The Student Coalition for Immigration Advocacy, or SCIA, hosted a prayer vigil Tuesday afternoon as the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case that will decide the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA allows people illegally brought to the United States as children to remain in the country for two years at a time on a renewable basis. The Supreme Court will determine whether or not President Donald Trump’s move to end the program in 2017 is constitutional.SCIA president María Sierra Cáceres described the vigil as an opportunity for the campus community to show solidarity and for DACA and undocumented students to reflect and see they are supported. After the 2016 election, Sierra Cáceres said, SCIA shifted its focus from education about the issue to promoting dialogue and creating a community of trust on campus.“We needed to switch gears and say, ‘How can we provide events that bridge … such a polarizing issue, how can we get people to come to our events and talk about this?’ and then just creating safe spaces [for dialogue] as well,” Sierra Cáceres said.The vigil began with a prayer led by SCIA members that emphasized the Christian values inherent in welcoming migrants, from generosity to protecting the vulnerable and recognizing their humanity. The vigil continued with a reading from Malachi that again emphasized the duty of hospitality toward foreigners and the vulnerable. Fr. Steve Newton, a campus minister at Saint Mary’s, spoke of his experience at the Catholic Day of Prayer for children detained at the southern border this summer in Washington, D.C., where he was arrested alongside 69 others for protesting in a congressional office building.“The most exciting thing that happened to me this summer, and the most meaningful, was I got arrested,” Newton said. “It was great.”Soon after being elected to the leadership team of the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests, Newton drove to Washington, D.C. to participate in the demonstration. The day began with a prayer service of about 300 people outside the Russell Senate Office Building, 70 of whom then moved into the rotunda of the building. “Five at a time lay down in the rotunda in the form of a cross,” Newton said. “The idea was that as they were arrested, then five others would take their place, but we never got that far because they arrested us very quickly. The ratio of Capitol police to individual was one-to-one.”Newton and his fellow demonstrators were handcuffed and driven to a holding area, where they received minor misdemeanors on their record. As each person finished the process and left the building, Newton said, the remainder cheered.“It was a great sense of community,” Newton said. “It was a wonderful group of people who were committed to trying to change what’s going on at the border. It was a symbolic act more than anything else; it didn’t really threaten us in any way.”Newton reiterated that welcoming and protecting are Christian duties and denounced the negative rhetoric around immigration as destructive. He praised the recent election of Archbishop José H. Gómez to the presidency of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and his prioritization of immigration issues.“They are not, you are not criminals, you are not rapists or troublemakers,” Newton said. “For the Church to take immigration on as the primary issue of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is so consistent with everything that Jesus had to preach about making all one, that we are all one body and one blood, that there are no differences whether we’re male or female, Greek or Roman, Catholic or areligious, whatever we might be, we are one in one body and one blood and we are obligated to welcome the stranger. … Whatever we do affects the body of Christ. And if we don’t welcome the stranger we are destroying the body of Christ.”Newton pointed to the press coverage of the Catholic Day of Prayer as evidence of the power of raising awareness and called on students not to allow an issue that affects the lives of hundreds of thousands of people to slip into the background. Newton reminded attendees of the importance of diversity to the American identity.“The notion of keeping America for Americans as defined by the alt right will destroy this country,” Newton said. “It will destroy us as a people. It will destroy us as people of faith if we don’t respond as strongly as we can with whatever means we have.” Newton ended his sermon urging attendees to take action by calling senators, having honest conversations and praying in solidarity. Students held lit candles through the rest of the prayers and a psalm that shared Newton’s emphasis on the power of truth and love to create change.“There’s so much that people don’t know and they react out of fear and ignorance,” Newton said. “Fear and ignorance cannot remain our trademark. Courage, hope, and of course, above all things, love.”Tags: DACA, Student Coalition for Immigration Advocacy
Kristin Chenoweth Star Files Tony and Emmy winner Kristin Chenoweth, Tony nominee Peter Gallagher and the company of On the Twentieth Century will record the cast album on March 23. The recording will be released on May 19 on PS Classics. Directed by Scott Ellis, the Roundabout revival is playing a limited engagement through July 5 at Broadway’s American Airlines Theatre.On the Twentieth Century features a book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green and music by Cy Coleman. It follows a down-and-out Broadway producer named Oscar Jaffe (Gallagher), who struggles to convince his former muse and lover, Lily Garland (Chenoweth), now a successful film actress, to return to Broadway in a (non-existent) epic drama about Mary Magdalene. While dealing with Lily Garland’s jealous new lover and a religious fanatic aboard a luxury train, Oscar hopes he can lure her back to the stage and salvage his sinking career.In addition to Chenoweth and Gallagher, the cast includes Tony nominee Andy Karl, Mark Linn‐Baker and Tony winners Michael McGrath and Mary Louise Wilson.On the Twentieth Century premiered on Broadway in 1978, and won Tony Awards for Best Original Score and Best Book of a Musical. On The Twentieth Century View Comments Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on July 19, 2015
