US says Myanmar takeover was coup, promises sanction review

first_imgThe United States says last weekend’s military roundup of civilian leaders in Myanmar was a coup. Tuesday’s declaration sets the stage for additional sanctions or other penalties aimed at the country’s military and officers. The military power grab poses a challenge for the two-week-old Biden administration, which says it wants to support wobbly democracy movements globally — but also wants to avoid driving countries like Myanmar toward China. The State Department says any penalties it imposes for the coup will not touch direct humanitarian aid to the country’s people. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is urging the U.S. to rally international condemnation of the coup leaders.last_img read more

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Panel explores interfaith peace building efforts

first_imgA group of international peacemakers convened in McKenna Hall Wednesday night to share their experiences and reflect on the reality of peace building during a panel discussion sponsored by the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.The panel, titled “Peace is Always Possible: Reflections from Proven Peacemakers,” brought together four panelists to discuss their experiences and insights in peacemaking as part of the fifth annual American Meeting of Sant’Egidio Prayer for Peace.A recurring theme throughout the panel was the importance of peacemaking and peace building as a goal religious leaders and communities should strive to achieve. Archbishop John Baptist Odama, one of the four panelists, said the pursuit of peace requires passion, love and commitment to the communities most affected by violence and conflict.“Peace is a mission given to us by God,” Odama said. “We must be loyal to the people because it is they who want peace.”Odama reflected on his time as a religious leader during the Northern Ugandan war of 1996, highlighting his efforts to unite communities and communicate with rebel groups, all while working toward a common goal.Panelists Miko Peled and Bassem al-Tamimi, Israeli and Palestinian peace activists respectively, discussed activism in the Palestinian conflict, providing insight into how their distinct positions of power and disadvantage within the conflict affected their efforts. Peled said after he became aware of the deeper complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and as people close to him disputed traditional Israeli ways, he found he could utilize his privilege as an Israeli Jew to promote his peace efforts.“In the reality that exists in Palestine and Israel, I’m privileged,” Peled said. “Even if I’m arrested, I know I’m going home at the end of the day.”Al-Tamimi, an activist and organizer in the West Bank, said his experience with grassroots resistance helped him understand the values necessary to bring about peace.“For me peace is the final state. … Without justice, freedom and equal rights, there is no peace. I hope that you can do something to protect the meaning of peace,”  he said.Panelist Laurie Johnson said her peacemaking experience with the small community of Sant’Egidio, an international Christian humanitarian group, was marked by a missionary ethos that influenced her ideas on peacemaking later on.“The community’s willingness to respond to help was the beginning of a four-year peace process,” Johnson said. “That theme of responding in friendship to the needs of the other is one that has played a role in virtually all of the community’s peace work.”Johnson also said peace building is an exercise that requires leaving one’s comfort zone and understanding the inherent responsibility of advocating in and believing in the possibility of peace.“I think that for all of us in this room today, really to say peace is possible is to take a kind of risk, because it requires us to move out of our ordinary resignation,” Johnson said. “Once you say peace is possible, you can’t say, ‘Oh well, nothing can be done about that situation’ or ‘Those people can’t change’ or ‘That situation is never going to get any better.’“Once you begin to say ‘peace is possible,’ … once you begin to dare to say that, then you have a responsibility,” Johnson said.Tags: activism, kroc institute for international studies, peace buildinglast_img read more

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Watch Jennifer Nettles & Her ‘New Best Friend’ Idina Menzel ‘Let It Go’

first_imgLast night, some of the country music scene’s biggest stars gathered for a night of holiday tunes for the CMA Country Christmas special. Who else showed up? Country music legend Broadway supernova Idina Menzel! The If/Then star took to the stage with Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles to perform a duet arrangement of a familiar Frozen anthem. Take a look below! Nettles told CMA Close Up last year that she would “love to do Broadway” and that “it’s mostly just a question of time” at this point. Here’s hoping we’ll see the Grammy winner let it go on the Great White Way soon! Star Files Idina Menzelcenter_img View Commentslast_img read more

