Norway Pledges Billion Dollars to Save Amazon Rain Forest

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreNorway’s Prime Minister announced Tuesday that Oslo will donate up to a billion dollars to a Brazilian fund  devoted to rescuing the Amazon rain forest. Norway, the first country to pledge money to the fund, will donate as much as $130 million next year. We are sorry. The content item you requested needs to be replaced since the sydicator has abruptly ended this news service. The Good News Network is committed to finding another version of this news story elsewhere and adding the replacement link by mid-January, 2009. Please check back!AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Environment-Friendly Universal Phone Charger Approved

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreThe International Telecommunication Union has given its stamp of approval to a new energy-efficient universal phone charger that will be compatible with all future phones made by every mobile phone manufacturer, regardless of make and model. The new Universal Charging Solution (UCS) uses a Micro-USB plug that will fit all future phones regardless of the make and model (some phones already use this standard). The standardization, announced last week, will dramatically cut the number of chargers produced each year — 51,000 tons annually are mostly discarded into landfills. Chargers will become an option when buying a phone rather than a necessity, cutting down on packaging size and shipping weights, and carbon emmisions in the process. Users worldwide will be able to charge their mobiles anywhere from any available charger, while also reducing the energy consumed while charging. The trade association, GSMA, which represents more than 1,000 mobile operators and companies predicts the new universal charger will provide a 50 percent reduction in energy consumption, eliminating 13.6 million tons in greenhouse gas emissions each year. The Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, Malcolm Johnson said: “This is a significant step in reducing the environmental impact of mobile charging, which also has the benefit of making mobile phone use more straightforward.” UCS chargers will also include a 4-star or higher efficiency rating – up to three times more energy-efficient than an unrated charger. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Factory Orders Up in US, Service Sector Growing

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreOrders to U.S. factories rose broadly in September, propelled by business spending on commercial airplanes, boats and machines. The Commerce Department said Wednesday that factory orders rose by 2.1 percent in September, the steepest increase since January.Other hints that the consumer economy may be improving:Consumer spending also rose by 1.0 percent.The U.S. economy’s service sector, the nation’s predominant employer, grew faster in October than in the previous month and posted its 10th straight month of expansion — a surprising uptick at a time when Wall Street analysts had expected a small drop.(READ the full AP story in NPR)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

‘Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish’: The Best Quotes From Graduation 2012

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreSteve Jobs, Winston Churchill, and J.K. Rowling have all lit fires in the bellies of graduates with their words.Whether or not you’ve walked across that stage, commencement speeches can be helpful, no matter your posted their 12 favorite graduation quotes here, which can inspire any graduate.More poignant, NBC Nightly News edited their annual homage to college graduates, featuring some of the best moments from the season of 2012 on video.(Watch that video below)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

In Major Game-Changer, Norway Pushed to Divert its Massive Wealth Out of Fossil Fuel

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreThe bank responsible for the largest sovereign wealth in the the world has just taken a stance against fossil fuels.Norges Bank, which is the national bank of Norway worth an estimated $1 trillion, were hailed earlier this week for advising the nation’s government to drop sovereign investment in gas and oil.According to the Guardian, the announcement comes as a welcome followup to Norway’s $90 billion divestment from the coal industry in 2015. While government representatives have reportedly stated that the decision to divest from gas and oil would not be made until next year, it could be a major game-changer for the fossil fuel industry. The bank’s statement alone reportedly caused European fossil fuel stocks to drop.MORE: World’s Largest Air Purifier Transforms Chinese Smog into Actual Diamonds“The return on oil and gas stocks has been significantly lower than in the broad equity market in periods of falling oil prices,” said the bank in a statement.“Therefore, it is the bank’s assessment that the government’s wealth can be made less vulnerable to a permanent drop in oil prices if the GPFG [sovereign wealth fund] is not invested in oil and gas stocks.”RELATED: Orange is the New Green For Thriving Costa Rican Forests, Thanks to Orange PeelsIreland became the first country in the world to divert all of its sovereign wealth from coal, oil, and gas after they passed the Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill in January. The decision resulted in $8.5 billion being pulled from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund.“The Irish political system is now finally acknowledging what the overwhelming majority of people already know: That to have a fighting chance to combat catastrophic climate change we must phase out fossil fuels and stop the growth of the industry that is driving this crisis,” said Éamonn Meehan of Trócaire.Click To Share The Historic News With Your FriendsAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

