Category: mftctsdx

Thomas Savare had Stade Francais’ best interests at heart

first_imgLATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Yes, it was clumsily, even brutally, enacted but wasn’t the merger of Stade Francais and Racing 92 the best for both clubs in the long-term? Evidently not for the players and supporters of Stade, who whipped up such a reaction that they ultimately forced Jacky Lorenzetti and Thomas Savare to back down.Hip hip hooray, and power to the people!It’s just a shame so many of Stade’s supporters haven’t been bothered to attend matches in recent seasons. Take the 2013-14 campaign, for example, when Stade’s average home gate was 17,000, the sixth best in Europe, a figure that had plummeted to 11,577 in 2015-16 (18th best in Europe). And this during an era when they won the Top 14 title and hosted Champions Cup matches for the first time in six years.Indeed, when Stade won the Top 14 in 2015 barely 1,000 fans bothered to attend the official presentation of the trophy, compared to the 50,000 Toulon supporters who had hailed their heroes 12 months earlier on the Côte d’Azur.In the past 24 hours there has been much talk of ‘tradition’ winning out, but tradition isn’t always a positive. It can also constrain, halt progress that, while painful in the short-term, is necessary in the long-term. Look at Biarritz and Bayonne, two famous old clubs who almost merged in the summer of 2015. That again was put paid to by people power. The result? Bayonne are bottom of the Top 14 and Biarritz are enjoying their third season in the ProD2.Knocked back: Bayonne have really struggled in this year’s Top 14One can understand the reaction of the Stade players to last week’s announcement. Nobody likes to learn they could soon be out of a job but the fact is most would have soon found gainful employment elsewhere. And what of the role of Pascal Pape, the self-appointed players’ spokesman, who was allegedly the driving force behind the strike? He’s given the club a decade of good service but he retires at the end of this season. As Midi Olympique wondered last week, was his involvement inspired by his devotion to Stade Francais or the fact he’s a vice-president of the FFR?The FFR was against the merger although the cynic may have wondered if their opposition didn’t grow stronger when they learned that the LNR was broadly supportive. There is a power struggle going on in French rugby at the moment and the feeling in some quarters is that the merger was an issue over which the two factions could flex their muscles.To an outsider, the past week has encapsulated much of what is wrong with France in general, why the country’s economy is moribund and why millions of its brightest and most innovative brains live in London, New York and San Francisco. The French are resistant to change, it scares them, particularly when it involves a break with tradition. Even more so when it’s a cold, hard business decision. How unscrupulous. How vulgar. How Anglo-Saxon. A lonely figure: Thomas Savare has tried many means to give Stade a viable future Tense relations: Is Bernard Laporte’s FFR at war with LNR?In the end Savare and Lorenzetti, two men who have funnelled millions of their own money into their respective clubs, decided the insults and aggravation weren’t worth the effort and walked away from the merger. Who can blame them? In a professional sport why deal with amateurs.Lorenzetti will have to mend fences with players and staff but he’s still got his spanking new stadium to look forward to, and a strong business model to boot. Not so Savare. It’s said he has set a deadline of three months to sell the club otherwise he will petition for bankruptcy, six years after he stepped in to save Stade Francais from such a fate.But who would want to buy the club? No one, according to Savare. “In six years I haven’t received one credible offer,” he said recently. It’s hardly surprising.First there is a deficit believed to be €8m; then there’s the prospect of two top-flight rugby clubs (five miles apart as of next season) competing for the attention of the notoriously indifferent Parisian public, and then there’s the fact that the club doesn’t own its own stadium or its training facilities, both of which are the property of the Paris city council. As L’Equipe put it, a club is worth only what it possesses. In Stade’s case that’s just a name.No wonder Savare is desperate to get shot of the club, and no wonder either for the angry tone he struck in an interview in Monday’s edition of Le Parisien, the capital’s daily newspaper. “I remain convinced that it’s the best project, the one which makes most sense in the long-term,” he said, although he admitted mistakes had been made in its initial presentation. Nonetheless, he said, he believed the real mistake has been in the strength of opposition that forced the abandonment of the merger.Public display: Stade’s Sergio Parisse wears a pink wrist band during the final Six Nations matchSaying he believed the players had been “manipulated”, Savare added that the merger had fallen victim to the current in-fighting within the French game. “We presented this project in a very complex context, in a climate of rivalry between the FFR and the LNR. Frankly, it’s intolerable.”Savare didn’t convey an air of optimism for the future of Stade Francais, and nor did he exude much positivity about the sport as a whole. “French rugby is living beyond its means,” he said. “Everyone has to realise it. We’re on an intravenous drip.” Savare tried to resurrect Stade Francais with an infusion of capital six years ago, but that didn’t work; last week he tried an infusion of hard-nosed pragmatism but that also failed. The result? Stade Francais’ life support machine could soon be switched off.For the latest Rugby World subscription offers, click here.last_img read more

