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Harvard ramps up focus on Europe

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first_imgIn the wake of Europe’s devastation in World War II, the close-knit relationship between the democracies of Western Europe and the U.S. has been so resolute, so foundational, that it became the dominant narrative of the liberal world order. The partnership has had its ups and downs — such as over the Vietnam War, and conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan — yet its importance and relevance was never in doubt.But now, as the U.S. and its allies prepare to meet in Brussels on July 11-12 for a summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO),  that bedrock bond seems increasingly shaky.Since President Trump took office, he has repeatedly questioned NATO’s value and spoken in lukewarm terms about U.S. defense obligations there. In recent weeks, he has threatened to impose stiff tariffs on European imports, saying the European Union (EU) was set up to “take advantage” of the U.S. President Trump reportedly urged French President Emmanuel Macron to pull France out of the union, dangling a favorable bilateral trade deal as incentive. He has spoken dismissively of German leader Angela Merkel, Europe’s most powerful head of state, while praising Russian President Vladimir Putin, viewed widely as an existential threat to Eastern Europe and NATO.“I think there’s a pervasive sense in Europe … that this administration is drifting away from this rock-solid alliance that we’ve had for seven decades,” said Nicholas Burns, the Roy and Barbara Goodman Family Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS). Cathryn Clüver Ashbrook, M.P.A. ’10, who is from Germany and has studied and worked in European politics, agrees. Europeans are “nervous and anxious in a way that I haven’t perceived since the Cold War, because the maneuvers of the administration in Washington are making Europeans’ heads spin, and it deprives Europeans of a sense of stability that allows them to do other work,” she said.To help ease these tensions and expand an area of teaching and research, Burns and Clüver Ashbrook are overseeing a new academic program designed to further students’ understanding of the U.S.-Europe relationship and encourage them to dive into practical public policy issues and challenges in that arena.The Project on Europe and the Transatlantic Relationship will dig into economics and trade issues; security policy, including cyber issues and threats; the challenges facing democracy, such as the surge of nationalist movements, terrorism, and transnational organized crime; and diplomacy as a tool for global problem-solving and peacekeeping. The program also will look at the role of regional players, including Russia, Ukraine, and former states of the Soviet Union.Students and faculty will focus on and try to work through big-picture questions about the vitality of democracy on both continents, taking on such concerns as what to do about immigration; Britain’s pending departure from the EU; the surge of well-financed populist political candidates; the viability of political, economic, and legal institutions in the EU and the U.S., including a free press and the internet; and how to address Putin’s relentless attacks on their democracies.“What is the West today; what does the West really mean; what is the life in what we define as our Western values — are we actually still talking about the same things? And what should define this relationship for the 21th century?” asked Clüver Ashbrook, the project’s executive director. She and Burns, its faculty director, will continue to run the popular Future of Diplomacy Project at HKS.The Europe project leadership team includes Karl Kaiser, co-chair of the European Union seminar at the Center for European Studies at Harvard and a former director of the German Council on Foreign Relations, and Manuel Muñiz, dean of the IE School of International Relations in Spain and senior associate of the Trans-Atlantic Relations Initiative at HKS.In early July, the project will co-host a three-day conference in Spain with the IE School to discuss the current concerns confronting the trans-Atlantic relationship. The conference, which will feature Harvard faculty along with European policymakers and practitioners, is planned to become an annual event.In the fall, the project will begin offering three courses on Europe each academic year. Once a permanent faculty chair dedicated to European teaching and research is established, the slate of courses will expand. Each semester, fellows will lead intensive study groups on challenges or issues, and former European public-service figures will visit to debrief students about their experiences and weigh in on critical debates.Next year, Burns and former NATO Ambassador Douglas Lute plan to conduct a study reimagining NATO to coincide with the alliance’s 70th anniversary and to organize conferences in Cambridge and Paris to mark the centennial of the Treaty of Versailles.With many senior officials having left the State Department since 2016, Burns, a former U.S. ambassador to NATO and Greece who spent 27 years as a diplomat, says there’s a necessary professional and intellectual “passing of the torch” from the Cold War to the post-Cold War generation going on at universities and think tanks.“We do want to train the next generation of Atlanticists. We want young millennials to feel as connected across the Atlantic as we did, because it’s still vital,” he said. “This is not yesterday’s story.”Burns said the project is not a response to Trump’s often-hostile attitude toward Europe. The need to return European public policymaking and U.S. relations to the front burner goes back years, he said.Between Japan’s economic rise in the 1980s and China’s ascendancy as a global power over the last two decades, much of U.S. foreign policy that hasn’t centered on the Middle East has shifted toward Asia. And though that focus is logical, the U.S. sometimes seems to have forgotten how important its relationship with Europe remains. The continent is America’s largest trading partner and the largest investor in its economy. And NATO contains a large block of U.S. allies, said Burns.With the University home to the country’s first school of government, “We want Harvard to play a role in … promoting further understanding of the value of the trans-Atlantic relationship. There’s so much here. We ought to be teaching more about this, [have] more fellows, more intellectual firepower by our students and faculty trained on these issues,” said Burns. “It’s an academic effort, but it’s being produced in part because the relationship needs help.”Europe is under a lot of pressure and in a “battle of ideas” against Russia and its supporters, who rail against the very notion of Western democracy, said Burns.“We need to remind ourselves, through academic research, study, fellowships, training, why this is important — the future of the free world,” he said.last_img read more

