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When It Comes to Fighting Ocean-Bound Waste, Collaboration Is Key

first_imgIn the UK right now, there is a huge spotlight on the crisis being created in our seas by plastic waste. The reality of the situation is scary – and hard to ignore. Every single year, 8 million metric tons of plastic enter our seas, endangering marine life and polluting our waters. And it’s not just marine life being affected. With the vast majority of plastic pieces in the ocean less than 5mm in size, these are often eaten by fish, meaning anyone who consumes an “average amount” of seafood ingests approximately 11,000 plastic particles a year – a scary thought when you consider that over exposure to plastic chemicals can lead to certain forms of cancer, immune disorders and obesity.Thanks to programs like the BBC’s Blue Planet II and campaigns like Sky Ocean Rescue, we are all now aware of the scale of the problem, but awareness is only part of the equation. We also need to take action. At Dell, we were first made aware of this issue in 2016 through our relationship with actor and activist Adrian Grenier and his work with the Lonely Whale Foundation. This led to us looking for ways to address the ocean plastics challenges within our business, and packaging was a natural place to start. So, following an initial feasibility study, we launched a pilot project in early 2017 working with groups from coastal areas around the world to collect plastics from waterways, beaches, shorelines and areas near the coasts. We now use this plastic waste to create packaging trays for our XPS 13 2-in-1 and more recently, our XPS 15 2-in-1 laptops. We anticipate that this pilot will keep 16,000 pounds of plastics out of oceans initially, and in support of UN SDG Goal 14, we are committed to increase annual usage of ocean-bound plastic 10x by 2025.And while we were proud of this meaningful contribution to tackle the issue, we quickly identified a critical barrier to successfully scaling their efforts: absence of an operational and commercially viable ocean-bound plastic supply chain. So, along with the Lonely Whale Foundation, with support from UN Environment, we set out to convene a group of companies to join forces to create an open-source initiative to develop the first-ever commercial-scale ocean-bound plastics and nylon supply chain. Called NextWave, founding members including Dell, General Motors, Trek Bicycle, Herman Miller, Interface, Van de Sant, Humanscale and Bureo, will share responsibility in development of a sustainable model that reduces ocean-bound plastic pollution at scale, while creating an economic and social benefit for multiple stakeholders. We think the work of this group will divert more than 3 million pounds of plastics from entering the ocean within five years, the equivalent to keeping 66 million water bottles from washing out to sea.https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=4&v=EQ5Sh5HQV8wWe believe collaboration is really the only way we’ll address many of the challenges facing our world today, which is why I was truly honoured to be asked to participate in a recent high-level meeting with The Prince of Wales’s International Sustainability Unit (ISU) on ‘Keeping Plastics and Their Value in the Economy and Out of the Ocean.’ Attended by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, C.E.Os and senior executives from a range of organisations including Government, private sector and N.G.Os working to apply principles of circular economy to the current plastic value chain, it was a privilege to represent Dell and the work we are doing, and have an opportunity to discuss best practices with others pursuing the same goals.LONDON – UK – 31st Jan 2018. HRH The Prince of Wales, as Patron, hosts a reception and meeting of the ISU plastics forum at 11 Carlton House Terrace in London Photograph by Ian JonesReflecting on this meeting, what really struck me was the realisation that even three years ago, sustainability was typically limited to a subject matter expert within an organisation, whereas now, it is a critical part of business strategy and every single CEO and senior executive at the table was able to speak with authority on the role their company wants to play in finding solutions to environmental issues. I know in my role as general manager for Dell EMC in the UK and Ireland, I have conversations with customers every single day about how we are creating a more sustainable business for our company and the world around us, and how important it is for them to not only work with companies who are acting responsible, but also learn from us how they can adopt similar practices. It really does demonstrate the huge opportunities that collaboration presents for the corporate world to play a meaningful and measurable positive impact for the future – and I’m very proud to be a part of it.If your company is interested in getting involved, you can apply or find out more at https://www.nextwaveplastics.org/apply/last_img read more

