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Diplomacy in a changing world

first_imgAt a time when American commitments to major global institutions and agreements are a hot issue around the world, the Harvard Marshall Forum celebrated the legacy of one of America’s greatest humanitarian outreach efforts: the Marshall Plan, $13 billion in U.S. aid to a faltering Western Europe after World War II.The forum is the annual gathering of the Association of Marshall Scholars, a charitable organization composed of program alumni who support the association.Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow welcomed guests to campus Saturday for a full day of talks and panel sessions by experts in diplomacy, law, and history. “For Harvard Law School to play a part as Harvard University collaborates with the Marshall Forum and the Association of Marshall Scholars to mark the 70th anniversary of the Marshall Plan is a special honor,” said Minow.Minow was joined in welcoming guests by Fredrik Logevall, a foreign relations expert who is the Laurence D. Belfer Professor of International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School and a professor of history. While the extent of the plan’s contribution to Europe’s recovery is debated by historians, he said, there is no doubt that “the plan that Gen. [George] Marshall laid out was strategically sound, deeply altruistic, and highly effective. More than that, it was a signifier of the U.S. as a beacon of generosity and moral leadership.”Although concern for the future of trans-Atlantic relations was palpable as modern Europe confronts a host of problems, guests and speakers highlighted the Marshall Plan as a shining example of the transformative power of diplomacy.“I can hardly think of a moment more fitting for us to look at the inspiring examples history has to offer, and the Marshall Plan is such an example,” said Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders, who spoke during the morning session. “Today is an opportunity to think about what Marshall’s legacy means for all of us, to see what we can still learn from it, and most of all, to explore the spirit from which it emanated.”Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who was a panelist during the morning, was honored with the Marshall Medal. The medal, which is awarded on significant anniversaries in the life of the scholarship program or of the Marshall Plan itself, is given to individuals of distinction whose contributions reflect Marshall’s legacy.“I am deeply honored by this award,” said Albright. “George Marshall was a secretary of state whom I admired greatly … We need to remember what Secretary Marshall has said and what other presidents have said. I am here to testify to the fact that America is stronger when we are part of the global community.”Medals were also awarded to Matthew Barzun, former U.S. ambassador to the U.K.; Nancy Cox, formerly of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control; William Janeway, venture capitalist and economist; Reid Hoffman, internet entrepreneur; and David Miliband, British Labour Party official.Using the plan as a framework for the day’s discussion, the forum’s agenda explored aspects of diplomatic relations between nations. During a panel on human rights and humanitarian aid, speakers debated the effectiveness of national and international institutions, such as the United Nations and NATO, to dispense aid and to support the self-determination efforts of developing countries.Other topics included the role of the United States in the international community; the diffusion of political power across countries, individuals, charitable foundations, and terrorist organizations; and the future of economic and technological globalization.In her keynote speech, University Professor and Marshall Scholar alumna Danielle Allen shared the impact that the scholarship had on her life and argued for the value of a learning partnership with the United Kingdom. Its traditions, constitutional rights, and decision-making through parliamentary debate provide the world’s longest-lived example of free institutions, she said.Allen went on to suggest that the lessons taught by the Marshall Plan are needed today more than ever.“We need to lift back to our shoulders the tools that Marshall gave us: an understanding of politics as a movement through argument toward stable and effective action through agreement; the capacity to analyze the geopolitical and geoeconomic shifts in the world in relation to the emergence of hunger, poverty, desperation, chaos, and their opposites; and, finally, a recognition that our strategic interests embrace a moral interest in the economic, social, and political conditions out of which free institutions can emerge.”last_img read more

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PFA chairman orders CEO to explain business links to son’s company

first_imgPFA Pension’s chairman has demanded a statement from the company’s chief executive Henrik Heideby to explain how and why the company is using an advertising agency partly owned by his son.Denmark’s largest commercial pensions provider came under fire recently in Danish newspaper Berlingske Tidende for being a long-term major client of advertising agency Umwelt, which, according to the paper, is 16% owned by Heideby’s son Mikkel Heideby.Mikkel Heideby is one of four partners in the agency and also has the role of contact director.The newspaper reports suggested the situation represented at least a potential conflict of interest.  PFA chairman Svend Askær responded with a letter to the newspaper, saying: “Against the background of the article in Berlingske Tidende, I have asked Henrik Heideby for a statement to the supervisory board, so we can have it made clear what is going on in this case.”When the statement is available, the board will deal with it, he said.“The board is of the opinion there should not be business relationships with companies in which there are family relationships,” Askær said in the letter.“When we have dealt with the case within the board, we must at the same time assess the need to tighten up the conditions around PFA’s general policy surrounding business relationships with companies in which PFA staff have family relationships.”A spokesman for PFA Pension confirmed the wording of Askær’s letter but said the company had no comment on the matter.According to the news reports, PFA and Umwelt have worked closely together since 2008.PFA, after statutory pension fund ATP, is Denmark’s largest pension fund, with DKK417bn (€56bn) in assets at the end of 2013.It is run as a commercial enterprise but owned by its customers.last_img read more

