strong commitment to social justice on both domestic and international levels.“I had excellent role models among the various nuns, and, of course, we had some professors that were not of order, but the idea of that commitment to people, to the nation, was very impressive,” Johnson said. “Students from all over the world were welcomed, and I think that because of this, I had a very rich experience at Saint Mary’s.”Commitment to peaceAs an African-American woman in the political sphere, Johnson said she has experienced discrimination.“Sometimes I’ve wondered whether I should identify first as an African American or as a woman,” Johnson said. “I have certainly felt and experienced discrimination along the way. I have tried my best to not allow it to get in the way, but rather attempt to practice ways in which I may help those who are prejudice understand that we all — for the most part — want the same things.”Having been involved with several different caucuses, Johnson said she believes all are calling out for peace and equality.After experiencing the 2001 terrorist attacks in Washington, D.C., the congresswoman said she felt she had to do something to reduce war and violence in the world.  In order to do so, she believes women have a very special role as peacekeepers in the world.“Throughout my time in office, I have seen the faces of war firsthand in Bosnia and the Congo,” Johnson said. “After 9/11, I decided I needed to do something, however small, to try to develop a culture of peace in the world.“I had seen on the cover of Newsweek magazine two boys from Liberia who were 12 and 14 years old all dressed in war gear with machine guns, and I just thought enough was enough.”Johnson said in 2001 she founded the “A World of Women for World Peace” initiative, which includes conflict resolution programs for women and girls of all ages. By using several different avenues, including radio, travel and Skype, Johnson said she has been able to communicate with women across the world.“I have learned that, generally speaking, people all over the world really do want peace, even when leadership in those countries seem like they are just there for war, the majority of the people, for the most part, scream out for peace,” Johnson said. “So what I try to do is touch the women to make sure they can speak up and gain leadership positions in those countries to focus on peace and conflict resolution. These women can promote respecting differences instead of war.”Going backAlthough it has been years since Johnson attended Saint Mary’s, she said she still goes back for reunions and has periodically served on different boards, one of which is the board of the Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership (CWIL).Over the past two summers, CWIL has hosted a State Department-sponsored program titled “Study of the United States Institute.” The program brings international women to Saint Mary’s for four weeks of intensive training on women’s leadership. The institute concludes in Washington, D.C.Johnson said she had the opportunity to meet the young women studying at the institute in July 2012 and July 2013.“I was impressed with the questions [the women] asked, and I thought it was an excellent example of how internationally, women can be connected, how to encourage networking and how we can work to fit into this global society that we are in,” Johnson said.Johnson said she is thankful for her experience at the College and stays in touch with other Saint Mary’s alumnae in Congress, particularly, Congresswoman Donna Christensen, U.S. representative for the Virgin Islands.“[Congresswoman Christensen] and I meet up sometimes,” Johnson said. “We know the experience of Saint Mary’s. … A little while back, Father Hesburgh was in D.C. and honored for an award, and we were excited to tell him we were from Saint Mary’s.”last_img read more

