COVID-19 variant brings new dimension to Europe’s pandemic

first_imgLISBON, Portugal (AP) — In its fight against COVID-19, Portugal lifted restrictions on gatherings and movements for four days over Christmas so that people could spend the festive season with family and friends. Soon after the holiday, the pandemic quickly got out of hand. Portugal has for almost a week had the most daily new infections and deaths per 100,000 people in the world, according to statistics compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Portugal’s problems illustrate the risk of letting down pandemic guards when a new, fast-spreading variant is lurking. Health experts warn the pandemic’s spread across Europe is being powered by an especially contagious virus variant first detected last year in southeast England.last_img

Fire captain accused of stealing vaccine turns himself in

first_imgBARTOW, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say a Florida fire captain accused of stealing COVID-19 vaccines meant for first responders has turned himself in. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office says Polk County Fire Rescue Capt. Anthony Damiano was booked into jail Wednesday on a felony charge of falsifying an official record as a public servant and misdemeanor petit theft. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said at a press conference Tuesday that paramedic Joshua Colon was arrested Monday for covering up Damiano’s theft. Damiano was free on $1,250 bail. Jail records didn’t list whether he had an attorney who could comment.last_img

Supreme Court sides with Germany in Nazi-era art dispute

first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court’s ruling in a multimillion-dollar dispute over a collection of religious artworks will make it harder for some lawsuits to be tried in U.S. courts over claims that property was taken from Jews during the Nazi era. The justices sided with Germany in a dispute involving the heirs of Jewish art dealers and the 1935 sale of a collection of medieval Christian artwork called the Guelph Treasure. The collection is said to now be worth at least $250 million. The heirs argued that their relatives were forced to sell the collection for below market value. Germany and the state-run foundation that owns the collection disagreed. They argued the case didn’t belong in American courts.last_img

Performance sparks diversity dialogue

first_imgThis year’s performances of “Show Some Skin: It’s Complicated” aims to spark campus dialogue on normally taboo topics by dramatizing monologues submitted anonymously by members of the Notre Dame community. These provocative, deeply emotional and often humorous monologues focus on issues of sexuality, race and image, the show’s directors said. “Show Some Skin: It’s Complicated”  will be performed in the Carey Auditorium in the Hesburgh Library at 7:30 p.m. from Thursday through Saturday. While “Show Some Skin” is meant to entertain, sophomore Lucas Garcia, an assistant director for the show, said the performances try to impart deeper meeting.   “‘Show Some Skin’ is a way for students to tell each other their stories,” Garcia said. “Sometimes students don’t feel strong or courageous enough to share all of themselves face to face with other students.” Director Edithstein Cho, a junior, said this year’s performances show the intersection of individual identities with a special focus on feelings of exclusion. Last year’s show, “The Race Monologues,” centered primarily on racial or ethnic diversity. “Our production is about community-building,” Cho said. “The underlying framework is to have a place where we can talk about these issues of diversity.” Aside from issues of race, Garcia said gender, social status, sexuality, mental illness, multi-culturalism and many other categories will be addressed. “We are focusing on different facets of people’s identities that make them complicated,” Garcia said. “No one is simple. No one is just white, fat, black, gay. We’re complicated. It’s complicated … and that deserves recognition.” Senior actor Suzann Petrongolo said she sees the importance in recognizing these complexities. “We can fall into the trap of creating a generalized background. It’s good to bring to light that we all have our individual stories,” she said. “We can look at each other differently with these individual stories brought to light,” she said. Garcia said the actors themselves, charged with giving a voice to these stories, carefully work to construct their monologues with the author’s feelings in mind. “The actors must live with their pieces and work very hard to be faithful to the voice inherent in the text,” Garcia said.  Sophomore acting coach Nicole Sganga said the show transcends the ordinary limits of the stage, beyond a typical dramatic performance. “‘Show Some Skin’ is not just a performance, it is a real human experience,” she said. “By coming to the performance, students will see a side of the Fighting Irish they have never seen before and gain new perspectives.” Freshman actor Clarissa Schwab said the opportunity to perform in the show provides a chance to share personal experiences publicly. “Acting in ‘Show Some Skin’ created a safe place for me to discuss the issues brought up in the monologues, and even our own personal experiences, within a community that is founded upon love and understanding,” she said. Cho said ‘Show Some Skin’ aims to create a forum for sharing experiences for the entire campus community, opening a dialogue to discuss presumed differences that can actually unite a community. “Students come because they know this topic doesn’t have a real venue yet,” Cho said. “We want to create this space ourselves.”last_img read more

