first_imgMINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A divided Minnesota Court of Appeals on Monday upheld a former Minneapolis police officer’s murder conviction in the 2017 shooting death of an unarmed Australian woman who had dialed 911. Mohamed Noor is serving 12 1/2 years in the death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, whom he shot once in the stomach when she approached his patrol car in the alley behind her home. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that Noor challenged his third-degree murder conviction. The appeals court ruled 2-1 to uphold the conviction, with one judge saying he would have reversed Noor’s murder conviction and sent his case for sentencing on the lesser second-degree manslaughter charge.last_img read more

first_imgPope Francis’s recent apostolic exhortation, “Evangelii Gaudium,” highlighted many of the economic and social justice issues of today’s world and prompted reactions from critics worldwide.  William Purcell, associate director for Catholic Social Tradition and Practice at the Center for Social Concerns, said the pope “is not being an idealist, but a realist with ideals.”  Purcell said the apostolic exhortation’s contents are both prescriptive and intellectual, focusing largely on pastoral theology and how the Church can engage and shepherd people. “Francis addresses [“Evangelii Gaudium”] to the whole people of God, so not just to the laity, but also to the bishops, clergy and religious,” Purcell said. “He’s talking to the leaders at all levels, including lay leaders … and he’s challenging us to find creative ways to share the key emphasis of God, which is love.”  Many of the critiques of and negative reaction to the text are “short-sighted,” Purcell said, misunderstanding the context of the pope’s statements and its background in Catholic Social Tradition. One notable criticism came from talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, who said Francis’s ideas were “pure Marxism” in a Nov. 27 show about the document, titled “It’s Sad How Wrong Pope Francis Is.”  Purcell said people should remember that the pope is writing about theology, not ideology. “What he’s really talking about is joy – that’s what ‘gaudium’ means,” Purcell said. “He’s talking about how we’re called to evangelize and that nobody likes a grim do-gooder. “What he’s saying is that we’ve got to be joyful about it, we’ve got to be embracing it. We should attract people by our actions, and so we should be joyful and life-giving.”  The apostolic exhortation is the first thing Francis has written completely on his own during his papacy, and Purcell said it presents his vision of what the Church is about, speaking from his position as the head of the institution. “I think it’s exciting because people have been taking notice,” Purcell said. “Some people react to it out of their ideology and not their theology, and people struggle with some of the things he’s talking about.”  Purcell said throughout the document, Francis quotes bishops from across the world, as well as past popes and saints. Because of this, the content “isn’t new, but part of our tradition.”  “His insight comes from talking about these things in a new style, in an uplifting way, so people see the power of what we’re called to do,” Purcell said. “He becomes so welcoming, so charismatic, and he speaks to the common person.  “It doesn’t become esoteric or dense, because he’s speaking to the person in the pew. People can read this and understand it … and I think they get excited by it.”  The four main themes of the text are joy, poverty, peace and justice, Purcell said. Beyond the thematic theological elements, Francis “becomes prescriptive and deals with real, concrete ways of addressing problems,” he said. “The beauty of the exhortation is that he writes so well, and he writes so positively and so openly,” Purcell said. “This is a pope who is a Jesuit, so he’s a thinker. There are ideals of things like solidarity and the common good, but he’s being a realist about how we try to address those things. “He gives concrete examples; he names saints or people or particular things so it doesn’t just become words like ‘solidarity,’ but you get the stories and symbols and scripture behind that makes it come alive.”  To best utilize the document’s wisdom, Purcell said parishes need to find a way to break it into parts and find pastoral applications for it. “It’s too much to swallow all at one time, because it’s so rich and there’s so much good within it,” he said. “But it’s fun to look at since [Pope Francis is] just so positive, and he speaks so directly. He’s prophetic, but not obnoxious.”  Contact Ann Marie Jakubowski at ajakubo1@nd.edulast_img read more