Relay for Life to enter 11th year

first_imgThis year’s Relay for Life will be held Friday in Compton Family Ice Arena. According to the relay website, 446 participants from Notre Dame have helped to raise over $105,455 thus far through various fundraising events. The relay Friday will include a variety of activities and entertainment in hopes of raising even more money for cancer research.Freshman Justin McCurdy and senior Andrea Romeros have served as student co-chairs of the event this year. According to Romeros, this is the relay’s 11th year at Notre Dame. Over the past 10 years, Notre Dame has raised over a million dollars for the American Cancer Society, leading to the University winning first place in the Nationwide College Per Capita Income Award and first place in the Nationwide Survivor Engagement. Notre Dame has also been the recipient of 13 American Cancer Society Research Grants, which altogether totals over $4.5 million provided to Notre Dame for cancer research.McCurdy said extensive planning has gone into this year’s relay. Several fundraising events have already been held, including Purple Week, named after the American Cancer Society’s signature color, which culminated in a Purple Dinner held in South Dining Hall to raise awareness for this year’s relay. Other events have included a blood drive and an online auction that will continue until 11 p.m. Friday. Additionally, a ‘Jail and Bail’ will be held Friday, in which students can pay to have peers “arrested” by NDSP and forced to either pay $5 or held in “jail” in LaFortune Student Center.Romeros said support for the Relay has been campus-wide.“So many people have helped prepare for this year’s relay,” Romeros said, “We have both a faculty-run committee and a student-run committee that help plan and promote the event, not to mention all of the teams that have been holding fundraisers. We are just so excited to having everyone come out to Compton on Friday.”This edition of the relay is distinct from years past in that rather than going from 6 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Saturday, it will end at midnight, Romeros said.“This year, we can expect a more devoted crowd of participants,” Romeros said, “Since we have shortened the event … we really hope this will encourage students, faculty, staff and community members to stay throughout the event. Of course, you are free to come and go, but we have planned some really great events and ceremonies.”According to the Relay for Life website, doors will open at 5:30 p.m. Friday, followed by an opening ceremony and kickoff of the relay’s first lap led by survivors, caregivers and the Notre Dame Marching Band at 6:30. Activities throughout the night include the silent auction, balloon twisters, inflatables, a basketball shoot-a-thon, ice sculpting, a Zumbathon, karaoke, broomball and an open skate. A luminary ceremony will be held from 9 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., in which candles in decorated paper bags will be lit in honor of victims, survivors and all community members affected by cancer. Closing ceremonies will begin at 11:45 p.m., and the event will officially end at midnight.“You can just come with your friends and have a good time,” McCurdy said.Students can pre-register for the relay or sign up at the door on the night of the event. Registration costs $10 and is payable by cash, check, credit or Domer Dollars. More information and updates on the event can be found on the relay’s twitter, @NotreDameRelay, Facebook page or website, relay.nd.eduTags: Cancer research, Relay for Lifelast_img read more

U.S. Coast Guard seizes 567 kilograms of cocaine

first_img [The Miami Herald (United States), 01/07/2013; CBS (United States), 01/07/2013] MIAMI, U.S.A. – Crew members of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Northland on July 1 unloaded 567 kilograms of cocaine it seized during a counter-narcotics operation in the Pacific Ocean off the Costa Rican coast on May 29. Lt. Cmdr. Gabe Somma, a Miami Coast Guard spokesperson, said six suspects were arrested in connection with the seizure. The U.S. Coast Guard interdicted about 236,000 pounds of cocaine worth US$3.5 billion and 124,000 pounds of marijuana worth US$112 million during the 2012 fiscal year, Somma added. The interdiction was another success scored under Operation Martillo, a regional counter-narcotics mission that brings together Western Hemisphere and European countries to cut the flow of illicit drugs through Central America. The operation is led by Joint Interagency Task Force South, based in Key West, Fla., but it relies heavily on working with law enforcement and military agencies in other countries. By Dialogo July 02, 2013last_img read more

America East conference postpones competitions, Bearcats to play no games in fall

first_imgIn the best interest of the health & safety of its student-athletes and campus communities, the America East & its member institutions announce a postponement of fall sports for the duration of the first semester.Release: https://t.co/vfwC1XFB7HFAQ: https://t.co/OBX3V7bVw0 pic.twitter.com/NQz9fu80Gq— America East (@AmericaEast) July 17, 2020 The conferences says it will continue to monitor the pandemic and make a decision regarding winter sports at a later date. Health and safety of its players, as well as the importance of a successful return to campus in the fall were some of the reasons listed for the postponement. This means the Binghamton Bearcats will not play any games. (WBNG) — The America East Conference has postponed its Fall 2020 season due to concerns over the coronavirus.last_img read more