Notre Dame set to build Keough School of Global Affairs

first_imgIn August 2017, Notre Dame will open the Donald R. Keough School of Global Affairs — its first new college or school since the Mendoza College of Business was founded in 1921.A University press release issued Wednesday said the school was made possible by $50 million donated by Donald and Marilyn Keough and will be housed in Jenkins Hall, a building named for University President Fr. John Jenkins to be constructed beginning in spring 2015 on Notre Dame Ave. south of the Hesburgh Center for International Studies.According to the press release, “the school will conduct research on critical issues of international development, peace, human rights and governance; offer a master’s degree in global affairs and support a range of innovative dual-degree programs and undergraduate programs to enhance students’ preparation for leadership in an increasingly interconnected world.”Current professor of history R. Scott Appleby will serve as the school’s inaugural Marilyn Keough Dean, the press release stated.The Keough School will include many already-existing international units, including the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies, the Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies, the Center for Civil and Human Rights, the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and the Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development.Donald Keough is chairman of the board of investment banking firm Allen & Company Inc. after retiring as president and chief operating officer of The Coca-Cola Company in 1993.According to the press release, the Keoughs’ contributions have also led to the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies, two endowed chairs in Irish studies, a summer internship program for Notre Dame students in Ireland, Malloy Hall, three library collections, the restoration of O’Connell House in Dublin, the Keough-Hesburgh Professorships for scholars who demonstrate a commitment to Notre Dame’s Catholic mission and the Keough Hall men’s residence.“Through the Keough School, Notre Dame will prepare students for effective and ethically grounded professional leadership in government, the private sector and global civil society, engaging them in the worldwide effort to address the greatest challenges of our century: threats to security and human dignity that come in the form of crushing poverty and underdevelopment; failed governance and corruption; resource wars; civil wars; and other forms of political violence and human rights violations,” Jenkins said in the press release.Tags: Donald R. Keough, Global Affairs, Jenkins Hall, Keough School of Global Affairs, Marilyn Keough, R. Scott Applebylast_img read more

SMC students stand up to cancer

first_imgLast week, the Saint Mary’s Stand Up to Cancer club sold T-shirts as a fundraiser for the national organization “Stand Up to Cancer” as the first of many events the club will host throughout the year to reach their fundraising goal.Photo courtesy of Christina Hutch Senior and club president Christie Hutch said the club’s mission is to host events that will raise awareness and funds for cancer research.“This organization is unique because it gives 100 percent of donations to the best and brightest scientists in order to accelerate the pace of groundbreaking research that can save lives,” Hutch said. “This is an important issue now more than ever since government funding for cancer research is diminished, and yet cancer takes one person’s life every minute.”Hutch said the club brings students of Saint Mary’s and community members together, united behind a single and very important cause with hopes to find a cure.“[Our] events, fundraisers and projects each year … have been very successful so far,” she said. “All of the money we raise is sent directly to Stand Up to Cancer at the end of each year.”The club volunteers at Memorial Hospital in South Bend and holds an annual dinner-dance specifically for cancer patients and survivors in the community, she said.Hutch said last year the club dedicated a ribbon tree in the Student Center for students and guests to tie a colored ribbon in remembrance of or support for someone who has had cancer.The club’s T-shirt sales this past week were in preparation for one of their biggest fundraisers, the third annual SMC Stands Up to Cancer Pink Party Zumbathon, she said.“We are able to raise funds and awareness for all types of cancer through this awesome organization,” Hutch said. “Everyone knows someone who has been affected by cancer, and that is who we’ll be dancing for. We are excited to share this experience with the community again this year.“This event unites students with community members from South Bend, Mishawaka and Granger to dance for a cure.”Hutch said student dance groups, including the SMC Dance Team, Troop ND, P Fresh and the Irish Dance Team, as well as the student a capella group Bellacapella, will perform.The event will feature more than 20 local Zumba instructors who will take turns teaching, according to a press release.Nursing major and sophomore Megan Tobin said she is going to attend the event to support people she knows who have battled cancer and her fellow Belles who have been affected by the disease.“I have witnessed family members as well as close friends battle cancer, so I want to do anything I can to support them,” Tobin said.“Not only are we able to be there for those battling, but we get to have fun and get a great workout out of it,” Tobin said. “I think it also gives people incentive to go. Before the event they think it’s just going to be a fun dance class, but after, they realize they were a part of something much bigger than that.”Sophomore Katherine Kingsbury said it’s important for the Saint Mary’s community to be aware and involved in the South Bend community, especially because it’s sometimes the small things that make the biggest impact in someone’s life.“I’m excited that I can support my community in such a fun and engaging way,” Kingsbury said.The Zumbathon will take place November 1 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. in Angela Athletic Facility. The public is invited to take part and no prior Zumba experience is necessary. Those attending are encouraged to wear pink and dance.Tickets can be purchased ahead of time through participating Zumba instructors or at Tu Sei Bella Fitness Studio in Toscana Park in Granger, Indiana. All profits will benefit Stand Up to Cancer in support of cancer research.Tags: Cancer research, pink party zumbathon, saint mary’s stand up to cancer, SMC stands up to cancer, Stand Up to Cancer, stand up to cancer clublast_img read more