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Lin-Manuel Miranda Blows Us All Away Freestyling on Fallon

first_img View Comments “The Story of Tonight,” indeed. Creator and star of Hamilton Lin-Manuel Miranda stopped by The Tonight Show on November 6 and blew us all away. Obviously. First the Tony winner explained how he came to write the gargantuan hit (for the few people who can’t have read our backstory) and why the founding father was “the most hip hop guy I’ve ever heard.” Jimmy Fallon then went on to fangirl praise the show and reveal his voicemail is still courtesy of Miranda. The pièce de résistance came with a very special “wheel of freestyle.” Check out the videos below; Hamilton, as you all know by now, is playing at the Richard Rodgers. Related Shows Hamilton from $149.00 Lin-Manuel Miranda Star Fileslast_img read more

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Diane Lane Will Headline The Cherry Orchard on B’way

first_img Diane Lane This defines meta! Diane Lane, who made her Broadway debut as a child in the 1977 revival of The Cherry Orchard, starring Meryl Streep, is returning to the Anton Chekhov classic. Directed by Simon Godwin, the Oscar nominee will headline the previously reported new Great White Way adaptation of the play by Stephen Karam (The Humans). The limited engagement is now scheduled to begin previews on September 15 (from September 8) and officially open on October 16 (from October 6) at Roundabout’s American Airlines Theatre.Lane most recently starred opposite Bryan Cranston and Helen Mirren in Trumbo. In 2015, she returned to the New York stage in Lincoln Center’s world premiere The Mystery of Love and Sex; other theater credits include Tennessee Williams’ Sweet Bird of Youth at the Goodman Theater in Chicago. Oscar nominated for Unfaithful and Emmy nominated for Cinema Verite, Lane’s numerous additional screen credits include Secretariat, Under the Tuscan Sun, Nights in Rodanthe, Hollywoodland, Must Love Dogs, A Perfect Storm, My Dog Skip, A Walk on the Moon, Chaplin, The Outsiders, Rumble Fish, The Cotton Club and Lonesome Dove.First produced in Moscow in 1904, The Cherry Orchard is Chekhov’s masterpiece about a family on the edge of ruin—and a country on the brink of revolution. The story of Lyubov Ranevskaya (Lane) and her family’s return to their fabled orchard to forestall its foreclosure, the play captures a people—and a world—in transition, and presents us with a picture of humanity in all its glorious folly. By turns tragic and funny, The Cherry Orchard still stands as one of the great plays of the modern era. Show Closed This production ended its run on Dec. 4, 2016 View Comments Star Filescenter_img The Cherry Orchard Related Shows Diane Lane(Photo: Greg Gorman)last_img read more

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Spain Dismantles Colombian Cartel’s Extortion Affiliate

first_imgBy Dialogo December 06, 2011 The chief collection and extortion affiliate of the Colombian Envigado cartel has been dismantled in Madrid, and nine people have been arrested, the Spanish National Police announced on December 5. The group was led by a Colombian “held in pre-trial detention (…) on a narcotics-trafficking charge,” who communicated with the rest of the gang using “his romantic partner, to whom he personally gave instructions to transmit his messages to the other members,” the police explained. According to the statement, the group used “intimidation” to collect “supposed debts arising from drug trafficking from Colombian citizens,” for which it received a 35-percent commission on the amount it recovered, the document specified. A Micro UZI submachine gun with a silencer was seized in the operation, among other weapons. In addition, a marijuana crop was uprooted, and a cocaine manipulation home laboratory was dismantled, the statement said. The investigation began last year after a complaint by someone from whom the group was demanding payment of a supposed debt, under threats that “forced him to leave his home and his job.”last_img read more

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Park should honor Holocaust victims

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion This is in response to the March 26 article about the Holocaust memorial proposed for Niskayuna’s Route 7.While the proponents of this memorial are to be commended for bringing this issue to the public domain, their proposed execution appears to be misdirected. By erecting a death camp gate, a wall, a symbolic oven, and a transportation box car, they are memorializing the tools of the perpetrators instead of focusing on and memorializing the Holocaust victims.Would it not be more appropriate to erect a memorial to these nameless victims? They have no graves or tomb stones; they are forgotten. A simple memorial, with the names of the death camps, since no one is certain in which they perished, would be good. Since there are a number of Capital District residents who have relatives who perished in the Holocaust, a listing of their names on this memorial would be a solemn tribute and connect to the region.Why am I writing this letter? My grandparents and many uncles, aunts and cousins, whom I knew in the 1930s, were deported to a death camp in 1942, according to published deportation lists. So I do have a valid reason to weigh in. I respectfully ask the Niskayuna Town Board and the proponents of this memorial to consider the above.Erwin FriedRexfordMore from The Daily Gazette:Schenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30%Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationlast_img read more