Alum advances dialogue

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first_imgA Notre Dame graduate who now works as Michigan’s Superintendent of Public Instruction spoke Tuesday about education reform and the progress he has encouraged during his tenure. Michael Flanagan’s talk “Education Reform-Mongering: A Practitioner’s Perspective” in Carole Sandner Hall was the latest event in the Notre Dame Forum 2011-12: Reimagining School. Flanagan said the most pressing challenge for today’s educators is addressing the needs of the urban and poor. Sharing his experience of growing up in a working class family on Long Island, N.Y., he said education plays a critical role in realizing one’s potential. “I think there’s a certain point that when you see other people believe in you, it changes your whole trajectory,” Flanagan said. Flanagan said his critical point was when he had to adapt to his new environment after his family moved from Brooklyn to Long Island.  Flanagan said when a teacher informed him he would be placed in the “89er” program, he assumed it meant he was going to “be put on the short bus” because he was a troublemaker. However, he said it turned out to be the opposite ­— a program for talented eighth graders who would be given ninth grade work.  “It taught me a lesson that so much of this [education] is about expectations that you have for every child, and that almost without exception they can reach great heights if we believe in them,” Flanagan said. While it is important to believe all kids can learn, Flanagan said change cannot be conceptualized until we begin to act on an individual level.  “You have to be careful to design reforms that don’t make you feel good about all [the children, and in the process] forget to reach down to every child,” he said.  Even after 30 years as a local, regional and state superintendent, Flanagan said he continues to act on the lesson he learned early on in his career when he examined a particular district: the need to improve the quality of education is more important than what people want to hear.  “Overall, they were high achieving, but they didn’t look at individual schools,” he said. “I said that I bet we’re just like everyone else, that we’re losing women in science by high school.” When he brought his findings to public attention, the reactions were far from positive, he said.  “The headline the next day didn’t help me: ‘New superintendent comes to town, girls test scores go down,’” Flanagan said. “That and the reaction taught me a real lesson that you have to be willing to realize that change is easier said than done, that you have to confront the status quo.” Flanagan said one of his most recent pushes for reform has been to raise the “cut scores,” or the cut-off score that students have to attain on standardized tests to be considered at grade level, which encourages greater achievement in Michigan schools.  “All we did was raise the bar, and even though fewer kids could jump over that bar, we saw that they all ended up jumping higher than they did before,” he said. Flanagan said his other goals include providing free ACT testing to all Michigan students, improving reading proficiency levels, establishing tenure procedures that protect teachers and require achievement and developing ways to address the varied needs of Michigan’s children. The Notre Dame graduate said at times, critics have targeted his Catholic faith.  “I’m very concerned with determining what’s right for the kids, and I know that some of this process is painful for the adults involved,” Flanagan said. “I know that’s part of the job.” Fr. Tim Scully, director of the Institute for Educational Initiatives at the Center for Social Concerns, said this is due to Catholicism’s clearly defined positions on these contentious issues. “Unlike some religions, we have a social teaching, that for example, takes a position in regards to parent choice. All parents should have the opportunity to choose a decent school for their kids,” Scully said. “Because this tradition has this teaching, it implies a certain stake in the ground in debates.” Surprisingly, Flanagan said the economic downturn in Michigan helped them to enact these reforms.  “We wouldn’t get some of these reforms and innovations if we had enough money where we could just keep throwing money [at problems,]” Flanagan said. “[It’s not] that money makes no difference, but … you almost have to use it as an excuse to revamp the whole system.” Scully said Flanagan’s speech continued the Forum’s focus on broad development in education reform.  “I think Mike Flanagan is an example of a leader who has entered into a really contended field and has made a difference because of his deep empathy,” Scully said. “We hope that the people here today will leave asking questions, and at a Catholic university these questions are exactly the kind of questions that we ought to be raising.”last_img read more

