Speech: Penny Mordaunt’s speech at Safeguarding Summit

first_imgThank you for being here on this important day.Today we will start the vital change this sector needs.Your task is to start laying the foundations to rebuild the credibility of the aid sector on this issue, both here and overseas.Today, I want you to come up with the ideas and initiatives we can take forward the practical tools, processes and protocols to ensure we protect the people we are here to serve.Unless, we do all we can to prevent wrongdoing, and unless we can hold all those who do wrong to account, we will have failed in our duty to protect the most vulnerable.As you know, I wrote to every UK charity, which receives UK aid directly, asking that they provide me with a statement of assurance on four key areas:Their safeguarding environment and policies, their organisational culture, their clarity and transparency, and their handling of allegations and incidents.I also asked them to confirm that they have referred any and all concerns on specific cases and individuals to the relevant authorities, including prosecuting authorities.All 179 organisations have given me their statement of assurance, and many gave additional details on reporting and allegations.We are following up with 37 organisations to gain further clarity on their assurance, or reporting, and will issue a summary of all our analysis when this work is completeBut this exercise is not just about receiving assurances.It marks the starting point from which we must now build.Across the returns, we saw important examples of good practice, but overall, there was too little evidence in the areas of robust risk management, comprehensive reporting, responsibility being taken at the highest level for safeguarding, and of beneficiaries always being put first.So if we are to meet our duty, then the sector must raise standards.I am determined that DFID will play its full part in this.So, from today, DFID will put in place new, enhanced and specific safeguarding standards for the organisations we work with.These standards will include an assessment of codes of conduct, how organisations identify and respond to incidents, and how their risk management places safeguarding and beneficiaries at the very core.That assessment will set the bar at a level of the very best – a bar that we will continue to push higher – from our work here today and in the time to come.Our standards will be world-leading. They will be tough and exacting.Organisations should not bid for new funding unless they are prepared to meet these tough new standards.We will not approve funds to them unless they pass our new standards.We will also start to apply these new standards to organisations we have ongoing work with.And will ensure that all those standards can apply to all our partners, big and small.DFID is holding itself to these high standards we expect of others and today, I can also confirm that DFID’s internal review into historic allegations involving DFID staff has concluded.Our Permanent Secretary Matthew Rycroft will say more on this later, but I think it was vital that we went back through every record we have, since they began, to check action has been taken. And if any new information comes to light through our continued efforts we will ensure appropriate action is taken on this.The sector must do the same, and pay particular attention to the issue of reviewing and reporting historic cases. We expect all who wish to work with us, and indeed any organisation that works on development, to take this issue as an urgent priority.Why?Because only by reporting can we identify and bring to justice predatory individuals.And it is those predatory individuals who concern me most.My message to those who have sought to exploit this sector and the human tragedy in which it operates, is this – we will all share information we have with law enforcement.We will find you.We will bring you to justice.Your time is up.This summit is a critical moment to learn lessons and drive up standards across the entire aid sector.Now is the time for action and for the British aid sector to take a lead. To set standards, a template and an example, for the rest of the world to follow.To keep people safe we need to find a way staff can be properly vetted and monitored as they move between organisations and countries.We need to find a way to hear the voices of the people we serve, so we can respond when they tell us they are being mistreated.Would the Oxfam case, or the abuse of women in Syria, have persisted if those victims’ voices were listened to?And we must have thorough assurance and auditing of the sector.We must share our ideas and learn how to keep on improving our safeguarding measures. We need continuous training and professional development.And we must ensure smaller organisations – who are such an asset to the sector- are supported and able to meet these standards too.These are the outcomes I want to see. Now begins your task of finding the solutions.Your plans will be put into action.Our partners will sign up to them.Other nations will follow our lead.Let us ensure that the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people are always our first priority.Let us ensure that there is no hiding place for those who wish to exploit the vulnerable in our sector.Let us ensure that the British public can take pride in everything that is done in their name, in the lives you save, in the hope you bring, and in the immense good you do in this sector.Let us put this right.Thank you.last_img read more