Deputy McHugh calls for Government hit banks ‘where it hurts’

first_img Twitter Google+ News 365 additional cases of Covid-19 in Republic Twitter Google+ Further drop in people receiving PUP in Donegal Pinterest Donegal Deputy Joe McHugh has called on the Government to consider paying social welfare payments into people’s Credit Union accounts instead of insisting it is paid into a bank.Deputy McHugh says it would be one way of punishing some of the larger banks responsible for the economic crisis who still pay out large salaries and pensions to some of their executives.He was speaking in the Dail during a debate on the Credit Union Bill 2012.Deputy McHugh says it is time to hurt banks in their pockets just as many of them have done to the people:[podcast][/podcast] Facebook Facebook 75 positive cases of Covid confirmed in North center_img WhatsApp Gardai continue to investigate Kilmacrennan fire Deputy McHugh calls for Government hit banks ‘where it hurts’ RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Man arrested on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences in Derry Previous articleCutliffe plan to run in local elections may create problems for LabourNext articleWorkers at Buncrana call-centre told they will receive no wages for November News Highland Pinterest Main Evening News, Sport and Obituaries Tuesday May 25th WhatsApp By News Highland – November 14, 2012 last_img read more

Philip Pullman condemns Port Meadow buildings

first_imgThe author Philip Pullman has condemned Oxford University’s new Port Meadow accommodation, boosting the campaign against its construction.Pullman, writer of the His Dark Materials trilogy and an Oxford resident, told the Daily Telegraph the new structures are “destructive, brutal, ugly vandalism”. He opined, “I don’t think they would have been approved if it had been known they would be this tall.”The author’s comments come after months of protest by the Campaign to Protect Port Meadow from Oxford University (CPPMOU). Campaigners say the new graduate accommodation blocks historic views of the Oxford city skyline and have asked for the top floors of the buildings to be knocked down.A spokesperson for the campaign told Cherwell, “Pullman’s support will help to extend the campaign’s reach. We would like to think that such a well-known voice would be heeded by the City Council and University leaders.”Yet, they continued, “It seems unlikely that any voluntary solution will be offered. Therefore we are preparing to launch a legal challenge to the planning permission. Sadly, it would seem the only way to get Oxford City Council and Oxford University to the table is by force.”The campaign’s petition against the accommodation had amassed over 2800 signatures. Oxford City Council has reportedly asked the University whether it would consider demolishing the top two floors of the buildings “voluntarily”, with the Head of City Development on the Council still in negotiation with the University.An Oxford University spokesperson said, “The University has acted in good faith throughout this process, in line with all the proper procedures. A review conducted by Oxford City Council planning officers confirmed this and agreed that the University acted properly when securing planning permission.”The spokesperson continued, “The Castle Mill buildings will provide accommodation for hundreds of students, reducing pressure on Oxford’s constricted rental housing market – an important issue for local people.”In February, the university agreed to re-enter discussions with the council over the impact of the building work. A spokesperson said, “We recognise that the development has aroused some strong feelings and that these have every right to be heard. Concerns about the view of the buildings from Port Meadow have been and continue to be reflected in discussions with planning officers.”Oxford resident Laura King commented, “I was on Port Meadow last week and these blocks are not just ugly, they are an horrific example of brutalism at its worst ruining a skyline unspoilt for centuries. And the shame of it is we don’t even need any more student accommodation as both universities have been ordered to reduce their numbers.”last_img read more