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Saint Mary’s course aims to introduce students to shared experiences of pilgrimages

first_imgThe collaboration of a student and professor at Saint Mary’s has resulted in a new spring semester course. Senior Annie Maguire, with the help of professor of philosophy Patty Sayre, has developed a philosophy course called “The Camino.” The course material for The Camino will focus on the subject of pilgrimage.The course is worth one academic credit and is in anticipation of students completing a pilgrimage at some point in the future.“[The course was developed with] a syllabus that would allow students to enroll in a class one for one credit to really explore the ideas and themes around pilgrimage and prepare students for that experience,” Maguire said.The idea for this preparatory course for pilgrimages came about from Maguire’s personal experience when she walked the Camino de Santiago — “The Way of St. James” — in southern France and northern Spain at the end of her semester abroad in Seville. Maguire embarked on a three-week journey beginning in Leon, France, to Santiago, Spain.“Originally, the pilgrimage route was created as a way for people to kind of show their love for St. James,” she said. “‘Santiago’ means St. James, and ending in the city of Santiago is where it is said the remains of St. James are.”The Camino de Santiago involves intense backpacking along a path that would take around 35 days to walk in full. Along the path pilgrims would stay at hostels all through the countryside in Spain which facilitates the community experience throughout the journey, as Maguire described.“That’s something that I can take with me forever — the relationships,” she said. “Having this experience helped me learn about other people’s stories, the importance of sharing your stories, and kind of just widening my worldview. … I wanted to create something where other students could engage in.”Though Maguire will incorporate her experience walking The Camino, she will teach the course with the expectation that students will complete their own pilgrimages over their own time.“The preparation we will do throughout the course of the semester for students will be more similar to what I experienced just because I want to help and give as many ways as I can to contribute to this class,” she said. “But students are obviously invited to take any note that they’d like to explore the different options and whatever works for them and their schedules. They could do so at the end of the semester, or maybe like a year down the road, or maybe, you know, far out in advance. But I think that freedom is really important because I along the way, I met a lot of students who were doing this through a school group or with a group of people, and that is a very different experience. … I think that’s the benefit of the structure of our course that we’re creating.”With Sayre’s experience in her previous course, Philosophy of Walking, she had the ability to work with Maguire to create this new course focused on pilgrimage. Pilgrimages, Sayre explained, unfold over the course of several stages.“The idea is that the various phases of getting ready for the pilgrimage, going on the pilgrimage, coming back from the pilgrimage,” she said. “We’ll look at pilgrimage narratives from major pilgrimages routes.”In addition to the course readings about pilgrimage as mental preparation, students will also take a walk every Monday from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. to physically prepare for the pilgrimage experience.“I think it honestly gave me so many other life lessons that I carry with me now, like the physical act of walking, you feel all of the items to your name on your back as you carry them along the way,” Maguire said. “That’s also a great metaphor for what we carry with us in our life. … That I learned through this physical experience, but also spiritual and emotional experience as well.”The Camino course not only prepares students discerning a pilgrimage in their lives but allows for the freedom to travel when they choose to.“It’s going to prepare one for a major pilgrimage,” Sayre said. “One of the things that might happen is that … if it is your time, you might think meet someone else in the class whose time it is. And then if you wanted to travel together, you’d have that automatic connection.”Maguire encourages students to take this course as it can help all students achieve their purpose for taking a pilgrimage.“Maybe they want to do a little soul searching, maybe they just want to break in their schedule in their busy lives, maybe they’re really interested in backpacking, so it draws a whole diverse group of people together on this experience that is very much communal and shared and life changing,” Maguire said.Sayre said she is excited to share her love of walking and to encourage students to use walking and pilgrimage as a transformative experience for their daily lives. She also said she wants to learn more about the pilgrimage experience.“I’m looking forward to just learning more about pilgrimages,” she said. “I really desperately do want to do the Camino someday. … When my time comes, I’d like to be ready.”Maguire said she is looking forward to continuing the exploration of her previous experience on the Camino and to share the fruits of that experience with her peers.“I’m very excited to … hear from other students,” Maguire said. “I feel like that is really valuable perspective because taking the Camino is all about changing perspective in your life. I think reading and learning about the experiences of others will help me even as I still process my own experience, understand things.”Tags: El Camino, Pilgrimage, saint mary’slast_img read more

