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Hollywood actor Ben Stiller spotted near Kyiv

Hollywood actor Ben Stiller was spotted in the Makariv district of Kyiv in Ukraine on Monday, days after he was seen in the western city of Lviv.

According to a social media post, Stiller – who is a goodwill ambassador with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency – is working with the agency to support Ukrainian refugees.

Stiller said via Twitter on Saturday that he arrived in Poland to meet “people whose lives have been affected by the war in Ukraine.” Today is World Refugee Day.

Residents of Mariupol “on survival”

According to the city’s regional military administration, residents of the southern port city of Mariupol, which was seized by Russian forces in May, are on the brink of survival due to a lack of clean drinking water.

Citing information from Mariupol Mayor Vadim Boychenko, the administration said that “more than 100,000 people who still remain in the city do not have access to drinking water”.

“Currently, the occupants provide it once a week. Residents are queuing for 4-8 hours. They are on the verge of death. This is a humanitarian disaster. Therefore, we must do everything possible to open a green corridor and save people,” the mayor said.

He added that the Russians and “collaborators” had also restricted residents’ access to food. “At the same time, the city finds itself without gas, without light and without an evacuation system.”

CNBC was unable to verify information from the administration and Boychenko.

—Holly Ellyatt

Battles move to villages around Severodonetsk and Lysychansk

Battles between Ukrainian and Russian forces are taking place in “several villages” around the twin cities of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, with Ukrainian forces losing control of a settlement, according to the head of the Luhansk regional military administration, Serhiy Haidai.

In his latest Twitter update, the official said the Ukrainian army had lost control of the village of Metiolkine just outside the regional center.

“Battles are ongoing in several villages around Siverodonetsk and Lysychansk. Unfortunately, we currently have no control over Metiolkine near the regional center,” he said, adding that Russian forces had “intensified artillery and aerial fire”.

Debris and destroyed cars along a street in Lysychansk.

Sopa Pictures | Light flare | Getty Images

Russian and Ukrainian forces have been engaged in intense fighting and street battles in recent weeks, with the conflict centering on Severodonetsk, the last remaining Ukrainian city in Luhansk province, and its “twin” city on the other side of the Siverskyi Donets River, Lysychansk.

Haidai noted that Ukrainian fighters were successful in close warfare, but enemy artillery prevailed in the area. He added that Russia was “defeating” Lysychansk but said a “silent” civilian evacuation was underway using armored vehicles.

“A lost colony does NOT mean ‘lost war’. The Luhansk region will be defended to the end, we will limit the horde as much as necessary,” Haidai said.

He added that “the Russians are hitting the industrial zone of Severodonetsk and the outskirts of the city hard. The same is happening in the Toshkivka and Ustynivka districts”, where the “orcs” are trying to make a breakthrough. “For this purpose, they collected a large amount of material there,” he said.

Ukrainian officials frequently compare Russian fighters to the fictional, monstrous “orcs” from JRR Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” series.

Holly Ellyatt

Air force failures put pressure on Russia’s ‘exhausted’ ground forces, UK says

Servicemen of pro-Russian troops board an infantry fighting vehicle in the town of Popasna in the Luhansk region, Ukraine, June 2, 2022.

Alexander Ermoshenko | Reuters

The Russian air force has underperformed and its inability to consistently deliver air power is probably one of the most important factors in the very limited success of the country’s campaign, according to the latest intelligence update from the UK Ministry of Defence.

The ministry said the Russian Air Force “cannot achieve complete air superiority and operated under risk-[averse] style, rarely penetrating deep behind Ukrainian lines. He noted that some of the underlying causes of his difficulties echo those of Russian forces on the ground in Ukraine.

“For years, much of Russia’s air combat training was most likely heavily scripted and designed to impress senior officials, rather than to develop dynamic initiative among aircrews,” UK said. United. He added that although Russia has an impressive roster of relatively modern and capable combat aircraft, “the Air Force has almost certainly failed to develop the institutional culture and skills necessary for its personnel to meet Russia’s aspiration to provide a more Western-style modern air campaign.”

This has led to a larger-than-expected effort for ground troops, which are depleting, according to the intelligence report, and advanced cruise missiles, “stocks of which are likely running out.”

