Court tosses murder conviction over fire in secret tunnels

first_imgCOLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — A Maryland appeals court has overturned a wealthy stock trader’s conviction on a murder charge in the fiery death of a man who was helping him dig tunnels for an underground nuclear bunker. Daniel Beckwitt was sentenced in 2019 to nine years in prison after a jury convicted him for the death of 21-year-old Askia Khafra. A Court of Special Appeals panel ruled Friday that the evidence wasn’t sufficient to sustain Beckwitt’s second-degree “depraved heart” murder conviction. But it upheld his involuntary manslaughter conviction. Prosecutors said extreme hoarding conditions in Beckwitt’s home prevented Khafra from escaping after a fire broke out above the tunnels in a suburb of Washington, D.C.last_img

Saint Mary‘s professor publishes memoir of undergraduate years at Notre Dame

first_imgDepartment chair of humanistic studies Phil Hicks recently published a book entitled, “Old Notre Dame: Paul Fenlon, Sorin Hall & Me,” about a professor he became friends with when he was a history major at Notre Dame. “[It’s] a memoir of my undergraduate days when I befriended an 80-year-old professor who had lived in my dorm for 60 years,” Hicks said. “I wrote down everything he did and said — campus stories going back to 1915 — and helped him survive as the very last of the ‘bachelor dons,’” Hicks said. Hicks emphasized the importance of loyalty in his book, and he also discussed the uniqueness of friendships between the young and old. “One of its messages is that generations can be bridged in friendship more easily than we might think,” Hicks said. “The book also honors the value of history and tradition and of loyalty to institutions — in this case, Paul Fenlon’s loyalty to Notre Dame, Sorin Hall and the Catholic Church.“Hicks said he felt motivated to write about his professor because he was deeply involved in Notre Dame for decades. “Paul Fenlon had been a student at Notre Dame, a faculty member and a retiree, all the while living in Sorin Hall, and yet when I met him as a freshman in 1976, he seemed under-appreciated by the campus community, especially by my fellow Sorinites,” Hicks said.Even as a student, Hicks knew Fenlon’s story needed to be told. “I wanted to make a record of those stories and of Paul Fenlon’s daily life, because somehow I had become obsessed with the history of Sorin Hall, and I was convinced there was an audience for this material,” he said.For Hicks, writing this book wasn’t just about the history of the University and a narrative of Fenlon’s life. This book was deeply personal, as Hicks dug into parts of his own life as well.“Trying to set down on paper my own emotional response to his death was also hard to do because I’d never written anything so personal before,” he said.Writing this book took him around 44 years to finish, but the base of all of it was from his years as a student when he engaged directly with Fenlon. “By the spring semester, I was visiting him nearly every day, completely enchanted by his storytelling, and by the time I was a senior I had written a couple hundred pages on everything he did and said,“ Hicks said.Hicks elaborated on why, after all these years, he decided to write this book instead of donating his writings to the University Archives. “Originally, I thought I would just hand it over to the University Archives as a record of my undergraduate days,” Hicks said, “But it was so messy that I had to transcribe it first, and in so doing I recognized it made no sense without lots of explanatory context.” Once he decided that he wanted to turn his writings into a book, it took a few more years to find balance between writing, family time and work.“During the semester, I’m preoccupied with classes and departmental activities, so that leaves mainly summers and occasional sabbaticals for research,” Hicks said. “Don’t forget that my wife and four children are a priority for me, too. I don’t know if you could call my life a balanced one or not, because between family and work, I don’t have much of a social life.”Writing while raising a family and working a job was time consuming, but he was still able to publish his book. “It took about five years writing in my spare time to produce a good draft, then a few more years to get feedback on it, find a publisher and make final revisions.”Hicks hopes the book will resonate with many members of the Notre Dame community.“[The] book deals with so many facets of the school — the sports teams, dorm life, the professors and administration, the Holy Cross priests — that anyone with an interest in Notre Dame should enjoy it, whether they are current students, alums from the 1950s or just fans of the school,” Hicks said.Tags: department of humanistic studies, memoir, saint mary’slast_img read more

More Details Revealed About Broadway-Aimed First Wives Club Musical

first_img Bloodworth-Thomason also revealed that “we didn’t use the old script. Didn’t even reread it. I don’t do rewrites.” And who will be filling the classic Goldie Hawn/Diane Keaton/Bette Midler roles? “Our people will have to sing. I’ve been casting in New York and Hollywood, but not picked anyone yet. Stars aren’t a requisite.” View Comments We’re intrigued. The stage adaptation didn’t make it to Broadway after a San Diego run back in 2009 starring Barbara Walsh, Sheryl Lee Ralph and Karen Ziemba. This incarnation, directed by Simon Phillips, has music and lyrics by Motown’s Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland, along with a book by Bloodworth-Thomason and Rupert Holmes.center_img More information is coming to light about the previously reported stage adaptation of the First Wives Club, which is eyeing Broadway in fall 2015 following a run in Chicago. Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, who wrote the hit 1996 movie and is working on the show’s book, told the New York Post: “It’s a talksicle. It’s funny and takes place in ’92.” We’re envisioning big ballads, bigger shoulder pads and some smart one-liners.last_img read more