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Former Scott Credit Union manager pleads guilty to $12 million fraud

first_img 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr During a 30-minute hearing in an Illinois federal courtroom Thursday, a former business relationship manager for the $1 billion Scott Credit Union pleaded guilty to a fraudulent loan scheme of more than $12 million.Theodore J. Longust, 50, formerly of Columbia, Ill., admitted to financial institution fraud, misapplication of funds, money laundering and filing a false report. continue reading »last_img read more

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Pennsylvania Health Department gives update on coronavirus (May 10)

first_imgHARRISBURG, Pa (WBNG) — The Pennsylvania Health Department gave a statewide update regarding the coronavirus on Sunday. The health department says most of the hospitalized individuals are aged 65 or older, and most of the deaths have occurred in individuals 65 or older. They also say there are 19 additional deaths, bringing the total to 3,707. Pennsylvania residents can sign up for AlertPA, which is a notification system for health, weather, and coronavirus updates. Residents can sign up online at this link. For statewide updates on the coronavirus, visit pa.gov. The state health department reports 227,772 individuals who have tested negative to date. They have provided a breakdown of the patients who have tested positive. The breakdown is as follows: Additionally, the health department reports approximately 3,759 cases among health care workers.  The health department has also provided an update on nursing and personal care homes. They say there are 11,645 cases among residents and 1,645 among employees. That makes a total of 13,290 positive cases at 539 different facilities. The health department also says that out of the statewide total deaths, 2,529 have occurred in residents from nursing or personal care homes. For more coronavirus coverage, click here. Nearly 1% are aged 0-4Nearly 1% are aged 5-121% are aged 13-18Nearly 6% are aged 19-24Nearly 37% are aged 25-49 26% are aged 50-6428% are aged 65 or older The health department reports an additional 1,295 individuals who tested positive for the virus. That brings the statewide total to 56,611. last_img read more

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E coli infections prompt beef recalls

first_img Steve Wood, vice president of Richwood Meat, said he believed the contaminated meat came from one of the slaughterhouses that supplied the meat, but he didn’t know which one, the AP reported. Apr 20 FSIS press release on California company recall Apr 20 PDH press release The patients had eaten at the restaurants between Mar 24 and 26, the PDH said. All ate different cuts of steak, and several reported they requested and consumed their steak rare or medium rare. An investigation by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the PDH linked the illnesses to HFX, Inc, a South Claysburg, Pa., producer that supplied several steak products to restaurants in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia, according to an FSIS press release. The company recalled 254,346 pounds of its steak products distributed only to restaurants, as well as 4,884 pounds of ground beef patties produced between Apr 5 and 19 that were distributed to retail stores in Pennsylvania. Apr 23, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Two beef producers recently announced recalls of steak and hamburger products because of possible contamination with Escherichia coli O157:H7, following a small number of infections in California and Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Department of Health (PDH) said in an Apr 20 press release that it was investigating five cases of E coli O157:H7 infection in people from four counties who ate rare or medium-rare steak at four different Hoss’s Steak and Sea House restaurants. At least three children fell ill after eating the company’s products, which were served at Little League baseball snack counters in two California towns, the Associated Press (AP) reported today. The children have recovered, and test results on samples from the children and the meat are expected on Apr 25, Mike Bowman, a spokesperson for the California Department of Health, told the AP. The FSIS said the ground beef was produced on Apr 28, 2006, and was distributed to retail outlets in Arizona, California, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington under several brand names: Fireriver, Blackwood Farms, Chef’s Pride, Ritz Food, California Pacific Associates, C&C Distributing, Golbon, and Richwood. E coli O157:H7 produces a toxin that causes diarrhea—often bloody—and abdominal cramps but typically no fever. The illness usually resolves in 5 to 10 days but can cause hemolytic uremic syndrome in 2% to 7% of patients. In the California E coli outbreak, Richwood Meat Co, Inc., a producer based in Merced, Calif., recalled about 107,943 pounds of frozen ground beef products because of possible contamination, according to an Apr 20 FSIS press release. Apr 20 FSIS press release on Pennsylvania company recall See also: Steaks aren’t usually considered a high-risk source of E coli O157:H7 contamination, but the recalled products were injected with tenderizers and flavor-enhancing solutions, which could have transferred the bacteria to the inside of the meat, the FSIS said. Steaks that are injected with solutions or are mechanically tenderized require a higher cooking temperature than steaks not so treated, so such products should not be served rare, the FSIS said. Four of the patients were hospitalized, but none developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a potentially fatal kidney condition that can be triggered by E coli infection, according to the PDH.last_img read more