Russia’s tactical ground and air operations continued to focus on Donbass in eastern Ukraine over the weekend, the UK noted.

—Holly Ellyatt

Official says Russia ‘evacuated’ 1.9 million Ukrainian citizens

A Russian military official claimed that more than 1.9 million Ukrainian citizens, including 307,000 children, have been “evacuated” to the territory of the Russian Federation since the start of the war.

“Despite all the difficulties created by the Kyiv authorities, over the past 24 hours, without the participation of the Ukrainian side, 29,733 people, including 3,502 children, were evacuated to the territory of the Russian Federation from areas Ukrainian and Donbass republics,” Mikhail Mizintsev, head of the Russian Federation’s National Defense Control Center, said during a briefing on Saturday, Russian news agency Interfax reported.

He said 307,423 children had been “evacuated” since the start of the invasion.

People, mostly women and children, walk through a train station in Poland after fleeing war-torn Ukraine on April 9, 2022.

Jeff J Mitchell | Getty Images News | Getty Images

The forced or coerced transfer of Ukrainian citizens to Russian territory raises serious concerns. Sometimes humanitarian corridors opened to allow civilians to leave besieged cities, such as Mariupol, have led into Russian territory. Civilians evacuated from the besieged steel mills in Mariupol have reportedly been taken to a former prison camp in an occupied part of Ukraine.

Russia claims it protects ethnic Russians in parts of Ukraine, especially in the east and south (Donbass and Crimea, respectively).

—Holly Ellyatt

Russia’s ‘hostile activities’ could intensify this week, Zelenskyy warns

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said he expects Russia to step up its attacks on his country pending a European Union decision this week on whether to grant Ukraine country status. candidate – a decision that could allow him to join the bloc at a future date.

“Tomorrow begins a truly historic day, a week, when we will hear the European Union’s response on Ukraine’s candidate status. [We’ve] already [got] almost a positive decision from the European Commission, at the end of the new week the response from the European Council is expected,” Zelenskyy said in his evening speech on Sunday.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a meeting with local authorities during a visit to the southern city of Mykolaiv, Ukraine June 18, 2022. The country is awaiting a decision from the European Union this week on whether it will grant Ukraine the status of a candidate country.

Ukrainian Presidential Press Service | Reuters

The president said Russia could step up its “hostile activities” this week as a result, and warned that Russia was “building up forces” towards Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city.

“Fierce fighting continues in the Donbass. The Russian army uses the most artillery there, most of its offensive forces. But Severodonetsk, Lysychansk, Avdiivka, Krasnohorivka and other hot spots are holding their own. Our people hold them Our army is holding And I am grateful to all whose strength today is our victory tomorrow.

Ukraine has long aspired to join the EU, the neighboring bloc to the west of the country. The move is sure to anger Russia, as President Vladimir Putin opposes the pro-Western direction Ukraine’s leaders have taken in recent years.

—Holly Ellyatt

War could last for years, says NATO chief

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has warned that the West must prepare for a protracted conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

“We have to be prepared for the fact that it could take years. We must not relax our support for Ukraine. Even if the costs are high, not only for military support but also because of the rising price of oil. energy and food,” Stoltenberg told Bild am Journal Sonntag over the weekend.

An aerial view of completely destroyed settlements about 40 km from the Russian border, in Kharkiv, on June 12, 2022.

Metin Aktas | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

“If Putin learns from this war that he can just continue as he did after the 2008 war in Georgia and the occupation of Crimea in 2014, then we will pay a much higher price,” he said. he adds.

Strategists have warned that the war in Ukraine is likely to become a war of attrition.

—Holly Ellyatt

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Arguments in favor of the support of the school board RE-2 https://serversunderthesun.com/arguments-in-favor-of-the-support-of-the-school-board-re-2/ Sat, 18 Jun 2022 20:32:34 +0000 https://serversunderthesun.com/arguments-in-favor-of-the-support-of-the-school-board-re-2/

This WPSD board is delivering on what they campaigned for:

  • Cancel the District’s mask mandate
  • Resolve numerous issues raised with Summit Learning Platform, including possibly removing the program altogether (currently assigned to Superintendent)
  • Giving parents a choice and reversing the controversial denial of Merit Academy’s previous board
  • Support a historic increase for district staff, and
  • Improve district transparency by ensuring parents are informed of the class schedule

All of these things have been completed or are in progress, as promised and for which they were elected. These accomplishments fall squarely within the powers and responsibilities of the Board of Directors, as set forth in Colorado’s statutes.