France Just Banned Smartphone Use in Schools

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreFrance has just passed legislation that bans cell phone use in school.Though the country originally banned cell phone use “during all teacher activity” back in 2010, the new legislation means that students between the age of 3 and 15 will either have to leave their phones at home or keep them turned off during the school day.However, teachers will have the freedom to decide whether they want to implement the ban with older students. The law, which was introduced back in December as a part of President Emmanuel Macron’s key campaign promises, was approved 62 to 1, with only a few representatives abstaining from the vote. It will go into full effect in September.RELATED: Two US States Have Become the First to Require Mental Health Education in School“We know today that there is a phenomenon of screen addiction, the phenomenon of bad mobile phone use… Our main role is to protect children and adolescents. It is a fundamental role of education, and this law allows it,” said Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer on French news channel BFMTV.Children are exempt from the ban in the case of disabilities, extracurricular activities, or if phones are required for teaching purposes, according to CNN. The ban also extends to tablets, computers, and other internet-connected devices.CHECK OUT: Yale is Letting Anyone Take Its Most Popular Class Ever for FreeThe law is expected to have a host of sociological, psychological, and physical benefits. Since this French high school banned cell phones four years ago, students are talking and playing more at recess; the youngsters are active and engaged on school field trips, rather than staring at screens; and they say that they are closer with their friends as a result of conversing more with each other.Additionally, the most recent study on extensive cell phone use shows that checking cell phones during lectures typically costs students half a grade on their final test scores. Another recent study stated that cell phone is likely linked to a dramatic increase in nearsightedness.What Do You Think About The Ban? Share The Progressive News With Your Friends – Photo by Afagen, CCAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Lecture explores Islamic binaries

first_imgKroc Institute Luce Visiting Professor of Religion, Conflict and Peacebuilding SherAli Tareen delivered a lecture titled “Beyond Good Muslim/Bad Muslim: Debating the Boundaries of Innovation in Islam” on Tuesday afternoon at the Hesburgh Center for International Studies. Tareen focused on polemics over the ethical question of “bid’a,” or heretical innovation, among two major modern Muslim reform movements in South Asia: the Deobandis and Barelvis. The lecture began with a brief overview of the two major reform movements: the Deobandis and the Barelvis. Tareen said both are Sunni groups in India and that, being so similar, it made the polemics “bitter and more caustic because they were so personal.” He elaborated on the groups and explained how the two are usually assigned to a binary with the stereotypically more law-focused Deobandis on one end and the stereotypically more peaceful and mystical Barelvis on the other.“This kind of binary is intimately intertwined with the larger discourse of, which today is a very insidious and well-funded discourse, of what we might call the good Muslim-bad Muslim discourse,” he said. “Goodness is often measured by what is most proximate to a modern Western interpretation of what is a legitimate religion and, frankly, what is most conducive to American foreign policy at that moment in time.” Tareen said innovation in Islam refers to changes within Islam itself.“‘Bid’a,’ or heretical innovation, is the inverse of what is known as the normative model of the prophet, or sunna,” he said. “‘Bid’a’ consists of new, unsanctioned practices.” To explain the differences in the Deobandi and Barelvi definitions of “bid’a,” Tareen used the definitions as defined by two Hanafi Muslim jurists and Sufi masters who were involved in the founding of both groups. Quoting Ashraf ‘Ali Thanvi, one of the founders of the Deoband Madrasa, Tareen said, “Bid’a” is an innovated practice in religion that simulates the “sharia” in the intensity and discipline in which it is undertaken. “In other words, such conventions were kept alive and perpetuated by the invisible pressure to societal expectations and norms, rather than to divine law and divine will,” Tareen said. He added something can be considered heretical when it’s treated as being obligatory without a historical context to back it up. Tareen also read an extract from the writings of Ahmad Raza Khan, the founder of the Deobandi school, on “Bid’a,” which compared Islam to Muhammad’s garden which he said becomes “blanketed with breathtaking flowers, leaves and fountains, as each generation of scholars and saints added new layers of beauty to what they had inherited from their predecessors.” “Unless a practice was forbidden in Muslim law, ‘sharia,’ that practice is permissible,” Tareen said. “In other words, the default value of practices that have not been explicitly forbidden in the ‘sharia’ was that of permissibility.” Ultimately, Tareen said that by trying to compare the two groups within the context of a binary was harmful and fails to fully explain the traditions of each. “Rather than approaching debates on normative practice through the lens of a law-Sufism binary, or other binaries like good Muslim-bad Muslim, liberal-conservative and so forth, it might be more productive to look at the internal logics within the tradition,” he said.Tags: International studies, Islam, Kroc Institute, lecturelast_img read more

