NAR president Vince Malta (NAR, iStock)Realtors can no longer publicly use discriminatory language without consequence.The National Association of Realtors’s board of directors voted Friday to officially expand its Code of Ethics to cover realtors’ conduct outside of their real estate duties. Previously, the code of ethics only applied to a realtors’ conduct in the course of a real estate transaction.That means any NAR member who uses hate speech or harassing language in public, whether as a part of their personal or professional business, could be expelled from the organization.Amending the organization’s ethics rules became an issue NAR’s standards committee began to consider earlier this year, after the organization began receiving complaints about its members using discriminatory speech online, particularly on social media.In the weeks leading up to the vote, NAR’s leadership acknowledged the expansion of its code of ethics had generated controversy among its 1.4 million members by creating a video explaining what was motivating the change.In the video, posted last month, Matt Difanis, who leads the standards committee, read out several examples of hate speech that members posted on social media this year. (He noted that these were just a couple from the “mountain of hate speech” complaints NAR had received.)Under NAR’s previous ethics guidelines, Difanis explained, it was “OK to say vile, abhorrent, disgusting things and still … wear the Realtor badge.”As of Friday, that’s no longer the case.Vince Malta, NAR’s president and a San Francisco-based broker, applauded the board’s decision.“Combating and overcoming bigotry and injustice starts with each of us,” Malta said in a statement. “Realtors today took tangible steps to ensure we are held to the highest possible standard while providing a mechanism of enforcement for those who violate our new policies.”Read moreNational Association of Realtors cracks down on hate speechIncidents at Nooklyn and Core outrage Black agents, staffCorcoran axes broker who cursed at woman planting Biden signs Message* Full Name* TagshomeownershipNational Association of RealtorsReal Estate and PoliticsResidential Real Estate Anyone can file a complaint against a realtor alleging the use of harassing language or hate speech in public. Complaints are considered on a case-by-cases by the local realtor association in which the agent is a member, according to NAR.Consequences for members found in violation of the code of ethics vary from fines to requirements to attend educational courses. In the most severe cases, a realtor’s membership can be suspended or revoked.In response to critics who may claim the new rules infringe on free speech, Malta said, “the First Amendment does not preclude NAR from imposing this ethical duty as a condition of membership.”The effort to expand NAR’s code of ethics began after a June meeting in which Black realtors shared their experiences of racism on the job with their colleagues, according to Difanis’ video.And, as he noted, real estate agents have been deeply involved in upholding racial discrimination for decades.“Colleagues, remember, we quite literally drew the color lines,” Defanis said. “Our fingerprints as realtors are all over the redlining maps.”A Newsday investigation last year found widespread racial discrimination by real estate agents on Long Island in New York. Brokers denied the findings in a state hearing earlier this fall, for which senators had to issue subpoenas in order to have the implicated agents participate.Contact Erin Hudson Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Share via Shortlink Email Address*
JournoDevSwap 2019: Day TwoMore developer-written reports from this weekend’s special game jam – complete with team-identifying flow chartWill FreemanSaturday 28th September 2019Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareIt’s Day Two of JournoDevSwap 2019 and both developers and journalists have been hard at work, making the most of the game jam’s longest day.In case you’ve missed the news, JournoDevSwap is a game jam where the press and game makers swap roles. It’s hosted at UKIE and supported by Alzheimer’s Research UK. The charity also set this year’s theme: the brain.You can read the first developer-written reports here, and catch up on today’s progress below.Journalistic IngenuityBy Kat Welsford, Bossa StudiosArriving at any event where you don’t know anyone is intimidating.In a room full of faces you don’t recognise, with no idea who these people are. Sometimes the people have seen you online before, they’ve seen your face in a video or a photograph and greet you with a smile you can’t echo. They know you before you know who they are. They act like you’ve been friends for years, and you’ve just got to assume that’s how they just are — everyone’s best friend, and you follow them because you don’t know any better. “Journalists aren’t your typical gamers, and they’re not your typical game