Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 31 n° 330

Posts Tagged ‘america’

14-Year-Old Named America’s Top Young Scientist

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 3 novembre 2019

3M (@3M) and Discovery Education (@DiscoveryEd), have named 14-year-old Kara Fan from San Diego, California, the winner of the 2019 3M Young Scientist Challenge (#YoungScientist). Kara invented a first aid liquid bandage using nano-silver technology to reduce the risk of superbug infections caused by antibiotic overuse. Using the biosynthesis method—a multi-step, enzyme-catalyzed process where substrates are converted into more complex products in living organisms—Kara created a nano-silver (AgNP) solution using lemon leaf and silver nitrate to effectively kill and prevent the growth of bacteria. Her solution was tested using the Kirby-Bauer Method against Staphylococcus epidermidis, E. coli K12 and Bacillus subtilis on a Petri plate to measure the zone of inhibition (the circular area around the spot of the antibiotic use in which bacteria colonies do not grow). Finally, Kara mixed the nano-silver solution with a water-soluble polymer (PVP) to create the liquid bandage.Kara formulated a nano-silver liquid bandage to replace the use of more commonly used over-the-counter antibiotics ointments and first aid treatments. With her invention, Kara hopes to reduce the number of incidents related to drug-resistant infections.Kara, a ninth-grader at Westview High School, Poway Unified School District, competed against nine other finalists during a live competition at the 3M Innovation Center in St. Paul, Minn. October 28-29. As the winner of this year’s 3M Young Scientist Challenge, Kara was awarded the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist” as well as a $25,000 cash prize and a surprise destination trip.
In second place, Caroline Crouchley, an eighth-grader at Garden City Middle School from Garden City, New York, developed a sustainable method of public transportation that eliminates the need for a diesel engine or electric motor in trains.
In third place, Jordan Prawira, an eighth-grader at Altamont Elementary School from Mountain House, California, invented a wind turbine inspired by hurricane formation concepts to improve the performance and efficiency of current wind turbines.
In fourth place, Camellia Sharma, a seventh-grader at George H. Moody Middle School from Glen Allen, Virginia, developed a water leakage detection system to identify underground water leakage and reduce the estimated 48.6 billion cubic meters of water lost annually through current distribution systems worldwide. The fifth through tenth place winners each received a $1,000 prize and a $500 excitations gift card.

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Arrive Accelerates Deployment of Seamless Parking Solutions Across North America

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 25 ottobre 2019

Arrive is accelerating the deployment of its seamless parking solutions across North America, moving from city-based tests to wide-scale implementation of its frictionless technologies. By the end of 2020, Arrive aims to have installed Bluetooth and other technologies in tens of thousands of garages and lots across the U.S. and Canada. Drivers who purchase parking through the company’s ParkWhiz and BestParking apps, or one of Arrive’s partners like Ticketmaster, Amazon Alexa, or Honda will be able to seamlessly enter and exit garages and lots without making a reservation or pulling a ticket at the gate. “The way people get from place to place is changing as fast as new technology is developed. It can be difficult for businesses to keep up and a financial burden for parking operators and asset owners to continue investing in expensive technology,” said Yona Shtern, CEO of Arrive. “We have developed a range of low-cost and easy-to-install solutions, and are committed to working with operators and PARCS companies to enhance their existing infrastructure, making it possible for them to enable new technology faster and creating a better, more connected experience for drivers.” To help the company accelerate its expansion, Arrive has entered into a strategic partnership with Inugo, a New Zealand-based company, to provide Arrive with Bluetooth connectivity kits that the company has integrated into existing PARCS systems.
“We’ve spent many years building a platform that allows parking operators to have a robust, cost-effective solution for enabling digital access to their gates for a range of use cases. By partnering with Arrive, we will be able to expand our footprint in North America and collaborate with them to enable seamless access for millions of drivers across the country,” said Ben Martel, CEO of Inugo.Inugo is the latest hardware solution provider to join Arrive in its pursuit of seamless parking solutions, joining previously announced hardware partners Flash Parking, Parkonect, TIBA, Skidata and DataPark.In addition to more hardware partnerships, Arrive is also announcing nationwide operator partnerships with InterPark and Propark Mobility to help advance frictionless parking and other mobility services.“Arrive’s unique approach to the marketplace, focusing on connecting parking operators to the millions of customers who will use new technologies in connected cars and fleets, helps Propark enhance our business today, and ensures we are adaptable to the changing landscape of mobility,” said John Schmid, CEO of Propark Mobility. InterPark COO James Mueller said, “Arrive’s flexible and collaborative partnership nicely supports our own investments in improving the customer experience without requiring additional costs.” Arrive and Inugo will demo the new Bluetooth connectivity kit in the Arrive booth at the 2019 National Parking Association Annual Convention and Expo.

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Sallie Mae Named One of America’s Best Midsize Employers

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 21 ottobre 2019

For the second consecutive year, Forbes has named Sallie Mae one of America’s Best Midsize Employers. Sallie Mae was ranked in the top 10 in the banking and financial services category.
Forbes, in partnership with market research company Statista, surveyed 50,000 Americans working for businesses with at least 1,000 employees. The respondents were asked to rate how likely they’d be to recommend their employers to others. Statista then asked the respondents to nominate organizations in industries outside their own. The list ranks 500 midsize employers, across 25 different industries, that received the most recommendations.Sallie Mae offers a comprehensive employee benefits program that features paid leave, including 12 weeks of paid parental leave; medical, dental, and vision care; a company-matched 401(k) plan; an employee stock purchase plan; tuition reimbursement; and a family scholarship program.In communities where its more than 1,800 employees live and work, Sallie Mae actively organizes and participates in volunteer activities, supports nonprofit organizations with charitable contributions, and awards scholarships to deserving students. Since 2016, Sallie Mae employees have raised nearly $175,000 for the company’s Bridging the Dream Scholarship Program.
Sallie Mae (Nasdaq: SLM) believes education and life-long learning, in all forms, help people achieve great things. As the leader in private student lending, we provide financing and know-how to help make college happen and offer products and resources to help customers make new goals and experiences, beyond college, possible. Learn more at SallieMae.com. Commonly known as Sallie Mae, SLM Corporation and its subsidiaries are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.