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News story: Search on for Commissioner to lead response on domestic abuse

first_img plans for a statutory government definition of domestic abuse so that no one is in any doubt of the range of behaviours it entails introducing new Domestic Abuse Protection Orders (DAPOs), to give courts the power to place conditions on domestic abuse perpetrators putting the guidance on which the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme is based into statute The Designate Commissioner will be placed on a statutory footing once the Domestic Abuse Bill passes through Parliament. The position was created ahead of the Bill’s introduction to ensure the government’s response to all domestic abuse issues is as robust as possible.The Designate Commissioner will also be required to establish an Advisory Board, composed of civil society groups, service providers, victims and experts, and a Victims and Survivors Advisory Group composed entirely of victims and survivors.Both groups will provide expert advice and ensure that the Designate Commissioner is carrying out the job in an appropriate manner.The role has also been designed to complement work undertaken by other advisors within government and because of the specific need to tackle domestic abuse issues. The Designate Commissioner will work collaboratively with others, such as the Victims’ Commissioner, when there are overlapping issues.This is part of the government’s work to transform the response to domestic abuse and go further to support the 2 million people who suffer the crime each year.The public consultation ahead of the Domestic Abuse Bill received approximately 3,200 responses.Measures the government consulted on included: I am absolutely committed to transforming the response to domestic abuse to ensure victims and their loved ones who are affected by this devastating crime receive the support they need. Having a Designate Domestic Abuse Commissioner to focus solely on domestic abuse issues will be a turning point in how we respond to this crime. Domestic abuse is a complex and hidden crime so I am confident that the Commissioner will help shine a light on the issues. A Designate Domestic Abuse Commissioner is to be appointed to help the government transform its response to domestic abuse.Today (Tuesday 4 December) the Home Office has announced it is launching recruitment for the new Commissioner, who will be charged with standing up for victims and survivors, providing public leadership on domestic abuse concerns and driving the response to issues.The candidate will also give recommendations to the government and local bodies on how provisions could be improved and highlight where best practice is taking place. The Commissioner will also look at the needs of victims and survivors from minority or marginalised groups, and children affected by domestic abuse.Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerabilities Minister Victoria Atkins said: When the government held a public consultation on the creation of a commissioner as part of the Domestic Abuse Bill it was supported by two thirds of respondents.For further information on the recruitment campaign visit the Cabinet Office website.The Victims’ Commissioner is required to promote the interests of all victims and witnesses, encourage good practice in their treatment, and keep under review the operation of the Victims’ Code.A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be put in place early next year to formalise the working relationship between these roles.last_img read more

