Lawmakers push mental health days for kids amid pandemic

first_imgSALT LAKE CITY (AP) — As the coronavirus pandemic takes a mental toll on young people, more states are considering expanding opportunities for students to take mental health days to try to lessen stigma and reduce youth suicide. Lawmakers in Utah and Arizona have proposed bills that would add mental or behavioral health to the list of reasons students can be absent from class. Similar laws have passed in Oregon, Maine, Colorado and Virginia in the past two years. The pandemic has increased pressure on kids who’ve been isolated from their friends and classmates for almost a year during remote learning. The portion of children’s emergency-room visits related to mental health ballooned in 2020.last_img read more

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U.S. advisor details foreign policy goals

first_imgDr. Shaun Casey, Special Advisor to the Secretary of State for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, spoke Tuesday at the Hesburgh Center for International Studies on the growing role of religious engagement in U. S. foreign policy.As the inaugural holder of this office, Casey said he welcomed the challenge to “launch a new office at the State Department that might have a long term impact on our foreign policy.” He said one reason his position now exists is that Secretary of State John Kerry “is deeply convinced that the United States needs a firmer grasp on the power of lived religion across the globe.”Casey began his job in July 2013 and has since set to work on its “three overarching missions,” the first of which is to fulfill his role as advisor on faith-based and community initiatives, he said.“Eighty percent of what Secretary Kerry does today has religion-related issues,” Casey said.Second, the office had to build capacity and organize within the State Department to further and systemically engage with religious communities. Casey said his office is attempting to unify the efforts of the State Department relating to religious engagement.“We do a tremendous amount of religious engagement, but it’s never been systematized; it’s never been examined,” he said.The third mission incorporates Casey’s goal for “external engagement” that will make his office “the point of contact, the customer service window … for external faith communities,” he said. In this capacity, Casey and his staff work with religious groups and addresses their needs and concerns while working to connect their communities with the offices inside the State Department that are best suited to handle their specific issues.Essential to these missions was the need for the “U. S. to show up,” Casey said.“Too often we’ve been content with simply looking at big-hat religious leaders and the things that they write,” he said.Examining only the opinions of prominent figures does not provide a full understanding of what is occurring in any given country, Casey said. Religious training centers help identify areas of concern and offer a fuller understanding of the religious dynamics in a country beyond what the “big-hat” religious leaders have to say, he said.“We live in an era where no one has really figured out analytically the right relationship between international relations theory and interpreting religion,” Casey said.Casey said his office faced criticisms that it would either be too Christian or not Christian enough. Other complaints suggested religion is “inherently icky” and, because of that, the State Department should refrain from religious engagement, Casey said. To counter the critics and provide standards for their efforts, Casey and his office developed certain maxims to follow.The first maxim is “do no harm,” Casey said. Second, the department must “be radically inclusive” and, third, recognize that “context is everything.” Casey explained that his office must be inclusive of all groups to avoid any sense of favoritism and must respect the geographic and historic differences within individual faith traditions, such as the distinct characteristics of Catholicism in Ethiopia and in Poland.The fourth maxim involves being skeptical of grand theories of peace and instead addressing issues in an ad hoc manner, Casey said. The fifth states that the State Department should consult “actors with local experience about lived religion.”For the final maxim, Casey said the State Department needs to “spend more energy in assessing and evaluating interfaith peace building.” He said that it is not enough to simply engage other faiths and nations, but that the department should examine the outcomes of their attempts to build peace through religious engagement.Tags: Foreign Policy, peace, religion, Shaun Casey, State Departmentlast_img read more

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Pro-life activist speaks on abortion debate