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AM Best América Latina Executives to Attend 2019 FIDES Conference in Bolivia

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 1 settembre 2019

Carlos De la Torre, senior director, business development and operations, and Midori Honda, market development director, both of AM Best América Latina, will attend the 37th Hemispheric Insurance Conference of the Inter-American Federation of Insurance Companies (FIDES), which will take place Sept. 8-11, 2019, in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.
The conference and exhibition, which will be held at the Los Tajibos Hotel and Convention Center, is the regional event for the Latin American (re)insurance industry and is hosted this year by the Bolivian Association of Insurers. The event program will examine new technologies that are disrupting the insurance industry, as well as look at how innovation can help companies keep up with the rapidly changing pace of technology. The conference also serves as a networking opportunity for insurers, brokers and reinsurers as they prepare their reinsurance renewal strategies.AM Best will host a suite at the event, and recently released a Best’s Market Segment Report on Bolivia’s insurance market, in which it assigned the market a stable market segment outlook due to its healthy growth, its insurers’ robust solvency ratios and a sufficient appetite from reinsurers. To access the full copy of the report, please visit http://www3.ambest.com/bestweek/purchase.asp?record_code=289016. Other Latin America market outlooks can be found on AM Best’s Latin America center.To schedule a meeting with De la Torre or Honda to discuss the commercial aspects of and the process for initiating a Best’s Credit Rating, please email midori.honda@ambest.com, or stop by suite No. 15 during the conference. More information about the FIDES conference can be found at the event website.

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Nina Marino of Kaplan Marino Named a Best Lawyers in America

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 19 agosto 2019

White collar criminal defense firm Kaplan Marino announced today that Nina Marino, founding and managing partner, has been selected for inclusion in the 26th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America for her work in the area of White Collar Criminal Defense. This is the second consecutive year Ms. Marino has been selected.“To be recognized by my peers in the profession is an incredible honor,” said Marino, who also serves as the current Director of Continuing Legal Education for the Criminal Justice Section of the American Bar Association (ABA) and the chairperson for the Women in White Collar Committee. “I am grateful to be in the company of so many top-notch lawyers across the country.” Marino is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist and has spent nearly 30 years exclusively focused on white collar and complex criminal litigation on both a national and international level. Marino regularly represents individuals in matters involving allegations of all aspects of fraud, including, wire and mail fraud, health care fraud, insurance, and bank fraud, as well as allegations of money laundering, conspiracy, computer crimes, bribery, and kickbacks, counterfeiting and copyright infringement, tax crimes, securities cases, antitrust matters, and public corruption investigations.
Marino represents both foreign nationals and U.S. citizens in matters involving extradition and related Interpol notices. Marino’s ability to communicate persuasively with all government agencies at every level on behalf of her client has served her client’s interests for nearly three decades and is only matched by her skills as an effective and aggressive litigator.Best Lawyers lists are compiled based on an exhaustive peer-review evaluation. Almost 87,000 industry leading lawyers are eligible to vote and nearly 10 million evaluations were received on the legal abilities of other lawyers based on their specific practice areas around the world. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore, inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor. Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers “the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.”

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Travelex North America Names Tania Ali General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 10 Mag 2019

Travelex, a leading cross-border financial services and payments firm, announced today that Tania Ali has been promoted to General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for Travelex North America. Ali leads Travelex North America’s legal team, overseeing the needs of the long-established Retail and Corporate business units; alongside driving North America’s fast-growing cross-border payments business.Ali brings a decade of legal experience in financial regulations, payments, litigation, product development and employment law. Prior to becoming General Counsel for Travelex North America, Ali was Deputy General Counsel for the region. Before joining Travelex, Ali was Senior Legal Counsel at Adecco USA, Inc., She reports to James Birch, Global General Counsel Travelex, and she supports James Hewitt, CEO of Travelex’s North American business unit.“I am delighted to confirm Tania’s promotion to General Counsel, North America. Tania is an astute lawyer who possesses excellent commercial skills. Among other achievements she has been instrumental in the development and delivery of Travelex’s key business lines” says James Birch, Global General Counsel Travelex.On her promotion, James Hewitt, CEO of Travelex North America says, “Tania is a thoughtful and inspiring partner who has been critical in building Travelex North America’s payments business. She is business-savvy and is driving our business forward along with our North America senior leadership team.” Ali holds a juris doctorate degree from Hofstra School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in political science from The George Washington University. She is a member of the State Bar of New York.

