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first_imgArtPoliticsA Giant, Glowing Uterus Has Come to the Sunset StripZoë Buckman’s first public art installation is a glowing symbol of female empowermentBy Lisa Beebe – February 26, 20182293ShareEmailFacebookTwitterPinterestReddItA new piece of public art in West Hollywood is coming out swinging. Artist Zoë Buckman’s work Champ depicts a neon uterus with oversized fiberglass boxing gloves in place of ovaries. The symbol of female empowerment will be unveiled Tuesday, February 27—just in time for the start of Women’s History Month—after which it will remain on the corner of Sunset and Sweetzer for one year.Champ isn’t the first piece of Buckman’s work to include feminist themes. She was born in East London, but has lived in New York City for the past 11 years, or as she describes it, “three presidential election cycles.” She recalls that leading up to the 2016 election, she was frustrated and angered by the discourse that related to women’s bodies. She says, “I’m a Brit, so I come from a country where in the run-up to a general election, no one talks about abortion. No one starts scoring levels of rape. No one talks about curtailing a woman’s right to choice or sexual health—it’s just not a discussion. But yet, it is here, and I take it personally. This was starting up again, and so I realized I was just feeling that politically, as women, we were under threat, and that there was—and is—a war on us. There was a lot to fight for, and a lot that needed defending.” She responded to those threats by incorporating her personal activism into her art. “I was taking metal gynecological instruments and powder-coating them in my studio, and turning these cold, harsh, metal, almost torture-device-looking pieces into something more beautiful,” she explains. One such piece, Rainbow Speculums, was on display at the Into Action exhibit in DTLA last month.Around that time, Buckman started training at a boxing gym, which she says she found therapeutic: “The process of learning how to defend my body, how to own my space and take away space from other people, and getting me in touch with my masculine, testosterone-heavy side, from a personal development standpoint, it was really helpful to me—as well as releasing aggression and frustration.” She started boxing three or four times a week, and says, “I felt like I needed to bring that world and that iconography into the studio. The first piece that came to me was this image of this white, glowing uterus with boxing gloves for ovaries. This piece was the first time that I started marrying my feminist artwork with this very masculine boxing iconography.”That piece, Champion, was made with actual boxing gloves, so that dictated the size of the rest of the sculpture. Champ, the new installation, is much larger, because it uses oversized boxing gloves made of fiberglass. Buckman says working with neon was a natural progression from her studies at the International Center of Photography, where she was taught to think of photography as the art of painting with light. “I wanted to take my use of light one step further and literally use light as a paintbrush. I was drawn to neon because of that quality, but then I researched it and learned how these neon signs are kind of transient. They have a shelf life, and they run out. I found that so beautiful and painful.”She adds that she intentionally chose a warm white light for the neon uterus. “I wanted it to draw you in, and I wanted it to be empowering and healing and beautiful.”Her piece had the desired effect. After Champion appeared in a few exhibits, photographs of it went viral thanks to women who felt a connection to the work. She says, “I’ve had women writing to me through my website from all over the world with the most diverse issues who feel encouraged, or heard, by this piece.”The WeHo installation is presented by Art Production Fund at the Standard, Hollywood, with support by Alice + Olivia by Stacey Bendet. Jenni Boelkens, area director, design, at the Standard Hotels, says that when Casey Fremont, the executive director of Art Production Fund, approached them with the idea, they knew they wanted to help make it happen. “We thought the concept was great. We thought, juxtaposed to the rest of the billboards on the Sunset Strip, this would fit really nicely into the context of the Strip, and start a new conversation, essentially.” Champ has been in the works for more than a year, but the project feels especially timely in the wake of the #MeToo movement. Boelkens says, “We’re very excited that this is now coming to fruition, especially in light of everything that has happened over the course of this past year with respect to female equality.”Since Champ will be on display in West Hollywood for a full year, Buckman is working with the Standard to organize a series of panel discussions that relate to the piece. Details on those events are still