Wholesale marketplace Ula secures $10m in seed funding

first_img“A typical [small traditional] store has an 8 to 10 percent cost advantage over modern retailers given that they are usually tax exempt, employ their own family and operate out of their homes,” said Ula’s cofounder Derry Sakti in a written statement on Wednesday.“Yet they are not competitive because of a lack of access to wholesalers and have limited working capital.”He added that small shops sometimes needed to buy supplies in bulk to get better rates, even though they did not require such large amounts.At present, Ula mostly serves customers in East Java, but plans to expand its operations across Java. It also seeks to widen its product range from daily necessities to other categories such as apparel and electronics. Newly established Indonesian wholesale marketplace Ula said it has received US$10.5 million in seed funding led by Sequoia India and Lightspeed India, as it seeks to expand its consumer base across Java.The company, which was launched in January, also received investments from San Francisco-based Alter Global, Sinar Mas-backed conglomerate SMDV, among others, along with several angel investors including Patrick Walujo of private equity firm Northstar.Ula focuses its business on the small store owners, allowing them to buy only the inventory they need, instead of in bulk, while also offering working capital credit. Ula reported it had enjoyed tenfold growth since January with customers returning to buy up to three times their initial volumes, despite the large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) implemented since March to curb the spread of COVID-19.The company cited that in emerging economies like Indonesia, traditional retail contributed to nearly 80 percent of the retail market, employing millions of Indonesians.Last year, more than 2.8 million sellers traded at over 15,600 markets across the country, according to data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS).Sequoia Capital Singapore managing director Abheek Anand said that most retailers in emerging markets like Indonesia were dealing with inefficiencies in the supply chain, inventory and working capital management.“With more and more Indonesian SMEs becoming open to adopting technology, platforms like Ula are an easy, affordable and scalable solution to help these retailers streamline their businesses,” he said.Topics :last_img read more

Traditional charm and character meets modern style and class at this Ascot residence

first_img128 Lancaster Rd, Ascot.Entire walls of glass concertina doors combine the inside with a spacious outdoor courtyard, which boasts established gardens and room for outdoor dining. The first floor also includes a powder room, study and two bedrooms. One bedroom is housed in the original living room, complete with parquetry floors, a fireplace, leadlight windows, an ensuite and walk-in wardrobe. The main bedroom, meanwhile, features an oversized walk-in wardrobe and a graceful ensuite with elongated vanity. Timber stairs with a glass balustrade lead down to the ground floor, where a lounge room with polished hardwood floors, kitchenette and built-in shelving and television cabinet take centre stage. 128 Lancaster Rd, Ascot.The striking interior is highlighted by a vast entertaining area comprised of a semi-secluded retreat with gas fireplace, lounge room with built-in shelving, and dining room with quaint window seating. More from newsFor under $10m you can buy a luxurious home with a two-lane bowling alley5 Apr 2017Military and railway history come together on bush block24 Apr 2019A kitchen brings it all together, featuring white stone benchtops, a walk-in pantry, and quality European appliances, including a gas stovetop and three-door Leibherr fridge. Large clerestory windows ensure an abundance of natural light, while ducted airconditioning maintains year-round comfort. 128 Lancaster Rd, Ascot.128 Lancaster Rd, AscotDesigned by renowned architect Harry Polous, this residence is a picture of modern class, intermingled with yesteryear charm. Nestled on a 653sq m block, it draws in the light and serenity of its natural surrounds through high ceilings and thoughtfully-placed windows and gardens.Stairs lead up past established gardens to the first floor’s regal porched entry.center_img 128 Lancaster Rd, Ascot.Multiple glass doors open out to a timber deck and established gardens. The two downstairs bedrooms both have walk-in wardrobes, as well as private access to the shared bathroom, which boasts a double vanity and frosted-glass shower. Multiple storage closets, a large utility room and a three-car garage provide ample storage space. Listing agent Colin Walters said this renovated property was a truly unique offering in the heart of Ascot, finished to the highest standard with exceptional attention to detail.last_img read more