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Mall of America Selects Jibestream as New Indoor Mapping Provider

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 7 marzo 2019

Jibestream, the premier indoor mapping platform provider, announced today that Mall of America (MOA), the largest shopping and entertainment destination in North America, is leveraging the Jibestream platform to power and manage their indoor maps.
Jibestream was selected to remap the 5.6 million square foot facility for use in the mall’s mobile app, web directory, and onsite directory kiosks. With Jibestream’s digital maps, MOA offers visitors exceptional experiences including the ability to quickly locate and navigate to their destination with landmark based directions. The Jibestream platform also empowers administrators to independently implement map adjustments in real-time, saving them valuable time while ensuring visitors are getting the most accurate and relevant information across all platforms.“Jibestream is a robust platform that gives developers the flexibility to create and maintain tailored map-enabled solutions using our web-based CMS, APIs and SDKs. Our technology agnostic architecture provides interoperability with third-party systems and data, making it possible for clients like MOA to leverage their existing infrastructure,” said Dave Johnson, Vice President of Sales at Jibestream. “Not only does this create a truly connected environment, it ensures that our clients are able to maximize their existing investment.” “It quickly became apparent that the Jibestream platform offered amazing flexibility and ability to integrate with our own systems to save us time and effort in updating our multiple layers of maps,” said Patrick Wand, Senior IT Project Manager at Mall of America. “Our maps are constantly changing, therefore having a platform that allows us to link directly with our tenant API will be a game changer. Having Jibestream as a partner will allow us to think more outside the box of traditional guest-facing applications and bring dynamic mapping to some of our internal facing applications.”
MOA has transformed the shopping experience into an experiential destination for its 40 million annual visitors. Their continuing commitment to innovation has put them at the forefront of digital technology.

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FANUC America Named A Top Workplace by Two of the Nation’s Leading Newspapers

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 16 novembre 2018

FANUC America Corporation is one of Michigan’s top workplaces according to the Detroit Free Press. This marks the seventh consecutive year that FANUC has achieved this distinction. In addition, the Chicago Tribune named FANUC America’s Hoffman Estates, IL regional office one of Illinois’ top workplaces.“This has been an exciting year for us, and being named a top workplace in Michigan and Illinois means that our extremely talented team enjoys and values our culture, work environment and professional opportunities,” said FANUC America’s President and CEO, Mike Cicco. “It’s a great feeling knowing that in this very competitive labor market our employees have chosen FANUC as their place to work, and have expressed their satisfaction in this way.” According to Cicco, in addition to being a top workplace, FANUC has achieved a wide range of notable accomplishments in 2018 including:Solidified its position as the global leader in robots, CNCs and factory automation with over 24M products installed.
Introduced a variety of new products including collaborative and SCARA robots, advanced features in CNC and motion control, and Industrial IoT technologies — all designed to help customers improve their manufacturing operations. Broke ground on a new North Campus facility in Auburn Hills, MI scheduled for completion in late 2019.Extended certified education outreach to over 750 high schools, technical training centers, community colleges and universities, helping prepare students with the skills to work with today’s advanced automation.

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The stories left untold in America’s newsrooms

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 9 novembre 2018

By Jon Allsop “Unfinished.” That’s the title of CJR’s latest print issue, released today, which focuses on race in journalism and “the stories left untold in America’s newsrooms.” The Race Issue features a range of perspectives on the continued under-representation of people of color in the media—situating the problem in its historical context, sizing up its statistical scale, and outlining the holes in coverage that result. Contributors include Vann R. Newkirk II, a staff writer at The Atlantic; Errin Haines Whack, the Associated Press’s National Writer for Race and Ethnicity; and Rebecca Carroll, special projects editor for WNYC and a critic-at-large for the LA Times. Also in the issue, Gustavo Arellano tackles the uncertain fate of Spanish-language news networks, E. Tammy Kim reflects on lopsided US media coverage of the Koreas, and Eric Deggans interviews David Simon, creator of The Wire, on how journalists could better cover the race beat.CJR’s website will roll out all the columns and features in the issue over the next two weeks. First up this morning, Guest Editor Jelani Cobb, a New Yorker staff writer and director of Columbia University’s Ira A. Lipman Center for Journalism and Civil and Human Rights, discusses “the cost of the status quo” when it comes to race in the media. At a launch event at Columbia Journalism School later today, Cobb will sit down with HuffPost Editor-in-Chief Lydia Polgreen (who serves on CJR’s Board of Overseers) following a roundtable discussion featuring Haines Whack, Atlantic staff writer Adam Serwer, CJR Editor and Publisher Kyle Pope, and former CJR Delacorte Fellow Karen K. Ho. You can livestream the whole event, which is being sponsored by the Ford Foundation and The Guardian, here from 2pm Eastern.In 2017, just 16.6 percent of journalists at daily newspapers in the US were people of color, despite non-white people comprising more than 37 percent of the population at large. “This underrepresentation of minorities is a more polite way of saying that there is an overrepresentation of white people in media,” Cobb writes. “Two years ago, the dearth of people of color at the Oscars generated the satirical #OscarsSoWhite hashtag. A #NewsroomSoWhite hashtag would now be equally fitting.”
For Cobb, this under-representation comes not at the cost of some “vague, frankly condescending idea of ‘inclusion,’” or the appearance of it. It matters, rather, because homogenous newsrooms miss critical stories and perspectives. Cobb cites several micro and macro examples of the trend: from tone-deaf crime coverage in the Bronx, to the Kerner Commission’s 50-year-old finding that the media missed the causes of the 1967 race riots, to euphemistic coverage of the 2016 election campaign “when unblinking assessments of racism and religious bigotry were warranted.”On the eve of the 2018 midterms—whose narrative has, if anything, hewed even more overtly to race—a spotlight has again shone on the timid language much of the media uses to describe racism (even though this language did not go away in between times). On Friday, a headline in the Times referred to the “racial stumbles” of Ron DeSantis, the Republican gubernatorial candidate in Florida; on Saturday, the same paper wrote about the “racially tinged remarks” of hard-right Iowa Congressman Steve King.The Times subsequently changed the latter article to call King’s remarks “racist”—small proof, perhaps, of the power of raised awareness. But as CJR’s new issue shows, journalism’s race problem is entrenched and multi-faceted. Elections loaded with racist rhetoric might seem like an opportune peg for the issue’s release. In truth, any time is a good time to grapple with the media’s failure of representation and its everyday consequences. (from: CJR Editors)

