united states – SMLXtlarge http://www.smlxtralarge.com/ Sat, 19 Mar 2022 16:35:44 +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 united states – SMLXtlarge http://www.smlxtralarge.com/ 32 32 Georgian students would receive up to $2,500 to help them complete their studies under a new program https://www.smlxtralarge.com/georgian-students-would-receive-up-to-2500-to-help-them-complete-their-studies-under-a-new-program/ Sat, 19 Mar 2022 16:35:44 +0000 https://www.smlxtralarge.com/georgian-students-would-receive-up-to-2500-to-help-them-complete-their-studies-under-a-new-program/ Kemp on signing a bill temporarily suspending gas tax Governor Brian Kemp released these video remarks regarding the signing of a bill that would suspend gas tax in Georgia until at least the end of May. Kemp signed the bill on Friday, March 18, 2022. ATLANTE – Georgia lawmakers are again trying to help cash-strapped […]]]>

Georgia lawmakers are again trying to help cash-strapped students, this time focusing on those who are about to graduate.

Senators are now considering House Bill 1435, which passed the House 171-3 on Tuesday. It would create a program under which public and private colleges and universities could give students $2,500 to help them complete their studies if students have already completed 80% of the course credits needed for their degrees.

Rep. Chuck Martin, the Alpharetta Republican sponsoring the bill, said the state has invested in students throughout K-12 and college, causing them to drop out for lack of a little help. Money is bad for the state and can flow from people who earn little while mired in student debt. Students who miss college are less likely to return and complete their studies than those who attend continuously.

“A very small amount of money – it could be $600, $800, $1,200 – would help them get through and get on the road to earning more and supporting their families and being able to to take on some of the debt they’ve accumulated,” Martin said. . “The only thing worse than graduating from college with some debt is not graduating from college with some debt.”

GEORGIA GOVERNOR SIGNS AMENDED BUDGET WITH SALARY INCREASES AND REIMBURSEMENTS FOR TAX FILERS

Georgia is one of only two states that does not have broad need-based financial aid. Advocates have long called on Georgia to do more to help children from less well-off families attend and complete college, even if they don’t qualify for HOPE scholarships. Lawmakers created a need-based financial aid package in 2018, but never allocated money for it.

Martin proposes that the state divert $10 million from a student loan program that has high default rates and instead use it to fund scholarships. That would mean grants for more than 4,000 students statewide.

Students near the end of their college career may have exhausted the federal Pell Grants for Poorer Students deadline, which is six years for a four-year degree. Students may also lose eligibility for state lottery-funded HOPE scholarships if their grades drop. And HOPE scholarships alone don’t cover the full cost of attendance, even when a student is living at home, typically leaving a gap of $3,000 to $9,000. Georgia’s university system said it had 112,000 students with unmet financial need the last time it was counted.

“Most students need a Pell grant and the HOPE grant and perhaps a loan of money for living expenses in order to attend,” said Doug Tanner, director of aid finance at Valdosta State University. “So that would allow us to benefit students by covering what is commonly called gap funding – it means the difference between the aid they have and the costs they have.”

Tanner said closing that gap would keep some students in school and prevent others from having to take out unsubsidized loans with higher interest rates. Republican Gov. Brian Kemp allocated $5 million in federal COVID-19 relief last year for these completion grants.

Georgia State University started a grant program in 2011 with private donations from then-president Mark Becker and others. In 2018, the State of Georgia awarded over 2,000 grants, ranging from $300 to $2,000. The university says that from 2011 to 2018, 86% of more than 12,000 scholarship recipients graduated, most in two semesters. One of the secrets to the program’s success is that students don’t have to apply, said Jennifer Lee, senior policy analyst for higher education at the Georgia Budget & Policy Institute. Instead, the institution intervenes when it sees that a student is about to drop out.

The $10 million proposed falls far short of the roughly $800 million in unmet need in the university system alone, not counting technical colleges and private schools.

“The completion grants approach is one that says we’re going to prioritize the funds we have available for students who are close to graduating,” Lee said. “We just don’t have the amount of funds for unmet need.”

But it could be the start of something bigger. Lawmakers would have to review the program in 2025 or it would expire. Martin said if it worked well, lawmakers could expand funding and eligibility to cover more people.

To be eligible, a student should be a resident of Georgia and a citizen or permanent resident of the United States. They cannot have defaulted on their student loans, been convicted of a drug-related crime, or been in jail.

“It’s not a lot of money, but you’d be surprised. We’ve heard it will help people cross the finish line.”

WATCH: FOX 5 NEWS LIVE COVERAGE

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As POTUS seeks to remove Iranian group’s terrorist designation, Grassley wants Congress to have a say https://www.smlxtralarge.com/as-potus-seeks-to-remove-iranian-groups-terrorist-designation-grassley-wants-congress-to-have-a-say/ Fri, 18 Mar 2022 14:47:38 +0000 https://www.smlxtralarge.com/as-potus-seeks-to-remove-iranian-groups-terrorist-designation-grassley-wants-congress-to-have-a-say/ WASHINGTON — Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has joined Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) in introducing new legislation ensuring Congress has a say in revoking Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) designations . Currently, the executive branch can take such action unilaterally. Their new proposal comes after reports surfaced that the Biden administration is considering removing the Islamic Revolutionary […]]]>
WASHINGTON — Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has joined Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) in introducing new legislation ensuring Congress has a say in revoking Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) designations . Currently, the executive branch can take such action unilaterally. Their new proposal comes after reports surfaced that the Biden administration is considering removing the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from the FTO list as the US continues to renegotiate the Iran deal. . The renegotiation is taking place despite the fact that this organization remains implicated in terrorism throughout the Middle East and beyond.

