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Category: egfpakvz

first_imgThe Obama administration seeks a “path to a better way” for the nations of southeastern Europe, and a top administration official laid out the components of that strategy during a talk on Wednesday (Feb. 17) sponsored by Harvard Kennedy School’s Kokkalis Program on Southeastern and East-Central Europe.Phillip H. Gordon, U.S. assistant secretary for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, told an audience in the Goodman Classroom that “the political and economic integration” of southeastern Europe within the rest of the continent is the key to regional stabilization and development in the years ahead.“We have a vision of a peaceful and stable Europe that will extend to Turkey and the Caucasus,” he said. “The solution lies in transnational cooperation and institutions that guarantee the rights of citizens, promote economic freedom, insure the viability of the border, and provide a reliable forum for the peaceful resolution of disputes.”Gordon pointed to the critical importance of regional and international institutions in this effort, specifically NATO and the European Union. Several southeastern European countries are now members of the EU, including Bulgaria, Greece, and Romania, and several belong to NATO, including Albania, Croatia, and Turkey. Other nations are seeking entry into one or both organizations.“The opportunity for political engagement that crosses national borders reduces the salience and pressure of ethnic and regional disputes within countries. That is the promise of the project of European integration,” Gordon said.Recent decades have brought tremendous change to the region, Gordon added, and the United States is now developing close and productive relations with several nations in the area, including Serbia, which was beset by violence and instability as recently as a decade ago.“I certainly believe … that with pragmatism and goodwill on both sides, U.S.-Serbian relations could be a model of a productive partnership by the end of the administration’s first term,” Gordon said. “This change in the Balkans is a reminder not only of what can be possible, but also what remains to be done” elsewhere.Kosovo is another example of a “remarkable story of progress” in the Balkans, Gordon said, although he admitted the country faces serious challenges that will require a “great deal of work” moving forward.Gordon also pointed to the critical roles that Greece and Turkey will play in helping stabilize southeastern Europe, arguing that “regional political leadership and courage and vision is necessary for progress.”In his concluding remarks, Gordon cited the fact that “some of the same fault lines” that have plagued the region for many years still remain, but that he is hopeful there is a “clear potential solution” in the full economic and political integration of the southeastern states within greater Europe.Gordon was introduced at the podium by Elaine Papoulias, director of the Kokkalis Program. About 100 people attended the lecture.last_img read more


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first_img PlayPlayPauseSeek0% buffered00:00Current time00:00Toggle MuteVolumeToggle CaptionsToggle Fullscreen PlayPlayPauseSeek0% buffered00:00Current time00:00Toggle MuteVolumeToggle CaptionsToggle Fullscreen Listen: Polyrhythms “To see a Muñequitos show is priceless,” said Terry, who grew up seeing the 65-year-old group perform. “The work that they’re doing is very important for the younger generation because it continues the oral tradition of passing information from the older generation to the younger. It’s the first time my students are experiencing a real rumba, expressed with authenticity. I can teach this in classes, but it’s different to see. It inspires my band to look back into their own culture and use that inspiration to move things forward.”That kind of personal connection struck John Miller, a junior studying statistics, when he stepped off the tour bus the next day in Güines. The saxophone player, who grew up in Westlake, Calif., noticed among the crumbling buildings and stray animals in the town square children playing in a bright pink bouncy house and riding plastic toy cars.“That scene is very familiar to me. It looks exactly like the parks near my grandparents’ house. My mom’s family is Mexican, and they live in Chino, a very Mexican part of California. Everyone gathers in the parks for celebrations and get-togethers,” he said.,* * *In deciding to visit Güines, Terry said he wanted his students to see how a poor town used its musical roots to keep local children “out of trouble and get them into the community.”