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Teachers Around America Are Disrupting Public School Education

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 25 agosto 2018

By David Wine. Innovative educators in public schools across the United States are challenging the rules, pushing the boundaries and bridging the gap between opportunity and income for their students in the Age of AI. That’s what Ted Dintersmith discovered when he visited 50 states and hundreds of schools in one year while writing a book about all that was wrong with the US public school system. Author and former Venture Capitalist Dintersmith, who has expressed growing concerns about America becoming a country “of the rich, for the rich and by the rich,” believes radical change is needed to prepare America’s youth for a world of automated solutions. Youth will need to “invent their own distinctive way to add value to their community, employer, or customer.”In an exclusive new interview with CMRubinWorld founder C.M.Rubin, Dintersmith shares his stories of rebellious American educators reaching far beyond the status quo of standardized testing for college admissions to find new ways to ignite passion and curiosity in their students.
Ted Dintersmith is the author of What Schools Could Be: Insights and Inspiration from Teachers Across America, and co-author of the book, Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Era, with Tony Wagner. He is a distinguished thought leader in the realm of education, entrepreneurship and innovation, and recently won the NEA Friend of Education Award 2018.CMRubinWorld’s award-winning series, The Global Search for Education, brings together distinguished thought leaders in education and innovation from around the world to explore the key learning issues faced by most nations. The series has become a highly visible platform for global discourse on 21st century learning, offering a diverse range of innovative ideas which are presented by the series founder, C. M. Rubin, together with the world’s leading thinkers.
For more information on CMRubinWorld

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“Henri Cartier-Bresson. In America”

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 12 giugno 2018

Lucca venerdì 15 giugno 2018 alle ore 11,30 via della Fratta 36 presentazione della mostra HENRI CARTIER-BRESSON. IN AMERICA a cura di Maurizio Vanni. La mostra resterà aperta al pubblico fino all’11 novembre 2018 con il seguente orario: da martedì a domenica ore 10-19. Chiuso lunedì. L’esposizione, che si compone di 101 immagini in bianco e nero, riunisce gli scatti che il fotografo parigino – fondatore insieme a Robert Capa, George Rodger, David ‘Chim’ Seymour e William Vandivert della Magnum Photos – realizzò negli Stati Uniti a partire dalla metà degli anni Trenta, quando visitò per la prima volta il Paese, fino alla fine degli anni Sessanta. Questi lavori sono riusciti a catturare la realtà e l’essenza della vita americana di allora, mostrando in particolare la diversità della ricca società americana.

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Il filo-arabismo italiano

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 5 marzo 2018

Molti ritengono, e noi siamo tra costoro, che l’amicizia italo araba abbia radici che trovano la loro ragione d’essere intorno agli anni cinquanta. In quel periodo, a livello internazionale, vi era da una parte l’Unione Sovietica intenzionata a esercitare un suo ruolo egemone sull’area medio orientale e, dall’altra, gli Stati Uniti decisi a contrastarla.
Due sono, uno per parte, gli aspetti che richiamano tale circostanza. Il primo è dell’aprile del 1955 quando il quotidiano Izvestija pubblicò un comunicato del Ministero degli esteri in cui si manifestava l’intenzione dell’Urss di sviluppare rapporti più stretti con i paesi del Medio Oriente. Alla fine del mese di settembre fu reso pubblico l’accordo tra Egitto e unione Sovietica per la fornitura di armi. Sull’altro versante Eisenhower scrisse nelle sue memorie, a proposito della risoluzione americana sul Medio Oriente: “Con essa eravamo riusciti ad ottenere il consenso del Congresso alla decisione governativa di fermare la marcia dell’Unione Sovietica verso il Mediterraneo, verso il canale di Suez, gli oleodotti e verso i pozzi sotterranei di petrolio che alimentano le case e fabbriche dell’Europa occidentale.” Entro questa logica si muoveva l’Italia per indicare al mondo arabo una terza via di alleanze tra l’occidente e l’oriente. Inizialmente gli Stati Uniti videro con favore tale iniziativa: “Italy had a great deal of experience with the Arabs”, ma ben presto si accorse che la disinvolta azione dell’Eni e l’attivismo di Mattei toccavano, nei loro interessi, le società petrolifere statunitensi. Da qui si tentò in tutte le maniera di “oscurare” l’opera filo-araba italiana a vantaggio della dottrina Eisenhower che prevedeva interventi diretti americani nella regione, allora con la scusante dell’anticomunismo ed ora del terrorismo arabo. Ma l’Italia continuò nella sua strada di buone relazioni con il mondo arabo ed anzi ne acquistò meriti per via del fastidio che arrecava al potente alleato americano. Ora se una certa parte degli arabi è severamente critica con l’Italia lo dobbiamo al fatto che l’attuale governo è avvertito troppo schierato dalla parte americana e dal suo ruolo considerato più ostile nei loro confronti. Tutto questo rischia di rallentare il nostro processo di riavvicinamento e proprio in una fase molto delicata nei rapporti oriente-occidente e con la mina vagante dell’integralismo religioso panarabo. (Riccardo Alfonso)

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TravelCenters of America LLC Fourth Quarter 2017