developers” Maybe you met them at an event where you were distracted, and you feel like you know them from somewhere but can’t remember where. Maybe you know their voice from somewhere, but you just can’t place it.Potentially you’ve spoken to them thousands of times on Twitter or email, had in depth conversations with them but never seen them. You might feel like their eyes remind you of your preschool teacher, and their smile of your ex-girlfriend. Their laugh reminds you of that one colleague you worked with two jobs ago who left without saying goodbye.Arriving at the JournoDevSwap, it was intimidating, but we got over it, talking and chatting, interviewing, heading to grab breakfast, solving problems, sharing information. Everyone was welcoming and by the time we had to start writing, the conversations flowed naturally.Alzheimer’s disease, like most diseases affecting the mind, are difficult to truly understand just from hearing about them. You read the words on the page — and understand — but it doesn’t totally explain how it affects people. Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity, is working to change that. And that’s what today’s game jam is in the aid of — finding ways to show how Alzheimer’s can affect you in a more interactive format. Journalists aren’t your typical gamers, and they’re not your typical game developers. With a couple of days of Unity knowledge split between the seven of them, they set about with their student team-mates to make games to change the world. No pressure there then!Teams only have until 1pm tomorrow to finish their games — or not, as is so often the case with jamsA Metroidvania where you play an orange is not the first thing that comes to mind when you say ‘gaming’. Made by Team Orange (consisting of James and Marc), you go through the brain and fight corruption in a platformer. Designed to look like the ridges on the outside of the brain, you need to move from lobe to lobe, finding switches to open the doors to the next level, reconnecting the lobes of the brain. Despite having no experience in Unity, James has gotten hands on with the engine side, laying out maps and teaching himself little hacks to optimise the level creation late into the night.Laura decided to go very literal — you are in a brain and you’ve got to work to find the correct information. Find the correct face in the room you store faces, find the correct name for the object in the names room, find the keys in the object room. As you advance throughout the levels, the information becomes more random, your speed becomes slower, sometimes the room just doesn’t exist anymore. Despite not having a huge amount of time, Laura and her team-mate Rahul have big plans, which hopefully by tomorrow can be realised into a working vertical slice.”With more experience as a general journalist, Adam’s ideas tend towards the more scientific, simulating neurons between the ‘areas’ of the brain” In a similar vein, Julia and her teammate Karim are working on a game based on the simple task of leaving the house. Getting up, getting dressed, picking up your keys, but becoming much more difficult as you go on. Developing on a more typical team setup, with Karim writing code, and Julia designing, the game is based a lot more in the real word compared to the rest of the games that the teams have developed. The game itself shows a lot of promise, changing the world every iteration, and making simple things challenging, but with a lot more subtlety compared to most games of this ilk.Dom, alongside his teammates Lewis and Adam, have taken the real world to the logical extreme — Robot presidents in 2600 with a branching ending, good, neutral and bad, depending on if you manage to save the robot from its own brain before the peace summit at the UN. Inspired by Blade Runner and Thief, you are one of the top robot surgeons trying to repair the President of the United States of Europe. Spending a lot of time on art and music, Dom’s game is incredibly stylized on the second day, much more than what you’d expect from two days of work. Going more into the concepts of fractured memories, Adam and Conor are working on a platformer, trying to fix a shattered memory. With more experience as a general journalist, Adam’s ideas tend towards the more scientific, simulating neurons between the ‘areas’ of the brain, developing a slightly more technical model of the brain. Leon and his teammate Dan went down a similar route, rebuilding images from birth to death, trying to place the objects into pictures to understand how the pictures fit, forcing you to think accurately so the memories don’t degrade. A true puzzler, the game encourages you to try and ensure the correct object fits the correct memory. A beautiful game, with hand drawn artwork, this game is a memorable reminder of the key aspects of life, and, at the time of writing, one of the most polished. Alysia alongside her teammate Saul, are working on a more minimalist game, with a text-based game where you need to find the complete sentences from a pool of words. A story-based thriller, where you wake up seeing people who don’t know who you are, but they know who you are. Told through a typewriter, this game requires you to piece together information to figure out if you should fight these people, or embrace them as your friends. Edging towards horror, this game is the spookiest, making you question your own reality.Kat also created something a little more playful when she was exploring what kind of article she wanted to create. Introducing the ‘Journo/Dev Swap ‘Which Team Are You?’ Flow Diagram’…Games Journos Share Their Game Jam TipsBy Tim Constant, Panic BarnThe list of amazing games that sprout from game jams is long.Superhot, Surgeon Simulator, Snake Pass and Goat Simulator to name but a few. All share tight gameplay mechanics that bubbled up in a melting pot of intense development pressure.At the UKIE London Studios, JournoDevSwap 2019 was underway. To raise awareness of Alzheimer’s Research UK a number of journalists were given the opportunity to experience this burst of compressed development. Create a game from conception to launch, in 48 hours. The theme: the brain.Game development — and thus a game jam — is a roller coaster of highs (from the initial thrill of spit-balling concepts and the endorphin release when something just works) and lows (self-doubt, cutting features, and crippling bugs). But the journalists turn devs had already identified some essential game jam tips to help them cope with the process:”Game development — and thus a game jam — is a roller coaster of highs and lows” 1. The power of pen and paperLeon Hurley and Dan Ryan used pen and paper to prototype and map out their puzzle game where a fog of war represents the effects of Alzheimer’s on the player as they age in-game. Large sheets of paper laid out the game progression and allowed them to quickly and clearly identify areas of feature creep. 2. Sleep is your best friendLaura Kate Dale and teammate Rahul Sharma found it hard to switch off after the first day’s intense session. They were creating Untitled Room Game, a 3D walking simulator where the player attempts to find and recall memories. The temptation to push on with development late at night was high but complex problems can become simple after a good night’s sleep. Resisting the temptation to late night tinker was essential.3. Take breaks oftenJames Batchelor, Gamesidustry.biz UK editor and teammate Marc Walker were creating a Metroidvania. The scope was large. A multi-roomed 2D pixel art brain which the player must navigate. Taking breaks between tasks allowed time to pause and consider the best approach to a problem.4. Communication is keyBBC radio journalist Adam Rosser and teammate Conor Preston, were creating Fractured. The player must recreate broken images within a 3D space, reflecting the impact of Alzheimer’s visually. Adam noted finding out Conor’s skillset (3D modelling) early was essential and allowed them to focus on the gameplay, which lead to fast iteration.Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games 5. Collaboration between rival teamsPresenter, writer and producer Alysia Judge and teammate Saul Barrerre were creating a 2D narrative word game which aimed to recreate the effect of concussion on the brain. Alysia and Saul the programmer soon identified their limitations; art. A quick collaboration with a fellow team meant a key visual piece for the game, a typewriter was delivered. Although rivals, collaborating with your fellow teams is essential to fill in missing skillsets. 6. No ditheringDom Sacco, esports journalist, revealed time is truly of the essence. You have no time to procrastinate. Every minute conceptualising an idea is a minute lost of dev. Dom and Lewis Rean — team Ladbot — were creating a brain repair simulator where navigating complex mazes under time pressure can lead to the player saving the world. The overall theme was locked down very quickly allowing development to begin as soon as possible. 7. Have FunJournalist Julia Hardy and teammate Karim Ajouz created a game focused on how simple tasks can often feel impossible after the effects of Alzheimer’s. In this case the player must attempt to leave their home. Julia states the topic of your game has to be of interest; and Marc Walker teammate to James Batchelor echoed this sentiment. Game jams should be fun, regardless of the end-product; the process should be fun.Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Daily Update and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesAdopt Me developers unveil new studio, Uplift GamesTeam behind hit Roblox game has grown to over 40 employeesBy Danielle Partis 9 hours agoDeveloper wins against Grand Theft Auto DMCA takedownTake-Two loses claim to reversed-engineered source made by fansBy Danielle Partis 13 hours agoLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.
