2020上海品茶 Tag Archive

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Union to rip up own rulebook

first_imgThe rules of the Oxford Union are set for a radical overhaul after sweeping changes to the society’s rulebook were revealed this week.The reforms were being billed as the most fundamental changes to the Union’s rulebook, which currently runs to over 127 pages, in more than a decade.Members of the debating society were due to vote on the changes at Thursday night’s debate on the American election, with the proposals expected to pass comfortably.The list of reformed rules includes the infamous Rule 33, which sets down strict campaigning guidelines for those running in the Society’s elections. The rule essentially outlaws canvassing, stating that those running for election cannot publicise their candidacy apart from telling their “close personal friends.”Controversy over the campaigning rules reached its peak a year ago, when the Society’s former Treasurer, Krishna Omkar, was elected as President in the Michaelmas elections only to be subsequently disqualified by an Election Tribunal and banned from ever running for election again, triggering a scandal that grabbed headlines around the world.Ten months on, President Josh Roche announced the list of drafted changes during a press conference on Tuesday, saying he was confident that they would be passed handsomely when proposed to members.“I have three key aims: better running of the Society, better service to its members, and a better image,” he said. “I am incredibly excited by these changes.”He added that he hoped rewriting the rules would help boost the Society’s reputation in light of recent events.“I know that in some quarters the Union has a bad image,” he said. “Some people believe that the Union can and will never change.“This is our response; not in words but in deeds and on paper.”A spokesman for the Oxford Union Society said, “We’ve essentially torn up the rulebook and started from scratch.The proposed alterations to the Society’s electoral system are just one feature of a massive overhaul of the institution this term, with a re-introduction of ‘College Secretaries’ to improve links with Junior Common Rooms, a Members Survey and workshops for women all in the pipeline.“I am confident that by the end of this term the Oxford Union will be in better condition than ever to meet the expectations of its Members.”Reaction by members to the rule changes, has so far been cautiously optimistic.Nick Coxon, a second year student at Wadham, said that he backed the changes but was unsure whether they would change the culture of the Union.“The reforms are smart and they make sense,” said the PPEist. “But this should have happened a long time ago. For now, the Union is and remains an elitist institution.”last_img read more

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Hillbilly Environmentalist: We All Drink Downstream