Court overturns Boston Marathon bomber’s death sentence

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first_imgTsarnaev was convicted on 30 charges, including conspiracy and use of a weapon of mass destruction Tsarnaev’s lawyers had argued that intense media coverage had made it impossible to have a fair trial in Boston. (AP) — A federal appeals court on Friday overturned the death sentence of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. The three-judge panel of the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston issued the decision more than six months after arguments were heard in the case. The April 15, 2013, attack killed three people and injured more than 260 others. last_img

Governor Wolf Statement on Shooting in Philadelphia

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first_img Statement Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf released the following statement:“Our thoughts are with the officers and other victims of this horrifying violence. This is a reminder of the danger that those who seek to keep us safe face every day and we are thankful for the law enforcement personnel who put themselves in harms way to protect the people of our commonwealth.”Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf September 17, 2016 Governor Wolf Statement on Shooting in Philadelphiacenter_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img

UW Athletics: A look ahead at UW’s spring sports

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first_imgWith the spring semester at UW-Madison comes the beginning of Madison’s spring sports, as well as the continuation of several sports that began in the fall semester.While football and volleyball — two of UW’s most popular and successful sports — are obviously over, Wisconsin’s spring sports have also seen success in recent years, and they’ll seek more success this year.Without further ado, let’s take a look at the sports happening this semester, beginning with the ones that have already started.Men’s Basketball:With the exception of football, men’s basketball is the epitome of Wisconsin sports. Following a decade of success which resulted in NCAA Tournament appearances in nine out of ten seasons, Wisconsin will look to continue that success as they delve deeper into their conference schedule.Following a surprisingly good start to their Big Ten schedule — including wins against The Ohio State University and Indiana — the Badgers still have several high-profile games remaining on their schedule, including Michigan State and a rematch with OSU.If Wisconsin can hold their own through the last half of their schedule, expect to see them return to the NCAA Tournament in March.Men’s Basketball: Wisconsin upsets Ohio State University in marquee road winThe University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team (9-5, 2-1 Big Ten) upset No. 5 Ohio State University Buckeyes (11-3, 1-2) Read…Women’s Basketball:Despite not having finished with a record above .500 since the 2010-11 season, the Badgers have taken strides toward being a winning program in the last few years, including a 15-16 finish last season under third-year Head Coach Jonathan Tsipis.Tsipis’ team has stayed above .500 thus far, including great play in their non-conference schedule. If the team can remain consistent the rest of the way, expect a return to at least the NIT Tournament, if not the NCAA Tournament.Wrestling:The Badger wrestling team has reached expectations thus far, going a strong 7-1 to this point with their lone loss coming to Iowa in conference play. The Badgers have played high-quality opponents but performed well in each match besides the loss.Wisconsin will face a string of Big Ten opponents