The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news. Rex Tillerson had seen and learned much in his 41-year career at ExxonMobil Corp., and some of it proved useful in his 13 months as U.S. secretary of state. But in the end, most of the thorniest challenges the former chairman of the multinational oil giant faced had more to do with his relationship with his boss, President Donald Trump, than with the complexities of geopolitics.That was the overarching message from Tillerson who visited Harvard Tuesday for a private talk about his time as the nation’s top diplomat, a probing 90-minute discussion in which he spoke fluently on issues in global hotspots from North Korea, Syria, and Iran to the negotiating styles of world leaders, including Trump.In panel interview with Professors Nicholas Burns, who runs the Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), Robert Mnookin, faculty chair emeritus of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School (HLS), and James Sebenius, who heads the Harvard Negotiation Roundtable at Harvard Business School (HBS), Tillerson’s daylong visit was organized by the American Secretaries of State Project, a joint initiative run by Burns, Mnookin, and Sebenius, who each lead programs on diplomacy and negotiation at all three Schools.Tillerson, who had extensive experience negotiating directly with heads of state as an oil executive, offered a number of informed assessments of the motivations and tactics used by Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom he first met in 1999, China’s president Xi Jinping and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose 10-year reign appears in doubt after Tuesday’s election. He called Netanyahu “an extraordinarily skilled” politician and diplomat, albeit “a bit Machiavellian,” who forges good and “useful” relationships with leaders and nations he anticipates he’ll need at a future time.Tillerson said despite Israel’s closeness with the U.S., “In dealing with Bibi, it’s always useful to carry a healthy amount of skepticism in your discussions with him,” recounting that Israel would share “misinformation” to persuade the U.S. of something if necessary.“They did that with the president on a couple of occasions, to persuade him that ‘We’re the good guys, they’re the bad guys.’ We later exposed it to the president so he understood, ‘You’ve been played,’” said Tillerson. “It bothers me that an ally that’s that close and important to us would do that to us.”When he entered office, Tillerson, who had deep familiarity with leaders and issues in the Middle East, including conditions surrounding the Israel/Palestine peace negotiations, said he thought there was a chance — finally — for peace.“I did believe that we were at a moment in time where perhaps we could chart a way where the Arab world could support an outcome that the Palestinians might not think was perfect — and in the past, if it wasn’t perfect, it didn’t happen — but with enough encouragement, pressure from the Arab world, that we could get it close enough that the Palestinians would finally agree,” he said. “And in my view, it was a two-state solution.”“Every successful negotiation is defined as both parties leaving with an acceptable outcome,” said Tillerson. “If you ever think about a negotiation as a win/lose, you’re going to have a terrible experience, you’re going to be very dissatisfied, and not very many people are going to want to deal with you.” Photo by Tom FitzsimmonsBut his plans were hampered by a frosty relationship with President Trump, who solicited foreign policy advice from an array of outside sources and delegated several key portions of the portfolio, like drafting an Israeli/Palestinian peace accord, to his son-in-law, Jared Kushner.So, in the end, Tillerson took a back seat on most issues involving the Middle East and served as an informal counselor, offering his input “to help them identify obstacles or gaps to the [peace] plan to give it the highest chance of success,” he said.Even though he is no longer in office Tillerson still keeps an eye on developments in the region. Asked what he would have recommended the U.S. do in response to the bombings on Saudi oil facilities, Tillerson said it was vital to wait until forensics can provide the best available information about who is responsible before taking any action, something he acknowledged “may be very hard to do.”