first_imgOn the side of a can of Pisgah Brewing Company’s (excellent) Pisgah Pale Ale or Greybeard IPA is the quotation “We all drink downstream.” Though printed on the side of a beer can, this sentence captures the essence of the broader argument that living organisms are highly affected by activities upstream—and essentially all of us live downstream.Let me get directly to the point of this post: Our nation’s waterways are once again under attack, an attack which began the afternoon of January 20, 2017, the day Donald Trump was inaugurated as President. His public statements in support of clean air and clean water contrast sharply with his executive actions and budget proposals. He said the following when addressing Congress on February 28, 2017: “My administration wants to work with members in both parties … to promote clean air and clean water.” Nothing could be further from the truth.Mr. Trump quickly signed into law H.J.Res.38 “Disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of Interior known as the Stream Protection Rule,” submitted to him by Congress on February 16, 2017. The Stream Protection Rule, finalized in the waning days of the Obama Administration, made it nearly impossible for companies to legally remove mountaintops to remove coal, and then fill the once-pristine, adjacent headwater streams with “overburden.” This action was low-hanging-fruit for anti-environment, pro-business members of Congress and the President, as the rule was legally reviewable by Congress under the Congressional Review Act. The Stream Protection Rule is dead.But Mr. Trump is not satisfied to stop there, as his administration has set its sights on the broader Clean Water Rule, which was finalized on June 29, 2015 under President Obama. The title of the President Trump’s executive order, signed the same day as the address to Congress, says much: “Presidential Executive Order on Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the ‘Waters of the United States’ Rule.” This executive order directs the administrator of the EPA (climate-change denier Scott Pruitt) and the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works (currently Douglas Lamont) to review and then rescind or revise the rule.Mr. Pruitt and Mr. Lamont wasted no time in signaling their intent in the Federal Register. Their intention is to interpret “navigable waters,” a crucial phrase which appears in the landmark Clean Water Act of 1972, as narrowly as possible—in fact, consistent with the interpretation of uber-conservative Justice Scalia in the 2006 U.S. Supreme Court ruling Rapanos vs. United States. Rapanos was argued many years after Michigan-based developer John Rapanos filled 22 acres of wetlands with sand to develop a mall, and he did not apply for a permit for this action, even though his consultant and state employees requested that he do so, claiming that the wetlands were far enough from “navigable waters” that he could do whatever he wanted.The intention filed by Mr. Pruitt and Mr. Lamont in the Federal Register states “… the agencies will consider interpreting the term ‘navigable waters,’ as defined in the CWA in a manner consistent with the opinion of Justice Scalia in Rapanos.” Justice Scalia wrote this in his opinion on the case: “In applying the definition to “ephemeral streams,” “wet meadows,” storm sewers and culverts, “directional sheet flow during storm events,” drain tiles, man-made drainage ditches, and dry arroyos in the middle of the desert, the Corps has stretched the term “waters of the United States” beyond parody.” Parody, as in funny, an exaggeration. Justice Scalia thought it was humorous that one could consider all waters as connected and worthy of federal protection.I could go on for pages with the details, but I will cut to the chase: After the 2006 Rapanos ruling, which did not clarify exactly which waters are protected under the Clean Water Act, the EPA began the years-long process of studying the science related to “connectivity of streams and wetlands to downstream waters,” the title of its 2015 report. It took four years to even finalize the report, owing to the extensive review by dozens of both governmental and non-governmental subject matter experts (a.k.a. scientists). Over 1,200 publications from the peer-reviewed journal literature were used in the writing of the report. Bottom line: The extensive study is scientifically-based, not whimsical. Next bottom line: Mr. Trump’s and Mr. Pruitt’s/Mr. Lamont’s intentions are whimsical, at least from a scientific perspective. In fact, Mr. Pruitt and Mr. Lamont write in the Federal Register “such a revised decision need not be based upon a change of facts of circumstances.” (emphasis mine)The science report “Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters: A Review and Synthesis of the Scientific Evidence” is almost 500 pages long, but the conclusions are clear—all streams, wetlands, and open waters of any kind, size, and frequency of flow are intimately “connected to downstream waters and strongly influence their function” and/or “provide physical, chemical, and biological functions that could affect the integrity of downstream waters.” The subsequent Clean Water Rule, then, defines “navigable waters” very broadly, given these unequivocal findings of professional scientists in the field (again, both governmental and non-governmental). [Read a summary of the “Connectivity” report here.]Back to my opening line—We all drink downstream. Clean water is crucial to all living organisms. And clean water is paramount for the readers of this magazine to do all the wonderful activities we do outside. The incredible efforts of scientists, lawmakers, and federal employees have made universal (at least in the U.S.) clean water even more attainable, but these efforts are being undermined by an Administration hell-bent on moving the needle in the opposite direction, towards a handful of companies and landowners.We don’t have to take this sitting down. The EPA and Army Corps of Engineers, under new leadership, will not effortlessly undo the Clean Water Rule, as it took years to create and will take years to undo, with long court battles undoubtedly forthcoming. But we can resist as individuals, too. A simple action is to do what Mr. Pruitt and Mr. Lamont state in the Federal Register: “For further information, contact …” Let’s ask for further information. Let’s unite, regardless of political leanings and affiliation, to demand an explanation as to why the current Administration desires, openly, to roll back environmental protections of waterways and those of us who live, drink, work, and play downstream.Here are the contacts. Please take five minutes to make the call and send an email. And then send these along to all your friends. After all, we all drink downstream.EPA: (202) 566-2428  /  [email protected] Secretary of the Army for Civil Works:(703) 695-4641 / email: [email protected]last_img read more

