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As a teacher and as a citizen I am worried, but I do not feel powerless.

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The Paris climate accord , signed by 175 countries in April, was a high point of success for the United Nations. And the U.N

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The body of an Italian student who went missing in Cairo was found half naked by the roadside with cigarette burns and other signs of torture, a senior Egyptian prosecutor said on Thursday. In Rome, Italy’s Foreign Ministry summoned the Egyptian ambassador to express concern over the death of Giulio Regeni, who disappeared on Jan. 25, the five-year anniversary of the uprising that ended Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule

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Move over Neymar , there’s a new Brazilian soccer star in town. Border collie Scotch is turning heads with his tantalizing skills

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You deserve a vacation. Honest. Research shows 40 percent of Americans are either too scared or too stressed to use their paid days off, while other findings prove taking a vacation is good for you and your work

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As the U.S. House voted to tighten restrictions on the resettlement of Syrian refugees , former Marine and award-winning author Phil Klay  took to Twitter to express his disappointment.

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OPATOVAC, Croatia (AP) — Thousands of migrants seeking to reach Western Europe were stranded in fog and cold weather in Croatia and Serbia on Sunday, a day after Hungary closed its border with Croatia and the flow of people was redirected to a much slower route via Slovenia. Tiny Slovenia has said it will only take in 2,500 people a day, significantly stalling the movement of people across the Balkans as they flee wars and poverty in countries in the Middle East, Asia and Africa

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Timbuktu, ISIS and the Long Arm of Justice

04Oct

Bringing a Timbuktu mausoleum destruction suspect to the ICC is an important precedent for war crimes committed by ISIS and a larger effort to combat blood antiquities As the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) met in New York this week – bringing together world leaders to inaugurate the Sustainable Development Goals – the “Global Goals” – the Governments of Niger and Mali, UNESCO and the International Criminal Court (ICC), working together, made a down-payment on Goals 16 (peace and justice) and 17 (partnerships for the goals). That’s because they collaborated to help in the investigation, arrest and surrender of an alleged perpetrator of cultural destruction in ancient Timbuktu, a World Heritage Site. By working to protect cultural heritage and bring a perpetrator to justice, these actors are helping to promote access to justice and accountability.

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My ‘Senior’ Year Abroad

29Sep

The seeds of a gap year abroad — the British tradition of spending time far from home — were sown when I was 22 and studying in France’s Loire Valley. It was 1979, and my time abroad ignited a love affair with France and a wanderlust that compelled me to travel the continent.

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Serbia Compares Croatia To Nazis

24Sep

BELGRADE, Sept 24 (Reuters) – Serbia on Thursday compared Croatian border restrictions imposed overnight to racial laws enforced by a Nazi puppet state in Croatia during World War Two.

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BEIJING — Liu Bolin is preparing to disappear. He stands stone-still on a platform with his eyes shut, dripping sweat while an assistant smears Venezuela across his left cheek.

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Many associate the end of summer with the return to the grind — but it doesn’t have to be so! As professional vacationers (hey, it actually can be a lot of work — and someone’s got to do it), we here at Oyster.com would beg to differ. The fall season can actually be a prime time for a getaway; even in popular autumnal locales, rates across the board generally aren’t at their very highest, and airline prices certainly aren’t soaring like they are around the holiday season

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Alaa Abdel Fattah, one of the most recognizable faces of Egypt’s 2011 revolution, has been locked up time and time again for speaking out against injustice. He is currently serving a five-year jail sentence  for taking part in a peaceful protest. “There is no hope of reforming the Egyptian state or any of its institutions, including the presidency. These institutions and their leaders deserve a revolution,” he said in a recent interview from Cairo’s Tora prison.

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Ante la supuesta negativa de Bielsa y el Tuca otro nombre a salido a la luz como probable director técnico, Ricardo Lavolpe, el bigotón ha sido el único que ha calificado sin complicaciones a un mundial en los últimos años, y pese a sus detractores también fue uno de los que mejor jugo, que en el mundial le fue del carajo? Cierto, pero con todo y eso obtuvo los mismos resultados que todos los demás técnicos en los últimos cinco mundiales. Quiere su revancha el bigotón, aunque le duela a Vergara y creo que está bastante calificado como para que se la den

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  RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Athletes competing in next year’s Summer Olympics here will be swimming and boating in waters so contaminated with human feces that they risk becoming violently ill and unable to compete in the games, an Associated Press investigation has found. An AP analysis of water quality revealed dangerously high levels of viruses and bacteria from human sewage in Olympic and Paralympic venues — results that alarmed international experts and dismayed competitors training in Rio, some of whom have already fallen ill with fevers, vomiting and diarrhea.

