Finding ‘a solution to closed doors’

first_imgDuring a lighthearted moment rife with serious undertones, a visiting scholar at the Harvard Divinity School gently corrected her interpreter during a presentation at Andover Hall.In a discussion last Wednesday titled “Women’s Rights in a Man’s World,” featuring Kholoud Al-Faqih, the first female judge to hold a seat on a Shariah court in the Middle East, her translator said in delivering her remarks in English that she had been chosen the most influential woman in the Islamic World in 2009. Al-Faqih quickly intervened in Arabic. Her translator then corrected his statement, saying she had been chosen the most influential “person.” The change drew loud applause from the crowd.Al-Faqih described her path to the Shariah courts in Ramallah on the West Bank and her ongoing struggle to make the equal participation of women in the region a reality — the need to “find solutions,” she said, to “closed doors.” (Shariah, the religious and moral code of law derived from the Quran and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad, also means “path” in Arabic, and governs all aspects of Muslim life.)After high school, Al-Faqih attended the University of Jerusalem to study law. She graduated with honors and headed to Ramallah, where she was shocked by the absence of women in Shariah courts, despite their centrality to such issues divorce and marriage. “God created us with the ability to think about these things,” Al-Faqih said.From 2003 to 2008, she represented hundreds of clients, many of them battered women, and began researching the laws and rules of the Shariah court in hopes of becoming a judge. She passed two competitive judicial exams in Palestine in 2008. The next year, she was appointed to the Ramallah Sharia Court in the West Bank.But the fight to become the first female Shariah judge in the Middle East was only the first step. “Then” Al-Faqih said, “the struggle started.”Since her appointment, she has faced many challenges, including opposition from male colleagues. But the most painful protests came from women who insisted that only religious men should be allowed in the role. “I was rejected more by women than by men,” said Al-Faqih. Her comment elicited a collective groan from the crowd. But, Al-Faqih added, “I continued, and I am still here.”In addition to working to change attitudes, Al-Faqih said she is trying to amend the outdated code of Shariah law used in the Ramallah courts that was issued in Jordan in 1976. She said she hopes her work will inspire women and convince them that they deserve the same rights and opportunities as men.“As women, we have to look at ourselves from all directions, from all mirrors, not from a broken mirror. If we look at ourselves through a broken mirror, we will see ourselves as broken parts,” she said. “If we look at ourselves through a complete mirror, we will see a complete human being, with full rights. There is no difference between this human being as a woman and a man in this world, and together we can succeed.”Hauwa Ibrahim, an author and HDS visiting lecturer on women’s studies and Islamic law, described her own experience with Shariah as the first female lawyer among a population of 250,000 in the predominantly Muslim region of Gombe, Nigeria. She said that navigating the male-dominated system took time and a nuanced approach.“When I started the practice of Shariah I had no voice,” said Ibrahim. As time passed, she developed her voice, she said, by learning to understand “the dynamic of the people.”Ibrahim praised Al-Faqih for her “ability to turn challenges into opportunities. … I have so much to learn from you.”HDS Professor Leila Ahmed called Al-Faqih’s presence a welcome sign of progress and change in the attitudes toward women in the Middle East, but warned that political and social unrest in other parts of the world could lead to the reinstatement of Shariah law.In Egypt and Tunisia, many people, “including devout Muslims, men and women, do not want to see a Shariah court,” said Ahmed, the Victor S. Thomas Professor of Divinity. Ahmed said Al-Faqih’s “extraordinary achievement gives me hope for Palestine and for women, but do be aware that it’s part of a very complicated and very ferocious debate.”The discussion, which pointed at the intersection of religion and social justice, was made possible by the Susan Shallcross Swartz Endowment for Christian Studies.last_img read more

Pentagon chief purges defense boards; Trump loyalists out

first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has ordered hundreds of Pentagon advisory board members to resign this month as part of a broad review of the panels, essentially purging several dozen who were appointed last-minute under the Trump administration. During the last two months of his tenure, former acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller removed a number of longtime members from several defense policy, health, science and business boards and replaced many with loyalists of former President Donald Trump. More than 30 of those replacements will now be forced to resign, including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, retired Brig. Gen. Anthony Tata and former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.last_img

