On track for tackling poor financial management

first_imgNew proptech start-up, Track, has announced its full app launch to help young homeowners improve how they manage home finances.The new generation of homeowners can now also manage household finances from one simple mobile app.Sky-high house prices have forced many to co-finance the purchase with partners and parents, but while shared finances among younger homeowners is commonplace, there’s a growing desire to maintain financial independence.Co founder Byron McCaughey says, “It struck us that there is nothing out there for our biggest and most personal asset: our home. We built Track to give young homeowners a sense of empowerment, ease and above all else, to take the emotional stress out of money management.”Track provides young homeowners with features including:Property Dashboard: AI-powered home valuations (3x more accurate than Zoopla), realtime equity, contributions to purchase tracker, and advanced planning tools.Multi-person Access: everyone involved in the household finances gets access.Living Expenses: tracks individual contributions to the home from multiple bank accounts, giving transparency on spending, in one place.www.wearetrack.com managing home finances Property Dashboard Living Expenses home finances app Byron McCaughey Track proptech January 31, 2020Jenny van BredaWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Home » News » On track for tackling poor financial management previous nextProptechOn track for tackling poor financial managementThe Negotiator31st January 20200193 Viewslast_img read more

OSI to Integrate ECPINS-W Sub into UK Royal Navy’s T45 Destroyer IBS

first_img View post tag: integrate OSI to Integrate ECPINS-W Sub into UK Royal Navy’s T45 Destroyer IBS Under the terms of this contract, OSI will provide software engineering activity to fully integrate ECPINS into the existing IBS system architecture.OSI supplies the Royal Navy with its advanced NATO WECDIS STANAG 4564 certified ECPINS-W Sub software across all operational ships, submarines, shore headquarters, and training establishments.Also, as the Prime Contractor for the Royal Navy Warship AIS program, OSI has further systems deployed   across the Fleet and is providing a fully Integrated Logistics Support service for 20 years.This new contract, for the integration of ECPINS into an existing IBS, confirms the Royal Navy’s long-term commitment to the company and its technology.OSI recently announced the signing of a contract with the Royal Canadian Navy to provide a software upgrade and in-service support for the software that is deployed across their fleet of warships and submarines.[mappress]Press Release, April 25, 2014; Image: Wikimedia Equipment & technology View post tag: Destroyer April 25, 2014 OSI Maritime Systems (OSI) has signed a contract to integrate its flagship software, ECPINS-W Sub, into the UK Royal Navy’s T45 Destroyer Integrated Bridge System (IBS). View post tag: UK View post tag: OSI View post tag: T45 View post tag: Navy View post tag: Naval View post tag: ECPINS-W View post tag: Royal View post tag: sub View post tag: News by topic Back to overview,Home naval-today OSI to Integrate ECPINS-W Sub into UK Royal Navy’s T45 Destroyer IBS View post tag: IBS Share this articlelast_img read more

Working to break heroin’s grip

first_imgDeath rates from heroin overdose nearly quadrupled in the United States between 2002 and 2013, when the number of people reporting past-year heroin abuse or dependence rose to 517,000, a nearly 150 percent increase from 2007. In 2014, the use of heroin and other opioids killed 1,256 people in Massachusetts, an increase of 34 percent over 2013 and 88 percent over 2012.The Gazette sought insights across several disciplines for a three-part report on the crisis and new ideas for fighting it. Read the first part, on the science of addiction, here. Read the second part, on policy responses, here.For many, Nalan Ward’s daily routine might seem unbearably depressing. As the director of Massachusetts General Hospital’s West End Clinic, an outpatient facility focused on drug-use disorders, Ward regularly treats patients caught up in a cycle of addiction.Thirty-five percent of patients who walk through the doors of her clinic are suffering a primary opioid-use disorder. And 70 percent of those patients arrive with another serious medical condition directly related to or worsened by the drug use, such as hepatitis C, endocarditis (an inflammation of the inner layer of the heart), or sepsis.Then there is a whole group of complications closely tied to addiction. Seventy to 85 percent of the clinic’s patients, Ward said, are depressed, anxious, or experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder. Such a range of symptoms often presents a confusing tangle of cause and effect, one that makes addiction particularly hard to treat.“It’s a complicated, sick population with psychosocial needs complicated by unemployment, no stable place to live, legal issues … these are the kind of patients we see,” said Ward.But for the Turkish-born doctor, the work is anything but depressing. Her attitude is “positive,” not “burned out and negative,” she says, and she finds nourishment in the knowledge that her efforts save lives.It wasn’t always so. As a young psychiatric resident at Boston Medical Center, Ward became frustrated struggling to treat “hard-to-engage” patients who landed in the emergency room in the middle of the night suffering from withdrawal.