According to chef and Food Network personality Anne Burrell, understanding math and science are key ingredients towards preparing Thanksgiving dinner or preparing any meal. To help families enjoy a fun and educational experience while picking up some tips from top chefs, Burrell will participate in the White House’s series of “We the Geeks” Google+ hangouts today at 12:00 noon ET.
White House pastry chef Bill Yosses will join Burrell at the online event, which can be accessed via www.whitehouse.gov/we-the-geeks and www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/11/26/we-geeks-talking-turkey-and-science-cooking. Former NASA astronaut Ron Garan, and Kumar Garg from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy will facilitate the hangout. People are encouraged to participate in the conversation on Twitter utilizing the hashtag #WeTheGeeks.
“I use math and science every time I’m in the kitchen, from measuring ingredients to cooking at different temperatures to create delicious foods,” said Burrell. “I’m thrilled to participate in ‘We the Geeks’ and Time Warner Cable’s CAMM initiative, because it’s important to inspire kids to become interested in these school subjects. I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and hope to share some of my holiday cooking secrets during Wednesday’s online hangout so you can learn to cook like a rock star.”
“We the Geeks” is a series of Google+ hangouts organized by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to highlight the future of science, technology and innovation here in the United States. Burrell’s participation in “We the Geeks” is the latest from Time Warner Cable’s signature Connect a Million Minds (CAMM) initiative, which is designed to inspire the next generation of problem solvers by connecting young people to the wonders of science, technology, engineering and math.
In addition to participating in “We the Geeks,” Burrell is featured in a new CAMM public service announcement that airs beginning today in Time Warner Cable markets throughout the country. The 30-second spot carries the message to young people that math and science can be fun and lead to a career of their dreams.
The public service announcement can be viewed here: bit.ly/1a0oIli.
About Connect a Million Minds
Time Warner Cable’s (TWC) Connect a Million Minds (CAMM) is a five-year, $100 million philanthropic initiative to address America’s declining proficiency in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Using its media assets, TWC creates awareness of the issue and inspires students to develop the STEM skills they need to become the problem solvers of tomorrow. Program highlights include: original PSAs that challenge public perceptions of STEM; a unique website where the public can pledge to connect young people with the wonders of science; “The Connectory”, an online resource for parents to find informal STEM learning opportunities in their communities; grants to non-profit organizations that bring after-school STEM learning to students; TWC employees, over 50,000 strong, who volunteer their time at events like science fairs and robotics competitions. National partners include CSAS (Coalition for Science After School) and FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). Local TWC markets are activating CAMM across the country with community-specific programs and partnerships. To find out more and to take the CAMM pledge, visit www.connectamillionminds.com.
About Time Warner Cable
Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) is among the largest providers of video, high-speed data and voice services in the United States, connecting more than 15 million customers to entertainment, information and each other. Time Warner Cable Business Class offers data, video and voice services to businesses of all sizes, cell tower backhaul services to wireless carriers and enterprise-class, cloud-enabled hosting, managed applications and services. Time Warner Cable Media, the advertising arm of Time Warner Cable, offers national, regional and local companies innovative advertising solutions. More information about the services of Time Warner Cable is available at www.twc.com, www.twcbc.com and www.twcmedia.com.
Few days after the official announcement of its new corporate identity, Global Sustain presents to stakeholders its first Sustainability Report, for the reference year 2012. One year ago the company published its first Communication on Progress which represented the company’s inaugural public communication to stakeholders on the progress made after implementing the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact.
The Sustainability Report is the solid proof of the firm’s commitment to sustainability and transparency, based on global standards. The Report, partially assured by EY, unveils the management practices and the results of the company’s actions and conforms to the international guidelines of Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), and UN Global Compact Principles.
The Report is structured according to the following sections:
In this section, the financial and social contribution of the company is described, presenting elements that relate to its responsible operation. The company increased its turnover compared to 2011, paid 50% more in salaries, compensation and other benefits, financed two NGO projects, while it conveys data from the recent member stakeholder survey. According to the latter, 86.96% of respondents believe that the company enjoys a good level of credibility and effectiveness.