People in Myanmar honk horns, bang on pots to protest coup

first_imgYANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Dozens of people in Myanmar’s largest city have honked car horns and banged on pots and pans in the first known public resistance to the coup by the country’s military. The noise extended to more than a quarter-hour in several neighborhoods of Yangon. Shouts could be heard wishing detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi good health and calling for freedom. A senior politician and close confidante of Suu Kyi also urged citizens to defy the military through civil disobedience. The takeover marked a shocking fall from power for Suu Kyi, a Nobel laureate who had lived under house arrest for years and became the country’s de facto leader after her party won elections in 2015.last_img

University administration plans Commencement Ceremony

first_imgNow in its seventh consecutive year in Notre Dame Stadium, the 171st Commencement Ceremony will be celebrated Sunday, followed by 19 separate graduation ceremonies throughout the day.University Registrar Chuck Hurley said he encourages graduates and their guests to show up early to this year’s event, due to the attendance of Vice President Joe Biden and former Speaker of the House John Boehner. “With the Vice President coming, that’s a different challenge for us than in a normal year — but on the other hand, we’ve had this happen a number of times in Notre Dame’s history,” Hurley said. “During my tenure, this has been the third time we’ve had a President or Vice President come. We have some people on our staff that have done it five times.”However, while the security measures complicate the planning, Hurley said it is an enjoyable challenge. “It’s very neat. The Secret Service protection adds a layer there that’s different than a normal year, so to speak, so getting people in and out of the facility takes a little bit longer, because the Secret Service has to check everyone through an airport security-type checkpoint,” he said. All bags will be checked, and liquids will be prohibited, amongst other items. In the past, the Secret Service has been helpful in ensuring the safety of everyone at graduation, Hurley said. “We’re spending quite a lot of time collaborating with the Secret Service,” he said. “They’ve been great to work with — they’re extremely professional.”Despite some initial controversy over the location of last year’s Commencement Ceremony, Hurley said the University plans to continue to use Notre Dame Stadium for graduation in years to come. “In the 1950s and 1960s, they had graduation in the stadium as well, for a few years, until they built the Joyce Center,” he said. “We went back in 2010 to the stadium, and that’s worked out well.”However, Hurley said the use of the stadium is heavily reliant on the weather. “When you hold an outdoor event of any kind, you’re subject to Mother Nature,” he said. “Indiana has quite an unusual weather pattern — this time of year, we’ve seen 80 degree, humid, hot days, but we’ve also seen snow. Take, for example, a few weeks ago, when we had that snowstorm on Saturday — that came out of the blue.”Since the University knows anything can happen with the weather, they have alternative measures in place, Hurley said. “We’ve got the University weather person, and we pay close attention to what he says, but we stick to the stadium the best we can,” he said. “There’s always the possibility, however, that we could move into Purcell Pavilion.”A move indoors would affect the number of guests a graduate could bring to the ceremony, according to Hurley. “We have unlimited tickets for the stadium,” he said. “Students can request as many as they wish. About two years ago, we had a young lady who was the first person in her family to graduate college and she brought 90 guests, and that was great. “But when we give students their tickets, we give them a stadium ticket, and then students also receive three severe weather tickets.”However, Hurley said in case of severe weather, alternative viewing locations will be opened around campus.“Folks will be able to go to DeBartolo Hall or Jordan Hall or Compton, or the north part of the Joyce Center, so they can watch it there,” he said. “Or, if they wanted to, they could watch it in their hotel room on an iPad, because it’s streamed.”Tags: Commencement 2016, commencement plans, severe weather planslast_img read more