first_imgKodiak, Alaska — one of the only cities in the U.S. to generate almost 100 percent of its electric power from renewable resources — was celebrated for its environmental sustainability in a lecture Tuesday night in DeBartolo Hall.The lecture was presented as part of the 12th ND Energy Week, an awareness week hosted by ND Energy and the Student Energy Board that promotes education and discussion about energy sustainability.Darron Scott, CEO of the Kodiak Electric Association Inc. (KEA) said the city’s initiative to implement clean power began in the early 2000s. KEA is Kodiak’s locally owned and operated electric cooperative.A primary reason KEA decided to switch to clean energy was due to the economic stability hydroelectric power and wind power offered, he said. The price of diesel fuel is highly volatile, he said, which can prove costly.Kodiak’s local industries looking to keep the price of power low was a major proponent of the switch, he said.“We were getting a lot of pressure [to transition] from seafood processors and from the government facilities,” he said.Scott said the Kodiak community embraced the transition for its economic benefits. Because the electric grid on the island is isolated from other cities, the clean power initiative serves Kodiak exclusively.“The benefit from [the wind turbines] comes directly to the people on the island,” he said.Scott said while the project began as a largely independent, local initiative, he attributes part of its success to government funding.“[While KEA was] getting ready to put the project in motion, the state [put] out a big grant for renewable energy projects,” he said.Scott said Kodiak’s transition to sustainable energy was gradual. It began with the introduction of hydroelectric plants, then expanded to include three wind turbines. He said KEA was tentative about wind power at first because it is more challenging to integrate into a power grid.“We didn’t have any real data on how the wind turbines reacted in the [electrical] system,” he said.After gathering close data on its first three wind turbines, the company later doubled the amount to six, he said.Today, KEA generates 82 percent of its electricity using hydroelectric power and 17 percent with wind power, Scott said.Scott said since switching to renewable energy, Kodiak has seen immense economic benefits.“Just the wind turbines alone have saved about 14 million gallons of diesel for our town,” he said.The amount of diesel saved already amounts to more than the initial cost of the project, he added.“We’re nine years in — it’s already paid for itself,” he said.Scott said the project has also helped Kodiak make progress in combating pollution. KEA’s renewable energy has reduced the city’s carbon dioxide emission by 150,000 tons.KEA has plans to expand its renewable energy initiative even further, Scott said.“We’re moving forward with more dispatchable renewable power we can rely on, which is [hydropower],” he said.Scott said he believes it is possible for the U.S. to make a full transition to renewable energy in the near future.“This model — it should work,” he said. “ … The technology’s there.”Tags: clean energy week, darron scott, kodiaklast_img read more

first_imgCynthia Erivo in ‘The Color Purple'(Photo: Matthew Murphy) Some of Broadway’s best are lined up to show off their talents during CBS’ Thanksgiving Day Parade coverage. The broadcast will feature performances from the Tony-winning revival of The Color Purple, School of Rock and On Your Feet!, as well as portions of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.CBS’ coverage on November 24 will also feature performances by Grammy winners Sting and Miranda Lambert. Kevin Frazier and Keltie Knight are set to host.Meanwhile, NBC will showcase parade performances from the casts of Holiday Inn, Cats and Hairspray Live!. Additional performances will be announced later. View Commentslast_img read more

first_imgDoes the stress of Thanksgiving hit you like a sledgehammer? Are you Googling new recipes the night before the feast to find the perfect sides? Does a relative want Grandma’s cornbread stuffing instead of the Stouffer’s stuffing you had planned to prepare? Are your spouse and kids expecting that favorite traditional pie or cake?Let’s face it: The holidays look picture-perfect in the media, but in reality, they may not be so full of harmony and smiles. Hosting a Thanksgiving meal means giving careful attention to all the details, like the guest list, place settings, menu, and time of day, in addition to the cooking, cleaning and entertaining.Now is the perfect time to take action to alleviate Thanksgiving stress. Make 2017 a less stressful holiday season by following these steps from University of Georgia Cooperative Extension.Plan ahead. Take note of what worked well in past years and repeat those things. Don’t force things that didn’t work well in the past. Make a general plan of menu items you want to serve, what day you’re going to shop and when you need to start thawing your turkey. Decide what dishes and serving trays you want to use – think about disposable items to make your life easier! Your family will remember how you made them feel, more than they’ll judge every detail.Don’t go it alone. It may be simpler to take control of everything yourself, but it is an easy way to burn out. Ask for your family’s assistance and promote yourself as the delegator. If someone else makes perfect pies or delicious stuffing, let them take that task off of your plate. You can designate a coordinator who plans the menu and asks others to bring a side item. This gives everyone the chance to display their cooking talents. Your family will appreciate you being more relaxed, and working together gets everyone in the holiday spirit.Resist the urge to buy new things or feel the pressure to try new recipes. Now is not the time to channel your inner Martha Stewart or redecorate your living room. Go with what you know. Classic holiday foods have many fond memories attached to them, and there is no need to reinvent the wheel. If you love trying new things, try no more than one new recipe.Set realistic expectations for family affairs. All families have disagreements, and that’s OK. With so many people in close quarters, tempers can run high! Sometimes those disagreeable moments are the ones we laugh about down the road. Since time machines are not available, it is important to find a way to live in the now.Consider a seating chart. Even though seating charts may sound formal, it can take the awkwardness out of finding a place to sit, especially if your guests are unfamiliar with each other. A well-crafted seating chart can eliminate conflict and generate free-flowing, positive conversations. If there is one person that always “stirs the pot,” place him or her at the end of the table, perhaps nearest those who won’t be influenced or upset by their remarks. Place attention seekers at the other end of the table so they don’t monopolize the conversation. In the center, seat the extroverts who have never met a stranger so that they can make everyone feel at home.Take the pressure off by sharing both the love and the responsibilities this holiday season. Let the holiday season be fun and relaxing. Enjoy the company of friends and family and take time to remember what the holidays are all about.last_img read more

