Edward Sheldon, CFA | Tuesday, 9th March, 2021 | More on: EZJ easyJet (LSE: EZJ) shares have had a spectacular run in recent months. Since 9 November – when Pfizer announced it had developed a Covid-19 vaccine – easyJet’s share price jumped from around 530p to 1,030p – a gain of almost 100%. Over a 12-month horizon, EZJ is now back in positive territory, up about 2%.Is easyJet a stock I should consider for my own portfolio? Let’s take a look at the investment case.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…Should I buy easyJet shares?I can see why the airline’s shares are popular right now. In short, the stock is a ‘reopening’ play. After the UK laid out plans for international travel to resume in late February, easyJet said flight bookings jumped over 300% and holiday bookings surged by more than 600% week-on-week. Clearly, there’s a lot of pent-up demand to travel.It’s worth noting that City analysts expect easyJet’s revenues to more than double next financial year (its financial year ends 30 September) to £5.4bn, up from around £2.4bn this year. That’s certainly a big jump. However, £5.4bn would still be about 16% below 2019 revenues of £6.4bn.Analysts expect the company to return to profit next year too. Currently, the net profit estimate for FY2022 is £286m, compared to an expected loss of £592m this year.Is easyJet’s share price a bargain?However, what concerns me about easyJet shares is that they look fully valued right now. Currently, the consensus earnings per share forecast for FY2022 is 53.2p which puts easyJet shares on a forward-looking price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of about 19. That valuation looks quite high, in my view, considering the risks.While easyJet’s share price is still around 33% lower than it was pre-Covid-19, it’s important to remember that a lot has changed over the last 12 months. For starters, it has more debt on its balance sheet than it did a year ago. Recently, the company raised another €1.2bn from a seven-year bond sale. This extra debt adds more risk to the investment case.Secondly, there’s a lot of uncertainty in relation to the prospects for the travel industry in the short term. The UK government has said the earliest date Britons will be able to travel abroad for a holiday is 17 May.However, it’s not just a matter of the UK lifting travel restrictions. Foreign governments also need to agree that Britons can visit without the need for quarantine. Currently, France and Spain have shut their borders to the UK due to the new variants of Covid-19. More variants, or new travel restrictions all pose a threat to easyJet.My view on EZJ sharesPutting this all together, I don’t see much investment appeal in easyJet shares at present. To my mind, there’s a lot of good news priced into the stock at the moment. Trading on a forward-looking P/E ratio of 19, EZJ shares look quite expensive, in my view.All things considered, I think there are better stocks I could buy for my portfolio today. The easyJet share price is surging. Should I buy the stock now? Image source: Getty Images. Like this one… Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares Enter Your Email Address FREE REPORT: Why this £5 stock could be set to surge Are you on the lookout for UK growth stocks?If so, get this FREE no-strings report now.While it’s available: you’ll discover what we think is a top growth stock for the decade ahead.And the performance of this company really is stunning.In 2019, it returned £150million to shareholders through buybacks and dividends.We believe its financial position is about as solid as anything we’ve seen.Since 2016, annual revenues increased 31%In March 2020, one of its senior directors LOADED UP on 25,000 shares – a position worth £90,259Operating cash flow is up 47%. (Even its operating margins are rising every year!)Quite simply, we believe it’s a fantastic Foolish growth pick.What’s more, it deserves your attention today.So please don’t wait another moment. Edward Sheldon has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee. 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New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York An Evening with Aliya Cycon Playing the Oud: Crossing continents and cultures with the most beautiful instrument you’ve never heard Lancaster, PA (and streaming online) July 3 Rector Collierville, TN Tags Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector Washington, DC TryTank Experimental Lab and York St. John University of England Launch Survey to Study the Impact of Covid-19 on the Episcopal Church TryTank Experimental Lab Rector Smithfield, NC Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Rector Shreveport, LA Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Africa, Featured Jobs & Calls Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Rector Albany, NY Anglican Communion An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Posted Mar 12, 2015 Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Director of Music Morristown, NJ Submit a Job Listing Rector Hopkinsville, KY Press Release Service Rector Pittsburgh, PA Associate Rector Columbus, GA Rector Martinsville, VA Anglican leaders from across Africa meet in Cape Town Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Submit a Press Release Rector Belleville, IL Curate Diocese of Nebraska Submit an Event Listing Youth Minister Lorton, VA Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC African church leaders visit Masikhanye Food Garden in Khayelitsha, South Africa. Photo: Office of Archbishop Thabo Makgoba[Anglican Church of Southern Africa] Anglican Church leaders from across