“Tata Güines was an incredible force to reckon with, venerated around the world. This isn’t a modern museum, or a beautiful part of Cuba,” he said. “But here is where they’re using art to empower the kids.” Visiting the museum where percussionist and composer Güines grew up, band members listened to the Cuban tour guide recount his modest roots. The son of a laundress, he banged out his first beats on the bottom of his mother’s wash bin. “They were very humble people,” she said, before leading the Harvard band into the courtyard for a performance. “The king of the drums was born.”As local drummers hit the sacred bata drums, dancers colorfully dressed to represent their deities and orishas — minor gods — circled the courtyard. After the performance, several students were invited to learn the rhythmic patterns. “Having the village elder come up and introduce it and demonstrate it, that was the definition of an educational moment.” — Jared Perlo Listen: Orquesta Típica Miguel Failde Music scholarship framed each day’s activities; the band members passed traditional Havana tourist sites such as Revolution Square and the Capitol Building with only a glance. Instead, Terry took students such as 19-year-old Jared Perlo, who plays trombone, to hear performances from the likes of Orquesta Típica Miguel Failde in Matanzas, the birthplaces of the music and dance traditions rumba and danzón, respectively. “This was really a week of learning in an environment where these musical traditions were actually born,” said Perlo, the band’s tour manager, who organized the trip along with Terry. “Being able to learn in places with the masters is an experience that I don’t think anything else I will ever do in the jazz scene will ever compare to.”The tour began in Matanzas, a fishing town on the northern shore that is home to some of the country’s biggest musical groups. On the way, the young musicians visited Castillo de San Severino, a military fortress built in 1735 and rebuilt years later as an entry point for slaves. Inside is the National Museum of the Slave Route, where students viewed the displays of African drums (Yuka, Bembé, Arará, Makuta) and mannequins representing various gods (Ogun, the Yoruba god of war and ironworkers; Ochossi, god of hunters and justice).“It’s important to come here and see how these traditions have survived, and have been kept, and the different ways they have evolved and mixed with other cultures,” said Terry.,* * *At the newly restored José White Concert Hall, the jazz band sat up front for a performance by Orquesta Típica Miguel Failde. Named for the bandleader who originated danzón in 1879, the dance combines European and African rhythms with elegant footwork. Failde’s great-great-grandson Ethiel, a flutist, led his band of musicians, ages 18 to 37, while an elderly couple — impeccably dressed, the woman holding a fan — strolled across the stage and began to move.Orquesta Típica performed several dynamic pieces, including the popular “Almendra” and “Daulema,” which was composed by Terry and trumpeter Jesús Alemañy. Then Failde invited the students to join the musicians on stage. Junior Brian Rolincik, who plays trombone, was among the first to join the “adrenaline-filled moment.” “Music is such a universal language, both in terms of the notation and the feelings you get from it, and in the camaraderie it creates among people of diverse cultures.” — Brian Rolincik PlayPlayPauseSeek0% buffered00:00Current time00:00Toggle MuteVolumeToggle CaptionsToggle Fullscreen In a music classroom, conservatory students played for the band, and listened as Harvard students took their turn playing at the front of the classroom. With Terry and Yero translating, the Cuban teens asked how Harvard students played so well even though most of them concentrate in other disciplines.“Here your life revolves around your music,” said Yero, explaining that Cuban children begin their singular path to musicianship at ages 7 or 8.Reflecting on the La Ena exchange, baritone saxophonist Diana Gerberich, who grew up in Wilbraham, Mass., and had never been abroad before, was fascinated by the difference between how the two cultures “learn and interpret their music.”“The Cuban music tradition uses  polyrhythms, which American musicians are less familiar with. Several of the Cuban musicians we worked with tried to teach us polyrhythms, and it was very difficult at first. The Cuban musicians seem so comfortable with it, though. It’s interesting to reflect on what we understand versus what other people understand,” she said. * * *,After a week of engaging with students and performers, the jazz band took the stage at Casa de las Americas for a community concert. The Jam Session concert featured many of Terry’s friends, illustrious Cuban musicians including composer Bobby Carcassés, chekeré player (and Terry’s father) Don Pancho Terry, trumpeter Julito Padrón, and bass player Gastón Joya. Wearing light-blue guayaberas, the band performed a range of pieces to a full house for nearly two hours, including George Cables’ “Dark Side, Light Side” and “Moten Swing,” Cuban composer Joaquín Betancourt’s “Manteca,” and Carcassés’ piece “Blues Guaguancó.” “It was cool to be so welcomed and to just feel deeply entrenched in this Cuban tradition of danzón. Music is