December 20, 2020
In addition, the murder of civilians during the conflict represents one third of violent deaths registered in Colombia in the reporting period, Suárez added, while acknowledging there was “an important registry of unofficial figures.” “With regard to the 220,000 victims, we know where, when, (they were murdered) who did it, and in several cases, who was the victim. This is not an approximation,” he explained. However, this figure may reach 5.7 million, considering that there are about 819,510 documented cases between 1985 and 1995 by the NGO, Consultancy for Human Rights and Displacement (CODHES). The report, made by social investigators and presented as the most complete study of Colombia’s internal conflict, stated that 220,000 deaths have taken place, 81.5% of which are civilians and 18.5 are combatants. This means that “eight out of 10 dead were civilians, who are also [the group] most affected by the violence,” stated Andrés Suárez, one of the authors of the report, based on the Register of Victims (RUV), and on his own private research and investigations. The document also added that until March 31, the RUV reported 25,007 missing people; 1,754 victims of sexual violence; 6,421 minors recruited by armed groups and 4.7 million displaced people. By Dialogo July 29, 2013 Although the state unit for Victims Reparations said that Colombia’s armed conflict since 1974 resulted in 600,000 deaths, Suárez added that the information is distorted. “It is confusing victims of the conflict with the number of victims from generalized violence,” the researcher said, adding that drug traffickers and social cleansing groups were responsible for these crimes. Most victims of Colombia’s armed conflict are civilians, and represent eight out of every 10 dead, according to a study by the Center of Historical Memory, a presidential institution. Moreover, the study indicates that between 1970 and 2010, 27,023 kidnappings associated with the conflict were reported, as well as 10,189 victims of antipersonnel mines.
October 20, 2020
Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionAfter one year in business, the Rivers Casino results aren’t as good as expected.As a customer, it’s obvious to me some of the things they could do to increase business. They need to make their casino more user friendly. They need many more handicapped parking spaces. They don’t need the noise from the PA system. They don’t have to overcharge for food and drinks.Drinks are traditionally free in gambling casinos — the word is they are in the new Catskill casino.I think that if some of these suggestions are implemented, customers would feel more welcome and business would increase.Tom SingerDelansonMore from The Daily Gazette:Schenectady County warns of possible COVID-19 exposure at Schenectady restaurant, Rotterdam barEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homes
September 29, 2020
The remarks came in the wake of a review of investment strategies following the 2011 actuarial review.The review concluded there was scope to reduce the investment risk over the next few years and increase the focus on investment income to reduce returns volatility over the coming years.In addition to a focus on equities, it suggested a number of other investment themes to reduce risk and protect assets.The annual report said: “Financial institutions may be forced to discard sound assets at attractive prices as they rebuild balance sheets in deleveraging economies. Such opportunities could allow the [three] funds to enhance investment returns.”The report also said the funds should reduce their reliance on benchmarks based on market capitalisation, which it said were sub-optimal, and ensure that the objectives and risk tolerances of individual portfolios within the fund are as closely aligned as possible with the fund’s overall objectives.Finally, according to the report, capital preservation and growth is more important than following an index.Lothian’s current benchmark is 64% equities, 30% alternatives and 5% index-linked Gilts.Despite strong investment returns in excess of expectations, the actual funding level has fallen, from 96% at the time of the last actuarial valuation on 31 March 2011 to 87% at 31 March 2013.This was largely a result of falling real Gilt yields, which caused an increase in the value of liabilities. Lothian Pension Fund (LPF), the pension fund for local government employees in the Edinburgh area, is backing equities to help reduce investment risk and protect assets over the next few years, according to its latest annual report.The £4.1bn (€4.8bn) fund – which returned 13.9% over the year to 31 March and 8.1% per year for the three years to that date – said equities were more attractively priced than “safe” government bonds over the long term.“High-quality, sustainable businesses with strong cash generation should be able to continue to prosper in the challenging environment envisaged,” it said.Lothian – along with the £312m Lothian Buses Pension Fund and the £140m Scottish Homes Pension Fund – is managed by the City of Edinburgh Council.
