• Aker BP secures consent for use of Valhall Flank West

    first_imgValhall Flank West is around four kilometres from the Valhall field centre and the facility is normally unmanned Image: Valhall Flank West is around four kilometres from the Valhall field centre. Photo courtesy of D Thory from Pixabay. Aker BP has received consent for start-up and operation of the Valhall Flank West wellhead facility, along with future maintenance and well operations.Valhall Flank West is around four kilometres from the Valhall field centre. The facility is normally unmanned.Consent is granted on the following conditions:Prior to use of the facility for stand-alone periods, Aker BP shall clarify how:-the requirements in section 77 of the Activities Regulations concerning the handling of hazard and accident situations are fulfilled and verified, and which, if any, restrictions are established for manning the facility under different weather conditions, with reference to section 5, para. 4 of the Management Regulations concerning barriers.-the company is ensuring prudent arrangements for health emergency preparedness, with reference to the Activities Regulations, sections 8 concerning the health service, 9 concerning the health service’s tasks, and 77 concerning the handling of hazard and accident situations. Source: Company Press Releaselast_img read more

  • Morris community responds to criticism over ‘blackface’

    first_imgMembers of the Morris dancing and folk community have defended their practice of using black facepaint against allegations of racial insensitivity amid concerns from students in Oxford.The debate was sparked by the appearance of Morris dancers wearing black face paint in Oxford’s city centre last weekend as part of the annual Folk Weekend. Pictures of the dancers appeared on the Facebook page Skin Deep, a forum linked to the Oxford zine of the same name used for the discussion of race issues.A number of students responded negatively to the practice. One commenter said, “It kind of doesn’t matter what their intentions are if the end result is something that looks, to all intents and purposes, like blackface.”However, others defended the use of black face paint, arguing that the origins of this tradition are unrelated to race. According to one commenter, “Its origins are not completely agreed on, but it is widely acknowledged to have nothing to do with ‘blackface’.“They come every year as part of Oxford folk weekend, and like most Morris dancers, love English tradition and working hard on learning the dances to travel round the festivals and perform. The two people in this photo would probably be incredibly upset about being demonised in this post, but unsurprised, as I’m sure they’re well used to explaining why they’re dressed the way they are.”These comments were echoed by a spokesperson for Folk Weekend Oxford, who told Cherwell, “There is an awful lot of debate raging about the blackface tradition within the Morris world at the moment.“Many, many people believe that it originated as a disguise, or relates to chimney sweeps bringing good luck, and there are sources from early texts which do support this argument, suggesting the workers blacked their faces with soot when they were dancing (and collecting money) as they would likely lose their job if their boss knew they were out begging.“However, there is also an argument that (whether or not the origins lie here entirely) blackface didn’t really catch on in a widespread way until the time of the black and white minstrels.”She added, “From my perspective as a festival organiser – we respect the right of individual sides to choose their own kit and costume, and are not going to discriminate against sides who choose to wear blackface, any more than we would discriminate against a group of visiting African dancers wearing white face paint.”This debate comes in the wake of a similar controversy last year, after an article published in The Oxford Student on the same subject was taken down after complaints from the Morris dancing community about the sensitivity and balance of the reporting. Speaking to Cherwell at the time, the Morris Ring area representative for South Midlands said, “There are a number of different reasons for this and no one really knows where the tradition came from.”The origins of the use of black face paint in Morris dancing remain unclear. Some research has suggested that it grew in popularity concurrently with minstrelsy, an entertainment that does use racially-motivated blackface, although a definitive answer has never been reached.last_img read more

  • Businesses concerned about tax boomerang from PPP

    first_img Facebook By Network Indiana – May 6, 2020 0 212 CoronavirusIndianaLocalNews WhatsApp Twitter (Photo supplied/Indiana Senate Republcians) Some business owners are concerned that they will have to pay taxes on money their business is getting from the Paycheck Protection Program. Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.), says he’s determined not to let that happen.“That’s gonna get cleared up because that’s gonna be an abomination if after doing all this, business owners would have to declare that as income,” Braun told Fox News.“The first thing I’ll do when I get back Monday is introduce a bill to protect small businesses from paying taxes on forgivable loans from the PPP. The IRS’s interpretation was not the intention of the program and it needs to be fixed right away,” said Braun on Twitter.“It’s in the broad language of the PPP. This shows again how the bureaucracy, the agencies that have to implement and interpret have their fingerprint on it,” he said.Braun said he believes that forgiveness of a liability constitutes income. In other words, it would hurt businesses to have to pay taxes on money they get from the government because their business is hurting.“I’ll speak up about that. I was the one that warned against it to get it into the general language. That should not happen if we stick to with the spirit of what was within the law itself.” Facebook WhatsApp Twitter Previous articleDepartment of Workforce Development hiring more workers to their forceNext articleYoung highlights Indiana Paycheck Protection Program success stories Network Indiana Google+ Businesses concerned about tax boomerang from PPP Pinterest Google+ Pinterestlast_img read more