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Americans Paul Milgrom, Robert Wilson win Nobel Economics Prize

first_imgThe winners will share the prize sum of 10 million Swedish kronor (about $1.1 million, 950,000 euros).Last year the honour went to French-American Esther Duflo, Indian-born Abhijit Banerjee of the US, and American Michael Kremer for their experimental work on alleviating poverty.Even if it might be the most prestigious prize an economist can hope to receive, the economics prize has not reached the same status as those originally chosen by Alfred Nobel in his will, which included medicine, physics, chemistry, literature and peace.It was instead created through a donation from the Swedish central bank and detractors have thus dubbed it “a false Nobel.” US economists Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson won the Nobel Economics Prize on Monday for work on commercial auctions, including for goods and services difficult to sell in traditional ways such as radio frequencies, the Nobel Committee said.The duo was honoured “for improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats,” the jury said.The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences noted that the discoveries by Milgrom, 72, and Wilson, 83, “have benefitted sellers, buyers and taxpayers around the world,” it said in a statement. The prize closes the 2020 Nobel season which so far has seen the peace prize awarded to the UN’s World Food Programme.Women have been more prevalent than usual this year, with American poet Louise Gluck winning the literature prize.And Frenchwoman Emmanuelle Charpentier and American Jennifer Doudna became the first all-female duo to win a scientific Nobel on Wednesday, clinching the chemistry award for their discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 DNA snipping “scissors.”Winners would normally receive their Nobel from King Carl XVI Gustaf at a formal ceremony in Stockholm on December 10, but the pandemic means it has been replaced by a televised ceremony showing the laureates receiving their awards in their home countries.Topics :last_img read more

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EU member states endorse new clearing delay for pension funds

first_imgPensionsEurope hopes the European Parliament will consider granting an open-ended exemption rather than the time-limited one proposed by the Commission and endorsed by the Council, even though this was helpful.An open-ended exemption, to be revoked once a solution is found to the problems facing pension funds in the context of EMIR’s central clearing obligation, “would provide better incentives for all actors”, said Verstegen.“Pension funds are absolutely committed to solving this problem, because liquidity is shifting from the bilateral to the cleared markets, but central counterparties might assume that business will come their way once the exemption runs out,” he said.Currently, central counterparties (CCPs) require market participants to post collateral in cash, which pension funds tend not to hold much of because of their low liquidity needs and their long-term investment horizon. They argue that having to post cash as collateral for centrally cleared derivative transactions would hurt their returns, and that they should be allowed to post government bonds as collateral.In May last year the Commission proposed that the exemption from central clearing be prolonged by three years because a solution allowing pension schemes to post assets other than cash as collateral had not yet been developed.Pension funds were first granted an exemption from the obligation to centrally clear over-the-counter derivatives in 2012. This exemption was due to expire in August 2017, but a decision in December 2016 pushed this back by one year.The Commission’s proposal for amendments to EMIR were made in the context of its Regulatory Fitness and Performance (REFIT) programme.Werner Langen, a member of the European Parliament’s Christian Democrats party grouping, was appointed the ECON rapporteur for the EMIR amendment proposals in July. European Union member states have endorsed another extension of the exemption from central clearing for pension funds.The European Council adopted this position in the week of 18 December, going along with the proposal made by the European Commission in May.The European Parliament still has to decide its position on the proposed amendments to the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR). Politicians in its Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON) are due to vote on the matter in April, according to Matthies Verstegen, policy adviser at PensionsEurope.He said this schedule means it will be challenging for the Commission’s proposals to formally become law by August, when pension schemes’ current exemption from the central clearing requirement expires.last_img read more