“I have no doubt we’re going to find Iran’s fingerprints on this attack, but we may not find their hands on it,” he said, complicating a coalition response.Tillerson said the U.S. should take its case to the U.N. Security Council and build a global coalition for additional sanctions, rather than trying to implement unilateral sanctions, a move he said Iran can manage.On Wednesday morning, Trump said he will “substantially increase” sanctions on Iran, though the administration did not formally declare Iran responsible.While he was often thwarted on foreign policy, Tillerson admitted his own missteps in undertaking a sweeping overhaul of the State Department and instituting a one-year hiring freeze, while the Trump administration slashed the budget from $55 billion to $35 billion in 2017. Sixty percent of top career diplomats resigned and applications for foreign service jobs fell by half during his term, according to American Foreign Service Association.Early on, it was “pretty evident” to him that much of the department was outmoded, from management practices and some of the systems to IT, and there was no clear delegation of authority, as he was used to in the private sector, so he had a hard time understanding “how decisions are made, who’s got authority to make what decisions and who’s accountable,” he said.Tillerson defended the freeze as a way to get managers to reassess their staffing needs and to avoid having new hires be fired in short order if the budget went further south. He also hoped the move would buy him time to lobby the Office of Management and Budget and “see if I couldn’t change their mindset on it where they were just slashing and burning it.”Fifteen of the overhaul recommendations were funded by Congress and implemented, though there’s more room for modernizing State Department management practices and embassies.Though necessary, Tillerson concedes the pace of his revamp may have been “a little too aggressive” for many “and the level of change was so dramatic for a lot of people in what was already a very significant change from the Obama administration to the Trump administration, which was also dramatic and traumatic,” he said. “I didn’t have a full appreciation probably for just how emotional it would become for some people.”Asked about his approach to negotiations, whether in the private sector or as the nation’s top diplomat, Tillerson said he spends 80 percent of his time in preparation. A key to successful talks? Knowing precisely what your objectives as well as those of your counterparts. “It all goes back to people’s hopes and aspirations,” he said.“So I did a lot of preparation to understand socially and historically, ‘what journey have these people been on that brought them to this point and what are their hopes and their aspirations out of this possibility that they could have this great economic opportunity, or in the case of a diplomatic discussion, what are their hopes and their aspirations that one day they can have a peaceful border or stop the bombing,’ ” said Tillerson. “I’ve seen more negotiations fall apart over an inability to understand those social aspects and those aspirations than fell apart over the deal.”In stark contrast to Trump’s style, Tillerson emphasized transparency, predictability and trustworthiness as critical to his negotiating method, whether it’s with allies or with enemies.“Every successful negotiation is defined as both parties leaving with an acceptable outcome,” he said. “If you ever think about a negotiation as a win/lose, you’re going to have a terrible experience, you’re going to be very dissatisfied, and not very many people are going to want to deal with you.”Tillerson admitted his own frustration with the nation’s riven state. Asked by Burns what gives him hope these days, he said that it was America’s continued evolution as a society, despite the painful, even “tortuous” times.“I always believe deep in those words from Lincoln, that in our deepest, darkest moments, we were able to call upon ‘the better angels of our nature’ to overcome that which we thought was so divisive we could never find affection for one another again,” he said.“I watch with great anguish the mood of the country and the kind of rhetoric that goes on in public …. [and] it pains me. It breaks my heart,” said Tillerson. But I go back to Lincoln, “and my great hope is that that is still defining of the American people.”
