Brazil Grants Refugee Status to More Than 21,000 Venezuelans

first_imgBy Voice of America January 15, 2020 Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported on December 5, 2019 that Brazil’s refugee agency, CONARE, granted refugee status to 21,432 Venezuelans.Until then, CONARE had only granted asylum to 263 Venezuelans, and according to HRW, 224,000 Venezuelans are living in Brazil.In June 2019, CONARE concluded that “there are serious and extended human rights violations” in Venezuela, paving the way for the mass recognition of refugee status under the 1984 Cartagena Declaration.The document establishes guidelines for Latin American governments on refugee protection.CONARE based its June evaluation on a 25-page technical report that cited the work of HRW 30 times.The report made reference to an HRW investigation that showed compelling evidence of serious violations perpetrated by the Nicolás Maduro regime, such as excessive use of force against journalists and protesters, arbitrary detentions, ill-treatment of detainees and cases involving torture, in addition to the undermining of judiciary independence in the country.The HRW report on the collapse of Venezuela’s health system and a disproportionate increase in treatable diseases also influenced this outcome.The Brazilian government’s historic decision, considered a “milestone in refugee protection” by the U.N. Refugee Agency, recognizes the rights and dignity that so many Venezuelans are seeking in Brazil, HRW said.The humanitarian agency also urged CONARE to make a decision on the cases of 98,000 other Venezuelans whose requests for asylum are still pending, and called on other countries in the region to follow Brazil’s example in providing legal protection to Venezuelan refugees.last_img read more

Hoisting Atrophy in the Nassau County Executive’s Race

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York It’s the most wonderful time of the year. If politics is your sport, nothing compares to retail politics at the local level. No irrational exuberance surrounding national figures with long coattails or embarrassing blowback; just a good, old-fashioned boots-on-the-ground slugfest where committee members rule the day. This year’s election is one where ideology takes a backseat to patronage in the battle of the bureaucrats. This is small ball, baby.It’s been a while since I pulled my thoughts out of the national and international clouds to take a look at what is happening here at home. So forgive me as I reminisce for a moment before handicapping the county executive race in Nassau County, far and away the most interesting local political story of the season.A little more than a decade ago I ran for mayor in my hometown of Glen Cove. In doing so I found myself on the opposite end (and losing side) of the Suozzi family machine. While this was my adopted hometown, I was a so-called carpetbagger living in the feudal regime run by generations of Suozzis. The race was so parochial, my opponent even sent out a campaign flyer that told the good citizens of Glen Cove that I was untrustworthy because I was born in Canada. Glen Cove is the land of homemade pasta sauce, not maple syrup. I never had a chance.As a Republican candidate (hard to believe, I know), I briefly found myself in the fascinating world of the Nassau County GOP. My first (and last) general meeting at GOP headquarters in Westbury was as if I had set the dashboard clock on my DeLorean to 1950. The nearly all-white and graying crowd milled about greeting one another with hearty slaps on the back while the power brokers huddled quietly in the corner of the room whispering among themselves and occasionally surveying the crowd. Gradually, everyone took a seat in a folding chair facing a large map and a podium where chairman Joseph Mondello presided over the meeting.“This is a business!” he bellowed on more than one occasion. Mr. Mondello’s countenance would move from ashen to crimson within seconds as he addressed the audience alternately with the coolness of a CEO and the vigor of a college football coach. The overarching message was that we were to adhere to the script, send our money directly to headquarters and essentially fall in line.The lessons I learned from this experience will stay with me forever. My 15 minutes of fame in Glen Cove has all but faded away, allowing me near perfect anonymity as I watch the lawn signs sprout up all over town with this year’s crop of candidates. My hope is that the politicians who occupy positions on the ballots, whether it’s Brookhaven, Southampton or Glen Cove, have gone to where the action really is: knocking on doors. There is no more authentic or humbling experience than standing in someone’s living room and listening to what they want from their local officials.Which brings me to the two men atop the Nassau County ticket who are appropriately playing small ball, and in doing so, missing the larger picture altogether.When watching current County Executive Ed Mangano and former county executive Tom Suozzi fight to be the one to circle the bowl next, it’s hard not to get caught up in the partisan bickering. And there is some great “inside baseball” going on here. Suozzi says Mangano is responsible for Nassau’s $2 billion debt. He’s not. Mangano claims to have presented balanced budgets. He didn’t. Suozzi attacks Mangano for being soft on gun control. This is grasping at straws. Mangano asserts that he has made progress on the property tax assessment issue. He hasn’t.The biggest disconnect of this race, however, is ideology. The truth of this contest is that the two parties these men represent are indistinguishable from one another.The assessment situation is fixable. But it must come from Albany—and the nine Long Island senators hold the key. Unfortunately, neither Mangano nor Suozzi will cop to this admission because each is cozy with law firms that extract exorbitant fees from tax grievances.Both men share an antipathy toward labor and favor privatization. Mangano spends an inordinate amount of time cozying up to donors and Suozzi spent his political off-season consulting for an investment bank and commissioning works of art. In everything they have done and represent, they are shills for corporate America and complicit in an overall scheme designed to liquidate taxpayers, privatize public works, and ride the status quo deep into the ground.It’s hardly their fault, mind you. Our troubles in suburbia are so thick that there is an air of inevitability to our decline. Mangano and Suozzi know it, which is why this is the ultimate bureaucratic contest. As voters, this election comes down to which starting lineup you want on the field playing in a game that won’t affect the outcome of your season. Got a buddy sandwiched in a cubicle in North Hempstead waiting to return to a cushy county job? Vote for Suozzi. Have a relative in the county who needs three more years to pad his or her pension before retirement? Vote for Mangano.Want real change and a chance to redefine our future? Sorry. Not on the ballot.Either way, I’ll be glued to my television as usual, watching Jerry Kremer and Larry Levy narrate the inevitable. And loving every minute of it.last_img read more