Africa are being hosted at meetings in Cape Town by Archbishop Thabo Makgoba of Cape Town.The leaders include archbishops, bishops and other members of the Council of African Provinces of Africa (CAPA), a body which coordinates and articulates issues affecting the church and communities across the continent.The council, chaired by the Most Rev. Bernard Ntahoturi, archbishop of the Province of the Anglican Church of Burundi, represents Anglicans in 26 countries from 12 church provinces.The meetings, which are happening in South Africa for the first time, include primates (the leaders) of churches and members of the CAPA Standing Committee.The meetings have included a gathering of members of the Anglican Global South, chaired by the Most Rev. Mouneer Hanna Anis of Egypt, president bishop of the Anglican Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East.Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, South Africa’s minister of international relations and cooperation, and Premier Helen Zille of the Western Cape sent messages of welcome to the delegates and their spouses.Makgoba said the meetings were a tangible expression of the Anglican family belonging together. He expressed hope that the meeting would renew relations among churches across Africa.On the first day, participants visited Masikhanye Food Garden in Khayelitsha, an urban food project supported by the Anglican Church of Southern Africa’s outreach arm, Hope Africa. Featured Events Rector Knoxville, TN The Church Investment Group Commends the Taskforce on the Theology of Money on its report, The Theology of Money and Investing as Doing Theology Church Investment Group Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Episcopal Church releases new prayer book translations into Spanish and French, solicits feedback Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs Rector Bath, NC In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Rector Tampa, FL
May 31 — The panorama in Venezuela has changed during the course of one month. At dawn on April 30, Juan Guaidó, the fugitive Leopoldo López, and several deputies of the National Assembly had publicly led an attempted military coup. Over the past several days, the scene has now shifted to Oslo, the capital of Norway, where Chavismo’s representatives and a sector of the opposition have been negotiating.There is a direct relationship between the two events. The collapse of the April 30 political-military coup attempt has forced the right wing to publicly recognize their adversary at an arena using dialogue.Things didn’t quite go according to plan that morning in April. What was supposed to happen?The rightists were going to liberate López from house arrest via the main gate (the Altamira overpass in east Caracas) and place him next to Guaidó to lead an uprising, in which they would meet with soldiers from the military barracks, high commanders of the Bolivarian National Armed Force (FANB) and sectors of government institutions. They sought to unleash a massive popular movement there that would move in a massive wave towards the Miraflores Palace.Few on streets with oppositionIn fact, the only thing that happened was that López, Guaidó, some assembly members and leaders, about 40 armed men and the chief of the intelligence service were joined on the streets by only 5,000 people. After that, López and many of the leaders fled to various embassies.Speculation proliferated from that moment on. Elliott Abrams, U.S. Special Envoy for Venezuela, said that everything had been set up by those who he alleged had made commitments. He claimed that the commander-in-chief of the army (FANB), the president of the Supreme Court of Justice, and the chief of the Presidential Honor Guard had been involved. According to Abrams, there was a 15-point agreement. However, that agreement has never been disclosed or confirmed. Neither was the purported participation of the people he named. On the contrary, the three officials Abrams claimed to have been involved appeared with President Nicolás Maduro and carried out their respective assignments.Even the media that supported the attempt to overthrow Maduro openly challenged this version of the April 30 operation. They called into question the Venezuelan right wing, as well as the actors in Donald Trump’s administration and internal tensions in the White House concerning strategy toward Venezuela. The U.S. president favored getting out of the crisis by resorting to dialogue, while the John Bolton-Mike Pompeo axis wanted to advance towards a military escalation.Guaidó faced internal dissentThe still-existing speculations were modified by information about the first round of talks in Norway. These talks had taken place unofficially before May 17, when they became public. Guaidó faced accusations from his own ranks. Those who accused Guaidó pointed out that he went to Oslo without informing other sectors of the opposition. Consequently, he did not take into consideration the possibility of modifying the order of the three steps he had promised from day one: Put an end to “usurpation,” establish a transitional government and hold “free elections.”Opposition demands Maduro resignOn May 28, a second round of talks took place in Oslo. Guiadó, the self-proclaimed “president,” reiterated his rhetoric, adopting the tone of an ultimatum. Guiadó was reinforced by men from his Popular Will party, including his envoy to the United States, Carlos Vecchio, a fugitive from justice. Vecchio asserted: “All options depend on Maduro’s departure.” There would be nothing to negotiate other than the form of Maduro’s exit and his destination.On May 29, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs — which called for maximum caution regarding the confidentiality of the results — reported through a communiqué that the meeting addressed economic, political and electoral issues.Part of the resolution would require elections in order to be adopted. Where, when and under what conditions would they happen? That is one aspect of the debate on which there is no agreement.Bolton: U.S. strangling economyThe other core issue is economic: The Venezuelan economy is being strangled by a U.S. blockade that seeks to suffocate the people. U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton graphically explained: “It’s sort of like in Star Wars when Darth Vader strangles somebody, that’s what we are doing to the regime economically.” Bolton’s objective now is to strike at the heart of the government’s plan to control high food prices, by blocking food imported by Venezuela’s Local Supply and Production Committees (CLAP).The government’s political situation inside Venezuela puts it in a stronger position for dialogue, while its economic position is weaker. Data published by the Central Bank of Venezuela indicate the difficulties: The gross domestic product contracted by 52.3 percent between the third quarter of 2013 and September 2018. Inflation in 2015 was 180.9 percent, 274.4 percent in 2016, and 862.6 percent in 2017; it skyrocketed to 130,060.2 percent in 2018.What room for maneuvering does the government have with such statistics in an economy subjected to an international economic and financial blockade — and with oil production that still shows no signs of a recovery?Chavismo committed to dialogueGuaidó announced that he had not reached an agreement in Norway and that U.S. Vice President Mike Pence called to support him. Venezuela’s government, through Minister of Communications Jorge Rodríguez, a participant at both meetings in Oslo, says it will continue working “for peace, agreement, democracy and the defense of the Constitution,” following the Chavismo commitment to dialogue.Maduro made that commitment clear when he said: “It has taken a lot to get to Norway, several months of secret conversations.” The president added: “Be courageous, tell your people the truth” about what happens in Oslo.If the right-wingers who went to Norway — subject to U.S. orders — abandon the new dialogue, will they return to machine guns or to a pattern of escalating violence? Their discourse has boxed them into a position defined by a maxim: The only thing they will accept is that Maduro leave. The sticking point is that to negotiate is to give in, among other things.(PHOTO CREDIT: pagina12.com.ar)FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare this
As Fire Marshal Al Mata readies for retirement after four decades of service to the city, he leaves behind a legacy of service and safety to the citizens of Odessa.Mata, who has been fire marshal since 2013, first began working for the city in 1977 in the engineering department, also working with planning and zoning and code enforcement, and Mata joined Odessa Fire Rescue in 1995 as a fire inspector after seeing an opening for the position.“I would never regret that day ever since then,” Mata said. “It’s a pretty rewarding career.”Mata said that reward comes from the opportunities he gets to help the citizens and companies of Odessa. The fire marshal’s office is responsible for providing inspections for commercial buildings, ensuring and maintaining a safe environment for the city. Slap Your Mama It’s So Delicious Southern Squash CasseroleFruit Salad to Die ForCreamy Fruit SaladPowered By 10 Sec Mama’s Deviled Eggs NextStay OC employee of the year always learning Twitter By admin – May 1, 2018 Pinterest Odessa Fire/ Rescue’s fire marshal Al Mata talks about the duties of a fire marshal during an interview Thursday at Central Station. ECISD undergoing ‘equity audit’ Home Local News Fire marshal says career was rewarding 1 of 4 Odessa Fire/ Rescue’s fire marshal Al Mata is retiring on May 5 after 23 years with OFR and 40 years with the City of Odessa. Mata originally started with the City of Odessa in the engineering department. Previous articleOC board to discuss baseball field demolition, transition to schoolsNext articleNew program seeks art for City Hall admin RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR After five years as a fire inspector, Mata was promoted to assistant fire marshal in 2000, and was later promoted to his role as fire marshal in 2013, where he oversees the activities of the office, including inspections, investigations, and public education on the topic of fire safety.As fire marshal, he, and all of the fire inspectors and investigators in his office, are certified peace officers, allowing them to charge anyone with crimes, such as arson. Mata said he’s seen just about everything during his time at OFR, including some cases of arson disguised as accidental in attempts to get insurance money.Mata said it comes down to a scientific method of study when examining fires, looking for fire patterns to determine the point of origin for the fire.“Most people, when they see a structure, everything’s burnt,” he said. “The investigators see something totally different. There’s always something you can work with.”What Mata is most proud of in his time as Fire Marshal was his streamlining of the plans review and permit processes for new construction. The Fire Marshal’s office reviews all plans and offers guidance for contractors wanting to construct a new building in the city.