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Mexico calls for common front against organized crime

first_imgBy Dialogo March 02, 2012 MEXICO CITY – Mexico’s president on March 1 called on regional prosecutors at a meeting in Mexico City to present a common front against “the major challenge” of organized crime. “Transnational organized crime is the major challenge…in the world at the moment, particularly on our suffering continent,” President Felipe Calderón said at the start of a two-day meeting held with the Organization of American States (OAS). “All countries must show a common front to put a stop to this enemy, which doesn’t recognize borders,” Calderón said. OAS Chief José Miguel Insulza said organized crime groups were the main perpetrators of drugs, weapons and arms trafficking, and had become “a complete threat to democratic governability,” in an interview with El Universal daily. Spanish and Italian and U.S. justice officials were taking part in the meeting, which comes amid a surge of drug-related violence in Mexico, Central America and parts of South America. Criminal groups are also a threat to the region’s elections and even impose candidates, said Adam Blackwell, an OAS security official, without citing specific cases. Economic activities such as agriculture and tourism also were being affected, Blackwell said. [AFP (Mexico), 01/03/2012; Proceso.com.mx (Mexico), 01/03/2012]last_img read more

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The value, or cost, of an entrenched board

first_imgLong-serving board members have a perspective from their service through many years, and perhaps decades, to an organization to which they volunteered with passion and commitment. I listen in awe to stories told by long-tenured board members of how their credit union started in the kitchen with $200 in the till. The stories of resilience and courage touch the depth of my heart.Many boards are in conversations about board renewal and board recruitment, with 35% of boards facing the loss of at least three board members in the next three to four years. On the table in many board rooms is the question of whether to have, or not, term limits and how a term-limit decision best serves the membership. The nexus of the term-limit conversation is often in the same context of whether the board is entrenched or high performing and sometimes if a board member is perceived as serving beyond their current capacity to add value.An entrenched board has long-standing board members who are elected over and over again. The value of an entrenched board is that the long-serving directors have institutional knowledge, and many continue to add value to the organization. However, the following questions may uncover unhealthy symptoms of being or becoming an entrenched board.What is the balance between long-tenured board members and a fresh perspective that comes with new board members, regardless of age? Some boards have a consummate storyteller who serves as the historian and reminds everyone about how and why the credit union was founded. Pay attention to how much conversation focuses on the rearview mirror versus strategic forward thinking. What is the role of the board in strategic planning? What are the decision drivers for the board to approve strategies? Exert caution if you are in a rubber stamp approval mode.The pendulum is moving in the boardroom, with increased complexity and risks to the organization and the requirement for leaders with rigorous practices, relevant expertise and experience, education, and organizational knowledge. Step into the conversation today and ask:How are we best serving the membership?How will we know?Where are our blind spots?How can we better serve as a board?A simple and robust self-assessment of how your board is performing and where a wake-up call would be useful might be the next best thing for your board. What would be the difference in value to the members with new perspectives in the boardroom? In the Harvard Business Journal, Anderson and Chun (2014) shared research findings on how for-profit companies that replaced three to four board members every three years outperformed their peers. Would the membership experience increase value with a board that rotates three or four board members every three years while losing institutional knowledge? What is the best balance, and how will you know? How many board members proactively add strategic value to the boardroom? When asked, most CEOs share that they consistently rely on two board members who are fully engaged but wish all board members were proactive. What is the appropriate length of service for a board member? A board member adds value when they are engaged, prepared, and continuously learning. When you hear language such as “been there, done that” or “that will never happen,” it is time to move over and make space for a fresh perspective and growth mind-set. Is your CEO high performing? How do you know? A heavily entrenched board tends to leave a lower-performing CEO in the role far too long. The performance evaluation process is either nonexistent or perfunctory, without attention to the quality of the process and outcome. A high-performing CEO wants to be paid well above the midpoint and work toward incentives tied to strategic goals. Refresh your board agenda. More time should be spent looking forward than digging into operational details for which your CEO is responsible. Create your independent learning plan and share it with the board. Advocate for continuous learning and request feedback regarding your value and contribution. Use intentional focus to guide the board meetings and decision process. Entrenched boards give significant energy to personal relationships and social functions. Personal connection is important, but watch out for the fine line between casualness and objectivity. How important is board composition? The degree of board efficacy correlates to board composition and governance. Keep pace with market needs and the representation of member demographics.Tips for entrenched boards that want to advance to be higher performing:Constructive disagreement, deliberate dialogue, and the freedom to use your voice to disagree are healthy. Listen to reports and information shared and deliberate with strategic and clarifying questions. Use your voice to constructively disagree and oppose ideas. A board with the capacity and competency for healthy arbitration serves as strategic partner with the CEO. Challenge group thinking! How conditioned are you to quickly move into agreement? Ask tough questions not just for the sake of being tough. Ask a tough question to challenge thinking and uncover new opportunities. You may agree with the branch expansion or growth strategy, but a speculative question might be valuable in the decision process. What happens when a board member receives feedback on being unengaged? Our board assessment research indicates there is a lack of awareness of contribution and value considered entrenched Within a relevant and constructive framework, assessment feedback often materially improves engagement, which is observable through renewed commitment, strategically oriented questions, and enhanced contribution. Notable is a renewed positive energy in the boardroom. 33SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Deedee Myers Deedee Myers is founder and CEO of DDJ Myers, Ltd. and co-founder of the Advancing Leadership Institute. For the past 20 years, she has been passionate about establishing and developing … Web: www.ddjmyers.com Detailslast_img read more