Sludge Eaters.

first_img Photo:UGA CAES Earthworms eat and convert sludge into a more environmentally safe product. Earthworms have a healthy appetite. If you get enough of themtogether and don’t disturb them, scientists say they can safely,quietly dispose of many forms of waste.Vermiculture is a composting system that uses worms to processorganic waste, said Sid Thompson, a professor of engineering withthe University of Georgia College of Agricultural and EnvironmentalSciences.The process could be a viable alternative, he said, for currentwaste-management practices that continue to grow more expensiveand impractical as the world’s population expands.Goes in Bad, Comes Out Good The earthworms don’t have to be trained for vermiculture or doanything unusual. They just do what comes naturally: eat. As theworms eat organic materials, such as sludge from wastewater treatmentplants, they excrete it as castings. Worm castings, which look much like freeze-dried coffee crystals,make good fertilizer for plants. They also improve the waterand nutrient-holding capacity of the soil. “Castings are more microbially active,” Thompson said.”The nutrients are more available to plants.”The worms get rid of the harmful waste and in return provide amuch nicer product that’s not as smelly. Not only are the castingseasy on the environment, they can catch a good price as well.Castings are advertised on the Internet for as much as $4.25 perpound.Cities around the world are looking to vermiculture to combatwaste problems, Thompson said. Vermiculture in India, one of themost heavily populated places in the world, gets rid of as muchas 30 tons of waste a day.Thompson said vermiculture could work for Georgia, too. To beviable on a large scale, though, it must be proven economicallyfeasible.Worms take to sludge like mice to cheese. In fact, one worm caneat its weight in sludge every day. One pound of worms can eatand process one pound of sludge.However, a large land area would be needed for the worms to processlarge amounts of sludge, said Jason Governo, a graduate studentworking closely with Thompson’s research.A Pound of Worms Can Tell You More Most vermiculture research uses only one or two worms in smalllaboratory settings. Thompson and Governo are using pounds ofworms in their research.Their studies show that only 3 to 4 inches of sludge can be placedonto the worms at any one time, Governo said. With such a thinlayer, it would take too much land and wouldn’t be economicallyfeasible for Georgia.But Thompson said the land problem could be solved simply. Heproposes placing the sludge and the worms in trays and then stackingthose trays in a tall structure. “There are ways this canbe done for waste in the state,” he said.Thompson said worms can convert a range of organic material, aslong as the material is presented in an acceptable form.Georgia is one of the leading poultry producers in the world.It’s also one of the leading producers of manure from layer hens,the birds that lay eggs. Large quantities of this manure can strainthe environment.Worms, Thompson said, could convert layer manure into a more environmentallyacceptable product. However, the natural high salt and ammoniacontent found in layer manure dries up and kills the worms.Vermiculture could be the answer to the large volume of chickenlitter produced in Georgia, he said. Scientists just have to findthe right way to present it to the worms.last_img read more

10 Incredible Photos of Frozen Waterfalls in Southern Appalachia

first_img2018  has already been a memorable year, ushering in a major cold snap in many parts of the Southeastern United States and slamming the East Coast with a historic weather event that’s being referred to in the media as a ‘bomb cyclone’.While much of the Blue Ridge was spared the type of intense blizzard conditions that reeked havoc on places further east, the region has fallen into the icy grips of prolonged frigid temperatures—recently dipping into the single digits in places as far south as Western North Carolina.While this weather kept less hardy adventures tucked away within the comfortable confines of their central heating systems, others took to the trails in search of frozen waterfalls. Some even set out with crampons affixed to their hiking boots and ice axes in hand and proceeded to ascend the frozen sides of said waterfalls—a brand of adventure that’s rarely possible here in the Southern Appalachians.We scoured our Instagram feed for ten of our favorite frozen waterfall shots from the region’s recent bout with extreme cold weather and aggregated them here for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!last_img read more