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Australia’s Lotto winner could buy an island, a Brisbane estate

first_imgThis one also has no price tag, but located on Elizabeth Bay you can expect it costs a motzah – unless you are Australia’s newest millionaire.The inner city waterfront estate sits on a 3326 sqm block with “parklike grounds meandering down to a private sea pool, boathouse, jetty and three deep water moorings”.The Victorian Italianate sandstone manor has seven bedrooms and four full bathrooms, including a private master wing, plus two studies or dressing rooms. There is also an additional self-contained two-bedroom flat and former stables transformed into offices with cellar/storage. The house has uninterrupted northerly harbour views to the Manly skyline. More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus14 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market14 hours agoThe listing states it is historically significant — designed in 1868 by architect Thomas Rowe – with the house, grounds and trees subject to federal and state heritage listings. But if our newest multi-millionaire feels so inclined, they could put an offer in on Australia’s most expensive house.Bought by tech billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes in September last year for about $100 million, Fairwater in Point Piper it is not currently on the market.But money talks. On the market for $104,566,125 this sprawling property in Nevada is on the market for the first time.Crystal Pointe is an epic lakefront masterpiece on 5.14 secluded acres with two lakefront parcels. The Brighton house is on the market for offers over $519,000Alternatively, the winner could splash out on one of Brisbane’s most expensive houses currently on the market. Neighbouring the home of fitness clothing queen Lorna Jane is 33B Harbour Rd at Hamilton – an eight bedroom modern mansion that last sold for a record-breaking $12 million back in 2015.It is listed for sale by negotiation. You could buy an entire hotel in MalaysiaThis one is freehold and has 250 rooms, a pool, cafe, restaurant, meeting room, function hall, ballroom and a mini cinema. It is located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.*** A CARIBBEAN ISLAND 33b Harbour Rd, HamiltonAlternatively, they could put in an offer on this spectacular residence – a luxurious clifftop mansion at Leopard St, Kangaroo Point that sold for $18 million in 2017, smashing the previous record of $14 million set when Australia’s richest person Gina Rinehart bought a home at Aaron Ave, Hawthorne in 2014. 1 Leopard St Kangaroo Point sold for $18M With a median house price of $532,000, the Lotto winner could buy 201 houses in the River City. Or basically, an entire masterplanned housing estate.But here is just one to get started. The winner could buy 200 of these and still have change left over.This Brighton house is on the market for $519,000 and is just 350m from the waterfront. Images of Duke Group Archipelago The archipelago group consists of three islands – Marble Island (2500 acres), Hunter Island (300 acres) and Tynemouth Island (500 acres), with Marble being the principal island.The listing states that the closest mainland access point is the township of Plum Tree via Stanage Bay, which his located 12 nautical miles south of the island. Yeppoon and Mackay are approximately 100 nautical miles to the south and north respectively.Marble Island has an approval to build accommodation for an extra 12 visitors or family, fantastic white beaches, a 600m airstrip and a barge.The owner’s beach house has locally-sourced polished marble flooring, three bedrooms and two bathrooms, a large open planned kitchen and living area. It is located on a white sandy beach with breath taking views and just a short stroll to the manager’s home.The manager’s house is also a modern three bedroom residence with large verandas on the northern and southern sides of the home with substantial beach and island views as well as a full sized tennis court nearby.There is also a guesthouse with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, sheds and cold rooms. *** A SYDNEY