However, there seems to be a misunderstanding of the governance of school boards. The directors of the council are charged by the state with powers, duties and responsibilities for the supervision of the district. The list of powers and duties listed in the statutes is long. Overall, governance is the adoption of policies that also reflect the vision of the board of directors, on the basis of which they were elected. Administrative policies not only state the council’s vision and their statement of district purpose, but also adhere to state law.

According to the Colorado Association of School Boards (CASB), “political governance is a system of interrelated principles that uses policies to express the values ​​and perspectives of the board in all areas.” Policies are the roadmap by which the council chooses to run the district.

It seems that the general community is questioning policy versus law. Policies, unless required by law, are not laws, but they must not conflict with the law. They can be changed.

In fact, a CASB representative gave a presentation to a former WPSD board (of which I was a member) and indicated that the new boards were planning a retreat to review the previous board’s policies and modify, adopt, add or remove these policies to coincide with the new Board of Directors’ Statement of Intent and Vision.

If there is a conflict between the policies and the vision of the new board, then the policies must change. If there is a difference of opinion or desired policy among the members of the council, the majority prevails and, therefore, it is the only voice of the council.

It seems that this newly elected council was not advised of this wise practice of reviewing/modifying policies. Policy review and adjustment is lagging behind. It is common for individual board members, or a pair of board members, to write (or modify) policies and bring them back to the full board for discussion, changes, and adoption or rejection. This is essential for the health of district governance.

Boards across the state either have a superintendent (most common) or they have several senior staff who report directly to the board, or the board fills out much of the detail itself (not advised). Again, this operational decision falls within the powers and duties of the Commission. The board should work together to ensure that policies (new/modified/current) reflect the level of governance the board wishes to implement.

There seems to be some dissonance between the new board and the policies of the previous board. As the CASB has advised in the past, the board does not change its vision or final statement to match the policy, the policies change to match the board’s vision, for which they were elected.

The folks at “Never-This-Board” are working on a recall of newly elected board members, using non-compliance with policies as the reason. In fact, the county clerk’s office was called ONE WEEK after the newly elected council members took office, asking how to begin a recall of these new council members.

I support the Council on the basis of promises made, promises kept. The environment they worked with was hostile. They acted on the advice they received from experienced administrators and others, which in hindsight seems questionable. Agenda was reviewed, but historically meeting agendas have been written by the (new) board chair and (seasoned) superintendent, not the full board. It appears that the new board members were not advised by their senior board member or superintendent, as they should have been, to review/amend the policies to match the vision for which they have campaigned and for which they were elected.

Change policies. Keep his promises. Support, not recall, this Council.

Dr. Gwynne Pekron

Resident of Woodland Park

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Discord launches automatic content moderation tool to support its overloaded mods https://serversunderthesun.com/discord-launches-automatic-content-moderation-tool-to-support-its-overloaded-mods/ Thu, 16 Jun 2022 15:09:00 +0000 https://serversunderthesun.com/discord-launches-automatic-content-moderation-tool-to-support-its-overloaded-mods/

Discord is stepping up its content moderation tools and rolling out resources to support its overwhelmed volunteer moderators. The company is also expanding its premium subscription program, which allows users to set up paid subscriptions for their servers.

In a series of announcements released Thursday, the company said it was rolling out AutoMod, an automatic tool designed to help protect its communities and create a safe environment. According to information provided by Discord, AutoMod is basically a powerful automatic keyword filter that will allow moderators to detect, block or get alerts for harmful messages or phrases in channels, threats and text in a server’s voice chats.

AutoMod will no doubt be a welcome boost to Discord moderators, who have been battling abuse for years. At one point, they even developed their own guerrilla mechanisms, such as containment rooms or robots, to combat raids from destructive users and trolls.

As many of those who are perpetually online know, moderators and administrators are essential in internet communities, and Discord is launching two new resources for these users, including the Discord Community Resources “education hub”, the company explained. The hub will be a blog featuring posts from “experienced community leaders,” with the goal of teaching mods and admins how to build, engage, and grow their servers.