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first_img‘Transparent investigation’ The blast wounded a staggering 6,000 people, many bloodied by flying glass as the shockwave tore through the city and left a 43-metre (141 foot) deep crater at Beirut’s port.US President Donald Trump on Sunday called for Lebanon to conduct a “full and transparent investigation” into the explosion, but many have called for an international enquiry.Diab said Saturday he would propose early elections to break the impasse that is plunging Lebanon ever deeper into political and economic crisis.The head of Lebanon’s Maronite church patriarch Beshara Rai joined the chorus of people pressing Diab’s entire cabinet to step down over a blast he said could be “described as a crime against humanity”.The disaster has revived anger at a ruling class seen as living in luxury while millions endure job losses, deepening poverty, power blackouts and garbage mountains piling up in the streets.Politics in multi-confessional Lebanon is dominated by former warlords from the 1975-1990 civil war who years ago exchanged their military fatigues for suits, or by their offspring and nephews.While there are Sunni Muslim, Christian and myriad other groups, the most powerful is the Shiite Hezbollah movement. While it is not known what started the fire that set off a huge stockpile of ammonium nitrate, protesters say the disaster could not have happened without the corruption and incompetence that have come to define Lebanon’s ruling class.”Those who died paid the price of a state that doesn’t care about anything except power and money,” said protester Tamara, 23, whose friend was killed in the blast.The explosion devastated Beirut and took the lives of at least 158 people. The Lebanese army said Sunday that hopes had dwindled of finding anyone alive.”We can say we have fading hopes of finding survivors,” Colonel Roger Khoury, who heads a team of military technicians at the blast site, told journalists. The catastrophe has revived the mass anti-government protests that had for months demanded the wholesale removal of Lebanon’s political elite, until coronavirus lockdown measures brought an uneasy calm.On Sunday afternoon, hundreds gathered again in and around Martyrs’ Square, a short walk from the epicenter of the blast.Clashes broke out with security forces who fired tear gas to disperse crowds.  Tear gas, rubber bullets Demonstrators had briefly taken over several government ministries the previous night, while security forces scuffled with larger crowds of protesters converging on the capital’s main protest camp. Human Rights Watch’s Lebanon researcher Aya Majzoub said some security forces had responded by indiscriminately firing tear gas and rubber bullets.”Instead of deploying the army to help residents clear rubble from their homes, businesses, and communities, the Lebanese authorities chose to deploy them and other security forces against protesters,” she said.The violence injured 65 people, according to the Lebanese Red Cross. Security forces also made 20 arrests, according to a group of lawyers supporting the protests. The August 4 explosion came with Lebanon already reeling from an economic crisis that has seen its currency collapse, plunging swathes of its population into poverty.On Sunday, French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris oversaw a UN-backed virtual donors conference to raise aid for the cash-strapped country.The world must respond “quickly and effectively” to the disaster, Macron warned, urging international cooperation “to ensure that neither violence nor chaos prevails”.In a joint statement issued after the conference, donors pledged the assistance would be “directly delivered to the Lebanese population”.New aid pledges were made while the embattled government of Prime Minister Hassan Diab took another hit Sunday with the resignation of information minister Manal Abdel Samad.Several lawmakers also quit and local media reported Diab was mulling announcing the government’s resignation. The revelation that Lebanese state officials had long tolerated a ticking time-bomb in the heart of the capital has served as shocking proof to many Lebanese of the rot at the core of the state apparatus.center_img Topics : Lebanon’s political elite faced pressure from all sides Sunday after a deadly explosion blamed on officials’ negligence, with the first cabinet resignation over the affair and re-energized protesters vowing more action.As hopes faded of finding any survivors of Tuesday’s blast, social media was flooded with angry posts after a night that saw protesters briefly take over ministries in central Beirut.A picture went viral on social media showing the city’s devastated port, with a low wall in the foreground bearing the spray-painted message: “My government did this.”last_img read more