Students and University leaders gathered late Sunday evening in the Rotunda of the Main Building to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with a candlelight prayer service.The prayer service was the first event of Walk the Walk Week, a series of events celebrating the life and legacy of King and reflecting on inequality in America. This is the fifth consecutive year the University has held the service.“We turn to God to guide and strengthen us as we seek to answer the Gospel call, and in doing so become a Notre Dame community that is evermore welcoming, just and inclusive,” University President Fr. John Jenkins said at the service. “As Dr. Martin Luther King said, ‘The end is reconciliation; the end is redemption; the end is the creation of the beloved community. It is this type of spirit and this type of love that can transform opposers into friends. It is this type of understanding and goodwill that can transform the deep gloom of the old age into the exuberant gladness of the new age. It is this love that will bring about miracles in the hearts of women and men.’”Jenkins acknowledged this evening prayer was an important time for each individual to reflect on their own actions and shortcomings.“Night prayer in the Christian tradition has always been a time to acknowledge before God what we have done and what we have failed to do,” he said.After performances from the Voices of Faith Gospel Choir, service attendees listened to a recording of King’s speech, “Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam.” Following the recording, a speaker read an excerpt from II Corinthians.Eric Styles, rector for Carroll Hall, used King’s speech and the scripture reading to speak about Notre Dame’s obligation to improve the community.“Saint Paul founded the community in Corinth that was just heard. We know that they experienced real setbacks,” Styles said. “… So perhaps Saint Paul’s experience with the Corinthians might help us to listen with greater clarity to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King was surely for us, the great American apostle and the refounder of the American Dream. [His sermon] was about his opposition to the Vietnam War. He goes on to say, ‘I have not lost faith, I’m not in despair, because I know there is a moral order.’ In truth, we know that Dr. King struggled with despair and nihilism.”In his speech, Styles also mentioned the unique culture of Notre Dame and its tendency to serve as sanctuary from the outside world.“There is a spirituality of place here in Notre Dame, where the tranquility of the campus and the key of the spiritual life and academic life is preserved and kept familiar as a respite from the hectic, difficult and sometimes disparaging outside world,” he said. “In other words, a glorious Notre Dame bubble.”Styles said the members of the Notre Dame community need to commit themselves to a mission of solidarity with those who are experiencing persecution or oppression.“We thank Fr. Moreau, whose feast day is tomorrow — or even minutes away — for telling us to ‘Hail the cross, our only hope,’” Styles said. “… To live in solidarity with those who are on the margins is to pick up one’s cross and follow Him. To pick up one’s cross is to commit to the sign of hope.”Tags: candlelight prayer service, Martin Luther King Jr., Walk the Walk Week
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Denver Post:A plan by Xcel Energy Colorado to boost the share of power it gets from wind and solar and retire a third of its coal generation was green-lighted Monday by state regulators.The Colorado Public Utilities Commission voted 2-1 in support of what Xcel calls the Colorado Energy Plan, which the company says will cut carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 60 percent, increase renewable energy sources to 55 percent of its mix by 2026 and save customers about $213 million.As part of the plan, Xcel, Colorado’s largest electric utility, will phase out its Comanche 1 and 2 coal-fired plants in Pueblo about a decade earlier than the original target date of 2035. Xcel says the plan will invest $2.5 billion in eight counties and save customers about $213 million, thanks to the declining costs of renewable energy.The commission is expected to issue a written decision approving the plan in the first week of September.Xcel’s plan, filed in June, will significantly boost power from renewable energy sources and phase out 660 megawatts of coal power by retiring the two coal-fired units in Pueblo. The utility will add about 1,100 megawatts of wind, 700 megawatts of solar, 275 megawatts of battery storage and 380 megawatts from existing natural gas sources.More: Colorado regulators green-light Xcel’s plan boosting renewables, cutting coal Colorado regulators okay Xcel coal plant closure plan
