Shedding light on gestational diabetes controversies, challenges

first_imgGestational diabetes—diabetes that women develop while pregnant—can lead to serious health problems for both babies and mothers. Babies can be born too large or have birth injuries. Mothers can face greater risk of needing a cesarean delivery. For both mothers and babies, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life can increase. But there’s a lack of clear evidence—and thus a lack of consensus—about the best way to test for and diagnose gestational diabetes. And much more could be done in terms of preventing the ailment in the first place.Harvard School of Public Health’s Michelle Williams gave an overview of the controversies and challenges surrounding gestational diabetes at a summer Hot Topics lecture at the School on August 6, 2013.Watch a video of the Hot Topics lecture“Gestational diabetes is one of those conditions where we just can’t seem to decide how to define it and how we should screen for it,” said Williams, Stephen B. Kay Family Professor of Public Health and chair of the Department of Epidemiology. But the condition has been on the rise in recent years, in step with the worldwide rise in obesity. According to current estimates, 5%-7% of pregnant women in the U.S.—nearly a quarter of a million each year—develop gestational diabetes. Read Full Storylast_img read more

Family strife

first_imgDespite finding great success and strong customer loyalty in a fiercely competitive industry, Demoulas Super Markets, a regional grocery chain owned by two flanks of the Demoulas family, has been embroiled in a bitter internal feud that dates to the early 1990s.The first chapter of the dispute resulted in the most expensive lawsuit in Massachusetts history; now, tempers have boiled over again, with employees and customers protesting the ouster of CEO Arthur T. Demoulas and two top deputies by a board controlled by members backing a rival cousin. Demoulas’ firing prompted thousands of workers and their supporters to rally at corporate headquarters this week urging his reinstatement. Dozens of lawmakers have come out publicly in support of the protesting workers, some of whom have also been fired.Established in 1917, the privately held company has 71 Market Basket grocery stores across Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. It has approximately 25,000 employees and estimated total revenues of $4.3 billion in 2013.The Gazette spoke with John A. Davis, a senior lecturer of business administration and the faculty chair of the Families in Business program at Harvard Business School, about the dynamics of family-owned companies and the particular challenges they face.GAZETTE: What are some of the common issues that family owned businesses contend with, and how are they different from what other businesses confront?DAVIS: Family companies are the biggest sector out there among private companies, and account for approximately half of all the publicly listed companies in this country. So it’s a huge, huge sector. Maybe half of the biggest companies in the country are still family controlled, all the way up to companies like Wal-Mart.It’s a very quiet sector, but it’s also a very important one and, arguably, the single most important sector in our economy. If you take a look at the performance of family companies, most all of the research is demonstrating that by a significant margin, on average family companies perform better. They have a lot going for them, but there are high performers and weak performers. You’ve got companies like Mars, a huge, family controlled behemoth in the food products industry; most of your media companies are family controlled; you’ve got Fiat that’s doing quite well. Market Basket [appears to be] a very strong company — high quality, workforce loyalty. … But these family companies are vulnerable to things that not all companies are vulnerable to.All companies need a good ownership base, no matter what kind of company it is, even whether it’s public or private. You need to have an ownership base that is stable and supports management. Family companies do best when they are long-term oriented, [when] they make investments and develop relationships and loyalty for long-term returns. They are not speculators, in general. They’ll wait years sometimes for good returns because they want to do the game right. Now, if you have an unstable ownership base, which this company obviously does, it’s really hard to manage well in that environment. If the family is unstable, if the family is rivalrous, if family members block one another for whatever reason — it could be that they disagree on strategy or they just don’t like each other — if that starts getting played out in the ownership area, it doesn’t take very long at all before the management really feels it and it affects how things get done and it even affects if people are willing to invest their careers in the company.So you have to be very careful in a family business to make sure that the ownership base, and the family base, is united and disciplined. It is natural for owners and family members to disagree to some extent with one another. You don’t want 100 percent agreement, but you want unity. And that requires that when we disagree, we have mechanisms where we talk out our disagreements and get on the same page again and then march forward. And if you don’t have those consensus-building mechanisms, you’re usually in a bind.GAZETTE: What’s the best way to avoid or to resolve those kinds of problems?DAVIS: A very strong shareholder agreement, number one, that says