Financial Support – SMLXtlarge http://www.smlxtralarge.com/ Wed, 29 Jun 2022 04:55:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://www.smlxtralarge.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/icon-5-150x150.png Financial Support – SMLXtlarge http://www.smlxtralarge.com/ 32 32 US blacklists Chinese companies for allegedly supporting Russian military https://www.smlxtralarge.com/us-blacklists-chinese-companies-for-allegedly-supporting-russian-military/ Wed, 29 Jun 2022 04:55:00 +0000 https://www.smlxtralarge.com/us-blacklists-chinese-companies-for-allegedly-supporting-russian-military/ The Biden administration has placed five Chinese companies on an export blacklist for violating sanctions by allegedly providing support to Russian military and defense companies before and during the invasion of Ukraine. The Commerce Department has put Chinese companies on the “entity list”, which effectively prevents American companies from exporting to them. The companies, which […]]]>

The Biden administration has placed five Chinese companies on an export blacklist for violating sanctions by allegedly providing support to Russian military and defense companies before and during the invasion of Ukraine.

The Commerce Department has put Chinese companies on the “entity list”, which effectively prevents American companies from exporting to them. The companies, which are not globally recognized names, are Connec Electronic, King Pai Technology, Sinno Electronics, Winninc Electronic and World Jetta (HK) Logistics.

“Today’s action sends a powerful message to entities and individuals around the world that if they seek to support Russia, the United States will cut them off,” said Alan Estevez, Under Secretary of Commerce. .

The blacklist was announced amid growing US concerns about deepening ties between Beijing and Moscow, particularly after Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin signed a statement in February describing the Sino-Russian partnership as having “no limits”.

The Financial Times reported in March that China had signaled its willingness to provide military assistance to Russia, which set off alarm bells in Washington.

Over the past two months, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin have warned their Chinese counterparts that Washington will take strong action if China provides Russia with military equipment or assistance. . US officials said there was no evidence that China provided military assistance.

The Commerce Department on Tuesday did not accuse the Chinese government or military of supplying equipment to the Russian military. “We haven’t seen China supplying Russia with military hardware or consistently evading sanctions,” a White House official said.

But the decision to place the companies on the Entity List underscored the broader concern over China-Russia ties. It is also the first time President Joe Biden’s administration has penalized Chinese entities for aiding the Russian military since Putin launched the invasion of Ukraine in February.

Chinese and Russian nuclear bombers flew over the Sea of ​​Japan last month while Joe Biden was in Tokyo, further stoking US concerns. Experts said the drill highlighted how Beijing was cooperating with Moscow even as Russian forces carried out their assault on Ukraine.

The Chinese Embassy in the United States said Beijing was playing a “constructive role” in promoting peace talks and had not provided military assistance to Russia.

“China and Russia maintain normal energy and trade cooperation, and the legitimate interests of Chinese companies should not be harmed,” said an embassy spokesperson, who criticized Washington for imposing unilateral sanctions in under its “long arm jurisdiction”.

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City set to back $30,000 request for Jacksonville homeless shelter aid https://www.smlxtralarge.com/city-set-to-back-30000-request-for-jacksonville-homeless-shelter-aid/ Mon, 27 Jun 2022 06:29:49 +0000 https://www.smlxtralarge.com/city-set-to-back-30000-request-for-jacksonville-homeless-shelter-aid/ A majority of Jacksonville City Council members said they plan to support the call for help from a homeless shelter. In an informal poll by the Journal-Courier, six of the city’s nine aldermen expected to attend today’s city council meeting said they would support a request for funding for the New Directions Warming & Cooling […]]]>

A majority of Jacksonville City Council members said they plan to support the call for help from a homeless shelter.

In an informal poll by the Journal-Courier, six of the city’s nine aldermen expected to attend today’s city council meeting said they would support a request for funding for the New Directions Warming & Cooling Center, 100 S. Fayette St. The shelter is asking for $30,000.

New Directions had requested $100,000 in assistance from the city. However, at a June 13 meeting of the special studies committee led by Alderman Eren Williams, that amount was negotiated at $10,000 a month for three months, beginning in August.


The committee said the money will help keep New Directions open while it seeks funding from places like Morgan County and South Jacksonville.

Williams, Darcella Speed, Alison Rubin de Celis, Kent Hannant, Brett Henry and Aaron Scott told the Journal-Courier they plan to accept the shelter’s request.

“The shelter provides a vital service to Jacksonville and Morgan County and solves a problem that would otherwise fall to local government, so I think we need to have our skin in the game to make sure it stays open,” Rubin said. of Celis.