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Pirlo lo sabe…

28Jul

Pedazo de futbolista, no falta viejito en la liga de veteranos que por alguna razon jugara en equipo de morros y nos pusiera un soberano baile, Andrea es ese tipo de futbolista, que corra la pelota no yo. Y su especialidad? el golpeo de balon, ipnotizante, idiotizante, impresionante, ahora que Pirlo en el ocaso de su carrera llega a los Estados Unidos a regar talento y tirar rostro nos demuestra que sabe su negocio y lo sabe muy bien.

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About six month ago, I posted an essay at this blog ( The IPCC at a Crossroads , February 26, 2015 ) highlighting some of the challenges faced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) , which plays an important role in global climate change policy around the world. In previous essays at this blog, I wrote about problems with the IPCC process (Is the IPCC Government Approval Process Broken?, April 25, 2014) and about its significant merits (Understanding the IPCC: An Important Follow-Up, May 3, 2014; The Final Stage of IPCC AR5 — Last Week’s Outcome in Copenhagen, November 4, 2014).
A Key Moment to Think About the Future of the IPCC

Now is an important moment to think carefully about the path ahead for this much-maligned and much-celebrated organization, because in early October of this year, the 195 member countries of the IPCC (who together constitute this “intergovernmental panel”) will meet in plenary in Dubrovnik, Croatia, to elect a new Chair, who will lead the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report (AR6). There are some excellent candidates for the chairmanship. I hope they see (and read) today’s essay.

As I’ve said before, the IPCC is at a crossroads. Despite its many accomplishments, this institution, like many large institutions, has experienced severe growing pains. Its size has increased to the point that it has become cumbersome, it sometimes fails to address the most important issues, and — most striking of all — it is now at risk of losing the participation of the world’s best scientists, due to the massive burdens that participation entails.

In February of this year, we (Harvard) co-sponsored a three-day workshop on the future of international climate-assessment processes in Berlin, Germany, to take stock and reflect on lessons learned in past assessments — including those of the IPCC — as a means to identify options for improving future assessments. The workshop (titled “Assessment and Communication of the Social Science of Climate Change: Bridging Research and Policy”) was co-organized by: Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM, Italy), the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements (USA), the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC, Germany), and the Stanford Environmental and Energy Policy Analysis Center (USA).

How Can the IPCC and its Procedures be Improved?

In an essay published in the Review of Environment, Energy and Economics (“Assessment and Communication of the Social Science of Climate Change: Bridging Research and Policy.”), Carlo Carraro (FEEM), Charles Kolstad (Stanford), and I offered our thoughts on the path ahead, drawing on our reflections on the Berlin workshop. We described a set of challenges and opportunities facing the IPCC, and provided options for future improvements. Here are some excerpts in five key areas.

1. The IPCC could better integrate and coordinate across IPCC Working Groups, as well as enhance interaction between scientists and governments.

The scoping process could include more interaction between governments and scientists, driven by policy questions governments want answered and issues scientists feel need addressing. More experts could be involved in the process leading up to scoping meetings so that draft outlines going into scoping meetings might better reflect broad scientific consensus.

Feedback among policymakers, scientists, and other stakeholders during the assessment process could be improved. A lack of coordination and discussion between policymakers and scientists during the scoping and writing process has sometimes led to controversies and misunderstanding at the Summary for Policymakers (SPM) government approval sessions, which might have been avoided through earlier consultation.

The Chair of the IPCC could enhance coordination among Working Groups. The Chair could improve coordination between Working Groups at multiple stages of the assessment process, including in the preparation of the Synthesis Report (SYR).

Special Reports could be developed to more flexibly target emerging issues, develop closer interactions between Working Groups, and inform future Assessment Reports. Shorter reports would be easier to produce and involve shorter turnaround times.

2. The IPCC could enhance its interface with social scientific disciplines and communities.

Involving experts from a more diverse set of social-scientific communities in the scoping process, prior to scoping meetings, could enhance the quality of the Working-Group outlines and reports. Scholars from a wider range of fields might contribute to the scoping process by suggesting policy-relevant questions and by indicating which questions from policymakers are most amenable to response.


The IPCC leadership could strengthen engagement with relevant research communities that may initiate research projects and consortia to address gaps of knowledge identified in the IPCC scoping or assessment processes.
Such recommended research might then be evaluated and incorporated as appropriate into Assessment Reports.

Consider establishing more formal interfaces with professional societies and national academies of sciences to facilitate identification of authors from various scientific disciplines, including social sciences, during the author selection process. This could facilitate the task of the Bureau, Coordinating Lead Authors (CLAs), Technical Support Units (TSUs), and governments in identifying and recruiting the most appropriate disciplinary mix of scientists for the IPCC.