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Governor Wolf Signs Clean Slate Bill, Calls for More Criminal Justice Reform

first_img June 28, 2018 SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Governor Wolf Signs Clean Slate Bill, Calls for More Criminal Justice Reformcenter_img Criminal Justice Reform,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf was joined by Representative Sheryl Delozier, Senator Anthony Williams, Representative Jordan Harris and many stakeholder and advocacy groups for the signing of House Bill 1419, the “Clean Slate” bill. The first of its kind in the nation, the bill was co-sponsored by Reps. Delozier and Harris, Sen. Williams sponsored the Senate version of the bill.“I am proud to sign this legislation, which will make it easier for those who have interacted with the justice system to reduce the stigma they face when looking for employment and housing,” Gov. Wolf said. “Clean Slate passed in an overwhelmingly bi-partisan manner and I want to thank the General Assembly and the many advocates and stakeholders who made this possible.”“I’m honored to have authored this law, which had almost unanimous support of both Republicans and Democrats in both chambers of the General Assembly,” Delozier said. “People who have been convicted of or pleaded guilty to minor misdemeanors many years ago deserve a second chance. They have shown that they have reformed their lives, and this barrier to employment and housing needs to be removed.”“With enactment of this clean slate legislation, citizens who have paid their debt to society and proven their rehabilitation can truly re-integrate into their communities, “Senator Anthony Williams said. “I look forward to welcoming these returning citizens to our workplaces and neighborhoods.”“Clean slate is another example of how we as a commonwealth can chart a new course that effectively addresses the reintegration of our neighbors into society after they have found themselves on the wrong side of the law,” Rep. Jordan Harris said. “Clean Slate will remove one of the many barriers to employment that our citizens face and hopefully assist thousands of Pennsylvanians to reenter the workforce.”This Clean Slate legislation allows for individuals to petition the courts for their records to be sealed if a person has been free from conviction for 10 years for an offense that resulted in a year or more in prison and has paid all court-ordered financial debts.Additionally, it allows automatic sealing of records for second or third-degree misdemeanor offenses that included a less than two-year prison sentence if a person has been free from convictions for 10 years, as well as sealing of criminal history records related to charges that resulted in non-convictions.The legislation does not allow for records-sealing in more serious crimes, such as firearms charges, sexual offenses, murder, kidnapping, child endangerment, and endangering the welfare of children, among other serious offenses.“This bill is the latest step in my administration’s efforts to make our commonwealth and our society safer by helping those who have offended put their lives back together,” Gov. Wolf said. “Last year, we ‘banned the box,’ removing the criminal conviction question for job applications covered by the Office of Administration, which ensured that all candidates for employment are being evaluated on their merit, and on their willingness and ability to contribute to our commonwealth.“While Clean Slate and Ban the Box are great steps to removing the stigma of low-level convictions, we also know that we need to do more to reform our criminal justice system,” Gov. Wolf said.The governor also called for passage of additional criminal justice reforms legislation to include:Justice Reinvestment Initiatives (JRI2), which seek to provide for fair sentencing, increase parole supervision and use of community-based programs, among other reforms.Bail and Pre-Trial Reforms to ensure that everyone has a right to a fair trial and that risk-assessment tools are consistent across the commonwealth.Post-Conviction Relief Act Expansion to reduce time sensitivity by increasing awareness of when rights expire so defendants can make an informed plea decision. Currently if a defendant pleads guilty, they are foreclosed from post-conviction relief; this needs to change so all defendants, regardless of plea, may attempt to prove their innocence.Probation/Parole Revocation and Resentencing to create uniformity in probation revocation procedures and ensure a correlation between risk and probation lengths, resulting in better supervision.Indigent Defense is a critical part of the system that can have a large impact on volume, cost, and human effects and is needed in Pennsylvania to ensure the independence and quality of counsel under the Sixth Amendment.Stepping Up Initiative, which was launched statewide in April 2017 and via summit in December 2017 along with a data-driven project by Dauphin County to examine its criminal justice system, with the goal of reducing the number of people who have serious mental illnesses in the county prison.last_img read more