Speed ​​said there was a “great need for the shelter” and she didn’t want to see it closed. Henry said he was “happy to fund them,” while Hannant said he hoped New Directions would be able to reach the county and other local communities.

Aldermen Mike Bartlett, Don Cook and Mary Watts said last week they were undecided. Watts said she requested information about New Directions’ expenses, but was not given the opportunity to review it. Cook said he did not sit down to review the minutes from the previous meeting.

Bartlett said he wouldn’t decide until he spoke to the other board members. Aldermen are due to discuss the proposal at a workshop at 6pm today ahead of the town council meeting.

Alderman Lori Oldenettel said she would not be at the meeting and could not vote, but had many questions about a long-term solution to the shelter situation and that a community issue needed community support.

“Not everything can fall on the city of Jacksonville,” Oldenettel said.

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Media giants including Disney reaffirm financial support for those seeking abortion | New https://www.smlxtralarge.com/media-giants-including-disney-reaffirm-financial-support-for-those-seeking-abortion-new/ Fri, 24 Jun 2022 21:25:00 +0000 https://www.smlxtralarge.com/media-giants-including-disney-reaffirm-financial-support-for-those-seeking-abortion-new/ Media giants have become the latest corporate giants to reaffirm their financial support for abortion seekers following Friday’s Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade. Entertainment giant Disney assured employees on Friday that they could afford a similar level of health care outside of their home region if they needed to travel to access health […]]]>

Media giants have become the latest corporate giants to reaffirm their financial support for abortion seekers following Friday’s Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade.

Entertainment giant Disney assured employees on Friday that they could afford a similar level of health care outside of their home region if they needed to travel to access health services, including planning. family and pregnancy-related services, a Disney spokesperson told CNN.

Meanwhile, cable and media giant Comcast said on Friday that trips for abortion services are covered by a company-wide employee benefit. Under the policy, Comcast can pay each employee up to $4,000 per trip if the employee must travel to access a covered health care service. Coverage is capped at three trips and $10,000 per year, whichever comes first, but the benefit resets annually, meaning employees who need out-of-state follow-up visits could benefit significantly from the multi-year policy, Comcast said. CNN. The benefit applies to all Comcast and NBCUniversal employees, the company said, and the amount paid generally depends on the type of expenses incurred.

And Warner Bros. Discovery – owner of CNN – said in a statement that it “immediately” expanded its benefits package on Friday after the court ruled to cover abortion-related travel costs.

“Warner Bros. Discovery is committed to providing our employees across the country with access to consistent and comprehensive healthcare services,” a company spokesperson told CNN. “In light of the recent Supreme Court ruling, we immediately expanded our health care benefit options to cover transportation costs for employees and covered family members who must travel to access abortion. and reproductive care.”

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Prestigious Boyer Scholarship Increases Award https://www.smlxtralarge.com/prestigious-boyer-scholarship-increases-award/ Thu, 23 Jun 2022 05:14:28 +0000 https://www.smlxtralarge.com/prestigious-boyer-scholarship-increases-award/ Photo by David Lance Mary Pham, a rising senior, is the 15th recipient of the Boyer Scholarship. The prestigious Boyer Scholarship increases its award to $20,500 per year, the largest annual honor scholarship award on the U of A campus. The scholarship is awarded to a freshman attending the Sam M. Walton […]]]>



Photo by David Lance

Mary Pham, a rising senior, is the 15th recipient of the Boyer Scholarship.

The prestigious Boyer Scholarship increases its award to $20,500 per year, the largest annual honor scholarship award on the U of A campus. The scholarship is awarded to a freshman attending the Sam M. Walton College of Business.

“Walton College is so grateful for the support of Tommy and Sylvia Boyer,” said Matthew A. Waller, Dean of Walton College. “Thanks to her lifelong generosity, a majoring business student can focus on her studies and continue on a high-achieving path. It really changes the lives of students.

Mary Pham, the current Boyer scholarship recipient, is a rising senior pursuing a bachelor’s degree in information systems. This summer, she’s working at Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati as an IT Product Manager Intern on a project that deals with retail supply chain automation. The Conway native received the scholarship in 2018.

“This scholarship has changed my life for sure,” Pham said. “Besides the obvious financial support he gave me, he also gave me confidence in the school, peace of mind and connection to great people, including the Boyers themselves.”

Scholarship recipients must:

  • Pursue a business major at Walton College
  • Be enrolled in an Arkansas high school
  • Display strong academic performance and curriculum
  • Demonstrate leadership and initiative
  • Demonstrate financial need

The minimum qualifications for the scholarship consideration include:

  • 32 ACT (composite score on an exam) or 1430 SAT
  • 3.90 weighted high school GPA

“I recommend being yourself for the interview, and make sure you show your true personality and have the drive to exceed expectations in college,” Pham advises high school students applying for the award. .