that family disagreements don’t go to court. When families go to court, it rarely works out well. In most families, family members suing each other is an embarrassment — and should be. The temptation to retaliate is pretty high. The agreement among the owners states that, “In the event of these kinds of disputes, this is how we’re going to deal with it.” Best practices usually include working it out internally, maybe through a family council or the company board, then working with a mediator and then finally, binding arbitration. But we don’t go to court and if you choose to go to court, there are penalties for those owners for going to court. So it’s important that families set up these agreements and this family apparently didn’t.GAZETTE: In terms of smart corporate governance, is ensuring that some non-family members have a voice in executive decision-making the best strategy?DAVIS: Yes. I recommend a board with representatives of the owners but only a few, the CEO and no other managers, and independent members — people who are not owners and also not managers, people who are fair-minded, bring expertise and outside perspectives to whatever issues come up, and can help resolve internal conflicts so that the company can unite behind a particular strategy and march forward with a long-term plan. You want the family owner’s point of view on the board because when the board makes a decision, you want to know that the owners are going to line up behind it. But you don’t want the family to dominate the board because you’re trying to reduce and manage family politics, which is likely if not inevitable.The important thing to remember about families is that the issues don’t have to be big ones to get a family riled up. Sometimes [what seem] like little things really offend or create mistrust within a family. Because family feelings can be sensitive, and also because memories in families are remarkably long, you need to be able to be extra-careful in a family business that you have very solid governance to help make family members feel secure that their interests are well and fairly represented. We see good governance making a huge contribution in well-run family companies, to the benefit of the company and to the family.GAZETTE: You’ve written about the social psychology of family shareholder dynamics. Could you explain what those typically are and how they affect a business?DAVIS: In a family ownership group, it’s not just who owns how much, but how are they related? You have to understand the family relationships among the owners, how ownership is distributed, and the relative power of different owners and different ownership groups in the mix. A group of siblings will have a different kind of relationship typically than will a group of cousins. The nature of the family relationship — whether they’re tight and mutually supportive or rivalrous — makes a huge difference in the ownership group. The best predictor of how cousins will get along is how their parents, the siblings, got along. If the siblings set a good example for the cousins, the cousins will usually follow it. There are exceptions to every rule, of course, and I have seen cousin groups who get fed up with their parents’ bickering and come together and say, “We’re going to do this better, we can get along.” But those tend to be the exception.To understand the shareholder dynamics, you also need to understand how ownership is organized — is it organized within a family holding company or do owners have a shareholder agreement? The more clarity there is about who owns what and what are the rights and responsibilities that the owners have, the better. And again, good governance helps, meaning the rules, policies, agreements that we share and the forums like boards and shareholder meetings. Driving all this is good leadership. You need leaders that are seen as fair and wise, and understand how to make decisions so that we trust them. If we have good leadership, along with good safeguards in our governance system, we’re probably going to manage most of these ownership issues well.GAZETTE: It appears that much of the infighting in the Market Basket situation stems from issues connected to succession. Is there a lesson here for companies that envision passing along the business to heirs?DAVIS: Obviously, clarity about who will succeed the previous leader is important, but disputes are not always caused by the lack of a clear plan. Sometimes each side is really clear about who should be the successor, they just disagree. Families like this one need help in agreeing on their common purpose and what they can do to treat each other respectfully. They need to move on from their old disputes, but if they can’t move on, business decisions still need to be made. Families benefit from having a clear buy-sell agreement, so that if we can’t get along, one of us can buy the other out. You don’t want to play that card unless you mean it, but owners have to know it’s in the deck of cards and can be played. Because people need to know that if they don’t behave reasonably and respectfully that the other side can play it. And if the card is played, you restructure the ownership group, buy one party out, and then move on with, hopefully, more aligned owners that see things pretty much the same way and agree on the rules. That is probably needed here. It looks like this family, unfortunately, got off on the wrong foot and then went down this very argumentative and disruptive path and could never get off of it. They’re still on it.This interview has been edited for clarity and length.last_img read more