Senate passes ‘Bioshield’ bill

first_img Gregg’s news release said the legislation authorizes $5.93 billion, “the amount appropriated for biodefense countermeasures in the DHS [Department of Homeland Security] Appropriations Act” for fiscal year 2004. An Associated Press report today said Senate passage of the bill was spurred by the anthrax and ricin attacks on Congress in the past few years and the recent detection of sarin gas in Iraq. The BioShield program was first proposed by President Bush in January 2003, and the House passed a BioShield bill last year. Congressional leaders predicted that the House would quickly pass the Senate-approved version, which would send it to President Bush. The legislation would allow the government to guarantee a market for promising drugs and vaccines for chemical, biological, and radiological agents. It would also enable the government to authorize the emergency use of drugs, vaccines, and other medical products that have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Senate approved the measure 99-0. The report said the House overwhelmingly passed a Project BioShield last year. The story quoted Gregg as saying, “I expect the House to take our bill and move it on to the president.” May 20, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – The US Senate yesterday overwhelmingly passed “Project BioShield,” a 10-year, $5.6 billion program to promote rapid development and use of drugs and vaccines to counter biological and chemical weapons. Enables the National Institutes of Health to issue research and development grants more quickly and improves the NIH’s ability to use private experts and contractors Go to http://thomas.loc.gov/ and search S.15 under “bill number” for the 108th Congress. Allows the HHS secretary to authorize the emergency use of a drug or medical product without normal FDA approval if there is evidence that the product may be effective and there is no approved alternative The measure drew praise from Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., ranking member of the Health, Labor, Education and Pensions Committee. “The bill before the Senate guarantees that any company which develops a successful new product for these threats will find a willing buyer in the federal government,” he said. “With that guarantee, companies will make the investments needed to prepare for any attack.” Provides a special fund for countermeasures for biological, chemical, radiological, and nuclear agents To view the bill: The AP report said the legislation specifically targets smallpox, anthrax, botulinum toxin, plague, and Ebola virus. Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., chairman of the Committee on Health, Labor, Education and Pensions, was a lead sponsor of the bill. A news release from Gregg’s office said the measure: “Passing and implementing Project BioShield is without question the most important step we can take to improve our nation’s bio-defense capabilities,” Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tommy Thompson said in applauding the Senate’s action. “For example, funding from Project BioShield is already allowing us to acquire up to 75 million doses of the anthrax vaccine, beginning as soon as it becomes available next year.”last_img read more

Coronavirus forces delay of trade fairs, conferences

first_img* China Iron Ore 2020, Feb. 25-27: The event held by Fastmarkets in Beijing has been postponed to June 30–July 2.* East China Import and Export Commodity Fair), March 1-4:Due to be held in Shanghai, the fair usually attracts traders of garments and household goods. It was postponed until further notice.* POC2020, March 2-4: Bursa Malaysia Derivatives has postponed the Palm and Lauric Oils Price Outlook Conference & Exhibition 2020 to June 22-24, on health concerns.* Marine Money China, March 3-4: Originally slated to be held in Shanghai, organizers of the meeting for shipping financiers have said that it has been delayed, likely until November.* Food & Hotel Asia in Singapore, March 3-6: Organizers of the biennial trade show have postponed its first leg to July. The event attracted more than 80,000 attendees when it was last held in 2018.* National People’s Congress, likely to have started March 5: China is considering delaying the annual meeting of its top legislative body, five people familiar with the matter told Reuters.* 6th China LNG & Gas International Exhibition and Summit, Shanghai, March 4-6: Organizers said the event has been postponed until a later date this year. They are in the process of confirming the new date.* Asian Ferroalloys, March 16-18: The conference by Fastmarkets, due to be held in Shanghai, has been postponed with no new date given.* Art Basel Hong Kong show, March 19-21: The high-profile annual show has been cancelled.* SEMICON/FPD China 2020, March 18-30: The annual trade conference for the global chip industry in China was postponed until further notice.* China Development Forum, usually late March: Hosted by a foundation under the State Council, the conference was postponed until further notice.* Canton Fair, spring season from April 15: The venue of China’s oldest and biggest trade fair said it has suspended exhibitions until further notice.* Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition, April 21-23: The show’s organizers, the National Business Aviation Association, said they would cancel this year’s show in Shanghai given health concerns and other challenges its participants faced. Over two dozen large trade fairs and industry conferences in China and overseas have been postponed due to travel curbs and concerns about the spread of a coronavirus, potentially disrupting billions of dollars worth of deals.In order of scheduled or likely dates:* Taipei International Book Exhibition, Feb. 4-9 – Billed as Taiwan’s largest annual literary event, the exhibition has been postponed to May 7-12. Topics :center_img * League of Legends Pro League, due to start Feb. 5: The e-sports league owned by gaming giant Tencent Holdings said it would postpone the start of its second week until further notice.* Singapore Airshow, Feb 11-16: The aviation leadership summit scheduled on the eve of the event was cancelled. The show itself will go ahead as planned, but on a smaller scale* China Commodity Markets Insight Forum 2020, Feb 19-20: The forum held by S&P Global Platts was delayed until further notice.* National Association of Travel Agents Singapore (NATAS) travel fair 2020, Feb 21-23: Moved to May because exhibitors were concerned about turnout at the fair.last_img read more