Tommy and Sylvia Boyer, both University of Alberta alumni, established the Boyer Fellowship in 2000.

Tommy Boyer, BSBA ’64, was inducted into the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame in 2013. He is currently a member of the U of A Board of Trustees. Boyer served as Chairman of the Dean’s Executive Advisory Board of Walton College, chair of the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame selection committee and was the college’s keynote speaker in 2008. Boyer served as co-chair of the University of Alberta’s campaign for the 21st century from 2000 to 2002.

Sylvia Boyer, BSE ’63, served on the national board of directors of the Arkansas Alumni Association from 1988-1999, serving as president in 1996-1997. She served as Chair of the Campaign and Alumni House Renovation Project from 1996-1999 and also served with her husband on the Campaign Steering Committee and as Vice Chair of the College/School/Unit Subcommittee. and regional of this committee.

Pham is the 15th recipient of the award.

“The Boyers are wonderful people, and many people I know are honored to have known them,” Pham said. “I see them about twice a year since I started college (mainly due to COVID restrictions and my busy schedule). They have been very supportive of my career path and have even said when I got my first B that it made me look human on my resume!”

Applications for the Boyer Scholarship 2023 will be available soon. For more information on the award, visit the U of A’s Specialized university scholarships page.

About the University of Arkansas: As Arkansas’ flagship institution, the U of A offers an internationally competitive education in more than 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, the U of A contributes more than $2.2 billion for Arkansas’ economy through the teaching of new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and employment development, discovery through research and creative activity while providing training in professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation ranks the U of A among the few American colleges and universities with the highest level of research activity. US News and World Report ranks the U of A among the top public universities in the nation. Find out how the U of A is working to build a better world in Arkansas Research News.

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Japan’s refugee policy could be changed by the war in Ukraine https://www.smlxtralarge.com/japans-refugee-policy-could-be-changed-by-the-war-in-ukraine/ Tue, 21 Jun 2022 09:43:41 +0000 https://www.smlxtralarge.com/japans-refugee-policy-could-be-changed-by-the-war-in-ukraine/ Placeholder while loading article actions TOKYO — Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, refugee-averse Japan has taken in more than 1,300 people fleeing the conflict and provided social services to help them assimilate — a rare and surprising move which could mark a turning point in the country’s longstanding restrictions on such people. fleeing violence and […]]]>
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TOKYO — Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, refugee-averse Japan has taken in more than 1,300 people fleeing the conflict and provided social services to help them assimilate — a rare and surprising move which could mark a turning point in the country’s longstanding restrictions on such people. fleeing violence and persecution.

Since Japan’s prime minister officially announced the change on March 2 – just days after the invasion – the country has welcomed not only Ukrainians with relatives or acquaintances in Japan, but also anyone seeking refuge due to the conflict. . Government agencies have been exceptionally generous in providing stipends, mental health support, language classes and housing to help Ukrainians adjust to their new lives.

Today, refugee groups wonder if this rapid response could serve as a model for future humanitarian crises and conflicts. Japan, one of the richest countries in the world, has some of the most restrictive policies towards refugees and asylum seekers. According to Vatican Refugees websiteJapan has the lowest asylum admission rate in the developed world.

In Japan and throughout Asia, an outpouring of support for Ukraine

“We believe that the current situation could potentially become a turning point for the future acceptance of refugees,” said Eri Ishikawa, chairwoman of the board of directors of the Japanese Association for Refugees. “We hope the government will take heed of the increased public interest in welcoming refugees and quickly undertake a fundamental overhaul of the entire system.

The conflict has sparked a dramatic reaction from Japan, amid fears that Russia’s invasion could embolden China’s growing military assertiveness in the region. There is also broad public support for the Ukrainians – which is unusual given the lukewarm Japanese interest in other crises that have triggered an influx of refugees, such as the withdrawal from Afghanistan, the military coup in Myanmar and the war in Syria.

But this time, Japan circumvented restrictive laws that narrowly define refugees by labeling Ukrainians “evacuated”.

Of the 1,316 Ukrainians who entered Japan since March 2, the bulk, 236 of them, went to Tokyo, the country’s largest prefecture and capital, according to the Immigration Services Agency. Tokyo’s services include a help desk, free temporary housing and long-term social housing with free utilities, public transport discounts and language support.

Since 1982, when Japan enacted its laws to accept refugees, 87,892 people have applied for refugee status, and barely 915 were accepted, according to the immigration agency. In 2021, Japan granted 74 applicants refugee status.