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Queensland building approvals keep falling

first_imgBuilding approval numbers continue to drop both in Queensland and nationally.The Queensland appetite for dwelling units continues to soften according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) numbers.“The trend estimate for total number of dwelling units approved in Queensland fell five per cent in December (2016) and has fallen for 11 months,” said the ABS.“The trend estimate for the number of private sector houses fell 0.1 per cent in December and has fallen for two months.”The result is in line with the national trend which saw the number of dwellings approved fall 2.5 per cent in December 2016.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home2 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor8 hours agoIt’s a measure that’s dropped for seven consecutive months.Queensland had the second largest retraction in approvals nationally with New South Wales dropping by 6.3 per cent.The only three states to record a rise in approvals were Tasmania (3.8 per cent), Victoria (1.5 per cent) and the Northern Territory (1.4 per cent).The falls continues for Queensland’s private housing approvals too with a drop of 0.1 per cent for the month.The figures are in line with analysis by Housing Industry Association (HIA) who considers construction numbers to have peaked in the March 2016 quarter.The HIA said although approvals have remained historically elevated overall, their forecasts predict continued falls in the sector.last_img read more

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Rail takes lion’s share of TEN funding

first_imgWELL OVER half of the Ecu352m allocated by the European Commission under the Trans-European Networks funding programme for 1997 is being spent on rail projects.Analysis of the Ecu352m made available for 125 schemes, as notified to 14 of the 15 EU governments by Transport Commissioner Neil Kinnock on July 24, shows that pure rail projects plus those with a significant rail element accounted for Ecu220m (Table I). After allowing for the non-rail element in some small multimodal studies, and a substantial road element in the Øresund link and its access routes, the rail total lies between 55% and 60%.The Commission’s White Paper on rail policy published in July 1996 stated that ‘rail’s share of the passenger market is no more than 6% and that of the freight market 16%.’ The fact that rail is getting the lion’s share of TEN funding despite this low and declining share of the transport market shows how serious the Commission is about making greater use of rail in the future. New high speed lines attract about Ecu90m of the rail total, with nearly Ecu43m going into the Köln – Frankfurt and Nürnberg – Berlin Neubaustrecken and their connecting links. The Channel Tunnel Rail Link to London also attracts strong support with Ecu24m going to London & Continental Railways for a design package.Most of the French funding is earmarked for construction of TGV Est which gets Ecu13m, but as this project is still on hold while a further review takes place, the full amount may not be spent in 1997. The new line from Amsterdam to the Belgian frontier gets serious money for design even though a start date is still uncertain.Freight supportThough harder to identify, there is robust support for the expansion of international freight within this year’s TEN funding. The most conspicuous element is Ecu10m for design of the Betuwe freight line from Rotterdam to the German frontier at Emmerich. However, the Øresund link between Sweden and Denmark – together with the Storebaelt crossing completed earlier this year – will allow several million tonnes a year currently using train ferries to move continuously on rail between Norway, Sweden and continental Europe.With the Brenner base tunnel still uncertain, Ecu9m has been allocated to the design of improvements to the present route in the lower Inn valley east of Innsbruck; this carries a heavy flow of intermodal freight including rolling motorway services between Germany and Italy.The Ecu8m provided for loading gauge and power supply enhancement between Genova and Domodossola is also aimed at improving the flow of intermodal traffic through the Alps, this time through the Simplon tunnel; work on enlarging clearances for carrying 4m high lorries on the southern approach to the Simplon tunnel began this summer. oTABLE: Table I. Trans-European Network funds for rail projects in 1997Country Project Grant Ecu000Europe European Rail Traffic Management System 9000 Øresund fixed link: coast-to-coast crossing 20000 Rail access in Denmark 5500 Rail and road access in Sweden 5000Austria Semmering base tunnel, trial bores 1300 Wels – Passau and Parndorf – Kittsee (Wien – Bratislava) upgrading 3000 Brenner, Lower Inn valley design studies 9000 Wien – St Pölten new line studies 900Belgium Zaventem airport surface access study 500Denmark Studies to speed up inter-city trains 1000Finland Turku – Helsinki – Vainikkala line improvements 3700 Nordic Triangle studies 500France TGV Est: studies and implementation 13000 TGV Sud: Perpignan – Spanish frontier study 500Germany Köln-Bonn airport: high speed rail link 2000 Stuttgart 21 through station: trial boring 3500 Study of faster routes to Polish and Czech borders 340 Köln – Rhein/Main Neubaustrecke 24950 Gr?€?bers – Leipzig and Erfurt – Arnstadt (Berlin – Nürnberg) new lines 16000Great Britain Channel Tunnel Rail Link 24000 West Coast Main Line upgrading and feasibility studies 9000 Trans-Pennine corridor study (multi-modal) 145Greece Patras to Corinth; gauge conversion study 1 000Italy Verona – Venezia: high speed and combined transport studies 3000 Venezia – Trieste improvements study 600 Venezia – Tarvisio improvements 3400 North Adriatic line upgrading 8000 Genova – Novara – Domodossola power supply and loading gauge upgrade 8100 Improved access to Verona 4000Luxembourg Traction power upgrade 1000Netherlands Antwerpen – Amsterdam new line: design studies 10000 Betuwe freight line design and technical studies 10000Portugal North line upgrading 2250 Beira Baixa line upgrading 1250Spain Madrid Barajas airport access study 1 500 Madrid – Zaragoza new line 3600 Madrid – Valladolid new line 3200 Castellon – Oropesa improvements (Mediterranean corridor) 500 Sevilla – Cadiz improvements 1000 Murcia to AVE line connections 500 Portugal – Spain – France links study 800Sweden Helsingborg – Kävlinge upgrading studies 2000 Varberg – Hamra upgrading studies 1400Total 219935last_img read more