September 17, 2020
The Board of Trustees announced late Wednesday night that C.L. Max Nikias, USC’s current executive vice president and provost, will be the university’s next president.“In the whole space of higher education today, this is, by far, the very best job,” an excited Nikias said Thursday.Nikias, who has been President Steven B. Sample’s second-in-command since 2005, was considered by many to be a shoe-in for the top spot. Still, the Board of Trustees formed a search committee, which included trustees and senior faculty members and enlisted the help of a prestigious higher education consulting firm in trying to find Sample’s successor. The committee considered 75 candidates and interviewed seven – all presidents or provosts at major universities. But in the end, the unanimous consensus was that Nikias is the right man for the job.“Max is a remarkable and inspiring leader, a brilliant scholar, and the best possible person to lead our university forward,” Board of Trustees Chairman Edward P. Roski, Jr. wrote in an e-mail to students announcing the decision. “Because of what he has already accomplished at USC, and his bold and exciting vision for the future, he was the unanimous choice of the search advisory committee.”Nikias said he received the good news at about 8:40 p.m. Wednesday night.“I heard a voice from one of the trustees on the phone – he said, ‘is anybody bringing the champagne?’”The announcement is a big one for Nikias, who said he felt ready for a presidency but could only hope that it would be at USC, where he has worked since 1991.“To be a president of a private, research university is something that I felt one day I really wanted to be,” he said. “Whether it was going to be USC or somewhere else or course that you never know until the end.”Now, Nikias knows: Beginning Aug. 3, 2010, he will be the president of the University of Southern California, following in the footsteps of his mentor, who has been called one of the most successful university presidents in history.It will not, Nikias acknowledged, be an easy task to take the reins from Sample, one of the most accomplished, renowned and respected figures in higher education. Under Sample’s leadership, USC shot up in the rankings as its endowment grew, its admission rate dropped and its prestige rose.Still, Nikias said he sees it as a challenge and a duty to live up to the reputation Sample has built for USC.“There is an old proverb that says ‘stepping into the shoes of a legendary figure, you have to accomplish twice as much in order to be considered a success,’” Nikias said. “For USC, of course, we’re going to need to achieve twice as much. He will expect nothing less from me.”Nikias noted that his relationship with Sample runs deep; Sample was president of the State University of New York at Buffalo the year Nikias earned his Ph.D from the same school.“[Sample’s] signature is on my Ph.D. diploma and on my wife’s MBA diploma,” Nikias said. “He has been the president of our two daughters – Georgiana and Maria. And now for me to become his successor on top of that, that’s very, very special.”In a previous interview with the Daily Trojan, Sample said he considered Nikias to be a talented leader.“He does a terrific job, he’s an outstanding leader, so far as I can tell … I know a lot of people in the business, [and] I think he’s the best provost I’ve ever known,” Sample said.Some have drawn comparisons between Nikias and Sample – both electrical engineers, both gifted fundraisers and both positive personalities – but Nikias said he intends to leave his own mark.“You cannot clone President Sample,” Nikias said. “But by far the best way to honor his legacy is by taking a great university and making it even greater.”Ultimately, Nikias said, his goal is to cement USC among the ranks of the elite.“Having accelerated the momentum of the university and building and securing the Sample legacy and its achievements, [I want] USC to storm into the pantheon of undisputed elite university. That’s what I would like to be my legacy,” he said.Already, Nikias has some specific initiatives in mind he hopes will help him reach this goal. These plans include working to enhance the caliber of the graduate and professional student bodies, accelerating USC’s transformation into a residential university, weaving the global experience into the curriculum and bringing USC’s medical enterprise to the highest level.In keeping with Sample’s approach, however, Nikias said his first step will be to help the school grow financially. Sample is known as a phenomenal fundraiser, and in his time at USC oversaw the most successful fundraising campaign in the history of higher education.“By far the most important thing for me as president after August is to work very hard and prepare the university within 12 months to announce a new fundraising campaign,” Nikias said.When asked what challenges the university faces, Nikias said he did not see any that would be too big to surmount.“The biggest challenge is not to make the mistake and say, ‘oh, we’re going to pause, oh, we’re going to get some rest before we take the next step,’” he said. “But if we come in and we really accelerate the momentum … I don’t see any challenges.”There is still some time before Nikias will get to start creating that momentum, but he said he is excited for the coming months, which he plans to use to talk to students, faculty, alumni and staff.“It’s going to be the best time I can have at USC, these next four months,” Nikias said.But in the end, what he’s most excited for is the chance to use those conversations and ideas in his new role as president.“To materialize the aspirations of the Trojan Family and their dreams – that’s very special,” he said.