Major Asian nations join global backlash against Russia, with eye on China

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said there was momentum following the Tokyo 2021 Summer Olympics, with the focus on human rights and the inclusion of marginalized communities, including refugees. The dramatic evacuation to Japan of two Afghan Paralympians who fled Kabul amid the Taliban takeover following the US withdrawal have also helped raise awareness of the plight of refugees.

“Russia’s invasion hit the Japanese people very hard this time, especially with such vivid information reaching people directly, which strengthened people’s sense of accepting evacuees,” Koike said in an interview. .

While Koike said the public mood has become more open to such efforts to help foreigners, she paused before saying it was a sign of lasting change: “We need to follow the decisions and the framework of the national government, so the Tokyo metropolitan government, we would like to closely monitor how the government will make changes [in accepting more refugees in the long term].”

It remains unclear whether the national government will take meaningful steps to revise refugee laws. In April, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Japan would consider a “quasi-refugee system” to accommodate some evacuees, including Ukrainians.

There are indications that the public would support an expansion of support. In a month of March investigation by the Nippon Research Center, 51.9% said acceptance of refugees should be increased from results in 2020, when respondents were more wary of such a decision.

But life in Japan is difficult even for those granted refugee status or asylum under cumbersome and often opaque immigration laws. The lengthy review process has led to applications pending for an average of four years, advocates say, with little or no government funding or the ability to work. During this time, migrants may be detained and subjected to inhumane treatment in detention centers, sometimes resulting in atrocious cases of violence and even death.

The invasion of Russia prompts Japan to a more assertive foreign policy

The Japanese Association for Refugees helps more than 300 people a year to apply for refugee status, the majority of whom are from Africa. In 2021, only six people fleeing Africa have been accepted as refugees, and many continue to live in poverty without residency status and without a clear path to obtaining employment and housing in Japan, said Ishikawa, chairman of the council. administration. The organization is mainly funded by donations, but its financial support has not increased much since the Ukraine crisis.

A group called Japanese Supports for Ukrainian Students, comprising nearly 100 language schools across Japan, offered free lessons and raised funds to help offset expenses and travel costs. There are about 800 language schools in Japan, and previously only about five helped refugees.

Norito Hiraoka, director of the Seifu Institute of Information Technology, one of the participating schools, said the effort was possible because of the uniqueness of the conflict. In particular, the threat of nuclear weapons by Russian President Vladimir Putin has sparked fear in Japan, the only country to have known the devastation of a nuclear attack.

“I don’t really think it will be a turning point. The extraordinary support we see is because it was Ukraine,” Hiraoka said. “I find it hard to imagine there will be the same kind of outpouring of support if another tragedy unfolds overseas.”

But other groups hope they are laying the groundwork. For example, the Japan Organization of Mental Health and Education Agencies recruits Japanese volunteers, including university students, counselors and athletes, and touts the importance of supporting those who experience the trauma of war and other conflicts.

Last month, the organization launched a Ukrainian Interaction Center to help families, especially with young children. At a recent event, Japanese volunteers taught Ukrainian evacuees how to make sushi, and evacuees showed volunteers how to cook Ukrainian dishes and do embroidery.

“I hope this can become a turning point. If the Ukrainians who comee in Japan can settle well and create a real community here, through communication and interaction with them, I think the feelings of the Japanese people will change,” said Mariko Ukiyo, director of the organization.

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António Guterres visits resettled refugees in New York and urges the world to ‘stand together’ | https://www.smlxtralarge.com/antonio-guterres-visits-resettled-refugees-in-new-york-and-urges-the-world-to-stand-together/ Sun, 19 Jun 2022 17:31:51 +0000 https://www.smlxtralarge.com/antonio-guterres-visits-resettled-refugees-in-new-york-and-urges-the-world-to-stand-together/ “Like millions of refugees around the world, they are helping to bring new life, prosperity and rich diversity to their host communities. We must continue to support them,” the UN chief said on Twitter after the visit. Before #WorldRefugeeDayI visited refugees from Iraq and Afghanistan currently living in New York. Like millions of refugees around […]]]>

“Like millions of refugees around the world, they are helping to bring new life, prosperity and rich diversity to their host communities. We must continue to support them,” the UN chief said on Twitter after the visit.

Mr. Guterres, who served as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from 2005 to 2015, underscored the vital role of developed countries in hosting refugees and providing them with opportunities, whoever they are and from where. let them come.

Living “in limbo”

Mr. Guterres’ first stop was in Brooklyn, where he visited Suzan Al Shammari, an Iraqi refugee who fled in 2010 with her family from Baghdad to Cairo, Egypt.

Registered with the United Nations Refugee Agency, UNHCRthey were then able to resettle in California and from there, with further assistance, traveled to New York.

