WEST HAVEN, CT — The following Wilmington student received a degree from the University of New Haven at commencement ceremonies in May:Kristen Luise, College of Arts and Science — Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology with a concentration in Marine BiologyAbout The University of New HavenThe University of New Haven is a private, top-tier comprehensive institution recognized as a national leader in experimental education. Founded in 1920, the University enrolls approximately 1,800 graduate students and more than 4,600 undergraduates.(NOTE: The above announcement is from the University of New Haven.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedSTUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Wilmington’s Kristen Luise Named To Dean’s List At University Of New HavenIn “Education”STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: 6 Wilmington Students Graduate From Bridgewater State UniversityIn “Education”STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: 6 Wilmington Students Graduated From University Of Rhode IslandIn “Education”
Share Mark Wilson/Getty ImagesPresident Trump has a large number of judicial vacancies to fill, since Senate Republicans held up President Barack Obama’s nominees.President Trump is moving quickly to put his personal stamp on the federal courts.On Monday the president nominated 10 people for federal judgeships. Thanks to an unusually large number of vacancies on the bench, there could be many more to come.“This is just a down payment,” said John Malcolm of the Heritage Foundation. He noted there are more than 100 open seats on the federal district courts and appeals courts.“Starting with a Supreme Court vacancy, which has now been filed, President Trump certainly has a very good opportunity early on to have an impact on the federal bench,” Malcolm said.Indeed, Trump came into office with a chance to fill more than twice as many court vacancies as President Barack Obama had. That’s partly because for the last two years, the Republican-controlled Senate dragged its feet in confirming judges. The Senate confirmed only 20 of Obama’s judicial nominees during 2015 and 2016, less than a third the number that were confirmed in the last two years of the Reagan, Clinton and George W. Bush administrations.“Just as they held the Merrick Garland seat open on the Supreme Court, they also held open an awful lot of vacancies on the district courts and the courts of appeals,” said Russell Wheeler, who tracks judicial nominations at the Brookings Institution.At last month’s swearing-in ceremony for Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, Trump acknowledged that Senate stonewalling had given him a rare opportunity.“I especially want to express our gratitude to [Senate Republican Leader] Mitch McConnell for all that he did to make this achievement possible,” Trump said. “So thank you, Mitch.”The Heritage Foundation’s Malcolm cautions it wasn’t a risk-free strategy. Had Hillary Clinton won the election, she might now be packing the courts with a slate of more liberal judges.“So it took some guts and some daring on behalf of Sen. McConnell, and it paid off,” Malcolm said.Trump campaigned on the promise that he would appoint conservative judges to the bench — a key selling point for many Republican voters. He even released a list of potential candidates for the Supreme Court, which Malcolm and the Heritage Foundation had a hand in crafting.Two of the nominees announced Monday — Joan Larsen of the Michigan Supreme Court and David Stras of the Minnesota Supreme Court — are drawn from that list. Larsen was nominated to a seat on the federal appeals court in Cincinnati while Stras was tapped for the appellate court in St. Louis.All of the nominees appear to be cut from similar judicial cloth.“They are all highly regarded in conservative legal circles and by practitioners in the states where they reside,” Malcolm said.All presidents leave a mark on the courts, especially if they serve for two terms. But with so many early vacancies, Trump has a chance to accelerate his impact, quickly chipping away at the narrow Democratic advantage that Obama left on the federal bench.Wheeler says 51 percent of the current judges were appointed by Democrats, up from 36 percent on the appellate courts and 40 percent on the district courts when Obama took office.Partisan pedigree is not always predictive of how judges will rule. The Seattle judge who blocked Trump’s original travel ban, for example, is a George W. Bush appointee. But Trump has made no secret of the kind of judicial philosophy he’s looking for.“We can assume the Trump administration is going to continue to nominate judges, especially for courts of appeals, who have fairly strong conservative credentials,” Wheeler said. “A big variable is whether or not Democratic senators can put a brake on it.”Senate Democrats gave up the right to filibuster nominees for the lower courts. But there is still a tradition that nominees should not be confirmed over the objection of their home-state senator. Democratic senators from Michigan and Minnesota have promised to give close scrutiny to the nominations of Larsen and Stras, assuming that genteel tradition survives in today’s more rough-and-tumble Senate.Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