“This is an unchecked power wielded by the executive branch that should be subject to congressional approval. This is particularly alarming given that the current administration is potentially using it to capitulate to Iran. We shouldn’t appease our aggressors – it’s high time to learn that lesson. Our founding fathers created a system of checks and balances for a reason, and this is a clear area where the legislature should have the ability to override the executive,” Grassley said.

By designating an entity as an FTO, the United States limits the financial, property, and travel interests of a terrorist group. Some of the consequences of receiving such a designation are:

  • It is illegal for a US citizen to knowingly provide “material support or resources” to a designated FTO.
  • Persons belonging to a designated FTO are inadmissible to the United States and, under certain circumstances, deportable from the United States.

FTO designations also support U.S. efforts to prevent terrorist financing, discourage donations or economic transactions, and demonstrate heightened concern for other nations.

Under current law, if the President or Secretary of State decides to revoke a State Sponsor of Terrorism (SST) designation—as with Iran or North Korea—Congress has the power to revoke it. introduce a disapproval resolution to block the withdrawal. However, Congress does not have the same authority for FTOs. Simply put, this legislation gives Congress equal authority over FTOs and OHS.

The full text of the bill is available by clicking HERE.

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Biden to announce $1 billion in new military aid to Ukraine https://www.smlxtralarge.com/biden-to-announce-1-billion-in-new-military-aid-to-ukraine/ Wed, 16 Mar 2022 02:27:00 +0000 https://www.smlxtralarge.com/biden-to-announce-1-billion-in-new-military-aid-to-ukraine/ WASHINGTON — President Biden is expected to announce a total of more than $1 billion in new military aid to the Ukrainian government as early as Wednesday, U.S. officials say, as Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky is expected to ask Congress for more help to defend his country against Russian invasion. The $1.01 billion is expected […]]]>

WASHINGTON — President Biden is expected to announce a total of more than $1 billion in new military aid to the Ukrainian government as early as Wednesday, U.S. officials say, as Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky is expected to ask Congress for more help to defend his country against Russian invasion.

The $1.01 billion is expected to include more of the same kind of military equipment that the U.S. says Ukrainians need most: anti-armour and anti-aircraft systems, including man-portable air defenses such as the Javelins and the Stingers. The money would come from the roughly $13.6 billion allocated to Ukraine in the omnibus budget bill Mr Biden signed into law on Tuesday. The package Mr. Biden will announce includes the more than $200 million in support sent over the weekend and about $800 million more in new funding, for a total of more than $1 billion.

While the White House plans to send more troops to Europe to add to the roughly 15,000 deployed there since the start of the Russia-Ukraine crisis, Mr Biden should not deploy more troops now, said American officials.

“We are acting urgently to further increase support for the brave people of Ukraine as they defend their country,” President Biden said Tuesday, without providing further details. “And I’ll have a lot more to say about that tomorrow about exactly what we’re doing in Ukraine.”

Senators and members of the House of Representatives from both parties have called on the administration to send as much military support as possible to Ukraine, and in his virtual address to Congress on Wednesday, Zelensky is expected to appeal for that support.

On Tuesday, Mr. Zelensky pleaded before the Canadian Parliament for a no-fly zone, asking lawmakers to stop Russia in its attempt to “annihilate” Ukraine.

“It’s a desperate situation, but it also allowed us to see who our true friends are over the past 20 days,” Mr Zelensky said.

But Pentagon officials and others say some forms of support would not help Ukrainians and risk plunging the United States into direct conflict with Russia inside Ukraine. These officials oppose the establishment of a no-fly zone, believing that it would not prevent Russian cruise missiles from being launched from inside Russia and could force American and military planes North Atlantic Treaty Organization to shoot down Russian planes. The Pentagon has also refused to support a separate proposal to supply Polish jet fighters to Ukraine via the United States, arguing that the Ukrainians are not using the jet fighters they already have. The Pentagon also discussed the logistical challenges of getting planes to Ukraine.

Soldiers and volunteers pulled out of the fighting in Irpin, Ukraine on Saturday.


Photo:

Christopher Occhicone for The Wall Street Journal

The new support comes after US officials said over the weekend that after the invasion Moscow reached out to Beijing for economic military assistance. China has been reluctant to distance itself from Russia, and Moscow and Beijing have denied that Russia has requested military assistance from China.

The United States is still sending the last tranche of support, about $350 million worth of weapons, to Ukraine. Since 2014, the United States had provided $2.5 billion in military aid before Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, defense officials said.

Write to Gordon Lubold at Gordon.Lubold@wsj.com, Vivian Salama at vivian.salama@wsj.com and Nancy A. Youssef at nancy.youssef@wsj.com

Copyright ©2022 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Appeared in the March 16, 2022 print edition as “Biden to Announce $1 Billion in New Aid.”

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Helping Ukraine proves difficult for some Ukrainians in US: NPR https://www.smlxtralarge.com/helping-ukraine-proves-difficult-for-some-ukrainians-in-us-npr/ Wed, 09 Mar 2022 10:00:53 +0000 https://www.smlxtralarge.com/helping-ukraine-proves-difficult-for-some-ukrainians-in-us-npr/ Ianina and Sergiy Piontkovskyi at their home in a suburb of Washington, DC on March 4. Greg Kahn for NPR hide caption toggle caption Greg Kahn for NPR Ianina and Sergiy Piontkovskyi at their home in a suburb of Washington, DC on March 4. Greg Kahn for NPR Yanina Piontkovska, like many Ukrainians living in […]]]>

Ianina and Sergiy Piontkovskyi at their home in a suburb of Washington, DC on March 4.

Greg Kahn for NPR


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Greg Kahn for NPR


Ianina and Sergiy Piontkovskyi at their home in a suburb of Washington, DC on March 4.

Greg Kahn for NPR

Yanina Piontkovska, like many Ukrainians living in the United States, follows the news of the Russian invasion of her country with shock and anguish. “I could never have foreseen this massacre,” she said.

