Lord Duncan updated the group on the UK Government’s Chequers position, and confirming that we are seeking a financial services regulatory and stability arrangement. This will provide stability for the EU-UK financial ecosystem, preserving mutually beneficial cross-border business models and economic integration.The UK Government’s negotiating position is critical to Scotland’s future. That is why the course agreed at Chequers was one intended to enhance our prosperity and security outside the EU and build a country that works for everyone. UK Government Minister Lord Duncan has met leading figures in finance, investment and Fintech to discuss a range of issues affecting financial services companies and organisations in Scotland and the UK.The meeting in Glasgow included representatives from the Bank of England, Scottish Financial Enterprise and the Financial Conduct Authority. They discussed the opportunities arising from the UK’s departure from the European Union, the differences between the Scottish and UK economy, as well as the UK Government’s support for the FinTech sector.Lord Duncan said: It’s well known that Scotland’s financial sector punches above its weight. We have internationally renowned firms, cutting edge technology and some of the brightest minds in the business. That’s why it is so important that I hear directly from representatives from these businesses in order to hear directly what their concerns are, and where they see areas of development as we leave the EU. Fintech is an area that I’m keen to hear more about – and something that the UK Government is fully behind. Earlier this year the UK Government published the Fintech Sector Strategy, which outlined how the government would act to make the UK the best place to start and grow a Fintech business and looked at areas where we could help remove barriers to entry and growth faced by these firms. I was pleased to welcome Stephen Ingledew, the Chief Executive of FinTech Scotland which is an example of the benefits of collaboration between the government and the private sector. It’s really important that the UK Government, Scottish Government and organisations such as those represented today work closely together for the benefit of the sector. During a speech last month the Chancellor said that we are standing on the brink of a technological revolution – with leaps and bounds being made in AI, robotics, biotech, Fintech, and a whole lot more. We need to capitalise on this and be ambitious in our development – working with other leaders to share knowledge and expertise. We have Fintech Bridges with Singapore, South Korea, China, Hong Kong, and Australia, which builds on collaboration between us and those countries – enhancing bilateral trade and investment flow. It is obvious that there is a bright future and a wealth of opportunities for these companies and the whole sector, and I look forward to discussing them in more detail.
My Morning Jacket returned to the prized Red Rocks Amphitheatre last night, playing the first of two sold-out shows at the historic Morrison, CO venue. MMJ took the opportunity to play a career-spanning 27-song show, packed with lots of classic originals, bust-outs, and choice covers.The show opened with “Virctory Dance,” before grooving into “Heartbreakin’ Man” and “Outta My System.” Fans got a taste of their 2015 album The Waterfall with “In Its Infancy (The Waterfall),” before catching the first “Just One Thing” since July 18, 2013. What a bust out!After the bust out, the band welcomed Eric Johnson from opening act Fruit Bats to join in on “Wonderful (The Way I Feel).” They also brought out former band member Johnny Quaid to join in on various songs throughout the end of the main set.My Morning Jacket worked a number of covers into their set, including Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door,” Erykah Badu’s “Tyrone,” and the reprise of their Prince cover, “Purple Rain,” that was debuted earlier this year. You can watch the “Tyrone” and “Purple Rain” covers, below. MMJ wasn’t done bringing out unexpected songs either, as they played a handful of 2016 tour debuts like “Picture Of You,” “Strangulation!,” and “Smokin’ From Shootin’” throughout the main set.The band closed out the show with a five-song encore that included “Highly Suspicious” and both parts of “Touch Me I’m Going To Scream,” before concluding with “Cobra” and “Mahgeetah.” MMJ is set to do it all again tonight, May 29th, so don’t miss out!The full setlist can be seen below.Edit this setlist | More My Morning Jacket setlists[Cover photo by trdonoghue/Instagram]