Human resources constitute the most dynamic element for Global Sustain’s growth, and this is why the firm systematically invests in finding, selecting, evaluating, retaining and developing its people. In 2012, Global Sustain increased the number of employees as well as training hours.
At the end of each fiscal year, Global Sustain donates a percentage of its pre-tax profits to non-profit projects carried out by Non-Governmental Organisations, with the aim of helping fund specific social, environmental or other needs in the citizen sector. Moreover, the company and its ambassadors pro-actively support and often participate in local and national events and campaigns that focus on raising awareness on a number of pressing and important issues, in close collaboration with local organisations and corporate members.
Global Sustain is committed to protecting the environment in compliance with the environmental laws and the practices of the communities where it operates. Its environmental policy lies in the following pillars: a) recycling, b) CO2 offsetting (Global Sustain is a 100% climate neutral and zero-waste company), c) energy and water consumption.
As Mr. Michael Spanos, Managing Partner of Global Sustain quoted: “Our first Sustainability Report is a milestone in our company’s history. It constitutes an integral and important part of our business strategy, our operations and values, as dedicated sustainability ambassadors. This first attempt is just one step on a long journey, but we are fully committed to this path, and look forward to improving ourselves and our company.”
About Global Sustain
Global Sustain maintains offices in Athens, Brussels and Melbourne. The company offers innovative on-line and off-line services related to sustainability, corporate responsibility, responsible investing, green economy, business ethics and excellence, transparency, human rights and accountability. Its mission is to create awareness, inspire and support companies and organisations in sustainability, through advisory, communications, networking and training, guided by the people-planet-profit concept. Its members include corporations, non-governmental and non-profit organisations, municipalities and local authorities, academic institutions, media, professional bodies, service providers, chambers, think tanks and other public or private entities. Global Sustain owns and daily updates the popular portal www.globalsustain.org. It is active in social media, offers advisory services, publishes multi-stakeholder Yearbook, two comprehensive fortnightly e-newsletters, facilitates networking among members (M2M), organises events and the Sustainability Forum, a training, networking and professional development event, supporting companies and organisations in formulating their sustainability profile.
Progressive Asset Management (PAM), one of the nation’s largest full-service retail investment firms specializing in socially responsible investing (SRI), celebrates the completion of its 25th year in business serving individuals, families and institutions who want their investments to be in harmony with their social and environmental beliefs.
PAM was launched at the end of 1987 by a group of SRI pioneers, most notably Peter Camejo, to fill the urgent demand for a new kind of investment firm – one that would concentrate 100% on ethical and environmentally-conscious investing. Such a firm had never existed.
Over the years, PAM has helped bring such new concepts as community investing, sustainability, plus environmental, social, and governance issues to the forefront of mainstream investment thinking. Today the PAM Group – the socially-responsible investment division of Financial West Group – consists of nearly 50 SRI advisors servicing more than 7,000 clients nationwide.
Together, PAM Group and FWG offer investors the nation's widest selection of socially responsible financial products and services, including:
- Socially-screened investment portfolio management
- Access to all listed stocks, bonds and over 200 socially responsible mutual funds
- Individual and business retirement plans with SR choices
- Institutional and endowment money management
- Trust account management
- College savings plans, including 529s
- Community investments
- Personal financial planning
- Annuities, plus Life, long-term care and disability insurance
Beyond helping to pioneer socially responsible investing, over the years PAM has provided leadership in tobacco divestment, opposing abusive labor practices, fossil fuel divestment and other shareholder actions. Recently they have offered investments in fair trade coffee cooperatives and a series of opportunities in wind power, alternative energy and green building initiatives.
Perhaps most importantly, PAM’s efforts have touched hundreds of financial professionals and thousands of investors over these past 25 years – offering a place where people of conscience feel welcomed and among kindred spirits as they use their money as another way to promote world change.