Do you aspire to being a high performance board?

first_imgEach organization has a culture, a way of practicing values and beliefs. In a credit union, the culture starts at the top—in the boardroom—and emanates from there to the executive team and staff. When the board is in alignment to be high performing, the CEO has an easier job of creating and maintaining a highly engaged organizational culture.The board’s role is simple: strategy, policy and advocacy. How directors organize themselves to create an engaged and productive board centers on a commitment for the group to act as such, an engaged and productive board. Engaged and productive directors increase board fitness by modeling the credit union’s vision, mission, and values in and outside of the boardroom.Low-Hanging FruitHere’s a list of 15 easy and common sense things you and your fellow directors can do on your path to being a high performing board. continue reading » 5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

5 ways financial marketers can be sure they’re using the right metrics

first_img continue reading » Despite many advancements in the use of data that help banks and credit unions target the most appropriate consumers, marketers face many challenges measuring marketing performance. The fact is, the level of investment in marketing has never been higher. Yet, many financial institution marketing leaders are still asking themselves:Am I spending my marketing dollars efficiently?How should I plan for next year?How am I performing compared to my peers?The need for improved marketing measurement has become a higher priority because of the shift of spend into more advanced digital channels. For a long time, digital measurement was somewhat straightforward. But mobile changed that. Measurement today is more complicated, more nuanced, and more important than ever. What’s needed is the ability to deliver accurate marketing measurement to maximize media spend, creative rotation, brand impact, account openings and, ultimately, marketing ROI. Yet, effective measurement often lags behind customer acquisition marketing strategies and capabilities.As marketers spend more of their budget in digital, they come under increasing pressure to justify the spending and quantify its impact. More than ever, they need to take into consideration other touch points beyond the one that immediately preceded the conversion. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