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 22 febbraio 2018

Wednesday, February 28, 2018 a press release containing its fourth quarter 2017 financial results before the Nasdaq opens for trading. Later that morning, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time, Chief Executive Officer Andy Rebholz, President and Chief Operating Officer Barry Richards and Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer Bill Myers will host a conference call to review the fourth quarter 2017 results and to take questions.
The conference call telephone number is (877) 329-4614. Participants calling from outside the United States and Canada should dial (412) 317-5437. No pass code is necessary to access the call from either number. Participants should dial in about 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start of the call. A replay of the conference call will be available through Wednesday, March 7, 2018. To hear the replay, dial (412) 317-0088. The replay pass code is 10115720. A live audio webcast of the conference call will also be available in a listen-only mode on the company’s website, which is located at http://www.ta-petro.com. Participants who want to access the webcast should visit the company’s website about five minutes before the call. The archived webcast will be available for replay on the company’s website after the call.

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The First Map to Name America

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 9 novembre 2017

WALDSEEMÜLLER, MartinOn 13 December Christie’s Valuable Books and Manuscripts sale will offer a copy of the first map to name America by the most important cartographer of the early sixteenth century, Martin Waldseemüller. The appearance of this previously unknown copy of the Waldseemüller gores (estimate: £600,000 – 900,000 / $800,000 – 1,200,000), 1507, marks a significant cartographic discovery. This revolutionary map not only names America for the first time, but is also the first map to illustrate separate South and North American continents, and is the earliest recorded printed globe. It is one of only 5 known copies and is the first accurate illustration of the world in 360 degrees, depicting a separate Pacific Ocean. A large wall map, produced by Waldseemüller around the same time, and also naming America, survives in a single copy and was acquired by the Library of Congress in May 2003 for $10 million. The Waldseemüller gores will be on view to the public from 9 December, as part of Christie’s Classic Week.Julian Wilson, Senior Specialist, Books, Maps & Manuscripts: “The discovery of this unknown copy of the Waldseemüller gores marks the most exciting moment of my twenty-year career at Christie’s, his cartographic innovations had an enormous influence in the science of map-making and perhaps most significantly, defined history in naming America.” (foto: WALDSEEMÜLLER, Martin)

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America’s prisons are failing. Here’s how to make them work

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 27 Mag 2017

BXP35776SHIRLEY SCHMITT is no one’s idea of a dangerous criminal. She lived quietly on a farm in Iowa, raising horses and a daughter, until her husband died in 2006. Depressed and suffering from chronic pain, she started using methamphetamine. Unable to afford her habit, she and a group of friends started to make the drug, for their own personal use. She was arrested in 2012, underwent drug treatment, and has been sober ever since. She has never sold drugs for profit, but federal mandatory minimum rules, along with previous convictions for drug possession and livestock neglect, forced the judge to sentence her to ten years in prison. Each year she serves will cost taxpayers roughly $30,000—enough to pay the fees for three struggling students at the University of Iowa. When she gets out she could be old enough to draw a pension.Barack Obama tried to reduce the number of absurdly long prison sentences in America. His attorney-general, Eric Holder, told federal prosecutors to avoid seeking the maximum penalties for non-violent drug offenders. This reform caused a modest reduction in the number of federal prisoners (who are about 10% of the total). Donald Trump’s attorney-general, Jeff Sessions, has just torn it up. This month he ordered prosecutors to aim for the harshest punishments the law allows, calling his new crusade against drug dealers “moral and just”. It is neither. Prisons are an essential tool to keep society safe. A burglar who is locked up cannot break into your home. A mugger may leave you alone if he thinks that robbing you means jail. Without the threat of a cell to keep them in check, the strong and selfish would prey on the weak, as they do in countries where the state is too feeble to run a proper justice system.But as with many good things, more is not always better (see article). The first people any rational society locks up are the most dangerous criminals, such as murderers and rapists. The more people a country imprisons, the less dangerous each additional prisoner is likely to be. At some point, the costs of incarceration start to outweigh the benefits. Prisons are expensive—cells must be built, guards hired, prisoners fed. The inmate, while confined, is unlikely to work, support his family or pay tax. Money spent on prisons cannot be spent on other things that might reduce crime more, such as hiring extra police or improving pre-school in rough neighbourhoods. And—crucially—locking up minor offenders can make them more dangerous, since they learn felonious habits from the hard cases they meet inside.America passed the point of negative returns long ago. Its incarceration rate rose fivefold between 1970 and 2008. Relative to its population, it now locks up seven times as many people as France, 11 times as many as the Netherlands and 15 times as many as Japan. It imprisons people for things that should not be crimes (drug possession, prostitution, unintentionally violating incomprehensible regulations) and imposes breathtakingly harsh penalties for minor offences. Under “three strikes” rules, petty thieves have been jailed for life. A ten-year sentence costs ten times as much as a one-year sentence, but is nowhere near ten times as effective a deterrent. Criminals do not think ten years into the future. If they did, they would take up some other line of work. One study found that each extra year in prison raises the risk of reoffending by six percentage points. Also, because mass incarceration breaks up families and renders many ex-convicts unemployable, it has raised the American poverty rate by an estimated 20%. Many states, including Mr Sessions’s home, Alabama, have decided that enough is enough. Between 2010 and 2015 America’s incarceration rate fell by 8%. Far from leading to a surge in crime, this was accompanied by a 15% drop.America is an outlier, but plenty of countries fail to use prison intelligently. There is ample evidence of what works. Reserve prison for the worst offenders. Divert the less scary ones to drug treatment, community service and other penalties that do not mean severing ties with work, family and normality. A good place to start would be with most of the 2.6m prisoners in the world—a quarter of the total—who are still awaiting trial. For a fraction of the cost of locking them up, they could be fitted with GPS-enabled ankle bracelets that monitor where they are and whether they are taking drugs.Tagging can also be used as an alternative to locking up convicts—a “prison without walls”, to quote Mark Kleiman of New York University, who estimates that as many as half of America’s prisoners could usefully be released and tagged. A study in Argentina finds that low-risk prisoners who are tagged instead of being incarcerated are less likely to reoffend, probably because they remain among normal folk instead of sitting idly in a cage with sociopaths.Justice systems could do far more to rehabilitate prisoners, too. Cognitive behavioural therapy—counselling prisoners on how to avoid the places, people and situations that prompt them to commit crimes—can reduce recidivism by 10-30%, and is especially useful in dealing with young offenders. It is also cheap—a rounding error in the $80 billion a year that America spends on incarceration and probation. Yet, by one estimate, only 5% of American prisoners have access to it.Ex-convicts who find a job and a place to stay are less likely to return to crime. In Norway prisoners can start their new jobs 18 months before they are released. In America there are 27,000 state licensing rules keeping felons out of jobs such as barber and roofer. Norway has a lower recidivism rate than America, despite locking up only its worst criminals, who are more likely to reoffend. Some American states, meanwhile, do much better than others. Oregon, which insists that programmes to reform felons are measured for effectiveness, has a recidivism rate less than half as high as California’s. Appeals to make prisons more humane often fall on deaf ears; voters detest criminals. But they detest crime more, so politicians should not be afraid to embrace proven ways to make prison less of a school of crime and more of a path back to productive citizenship. (by The Economist) (photo: prisoner)