being confirmed, but Boelkens says the Standard is also planning to involve hotel guests in the conversation: “We’ll be putting collateral in the rooms that speaks to the piece, Zoe, and Art Production Fund, so that our guests can come in, see the work, and feel compelled to talk about it—whether they like it or not.”Champ will be lit for the first time on Tuesday, February 27. On March 3, a solo show of Zoë Buckman’s work, entitled “Let Her Rave,” will open at the Gavlak Gallery, 1034 North Highland Ave. That exhibit will run through April 7.RELATED: Keanu Reeves Is Publishing Books That Are Beautiful, Socially Conscious, and Worth Your TimeStay up to date with everything you need to know about L.A. by following us on Facebook. TAGSChampPublic ArtSunset StripZoe BuckmanPrevious articleThese Local Farms and Gardens Are Feasts for the Eyes—and the BellyNext articleSome Things to Know About Clueless Actress Stacey Dash, Who Is Seriously Running for CongressLisa Beebe RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHORA New Health Club on the Sunset Strip Turns 21st Century Wellness into a Social AffairThe Mondrian Hotel Reveals a $19 Million, ‘Alice in Wonderland’-Inspired MakeoverWeHo Has Strong Feelings About a Rotating Moose Returning to the Sunset Striplast_img read more

first_img The day of reckoning is fast approaching for CEVA shareholders, who now have about 26 months to hope that management’s strategy pays dividends and its turnaround plan accelerates quite dramatically, given its debt maturity profile.On the one hand, its recently released 2015 annual results showed that the ailing logistics behemoth has reversed the trend of rapidly widening losses the year before.On the other, however, its capital structure remains highly problematic and the clock is ticking on cash flow generation and debt repayments.According to my calculations, its daily cash-burn rate is $175,300 above break-even once all its costs – including heavy investment, interests and taxes – are considered. By Alessandro Pasetti 23/03/2016 It is fair to say that things are improving – its cash-burn rate was a whopping $613,000 a day in calendar year 2014.But CEVA was still in the red to the tune of $210m last year, and although that represents a substantial surge from the $393m loss in the prior year, in 2014 the length of its debt maturity profile was much more reassuring.The sword of Damocles “On 19 March 2014, the company announced that it successfully completed the March 2014 refinancing,” CEVA reiterated in its latest annual results.“Through these transactions, CEVA further increased capital available to fund growth initiatives and established a long-term capital structure with a weighted average period to maturity of 6.3 years.“As at 31 December 2015 the weighted average period to maturity was 4.6 years.”Source: CEVAHow time flies… and CEVA is still burning over $5m a month, mostly due to its bloated operating cost base. So, there are two ways to deal with the problem, in my view, before the next big debt repayments come due in 2018 – either a cash call ensues or thousands of jobs will have to be chopped.If its balance sheet were recapitalised today and all its debts paid off, cancelling some $167m of combined interest and other financing costs, I estimate that CEVA could easily churn out over half a million a day in core cash flows.The allure of capital arbitrage appears obvious for trade buyers, who could be tempted to bid up for the assets and use cheaper funding to finance the operations, but… the reality is that would-be suitors live in the knowledge that the logistics industry might get worse before it gets any better, with very little organic growth in sight, if any at all.And for its part, its owner, private equity house Apollo, is not going to write a cheque to recapitalise the balance sheet of a company that has been stuck on its books for about a decade.In fact, Apollo “wants to get out” as soon as this year, we have recently learned. I was unsurprised to hear that, but I think it could be a rather long wait, unless CEVA can be acquired for a hard bargain.If virtually all the debt of CEVA was replaced with new equity today, the company would get closer to reporting economic profits in 2016 and beyond, making it would be a much easier sell. The odds are long, however, that Apollo would bite that bullet and further diluting its overall return on the CEVA investment, especially at a time when rising gross debts at over $2bn remain the biggest headache.And that is why, speculation aside, it may take over a year before a convincing offer emerges either for the group as a whole or for its freight management and contract logistics units.HeadwindsA few headwinds persist even though its operations are slowly getting more traction than in the past.It said that the 2015 full-year results “demonstrate strength of (the) operating model”, but there remain doubts this corporate story may have a happy