Attorney appears confident admissions case ruling will favor Harvard

first_img Related Students, alumni offer perspectives on importance of diversity Admissions lawsuit enters second week More Harvard officials to testify in trial challenging College’s admissions process Harvard files motion backing student testimony at trial In letter, President Bacow defends processes, says University doesn’t discriminate Harvard admissions trial begins today Attorney William F. Lee ’72 stood outside Boston’s Moakley U.S. Courthouse Friday afternoon and appeared confident a federal judge will rule that Harvard does not discriminate against Asian Americans in its admission practices.Surrounded by reporters, the University’s lead trial lawyer said that Harvard “does not discriminate” and that a contrary ruling would be counter to established legal precedent, would eliminate 1,000 Hispanic and African-American students from Harvard’s campus, and would be “a disaster for the country.”The trial, which concluded with lawyers from Harvard and the group Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) offering closing statements, was the culmination of a lawsuit filed by that group in 2014. Founded by Edward Blum, an opponent of race-conscious admissions, SFFA alleges that Harvard discriminates against Asian Americans in its College admissions.Harvard has denied the claims and said its process, which has been cited by the Supreme Court as an exemplar, uses race as one consideration among many when selecting among thousands of highly qualified applicants for its first-year class. A race-neutral policy, Harvard contends, would severely curtail the diversity of its student body.As he did in his opening statement, Lee again recalled a day early in his legal career when he was one of only two minorities in a courtroom filled with white men. Society, like Harvard, has made great strides toward inclusion and diversity in the intervening 42 years, said Lee, and a ruling in SFFA’s favor would threaten that critical progress.“The demographics of those here with us today as this trial ends reflect the enormous progress we have made in becoming a more diverse and inclusive society and community. The plaintiff wants to turn back that clock. The plaintiff thinks, as they told us under oath, in terms of the efficient allocation of minority students and winners and losers,” said Lee, saying that according to SFFA’s expert economist, Duke University’s Peter Arcidiacono, Asian American and white students would be the “winners,” while Hispanic and African-American students would be the “losers” under race-neutral admissions.In his closing remarks, co-counsel for Harvard Seth Waxman ’73 addressed the statistical model that SFFA used to argue that Asian American applicants are penalized. He said key flaws in the design created by Arcidiacono rendered it moot, and SFFA’s argument baseless. Arcidiacono’s decision to leave out important information from his model amounted to data mining, said Waxman, that “took him further and further away from Harvard’s actual process. He made the choices that instead allowed him to find the result the plaintiff was looking for.”Assessing the numbersMany analysts and scholars agree the ruling will likely turn in part on how Judge Allison D. Burroughs interprets the testimony offered by each side’s statistical experts. Arcidiacono and Harvard’s expert, David Card, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who specializes in labor economics, each completed complex statistical analyses using six years of admissions information representing more than 100,000 applications.During the second and final weeks of the trial, both experts spent several hours on the stand explaining their approaches in exacting detail. Arcidiacono told his lawyers that, based on his model, which intentionally left out athletes, children of Harvard alumni, students on the dean’s interest list, or children of Harvard faculty or staff, he found evidence of discrimination against Asian Americans. Arcidiacono said his decision to omit those applicants allowed him to compare “apples to apples” since those applicants are accepted at a higher rate than others in the pool.In his closing statement William Lee (right) said, SFFA “would turn back the clock … would eviscerate the progress we have made by pursuing not just sanctioned but lauded, race-conscious admissions policies … would reduce dramatically the number of African-American students and Hispanic students on our college and university campuses today.” Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff PhotographerUnder questioning from Harvard and SFFA lawyers, Card pushed back, saying that Arcidiacono’s data was incomplete because it failed to reflect important information considered by the admissions office, such as an applicant’s intended concentration, parental occupation, results of the alumni interview, and personal rating. Card also criticized the Duke professor’s choice to leave some applicants out of his analysis, saying the exclusions made Arcidiacono’s results unreliable.“Excluding this highly competitive group, who are 30 percent of the admissions, in my mind would be kind of like estimating a model for retirement and excluding all the people over 65,” said Card.In his model, Card said he chose to include that information and also to run a separate model for each year of data instead of pooling all years into one model as Arcidiacono had done, in an effort to match Harvard’s actual process more effectively. He said his results showed no discrimination in admissions.Card said his model showed a slight advantage for Asian American female applicants, and Asian Americans who applied from California. Waxman pointed out that inconsistency, saying such findings “would surely be a bizarre outcome for an admissions office trying to discriminate against Asian Americans.”Lawyers for Harvard also cited an amicus brief field by 16 economists, including two Nobel laureates and former chair of the Federal Reserve Janet Yellen, who backed Card’s approach and labeled Arcidiacono’s findings “implausible.”Harvard