WHO group envisions greater production of H1N1 vaccine

first_imgMay 19, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – A new report from a World Health Organization (WHO) advisory group predicts that global production of vaccine for the novel H1N1 influenza virus could be as much as 4.9 billon doses a year, far higher than previous estimates.The report also says that it’s “premature” to recommend starting mass production of an H1N1 vaccine now and predicts that if the recommendation is made, production could begin no sooner than mid-July. It gives no estimate of when the first doses would become available.The four-page report is based on a May 14 teleconference of about 40 stakeholders, called the Ad Hoc Policy Advisory Working Group on Influenza A (H1N1) Vaccines. It was released late yesterday.The report says that vaccine makers are expected to produce about 480 million doses of seasonal flu vaccine for the northern hemisphere’s 2008-09 flu season. About 350 million doses will be ready by June 30 and 430 million doses by Jul 31.The report continues, “It is estimated that up to 4.9 billion doses [of novel H1N1 vaccine] could be produced over a 12-month period after the initiation of full-scale production,” if production yields are about the same as for seasonal flu vaccines and if “the most dose-sparing formulations” are used.The estimate of 4.9 billion doses is far above the 1 billion to 2 billion doses mentioned by the WHO’s Dr. Marie-Paul Kieny at a news briefing on May 6. She said that was based on an estimated global production capacity of about 900 million doses for seasonal vaccine.The report does not explain what the 4.9-billion-dose estimate is based on, and WHO officials did not reply to a query about this today. But the mention of dose-sparing formulations is an apparent reference to adjuvants—immune-system stimulants that, when added to a vaccine, allow doses to be diluted, thus increasing supplies.The working group also says that with total annual production of 4.9 billion doses, the United Nations (UN) could potentially have access to 400 million doses.The report says that a monovalent, or single-strain, vaccine is the preferred option for the H1N1 vaccine. There has been speculation about adding a novel H1N1 vaccine to the seasonal flu vaccine, which targets three flu strains, creating a four-strain vaccine that could protect against seasonal flu and the novel virus. But the report says this “would have significant regulatory implications,” implying it would cause delays.Timing considerationsConcerning production timetables, the report says that candidate vaccine viruses (seed strains) will become available to vaccine makers at the end of this month—on the later end of previous estimates, which were sometime in the second half of May. But distribution of the seed strains may need to be delayed another week or two for testing in animals to make sure they are safe.”Typically one to two additional months are needed by manufacturers after they receive vaccine viruses to isolate rapid growing strains to [achieve] maximum yield,” the report adds. “Based on these considerations, the Working Group concluded that manufacturers would not be ready to switch to large-scale production before mid-July 2009.”It adds that moving to production too quickly could lead to using strains that don’t grow very well in eggs, as happened with a 2004 Vietnam strain of the H5N1 virus that was used for vaccine production.The report does not suggest when the first vaccine doses might be ready, but health officials have said that, from the time manufacturers receive vaccine seed strains, it will probably take 4 to 6 months to start producing an H1N1 vaccine in quantity. With the vaccine viruses going to manufacturers at the end of May, that suggests that the first doses could be ready in October.Sanofi Pasteur, the largest flu vaccine supplier for the US market in recent years, expects to be able to produce its first doses of an H1N1 vaccine within 3 to 4 months after receiving the seed strains, a company spokeswoman said today.”Typically once we receive the seed virus, in a couple of weeks we can be ready to move to full-scale production, and in a couple of months—three to four—we believe we will have the first doses to provide to health authorities,” Donna Cary, director of public relations, told CIDRAP News.”We will have better information once we receive the seed virus and reagents and the government establishes the licensure process,” she added.GlaxoSmithKline, which also sells flu vaccine in the United States, will probably need 4 to 6 months to start providing vaccine after it receives the seed strains, company spokeswoman Sarah Alspach told CIDRAP News today. She noted that clinical trials will be necessary, and unpredictable hurdles could crop up.The WHO report notes that many factors affecting H1N1 vaccine supplies remain unknown, including the optimal dose, the required number of doses, the required interval between doses, the interchangeability of different products, and the safety profile.One safety issue will be the risk of Guillian-Barre syndrome, the paralytic condition that ultimately derailed the nationwide swine flu vaccination campaign in 1976, the report says. It recommends determining baseline rates of the syndrome in various populations before a pandemic vaccine is available, so that any later changes in its incidence can be detected.Vow to help developing countriesIn other developments today, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said vaccine company executives who met with the agency today showed a “serious commitment” to helping provide H1N1 vaccines for developing countries, but she gave no specifics on what the companies might do.In a press release, the WHO said it would work with the UN and other groups “to find innovative funding mechanisms to ensure that developing countries were not denied access to vaccines because of lack of means.”Chan said she would meet with vaccine manufacturers individually to develop strategies to make vaccine supplies available to needy countries, according to the release.See also: WHO working group reporthttp://www.who.int/csr/resources/publications/swineflu/TC_report_2009_05_14.pdfMay 1 CIDRAP News story on obstacles to H1N1 vaccine productionhttp://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/influenza/swineflu/news/may0109vaccine.htmlMay 6 CIDRAP News story on H1N1 vaccine issueshttp://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/influenza/swineflu/news/may0609vaccine.htmlTranscript of May 6 WHO briefing on vaccine issueshttp://www.who.int/mediacentre/influenzaAH1N1_prbriefing_20090506.pdfMay 19 WHO news release on supplying vaccines to developing nationshttp://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2009/vaccine_manufacturers_meeting_20090519/en/index.htmllast_img read more