Additionally, Discord will also launch a new “Admin Community” for mods and admins, run by the company itself, to help them chat and connect.

Finally, Discord also had some news about premium subscriptions, a feature that allows community creators and owners to put their server behind a paid subscription. More and more influencers are using Discord to connect with fans, and the chat platform has become a hub for the cryptocurrency community. Testing on premium subscriptions started with a small number of servers in December, but will expand to more servers this summer, the company said.

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John Allen quits Brookings amid federal investigation into his activities with Qatar https://serversunderthesun.com/john-allen-quits-brookings-amid-federal-investigation-into-his-activities-with-qatar/ Sun, 12 Jun 2022 22:12:21 +0000 https://serversunderthesun.com/john-allen-quits-brookings-amid-federal-investigation-into-his-activities-with-qatar/
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Retired four-star Marine General John R. Allen has resigned as president of the Brookings Institution, one of the world’s most renowned think tanks, after being placed on administrative leave as part of a a federal investigation into his alleged lobbying on behalf of the government of Qatar. years ago, the firm told employees on Sunday.

The probe is investigating whether Allen, a military commander who once led US combat forces in Afghanistan, secretly urged the Trump administration to tone down its criticism of Qatar in 2017, when Persian Gulf neighbors imposed economic sanctions on the country, accusing it of supporting Islamist extremism, according to court records. Allen had been placed on administrative leave, Brookings said last week.

US law requires anyone lobbying on behalf of other governments to be registered with the Department of Justice. In his resignation letter, Allen said he had been proud to work for Brookings, an organization he described as “committed to serving the greater good of all Americans.”

“Although I leave the institution with a heavy heart, I know it’s best for everyone involved at this time,” Allen wrote. “I wish the Board of Directors and every member of the Brookings family the best in the difficult days ahead.” Beau Phillips, a spokesperson for Allen, declined to comment further.

Brookings think tank sidelines retired general amid federal probe

In an email to staffers, Brookings board co-chairs Glenn Hutchins and Suzanne Nora Johnson said Ted Gayer, a senior economics researcher, had taken over as interim chairman.

The memo credits Allen for his “leadership in successfully running the institution during the pandemic” and does not explicitly mention the federal investigation.

“Brookings seeks to maintain high ethical standards in all of its operations,” Hutchins and Nora Johnson wrote in the email, which was obtained by The Washington Post. “Our policies on research independence and integrity reflect these values.”

The Qatari government used to provide significant financial support to the Brookings Institution, according to a recent Associated Press report, which outlines the contents of an April 15 search warrant request that included the FBI’s allegations. . While Brookings said the organization was no longer funded by the Qatari government, Qatar agreed to donate nearly $15 million to the group in 2013.

Allen met with senior Qatari leaders in 2017 when he was a part-time principal investigator at Brookings. According to law enforcement, Allen used his Brookings email address to communicate with Trump administration officials, including White House national security adviser Lt. Gen. HR McMaster of the army.

Allen offered a “false version of events” as he described the nature of his work in Qatar while talking to law enforcement officials in 2020, the FBI said. When subpoenaed by a grand jury, law enforcement officials added, Allen did not produce any email messages relevant to the case. The FBI did not immediately respond to request for comment on the investigation.

Phillips disputed the contents of the search warrant request in a statement last week, calling them “factually inaccurate, incomplete and misleading.”

“General Allen did nothing improper or illegal, never acted as an agent of Qatar or any foreign government or principal, and never obstructed justice,” wrote Phillips in a statement. “Through decades of public service in combat and diplomacy, General Allen has earned an unrivaled reputation for honor and integrity. We look forward to correcting the lies about General Allen that have been improperly made public in this affair.

The search warrant request, which appears to have been issued in error, says Allen got involved in the case through Richard G. Olson, a former ambassador to the United Arab Emirates who pleaded guilty the week latest in the campaign, and political donor Imaad Zuberi. The effort, according to the documents, was an attempt to improve Qatar’s image during the diplomatic crisis.

US ex-diplomat pleads guilty in Qatar lobbying plot, appoints general

The search warrant request includes an email Allen sent to McMaster asking the Trump administration to call on the Gulf countries to end their blockade of vital transit routes and “act with restraint.”