first_imgA crowd consisting of students, parents, grandparents and even a few children gathered in DeBartolo Hall on Thursday to listen to Alexandra DeSanctis’ lecture titled “Surrender is not an option — Reclaiming the abortion debate.”Notre Dame’s Right to Life Club invited the 2016 University alumna to speak. DeSanctis writes about and speaks out about her passion: the right to life.“I enjoy it a lot, but it’s difficult work, and it’s disheartening work a lot of the time in many ways,” she said. “As I’m sure you all know, I’m staring at a lot of evil. We all stare at a lot of evil when we think about this issue, and it takes a toll. But at the same time, I’m actually incredibly hopeful for the future of the pro-life movement … I’m convinced, absolutely convinced that this is a fight we can win.” Rebecca Stella | The Observer Alexandra DeSanctis speaks at her lecture titled “Surrender is not an option — Reclaiming the abortion debate” on Thursday night.DeSanctis highlighted the points she believes could make a difference in the abortion argument. One major point she made was the importance of defining abortion — both scientifically and factually — in order to reset the terms of this debate. “It’s very simple — we all know this. An embryo from the moment of conception meets the scientific criteria to be considered a life,” DeSanctis said. “It has human DNA, so it’s a human … Its DNA is entirely distinct from both its mother and its father. It is inside the mother but not part of the mother. This right here is why the reality that abortion is the right that dare not speak its name matters so much.”DeSanctis said these facts are never recognized because the opposition knows the result of this information will expose abortion for what it truly is.“If they acknowledge a fetus as a human being, suddenly they are in an ethical minefield,” she said. “Suddenly they have to explain why it is okay to end a human life.”She discussed how, as a pro-life supporter, one must begin to call abortion what it truly is.“That’s the real foundation of my remarks tonight … because I believe we all know — whether in our minds or deep, deep in our hearts — that abortion is the taking of a human life,” DeSanctis said. “Abortion thrives in the dark, in euphemism.”Once abortion is exposed for what it truly is, DeSanctis said, it does not look as enticing to its supporters. “Dispensing of a human life does not look like exercising your rights or obtaining health care,” she said. “It doesn’t look like freedom, and I doubt it feels like freedom, but these are the things we hear about when we try to talk about abortion.”DeSanctis concluded her talk by stating that no one likes the reality of abortion, leading individuals and large groups to stand up for what they believe in. She said this belief inspires passionate pro-life supporters, including the Notre Dame community, to make trips every single year to Washington, D.C., for the March for Life to say abortion needs to end.“That’s the hard work of the pro-life movement,” DeSanctis said. “What each of us chooses to do each day, whether we care for expectant mothers in need, whether we have those tough conversations even when we’d rather not. By never being afraid to say what abortion is, we have the power to show women that the life inside of them is a human being, that it’s distinct, that it matters, that it’s valuable and that they are valuable.”Tags: Abortion, March for Life, Pro-life, Right to Lifelast_img read more

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Jeff Kready Is A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder’s Newest Monty

first_img Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 17, 2016 View Comments Related Shows There’s a new Monty in town! Jeff Kready will temporarily assume the role of Monty Navarro in A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder while the show’s original Tony-nominated headliner, Bryce Pinkham, takes a leave of absence to star in The Heidi Chronicles. Kready, who currently appears in the ensemble of the tuner and understudies Monty, will begin performances full-time on January 20, 2015 at the Walter Kerr Theatre.Kready made his Broadway debut in Les Miserables, and has also appeared on the Great White Way in Sunday in the Park with George and Billy Elliot. His additional stage credits include Tokio Confidential and Carousel. Fun fact: he’s married to Broadway favorite Nikki Renee Daniels!Written by Robert L. Freedman and Steven Lutvak, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder follows Monty Navarro, a long-lost member of a noble family who stands to become the next Earl of Highhurst—if he can eliminate the eight other relatives (all played by Jefferson Mays) who precede him in line for the title. The tuner received four 2014 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Additional cast members include Lisa O’Hare, Catherine Walker and Carole Shelley. A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder Star Files Bryce Pinkhamlast_img read more

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Electricians union reaches deal with Vermont Yankee

first_imgElectricians union reaches deal with Vermont YankeeEntergy Vermont Yankee and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers reached an 11th hour deal August 19 over a new three-year contract. The tentative contract agreement coincided with a visit to Brattleboro from Rudolph Giuliani, who is now a security consultant working with Entergy Nuclear.Electrical workers at the nuclear plant, located in Vernon, were set to go on strike if a new deal had not been reached. Managers at the plant were set to take over those jobs to keep the plant operational. The sticking point was over health care costs. IBEW workers had struck twice in the plants history, once in 1974 and again in 1979.The union represents 148 of the plants 500 employees.Giuliani, mayor of New York on September 11, 2001, was Time magazines Person of the Year because of his leadership following the terrorist attacks. He was in Vermont touting the security upgrades made by Entergy since it bought the plant in 2002.last_img read more