Hong Kong security law will not be retroactive: Chinese official

first_imgHong Kong’s national security legislation will not punish people retroactively, a senior Chinese official said on Monday, touching on a key question raised by local residents, diplomats and foreign investors over the controversial law.Deng Zhonghua, deputy director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, also said while Beijing must be able to have jurisdiction over the most serious national security cases, the financial hub should be responsible for most enforcement work.Beijing last month moved to directly impose the legislation on Hong Kong in a bid to tackle secession, subversion and foreign interference in the city. Critics of the legislation fear it will stifle freedoms in the former British colony, including freedom of speech and an independent judiciary, which are seen as key to its success as a global financial hub.The law has reignited anti-government protests after a lull for much of this year due to coronavirus, although police have moved swiftly to stamp out recent rallies, in many cases citing a ban on groups of more than eight people to prevent the spread of COVID-19.Authorities in Beijing and Hong Kong insist the law will focus on “troublemakers” who pose a threat to national security and have said the broader public have no reason to worry. Speaking at a seminar in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, Deng said the law will comply with Hong Kong’s legal and judicial system.”Although there are differences in the legal systems of Hong Kong and the mainland, the principles followed by the Hong Kong and mainland criminal laws are not that great,” Deng said.”Both laws include principles such as presumption of innocence, the right for criminal suspects and defendants to have legal defense, and laws not being applied retrospectively. All these principles can be stipulated in this legislation.”Some people in the territory fear the legislation could be applied retroactively and target people for actions committed in the past that could carry a heavy sentence under the new law, details of which have not been revealed.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Unai Emery hints he is ready to unleash Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe & Alexandre Lacazette against Spurs