first_imgTGS has developed EIQ TGS Data Loader in collaboration with EnergyIQ.According to TGS, companies can now automatically blend data with proprietary customer data in an enterprise well master data management platform for advanced analysis and decision making.The EIQ TGS Loader processes the most up-to-date and complete data by automatically accessing and processing TGS web services. This data is matched, validated and blended with other proprietary and third-party sources within a PPDM gold compliant data model to create the most trusted version all available data in a single repository. The data is then provided in a 10/12/14 digit format for consumption by enterprise, interpretation, and analytics applications, TGS explains.Carl Neuhaus, Vice President – Well Data Products of TGS, said, “We are excited to partner with EnergyIQ to make access to the largest geoscience database in the industry even faster. Customers are now able to further shorten cycle times by seamlessly integrating interpretation-ready data into their daily workflows and analytics tool.”“Our collaboration with TGS provides a new product for our mutual customers to gain advantage in the market. Our customers can now blend their TGS subscription data with in-house and other data sources, ensuring they have access to the best data that is fit for purpose across the business,” said Steve Cooper, EnergyIQ President. “The most trusted data will be available to help make better and faster decisions.”last_img read more

first_imgDespite posting first-half losses, Germany’s asset and investment manager Ernst Russ closed H1 2019 with a significant expansion in the shipping segment.In June 2019, the company acquired a major shareholding in a ship portfolio comprised of a Handymax bulker and a 3,100 TEU boxship.In the same month, Ernst Russ also expanded its ship portfolio to include a 4,200 TEU containership.As explained, the company’s “further aim is to increase its involvement in directly held vessels.”What is more, Ernst Russ bought further shares in the ElbFeeder portfolio which was fully consolidated as of August 1, 2019. The company now holds 51.995 percent of the shares in ElbFeeder. The joint venture is now operating seven feeder class vessels which “make a significant contribution to future Ernst Russ Group performance.”“We consider the opportunities arising from our strategy, and its optimisation on a regular basis. Our strategic partnerships, like the ‘ElbFeeder’ joint venture, play a crucial role for our portfolio in this respect. We also look into opportunities to engage in strategic partnerships in the Real Estate segment,” Robert Gärtner, Executive Board of Ernst Russ AG, commented.During the first half of this year, Ernst Russ sold three companies as well as a fund and asset management contract in the solar segment.Additionally, in February 2019, the group disposed of shares in ship management company Hammonia Reederei. Specifically, the ER Group sold its 31.37 percent stake in Hammonia to Scandinavian investors.Finally, in June, Ernst Russ disposed of its investor management business, making further progress with its strategy aimed at the group’s core segments, shipping and real estate.Investments made in the first half of 2019 led to an increase in total equity and liabilities of EUR 14.1 million (USD 15.5 million) to EUR 117.5 million.On the other hand, consolidated net loss stood at EUR 0.6 million in the first half of the year, compared to a profit of EUR 2.1 million seen in the corresponding period a year earlier.Revenues dropped to EUR 20.8 million in H1 2019 from EUR 27.9 million posted in H1 2018. However, Ernst Russ expects revenue growth in the 2019 financial year due to the acquisition of the majority shareholding in the Elbfeeder ship portfolio.“The half-year performance of Ernst Russ AG is attributable mainly to the streamlining of the group’s structure, which will enhance its ability to act effectively and in a flexible manner in the asset investment and management segment in the long term,” Ernst Russ explained.last_img read more

first_imgAl Shabaab militants in TrainingAl-Shabaab militants have threatened to stage more attacks in Kenya, just two days after their gunmen slaughtered 148  people at a university in the country’s north east.A statement released by the militants, says quote, ” Kenyan cities will run red with blood… this will be a long, gruesome war of which you, the Kenyan public, are its first casualties.”The statement described how they had specifically singled out non-Muslims to kill, gathering them together before executing them.The day-long siege on Thursday in Garissa was Kenya’s deadliest terror attack since the 1998 bombing of the U.S. embassy in Nairobi, and the bloodiest ever by the militants.The group also issued a warning of pending attacks against Universities and institutions of higher learning forcing the institutions to heighten their security measures.The University of Nairobi, Kenyatta University and the United States International University – Kenya had all issued security memos days before the attack on Garissa University claimed by Somali Islamist militant group al-Shabaab.The memos informed students and staff of new security measures while cautioning people within their campuses to be extra vigilant.Al-Shabab has staged numerous attacks in Kenya. The 2 April massacre at Garissa University, near the border with Somalia, is the bloodiest so far.However the worst attack to date was on Nairobi’s Westgate shopping centre in 2013, when at least 68 people died.In Westgate, and other attacks, the militants spared Muslims, while killing those unable to recite verses from the Koran.There are also regular gun and grenade attacks attributed to al-Shabab both in border areas, where many Kenyans are ethnic Somalis, and in Nairobi.Kenya has sent its troops into Somali territory, where they have joined the African Union force battling the militants.Al-Shabab has also set up a recruiting network in Kenya, especially around the port city of Mombasa, which has a large Muslim population.last_img read more