University to launch pilot program in Chinese factories

first_imgNotre Dame is launching a pilot program that will allow selected factories in China to manufacture University-licensed products, with the goal of determining if they can meet and maintain worker treatment standards, University President Fr. John Jenkins said in an email to students late Wednesday night.Annmarie Soller | The Observer In 2013, University Executive Vice President John Affleck-Graves appointed a Worker Participation Committee (WPC) to review Notre Dame’s Licensing Code of Conduct due to an increasing frequency of interactions between the University and China, according to the website of the Office of the Executive Vice President. After two years of research and deliberation, the WPC issued a set of recommended changes to the University’s existing licensing policy. Jenkins approved these recommendations and directed the pilot program to begin, according to the email.According to Jenkin’s email, the University implemented a policy in 2001 that prohibited 11 countries, including China, from producing Notre Dame-licensed products. “The University’s decision at that time was bold, principled and widely applauded,” Jenkins said in the email. “It was hoped that Notre Dame’s action would encourage other institutions to follow, and that collectively pressure could be put on countries to reform their labor laws.”Jenkins said that since no other universities have adopted similar policies, and Notre Dame’s action had no discernable influence on the practices of nations that deny freedom of association, the WPC was created to reevaluate the University’s policy.“While still holding to the principle that freedom of association ought to be allowed and independent unions permitted, and recognizing that in the People’s Republic of China such rights are denied at the level of national laws and practices, the WPC considered whether there might be other criteria we should employ focused on the policies and practices of particular factories,” the email said.The committee worked with Verite, an internationally-recognized non-profit organization, to assess six selected Chinese factories using a list of 71 criteria. They proposed four specific recommendations, shared with the Notre Dame community at a public forum in September.“First, that Notre Dame undertake a pilot program with factories that met our standards to see if they sustain a standard of performance acceptable to Notre Dame, and we can confidently verify such performance,” the email said. In addition, the University will work with factories in the area that fell short of their standards to see “if they can improve to an acceptable level.”Notre Dame will also begin evaluating similar factories in other countries that currently manufacture Notre Dame-licensed products. “Even with the formal, legal right to form and join an independent union, worker participation may be below what is acceptable, and the University can use its leverage to encourage improvement. Moreover, the review of factories in different countries could establish a useful benchmark as we deliberate about acceptable standards.”The committee also recommended the University review and, as necessary, revise the current Licensing Code of Conduct to include a “a richer understanding of worker participation and, in general, that it reflects the best practices and the principles of Catholic social teaching.”Finally, the committee suggested the formation of a student subcommittee, in addition to continuing campus participation in the conversation.In response to calls to reject the recommendations, Jenkins analyzed the morality of the policy, concluding that Notre Dame’s actions would not support or sustain any form of injustice.“Participation allows us to affirm those factories that have high standards of worker participation, and to encourage other companies to meet these standards,” the email said. “Whether this in fact occurs is something about which a pilot program will give us valuable information.”According to the email, the pilot program ultimately seeks to promote the full set of workers’ rights recognized by Catholic social teaching at a global level.“I emphasize that this change in policy in no way signals a lessening of Notre Dame’s commitment to the full set of workers’ rights recognized by Catholic social teaching,” Jenkins said. “On the contrary, with the WPC, we are trying to develop a policy that is as effective as it can be in furthering the recognition of those rights around the world.”Tags: China, Father John Jenkins, Licensing, Worker Participation, Worker Participation Committeelast_img read more