In that email, Allen wrote that the Qatari government “requests a follow-up signal from the WH or DOS region of a simple statement from the United States,” referring to the White House or State Department. .

Shortly after, then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson publicly called for a “calm and thoughtful dialogue” – a dramatic reversal of statements made by then-President Donald Trump days earlier. early.

]]> TEXAS COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE SID MILLER WARNS BIDEN ADMINISTRATION ABOUT SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAMS > Texas Department of Agriculture website > News and event details https://serversunderthesun.com/texas-commissioner-of-agriculture-sid-miller-warns-biden-administration-about-school-lunch-programs-texas-department-of-agriculture-website-news-and-event-details/ Fri, 10 Jun 2022 21:41:23 +0000 https://serversunderthesun.com/texas-commissioner-of-agriculture-sid-miller-warns-biden-administration-about-school-lunch-programs-texas-department-of-agriculture-website-news-and-event-details/

TEXAS AGRICULTURE COMMISSIONER SID MILLER WARNS BIDEN ADMINISTRATION ABOUT SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAMS (6/10/2022)

AUSTIN– Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is warning the Biden administration to avoid tying national school lunch programs to any political agenda that would impact food and nutrition for Texas children. Miller said he was “prepared to take appropriate action to prevent the politicization of Texas school child nutrition.”


Media reports say the Biden administration may withhold federal school lunch funds from school districts that do not comply with federal policy regarding gender identity, men’s use of girls’ restrooms and locker rooms biological and allowing biological men to participate in women’s sports and athletics.


“It is outrageous that the federal government is considering even such a ridiculous policy. Because Texas prohibits biological boys from competing in girls’ sports, school lunches would be cut? Miller said. “As the state official responsible for the proper nutrition and nutrition of children attending Texas schools, that’s where I draw the line. Biden needs to keep his political agenda away from our Texas school children. . »


“Such a policy could cut billions of dollars in funding for breakfast and lunch for Texas children, many of whom depend on their schools for much of their daily nutritional needs. These meal programs not only feed our children every day, but they also support our local economies and agricultural producers in Texas,” Miller said.


“I want to make sure that no child in Texas misses a school lunch because of a political agenda.” Miller said.



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Senate Democrats seek executive action backing Biden’s reproductive rights discussed by Warren https://serversunderthesun.com/senate-democrats-seek-executive-action-backing-bidens-reproductive-rights-discussed-by-warren/ Thu, 09 Jun 2022 03:41:05 +0000 https://serversunderthesun.com/senate-democrats-seek-executive-action-backing-bidens-reproductive-rights-discussed-by-warren/

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Ken Graham, director of the Hurricane Center, will lead the National Weather Service https://serversunderthesun.com/ken-graham-director-of-the-hurricane-center-will-lead-the-national-weather-service/ Tue, 07 Jun 2022 14:09:29 +0000 https://serversunderthesun.com/ken-graham-director-of-the-hurricane-center-will-lead-the-national-weather-service/
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Ken Graham, who guided the National Hurricane Center through two record-breaking Atlantic hurricane seasons and the political storm known as SharpieGate, will become the next director of the National Weather Service.

Graham, whose selection was announced on Tuesday, heads the agency tasked with forecasting the country’s weather and how those conditions can threaten the lives and property of Americans at a critical time. Climate change is intensifying heat waves, fires, droughts and storms, increasing the costs from these extreme weather disasters. Last year, $20 billion weather disasters hit the lower 48 states, the second highest on record.

Rick Spinrad, who oversees the weather service as head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, introduced Graham as director at a news conference in Washington.

“Ken has the scientific integrity, trusted leadership and communication prowess that will take the National Weather Service to even greater heights,” Spinrad said. “I have full confidence that he will help create a more weather- and climate-ready nation in the midst of more extreme weather conditions fueled by our changing climate.”

Graham, a career civil servant who worked for the federal government for 28 years, will take over the Weather Service at a particularly difficult time. The agency must predict increasingly extreme weather conditions at a time when its flagship weather forecasting systems lag behind their European counterparts in computing power and accuracy, and when some of its computing infrastructure for dissemination of forecasts to the public are collapsing.