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Horror’s human side

first_imgLaura van den Berg teaches fiction workshops as a Briggs-Copeland Lecturer in Harvard’s Creative Writing Program. In her new novel, “The Third Hotel,” van den Berg writes about a young widow who travels to Cuba after the death of her husband, a horror film scholar. Born and raised in Florida, van den Berg has published two story collections and the novel “Find Me,” which was longlisted for the 2016 International Dylan Thomas Prize. We talked to her about formative slasher movies, losing your bearings, and having the good fortune of writing “The Third Hotel” in a haunted house.Q&ALaura van den BergGAZETTE: When did your interest in horror films develop?VAN DEN BERG: I started watching in college. There were all these slasher films — the “Scream” movies, “I Know What You Did Last Summer” — and this, to my mind, was around the time when the “final girl” trope — the last female character alive to confront the killer — entered into the popular lexicon. Being scared by a movie offers a safe catharsis, because the terror is confined to the screen. It’s an adrenalin spike, and when I come back down, I feel a bit more leveled. And the best horror has a way of distilling really potent human questions, by using extreme dislocations of reality to explore human questions that are fundamental and central: instability around trust and intimacy; the idea that your secrets will undo you; our inability to reckon with history and the cost of that looking away; the peculiar doors that transformative experiences, from grief to parenthood to trauma, might swing open. As a writer who naturally veers toward the strange and the disorienting, the genre always resonated for me.GAZETTE: How did you come to set “The Third Hotel” in Cuba?VAN DEN BERG: There were converging reasons. When I’m between projects, I keep a journal I call a “thought log,” and it’s my practice to write down whatever interests me. For a while, a handful of subjects kept coming up — travel, in the context of both work and tourism, horror films (including a film called “Juan of the Dead,” regarded by many as Cuba’s first horror film), marriage, and so on. So I had this constellation of narrative elements, some of which I sensed might be conversant with contemporary Havana.I was born and raised in Orlando, a place where economy and culture have been powerfully shaped by tourism, so I’ve long been interested in that landscape, and when the U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba were loosened, Havana was suddenly the toast of every American travel magazine. I became interested in how the city was being narrated — what was being highlighted, what was getting left out entirely.Later, I attended a talk at Harvard’s David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies given by Paloma Duong, who is in the global studies and languages department at MIT. She was speaking about consumer culture in contemporary Havana and I was struck by the similarities between the vocabulary used to discuss tourism and cinematic language: lenses, gazes, angles. That was one moment where I began to see how cinema and travel and tourism could all intersect.GAZETTE: How long has the thought log been part of your writing process?VAN DEN BERG: Maybe five or so years. For this book, I had been taking notes and assembling these little pieces for a long time, but I didn’t know how they’d fit together. Then I had a fellowship from January to June of 2015 at Bard College. Two things happened at Bard that made the setting feel lightly supernatural and really shaped the world of the book. One is that I am fairly sure the house I was living in was haunted. There was a set of pull-down attic steps that would unfold in the middle of the night. I’d walk out in the morning and it would be unfolded and you’d look up into this dark abyss. My dog isn’t a senseless barker, and he would sit in the corner and bark and bark. During that fellowship, I also received some difficult family news. When I got the call, I was driving and I drove my car into a shallow ditch. Working every day in a setting that felt ghosted definitely bled into the story.GAZETTE: Have you taught horror in your creative writing courses here?VAN DEN BERG: I teach fiction in my workshops and some of the readings could be classified as horror. For example, “House Taken Over,” a short story by Julio Cortázar, is a work I regularly teach. It’s about adult siblings being pursued by an unnamed presence in the house; the space they occupy gets smaller and smaller until they are forced out on the street. The story can be read many different ways — as a character study, as a political allegory, as a psychological horror. The unnamed menace is made more powerful by the layers and the ambiguity.GAZETTE: In “The Third Hotel,” your protagonist Clare’s inability to separate reality from imagination fuels the narrative. Can you talk about this state of grief?VAN DEN BERG: In my own life, I have found grief to be enormously distorting, particularly if it’s sudden or extreme in nature. What made sense doesn’t make sense anymore. The rules of your life have been dismantled, and the way you track the world doesn’t work. With Clare, my interest resided in how she would respond to this state of profound unmooring. Her anchor has been pulled up and she’s lost her bearings in an extreme way. Also, she is a solo traveler, which I find heightens whatever emotional state one is in. There’s no getting away from yourself.GAZETTE: There is so much death and decline in the book. Can you talk about the constellation of themes?VAN DEN BERG: Dynamic layering is something I’m always aspiring to. How those layers come to be is a slippery process, and in a lot of ways one that happens on an unconscious plane. I keep my thought log, which bleeds over to my writing. I travel. I think about the dynamics of travel. I think about transit spaces, those zones of intimacy and anonymity. I think about how we talk about the places we go to. I listen and I watch and I read. All of that matter informs the pages.In the early drafts, I’m trying to let the world live; in the later ones, I’m trying to think more strategically. Zadie Smith has a great essay called “That Crafty Feeling” in which she talks about building a novel with scaffolding — how it can help, and also remembering to take it down later in the process. We use all sorts of false architecture to build our worlds and then we have to disassemble those materials.Both my novels underwent many permutations that were wholly necessary. The inherent challenge is to force yourself to confront where you’ve been fearful and where you’ve been lying to yourself, or the project’s growth will be seriously impeded. In my first novel, I hung on to scaffolding way too long. I worried that if I pull out this piece, the whole Jenga tower would collapse. The most liberating thing I did at a residency — this when I was working on my first novel in the summer of 2013 — was delete 100 pages of my book in a fit of delicious clarity. I emptied the trash and threw out my flash drives. Alas, this discovery occurred late in the game, in year six!With my second novel, I was a little more ruthless. If I read a chapter and felt nauseous with dissatisfaction, I deleted it — even if there was a blank space there for a while. I wanted the book to have this feverish, hallucinogenic quality and I wanted it to be as compact as possible, so if something didn’t feel essential, I got rid of it.Interview was edited for clarity and length. Van den Berg will be joined by her husband, fellow fiction writer and Briggs-Copeland Lecturer Paul Yoon, for a conversation about “The Third Hotel” Tuesday at Harvard Book Store.last_img read more

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We’re Ready For An Epic EMC World, Are You?