“It’s hard to see the pictures of destroyed buildings in Kyiv,” says Piontkovska, tears in her eyes. “I used to walk these streets and I can’t accept the reality.”

Her 80-year-old Russian-born mother, a brother and family, her stepfather, many friends, and her husband, Sergiy Piontkovskyi, live in Ukraine. Her husband goes back and forth between Kiev and the United States – and luckily, she says, he was in the United States when the invasion began.

“I’m very scared,” the 55-year-old mother of three said while sitting in her living room in a Washington, DC suburb one recent morning. She says Putin will not back down, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Piontkovska talks with her mother and friends throughout the day, several times a day, she says. “I need to hear their voices.” But she says she struggles with her emotions, “I have to be brave and optimistic to keep them calm and give them hope.” She says it’s nerve-wracking to hear the shelling across the line.

On the weekend of February 26, a pediatrician friend in Kyiv told her of urgent medical needs in hospitals and clinics, she says. “I knew then that I had to organize donations of medical supplies to the United States.” She contacted Ohmatdyt Central Children’s Hospital in Kyiv and got a list of what was urgently needed – things like blood-stopping drugs, painkillers, tourniquets and antibiotics, she said.

The Piontkovskyi family has a Ukrainian flag hanging outside their home.

Greg Kahn for NPR


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Greg Kahn for NPR

Obtaining donations was easy but shipping logistics in Kyiv prove difficult

“I emailed everyone I know in the United States asking for these items,” she says. “I never thought I would do something like this because I didn’t think Russia would invade.”

Piontkovska says asking for donations was the easy part, but it’s the logistics of shipping to a country in the midst of an attack, and straight to Kyiv Children’s Hospital that proves difficult.

She contacted her local Red Cross to no avail. She also called the National and International Red Cross and Razom for Ukraine – no luck either.

Razom for Ukraine or Together for Ukraine is an American non-profit organization created to help Ukrainians after Russia invaded and annexed Crimea in 2014. Board member Maria Genkin says her group has received overwhelming support since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.

Genkin says traditional delivery and shipping methods in Ukraine have been affected because bridges and roads have been destroyed or made extremely dangerous by the invasion. But she says Razom is currently shipping aid directly to Lviv, a city in western Ukraine about 80km from the border with Poland that has been spared direct attacks.

“Razom has an organized network of volunteers on the ground in Ukraine delivering donations, it’s a crowdsourced delivery system,” she said, adding that many people in Ukraine are involved in the effort.

For the past two weeks, says Genkin, “Razom’s top priority has been shipping medical first aid kits to treat excessive bleeding.” She says these kits are for civilians fighting in the field and include tourniquets, dressing gauze and emergency trauma dressings, among other related necessities.

“If Razom has donations delivered to its New Jersey warehouse, we will ship it, but having it delivered to a specific hospital is not realistic,” Genkin says. It is a financial responsibility for Razom to ship aid from the west coast to their warehouse. “That’s why we couldn’t work with Ianina Piontkovska’s donations,” says Genkins.

Ianina Piontkovska still has family in Kyiv, including her 80-year-old Russian-born mother.

Greg Kahn for NPR


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Greg Kahn for NPR

The American Red Cross does not participate in these types of humanitarian efforts

The American Red Cross, through a spokesperson, told NPR that the organization is working on the ground in Ukraine and that while the humanitarian needs are incredibly high, the organization cannot undertake efforts like those of Piontkovska. The spokesperson says – although well-meaning:

“The American Red Cross does not accept these donations, which take time, money and resources to sort and distribute. The best way to help, at this time, is to make a financial donation. designated to your local Red Cross.”

Piontkovska did not give up. She relies more on her own circle of friends and family in the United States. His daughter’s sister-in-law, Neeka Delaney, is responsible for sales and purchasing at Allied Medical Products, Inc., Delaney’s family medical supply business in Orange County, California, and donates syringes, needles, tourniquet kits , gloves, diapers and formula.

“Some of our customers have also reached out to us for help,” Delaney says. “We’re preparing several pallets ready to ship,” and Delta Logistics, Inc., an Iowa-based company with a warehouse in Oregon, agreed to ship it.

And although Allied has provided humanitarian financial assistance to other countries, including Armenia and Lebanon, Delaney says: “That sounds more daunting.

“The invasion has disrupted shipping logistics,” she says, “and we want to make sure what we send will go where it needs to go.”

Ihor Levkiv is also organizing medical aid to Ukrainians besieged since the start of the invasion. He and his family came to the United States 27 years ago. He is president of the Ukrainian-American Cultural Association of Oregon and Southwest Washington.

“The willingness to help has been incredible,” says Levkiv. It also organizes aid donations and expeditions to Ukraine. “We have about 57 pallets of medical supplies in Portland ready to ship and about 30 pallets in Seattle already,” he says. These were donated by local individuals, schools, churches.

Ianina, Sergiy and their daughters Sonia and Mariana Piontkovskyi, at home. Helping Ukraine is a family effort. Sergiv has created an online petition to establish a no-fly zone over Ukraine and Sonia and Mariana are organizing fundraisers at their schools

Greg Kahn for NPR


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Greg Kahn for NPR

“It’s even hard to describe, but I come up against huge obstacles”

And just like Piontkovska, Levkiv’s biggest challenge has been getting aid to Ukraine, he says.

“It’s even hard to describe, but I’m running into huge hurdles,” he says. He is in contact with officials in Washington, DC, as well as the Ukrainian Embassy in San Francisco, “but still no solution,” he says. He is also approaching DHL, the international shipping company, in hopes the pallets can be airlifted from Portland, Oregon, to Poland.

“The scenes of Putin’s attacks are unconscionable and appalling,” Levkiv said. He followed the news of the Russian invasion of Ukraine with anxiety and anger. He says if the world doesn’t stop Putin now, “He won’t stop after destroying Ukraine. Who will Putin invade next?”