Widespread Panic continues their summer fun with a series of performances along the West Coast, heading Southwest from Las Vegas and finding themselves at the Civic Theatre in San Diego, CA last Tuesday, July 12th. The band constantly brings enthusiastic jams and powerful music to their performances, and the San Diego show was no exception. They rocked it.Among the many highlights were two of the band’s well-known covers, J.J. Cale’s “Ride Me High” and The Guess Who’s “No Sugar Tonight” and “New Mother Nature.” Fortunately, YouTube user LoadOffAnnie was on the ground and able to catch these great musical moments.Ride Me HighNo Sugar Tonight/New Mother NaturePanic resumes their tour tonight, July 14th, with two shows at the Fox Theatre in Oakland, CA. You can see the full setlist below, courtesy of Everyday Companion.Setlist: Widespread Panic at Civic Theatre, San Diego, CA – 7/12/16Set 1: Henry Parsons Died, This Part Of Town, Hope In A Hopeless World, A of D, Street Dogs For Breakfast, Space Wrangler, Mercy, Contentment Blues, Proving GroundSet 2: Let’s Get Down To Business, Makes Sense To Me, Visiting Day > Ride Me High > Driving Song > Surprise Valley > Jamais Vu > Drums > Surprise Valley > Driving Song > St. Louis, No Sugar Tonight/New Mother NatureE: Hatfield, North
In early September, news broke that Pittsburgh-born rapper Mac Miller had been found dead of an apparent drug overdose. He was 26 years old.Today, the results of his official toxicology report have been released by the L.A. County Coroners Office. The inquiry found Fentanyl, cocaine, and alcohol in Miller’s system at the time of his death, though none in high enough concentrations to kill him on their own. As such, his cause of death has been ruled “mixed drug toxicity,” meaning that it was the combination of the substances in his system that caused the overdose.This official report is devastating, though sadly not entirely unsurprising in today’s terms. Mac Miller had a history of substance abuse throughout his short life and frequently spoke about his struggles in his music and interviews. Miller is also far from the first artist to meet his end due to an accidental mix of Fentanyl (an insanely strong opioid painkiller) and other substances in recent years. Prince‘s 2016 death was ruled an accidental overdose after an “exceedingly high” levels of Fentanyl was found in his system. Tom Petty‘s accidental overdose last year was also caused by mixed drug toxicity, as his autopsy found Fentanyl, oxycodone, generic Xanax, and other drugs found in his system.This prescription opioid crisis extends beyond celebrities as well, as the number of people taken by accidental overdoses on Fentanyl and similar opioid analogs like carfentanyl nationwide has continued to rise. As The Bunk Police founder Adam Auctor explained in a recent interview with Live For Live Music,These substances are being used to adulterate mainstream drugs because it’s incredibly cheap and it’s also very addictive. Whoever is manufacturing these things, be it cartels or some of these larger pill mills out in Eastern Europe, they’re using it because it’s financially beneficial to them. Not only is it highly addictive, but they can also sell a substance that people are going to enjoy for pennies, whereas real cocaine or heroin is going to be exponentially more expensive and less profitable for them.But fentanyl is showing up in a bunch of weird things, and it’s led to the deaths of some pretty famous people. Prince was an overdose on fentanyl. From what I understand, he had taken hydrocodone, but fentanyl was found in his system. Tom Petty overdosed on several different variations of fentanyl. Lil Peep overdosed on fentanyl that was cut into Xanax. He made a post I think on Instagram right beforehand with one of these Xanax pills in his mouth right before he died because of it. It’s incredibly saddening to see another talented artist taken too soon in this manner. Be careful out there, and look out for one another. Don’t let yourself or someone you love become another tragic statistic in our nation’s ongoing opioid epidemic.Rest in peace, Mac.Mac Miller – “Isn’t She Lovely” [Stevie Wonder cover, Solo Piano][Video: Mac Miller][H/T Rolling Stone]