‘Shark Tank’ judge visits campus

first_imgAddressing a maximum-capacity crowd in Mendoza’s Jordan Auditorium last Friday, investor Kevin O’Leary of the hit ABC show “Shark Tank” shared his thoughts on great entrepreneurship and judged three business proposals pitched by Notre Dame student entrepreneurs.Before transforming the auditorium into a mock ‘shark tank,’ O’Leary first explained what the show reveals about entrepreneurship.“The American Dream is alive, and we watch it happen on Shark Tank,” O’Leary said. “Watching Shark Tank is watching the pursuit of freedom.”Rosie Biehl O’Leary shared clips from a previous episode of Shark Tank in which mother-and-daughter team Tracey Noonan and Danielle Vilagie pitched their cupcake-in-a-jar business called Wicked Good Cupcakes to demonstrate how the show acts as a platform to such freedom.Noonan and Vilagie were put to what O’Leary calls the true test — taking a commodity that is ubiquitous in America and building a national brand. O’Leary said the addition of a platform like Shark Tank to a business like Wicked Good Cupcakes substantially contributes to its success and made it possible to build a national brand on something with little proprietary value. Wicked Good Cupcakes is now the fastest growing cupcake company in America.“Shark Tank is a giant platform, is a giant infomercial worth about $12 million,” O’Leary said.Following its appearance on Shark Tank, O’Leary said Wicked Good Cupcakes saw sales increase to 15 times what it was before the show aired.“The Shark Tank factor is very much alive, and I think America has figured that out,” he said.Shark Tank and entrepreneurship are all about personal freedom, and that’s why O’Leary said he came to Notre Dame — to discuss how that personal freedom can be achieved by future entrepreneurs.O’Leary organized his thoughts into three different lists that exhibit key traits necessary to becoming a successful entrepreneur.The first list he shared with the audience stated the three commonalties of all deals ever funded on Shark Tank.First was the ability of the entrepreneurs to articulate the business’ vision in 90 seconds or less. Second was their ability to convince investors that they were the right team to execute the business plan, and third was a complete comprehensive understanding of their business models and numbers.The second list elucidated six attributes of what it takes to make a great entrepreneur.The first attribute is one’s preparation to make a “life/balance sacrifice,” O’Leary said.“There will be no balance during the period you are growing your business because you have to fall in love with your business,” he said. “It must consume you. It will eat your hours. If you don’t have the passion, your competitor will.”O’Leary said great entrepreneurs have a little knowledge about everything but a lot about what they are selling. Put shareholders first, have a passion for what they sell, use technology to improve efficiency and understand business is a global competition.An entrepreneur’s concept of a global market is one of the most important attributes to have, especially in the modern business world, O’Leary said.“For the first time there are more than a billion market cap companies outside the United States … so in every industry there is a giant competitor,” he said.Addressing the students in the audience, O’Leary said when “when you graduate, think global because your competitor is, and they want your share.”After being an investor for a long time, O’Leary said businesses that sustain and maintain profits understand the following rules: employees are the primary assets and are to be anchored by culture, the customer always come first, service trumps price, the boss does not necessarily make the most money, everybody is replaceable and business is war.O’Leary said knowing business is war is of utmost importance for any entrepreneur hoping to preserve a business, and he warned prospective entrepreneurs to not be distracted by a desire to solve all of society’s problems.“Your job is go out into the world and understand who you serve, but not solve all of society’s problems,” he said. “Your job is go into war everyday and win. Stay focused to the mission that business is war.”Next, O’Leary entertained three business pitches from three groups of student entrepreneurs, and he only had harsh remarks for the first business pitch called Aerofit, a chain of airport fitness centers.“The truth is some ideas are inherently flawed and this [one] is,” he said.The second team, seniors Joe Mueller and Federico Segura, pitched their business called Sessa, a social investing app, and O’Leary said he was interested and would be in touch.The final student entrepreneur was freshmen Michael McRoskey who pitched his business called Red Bag, which sells $5 homeless care packages.O’Leary said he was reluctant to invest in the company for fear it would become more of a charity than an actual business.Audience members then voted for their favorite business idea via Poll Everywhere. Sessa won the audience vote and walked away with a $100 cash prize and an expectation of a phone call from O’Leary.O’Leary concluded his lecture with the cheer “Go Irish!” and spent the following day tailgating with fellow Irish fans before attending the Notre Dame vs. Louisville football game.Tags: entrepreneurship, Kevin O’Leary, Red Bag, Sessa, Shark Tank, Wicked Good Cupcakeslast_img read more

