Colombia and Honduras Work Together on Educational Issues

first_imgBy Colombian War College December 29, 2016 Major General Juan Carlos Salazar Salazar, president of the Colombian War College (ESDEGUE, per its Spanish acronym), and Brigadier General Jorge Arnoldo Fuentes Hernández, provost of Honduras’s Defense University, signed an academic cooperation agreement between both educational institutions in late November. The agreement was formalized on the principles of alignment and mutual support between the two Latin American countries. The joint effort calls for student and teacher exchanges, sharing scientific research, and other activities of common interest that may allow for the best use of human talent, infrastructure, and teamwork in educational, training, and specialization programs. It also deals with the exchange of information about graduate programs and the development of joint research projects and activities that may contribute to solving their shared national defense and security issues. In the official ceremony, the president of ESDEGUE recalled the transnational realities and threats common to the region, and emphasized the need to join forces to confront them. “No one is able to solve these problems alone. That is why we need each other,” he said. The provost of Honduras’s Defense University celebrated the signing of the cooperation agreement and highlighted the vast experience Colombia has in the field. “We know that accords are needed with other countries that are much more developed than Honduras. That is why this accord with Colombia is needed,” he stated. The mission of Honduras’s Defense University is to provide training and specialization to professionals in the military, aeronautical, and naval sciences, and to develop their leadership, technical, educational and administrative capabilities. It also includes providing them with a solid ethical and moral formation that will allow them to plan the defense of their homeland, the strengthening of their state, and the peace and stability of their democracy. The Colombian War College provides an interdisciplinary educational approach to training military strategy leaders, as well as national and international civilian leaders to face security and defense challenges.last_img read more

Actress Lori Loughlin Accuses Prosecutors of Withholding Exculpatory Evidence

first_imgWhile other defendants have fallen on their swords actress Lori Loughlin continues to fight and is urging courts to release evidence that she claims could help prove her innocence in the ongoing college admissions scandal.In court documents filed Friday, attorney Sean Berkowitz, who represents Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli, claims evidence that could be used to strengthen their case is being withheld by prosecution because it was deemed irrelevant and immaterial.By sharing FBI interview statements from William “Rick” Singer, the man at the center of the college admission scandal, the celebrity couple’s defense team hopes to show that Loughlin, 55, and Giannulli, 56, didn’t know their donations would be used as bribes. The motion asserts that not sharing the evidence prevents a fair trial.“But the Government appears to be concealing exculpatory evidence that helps show that both Defendants believed all of the payments they made would go to USC itself — for legitimate, university-approved purposes — or to other legitimate charitable causes,” read the motion, which was filed at Massachusetts’ U.S. District Court.The document continued: “The Government’s failure to disclose this information is unacceptable, and this Court should put a stop to it.”The United States Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts declined to comment.last_img read more

Admin, students work to cut water use

first_imgIn light of a four-year drought and mandatory water use restrictions imposed earlier this year by Gov. Jerry Brown, USC administration and student groups are working closely together to cut campus water use.But at a university with more than 30 fountains and lush greenscapes, cementing behavioral changes in students, faculty and staff has proven to be the campus’ biggest roadblock.“Water conservation is something we’re struggling with immensely from a community point of view,” said Ahlia Bethea, director of the Environmental Student Assembly.The university’s biggest water hogs are residential halls, campus buildings and laboratories, according to the Office of Sustainability. ESA is working with the sustainability office and Student Affairs to launch a campaign this semester targeting Trojan water waste.The effort hopes to curb abuses such as excessive showers and sinks left on.“I’m a residential advisor and people are taking 10 minute showers [and] leaving their water running,” Bethea said. “If they were more aware of the consequences, they’d be less inclined to leave that tap on.”Students and other campus visitors aren’t the only ones being told to cut back — USC administration will soon be getting its own set of instructions from the campus’ Water Conservation Task Force. Formed last June to advise senior administration on water usage and reduction targets, the group will be providing recommendations to individual university departments in the coming weeks.Shawn Anthony Rhoads, a senior and former director of the ESA serves as an undergraduate representative on the task force. Though a large focus of the group is curbing campus buildings’ water usage, he said the university should make a concerted move to switch out its green spaces for more drought-tolerant options.“There’s no reason why USC needs grass,” Rhoads said. “We don’t need greenscape. Our university could look just as beautiful with native plants.”USC administration has shared Rhoads’s concern with landscape converting initiatives to an extent.“[Facilities Management Services] has been converting a lot of spaces into drought—resistant areas,” said Halli Bovia, the director of the Office of Sustainability. “Shrubs in place of turf, some native but mostly drought tolerant.”The campus’ fight against water waste first began a few years ago, and since then the University has reduced its usage by 14 percent per square foot.USC efforts have only risen since then, due in no small part to state and city mandatory reductions. It’s a shift in focus lauded by campus environmental activists as a change that is long overdue.“The problem is that water is really cheap, so it hasn’t been the focus of colleges until fairly recently,” Bovia said.In addition to working with the ESA, Bovia’s team just finished surveying roughly 3,500 water fixtures on campus to identify which ones could be upgraded and what savings could be made.It is little actions like these that prove to be more effective, Bovia said, than more symbolic gestures, such as draining the fountains. USC’s nearly three dozen fountains get the most audible flack from students and visitors who see them as a symbol of water waste, but those complaints may be unwarranted. The fountains constitute only 2 percent of USC’s water usage and use recirculated water.“There’s an aesthetic benefit to the fountains, and even though they use 4.4 million gallons roughly annually, it’s only 2 percent,” Bovia said.  “Students don’t understand that water is recirculated, they just think it’s a hose running.”Beyond USC’s gates, California is listening to the call to cut back. Announced last Thursday, the Golden State had a 31 percent statewide reduction—exceeding Brown’s 25 percent mandate.Now, university administration hopes USC will continue that trend.“We’re on the right track,” Bethea said. “But we can obviously do more.”last_img read more