Complimentary 25th Anniversary Newsletter
Barriers Worsen for Victims Seeking Justice - New Briefing Highlights Human Rights Lawsuits Against Companies Over Alleged Abuses in Over 25 Countries
Today the non-profit Business & Human Rights Resource Center is launching its second annual brifing on Corporate Legal Accountability.
The Annual Briefing provides an overview of corporate legal accountability for human rights, summarising trends and developments in this field since our first Annual Briefing in June 2012. This briefing draws attention to the latest developments in lawsuits against companies for alleged human rights abuses around the world and looks ahead to emerging issues. It will help advocates learn about cases that shape their strategies, and companies and corporate lawyers better understand legal risks in connection with human rights abuses. It highlights issues and trends including:
- continuing concerns over steep and worsening barriers that prevent most victims of abuses involving companies from accessing justice;
- less availability of courts in countries where companies are headquartered, for claims by victims of abuses in other countries where the companies operate (extraterritoriality); and
- threats to lawyers bringing human rights cases against companies.
The briefing also reviews the developing expectations of how lawyers should integrate the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights into their advice to companies.
The lawsuits highlighted in the briefing include:
- lawsuit in South Africa by over 17,000 ex-gold miners suffering from silicosis, against 30 gold mining companies, alleging the companies did not adequately protect the workers from silica dust;
- lawsuits in Canadian court against HudBay Minerals alleging the company was complicit in rapes, beatings and killing of Mayan villagers living near its mining project in Guatemala; and
- lawsuit in UK court against Tate & Lyle and T&L Sugars (subsidiary of American Sugar Refining) by Cambodian villagers, alleging that Tate & Lyle purchased sugar from companies (Koh Kong Plantation, Koh Kong Sugar Industry) using land from which villagers were violently, illegally evicted.
Greg Regaignon, Research Director of Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, said:
“We are pleased that, through this briefing, we are able to help with the critical sharing of information about corporate legal accountability for human rights abuse. When victims of such abuse cannot access effective legal remedies, the abusers are permitted to operate with impunity.”
Sif Thorgeirsson, manager of the Resource Centre’s Corporate Legal Accountability Project, said:
“With our second Annual Briefing, we evaluate developments in corporate legal accountability over the last year, and assess how the landscape has changed. This briefing is an opportunity to remind our audience – human rights advocates, governments, businesspeople, and the wider legal community – about the continuing need to break down the persistent barriers to accessing effective legal remedy for business-related human rights abuse.”
More in-depth information on the subject is available on Business & Human Rights Resource Centre’s Corporate Legal Accountability Portal – an online hub providing accessible, up-to-date case profiles on over 90 lawsuits in all parts of the world. The portal also contains commentaries by experts offering insights from a wide range of perspectives. It is a resource for lawyers and non-lawyers – for victims, advocates, NGOs, business people and others.
About Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre tracks the human rights impacts (positive & negative) of 5000 companies in over 180 countries. It is updated hourly and provides guidance tools to assist all those working in this field. Mary Robinson chairs its 70-member International Advisory Network. Its 23 Academic Partners include leading institutes in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America.
The Centre’s researchers are based in Brazil, Colombia, Hong Kong, India, Kenya, Lebanon, Myanmar, Senegal, South Africa, UK, Ukraine and USA.
In addition to the Corporate Legal Accountability Portal, the Resource Centre’s site features portals on:
- “Business & Children”
- “Business & Freedom of Association”
- “Business, Conflict & Peace”
- “Getting Started”
- “Tools & Guidance”
- “UN Special Representative on business & human rights”
- “UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights”
- “UN Working Group on business & human rights”
For further details, see the “About us” section of our website.
SUPPORT THE RESOURCE CENTRE: Please consider donating to Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, to enable us to continue our work on corporate legal accountability, and to offer our website, special portals, Weekly Updates and briefings to a global audience without any charge. As we do not accept donations from companies or company foundations, in order to prevent any possible conflict of interest, donations from individuals and foundations are essential for our work to continue.