such a universal language, both in terms of the notation and the feelings you get from it, and in the camaraderie it creates among people of diverse cultures,” said the 21-year-old, who is studying linguistics. “To start to not only learn on an intellectual level the difference between our and Cuban culture, but to feel in the daily routines here what human experience comes down to — how you interact, how you speak — all of those habits comprise the culture. To try to feel those and to try and emulate those is a lot I can take away.”,There was more to absorb at an afternoon performance by Los Muñequitos de Matanzas. Trading the wood-paneled concert hall for a modest, second-story room with a tin roof, the students sat on the red-painted cement floor to watch the legendary rumba group. Dancers honoring traditions brought to Cuba by African slaves spun around the room in red, blue, and gold costumes while multiple percussionists drummed.“What’s so impressive is that the Cubans have internalized rhythms typical of Afro-Cuban jazz that don’t come as easily to us. Conversely, American students tend to feel comfortable in swing time. It’s striking to me that it’s [Yoruba] music that predates everything we study,” said guitarist Evan Vietorisz, whose Cuban grandmother immigrated to the United States in 1946. “She never shared anything with our family about her heritage because she sought to assimilate. It’s cool to be visiting Cuba and experiencing the culture that … hasn’t been part of my upbringing.” “It’s the first time my students are experiencing a real rumba, expressed with authenticity. I can teach this in classes, but it’s different to see.” — Yosvany Terry Listen: Clave HAVANA — It isn’t easy to get to Güines. Though the town once contained Cuba’s leading sugar plantation slave enclave and its earliest railway, Güines (pronounced Gwin-es) isn’t listed on TripAdvisor or in any major travel guide. When the Harvard Jazz Bands traveled there recently as part of a musical tour of the island, security wouldn’t let their bus cross the small bridge into town, forcing it to find another route.Once inside the town, though, the lessons from its rich musical past — and the visions of its hopes for the future — crystallized in a tiny courtyard covered in torn colored fabrics symbolizing the Cuban flag. The band members, under the guidance of Director Yosvany Terry, a native of Cuba, toured the historic one-room museum home of Tata Güines, one of the country’s top percussionists, and watched an Afro-Cuban performance of percussion, dance, and chanting by the National Folkloric Company of Cuba.,Listen: National Folkloric Company of Cuba PlayPlayPauseSeek0% buffered00:00Current time00:00Toggle MuteVolumeToggle CaptionsToggle Fullscreencenter_img PlayPlayPauseSeek0% buffered00:00Current time00:00Toggle MuteVolumeToggle CaptionsToggle Fullscreen Appreciating Cuban music, its vast diversity, and how deeply it is sewn into the social and political fabric of the country was at the heart of the Harvard band’s trip. The fast-paced, eight-day musical adventure in early June marked the group’s first tour in 25 years, and Terry, a saxophonist and chekeré player who joined the faculty in 2015, organized an itinerary not only to showcase Cuba’s musical vibrancy, but also to illuminate recent efforts to rescue and preserve age-old traditions.“This is the stuff that makes me tick. Coming from a percussion background, I’ve learned so much from watching them,” said Ethan Kripke, a sophomore who plays drums. “How they learn and internalize rhythm is just fundamentally different than in the United States. The clave is a fundamental rhythmic pulse that everything else — the percussion, the singing, the dancing — relates back to. It’s very precise but, if performed correctly, it gives the music a certain elasticity.” “The clave is a fundamental rhythmic pulse that everything else — the percussion, the singing, the dancing — relates back to.” — Ethan Kripke “Having the village elder come up and introduce it and demonstrate it, that was the definition of an educational moment,” said Perlo.Perlo’s drive to make the trip happen was prompted, in part, by his father’s experience. Don Perlo ’83 played in the Harvard band during his time at the College, and toured with the group in the Dominican Republic 26 years ago.