Associate provost named finalist in Miami University (Ohio) president search

first_imgMiami University (Ohio) has named former William K. Warren Foundation Dean of the College of Science and current associate provost and University vice president Gregory Crawford as the finalist in its search for a new president, according to a press release Thursday.“On behalf of the trustees, we wish to thank the faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members from all of Miami’s campuses who contributed to this important process. We especially want to thank those who also served as members of the search committee,” Chair of the Board of Trustees David Budig said in the press release.Crawford served as dean of the College of Science from 2008 to 2015. As an associate provost and University vice president, Crawford led the Notre Dame California Initiative, which aims to develop Notre Dame’s presence in the state through increased internship and employment opportunities, as well as greater recruitment of California high schools students to Notre Dame.Notre Dame declined to comment on the announcement until the search process is complete.Tags: College of Science, Greg Crawfordlast_img read more

HPC names Pasquerilla East ‘Hall of the Year’

first_imgThe Hall Presidents Council (HPC) announced Pasquerilla East Hall as the recipient of the Hall of the Year award at Notre Dame’s Student Leadership Awards Banquet on Thursday night. Walsh Hall won Women’s Hall of the Year and Fisher Hall was named Men’s Hall of the Year.Susan Zhu Seamus Quilty, co-president of HPC, said the committee selected the three award recipients after evaluating the dorms’ Rockne event reports, signature events, Hall of the Year presentations, resident testimonials and in-hall events.“This helped showcase a hall’s identity, engagement of all residents and drive towards developing the residents personally — as residents of the hall community and as people of the community beyond the hall,” he said.Pasquerilla East Hall introduced a number of programs during the past year designed to help its residents develop personally, Meredith Frasier, co-president of HPC, said.“[Pasquerilla East] has had an exceptional year, meeting the needs of many residents,” she said. “With this in mind, hall council conducted surveys throughout the year to better understand residents’ wishes. As a result of this input, their two main goals for the year were to increase service opportunities and to increase the variety of the events.”Mary White, president of Pasquerilla East Hall, said her goal was to reach a large portion of her dorm’s residents.“I honestly think it’s all due to the commissioners,” White said. “Our goals in the beginning of the year, they really took to heart, and they not only did their two events per semester — they went above and beyond.”Pasquerilla East hosted a number of events throughout the year for hall residents and members of the Notre Dame community, White said, including a “Women’s Wisdom Dinner,” trivia nights, a “Puppies and Pancakes” event and weekly service opportunities.“Throughout the year, the leadership in this hall was humble in identifying its areas for growth and then effective in making specific improvements to reach more residents,” Quilty said. “Their organizational structure, second to none, made this possible.”Quilty said the Women’s Hall of the Year, Walsh Hall, planned their year with three core values in mind — creativity, hospitality and fearlessness.Walsh Hall consistently garnered large turnouts at hall events, Quilty said, including the dorm’s overnight retreat, Harry Potter Week and study abroad dessert crawl.Walsh president Amy Ackermann said she was proud of the dorm’s service and spirituality program over the past year, which involved working working with the Ronald McDonald Family House, the dorm’s new signature charity.(Editor’s note: Amy Ackermann is a photographer for The Observer.)“I was surprised because we won Hall of the Year last year, and I didn’t think it was possible to win twice in a row,” she said. “A lot of the other women’s halls had fantastic programming, so I’m really honored that they chose us. I’m so proud of my chairs and commissioners for all of the hard work they did this year.”Men’s Hall of the Year, Fisher Hall, focused on formation this year, in a personal and communal sense, Frasier said.“To encourage both faith-based and other personal growth, this hall invited guest speakers to enlighten residents, an intitiative that began to honors their hall’s namesake,” she said.Proceeds from the dorm’s two signature events — a Spikeball tournament and the Fisher Regatta — earned more than $6,000, all of which was donated to St. Adalbert School, the dorm’s signature charity, Frasier said.Fisher president Cory Jbara said the dorm helped its residents grow by learning to live for others and learning to engage in the process of reflection and development.“Although these events are great on paper, the tradition in Fisher Hall goes way further,” he said. “Fisher is unique because of its commitment to brotherhood. The men of Fisher are extremely dedicated to living not only as individuals, but also as a community. Together, we have made a great impact on each other and the campus as a whole.”“Congratulations to these three halls and the remaining 26, each of which deserves genuine acknowledgement,” Frasier said.All three winning dorms will receive monetary awards from HPC and a Dome Dance next year, Quilty said.News Editor Katie Galioto contributed to this report.Tags: fisher hall, Hall of the year, Pasquerilla East, Walsh Halllast_img read more