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine intensifies, nearly two weeks after it began, Piontkovska and Levkiv say they feel like they are racing against time to deliver much-needed medical supplies. But this week, the first shipment begins its journey from the Allied Medical Products warehouse in California to Delta Logistics in Oregon and then to Ukraine, confirms Allied’s Neeka Delaney.

It took many sleepless nights, phone calls, emails, but Piontkovska and Levkiv say their determination to help their country remains unfettered.

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Global Research Community Condemns Russian Invasion of Ukraine https://www.smlxtralarge.com/global-research-community-condemns-russian-invasion-of-ukraine/ Tue, 01 Mar 2022 17:51:45 +0000 https://www.smlxtralarge.com/global-research-community-condemns-russian-invasion-of-ukraine/ Ukrainian soldiers march through the center of Kiev, bombarded by Russian forces.Credit: Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine has sparked a wave of condemnation from scientists and research organizations around the world. Some organizations in Western countries have decided to quickly sever ties with Russia, cutting funding and resources and ending collaborations with Russian […]]]>

Ukrainian soldiers march through the center of Kiev, bombarded by Russian forces.Credit: Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty

Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine has sparked a wave of condemnation from scientists and research organizations around the world. Some organizations in Western countries have decided to quickly sever ties with Russia, cutting funding and resources and ending collaborations with Russian scientists. And from Mauritius to Latvia, national science academies and research groups have issued statements strongly critical of the conflict and supporting their Ukrainian colleagues.

In Ukraine, scientists are pressuring nations to exclude Russia from their science programs and calling on Russian institutes and scientific leaders to condemn the invasion.

“There should be a complete boycott of the Russian academic community. No cooperation,” says Maksym Strikha, a physicist at Taras Shevchenko National University in Kyiv, which is in the center of the Ukrainian capital and said the front line was 30 kilometers away. This includes banning articles by Russian authors in Western journals and banning researchers with Russian affiliations from international research teams, he says. “The Russian academic community should also pay its own price for supporting [Russian President Vladimir] Putin.

The chorus of condemnation includes the voices of thousands of scientists in Russia, who say they are appalled by the actions of their government. In a letter organized by researchers in Russia and signed by more than 5,000 people, the scientists strongly condemn the hostilities and say the Russian leadership has launched an unjustifiable war in the name of their “geopolitical ambitions”. The letter includes about 85 scientists who are members of the Russian Academy of Sciences, a government body that oversees much of the nation’s research. One academic, biologist Eugene Koonin of the US National Center for Biotechnology Information in Bethesda, Maryland, resigned his overseas membership citing inaction by the academy’s leadership. (The Russian Academy of Sciences did not respond to Naturerequest for comment.)

Demonstration in Russia against military actions in Ukraine.

Residents of St. Petersburg, Russia protest against their government’s military invasion of Ukraine.Credit: Valya Egorshin/NurPhoto/Getty

Canceled collaborations

Among the strongest measures taken so far is the decision by a group of Germany’s biggest research funders, including the German Research Foundation, to freeze all scientific cooperation with Russia. In a February 25 statement, the group – the Alliance of Scientific Organizations in Germany – says that the country’s research funds will no longer benefit Russia, that no joint scientific events will take place and that no new collaborations will not start. “The Alliance is aware of the consequences of these measures and at the same time deeply regrets them for science,” she said.

“My former student lives in Germany and we always collaborate. She was informed by her superiors that any contact with Russian scientists would be strongly discouraged,” says Mikhail Gelfand, co-organizer of the Russian Scientists’ Letter and professor of biology at the Skoltech Center of Life Sciences in Moscow. “From what I see, this is happening in many places.”

The atmosphere between colleagues in Russia is “terrible”, he says. “Nobody thought it would come to a direct invasion,” he says. “No one thought Russia would attack Kiev.” Gelfand says he hopes there’s a way blanket sanctions won’t hurt individual scientists, many of whom publicly oppose the war.

In the United States, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at Cambridge has ended its relationship with the Skolkovo Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Moscow and focused on innovation. In 2011, the partners launched the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, or Skoltech, in Moscow. “We take it with deep regret because of our great respect for the Russian people and our deep appreciation for the contributions of the many extraordinary Russian colleagues with whom we have worked,” a Feb. 25 statement from MIT read.

And on February 27, UK Science Minister George Freeman tweeted that he had launched a rapid review of UK government research-innovation funding to Russian recipients.

full boycott

Ukrainian scientists, meanwhile, are mobilizing to convince international organizations to take stronger action against Russia. More than 130 people have signed an open letter to the European Commission and European Union Member States calling for an urgent suspension of all funding and international collaboration with Russian institutions. “The European Union can no longer provide funding to institutions subordinate to the Putin regime if the EU acts on the basis of the declared values ​​indicated in the EU treaties,” he says.

The letter, initiated by the Ukrainian Council of Young Scientists, says Russia should not be involved in EU programs such as the flagship Horizon Europe research program; the Erasmus+e exchange programme; international collaborations such as the CERN particle physics research laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland; and the international nuclear fusion project ITER. A spokesperson for the European Commission says it has received the letter and that “nothing is on the table”. “The European Union stands with Ukraine and its people,” said the spokesperson.

Another high-profile cancellation is the International Mathematical Union’s quadrennial conference, which awards the prestigious Fields Medal and was due to be held in St. Petersburg in July. After mounting pressure from national mathematical societies and more than 100 of its guest speakers, the union said Feb. 26 it would hold the International Congress of Mathematicians online in light of the dispute.