Ms. Al Shammari told the Secretary-General that having grown up in the war, she wanted to be able to help other refugees. With this in mind, she is currently a social worker with a non-governmental organization (NGO) – having recently obtained a master’s degree.

“Every day you think will be the last. And it’s not just one of those things…it could literally be the last. When I went to Egypt with my family, it was also difficult to be there as a refugee in limbo. So moving to the United States, big as it is, took me a few years to adjust to the fact that ‘I’m not going to die tomorrow,’” Ms Al Shammari said.

Second chance

Resettlement provides a “second chance” for those forced to flee, said Al Shammari.

“Bringing in refugees is a life-saving measure and it is something that every leader, every country, should contribute to and be responsible for,” she said.

Having had the opportunity of a good education, a safe new home and fluency in the language of her host country, the Iraqi refugee recognized that she was “one of the lucky ones”.

“I can say from my personal experience… it’s not easy to come to a country you don’t know, in a language you don’t speak. Both my parents were engineers in Iraq and [now] they cannot work with their diplomas,” Ms. Al Shammari explained.

She thought it would help “if companies took more initiative, hired refugees and created more opportunities for immigrants.”

Every day you think will be the last – resettled Iraqi refugee

“You see, some will hear their accent, hear that they don’t speak English well, and say, ‘I don’t think that’s going to work'”.

Moved to Iraq

According to the latest UN data, there are currently some 1.2 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Iraq among more than six million originally displaced by violence involving the Iraq terror network. ISIL from 2014 to 2017.

Meanwhile, Iraq has hosted more than 290,000 refugees from Syria and other countries – mostly in the Kurdistan region, which at the start of 2020 hosted 25 of the country’s 26 camps.

Installed in the United States

Mr. Guterres then traveled to Queens to visit an Afghan refugee couple, Shafi Alif and Rohina Sofizada, who greeted him with spiced green tea and traditional Afghan treats.

Chatting over their cups, Mr Alif revealed that in 1992, when he was five months old, his family marched for 40 days seeking asylum in Pakistan – where they remained for more than 10 years.

They registered with UNHCR, which then helped them return voluntarily to Afghanistan in 2002. The UN agency provided financial support for their return to Kabul, including transportation and a cash allowance.

The couple agreed they had “peaceful years” in the country until 2018.

Working with the US Embassy in Kabul, Ms. Sofizada received a special visa to resettle in the US and Mr. Alif, who worked with the Polish military in the Afghan capital, later joined her, with a special immigrant visa.

UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

On World Refugee Day, Secretary-General António Guterres visits an Afghan refugee couple who have resettled in Queens.

Remaining family

Although they are happy to have been able to travel to the United States, they are worried about their family in Pakistan, who left Kabul again after the Taliban seized power last August.

My family was rejected at the border twice, even having all [the necessary] visas and paperssaid Ms. Sofizada. “We are relieved to be here, but we are still worried about our loved ones.”

Mr. Shafi also works to help new arrivals as a social worker with an NGO, where he supports arriving Afghan evacuees and parolees.

He argued that no refugee is “happy to leave their country”, but does so under threat of violence or persecution.

He pleaded for “more resettlement places” and help with basic needs – like housing – to better contribute to their new communities.

We always worry about our loved ones – resettled afghan refugee

Afghans in trouble

According to the UNHCR, Afghans constitute one of the largest refugee populations in the world.

There are 2.6 million registered Afghan refugees worldwide, including 2.2 million in Iran and Pakistan alone. And another 3.5 million people are internally displaced.

More than half of the Afghan population, or 24 million people, face acute food insecurity and an estimated 97% live well below the poverty line.

Call for open borders

After hearing these fascinating stories, Mr. Guterres called on developed countries to do more.

He reminded them of their role in welcoming and the possibility for refugees to start afresh in complete safety, far from degrading camps or poor housing conditions.

The Secretary-General recalled that when he led UNHCR, there were twice as many resettlement opportunities for refugees and urged more States to open their borders to asylum seekers.

flee for safety

In 2021, 86% of all resettlement cases submitted by UNHCR involved survivors of torture or violence and people in need of legal and physical protection.

Most were vulnerable women and girls and just over half involved children.

According to the UN, the world passed a major milestone in May, 10 weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine.

“With the women, children and men fleeing conflict elsewhere in the world, the total number of forcibly displaced has reached 100 million – a grim indictment of our timessaid the UN chief in his message commemorating World Refugee Day.

“The global refugee population is at an all-time high,” he continued, noting that the war in Ukraine has triggered “the largest and fastest displacement in Europe since World War II.”


A Ukrainian woman who was forced to flee overnight is looking for a job online.