faculty, staff, students, leaders testifyOver 15 days of proceedings, numerous current and former Harvard officials, students, and staff took the stand in support of Harvard. Longtime Dean of Admissions William R. Fitzsimmons ’67 spent four days offering testimony and walking lawyers through the complicated process of how admissions officers select students for an incoming class. The ultimate decisions, said Fitzsimmons, are the result of countless hours of work by individuals and a 40-person committee review. An applicant’s race or ethnicity, he said, is only one of many factors taken into consideration throughout the process.Asked by Lee if, in his more than 30-year career with the admissions office, he had seen “bias or discrimination against Asian Americans,” Fitzsimmons replied: “Never.” Former Harvard President Drew Faust, who led the University when the suit was filed, testified that Harvard’s diverse campus helps the institution fulfill its mission of fostering a “diverse learning environment” where “intellectual transformation is deepened and conditions for social transformation are created.”Faust, who led a number of efforts to promote diversity and inclusion during her tenure, told Lee, “Racial diversity is important because race is an element in our society of importance, and it also can be a defining element in how our students understand themselves and how they understand the experiences of their lives and what they bring to the Harvard College community.”Ruth Simmons, former president of Brown University, also testified. Simmons, who was born in Texas in a sharecropper’s shack, said the deep divisions in American society require leaders who are prepared to break down barriers and to mediate conflicts. Absent its diversity, Harvard’s goal of educating citizen-leaders “would be an impoverished mission that does not provide for its students the kind of education that prepares them to live in the world that we now have,” she said. Current, former students tell their storiesThe most moving testimony came early last week when several current and former students took the stand. The eight undergraduates and alumni, representing a range of backgrounds and life experiences, testified it was critical for Harvard to continue to use race as a factor in its admissions processes, both to attract diverse applicants and to maintain a diverse student body.Sally Chen, a Harvard senior who identifies as Chinese American, said her parents were warehouse and factory workers before they immigrated to the U.S. in 1980. Chen said she frequently acted as a translator for them and advocated “for them across barriers of cultural and linguistic difference in different settings.” Those efforts, she said, helped shape her views on social responsibility and her desire to advocate for others, and they became the focus of her Harvard application essay.Chen reviewed her admission file after she was accepted. She told the court, “I was, I think, very much seen, and my story was heard … and I think that there was no way in which flat numbers and a resume could have gotten across how much of a whole person that I am. And I think that it’s truly incredible to have been seen and been heard for who I am and valued for it.”Some witnesses testified that Harvard’s diversity helped inspire them to apply.Itzel Libertad Vasquez-Rodriguez, who graduated cum laude from Harvard in 2017 with a sociology concentration, said Harvard wasn’t on her radar when she began her college search. “I thought it was a school that was too white, that was too elite,” said Vasquez-Rodriguez.But she later became intrigued, she said, by the possibility of learning alongside the “best and brightest students in the world” and from the “best professors.” As someone who identifies as Chicana and hails from “a diverse area in Southern California,” Vasquez-Rodriguez said she was also impressed by the fact that Harvard valued diversity and considered race as one of many factors in its application process.“I felt like so much of my experience and so much of my perspective and world view has been colored by my ethno-racial identity, and I wanted a school that took that into consideration and that valued that — that part of myself. And I also wanted to make sure that there would be other students who were people of color like myself who would be at that school so that I could have a more safe environment, a more welcoming environment,” and a better learning environment.In his closing statement, Lee highlighted the Harvard students who had testified, projecting their images on a slide. “In contrast to all of this, what did you hear from SFFA?” asked Lee whose next slide was blank. “Not a single member of SFFA took the stand.” The identities of SFFA’s student members have not been made public.Views from Harvard students As they had through much of the trial, Harvard students filled the seats in the back of the courtroom on the final day. Those unable to get in watched the proceedings on monitors in an empty jury room on the second floor.Catey Boyle mingled with friends outside the courthouse after the trial ended. A Harvard Ph.D. student in history and a member of the Kuumba Singers of Harvard College, a group that was part of an amicus brief filed on behalf of Harvard, Boyle said she was there to show her support.“I came because affirmative action matters and race-conscious admissions matter, not just for students of color but also for white students as well,” said Boyle. “It broadens our experience and makes the education better when you interact with people from different backgrounds. And I wanted to be present and show who this is going to affect. It’s going to affect all Harvard students.”Nearby, lawyers for SFFA held their own press conference, as Blum looked on from behind reporters flanked by protestors holding signs that read “Harvard Stop Asian Quota.”“We are committed to this case until the end,” said SFFA lawyer William S. Consovoy.A ruling in the case is expected in the coming months. But regardless of Burroughs’ decision, many analysts think the U.S. Supreme Court will ultimately have the final word.last_img read more

