‘A Whisper to a Roar’ sparks discussion

first_imgWhat motivates people across the globe to risk their lives to fight for democracy? And why do authoritarian regimes survive despite the recent expansion of democracy around the world?With the film “A Whisper to a Roar” as a backdrop, panelists on Monday sought an answer to these elusive questions. The panel, which included the Egyptian Democratic Academy activist Esraa Abdel Fattah, the Slate Magazine journalist William Dobson, the film director Ben Moses, and Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) Professor Tarek Masoud, addressed a capacity crowd at the HKS screening of the documentary. The event, part of the center’s focus on the relationship between democratic governance and persistent urgent social challenges, launched the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation’s spring Democracy Seminar series.“A Whisper to a Roar” follows the struggles of pro-democracy activists and political leaders in five authoritarian countries — Egypt, Malaysia, Ukraine, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe — and is based on the work of Larry Diamond, a renowned democracy scholar and author of the 2008 book “The Spirit of Democracy: The Struggle to Build Free Societies Throughout the World.” (Diamond was also an Ash Center Democracy Seminar speaker in 2009.)Masoud, who was the panel’s moderator, served as a leading commentator on the film’s focus on the 2011 revolution in Egypt. During the post-film discussion he questioned the nature and durability of authoritarianism.“Even when you get rid of a dictator, why does authoritarianism still remain?” he asked, citing the countries the film profiled as examples of non-democracies with weak political rights and civil liberties despite the work of pro-democracy activists.Moses, the director, responded that “democracy is never over,” and that it can often be harder to maintain a democracy than to establish one — a point stressed by the film’s lack of a happy ending.“I am still optimistic, even with everything that has happened in our country,” said Egyptian Democratic Academy activist Esraa Abdel Fattah. “In Egypt, we are in the second wave of revolution and it is a healthy thing.”In the film, Abdel Fattah expressed her belief that positive change would eventually occur in Egypt, and she reiterated that sentiment during the HKS discussion. “I am still optimistic, even with everything that has happened in our country,” she said. “In Egypt, we are in the second wave of revolution and it is a healthy thing.” Abdel Fattah predicted that Egyptians will continue to protest until the country achieves genuine democracy, and urged hope for a better future rather than pessimism about the current state of government.The film also tracked the work of student protest groups in Venezuela led by Roberto Patiño against the policies and practices of President Hugo Chávez. Dobson, the Slate editor, praised the effectiveness of the protests, noting that, “The youth had higher approval ratings than the Catholic Church,” in part because they avoided political rhetoric and chose more creative messaging to reach a moderate constituency. Drawing on Venezuelans’ pride in their success in the Miss Universe contest, student activists used campaign posters of an aged beauty queen with a crown to compare Chávez’s rule to having a “Miss Venezuela for life.”“I think this movie comes as a reminder that freedom is priceless and you can’t quantify it. We need to fight for it every day,” said Halimatou Hima Moussa Dioula, a student at HKS who attended the Ash Center event.The film screening was co-sponsored by Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation and the Middle East Initiative of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. The Ash Center’s spring Democracy Seminar series continues on Feb. 13 with Nicholas Cull from the University of Southern California.last_img read more

OIT encourages online security

first_imgStudents can best protect themselves while shopping online by paying attention to who they are purchasing from, said David Seidl, Information Security Program Manager for Notre Dame’s Office of Information Technology (OIT). As part of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, OIT is working to inform students of the dangers that can come from breaches in cyber security, including online shopping. Seidl said the two biggest areas where online shoppers neglect to protect themselves are in checking the credibility of the site they purchase from and the form of payment they use to buy their merchandise. “People will go to one website and get linked over to some fly-by-night site that’s not something like an Amazon,” he said. In order to prevent being scammed, Seidl said students can visit resellerratings.com, a website with ratings on different online retailers. “Resellerrattings.com generally gives you a star-based rating scheme. If you see it has 500 and has been in business for 10 years, then the website is probably okay,” he said. Another general rule of thumb to keep in mind is to think about the type of deal the website is offering. “One of the giveaways is that if something is too good to be true, it probably isn’t [true],” Seidl said. Another area where online shoppers run into problems is in the way they chose to pay for their purchases. Seidl said the best way to pay for merchandise purchased online is with a one-time use credit card number. “The basic concept is that you are able to go to a credit card companies website and click on a function that can generate a one-time use number,” he said. “The number is no longer valid after the purchase.” As opposed to giving a credit card number, where there is the possibility for someone to steal it and use it until the card expires, a one-time use number will be invalid after the transaction is completed, Seidl said. If, however, an online purchaser must choose between using a credit card or a debit card, Seidl said to opt for the credit card. Aside from potentially giving a website complete access to one’s checking account, there are also more safeguards put into place for credit card theft. “Credit cards have more protections by law so potential issues for you are much smaller,” he said. In addition to offering advice about online shopping, OIT is also hosting a number of speakers Tuesday at the Notre Dame Conference Center in McKenna Hall to advise on different topics related to cyber security. The first portion of the day features two speakers, who will address topics aimed at technologically oriented students and professionals. During the afternoon, events will be geared toward a wider audience, with speakers focusing on securing one’s mobile phone and tips for parents to protect their students online. A complete listing of the day’s events can be found on OIT’s website.last_img read more