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Mountain Mama: Winter Solstice

first_imgBetween shopping, decorating, baking and showing up to holiday functions, this time of year tends to overwhelm. Getting caught up in all the frenzy results in losing sight of the magic and beauty of the season.When Orion marched across the night sky and nightfall blanketed our ancestors in darkness, they celebrated a simpler and more natural holiday, the winter solstice. From the ancient Egyptians to the Celts, and the Hopi, winter signaled a time to turn inward, a time of ritual, reflection and rest.For us in the Northern Hemisphere, Thursday, December 21st marks the beginning of winter when the sun shines at its most southern point. People celebrate the winter solstice to acknowledge winter’s arrival and look forward to the increasing light as the countdown to spring begins.Many Christmas traditions date back to solstice celebrations, which incorporated Yule logs and decorating to brighten the dark winter nights. Evergreens, mistletoe, and holly began as symbols of everlasting life, a reminder many of us appreciate when darkness becomes so prevalent.Even the earliest version of Santa Claus may be based on a story about the first shamans who climbed the highest peaks to visit the upper worlds, returning to their communities on the winter solstice with gifts that included predictions and visions for the coming year.A typical Christmas celebration in 1800s Appalachia more closely resembled winter solstice than our current holiday customs. Back then, parents limited gift giving to one or two small gifts to their children, not the mound of presents we pile under today’s trees. Communities celebrated by eating sweets, setting off fireworks, gathering around bonfires, and drinking wine and moonshine. For anyone craving deeper connections to people and places this holiday season, the answer might be as simple as getting outside with a loved one to witness late sunrises and early sunsets, to acknowledge the natural order and rhythm of the season. The colder temperatures and early nightfall means some of our favorite trails, rivers, and mountain perches become less frequented. The stillness of winter landscapes provides the silence that cultivates intention.In these quiet places, we may also find the requisite courage to revise our holiday rituals. Nature tethers us to what matters most, gifting us with the opportunity to create meaningful lives.last_img read more

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Football News Serena Williams guns for record 24th title, aims to break two-year Grand Slam rut

first_img New York: Serena Williams has the US Open spotlight as she chases tennis history, but a host of Grand Slam winners and high-ranked rivals are also taking aim at the title. The 37-year-old American will be the focus of attention when the Flushing Meadows fortnight begins Monday with her first-round night match against Russian Maria Sharapova the most anticipated of the women’s openers. “Of course I’m going to watch it,” said top-seeded defending champion Naomi Osaka, who beat Williams in last year’s US Open final. “I think everyone in New York is going to watch it. “I’m not that surprised that that happened, because at every Grand Slam there’s always some sort of drama. Like a first round. Like, Oh my God. So this match just happens to be that for this tournament.”   Williams will try to capture her 24th Grand Slam singles title to match the all-time record set by Margaret Court. Eighth-seeded Williams, who could meet second-seeded French Open champion Ashleigh Barty of Australia in the quarter-finals, has not won a Slam since the 2017 Australian Open when she was pregnant, losing the US Open final to Osaka last year amid controversy and the past two Wimbledon finals — including last month to Romania’s Simona Halep.  Barty, Osaka, Halep and Czech third seed Karolina Pliskova, seeking her first Slam title, are among the foes trying to deny Williams yet again in a quest she insists doesn’t dominate her thoughts. “I think it’s definitely meaningful, but at this point in my career, I just try to think of different things and even bigger goals — so it’s just like 24 is just a thing,” Williams said earlier this month. There are so much more important things in my life. And obviously tennis is super important to me… but yeah there are always other things in life, I feel, that are really big on my plate too.”   Williams has not played since retiring from the WTA Toronto final with back spasms, handing Canada’s Bianca Andreescu the title. “Definitely if she manages physically, then I think she can do really well here,” Andreescu said.  “She’ll do great, as she always does,” added 2017 US Open winner Sloane Stephens.  Osaka ‘very confident’  Osaka won last year’s final after Williams was given a game penalty by umpire Carlos Ramos, who US Open officials have decided will not work on any match with Serena or Venus Williams at this year’s US Open. This time, Osaka has had a better run-up to the Open despite a first-round Wimbledon crash out.  “Last year I lost three matches in a row before I came here, so I just wanted to get one match. Then it just kept building on from that,” she said. “This year I went to two quarter-finals back to back and I feel very confident about how I am right now.” While it’s Osaka’s first time defending a Slam, she had her first taste of defending a title this year at Indian Wells. “Going to Indian Wells and learning how defending champion pressure feels, I think it definitely helped me out going into this tournament,” Osaka said.   “Because I just feel more loose and comfortable here. I’m not sure if it’s because the last couple of months have been kind of turbulent but definitely I feel really comfortable and I know that, despite everything, I play well here every year. So I’m not too worried about that.”   And she’s much better after pulling out in Cincinnati with a left knee injury. “It’s getting better. I’ve been playing more, longer every day,” she said. “Luckily I’m a fast healer so I think it’s looking good.”   Halep’s confidence high  Halep, who has crashed out of the US Open in the first round the past two years, enters with confidence after beating Williams at Wimbledon. “It cannot be worse than the last two years, to lose in the first round,” Halep said. “I’m really good. I’m feeling healthy. I’m feeling fresh. The pressure of doing something special, it’s off. Now what comes, comes as a bonus. I’m still working, I’m still motivated to win titles. I’ve started to feel more and more that I’m capable to do that so my confidence is very high.” Barty says “nothing has really changed for me” since her title at Roland Garros. “I just come here to play and do the best that I can,” Barty said.  “I’m focused on my first round on Monday and that’s all I’m worried about for the moment.” highlights For all the Latest Sports News News, Football News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.center_img Serena Williams will be gunning for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam.Naomi Osaka defeated Serena in the final last year.Serena will meet Maria Sharapova for the first time in the US Open.last_img read more