“Ever since meeting Yosvany, I knew there was something special he brought to rehearsals and campus. We’d hang around after rehearsal, and he’d talk about how he was influenced by his upbringing in Cuba. Knowing his creative spirit and willingness to try new things, well, here we are,” said Perlo. Home base during the tour was a hostel called Casa Vera in the Vedado neighborhood of Havana. The band was composed of 13 undergraduates and three other musicians, including newly graduated Sara Politz, who will teach ethnomusicology this fall at Williams College; Cuban trumpeter Yaure Muniz; and alumnus (and professional trumpeter) Bob Merrill. The week would culminate with an official concert by the band at Casa de las Américas in Havana, preceded by visits to several conservatories to work with local music students.,* * *On the bus rides to the schools, the Harvard students heard about Cuba’s history from tour guide Manny Calvo, who explained the importance of poet José Martí, a national hero, and passed around his own ration book, listing the quantities and types of food his family was eligible to receive every month. Cary Garcia Yero, a Ph.D. student at Harvard studying Cuba’s history, added context to the conversation about Fidel Castro’s revolution and the nation’s racial dynamics, and shared a Harvard connection: During a U.S. occupation of the island in 1900, 1,300 Cuban teachers trained in Cambridge before returning home.“Seeing a country like Cuba is fascinating because my mom is from the former Soviet Union,” which was a communist state as Cuba is, said Jake Tilton, a junior tenor saxophonist who is concentrating in music and government. “Cuba is sort of a time capsule into the age that my mother lived in. It’s interesting to see the system she lived under, and how those political and social systems work.”,Music was never far from the conversation, and even small moments on the bus felt momentous for the students. On one ride, Terry queued up Herbie Hancock’s “Watermelon Man,” asking: “Everybody got a flute?” The band members hummed and tapped imaginary instruments in unison to the music coming from the speaker.“That might have been the coolest five minutes I’ve spent on a bus,” said saxophonist Richard M. Feder, a junior from Long Island studying astrophysics.Terry’s hopes for the trip were twofold: to expose the students to “one of the most sophisticated cultural bastions of the Americas” and to break the barrier between professor and student in a more experiential setting.“I wanted them to experience the intellect and visual culture from the eyes of a Cuban citizen,” he said. “And it was intentional to take them out of what would be the obvious tourist instinct.”,* * *Nowhere was the challenge to conventional American musical sensibilities felt more acutely than in visits to three conservatories: Guillermo Tomás, Amadeo Roldán, and the National Schools for the Arts (La Ena). At each, the Harvard band donated a musical instrument and music stands as part of the Horns to Havana program. At Amadeo Roldán in Centro Havana, piano student Rodrigo Garcia led his band in a performance, then listened to the Harvard group perform.“Many Cubans have looked for the way to get into the world of American music that, to us, is also a very rich culture worth studying,” Garcia said. “All exchanges that we have with American musicians are a gift for us. And they are also a way for us to communicate, a way to unite cultures, a way to create a bridge between these two countries that are so close but that have been separated for so long for reasons that are not valid to us.”It was at La Ena, where Terry studied in 1990, that the jazz band spent an afternoon workshopping with two bands. Conceived on a former country club golf course by Castro in 1961, the campus is made up of Catalan-vaulted buildings, which house schools of dance, dramatic arts, music, and plastic arts. On a walk around the sprawling campus, the band watched dancers rehearse, then visited a waterlogged ballet performance space. Built but never used after Alicia Alonso, one of Cuba’s prima ballerinas, refused to dance there, the terra cotta building sits in disrepair, with the only sound coming from bats flying inside the domed roof.,“The Cuban music tradition uses  polyrhythms, which American musicians are less familiar with. Several of the Cuban musicians we worked with tried to teach us polyrhythms, and it was very difficult at first.” — Diana Gerberich Instructor Yosvany Terry returns home, where his musical destiny was formed Listen: Bata drums Related Kripke, the drummer, played alongside acclaimed percussionist Yaroldy Abreu, and was still star-struck afterward. “This past week I was constantly exposed to new rhythmic ideas, and different interpretations of the ones I knew. I was expecting this to be the case because of Cuba’s rich West African musical tradition. In the culminating concert, I tried to put all of my new knowledge to use. I incorporated ideas into my playing tonight that only a week ago I wouldn’t have considered. And Yaroldy looking over to me while letting out a joyous scream after I played some particularly Cuban-inspired fill was enough to know that I had succeeded.” After the concert, the band shared a late-night dinner with the luminaries, and Perlo declaring the week “mind-blowing.”“This will be my favorite memory of Harvard. On a music and jazz level, I’ve learned more in seven days than in a couple of years in a classroom,” he said.“I haven’t done many things in my life that have ended in an incredibly beautiful experience shared by 20 other people who will remember it for decades to come. It sounds like an overstatement, but I don’t think it will be.”Next week: A profile on music professor, jazz band director, and Cuban native Yosvany Terry and his journey home. Harvard jazz leader, amid his Cuban roots PlayPlayPauseSeek0% buffered00:00Current time00:00Toggle MuteVolumeToggle CaptionsToggle Fullscreen Listen: Los Muñequitos de Matanzaslast_img read more