Nevada’s NV Energy says transmission, solar-plus-storage to play key role in new resource plan FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Berkshire Hathaway Energy subsidiary NV Energy Inc. on July 20 released a plan to build more than 500 miles of transmission lines and three solar-plus-storage projects as a part of its upcoming integrated resource plan.As part of its “Greenlink Nevada” program, the company plans to build two transmission line segments, one a 235-mile, 525-kV line that cuts across the middle of the state from Ely to Yerington, and the second a 351-mile, 525-kV line from Las Vegas to Yerington. The project also includes three 345-kV lines from Yerington to Reno.Construction is slated to begin in 2020 and will be complete by 2031, the company said in an announcement. NV Energy said the project will generate up to $781 million in economic activity and support more than 4,000 jobs.The state of Nevada is betting on solar-plus-storage projects to reach its renewable portfolio standard, which requires 50% of electricity sales to come from renewable energy sources by 2030.“Greenlink Nevada is essential to unlocking Nevada’s clean energy potential and meeting Nevada’s renewable and de-carbonization goals by providing access to new in-state solar and geothermal resources and creating opportunities to maximize renewable resource opportunities across the west,” Doug Cannon, NV Energy president and CEO, said in the announcement.The company also announced three new solar-plus-storage projects. One is the 150-MW Dry Lake Solar Energy Center, paired with a 100-MW, four-hour battery storage system and located 20 miles northeast of Las Vegas in Clark County. Another is the Boulder Solar III Project, a 128-MW array paired with a 58-MW, four-hour battery storage system, also in Clark County. And the 200-MW Chuckwalla Solar Project in Clark County would include a 180-MW, four-hour battery storage system.[Justin Horwath]More ($): NV Energy announces transmission, solar-plus-storage projects
It’s that time of the year, folks. The Live Outside and Play team has landed in Colorful Colorado for the Elevation Outdoors portion of our tour. We spent our Memorial Day weekend on the banks of the beautiful Arkansas River in Buena Vista, Colorado. For many years now, CKS Paddlefest has taken over the town of Buena Vista during the official kick-off to the summer weekend. This was our second year and we were stoked to be back. Having just made the drive across the country we were still feeling a bit restless as we hopped in the van to make the two and a half hour drive to Buena Vista form Denver. We made sure to allow ourselves enough time for a quick hike near Twin Lakes, just south of Leadville. We also soaked up some Colorado sun while spending some time on the beach to take in the spectacular view of some of the Collegiate Peaks.We tell people all of the time that Buena Vista is one of our favorite towns. The picturesque camping, the easy access to natural forest and wilderness areas, tasty food, and good people all make this is worthy stop on your summer adventures. I could go on, but that will be the subject of another blog.Paddlefest is hosted in River Park. A pretty section of land right on the Arkansas River on the south end of town. Professional and amateur paddlers alike come from all over to get a piece of The Arkansas in any way that they can. A crowd favorite is the BV Kayak Rodeo. Kayakers surf the rapid below River Park and bust out all sorts of tricks. Have you ever seen someone front flip in a kayak on purpose?We took turns working the booth and taking Henry on mini adventures all weekend long. Everyone camps together in an area right next to the park and just outside of town. The best part about Buena Vista is that you can leave right from town with your boat, mountain bike, or hiking shoes and you’ll never have to drive.There’s something refreshing about working a festival the second time. You spend less time trying to figure out how the festival works and more time with the friends that you made last year. You know how to maximize your adventure time before the day starts.We hung around town on Monday following the festivals and organized a group trash cleanup on the banks of the river where the festival took place. We didn’t find much trash which was excellent but it was a perfect morning, and we always want to leave an area better than we found it. Huge shoutout to CKS and Eddyline Brewery for hooking up everyone who joined with some awesome prizes. On Monday afternoon we packed up and got ready to head back to Denver for a few days. In true LOAP fashion, we stopped for a hike on the way home. We hiked to a small lake nestled beneath Mt. Yale. Everyone had apparently gone home early because we had the trail to ourselves and it was wonderful.There is one way for this tour to be a reality, our sponsors! Sending a thank you shout out to our title sponsor Nite Ize, and all of our other awesome sponsors like Crazy Creek, National Geographic, Sea to Summit, Mountain House, Lowe Alpine, Old Town, Leki, HydraPak, UCO Gear and Wenzel. If you like the gear that keeps us groovin’ click here to enter for a chance to win our Grand Gear Giveaway!