Three employees injured after aerosol can ruptures

first_imgTags: aerosol can, injuries, South Dining Hall Three South Dining Hall employees sustained minor injuries Thursday around 11 a.m. after an aerosol can ruptured in the kitchen of the dining hall, University spokesman Dennis Brown said.Brown said the employees were transported to St. Joseph Regional Medical Center for evaluation after the incident, which occurred when the can was accidentally exposed to heat.Brown said the kitchen was not damaged.Director of Notre Dame Food Services Chris Abayasinghe said the dining hall’s response procedure is to coordinate with other campus departments, such as the Notre Dame Fire Department, Notre Dame Security Police and Risk Management, and to review the incident afterwards.last_img

Saint Mary’s to host National History Day competiton

first_imgEvery year across the country, students channel their passion for the past through National History Day (NHD), a competition where students present projects through various media.Saint Mary’s is one such site hosting a regional NHD contest on Saturday, where students and professors will judge history projects made by local students ranging from grade to high school.Chair of the history department Bill Svelmoe said the College annually hosts this event.“Saint Mary’s has been hosting this one for many years now,” he said.The local students will present their projects mainly in Spes Unica Hall, where the history department is located.“[The projects] range from posters to papers to theatrical presentations,” history professor David Stefancic said. “And this year I have the pleasure of judging websites.”The competition organizes new themes every year. According to the National History Day website, this year’s theme is “taking a stand in history.”“The topics that I’m looking at are activism: … abolitionists, [the] Declaration of Independence, [the] Civil Rights movement in the ’50s, a young soldier from the Civil War, censorship [and] Tiananmen Square in China,” Stefancic said. “They have to do with social change and revolution.”While many history majors participate, students with any major can volunteer to judge the projects, Svelmoe said.“It’s not just [history] majors and it’s not like you have to really know what’s going on in history,” he said. “Remember, these are often little kids and, as a judge, you can request the age group [to judge].”Junior history and English literature major Brooke Lamb said it is a good opportunity for all Saint Mary’s students. Lamb said judging focuses more on the interview process and understanding what the students have put into their projects.“I think that anyone on campus could judge and [the history department is] willing to have volunteers,” Lamb said.The judges work in groups to examine and compare presentations.“You don’t judge anything by yourself — there’s usually three of you, at least, that are working together,” Svelmoe said. “It’s not all on you to crush some child’s dreams.”Judges score the students on their visuals and presentation and give feedback on the projects.“At the end of the day, you get together and you rank the presentations,” Svelmoe said. “The top ones advance [but] you try to say something encouraging about all of them.”Stefanic said student judging is a good way to see what young students are doing at lower levels.“You have a chance to see what’s going on there, particularly if you’re considering going onto teaching in grade school or junior high,” Stefancic said. “Also, you have a chance to meet some really cool kids.”The day also introduces local students to the College and Stefancic said the competition is a hidden recruiting tool for the students participating.“There have been instances where the students who were taking part of this met us and then decided to come to Saint Mary’s,” he said.Tags: Bill Svelmoe, David Stefanic, National History Day, SMC history departmentlast_img read more