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Guatemalan President Requests Extra Efforts against Drug Trafficking

first_imgBy Dialogo November 07, 2012 Guatemalan President Otto Pérez, will request further efforts from the international community to fight against drug trafficking and organized crime, which has turned Central America into one of the most violent areas in the world. Pérez stated that he will submit the request next January, at the World Economic Forum, in Davos, Switzerland. “It is the most important economic forum in the world, where we will have the chance to talk about this subject (…) We need to make an effort to find better ways to counter drug trafficking, not only in Central America, but globally,” he told the press. “We must be clever; we must be capable of evaluating both what has not worked in 40 years and what may work,” he added. At several forums, including the United Nations, Pérez has criticized the United States’ traditional strategy for countering drug trafficking, as being unsuccessful, and for generating a wave of violence throughout Central America. In fact, Central American countries have become the bridge and warehouse of drug cartels that transport drugs to the United States from South America. Washington assured that 90% of the drugs arriving to their territory come through the Central American region. In February, the Guatemalan head of state proposed decriminalizing drug trafficking, trade and consumption. In October, Pérez urged the UN to “seek new paradigms to fight against drug trafficking, to unify efforts to fight against transnational crime.” Recently, Mexico, Colombia, and Guatemala submitted a formal letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, requesting the organization to lead an “urgent” revision of the global strategy against drugs.last_img read more

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Candidates file to run for nine new judgeships

first_img August 15, 2002 Regular News Candidates file to run for nine new judgeships Candidates file to run for nine new judgeshipscenter_img The number of contested circuit judge races rose significantly with the close of qualifying July 26 for nine new legislatively created seats.Eight of the new seats drew at least three candidates, while in the ninth, in the 10th Circuit, a state senator filed unopposed for the new post.Pursuant to a new state law, qualifying for the existing judgeships where the terms end at the end of the year was held in May. That law was intended to give incumbent judges who face last minute challenges more time to arrange their dockets for campaigning.But this year’s legislative session failed to produce a budget agreement for the 2002-03 budget until a special session in May. Part of that budget authorized 18 new circuit judges, with nine being chosen by voters and nine appointed by the governor. Since it was too late for qualifying for those nine elected seats during May, the legislature specified that qualifying would be held with other state races in July.The second round of qualifying for the nine new seats was unlike the May qualifying. Then there were 246 seats up and only 26 — mostly seats being vacated by incumbents — drew more than one candidate. In most of the uncontested seats, incumbents filed for re-election.With the new seats, that means voters will have a total of 34 circuit races on the September 10 primary ballot. Any runoffs will be decided on the November general election ballot.(There are no contested circuit judgeships in the First, Second, Third, 10th, 14th, 16th, 18th, or 20th circuits. Information on contested county judge races is not collected statewide, but is available from local supervisors of elections offices. A list of the other contested circuit races as well as those elected without opposition was in the June 1 News. )Filing unopposed for the new 10th Circuit seat is Sen. John Laurent, R-Bartow, a former member of the House Judiciary Committee and a current member of the joint House-Senate panel overseeing the constitutionally mandated increase in Article V funding for the state trial courts.Contesting the other races are:• In the Sixth Circuit, Group 41, Linda Allan, Bryon A. Lorrier, Malinda Ottinger, and William L. “Bill” Vinson.• In the Seventh Circuit, Group 24, David A. Burt, Terry LaRue, Larry Nixon, and Henry T. Swann III.• In the Eighth Circuit, Group 12, David A. Glant, Terry Kann, and Gil Schaffnit.• In the Ninth Circuit, Group 37, Mark C. Bender, Jim Henson, and Norberto Katz.• In the 12th Circuit, Group 19, Preston DeVilbiss, Jr., Cynthia Evers, Diana Moreland, and Ed Nicholas.• In the 13th Circuit, Group 37, Ray Brooks, Woody Isom, Monica L. Sierra, and Brad Souders.• In the 15th Circuit, Group 34, John P. Marinelli, William J. McAfee, Karen M. Miller, and Darren D. Shull.• In the 17th Circuit, Group 52, Michael G. Kaplan, Andrew “Andy” Salvage, Perry Eugene Thurston, Jr., and Jack Tuter.last_img read more