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Islip Town Councilwoman Trish Bergin-Weichbrodt apologized Saturday for a social media post she made about several foreign nations that prompted critics to plan a protest outside Islip Town Hall next week.In a since-deleted Facebook post, the Republican former News12 Long Island anchor made a thinly veiled reference to President Donald Trump’s widely reported terming of Haiti and African nations as “shithole countries”“I’m looking a warm getaways for kids February break,” she wrote Friday. “I’m wondering about El Salvador, Haiti or Somalia #recommendations ?”The post, a screen grab of which was saved and has been shared on social media, generated an immediate backlash. On Saturday, it was gone and replaced with an apology.“I have leaned that my Facebook post offended some of you,” she wrote. “Please accept my sincere apology.”The same day, critics started organizing “rally to protest Councilwoman Bergin’s hateful & divisive statement” scheduled for 4 p.m. Tuesday outside town hall.Her supporters said in response that she shouldn’t have apologized.Wow, councilwoman Trish Bergin Weichbrodt is off to a great start… pic.twitter.com/DPID7Jq7AO— Failing at Normal (@failingatnormal) January 20, 2018
9SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr NAFCU and two other financial trades, in a letter Tuesday, jointly urged the Federal Reserve to serve an “operational role” in the process of improving real-time payments.NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger was joined by Independent Community Bankers of America President and CEO Camden Fine and CUNA President and CEO Jim Nussle in calling on the Fed to “to go one step further” beyond its leadership role in having created the Faster and Secure Payments Task Forces.“Beyond settlement capabilities, our organizations see three possible operational roles for the Federal Reserve,” the trades wrote. “First, the Federal Reserve could serve as an on-ramp to real-time payments, leveraging its connectivity among financial institutions to provide all financial institutions access to real-time payments.“Second, the Federal Reserve could serve as an operator for real-time payments,” the signers continued. “This is a role that the Federal Reserve currently serves for checks, ACH payments, and wire transfers. Lastly, the Federal Reserve could operate a payments directory which could link to financial institutions, as well as to other private-sector payments directories.” continue reading »
52SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Lou Grilli Lou Grilli is a Senior Innovation Strategist. Lou is tasked with building and shaping a superior payment and member experience capability for PSCU and its Owner credit unions. Lou’s … Web: https://www.pscu.com Details Merchants are always looking to reduce the cost of payment acceptance without inconveniencing shoppers. A few have found a solution in decoupled debit cards, which offer a significantly cheaper alternative for the merchant since payment bypasses the traditional payment rails, and instead uses ACH (the automated clearing house) for payment from any of the shopper’s bank accounts. Whereas a merchant would typically pay its processor a 3% fee for the cost of processing a bank’s card, the fee to a third-party provider to handle the ACH is 0.8% and is capped at $5 and larger merchants can get even lower rates. A decoupled debit card is “issued” by a department store or gas station for use only at the particular merchant and is not connected to (that is, decoupled from) any specific credit union or bank. Target, by far the biggest example of decouple debit cards with their successful REDcard, also found two other major benefits, loyalty and increased spend. Target offers shoppers an instant 5% cash back, which keeps Target shoppers coming back again and again. More importantly, Target found that REDcard shoppers increased their shopping carts by 50%, according to Sarah Grotta, director of debit advisory at Mercator. Spend on REDcard contributes over $8.9 billion in volume annually, accounting for 12.1 percent of all Target sales.These merchant-specific decoupled cards, which are also known as closed-loop debit, or private label ACH cards (because they use ACH to draw from the consumer’s account), have found their way into other verticals as well, primarily gas stations. Cumberland Farms rewards users of its decoupled debit program with a 10-cent per gallon discount. The loyalty of its users has been proven over the span of 4 years during which $2 billion has been processed over Cumberland’s decoupled debit program, returning $75 Million in rewards back to its customers. Using the CITGO Debit Plus Card grants Citgo customers an instant, 1% discount on all purchases—both at the pump and in-store. The Speedy Rewards Pay Card from Speedway works like a typical rewards program, with points earned for purchases in-store or for fuel, and rewards can be redeemed for merchandise or in-store discounts – this at a time when many debit card issuers are dropping rewards on debit. There’s another cost savings benefit to merchants for getting more consumers to use their closed-loop debit cards – chargebacks. Since these cards settle via ACH instead of needing an authorization like credit or debit cards, the transactions are not reversible. While there are no chargebacks, most merchants do offer a dispute process. Decoupled debit represents a threat to credit union and bank debit issuers, replacing interchange income from what would be a debit or PIN transaction with an ACH transaction that costs the credit union or bank to process. If decoupled debit were to gain a foothold in grocery stores and other high-volume categories, it could have a serious impact on debit income for debit card issuers. For now, decoupled debit is not exhibiting rapid growth and has found success only in a few niche categories, but remains an area to watch.