between now and March, leading up to the Big Ten Championships and NCAA Championships in March.Wrestling: Catching up with Wisconsin as they begin conference playThe wrestling team has dominated all season, standing at 6-0 before visiting Iowa City this week. They wrapped up November Read…Men’s Hockey:After a promising start to the season, the men’s hockey team collapsed late in the fall semester, losing to weaker opponents despite strong leadership from freshman duo Cole Caufield and Alex Turcotte.If the Badgers want any chance at returning to the NCAA Tournament in a couple of months, they must be consistent and perform well in conference matchups with several high-quality hockey programs.Men’s Hockey: Sitting down with star freshman Alex TurcotteThe University of Wisconsin men’s ice hockey team (7-10-1, 2-7-1-1 Big Ten) is having a rough go at the dish Read…Women’s Hockey:The women’s hockey team had high expectations going into the season, coming off of an NCAA Championship victory last March. The Badgers managed to exceed those expectations in the fall semester, going 18-1-1 with their only two losses coming to Big Ten rival Minnesota.The Badgers will face off with Minnesota again later this week in a matchup at LaBahn Arena. Currently sitting at No. 1 in the WCHA rankings, the Badgers will need to win at least one game against the Gophers in order to remain at the top nationally.Wisconsin will certainly make a run for another NCAA Championship in March’s NCAA Tournament.Women’s Hockey: Offensive weapons key in No. 1 Badgers’ continuing successThe University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team (18-1-1, 10-1-1 WCHA) is off to another predictably hot start. With little loss Read…Men’s and Women’s Tennis:While the men’s tennis team didn’t have a great season last year, they did have at least one promising player in then-freshman Jared Pratt, who went 14-7, including a 9-2 record in Big Ten play. Expect Pratt to take another step forward this season on an all-around young team.The women’s tennis team had a great season last year, finishing 18-6 with a 9-2 record in Big Ten play. The team made an NCAA Tournament appearance as well, falling to Syracuse in the first round. Wisconsin will look to repeat that performance this season with most players returning from last year.Men’s and Women’s Golf:Both the men’s and women’s golf teams had disappointing seasons last year, with the men’s team finishing at the bottom of the Big Ten and the women’s team finishing in ninth out of 14 teams.In the fall season, however, bright spots emerged on each team from young players on each squad. If both teams can build on their successful fall seasons, it is certainly possible for each team to improve on last year’s results.Softball:Last season’s softball team performed extremely well, going 43-14 and 15-8 in the Big Ten en route to an NCAA Tournament berth, where the team fell to No. 1 Oklahoma.The Badgers will look to return to form this season as they battle for another NCAA Tournament appearance against a tough schedule that includes Oklahoma and top-notch Big Ten squads.Flocking to the field: Forward Madison FC, fans take Madison by stormSaturday mornings, Badgers deck out in red and head over to Camp Randall, ready to jump around with 70,000 fellow Read…Forward Madison FC:Following a successful inaugural season in 2019 that resulted in the No. 4 seed in the USL League One playoffs, the Flamingos will look to carry some of that success into 2020.The ‘Mingos have already announced several re-signings, including Don Smart and Christian Díaz. FMFC’s schedule gets underway Mar. 28 on the road before their home-opener Apr. 11 in an expanded USL League One schedule.last_img read more