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OA First Indiana School With Business Honor Society

first_imgOA launches a National Business Honor Society Chapter.OLDENBURG, Ind. – Oldenburg Academy has become the first school in the state of Indiana to launch a National Business Honor Society Chapter, the school announced in a press release.New members were inducted at the first meeting in September.In order to enter the elite society, an OA junior or senior must complete or be enrolled in their third business course and have above a 3.0 overall GPA, and over a 3.5 GPA in business courses. An application is required and is reviewed based on the three pillars of the National Business Honor Society: Involvement, Leadership and Achievement.OA Business/Journalism Teacher Jonathon Maple chose to start the chapter this year, “I felt the pillars of the organization aligned perfectly with what we expect OA students to model: high levels of involvement through outstanding leadership and achievement.”The chapter has 19 juniors and seniors serving as charter members. Brooke Siefert was nominated President; Kirsten Ricke, Vice-President; Ella Lamping, Secretary; Aaron Moorman, Treasurer.The National Business Honor Society is part of the National Business Education Association.Part of the organization will be involved in service learning including promoting local business. The group will assist with the town of Oldenburg’s Holidays Under The Spires in December“This is such a great way to get students involved in planning an event and immersing them into working together on something real,” Maple states.“We definitely hit the ground running with this group – they accepted the challenge, and are such an inspiring group to work with – always willing to take on more to make this event the best it can be. I think we’ve definitely set the bar high for other National Business Honor Society groups,” Maple concluded.Anyone interested in becoming involved with the Holidays Under the Spires event can contact Maple at Oldenburg Academy.last_img read more

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McIlroy: I need to cut out mistakes

first_imgTiger Woods and Rory McIlroy go into the second round of the Masters separated by just two shots, but the omens looked far better for Woods than the man he recently succeeded as world number one. Woods declared himself satisfied with an opening 70, two under par, that left him four shots behind overnight leaders Sergio Garcia and Marc Leishman, on a day when 33 players in the 93-strong field broke par. However, McIlroy was among those players who failed to finish in red figures. The 23-year-old from Northern Ireland carded five birdies and five bogeys in his 72, and said afterwards: “I felt like I played well and gave myself plenty of opportunities. I just made some silly mistakes, a couple of three-putts on the back nine. I made enough birdies but I just need to cut those mistakes out and I’ll be fine.” He added: “I turned in two under par and everything felt good. That was the story of the day; any time I got a bit of momentum I gave it straight back. Around this course you really can’t do that.” Woods has started with a 70 on four previous occasions at Augusta National, going on to win in 1997, 2001 and 2002 before finishing ‘only’ sixth in 2009. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