“It’s just a very bad setting to encounter patients with addictions. You are trying to rationalize or figure out what’s going with someone who is totally intoxicated. There is not a lot to offer in an acute-care setting. Those are some of the things that shape residents’ views and feelings about addiction, and they don’t necessarily see the good, see the long-term outcome.”Ward is just one of many people in the Harvard medical community attacking the scourge of addiction as users of heroin and other opioids continue to fill emergency rooms, hospital beds, and treatment centers.From 2011 to 2012 McLean Hospital saw a 10 percent jump in opioid-addicted patients in its detox unit, said Kevin Hill, director of the hospital’s Substance Abuse Consultation Service. The increase came despite a rise in the number of patients turned down for inpatient treatment by insurance companies that preferred outpatient options, he said.Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital has accepted more than 200 patients at a treatment clinic that opened in 2013. More than half of the clinic’s 100 active patients have histories of heroin use. At Brigham and Women’s itself, in six years the rate of opioid-related inpatient consults for addiction has increased from 22 percent to 75 percent, said addiction psychiatrist Joji Suzuki, who works with patients at both hospitals.Suzuki noted that the profile of opioid users has also changed. “Today they are younger, more educated, less likely to have HIV … patients come from all walks of life.”What’s happening locally reflects what’s happening across the state. According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the number of patients admitted to programs contracted by or licensed to the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services who listed heroin as their primary drug rose from 38.2 percent in 2005 to 53.1 percent in 2014.‘The more I work with those who suffer, the more I am encouraged by how people change, their ability to change, and the ways we can help.’Doctors, nurses, and counselors at Harvard-affiliated hospitals and institutes are determined to offer hope, providing inpatient and outpatient care and drug-assisted therapies. Research is regularly shining new light on the best treatment options. And addiction specialists across Harvard are working to integrate medical and psychiatric services, facilitating treatment in primary-care settings, addressing co-existing conditions, and ramping up access to effective medications.There also has been a concerted effort to remove the stigma surrounding substance use. Addiction, experts agree, needs to be considered a chronic disease, not unlike asthma, diabetes, or high blood pressure, and managed the same way, with interventions such as medication and regular monitoring, and an understanding that relapse is often a routine part of recovery. The treatment standard needs to shift from an acute-care model, they argue, to one of long-term recovery management.“We really have to embrace the idea,” said Ward, “that this is a chronic disease.”Assessing the landscapeAddiction specialists agree that opioid-use disorders demand a multilayered approach, with medication, self-help, counseling, and family support all key to sustained recovery. It’s an addiction known to be particularly difficult to treat, with first-year relapse rates surpassing 80 percent, according to some estimates. Clinical trials have shown that medication-assisted therapies, often in combination with other treatments, offer opioid addicts some of the best chances at long-term recovery.For years, two drugs have led the way in helping ease people off their dependence on opioids: methadone and buprenorphine. Both medications mimic the drugs they are meant to overcome by activating opiate receptors in the brain, yet their longer-acting formulas prevent the “high” of a drug such as heroin while helping reduce the cravings and withdrawal symptoms that can trigger relapse.Approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration in 1972, methadone is still considered one of the most effective medications available for opioid addiction. To be eligible for methadone maintenance treatment a patient must have been suffering from opioid addiction for at least a year and must have failed at least one other type of intervention. The drug is strictly controlled: Patients must visit a federally regulated methadone clinic to receive their daily dose. For some, such a structured treatment works well. But for others the demands of the regimen rule it out, often in tandem with a sense of shame.