  • Barreira named HUHS director

    first_imgHarvard Provost Alan M. Garber announced today the appointment of Paul J. Barreira, M.D., as director of Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) and Henry K. Oliver Professor of Hygiene. Barreira has been director of Behavioral Health and Academic Counseling at HUHS and an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School for the past eight years.“We went through an extensive nationwide search to find the best fit for Harvard University Health Services and the University as a whole,” said Garber. “This position requires an unusual combination of skills. The director must manage the daily operations of an institution that provides health care of the highest quality while pursuing initiatives that keep the entire University community healthy and safe. Paul has the perfect mix of leadership and management skills to accomplish both of these goals.”Barreira previously oversaw Harvard’s behavioral health units, including Student Mental Health Services, Alcohol and Other Drug Services, the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response, the Center for Wellness, the Bureau of Study Counsel, and the HUHS Behavioral Health practice.“It is an honor to be given the opportunity to serve Harvard on this broad scale,” said Barreira. “I am excited by the continued opportunities with my colleagues at HUHS, and to work and collaborate across all medical departments and with other areas of the University to deliver the best possible health services to the Harvard community.”Barreira has a long-standing affiliation with Harvard and its teaching hospitals. He is the founder and program director of Waverly Place at McLean Hospital, and has been a lecturer and preceptor to psychiatry residents there since 2000. He is currently a member of eight committees and advisory boards at the University.A graduate of Boston College (magna cum laude) and Georgetown University Medical School, Barreira was recognized in 2010 as a Distinguished Fellow by the American Psychiatric Association. He serves as a member of the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health, the Massachusetts Psychiatric Society, and the National Association of Student Mental Health Program Directors. Prior to his work at HUHS, Barreira was director of Community and Public Psychiatry for Partners HealthCare System in Boston. He has also served as deputy commissioner and medical director of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health.Barreira works closely with student groups across the College, including the Student Mental Health Liaisons and the Drug & Alcohol Peer Advisors, to promote peer-to-peer outreach and counseling across the University. He teaches a freshman seminar, “What Is College? And What Is It For?”“Throughout my time as dean, Paul has been an essential member of the College senior team and a key adviser on issues related to the health of our students,” said Evelynn M. Hammonds, dean of Harvard College.  “I’m very excited by the opportunity to work with him in his new role and am confident that he will demonstrate the same dedication to the well-being of the entire Harvard community.”“Paul has a deep appreciation for the unique challenges facing university health care organizations, and he exemplifies the attributes that are required to be a successful leader in this environment,” said David S. Rosenthal, M.D., outgoing director of Harvard University Health Services. “Having worked closely with Paul for over eight years, I have experienced this firsthand, and I have no doubt that his commitment and passion for what he does will benefit HUHS and the entire University.”last_img read more

  • Gone Hollywood: Promoting health through popular culture

    first_imgCan a TV show change the way people think about a health issue?Yes, it can—and it has. One of the most successful public health campaigns—the Designated Driver Campaign, spearheaded in the United States in the late 1980s by Harvard School of Public Health’s (HSPH) Center for Health Communication, led by Jay Winsten—got a major boost from being featured in story lines on shows including “Cheers” and “L.A. Law.”There are plenty of other examples, according to Darnell Strom, an executive at the CAA Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Creative Artists Agency, Hollywood’s leading talent agency. Introduced by Winsten to a standing-room-only crowd in HSPH’s Kresge G2 on February 4, 2014, Strom discussed how TV shows and movies have been able to profoundly impact public views on health issues such as wearing seat belts or smoking, social issues like same-sex marriage, and environmental issues like climate change.Before TV and movies, the top popular culture influencers were books and theater, Strom said. An early example of a major influencer is the 1852 book Uncle Tom’s Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe, which at the time “was the second-most read book in the world—second only to the Bible,” Strom said. Depicting slaves under physical and psychological distress, the book further ignited the slavery debate, he said. Read Full Storylast_img read more