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NY Bomb Squad Clears Pressure Cookers as “Non-explosive”

first_imgA pair of suspicious pressure cookers shut down the Fulton Street subway station this morning. They were reported by a 911 caller.The station was evacuated out of “an abundance of caution,” The NYPD’s Bomb Squad responded.Police and the bomb squad announced at 8:15 that the packages were not dangerous and did not contain explosives.RT CitizenApp_NYC: Pressure cookers just found at Fulton St Station, bomb squad investigating — be safe New York City. https://t.co/4HwaaPYd3J pic.twitter.com/O42ehz6zFg— kaihsing (@kaihsing) August 16, 2019 There would be an increased police presence in the area near Fulton and William streets as cops investigate.last_img read more

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MPA delays decision on high school sports season

first_imgBy Mike LowePortland Press HeraldELLSWORTH — The Maine Principals’ Association on Tuesday delayed its decision on whether high school sports will be played this fall as the group awaits further guidance from state officials.MPA officials are trying to get clarification from the state on the differences between return-to-school safety guidelines from the Maine Department of Education and the community sports return-to-play guidelines established by the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textMPA Executive Director Mike Burnham said it would be difficult to offer a fall season under the DOE guidelines, which emphasize strict mask wearing and social distancing, but that the MPA could offer sports by following the community sports guidelines.Burnham had hoped to have a final recommendation on the fall season Tuesday but said the MPA needs to get more guidance. He said that it is possible that not all sports will be offered this fall.“At this point, we do not have a formal recommendation to make for the committee as we continue to work with those government agencies to determine what school-based sports should look like,” said Burnham. “I think I would be remiss if I didn’t say if we continue to follow the Department of Education and really centering on the use of masks as well as the physical distancing. Just two weeks ago, it was released for outdoor PE classes they recommend 14 feet for physical distancing. Our sports committees did not feel that was possible for us to adhere to with any of our athletic offerings.“I know that there have been some rumors out there that we have already made up our mind, that it was a foregone conclusion that today would be the formal vote to eliminate fall sports. … I don’t have that formal recommendation. We continue to do everything we can to try save all — if not all, at least a portion — of some of our fall programs.”Burnham said he realizes time is of the essence. Phase 4 of the MPA’s voluntary summer conditioning programming is to begin on Monday with fall tryouts scheduled for Sept. 8. Games are scheduled to begin Sept. 18.The MPA traditionally offers football, field hockey, golf, volleyball, boys’ and girls’ cross-country and boys’ and girls’ soccer in the fall season. Burnham said it is possible that some fall sports could be moved to later in the year.“We had actually kind of circled today on the calendar as the date we would make the recommendation,” said Burnham, “and I think we certainly could make a recommendation that if we’re following the guidelines that schools and superintendents are following for the return to school that our recommendation would be that we’re not able to offer those activities.“But if the recommendation from the Governor and CDC is that we follow closer to the community guidelines, then we feel that we can start putting that framework together. … I think we’re good to go, we just need to know what the expectations are for school-based sports and activities. We know that time is of the essence. We also know that Sept. 8 was not a hard line in the sand, that Sept. 8 was arrived at to give the superintendents an opportunity to get the kids back into school and figure out their plans.”last_img read more

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Premier set up Munster final meeting with Déise

first_imgThe Premier County’s 3-12 to 1-16 victory means they’ll play Waterford in the provincial decider.Although Limerick opened the scoring Tipp fought back in spectacular fashion.Michael Breen scored two goals in quick succession to put his team in control. However, the tide seemed to turn in the Treaty County’s favour when John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer was sent off for a strike on Richie English.TJ Ryan’s side got the game next three points after Tipp lost the Killenaule club man.That upward momentum for the visitors was halted when Seamus Callanan got 1-1 in quick succession and by the break the Premier led 3-5 to 0-11.Limerick’s Tom Morrissey managed to get the sliotar past Darren Gleeson in second-half stoppage time but by that stage it was too late to have any impact on the outcome of the match.This was an impressive display from Tipp, particularly when one considers they obstacles they faced.It didn’t look as though they were down a man with Cathal Barrett putting in a fine defensive performance to plug many of the gaps that could have appeared.The one down side was the dismissal of O’Dwyer, who’ll be suspended for the Munster final.last_img read more

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