The early part of the calendar year for government entities is both a trying and exciting time. Why? Because budget season is on the horizon. From the largest department to the smallest, contracting programs, everything is up for financial examination and review. What is not needed is cut, and what is seemingly imperative for growth, expanded.DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson announced the new school budget on March 17.In the case of the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) FY 2016 budget, its central office was cut, while its comprehensive high school programs, and school-based staff size, expanded. The news was announced March 17 by DCPS Chancellor, Kaya Henderson.Comprehensive high school programs throughout the district will receive $13 million in new funding to increase the number of advanced placement courses and elective courses, such as African-American literature, and school-based positions will increase by 200. The new funding does not include additional money for specific special education or alternative high school programs.“Our budget process this year started with strong input from our community and included honest conversations and hard decisions. This has allowed us to set a higher bar and higher expectations for our students and our schools,” said Chancellor Henderson in a press release. “Together, this budget will allow us to continue to transform DCPS into the best urban school district in the country, and the school district we all want for our children.”The budget represents a 3.4 percent increase in funding from FY 2015, which comes out to $25 million more dollars and a total local budget of $726 million for D.C.’s students. New schools will also be opened through the Chancellor’s new budget.The schools include:• Brookland Middle School (Ward 5);• Van Ness Elementary School (Ward 6);• River Terrace Elementary School (Ward 7); and• Community Academy Public Charter School Amos I CampusThe Community Academy will now operate under DCPS, Ward 4. DCPS continues to experience enrollment increases, including 1,500 new students expected next year. These new schools will help furnish DCPS’ growing population.Related to new schools, is the extension of an extended school-year program at the Raymond Education Campus (Ward 4) made possible through a $1 million pilot investment. The money will give students extra instruction time, and the program will affect planning decisions for other D.C. schools in the future.The most alarming part about the newly announced DCPS budget is the large reduction of the central office. At the time of the budget announcement, Chancellor Henderson said the school system still is not sure how the 25 percent decrease would translate into positions and staff. She was clear however, telling the AFRO on March 12, “Schools will feel it. There will be some limits to what the Central Office can provide.”The increase in funding aligns with D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s dedication to improving D.C. schools, and more specifically, transforming middle school grades by 2020. While many D.C. public agencies experienced budget decreases, DCPS did not.While still early, DCPS’ budget shows promise for the upcoming school year. Individual school budgets still need to be determined. The budgets should be submitted within the next few weeks.
The Rev. Barry Black, chaplain of the U.S. Senate, told a group of District of Columbia faith and community leaders that humility is important to serve people and God. Black was the keynote speaker for the Ward 8 Faith Leaders Network Breakfast on Dec. 9 at the Matthews Memorial Baptist Church.The Rev. Barry Black, chaplain of the U.S. Senate, recently told a group of D.C. faith leaders to be humble. (Courtesy photo)“We must choose: be humble or stumble. We have to be honest about ourselves, Black-on-Black crime,” said Black, who added that while he grew up on welfare and surrounded by gangs in Baltimore, there was a woman who took him into her home and served him hot meals. Black said, during his 45-minute address, whatever people do, they should do it with humility.The event was sponsored by the Anacostia Coordinating Council, an organization focusing on the revitalization of Anacostia and its adjacent neighborhoods; the East of the River Clergy Police Community Partnership, an organization focusing on community wellness and public safety; and the Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative, which works on building the Ward 8 community. Black was introduced by the Rev. Donald Isaac, chairman of the Ward 8 Faith Leaders Network. The theme of the program was the title of one of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s books, “Where Do We Go From Here – Chaos or Community.” But, Black focused on being spiritually low before God and others.Black, a native of Baltimore, became the 62nd chaplain of the U.S. Senate on June 27, 2003. Before becoming a chaplain on Capitol Hill, he served in the U.S. Navy for more than 27 years, rising to become an admiral, and was known as the chief of the Navy Chaplains.With his appointment, Black became the first Black, Seventh Day Adventist chaplain. He was also the first military chaplain to get the post. His duty is to minister to the 6,000 people who work in the Senate as lawmakers, staffers, or their spouses.Even though Republicans control Congress and have been pushing a conservative agenda, Black said he remains “optimistic,” about the future on Capitol Hill because he convenes a weekly bi-partisan group of lawmakers who have Bible study together and pray.“How you travel is just as important as your destination,” Black said. “Be humble or stumble. Pride goes before destruction . . . nonviolent, direct action is a humble approach, it’s not a suicide approach.” Philip Pannell, interim chairman of the board and the executive director of the Anacostia Coordinating Council, told the AFRO: “We asked him to focus on the theme of Dr. King’s last book and he did that… Barry talked briefly about how good it is Black churches in Southeast are trying to stay in the city instead of going out to the suburbs and how important it was that the faith leaders reach out to young people, saying that if they did, fewer of them would get in trouble with the criminal justice system.”