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first_imgAs the child of two parents with doctorates in economics, Isaiah Andrews went to college intent on not studying the same field.But the work engaged him deeply, particularly the way it could help answer important public-policy questions, so Andrews not only majored in economics and math, but went on to receive his Ph.D. in economics as well. And today he was named a 2020 MacArthur Fellow by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for his dynamic work in the subfield of econometrics.“A highly productive researcher and generous collaborator, Andrews demonstrates keen insight into how to address key statistical challenges in econometrics that are directly useful to empirical economists and have relevance to multiple fields,” reads his MacArthur Fellow profile.“Thinking about the returns to education, the long-term contributors to economic growth, what drives business cycles — these are super-important questions for the short- and long-term welfare of society,” said the 34-year-old, who joined the Economics Department faculty in 2018 after a two-year stint as a postdoc in the Harvard Society of Fellows. “There are folks giving the best answers they can to those questions, and my subfield works on developing new statistical methods and evaluating the reliability of existing methods in order to help with that. We have to develop the best tools we can.”This year there were 21 winners of the so-called “genius awards.” MacArthur Fellows receive a sum of $625,000 each to use any way they choose. Andrews said he has not had time to consider what projects or areas of research he might focus on. Until today’s announcement, he was only allowed to share the news with one person: his husband, Welton Blount.“It still feels unreal when I think about it,” he said, adding that he had no idea when he was nominated.Andrews grew up in Brookline, Mass., graduated with a double major from Yale in 2009, and completed his doctorate at MIT in 2014. After his time in the Harvard Society of Fellows, he taught at MIT from 2016 to 2018, when he joined Harvard’s economics faculty.“I’ve had a great experience in the department, first as a postdoc, when the department was kind enough to give me an office and include me in department events, and, more recently, as a faculty member,” he said. “It’s a privilege to have such outstanding and dedicated colleagues, and to have the opportunity to work with such fantastic students.”Much of Andrews’ research studies statistical inference, with a particular focus on methods that remain reliable when commonly used techniques fail.“A lot of my work looks at how things can go wrong,” he said. “I’ve focused on how to more reliably quantify uncertainty. I think uncertainty is real in the world, and it’s important that we measure it as well as we can.”“Isaiah is doing cutting-edge work that is increasing the sophistication and precision of analysis in the field,” said FAS Dean of Social Science Lawrence D. Bobo. “His work on matters of basic research design, fine-grained quantitative approaches, appropriate scope of inference, and the most rigorous statistical tests put him in a very special category.”Much of his work deals with a problem known as weak identification, which arises when data contain relatively little information, an issue that can lead to misleading results when using popular methods to test hypotheses and quantify uncertainty. In a series of papers, many co-authored with Anna Mikusheva, his Ph.D. dissertation supervisor, Andrews developed more reliable methods for weakly identified settings.More recently, in a paper published last year with Maximilian Kasy in the American Economic Review, Andrews proposed a method to correct for publication bias and construct unbiased estimates.“Some statistical results are much more likely to be written up in papers and published. So for example, imagine that there are 100 groups studying job training around the world. Imagine that five of them conclude the program works, while the rest conclude that it doesn’t do much. If we only publish the findings from the groups which say job training is effective, this leads to a very distorted picture of job training effectiveness,” he said.That work helped inform research from Nathaniel Hendren and Ben Sprung-Keyser, published this year in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, that examined the return for many social programs.