Yesterday, at the Frigo Bonsai purchase station in Opuzen, a presentation of the Croatian autochthonous brand was held, with certified Neretva mandarins, which Tommy doo was the first to introduce in the offer.The beginning of the story begins when on July 1, 2017, the European Commission protected the Neretva mandarin at the European level, thus recognizing its uniqueness in relation to mandarins produced in other countries. Until 2015, until recently, no Croatian mandarin producer was certified and therefore there was a possibility that this status would be lost. On November 13, 2017, two mandarin producers (Nino Šešelj and Nikola Ujdur) managed to obtain a certificate with the help of Frigo Bonsai, the Regional Development Agency DUNEA and BIOTEHNICON. Consequently, an agreement was reached with the company Tommy doo on the introduction of a certified “Neretva mandarin” in the offer of the store.President of the Neretva Association of Fruit Growers “Mandarina Opuzen”, Mr. Alenko Šešelj said that the company Frigo Bonsai had made a good and useful step and that it would certainly encourage other purchasing centers to get involved in the same story. “We were very persistent and “pushed” this process to the end. Now it is up to all of us, who are engaged in this business, production and sale of mandarins, to get a little more concrete in this story and try to nurture our product, because this is our future.”The representative of Biotehnicon, Ms. Ana Marušić Lisac, explained the sequence and importance of the whole procedure: “The label “Neretva Mandarin” was registered in 2015. Mandarin found itself in this small circle of truly special products in the European Union but also around the world, because these labels are recognized elsewhere. During the development of the specification, comparisons were made with similar products and the specificity of the Neretva mandarin was shown and proven. It is up to us, as the control body, to really follow everything that is stated in the specification from the technical point of view in the whole sequence and that in the end, by issuing the certificate we actually confirm and guarantee that such a product fully complies with all requirements of the specification.. “”Neretva Mandarin” is the first certified original product in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County. The protection of geographical indications of mandarin as an indigenous Croatian product is significant because it will make the Neretva Mandarin a recognizable export brand. The end customer gets a guarantee of buying a quality product from controlled breeding, and the manufacturer gets the security of product placement and the ability to achieve a better price. With this certificate, the Neretva mandarin joins the impressive list of Croatian products that are entered in the register of protected designations of origin and protected geographical indications. Some of them are: Slavonian kulen, Ogulin sauerkraut, Lika potatoes and Istrian extra virgin olive oil, Poljički soparnik…”Tommy is extremely honored to be the first to support this project of placing certified Neretva mandarins on the Croatian market. We are pleased to have achieved this through exclusive distribution, so all our customers, through the sales network, will be able to reach this commendable product. This project fits perfectly into the story of Tommy through the project “Our home” where we try to arrange with as many suppliers as possible the placement of indigenous, original, certified products and thus provide our customers with the highest quality food. We are witnessing trends in the world that quality food is trying to produce a maximum of 250 km from the placement. That’s how it used to be with us and we believe that this project will be like that again. We are honored and sure that this is just an overture to future projects on this topic.”Said Aljoša Bašić, Marketing Director of Tommy doo, and added that for Tommy doo this cooperation is extremely important because in this way the company gains the opportunity to offer proven quality products, and encourages the local eco product which is one of the components of the company’s strategy. .Producer Nikola Ujdur pointed out that the protection of the geographical indication is important, because in addition to the Neretva mandarin becoming a recognizable export brand, the end customer receives a guarantee of buying a quality product from controlled cultivation, and the producer gets security of product placement and the possibility of achieving better prices.It is primarily a higher level of mandarin processing that she deserves and that we need to nurture. The certificate is a demanding category, it is a proof of quality that will be recognizable in our stores”, Said Ujdur.
The St. Louis Cardinals 7th grade boys basketball team defeated the South Ripley Raiders tonight in the second round of the SEI tournament by a score of 42-31.The Cardinals will now face the Sunman Dearborn Trojans on Saturday morning at 9:00am at the Sunman Dearborn Middle School in the SEI Championship Game.Courtesy of Cardinals Coach Ryan Schebler.The 8th Grade Bulldogs came up a little short in the 2nd round of the SEI tournament 51-40 against a solid Greendale team.Eli Pierson led Batesville with 16. Ean Loichinger, and Travis Lecher had 8 and 7 respectively. Cole Werner added 5 with Ian Powers and Zach wade finishing the scoring with 2.Thanks to all of the Bulldog fans for the continued support throughout the season.Courtesy of Bulldogs Coach Pride.