Singapore’s largest rooftop PV system underwayTurnkey services provider Phoenix Solar will develop a 1.2 MWp rooftop installation for CMM Marketing Management, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sheng Siong, the third largest supermarket chain in Singapore. September 24, 2013 pv magazine Installations Manufacturing Markets Markets & Policy Share Phoenix Solar will be developing the rooftop system on CMM’s corporate headquarters and centralized distribution center at Mandai Link in the northern part of Singapore. The photovoltaic system will cover around 11,000 square meters and have a rated capacity of at least 1.2 MWp. The system is expected to be completed by the end of this year. Approximately 15% of CMM’s electricity consumption will be covered by the rooftop PV system. This will mitigate at least 730 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year from Singapore’s gas-fired power plants. “The commercial and environmental returns of this project make it a viable business decision, which will continue to yield benefits for a long time,” Lim Hock Chee, CEO of Sheng Siong commented.PV in Singapore paying off This first large rooftop project in Singapore is indicative of a new trend, Phoenix Solar believes. The demand for bigger PV systems is growing in the Southeast Asian country, where an industrial rooftop PV system can be expected to pay for itself in 7-10 years resulting in an unlevered project internal rate of return of 8 to 13%. “Thanks to the attractive returns on investment we expect the installed PV capacity in Singapore to more than double in 2013 reaching at least 20 MW by December,” Phoenix Solar Managing Director Christophe Inglin stated. “If this growth rate continues, then within a decade PV will become a mainstream source of electricity in Singapore,” he concluded.Phoenix Solar also announced the development of a 435 kWp PV system for Greenpac a few months ago.This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact: [email protected] content The Hydrogen Stream: 20 MW green hydrogen plant in Finland, two Australian projects move forward Sergio Matalucci 20 April 2021 pv-magazine.com Storegga, Shell and Harbour Energy want to set up a 20 MW blue hydrogen production facility in the U.K. Australia’s Origin Energy wants to build a hy… Enabling aluminum in batteries Mark Hutchins 27 April 2021 pv-magazine.com Scientists in South Korea and the UK demonstrated a new cathode material for an aluminum-ion battery, which achieved impressive results in both speci… ITRPV: Large formats are here to stay Mark Hutchins 29 April 2021 pv-magazine.com The 2021 edition of the International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaics (ITRPV) was published today by German engineering association VDMA. 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The re… Solar park built on rough wooden structures comes online in France Gwénaëlle Deboutte 26 April 2021 pv-magazine.com French company Céléwatt energized its 250 kW ground-mounted array, built with mounting structures made of raw oak wood.April 26, 2021 Gwénaëlle Debo… Spanish developer plans 1 GW solar plant coupled to 80 MW of storage, 100 MW electrolyzer Pilar Sánchez Molina 22 April 2021 pv-magazine.com Soto Solar has submitted the project proposal to the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (Miteco). The solar plant could start produc… We all trust the PV performance ratio test Dario Brivio, Partner 20 April 2021 pv-magazine.com The performance ratio test is at the core of the handover from EPC to owner. Yet sometimes, even when best practice is applied – and without particul… The Hydrogen Stream: 20 MW green hydrogen plant in Finland, two Australian projects move forward Sergio Matalucci 20 April 2021 pv-magazine.com Storegga, Shell and Harbour Energy want to set up a 20 MW blue hydrogen production facility in the U.K. Australia’s Origin Energy wants to build a hy… 123456iAbout these recommendationsShare pv magazine The pv magazine editorial team includes specialists in equipment supply, manufacturing, policy, markets, balance of systems, and EPC.More articles from pv magazine Related content Solar and silver price hikes pv magazine 7 April 2021 pv-magazine.com The PV industry has experienced several rounds of price increases since the second half of 2020, from polysilicon to mat… Meyer Burger unveils 400 W heterojunction solar module Emiliano Bellini 28 April 2021 pv-magazine.com The solar module will be available in three versions – white, black, and glass-glass. 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Does the Constitution allow unitary inclination with respect to the federal scheme?The Legislative Assembly of a state can pass a resolution when the state government deems a parliamentary law contradicting the basic values and principles of the Constitution. The passage of any such resolution is not constitutionally barred, but what is its use if it only remains symbolic, and has no legal ramifications!Article 256 of the Constitution obligates the State government to exercise its executive power to ensure compliance with the laws made by Parliament and any existing laws which apply in that State. If the state government fails to do so, the executive power of the Union can give such directions to a State as the Government of India finds them necessary.The President can impose President’s Rule in the States which refuse to enforce the law against the Centre’s directions under Article 356 or take cognisance of Article 365. This reading was well evident in S.R. Bommai v. Union of India positioned Indian federalism in a decisive way.