Cats May Finally Prowl on to the Big Screen

first_img Get ready to purr! It looks like Universal’s big screen adaptation of Cats, which has been in the works for years, may finally be happening. Tom Hooper is in talks to helm the project for Working Title—the collaboration that brought us the Les Miz movie. According to The Sun, filming could begin later this year and Hooper wants to tap model-turned-actresses such as Suki Waterhouse for the project.Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tony-winning musical is set for its first Broadway revival this summer, beginning performances at the Neil Simon Theatre on July 14 and officially opening on August 2. The production will be directed by Trevor Nunn and choreographed by Hamilton’s Andy Blankenbuehler, based on the original choreography and associate direction by Gillian Lynne.Cats, featuring a score by Lloyd Webber and lyrics by T.S. Eliot, Trevor Nunn and Richard Stilgoe, originally ran for 21 years in London and 18 years on Broadway. It won seven Tony Awards in 1983, including Best Musical. Based on Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, the musical tells the story of the Jellicle cats and each cat’s individual quest to be selected as the lucky one who will ascend to “the Heaviside Layer.” Cats View Comments Related Showscenter_img ‘Cats’Photo by Alessandro Pinna Show Closed This production ended its run on Dec. 30, 2017last_img read more

Centipedegrass green-up

first_imgA fertilization program should be based on a soil test analysis (available through your county Extension office). Fertilize lawns after spring green-up and again in mid-summer. Do not exceed 2 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet per year.Mow your centipede lawn at a height of 1 to 1.5 inches. Try to avoid thatch buildup.Irrigate during periods of drought stress. Apply enough water to wet the soil to a depth of 6 to 8 inches.Identify insects and diagnose diseases; then treat accordingly. For more information on caring for lawns in Georgia, see the UGA Extension turfgrass website at Spring has arrived and plants are beginning to break dormancy, but your lawn may not be lush and green yet. If you have a centipedegrass lawn, do not be impatient and rush it to green-up. Centipedegrass does not green-up as quickly as some other warm-season turfgrasses. Temperature and day length are the two factors that influence when centipedegrass comes out of dormancy and the rate at which the grass greens-up.As a University of Georgia Cooperative Extension agent, I have looked at several lawns and spoken with many concerned homeowners over the past few weeks about the appearance and health of their centipedegrass. How’s your lawn look?Does your lawn have dead spots or brown patches? This can be caused by a combination of excessive nitrogen applications, excessive thatch, winter injury, insects or disease.Problems with centipedegrass lawns often develop three to five years after establishment. These problems can generally be related to mowing heights more than 2 inches high, annual nitrogen applications of more than 2 pounds per 1,000 square feet, or early spring or late fall fertilizations. Excessive nitrogen applications during last year’s growing season and/or fertilizer applications made too early in the spring make the grass more susceptible to winter injury. Lawns with excessive thatch are also more likely to have received winter injury because of the extra distance between the stolons and the soil surface.Bugs or diseases could be the problemInsects could also be the problem. Mole crickets and grubs can cause excessive root damage. If mole crickets are in your lawn, you probably have considerable root damage. At this time, only the adult stage of the mole cricket is active. The adult is hard to kill, and now is not the ideal or appropriate time to treat them. You may want to contact a landscape professional to make an application if they are causing excessive damage that cannot wait until June– when young mole crickets are treated. Disease is another factor that could be causing problems. Take-all patch and large patch are common problems noticed in centipedegrass. Some of the damage probably occurred last year. Proper identification of the disease (offered by your Extension agent) is needed, so control measures can be followed.Centipedegrass is also susceptible to yellowing or iron chlorosis. The chlorosis may be caused by one or more of the following factors: 1) Excessive nitrogen or nitrogen applied during spring green-up; 2) High soil pH or phosphorus levels; or 3) Excessive thatch caused by over-fertilization, irrigation, or pesticide use or by mowing the lawn too high. Iron chlorosis can be temporarily overcome by spraying 2 ounces of ferrous sulfate per 1,000 square feet or a chelated iron material according to label rates. An excessive application of iron will appear within a few hours as blackening of the leaf blades. The grass may take a few weeks to fully recover from such high rates of iron. The real solution is to determine and correct the cause of chlorosis.Follow UGA’s adviceYour lawn may be showing signs of a combination of the factors I have mentioned. Try not to get over anxious with fertilizer application this spring; be patient. Wait until your lawn is at 100 percent green-up and the soil temperatures have risen (usually late April/early May). If your turfgrass has disease issues, excess nitrogen and water may stimulate the progression of the disease. Follow the management practices below to enhance the growth of your centipedegrass lawn.last_img read more