first_imgLETTER TO THE EDITOR BY LAURA BLACKBURNIt’s hard to resist the temptation to review the first two meetings of the “new” city council. You know – the 2016 edition of the Evansville City Council that was supposed to be devoid of rancor, confusion, and general disrespectful behavior toward one another and the public.That’s what the gushing post campaign rhetoric predicted. As advertised, the newbies would happily fall in behind new “leaders” Mosby and Weaver, engage in a group hug and coordinate their praise of the administration. Well, that last part was largely a presumed promise, understood but not spoken out loud.It doesn’t much matter whether they are Republican or Democrat because we have ushered in the enlightened era of “transpartisanship.” That’s a relatively new political term just now being used in this fine city to describe “those who claim allegiance to one political party but covertly serve another party strictly for convenience, power or personal gain.” A “transpartisan” serves only his/her own interests. He/she is out to get for himself/herself whatever he/she can. He/she is ruthless, and deception is his/her preferred tool.Getting back to that first fateful City Council meeting, without focusing on the already well-reported actions and resulting divisiveness that has been forced upon this city. It seemed the council members might have each been given a script and told the plot of the production that was about to be performed on the big stage. But then two members were clearly not comfortable with the preordained story line and they voiced their displeasure in improvised terms. Adding to that element of surprise, the large and emotional audience demanded to inject themselves into the comedy turned tragedy. Chaos ensued. Some council members were outraged by the events, others were befuddled and others were quite simply startled into silence.Perhaps part of the cause for confusion was the “orientation” session for the new council members that the mayor orchestrated before they were sworn in. A great, newsworthy photo op and surely just a helpful gesture (sarcasm noted). But some observers were left wondering why one branch of government was so brash and presumptive as to instruct another branch in how to do its job. Separation of powers and checks and balances seem to have finally been thrown out the Civic Center window.As the premier performance played out, we got the impression that the mayor’s orientation also skipped the part about how every council member is supposed to make learned decisions that best serve the taxpayers, and each has a duty to participate. Despite all the repeated declarations of being in touch with “constituents, constituents, constituents,” this concept was altogether absent from the first council gathering.It was just like community theatre if the amateur actors aren’t allowed to have that critical final dress rehearsal. Hopefully, that was prevented by the “new” attorney, who earned a well-deserved mulligan for his efforts to steer everyone in the room through the details of Robert’s Rules of Order during a live and lively event. Maybe he cautioned them against making decisions beforehand and merely announcing them in public. Surely he did.The second meeting was only better by comparison and because the agenda contained less inflammatory matters. It looked like there had been some major league effort to demonstrate consensus and pre-coordinate the activity. The new president proclaimed even the most minor action as “great” with near giddiness. She reached occasionally for her big FC Tucker beverage container.Then the feces hit the blade again. Once again it centered on preventing public comment. It was clear that efforts to get Councilwoman Robinson to do anything other than what she decides is best for the people of the Fourth Ward will fail miserably. Going along just to get along is not going to fly. Don’t bother handing her a script in advance.It was pretty obvious that they had read the editorials in the daily newspaper. Councilman McGinn was more verbal, as he twirled his ink pen, occasionally glancing to his right, as if to make sure John Friend had not reappeared. His financial leadership will be interesting to observe.Councilman Adams also had a newfound voice and exuberance for what is in the public’s best interest. Had he been more thoughtful and decisive as council president in 2015, he might have found himself sitting with people other than those he will be seeing on Monday nights going forward.The newbies tried to interject themselves into the second meeting, with varying degrees of success. Councilwoman Hargis should be comfortable with the process, since she was seated front and center in the audience at most meetings last year. Council members Elpers, Brinkmeyer and Mercer made mild attempts to prove they weren’t “just along for the ride.” Even though he has been catapulted into leadership, Councilman Weaver still seemed to be perpetually annoyed.It will get better, or not. A wise man once said, “Be careful what you ask for because you might get it.” If the first two meetings are any indication, things will get very entertaining when the “new” council moves from simple housekeeping matters and on to serious business. And this will take place with the over-riding influence of our new “transpartisanship” where Republican and Democrat labels are meaningless.FOOTNOTE: This letter was posted without opinion, bias or editing.  Any response to this letter shall be posted without opinion, bias or editing.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Debates for South Bend Common Council, U.S. House District 2 set