A wide-open jump-off in the $35,000 Tractorland Royal West International Championship Phase 3 1.45 m was won in a heart-stopper by Samuel Parot of Chile aboard Atlantis.As it was the night before, Saturday’s jump-off was a very competitive field, seeing ten riders vying for the coveted top three spots. In the tightly contested field, however, two riders, Canadian Keean White and Samuel Parot — winners in the 1.45 m on Thursday and Friday, respectively — came looking to win on Saturday.Parot would have taken two mounts into the jump-off but his mount Couscous van Orti clipped the last bar to miss out. But the veteran Chilean then doubled down on the drama, riding Atlantis — the mount he rode to take the Sacramento leg of the west coast jumping league — into the jump-off. There he took the spot, coming dramatically close to colliding with one of the jumps as he wheeled Atlantis around to the final jump for a winning time of 40.40 seconds.“It’s already a very fast course,” Parot said afterward. “I didn’t have to look for a lot of speed. It was in the course to begin with, and Atlantis was very good on the turns.”White made a valiant effort to unseat Parot, gunning for consecutive wins in the 1.45 m. He pushed For Freedom Z to a scintillating time of 40.97 seconds, just behind Parot. “My younger horses were not so experienced and it showed in the first round,” White noted. “But For Freedom Z is my top horse, he can handle the tight corners and the indoors. He really came through.”The second-to-last rider of the evening, Erynn Ballard put on an exhilarating chase as she gunned for Parot and White’s top marks. She fell just short and took the third spot. She finished the course aboard Appy Cara in 42.25 seconds. She said the atmosphere was a factor. “The atmosphere was the best tonight,” she remarked. “The energy was in the building. I knew how fast Samuel can be and so I’m pleased with where I finished.”Bringing up the rest of the field in the jump-off were, in order, were Chris Sorenson on Bobby in fourth, Tracey Epp, John Anderson, James Chawke, Laura Jane Tidball, Ali Ramsay, and Ostmeyer.Seven of the jump-off contestants were Canadians along with three international riders, Chile’s Parot, Ireland’s Chawke, and Germany’s Ortmeyer.After three phases, the standings for the overall Royal West International showed Royal West president John Anderson winning gold, Parot taking silver and Ballard took bronze. “The overall is about consistency over all the competitions and my horse Terrific was very steady in every phase,” said Anderson. “I owe it to him.”Earlier in the day, the $3,000 Jump Alberta Royal West Canadian Championship PHASE 3 1.30 m was taken by Ortmeyer aboard Beau Soleil. She was followed by Savannah Manac’h on Jarratelle Z and in third came Chelsea Walsh aboard Phlush.In the $2,400 Jump Alberta Royal West Canadian Championship 1.20 m, Elizabeth Gingras placed first aboard Floreen SFN in 68.21 seconds. She was followed by Susan Latif on Le Grand Star with a time of 70.21 seconds and in third place by Walsh aboard Mercury with a time of 71.74 seconds.In the $1,800 Jump Alberta Royal West Canadian Championship Phase 3 1.15 m Jenny Graham took the top spot riding Casimira to a time of 67.46 seconds. Following her came Madison Hilderman on Kenzo in 70.45 seconds and in third Shawna Dunn on Almandine in 72.61 seconds.The $1,400 Jump Alberta Royal West Canadian Championship Phase 3 1.10 m was won by Cassie Gorsline aboard Magic Man with a time of 65.41 seconds, taking second was Julia Prather on Belladonna to a time of 66.69 seconds, and in third Colten Powell rode WH Matador in 67.23 seconds.The Royal West now heads into Week Two, culminating in the $126,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Calgary Jumping event. Anderson is pleased with how Royal West has started with dramatic wins all three nights so far. “We’ve built some good momentum for next week and the Longines. We’re just need to keep getting the message out about the great riders here. I’m pleased.” Tags: Royal West, More from Horse Sport:Christilot Boylen Retires From Team SportAfter an exemplary career as one of Canada’s top Dressage riders, seven-time Olympian Christilot Boylen has announced her retirement from team competition.2020 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair CancelledFor only the second time in its history, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair has been cancelled but plans are being made for some virtual competitions.Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Statement on 2020 EventAs the Province of Ontario starts to reopen, The Royal’s Board and staff will adhere to all recommendations put forward by government and health officials.Government Financial Assistance for Ontario FarmersOntario Equestrian has recently released this update of several financial assistance packages available, including those for farm business. SIGN UP Horse Sport Enews Subscribe to the Horse Sport newsletter and get an exclusive bonus digital edition! 