Other measures

Some Ukrainian scientists say that while they appreciate the support of their Russian counterparts, the actions announced so far do not go far enough. In particular, Russian academic institutions did not condemn the aggression, says an open letter from the Academy of Sciences of the Higher School of Ukraine. Restrictions on Russian scientists must be comprehensive, they say: “We urge that researchers affiliated with such institutions not be admitted to international grant teams, not invited to international conferences and not published. in leading international scientific journals.

The editorial board of at least one journal, the Journal of Molecular Structuredecided to no longer consider manuscripts written by scientists working in institutions in Russia.

Alexander Kobalov, a Russian-American physicist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who co-organized a letter from Russian researchers living abroad, says supporting Ukrainian researchers is the crucial next step. “Right now, many Ukrainians are fighting for their country and some are refugees,” he says. The Western academic community should develop support programs for Ukrainians who need scientific education and training. “I think the labs should be open to them.”

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To be serious about diversity, academic medicine must pay https://www.smlxtralarge.com/to-be-serious-about-diversity-academic-medicine-must-pay/ Mon, 28 Feb 2022 09:46:17 +0000 https://www.smlxtralarge.com/to-be-serious-about-diversity-academic-medicine-must-pay/ As I started interviewing for my first post-fellowship position as a neuro-oncologist, I immediately realized that I could work in private practice and earn a good salary or earn a lot less by choosing to work in a teaching hospital where I could do research and help train new doctors. Ultimately, I accepted a job […]]]>

As I started interviewing for my first post-fellowship position as a neuro-oncologist, I immediately realized that I could work in private practice and earn a good salary or earn a lot less by choosing to work in a teaching hospital where I could do research and help train new doctors. Ultimately, I accepted a job at a teaching hospital that gave me the time, resources, and support to pursue a career in health equity.

But as a first-generation Guyanese doctor, the decision wasn’t easy, especially when it came to salary.

I’m not alone. Every year, thousands of physicians must make this same decision when considering a career in academic medicine. But that weighs heavier on Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) doctors, who are less likely to have generational wealth and often struggle with significant student debt. This is reflected in the makeup of today’s physician pool: Black, Latino, and Native American physicians make up 11.1% of the total physician population and 9.3% of medical school professors, though they represent 31.7% of the American population.

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Although compensation is not the only barrier to diversity in academic medicine, it is one of the most important.

It is a privilege to be a doctor. It is also a privilege to be financially and professionally secure enough to embark on the path to becoming a doctor, which includes four years of medical school and a minimum of three years of residency, and lasts even longer for those who pursue doctorates or scholarships for some. specialties. And that doesn’t take into account what pre-med students often pursue to become competitive candidates, which can include years of volunteer work or service.

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All this preparation costs money. This is not just the direct cost of medical education, but also additional costs for test prep, applications, and exams, not to mention travel costs for medical school interviews and residency.

Then there is the opportunity cost: years of lost income paying exorbitant tuition fees. Investing $300,000, the cost of attending many medical schools, in an index fund mirroring the S&P and achieving a 10.5% annual return would yield over $800,000 in 10 years.

For many, becoming a doctor remains a worthwhile investment. Once you’re in the club, you can make a better living than most Americans, though for many young doctors like me, that goal is long overdue. I used my credit cards to the max to pay for medical school interview travel expenses. The interest accrued until I could use the student loans I got to pay off my credit cards, trading one debt for another. Later, I used my resident and scholarship salary to pay expenses, start paying school loans, pay professional fees, and support my family. Student loans — which I’ll be paying off for another decade — are the most important accounts on my credit report and the biggest obstacle to buying my first home.

It was therefore a difficult decision to join the ranks of university medicine and accept a lower salary. It was a decision I could make because I come from a two income household. But many in my position cannot choose this option.

In recent years, there has been an emphasis on the importance of diversity within medicine, with many academic medical centers expressing sentiments in support of efforts for inclusion, diversity, equity, Anti-Racism and Social Justice (IDEAS).

BIPOC will continue to be underrepresented in this field for years to come, as the pool of future physicians reflects the nation’s current flawed institutions, with many students excluded from consideration for a medical career before the end of high school.

But I believe there are ways to start closing the representation gap between academic medicine and medical school faculty right now.

One solution is to increase the remuneration of university doctors. Although they generate less revenue for hospital systems and medical organizations than physicians who primarily see patients, conducting medical research and training new physicians is important work that deserves fair compensation. An overall increase in compensation would help make this career choice accessible to those without significant resources.

Another option is to target funds and grants to attract first-generation physicians or BIPOCs. This could be done as needed. New faculty hires might complete financial forms to determine their eligibility for this type of funding, or it might be done through a proxy indicator, such as qualifying for federal Pell Grants. Other programs could include strong loan repayment programs that work in addition to federal options, mortgage relief programs, housing subsidies, and signing bonuses.

Pay transparency is also important. I’m not just talking about total compensation, but what’s in it. BIPOC doctors support the “minority tax” and are often asked to take on many unpaid obligations, such as serving on diversity committees and anti-racism task forces. Although this is important work, it takes away time that could be spent on academic productivity or clinical work. The time and effort devoted to these committees and working groups must be remunerated.

Transparent salaries would also help close the gender pay gap. The Association of American Medical Colleges offers access to its faculty salary report for $1,150 for nonmembers; providing this service free of charge to potential and junior members would help to mitigate wage asymmetry.

Where will this money come from? This is where the country’s leading academic medical institutions must lead by example. Mass General Brigham, Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic and Cedars-Sinai all reported hundreds of millions of dollars in operating revenue (profits) last year. More than 40 universities with endowments of more than $1 billion each are associated with medical schools. The combined endowments of Harvard, Yale, Stanford and the University of Pennsylvania total over $120 billion. Institutions like these have the money to invest in programs and initiatives that recruit and retain BIPOC faculty members.