first_imgIndianaLocalNews Debates for South Bend Common Council, U.S. House District 2 set The St. Joseph County Commissioners are set to debate ahead of the November election on Friday, October 2.Oliver Davis Jr. and Derek Dieter will face off for one hour at 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 2.Viewers can watch the debate on Michiana Access TV or stream it live on The League of Women Voters of the South Bend Area Facebook or YouTube page.A debate for Indiana District 2 incumbent Jackie Walorski and Democratic Challenger Pat Hackett is scheduled for Oct. 28. Google+ Twitter By 95.3 MNC – September 29, 2020 0 397 Previous articleElkhart Co releases Labor Day drunk driving patrol resultsNext articleVoter registration, early voting information for Indiana voters 95.3 MNCNews/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel is your breaking news and weather station for northern Indiana and southwestern Michigan. WhatsApp Pinterest Google+ Facebook Twitter Pinterest WhatsApp Facebooklast_img read more

Holland’s unveils new look

first_imgHolland’s has revamped its packaging in a bid to emphasis the provenance of its ingredients.The new look will be roll out across its frozen, chilled, hot food-to-go and stadia pie portfolio, and will feature a new logo, bolder coloured packaging, and serving suggestions. A British flag will also feature prominently on-pack in order to demonstrate Holland’s meat sourcing assurance, and its support of British farmers.The new look packaging will be phased into stores from November onwards. The firm said the quality of its chilled line packaging will be improved further by replacing the clear wrappers with a metallic film, to give a more premium appearance.The pie brand will also be a rolling out updated POS across its various retail outlets.David Girdler, spokesperson for Holland’s, said: “We wanted to create a fresh new look for Holland’s, while still keeping hold of the brand’s traditional heritage.“The new-look packaging does just that; it’s bolder, it has clear concise information for the consumer and it’s more appealing, which provides a better showcase of the product on-shelf.”last_img read more