Toni Morrison knew the power of words decades before her own changed the face of American literature.In her first Charles Eliot Norton Lecture Wednesday before a rapt audience at Sanders Theatre, the Nobel Prize winner and distinguished novelist set a powerful tone on the themes of belonging and “others,” beginning with an early memory of a visit from her great-grandmother Millicent MacTeer, a “tall, straight-backed” matriarch with “tar black” skin, who thought less of Morrison and her sister’s lighter brown complexion.“Your children have been tampered with,” Morrison recalled MacTeer telling her mother.That idea of separating identities has been a cornerstone of Morrison’s writing career (“The Bluest Eye,” “Beloved”), but on Wednesday she went deeper, examining literary text (“Uncle Tom’s Cabin”) side by side with a slave owner’s diary and a journal of scientific racism. The Mahindra Humanities Center is hosting the Norton talks, titled “The Literature of Belonging: The Origin of Others.” Director Homi K. Bhabha, who is also the Anne F. Rothenberg Professor of the Humanities, welcomed Morrison with gravitas.“Never before have I felt the profound need for her presence as today,” he said, pointing to election rhetoric, immigration impasse, and police killings of young African-Americans. “I take comfort from the fact that it is this very darkness — of racism, inequality, violence, totalitarian power — to which Toni Morrison has, for so many years, brought light and life and understanding.”The 85-year-old, who this week was awarded the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Lifetime Achievement, enjoyed a sustained standing ovation before beginning to lecture. Speaking from a wheelchair, she described her return to Harvard as “comforting,” then launched into the human tendency “to separate and judge those not in our pact.”She took aim at Samuel Cartwright, a doctor who, in the early half of the 1800s, invented “drapetomania” as a disorder of slaves who desired to flee servitude. This desire for power and control, which found its way into the New Orleans Medical and Surgical Journal, illustrated the need “to identify an outsider in order to define oneself,” Morrison said.But her contrast of Thomas Thistlewood’s diary with Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” was most dramatic. In the upper-class English slave owner’s personal writings, she read straightforward records of his daily life. There were purchases of sugar and there were weather reports recanted with the same directness as his sexual relations with slaves.Translating Thistlewood’s Latin text, Morrison read: “Sup. lect. for on the bed, sup terr. for on the ground, in silva for in the woods … not satisfied, sed non bene.”The directness was cutting, and Morrison followed immediately with Stowe’s flowery, over-the-top description of Uncle Tom and Aunt Chloe’s humble home and a visit from Master George. Calling it “literary protectionism,” Morrison said “the natural beauty Stowe takes pains to describe is cultivated, welcoming, seductive, and excessive.”Even more astonishing, Morrison argued, was the meal where Uncle Tom and Aunt Chloe watched as Master George tossed food toward Mose and Pete.“For Stowe, slavery is sexually and romantically sanitized and perfumed,” she contended. “Food is thrown on the floor, on a dirt floor for their children to scramble for. It’s an odd scene designed, I think, to amuse and reassure the reader that everything in this atmosphere is safe.”Stowe’s work provided the title of this first lecture, “Romancing Slavery,” but Morrison, the 58th scholar named to the Charles Eliot Norton Professorship of Poetry, ended by teasing themes from the novel she is currently working on.“How does one move from a non-racial womb to the womb of racism?”Morrison’s remaining Charles Eliot Norton lectures are: “Being and Becoming the Stranger” (March 8), “The Color Fetish” (March 9), “Configurations of Blackness” (March 22), “Narrating the Other” (April 11), and “The Foreigner’s Home” (April 16). Starting always at 4 p.m., the lectures are free, but require a ticket. Tickets are available at noon the day of the lecture at Sanders Theatre, 45 Quincy St. (or online with a processing fee).
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian state TV says Iranian and Taliban officials have met in Tehran and are accusing the U.S. of provoking the continuation of war in Afghanistan. Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, told visiting Taliban political chief Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar on Wednesday that the U.S. seeks to continue the war in neighboring Afghanistan. Shamkhani says the U.S. tries to blame insecurity and instability in the country on individual Afghan groups. There was no immediate comment from the U.S., which signed a peace agreement with the Taliban last February and met its goal this month of reducing the number of troops in Afghanistan to about 2,500.