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Digital divide causes disparities in COVID-19 relief distribution: Experts

first_imgAccording to a 2018 survey from the Indonesian Internet Providers Association (APJII), internet usage in the country’s most populous island of Java was 55.7 percent, higher than the rest of the country at just 44.3 percent, with most users living in urban areas.Disparities in internet literacy are also present across generations and occupations, with many people aged 45 years old and older and manual laborers, among others groups, not considering themselves to be internet users.Digital adoption in the country, especially outside Java, has continued to lag, even though the country’s digital infrastructure, such as distribution of electricity and cellular signals, has been deemed adequate, according to the East Ventures Digital Competitiveness Index.Similarly, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) ranked Indonesia 57th out of 100 countries on its Inclusive Internet Index, scoring lowest for internet affordability and availability. “Therefore, the digital distribution of aid is not suited to the country’s population profile,” Nailul said, adding that the government should prioritize direct cash and staple food disbursement to help those most affected by the pandemic.He further criticized the preemployment card program, saying that eight partner platforms, including Skill Academy by Ruangguru, Pintaria and MauBelajarApa, would receive Rp. 3.7 trillion (US$237 million) in profit collectively.Nailul said that if the Rp 5.6 trillion in spending for online training programs was split evenly by eight, each platform would receive Rp 700 billion. Indef estimated that the budget needed to produce video content was Rp 243 billion, which leaves each platform with Rp 457 billion in income.If the Rp 3.7 trillion in aid was distributed in cash, each person in the preemployment program could receive up to Rp 2.9 million instead of the current Rp 2.4 million, or the benefits of the preemployment card program could be distributed to 6.9 million beneficiaries instead of 5.6 million, he said.Meanwhile, another Indef researcher Izzatun Al Farras Adha said that if the government wanted to increase broadband internet access across the country, it should lower taxes for internet service providers or include telecommunication companies as recipients of the government’s next economic stimulus package.APJII members have previously asked the Communications and Information Ministry to delay payments of telecommunication services fees (BHP) and universal service obligation (USO) until next year, arguing that even though people were spending more time online during pandemic, internet service providers were still losing profits.“Even though people are working from home and internet traffic has risen by 15 percent, we are losing profits from our business-to-business clients as offices and hotels are closed,” said APJII chairman Jamalul Izza on Tuesday.He said that more than half of all APJII members were small-scale internet service providers that mostly served corporations.Similarly, Indonesian Cellular Telecommunications Associations (ATSI) chairman Ririek Adriansyah also said that ATSI members were reporting flat revenue despite the fact the pandemic was seen as a growth opportunity for the telecommunication sector.“We have given many bonuses, such as free internet quota, especially for access to education platforms. We have seen an increase in internet traffic, but not in our revenue,” he said. Indonesia’s low internet penetration rate has impeded the effectiveness of the government’s COVID-19 social assistance programs as the government relies heavily on online platforms to deliver its relief programs, such as online training and cash disbursement.The Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (INDEF) argued that the country’s digital divide could further deepen inequalities during the COVID-19 outbreak as social assistance such cash aid and pre-employment card progams were being delivered via online platforms.“The programs are not inclusive and are more beneficial for the program providers,” said INDEF researcher Nailul Huda during a webinar on April 15.center_img Topics :last_img read more