first_imgWhile we’ve been busy working with our customers to modernize their data centers, we’ve also been busy modernizing EMC World, preparing to make 2016 the best event to date! This year we’re delivering an exciting lineup of educational tracks, sessions, speakers, and events to help turn plans into actions. In addition, we will be setting the vision for the new company we will become in combination with Dell.The theme of our 16th annual EMC World is Modernize and we can’t wait to join customers, partners, media and analysts over an exciting four days in Las Vegas. While I don’t want to give away all the surprises we have planned, some must-see events this year include:General Sessions: The EMC World general sessions this year promise to deliver an exciting mix of breaking news, big names and of course, a few surprises along the way. This year EMC’s leadership team, along with some exciting industry gurus, will enlighten us all on how EMC is modernizing the industry, IT and businesses around the world. Check out a full list of presenters here.Breakout Sessions: We’re excited to offer 300+ breakout sessions organized into content tracks for specific audiences – IT Leadership, Technology and, new this year, Code & Modern Ops. Technical or not, there’s a track for everyone at EMC World.IT Leadership Track: Designed for those decision makers shaping the future of business, harnessing Big Data, adopting Open Source and more.Technology Track: Dive into the latest EMC innovations including Flash, Cloud-Based Solutions, Cloud-Native Apps and more.Code & Modern Ops: Our new Code & Modern Ops track is built on the themes of Learn, Code and Deploy, and will feature sessions on how to successfully build and develop modern apps to help our customers grow their business and gain competitive advantage.Global Partner Summit: EMC’s valued partners will join us for the fifth-annual EMC Global Partner Summit (GPS), taking place May 2-4 at the Venetian. Attendees will hear directly from EMC executives, positioning our partners for success in selling EMC products and solutions in 2016 and beyond.Momentum at EMC World 2016 – The Content Management Event Content management professionals from around the world will descend on Las Vegas for interactive keynotes, educational breakout sessions and plenty of networking time to talk. Momentum 2016 is the best forum for customers to get direct access to EMC engineers, product managers and executives, as well as hands-on time with EMC products for content management professionals. At Momentum 2016 they’ll discover new and innovative ways to build and evolve their content management strategies.EMC vLab Experience: We’ll offer 13 instructor-led and 39 self-paced vLabs with a deep-dive into EMC’s products and solutions. This year, the excitement builds with a top secret bonus session – stay tuned!Solutions Pavilion: Attendees will be able to explore the exciting solutions pavilion and view product demos, speak with EMC experts, partners and customers. Some of the most exciting EMC-powered apps will be demoed LIVE at the Future Ready Pavilion within the EMC Solutions Pavilion. Come see next-generation applications in healthcare, government, telecom, and more. All major EMC product divisions and Federation companies will be represented, including Pivotal, RSA, VCE, Virtustream, VMware and more.Women of World: On Wednesday, May 4th attendees will join together to get a fresh look at managing their careers in the context of change at the annual Women of World. Attendees will learn how to navigate the fast-paced transformation of the technology industry and find new ways to own, modernize and direct their careers.Customer Appreciation Event: This year, EMC is welcoming Duran Duran and Fitz & The Tantrums. What better way to celebrate EMC World than to rock out with two hit musical acts?This year we’re also giving customers who can’t join us in Las Vegas direct access to the event virtually from anywhere in the world. Here are the best ways to engage remotely with EMC World 2016:Online: Track all the latest EMC World 2016 happenings at emcworld.comLive Streaming: View video of EMC World keynotes and select conference sessions at emcworld.com/virtualSocial: Follow @EMCWorld and monitor #EMCWORLD to join the Twitter conversation. For continuous updates on EMC news and announcements, follow @EMC_News.Excited? We are too. Get ready to modernize at EMC World 2016!last_img read more

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Broadway’s Top Five TV Moments of 2016

first_img(Photo: CBS & NBC) The year 2016 has been a wonderful one for going to the theater—and for staying the heck home with a blanket and bowl of popcorn. Numerous Broadway faves have appeared on the small screen in beloved series like Younger and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend or in highly anticipated one night only stints. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s meteoric rise in 2016 brought him all the way to 30 Rock’s coveted stage spot hosting Saturday Night Live, and Fox’s Grease: Live broadcast proved itself to be a live musical gamechanger. Get a cozy mug of hot cocoa ready—here are the top five TV moments of the year from our Great White Way pals!5. Broadway Carpool KaraokeIt’s been our lifelong dream to cruise around New York belting showtunes with Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jane Krakowski and Audra “Mama Broadway” McDonald, and Tony host, winner and late night king James Corden lived it in 2016. The fab four joined Corden in a segment of his wildly popular Carpool Karaoke, covering favorite tracks from Hamilton, Rent, Jersey Boys and of course, Les Miserables. Let’s be honest: we are all Jesse Tyler Ferguson in this video.4. Laura Benanti’s Melania Trump DebutFollowing her sweet-as-vanilla ice cream stint in She Loves Me, Laura Benanti brought that razor-sharp Twitter wit straight to the late night circuit. An observation of her resemblance to President Elect Donald Trump’s wife Melania Trump during a visit to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert became a full-blown impression; #Benanti4SNL became a hashtag among her Broadway BFFs (Cynthia Erivo and Alex Brightman, to name a few). Perhaps an SNL hosting spot is in her future for 2017 (in between diaper changes, of course)?3. LMM in “Crucible Cast Party”There was one Broadway fave who did nab the SNL hosting gig in 2016. Hamilton mastermind Lin-Manuel Miranda is usually hailed for his genius and relentless positivity. This is exactly why seeing his more outrageous, humorous side during his SNL stint was so refreshing—especially when he poked fun at theater dorks just like him (and us, obvs). We couldn’t stop laughing at Miranda rocking braces as senior drama club heartthrob Cody Shuck. He was the Phantom in Phantom, and he was Sweeney in Sweeney.2. Vanessa Hudgens’ 11 o’Clock NumberWith a breakout role as High School Musical sweetheart Gabriella Montez and a Broadway debut as neat-as-a-pin Gigi, fans were intrigued to see what Vanessa Hudgens would bring to the table as Grease: Live’s bad girl. Hudgens beyond delivered as Fox’s Rizzo, especially considering her father passed away the night before the broadcast; she performed in his honor. Her crystal clear rendition of “There Are Worse Things I Could Do” was just as commanding as a character like Grease’s Rizzo is. This Pink Lady was red hot!1. JHud’s “I Know Where I’ve Been”NBC’s Hairspray Live! was chock-full of big, fat, boisterous numbers that made the broadcast pure fun, but Grammy and Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson truly took the TV event to a whole new level with this performance. She riffed and belted Hairspray’s message of inclusivity and unity loud and clear. Her flawless vocals combined with a message audiences across America can all benefit from hearing nabbed her our number one spot and inspired our 2017 mantra: What would JHud do? View Commentslast_img read more