WATERFRONT MANSION Located in the Philippines, the Verde Island Resort is on the market without a price tag, but it is well down the list so Australia’s newest richlister must be in with a shot.The listing states that “Verde Island Resort is an exclusive high-end residential resort anchored on a world-class, top dive and beach destination that offers a unique vacation experience of exceptional quality”. I am already there!It sits on 274 acres including 27 acres of beach front, and features 44 well-appointed guest rooms, 16 beach cottages, a main lobby/pavilion/bar, a main restaurant/bar with full kitchen, a function room, infinity pools, view deck with activity area and a helipad as well as several utility and out buildings.Surrounded by coral sand beaches and turquoise waters, with a coral reef just 50 to 300 meters from shore, it is just 25 minutes by ferry to Batangas City.***The winner, a mother in her 40s from inner city Sydney, told officials she intended to continue working and instead buy a caravan. RELATED: Surprise Powerball winner home choice Seven Aussie island are currently listed with Private Islands Inc, and the Lotto winner could buy them all and still have some change leftover.One of those on the market is the entire Duke Group Archipelago, which is located off the coast of Yeppoon and Mackay and listed for USD$11,379,153.39, or about AUD$15,819,714.03. center_img This one is on the market for $78,097,656 meaning Australia’s newest mega millionaire would have plenty of change left over to buy a super yacht. This one would definitely be on our Saturday open house list. Spectabilis Island in the Bahamas is on the market for USD$62 million – that’s about $86.2 million in Aussie dollars.The island has not been developed but with a cool $20 million in change, the Lotto winner could easily build a plush pad. The Aaron Ave Hawthorne mansion bought by Gina Rinehart, mining heiress and chair of Hancock Prospecting.*** EVERY AUSTRALIAN ISLAND ON THE MARKET For sale for $101,720,752, the Lotto winner could buy an entire luxury hotel in Malaysia and still have some change leftover for room service. The Point Piper mansion “Elaine” on New South Head Road, Point Piper, Sydney. 27th September, 2018. Picture by Damian Shaw *** LAKE TAHOE’S CROWN JEWEL, USA With $100 million to spend, it will be one seriously flash caravan. Wouldn’t it be nice? There would even be money leftover for a luxe cruiserLocated on South Ocean Boulevard, the property sits on over two acres and has 83.5 sqm of ocean frontage. It has eight bedrooms, 11 bathrooms and eight half baths across the main house and guesthouse. *** FOUR-STAR HOTEL IN MALAYSIA Crystal Pointe is an epic lakefront masterpiece on 5.14 secluded acresIt has 525 feet of lake frontage, four buoys and seasonal boat barge. The main residence has an attached guesthouse, and a caretaker’s apartment with oversized 4-car garage. The beach house, completed in 2016, has eight bedrooms, 10 full and two half bathrooms in 4947 sqm of living space with 13 fireplaces, a 10-seat theatre and a 1687-bottle wine cellar. There is also a private gated drive, an entry pavilion, two glass funiculars, gardens, ponds and waterfalls and level lawns.*** PALM BEACH MEGA MANSION Most of us struggle to buy one house. The Powerball winner could buy 201 average houses in Brisbane with her winnings. (AAP Image/Darren England) IMAGINE winning $107 million. It is hard to wrap your head around that number.But a Sydney health worker will be doing just that this morning after taking out the entire division one prize pool of Powerball last night.Here are a few ways she could splash the cash in the property market- and still have some serious coin leftover.*** OVER 200 AVERAGE HOMES IN BRISBANE Yes please!It is 460 acres and is located in the Exuma Cays. Features include pristine powder white sandy beaches, rolling hills with breathtaking views and elevations, with unrestricted aviation access, a proposed Helipad, seaplane ramp and ample room for a private air strip. The Exuma Cays are home to about a dozen of the most discerning celebrities and billionaires.*** A LUXURY ISLAND RESORTlast_img read more