Andrii Krepkykh

A Ukrainian woman who was forced to flee overnight is looking for a job online.

Right to security

The senior UN official urged everyone to reflect on “the courage and resilience of those fleeing war, violence and persecution” while acknowledging “the compassion of those who welcome them”.

He said the day affirms a fundamental tenet of our common humanity: “Everyone has the right to seek safety – whoever they are, wherever they come from and whenever they are forced to flee.”

According to international law, the right to seek asylum is a fundamental human right.

“People fleeing violence or persecution must be able to cross borders safely…not be discriminated against…unfairly denied refugee status or asylum because of their race, religion, gender or their country of origin…[or] be forced to return if their life or freedom were in danger,” the UN chief said.

People fleeing violence or persecution must be able to cross borders safely – UN chief

“And like any human being, they should be treated with respect.”

Shared responsibility

But security is only the first step. Once resettled, refugees must have the opportunity to heal, to learn, to work, to thrive, to return home if they wish or to rebuild their lives elsewhere, in safety and dignity, said Mr Guterres.

“All over the world, refugees have brought new life, prosperity and rich cultural diversity to their host communities” and their protection is “a responsibility we all share”.

He encouraged everyone to commit to doing more for refugees and the countries hosting them.

Let us stand together… defend the integrity of the international protection regime… and never lose sight of our common humanityconcluded the Secretary-General.

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NIH launches grant program to bridge funding rate gap between black and white researchers | Science https://www.smlxtralarge.com/nih-launches-grant-program-to-bridge-funding-rate-gap-between-black-and-white-researchers-science/ Fri, 17 Jun 2022 16:20:05 +0000 https://www.smlxtralarge.com/nih-launches-grant-program-to-bridge-funding-rate-gap-between-black-and-white-researchers-science/ After rejecting an idea last year, some National Institutes of Health (NIH) institutes are taking a new approach to boost the success rate of black scientists and researchers from other underrepresented groups seeking research grants . A program to diversify the NIH workforce could award up to $20 million a year to neuroscience, addiction, and […]]]>

After rejecting an idea last year, some National Institutes of Health (NIH) institutes are taking a new approach to boost the success rate of black scientists and researchers from other underrepresented groups seeking research grants . A program to diversify the NIH workforce could award up to $20 million a year to neuroscience, addiction, and mental health investigators from minority groups.

The program will create a new class of NIH standard R01 research grant designed to “encourage a more diverse pool of PIs [principal investigators]said Walter Koroshetz, director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), at a recent meeting. NINDS is launching the program, aimed at new NPs and those whose labs are at risk of folding, in conjunction with the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). In 2021, the three institutes teamed up on a policy with similar goals that the NIH later withdrew over concerns it would violate federal anti-discrimination laws.

Onlookers hope the new program will help close a long-standing gap between NIH funding success rates for black scientists versus white scientists, at least in areas of research supported by the three institutes. “I’m very happy,” says Kafui Dzirasa, a Duke University neurobiologist and psychiatrist who urged the NIH to take direct action to close the gap. The program “really has the potential to move the needle.”

The special R01s come as the NIH released data suggesting progress in reducing the funding disparity over the past 2 years. In fiscal year 2021, the odds of a black candidate receiving at least one new R01 was 24.4%, or 2.2 percentage points less than for a white candidate, compared to a gap of about seven to nine points from 2013 to 2019 (see graph) . (The gap in pass rates for all R01-equivalent applications, which was about nine percentage points in 2013, has fallen to five points.) “We are encouraged,” says Marie Bernard, NIH director for the diversity of the scientific workforce, who co-authored a June 14 blog post on the new data with NIH extramural chief Michael Lauer.

The lower R01 success rate of black scientists shocked the research community when it was identified by a 2011 study led by economist Donna Ginther. Despite a series of new NIH programs aimed at attracting minorities to research and improving training and mentorship, as well as more rewards for black NPs, the “Ginther divide” has remained, leading many to blame racial prejudices.

Some observers, including Dzirasa, have argued that the NIH’s 27 institutes and centers should bridge the gap by using their leeway to fund applications that score well in peer review but fall just outside. the funding threshold; the proposal could be in a high priority research area or could bring a diverse perspective. The NIH could close the gap, some say, if each institute awarded only two additional grants each year to black scientists, at a cost of $32 million per year.

Last year, NINDS, NIDA and NIMH released a policy to achieve this. This would have allowed investigators from underrepresented groups, including black people[ck] and Hispanic Scientists, People with Disabilities, and People from Underprivileged Backgrounds – to check a box that would flag their candidacy to program officers.

