Professors discuss options in Syria

first_imgThree Saint Mary’s professors debated potential alternative routes of action in the Syrian conflict during a panel discussion titled, “What is an Ethical Response to the Crisis in Syria?” in the Vender Vennet Theatre on Wednesday. The event was sponsored by the Center of Spirituality, the Department of Religious Studies and the Department of Political Science.  Joseph Incandela, Aquinas chair and professor of religious studies, said when he was first invited to be a part of this panel two weeks ago, he believed a military strike was imminent. However, a military strike against Syria does not guarantee peace because of the uncertainty surrounding the conflict, he said. “So even if this works quote on quote, do we trot out our mission accomplished banner and say our work is done here because all of this other killing could go on, but as long as we got the ones from chemical weapons and those are in the closet stay in the closet than we have succeeded?” Incandela said. “That seems an odd stance to take.” Sonalini Sapra, associate professor of political science and gender and women’s studies, said leaders do not explore other alternatives to military intervention enough.  “There are other ways the U.S. could intervene that could use multilateral institutions like the U.N.,” Sapra said. “They could use their diplomatic means to get the Syrian parties on the ground to agree to a cease-fire and then start a negotiation process that way. I think the diplomatic route has been relatively unexplored until last week. There are other ways to intervene without a military intervention.” Marc Belanger, chair of the political science department, in contrast to Sapra and Incandela, said violence can build as well as destroy and occasionally accomplishes some goals.  “In the last 20 years, three genocides or three situations I consider genocide were stopped not by diplomacy but by violence: I refer to Bosnia, Cambodia and Rwanda,” Belanger said. “Where in every case a far from perfect actor intervened: Vietnam in Cambodia, Rwandan forces in Rwanda and the United States and NATO in Bosnia, to bring to at least a halt for the time being extraordinary levels of destruction. On the other hand, I can certainly list other conflicts where violence did very little but destroy.” Incandela said the best way to stop violence is to prevent it from escalating in the first place, and if it does get to that point, world leaders should consider non-violent and diplomatic options.  “Sometimes violence is like fast food,” he said. “It is eaten in haste and not very fulfilling.”last_img read more

​Pension funds score victory with BP climate change resolution

first_imgThe resolution was driven by the £170bn (€139.8bn) “Aiming for A” investor coalition, led by charity fund manager CCLA, and including the LAPFF and church investment bodies such as the Church of England Pension Board.“Aiming for A” was launched in 2012 as a new investor initiative to engage on climate and carbon risk with the ten largest extractives and utilities companies in the FTSE 100. Its name is taken from the highest rating (A) of CDP – formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project – an NGO that rates the performance of global companies on climate and environmental matters. In the run-up to BP’s AGM, more pension funds and managers declared their support, including APG, the UK’s Universities Superannuation Scheme, the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), Schroders, AXA Investment Managers and, in its first public declaration of voting intentions, the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global.Edward Mason, head of responsible investment at the Church Commissioners, said: “The ‘Aiming for A’ coalition’s engagement with BP has prompted an unprecedented response by an oil and gas major and its institutional investors.“BP’s commitment to increased disclosure on its climate change strategy will set a new standard and is a significant development in the relationship between institutional shareholders and the oil and gas industry on sustainability.” Paul Dickinson, chairman, CDP argued that ensuring management took account of climate issues was part of “sound financial management”.“For institutional investors this was not just a vote about climate, but about transparency, accountability and financial logic.”He added: “Today was a landmark day. Investors and companies around the world were watching. And the hard work continues.”Earlier this week the UK’s Wellcome Trust, the country’s largest charitable trust, had also pledged its support for the resolution, with director Jeremy Farrar arguing that wholesale divestment of fossil fuel companies was not necessarily the best way to help reduce carbon emissions.In a blog on the Trust’s website, Farrar argued that the institutional community’s influence was most powerful when boards heard similar messages from numerous shareholders.“Divestment would remove a strong voice that takes climate seriously from these coalitions of persuasion, with no likelihood that those to whom we sell our shares would engage the same way.”The “Aiming for A” coalition said it will continue to attend AGMs this year to ask questions of the other UK-listed companies with whom it is engaging.The board of Royal Dutch Shell has recommended that investors back a similar resolution at the company’s AGM on 19 May. BP’s shareholders have voted overwhelmingly for a resolution at its AGM calling for increased disclosure on the company’s climate change strategy.At least 98% of shareholdings were approved the resolution ‘Strategic resilience for 2035 and beyond’, which BP’s board endorsed earlier this year after it was filed by a coalition of institutions that included several of Sweden’s AP funds and the UK’s Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF).As a result, the company’s annual reporting will now be significantly expanded, with additional transparency around operational emissions management; asset portfolio resilience against 2035 scenarios; low carbon energy R&D and investment; executive incentivisation during the low carbon transition; and public policy activity relating to climate change.Over 50 institutions worth €209bn co-filed the shareholder resolution, including eight pension funds with assets of over $15bn (€12.3bn) such as Ilmarinen, the UK local authority schemes for Greater Manchester, West Midlands, West Yorkshire and three AP funds.last_img read more