“We try to make it as smooth as possible,” he said. “We identify all possible problems and address them before they actually start, that way there will be a smooth process between us and the contractor.”Part of that process involves guidance in the implementation of sprinkler and fire alarm systems, working with installers and architects to make sure those measures are installed correctly in the building.Cruz Castillo, president of JSA Architects, has worked with Mata on a number of building projects, and said he was very knowledgeable and helpful in regards to making sure buildings met proper safety and fire codes.“He’s always had an open mind in reviewing fire and building code requirements and helping not only myself, but helping property owners understand what the code means and helping come up with solutions on how to achieve the code,” Castillo said. “I’ll miss him, that’s for sure.”Mata, 60, will officially retire this Friday, and said he made the decision to retire at this time three years ago. He said he plans on spending his time post-retirement spending more time with his family, including his six children and nine grandchildren.Painting is also a hobby of Mata’s, and one of the more memorable contributions he’s made to the department includes a wall-length painting of a firefighter in the entrance room of OFR’s Central Fire Station.Mata said he would most like to be remembered as someone who always focused on looking for solutions, as opposed to focusing on the problem itself. This makes the process of working with contractors run more smoothly, and makes his job easier, something he said he hopes the next Fire Marshal will continue to do.“I hope the next fire marshal continues the ongoing training that we’ve established,” he said. “And also hope that they keep into consideration that customer service is very important, to provide the best service that we can possibly provide.” WhatsApp Facebook Local News Fire marshal says career was rewarding Twitter Pinterest WhatsApp Odessa Fire/ Rescue’s fire marshal Al Mata is retiring on May 5 after 23 years with OFR and 40 years with the City of Odessa. Mata originally started with the City of Odessa in the engineering department. Facebook 2021 SCHOOL HONORS: Permian High School Odessa Fire/ Rescue’s fire marshal Al Mata talks about the duties of a fire marshal during an interview Thursday at Central Station. Odessa Fire/ Rescue’s fire marshal Al Mata is retiring on May 5 after 23 years with OFR and 40 years with the City of Odessa. Mata originally started with the City of Odessa in the engineering department.
Google+ RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR WhatsApp Facebook Nine til Noon Show – Listen back to Monday’s Programme News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th Pinterest Loganair’s new Derry – Liverpool air service takes off from CODA Facebook AudioHomepage BannerNews Twitter Google+ WhatsApp Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic Previous articleDecision on staging Donegal Half Marathon to be made in JuneNext articleMain Evening News, Sport, Obituaries & Nuacht Friday May 8th News Highland Testing at LUH not being utilised – Doherty Community Enhancement Programme open for applications Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows Twitter By News Highland – May 8, 2020 It’s been claimed that Letterkenny University Hospital testing capacity is not being utilised.It’s understood that the hospital had been processing approximately 300-400 samples per day at the beginning of April, with a 12-hour to 24-hour turnaround.Now, the laboratory in Letterkenny University Hospital is reportedly only processing samples from patients and staff from within the hospital.Donegal Deputy Pearse Doherty has written to the Heath Minister, urging him to address the issue:Audio Playerhttps://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/pedfggfhgfhgfarsefull.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Pinterest
A comparison is made of the reproductive effort (RE), considered as the investment in sporophyte relative to gametophyte biomass, of eight species of moss occurring at sub-and maritime Antarctic sites. Six of the species showed smaller sporophytes and game-tophytes at the climatically more extreme maritime Antaretic sites and one species showed no size difference between regions. The remaining species, although showing no regional difference, showed some evidence of a reverse pattern, with higher altitude samples having greater biomass than lower altitude samples. Spore counts indicated a measure of compensation in maritime Antarctic samples, with no significant decrease in spore output in several species despite smaller sporophyte biomass. The relationship between sporophyte (S) and gametophyte (G) biomass within samples was described by an allometric curve (S=aGb) which gave a better fit than a straight line for six species. This form of model allows comparisons of patterns of RE to be made between samples with non-or partially overlapping size distributions, even when the relationship involves size-dependence. An allometric curve was not appropriate for describing samples of one species (Andreaea regularis), and insufficient data were available to identify any relationship in Polytrichum alpinum. The exponent (b) differed between species, but there were no statistically significant differences between exponents from samples of the same species. Samples of two species could further be described by the same coefficient (a), indicating that they lie on the same curve. However, samples of three species from sub-Antarctic South Georgia gave significantly higher coefficients, indicating increased RE relative to maritime Antarctic populations.