“Methadone is an incredibly effective treatment option, but there continues to be a lot of stigma around its use,” said Sarah Wakeman, medical director for the substance-use disorder initiative at Massachusetts General Hospital. “People call it the liquid handcuffs because you are sort of linked to the clinic. You have to be there every morning, no matter what, rain or sun. It’s hard to go on vacation, it’s hard to build your work schedule around it.”In October 2002, the FDA radically changed the treatment landscape when it approved buprenorphine for opioid addiction. Instead of referring patients to a special clinic, certified doctors could prescribe the drug in their offices, enabling patients to take the medicine on their own. “It put addiction treatment back into the mainstream of medical practice,” said Roger Weiss, chief of McLean’s Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse and director of the hospital’s alcohol and drug abuse research program.Weiss is well-versed in the effectiveness of buprenorphine. In 2011 he released the findings of the largest study to date on treatment for prescription-opioid dependence. The findings demonstrated both the difficulty of beating an opioid addiction and the promise of buprenorphine.In the study’s first phase, addicts used buprenorphine for four weeks, tapering off the drug, and then received no further medication. The pull of opioids was illustrated by the rate of patients — just 7 percent — who were subsequently successful at staying clean.In the second phase, directed at the relapse population, subjects received 12 weeks of buprenorphine treatment, at the end of which 49 percent, seven times as many, were doing well. During the four-week taper from buprenorphine, half of those patients relapsed. There were more relapses — two-thirds of the remaining group — in the two months after the taper period ended.“It showed the effectiveness, at least in a short-term treatment like this, of staying on medication,” Weiss said.A follow-up study of the same patients showed that 3½ years later, many were coping better than they had in the short term, including those who received no medication and had high relapse rates.“The course of this disorder is not constant,” Weiss said. “People have periods of recovery, then periods of relapse and, over time, a number of people do well, but not everybody. There’s a high relapse rate.”Yet even with research supporting the efficacy of buprenorphine, patients across the country routinely struggle to get it. When the FDA sanctioned the drug 13 years ago, the hope was that doctors would begin prescribing it for appropriate patients in their practices. But few actually have. According to the nonprofit National Alliance of Advocates for Buprenorphine Treatment, only 3 percent of the 800,000 doctors in the United States are certified to prescribe it. In Massachusetts, just 751 doctors authorized to treat opioid addiction with buprenorphine are listed on the website of the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.“The drug companies are manufacturing it, the treatment exists,” said Wakeman, long a licensed prescriber. “There’s not a drug shortage, there’s a doctor shortage.”One hurdle facing physicians is the added training required for certification. Doctors must take an eight-hour course, pass a test, and then register with the Drug Enforcement Agency, which grants prescription licenses. Doctors in their first year are allowed to treat a maximum of 30 patients and must reapply in order to increase their patient capacity to 100. Insurance is also a factor. Some providers require prior authorizations, set arbitrary dose limits, or even encourage doctors to stop prescribing buprenorphine altogether.One treatment obstacle Mark Albanese of Cambridge Health Alliance occasionally encounters is the idea that medication might replace rather than subdue addiction. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff PhotographerEven among the certified, the number of prescriptions for buprenorphine remains low, partly because many doctors simply aren’t comfortable treating addiction.“They don’t feel they know enough about it, and they find it kind of a daunting task,” said Weiss, “and so they just say ‘Let somebody else do it.’ I think that’s really the issue.”Ward agreed.“People get trained to prescribe this medication. They hold a license for it but they don’t necessarily treat patients because they don’t feel comfortable.”Another issue is the idea of total abstinence espoused by many 12-step programs and residential treatment facilities. It’s not unheard of for patients to resist medication regimens. Mark Albanese, the director of Adult Outpatient and Addictions Services at the Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA), said sometimes his patients complain that they feel as hooked on their prescriptions as they had been on heroin. To calm their fears, Albanese offers a little perspective.“I say, ‘Let’s step back for a second. Tell me how much alike your life is now versus what it was when you were actively using heroin?’ And they just laugh at me and say, ‘It’s nothing like that.’”Collaborative thinking One model of care, in place at Brigham and Women’s for years, focuses on treating patients in non-specialized settings.“We still need the specialty addiction clinics for patients who want it, who can access it, but here at the Brigham we focus on offering similar approaches without sending patients somewhere else,” said Suzuki. “We try our best to actually take ownership of it and say, ‘This is a major health issue that’s impacting your health and we’d like to help you.’”When an opioid-addicted patient checks in at the Brigham seeking treatment for anything from a broken leg to pneumonia, a dedicated team, including an addiction physician, a group of addiction fellows, and a social worker, is activated. The group meets with the patient to discuss treatment options and to offer to immediately start him or her on buprenorphine.