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As America and Russia talk, Ukraine fights

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 6 febbraio 2017

ukraineTHE timing was ominous. A day after the first, seemingly cordial telephone conversation between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, the residents of Avdiivka, a small town on the Ukrainian side of the conflict line with Russian-backed separatists, heard the echoes of heavy artillery fire. The conflict that Russia started in Ukraine in 2014 has been partly frozen over the past two years. But on January 29th it flared up with renewed force.Three days later, on February 1st, the bodies of seven Ukrainian soldiers killed in the fighting were brought to Kiev. Maidan, the city square that was the site of the country’s 2014 revolution, once again swelled with people. Social media were filled with messages of support for soldiers and calls to collect supplies for victims, along with videos of shelling by Russian Grad rockets. Ukrainian soldiers received text messages seemingly sent by the Russian side: “You are just meat to your commanders”. Since then other Ukrainian positions along the front line have been attacked, and the death toll is rising.Following the flare-up, the American ambassador to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, which monitors the ceasefire, blamed “combined Russian-separatist forces” for starting the attacks. Ukrainian forces have been creeping forward into the “grey zone” in recent months, seizing positions in several small towns. The rebels might have felt it was an opportune moment to hit back.Whoever started the fighting, its victims are the 16,000 civilians in Avdiivka, who for days were cut off from electricity in temperatures of -20°C, and those in the rebel-held territories, many of whom lack water. The violence underscores the difficulty of implementing the Minsk Two ceasefire agreement, signed in February 2015, which the two sides interpret differently. For Kiev and its Western backers, the agreement is a path for Ukraine to reassert control over its east and close its border with Russia, followed by a decentralisation of power to its regions. Russia, however, sees the agreement as a way of retaining control over eastern Ukraine, keeping the border open and demanding that Kiev recognise Donbas as an autonomous region within Ukraine. This would give Russia permanent influence over Ukraine’s future.From Ukraine’s point of view, the violence was a warning to its American and European allies, several of whom are considering lifting sanctions against Russia. “Who would dare talk about lifting the sanctions in such circumstances?” asked Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine’s president, who cut short a visit to Germany to attend to the crisis. Mr Poroshenko later said he would call a national referendum on joining NATO—which Russia considers a red line and NATO itself does not want.
ukraine1Many Russia-watchers think Mr Putin may have stoked the conflict to test his new American counterpart. Mr Trump has promised better relations with Moscow. Mr Putin may have decided to probe his willingness to turn a blind eye to Russian actions in Ukraine, the two countries’ main point of conflict. The Russian government says Ukraine was discussed in their telephone conversation.
In the past, significant escalations of fighting were quickly met by the White House or the State Department with strongly worded statements condemning Russian aggression and supporting Ukraine’s territorial integrity. This time it took the State Department two days to say it was “deeply concerned”; it did not mention Russia. This response was duly noted in Moscow. “Washington does put the blame on the [separatist] republics, does not express support for Kiev and does not say a word about Russia’s role,” Rossiiskaia Gazeta, the official government newspaper, wrote jubilantly. The Kremlin also noted the American failure to react to the news that Alexei Navalny, an opposition leader and anti-corruption campaigner, would be tried again on trumped-up charges. Mr Navalny pledged to run against Mr Putin in next year’s presidential elections, but is now likely to observe Mr Putin’s re-election from a prison cell. (by The Economist)