View Comments Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on Sept. 4, 2016 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time His name is Christopher John Francis Boone, he knows all the countries of the world and he’s going to be touring this one next fall. The 2015 Tony-nominated play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time will launch a national tour in October 2016. The tour route, which will include cities throughout North America, is still being finalized, but an opening city has been set and will be announced soon. Casting and official dates will also be announced shortly.Based on the novel by Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time follows Christopher—a fifteen-year-old who is exceptionally intelligent but ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. When he falls under suspicion for killing his neighbor’s dog, he sets out to identify the true culprit, which leads to an earth-shattering discovery and a journey that will change his life forever.Adapted by Simon Stephens and directed by Marianne Elliott, the Broadway production stars Tony nominee Alex Sharp in his Broadway debut as Christopher, Ian Barford as Ed, Helen Carey as Mrs. Alexander, Francesca Faridany as Siobhan and Enid Graham as Judy.The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time has been nominated for six 2015 Tony Awards including Best Play (Stephens), Best Leading Actor in a Play (Sharp), Best Scenic Design of a Play, Best Lighting Design of a Play, Best Direction of a Play (Elliott) and Best Choreography.
Senate Majority Leader John Campbell issued the following statement today regarding the Vermont Yankee debate and the timing of the Senate vote on the question of continued operation of the plant. The Senate is scheduled to vote tomorrow on the question of whether to relicense the nuclear power plant for another 20 years beyond its license expiration in 2010. Yesterday, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission confirmed that a tritium leak from an underground piping system was found in 2005.However, in a statement released late this afternoon in response to a statement made by the Vermont Department of Public Service, Vermont Yankee said, “Entergy sent a response Letter to Commissioner O Brien regarding an allegation by an unnamed employee about a possible tritium leak in 2005. In the letter to Commissioner O Brien we state there is ‘no evidence that the steam leak or the repair activities resulted in an unmonitored or unauthorized release of radioactive material into the environment’. The entire letter is attached. At the moment, Vermont Yankee is trying to find the source of a similar leak discovered in January. Officials at the plant also acknowledge that its representatives gave inaccurate testimony to regulators and legislators over the last couple of years regarding underground piping systems carrying radioactive materials. Vermont Yankee, through its parent company, today modified its power purchase contract going forward by offering 25 megawatts of power at current rates for three years. The Legislature and Vermont electric utilities were unhappy with the original contract offer that essentially doubled the price of power to Vermont while cutting the supply in half. Vermont Yankee operates at about 620 megawatts. With Vermonters’ overriding concern that Entergy hasn t been truthful with us; it is imperative that we stick to the facts and do not distort the truth. I would like to address the statements made by Entergy officials and lobbyists claiming that a report commissioned by the legislature s Joint Fiscal Office is imperative to receive before the Senate should vote on whether or not Vermont Yankee should operate for twenty years beyond its scheduled closing date. Entergy s lobbyists have stated that a report commissioned by the legislature s Joint Fiscal Office is pending. This statement is untrue. This report was in fact commissioned and paid for by Vermont s two largest utilities. The legislature s involvement in this report is limited to the Joint Fiscal Committee s approval of the legislature s economist, Tom Kavet, to work with the group on this project as well as permission given to the legislature s consultants, Synapse, to provide the group with information and ensure that the assumptions were acceptable. This is not a legislative initiative and the legislature did not pay for this report. The legislature did commission a report on electricity price forecasts. This report was delivered to the legislature on January 7, 2010. As legislators determine whether or not it is in the best interests of Vermonters to relicense Vermont Yankee it is critical that we have accurate information. Entergy officials misled state regulators, state legislators and the public about the existence of underground pipes at Vermont Yankee. Unfortunately, Entergy s lobbyists are at it again. The facts speak for themselves. Vermont Yankee is an old, unreliable plant; Entergy is attempting a Wall Street style scheme to spin the plant off to a debt-ridden corporation; Entergy is trying to stick Vermonters with the $600 million clean up bill; Entergy officials have misled Vermonters; and finally the price offered by Entergy for Vermont Yankee s power would result in a 50% increase over the power that they currently sell us. Entergy s lobbyists can not deny or distort these facts and are therefore resorting to attacking the legislativeprocess. The Vermont legislature has been taking testimony on Vermont Yankee for four years. We have a responsibility to provide Vermonters and Vermont businesses a direction for our energy future, provide our electric utilities with sufficient time to secure delivery of energy, and in the event that the plant ceases operating as scheduled in 2012, provide the workers at Vermont Yankee adequate time to secure employment. Source: Vermont State Senate. Entergy Vermont Yankee. 2.23.2010 AttachmentSize Vermont_Yankee_Response_Letter.pdf42.63 KB