Donate online: www.business-humanrights.org/Aboutus/Makeadonation
A new collaboration between the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative (CFSI) and the Tungsten Industry Conflict Minerals Council (TI-CMC) makes it easier for companies to source conflict-free tungsten. Through the joint development of a specialized framework, members of the TI-CMC may now choose to become validated as Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) conflict-free tungsten smelters under the CFSI’s Conflict-Free Smelter Program (CFSP). This breakthrough marks the first time the CFSI and TI-CMC can provide information about conflict-free tungsten smelters – just in time for U.S. reporting requirements on conflict minerals in 2014.
“Over the past five years, companies have worked hard to address conflict minerals in their supply chains. Being able to provide companies with information about audit-validated, conflict-free tungsten smelters is a real success for our initiative, companies, and crucially the people on the ground who are affected by conflict in central Africa,” said Robert Lederer, Executive Director of the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition.
“We’re very pleased to have crafted this unified approach to addressing conflict minerals issues. The TI-CMC sees this collaboration as an efficient and practical way for tungsten smelters to provide confidence to their customers that their sourcing practices do not directly or indirectly support conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and adjoining countries,” said James R. Dale, Vice President of Member and Industry Relations for the Metal Powder Industries Federation.
As part of the collaboration, TI-CMC compliant tungsten smelters may choose to undergo the Conflict-Free Smelter Program audit. The names of smelters compliant with the TI-CMC conflict-free tungsten program and CFSP compliant tungsten smelters will be publicly listed on the websites of the TI-CMC and the CFSI to help businesses make informed sourcing decisions.
About the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative
Founded in 2008 by a coalition of leading electronics companies, the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative has grown into one of the most utilized and respected resources for companies addressing conflict minerals issues in their supply chains. Over 120 companies participate in the CFSI today, contributing to a range of tools and resources including the Conflict-Free Smelter Program, the Conflict Minerals Reporting Template, Reasonable Country of Origin Inquiry data and a range of white papers and guidance documents on conflict minerals sourcing. The CFSI also runs regular workshops on conflict minerals issues and contributes to policy development and debates with leading civil society organizations and governments. www.conflictfreesourcinginitiative.org
About the Tungsten Industry Conflict Minerals Council
The TI-CMC is a working group of tungsten refiners, supported by two leading tungsten industry trade associations, the International Tungsten Industry Association (ITIA), London, England, and the Refractory Metals Association (RMA), Princeton, New Jersey, who have established an Initiative that provides a mechanism for industry members to demonstrate their compliance with Security and Exchange Commission regulations under Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
As Chevron’s RICO trial winds down this week in New York federal court, the company faces a wave of ongoing problems related to its multi-billion dollar Ecuador liability that cannot be solved by controversial judge Lewis A. Kaplan even if he rules in favor of the oil giant, according to an analysis of the False by the plaintiffs.
That analysis, called "Chevron's RICO Trial to Nowhere", lists eight reasons why the oil giant's case will not allow the company to achieve its objective of blocking international enforcement efforts and likely will not survive appellate review in the United States. It is available here.
In the RICO case, closing arguments for lawyer Steven Donziger and two of his Ecuadorian clients will emphasize that any decision by Kaplan in favor of Chevron will directly contravene a Supreme Court decision from Ecuador that affirmed findings that the oil giant is liable for the deliberate dumping of billions of gallons of toxic waste into the Amazon rainforest. A video describing Chevron’s substandard operating practices in Ecuador, which decimated indigenous groups, can be viewed here.
The memo also points out why any decision in favor of Chevron is not likely to survive appellate review in the United States.
On the international front, there is nothing that Judge Kaplan can do from his Manhattan courtroom to block international enforcement efforts targeting billions of dollars of Chevron assets in Canada, Brazil and Argentina – no matter how hard he tries, said Christopher Gowen, a lawyer representing Donziger.
And in the RICO case itself, Chevron’s key witness – former judge Alberto Guerra – suffers from severe credibility problems given that he admitted to taking bribes in Ecuador and that Chevron paid him exorbitant sums of money for his testimony. Guerra’s testimony is contradicted by multiple witnesses and Chevron’s payments violate various laws and ethical rules in the U.S. preventing payments in exchange for testimony, said Gowen.