ending given the weakness in the capital structure.Not only is CEVA at the mercy of the business cycle; cash flows are slowly improving, but net debt at $1.8bn rose once again in 2015, putting its adjusted net leverage in the region of 7x, up to 9x on an unadjusted basis.Its full debt repayment schedule is shown in the table below:Source: CEVAIn 2015, it paid back $510m of debt, mostly using $467m of proceeds from existing borrowings, its cash flow from financing shows.CEVA has some time to get its own house in order, yet by when the next big debt deadline comes due, it will have to have generated enough cash to pay its lenders.The problem is that the group is faced with obvious currency headwinds, which will continue to put pressure on reported revenues, which were down 11.5% year-on-year, well into mid-2017, and that is also implicit in the level at which the Dollar Index trades, and is supported by the likelihood of more dovish than hawkish monetary policies at the Federal Reserve.Unfavourable exogenous trends combine with an operating cost base that is hardy tenable, as I argued a year ago – its staff-related costs are simply too high at this critical economic juncture.Free cash flow soughtAs at 31 December 2015, CEVA had $309m (31 December 2014: $386m) of cash on its balance sheet.“With undrawn central facilities of $267m available at 31 December 2015, the group therefore had headroom of $576m at 31 December 2015 (31 December 2014: $656m) to fund operating activities for the foreseeable future.”Well, its available cash balances now amount almost exactly to the principal it has to repay in the first half of 2018 – and its core free cash flow could still be negative to between -$50m and -$150m this year, before certain adjustments are made, while reaching break-even only in 2017.Despite serious efforts aimed at managing its short-term liquidity, which shows in its net working capital, it just hit $27m of operating cash flow in 2015 but is investing more than in the past, with capex at $90m for the year.So, certain signs are mildly encouraging. The majority of its debts are due in 2021, which is hardly around the corner, but I don’t think CEVA will exist in its current form by the end of 2017 – even under the most bullish two-year scenarios for revenue growth and Ebitda margin, which is rising, the next 24 months could end up being the defining period in its short but colourful history.last_img read more

first_imgPicture: Rob Sturges In the week ending May 2, accumulated US soybean exports to the Middle Kingdom for the 12-month period stood at 5.9m tons, down 20m tons a year earlier. Overall, US soybean exports were down 11m tons, thanks to increased shipments to other countries. US pork farmers, China’s third-largest import source, also suffered, as Beijing raised tariffs by 50%. As negotiations reportedly made progress earlier in the year, there was growing optimism in this sector, fuelled by the rapid escalation of the African swine fever epidemic in China that ravaged pig stocks. By some estimates, more than 100m pigs will have to be culled out of a total head count of some 440m. China’s pork production is expected to fall by as much as 30% this year, with cataclysmic repercussions for pork prices, not only in China but worldwide. One forecast sees the country’s pork imports soar 41% to 2.2m tonnes.  This is still well short of China’s pork consumption, which augurs for a long-term supply shortage and a corresponding need to buy from all possible supply sources. However, hopes that Beijing might take a softer line on pork were dashed on May 16, when the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that Chinese buyers had just cancelled a major order for US pork. By mid-April ,only one-third of 150,000 tonnes of US pork commitments to China had been shipped.  Beijing also blocked imports from two major Canadian producers in a political move over the arrest of a senior Huawei executive in Canada. “The biggest exporters are monitoring the situation,  but as of now the market is closed. We have seen a lot of [pork] exports to east Asia, Europe and Russia,” reported Ron Buschman, owner and managing director of Canadian charter broker and GSA Aerodyne Cargo Services. Faced with the recent set-backs, US exporters are losing hope for a resumption of their China business. Chris Connell, senior vice-president, perishables North America, at Commodity Forwarders, said tariffs were not the only hurdle for US perishables shipments to China. Reports of slower clearance are also prompting shippers to reconsider. “There are a lot of fragmented conversations, which are adding to confusion and doubts,” he said. “People stop shipping because of concerns.” Every perishables exporter he knows has been looking at alternative markets, but there is no instant fix. “There are not too many new markets out there, so in many ways these growers are re–targeting the likes of Korea, South east