Tipp player warns Thurles no longer a daunting prospect for teams

first_imgIt’s hard to make Thurles daunting for teams to come to play in, according to one Tipp senior footballer.George Hanningan was speaking to Tipp FM ahead of their meeting with Meath this weekend at Semple Stadium.Both teams are sitting mid-table at the moment on 3 points, and while Tipp’s form at the venue hasn’t been great in recent years, George Hannigan says they are aiming to rectify that against Meath… Tipp FM’s live coverage of this Saturdays Allianz Football League round four, Tipperary versus Meath comes in association with Premier Meats Gladstone Street Clonmel, AND! Get Your Locks Off Market Street Clonmel;last_img

Tuesday March 26th Local Sports

first_imgIOWA CITY — Iowa’s Noah Fant and T.J. Hockenson could become the first tight end duo to be selected in first round of the NFL Draft. Both took part in Iowa’s Pro Day on Monday. Some projections have Fant as a top ten pick.Both are expected to get invited to the draft in Nashville but neither has made a decision on where they will watch from.Fant says it is hard to say which one will be taken first.Hockenson also is considered a possible top ten pick but he is paying no attention to the projections.Hockenson says there are no guarantees where a player will be drafted.Hockenson says he is more concerned about making a team than where he is drafted.The first round of the NFL Draft is Thursday April 25th with the rest of the draft taking place on Saturday April 27th. AMES — A disappointing end of the season for the Cyclone women. Missouri State is headed to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2001. The Lady Bears built an 11-point third quarter lead then held off an Iowa State rally to stun the third seeded Cyclones 69-60 in Ames.That’s ISU coach Bill Fennelly. The Cyclones made a season low from three point range and finished two-of 17 from behind the arc.The Cyclones sliced the Lady Bears lead to one but never led in the second half as they end the season with a record of 26-9.Bridget Carlton led Iowa State with 31 points. Former Miss Iowa Basketball Elle Ruffridge of Pocahontas played 16 minutes for Missouri State, scoring seven points. ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Juuse Saros made 29 saves for his third shutout of the season and Ryan Johansen scored a short-handed goal as the Nashville Predators defeated the Minnesota Wild 1-0 Monday night. With the victory, the Predators clinched a spot in the Western Conference playoffs. They are in second place in the Central Division, two points behind Winnipeg. Devan Dubnyk stopped 18 of 19 shots for the Wild, who remain two points out of the last playoff spot in the West with five games to play. IOWA CITY — The Iowa women have found out who their opponent in the Sweet 16 will be. North Carolina State outscored Kentucky 25-17 in the first quarter and 19-9 in the fourth quarter on their way to a 72-57 win. Iowa advanced to the regional semifinals for the seventh time in the program’s history and for the first time since 2015 with a 68-52 win over Missouri on Sunday. You can hear the Iowa-North Carolina State game on Saturday in Greensboro North Carolina at 10:30 on AM-1300 KGLO. MARION – The NIACC men’s golf team placed fourth with a 321-318 – 639 Monday at the Kirkwood Eagle Spring Classic at Hunters Ridge Golf Course.Mount Mercy Blue won the classic with a 289-293 – 582. Kirkwood was second with a 291-295 – 586.NIACC was in fifth place after Sunday’s first round.Sophomore Ben Boerjan led the NIACC men with a 74.-73 – 147.Also for the Trojans, Jackson Hamlin shot a 79-79 158, Austin Eckenrod shot a 78-80 – 158, Matthew Heinemann shot a 90-86 – 176 and John Patterson shot a 97-100 – 197. Zach Martin, who did not play on Sunday, shot a 84 on Monday.NIACC returns to action Friday and Saturday at the Graceland Spring Invitational at Mozingo Lake Golf Course in Maryville, Mo.last_img read more