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ABC News(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.) — The veteran suspected of opening fire at a Thousand Oaks, California, bar, killing 12, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, an official from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office told ABC News. Ian David Long, 28, an ex-Marine, fatally shot 11 people at the Borderline Bar and Grill, as well as a police officer who responded just before midnight Wednesday.Preliminary information indicates that Long walked into the bar, immediately shot a group of security guards and employees standing near the entrance to the bar and then paused to text or post to social media, according to law enforcement sources briefed on the investigation.“It’s too bad I won’t get to see all the illogical and pathetic reasons people will put in my mouth as to why I did it,” he wrote at 11:24 p.m., according to documents obtained by ABC News. “Fact is I had no reason to do it, and I just thought… life is boring so why not?”Three minutes later, he posted, “Yeah… I’m insane, but the only thing you people do after these shootings is ‘hopes and prayers’ … or ‘keep you in my thoughts’ … every time… and wonder why these keep happening.”Long’s social media were taken down at the request of law enforcement.Long, a former U.S. Marine, showed signs of post-traumatic stress disorder, authorities said, but there’s little information available yet on what prompted the attack late Wednesday night at the Borderline Bar and Grill. Long was found dead inside the bar.“He was somewhat irate. Acting a little irrationally,” Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said at a press conference. “They felt he might be suffering from PTSD, the fact he was a veteran.”Long, 28, lived near the bar with his mother, neighbors told police, describing the suspect as a troubled man who battled fits of rage.“I think I do recall some times when he was struggling with some issues internally,” said Todd Stratton, a friend of Long’s. “I didn’t know [about] PTSD, but his girlfriend would kind of ask him about things going on with him, because he’d get really upset sometimes and kind of shut down and he wouldn’t want to talk about it to people. He’d just kind of close himself up, and I think he had a really hard time reaching out for help because of his personality.” FBI officials have swarmed the house, desperate to find the motive behind his alleged shooting rampage.One neighbor told ABC News she called the police on Long once after he allegedly got into a fight with his mother. Another neighbor said Long rarely left home and that his mother told her that he was getting violent.Dean said Long had several previous run-ins with police, including an incident in April where deputies were called to his home in Newbury Park because he was reportedly behaving erratically.“They went to the house, they talked to him. He was somewhat irate, acting a little irrationally,” Dean said. “They called out our crisis intervention team, our mental health specialist, who met with him, talked to him and cleared him.” “It’s difficult, because I’ve been doing this for 41 years, and you don’t leave things unfinished,” Dean, who’d been considering retirement, told ABC News’ David Muir.Dean was a close friend of one of the shooting victims, Sgt. Ron Helus, who died in the line of duty.“I think we try to look at the core and try to understand what happened and see if there’s a way that we can stop it. We all try to make sense of the senseless.” Authorities said hundreds were inside when the suspect walked in to the country-western bar with a gun and opened fire. The weapon was equipped with a an extended-ammunition magazine, allowing it to hold more than the normal 10 bullets, so it’s unclear how many total rounds he may have had, police said.Zach Frye and Tyler Odenkirk told ABC News that two of their friends who worked as security guards at Borderline were among the dead. A Borderline bouncer said they were surely among the heroes.“I know they did everything they could in their final moments,” the unnamed bouncer said. “We were told one of them went out a hero. He went out fighting the shooter.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
US Navy(NEW YORK) — The captain of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt has been relieved of duty for exercising “poor judgment” in not safeguarding information in a letter to Navy leadership that was leaked to a newspaper. The letter requested that most of the ship’s crew of 5,000 be taken off the ship to contain the spread of novel coronavirus.Thomas Modly, the acting secretary of the Navy, said Thursday at a hastily called Pentagon briefing that Capt. Brett Crozier was being relieved for a loss of confidence and poor judgment.“I lost confidence in his ability to lead that warship as it continues to fight through this virus, get the crew healthy, so that it can continue to meet its national security requirements,” said Modly.In a letter to Navy commanders that was leaked to the San Francisco Chronicle. Crozier used blunt language to senior commanders urging that most of his crew of 5,000 be sailors be removed from the ship to slow down the spread of the coronavirus.“Sailors do not need to die,” he wrote in the letter that led to a firestorm of controversy.Modly made clear he did not fault Crozier for wanting to protect his crew, but took issue with how he did not express his concerns with his immediate supervisor, the rear admiral aboard the ship who was in charge of the Roosevelt carrier strike group.