Vespers offers alternate form of prayer

first_imgEvery month, the McGrath Institute for Church Life holds vespers, an evening prayer service in the chapel in Geddes Hall. John Cavadini, a professor of theology and the director of the institute, explained that Vespers is part of the church’s ongoing Liturgy of the Hours.“Liturgy of the Hours refers to the daily prayers of the Church,” Cavadini said. “The two hinges of Liturgy of the Hours is morning prayers, which is called Lauds, and evening prayers, which is called Vespers.”Cavadini discussed the other Liturgy of the Hours as well. There is mid-morning, noon and mid-afternoon prayers in addition to lauds and vespers. The idea behind Liturgy of the Hours, Cavadini said, is to “sanctify the day.” Since Mass can be held at any time of the day, it is independent of the Liturgy of the Hours. Vespers, in particular, centers around the Book of Psalms.“There are three psalms every day on a four-week cycle. You’ll go through the whole book of Psalms in four weeks,” Cavaldini said. “There are special psalms for feast days.”According to a program for a normal service from the McGrath Institute, vespers opens with a prayer, is followed by a hymn, which in turn is followed by a psalm, then a canticle. Next, there is a short Bible reading and a homily. In the final part of the service, the congregation sings a canticle and the “Magnificat,” or song of Mary. The congregation offers intercessions, recites the Lord’s Prayer, then says an additional prayer before the service is brought to a close.Cavadini explained that vespers is different than a usual Mass in that laypeople can preach the homily.“Laypeople can give the homily at the Liturgy of the Hours. We have lots of different people whose voices you hear,” Cavadini said. “It’s nice to get a wide range of voices from students, faculty, staff, etc. It’s sort of fun to hear and to be asked to deliver one.”Carolyn Pirtle, the director of the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy, said vespers services have been happening on campus for a long time.“We’ve been doing monthly vespers services for a number of years now. We’ve made a real effort to bring this form of prayer to the campus community,” Pirtle said. “It’s a beautiful form of prayer that incorporates the psalms and scriptures. We wanted to try and bring this to a wider audience.”From a logistical perspective, Pirtle said the readings and the psalms are laid out for the entire church, much in the same way Mass readings are. It’s simply a matter of figuring out what day it is and what psalms and readings correspond to that day. Pirtle said that this uniformity is a “beautiful symbol of the unity of the church,” since everyone throughout the world is saying the same prayers. She also noted that evening prayer services date back to the very beginning of the Christian church. She emphasized the importance of the psalms to the service.“The psalms are beautiful because they speak to the breadth of the human experience,” Pirtle said. “They speak to the joy of joys and the worst of sorrows. Whatever you’re going through, there’s a psalm for that.”Since laypeople can preach, Pirtle also said that it’s a great opportunity for masters of divinity students to practice preaching.“Traditionally, we’ve had a lot of masters of divinity students preaching,” she said. “I’ve drawn from that community so that they can learn how to preside and practice that as a lay person. It’s a great chance to exercise ministerial leadership.”Pirtle emphasized the beauty of vespers and its benefits in a stressful environment.“If you’ve never experienced vespers, it’s a really beautiful form of prayer that’s very reflective and very contemplative,” she said. “It’s a wonderful way to take half an hour away from the stress and busyness of student life to come and spend some time with God and let God speak to you through the scripture and the psalms, as well as enter into a community of people who you might not know through prayer and the grace of spirit.”Tags: Liturgy of the Hours, McGrath Institute for Church Life, prayer, Vesperslast_img read more