Students intern in nation’s capital

first_imgJustine Wang | The Observer Students walk down the steps of the Lincoln Memorial onto the National Mall while studying in Washington, D.C. Fifteen students are participating in this semester’s program.Students in the program live in Dupont Circle, just minutes away from the White House and a vast array of shops and restaurants. Besides taking a required core seminar and two consortium-offered electives, students apply for and participate in an internship of their choice, for a total of 15 credits. As a supplement to the core seminar, students attend weekly “public policy visits” for which they have toured Capitol Hill, attended a briefing at the U.S. Department of State and met with Notre Dame alumni who work in journalism, lobbying, law and government.“In addition to taking advantage of the ability to connect what they learn in the classroom with practical experience at their internship, students in the Washington Program are immersed in the epicenter of politics and policy,” Claudia Anewalt, manager of the Washington Program and director of the Hesburgh Program in Public Service, said. “This combination provides students interested in policy and government-related fields an unparalleled foundation to jump-start their careers.”Students intern in a number of different industries: media, lobbying, advocacy, law, government and think tank organizations. This year’s group has internships at congressional offices, the NAACP, the U.S. Department of State, Business Executives for National Security and the Center for American Progress.“Having grown up in the city of Chicago, it’s nice to be back in an urban area with so many fun things to do and see — and public transit to get you there,” junior Kathleen Rocks said. “I have loved exploring the different neighborhoods of D.C. There’s a lot of character in this city and getting to know each part has been really interesting.”Rocks is interning at the Georgetown Law Criminal Justice Clinic, a small public defender office, where she helps investigate the cases of low-income clients.“Every day might be different,” Rocks said. “I might be tracking down a government witness to get a statement, trying to convince police officers to talk to me, canvassing a scene for witnesses and video footage or even testifying in court about my investigation in the field.”“It has been a really interesting look at the criminal justice system,” she added. “And I have had the opportunities to help out clients and to work with the clinic attorneys to address injustices in our legal system first-hand.”This semester, students attending the program also find themselves at the center of the political scene, as the nation awaits the election of its 45th president.“Being in D.C. for yet another historic election is an opportunity I am so grateful to be a part of,” junior Kathryne Robinson said. “The possibility of having our first female president is so super exciting, [and] being able to vote in my first presidential election for what could be the first ‘Madam President’ is the best feeling ever.”For a public policy visit, Notre Dame students met with Notre Dame alumnus Matt Schlapp, who previously served as President George W. Bush’s deputy assistant and is now chairman of the American Conservative Union. Over a luncheon, Schlapp talked about his concurrent role serving on presidential candidate Donald Trump’s Catholic Advisory Board and shared his perspectives on the election as a Catholic and a Republican.“One of the best moments of the year came when we got to sit down with Matt Schlapp,” junior Julio Salazar said. “He shared his thoughts on the election [and] the candidates, and offered insight into his support of the Republican presidential candidate. Good discussion and challenging ideas were brought up, and I believe everyone left having learned something about the other side.”Salazar, an intern at CBS News, said it’s certainly an exciting time to be living in the nation’s capital.“Living in Washington D.C. during the most contentious presidential election since 1800 has been a whirlwind of an experience,” he said. “Working at CBS mandates that I be plugged into the election at all times. I have watched more Trump and Clinton rallies than anyone should ever have to.”So many, he added, that he claims to have a Trump impression to rival Alec Baldwin.“It’s really special to be living in the nation’s capital in the midst of a transition of power,” Salazar said.The Washington Program is now accepting applications for the 2017-2018 academic year, and is open to sophomores and juniors of any major. Students can find more information online at election 2016, Internships, Rooney Center for Ethics and Democracy, Washington D.C., Washington Program WASHINGTON — The Notre Dame Washington Program is Notre Dame’s only off-campus academic program located in the United States. Every semester, a fresh cohort of 15 students with diverse interests and majors finds themselves immersed in the cultural and political life of Washington, D.C.last_img read more