Candriam seeks to grow institutional business in Switzerland, Germany

first_imgNaïm Abou-Jaoude, chief executive at Candriam, told IPE the brand change was necessary, would reinvigorate the business and give it a positive momentum among clients and staff.He said now the transformation was complete, the business would focus on its third-party distribution and its institutional business – which accounts for around two-thirds of the manager’s assets.“With our new brand offering a fresh start, coupled with the stability of the management,” Abou-Jaoude said, “we can fully enhance the business, and in particular our relationships with the consultants, who are likely to be more open to having new discussions with us on what we can offer to their clients.”Candriam, within the next nine months, wants to grow institutional business in Switzerland and Germany while increasing third-party distribution exposure in the UK.Abou-Jaoude said institutional business in the UK was an ambition but would be more realistic in 18 months’ time.With regard to offerings, the chief executive said Candriam was looking to build on its previous products and provide more suitable solutions to institutional clients.“We want to go in two directions,” he said. “One is offering a flexible multi-asset fund, and a multi-asset income fund, which will capture the spreads from different asset class.“The second is short high-yield offering, using a combination of long-short strategies.”The firm is also working on equity products for its insurance clients that will utilise the benefits of derivatives, mitigating the downside of equity investing, and reducing the capital requirements under Solvency II.In terms of the asset manager’s new partnership with NYLIM, the firm said its expansion would not include the US, given its complementary offering to its parent’s other boutiques.“We cover some other products NYLIM does not have, so the idea is to complement the offering and see how we can develop synergies on both sides,” Abou-Jaoude said.Yie-Hsin Hung, co-president of NYLIM and chair of Candriam, told IPE the boutique owner would also continue its expansion after its foray in the European market with the Dexia acquisition.“We continue to want to grow our business,” she said.“Our aspiration would be to grow in areas we don’t have a presence today, but our immediate focus is that Candriam is successful and can leverage all the resources available from NYLIM.” Candriam, the new trading name for Dexia Asset Management, will look to expand its offering in three new territories following its rebrand and completed takeover by New York Life Investment Management (NYLIM).The manager, which was plagued by uncertainty for more than two years as it was subject to takeover talks, saw business deteriorate as clients awaited confirmation of the firm’s future.However, in December 2013, US-based NYLIM, the asset management arm of insurer New York Life, completed its rumoured takeover of the European manager, adding it to its multi-boutique operation.The following February, it was announced the firm would shed its Dexia brand, moving forward from the turmoil under the name Candriam.last_img read more

Model Madeline Stuart on why she loves her home in Indooroopilly

first_img 1. Where do you live and why? 2. What do you love about your home? MORE Beekeeper Hayley Mason on why she loves Toowoomba 3. What would you change about your home? More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus9 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market9 hours agoNothing. I love my home just the way it is. I live in Indooroopilly. It is where I was born and raised but I spend about six months of the year travelling internationally for work in the fashion industry. My home is everything to me. It is where I can re-centre and spend time with my friends. It is always wonderful to come back from overseas to familiar surroundings, instead of living out of a suitcase. I also love that I live on a large block of land. I have privacy and do not have to worry about noise restraints. Model Madeline Stuart is an advocate for adversity. Photo Lachie MillardBrisbane model Madeline Stuart is an advocate for inclusion. Born with Down syndrome, she provides inspiration to many as a woman dealing with a disability. A recent documentary film captured her bravery and strength in her relentless pursuit of her modelling career. However, center_img I live on acreage with no public transport, so I feel it is very safe. There is no crime and it is very quiet. 4. What is the best thing about your suburb? 5. If money was no option, what would be your fantasy home and where? Villa in Capri? Chalet in the Swiss Alps? when Madeline is not overseas in front of a camera, or on the catwalk, she’s at her home in Indooroopilly. Here she tells what she loves about her suburb. I am living in my dream home. I would love a holiday home in New York, because I love working there and have lots of friends there.last_img read more

Real Valladolid sign Ben Arfa

first_imgRelatedPosts Rennes want Fikayo Tomori, £25m for Mendy Neymar, Di Maria, Paredes test positive for COVID-19 Neymar reflects on Champions League defeat Real Valladolid have signed former PSG midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa. Ben Arfa terminated his agreement with Rennes and signed for Valladolid on Tuesday to the end of this season. A France international, the midfielder has played 388 official matches and scored 73 goals for Lyon, Olympique Marseille, Newcastle, Hull City, Nice, Paris Saint-Germain and Rennes. Valladolid have also signed Almeria striker Sekou Gassama. Gassama has penned terms to 2024 and will immediately join Fuenlabrada on-loan to the end of the season. He played for Real Valladolid Promesas for the 2014/15 season.Tags: Hatem Ben ArfaPSGReal ValladolidRennesSekou Gassamalast_img read more