August 12, 2020
Fire rescue says more than 60 firefighters battled the blaze.No injuries were reported. Damages are estimated to be up to $24 million. It took firefighters nearly four hours to get a boat fire under control early Saturday in Fort Lauderdale.Crews were called out to Universal Marine around 4:30 a.m. on Saturday for a two-alarm fire, says Battalion Chief Stephen Gollan with the Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue.When firefighters arrived, they found two yachts on fire. One of the yachts measures about 160 feet and the second more than 100 feet.
August 12, 2020
It looks like a celebrity guest may have visited the Treasure Coast this week.Captains Jeff Gauthier and Natalie Gauthier report they spotted a great white shark in the St. Lucie Inlet off the coast of Stuart.They believe it may be Katharine, the Great White Shark. The 14-foot, 2,300-pound shark, which often surfaces along Florida’s east coast, has traveled nearly 40,000 miles from the north Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico.
August 12, 2020
Bremer adds that he first knew something was wrong when he did not hear from his wife on Thursday morning.Photo courtesy: Facebook A 37-year-old Utah woman who was reported missing on Thursday has been found dead behind a South Florida hotel.Officials pulled Kelly Glover’s body from the lake behind the Westin Hotel in Fort Lauderdale around noon on Saturday. She was last seen on surveillance video from the hotel, walking down the stairs with no shoes on at around 2 a.m. Thursday. She was staying at the hotel with a friend.Adam Bremer, Glover’s husband, and her family flew from Salt Lake City, Utah on Friday in order to help authorities with the search, according to reports.Fort Lauderdale Police searched the area with dogs, divers and helicopters on that day, but initially did not find Glover, who came to Broward on a work trip.“We’re all just still in shock,” says Melissa Glover, Kelly Glover’s younger sister. “We’re all grieving in our own way.”“Her friend went to bed early [on Wednesday],” Bremer told Miami television station WPLG on Friday. “My wife was still up and her friend woke up around 4 a.m. [on Thursday], and my wife was nowhere to be found and the door was left open.”Authorities do not suspect foul play in Glover’s death. He explains, “She’s pretty responsive. I usually get up before her and I send her the first message in the morning, and not one morning has gone by where I haven’t heard from her by 9 o’clock.”According to Glover, who noted the lack of fencing between pool and pond at the hotel, “I think she drowned.”Photos of the pool deck and patio show that it is not fenced in. In addition, a concrete bulwark separates that area from the pond.The hotel’s management they “are working with the family and the investigation.”
August 12, 2020
The winter storm that is battering much of the country will again bring much cooler temperatures and windy conditions to our region this week.With a cool front from the storm approaching on Sunday night, some parts of our area will see hit and miss showers overnight and into the Monday morning commute. The clouds should leave by Monday afternoon, as the colder air arrives. Highs on Monday will be in the mid- to upper-60s.Graphic courtesy: WPTV/NewsChannel 5We will wake up on Tuesday and Wednesday with temperatures in the low 50s along the coast and upper 40s closer to Lake Okeechobee.Highs around the mid-60s will stick around through the middle of the week. Meanwhile, a shift in the global weather pattern will return our temperatures back to above average by late in the week.
August 12, 2020
The massive cloud of Saharan Dust that blanketed the Caribbean earlier this week has mostly moved past South Florida and into the Gulf of Mexico.NASA’s computer forecast model shows that the dust cloud will be over the western and northern Gulf coast on Friday.Luckily for us here in South Florida, the flow around a high-pressure system in the Atlantic has been spreading most of the dust in a loop, so it misses us.Another big batch of dust is on our doorstep, forecast to arrive over the eastern Caribbean islands on Thursday and to continue west. Over the next week or two, that dust will generally spread out over the entire Gulf and Caribbean region, including South Florida.That means no area will have to deal with a dense concentration, although we will have milky skies and extra-colorful sunsets.A positive angle of the Saharan Dust spreading across the tropical Atlantic is that it helps keeps tropical development under control.No systems of concern are expected to develop through the middle of next week or even longer.