  • Dining halls add Korean food

    first_imgNotre Dame students looking to expand their culinary horizons can now try a taste of Korean cuisine in the dining hall. Following the successful introduction of specialty days like Mediterranean night and the Pho soup bar, Notre Dame Food Services (NDFS) launched a new line of specialty foods that features authentic Korean dishes. North Dining Hall kicked off the new concept in January and South Dining Hall followed suit last week. The dishes are served on a 12-day rotating schedule in both dining halls. Marc Poklinkowski, general manager of South Dining Hall, said the concept for the new line came from positive student reception to other specialty meals. “The basis of this came from students originally suggesting that we have things like Indian day and Mediterranean day,” he said. NDFS considers input from two yearly surveys in launching new food lines, Poklinkowski said. “They’re usually right after each of the breaks,” he said. “When we looked back at what students had suggested we saw a lot of students asking why we didn’t have more ethnic foods, which is what led to the Mediterranean and Indian cuisine days.” Poklinkowski said rather than schedule these specialty meals more often, NDFS decided to explore options for a new type of cuisine to serve to students. “With both of those days being such big hits, we realized that we didn’t want to repeat them, otherwise they’d get boring,” he said. “We decided to try and do something else.” Poklinkowski said the idea for Korean cuisine came from NDFS executive chef Don Miller. “After I asked him for ideas, he asked if I’d ever thought about Korean food,” he said. “He said it’s really picking up and getting popular.” Poklinkowski said Miller met with various Korean students on campus to discuss what dishes should be offered and how to authentically prepare them. Miller then prepared a presentation of traditional cuisine. “He put together a show for us [with] about eight different recipes. He had the kimchi there, these two cold salads that we now use, and he also did the crepes for us,” Poklinkowski said. “From there we got a kind of good idea of how we could adapt it to our dining halls.” Tina Aalfs Baker, operations manager of North Dining Hall, said the new offerings may not appeal to all palates. “It’s a matter of personal taste and preference. For some guests, it may not be their cup of tea,” she said. “For others, it is a change of scenery, something new to try.” Poklinkowski said the new dishes have been received well at South Dining Hall. “The first day went really well,” he said. “We did I believe close to 500 crepes at lunch and over 1,200 crepes at dinner. We’re always glad whenever something’s that popular when we start off.” Poklinkowski said the introduction of Korean day is not the only change coming to the dining halls. During Lent, South Dining Hall is will prepare new menu items including a new Seafood Newburg dish and a make-your-own baked potato bar in the Pan-American section, he said. “We never want to see students making rounds around the food options a few times without finding anything to eat,” he said. “We’re looking to give them more options.”last_img read more

  • Wyoming National Guard Provides Medical Care in Belize

    first_imgBy Sgt. Scott Wolfe, 128th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment May 24, 2017 Soldiers from the Wyoming National Guard kicked off the second of three medical readiness events as part of Beyond the Horizon (BTH) 2017, at Macal River Park in San Ignacio, Belize, on May 8th. BTH is a U.S. and Belize partnership exercise designed to provide humanitarian and engineering services to communities in need, demonstrating U.S. support for Belize. U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Amy Surdan, a nurse practitioner with the Wyoming Medical Detachment (MedDet), has served on a previous Beyond the Horizon mission. Lt. Col. Surdan, who works in the women’s health tent, claims that the way the event is set up this year is better than her previous experience. “I really prefer this one,” said Lt. Col. Surdan. “Just for the way this is set up, where it is in one location throughout the whole duration. It makes it easier to work out the kinks of supply and transportation of medical equipment. It allows us to bring and use more specialized items we wouldn’t be able to otherwise.” The hum of the generators in the background greets patients as they filter into the optometry tent, manned by U.S. Army Major Jess Mendenhall and U.S. Army Sergeant Anglia Matheis, reservists assigned to Wyoming MedDet for the two-week mission. The generators power their automatic refractormeter, a tool used to measure where a person’s eyes focus, helping to determine if they need glasses or not. Maj. Mendenhall says that he is prepared to receive a lot of requests for prescription glasses. “I anticipate seeing over 100 people a day,” said Maj. Mendenhall. “There are some patients who will require different glasses for reading and distance vision.” Maj. Mendenhall said that they have approximately 6,000 pairs of glasses in their inventory for the medical event. People began lining up in the early morning hours in order to be first to receive a ticket for general medical or dental services. The park rapidly filled with people sitting in chairs under tents and trees, waiting for their number to be called. After checking in, they were directed to tents designated for specific medical treatment. Services offered include general medical health, women’s health, dental, pediatrics, and optometry. Mixed in with the U.S. Army and Air Force doctors and nurses are members of the Belize medical community. Providers and nurse practitioners from San Ignacio and Belmopan are working alongside U.S. troops and offering medical aid to the Cayo District community; something else that is an improvement over her last rotation. “This time around is much more collaborative with the locals, more communicative with the public,” said Lt. Col. Surdan. “I see doctors and nurses from around here and that makes this more of a community event.”last_img read more