U.S.News ranks Vermont Law School’s environmental law program best in nation again

first_imgVermont Law School,U.S.News & World Report has ranked Vermont Law School’s environmental law program as the best in the nation for an unprecedented third consecutive year. The 2012 Best Grad Schools guidebook appears on is external) on Tuesday, March 15, and on newsstands on April 5.‘I’m proud of this continued recognition of the depth and breadth of our environmental curriculum, clinic and institutes,’ said Professor Marc Mihaly, director of the school’s Environmental Law Center (ELC). ‘Our success reflects the dedication of our wonderful faculty and students. Our graduates bring strong skills and environmental direction to their legal and policy positions in government, nonprofits, law firms and corporations.’Vermont Law School has placed first 14 times and never placed lower than second since the U.S. News environmental specialty rankings began in 1991. VLS’s top ranking this year marks the first time that a school has been ranked number one in the environmental specialty for three consecutive years. To develop its specialty rankings, U.S. News asked legal educators to identify the top programs.Vermont Law School also placed among the top 100 law schools where law firms tend to recruit (number 96). This is the first year that U.S. News has ranked law schools based on the opinions of recruiters and hiring partners at the nation’s most highly regarded law firms.”Employer recognition of the excellence of our graduates continues to grow,’ Dean Jeff Shields said. ‘This is not surprising given the exceptional preparation in writing, speaking and critical thinking that takes place at Vermont Law School.’The ELC offers the largest selection of environmental law courses in the nation. The multidisciplinary program in law, policy, science and ethics attracts law and graduate students, lawyers, government officials, teachers, scientists, journalists and citizen activists. Since its creation in 1978, the ELC has trained people to be environmental leaders in government, nonprofits, corporations and private practice ‘ locally, nationally and internationally. The ELC administers the Master of Environmental Law and Policy (MELP) degree program for lawyers and non-lawyers and the Master of Laws (LLM) in Environmental Law, a post-Juris Doctor degree for experienced attorneys who seek to specialize.Vermont Law School offers clinical, research and experiential environmental programs through the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic, the Institute for Energy and the Environment, the Land Use Institute, the Environmental Tax Policy Institute, the U.S.-China Partnership for Environmental Law, and the Environmental Semester in Washington. The ELC’s Summer Session offers a broad curriculum, a Visiting Distinguished Environmental Scholars program and a lecture series that features summer faculty members, distinguished summer scholars and summer media fellows speaking about current issues in their fields.##Vermont Law School, a private, independent institution, has the top-ranked environmental law program and one of the top-ranked clinical training programs in the nation, according to U.S.News & World Report. VLS offers a Juris Doctor curriculum that emphasizes public service, a Master of Environmental Law and Policy degree and two post-JD degrees, the Master of Laws in Environmental Law and the LLM in American Legal Studies (for international students). The school features innovative experiential programs and is home to the Environmental Law Center and the South Royalton Legal Clinic. For more information, visit is external).last_img read more

Viktor Bout Found Guilty of Trying to Sell Arms to the FARC

first_img On November 2, a U.S. jury found former Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout guilty of having agreed to sell arms to individuals he believed were guerrillas belonging to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), with plans to attack U.S. soldiers. Bout, a former Soviet Air Force officer whose story inspired the book Merchant of Death, was arrested in Bangkok, Thailand, in 2008, in an undercover operation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), and extradited to the United States in 2010 to face terrorism-related charges. The jury deliberated for almost a day before rendering its verdict in a federal court in Manhattan, in New York City. Bout was found guilty of two charges of conspiracy to murder U.S. citizens and officials and one charge of conspiracy to sell anti-aircraft missiles and provide material support to a terrorist organization. The Russian citizen faces a sentence of between 25 years to life in prison. “It was a tough case,” Bout’s attorney, Kenneth Kaplan, told reporters. “We gave it a good fight. The fight is not over. He has various legal options,” he added. Kaplan said that he will appeal the conviction after sentencing, scheduled for February 8. U.S. informants posed as FARC arms buyers and met with Bout in Thailand to purchase military weaponry, which the Russian showed himself ready to provide, according to prosecutors. Two DEA informants who posed as FARC leaders testified against Bout at trial. Andrew Smulian, the Russian’s former business partner, also testified after pleading guilty to participating in the agreement with the guerilla group. By Dialogo November 04, 2011last_img read more