NOAA has also faced questions about the lack of racial and gender diversity in its workforce. Graham, who is white, succeeds Louis Uccellini, who retired in December after leading the agency for eight years.

Still, many in the weather community praised his selection.

“It’s great to see a new director who has a wealth of experience working with users to deliver vital weather services,” said Mary Glackin, who served as NOAA’s deputy assistant secretary from 2007 to 2012, in an email. “And, Ken understands the impacts of our changing climate and how it manifests in more extreme weather events.”

Leslie Chapman-Henderson, president of the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, said Graham has worked to innovate at the “National Hurricane Center, even during some of our nation’s toughest times.”

A stabilizing force: the director of the outgoing weather service reflects on tenure

The Hurricane Center has improved its accuracy measurements of hurricane track and intensity forecasts under Graham, setting records even as every hurricane season since 2018 has been busier than normal. The 2020 and 2021 seasons produced the most and third-most named storms on record, respectively.

Despite the onslaught, improved forecasts, warnings and communication tools developed at the Hurricane Center contributed to a sharp decline in the number of deaths from storm surges, which had previously been one of the most common hurricane hazards. more deadly.

When storms such as Category 5 Hurricane Michael in 2018 and Category 4 hurricanes Laura and Ida hit the coast, Graham played a key role in advising the White House, state and local government officials , emergency officials, broadcast media and the public.

“Ken’s extensive experience in weather forecasting and, more importantly, in translating weather forecasts into actionable decision points for emergency managers across the country has and will continue to save lives,” said the FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell, who worked with Graham in her current job. as well as when she headed the New York City Emergency Management Department, in an email.

In one of the biggest weather controversies of Donald Trump’s time in the White House, when Trump altered a Hurricane Center tracking map with black marker in 2019 to support his mistaken accusation that Hurricane Dorian was threatening the Alabama, Graham sought to uphold his agency’s scientific integrity behind the scenes.

Even though Trump’s tweet and amended map were wrong, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — facing political pressure from White House and Commerce Department appointees — released an unsigned statement supporting the president contradicting the office. from the Birmingham Weather Service that the storm was not a problem. danger.

NOAA’s actions infuriated members of the public, many of whom emailed the Hurricane Center saying it could no longer be trusted.

In response, Graham pleaded with Weather Service leaders to craft a response signaling that science warnings from federal officials would not be compromised.

“The biggest request we receive are emails simply asking for assurances that we are science-based as always,” Graham wrote to Mary Erickson, deputy director of the weather service, in an email posted under freedom of information law. “Look for nothing but [to provide] assurance ‘we have not changed.’ ”

Hurricane Dorian emails show how tenuous scientific credibility was in the Trump era

But Graham kept a low profile during the Sharpiegate. His name does not appear in the Commerce Department’s 107-page inspector general’s review of the scandal that chastised Commerce Department appointees for siding with President Trump over service forecasters meteorological.

Prior to coming to the Hurricane Center, Graham was the meteorologist in charge of the weather service office serving New Orleans, where he led the agency’s response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster. He began his Weather Service career as an intern in New Orleans in 1994 and worked in broadcast weather before that.

Graham is a “fantastic choice” to lead the agency, said Neil Jacobs, who served as acting NOAA administrator under Trump. “From forecasting work in the field to advancing [the Hurricane Center’s] mission over several challenging seasons, Ken has the perfect balance of leadership skills, operational experience and support from the emergency management community.

Uccellini described Graham’s selection in an email as “great news for the National Weather Service, NOAA and the Nation.”

Jamie Rhome, assistant manager of the Hurricane Center, will fill Graham’s old position on an interim basis until a new permanent manager is appointed.

]]> The Key Educational Legacy of Duterte’s ALS admin – Briones https://serversunderthesun.com/the-key-educational-legacy-of-dutertes-als-admin-briones/ Sun, 05 Jun 2022 13:13:37 +0000 https://serversunderthesun.com/the-key-educational-legacy-of-dutertes-als-admin-briones/

Education Secretary Leonor Briones explains the importance of research at the launch of the online research portal. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

The Alternative Learning System (ALS), which received huge support from President Rodrigo Duterte, is one of the main legacies of the outgoing administration, said Education Secretary Leonor Briones.