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Preserving Pumpkins

first_imgFor more information on pumpkin preservation, see the National Center for Home Preservation website at nchfp.uga.edu/tips/fall/pumpkins.html. • Wash the pumpkin and remove the seeds. • Cut the pumpkin into 1-inch-wide pieces and peel them. • Cut the flesh into 1-inch cubes. • Boil for two minutes in water. (Remember, do not mash or puree). • Fill jars with hot pumpkin cubes and add hot cooking liquid to cover them. Leave 1 inch of headspace. • Adjust lids and process according to the USDA recommendations found at nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_04/pumpkin_winter_squash.html. Pumpkins are a staple of fall-time cuisine and festivities. Whether canned, dried or pickled, there are some important tips to keep in mind when preserving this holiday favorite. Canned, cubed pumpkin Only pressure canning methods are recommended for canning cubed pumpkin. Also, the U.S. Department of Agriculture does not have any tested recipes to recommend for safely canning certain pumpkin preserves and storing them at room temperature. “There are no safe, tested home canning procedures for mashed pumpkins or pumpkin butters,” Andress said. “If you make something up yourself and guess wrong, the result could be botulism (a rare, but serious, illness caused by foodborne bacteria).” Pumpkin seeds can be roasted by tossing dried pumpkin seeds with oil and/or salt and placing them in a preheated oven at 250 F for 10 to 15 minutes. Due to natural acidity levels, pumpkins require certain precautions be taken when canning in order to make preserves that are safe to eat. “Since pumpkins are a low-acid food, they require pressure processing for safe canning, just like vegetables and meats,” Andress said. “It’s important to follow the preparation steps just as described and to manage the pressure canner correctly, or you could still end up with unsafe canned pumpkin.” Drying pumpkin To dry pumpkin, follow these steps:• Preheat an electric dehydrator to 140 degrees Fahrenheit while you prepare the pumpkin.• Wash and peel the pumpkin and remove all seeds and fibers from the flesh. • Cut into small, thin strips about 1-inch wide by 1/8-inch thick. • Blanch strips for three minutes in steam above boiling water or for one minute in boiling water. Dip the pumpkin strips briefly in cold water to stop the cooking process. • Drain any extra moisture from the pumpkin. • Place the strips into the dehydrator by spacing them apart in a single layer. Remove when they are brittle. To dry pumpkin seeds, follow these steps:• Wash the seeds. • Dry seeds in the sun, in a dehydrator at 115-120 F for one to two hours, or bake them at a warm setting (no more than 120 F) for three to four hours. • Make sure to stir the seeds frequently throughout the process. • Dried seeds should not be stored with any moisture left in them. Smaller pumpkins with a hard rind and string-less, mature pulp are preferred, Andress said. The average amount needed is 10 pounds per canner load of 9 pints (an average of 2.25 pounds per quart). The preparation steps are as follows, but always read canning procedures and recipes in full (see the link below). FreezingThis is the easiest preservation method, according to Andress, and does not sacrifice quality. First, select a full-colored, mature pumpkin with a fine texture, and then follow these steps: • Wash and cut the pumpkin into cooking-sized sections. • Remove the seeds. • Cook until soft in boiling water, in steam, in a pressure cooker or in an oven. • Remove the pulp from the rind and mash. • Place the pan of pumpkin in a pan of cold water to cool, stirring the mash occasionally. • Pack the pumpkin into rigid containers, leaving headspace, and freeze. Complete information about containers and headspace can be found at nchfp.uga.edu/how/gen_freeze.html.last_img read more