Researcher finds Coke’s fingerprints on health policy in China

first_imgA complex network of research funding, institutional ties, and personal influence allowed Coca-Cola, through connections with a nonprofit group, to exert substantial influence over obesity science and policy solutions in China, nudging government policy into alignment with the company’s corporate interests, a Harvard study has found.Professor Susan Greenhalgh’s study reveals not just efforts by the food industry to influence public policy, but also the impact of those efforts. It is described in a pair of Jan. 9 articles published in The BMJ and the Journal of Public Health Policy.“There have been decades of work on how Big Pharma and Big Tobacco have tried to influence science and dictate policy, but the research on Big Food and Big Soda is just now emerging,” said Greenhalgh, the John King and Wilma Cannon Fairbank Research Professor of Chinese Society. “I don’t know of any other work that has documented this type of impact, especially on the policy of an entire nation.“When I reviewed China’s policies, I could see them using the very same language Coke did,” she added. “For example, they talk about energy balance and making physical activity part of medical treatment or balancing eating and moving … their policy aligns very well with Coke’s interests, and it’s out of alignment with some of the policies advocated by the World Health Organization.”Greenhalgh found a U.S.-based, industry-funded nonprofit known as the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) at the heart of efforts to steer Chinese policy. Created in 1978 by then-Coca-Cola vice president Alex Malaspina, ILSI now has 17 branches worldwide, including one in China, where the organization’s roots run deep.The nonprofit’s Chinese branch — officially known as ILSI Focal Point in China — wasn’t established until 1993, but its founder, Chen Chunming, had been connected to the U.S. operation since 1978, Greenhalgh says, when Malaspina visited the newly reopened nation in search of local partners. “Coke wanted to get its solution onto the public health agenda at the earliest possible moment and influence the global discourse on obesity.” — Susan Greenhalgh The unsavory side of sugar Immersed in the body politic Weighed down ‘Fat-Talk Nation’ finds lasting hurt in waistline fixation Anthropologist documents the stories behind population and health policies Related Chen, a nutritionist, founded and was the first president of the agency that eventually became the China CDC. She maintained deep ties to China’s public health sector, including the Ministry of Health, even after establishing ILSI-China, Greenhalgh said, which allowed her to work behind the scenes to exert significant policy influence.In an effort to understand how that influence may have shaped policy in China, Greenhalgh turned to an archive of ILSI-China newsletters from 1999 to 2015. The papers detailed nearly all of the organization’s scientific and policy activities, ranging from research funding to conferences to policy work.ILSI-Global first asked its branches to put obesity on their agendas in 1999, Greenhalgh found. Up until 2003, about half of ILSI-China’s work dealt with measurement issues — the organization created a series of China-specific thresholds for body mass index — and advanced at least some prevention efforts aimed at nutrition, but none centered on physical activity.In 2004, that began to change. It was then, Greenhalgh said, that Coke started to position itself as an advocate of “healthy active lifestyles,” and to promote the message that all food and drinks could be part of a healthy diet. To avoid obesity, the argument went, physical activity was key.The change was almost immediately reflected in ILSI-China’s activities, Greenhalgh discovered. Between 2004 and 2009, a third of obesity activities sponsored or co-sponsored by ILSI-China focused on physical activity. Between 2010 and 2015, the proportion nearly doubled. Meanwhile, obesity activities focused on nutrition declined to just one in five.That same shift, Greenhalgh said, was reflected in stories that appeared in ILSI newsletters. Before 2003, the group published no stories suggesting physical activity could combat obesity. From 2010 through 2015, though, 60 percent of articles backed that idea, and fewer than one-quarter focused on diet.After a series of investigative reports by The New York Times in 2015, Coke pulled back on its aggressive promotion of the science of physical activity. Even so, ILSI structure remains in place and the programs it supported are now well established, ensuring that the soda company’s influence is still a factor in Chinese policy.Greenhalgh conducted extended interviews with obesity and public health experts in China to gauge their concern on possible industry bias. Most were unfazed.“The vast majority said there was no conflict of interest,” she said. “There were a tiny handful who believed that whenever corporations are funding science it will inevitably be biased, but they were very much in the minority, and most asked me not to use their names because they were afraid of possible consequences … because the political culture in China is very business friendly and pro-West.“Western science and especially American science is considered to be the best in the world, and what happens is these companies present themselves as scientifically and technically advanced and generous because of their social responsibility programs,” she added. “So the feeling is what’s not to love about Coca-Cola?”Ultimately, Greenhalgh said, one of the reasons ILSI — and by extension Coke — was able to so effectively redirect Chinese policy on obesity is that no one else was conducting research.“Basically the story is that the government didn’t care about chronic diseases … but ILSI cared because these companies were pushing the agenda,” she said. “The fact is that ILSI-China was the only entity that had any money and interest in, and they had it because of corporate funding, because Coke wanted to get its solution onto the public health agenda at the earliest possible moment and influence the global discourse on obesity.”The narrow focus on physical activity as a path to reducing obesity doesn’t fit with expert views on the problem, Greenhalgh said.“In the past, there were a handful of scholars who felt that … the obesity epidemic was actually an epidemic of inactivity,” she said. “But today there are very few people in the field of chronic disease who believe that, and increasingly people are recognizing that while you have to stay active, when it comes to reducing obesity, diet is more important.”Coke and ILSI responded to the findings in separate statements.“ILSI does not profess to have been perfect in our 40-year history,” the group’s statement read. “Not surprisingly, there have been bumps along the way. This is why ILSI has analyzed best practices and has committed to ensuring scientific integrity in nutrition and food-sector research.”Coca-Cola said that it is creating more transparency by no longer providing the bulk of funding for scientific studies, adding that it has sought to introduce new sugar-free products in China to combat obesity.“We recognize that too much sugar isn’t good for anyone,” the company said.Greenhalgh said she hopes to examine the impact of ILSI globally and is working on a book that will explore the organization’s work in China in greater detail.“It was only because of my background in science and technology studies, which encourages me to look deep down into how science is done and take it apart, that I was able to find this,” Greenhalgh said. “I was shocked when I discovered this. I had no idea.“When you read the literature, there’s not much about how Coke is influencing obesity science and policy in the U.S., but the literature that does exist shows Coke’s efforts,” she continued. “This shows their impact, so I was just stunned.”This research was supported with funding from the National Science Foundation, the Harvard University Asia Center, and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Symposium examines sweetener’s effects on human body and on public policylast_img read more