“He’s being relieved because to me that demonstrated extremely poor judgment in the middle of a crisis,” said Modly. “Because of what it’s done, it’s has created a firestorm. It’s created doubts about the ship’s ability to go to sea if it needs to. It’s created doubt among the families, about the health of their sailors.”Modly said he had no information to indicate that Crozier personally leaked the letter, but noted that in emailing it to 20-30 people he provided an opportunity for the letter to be leaked.“He did not safeguard that information and to keep it from being sent anywhere,” said Modly.“That was a completely unnecessary thing to do in the midst of a crisis,” said Modly who added that he expects more from a commander responsible for an aircraft carrier.“Granted, they don’t train for this, but we expect more from our COs (commanding officers) than what they trained for, we expect them to exercise good judgment that does not put their crews in jeopardy,” he said.In the letter, Crozier asked Navy leaders to accelerate the removal of most of his 5,000 sailors from the carrier to facilities on Guam to stop the spread of the coronavirus aboard the ship. As of Thursday, 114 sailors aboard the carrier have tested positive for the virus said a U.S. official.Crozier also asked that his sailors be moved from communal facilities ashore to individual housing to conform with coronavirus safety guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).According to Modly, by the time Crozier had written his letter the Navy already had plans to move 2,700 sailors off the carrier and was looking for hotel rooms so they could quarantine and isolate properly. The Navy said Wednesday that it would achieve that goal by the end of the week.On Wednesday Modly had said that Crozier would not be disciplined for having expressed his concerns through the chain of command.However, he left the door open for discipline if it was proven that Crozier had leaked the letter himself.Modly said the incident with Crozier’s letter was “frustrating because of what it does.”“It undermines our efforts — and the chain of command’s efforts — to address this problem and creates a panic and creates the perception that the Navy is not on the job, the government’s not on the job, and it’s just not true,” he said.Modly said he had not felt any political pressure in making his decision and said he had never consulted the White House on the matter. He did say that he had told Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Wednesday that he was leaning towards relieving Crozier and that Esper said he would support the move.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
The Commission’s standing committee on the food chain and animal health was told that the Netherlands’ authorities are investigating the 17 April death of a 57-year-old veterinarian. Initial reports had suggested that the virus was harmless to humans.The vet died of pneumonia in the southern Dutch town of Den Bosch two days after visiting a farm at which animals were infected with avian influenza. Health officials said he had failed to undergo vaccination or take antiviral medication recommended by the government as a preventative measure for workers coming into contact with infected animals. Belgium said it may also decide to apply vaccination against avian influenza of susceptible birds in zoos. The committee also extended until 10 May similar measures in place for Belgium, where only one case of conjuctivitis, a mild eye infection, due to avian flu has been reported – as opposed to 82 in the Netherlands.However, Belgium lifted its own restrictions on domestic transports of chickens and eggs outside areas affected by the outbreak on Monday (21 April).Bird flu claimed six lives in Hong Kong in 1997, but Dutch officialswarned that it was alarmist to compare it to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), the pneumonia-like virus which has claimed more 200 victims worldwide in the past few months.However, they conceded there was a small risk that bird and human flu could produce a mutation that humans might have no immunity against.The mutation could form in pigs, so the standing committee also voted in addition to its existing safety measures that tests will be conducted on pigs kept in infected holdings. A total of 82 Dutch animal health workers have been infected with the disease since late February, but all have since recovered after suffering mild eye infections.Commission spokeswoman Beate Gminder said two further cases of avian flu were discovered in Belgium over Easter following an initial outbreak at a farm in the eastern province of Limburg on 16 April. Some 550 birds were found dead there and the Belgian authorities immediately pledged to slaughter 250,000 birds within a three-kilometre radius of the farm. Anyone coming into direct contact with poultry is being urged to get vaccinated.Meanwhile, some 20 million chickens and turkeys affected by the virus have been slaughtered in the Netherlands since late February, where 233 infected holdings have been confirmed and another 23 are suspected to be contaminated. German farms are on full alert in case the virus spreads into their country.The Commission’s food chain and animal health voted this week to extend until 12 May existing measures in the Netherlands aimed at eradicating the disease. They include an export ban on live poultry, hatching eggs and unprocessed poultry manure or litter. Birds must also be culled in ‘buffer zones’ around the infected areas.