Los Angeles Lakers bring back Ryan Kelly, Xavier Henry, Wesley Johnson, waive Kendall Marshall

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error With all of these moves, it appears the Lakers offseason work is nearly complete.Well, almost. They still have not hired a coach. Byron Scott, the perceived favorite candidate has yet to hear from the Lakers after having his third interview on Wednesday. But the Lakers currently have a 12 players on guaranteed deals Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Julius Randle, Robert Sacre, Jeremy Lin, Nick Young,Jordan Hill, Carlos Boozer, Ed Davis, Henry, Johnson and Kelly. Second-round draft pick Jordan Clarkson has a non-guaranteed deal. The Lakers waived point guard Kendall Marshall on Friday, according to league sources, and the reasons hardly stemmed from averaging 8.3 points on 31.4 percent shooting, three assists and 2.8 turnovers through four games in Las Vegas Summer League play. Or his eight points and 8.8 assists through 54 games last season that featured inconsistent shooting and defense. Although Marshall was slated to make a relatively inexpensive $915,243 next season on a non-guaranteed contract, his vacancy cleared some cap space to accommodate the Lakers’ other moves.Both the Lakers and Marshall have interest in re-signing his contract if he clears waivers, according to league sources. But another team may claim him first. NBA teams can carry as many as 15 players on their roster. Band of brothers The bond grew stronger through two NBA championships. The cement stayed firm amid the losing, injuries and trade uncertainty. Yet, after Bryant spend years the Lakers not to trade Pau Gasol away, Gasol told Bryant he would leave. Gasol signed with the Chicago Bulls to a reported three-year, $22 million deal, marking a relative paycut that he attracted elsewhere, including the Lakers. “It was difficult. We have a close friendship,” Gasol said of Bryant to reporters on Friday in Chicago. “I’ll miss him. We talked to each other and our relationship goes beyond basketball. We’ll always have a friendship.”Bryant supported Gasol’s free agent decision even if it meant they would no longer play together. “Pau is extremely loyal and it’s a very tough position to be in as a free agent,” Bryant said last week at his camp in Santa Barbara. “My biggest message to him was, ’To make sure you enjoy the process. Don’t stress yourself out. The ball is in your court and your decision to make.’”It appeared Bryant still felt that way after Gasol informed him about his departure. “It was difficult to talk to him,” Gasol said of Bryant. “But he was very supportive. He understood and he just said, ‘I had to do what was best for me and felt right for me.’ He was going to support me no matter what. That’s what friends and brothers do.”center_img A flurry of agreements and signings have happened, the Lakers’ response to the failed LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes operating at full speed. The latest included the Lakers on Friday agreeing to bring back forwards Ryan Kelly, Wesley Johnson and Xavier Henry. The terms were not readily available, but Kelly’s deal is guaranteed for two years, while the Henry and Johnson contracts were both believed to be one-year deals worth $1 million each. Kelly’s return was the most expected after the Lakers gave him a $1.1 million qualifying offer to make him a restricted agent, allowing them to match any offer he recived from other teams. After the Lakers selected him with the 48th pick of the 2013 NBA draft, Kelly impressed the Lakers with his floor spacing, basketball IQ and shooting. All of those qualities contributed toward averaging eight points on 42.3 percent shooting and 33.8 percent from three-point range.Henry’s return also adds needed depth at the small forward spot after averaging 10 points per game last season with bursts of athleticism and aggressiveness. Henry is currently recovering from offseason surgery on his right knee and left wrist, injuries that kept him out for a combined 39 games. Henry said last month that he expects to heal by late July. Johnson’s return to the Lakers seemed the most surprising. The Lakers did not consider him a priority after averaging 9.1 points per game on 42.6 percent shooting last season amid inconsistent offensive and defensive performances. But the Lakers were willing to keep Johnson because of his age (27), athleticism and being a good teammate.last_img read more