National agencies must also lead by example, particularly in helping academic medical centers which may not have the financial flexibility to invest in support programmes. The National Institutes of Health, which provides a significant portion of research funding in the United States, has a consortium of diversity programs. Increased funding for this program could be used to support researchers from diverse backgrounds in institutions that lack financial resources. For teaching hospitals, the graduate medical education program under Medicare provides salaries for medical residents. Increased funding for this program could be used to support faculty diversity. Both of these suggestions build on the federal government’s ongoing commitment to improving diversity and advancing equity.

While solidarity statements emphasizing IDEAS are helpful, discussions are inexpensive. It’s time to pay.

Joshua A. Budhu is a neuro-oncology researcher at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Massachusetts General Hospital, and a Commonwealth Fund Fellow in Minority Health Policy at Harvard University.

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Metropolitan Opera says it will cut ties with pro-Putin artists https://www.smlxtralarge.com/metropolitan-opera-says-it-will-cut-ties-with-pro-putin-artists/ Mon, 28 Feb 2022 00:18:00 +0000 https://www.smlxtralarge.com/metropolitan-opera-says-it-will-cut-ties-with-pro-putin-artists/ The Metropolitan Opera said on Sunday it would no longer engage with artists or other institutions that have expressed support for Russian President Vladimir V. Putin, becoming the latest cultural organization to seek to distance itself from certain Russian artists in the midst of Mr. Putin’s invasion. Ukraine. Peter Gelb, chief executive of the Met, […]]]>

The Metropolitan Opera said on Sunday it would no longer engage with artists or other institutions that have expressed support for Russian President Vladimir V. Putin, becoming the latest cultural organization to seek to distance itself from certain Russian artists in the midst of Mr. Putin’s invasion. Ukraine.

Peter Gelb, chief executive of the Met, said the Met, which has a long history of employing Russians as top singers and has a production partnership with the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, had an obligation to show its support for the Ukrainian people.

“While we firmly believe in the warm friendship and cultural exchanges that have long existed between artists and art institutions in Russia and the United States,” Mr. Gelb said in a video statement, “we can no longer engage with artists or institutions that support Putin or are supported by him.

Mr Gelb added that the policy would be in effect “until the invasion and the killings have been stopped, order has been restored and restitutions have been made”.

The Met’s decision could affect artists like superstar soprano Anna Netrebko, who has links to Mr Putin and has previously been photographed holding a flag used by some Russian-backed separatist groups in Ukraine. Ms Netrebko is due to appear at the Met in Puccini’s ‘Turandot’ from April 30.

Ms Netrebko has tried to distance herself from the invasion, posting a statement on Instagram on Saturday saying she was “opposed to this war”. She added a note of defiance, writing that “forcing artists, or any public figure, to express their political views in public and denounce their homeland is not right.”

It was unclear whether his statement would pass the Met’s new test.

The company’s decision will also likely mean the end of its collaboration with the Bolshoi, including on a new production of Wagner’s “Lohengrin” which is slated for next season. The Met relied on the Bolshoi for stage sets and costumes, but now it may have to change course.

“We’re scrambling, but I think we’ll have no choice but to physically build our own sets and costumes,” Mr. Gelb said in an interview Sunday night.

He added that he was saddened that the partnership with the Bolshoi, which began five years ago, is likely to end – at least for now.

“It’s terrible that artistic relationships, at least temporarily, are the collateral damage of these actions of Putin,” he said.

The Met’s decision comes as performing arts institutions grapple with the continued fallout from Mr Putin’s invasion. In recent days, Russian artists, long ubiquitous in classical music, have come under pressure to condemn Mr Putin’s actions or face the prospect of canceled engagements.

Carnegie Hall and the Vienna Philharmonic last week dismissed two Russian artists, conductor Valery Gergiev and pianist Denis Matsuev, from a series of planned concerts because of the pair’s ties to Mr Putin . Mr Gergiev is also at risk of losing several key positions, including that of conductor of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra and honorary conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra.

On Sunday, Mr Gergiev’s manager announced he was ending his relationship with his client.

“It has become impossible for us, and clearly inappropriate, to defend the interests of Maestro Gergiev, one of the greatest conductors of all time, a visionary artist loved and admired by many of us, who does not want not, or cannot, publicly end his career. longtime support for a regime that has come to commit such crimes,” the official, Munich-based Marcus Felsner, said in a statement.

The Royal Opera House in London announced on Friday that it would cancel a Bolshoi Ballet residency scheduled for this summer.

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Biden said he was considering cutting Moscow off from SWIFT after support surged in Europe https://www.smlxtralarge.com/biden-said-he-was-considering-cutting-moscow-off-from-swift-after-support-surged-in-europe/ Sat, 26 Feb 2022 18:03:59 +0000 https://www.smlxtralarge.com/biden-said-he-was-considering-cutting-moscow-off-from-swift-after-support-surged-in-europe/ Topline President Joe Biden is seriously considering expelling Russia from the international financial messaging system SWIFT, CNN reported on Saturday, as more European countries said they supported the decision to punish Russia for invading the Ukraine. Then-Vice President Joe Biden attends an event honoring former Vice President Walter Mondale at … [+] George Washington University […]]]>

Topline

President Joe Biden is seriously considering expelling Russia from the international financial messaging system SWIFT, CNN reported on Saturday, as more European countries said they supported the decision to punish Russia for invading the Ukraine.

Highlights

The Biden administration has discussed Russia’s removal of SWIFT with the US Federal Reserve, which is one of the toughest financial sanctions against Moscow, CNN reported, citing several people familiar with Biden’s thinking, as well as the one that would potentially be the most damaging for West Country.

The Federal Reserve is one of the financial institutions overseeing the Belgium-based international messaging system that connects 11,000 financial institutions in more than 200 countries and territories, delivering 42 million messages a day last year that coordinate transactions.