Asia, Japan and Australia, but also working to set programmes up with domestic retailers to move crop,” he said. US soybean shippers have been exploring markets like Argentina, Thailand and Indonesia. None of these have the heft of China, but the idea is to build up a market by working with farmers and introducing crushed soybean as a high-protein livestock feed, which is how the China market took off years ago. Clearly this will take years. For the most part, these new streams are moved in containers, as the volumes are not enough for bulk carriers. The near future looks bleak for a large number of US farmers. Washington issued a $12bn relief package last year and has announced plans for a $15bn package this year. Last year’s handout brought some relief for some, like growers of soybeans, cherries and almonds, but producers of wheat, corn and seafood lost out. On May 20 Republican Senator Jerry Moran of Kansas called on the US government to resolve the trade dispute, in a letter to FDA secretary Perdue. He pointed out that farm income had fallen by 50% since 2013 and the trade war had brought many farmers to the verge of collapse. Noting that last year’s relief amounted on average to 37% of net farm income last year, he stressed that reliance on such measures was unsustainable and that farmers needed to be able to sell their produce to make a living.  Mr Connell believes that the boat may have already departed for some commodities: for its soybean needs, China has already moved to other sources and it is looking to shift cherry imports to Spain and Turkey, he noted. For airlines that had counted on moving large quantities of cherries from the west coast to China, this is bad news. However, a spell of cold and rainy weather has damaged California’s cherry crop and undermined its viability for export, Mr Connell added. By Ian Putzger 23/05/2019center_img US farmers are losing patience with their administration’s trade conflict with China. They want a resolution to stand-off, as they face the prospect of slowly building up new markets, container by container, while their rivals in other exporting nations send their perishables by the boatload to China. The most recent escalation of the conflict has brought tariff increases of up to 25% on more than 5,000 US goods worth $60bn, including farm products – a primary target of Chinese officials – like chicken, turkey, peanuts and almonds. In all more than 300 agriculture products from the US worth $3bn are affected.The introduction of tariffs last year has already caused a severe slump in US agriculture exports to China, with the picture most dramatic for US soybean producers, who used to send more than half of their exports to China. last_img read more

first_img Tags cancerdrug pricinglegalopioidsSTAT+ STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. What is it? GET STARTED [email protected] Log In | Learn More Pharmalittle: FDA fast-tracks two BioNTech and Pfizer vaccines; U.S. hospitals running short of remdesivir By Ed Silverman July 13, 2020 Reprints Pharmalot Columnist, Senior Writer Ed covers the pharmaceutical industry. Ed Silvermancenter_img About the Author Reprints Alex Hogan/STAT What’s included? Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free! GET STARTED Pharmalot @Pharmalot Good morning, everyone, and welcome to another working week. We hope the weekend respite was relaxing and invigorating, because that predictable routine of Zoom meetings, Skype meetings, and deadlines has returned. Pandemic or no pandemic, the world somehow keeps spinning. So let us embrace the inevitable together with a comforting cup of stimulation and proceed on the journey. Toward that end, here are a few tidbits. Hope your day goes well, and do keep in touch. …Two Covid-19 vaccine candidates being developed by Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech (BNTX) received Fast Track designation status from the Food and Drug Administration, Reuters writes. The vaccines are the most advanced of at least four vaccines being assessed by the companies in ongoing trials in the U.S. and Germany. Earlier this month, the companies disclosed that one vaccine, called BNT162b1, showed potential against the virus and was found to be well-tolerated in early-stage human trials. Early data from the German trial of the same vaccine are expected this month. Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr.last_img read more