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Appeals Court Clears Way for Case Against Parkland School Monitor

first_imgMedina is one of several defendants in a wrongful-death lawsuit filed in Broward County by Meadow Pollack’s parents following the Feb. 14, 2018, attack that killed 17 students and staff at the school.Cruz, who is a former Marjory Stoneman Douglas student, is awaiting trial on murder charges.The lawsuit alleges that Medina saw Cruz exit an Uber vehicle while carrying a bag that contained a gun. It adds that Medina recognized Cruz and knew the teen posed a danger, then followed him in a golf cart, according to Wednesday’s ruling.Additionally, the complaint states that Medina radioed another security guard in what was known as Building 12, where Cruz ultimately carried out the shooting.Medina went to get school resource officer Scot Peterson, with whom he returned to Building 12.Cruz left the building soon thereafter and was arrested off campus.Part of the allegations against Medina involve his decision not to call a “Code Red” over the radio, which could have locked down campus buildings before Cruz could enter.“Taken together, and knowing the extreme danger Cruz posed, Medina’s actions, as alleged, can constitute conscious and intentional indifference to the consequences of his actions and that he knowingly and purposely failed to call the Code Red,” Wednesday’s ruling said.In a brief filed at the appeals court, Medina’s attorneys argued that he “acted diligently and reasonably in this extraordinary situation” and that he should be dismissed from the case “because he did not visualize a gun or gunshots, in compliance with his training.” Referring to a failure to call a “Code Red” that could have locked down the school, an appeals court on Wednesday refused to dismiss a case against a campus security monitor who noticed and followed accused gunman Nikolas Cruz before the deadly 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.A three-judge panel of the 4th District Court of Appeal rejected arguments that former campus monitor Andrew Medina should be dismissed from a civil lawsuit that was filed by Andrew Pollack and Shara Kaplan, parents of Meadow Pollack, one of the students who was killed in the massacre.Medina claimed that he cannot be held liable because of sovereign immunity, a legal concept that shields government employees from lawsuits.However, part of a state sovereign-immunity law allows such lawsuits to continue if employees act “in a manner exhibiting wanton and willful disregard of human rights, safety, or property.”The appeals court, in upholding a decision by a Broward County circuit judge, said the allegations in the case were sufficient to consider whether Medina acted with “willful and wanton” disregard.“While further fact development may ultimately convince a trier-of-fact that Medina’s actions, or lack thereof, were not wanton and willful, the allegations of the complaint are sufficient to prevent dismissal of the complaint against Medina,” said the six-page ruling, written by appeals-court Judge Martha Warner and joined by judges Melanie May and Jeffrey Kuntz.last_img read more

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