Jeremy Woolfe: British officials fret over EU pension obligations

first_imgFurther reinforcing the position of British personnel is Article 83 of the EU staff regulations, which states that “benefits paid under this pension scheme shall be charged to the budget of the Union”, while member states “shall jointly guarantee payment of such benefits”.Félix Géradon, of the Union Syndicale, the major union for public-service employees, thus says that one could imagine the remaining EU member states could well request that the UK assume some responsibility for the overall pension expenditure, as part of the ultimate Brexit agreement.As for background figures, the total annual outgoings towards pension payouts for all national groups and for all the EU institutions are estimated, by the Commission, at more than €1.6bn for this year. It is on this – and on the basis that UK participation in the total head-count is low (3.8% in the Commission itself, for example) – that the annual €16.4m pension cost for Brits is based.When it comes to capital liability, according to a Commission source, the EU officials’ pension scheme functions as a “notional fund”, not as a pay-as-you-go scheme. Hence, the argument is, if the liability were to be handed over to a fund, it would have been, for 2014, €58bn. This pension liability is as calculated annually under the International Public Sector Accounting Standard (Ipsas-25). Along the same lines, the total proportion of capital liability for the UK appears to be around €2.2bn.  Evidence of anxiety among British pension beneficiaries, present and future – including, presumably, from Brits in the London-based European Banking Authority – is in the air. One senior British official in Brussels tells IPE that instructions had been sent to Commission staff not to answer questions from the press. And, unusually for him, he did not.Another commentator adds to the disquiet – a Commission retiree informs IPE that enforcement of any judgment, from the European Court of Justice would be beyond the remit of the court. Backing this up, the court itself states that it is up to the relevant member states to implement any ruling.Bearing this in mind, when it comes to the crunch, will the 27 national governments remaining in the EU take their payment-obligation position lying down? Will they agree, during forthcoming Brexit negotiations, to have their taxpayers support the “treacherous” interests of its British “adversary”? And could the opposite, then, apply to any future UK government as well?All of these unanswered questions would seem to justify British officials’ increasingly nervous nail-biting. Our man in Brussels wonders where the post-Brexit burden of UK officials’ pensions might lieFuture negotiations over the UK’s shock decision to leave the European Union (EU) could raise questions over annual payments and capital liability related to pensions for British citizens who work, or have worked, at the various EU institutions. On current estimates, the sums involved represent around €16.4m per year, or a capital total of something to the tune of €2.2bn.As a result, there exists some disquiet among the estimated 1,730 UK nationals now retired from EU institutions. Also involved are the existing British-citizen, EU employees with future pension claims. Their total head count is roughly the same, and includes a precise 1,164 currently working in the European Commission.The vital question is where the burden should fall following the finalisation of the Brexit process. From a legal point of view, the remaining EU 27 member states will have to continue paying the pensions of former staff. This position was supported by a recent letter from EC president Jean-Claude Juncker to British personnel, reassuring them that they “remain Union officials”. Martin Schultz, head of the European Parliament, related a similarly cosy message.last_img read more