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Ryan Anderson: re Supreme Court’s dumb ruling on marriage

first_imgDaily Signal 26 June 2015Today is a significant setback for all Americans who believe in the Constitution, the rule of law, democratic self-government, and marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The U.S. Supreme Court got it wrong: It should not have mandated all 50 states to redefine marriage.This is judicial activism: nothing in the Constitution requires the redefinition of marriage, and the court imposed its judgment about a policy matter that should be decided by the American people and their elected representatives. The court got marriage and the Constitution wrong today just like they got abortion and the Constitution wrong 42 years ago with Roe v. Wade. Five unelected judges do not have the power to change the truth about marriage or the truth about the Constitution.The court summarized its ruling in this way—which highlights that they have redefined marriage, substituting their own opinion for that of the citizens:The limitation of marriage to opposite-sex couples may long have seemed natural and just, but its inconsistency with the central mean­ing of the fundamental right to marry is now manifest.Manifest to five unelected judges that is. Not to the majority of American citizens who voted to define marriage correctly. As Chief Justice Roberts pointed out in dissent:If you are among the many Americans—of whatever sexual orientation—who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today’s decision. Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal. Celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner. Celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it.That’s exactly right. When it comes to the majority opinion, the Constitution “had nothing to do with it.”We must work to restore the constitutional authority of citizens and their elected officials to make marriage policy that reflects the truth about marriage. We the people must explain what marriage is, why marriage matters, and why redefining marriage is bad for society.For marriage policy to serve the common good it must reflect the truth that marriage unites a man and a woman as husband and wife so that children will have both a mother and a father. Marriage is based on the anthropological truth that men and woman are distinct and complementary, the biological fact that reproduction depends on a man and a woman, and the social reality that children deserve a mother and a father.The government is not in the marriage business because it’s a sucker for adult romance. No, marriage isn’t just a private affair; marriage is a matter of public policy because marriage is society’s best way to ensure the well-being of children. State recognition of marriage acts as a powerful social norm that encourages men and women to commit to each other so they will take responsibility for any children that follow.Redefining marriage to make it a genderless institution fundamentally changes marriage: It makes the relationship more about the desires of adults than about the needs—or rights—of children. It teaches the lie that mothers and fathers are interchangeable.Because the court has inappropriately redefined marriage everywhere, there is urgent need for policy to ensure that the government never penalizes anyone for standing up for marriage. As discussed in my new book, “Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom,” we must work to protect the freedom of speech, association and religion of those who continue to abide by the truth of marriage as union of man and woman.At the federal level, the First Amendment Defense Act is a good place to start. It says that the federal government cannot discriminate against people and institutions that speak and act according to their belief that marriage is a union of one man and one woman. States need similar policies.Recognizing the truth about marriage is good public policy. Today’s decision is a significant setback to achieving that goal. We must work to reverse it and recommit ourselves to building a strong marriage culture because so much of our future depends upon it.http://dailysignal.com/2015/06/26/judicial-activism-from-supreme-court-on-marriage-heres-how-to-respond/last_img read more

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India: Security plan ordered for treasure temple

first_img Tweet Share 29 Views   no discussions FaithLifestyle India: Security plan ordered for treasure temple by: – July 8, 2011 Sharing is caring!center_img Share Share By Ashraf PadannaKochiTemple security has been tightened in recent daysOfficials in the Indian state of Kerala are drawing up a security plan for a temple where vast amounts of treasure are reported to have been found.The Supreme Court wants to know how the riches will be kept safe before a sixth vault is opened, possibly next week.Media reports say the treasure at the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in heart of the Keralan capital, Trivandrum, could be worth billions of dollars.Historians say it is almost impossible to assess the treasure’s true value.The Supreme Court directed the state of Kerala and the former royal rulers of the region to explain how they plan to safeguard the gold, silver and precious stones found so far.Five temple vaults have been inventoried but the sixth and last chamber – which has an iron wall and was last opened 136 years ago – is said to contain much more.“The temple and its treasures are important for us and it’s our duty to provide adequate security for them,” Kerala Finance Minister KM Mani said.Metal detectorsPolice are trying to keep out of the way of devoteesSome 45 plainclothes personnel are stationed inside the temple, where non-Hindus are not allowed. Sixty-five policemen are on guard outside and mobile patrols are operating around the clock.“We have asked the policemen to do patrolling without harming the traditions of the temple and making difficulties for the devotees,” said Venugopal K Nair, additional director general of police, who is in charge of the temple’s security.Metal detectors and security cameras have been installed at the complex, which until last week relied on security guards.The riches are thought to have been languishing in the temple vaults for more than a century, interred by the Maharajahs of Travancore over time.India’s Supreme Court ordered the inspection of the vaults after a local lawyer went to court questioning temple security. He wants the treasure taken over by the state government, a suggestion opposed by the current Maharaja of Travancore.The former royal family, trustees of the temple, believe the treasure belongs to the deity, Padmanabhaswamy, who is considered by devotees to be an aspect of the God Vishnu in eternal sleep.“The royal family is not claiming any ownership. It is a public temple,” said KK Venugopal, the family’s lawyer, the Associated Press reports.The objects inside the vaults have so far not been shown to the public, but they have been photographed and filmed for security reasons.Hindu activists say the treasure belongs to the temple, while others want the riches used for the public good.last_img read more

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