Asked why the United States hadn’t pulled Russia out of SWIFT, Biden said Thursday that the move was still an option, adding, “But right now, that’s not the position the rest of Europe wishes to adopt”.

On Saturday, support appeared to be growing for the decision in Europe, with Italy and Germany declaring their favour, while a French official told Reuters that European Union members were close to reaching a a consensus to act.

Contra

Major U.S. banks, including JPMorgan and Citigroup, have suggested to U.S. lawmakers and the Biden administration not to restrict Moscow’s access to SWIFT, Bloomberg reported. They warned that the measure could encourage the development of an alternative to SWIFT, reducing the dollar’s supremacy in the global economy. They added that removing Russia from SWIFT would make it difficult for Western countries to track Russia’s financial transactions.

Surprising fact

Iran is the only country blocked from SWIFT so far. It was cut in 2012 as part of international sanctions over the country’s nuclear program.

Key Context

Russia would still be able to bank with other countries without SWIFT, but it would be much more labor intensive and expensive. It could also have negative consequences for Russia’s main trading partners, including European countries, which could have difficulty paying for Russian oil and gas imports on which they depend.

Further reading

Biden seriously considering whether to back Russia’s withdrawal from SWIFT (CNN)

More European countries refuse to cut Russia off from SWIFT (Forbes)

Wall Street advises Washington not to kick Russia out of SWIFT (Bloomberg)

What is SWIFT? Here’s how this banking system could be used to punish Russia for invading Ukraine (Forbes)

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Jewish and Japanese American groups among growing multiracial efforts calling for reparations for black Americans https://www.smlxtralarge.com/jewish-and-japanese-american-groups-among-growing-multiracial-efforts-calling-for-reparations-for-black-americans/ Sat, 26 Feb 2022 09:00:00 +0000 https://www.smlxtralarge.com/jewish-and-japanese-american-groups-among-growing-multiracial-efforts-calling-for-reparations-for-black-americans/ Black leaders of the civil rights movement were among the biggest supporters of the effort, she says. Masaoka said the winning reparations gave the Japanese-American community strength, a chance to stand up and a sense of responsibility. Now she wants the black community to have the same. “I think we’ve always felt very connected to […]]]>

Black leaders of the civil rights movement were among the biggest supporters of the effort, she says. Masaoka said the winning reparations gave the Japanese-American community strength, a chance to stand up and a sense of responsibility. Now she wants the black community to have the same.

“I think we’ve always felt very connected to other communities of color and have seen similarities in our own situations,” Masaoka, Nikkei’s co-chair for civil rights and redress, told CNN. “We can fight for this and if we unite and build solidarity we can change this country and we can all heal,” she said.

Restorative efforts are also seen in states, cities, municipalities, and historic institutions, as they have begun to explore new ways to address past transgressions.

Last week, a student organization at the University of Chicago called on its university to pay more than $1 billion in repairs to the city’s South Side over the next 20 years. UChicago Against Displacement said in an op-ed that their university has been an “active participant in segregation and redlining” and that the money will provide “real, long-term affordable housing.”
Earlier this month, a Boston city councilman proposed a new commission to study reparations and other forms of compensation for the city’s role in slavery and inequality. Over two years, the commission would investigate the disparities and “historic damage” suffered by black Bostonians, drawing on historical documents, archival research and reaching out to the community.
Last year, California became the first state to establish a reparations task force to study the state’s role in perpetuating the legacy of slavery and to offer recommendations. Under AB3121, the task force is expected to recommend legislation this year.

These ongoing conversations at various levels have been led by black people supporting the quest for reparations, but other communities are now joining in their support.

These diverse groups are among more than 350 organizations that support HR 40. The commission would also examine how the United States would issue a formal apology for “the commission of gross human rights violations and crimes against humanity on the African slaves and their descendants”.

Rep. Lee, who reintroduced HR 40 last year, told CNN that the fact that other communities have received reparations at the federal level shows Congress can do the same for black people.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, right, speaks during a 2019 hearing on reparations for descendants of enslaved Americans.
HR 40 was first introduced to Congress by Michigan Democrat John Conyers in 1989. Former Rep. Conyers, who served until 2017, had consistently lobbied for reparations legislation on several occasions over the course of several sessions of Congress. After he left, Representative Lee became the bill’s chief advocate.

Early last year, the bill was introduced by the House Judiciary Committee in a 25-17 vote and now faces a full House vote. Rep. Lee is hopeful and says more than 200 of her colleagues are ready to vote to pass the bill. But she is also aware that the bill is being defeated in the Senate vote and urges her colleagues to understand that enslaved black people created the economic engine from which the nation was built.

Support for reparations from people outside the black community is a sign that the American Jewish and Japanese communities are on the side of justice, says Kamm Howard.

Howard, who is the national male co-chair of the National Black Coalition for Reparations in America, says that if the federal government is trying to address the harm inflicted on other communities, it’s only fair that lawmakers find a way to grant reparations to black Americans.

“There has been no attempt by the US government to specifically address the harm and the continuing harm being done to us,” Howard told CNN.

A Jewish Moral Appeal

Some members of the American Jewish community have long won support for the reparations. In 2019, the Union for Reform Judaism passed a pro-reparations resolution calling for a federal commission to “study and develop reparations proposals to address the historic and ongoing effects of slavery” and “systemic” racism against black Americans.

Yolanda Savage-Narva is the Director of Racial Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism, the part of the Union for Reform Judaism that focuses on advocacy and advocacy work. social justice.

“Our organization really understood that the call to study reparations was a Jewish moral call,” she told CNN. “It is imperative to ensure that every part of our humanity is seen as fair human beings and the call for reparations was a gesture for Reform Jewry to really put a stake in the ground.”

Holocaust victims within the Jewish community have received reparations and continue to receive annual pensions from the German and French governments.

Savage-Narva said she thinks it adds support and shows the United States that acknowledging and paying reparations is an important step in the healing process.