“Beginning treatment while they are here in the hospital … while it seems like such a small thing, at many hospitals it’s simply not done,” said Suzuki, the team’s attending addiction psychiatrist.Suzuki and his team help connect hospitalized patients with outpatient treatment options and community-support groups, enlist the aid of family and friends, and review relapse-prevention skills. Suzuki also works closely with the Brigham’s primary-care clinics, offering specialized guidance.“We’re not trained; we don’t have any expertise; we don’t have any clinical support; we don’t have enough time; I am afraid of these patients … there’s a long list of barriers that people working in the clinics describe,” he said.Undergraduate health coaches support the clinics. The students, often on a pre-med track, call patients to check on mood, cravings, and pain, as well as to monitor prescriptions and issue appointment reminders. They also relay any concerns they may have about the patient back to the team.For doctors trying to manage their already-stretched time, the support model, said Suzuki, “has a potential of actually making a big difference on a wider scale.”A similar approach is underway at MGH, which is building on early efforts to offer buprenorphine in its community health centers in 2003, soon after the drug received FDA approval.Last year an updated strategic plan in which MGH re-examined its long-range clinical mission made targeting addiction a top priority. In the next three years the hospital will spend $3.5 million on long-term substance-use disorders.The effort calls for collaborations among medical and psychiatric services to enhance addiction care, including a recently formed hospital-based Addiction Consult Team, similar to that at the Brigham. The team consists of psychiatrists, primary-care doctors, nurses, and social workers, and is called when a patient suffering from addiction is identified.“This is a new formal consult service where folks are working together and bringing the best state-of-the-art treatment together for all types of substance-use disorders,” said James Morrill, chief of the Adult Medicine Unit at MGH’s Charlestown HealthCare Center.The team helps connect hospital patients with outpatient services, in part through recovery coaches, ex-users affiliated with one of MGH’s three community health centers. The coaches also work directly in the centers, helping patients with everything from recovery support to how to find housing.Focus on trainingImproving access to treatment includes easing doctors’ interactions with patients fighting substance-abuse disorders. And that engagement has to happen as early as possible.At Harvard Medical School, students first learn about addiction during an introductory psychiatry course in their second year. The class covers the epidemiology, public health impact, and neuroscience of addiction, as well as the range of treatment options and community support available. Students also learn how to interview and screen drug users. During clinical clerkships at Harvard-affiliated hospitals in their third year, HMS students engage directly with patients suffering from opioid addiction in a variety of settings.But among teachers at HMS, which is currently overhauling its curriculum, there is a growing realization that perhaps the best way to help prepare students to treat addiction is to connect them with patients sooner.“One way that the curriculum is moving as part of the HMS curricular reform is toward covering the really important parts of lots of important topics in a shorter period of time pre-clinically, and then getting students involved with patients from the get-go,” said Todd Griswold, a psychiatrist at the Cambridge Health Alliance and the director of medical student education in psychiatry at HMS.Asked if addiction training could be increased for Harvard’s medical students, Griswold said “absolutely,” but with the caveat that so too could training in a range of other areas. “If you add to a particular topic, you have to think about what you are going to remove.”When it comes to prescribing buprenorphine, more doctors and students need to learn how to do it, experts say. At MGH, Ward is making that happen. Together with a group of colleagues she has helped offer training in buprenorphine treatment to doctors across the hospital, positioning them to receive DEA approval. Last month she helped train primary-care residents during an annual retreat that for the first time focused on buprenorphine.Wakeman is also working to sharpen residents’ training. As chief resident at MGH in 2012, she helped develop a survey of internal-medicine residents at the hospital that showed most felt unprepared to diagnose and treat patients suffering from substance-use disorders. In response, MGH boosted the number of lectures on addiction from one a year to 12. Progress was limited. When Wakeman repeated the survey with the new curriculum, the results showed that while residents were significantly more prepared, their knowledge hadn’t increased.“That really gets to the fact that we learn medicine through doing and seeing,” she said.For more hands-on training, internal-medicine residents are beginning to round with MGH’s Addiction Consult Team, and there is a push to have the intensive two-week outpatient rotation in addiction required for primary-care residents extended to all internal-medicine residents.