Owner of largest UK private sector DC master trust creates CIO role

first_imgAs founder and administrator of The People’s Pension, B&CE will work closely with the trustees to help develop the investment strategy.Aspinall ran his own consultancy before joining B&CE, which he set up after leaving Willis Towers Watson in 2016. He was head of defined contribution (DC) investment consulting at Willis Towers Watson in the UK for four years.He was head of DC and communications for the Barclays Bank UK Retirement Fund before joining Willis Towers Watson.Aspinall was chair of the resource and environment board of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries until July, where he worked to raise the profile of climate change as a consideration for the actuarial profession.Patrick Heath-Lay, CEO at B&CE, said Aspinall brought with him “impressive experience” of creating and implementing investment strategies within the DC market. This would allow B&CE and The People’s Pension “to maximise the effectiveness of our assets and crucially, improve investment outcomes for the group and its members”.Aspinall said: “I am delighted to be joining B&CE, which offers the rare opportunity of working in a not-for-profit environment, to influence the shape of the DC industry, and all dedicated to the benefit of millions of members.”The People’s Pension is the largest private sector multi-employer pension scheme in the UK, with 3 million members and over 65,000 employers. It was created for auto-enrolment. NOW: Pensions, another UK DC master trust provider, recently named Troy Clutterbuck as interim chief executive officer to replace Morten Nilsson, who led the firm since its launch in 2011. The parent company of UK master trust provider The People’s Pension has appointed Nico Aspinall to the newly created role of chief investment officer in anticipation of rapid growth of funds under management.He will be responsible for the investment strategy of The People’s Pension and the other asset pools within B&CE, which had £2.9bn (€3.7bn) of assets under management as at the end of March 2016.A spokesperson told IPE that B&CE had from the outset planned to strengthen its investment capability over time. As it was expecting rapid growth it said it was the right time to bring in a CIO to lead the investment strategy team and drive the investment strategy.The independent trustee board will continue to make the investment strategy decisions, and investment management will continue to be with State Street Global Advisors.last_img read more

Africa needs 12 Billion dollars needed annually to harness renewable energy

first_imgThe World Bank has challenged Africa to do more to harness its renewable energy potential and help connect more communities to electricity. Africa needs an estimated 10 to 12 Billion dollars worth of investment annually to achieve renewable energy targets over the next 15 years.Over the last ten years Africa has generated 10,000 MW of renewable energy at a cost of 21.7 billion dollars. Solar,wind,hydro power and geothermal energy sources in countries like Morocco,South Africa,Ethiopia and Kenya are providing the much needed power to the nations.Investment in the energy sector in Africa in 2014 accounted for 39 percent of the total 326 billion dollars that was invested in infrastructure and energy in that year. The investment on clean energy is 6 billion dollars.The world bank says Africa still needs to do more to utilise its potential.Studies suggest a targeted increase of 100 GW of renewable energy in Africa over the next 15 years will require 10-12 billion dollars per annum. A clear indication that huge financial resources are required to implement national or continental plans.Africa highly aspires to industrialize as soon as possible but power supply can stand on its way.That is why efforts of aggressively investing in energy ,especially renewable energy sector remains to be priority number one for.last_img read more

Doctors want ban on skin-lightening products

first_img 72 Views   no discussions Sharing is caring! Share Share Tweetcenter_img HealthLifestyle Doctors want ban on skin-lightening products by: – January 16, 2013 Share At least one person has reportedly been diagnosed with cancer in Antigua after using a skin-bleaching agent.ST JOHN’S, Antigua, Wednesday January 16, 2013 – Doctors in Antigua and Barbuda are preparing to lobby Cabinet officials to draft and enact legislation to limit the importation and use of skin-lightening products.News of this development was revealed by Caribarena Antigua in a report that quoted physician Patrick Matthew as saying that skin-lightening among the nation’s women had reached critical levels with life-threatening consequences.Matthew reportedly said that recent tests conducted in Antigua revealed alarming levels of mercury in some of the products available, and at least one person has so far been diagnosed with cancer after using such products.The young woman in question has since left for Canada, where further tests will be conducted to confirm the diagnosis and treatment options, according to Caribarena.Matthew reportedly explained that the woman had been diagnosed with high levels of ototoxicity, with unacceptable levels of mercury present.Caribarena further quoted the doctor as saying that residents have seemingly been buying black market products that have been banned in some countries like Jamaica, where skin-lightening practices had to be legislated.Mercury intake is reportedly known to have significant, harmful side effects, including brain damage and birth defects.“We are going to be looking to get some kind of legislation passed to protect our women from the dangers they do not know,” Dr Matthew was quoted as saying.Dermatologist Dr Maria Periera and Dr Jerry Simon are said to be among the local physicians prepared to take the proposal to Cabinet.Similar concerns about skin-lightening agents have been raised in several parts of Africa, according to a recent report by the BBC.Caribbean 360last_img read more