With Thanksgiving come and gone, the holiday season has officially arrived in the Blue Ridge. For some, this means a shopping bonanza beginning on Black Friday and ending only when the post-Christmas sales do. For others, however, the holiday season is synonymous with only one thing: skiing. Luckily, this year, Mother Nature has been kinder to the Mid-Atlantic than in 2011, when early season snow was as sparse as sleep on Christmas Eve. We have Sandy to thank for that, but also colder temperatures in the high country in general have allowed for more robust snowmaking at area resorts. The first weekend in December is usually hit or miss for quality snow and good coverage, and in 2012, it’s a hit. Time to unpack the ski clothes from the garage and hit the slopes.Snowshoe Opening Day 2012-2013 from Summit Publishing on Vimeo.West Virginia’s Snowshoe Mountain Resort has received nearly 30 inches of snow this season and have been blowing snow whenever possible. Early season skiing means not that many slopes or lifts are open – Snowshoe has eight slopes and four lifts running right now – but that just saves you from overdoing it on the first day back on snow. The most important thing is that, yes, they are open and, yes, you can go skiing. Use this weekend to breakout last year’s gear to see what held up over the summer, what falls apart as soon as it’s put to use, and what needs to be upgraded and added to Santa’s list. It will also be a great opportunity to get your ski legs warmed up so you’ll be ready to shred with confidence once the Western Territories open.View Larger Map
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by: Henry MeierWith apologies to those of you who hate sports analogies, some recent research produced by the Federal Reserve Banks of New York and Chicago demonstrates that we are living in a wedge shot economy: it looks great from about 150 yards out but as you get closer things aren’t quite as good as they seem. Suffice it to say that Fed officials have a tough decision to make about when to raise short term interest rates. If the economy is gaining strength, the time to start raising rates is now or the economy could overheat. Conversely, imposing interest rates on a feeble economy is the financial equivalent of bloodletting.Just how sluggish is the economy? The first bit of analysis comes from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Liberty Street Blog, which, by the way, is a site well worth bookmarking for anyone interested in following economic trends in a digestible format. It analyzed the most recent Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit and its findings go a long way toward explaining why the housing industry has lagged as a stimulus to economic growth even as the worst of the Great Recession fades in the rearview mirror.Credit card spending is rising for people across the credit score spectrum but even the most credit worthy borrowers are holding back on housing debt. New mortgage originations are 70% lower than they were in 2013. In addition, since 2008, the “lions share” of new mortgages have gone to persons with credit scores of at least 720.” This presumably older and cash heavy demographic isn’t snapping up McMansions at bargain prices either. Instead “[t]he upsurge in originations by creditworthy borrowers in 2012 and 2013 consisted mostly of refinances and added relatively little to outstanding balances, thanks to record low mortgage rates.” In other words, the people with the best credit and most money to spend are cutting back on home buying just when the economy needs it most. Truly patriotic Americans would be taking on debt for the good of the nation. Just joking. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
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After political protests and the coronavirus crisis walloped its businesses in Greater China, Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd., one of Hong Kong’s last remaining British trading houses, is facing a new challenge — in Indonesia.The pandemic has hobbled the Southeast Asian nation’s US$1 trillion economy, weighing on Jardine’s local automotive distribution unit and the second-biggest profit contributor, PT Astra International. The conglomerate, whose operations span property, retail, hotels and motor vehicles, has warned investors of “increasingly difficult conditions” in Indonesia, where the fatality rate from COVID-19 is the highest in the region.Indonesia’s auto industry association almost halved its 2020 vehicle sales forecast, dimming the outlook for Astra, which sells cars and trucks from Toyota Motor Corp. to Isuzu Motors Ltd. With Indonesia’s economic growth set to cool to the slowest in almost two decades this year, Astra’s other businesses including heavy machineries and palm oil are also feeling the hardship. Topics : “The weakness has really been a result of COVID-19 heavily impacting Southeast Asia, where Jardine has fairly meaningful exposure, most notably in Indonesia,” said Jonathan Galligan, group deputy head of research at CLSA Ltd.For the 187-year-old “hong,” as foreign trading houses are known in Hong Kong, Indonesia marks a new front in its battle to revive growth at businesses ranging from its Mandarin Oriental hotels to Dairy Farm supermarkets. While the pandemic has also pummeled Jardine’s Hong Kong-based peers such as Swire Pacific Ltd., the continuing surge