“One of the headline findings was that many of these programs targeting low-income children more than paid for themselves. But there was concern about publication bias, that research showing these programs don’t do anything might not get published at all. By applying the method from our paper, they were able to correct for this concern. In fact, there did appear to be some publication bias, but even once they corrected for that, the finding of substantial benefit survives.”Andrews, who is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2017, and earlier this year an NSF grant with Jesse Shapiro and in collaboration with Matthew Gentzkow. He serves as an associate editor of the American Economic Review, Econometrica, the Journal of Econometrics, and the Quarterly Journal of Economics. He won MIT’s Robert M. Solow Prize for Excellence in Research and Teaching in 2014, and the Excellence Award from the Afro-American Cultural Center at Yale in 2009. Beginning next year, he will serve on the American Economic Association’s Committee on the Status of Minority Groups in the Economics Profession.last_img read more


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first_img Impeccable character. Provided outstanding leadership affecting Georgia agriculture. Made noteworthy contributions. Received recognition for achievements in appropriate ways. Great accomplishments in more than one area. For a nominationform or further information, call the Officeof Development and Alumni Relations at (706) 542-3390.The postmark deadline for nominations is March 15. The Hall of Fame induction ceremonywill be during the AAA’s annual awards banquet Sept. 22. The Agricultural Alumni Association of the University of Georgia College ofAgricultural and Environmental Sciences is seeking nominations for the 2000 GeorgiaAgricultural Hall of Fame.The Georgia Agricultural Hall of Fame program is designed to recognize those who havemade significant achievements in agriculture, agribusiness industries and the serviceinstitutions.Honorees should have:last_img read more


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first_imgFeb. 4 at the Asa M. Powell Expo Center in Newnan, Ga.Feb. 11 at First Methodist Church in Morrow, Ga.Feb. 18 at the Chattahoochee Nature Center in Roswell, Ga. University of GeorgiaYou’ll have to learn about the birds elsewhere, but threeupcoming workshops will teach you all about the bees.Atlanta-area beekeeper associations are offering a series ofone-day courses, “An Introduction to Honeybees and Beekeeping.”Attendees will learn the basics about honeybees, plantpollination, Africanized honeybees and beekeeping.The course will be especially valuable to students, teachers,Master Gardeners, beginning and hobbyist beekeepers and anyoneinterested in learning new things.When, whereThe program will begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. on aSaturday. The same program will be at three sites: The $45 fee is the same in advance or at the door. It coversmorning coffee, lunch, educational materials and instruction bythe University of Georgia entomology faculty and masterbeekeepers.You can learn more and get a preregistration form online atwww.beekeepingshortcourse.com. Or contact either Martha Kiefer(770-668-0981 or rokmak@comcast.net), P.N. Williams (404-366-6404or ehoneyman2@aol.com) or Wally Batchlor (770-251-0479 orbeeswally@netscape.net).last_img read more


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first_imgWhile much of the fun at Claytor Lake State Park is centered around the water, the park remains an attraction year-round. There are nature, history, and outdoor programs throughout the year, as well as festivals and music events. Claytor Lake State Park offers six easy trails covering 7 miles. The trails generally pass through hardwood forest. Lakeview Trail is an easy, handicapped-accessible, mile-long stroll. The trail is also the starting point of a 5K cross-country trail designed by Boy Scout troop 244. It’s ideal for seasoned and novice runners. Hiking Virginia State Parks is a great way to experiencefall in Virginia. More than 160 miles of the system’s 626 miles of trails arereserved for hiking. Hiking is also allowed on more than 397 miles of themulti-use trails. With more than 43 miles of hiking, mountain biking, andbridle trails, Douthat offers some of Virginia’s most breathtakingmountain scenery. Hike around the lake, the dam spillway, waterfalls to scenicoverlooks. Douthat State Park – Millboro, Va. Blue Suck Falls Trail is a 3-mile hiking and biking trail that offers a stunning view of a wonderful waterfall. The word “suck” is an Appalachian term for a whirlpool at the base of the falls. The view at 2,205 feet makes the hike worthwhile. For more about the park’s trails and recreation, visit here.  