Governor Announces $400,000 Training GrantFunds Will Help 1,000 Vermonters Improve SkillsBURLINGTON, Vt. – Governor Jim Douglas has announced the award of more than $400,000 in training funds to help Vermont workers improve their skill and make their employers more competitive.At a ceremony celebrating Vermont Business Magazine’s 5 x 5 x5 Growth Awards yesterday, Douglas announced the Vermont Training Program contract with the Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center for $409,150.”This money will help train 1,000 employees in ‘lean’ techniques for both manufacturing and healthcare,” Douglas said. “This kind of investment in Vermont’s workforce will help them access high-skill, high-wage jobs; it will help employers be more competitive in the global marketplace; and it will help contain health care costs.”The non-profit Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center (VMEC), headquartered on the campus of Vermont Technical College in Randolph Center, will provide the training through public workshops, forums, and other onsite instruction.Last year, with the help of a similar grant and other funds, VMEC trained 3,181 Vermonters through a combination of public workshops and onsite training. That included 42 public workshops – 37 in manufacturing and 5 in lean health care – and 11 forums, 10 on manufacturing and the first lean health care forum.Some 99 different manufacturers and 18 health care or other organizations took advantage of the training offered by VMEC, which was one of the sponsors of the 5 x 5 x 5 Growth Awards.The Vermont Training Program, part of the Vermont Department of Economic Development, provides funding to companies for customized on-the-job, classroom, skills upgrade, or other specialized training for employees. Last year the Vermont Training Program provided training to nearly 5,000 employees at more than 80 firms in Vermont.”Working with partners like the Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center, this program helps our workforce and our companies grow and prosper,” Douglas said.-30-
Nations along the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire — the plate in the basin of the Pacific Ocean where much volcanic activity occurs — gave serious attention to volcano monitoring and disaster prevention programs after the Armero Tragedy. The results have been highly detailed risk maps and education programs, linking civil and military authorities to vulnerable populations. “Ecuador has taken notice that it is a country at risk of volcanic eruptions,” said Lieutenant General Jorge Peña Cobeña, chief of the Joint Command of the Ecuadorean Armed Forces. He said the Armed Forces are working together with the Secretary of National Risk Management to inform populations about their vulnerability and escape routes. “It is no longer a reactionary mindset when it comes to disasters — it is a mindset of forecasting.” Lieutenant Colonel Adilson Bueno has witnessed the danger of Colombia’s volcanos from a helicopter. For seven years, he flew risky volcano-observation missions with geologists to photograph the craters, measure gases and even thermal activity while hovering 150 meters over a crater. Sometimes winds of 40 knots would blow his powerful Hughes MD 530 off course. Other times, downdraft near sharp rock cliffs or the volcano itself would cause momentary fear in even the highly skilled flight crew as members fought to control the aircraft. All the while, Lt. Col. Bueno, his co-pilot and two geologists would breathe from oxygen masks as they flew through columns of toxic gases. “For this new operation, we had to gain the knowledge and establish and strengthen a very special training for this group of pilots,” Lt. Col. Bueno said of the pilots under his command at Colombia’s CACOM 4 Air Force base in Melgar. “These are things that you [must] know. … You already have to have the capability and the training to look at a mountain, try to locate the wind and say, ‘This is going to happen to me here.’ ” Lt. Col. Bueno said the Volcano Observation program has evolved from studying the volcanoes to monitoring and disaster prevention. Its success is measured in lives saved and disasters averted through careful and regular planning and coordination, such as when a volcanic eruption prompted an avalanche in Huila department in 1994. “This allowed us to save lives and be much more efficient in attending the injured and sick caused by the natural disaster,” he said. Lieutenant General Hernán Mardones, chief of the Joint Staff of Chile, said his country has increased its volcano monitoring systems for greater advance warning of an imminent eruption. In a joint effort between the Naval Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service and the Military Geographic Institute, risk maps will be created by 2015 for every small locality within a volcano or tsunami risk area. The people of Río Claro and other vulnerable communities may not see or hear the volcano in their midst. But, from his safe perch Juan García insists the locals know its danger and how to protect themselves, thanks to the coordination between civil and military institutions that has grown since Armero. “The people know about evacuation and that there is danger,” García