HOBOKEN – Jersey City residents Kely Nunfio, 24, and Jersey City Police Officer Erik Castro, 24, were arrested and charged with aggravated assault on Aug. 19 after Hoboken Sergeant Saverio Binetti called in a fight at 2:56 a.m. near First and River streets and requested an ambulance.According to a police press release, the responding officers saw a group of about 40 people in the street and sidewalk and an unconscious man on the ground bleeding from a cut under his eye. He was being tended to by onlookers along with Officer Cynthia Rivera.As the officers tried to disperse the crowd they received information on who caused the victim’s injury.They saw Castro, identified in the report as a Jersey City police officer, standing near the scene. According to the press release Castro allegedly told the officers he had struck the victim.Several witnesses told police both Castro and Nunfio allegedly struck the victim several times. They also allegedly struck him while he was unconscious on the ground.Castro and Nunfio were placed under arrest and transported to headquarters for processing.According to a press release from the Hoboken Police Department, “the victim suffered serious head trauma from the assault.”He was transported to Jersey City Medical Center Trauma Unit where he remained under observation. Castro was released on a summons and Nunfio was remanded to the Hudson County Rehabilitation Center. ×
Harvard Medical School (HMS) released a series of revisions to its conflict of interest (COI) policy today that strengthens its commitment to transparency and financial disclosure while recognizing the School’s commitment to industry collaboration.Among many provisions, the new policy includes a streamlined central system for reporting faculty financial interests with industry; requires the public disclosure of certain faculty financial interests; bans faculty from accepting corporate gifts, including travel and meals; and ends faculty participation in industry speakers bureaus, making it one of the most stringent of any medical college in the country. In addition, faculty disclosures will be made available to the public on the Harvard Catalyst website.“In all cases where financial interests are involved, an essential antidote to potential harm is transparency,” said HMS Dean Jeffrey S. Flier. “And so disclosure of relevant financial interests, both internally and for the first time publicly, will address this concern.”Flier, the Caroline Shields Walker Professor of Medicine, said the updated policy is aimed at clarifying appropriate relationships between the School and its industry contacts. It will protect the interests of the public and maintain the integrity of Harvard’s faculty and institutions, he said, while providing clarity of expectations in collaboration between companies and Harvard faculty.A comprehensive re-evaluation of the existing COI regulations has been a top priority for Flier since he was named dean in 2007, and the revised guidelines are the latest in a series of regular changes to a policy created in 1990.In January 2009, Flier convened the Harvard University Faculty of Medicine Committee on Conflicts of Interest and Commitment. The 34-member panel includes HMS faculty, senior administrators, and students. His request to the group: Devise a new set of recommendations for the faculty policy, based on changes in the biomedical field and grounded in modern conventions and practices.Ganesh Shankar — a medical student member of the committee — thought the new standards were an exciting reshaping of the “educational infrastructure” at HMS.“Medicine is constantly changing,” he said, “and we recognize that education in medicine must be equally dynamic.”The committee’s recommendations, accepted by Flier, will be formally incorporated into the School’s COI policy starting in January.The HMS group is a subcommittee of a University-wide body led by David Korn, Harvard’s vice provost for research, which recently conducted its own rigorous review of Harvard’s COI policies and principles.Previous HMS policy had regulated faculty interactions with industry for more than 20 years. The new guidelines include:A streamlined central system for reportingfaculty financial interests with industryA public website for disclosure of certainfaculty financial interestsNopersonal gifts from industry, includingtravel and mealsNo facultyparticipation in industry speakersbureausA furtherstrengthening of existing limitationson faculty financial interests in companies that own or licensetechnologiesstudied in clinical researchNew limitations on industry support for Continuing Medical Education(CME)coursesNew training forstudents and faculty oncritical decision making regarding companies that make drugs or medicaldevicesNew review requirements on proposed facultyboard memberships with for-profit companies.Flier, a strong proponent of industry collaboration, has acknowledged that relationships between industry and academics involve an element of risk. “Some relationships,” he wrote in a white paper last year, “require scrutiny, analysis, institutional guidance, and, in specific cases, prohibition.”However, even as he announced the new, more stringent guidelines, Flier wanted to make absolutely clear that the goal was not to create a wall between industry and medicine. “That would be precisely the wrong thing to do at a time when we want to promote and develop human health,” he said. “Doing that requires effective interactions