Venezuelan Troops Have Low Morale, Expert Says

first_imgBy Ricardo Guanipa D’erizans/Diálogo June 05, 2019 Amid the military crisis in Venezuela, Diálogo spoke with Javier Ignacio Mayorca, a member of the Venezuelan Organized Crime Observatory and a consultant on security and defense issues in Venezuela, to understand the country’s situation. Diálogo: People are asking a key question: If Nicolás Maduro doesn’t have military support, how does he remain in power? Javier Ignacio Mayorca: There are multiple perspectives to understand regarding the rupture within the Armed Force. The first one is related to defection, also known as arbitrary stay outside the military unit, a term they [the regime] invented. Defection is a crime, and if they prosecuted 6,000 soldiers, they wouldn’t be able to meet the demand. What they are doing is using administrative channels to remove or discharge the enlisted and professional troops, as they are called nowadays, without imposing any criminal sanctions. The other response has to do with service members’ low morale, but it’s harder to measure. Morale within the Armed Force is aimed at defending values, such as sovereignty, the homeland, etc., which were closely linked to the military training. However, during the last 20 years, the troops’ focus has been connected to defending the regime, which is different from what the traditional institutionalism of the armed forces used to mean. Diálogo: How can you tell if the troops’ morale is high or low? Mayorca: The best example is what happened on Bolivar Avenue in Caracas, on August 4, 2018, when the explosion of two drones surprised all the troops of the National Guard in a military parade. Without an order to break ranks, the troops fled all over the place, showing that there was no willingness to defend the president or defend what he represents. Then you have to consider those taking advantage of positions of power to become involved in crimes — corruption, narcotrafficking, etc. Now, the Venezuelan conflict has moved to the border with Colombia and Brazil, giving service members the opportunity to defect, as 1,000 service members already did. Diálogo: What is preventing a rupture between the military and the regime? Mayorca: Basically, there are no incentives to channel the energy of these troops toward a break with the regime. They believe it’s too difficult to accomplish so they work individually. They are not organized because fear and constant surveillance don’t allow it, so they flee the country instead on their own. Ultimately, the Venezuelan Armed Forces are of no use, except to defend a political status, but not much else.last_img read more

CCRC Northern Region Office goes private

first_imgCCRC Northern Region Office goes private June 15, 2003 Jan Pudlow Associate Editor Regular News CCRC Northern Region Office goes private Associate Editor Wanted: Experienced private lawyers willing to take on complicated death penalty appeals beginning July 1, due to the legislature shutting down the Capital Collateral Regional Counsel’s Northern Region Office handling cases in the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Eighth and 14th judicial circuits. Minimum qualifications: Three years experience in the practice of criminal law, participating in at least five felony jury trials, five felony appeals or five capital postconviction evidentiary hearings or any combination. Earn $100 an hour and up to $84,000 per case that may take years and years to complete. Expect to drop everything in your practice when a death warrant is signed. Apply immediately to The Florida Legislature, Commission on Capital Cases, 402 S. Monroe St., Tallahassee, FL, 32399-1300, 850-921-4704.With the rationale that death cases will move faster to their ultimate lethal conclusion and private lawyers can do it cheaper, the legislature eliminated one of three state death penalty appeals offices, laying off 10 lawyers and 15 support staff in Tallahassee.Now it’s up to Roger Maas, director of the Commission on Capital Cases, to scramble to find private attorneys willing to jump in and take 68 death penalty appeals cases.“We need to recruit a lot more lawyers for the Northern Region,” Maas said.That won’t be easy, predicts Larry Spalding, the first director of the state office of death row lawyers created by the legislature in 1985 and now legislative staff counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union.