Also during closing arguments, attorneys for Donziger will show Judge Kaplan evidence that Guerra himself fabricated evidence and committed a fraud on the court during his testimony.
“The bottom line of Chevron’s RICO case is that the only court with any jurisdiction over this matter, The Ecuadorian Supreme Court, ruled last week issuing a 222 page opinion dismissing every one of Chevron’s claims,” said Christopher Gowen, a professor of ethics and a member of Donziger’s legal team.
“Chevron’s remedy of injunctive relief is simply not available under the law,” he said. “And foreign enforcement courts do not want to be told how to rule by a U.S. judge – particularly one who did not provide a fair trial and who believes he can play the role of the world’s chief appellate judge.”
Gowen said Donziger and the Ecuadorians consider it a “foregone conclusion” that Kaplan will rule in favor of Chevron given his bias and the fact he excluded all key evidence about Chevron’s environmental contamination relied on by the Ecuador court to find the company liable. “Judge Kaplan ran a show trial to inject his own politics into a case that allows him to spread those views around the world," said Gowen.
Among Chevron’s many problems with the RICO case, according to the memo prepared by lawyers for the Ecuadorian plaintiffs:
**Judge Kaplan had no authority to conduct the RICO trial in the United States given that Chevron agreed to abide by any judgment from Ecuador’s courts, subject only to its available defenses in enforcement actions. Filing a RICO case is not a defense to enforcement actions abroad, said Gowen.
**Chevron’s RICO case violates settled principles of international comity by asking a trial court judge in the United States to rule on another country’s judicial system. Ecuador’s Supreme Court decision against Chevron “is entitled to respect by the United States and by ever other nation in the world, just as an opinion of the Supreme Court of the United States is entitled to respect,” according to the plaintiff’s analysis.
**Given that on the eve of trial Chevron dropped all damages claims to avoid a jury, it’s proposed remedy of an injunction has no basis in the law and runs counter to a previous appellate decision in the case that overturned Kaplan. In short, U.S. courts have no legal authority to impose an injunction blocking enforcement of judgments from other countries, according to the analysis.
**The RICO statute also does not authorize a private party – as opposed to the U.S. government – to seek injunctive relief of any sort. Thus, the RICO statute does not provide a basis for the remedy Chevron seeks and the case should have been thrown out when the company dropped damages claims, according to the analysis.
Aside from the many legal problems faced by Chevron, the company has two additional hurdles – the failure to establish that Donziger did anything wrong in Ecuador, and Kaplan’s own track record of bias against the New York lawyer and his clients. Both problems are going to severely limit the legitimacy of any decision by Kaplan.
On the factual front, Donziger explained clearly that a key issue – the drafting of a damages assessment by the plaintiffs – was consistent with Ecuador law and that Chevron’s lawyer engaged in the same practices. Donziger also denied bribing a judge, and Chevron presented no evidence that he did other than a triple hearsay statement from Guerra.
As for Kaplan, he has repeatedly referred to the Ecuadorians as the “so-called plaintiffs,” blasted their case as “not bona fide litigation” even before he heard evidence, and said that Donziger was trying to become “the next big thing in fixing the balance of payments deficit.” He also invited Chevron to file the RICO case when presiding over an earlier discovery matter related to the Ecuador case. Judges in other countries will be aware of Kaplan’s bias if they are not already, said Gowen.
As for Donziger, the memo makes clear that he will continue with his commitment to help the Ecuadorians get relief from the extensive oil contamination that afflicts their homeland. His full written witness statement is available here.
“Mr. Donziger is unbowed by the combined efforts of Chevron and Judge Kaplan to inappropriately try to quash the Ecuador legal judgment and he will continue his lawful work on behalf of his clients so they can receive a proper cleanup of their ancestral lands, adequate medical attention, and clean water,” the memo asserted.
Climate Change Minister says cuts to onshore wind support in favour of offshore wind farms reflects direction of government policy
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