in infections in Indonesia points to unforeseeable risks in Southeast Asia, a region that accounts for about 42 percent of Jardine’s underlying profit.Shares of Jardine plunged 12 percent last month in Singapore, their steepest since 2011, and are trading near an almost nine-year low, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. They have tumbled 33 percent since a controversial extradition bill introduced and later withdrawn by the Hong Kong government sparked social unrest in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory. Astra has dropped 45 percent in Jakarta this year, compared with a 27 percent drop in the local benchmark index.Representatives for Jardine didn’t immediately respond to requests for comments. Founded in July 1832 in Canton as a tea and opium trader, Jardine’s fortunes have been closely linked to China’s. In 1994, Jardine moved its Hong Kong listing to Singapore, three years before Britain returned the city to China. The group’s unit Jardine Cycle & Carriage Ltd. gradually took control of Astra starting 2000, after the firm’s owners faced headwinds during the Asian financial crisis. Jardine has continued to diversify across Southeast Asia from Vietnam to Malaysia and Thailand ever since.Gojek stakeThe group now includes engineering and construction company Jardine Pacific Ltd., automotive businesses Jardine International Motors Group and Astra, retail group Dairy Farm International Holdings Ltd., investment holding company Cycle & Carriage, property firm Hongkong Land Holdings Ltd. and hotel chain Mandarin Oriental International Ltd. Astra took a minority stake in Indonesia’s ride-hailing giant Gojek in 2018 and invested further in the company last year.Swire Pacific, on the other hand, has been focused principally in Greater China, according to its annual report last year. For example, almost 90 percent of its real estate portfolio is in Hong Kong and mainland China. These two regions also contributed to 68 percent of its beverages division’s profit last year. The group’s shares have plunged 50 percent since the protests started mid-last year, while the outbreak slammed tourism and travel, paralyzing operations at its unit Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd.In Indonesia, infected cases have grown almost 10-fold since end-March to 14,749 on Tuesday, with deaths topping 1,000, the most after China and India in Asia. President Joko Widodo has extended a partial lockdown in capital Jakarta and several cities nearby to contain the disease. The government has said the economy could contract this year in a worst-case scenario.Last month, Jakarta-listed Astra, which brings 29 percent of Jardine’s underlying profit, said the pandemic has adversely impacted its April performance and warned the difficult conditions are likely to persist “for some time.” The company reported an 8 percent drop in net income for the first quarter from a year earlier.Weaker rupiahThe group’s underlying profit is estimated to drop an average 12 percent this year, according to five analysts’ forecasts compiled by Bloomberg. A weakening rupiah is another challenge the group is facing, CLSA’s Galligan said. The local currency has depreciated about 7 percent against the dollar this year.Despite the headwinds, Jardine has a strong balance sheet, giving it financial power to reinvest when opportunities arise, Galligan said. The group had $7.2 billion in cash and equivalents as of end-December, compared with $6.6 billion in short-term debt.In early March, announcing a 4 percent decline in its underlying profit for 2019, Jardine Executive Chairman Ben Keswick said the company’s performance for the rest of this year will depend on “the duration, geographic extent and impact of the outbreak and the measures taken to control it.”In its home base of Hong Kong, as the government grapples with a deep recession and starts to relax restrictions imposed earlier to contain the spread of the virus, a revival of pro-democracy protests is threatening to add to Jardine’s risks.“They have survived the World Wars and opium wars,” said Nicolas Van Broekhoven, a Singapore-based analyst at researcher Smartkarma. “You name it, they’ve come through it. They will survive this one.”
The premier of Australia’s second-most populous state, Victoria, defended on Sunday his decision to put nine public housing towers in a complete lockdown as coronavirus cases continue to rise in Melbourne’s suburbs.The state recorded 74 cases new cases on Sunday, after Saturday’s 108 cases prompted Premier Daniel Andrews to order about 3,000 people not to leave their homes for at least five days and to place police to guard the buildings.”This is not going to be a pleasant experience for those residents, but I have a message for those residents: this is not about punishment but protection,” Andrews said in a televised conference. Topics : Promising two weeks of free rent and hardship payments to the residents, Andrews said public health workers would test every resident of the buildings, except those who have previously tested positive.The communal nature of the facilities, which house people on low incomes, has “genuinely explosive potential for the spread of the virus,” said Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton. In addition to the complete lockdown orders, more than 30 Melbourne suburbs are also under strict social-distancing orders, but people there can leave their houses to go to work, school or to buy groceries.Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales, reported 14 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, all returning travellers from overseas.Overall, Australia has weathered the coronavirus pandemic better than most other nations, with just over 8,400 cases and 104 deaths so far, but the recent spike in Victoria is being closely watched by the rest of the country, which has moved to ease restrictions.