Last fall, however, the NIH overruled the advisory over “legal” concerns that tying demographics to proposals “could have given the impression that … applications supporting scientists from underrepresented groups would automatically be priorities for funding”, the agency wrote. Officials stress that the NIH cannot make funding decisions based on race, gender or ethnicity.

NIH Funding Disparities for New R01 Grants

Ratio of applicants with at least one funded proposal to total number of applicants. (Race or ethnicity is self-identified.)

(Graphic) C. Bickel/Science; (Data) NIH Office for Extramural Research

The new program, announced June 9, passes the legal rally because it aims to improve diversity “in a very broad sense,” Lauer says. An NIH spokesperson notes that while the program “encourages” applications from researchers from underrepresented groups, “it is not exclusive – all new researchers and at-risk researchers are eligible to apply.” (The NIH defines “at risk” as a PI who will not have NIH grants if their high-quality proposal is not funded.) NIH officials also note that the program is part of the agency’s efforts. to comply with a congressional mandate to do more to support early career researchers seeking their first NIH grants.

All proposals to the new program will be reviewed with other R01s through standard review sections, but will then compete for special funding: up to $5 million per year for 12-15 grants each to NIDA and the NIMH, and up to $10 million. for 25 scholarships to NINDS.

Dzirasa sees the program achieving the same goal as last year’s NINDS policy: to allow program officers to fund grants from Blacks and other minorities who just missed the funding threshold for the regular grant pool. . “It gives them the opportunity to correct the biases they know are in their system,” he says.

Some researchers have concerns about the approach. According to addiction researcher Michael Taffe of the University of California, San Diego, one concern is that top-notch applications from black IPs that the NIH would have funded anyway will be moved into the special program, which could allow the agency to fund weaker proposals from white IPs, he says. “It’s less good than correcting the bias in the first place so that all open competitions are actually open and fair,” says Taffe.

And Dzirasa says the program would be more effective if it were in place across NIH. “The NIH as a whole should engage,” he says.

As for the recent increase in funding rates for black scientists, Taffe thinks the most obvious explanation is that institutes are funding more grants from black scientists who have narrowly missed the payline. Lauer, however, notes that “any such analysis is going to be very difficult,” in part because not all institutes use strict paylines. Lauer also notes that there are so few black IPs overall — around 300 in 2021 — that even minor changes in grantmaking can have a large statistical impact.

Regardless of the numbers, “we don’t take a victory lap” when it comes to improving the diversity of NIH recipients, Bernard says. “We still have a lot of work to do.”

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Older Australians need more financial support amid pandemic https://www.smlxtralarge.com/older-australians-need-more-financial-support-amid-pandemic/ Wed, 15 Jun 2022 01:28:00 +0000 https://www.smlxtralarge.com/older-australians-need-more-financial-support-amid-pandemic/ Financial experts are encouraging pre-retirees to sharpen their financial skills as a new report from the University of South Australia shows that 31% of older Australians (over 55) do not feel secure about their financial future, especially in the context of the current pandemic. Produced in partnership with RMIT, COTA and EXHand funded by Ecstra […]]]>

Financial experts are encouraging pre-retirees to sharpen their financial skills as a new report from the University of South Australia shows that 31% of older Australians (over 55) do not feel secure about their financial future, especially in the context of the current pandemic.

Produced in partnership with RMIT, COTA and EXHand funded by Ecstra Foundationthe report explores the financial behaviors, psychological well-being and financial decision-making of 1,500 older adults during COVID-19.

He found that the pandemic had had a negative impact on the pensioner status of working older Australians. Those who were not retired were more likely to delay full retirement (12.3%) and/or make early cash withdrawals from their retirement pension (9.1%) than those who were in retirement. retirement.

It also found that younger respondents (those aged 55-64), the majority of whom are not retired, were less satisfied and less sure of their financial future, with women being the most concerned overall.

Senior Researcher, UniSA Dr. Braam Lowiessays the report indicates that older Australian workers are at risk of financial insecurity and need to improve their financial capabilities before retiring.

“Older Australians are disproportionately vulnerable to the financial consequences of COVID-19 and as a society we need to recognize and address this issue,” says Dr Lowies.

“While many pre-retirees are unsure of their financial situation, women are particularly at risk, with nearly a quarter saying they were worried about making investment-related mistakes, and 20% saying they felt nervous to the idea of ​​planning financially for their retirement.

“Women also indicated that they were more likely to financially support a family member, even to their own disadvantage, which is quite worrying if they feel insecure about money.

“Similarly, around a quarter of people with health problems also said they were nervous or fearful about planning for retirement, as well as being worried about being dependent on family or friends.

“We have an obligation to ensure that our citizens are properly educated, supported and informed about their financial future, but especially those we know to be most vulnerable.”