Last year was the warmest on record in Europe, with central and eastern regions seeing the hottest temperatures, according to a new report out Wednesday.The Copernicus European State of the Climate 2019 report comes on Earth Day, which started in 1970 to protest environmental destruction from oil spills, smog and polluted rivers.Heatwaves across Europe last summer led to record-breaking temperatures in countries including France and Germany, often peaking above 40 degrees Celsius. The report shows 11 of the 12 warmest years in a dataset running back to 1981 have taken place since 2000; unusually warm weather in February, June and July last year pushed 2019 ahead of previous highs in 2014, 2015 and 2018.While annual rainfall was roughly at average for the full year due to downpours in November, the data shows soil moisture was the second lowest for 40 years. There were summer droughts across much of Central Europe.The report said Greenland saw record summer ice melt, blamed on below-average snowfall and an earlier than expected spring.The EU-funded Copernicus program uses satellites to monitor atmospheric and climate readings from space. A new mission, Sentinel-6, will launch in November with two satellites to monitor rising ocean levels caused by climate change. Also On POLITICO 4 ways Europe is tackling extreme temperatures By Eline Schaart, Arthur Neslen, Jillian Deutsch and Hanne Cokelaere Northern Europe’s farmers struggle to weather drought By Kait Bolongaro
With his hockey skates strapped on and big pads in place, Kevin Du ’07 looks like any speedy Crimson player, flashing a stick and making the puck dance.But the anonymity of the uniform hides a story of family travail and triumph that few Harvard students can claim.Du’s father, Luong, an ethnic Chinese who grew up in Vietnam, escaped from his home in Saigon at age 17. After a stop in a Malaysian refugee camp, in 1979 he ended up — of all places — in windswept and remote Tomahawk, Alberta, Canada.He worked on an Edmond-area dairy farm, in a movie theater, and as a laborer for a utility company. For most of the time, Luong had all three jobs at once — since the teenager had to earn enough to bring eight family members: his mother, two brothers, and five sisters — to a place of freedom and peace.But rural Alberta in those days was also a place of periodic racism; there were few other Chinese. Luong had to take his share of taunts.When Kevin was born, his father decided that the best way to acclimate his son to Canadian culture was to get the boy into skates and onto a hockey rink. (Kevin’s younger brother, Jonathan, also started playing at a young age.) By 1984, Luong and his wife Phuong — and the rest of Canada — were in the middle of a hockey decade dominated by the Edmonton Oilers, who won five Stanley Cups in seven years.The saying is that a boy on ice is never in hot water. And hockey helped Kevin Du stay on a straight path to discipline, good grades, and — increasingly — triumph on the rink. He strapped on his first skates at 4, and started organized play at 6 in his hometown of Spruce Grove, Alberta, a community of 19,000 that’s a 10-minute drive side to side.“Really early, hockey was part of my identity,” he said. “Everybody knew me as the Chinese hockey player.”The young forward decided early on a path to the pros. His plan was to get there by good play, by good grades — and by getting through college first. Unlike in the past, said the Dunster House senior, “college is the more direct route” to the pros.When Du arrived for his freshman year, thousands of miles from home, he admits being so homesick that he was ready to call the family for a plane ticket back. “Then I got on the ice,” he said, “and I felt like I was home.”For the Crimson, Du got varsity ice time right away. He scored 10 points as a freshman, 20 as a sophomore, and a team-high 33 points as a junior — including a rare hat trick that year in an overtime win against Princeton.Junior year was the high point of his college hockey career, said Du. The season won him a place on the All Ivy League and All New England teams.In 2006-07, he was still the team’s high-scoring player, though with only 25 points in a disappointing season (14-17-2). But by the last game Du had made a little Harvard ice hockey history, tying for third all-time in number of games played (135).His style of play is gritty, aggressive, and fast — good qualities for an ice artist who is not the biggest guy out there (5 feet 9 inches, 175 pounds)After graduation, Du will use the same pluck his father showed in Tomahawk, Alberta, decades ago — and train over the summer to get ready for a professional hockey tryout with the ECHL (formerly the East Coast Hockey League). It’s a binational farm team system a notch below the American Hockey League, with team names like the Idaho Steelheads and the Dayton Bombers.From there? “All players growing up want to be in the NHL as soon as they step on the ice,” said Du.While trying out for the pros, the economics concentrator (and ECAC Hockey League All-Academic Scholar) will use his free time to get ready for the Graduate Management Admission Test and the Law School Admission Test. Said Du, “There’s a lot of downtime in professional play.”