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Cuomo Holds Off Teachout Challenge in NY Dem Primary

first_img“I want to thank the extraordinary people who helped make this night possible,” Teachout said during her concession speech at Hudson Terrace in New York City. “The fracktivists! The public finance activists! The teachers and parents who are fighting for the education of their children.” “I will not be the next governor of this state,” Teachout added, “but the Democrats have spoken and they have been heard.” Wu, who was mingling with the crowd prior to the polls closing, was the first to concede. “We need to renew our party’s commitment to economic justice,” he told the crowd. “We need to be the party that believes in America, in integrity.” “Zephyr Teachout is the cure for cynicism,” he added. The stage is now set for the gubernatorial race between Cuomo and Republican candidate, Rob Astorino, the Westchester County Executive.Zephyr Teachout during her concession speech after losing the democratic primary to Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “I will not be the next governor of this state,” she said, “but the Democrats have spoken and they have been heard.” (Jaime Franchi/Long Island PressTeachout and Wu used the campaign to essentially accuse Cuomo of being a closet Republican who is so beholden to his wealthy contributors that he’s incapable of standing up for Democratic values and therefore unable to eradicate corruption in Albany.Teachout, a Fordham Law professor, infused energy into her campaign despite little name recognition by rallying behind a growing group of educators and parents against Common Core, as well as environmentalists who for years have called on Cuomo to ban hydrofracking.In the end, however, Teachout’s insurgent campaign couldn’t dethrone the incumbent Cuomo, who remains popular across the state and went into the primary with a significant financial advantage.Cuomo claimed victory without doing much campaigning at all. He chose not to engage Teachout in public or face off in any debates—even going so far as to say some debates he’s been in actually turned out to be a “disservice to democracy.”In the weeks leading up to the primary Cuomo chose not to even acknowledge Teachout’s existence and was caught on video during a Labor Day parade ignoring her even though she was standing only several feet away from him.“Where’s Mayor Bill de Blasio?” Cuomo is heard saying in the video as Teachout awkwardly stood nearby. “Where’s the mayor when you need him? Where’s the mayor? We need the mayor!”Cuomo’s campaign’s tried twice to knock Teachout off the ballot by challenging her residency in court, but failed both times.Teachout’s campaign was much more spirited.Lt. Gov. hopeful Timothy Wu at the Teachout/Wu primary party in New York City. (Jaime Franchi/Long Island Press)She accused Cuomo of failing to live up to Democratic principles while she traveled across the state. Teachout pledged to ban fracking and said she’d discontinue Common Core education standards. Teachout, who authored a book about corruption in America that hits shelves this week, said voters could trust her with cleaning up Albany.And she blasted Cuomo as corrupt, using a recent New York Times expose about Cuomo’s disbanded Moreland Commission to bolster her point. (The Times reported that Cuomo’s aides frequently meddled with the anti-corruption panel when investigators got too close to the governor or organizations that supported him.)Teachout gained steam as primary day neared, but it was her running mate Wu who perhaps got the biggest boost when the Times endorsed him over Hochul in the race for lieutenant governor.Wu, a Columbia Law professor and champion of Internet freedoms—he coined the term “Net Neutrality”—was seen by political observers as the opponent with the best chance to threaten the Cuomo/Hochul ticket.Hochul, a one-term congresswoman from a conservative district in Buffalo, is largely unknown downstate. The Wu camp spent a great deal of time attacking Hochul, who once received an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA) and joined a minority of Democrats (17) who voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt during a hearing into a botched gun-trafficking sting.In her concession speech, Teachout expressed pride in what the ticket accomplished, despite falling short. “This is still a big moment and I still want to celebrate it,” she said. “We have made history.” “Albany has been in the grip of the politics of fear,” she continued. “Democrats don’t have to be afraid anymore. It’s okay to speak up.” Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Tuesday comfortably defeated his Democratic challenger Zephyr Teachout in a primary that progressive Democrats used to assail Cuomo’s alleged right-leaning policies, hoping that a competitive showing by Teachout would force the governor to lean left on hot-button issues.Cuomo’s running mate Kathy Hochul was also victorious, holding off Timothy Wu, her challenger for lieutenant governor. The Associated Press called both races just before 10:20 p.m. With 46-percent of precincts reporting, both Cuomo and Hochul had 60 percent of the votes. Teachout and Wu grabbed 35 and 40 percent of the votes respectively.The New York State Democratic Committee used Twitter to relay a statement from Cuomo’s camp: last_img read more