Ashes 2019: Australia survive Jofra Archer onslaught for Lord’s draw

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first_imgAustralia overcame Steve Smith’s absence and survived another venomous spell from Jofra Archer to draw the second Test with England and retain their slim advantage in the Ashes.An intriguing, rain-affected encounter at Lord’s concluded with neither side able to forge a positive result, despite England bidding to force the issue when declaring on 258-5 in the second session after Ben Stokes (115 not out) had posted a century. Joe Root’s attack had enough incentive with 48 overs remaining, while a target of 267 was also encouraging for the tourists, even if Smith was unavailable having displayed concussion symptoms on Sunday after copping an Archer bouncer on the third day.Archer (3-32) dismissed David Warner and Usman Khawaja inside the opening six overs, but Smith’s concussion replacement Marnus Labuschagne’s gritty half-century effectively ended England’s hopes, despite Jack Leach (3-37) striking with back-to-back deliveries and Joe Denly’s brilliant catch, as Australia ended on 154-6.20 – This is the first drawn Test in England since June 2016 (Eng v SL); ending a run of 20 matches without one. Wait. #Ashes pic.twitter.com/FU0VnByQM2— OptaJim (@OptaJim) August 18, 2019Rain prevented play from starting for 70 minutes, Stokes and Jos Buttler (31) continuing their fifth-wicket stand in the first session to increase England’s lead to 165.Buttler top-edged Pat Cummins (3-35) to Josh Hazlewood at long leg after lunch before Stokes, then on 55, survived a review following an lbw appeal from Nathan Lyon.Alongside Jonny Bairstow (30 not out), Stokes pushed on, dispatching Lyon over the ropes from successive deliveries as the advantage increased past 200.A single to square leg gave Stokes his seventh Test century and Root called his batsmen in at the end of the following over to give Archer and his bowling colleagues an opportunity to level the series.One innings one fifty for Marnus Labuschagne!Not a bad replacement for Steve Smith at all #Ashes pic.twitter.com/6lBPY1GRdK— ICC (@ICC) August 18, 2019Archer provided early optimism when he snared Warner (5), who prodded to Rory Burns at gully to continue his dreadful Ashes, and then drew the edge of Khawaja (2), bringing Labuschagne, the first concussion substitute in Test history, to the crease.There was no gentle introduction to Archer’s searing speed as Labuschagne was caught flush on the helmet grille from his second delivery, a 91.6 mph rocket that knocked him off his feet before he bolted back up.Cameron Bancroft (16) was trapped in front by Leach but Labuschagne and Travis Head put on 85, with second slip Jason Roy shelling a chance to remove the latter when the alliance was worth 49.Labuschagne (59) eventually fell in controversial circumstances, Root diving forward at midwicket to take a catch and benefiting from a soft signal of out when replays proved inconclusive.As he walked off, the batsman expressed his disapproval to England’s captain, whose team were soon celebrating again when Matthew Wade picked out short leg from Leach’s next ball.That gave the spinner three wickets — and Archer matched that total when Denly produced a fantastic one-handed catch to remove Tim Paine — but Head (42 not out) and Cummins (1 not out) ensured Australia held on.STOKES STARS AT LORD’S AGAINThe home of cricket is quickly becoming Stokes’ stage to shine.At the venue where his heroics helped secure the Cricket World Cup last month, England’s all-rounder made the only century of the contest, digging deep during a tricky spell on Saturday before opening up to give his side a chance, albeit slim, of victory on the final day.MARVELLOUS MARNUS STANDS UP TO ARCHERHaving seen his team’s talisman taken down by one vicious delivery, Smith’s replacement Labuschagne was given a baptism of fire, only coming in to bat for the second innings and facing a fired-up Archer straight away.He came back from being floored by a shorter ball himself to produce a crucial knock — one that helped to ensure Australia remain in front. Labuschagne may be needed at Headingley if Smith cannot return, and here he showed he is up for the fightMOMENT OF THE DAY A diving Denly plucking the ball out of the sky with his left hand after Paine had pulled Archer to the midwicket region. It deserved to be more than just a mere footnote in the contest.KEY OPTA FACTS:— No bowler has taken more Test wickets since the start of 2018 than Pat Cummins (71 — same as Kagiso Rabada).— None of England’s previous 20 Tests on home soil had ended in a draw — the last was against Sri Lanka in 2016.— Warner has been dismissed for single figures in all four innings so far in this Ashes series.— Australia opener Bancroft was dismissed lbw twice in a Test for the first time in his international career.— Stokes recorded his second century at Lord’s — he made 101 against New Zealand back in May 2015.last_img read more