first_imgLehigh Elementary preschool teacher accused of child abuse won’t renew contract June 16, 2021 Lehigh Acres man gains attention for riding bike backwards June 16, 2021 Driver slams parked cars into Lehigh Acres home June 17, 2021 RELATEDTOPICS AdvertisementRecommended ArticlesBrie Larson Reportedly Replacing Robert Downey Jr. As The Face Of The MCURead more81 commentsGal Gadot Reportedly Being Recast As Wonder Woman For The FlashRead more29 commentsDC Young Fly knocks out heckler (video) – Rolling OutRead more6 comments’Mortal Kombat’ Exceeded Expectations Says WarnerMedia ExecutiveRead more2 commentsDo You Remember Bob’s Big Boy?Read more1 commentsKISS Front Man Paul Stanley Reveals This Is The End Of KISS As A Touring Band, For RealRead more1 comments AdvertisementWhen authorities searched his home in Lehigh Acres, they found over $18,000 in cash, an AK-47 and a large amount of drugs. Jean pleaded guilty on Jan. 14, and was sentenced in December for distributing controlled substances. AdvertisementTags: Department of JusticeLee County Sheriff’s OfficeLehigh Acres North Fort Myers man sentenced to over 2 years in prison for counterfeiting money June 16, 2021 LEE COUNTY, Fla. – A Lehigh Acres man was sentenced to seven years in prison for selling several different drugs. According to the Department of Justice, 28-year-old Nestly Jean is a member of the “Zoe Pound” street gang. In Spring 2019, law enforcement officers bought crack cocaine, powder cocaine, meth and fentanyl from Jean during four undercover deals. Each deal took place at a house in the Palmona Park neighborhood in North Fort Myers, court documents said. Officials said Jean cooked powder cocaine into crack cocaine in front of the officers before selling it to them during one encounter. last_img read more

Canadian plan sponsors post positive quarter despite bond slump Merger of B.C. financial services, real estate regulators nears completion Most of the properties are in California. “This is an excellent opportunity to acquire a significant interest in a portfolio comprising high quality regional shopping centres that are well positioned for long term growth,” said Graeme Eadie, the board’s senior vice-president for real estate investments. “This acquisition represents our largest real estate investment to date globally and supports our retail real estate strategy of investing in dominant regional malls with best in class operators.” The deal will make the board one of the largest institutional investors in regional shopping centres in the U.S. with interests in 26 malls. Australia’s Westfield Group will serve as the managing general partner and will manage, lease and develop the properties which also include malls in Maryland and Washington state. “This new agreement continues the group’s strategy of creating value through the introduction of joint venture partners into our assets globally,” Westfield Group co-chief Peter Lowy said. Westfield has one of the world’s largest portfolios of shopping centres in the world with interests in 118 shopping centres in Australia, the U.S., Britain, New Zealand and Brazil. Pension plans often invest in shopping malls and other types of real estate because they can generate predictable cash flows over long periods of time, in line with the benefit obligations to retirees. Many pension funds have tried to diversify away from volatile stocks in recent years to infrastructure, real estate, bonds and other safer assets. The U.S. joint venture follows a deal in 2010 that saw the CPP board take a 25% stake in Westfield Stratford City, a mall near where the 2012 Summer Olympic Games will be held in London. The Canadian money manager also holds a 50% stake in a Westfield fund that owns four shopping malls in Britain. In January, the CPP board invested $40 million for a 24.5% stake in a beachfront shopping centre in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro. The Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, through its Ivanhoe Cambridge real-estate arm, holds the remaining 75.5% stake in the 138-store mall. Brazil is hosting the 2016 Summer Olympics and the 2014 World Cup of soccer. CPPIB invests money that isn’t required to pay for current retirement benefits under the federally administered CPP. The investment fund’s performance is key to ensuring that future generations of Canadians have access to CPP payouts, even when the number of contributors declines in relation to pensioners. Canada’s chief actuary has reviewed the fund’s health and affirmed that it remains sustainable at the current contribution rate of 9.9% for at least 75 years. Contributions are expected to exceed benefit payouts until 2021, when the CPPIB investments will help to fund pensions. Related news The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board is making a whopping $1.8-billion investment in shopping malls in the U.S. with a new joint venture agreement with the Westfield Group in its biggest real estate deal to date. The pension manager said Tuesday it will take a 45% stake in the joint venture that will include interests in 10 regional malls and two redevelopment sites south of the border. Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Federal budget fails to support needed pension reform, retiree group says Keywords Pensions,  Real estateCompanies CPP Investment Board Craig Wong Facebook LinkedIn Twitter read more