“The German government has really done what it has to do in terms of truth and reconciliation, and is committed, as far as possible, to making an effort to undo the harm that has been done,” he said. she declared. “Because the Jewish community has had their own historical trauma, they can make that connection and understand how important the process of reparation is.”

Why Japanese Americans Received Reparations

The Japanese-American community was one of the first communities to receive reparations from the US government and has supported the reparations movement for decades.

Japanese Americans who were interned in concentration camps in the United States during World War II from around 1942 to 1946 received reparations under the Civil Liberties Act of 1988. More than four decades later their imprisonment, the law awarded each surviving former internee $20,000.

Traci Kato-Kiriyama is the lead organizer of the Joint Reparations Committee of the Nikkei Progressives, a multigenerational community group that advocates for immigrant rights and issues for Japanese Americans, Muslims, and Little Tokyo.

“One of the reasons we understand the importance of reparations is to look at remedies and reparations for Japanese Americans,” Kato-Kiriyama told CNN. “It took the support of all kinds of people to come together, and we couldn’t have done it alone.”

David Inoue, executive director of the Japanese American Citizens League, said supporting the movement to pass HR 40 is the right thing to do and will lead to a better understanding and response to “current injustices rooted in the system”.

Inoue told CNN he thinks Congress is in a much different situation since Japanese Americans received reparations.

“The more of us who talk, the harder it will be to ignore us and our country’s responsibility to address and respond to this historic injustice,” Inoue said.

“We need federal reparations”

The idea of ​​reparations has been an ongoing debate since the end of the Civil War in 1865, when freed slaves were promised 40 acres and a mule. The founding meeting of the National Coalition of Black for Reparations in America in 1987 came together with the goal of broadening the base of support for the long-standing reparations movement.
Bill HR 40 was then introduced in 1989. Writer Ta-Nehisi Coates renewed the conversation about reparations in his 2014 article in The Atlantic, “The Case for Reparations”. Since its reintroduction into mainstream media, efforts have been made at the community, state, and national levels to compensate black people for slavery and systemic racism issues.
Author Ta-Nehisi Coates waits to testify about reparations for descendants of enslaved Americans at a hearing in 2019.

“All of these efforts, no matter where they take place, are important and good to keep moving forward,” Kato-Kiriyama told CNN. “It also reminds us that we don’t have to wait for a huge federal bill, although we do need federal reparations.”

At the national level, the movement for reparations is expected to take time.

Experts say that if the bill makes it through the House, it faces opposition from some Democrats and most Republicans – and is unlikely to have enough votes for a majority in the test. filibuster in the Senate.

Dr. Ron Daniels, head of the National African American Reparations Commission, told CNN he finds remarkable how far the idea of ​​reparations has come since it was introduced as an education bill in 1989.

“We’re knocking on the door for HR 40 to be enacted either by statute or more likely by executive order,” he said. “This is a major moment in American history.”

There are five major wounds of slavery that still plague the black community today, including people status and nation status; education; health; penalty sanction; and wealth and poverty, according to the NCOBRA.

Howard said the bill would look at those ongoing injuries, among other things, to define the degree of harm the black community has suffered and continues to suffer.

“There is today a rise in racism against African Americans and the pressure must be: why have Americans not been able to find a way to ease racial tensions? Rep. Lee told CNN. “Every time we move on, something brings us back to issues of race. This bill provides an opportunity to bring people together through understanding.”

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Women-owned businesses get boost from SBA program https://www.smlxtralarge.com/women-owned-businesses-get-boost-from-sba-program/ Thu, 24 Feb 2022 18:15:13 +0000 https://www.smlxtralarge.com/women-owned-businesses-get-boost-from-sba-program/ Women-owned businesses, especially those owned by black women, are increasing dramatically in the United States today and have gained a foothold in the economy. However, they still face challenges, including obtaining small business loans. However, the Biden administration is working to give women entrepreneurs the help they need. Last week, the head of the Small […]]]>

Women-owned businesses, especially those owned by black women, are increasing dramatically in the United States today and have gained a foothold in the economy.

However, they still face challenges, including obtaining small business loans. However, the Biden administration is working to give women entrepreneurs the help they need.

Last week, the head of the Small Business Administration (SBA) Isabelle Casillas Guzman announced the availablity $1.5 million for 10 new grant opportunities for established minority-serving institutions aspiring to host a Women’s Business Center (WBC) to provide results-driven local business services to women entrepreneurs.

Eligible grant applicants include HBCUs, Minority Serving Institutions (MSI), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCU), Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions (NHSI), and Alaska Native Serving Institutions ( ANSI) and non-profit organizations.

“Our office looks forward to supporting initiatives to ensure that multicultural women and the academic institutions that support them across the country have access to resources and support to advance entrepreneurial opportunities and readiness,” said Natalie Madeira Cofield. , deputy administrator of the SBA at Forbes.

Women-owned businesses also face seed funding challenges to start a business, but have a better track record of success, long-term, than male-led startups. The Boston Consulting Group reports that women-owned businesses that pitched ideas seeking seed capital received at least $1 million less than male business owners. However, the report adds that women-owned businesses generated more revenue over the long term, earning 10% more revenue over a five-year period.

According to Forbes, in 2019, 50% of businesses were run by women of color, however, between 2014 and 2019 the average revenue for businesses run by women of color decreased by approximately $2,000. The average revenue of businesses run by non-minority women over the same period increased by more than $20,000.

The WBCs offer a range of business resources including one-on-one counseling, training, networking, workshops and mentoring for women.

Since last March, two dozen WBCs have opened, including three affiliated with HBCUs and two in Puerto Rico. Currently, the Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO) funds and supports the largest network of WBCs in the United States with 140 centers in 49 states.

The period for accepting applications will continue until March 14, 2022.

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