3. The IPCC could increase its efforts to facilitate the contributions of expertise from developing countries.

Selecting CLAs and LAs on the basis of scientific skills, capability, and reputation is paramount, but it is also important to reflect the perspectives of both developed and developing countries. Today, excellent scholars are available from all regions of the world.

The IPCC could invite authors from developing countries with less regard to where they are currently based. There are a significant number of scholars of international repute from the developing world living and working outside their countries of origin. These scholars could contribute significantly to IPCC reports.

New partnerships, including with national, regional, and international academies of sciences, could support the author-nomination process. The academies might support CLAs, TSUs, and national focal points in identifying excellent researchers from a diverse set of geographic regions.

The IPCC could facilitate efforts of other organizations to build scientific expertise in developing countries. While the IPCC does not have the mandate to finance or execute such capacity-building efforts, the IPCC could recognize and support other international organizations that help develop stronger developing-country scientific expertise.

4. The IPCC could increase the efficiency of its operations and ensure scientific integrity through organizational improvements.

Preparing IPCC Reports is a complex management operation. Operational aspects of the Assessment-Report process could be improved significantly in a number of ways:


The IPCC should ensure that Chair and Co-Chairs of the Working Groups are selected early in the assessment cycle, and particularly before the scoping meetings, in order to enable careful preparation of the overall assessment process.
Having the Chair and Co-Chairs engaged in the process from the beginning would also help foster a more deeply-shared vision between IPCC leadership and governments of the ultimate assessment products.

The IPCC could improve the efficiency of TSUs, which is essential for effectively managing the Assessment-Report process. The functioning of the TSUs requires frequent and intense face-to-face collaboration among staff and with the Co-Chairs. This requires maintaining a single TSU for each Working Group, physically located in a single geographic location under the authority of the Working Group Co-Chairs, with clearly assigned responsibilities. Geographic balance can be increased via global searches for qualified professionals, including from developing countries, to serve on the TSU staff.

Work organization, in particular of Lead Author (LA) meetings, could be greatly improved. Inefficient organization and high workload significantly reduce the incentives for researchers to contribute to the IPCC process. Frequent LA meetings are putting a high travel burden on authors, and the IPCC could reduce the number and length of LA Meetings (LAMs) and use means of remote collaboration, communication, and organization. Chapter Science Assistants (CSAs) provide critical support for chapter teams, facilitating the functioning and organization of work between and during LAMs. The IPCC could allow them to participate in all meetings and provide dedicated funding streams for CSAs for all chapters. The money saved by holding fewer and briefer LAMs could partly be dedicated to this purpose.

Consider expanding the definition of conflict of interest to include not only economic conflicts, but also conflicts due to institutional affiliation. For example, authors, Bureau members, Working Group leadership, and other IPCC personnel with dual roles as national negotiators could be identified as having a potential conflict of interest. Also, authors who work for an organization that aims to influence climate policy might be defined as having a potential conflict of interest. While this expanded definition need not preclude these individuals from working with the IPCC, public disclosure of the potential conflict of interest should help assure the integrity of the IPCC process. It could be valuable to have such an expanded definition in effect early in the AR6 process.

5. Outreach and communications could be strengthened.

The SPMs, as well as the Technical Summaries (TS), are widely considered by non-experts to be difficult to access and understand. It would be difficult to change the SPM process, given its negotiated character. However, the IPCC could consider engaging expert science communicators to help produce more concise TSs, making them more accessible to policymakers and the general public. In addition, re-naming the TS as “Executive Summary” could more accurately characterize this component of the Assessment Reports and draw the interest of a broader readership.

The impact of IPCC publications on the UNFCCC process may have suffered from not being more closely aligned in terms of timing. The IPCC could consider synchronizing the IPCC Assessment cycle with the UNFCCC negotiation schedule.

Next Steps

My co-authors and I are continuing to develop our thinking on these and other issues associated with the functioning of the IPCC. Whereas some commentators have argued that the IPCC has outlived its usefulness (or is irreparably broken), I prefer to resist the temptation to “throw out the baby with the bathwater.” Instead, I welcome your thoughts on how the IPCC and its procedures can be improved.