As the leaves begin their annual change of color and thedays grow shorter, there are still plenty of opportunities to experience theoutdoors. Virginia State Parks with handicapped accessible trailsinclude Bear Creek Lake, Belle Isle, Chippokes Plantation, Claytor Lake, FirstLanding, James River, Lake Anna, Leesylvania, Southwest Virginia Museum,Natural Tunnel, New River Trail, Pocahontas, and Westmoreland. Here are a few places to enjoy the colors of fall. Natural Tunnel State Park – Duffield, Va.center_img Push yourself onthe Mountain Side Trail. This 1.2-mile moderate to difficult trail isaccessible along the Mountain Top Trail and the Guest Lodge Trail. This narrowand mountainous trail varies little in elevation but has a fairly steep edge,so care must be taken. It’s not for children or the inexperienced. Besides the amazing Tunnel, other scenic features at NaturalTunnel State Park include a wide chasm between steep stone walls surrounded byseveral pinnacles, or “chimneys.” The park has seven walking trails. All areeasy trails, while the longest is 2.1 miles long. The trails lead to uniquefeatures of the park: the tunnel floor, Lover’s Leap, Tunnel Hill, and GorgeRidge. For a personal challenge, walk to the tunnel while you let the family take the chairlift down and back. Read more about the park here. Claytor Lake StatePark, Dublin, Va. Visitors can hike, bike, or ride horses on the 8.5-mile Wilderness Road Trail linking the park with more than 50 miles of trails in Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. The park features the reconstructed Martin’s Station, an outdoor living history museum depicting life on Virginia’s 1775 frontier. Follow the link for more about the park.  Wilderness Road State Park – Ewing, Va.last_img read more


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first_imgBy Dialogo November 01, 2011 Chilean Defense Minister Andrés Allamand, together with the under secretary for defense, Oscar Izurieta, and the head of the Joint General Staff, Lieutenant General Hernán Mardones, met with Allamand’s Brazilian counterpart, Celso Amorim, to review both countries’ bilateral agenda. One of the chief topics discussed at the bilateral meeting, held in Brasilia, the Brazilian capital, was the Chilean proposal to create a gradual and proportional schedule for the withdrawal of forces in Haiti. “Chile shares with Brazil a commitment to Haiti and the will to continue collaborating on the stabilization of that country. That entails moving to a phase of greater collaboration on tasks linked to economic development and strengthening institutions. Just as it is unreasonable to press for a hasty and ill-advised withdrawal from Haiti, it is also wrong to extend our presence in that country forever. The idea is to agree on a gradual and proportional departure itinerary, with the aim that this will be the object of talks both with the Haitian authorities and with those of the United Nations,” Defense Minister Andrés Allamand said. During his official visit to Brazil, Minister Allamand will learn at first hand and on site how that country (Brazil) has set up its border surveillance and protection program, both in its technical aspects (radar systems, sensors, and high-tech equipment) and in its operational aspects, where one of the topics of special interest is the articulation of collaborative efforts between the Armed Forces and the police. “The increase of drug trafficking in the region and the southward displacement of areas planted with coca require a joint and multilateral approach to the problem. Brazil has had a plan for controlling its borders for years. Argentina recently implemented the Northern Shield plan, and we’re moving forward on the North Border Plan. Nevertheless, the effectiveness of these plans depends on the capacity for cooperation, trustworthy exchange of information, and adoption of joint measures,” Minister Allamand maintained. In this context, Chile seeks to collaborate actively in this sphere, with the aim of implementing measures that can serve to combat this plague jointly with other countries in the region.last_img read more


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first_imgBy Dialogo November 16, 2011 Colombia’s FARC guerrillas named Timoleón Jiménez, a hard-liner known as Timochenko, as their new leader after the Andean country’s armed forces killed his predecessor, a rebel statement said on November 15. In one of the largest strikes against the guerrillas, Colombian forces killed FARC leader Alfonso Cano on November 4. But the insurgents vowed to fight on, dampening hopes that his death might bring the nation closer to peace. Timochenko, who received military and political training in Cuba and Russia, is considered more rigid than other rival commanders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), according to Colombian intelligence services. “We want to inform you that Comrade Timoleón Jiménez, with a unanimous vote by his companions in the secretariat, was designated on November 5 as the new commander of the FARC,” said the statement, published on a news website called the Bolivarian Press Agency that often carries rebel messages. Timochenko, 52, has been a member of the seven-member ruling secretariat since the early 1990s and a fighter in the FARC since the 1970s. He is believed to operate in the Norte de Santander