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This week: Fintech, gov’t funding, NCUA meeting on NAFCU’s radar

first_imgThe Senate is in session this week, but members of the House are back in their home districts giving credit unions the opportunity to meet to discuss issues facing the industry. NAFCU will be monitoring a Senate Banking hearing on fintech, as well as work on appropriations bills. The NCUA Board also has a meeting set for Thursday.Government funding is currently set to expire Sept. 30, but Congress has been working to pass minibus funding packages to avoid a shutdown. Last week, both chambers passed a package of spending bills that the president is expected to sign, and came to an agreement for long-term funding for some departments that also includes funding through Dec. 7 for remaining agencies. NAFCU will continue to monitor funding efforts and keep credit unions updated as the deadline approaches.Tomorrow, the Senate Banking Committee holds a hearing on fintech, slated to begin at 10 a.m. Eastern. NAFCU has actively engaged with Congress, the Treasury Department and regulators to offer credit unions’ perspective on the emerging technologies – the association agrees that fintech produces real benefits to consumers, but believes that any company engaged in core banking functions should be regulated the same way as credit unions. continue reading » 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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Nigeria confirms its first human case of avian flu

first_imgJan 31, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Nigerian officials confirmed today that a 22-year-old woman died of H5N1 avian influenza, making Nigeria the third African country to have a human case, after Egypt and Djibouti.The woman was from Lagos, the nation’s largest city, a government minister told news services.”Last night our team of 13 scientists were able to conclusively identify the case of avian influenza,” Nigerian Information Minister Frank Nweke said at a press conference today, according to a BBC News report. He said samples from the woman would be sent to other laboratories, including the World Health Organization (WHO), for further review.The woman fell ill after de-feathering and disemboweling an infected chicken, Reuters reported. She died Jan 17, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP).Nigeria announced 2 days ago it was conducting H5N1 tests on samples from 14 patients, including 3 who died of suspected avian flu and 11 who were exposed to them. The 22-year-old and her mother were two of the victims, according to Reuters. Other news services have said a woman from Taraba state was the third. A WHO official had said preliminary tests were negative and samples were sent to a lab in Britain for further testing.Earlier reports said the mother and daughter from Lagos had died within 2 weeks after eating chicken bought from a live-bird market during the holidays. An AllAfrica News report had said the family slaughtered the chickens after one died mysteriously.Africa’s first experience with H5N1 avian flu came in 2006 with poultry outbreaks in several countries, plus 18 human cases in Egypt and 1 in Djibouti. Egypt has had 19 cases with 11 deaths, including one fatal case so far this year.Nigeria has been hit hard by bird outbreaks, with 17 of 36 states affected so far, according to Reuters. A July 2006 report in Nature said the H5N1 virus had entered Nigeria three different times, possibly carried by migratory birds. But the report also said international poultry trade could have been a factor.WHO spokesperson Gregory Hartl said a human case of avian flu in Nigeria is no surprise, because many poultry flocks live close to humans, much as in Indonesia, which has been hit hard by poultry outbreaks and human cases, Reuters reported.”It does not change anything from a public health point of view. It had to happen sooner or later,” Hartl told Reuters.At a donors’ conference in Bamako, Mali, in December, World Bank officials urged donors to focus their funding on African countries because they are economically weaker and less able to respond to avian flu threats.In other avian flu news, Japan confirmed today that its third poultry outbreak this winter was caused by H5N1, according to Canadian Press. The outbreak at a chicken farm in Okayama prefecture, about 340 miles west of Tokyo, is Japan’s second confirmed outbreak in a week.The country’s first two recent outbreaks occurred in Miyazaki prefecture in southwestern Japan, the country’s main poultry-producing area. The fresh round of outbreaks is Japan’s first in 3 years.In Hungary, where an outbreak in some geese was the first European appearance of H5N1 this winter, the outbreak strain is 99.4% similar to the strain found in some European countries in 2006, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) reported yesterday in a news release. The finding came from the OIE reference lab in Weybridge, England.”This information tells us that the genetic characterization of the virus isolated in Hungary has still not mutated significantly,” said OIE Director Bernard Vallat.Meanwhile, government officials in Indonesia said they may declare avian flu a national disaster, AFP reported today. Indonesia has had six avian flu deaths this season, which has prompted a ban on backyard poultry in Jakarta, effective tomorrow.Declaring avian flu a national disaster would pave the way for centralized measures and greater funding, Planning Minister Paskah Suzetta told the state news agency, Antara, today. He added that the recent avian flu outbreak meets national disaster criteria because it has caused many casualties and its spread could not be contained.See also:Jan 30 OIE press releaseJul 6, 2006, CIDRAP News article “Report says avian flu entered Nigeria 3 times”last_img read more

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