Peanut Crop

first_imgThree separate weather events this season will likely impact the quality and yield of a substantial amount of Georgia’s peanut acreage, according to Scott Monfort, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension pecan agronomist.Three weeks of steady rainfall in May delayed the planting of an estimated 45 percent of Georgia’s peanut crop until after May 25. Because of the later planting, more than 200,000 acres of Georgia peanuts were at risk when Hurricane Michael moved through the state on Oct. 10. A rainy November added to harvest problems for Georgia producers.“When the hurricane came through, it did hurt the crop a little bit, but it’s main and immediate impact was to the industry’s infrastructure in southwest Georgia. It caused us to leave peanuts in the field longer than normal. We had to leave them in the field to get the infrastructure going again,” Monfort said.Two to three weeks of rain in early November pushed peanut harvest out as much as four weeks, he said.  Some peanuts have been sitting in the field and several growers have lost a significant amount in quality and yield.After surveying 24 Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension agents in southeast and southwest Georgia, Monfort found that as of Nov. 19, approximately 10 percent of peanut acres in this region have not been harvested due to the continued wet and cloudy weather.Based on the survey, peanut losses are now close to 20 percent due to the impact of the hurricane and recent rainfall. In the southeast part of the state, this equates to an average loss of 716.6 pounds per acre. In southwest Georgia counties, the estimated average loss is 809 pounds per acre.Monfort stresses that these losses are just averages. The losses skyrocket in the southwest Georgia counties along Hurricane Michael’s path.“Just looking at this survey, those counties in the middle of the storm — Early, Terrell, Miller and Baker — you can tell that those were the hardest hit. There may have been 800 pounds on average, but the counties in the southwest corridor really got hit for 1,000 to 2000 pounds per acre,” Monfort said.Some counties in east Georgia also lost more than a 1,000 pounds per acre. The true impact of the hurricane is determined on a farm-by-farm basis. Some growers had most of their crop at risk due to late planting and have lost much more than 20 percent of their peanut revenue.The projected losses would likely be smaller if not for delayed planting. According to, Dawson, Georgia (in Terrell County) received 3.57 inches of rain and 11 rainy days between May 14 and May 28. During that same timeframe, Newton, Georgia (in Baker County) received 5.6 inches and 14 rainy days. Camilla, Georgia (in Mitchell County) received 4.88 inches and 12 rainy days during those two weeks in May. Because of the delayed plantings, more than 3,000 acres were at risk from the storm in Mitchell County. Baker County had more than 1,000 acres at risk and Terrell County had more than 1,700 acres at risk.“Plantings that were delayed until after May 25 would have been part of the 65 or 70 percent that were already harvested before the hurricane,” Monfort said. “We probably could have had more like 80 to 85 percent that were harvested by the time Hurricane Michael had arrived, (if not for the delay).”Monfort estimates that 10 percent of Georgia’s peanut crop still needs to be harvested. Georgia peanut producers are usually finished harvesting their crop by early November.For emergency resources and assessment reports of Hurricane Michael’s impact, see read more

Keystone XL pipeline fight heads to Nebraska Supreme Court

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Omaha World-Herald:Attorneys for opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline and TransCanada will square off Thursday morning before the Nebraska Supreme Court in a lawsuit that could erect a new roadblock to construction of the $8 billion project.Landowners who oppose the pipeline, as well as environmental groups and Indian tribes, are seeking to nullify the Nebraska Public Service Commission’s 3-2 approval a year ago of a pipeline route across Nebraska.The lawsuit claims, among other things, that TransCanada didn’t formally seek approval of the “mainline alternative” route that was approved, and didn’t prove that the pipeline is in the public interest of the state. The lawsuit maintains that the company should reapply for a pipeline route, which would delay the much-delayed project for several more months.Attorneys for the Canadian pipeline developer have argued that even though the PSC didn’t OK the “preferred route” suggested by the corporation, it followed all state laws in approving the alternative. That route, TransCanada attorneys have said, is a superior route because it affects fewer water wells and passes through 84.6 fewer miles of the migratory path of the endangered whooping crane.It could take the State Supreme Court several weeks to rule after hearing oral arguments.Nebraska has become ground zero in the national environmental debate over the Keystone XL pipeline. The 36-inch pipeline would carry up to 830,000 barrels a day of thick tar sands crude oil from Canada to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast that are specially set up to refine such oil. TransCanada officials have said they have sufficient commitments from shippers to use the Keystone XL, but the company has not yet made the final financial commitment to build it.More: Challenge to Keystone XL pipeline route goes before the Nebraska Supreme Court Keystone XL pipeline fight heads to Nebraska Supreme Courtlast_img read more