6 things successful credit unions of the future will do

first_imgI love what I do. As an entrepreneur who loves credit unions and loves helping them create great culture, implement leadership & organizational development programs, and cultivate healthy teams, it’s so ridiculously fulfilling and humbling being part of such deeply meaningful things with my credit union clients.Along with those things, though, comes the immense responsibility to be aware of trends, studies, and research that might help us understand where the future of work is headed, especially as it relates to the aforementioned areas of emphasis. With that in mind, here are the things I believe successful credit unions of the future will do.Successful Credit Unions of the Future Will Prioritize PeopleCredit unions strive to create value for their members and communities, but ultimately, the way we do that is through our people, right? It stands to reason, then, that attracting and retaining them, engaging them, and developing them will be of paramount importance for organizations and leaders.If any of those pieces is off, people won’t be able to fully realize their potential to do amazing work in the service of their credit unions, members, and communities; and consequently, neither will their credit unions.Successful Credit Unions of the Future Will Reimagine Employee EngagementWe have to challenge ourselves to conceptualize engagement in different and meaningful ways that will be sustainable in the rapidly changing talent environment.The credit unions that will be successful in the future will be the ones that can provide a compelling narrative explaining their purpose, what they do, their culture, and what they’re offering to people who are willing to join in their mission.At the same time, credit unions should provide a clear and compelling picture of what’s expected of people who join them in the pursuit of that mission. Part of that is made clear through a distinct purpose, identity, culture, and core values.Successful Credit Unions of the Future Will Create a Coherent Identity by Integrating Culture and BrandOrganizations are realizing that a key to success is having a clear and distinct organizational identity, and the only way to do that is to fully integrate your credit union’s culture and brand.Often, credit unions are tempted to only really invest time and resources in one of the two – say brand, for example – without realizing that simply building a brand without it being rooted in the culture will result in a brand that is largely detached from the organization’s DNA and daily employee life. It’s only when the brand is fully integrated with the culture that its real potential is unlocked, turning it into something far more powerful and sustainable than it would be on its own.Successful Credit Unions of the Future Will Take a Hard Look at LeadershipBeing a smooth talker with the ability to wine and dine the board may be enough in a few credit unions today, but it’s not going to cut it for credit unions wanting to build sustainable success and high performing organizations going forward. Similarly, other leadership behaviors that perhaps were swept under the rug in the past won’t be overlooked in the future, as dictatorial, manipulative leadership can and should be rejected by people, organizations, and boards.Organizations in the broader business world have begun to realize how critical it is to see demonstrated leadership competence – not just operational competence – prior to putting people into critical leadership positions. Increasingly, executives and managers are being exposed as woefully inadequate leaders as people have new and different (and wholly appropriate) expectations of what leadership should look like.Credit unions seeking to have strong, sustainable organizations will need to rethink leadership and seek out leaders with demonstrated leadership ability, self-awareness, humility, and a track record of healthy, engaged teams.Successful Credit Unions of the Future Understand that Technology isn’t a Department Anymore – It’s a Strategic Enabler and Driver. (Thanks to my friend Christian Marcussen for suggesting the term Strategic Enabler.)Technology use is accelerating. (I know, I know. Thanks, Captain Obvious.) Understanding that, though, should really cause us to examine our mindset relating to technology. It has to be an enabler and driver of the organization’s work, not an obstacle to it getting done.This mindset should also force us to rethink our posture towards technology in regards to staffing, budgeting, and projects. Everything and everyone in the organization will continue to become increasingly dependent on robust technology – not to mention data and analytics – to function, form strategy, make decisions, and so on; so it stands to reason that the credit unions whose focus on technology increases will be the ones who will be successful.Successful Credit Unions of the Future Understand That Culture is Everything While it’s exciting to see that culture is becoming more and more widely accepted in the broader business world as a critical component of a successful business, it has yet to gain that same level of acceptance within the credit union landscape. That’s not to say there aren’t credit unions doing a fantastic job with it. There definitely are, and there are more who are working right this second on creating clarity around their identity and cultivating healthy, unique culture (here’s looking at you, Mojo clients).But as the pace of change continues to accelerate, culture is what will anchor your credit union. Culture is what creates and clarifies that sense of purpose for your people, and provides a compelling context within which they can live and work every day.Culture is also the single thing that no other financial institution can copy. Everyone has similar, if not identical, products and services. Others can copy strategies, tactics, marketing ideas, etc. Culture, however, is the hardest to duplicate. That’s because it’s unique to your credit union, with your people, your core values, and your identity.Consequently, culture is the foundation and competitive linchpin for credit unions that create their own future. Successful credit unions will consciously and proactively cultivate healthy, unique, culture, baking that identity into every, single aspect of organizational life.So what’s the bottom line? There’s obviously so much we could talk about, but I’ve tried to highlight some of the bigger things that I think could be the most helpful. Feel free to add more of your own ideas in the comments! 514SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Matt Monge Matt Monge is a speaker, consultant, blogger, mental health advocate, and the founder of The Mojo Company. His mission? Simple. He’s on a crusade to make the world a better … Web: Detailslast_img read more