The team developed a three-step education process to help manage financial panic in older adults. Co-researcher Professor Kurt Lushington of UniSA says targeted financial support will benefit older Australians and help them better understand and manage their finances.

“Pause, Reflect and Connect is a resource that aims to help older people view their financial situation with a clear headspace, while remembering that they can connect with people they trust for advice or guidance. ‘help,’ says Professor Lushington.

“It’s a simple message, but sometimes simple is better, and it’s a great start to getting older people to think worry-free about their financial future.

“As people get older, they tend to worry about all sorts of things. If we can help alleviate some of that anxiety, especially when it comes to financial issues, it’s definitely worth it. »

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Global stocks and government bonds fall on inflation fears https://www.smlxtralarge.com/global-stocks-and-government-bonds-fall-on-inflation-fears/ Mon, 13 Jun 2022 09:29:11 +0000 https://www.smlxtralarge.com/global-stocks-and-government-bonds-fall-on-inflation-fears/ Global equities and government debt markets sold off on Monday as investors bolstered expectations of sustained high inflation leading to aggressive interest rate hikes. Europe’s Stoxx 600 stock index fell 2.2% in morning trading, putting it on track for its fifth straight session of falls. The regional share gauge has lost 9% so far this […]]]>

Global equities and government debt markets sold off on Monday as investors bolstered expectations of sustained high inflation leading to aggressive interest rate hikes.

Europe’s Stoxx 600 stock index fell 2.2% in morning trading, putting it on track for its fifth straight session of falls. The regional share gauge has lost 9% so far this quarter.

Futures trading implied that the US S&P 500 index would lose 2.4% in early trades in New York. The broad stock barometer also fell 2.9% on Friday to close Wall Street’s worst week since January.

Contracts that track the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 index fell 3% as stocks of more speculative growth stocks were hit by the flight away from market risk. In cryptocurrencies, the price of bitcoin fell nearly 17% on Monday to around $24,300, nearly two-thirds below its November peak.

At its monetary policy meeting this week, the US Federal Reserve is expected to confirm its willingness to raise interest rates quickly to rein in consumer price inflation which hit a surprisingly high annual rate of 8.6% in May. .

The United States is on track to tip into recession next year, according to 70% of leading economists surveyed by the Financial Times and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business’s Initiative on Global Markets.

“The risk of recession is very high right now,” said Julian Howard, senior investment director for multi-asset solutions at fund manager GAM.

“This all looks pretty ugly in the short term and there’s really no escaping it other than going cash for now.”

In government bond markets, the yield on the two-year Treasury bill, which reflects interest rate expectations, rose 0.16 percentage points to 3.21%, the price of the debt instrument having fallen.

Money markets are tilting the Fed to raise its key interest rate to 3.4% by December, from a rate currently hovering between 0.75% and 1%.

The dollar index, which measures the world’s reserve currency against six others, rose 0.4%.

In Europe, Italian stocks and bonds came under renewed pressure after the European Central Bank paved the way last week for its first interest rate hike in more than a decade next month and potentially an extra hike. -half a point wide in September.

The yield on Italian 10-year bonds rose 0.14 percentage points to 3.98%, more than four times its level in mid-December. Shares of Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo fell 4%, taking their two-day decline to more than 11%.

The pound fell 0.8% against the dollar to just over $1.22, pushed lower by the strengthening US currency and concerns over the UK’s economic outlook.

Economists see the Bank of England raising its main borrowing rate by 0.25 percentage points on Thursday, with an increasing likelihood of a 0.5 percentage point hike – increasing fears of stagflation driven by a crisis in the economy. cost of living combined with higher debt costs.

In Asia, the yen hit a 24-year low at ¥135.19 to the dollar, ahead of a Bank of Japan monetary policy meeting this week where it is expected to maintain ultra-loose monetary policy in a bid to support economic growth. economic growth.

A broad FTSE index of Asian stocks outside Japan fell 2.8% and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo lost 3%.

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US House Ag panel plans to change farm bill safety net amid rising costs https://www.smlxtralarge.com/us-house-ag-panel-plans-to-change-farm-bill-safety-net-amid-rising-costs/ Sat, 11 Jun 2022 15:03:51 +0000 https://www.smlxtralarge.com/us-house-ag-panel-plans-to-change-farm-bill-safety-net-amid-rising-costs/ WASHINGTON- Members of the US House Agriculture Committee are thinking about how to help farmers struggling with rising costs of fertilizers, fuel, seeds and chemicals – the unfortunate harvest of war in Ukraine, strains on the global supply system, the inflation and bad weather. A committee panel heard from farm economists on Thursday as lawmakers […]]]> ]]>