Odds & Ends: Anna Kendrick & Jeremy Jordan’s Last Five Years Goes Global & More

first_img William Ivey Long Will Work His Tony-Winning Magic on Joely Richardson If you’re ever at a Broadway show and find yourself admiring the costumes, chances are that William Ivey Long had something to do with their design. The six-time Tony winner, whose Broadway credits include The Producers, Hairspray, Bullets Over Broadway and Cinderella, will be designing the period costumes for William Luce’s The Belle of Amherst. We can’t wait to see what Ivey Long creates for the play’s headliner, Joely Richardson. The Last Five Years, Starring Anna Kendrick & Jeremy Jordan, Goes Global  This is good, but not yet ideal news, since it means that we are still impatiently waiting to know when we can see Richard LaGravenese’s big screen adaptation of The Last Five Years, starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan. We were delighted to hear that the flick will play the Toronto International Film Festival this September 4, and of course we’re now pleased to learn, thanks to Variety, that the musical has already sorted out distribution deals so it will be screened in the U.K., China, Japan AND BASICALLY EVERYWHERE THAT ISN’T AMERICA. But yes those were caps, because yes we were shouting. Please Mr. Movie Bigwigs, don’t forget about screening the movie here in the U.S.of A. too! Harvey Fierstein is Looking for a Job Harvey Fierstein is job-hunting. That’s right. The four-time Tony winner, who has penned hits including Kinky Boots, Newsies and Casa Valentina, wants to go back to acting (who can forget his Edna Turnblad in Hairspray?). “I’m looking for something to act in now,” Fierstein told the AP. However, he wants something different. “When somebody thinks, ‘Oh, that would be cute for Harvey,’ it’s probably going to bore me.” Well perhaps we here at can help? We hear that there’s a role in a Stephen Sondheim revival up for grabs… Encores! Sings Rodgers, Hart and Hammerstein Will Play City Center New York City Center will host Encores! Sings Rodgers, Hart and Hammerstein on October 27. The gala performance will feature the music and lyrics of these beloved artists performed by some of Broadway’s top talent. 2014 Tony winner Warren Carlyle will direct. Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today.center_img Jeremy Jordan View Comments Star Fileslast_img read more

Hot Shot! Chicago Star Rumer Willis Freshens Up

first_img Related Shows View Comments Chicago Apparently there is a hashtag about pets and odor. (Yes, #PETiquette.) And apparently it has something to do with using Febreze to keep Rover from stinking up the place before guests arrive. What does this have to do with us? Not sure, but we’re thrilled to see Chicago’s sizzling new Roxie wherever she goes, so off we went to Liberty Hall at the Ace Hotel to grab this adorbs hot shot with our new favorite merry murderess and a pooch. Hotcha indeed! from $49.50last_img read more

NBC’s Hairspray Live! Is Searching for Its Tracy Turnblad

first_img Calling all Tracys! NBC is looking for a rising star to headline this year’s live telecast of Hairspray, set for December 7. If you think you’ve got what it takes to dance with the nicest kids in town, listen up.Open call auditions will be held at Telsey & Company Casting on April 24 from 10AM through 2PM, with check-in beginning at 9AM. Tracy hopefuls must be at least 18 years old and are asked to have a headshot/resume and prepare a short portion of “Good Morning Baltimore” to sing a cappella.The network also held an open call to find Dorothy for 2015’s The Wiz Live!, where they discovered newcomer Shanice Williams. “I came [to New York] and auditioned for this the day after I got off the plane,” she told last year.Hairspray Live! will be directed by Kenny Leon, choreographed by Jerry Mitchell and feature an adapted book by Harvey Fierstein (who won a Tony for playing Edna Turnblad in the original Broadway production). The show, featuring music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittman and Shaiman and a book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan, follows plus-sized teenager Tracy Turnblad in 1960s Baltimore as she attempts to become a cast member of a popular local dance series. Marissa Jaret Winokur in ‘Hairspray'(Photo: Bruce Glikas) View Commentslast_img read more

Environmental Economics

first_imgDespite fears of rising sea levels and violent storms, many people still dream of living on the water. It’s an idyllic life — until it isn’t.Yukiko Hashida wants to figure out when the risk of living on the water outweighs the benefits and how to help coastal communities adapt to climate change. Hashida, who recently joined the University of Georgia Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, uses her background in international law and finance to inform her research into natural resource economics.Before joining the UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences as an assistant professor in August, Hashida worked at Yale University on projects involving natural capital asset pricing.At UGA, her research centers around the adaptation behaviors of people and how those behavior changes interact with natural environmental systems.“I am looking at disasters in the U.S. after hurricanes and how people relocate from flooded areas to safer places, what kind of factors impact those decisions,” Hashida said. “Overall I am interested in climate change adaptation on the people’s behavior change.”Although the majority of her time will be spent on research, Hashida also will teach an undergraduate course called “Environmental Management and Sustainable Business Practices.” She wants to bridge the gap between concepts and theories in textbooks with the more practical applications of business, as well as invite guest speakers from the industry, to give students real-world connections to the material they are learning in the classroom.For more information about research being conducted at the UGA Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, visit read more