“The concern is how many people are out there. Not many lawyers want to do criminal work. Period. Even the number of lawyers who do criminal work don’t want to do death cases. And people who do death cases don’t want to do postconviction work,” Spalding said.“Criminal defense lawyers are usually either solo practitioners or at small firms. When a warrant is issued, everything else stops. Some people will pick up some cases and some can handle it very well, if they understand the process and want to do it. It is really a very unique area of the law, and you’re never really sure how people will react until they do it. One thing we found at CCRC is that one of the dangers of working on a case for a long time is you get close to a client even if you don’t want to. There’s an old adage that those who do divorce cases see good people at their worst. And those who do death penalty appeals see bad people at their best.”One of the prime movers behind privatizing death penalty appeals is Brad Thomas, a policy advisor to Gov. Jeb Bush and a former prosecutor who has publicly bemoaned the fact that it takes forever in Florida to execute those convicted of murder, and he wishes Florida could be more like Texas in that regard.Thomas declined to be interviewed for this story, but during legislative committee meetings, he testified that lawyers on the Commission on Capital Cases private registry (used when CCRC lawyers can’t handle the overflow) “get paid when the work is done. That has been very successful.”Thomas also testified that Florida has invested $70 million in the CCRC system and delays have doubled.“What was taking eight years to resolve in 1980 is now taking 14, 16, even 20 years overall,” Thomas said. “The governor is extremely disappointed and frustrated that it takes 15 to 20 years for death penalty cases to be resolved.” (See March 1, 2003, News for story about the pro and cons of privatizing appeals).As Spalding notes, it is not the CCRC lawyers’ job to have their clients executed faster. In fact, CCRC lawyers have helped inmates walk off death row to freedom. If lawyers believe in the death penalty, they should apply for a job at the attorney general’s office, he says.“To me, it’s extremely ironic that you have a state agency that has performed well and is being punished for its success,” Spalding said. “CCRC has been very instrumental in having several individuals released from death row as a result of determination of innocence. And I think that has been an embarrassment.”When the legislative session began, the governor wanted to privatize all three CCRC offices, saying it would save the state $3.8 million. In the end, the legislature chose only to shut down the Northern Region, at a proposed savings of $1.3 million.Alia Faraj, a spokeswoman for the governor, said: “The registry (of private attorneys) is much more cost effective than the use of state agencies. We now have about 25 percent of cases on the registry and the cost is much less than the equivalent number of cases with CCRC.. . . The governor has recommended outsourcing all of the CCRC offices — he has full confidence in the competent and zealous representation private attorneys can provide clients — with over 100 attorneys who have an average of 17-18 years experience. . . “We believe that through private attorneys, clients will be better served and more efficiently served,” Faraj said.Spalding and Maas see it as the first step toward privatizing the entire death penalty appeals operation. The legislation keeps the CCRC offices in Ft. Lauderdale and Tampa open for at least three years. At that time, the legislature will evaluate whether privatizing the Tallahassee office has reaped the intended efficiencies.Until then, Spalding says, “It will be interesting to see how it works, because one of the great ironies over the last 18 years is that the legislature has really helped capital cases lawyers by changing the law periodically.”Death penalty appeals lawyers are always looking for new issues to litigate, Spalding says, and throwing new lawyers in the middle of death penalty appeals should buy more time in delaying executions.last_img read more