first_img Comment Unai Emery was criticised for the formation he used against Liverpool (Picture: Getty)‘I understand the question [about the diamond], he added. ‘We won with the diamond last year, and we lost with it. We can win and we can lose with the diamond.‘The consequence of the result on Sunday was not the diamond, but really we are ready to play with different tactical decisions.‘Last year we worked and used different formations with good performances because the players here have worked on different systems.’More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal Unai Emery hints he is ready to unleash Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe & Alexandre Lacazette against Spurs Alexandre Lacazette started on the bench against Liverpool last week (Picture: Getty)Unai Emery has hinted he is ready to start Nicolas Pepe, Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang together for the first time against Tottenham in Sunday’s north London derby.Arsenal’s two most prolific strikers are already up and running for the new season, while Pepe was a near constant thorn in Liverpool’s side during last Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Anfield on his full debut.An ankle injury which has troubled Lacazette since he picked up a knock against Lyon in pre-season meant he started on the bench last weekend, but he is in contention to start against Tottenham, potentially alongside Aubameyang and the club’s new record signing.AdvertisementAdvertisementYes [they could all start], but be calm,’ said Emery. ‘My decision in each moment is thinking about how we are.ADVERTISEMENTMore: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City‘For example with Lacazette he had a problem with his ankle. This week is the best week of the last three weeks. He’s getting better and feeling better with his ankle, it’s very positive.‘With Pepe, he came here later than the others but he is getting and feeling better in each match. Aubameyang is very important for us, he scores two goals in the first two matches, he had two or three good actions in Liverpool.’Emery implemented a diamond formation against Liverpool which drew criticism from the likes of Ian Wright, especially given the formation allowed Liverpool assist machines Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson oceans of space in which to operate. Advertisement Advertisement Metro Sport ReporterThursday 29 Aug 2019 2:51 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link19Shareslast_img read more

Pool, tennis court, 3000-bottle wine cellar and plenty of rooms, is this a house or a resort?

first_img30 Windermere Rd, Hamilton. Martin Roller was living just a few doors around the corner when he spotted 30 Windermere Rd, Hamilton, for sale five years ago.At the time he was living in a three-level home on a 405sq m block.“It suited my life, not too much maintenance, no garden, a very sort of austere home,’’ he said.But after spotting a “for sale” sign on his morning walk down Windermere Rd his interest was piqued in the house at number 30. On another walk past the home that evening, he saw it was open for inspection and went in for a look around.“I thought, ‘wow, what a house’, but it was way too big just for my new partner and I, six bedrooms, 2000sq m, two levels, living areas everywhere, a 3000-bottle wine cellar. I thought ‘nice place but wrong guy’. Anyway, a month later I owned it,’’ he said.Mr Roller described it as having a very sophisticated style, and a very moody sort of colour and decor, which he said really resonated with them.30 Windermere Rd, Hamilton.“Every day we have enjoyed living there, when I come home from work it gives me a nice feeling knowing I am coming into my own little resort,” he said.“It is a beautiful home, from the moment you walk through the big stainless-steel gates.“I am a car dealer so there is plenty of room for cars, there is five cars I could park there, not that I own that many, the dealership does but I don’t.’’Mr Roller said he had started playing tennis again because of the access to the court.He loved the main living area where his two younger children could run around as it had become a hub for the family, and his favourite place to eat dinner was in the wine cellar, which seats eight.30 Windermere Rd, Hamilton.More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach Northless than 1 hour agoNew apartments released at idyllic retirement community Samford Grove Presented by “I have had some cracking dinner parties in that wine cellar,’’ he said.The home has six bedrooms and four bathrooms. There is a championship-size tennis court and a swimming pool.There is ducted airconditioning, an intercom entry and a Bang & Olufsen sound system.It has a three-car garage and a two-car carport, as well as storage space.30 Windermere Rd, Hamilton.There are wooden floors, large sliding doors, high ceilings and multiple entertainment areas.The kitchen overlooks the living, dining and outside area. Glass stacker doors slide open from the living areas to the outside.The main bedroom has balcony access, a walk-in robe and an ensuite with twin vanities and stone benchtops.30 Windermere Rd, Hamilton.DETAILSSix bed, four bath, five carAgent: Dwight Ferguson Ray White AscotPrice: expressions of interest closing February 23last_img read more