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U.S.A.: The new nationalism

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 21 novembre 2016

the-new-nationalismWHEN Donald Trump vowed to “Make America Great Again!” he was echoing the campaign of Ronald Reagan in 1980. Back then voters sought renewal after the failures of the Carter presidency. This month they elected Mr Trump because he, too, promised them a “historic once-in-a-lifetime” change. But there is a difference. On the eve of the vote, Reagan described America as a shining “city on a hill”. Listing all that America could contribute to keep the world safe, he dreamed of a country that “is not turned inward, but outward—toward others”. Mr Trump, by contrast, has sworn to put America First. Demanding respect from a freeloading world that takes leaders in Washington for fools, he says he will “no longer surrender this country or its people to the false song of globalism”. Reagan’s America was optimistic: Mr Trump’s is angry.
Welcome to the new nationalism. For the first time since the second world war, the great and rising powers are simultaneously in thrall to various sorts of chauvinism. Like Mr Trump, leaders of countries such as Russia, China and Turkey embrace a pessimistic view that foreign affairs are often a zero-sum game in which global interests compete with national ones. It is a big change that makes for a more dangerous world. Nationalism is a slippery concept, which is why politicians find it so easy to manipulate. At its best, it unites the country around common values to accomplish things that people could never manage alone. This “civic nationalism” is conciliatory and forward-looking—the nationalism of the Peace Corps, say, or Canada’s inclusive patriotism or German support for the home team as hosts of the 2006 World Cup. Civic nationalism appeals to universal values, such as freedom and equality. It contrasts with “ethnic nationalism”, which is zero-sum, aggressive and nostalgic and which draws on race or history to set the nation apart. In its darkest hour in the first half of the 20th century ethnic nationalism led to war.Mr Trump’s populism is a blow to civic nationalism (see article). Nobody could doubt the patriotism of his post-war predecessors, yet every one of them endorsed America’s universal values and promoted them abroad. Even if a sense of exceptionalism stopped presidents signing up to outfits like the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), America has supported the rules-based order. By backing global institutions that staved off a dog-eat-dog world, the United States has made itself and the world safer and more prosperous.
Mr Trump threatens to weaken that commitment even as ethnic nationalism is strengthening elsewhere. In Russia Vladimir Putin has shunned cosmopolitan liberal values for a distinctly Russian mix of Slavic tradition and Orthodox Christianity. In Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan has turned away from the European Union and from peace talks with the Kurdish minority, in favour of a strident, Islamic nationalism that is quick to detect insults and threats from abroad. In India Narendra Modi remains outward-looking and modernising, but he has ties to radical ethnic-nationalist Hindu groups that preach chauvinism and intolerance.Meanwhile, Chinese nationalism has become so angry and vengeful that the party struggles to control it. True, the country depends upon open markets, embraces some global institutions and wants to be close to America (see Banyan). But from the 1990s onwards schoolchildren have received a daily dose of “patriotic” education setting out the mission to erase a century of humiliating occupation. And, to count as properly Chinese you have in practice to belong to the Han people: everyone else is a second-class citizen (see Briefing).
Even as ethnic nationalism has prospered, the world’s greatest experiment in “post-nationalism” has foundered. The architects of what was to become the EU believed that nationalism, which had dragged Europe into two ruinous world wars, would wither and die. The EU would transcend national rivalries with a series of nested identities in which you could be Catholic, Alsatian, French and European all at once.
However, in large parts of the EU this never happened. The British have voted to leave and in former communist countries, such as Poland and Hungary, power has passed to xenophobic ultranationalists. There is even a small but growing threat that France might quit—and so destroy—the EU.The last time America turned inward was after the first world war and the consequences were calamitous. You do not have to foresee anything so dire to fear Mr Trump’s new nationalism today. At home it tends to produce intolerance and to feed doubts about the virtue and loyalties of minorities. It is no accident that allegations of anti-Semitism have infected the bloodstream of American politics for the first time in decades.Abroad, as other countries take their cue from a more inward-looking United States, regional and global problems will become harder to solve. The ICC’s annual assembly this week was overshadowed by the departure of three African countries. China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea are incompatible with UNCLOS. If Mr Trump enacts even a fraction of his mercantilist rhetoric, he risks neutering the World Trade Organisation. If he thinks that America’s allies are failing to pay for the security they receive, he has threatened to walk away from them. The result—especially for small countries that today are protected by global rules—will be a harsher and more unstable world.
Mr Trump needs to realise that his policies will unfold in the context of other countries’ jealous nationalism. Disengaging will not cut America off from the world so much as leave it vulnerable to the turmoil and strife that the new nationalism engenders. As global politics is poisoned, America will be impoverished and its own anger will grow, which risks trapping Mr Trump in a vicious circle of reprisals and hostility. It is not too late for him to abandon his dark vision. For the sake of his country and the world he urgently needs to reclaim the enlightened patriotism of the presidents who went before him. (photo the new nationalism font: The Economist)

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Laureati Unicam in geologia dall’America e dalla Cina

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 15 novembre 2016

laureati-camerinoCamerino Il corso di laurea magistrale in “Geoenvironmental resources and risks”, tenuto interamente in lingua inglese, attira studenti internazionali da tutto il mondo. Nella giornata di venerdì 11 novembre, infatti, Alan Pitts proveniente dalla North Carolina (USA) e Ababekri Adudurahman dello Xinjiang (Rep. Popolare Cinese), hanno discusso la loro tesi di laurea davanti alla commissione composta dai docenti di Geologia. Alan Pitts ha svolto una tesi in Sedimentologia sotto la supervisione del prof. Claudio Di Celma, mentre Ababekri Adudurahman ha presentato il suo lavoro di tesi effettuato sotto la supervisione del prof. Michael Carroll e dei docenti tedeschi prof. Stuart Gilder e dr. Werner Ertel-Ingrish.Ababekri Adudurahman ha infatti partecipato al programma per il conseguimento del doppio titolo di laurea, riconosciuto sia in Italia che in Germania, grazie all’accordo internazionale attivo tra UNICAM e l’Università di Monaco di Baviera Ludwig Maximilians Universitaet (LMU). Ababekri, oltre ai corsi in Unicam, ha seguito dei corsi a Monaco e svolto lì il lavoro sperimentale in laboratorio per la tesi. Continuerà invece l’esperienza in UNICAM per Alan Pitts che rimarrà a Camerino, dove è stato accettato per il dottorato di ricerca in Scienze della Terra. (foto: laureati camerino)