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Champlain College launches BYOBiz Speaker Series

first_imgBURLINGTON, Vt.–Champlain College’s Bring-Your-Own-Business program (BYOBiz) is launching a new speaker series focused on entrepreneurship. The talks are free and open to the public and will cover a wide range of business topics of interest to future and current entrepreneurs.”The BYOBiz Speaker Series&And Entrepreneurship for All” kicks off in March with two offerings.On Thursday, March 15 at 7 p.m., several area retailers will discuss “Retailing in the Millennium–Challenges and Opportunities.” Representatives from Earl’s Cyclery and Fitness, Lake Champlain Chocolates, Small Dog Electronics, Steeze and The Body Shop will take part in the discussion. Offered in Champlain College’s Alumni Auditorium at 375 Maple Street, Burlington.On Wednesday, March 28 at 7 p.m., Bob Verrico of Giant Step Strategies will discuss “Using the Latest Technology to Place a Value on Your Customer.” Offered in Champlain College’s Alumni Auditorium at 375 Maple Street, Burlington.”The BYOBiz Speaker Series&And Entrepreneurship for All” is sponsored in part through a grant from The Coleman Foundation, a private, independent grantmaker that has committed more than $38 million to promote the option of self-employment, improve the quality of entrepreneurship education, and help create a new generation of business owners.Champlain College’s new BYOBiz program offers a unique blend of targeted course selections, mentoring networks and community support to help student entrepreneurs build their businesses successfully. The program has been featured in Entrepreneur magazine and on “Marketplace” business report, heard on national public radio stations.last_img read more

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Salvadoran forensic criminologist Israel Ticas identifies victims buried in clandestine graves