  • Emphasis on governance improves returns at leading Spanish pension funds

    first_imgSpanish pension funds with strong governance structures have enjoyed better investment performance than those without, a study by Towers Watson has revealed.The study – the first of its kind to be carried out in Spain, according to the pension consultants – attracted responses from 27 funds, worth an estimated €16bn in total. The responses account for around half the €31bn in assets held by the country’s private pensions industry and the majority of the €24bn held by the country’s 40 largest.Towers Watson asked the funds whether they have a dedicated structure for analysing investments, whether and how often they review their investment policy, and if they have a risk budget, among other questions.Average performance figures for the 12 months to 30 June 2013 were then compared with those for the Spanish occupational pensions industry as a whole, using data from INVERCO, Spain’s investment and pension association. According to Towers Watson, the average asset allocation of Spanish corporate  pension funds was roughly split between 75% in fixed income and 25% in equities.Of the 40 largest funds responding to the survey, the vast majority – 82% – engaged expert advice or had in place formalised structures to manage investments, while within this group, 39% of respondents had a dedicated body, such as an investment committee.Within a drafted investment policy, deciding a target income which the pension fund was expected to beat also improved performance, not only compared with the pensions industry as a whole, but also compared with the forty largest funds lacking a target. Of the funds responding to the survey, 57% used matching or beating of inflation as a goal.Furthermore, 79% put in place a risk budget in order to achieve their agreed investment target and 75% conducted monitoring exercises on their fund’s investments, either monthly or quarterly.David Cienfuegos, head of investment, Towers Watson Spain, said: “The empirical results of the survey show that the more dedicated the control commissions relating to investments, and the more developed the governance structures for investing, the better the results.“The Top 40 have a governance structure that manages risk better than the market as a whole,” he added.The median return over five years for the top 40 respondents was 3.75% per year, compared with 2.86% per year for Spanish occupational pension funds as a whole.Their emphasis on strong governance also resulted in better risk management, as shown by better worst-case results.The 95th percentile in the top 40 respondents returned 1.21% per year over five years, compared with -1.24% per year for the worst performers across the industry.“But even without these outliers, the difference in performance over five years is 2.45% per annum, which is a very big margin,” said Cienfuegos.Engaging expert advice also appeared to produce a superior performance.For those top 40 funds using expert advice, the median result over five years was 4.10% per year, compared with 2.86% per year for the pensions industry as a whole, though over one year this was 7.96% compared with 8.13%, a slight underperformance.The performance of the top 40 funds with a clearly defined investment objective was then compared with the performance of those in the top 40 without such an objective: their performance was superior over all time periods.Over one year, the median return for those pension funds with a defined investment objective was 8.16% compared with 6.70% for those without. Over three years, the annualised respective returns were 4.77% and 2.91% and over five years, 4.16% and 2.43%.The frequency with which pension funds review their investment policy was also investigated, as was its impact on results: over two-thirds (68%) review the policy at least once a year.The results over one, three and five years for those top 40 funds reviewing their investment policy at least annually were then compared with the average performance for Spanish occupational funds as a whole.Cienfuegos said: “Those pension funds which carry out a revision of the investment policy at least annually, achieve not only better returns than the sector in the short, medium and long term, but also get a better return in the worst-case scenarios – that is, they get better risk management.”last_img read more

  • Cypriot pension chief raises concerns over €20m state investment fund

    first_imgThe chief executive of Cyprus’ largest pension fund has expressed concerns about a new state investment fund planned for launch by the government with an initial capital of €20m.The fund is aimed at boosting the economy by supporting start-ups and business innovation, but Marinos Gialeli, chief executive of the €222m Cyprus Hotel Employees Provident Fund, has highlighted the need for greater protections for small investors.Gialeli told IPE: “We are a little bit concerned about the minority shareholders rights in Cyprus, plus that the court legal decision can take many years.“In addition, we would like to see the selection of the manager being done through global professional consultants via a public offering and not from the Cyprus Ministry of Finance.” Gialeli said his pension fund had no intention of investing in the government fund. This is because the majority of Cyprus Hotel’s portfolio is invested internationally, and mostly focuses on private equity.Local news service Stockwatch reported that Cyprus’ cabinet decided on the launch of the investment fund on Wednesday.Government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said the aim of the fund was to foster business innovation and creativity, adding that it would provide an alternative funding source to the banking sector, according to the report.Prodromou said the state would not participate in the decision making of the fund, which would operate purely in accordance with business standards.last_img read more

  • Wellington schools install neutral bathrooms for transgender

    first_imgTVNZ One News 10 March 2016Two Wellington colleges are meeting the needs of transgender students by installing gender neutral bathrooms.For thousands of youngsters who identify as transgender, choosing whether to use male or female bathrooms can be a struggle.“That can be quite an unsafe space for that young person, either just from the verbal harassment or feeling like they don’t belong, through to actually being bullied or beaten up,” Rainbow Youth’s Duncan Matthews says.Onslow College is about to upgrade some female toilets to a gender neutral space, which will be available for all to use.The $50,000 plan has been signed off by the college’s board.“They’re bathrooms students can use where they feel that’s appropriate for them rather than feeling uncomfortable going into a labelled bathroom,” principal Peter Leggat says.Wellington High School was the first to introduce gender neutral bathrooms.A recent survey shows 1.2 per cent of college students identify as transgender. read more