said. “When the alert sounds, they have to follow it.” 1-5 kilometers falling pyroclastic material 6-10 kilometers pyroclastic flows and rivers 10 kilometers lava flows 25 kilometers broken windows and doors, falling rock 80 kilometers lahars (mudflows) 1,500-plus kilometers falling ash Volcano Risks Volcano risk is determined by an equation of threat and vulnerability. Geographic and meteorological factors are entered into the design of each volcano’s risk map. The risk and range of vulnerability are outlined below. Source: Manizales Volcanic and Seismic Observatory Gloria Patricia Cortes, director of the Manizales observatory, attests to the role of the Armed Forces. “During all these years, the Colombian Air Force has had the most integral role in the three observatories, monitoring and observing the surface activities of the volcanoes,” she said. The relationship goes beyond the Air Force, she explained, which helps with observation and disaster relief, to include the Army, police, fire rescue and local government. The Army, through its Disaster Attention Battalion, also coordinates contingency and security plans. A Region Reacts By Dialogo January 01, 2013 Ruiz erupted at 9:09 p.m., spewing pyroclastic material high into the atmosphere and melting nearly a 10th of the 200 meters of glacial ice on the volcano’s rim. By the time the roaring sound of 30-meter-high lahars, or mudslides, tearing down riverbeds at 60 kilometers an hour reached Armero at 11:30 p.m., it was too late. Four successive waves of mud destroyed Armero to the east and pounded Río Claro and Chinchiná to the west as the volcano belched more hot rock from its core. The only survivors, according to García, were those who felt the trembling of the earth and instinctively moved to higher ground. “They felt it. They felt the power of the earth and they fled,” he said. “Those who stayed on the hilltop escaped; those who remained below were carried away.” García now lives atop a hill in what is called Río Claro Nuevo, in one of the homes built by the Government to relocate survivors. But new residents have rebuilt the destroyed homes along the riverbank and now could be in the path of Ruiz, which is considered on the verge of another major eruption. Survivor stories don’t dissuade them, so authorities hope science, technology and planning will. 30 Years Strong Colombia and countries from Mexico to Chile have intensified the study of volcanoes within their borders, devising risk maps, educating local populations and installing sirens to alert residents to move to designated safe gathering points. In Colombia, both prevention and disaster relief plans depend on a civil-military partnership strengthened through three decades of close collaboration. “We are all important actors in this process where if one falters, we all falter,” said Milton Ordoñez, coordinator of surveillance projects at the Volcanic and Seismic Observatory in Manizales, which is responsible for monitoring Nevado del Ruiz and four other volcanoes in Tolima and Caldas departments. “We are prepared so that this does not happen again.” The Manizales observatory is in the nondescript former home of a diplomat. It is situated in Chipre, a neighborhood on a hilltop just past the Manizales theater, a local landmark in the famously artistic college town. Yet, walk up three floors of creaky wooden stairs and you will find one of the most modern seismic control rooms in Latin America. More than a dozen flat-panel screens display real-time data from 158 remote stations on nearby volcanoes. Wind speed and direction, gas emissions, river water levels, thermal activity and seismic movements monitored 24 hours a day indicate when a volcanic eruption is starting. From the patio, below an abundance of antennas, is a view of the city of Manizales and, when not shrouded in clouds, the ridge of volcanoes towering behind it. Sixty-four-year-old Juan García thought for a moment, whispered the name of a family he once knew, and pressed a pencil to his notepad. In his sun-parched skin and toughened hands one could see the years of sifting through the sands of Río Claro, Colombia, alongside many of the family and friends in his community. Each of the 28 families he carefully marked down represented a Río Claro family lost in the 1985 eruption of Colombia’s “sleeping lion,” the Nevado del Ruiz volcano. García’s hometown, just a speck on a map 300 kilometers northwest of Bogotá, was all but ignored when Colombians heard that more than 20,000 were killed in the nearby city of Armero. Still, 2,000 people perished in his riverside community of farmers and laborers who spent their days sifting through the river for construction materials. García was in nearby Chinchiná when Ruiz erupted. The next day, he borrowed an earth mover to clear the road to his home, only to find that it had been swept away along with most of his neighbors’ homes by a mudslide. The “Armero Tragedy” began at about 3 p.m. November 13, 1985, when ash began to fall over the city, 50 kilometers east of Ruiz. The 29,000 people of Armero could not see the volcano, and with no alert system and little understanding of volcanology, residents took shelter in their homes. As the evening progressed, storms masked the rumbling of the volcano.
Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benítez (left) and Argentine Minister of Security Patricia Bullrich (right) take part in the destruction of a marijuana plantation in Pedro Juan Caballero, Paraguay. (Photo: Argentine Ministry of Security)According to the U.S. Department of State’s 2019 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, Paraguay is the main producer of marijuana in the hemisphere. The report indicates that in 2018, the Counter Drug National Secretary (SENAD, in Spanish), a Paraguayan institution that fights against narcotrafficking, destroyed more than 900 tons of processed marijuana, and eradicated more than 1,200 hectares of marijuana plantations.“This vitally important operation has been in progress for many years, with extremely positive results. There is no other way to confront transnational crime if we don’t work together,” said Maurício Valeixo, general director of the Brazilian Federal Police, which also takes part in the operation.For SENAD Minister Arnaldo Giuzzio, the initiative between both nations is a solid pillar in the fight against narcotrafficking. “The operation enables us to advance more openly against criminal structures as we strengthen our bonds of cooperation.” By Juan Delgado / Diálogo August 19, 2019 In early June, security forces of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay joined efforts to conduct Operation New Alliance in Amambay department, Paraguay. The operation seized more than 500 tons of marijuana and disrupted the flow of more than $5 million into organized crime.The goal of the operation was to eradicate marijuana trafficking in the region, starting with activities at the onset of the criminal chain. This is the first time that Argentina joined a marijuana eradication effort in Paraguay. Argentina has become a major destination for the drug.“This operation has two key aspects. The first one is cooperation between the three countries in the fight against narcotrafficking, and the second is the destruction of marijuana plantations, in close collaboration with Paraguay, so that the drug never reaches consumers,” Argentine Secretary of Security Eugenio Burzaco told Diálogo.The operation was centered in the capital of Amambay, Pedro Juan Caballero, on the border with Brazil. The city, surrounded by jungle and marijuana plants, is known as a drug production center and trafficking with transnational criminal organizations, such as Comando Vermelho and the First Capital Command from Brazil, waging turf wars for territorial control.“The drug owners are on the other side of the border. These agreements help us disarm organizations from both sides,” said Argentine Minister of Security Patricia Bullrich. “Seizing and burning drugs. That’s how we’ll build an Argentina free of narcotrafficking.”According to the Paraguayan National Police, the power of criminal gangs has increased in recent years, and even exceeds that of the government in some places. Homicides and arms trafficking are some of the threats these groups create. The solution: to disrupt their funding by destroying marijuana plantations.“We want to intensify action, now with Argentina’s interest in participating, arresting organization leaders, identifying and confiscating private property, seizing drugs and eradicating plantations, as just happened,” said to the press Brazilian Minister of Justice Sérgio Moro, when he overflew the area during the operation.Conducted between Brazil and Paraguay several times a year since 2012, New Alliance’s last edition enabled the destruction of more than 170 hectares of marijuana crops and the seizure of more than 5 tons of harvested marijuana, as well as 70 kilograms of cannabis seeds. According to estimates, every hectare of marijuana destroyed means that 3 tons of the ready to be sold substance is removed from circulation.
Pena says the locations are chosen to be accessible by public transportation with a only a short walk. “What a great way to have a safe social distancing activity to not only get out of the house, but explore Broome County and just have a little bit of time during this crazy pandemic time,” she said. Pena says that while this is the second year she has organized the scavenger hunt, it makes even more sense this year. The group’s Facebook page contains clues for how to find each door, and if you submit a photo in front of it you will get a point. The event runs through the end of June, when points are added up and a grand prize winner will be announced. JOHNSON CITY (WBNG) — If you’re looking to get your kids outside during the pandemic, Fairy Doors of Broome County and Nearby may be just what you need. Created by chief imagination officer Traci Pena, Fairy Doors of Broome County is a scavenger hunt that allows kids and their families to travel to different locations throughout Broome County. For a full list of rules and locations, you can click here.