between industry and academia of a kind that are judged to be appropriate.”The central theme of the revised policy is transparency and increased disclosure of industry relationships, especially as related to ongoing research. They reinforce the restrictions already in place by:Prohibiting sponsorship of any research projectby a business in which a faculty members holds equity. The prohibitionisabsolute if the business is privately held. If the business is publiclytraded,then a faculty member’s financial interest in the company cannot exceed$30,000a year.Prohibiting clinical research on a technologyowned or licensed to a business with which the faculty member receives morethat $10,000 in annual income. (The previous limit was $20,000.)Reporting of outside relationships with industry, includingthose relevant to ongoing faculty research, will continue to be part of ayearly disclosure process. And for the first time, Harvard will workwith its16 affiliated hospitals and institutions to capture all requiredinformationthrough a common reporting mechanism for the approximately 12,000HarvardMedical School employees who work at the Medical School and itsaffiliatedhospitals and institutions. Previously, each organization managed itsowndisclosure process.Also for the first time, such financial disclosures will also be made publicly available on the HMS Catalyst website and will be part of a comprehensive institutional monitoring system. In certain instances, financial disclosures will also be subject to review by the HMS Standing Committee on Conflict of Interest.The new disclosure mechanism, Flier said, will allow HMS to identify any potentially troubling trends and “areas where there might be a need for further policy revision.”The new recommendations will also prohibit faculty participation in industry speakers bureaus if only industry presentations are used.“It’s one of the biggest departures in the policy,” said Flier. “If you are Harvard Medical faculty, you can’t function as a member of a speakers bureau and give company-determined and prepared talks. It’s vital that our faculty maintain their intellectual control.”The new guidelines also impact the small percentage of Harvard’s Continuing Medical Education courses that receive company funding.Building on previous requirements, the new recommendations state that a course must be funded by more than one industry sponsor, with no one sponsor being able to support more than 50 percent of a particular course’s budget.As part of the new policy, HMS will also develop a dean’s fund. It will solicit unrestricted industry donations to support Harvard’s Continuing Medical Education efforts, including research on best CME practices and technology-based teaching methods. “There will be no connection between the company and what we do with it,” said Flier.He added that the fund “ties into the broader interest of how to use Harvard Medical School to have a positive influence in the world.”Included in the new policy is a broad statement, in compliance with Massachusetts law, that prohibits the faculty from receiving industry-sponsored personal gifts of any kind. The new HMS gifts requirement will also extend to nonclinical faculty.“Even if you are a Ph.D. scientist working on cells or mice you are subject to this policy,” said Flier. “We are now saying that this is part of our overall faculty policy.”The updated HMS COI policy, said Korn, who heads the University’s efforts on COI policy, will further the School’s dedication to professional codes, institutional values, integrity, and transparency. It will also help HMS continue its efforts to enhance the future health of the country. “When all parties are clear on the rules governing potential relationships, and compliant with them, the hope is that more collaborations may be fostered and the significant educational, research, and health benefits captured for the benefit of the public.”Under our new policy, we will limit potential abuses,” wrote Flier in an article appearing on the HMS website, “while promoting our great capacity to do good.”Additional reportingby Colleen Walsh
Russell Kornblith got his J.D. at Harvard Law School in May. Compact and fit, he looks like a vest-pocket Superman, able (perhaps) to leap tall buildings in a single bound. But his latest feat of strength was staying up late — for 14 weeks.It was for a good cause, and Kornblith had plenty of company. Since early March, two professors from Harvard’s International Human Rights Clinic and four law students — all from the Class of 2012 — each worked up to 80 hours a week. They scoured archives, pored over cases, and struggled to craft the right language for a brief of amici curiae — a “friends of the court” brief — in the matter of Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum. It’s now on its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.The lawsuit, brought by 12 Nigerians, alleges that the Dutch oil company was complicit in torture, extrajudicial executions, and other crimes against humanity from 1992 to 1995. The plaintiffs are members of the Ogoni people of the Niger Delta, who during this time were protesting a new pipeline being laid by Shell contractors. The amici — the clinic’s clients — are nine legal historians, including Charles Donahue, Harvard’s Paul A. Freund Professor of Law.Susan H. Farbstein, a team member and an assistant clinical professor at Harvard Law School, called Kiobel ”one of the biggest human rights cases the [Supreme Court] has heard in recent years.”At issue: What are the limits of corporate liability? And can U.S. courts hear lawsuits regarding incidents outside U.S. territory? (It’s an issue lawyers call “extraterritoriality.”)Behind those questions is a debate over the interpretation and intent of the Alien Tort Statute, a 1789 law that allows foreigners to bring suit in U.S. courts. The statute was seldom cited until 1980, when it was revived as the basis for international human rights litigation.