Senate passes nine election reform resolutions, votes on award winners

first_imgStudent senate passed nine election reform resolutions, voted on the winners of campus-wide awards and heard from residential life regarding the incoming waiver policy Wednesday.Judicial Council president and senior Matt Ross brought the election reforms to the senate, many of which dealt with issues experienced during the previous campaign cycle.All nine passed with no more than four oppositions and abstentions by the senate members, although five members voted to end the meeting prior to discussing the proposals.One resolution prohibited candidates from promising future positions to anyone, calling this “highly unethical behavior, the penalty for which may include a maximum penalty of forfeiture of candidacy,” as the Constitution reads.“As far as why we state a maximum penalty of forfeiture … is because including that language in there indicates that it is a very serious offense,” junior parliamentarian Colin Brankin said. “[Promising positions] is something that we hold to be very, very unethical.”The chief of staff is appointed by the student body president early on in the term, raising the question of how to monitor and when to condemn promising a position like chief of staff, sophomore Claire Saltzman, senator from Ryan Hall, said.“All of these positions have to be approved by Senate,” Ross said. “That’s what you guys do the first meeting of the year, you guys approve the entire Executive Cabinet.”Sophomore William Huffman, senator from Stanford Hall, did not believe the new senators would have the knowledge and experience to deny someone a position on the senator’s first meeting.“I’m not entirely confident in that check,” he said. “I don’t think a new senate would have the confidence to deny a person.”Brankin said that to fix this issue, the entire schedule of student body elections would have to change.“That’s just kind of the fault of the system,” Brankin said. “At the very least, we do have that check in place.”The resolution to harshly punish candidates who promise positions to constituents passed with no abstentions or opposing votes.The senate also passed a resolution allowing election allegations or appeals to be withdrawn before the allegation or appeal meeting takes place.“This was a question we ran into this year as to whether or not that’s allowed, so we want to make sure that we know that it is allowed,” Ross said.The party that submits the allegation or appeal would be the only party able to withdraw it, and would have to do so in writing.“If you have the allegation submitted, then the Judicial Council is aware that something is happening,” junior James Deitsch, senator for Fisher Hall, said. “Then the Judicial Council is just sitting on information that a candidate broke a rule?”However, the Judicial Council is restricted in their ability to act on unfiled election allegations.“I mean, we do that now,” Ross said. “People come to the office and say, ‘Oh, I saw this happening but I don’t want to file anything.’ I don’t have the power to launch an allegation.”Along with Deitsch, junior Sebastian Lopez, senator for O’Neill Hall, and junior chief of staff Prathm Juneja supported amending Judicial Council’s ability to follow through on unfiled allegations in the future.“I wonder if we could build an investigative arm into Judicial Council,” Juneja said.Next Wednesday is the current senate’s final meeting of its term, making that day the last time it would be able to make the change.The senate also passed resolutions allowing petitioning and campaigning in the Duncan Student Center, requiring the release of student body election turnout and result percentages, allowing the Judicial Council vice president to attend appeal meetings and giving senate the ability to temporarily suspend any rule of the Constitution by a five-sixths vote.Margaret Morgan, director of residential life, and Heather Rakoczy Russell, associate vice president for residential life, discussed the waiver policy for the six-semester housing requirement.“The waiver process has not been built yet,” Russell said. “The listening sessions we’ve been engaging students in is to ask if you have any strong feelings about what that waiver should look like, or what it shouldn’t look like.”Based on their conversations with students, Residential Life is looking into a system that uses campus allies to advocate for students who wish to waive the housing requirement, Russell said.“[Allies] could be other administrators, but people who students would feel comfortable telling their stories to and those people could be trained in a way that they could make the recommendation to Residential Life and preserve the anonymity,” Russell said.The ally system uses the same advocacy idea as the waiver system designed by the Waiver Policy Subcommittee of student senate.Residential Life also hopes to make interhall transfer easier in the future, in order to encourage students to remain on campus and allow them to live where they want, Russell said.Student senate also approved the nomination of Matt Ross for the Michael J. Palumbo Award.Sara Dugan, senior class president and acting chair of the Student Union Ethics Commission, nominated Ross for the award.“As Judicial Council president, Matthew has displayed exemplary fairness, commitment and ethicality throughout his term,” Dugan said. “Matthew also worked tirelessly, honorably and empathetically during a particularly demanding election cycle this spring.”Brankin, who, as parliamentarian, works closely with Ross, also supported the nomination.“I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this award,” Brankin said. “He is one of the nicest and most genuine people you’ll ever meet.”Student senate voted on the recipients of the Frank O’Malley Undergraduate Teaching Award and the two Irish Clover awards.Nancy Michael, an assistant teaching professor of neuroscience and behavior, won the O’Malley award, and Fr. Don LaSalle and senior student body president Rebecca Blais won the Irish Clover awards.“Now seeing how much Prathm and Sib and Becca do as the leaders of the student body, for Becca to be vice president and know how much work it is, and then still want to be president this year, that just shows her dedication to student government,” Huffman said.Tags: Frank O’Malley Undergraduate Teaching Award, irish clover award, Michael J. Palumbo Award, ND student senate, Office of Housing, residential life, Senate, student body president elections, student senatelast_img read more