province on the border with Venezuela. The FARC’s leadership choice could heat up the conflict on the northeastern provinces, where Timochenko and another secretariat member are believed to operate, if thousands of troops that were looking for Cano were moved to those areas. Any worsening of the conflict along the borders coupled with possible uncomfortable questions of regional nations’ roles in the conflict arising from seized files of Cano could put more pressure on President Juan Manuel Santos, who has greatly improved ties with Venezuela and Ecuador since 2010. Timochenko, who like his predecessor Cano sports a beard and glasses, is in charge of the Magdalena Medio Block, which has about 800 combatants, intelligence services say. The rebels must still name a new member of the secretariat to replace the vacancy left by Cano’s death. The FARC once had as many as 17,000 combatants who moved almost freely across great swathes of jungle and mountains. But it has been battered by more than a decade of U.S.-funded attacks that have depleted and demoralized its fighting force. Experts said that the FARC’s strategy would not likely change under Timochenko.last_img read more


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first_imgBy Voice of America / Edited by Diálogo Staff October 16, 2019 On September 25, Colombian President Iván Duque accused Nicolás Maduro of being “one more link in the transnational terrorism chain” and announced before world leaders at the United Nations (U.N.) that he would submit evidence proving the disputed Venezuelan government’s connections to narcotrafficking and terrorism.Duque made his statements during his speech at the 74th U.N. General Assembly in New York.“Its corrupt structures are servants of the drug cartels; its pawns are henchmen of the mafia and fuel violence in Colombia; they shelter murderers and child rapists, and whoever ignores these shameful acts are accomplices of the dictatorship,” he said during his address.Duque added that his government would submit a 128-page report to the president and secretary general of the U.N. General Assembly that includes “reliable and conclusive” evidence that corroborates and demonstrates the complicity of Maduro in the  “dictatorship’s support for criminal and narco-terrorist groups that operate in Venezuela to attack Colombia.”The dossier contains a list of “20 criminals who betrayed the generosity of Colombians” and are now in Venezuela. He said that the report includes the location of more than 1,400 fighters from the National Liberation Army (ELN, in Spanish) and 207 locations in Venezuela controlled by the group. In addition, it mentions 20 landing strips used for narcotrafficking.He also spoke about testimony provided by Venezuelans who, according to Duque, have seen up close the ELN’s actions in Venezuelan territory.“These guerrilla leaders who today are under Maduro’s protection are the same ones who for years claimed responsibility for the oil pipeline attacks, causing irreparable environmental damage,” Duque added.The president reiterated that Colombia is not and will never be an aggressor State, nor will it be provoked by “warmongering insinuations. But it will always raise its voice to denounce tyranny.”At an event on the sidelines the General Assembly, Duque told VOA that the region is united to solve the crisis in Venezuela.last_img read more


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first_imgBut BU students aren’t the only ones signing up. At Binghamton University, students from the Center for Civic Engagement checked in on fellow Bearcats. Voting ambassadors approached their peers on campus asking, “Are you registered to vote?” (WBNG) — With 42 days until the election, the race to The White House is heating up. Sept. 22 is a push for voters because it’s National Voter Registration Day. “This year there’s been a huge turnout,” he said. “You see it on social media, you see it with athletes and movie stars — everyone’s pushing to get out the vote so we’ve had a tremendous, tremendous amount of registrations, absentee ballots, absentee ballot requests, so it’s a very busy time for all of us here at the Board of Elections.” Smith adds that the number of absentee ballots that have been requested are the highest he’s “ever seen.” Mark E. Smith, Broome County Republican Election Commissioner, says that voter registration is high, adding: there are a lot of important issues for voters ranging from the pandemic to the selection to the next Supreme Court Justice. The group also provided resources for students, including checking in with those who requested an absentee ballot. To get more information and to learn how to register to vote, click here. Shelli Cohen, a voter ambassador for the Andrew Goodman Foundation, said that she has been helping register student-voters since she got back to campus. “When we were doing it during move-in [day], we saw around 100 students a day,” she said, “but every day is different.”last_img read more