“We are in the middle of a public health crisis,” said Wakeman. “We have treatment that works and yet doctors aren’t providing that treatment, and I think the only way to really change that, change that culture, is to better train the next generation of doctors to feel like this is something that they own, that it’s a part of our skill set and that they have the tools they need.”The other sideIn contrast to those difficult nights in the ER, Ward these days can see further along her patients’ journeys, and can feel the hope they keep close. After years of working with people struggling to get clean, she understands just how incredibly complicated treatment is. She knows addiction is a disease that takes a vise-like hold on users with certain genetic susceptibilities, and that over time it can actually alter the way the brain functions, making “drug-free” seem excruciatingly distant. She also understands the treatment map and the range of effective therapies that can bring addicts back from the edge.Still, even within the medical community, she acknowledges, there are doubters, those who wonder why she spends so much effort on patients who, to many, seem beyond help. They don’t bother her.“It’s an opportunity to educate,” Ward said, “to say, ‘Look, there’s a whole different side to this disease and treatment is not that straightforward, but individuals who suffer from substance-use disorders can be treated.“There is hope in this field,” she emphasized. “Addiction’s not a death sentence. It’s not your destiny. I think the more I work with those who suffer, the more I am encouraged by how people change, their ability to change, and the ways we can help. Every day, I am more and more impressed.”Harvard staff writer Alvin Powell contributed to this report.last_img read more

American foreign policy in flux

first_img Inside the Mueller inquiry and the ‘deep state’ The former secretary of state details his frustrations on Iran, Israel, Russia, his revamp of the State Department, and his old boss GAZETTE: Putin famously hacked your phone in 2014 during a call with the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine and put out a somewhat salty transcript, hoping to embarrass you. People now look back at that incident as a sort of harbinger of what would come in 2016 with the election interference. First, do you think there is a connection and why do you think Putin had you hacked?NULAND: [New York Times reporter] David Sanger called me Patient Zero in the Russian hack-and-release strategy, and I think that’s right. When I had that phone call where we were trying to get [former Ukrainian President Viktor] Yanukovych and the opposition to work together on a technical government, I obviously knew it was an open phone line. We were being transparent to the Russians about what we were doing, and the Russians had not publicly released a phone call in some 25 years. It was the beginning of a certain kind of hardball that they were playing with nonmilitary means, if you will. I had been the main interlocutor on the ground, trying to de-escalate the Maidan conflict so that the Ukrainians could find a way back to association with Europe, and obviously Russia was trying to stop that. So if they could take me off the boards by discrediting me with either the Ukrainian opposition, the Europeans, or my own government, then that would be a good win for them. But interestingly, they just ended up raising my profile and strengthening me in the conversation.GAZETTE: You were one of the people in the Obama administration to sound the alarm pretty early on about Russia’s 2016 hacking efforts. If you could go back and quarterback things, what would you recommend the U.S. do to thwart Putin?NULAND: I think the French actually had really good success in the context of [President Emmanuel] Macron’s election in deterring Putin by doing exactly what we had the option to do and didn’t do at the time, which was to go public with what they were up to, expose it, educate our news entities, educate our public. Because sunshine is the best disinfectant. It had the effect in France of virtually neutralizing any impact that the Russians were going to have. There were various things that we recommended in the middle of the campaign to be more overt about what we knew was happening, to put the evidence out, and to, how should we say, “treat the Russians in kind,” if you will — things that might have deterred them. But there were also concerns at leadership level that any activity like that would be twisted in the campaign as interference of our own in our election. And so the decision was made to wait and deal with the Russia problem after the election had happened. I think that nobody at that time anticipated that whomever was elected might choose not to pursue what the intelligence community had found out. So I think it was pretty obvious the tack that President Trump took to these things to make it about himself rather than U.S. national security. So we didn’t anticipate that we wouldn’t ever get the chance to come back to it.GAZETTE: Why is Ukraine of such intense interest to Russia, to Europe, to the U.S., and now, we’ve come to learn, lobbyist-lawyers like Paul Manafort and Rudy