Long Island Iranian-Americans React to US-Iran Nuke Deal

first_imgView image | Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York For all 36 years of Alireza Hedayati’s time on this planet he’s only known one thing about his parents’ home country and their adopted one: long-festering animosity that, until recently, threatened any hope of future diplomatic relations.With all the political maneuvering between the west and the Middle East, it seems even decades-long enemies can agree on some things. And they have, for the moment.On Thursday, the US and five other world powers along with Iran agreed to a comprehensive framework that officials said, if implemented in its entirety, could prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon. In return, Iran would receive relief from sanctions that have crippled its economy—a strategy President Barack Obama heralded as important to bringing Iran to the negotiating table. The news spawned emotional celebrations in Iran and relief and excitement for Iranian expatriates and their families on Long Island. But some Iranian Americans also expressed a measure of guarded optimism, knowing full well that one small miscue could destroy two years of intense negotiations.“I don’t think anyone would’ve thought we could even get this far,” said Hedayati, who was born the same year of the Iran’s Islamic Revolution in 1979, on Friday. “And everyone is keeping their fingers crossed to complete it.”Hedayati, an attorney from Roslyn, sits on the board of the Long Island-based Iranian American Society of New York. But he said he was speaking solely as an individual and not on behalf of his fellow board members or the organization, a nonprofit that is apolitical and is not religious.Hedayati and other Long Island Iranian Americans interviewed by the Press said they were mostly excited for Iranians who have struggled to cope under the weight of unprecedented sanctions imposed on Iran for covert nuclear activities.“The people are the ones suffering,” he said. “That type of relief will definitely be good.”“I was really excited and happy for everyone, both Americans and Iranians,” said Shamila Dilmaghani, 32, of Jericho. “I thought it was a great step forward after not having relations for over 30 years.”Dilmaghani, whose parents left Iran during the revolution and later planted their roots in Oyster Bay Cove, believes the deal could also lead to a better understanding between the two cultures.Dilmaghani, a senior training program manager at Weill Cornell Medical Center, was monitoring social media when the news of a tentative deal was first reported early Thursday afternoon. Scrawling down her Facebook page, she smiled as one-by-one her friends posted reactions to the news and feverishly shared news stories from media outlets.“To see how much its impacting [people] there…it means more to them because of sanctions and hardships,” she said.center_img Until the June 30 deadline for all sides to agree upon the accord, members of Congress, Iranian officials and Iranian communities in both the US and Iran will pore over the details. At home, officials have already promised an unprecedented level of transparency regarding the details, perhaps to better sell it to skeptical Americans.The dust barely settled by the time experts and armchair analysts began picking apart the deal, trying to establish winners and losers.But Kayvon Afshari, the director of communications for the American Iranian Council, a think tank based in New Jersey, sees this as positive news for Iran, the US, and the five other world powers pushing for the accord.“This deal is definitely good for both sides as long as both parties deliver on their commitment,” said Afshari, who holds a master’s degree in international relations. “Certainly it’s a win for diplomacy,” he added, “and a resounding ‘no’ for war.”Afshari, who grew up in Upper Brookville but now lives in Brooklyn, is also the host and executive producer of an online satirical show called The Mideast Show. Like many other observers, he was enthusiastic about the details presented in the initial framework.“I was surprised by how specific they were on the concessions on both sides as well as the extent of those concessions,” he said. “I think it goes a long way to assure the international community” that Iran’s nuclear ambitions “will remain peaceful, and it provides verification measures for that.”The deal also comes at a particularly sensitive time for both countries. As the framework for a deal was being negotiated, both Iran and the US found themselves on the same side in the battle against the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and on opposite ends of Yemen’s civil war.All interested parties know that at any time the deal could buckle and eventually implode.Jericho’s Dilmaghani said she’s not prepared to immediately embrace Thursday’s agreement.“I almost don’t want to celebrate too much because I don’t want to be disappointed,” she said.last_img read more