What’s killing your credit union? You are.

first_img 210SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Bo McDonald Bo McDonald is president of Your Marketing Co. A marketing firm that started serving credit unions nearly a decade ago, offering a wide range of services including web design, branding, … Web: Details During strategic planning, we often ask ourselves “Who is our competition?” Most of the time we come away with a list of other financial institutions—maybe even some fintech players. “They’re bigger… they have better technology…. they have more branches… they have a better online presence…” Do any of these excuses sound familiar?It’s time to change how we ask the question about our competition. Instead of “who,” it’s more helpful to ask “what.” According to the former CMO of MyFitnessPal, Dave Wheeler, the answer to that question is easy: “Your competition is any and every obstacle your customers encounter along their journeys to solving the human, high-level problems your company exists to solve.”Can a fitness company improve the health of your credit union?As a credit union, we seek to solve people’s financial problems. Our solutions can be as simple as giving someone a place to keep their money safe, or as complex as helping them purchase a new home or navigate a financial crisis. While our products and services are clearly different from those of a company like MyFitnessPal, Wheeler’s advice has powerful applications for any industry. “We were on a mission to make it easier to live a healthy life than an unhealthy one. So, our chief competition was anything that makes it harder to live a healthy life,” he said in a recent article in Harvard Business Review. Applying this perspective to the financial world suggests your chief competition is likely more than just the other branches within a certain radius. “If we had viewed Weight Watchers as our competition, we probably would have spent a lot of time trying to do what it does, just a little better,” Wheeler continued. Think about that. Are you simply trying to be a better credit union than the one up the street? Are you trying to be a better “bank” than Wells Fargo? (To be fair, that’s really not hard to do.) Take some time to identify what could keep someone from becoming one of your members. Change the game by redefining your competition.By no means am I suggesting you ignore your competition. But, instead of investing so much energy into trying to be a better version of what’s already out there, dedicate your time and resources to solving the real-world problems your members are struggling with. Drop the “me too” marketing and development strategy. Be unique. “The brands that remove obstacles and encourage progress along their customers’ journeys,” Wheeler says, “are the ones that win repeat visits, repeat purchases, and word-of-mouth referrals.”Once you’ve redefined your competition from outside competitors to the obstacles your members and potential members are facing, redirect your team’s time and creativity into finding solutions for those problems. Here are three steps you can follow to successfully plan the growth of your credit union:Re-think what you sell: Whether it’s loans or deposit products and services, most credit unions think of money as their product. Instead, focus on selling the transformation that’s possible from using your product (loan, savings, etc.).Re-think your members: Your members are not just the numbers you report to NCUA every quarter, nor are they the people in your branch or following you on Facebook. Your members can be anyone struggling with the problems your credit union exists to solve.Re-focus on their problems. Do some research—both online and in branch—to understand and document your member experience. This goes beyond a member’s life cycle with your credit union. Map out your (redefined) member journey, starting with the problem you exist to solve and continuing all the way to the solution of that problem. That may be the journey from being completely broke to becoming a good steward of their finances.As you work to retrain yourself and your team to think strategically, consider using the same thought process employed by Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos: “If we can keep our competitors focused on us while we stay focused on the customer, ultimately we’ll turn out all right.”last_img read more