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As America decides, The Economist informs

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 7 novembre 2016

hillary-trump.gifAs a tumultuous presidential election draws to a close, the American people have a choice to make. Whichever candidate they select, the decisions taken in the Oval Office will have an impact far beyond the country.Hillary Clinton has ideas The Economist disagrees with. But we also believe that she is the right choice in this contest and would merit consideration even against a more appealing Republican rival than Donald Trump.But what do you think? Before America votes, make sure you get the facts on the contenders vying for one of the world’s most powerful jobs. Explore our free article hub on Election 2016. Here you’ll find The Economist’s analysis of the candidates, their policies and what to expect from America’s 45th president. Click on the image below to read now or subscribe to get full access to The Economist as the results of the election unfold. (font: the economist)

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The Upside of Inequality–new book by Ed Conard

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 4 settembre 2016

New York, NY: While growing income inequality is a real phenomenon, a misdiagnosis of its causes and consequences leads to policies that slow growth and ultimately weaken America. Ignoring the true sources of rising inequality—namely trade, trade deficits, and immigration, in an economy constrained by properly trained talent and its capacity to take entrepreneurial risk—and blaming high-wage earners creates a dangerous feedback loop. Raising taxes on their success reduces risk-taking and innovation, which in turn slows growth and reduces middle class wages, and consequently increases the demand for redistribution—a recipe for stagnant growth.
Edward Conard’s new book THE UPSIDE OF INEQUALITY: How Good Intentions Undermine the Middle Class (Portfolio; 9/13/16) explains why government intervention to mitigate inequality ultimately hurts the middle and working classes. Conard delivers a robust defense of capitalism and dismantles today’s most popular myths about income inequality and the economy:
the upside of inequalityThe myth that the rich get richer by making the poor poorer: No other high-wage economy has done more to help the world’s poor than the U.S. economy. Regardless, advocates of redistribution press on. Rising income inequality is actually the by-product of an economy that has deployed its talent and wealth more effectively than that of other economies—and not from the rich stealing from the middle and working classes.
The myth that incentives don’t matter: In an innovation-driven economy, there are large and compounding costs to dulling incentives for entrepreneurial risk-taking. As payoffs for success have risen, entrepreneurial risk-taking has accelerated U.S. growth relative to other high-wage economies with more equally distributed incomes. Because of this growth, today, median U.S. household incomes are 15 to 30 percent higher than Germany, France, and Japan.
The myth that mobility has declined: If the success of America’s 1 percent comes at the expense of the middle and working classes, we should see mobility declining. Yet, even with significant immigration, there is little evidence that mobility has declined or that mobility in Scandinavia, the supposed paradise of redistribution, is better than in the United States.
The myth that technology hollows out the middle class: While it’s true the economy has created jobs for 13 million lesser-skilled Hispanic immigrants, the distribution of middle incomes is virtually unchanged but for an upward shift in incomes. THE UPSIDE OF INEQUALITY shows that since the financial crisis, accusations that crony capitalism and the success of the 1 percent slow middle and working-class income growth have only grown louder. Since the financial crisis, the incomes of the very top of the 1 percent have soared, and the growth of middle-class and working-class incomes has remained slow. Many insist that this gap has grown because the wealthy are rigging a zero-sum game to take what rightly belongs to others. Conard addresses these accusations head-on and explains how income redistribution is what hurts the middle and working class.
The growth of the U.S. economy has accelerated relative to other high-wage economies with more equally distributed incomes—the opposite of what one would expect if cronyism had increased enough to account for rising income inequality. Since 1980, U.S. employment has grown twice as fast as Germany and France. Their growth would have been even slower without the disproportionate benefit of American-made innovation. This growth has created a home for 40 million foreign-born adults, their 20 million native-born adult children, and their 20 million children. Despite this enormous influx, median U.S. household incomes are 15 to 30% higher than Germany, France, and Japan, and have grown as fast as, or faster than, other high-wage economies since 1993.
Conard lays out a blueprint for increasing middle-and working-class wages in an economy with a near unlimited supply of lesser-skilled workers and where properly trained talent fuels growth by increasing the economy’s capacity for risk. He calls for America to better train its own talent and to recruit talent aggressively from the rest of the world. He recommends cultivating a climate where business and high-tech entrepreneurial risk-taking thrives rather than where success is undercut and taxed at every turn. Conard proposes changes that reduce the inherent instability of banking rather than simply imposing a litany of regulations that leave risk-averse savings sitting unused. In that environment, America’s institutional capabilities to take risks would compound and grow at a faster rate.
What is the upside of inequality? In the long run, faster grower, more jobs, and greater prosperity for everyone.
Edward Conard is the author of the Top 10 New York Times bestseller, Unintended Consequences: Why Everything You’ve Been Told About the Economy is Wrong (2012). He is a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Previously, he was a founding partner of Bain Capital, where he worked closely with his friend and colleague, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney. He has made over 100 television appearances in which he has debated leading economists including Paul Krugman, Joseph Stiglitz, Alan Kruger, Austan Goolsbee, and Jared Bernstein; journalists including Jon Stewart, Fareed Zakaria, Chris Hayes, and Andrew Ross Sorkin; and politicians such as Barney Frank, Howard Dean, and Eliot Spitzer. (photo: the upside of inequality)

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