“Decades of jurisprudence are on the line in Kiobel,” said Clinical Professor of Law Tyler R. Giannini, who co-directs the clinic with Farbstein. “Cases have been litigated for more than 30 years for claims arising outside the United States, including for more than 15 years against corporations.” A Supreme Court ruling against either corporate liability or extraterritoriality, he said, “would represent a radical departure from this recent history.”That departure would limit the right of plaintiffs to seek redress from multinational corporations. For those writing the brief, the stakes were high.“The challenge is making sure you have a sufficient store of adrenalin,” said Sarah Alexander, J.D. ’12. She worked with Kornblith, sometimes 19 hours a day. (Other team members were Yonina Alexander, J.D. ’12 — no relation to Sarah — and Daniel Saver, J.D. ’12.)The team established a “war room” in Pound Hall and, after December, on the third floor of Wasserstein Hall. The brief came to life there, line by line, on a large-screen monitor. “We endlessly discussed the significance of historical cases and doctrines amongst ourselves and with the amici,” said Giannini. “There were countless calls, discussions, and drafts exchanged until we had a polished brief.”Finishing was a triumph. The magic moment came just after 5 p.m. June 13, when the team filed its 35-page brief (plus appendices) electronically. Kornblith was up until 5 a.m. that day, hammering out last-minute details via Skype, talking at his computer. “The neighbors complained,” he said.Case historyIn February, the Supreme Court was confronted with a lawsuit that might have seemed out of place: Nigerian plaintiffs suing a Dutch company in American courts over alleged abuses committed in Africa. Associate Justice Samuel Alito Jr. seemed skeptical. “What business does a case like that,” he asked, “have in the courts of the United States?”That question will be resolved after the court meets again in October. Meanwhile, the two rounds of briefing on Kiobel drew a flurry of amicus briefs from interested parties (amici) on both sides of the question: multinational corporations, governments, South African jurists, Nuremberg scholars, and specialists in international law, business law, human rights, and civil procedure.During oral arguments before the court on Feb. 28, only corporate liability, the first issue, was highlighted. (The same team wrote a brief for that.) “We know that corporations have rights,” said Farbstein. “The question is whether they will also have liabilities.”But the justices asked for a second round of briefs, what lawyers call a “reargument,” on the issue of extraterritoriality. That’s unusual, said Farbstein. “It means that the justices were interested in this question and felt it wasn’t sufficiently addressed in the first round of briefing.”In early March, the team received a specific task from its nine clients, the legal historians: Use history to make an argument for the legal soundness of extraterritoriality.Writing a legal history brief had already worked well for the Harvard team in the first round of arguments. It had uncovered “The Case of Thomas Skinner, Merchant v. The East India Company,” a 1666 British trial that put an individual head to head with the biggest proto-corporate player of the 17th century. Skinner showed, said Farbstein, that “even a powerful corporate actor can be held accountable when it commits international law violations.”History shows that the Alien Tort Statute meant that civil liability for international law violations would follow the defendant, said Giannini. “The basic principle at the time … was that a violator could be held accountable wherever he could be found, and that still holds true today.”Go back to 1789, Kornblith said, to the framers of the statute and to their intentions. “The idea behind the First Congress’s actions was that this was a statute meant to cover acts that concern the whole world,” he said. “One of these acts is not just an assault on the person who was assaulted, it’s an assault on principles of justice and humanity.”The team brief provided other history lessons, citing 34 cases (1666 to 2011), six U.S. statutes, and more than 20 other authorities.The team brief also used two stark historical examples of how a “universally accepted law of nations” was often applied, despite where alleged offenses occurred: piracy and — eventually — the slave trade.But the Alien Tort Statute itself, its antecedents, and the context of its framing do not tell the whole story. The young United States wanted to tell the world it respected international law, said Farbstein, and that it would be a beacon of justice.“This gets back to what values we hold dear as a country,” she said. “Are we going to harbor individuals who commit these kinds of egregious abuses? … Are we going to say they can be held accountable here because we have bold international law principles — or not?”Read the brief here (pdf).