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Asset management roundup: LGIM modifies target date funds for DC

first_imgThe changes will be fully implemented by the end of the first quarter of 2020. The Pathway Funds are designed to create what are referred to as investment “glidepaths” taking pension scheme members up to retirement and beyond.A spokeswoman told IPE that there are currently £900m of assets under management in the Pathway Funds, “with a strong pipeline”.Alpha FMC launchAsset management consultancy Alpha FMC has launched a dedicated pensions and retail investments practice in response to “convergence accelerating betwen asset and wealth management and the traditional pensions and retail investments sectors”.The launch has led to two new hires as directors – Bruce Davies and Dan Mahony, both from Ernst & Young (EY).Davies previously built and led EY’s life, pensions and investments transformation capability. Mahony started his career with Prudential, helping to launch the UK’s first fixed-term annuity by founding the start-up business, Living Time. He has since led EY’s relationships with a number of prominent clients in the industry.The aim of the new practice, according to Alpha FMC, is to help asset managers transform their business models “and respond to ever-changing client demands and technical innovations”.Davies said: “We aim to provide a different and distinctive set of services, focused on where the market is going and not how it is traditionally structured.”AXA IM’s Rossi steps down as CEOGérald Harlin has been appointed executive chairman of AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM), taking over from CEO Andrea Rossi. Harlin, who is currently group deputy CEO and group CFO, will take up his new role on 1 December, continuing to report to Thomas Buberl, CEO of AXA. He has also assumed the role of chairman of the board at AXA IM, succeeding Christof Kutscher, who had held this role since 2014.Rossi, who had led the asset manager since 2013, will become a strategic advisor to Harlin on December 1. Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) has made changes to its range of target date funds for defined contribution (DC) schemes, including integrating a multi-asset fund with explicit environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) criteria.It will also be increasing the allocation to growth assets in the earliest retirement savings phase of the Pathway Funds and de-risking at a more gradual pace in a bid to help deliver an improved level of income in retirement.The ESG-related change involves LGIM adopting the multi-asset fund in its Future World range as a core diversified growth component of the Pathway Funds. The fund excludes companies that fail to meet certain business practice standards and also follows LGIM’s targeted engagement process to invest in companies most committed to keeping global warming to 2°C above pre-industrial levels.In a statement, LGIM said the changes were partly a response to direct feedback from its DC members, who had shown greater interest in sustainable investments, as well as wider demographic research conducted as part of the Pathway Funds’ governance process.last_img read more

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Inpex inks MoUs for long-term gas supply from Abadi project

first_imgJapanese oil and gas firm Inpex has signed memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with PT PLN Persero (PLN) and PT Pupuk Indonesia for the long-term domestic LNG and pipeline natural gas supply from the Abadi LNG project offshore Indonesia.MoU signing ceremony; Image: InpexInpex said on Thursday that the MOUs were signed by its subsidiary Inpex Masela, and on behalf of its joint venture partner Shell Upstream Overseas Ltd.The agreements were signed in the presence of Indonesia’s Minister for Energy and Mineral Resources Arifin Tasrif in Jakarta on February 19, 2020.The company added that discussions would now begin regarding sales and purchase agreements for the long-term LNG and natural gas supply from the project.These will include LNG for natural gas-fired power plants operated by PLN and natural gas – 150 million scf per day – to a coproduction plant, which will be constructed by Pupuk Indonesia.Inpex added that the long-term supply of LNG and natural gas from Abadi was consistent with the Indonesian Government’s focus on optimizing domestic natural resource utilization and would provide significant contributions to Indonesia where gas demand continues to grow, including multiplier effects that will benefit the country, particularly in the eastern region.Abadi is the first large-scale integrated LNG development project operated by Inpex in Indonesia and follows on from the Ichthys LNG project in Australia.Inpex and Shell will develop Abadi via an offshore production facility and a 9.5 million tonnes per annum (mmpta) onshore LNG plant, at an estimated cost of $20 billion.As previously reported, Inpex received approval from Indonesian authorities for the revised Plan of Development (POD) for the Abadi LNG project back in July 2019.In October of the same year, Inpex signed a seven-year additional time allocation for the Masela PSC and a 20-year extension for the Abadi LNG project with Indonesia’s upstream oil and gas regulator SKK Migas. Spotted a typo? Have something more to add to the story? Maybe a nice photo? Contact our editorial team via email. Also, if you’re interested in showcasing your company, product, or technology on Offshore Energy Today, please contact us via our advertising form where you can also see our media kit.last_img read more

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