Albemarle suspended over tardy money

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Mining holding Inalum raises $2.5b from global bond issuance

first_imgState-owned mining holding company PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium (Inalum) has issued US$2.5 billion in global bonds to refinance its older bonds and fund infrastructure projects, the State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Ministry has said.The ministry stated in a statement on Tuesday that Inalum, which has been rebranded as MIND.ID, issued five-year bonds, 10-year bonds and 30-year bonds, with coupon rates of 4.75 percent, 5.45 percent and 5.8 percent, respectively.“This proves that international businesses still trust Indonesian SOEs,” said SOEs Minister Erick Thohir in the statement. The proceeds from the bond issuance would be used to refinance $1 billion worth of maturing debt papers. The remaining funds would be funneled into a new aluminum smelter and a coal-fired power plant, among other projects owned by the company and its subsidiaries.Inalum follows in the footsteps of several state-owned companies, such as construction firm Hutama Karya and Bank Mandiri, that issued global bonds earlier this year. Hutama Karya raised $600 million, while Bank Mandiri raised $500 million from its global bonds.Last year, toll road operator Jasa Marga, energy holding company Pertamina and electricity firm PLN carried out similar offerings.Topics :last_img read more

Euthanasia: How will your MP vote (according to NZ Herald)

first_imgNZ Herald 9 June 2017Family First Comment: Tell your MP to OPPOSE assisted suicide. Go to to find the email details. Remind them that THEIR vote will determine YOUR vote!How will they vote?National (58)YES (9)Todd Barclay, Clutha-Southland – YesChris Bishop, list – YesMatt Doocey, Waimakariri – YesPaul Foster-Bell, list – YesBrett Hudson, list – YesNikki Kaye, Auckland Central – YesHekia Parata, list – YesJami-Lee Ross, Botany – YesMaurice Williamson, Pakuranga – YesNO (14)Maggie Barry, North Shore – NoChester Borrows, Whanganui – NoGerry Brownlee, Ilam – NoSarah Dowie, Invercargill – NoBill English, list – NoChris Finlayson, list – NoTodd Muller, Bay of Plenty – NoJono Naylor, list – NoSimon O’Connor, Tamaki – NoMaureen Pugh, list – NoShane Reti, Whangarei – NoAlastair Scott, Wairarapa – NoMichael Woodhouse List – NoJonathan Young, New Plymouth – NoPROBABLY NO (8)Simon Bridges, Tauranga – Probably NoJonathan Coleman, Northcote – Probably NoPaul Goldsmith, list – Probably NoSteven Joyce, list – Probably NoTutehounuku (Nuk) Korako – Probably NoTim Macindoe, Hamilton West – Probably NoIan McKelvie, Rangitikei – Probably NoNick Smith, Nelson – Probably NoUNDECIDED (17)Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, list – UndecidedDavid Bennett, Hamilton East – UndecidedPaula Bennett, Upper Harbour – UndecidedDavid Carter, list – UndecidedJacqui Dean, Waitaki – UndecidedJo Goodhew, Rangitata – UndecidedBarbara Kuriger, Taranaki-King Country – UndecidedMelissa Lee, List – UndecidedPeseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, Maungakiekie – UndecidedTodd McClay, Rotorua – UndecidedMark Mitchell, Rodney – UndecidedScott Simpson, Coromandel – UndecidedStuart Smith, Kaikoura – UndecidedAnne Tolley, East Coast – UndecidedLouise Upston, Taupo – UndecidedNicky Wagner, Christchurch Central – UndecidedJian Yang, list – UndecidedNO RESPONSE (9)Amy Adams, Selwyn – No responseAndrew Bayly, Hunua – No responseJudith Collins, Papakura – No responseCraig Foss, Tukituki – No responseNathan Guy, Otaki – No responseJoanne Hayes, list – No responseMurray McCully, East Coast Bays – No responseParmjeet Parmar, list – No responseLindsay Tisch, Waikato – No responseWON’T SAY (1)Alfred Ngaro, list – Won’t SayLabour (31)YES (13)Jacinda Ardern, Mt Albert – YesClare Curran, Dunedin South – YesKelvin Davis, Te Tai Tokerau – YesRuth Dyson, Port Hills – YesKris Faafoi, Mana – YesIain Lees-Galloway, Palmerston North – YesTrevor Mallard, Hutt South – YesSue Moroney, list – YesStuart Nash, Napier – YesGrant Robertson, Wellington Central – YesAdrian Rurawhe, Te Tai Hauauru – YesLouisa Wall, Manurewa – YesMegan Woods, Wigram – YesPROBABLY YES (4)Raymond Huo, list – Probably YesAndrew Little, list – Probably yesPoto Williams, Christchurch East – Probably YesMichael Wood, Mt Roskill – Probably YesNO (2)Clayton Cosgrove, list – NoMeka Whaitiri, Ikaroa Rawhiti – NoPROBABLY NO (2)David Clark, Dunedin North – Probably NoRino Tirikatene, Te Tai Tonga – Probably NoUNDECIDED (4)Peeni Henare, Tamaki Makaurau – UndecidedDamien O’Connor, West Coast – UndecidedDavid Parker, list – UndecidedWilliam Sio, Mangere – UndecidedNO RESPONSE (6)Chris Hipkins, Rimutaka – No responseAnnette King, Rongotai – No responseNanaia Mahuta, Hauraki-Waikato – No responseCarmel Sepuloni, Kelston – No responseJenny Salesa, Manukau East – No responsePhil Twyford, Te Atatu – No responseGreen (14)YES (1)David Clendon, list – YesPROBABLY YES (5)Steffan Browning, list – Probably YesBarry Coates, list – Probably YesJulie Anne Genter, list – Probably YesGareth Hughes, list – Probably YesMetiria Turei, list – Probably YesUNDECIDED (6)Catherine Delahunty, list – UndecidedJan Logie, list – UndecidedMojo Mathers, list – UndecidedDenise Roche, list – UndecidedEugenie Sage, list – UndecidedJames Shaw, list – UndecidedNO RESPONSE (2)Marama Davidson, list – No responseKennedy Graham, list – No responseNZ First (12)Darroch Ball, list – UndecidedMahesh Bindra, list – UndecidedRia Bond, list – UndecidedRon Mark, list – UndecidedTracey Martin, list – UndecidedClayton Mitchell, list – UndecidedDenis O’Rourke, list – UndecidedPita Paraone, list – UndecidedWinston Peters, Northland – UndecidedRichard Prosser, list – UndecidedBarbara Stewart, list – UndecidedFletcher Tabuteau, list -UndecidedMaori Party (2)Te Ururoa Flavell, Waiariki – NoMarama Fox, list – NoUnited Future (1)Peter Dunne, Ohariu – Won’t Say.Act Party (1)David Seymour, Epsom – YesREAD MORE: read more