iPhone 12 mini Users Report Touchscreen Issues on Lock Screen, Apple Yet to Acknowledge

first_img– Advertisement – iPhone 12 mini early adopters are reporting a touchscreen issue from day one of their usage. The issue seems to only occur on the lock screen, preventing users from accessing the camera or flashlight, or even just swiping up to unlock the screen. iPhone 12 mini users report that the inability to respond to touches on the lock screen crop up only when it has a case and screen protector on, and there is speculation that it could be a conductivity or grounding issue. Apple hasn’t acknowledged the issue yet, and there is no clarity on what is causing this, or whether it can be fixed with a software update.Apple forums, Macrumors forums, and Reddit are filled with user complaints of this touchscreen issue on the iPhone 12 mini. The problem only seems to be there on the lock screen, and arises when the iPhone 12 mini is inside a case and also has a screen protector. Affected users aren’t able to launch the camera or flashlight on the Lock Screen, and also aren’t able to swipe up to unlock. Touching something conductive like the phone’s frame or the camera lens frame helps resolve it.- Advertisement – Once unlocked, the touchscreen issues vanish and the iPhone 12 mini starts working smoothly once again. Apple hasn’t acknowledged the problem yet, and the possible workarounds include not putting a screen protector or a case. Users report that the problem arises only when both are installed in. Furthermore, users are also reporting that the iPhone 12 mini lock screen touch issue resolves itself when plugged into a wall charger. Hopefully, Apple will offer more clarity on the nature of the problem and offer a fix soon.The iPhone 12 mini has gone on sale in India just a few days ago. It is priced at Rs. Rs. 69,900 for the 64GB storage variant, Rs. 74,900 for the 128GB mode, and Rs. 84,900 for the 256GB storage option.Are iPhone 12 mini, HomePod mini the Perfect Apple Devices for India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.- Advertisement –last_img read more

Indonesian sources say teen died of H5N1 infection

first_imgNov 12, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – A 15-year-old Indonesian girl from central Java recently died from an H5N1 avian influenza infection, according to news reports that cited a local health official and a physician who treated the girl.In June Indonesia’s health ministry stopped reporting new H5N1 cases promptly, opting instead for periodic updates. Over the past few days media reports had said the girl’s death was suspicious and that she lived near a poultry slaughterhouse, and today the Associated Press (AP) and Reuters reported that the girl had an H5n1 infection.If the World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes the girl’s infection, it will be listed as Indonesia’s 138th H5N1 case and 113th death.Agus Suryanto, head of the medical team that treated the girl at Doctor Karyadi Hospital in Semarang, told Reuters that health ministry labs confirmed that the girl died of an avian influenza infection. He told the AP that the girl was hospitalized 10 days before she died.Tatik Suryanti, a local health official, told the AP that tests today from two laboratories were positive for the H5N1 virus.According to a Nov 7 report from the Jakarta Post, Suryanto said the girl died on Nov 7 after having respiratory failure with a high fever. She was from Semarang, the Post reported.In other developments, hospital officials in Bandung, Indonesia, are investigating the apparently pneumonia-related death of a 32-year-old who slaughtered chickens and kept backyard birds, according to a Nov 8 Post report.Though initial tests on the man were negative for the H5N1 virus, Cissy Rachiana Prawira, director of Bandung’s Hasan Sadikin Hospital, told the Post that further testing was ordered because he had direct contact with poultry.Animal health officials tested about 500 chickens at the man’s house, one of which tested positive for the H5N1 virus, the Post reported.Indonesia’s last two H5N1 victims—two men who died in July—were confirmed by the country’s health ministry on Sep 9. Their H5N1 illnesses and deaths were recognized by the WHO on Sep 10.The WHO’s global H5N1 count is 387 cases and 245 deaths.last_img read more