Headlines and perspective: Facebook cryptocurrency

first_img continue reading » Facebook is planning to launch a cryptocurrency, run by the nonprofit Switzerland-based Libra Association in 2020, backed by some of tech’s biggest names. The focus is on financial inclusion for all.How it WorksThe Libra Association – an independent not-for-profit organization created by Facebook and based in Geneva – mints the currency and distributes it through authorized sellers.A consumer downloads a digital wallet from Calibra, then purchases Libra from an authorized seller’s site.With Libra, the user can make an online purchase, such as a subscription to Spotify, one of the corporate partners of the currency.Spotify then exchanges the Libra for dollars via a reseller, who then sells the currency back to the Libra Association. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Heartbreak for Tipp as the Cats claim Liam McCarthy

first_imgThe Cats got on the scoreboard in the 8th minute with a point from a free….followed a couple of minutes later with another bringing the two sides level. Kilkenny took the lead in the 11th minute but a free taken by Seamus Callinan brought the sides back level for the second time.Tipperary consistently ran at the Kilkenny full back line a number of times but failed to find the back of the net with two shots from Callinan denied…however, in the 28th minute, following a great passage of play, a second point from Shane McGrath followed just seconds later by a stunning goal from Callinan meant Tipp were in the driving seat heading towards half time. Tipp went into the break leading the Cats by 2 points…on a scoreline of 1-07 to 8 points and the momentum was high following a brilliant score, once again from Shane McGrathKilkenny had the better start to the second half, and only for the skill of Darren Gleeson, would have found the back of the net two minutes after the breakHowever, the game had turned in the Cat’s favour and 2 points from both TJ Reid and Colin Fennelly meant Tipp trailed by 3 in the 46th minute…however Noel McGrath reduced that gap seconds laterA point from a placed ball brought the gap to the narrowest of margins…and some stunningly brave defending by James Barry, once again, meant Kilkenny were denied a goal.Eoin Larkin stretched the lead for the Cats and then in the 56th minute, a foul in the square meant Tipp were awarded a penalty…which Seamie Callinan sent over the bar with ease.However, Richie Power responded down the opposite end of the pitch less than two minutes later and scored a goal for Kilkenny…this was followed by a second goal from John Power in the 63rd minute….on the third time of trying after two stunning saves from Darren Gleeson bringing the score to 2-15 to 1-12Kilkenny remained in the lead…but after points once again from John Bubbles O’Dwyer and a mammoth strike from Captain Brendan Maher…the gap was narrowed to 5….then in the 69th minute of ordinary time, Seamus Callinan rocketed the ball into the back of the Kilkenny net to keep the Premier in the game…However, it was not to be….Tipp remained two down and after three minutes of additional time, the final whistle was blown….ending the Premier County’s run in this year’s championship. The final score from Croke Park in the 2014 All Ireland Senior Hurling Final Replay: Kilkenny 2-17 Tipperary 2-14. The lead swung back and forth throughout the full 73 minutes of play but in the end, the Cats proved too much for Eamon O’Shea’s men. The game started well for Tipp as Shane McGrath put the first score of the game on the board for the Premier with a long range shot from the middle of the pitch in the 3rd minute. This was followed by a great goal chance for Bonner Maher who was denied on the line, but just seconds later Noel McGrath pointed leaving Tipperary leading by 2 points to no score. last_img read more