Nematode Research

first_imgWhile weeds and plant parasites are a concern for all agricultural producers, organic producers are doubly challenged to combat these problems without chemical solutions. Through a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a University of Georgia researcher is working to discover and integrate biological products and cover crops to control nematodes and weeds in organic vegetable production.Since joining the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences in 2017, assistant professor of plant pathology and UGA Cooperative Extension nematologist Abolfazl Hajihassani’s lab has surveyed more than 400 vegetable fields in 29 Georgia counties for plant-parasitic nematodes and found 10 genera of nematodes. Hajihassani’s group found that root-knot nematode is the most prevalent based on distribution, soil population density and incidence, which is why he has focused his research on this particular pest.“In certified organic production or on farms transitioning to organic, growers are not allowed to use chemicals. Producers have to use non-chemical procedures, which means that their management approach is very limited,” said Hajihassani, project director for the grant. “In this project we are trying to integrate a couple of techniques that we know have some efficacy as a single technique against nematodes and weeds to see if combining these strategies will result in the best management of nematodes and weeds and a higher crop yield than the growers’ standard practices.”The three-year, $500,000 grant is part of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s (NIFA) Organic Transitions Program (ORG), which is designed to improve the competitiveness of organic livestock and crop producers, as well as those who are adopting organic practices.Root-knot nematodes can enter a plant’s roots and move through its cells, where they grow, produce eggs and cause the roots to swell. This reduces the plant’s growth and yield potential in a relatively short timeframe and can lead to severe yield losses for organic farmers. South Georgia’s sandy soils allow root-knot nematodes to reproduce frequently because they can move easily through the soil’s loose texture and infect almost all vegetable crops. If the nematodes can’t be controlled in organic production systems, the producer may have to abandon the field and move operations to an uninfected area.As part of the study, the team will cooperate with Raffi Aroian, a professor of molecular medicine at University of Massachusetts Medical School to identify native strains of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) crystal proteins, which have nematicidal tendencies against root-knot nematodes.“The lab we are working with at the University of Massachusetts Medical School has been working on Bt strains for years, but they have never used these strains against plant-parasitic nematodes. They are going to give us some strains that have had efficacy against nonparasitic nematodes and we will screen those strains in the lab and greenhouse to find out the most effective for root-knot nematode control,” Hajihassani said.In addition to the Bt strains, the team will research the use of entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) — nematodes that can kill other nematodes — and their bacterial metabolites to try to control root-knot nematodes.“There are two known species of entomopathogenic nematodes that produce bacterial metabolites and we are trying to find out which one of those species or their metabolites have nematicidal efficacy against the root-knot nematode,” Hajihassani said.Because weed control is another concern for organic production and farmers cannot use chemical herbicides, the team will test several cultivars of summer and winter cover crops in the field for the greatest nematode- and weed-suppressive qualities.“We know which species and cultivars of winter and summer crops have suppressive effects against different common species of root-knot nematodes, in particular the southern and peanut root-knot nematodes. In field conditions, we need to find out the optimum timing for cover crop termination in our environments to get maximum suppression of weeds and nematodes,” he said. “Understanding the role of all these factors will help us integrate the best practices of cover cropping with the most effective bacterial or microbial combinations and commercial biological products for the control of nematodes and weeds in organic vegetable production systems.”UGA researchers who are co-project directors on the grant are Ganpati Jagdale, UGA Extension nematologist; Timothy Grey, crop and soil sciences professor and UGA Extension weed specialist; Juan Carlos Diaz-Perez, horticulture professor; and Gregory Colson, agricultural and applied economics associate professor. David Shapiro-Ilan of the USDA Agricultural Research Service is also a co-project director on the grant.For more information on research being performed by the Hajihassani Nematology Research Group, visit read more