Giuliani? Tillerson’s exit interview A vivid account of the very beginnings of the FBI investigations of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump through the election and the special counsel’s report Relatedcenter_img NULAND: Since 1991, when Ukraine declared its independence in the context of the Soviet Union breaking up, the Ukrainian people have tried three times to build a more democratic, more European state. And every time, that project has disintegrated either through lack of political will or through corrupt influence, including corrupting influence and money from Russia. So, this last time when Maidan happened, remember that the Ukrainian people took to the streets not because they were being denied EU membership; it was EU association. It was freedom to travel, to trade with Europe. And that was frankly too threatening for Putin to tolerate, so he made Yanukovych another offer: “Take $15 billion in loans from Russia instead.” We were always going to stand on the side of the Ukrainian people wanting their independence from Russia. I think Ukrainians at that time really thought that it shouldn’t be zero sum, that they ought to be able to have a strong relationship with Europe and a strong relationship with Russia. And in fact, there might have been advantages to Russia, since it also had free trade with Ukraine. They could’ve figured something out there, which we were trying to negotiate. When Putin decides to retaliate for that by first, biting off Crimea and then a piece of eastern Ukraine, he had violated international rules of the road since the end of World War II: You don’t change borders by force and get away with it. So that was about Ukraine, but it was also about international rules of the road and standards of behavior, and here we were thinking that we could also Europeanize Russia, but not if they’re not going to live by basic standards of good neighborly relations.GAZETTE: Is it economics that he’s worried about in Ukraine, or is it further democratization and Westernization?NULAND: A third of Ukraine speaks Russian; they have cultural and religious and historical roots in common, lots of intermarriage, families back and forth. If the Ukrainians could have a peaceful, democratic European state with a market economy and more opportunity to travel, then Russians would start demanding the same thing of Putin, and Putin wasn’t prepared to give that, so it was intrinsically existentially threatening for Putin.GAZETTE: You served as spokesperson for the State Department under Secretary [Hillary] Clinton. For people who cover foreign affairs, it’s been jarring how both Secretary [Rex] Tillerson and now, Secretary [Mike] Pompeo seem to view the press as a nuisance and don’t value the spokesperson’s role. What role should the press play in the diplomacy ecosystem?NULAND: It’s absolutely essential because without the press, the American public, the global public has no idea what you are doing in terms of your diplomatic pursuits: what you’re trying to achieve, how you’re doing it, who’s doing it with you, why it’s a better alternative than war or other options that you might have. If you know a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it, what’s the point? It’s always been essential to successful diplomacy to bring the public along and frankly, to have that diplomacy stress-tested against public opinion. I think part of the problem that we have now is with bipartisanship — which always used to begin at the water’s edge, you never would see Republicans and Democrats criticizing the country once they left it. Part of the reason we don’t have that anymore is we’re not out there as a community trying to explain what we’re doing and why diplomacy is better and to bring political leaders along, bring the public along, bring the international community along. So it’s a real loss. It’s part of the great atrophying of America power that we’re not out there explaining ourselves and defending ourselves and trying to create community of common interest.This interview has been edited for clarity and condensed for length. Swirling questions about the chaos in Syria, the fears of Russian leader Vladimir Putin, and why Ukraine is so essential to Russia and the West are suddenly center stage in American political life. They’re complicated issues about which most Americans know very little. But for Victoria Nuland, a senior fellow in the Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard Kennedy School, they are at the heart of her life’s work. A career ambassador, Nuland spent more than three decades in the U.S. Foreign Service as a top Russian policy expert and representative to NATO, Ukraine, and Europe during the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Nuland’s leadership of U.S. support for the Maidan revolution in Ukraine made her the first high-profile victim of politically targeted phone hackings ordered by Putin in 2014. She was also part of an international coalition that included then-Vice President Joe Biden that pressed the post-Maidan Ukrainian government to root out corruption and make reforms. Nuland, who spoke at Harvard about the trans-Atlantic alliance earlier this week, sat down with the Gazette to talk about a range of hot foreign policy issues, though she declined to discuss the Trump administration