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NBA trade rumors: Why Celtics face early disadvantage in chase for Anthony Davis

first_imgThe Pelicans won’t be shipping Anthony Davis up to Boston — not yet.Davis doesn’t plan on signing a contract extension with the Pelicans and has requested a trade out of New Orleans, and it’s no secret that the Celtics (along with just about every other team in the league) are interested in acquiring him. However, in the race for Davis, the Celtics find themselves a few steps behind out of the gate. TRADE MACHINE: The most ridiculous Anthony Davis dealsBoston can’t currently put Davis and Kyrie Irving together because of the “Rose Rule.” NBA teams aren’t able to acquire multiple players via trade that signed rookie extensions for 30 percent of their team’s salary cap. Davis and Irving each signed this kind of extension, and since the Celtics traded for Irving, that pushes Davis off the table. (The Celtics could trade Irving as part of a hypothetical Davis deal, but the idea is to put stars together, so… not gonna happen.)This gives Davis suitors a temporary advantage over the Celtics ahead of the Feb. 7 trade deadline. If a team like the Lakers wants to ensure Davis doesn’t end up in green and white, the time for action is now. Put together your best package and make the call to Pelicans general manager Dell Demps. Don’t let Boston enter the fray.However, the Celtics still have a chance to win the AD sweepstakes — they just need to hope Davis is a Pelican after the deadline.MORE: Pelicans’ patience with Davis is bad news for Lakers Irving will turn down his player option this summer, making him a free agent so he can sign a new deal and remove any obstacles in a potential Davis trade. Once the calendar hits July 1, Boston can open its treasure chest of assets. With youngsters like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown and multiple first-round draft picks, the Celtics are capable of blowing away any competing offer.Those are valuable pieces for a small-market franchise, and New Orleans could set itself up for a successful rebuild. It’s always possible a team emerges and presents the Pelicans with a can’t-miss trade, but the best course of action seems to be patience.Well, that’s what Celtics fans want to see, anyway.last_img read more

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Table tennis ace Sharath Kamal battles Coronavirus fears to win Oman Open

first_imgImage Courtesy: ITTF/TwitterAdvertisement 6rjdNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vs6ma1kWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre Ea7x1( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) geyWould you ever consider trying this?😱zceeCan your students do this? 🌚ei9dRoller skating! Powered by Firework The pandemic of COVID-19 coronavirus may have caused major hampering in the world of sports and the sportspersons, but veteran Indian table tennis star Sharath Kamal is on a different plane. The nine times Senior National Champion not only fought through the risk of a positive infection from the virus, but also produced a spectacular performance at the ITTF Challenger Plus Oman Open. Kamal remarkably lifted the title on Sunday, putting an end to his decade long wait to clinch a tour trophy at a time where the world is focused on preventive measures of suspending sporting events.Advertisement Image Courtesy: ITTF/TwitterAt the final clash in Muscat, Sharath Kamal made all the right moves against the top seeded Marcos Freitas of Portugal, winning four games against losing two.Coming from a 6-11 loss in the first game, Kamal produced three back to back game wins of 11-8, 12-10, 11-9. Freitas, the world no. 26 got back in the match with winning the fifth game 3-11, but the final call was for the 37 year old Indian paddler who secured the sixth game 17-15, and lifted his first ITTF title in the last 10 years.Advertisement Kamal’s last ITTF trophy came all the way back in 2010 at the Egypt Open final. Since then, he was able to reach the semi finals of the 2011 Morocco Open and 2017 India Open, but was far off from clinching the title.“I am tired but I cannot stop smiling,” Kamal expressed his joy after his extraordinary feat. In the post match interview with Times of India, the player expressed on his comeback in the second game, after Freitas made the right calls in the first.Advertisement “I was not connecting my shots perfectly. But I knew where I had to make the amends. I just had to get into the rhythm,” Kamal told reporters.The 31 year old Portuguese powered back in the fifth game, and even took the lead in the sixth and final game of the match.He continued: “He is a very seasoned player but even I have been in a great run of form. These matches can generally slip out any time and at 8-6, I felt he was taking control away.”However, Kamal had the right amount of fight left him in to come victorious. “But once I levelled (at 10-10), I fought to grab it,” the paddler concluded.The Oman Open will be ITTF’s final tour in the coming weeks, after all the ensuing tours were postponed in the wake of the virus outbreak.Also read-10 year old Table Tennis prodigy Hansini to represent India in SwedenR Ashwin unhappy with Chennai people regarding anti-Coronavirus efforts! Advertisementlast_img read more

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