Mourinho bites back at detractors

first_imgJose Mourinho insisted Chelsea did everything required of champions as he hit out at criticism of the Premier League winners’ approach. Press Association “What the players are feeling now is fantastic. They deserve.” Mourinho returned for a second spell as Chelsea boss in June 2013 and now in his second season has won the Capital One Cup and the Premier League, taking his personal trophy tally to 22. “When you go back to a place where you had success before you risk a little bit of your prestige, your history. I risked it,” Mourinho added. “This amazing team that was Chelsea’s team for a decade is not here any more. And a new team won again. “Now I can say I won titles for Chelsea with two different generations, separated by almost a decade.” Mourinho made a veiled criticism of rival Pep Guardiola, whose Bayern Munich are the dominant team in Germany, and spoke of enjoying the competitive nature of English football. Mourinho added: “Maybe in the future I have to be smarter and choose another country, another club, where everybody’s champions. Even the kit man coaching is champion in some countries “I still enjoy these difficulties. I still enjoy to be tired after a very difficult match. So I think I am in the right place.” Mourinho is two years into a four-year contract of his second spell and received the congratulations of owner Roman Abramovich afterwards. “I stay here until Mr Abramovich wants me to stay. The day he tells me to go, I go,” the Blues boss added. “I was with TV, just a hug and a hug means more than words. “He’s a man that won every title with Chelsea. Some players did some, some players did others. “Some managers did some, some managers did others. Mr Abramovich is the only one that won every title.” Mourinho’s side needed three points to claim the trophy with three games to spare and Eden Hazard headed in the rebound after seeing his first-half penalty saved by Julian Speroni. Chelsea have led for some time and suffered just two defeats all season – on December 6 at Newcastle and January 1 at Tottenham, when Manchester City drew level at the top of the table. The challenge of each of the Blues’ rivals faltered at varying times and Mourinho knew the title was his side’s to lose, but insisted on taking a game-by-game approach. “We were convinced for a long time,” he said “Champions now. Not one hour ago, not yesterday, or a week or one month ago. Champions now. “From that moment (the loss to Spurs), January, February, March, April, not one single defeat.” Mourinho is already targeting title number four, aware the margins between success and comparative failure are fine. Mourinho said: “I will try (for) another one. The day I don’t feel that passion to try to do it again, I stop. I don’t feel that day is arriving. “(But) I think top four in this country, for the top teams, is the first target.” Ramires was a late withdrawal from the Chelsea side through illness and went to hospital to be assessed. Mourinho said: “Ramires went to the hospital, he was feeling so bad.” Palace boss Alan Pardew felt the penalty award was “questionable” and that his side might have had their own spot-kick when John Terry blocked a Jason Puncheon shot, with the ball hitting the Blues captain’s shoulder and upper arm before going clear. “I do feel a little bit hard done by,” Pardew said. “It was kind of questionable. Then they get another break when he misses it and it goes straight to him. “(But) it’s not about us today. They’ve obviously done the job. Sometimes fantasy and flair goes out the window to do the job to win. “That’s why this guy (Mourinho) earns the money he earns, because he wins and he wins trophies.” A 1-0 win over Crystal Palace gave the Blues an unassailable lead at the summit and a fourth Premier League title in 11 seasons. It was Mourinho’s third – drawing him level with Bill Shankly, Arsene Wenger and Stan Cullis – and first of his second spell. Chelsea, by the Portuguese’s own admission, became “more strategic, less artistic” as the title neared, with detractors labelling the Blues “boring”. Mourinho, who values substance over style, dismissed those who had the temerity to criticise his side. “We do everything that the team needs,” Mourinho said. “That’s why we deserve so much to be champions. And I think everybody knows that. “And the ones that have a big face to say we don’t deserve are the ones that in my country we say: the dogs bark and the caravan goes by. “(It’s) easy to be a pundit, because as a pundit you win every game. Fantastic job. “Maybe in 10 years’ time it’s my job. And then I win every game. “Now as a manager I lose sometimes and it’s a much more difficult job. last_img read more

Sing out

first_imgBrandon Hui | Daily TrojanLara Johnston (left) and Peter Johnson, both freshmen majoring in pop music, perform at Ground Zero’s open mic night competition on Monday. Monday marked the third and final night of the open mic night competition. One winner was chosen each night, and the winners will perform at  a benefit concert with a headlining band.last_img