and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky because of the ongoing congressional inquiry.Q&AVictoria NulandGAZETTE: What’s your view of the situation in northern Syria right now after the president, saying our presence was no longer necessary, abruptly announced the withdrawal of U.S. troops this month?NULAND: The U.S. does have a strategic interest in how things turn out in Syria, and that’s why we were so involved in ’13, ’14, ’15, ’16, and so on. And it’s not simply, although very importantly, that we went in with our own forces to defeat ISIS on the ground and we need to ensure that it can’t resurge in any way, shape, or form. But it is also so that no other great power, whether Russia or Iran, which is now effectively forming a police force on the ground in towns and villages across Syria for [President Bashar al-]Assad because he can’t maintain public control without them, gains greater influence and ability to extend their geostrategic reach in Syria. I think we have neglected to explain to the American people that either Iran is going to have more control of Syria or Russia is going to have more control of Syria or both. And that means not only that the Syrian people are going to suffer and that the country is going to continue to bleed for a long, long time, but it means that our own ability to affect stability and security in the Middle East will be greatly reduced.GAZETTE: What were some of the knock-on effects of President Trump greenlighting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s incursion into Kurdish territory in Northern Syria? Are we looking at a regional realignment or is it too soon to say?NULAND: Well, the strategic tragedy of it was that when Trump made his decision, we were in the middle of a very intense negotiation with Turkey about how it could establish a buffer zone to protect its own territory without the U.S. having to leave and in a manner that would ensure that neither the Russians nor Assad nor ISIS regain that territory. And we were about halfway through those discussions. They were difficult, because those are the Kurdish homelands. And there was a question of whether Turkey and the Kurds could coexist if the U.S. was present as an honest broker. And rather than completing that in a way that would be stabilizing for Syria, that would end bloodshed rather than accelerate it and that would keep ISIS bottled up, when Erdogan said, “No, I got this,” Trump said, “Sure,” and we pulled out.I think all of it is dangerous. I think the Turkish ambitions are greater than the Kurds are going to tolerate. They want to recontrol those northern towns, and those are the homelands of these folks who helped us beat ISIS. I don’t think anybody has the capacity to keep ISIS bottled up if we are not present. And now you see the Russians volunteering to be an interpositional force, which just enhances their influence. You already see them talking to the Turks about selling them even more weapons systems. But it also takes the Russian ground reach deeper into the east of Syria, which is why the president has recalibrated now to keep some troops around the oil fields. If Russia and Assad and Iran get control of those oil fields, they’ll be able to finance all of this, and the benefit of that will not go to the Syrian people. It’ll go right into the pockets of the Kremlin and the ayatollahs and the Assad family.GAZETTE: How significant will the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi be in the fight against ISIS?NULAND: I think one of the most important things to remember is we would not have been able to achieve that without intelligence cooperation with both the Kurds and the Iraqis, which we built and nurtured and grew as a result of working together on security problems that they had, and working together against ISIS. So what happens when we withdraw from these relationships and when we’re less reliable? They have to find their own solutions, which might include accommodating ISIS or al-Qaida or whatever. So, are we going to be able to do the next one? It was obviously important to take al-Baghdadi off the battlefield. I thought we could have done it with more grace of discretion. I don’t think bragging about the details was seemly or necessary.GAZETTE: How damaging is U.S. abandonment of the Kurds to our standing in the world?NULAND: When you are an unreliable ally, then countries and leaders around the world who have bet their security by being on your team have to start hedging their bets and developing multiple relationships. And that just leads to the acceleration of the atrophying of American power and influence. So, you’re going to feel it. We’ve already felt it vis-à-vis our ability to influence Turkey’s behavior; we’re certainly going to feel it now in Iraq. Israel has been hedging for quite some time in terms of its relationship with Iran. And you see it in other aspects of U.S. foreign policy. Why should the Germans listen to us when we say, “Don’t deepen your economic and information relationship with China?” Are we offering any alternative to our way to them? No, we’re just telling them what not to do. We’re not working together on what to do. And so, they are hedging their bets vis-à-vis China, as well. “I think we have neglected to explain to the American people that either Iran is going to have more control of Syria or Russia is going to have more control of Syria or both.” On the road to impeachment? Harvard legal and political experts explore the thorny legal and political implications of trying to unseat Trump last_img read more