first_imgAdvertisements Jamaica and Colombia Sign Maritime Agreement UncategorizedNovember 5, 2008 FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Dr. Kenneth Baugh, and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Colombia, Dr. Jaime Bermudez Merizalde, today (November 4), signed an agreement on exploration activities in the Joint Regime Area, established by the Maritime Delimitation, Treaty between Jamaica and Colombia.The agreement, which was signed at the closing ceremony of the Sixth Meeting of the Jamaica/Colombia Bi-national Neighbourhood Commission, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, in Kingston provides for collaboration in the exchange of information on hydrocarbons (oil and gas), and possible joint explorations.“The decision therefore, to collaborate with Colombia in this area, will support the efforts of the Government of Jamaica, to secure the country’s long term energy security and diversify its energy resources,” Dr. Baugh said.A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), on a Teacher Exchange Programme, which will provide a framework to facilitate the implementation of an exchange programme for teachers from both countries, was also signed by both Ministers.The Teacher Exchange Programme, is aimed at improving the language proficiency and experiences of Jamaican teachers of Spanish, and Colombian teachers of English.In addition, both countries signed the final act of the Sixth Meeting of the Jamaica/Colombia Bi-national Neighbourhood Commission, which records the fact that the meeting was held in Kingston from November 3-4, 2008. Also, a Joint Communiqu RelatedJamaica and Colombia Sign Maritime Agreementcenter_img RelatedJamaica and Colombia Sign Maritime Agreement RelatedJamaica and Colombia Sign Maritime Agreementlast_img read more

first_imgClark County adds 19 more COVID-19 cases over the weekendPosted by Chris BrownDate: Monday, April 20, 2020in: Newsshare 0 Hospitalization rates show the state may be trending in the right directionCLARK COUNTY — The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Clark County rose by 19 over the weekend, reaching 296 total. No new deaths were reported, with the toll remaining at 16.Statewide, as of Saturday, there were 11,790 confirmed cases and 634 deaths connected to the outbreak. The number of confirmed cases declined by 190 on Sunday, as the state public health department conducted “data cleaning,” removing confirmed cases that were determined to be individuals who lived outside of the state.Testing results continue to lag behind the total number conducted, but show a statewide 8.5 percent positive test rate. Hospitalization rates continue to fall, down to 586 on Friday, the last day with more than 80 hospitals reporting data. That is down from a high of 645 on April 13. The number of people in intensive care has remained fairly close to 200 for the past week.In Clark County, around 1 percent of emergency room visits, and 1 percent of hospital admissions were for cases involving symptoms similar to COVID-19. That number is the lowest since mid-March, when the total was closer to 3 percent.The number of people hospitalized with confirmed COVID-19 cases in Clark County is 21, a slight increase from last week, but only five are in intensive care, which is a drop from nine earlier last week.Women continue to be impacted more than men, with 176 of the 296 confirmed cases, though 14 of the 16 deaths have been of men.Demographically, the bulk of confirmed cases have been in people between 40 and 49 years old.Age CasesDeaths19 and younger7020-29 years33030-39 years34040-49 years62150-59 years50060-69 years53270-79 years24480 and older339NOTE: Going forward, Clark County Today has made the editorial decision to post case updates online on Mondays and Fridays, with exceptions made for large jumps in cases or breaking news. We will continue to post daily totals on our Facebook page.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textTags:Clark CountyCovid-19LatestVancouvershare 0 Previous : Woodland students invited to show off their artistic skill and creativity during the Great Woodland Chalk Out Next : Seton Catholic hires boys basketball coachAdvertisementThis is placeholder textlast_img read more

first_img Published: Nov. 15, 2000 Share Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-mail Australia, India and Malaysia could benefit significantly from the development of a multi-million dollar observing system in the Indian Ocean that could identify climate signals similar to El Niño climate signals in the southern Pacific Ocean, say researchers.University of Colorado at Boulder Professor Peter Webster, one of several scientists worldwide who is spearheading studies of the Indian monsoon system, said the network could indicate changes in regional rainfall months in advance and positively impact the lives of almost two-thirds of the world’s population. “During the last two years we have discovered that there are modes of variability