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A Key Moment is Coming for the IPCC’s Future

Co-authored by Natasha Srdoc and Joel Anand Samy, co-founders, Adriatic Institute for Public Policy and International Leaders Summit More…

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There were a couple of things that snuck back into 2014 from the year 2013 — like the overwhelming amount of selfies we take and post and hashtag with a myriad of unnecessary and apparent things, like: #HePutaRingOnIt (obviously he did — or he just brought you to Kay Jewelers and made you try on a ring as a cruel April Fool’s Day Joke) or #TBT on a photo that looks like a younger, less stressed version of your 20-something self-doing something you no longer have the time or savings account to do, like jumping off a cliff in Croatia or buying organic fruit at the farmer’s market. Luckily, things like “Gangnam Style” and Miley Cyrus’s tongue were overshadowed by some remarkable and bizarre things that swept in and made 2014 a memorable year: More…

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Clint Dempsey thought his nose was broken. Nobody who saw the bloodied visage of the U.S

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By James M. Dorsey Millions across the Middle East and North Africa will cheer Algeria, the only Arab squad to qualify for the 2014 World Cup, when it meets Belgium this week in its first tournament match. That enthusiasm, certainly among fans who are aware of their power, is however likely to be tempered by the growing realization that politics, political interference, and whimsical micro-management by vain club owners has stymied performance by potential regional powerhouses

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By James M. Dorsey Ultra-conservative clerics are condemning soccer as a Jewish and Christian tool to undermine Islamic culture as millions of Muslims across the globe tune in to watch the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. More…

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An open letter to President Sisi

11Jun

His Excellency Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi President of the Arab Republic of Egypt More…

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By James M. Dorsey A disclosure by British weekly The Sunday Times of millions of documents allegedly revealing massive Qatari vote buying in the Gulf state’s successful bid to host the 2022 World Cup could rejigger the Gulf’s fragile balance of power, reverse hopes that Qatar would initiate significant social change in the region, and return the worst corruption crisis in global soccer governance to the top of the agenda.

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By Sophie Rosen for DivorcedMoms.com Our brain tells us that hindsight is 20/20. Yet emotion often gets the best of us. Particularly after a divorce , it is tempting to beat ourselves up as we contemplate what we could have done differently were we able to change the past

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BANGKOK, May 31 (Reuters) – Thai police and soldiers flooded downtown Bangkok on Saturday to pre-empt further protests against a May 22 coup after the army chief said a return to democracy would take more than a year. In a televised address late on Friday, General Prayuth Chan-ocha said the military would need time to reconcile Thailand’s antagonistic political forces and to engineer reforms. Prayuth, who ousted the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra after months of sometimes violent protests, appealed for patience from Thailand’s international allies after outlining his reform plan to the Southeast Asian nation.

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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea said Saturday it has sentenced a South Korean Baptist missionary to hard labor for life for allegedly spying and trying to set up underground churches, the latest in a string of missionaries to run into trouble in the rigidly controlled North.

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As the situation confronting kidnapped women in Nigeria continues to deteriorate, the need for international solidarity has never been greater. The 276 teenage women, who were kidnapped at gunpoint by Islamist group Boko Haram, have been held captive for more than a month. What is worse, there have been reports of mass forced “marriages” to rebel militants and some women may have literally been sold into slavery across the Nigerian border in neighboring countries.

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MEDIOTIEMPO | Agencias Zagreb, Croacia, martes 13 de Diciembre del 2011 En Zagreb condenaron hoy a 15 deportistas y responsables del futbol de los clubes de Primera División Condenas de cárcel, multas millonarias y detenciones de responsables federativos son los ingredientes de un enorme escándalo por el amaño de partidos que sacude estos días el futbol croata, afectado por una trama de corrupción de grandes dimensiones. En Zagreb condenaron hoy a 15 deportistas y responsables del futbol de los clubes de Primera División Varteks, Medjimurje y Croatia Sesvete. Los condenados deberán devolver 165.000 euros y 13 de ellos afrontan penas de prisión de hasta 10 meses.

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Filed under: Fútbol , Fútbol Mexicano , Selección Mexicana Pese a sus malos resultados recientes en partidos amistosos, España se mantuvo al frente de la clasificación mensual de selecciones de la FIFA. El campeón mundial y europeo perdió 1-0 ante Inglaterra y luego empató 2-2 con Costa Rica, resultados que dejaron en 1.564 puntos su contabilidad en el ránking difundido el miércoles. Holanda (1.365), Alemania (1.345) y Uruguay (1.309) escoltan a los españoles

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Filed under: Fútbol , Fútbol Español La selección de futbol de España recuperó el primer lugar de la clasificación mundial de la FIFA, luego de perderla momentáneamente el mes pasado, mientras que México permanece en la casilla 20. Una victoria y un empate en los recientes partidos amistosos no fueron suficientes para que los pupilos de José Manuel de la Torre lograran avanzar en el ranking que da a conocer la Federación Internacional de Futbol Asociación (FIFA), por lo que el Tricolor no se movió del lugar 20, al tener 866 puntos. Por otra parte, España recuperó la cima de la clasificación con mil 605 puntos, seguida de Holanda (mil 571), que el mes pasado había ocupado el primer lugar

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