first_img Brutal killings Progress in fighting violence Ticas began his law enforcement career in 1989, when he began working for the National Police as a sketch artist. Ticas does exceptional work under difficult circumstances, said Chilean criminalist Rodolfo Sáez, founder of the Criminalistics Institute of Chile. “Mr. Ticas’ work as forensic criminologist is outstanding, he uses the working system of archeology, in which all evidence which might be developed into evidence is carefully preserved and in turn reduces the chances of contamination at a crime scene,” Sáez said. “In this work he adds his professional engineering knowledge, obtaining incredible results in his works that allow us to speak of a unique art.” Since 2000, forensic criminologist Israel Ticas has brought a measure of relief to the families of 725 victims of homicide in his native El Salvador. Ticas works for the Attorney’ General’s office. Working closely with security forces, Ticas finds clandestine graves, exhumes bodies, and identifies the remains, which are often a collection of bones. He often uses DNA to identify the remains of bodies which have been buried for years. About 80 percent of the victims were women; many of them were victims of domestic violence. Overall, about half of all the victims he has identified were killed by gang members, Ticas said. Many were killed by members of the two major gangs in the country, Mara Salvatrucha, which is also known as MS-13, and Barrio 18. The bodies of the 725 victims Ticas has identified were returned to their families. Many relatives of victims spent years wondering what happened to their loved ones. Ticas’ work allowed them to grieve their deaths, and to arrange for proper burials. Ticas is the only forensic criminologist working for the Attorney General’s office. Wide recognition Ticas, who is known as “The Engineer” because he has a university degree in systems engineering, received international recognition in recent months thanks to a documentary film about his work. The documentary, “The Engineer,” directed by Mathew Charles, was released throughout the world in 2013 by Guerrilla Films. The movie shows Ticas at work, going to dangerous regions, exhuming bodies, and carefully examining the remains. Many of the women victims were tortured before they were killed, indicating their attacker was fueled by rage, Ticas said . Many of the female victims had been raped and had knives, bottles, poles, sticks and other objects forced into their bodies. One female victim had suffered 200 stab wounds Ticas said. Treating the dead with dignity Security forces and groups which advocate for the rights of women are working cooperatively to protect women. In 2011, 647 women were killed and 412 were reported missing, according to the National Police. Most of the female victims he has found were young, age 15 or even younger, Ticas said. “The degree of violence inflicted upon them is way higher than men,” Ticas said. A public education campaign against violence against women has helped reduce the violence dramatically. The National Police and two women’s groups, Salvadoran Women Organization (ORMUSA) and the Institute of Women Studies (CEMUJER), are collaborating on the initiative. In 2012, there were 320 killings of women in the country, authorities said. That number dropped to 210 killings in 2013 Ima Guirola, a founder of CEMUJER, holds Ticas in high regard. “We have a great admiration for The Engineer,” Guirola said. Charles was not prepared for the gang culture of violence he saw in El Salvador. “I was truly shocked by what we saw in El Salvador,” Charles said. “I was most struck by the apparent lack of respect for human life, even one’s own life. So many children were simply prepared to die for their gang, for what they call ‘the cause’. This was so upsetting – that they felt they had no other purpose other than to fight and ultimately to die.” As upset as he was by gang violence, Charles was equally impressed by Ticas. “Israel Ticas is an amazing person. He is a true hero for the hundreds of mothers and other relatives searching for their loved ones,” Charles said. “It was an honor and a privilege to meet someone like him and to be able to document his good work.” An ‘outstanding’ criminologistcenter_img For Ticas, finding and identifying the remains of homicide victims is not just a job – it’s a mission. “It is an honor to serve my community through the Attorney General’s office,” he tweeted in October 2013. “I will always risk all, even my life, to complete my mission.” For each body he examines, Ticas said, he hopes to find each of the 206 bones in the human body. He wears a Tyvek suit and rubber gloves as he examines remains at clandestine graves, often in remote areas. Sometimes, the light from his cellphone provides the only illumination. He found some bodies buried nearly 200 feet below ground level. He found other bodies dumped inside water wells. Working to protect women Gang brutality Ticas takes great care with the remains he exhumes and examines. He even talks to the remains, providing words of comfort. Ticas believes the remains of the victims deserve dignity. He has placed photos of hundreds of homicide victims on the walls of his office. Some of the photos depict people who were tortured and mutilated beyond recognition. “Dead people do not scare me, they are my friends, they are part of my daily life,” Ticas said. Though he is always professional, Ticas at times is overcome by emotion as he confronts the remains of victims of violence. “On one occasion I broke down for several weeks when I found several young children decapitated.,” Ticas said. In recent weeks, Ticas walked through a forest on a mountain for more than an hour, carrying the body of a young man who had been cut into seven pieces. Ticas placed the remains in a labeled plastic bag and carried the remains on his shoulders for six miles. He eventually identified the remains and provided them to the family of the victim. “For me it was not sacrifice to bear the remains of this young man, I helped both to retrieve him and to bring him closer to his mother who will be able to give him a holy burial,” Ticas said. By Dialogo January 18, 2014 Many victims, both men and women, had been beheaded. A mission to help the families of homicide victims El Salvador has a population of about 6.3 million people. The country recorded 69 killings per 100,000 residents in 2012, the second-highest per capita rate of killing in the world, according to published reports. But thanks to the efforts of security forces, and a reported truce between MS-13 and Barrio 18, the rate of violence decreased dramatically in recent years. Security officials estimate that as many as 20,000 gang members operate in El Salvador. The number of killings in the country decreased by 41 percent in 2012 compared to 2011, according to the National Police. THE SAME THING HAPPENED IN MY COUNTRY, PERU, MANY YEARS AGO. BUT THESE CRIMES WERE COMMITTED BY TERRORISM, PEOPLE WOULDN’T LEAVE THEIR HOUSES AFTER 18:00 HOURS, FEARING AN ATTACK IF THEY TOOK THE BUS. THERE WERE SO MANY DAILY CASUALTIES THAT IT WAS ON THE NEWS EVERY DAY, TO THE POINT WHERE IT BECAME NORMAL TO ALWAYS SEE DEAD PEOPLE, AND WHEN THERE WEREN’T ANY, THEY WEREN’T NEWS. BUT THANK GOD THIS IS ALMOST OVER. In terms of politicians and violence, El Salvador is getting worse everyday.After the doubtful results of the recent elections, Salvador Sanchez Ceren came out as winner and he’s a former guerrilla member, self-proclaimed assassin even of his own fellow fighters.His predecessor and current president, due to his incapacity to contain crime, made a pact with the Gangs, granting privileges to each one of their incarcerated leaders, to the point of occasionally allowing them to get out. Current president Funes forced his government to make a pact with the gangs, by allowing them to have municipalities or cities as sanctuaries, where they would not be persecuted in exchange for not committing crimes.In view of the truce which is a political farce even to the public officials of Funes, the public crimes turned into disappearances. The gangs didn’t stop killing. They changed their modus operandi to kidnapping, dismemberment and death, for which they also had to find rural areas where to bury their victims. Often, they are found in clandestine cemeteries in communal graves, where “The Engineer” has a lot of work, since ironically he is the “only one” that can do that job. What an ugly picture This gentleman is a hero, may God protect him forever. Violence has certainly reached alarming numbers in El Salvador. During the political campaign, the opposition accused the government of lack of transparency while handling the agreed truce between the largest gangs in the country. They are possibly right about that, but they cannot deny that the results were positive since death rates decreased from 14 to 8 daily victims during 2012 and part of 2013, which is something that the opposition never managed to achieve in their 20 years of ruling.The work of Eng. Ticas as well as the guy in legal medicine is astonishing and, as the writer said, comforting for the families of the deceased victims. I HAVE GREAT ADMIRATION FOR ENGINEER TICAS. WE HAVE WORKED TOGETHER IN SOME CRIME SCENES AND THEIR KNOWLEDGE IS EXTENSIVE, I ESPECIALLY ADMIRE THEIR HUMILITY. Looking towards the future, two is more than one. A modernized team without sexual segregation paradigms would be honoring martyrs like my grandmother, my mother, my wife, my granddaughter and other anonymous ladies who will continue contributing.A strategic, unconditional leadership means getting ahead of the future. There should have never been a hunger for bread, inequality among the residents of the Andes and the forest, and also welfare (as a way of life) that only reaches to the capital and its miserable surroundings, and in that terror watch civilians and soldiers coming from the deep Peru. All the governor’s friends are full of with poorly distributed money (loot). Indeed it is happening as the commentator that preceded me said, but you need to notice that the moral and monetary exploitation has been legalized. One has to look at the protectionism of those who save, of those who contribute for retirement, and God save the poor guy with loans (banks with white money), the SBS insults the poor and even believes that everything is fine, but they market it wrongfully. Don’t you think that this is related to the new and ferocious form of terror, extortion, hired assassinations, drug trafficking, government embezzlement, and the execution of projects at their minimum expression? It’s better if people even don’t think, just applaud. Let’s see what happens within five years. Mr. Ticas is doing an excellent job. I like this report. I am yet another Salvadorian who left trying to escape the war in the 80’s. I have a missing sister in my dear country. I live in Guatemala. Ricas is doing an excellent job. I had the opportunity to meet him and he’s a kind and quiet person. I’m glad things are working out for him. Many blessings for my friend Ricas, may he keep going forward. Excellent work and very accurate for these times. May God continue providing them wisdom. This man is someone who deserves a lot of respect, because he looks out for the dignity of the human being even while dead, and kills the anguish of all those families that thought they’d never see their loved ones again. Even in heaven, he will be remembered by those souls that were one day forgotten. Excellent work, keep it up… Excellent His efforts are amazing. I give my respects to this Salvadorian brother who gives his all; providing comfort to the families of victims shows that fiscal medicine is still reliable, since some authorities do not comply with it, being human beings. This Mr. Tica is a Godsend. May he continue this way for the sake of many families who need his gift. Extraordinary, out of this world!!!! Excellent work of my Salvadorian countryman. He has done plenty in this area. Blessings to my Guatemalan brothers. I admire the work that Ticas has been doing. People like him are hard to find. Keep it up. It’s very important to rely on this person, Mr. Iran, not only as a professional criminalist but as a human being. For the many times he had to identify a body and gave some peace to the families! This man is so admirable and he’s so handsome I ask you, how many academic degrees do you have? It’s clear you know a lot.Congratulations A model of a man, that’s all I have to say. I would like you to give me the name of the documentary that was made about his work.last_img read more