The Department of Education (DepEd) said ESL enrollment has increased at an annual average of 95.35% over the previous two administrations.

Briones said more than 4.2 million out-of-school youth and adults are enrolled in ALS.

She added that since the program aims to help the marginalized sector, the DepEd has partnered with the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Davao City to offer ALS to the inmates.

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“These are the children that others describe as the ones who have fallen through the cracks, who cannot continue their studies, who have to work and, for one reason or another, cannot attend classes in the traditional way. .I have seen and met young detainees in prison in Davao at the initiative of Mayor Sara Duterte, who has benefited from the ALS We are reaching out not only to those on the streets, farmers, factory workers, but also to those who are in prison and those who are in remote places,” Briones said.

The ALS was institutionalized through the passage of Republic Act 11510, ensuring greater budget allocation and additional support to program stakeholders.

“When the Senate and House initiated the ALS Act, it became landmark legislation to institutionalize the ALS program, and that cannot be possible without our president. When I came in, we increased the Ministry of Education budget by 30% percent, most of it going to ESL programs, so we now feel much safer because we are backed by law and supported by other branches of government,” said the head of education.

Briones added that despite the pandemic, the government has continued to support the Department of Education and ensured the continued delivery of education through the Basic Education Continuity Plan and distance learning modalities, as well as last mile schools.

“While there are still challenges in basic education, we have made significant progress over the past six years. We have strived to ensure that education continues and no one is left behind. for account. This is the educational legacy of the Duterte administration,” she said. said.


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Live Updates: Russia’s War in Ukraine https://serversunderthesun.com/live-updates-russias-war-in-ukraine/ Fri, 03 Jun 2022 05:01:00 +0000 https://serversunderthesun.com/live-updates-russias-war-in-ukraine/

About 800 people are hiding in several bomb shelters under the Azot chemical plant in Severodonetsk, which has been the target of Russian missile attacks, said Serhiy Hayday, the head of the Luhansk region’s military administration.

Hayday told CNN on Thursday that local residents had sought refuge in the Soviet-era bomb shelters under the factory.

“There are locals there who have been asked to leave town,” Hayday said. “But they refused. There are also children there, but not many.

In a separate update on Thursday, Ukrainian regional officials said the Russians fired again at the Azot plant and “hit one of the administrative buildings and a warehouse where the methanol was stored”, although it is not clear how much methanol remained there.

The Ukrainians still maintain control of the Severodonetsk industrial zone, the statement said, one of the remaining parts of the city that Russia did not take.

“Most of” Severodonetsk, one of the last cities to resist Luhansk, was taken by Russia, Hayday said earlier.

Hayday said a Russian airstrike hit a nitric acid tank at the Azot plant on Tuesday. Footage from that day showed a thick cloud of orange smoke rising from the area. But Hayday said people sheltering under the plant were not in danger.

“Thank goodness nothing threatened the people,” Hayday told CNN on Thursday. “As (the cloud) rose and moved immediately, there is no mortal danger.”

Hayday said the plant is privately owned and the owners say only small amounts of chemicals remain at the plant.

Hayday added that the plant is not important from a military point of view, so “Azot is certainly not Azovstal” – referring to the Mariupol steelworks which Russia took after a one-year siege. week.

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AgingNext welcomes new CEO Abigail Pascua https://serversunderthesun.com/agingnext-welcomes-new-ceo-abigail-pascua/ Fri, 27 May 2022 03:09:11 +0000 https://serversunderthesun.com/agingnext-welcomes-new-ceo-abigail-pascua/

by Andrew Alonzo | aalonzo@clarremont-courier.com

After 16 years as chief executive of AgingNext, a local nonprofit dedicated to helping seniors age in place, Floy Biggs has announced she’ll be leaving for greener pastures.

But it’s not like she leaves the organization in disarray; after a months-long application and interview process, his heir was named earlier this month: Abigail Pascua, an AgingNext employee of 22 years.

On Monday, the COURIER sat down with Pascua – whom everyone but her parents call Abby – and she opened up about herself, how she ended up at AgingNext and what she hopes to accomplish in her new functions.

Before immigrating from the Philippines, Pascua earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science in 1997. While she was determined to use her degree and find a job in technology, her heart was elsewhere, helping the elderly.