Sony joins RE100, plans 100% green energy by 2040

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Nikkei Asian Review:Sony plans to have all the energy it uses come from renewable sources by 2040, up from the current level of 7%, aiming to enhance corporate value as more investors and consumers place greater weight on environmental friendliness.The electronics company has 111 business sites around the world. Renewables will supply all power used not only in manufacturing televisions and cameras, but also in such content creation work as moviemaking.The goal will be achieved through such means as installing solar panels atop production facilities and purchasing green-certified power. Sony will gradually increase use of such energy, aiming first for a rate of 30% in 2030.Sony has already gone fully green in Europe. But 80% of the group’s energy consumption is in Japan, mainly because of semiconductor manufacturing.Purchasing solar power facilities will likely be pursued as well. Since 2012, solar has fallen under a feed-in-tariff system in Japan that requires electric utilities to buy renewable energy for fixed prices for specified periods at producers’ request. But solar facilities will start aging out of their 20-year period in 2032, which is expected to give Sony an opportunity to buy them from operators.Globally, more companies are pledging to use only renewable energy and are joining the RE100 initiative, which includes big names like Apple, Fujitsu, Ricoh and Aeon. The push for renewables is now spreading to large manufacturers like Sony that use massive amounts of power.More: Sony to source all its energy from renewables by 2040 Sony joins RE100, plans 100% green energy by 2040last_img read more

Analyst sees big problems ahead for both met and thermal coal sectors in U.S.

first_imgAnalyst sees big problems ahead for both met and thermal coal sectors in U.S. FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):At least one analyst believes that more U.S. metallurgical coal mines are likely to shut down in the coming weeks and months following Murray Energy Corp.’s announcement that it is shutting down its Maple Eagle coal mine West Virginia.Due to soft demand for steelmaking coal around the world, Murray’s decision to temporarily idle its metallurgical coal operation is likely only the beginning of an “accelerated number of mine shut-ins in the U.S.” Seaport Global Securities LLC analyst Mark Levin wrote in a Sept. 30 note. While the sector has been slow to respond as prices dipped in the past, it is reacting with greater urgency to shut down mines that are losing money this time around, the analyst added.“At the end of the day, we think it’s fair to say the market is in tough shape, and it’s not abundantly clear to us why it would get a whole [lot] better any time soon,” Levin wrote.Levin estimated that about 10 million tonnes of U.S. metallurgical coal could be at risk if prices do not meaningfully improve. At least a quarter of that production could come offline in the next 90 to 120 days, with higher-cost and lower-quality supply likely to be the first to go, Levin wrote.Levin added that U.S. exports of thermal coal used to generate power are also likely “off a lot” in 2020. Aside from some success from Consol Energy Inc. partnering with coal marketer Xcoal Energy & Resources, very few thermal coal exports have been contracted for 2020, Levin wrote. “Not one industry player with whom we have chatted expects U.S. thermal exports to be down any less than 20% next year,” Levin wrote.Domestic coal sales continue to be challenged by the low price of natural gas as well. Without export demand to serve as a release valve, thermal coal production idlings could also be coming in a few months.More ($): More closures likely at U.S. met coal mines soon, analyst sayslast_img read more

Man-branding with Manly Bands

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr My soon-to-be husband and I recently purchased his wedding band through an online store called Manly Bands.“Man branding” isn’t an actual term, but after my interactions with this company, I’m ready to coin the phrase and add it to the dictionary.Manly Bands is an online-only shop that prides itself in “saying no to boring wedding bands.” Just watch their promo video and you’ll see how the brand is keenly (and hilariously) geared toward men who feel a little clueless when it comes to wedding planning.The Manly Bands brand doesn’t zing simply because they market to men (trust me, I’m ALL about girl power). Rather, it’s their incredible understanding of their own market that sets them above their competition.Here’s what Manly Bands does right, and what your credit union or bank brand would do well to follow: continue reading »last_img read more