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Share1CONTACT: Franz BrotzenPHONE: 713-348-6775E-MAIL: email@example.comRice University software helps ID terrorists carrying out attacksRice University researchers have created a sophisticated new computer program that rapidly scans large databases of news reports to determine which terrorists groups might be responsible for new attacks. During the Thanksgiving Day attack in Mumbai, India, for example, researchers used the program to rapidly identify the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Tayyiba as the most likely culprit. Rice researchers say the U.S. intelligence community and foreign intelligence agencies no doubt make good use of sophisticated computing tools in sifting through the massive amount of information available on terrorists, but a problem remains in the human capacity to absorb all of that information. ”There’s an enormous amount of value in using computing to profile conflicts,” said Christopher Bronk, fellow in technology, society and public policy at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and development team member. ”While experts on conflict are essential, they need new tools for coping with information overload. That’s what we’re trying to provide.” Bronk said even the best-funded intelligence operation cannot watch everything all the time. The Rice project demonstrates that information technology may help determine where to look. From that, human effort can be directed to make more complete assessment and analysis. Bronk said he hopes to perfect a system that can assist the government in identifying future ”hot spots” of activity before violence occurs. The new software, which was designed using the latest techniques from artificial intelligence, takes advantage of the open-source database at the Institute for the Study of Violent Groups (ISVG) at Sam Houston State University. The program culls thousands of news stories reported throughout the world. Mumbai attackOn Thanksgiving Day, as the attacks unfolded in Mumbai, India, Sean Graham, an undergraduate program assistant at Rice, ran a series of queries based on the information reported by television networks. By entering the weapons used (machine guns, grenades and explosives), the target (public structures) and tactics (raid, direct fire and ambush), and without respect to any geographic or ideological bent, he essentially asked, “Who in the world has done this sort of thing before?” The answers were the expected ones, with al-Qaida at the top of a list that also included the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the Palestinian militant group Hamas, a Chechen independence group and the India-based United Liberation Front of Assam. This query provided a simple answer to the question of who might be able to pull off such an attack, regardless of geographic location. Researchers then focused on groups known to be active in South Asia. Keeping the query open to territory beyond India, including Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, they generated a list of names that included Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, the Bangladeshi Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen and Al-Mansoorian, a group active in Kashmir. By running extremely simple queries against the large, detailed ISVG database, which had no new content added in the immediate period before the Mumbai attacks, the research group came up with the same groups mentioned as likely suspects in Indian, U.S. and other international media. When they ran the queries against a second database constructed by researchers at the University of Maryland, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba was returned as the most likely culprit. ”We designed the software to better assign attribution in terror attacks, and it appears to have worked,” said Bronk. ”It allowed us to match signatures and say, with some confidence, what groups had the requisite experience, resources and coordinating factors to pull off the Mumbai attacks.” To read the complete paper, visit http://www.bakerinstitute.org/opinions/open-source-policy-informatics-and-python-understanding-the-mumbai-attacks-through-information-technologyThe Rice University group includes Bronk, political scientist Richard Stoll, computer scientist Devika Subramanian and students Derek Ruths and Sean Graham. To speak with Bronk, contact Franz Brotzen at 713-348-6775 or firstname.lastname@example.org. AddThis