Klopp banking on Chelsea to slow City charge as Napoli tie looms

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first_imgLondon, United Kingdom | AFP | Jurgen Klopp will be desperately hoping Chelsea can slow down Manchester City’s title charge this weekend as he balances his Premier League ambitions with a Champions League decider against Napoli.Unbeaten Liverpool are clinging on in the title race — scoring deep into added time against Everton last week and recovering from a goal down to beat Burnley on Wednesday to move just two points behind City.Elsewhere, all eyes will again be on the next instalment in the Old Trafford soap opera, with stuttering Manchester United hosting bottom club Fulham.Tottenham — yet to register a single draw in the Premier League this season — are away to Leicester. Arsenal play lowly Huddersfield.AFP Sports picks out some of the main talking points ahead of the weekend fixtures in the Premier League.Chelsea seek to arrest slideChelsea were unbeaten in their first 12 Premier League games, determinedly hanging on to the coat-tails of Manchester City and LiverpoolBut if they lose to Pep Guardiola’s league leaders at Stamford Bridge on Saturday they will be looking at a yawning gap of 13 points — and it would be their third defeat in four league games.Chelsea defender Marcos Alonso has urged his teammates to forget about the gap, which already looks ominously big.“If we lose we are going to be 13 points from the top and that’s a lot of points but we have to think, prepare for the game well and not pay attention to the table at the moment,” he said. “It’s the perfect opportunity to come back.” Does Mourinho know his best team?Jose Mourinho is desperately casting around for solutions to the malaise at Old Trafford — but is all the chopping and changing hindering, rather than helping?Manchester United have made a total of 46 changes to their starting XI in the Premier League so far this season, including seven changes on Wednesday against Arsenal — more than any other team in the competitionFormer United defender Rio Ferdinand is concerned over the tinkering.“Something needs to be done,” Ferdinand said in his role as a pundit for BT Sport. “The common thing that we’ve seen with this team under Mourinho is changes every week — changes, changes, changes.“That doesn’t bode well for me in terms of the players and for the team because you need to form relationships within a team and you can’t do that when there’s chopping and changing, week in and week out.”Will Klopp ring changes again?Jurgen Klopp made seven changes for his side’s midweek match against Burnley — starting without any of the front three of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino for the first time since September 2017.Despite a scare at Turf Moor, Liverpool won 3-1, taking their tally to 39 points after 15 matches — more than any other Anfield side in history.On Tuesday they face Napoli at Anfield with the prospect of crashing out of the Champions League group stage just over six months after reaching the final — but first they must negotiate a trip to high-flying Bournemouth.Share on: WhatsApp Pages: 1 2last_img read more

Leaked Docs Show British Ambassador to U.S. Criticizing Trump Admin

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first_imgLeaked diplomatic cables that were published Sunday in a British newspaper reveal that Kim Darroch, Britain’s ambassador to the United States, described President Trump’s administration as deeply divided, incompetent and unlikely to show any meaningful improvement while dealing with international issues.Darroch writes in one of the documents published in the newspaper, which is called The Mail on Sunday, “We don’t really believe this administration is going to become substantially more normal; less dysfunctional; less unpredictable; less faction riven; less diplomatically clumsy and inept.”The United States and the U.K. have maintained a strong relationship since World War II.Additionally, the memos refer to Trump’s policy on Iran as “incoherent, chaotic.” Darroch also doubts whether the White House “will ever look competent,” adding that he believes the only way to communicate with President Trump is through simple and blunt language.Darroch does not expect Trump to shift his “America First” strategy, even though the President seemed “dazzled” by British pageantry last month during a state visit hosted by Queen Elizabeth II. He writes, “This is still the land of America First.”Britain’s Foreign Office has not challenged the authenticity of the leaked documents, which cover the past two years. However, it called the leak “mischievous behavior,” adding that the British public expects diplomats to offer honest assessments about the politics of the countries in which they are posted.President Trump has not commented regarding the leak.last_img read more