in the Indian Ocean similar to the El Niño phenomena,” said Webster, director of CU-Boulder’s Program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. “We are now starting to use this understanding for the prediction of climate variability in the Indian Ocean.” Since more than half of the world’s population resides around the Indian Ocean rim in essentially agrarian societies, the prediction of climate variability is crucial in helping people in those regions maintain sustainable crop development, he said.Webster and Professor Sulochana Gadjil of the Indian Centre for Atmospheric and Ocean Sciences and the Indian Institute of Science each gave keynote presentations on the topic at the Perth Oceans and Climate 2000 Conference. The conference was held in Perth, Australia, Nov. 10 to Nov. 14.Both scientists called for international support in creating an ocean-wide observation network of moored and drifting instruments in the tropical Indian Ocean. The network would be similar to the existing array of mooring instruments in the Pacific Ocean, which was used to predict massive changes in ocean conditions leading up to the last major El Niño event in 1997. India’s Department of Ocean Development has established a regional trial network of meteorological ocean buoys, which will be complemented by a series of drifting floats similar to those deployed by the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, or CSIRO, in the Indian Ocean northwest of Australia.”In the Indian Ocean, the network could help predict the strength of key rainfall events — such as the Indian monsoon — which govern sustainability in Indian food production and influence winter rainfall across southern Australia,” Webster said. More than 60 percent of Indians depend on agriculture for their livelihoods, and there has been widespread concern in recent years over decreased crop production there, he said.”There are large fluctuations in the annual food-grain production in response to the variability of the monsoon,” said Gadjil. “Sustained observations of the critical atmospheric and oceanic variables over the equatorial Indian Ocean is an essential prerequisite to understanding the development of cloud build-up and large-scale monsoon rainfall.”Gadjil discovered that the monsoon is maintained by the northward movement of clouding over the equatorial Indian Ocean. She has been involved in an Indian observational experiment on the Bay of Bengal since 1999.Webster, who has led international oceanographic research cruises in the Indian Ocean involving Australian and American researchers, said the way the upper ocean and atmosphere interact is the best indicator for predicting variations in rainfall and climate. “There seems to be a strong connection between processes occurring in the upper 100 meters of the Indian Ocean and, for example, how much winter rain falls in southern Australia, he said. In 1999 Webster discovered a series of currents in the Indian Ocean linked to a basin-wide shift in sea temperatures, winds and rain. Known as the “Indian Ocean Dipole,” it affects the frequency of storm systems.Earlier this year, CSIRO Chief Nan Bray called for the evaluation of a climate observing system that could indicate changes for regional rainfall months ahead. “We think the Indian Ocean effects are predictable because ocean currents are involved, and currents are more predictable than weather,” said Bray. “Improved climate prediction for the nations around the Indian Ocean would impact the lives of almost two-thirds of the world’s population.”Nearly 100 scientists from 10 countries participated in the Oceans and Climate 2000 workshop on Sustained Observations of Climate in the Indian Ocean at the recent ocean conference in Perth. The workshop was sponsored by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, the West Australian government, Australia’s Federal Department of Industry, Science and Technology and CSIRO.last_img read more

first_imgBoard votes to end judicial evaluation program Feb 06, 2020 Top Stories A rarely used program offering lawyers the ability to anonymously evaluate judges they appear before is being terminated following a recommendation by the Program Evaluation Committee and a vote by the Bar Board of Governors.PEC Chair Scott Westheimer said the Constitutional Judiciary Committee favored shutting down the evaluation project, as did judges who were asked about the reviews.The PEC’s own subcommittee in charge of the review reached the same conclusion, Westheimer said.“We have never received anywhere close to 1% of the surveys that go out to get any sort of response,” he said.The problem has been, he said, that lawyers are concerned that their feedback, which can be anonymously mailed to the Bar for forwarding to the judge or left online, will enable a judge to identify them.The board, at its recent Tallahassee meeting, unanimously agreed and voted to end the program.last_img read more