“Somehow my passion for serving people, especially the elderly, has always been a calling, has always been a goal for me,” she said. “Maybe because I grew up with them.

“I grew up with a lot of older adults. My parents were much older when they had me and then I lived with my two aunts who were over 60 at the time,” she said. “It was really growing up just listening to their stories, I still have that passion and heart to listen to their stories.”

She recalls that at a young age, rather than playing outside with her cousins, “I’d rather just sit with the elders and listen when they talk about the past… It’s so nice to relive.”

In April 1998, Pascua immigrated to Ontario, California.

After a year of job search, Pascua thought he had found his calling in La Verne. Able to combine her passion for helping the elderly with her knowledge of computers, Pascua began working as a reservations agent for Get About Transportation, a senior transportation service offered by the Pomona Valley Transportation Authority.

But about 10 months into the gig, Pascua’s supervisor asked her if she wanted to apply as an administrative assistant for Claremont’s Community Senior Services, which was rebranded AgingNext in October 2019.

His answer was “Of course, why not.” “I applied, I interviewed and the next thing I know I’m walking into this office, not here but in La Verne,” she said. “And I have no idea who community services for seniors are. I thought I was going to replace the administrative assistant at Get About Transportation…at that time.

But it was nothing like that; Pascua would leave her position at Get About and instead transfer to Community Senior Services, which had a partnership with Get About Transportation.

“Then I found out like ‘Oh yeah, I’m working for Community Senior Services now,'” she recalled. However, this oversight was the start of his decades-long career.

“I started as an administrative assistant 22 years ago and from there I worked my way up,” she said. “Every day, do [the work], answering the phone, giving information, helping these seniors and their families becomes a bit like, “I love what I do.” And that’s gratifying for me. »

Pascua has been with AgingNext through the highs and lows of the past two decades. She witnessed the transformation of Community Senior Services into AgingNext, but saw both nonprofits suffer numerous funding cuts, which also sparked creative fundraising responses.

In 2016, Pascua was promoted to office manager of AgingNext, adding to her lineup of titles over the years. Prior to taking on her new role, Pascua was previously operations director for her transportation program, Ride and Go.

When Biggs announced her departure, Pascua was vice president of AgingNext.

Knowing that the position of president and CEO would not be given to her, Pascua applied like many other candidates. When news broke she would be the association’s third CEO, Pascua said. “It was really exciting,” and noted that being with AgingNext for 22 years shouldn’t make his transition to CEO difficult.

“Instead of thinking ‘Oh I’m scared, I don’t know anything.’ I’m more… excited because we can do next,” she said, “What will be the next exciting opportunity for us under my leadership?”

Although Pascua thinks she has big shoes to fill, outgoing CEO Floy Biggs knows Pascua can easily fill them.

“I think she has the full support of the team here, so I think that’s key. And she has the full support of the board,” Biggs said. “AgingNext team for 22 years. We’ve been in a very close partnership for the past 16 years…I think they deserved this opportunity.”

Biggs knows she will bring a number of positive attributes with her to the role, and said Pascua is “very smart, very capable,” has an institutional history and knowledge of AgingNext, and is “likeable, easy to talk to.” live and has great partnerships in the community.

Biggs, fairly quickly swapping the sunny coast of California for the vast acres of Texas, offered Pascua a few words of farewell.

“Keep the mission going,” Biggs said. “What we are doing here to help seniors age in place is so essential…It will be very successful and the organization will continue for another 100 years.”

Pascua hopes to do just that. Although she wants to touch on a few points, her and the staff’s immediate attention is on the nonprofit’s strategic plan.

“We have to continue this. We are going to be in the second year of this strategic plan and there are many exciting projects ahead of us,” said Pascua. “It’s a great model for me to see where we can improve our programs and services.

“And the next thing is the expansion of our memory care center,” she added, which the council hopes to include in the plan.

However, Pascua’s first task as CEO is to get to know her colleagues more personally so she can find a style of leadership that benefits everyone in the future.

Pascua effectively becomes AgingNext’s third CEO on Saturday, May 28, and shared that while she’s more excited than nervous about the new title, she’s just looking forward to getting down to business.

Pascua can still be reached at abby@agingnext.org. For more information about the nonprofit, visit https://agingnext.org.

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