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Auf wiedersehen London

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Coronavirus not yet contained in Germany: Robert Koch institute

first_img“We can’t speak of containment yet – we still have high numbers each day. We are seeing a slowdown,” Robert Koch Institute President Lothar Wieler told a regular news conference.Urging Germans to wait and remain disciplined with social distancing measures, he estimated the virus reproduction or transmission rate, dubbed “R”, in Germany was about 1.2 – meaning a person with the virus infects 1.2 others on average.”It is really in our interest that this R rate goes below 1, or is at 1. That is an important factor,” Wieler added.In recommendations sent to Chancellor Angela Merkel and state governors on Monday, academics suggested public life may gradually return to normal if certain conditions are met including an infection rate stabilizing at a low level. A lower number of new coronavirus cases in Germany in recent days is likely due to less testing over Easter and the outbreak is not yet contained, the head of the Robert Koch health institute said on Tuesday.Germany’s number of confirmed coronavirus infections has risen by 2,082 to 125,098, data from the Robert Koch Institute showed earlier on Tuesday, marking the fourth daily decline in the number of new cases.Reported deaths rose by 170 to 2,969. The death rate is far lower than among other countries most affected, but the German authorities remain wary of lifting restrictions on public life. Topics :center_img Germany has closed schools, shops, restaurants, playgrounds and sports facilities, and many companies have shut to aid the fight against the coronavirus.Merkel, who has said the position paper by the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina will be important for her determination on the path forward, will discuss the recommendations with ministers on Tuesday.On Wednesday, she will hold a video conference with the state premiers to discuss a possible path out of the lockdown and how to manage the recession it is expected to cause.Economy Minister Peter Altmaier declined to name a date for the relaxation of restrictions.”The next few days will bring clarity,” he said on breakfast television, adding that the government was keenly aware of the risks of lifting restrictions too early only to have to impose a full lockdown later.”If the impression arises that there is to-ing and fro-ing, it would damage trust in politics and harm the peoples’ willingness to be disciplined and to cooperate,” Altmaier said. “We have to consider every step.”last_img read more

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