USC begins forums for dean candidates

first_imgUSC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences is considering four candidates for the position of dean of Dornsife.Of the more than 170 applicants, an advisory committee, headed by Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Elizabeth Garrett and Dean of Dornsife Howard Gillman, selected Steve Kay, dean of the division of biological sciences at UC San Diego; Peter Bearman, professor of social sciences at Columbia University; Harry Atwater, a professor of applied physics and material science at the California Institute of Technology; and Lauren Benton, New York University dean of the humanities, as the final candidates.Each candidate will come to campus for two days in March and will meet with students, faculty, staff and senior administrators.Kay, who is the first candidate to visit USC, began teaching at UC San Diego in 2007 and specializes in cell and developmental biology and the use of genomic tools to understand the circadian network, the 24-hour cycle within the human body.Kay attended an open forum for students and faculty on Wednesday and said, if selected as the new dean of Dornsife, he wants to transform Dornsife into a leading global institution.“The key point of my vision for Dornsife is to make Dornsife the premier institution on the Pacific Rim for scholarship, the translation of ideas for the benefit of society and for training critical thinkers and leaders,” Kay said.Bearman is the founder and director of Columbia’s Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy. His research focuses on network analysis, including adolescent sexual networks and networks of disease prevention.Atwater is the director of CalTech’s Kavli Nanoscience Institute and studies electronics and photonics, or light.Benton’s research focuses on the legal history of European Empires and is the recipient of the World History Association Book Award in 2003.Gillman, who has served as dean of Dornsife since 2007, declined to serve another term as dean in September.Under Gillman’s leadership, Dornsife received a $200-million naming donation from USC Trustees Dana and David Dornsife, external funding for research reached $76 million annually and the graduation rate increased from 85 percent to 90 percent.The dean of Dornsife is responsible for overseeing 33 academic departments and 31 research institutions and centers. The dean is also in charge of faculty recruitment, fundraising and the expansion of research opportunities for students and faculty.In a memorandum to members of Dornsife, Garrett said she encourages all students and faculty members to actively participate in the recruitment process. Eric Wendorf contributed to this report.last_img read more

Shooting Stars Go on Indefinite Strike

first_imgSupersport.com source said the players are insisting on being paid all their entitlements before returning to the pitch for the all-important match at Niger Tornadoes on Sunday.“The players said pointedly that they are fighting for their right to be paid salaries, allowances and match bonuses.“They are insisting on not calling off the strike or returning to the training ground until every indebtedness owed to them is fully paid by the management.“They feared that the management will not pay the outstanding entitlements once the on-going league season comes to an end on Sunday.“They appeared not to trust the management any longer as previous promises to off-set the bills have gone unheeded.“They reasoned that if the management value their welfare and the interest of the team they could even break bank to pay knowing fully well that anything short of three points at Niger Tornadoes will spell doom for the team,” said the source to supersport.com.An unnamed member of the coaching crew said though the players have the right to demand for their salaries they should be considering the precarious state of the team on the top-flight log.“The players are right to demand for the payment of their entitlements but the method, timing and state of the team should be put into consideration.“I think there is always a better way to fight for one’s legitimate right especially when it comes to salaries.“Of course, we will always insist that the players should be well-motivated at all times so that they can give us their very best and make our job a bit easier.“Right now the players are putting the coaches and team into a very tight corner knowing the daunting task on our hands.“God forbid the players failed to have a changeShare this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) players are on an indefinite strike to press home for the payment of their salaries ahead of their final day make or mar clash at Niger Tornadoes on Sunday.The players who are being owed salaries, allowances and match bonuses by the management practically stayed away from their training ground at Lekan Salami Stadium in Ibadan on Tuesday.The team is scheduled to depart Ibadan today for Lokoja to face Niger Tornadoes in Sunday’s Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) matchday 38 clash at the Confluence Stadium in Lokoja.last_img read more