RealtyTrac(R) (www.realtytrac.com(link is external)), the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, today released its February 2009 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report(TM), which shows foreclosure filings – default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions – were reported on 290,631 U.S. properties during the month, an increase of nearly 6 percent from the previous month and an increase of nearly 30 percent from February 2008. The report also shows one in every 440 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing in February.Vermont had the second lowest rate in the nation (ranked 49th) and Nebraska was ranked 50th. New Hampshire was 19th, Massachusetts 26th, Connecticut 14th, Rhode Island 30th, Maine 39th, and New York was 35th.”The increase in foreclosure activity from January to February is somewhat surprising, given that many of the foreclosure prevention efforts and moratoria in place in January were extended through most of February as well,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “There were some notable exceptions to this: a 45-day voluntary moratorium in Florida expired at the end of January, and foreclosure activity there was up 14 percent from the previous month; and many New York foreclosure proceedings delayed by a new law for an extra 90 days appear to have hit the system in February, when the state’s foreclosure activity increased 23 percent from the previous month.”Nevada, Arizona, California post top state foreclosure ratesWith one in every 70 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing in February, Nevada continued to document the nation’s top state foreclosure rate. Foreclosure filings were reported on 15,783 Nevada properties during the month, a 9 percent increase from the previous month and a 156 percent increase from February 2008.Arizona posted the nation’s second highest state foreclosure rate in February, with one in every 147 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the month, and California posted the nation’s third highest state foreclosure rate, with one in every 165 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing.Other states with foreclosure rates ranking among the nation’s 10 highest were Florida, Idaho, Michigan, Illinois, Georgia, Oregon and Ohio.California, Florida, Arizona post highest foreclosure totalsForeclosure filings were reported on 80,775 California properties in February, the most of any state and a 5 percent increase from the previous month. The state’s foreclosure activity increased 51 percent from February 2008, with auction sale notices increasing nearly 179 percent – the most of any category on a year-over-year basis.Florida foreclosure activity increased nearly 14 percent from the previous month and 43 percent from February 2008 – thanks in large part to a nearly 158 percent year-over-year increase in auction sale notices and a 128 percent year-over-year increase in bank repossessions. With 46,391 properties receiving a foreclosure filing, the state posted the nation’s second highest state total in February.Arizona posted the third highest state total in February, with 18,119 properties receiving a foreclosure filing during the month – a 23 percent increase from the previous month and an 88 percent increase from February 2008.Nevada, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Texas, Georgia and Virginia also reported foreclosure totals that were among the nation’s 10 highest.Sunbelt cities post top metro foreclosure ratesOne in every 60 Las Vegas housing units received a foreclosure filing in February, giving the city the nation’s highest foreclosure rate among metro areas with a population of at least 200,000. The city’s foreclosure rate was more than seven times higher than the national average. Another Nevada metro area posted a foreclosure rate in the top 10: Reno-Sparks ranked No. 8, with one in every 108 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing.The Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla., metro area documented the second highest foreclosure rate in February, with one in every 65 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the month.Six California cities registered foreclosure rates among the top 10: Stockton at No. 3 (one in 67 housing units), Modesto at No. 4 (one in 68), Merced at No. 5 (one in 74), Riverside-San Bernardino at No. 6 (one in 80), Bakersfield at No. 7 (one in 85), and Vallejo-Fairfield at No. 10 (one in 111).With one in every 110 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing, the Phoenix metro area posted the ninth highest foreclosure rate in February.Report methodologyThe RealtyTrac U.S. Foreclosure Market Report provides a count of the total number of properties with at least one foreclosure filing reported during the month – broken out by type of filing at the state and national level. Data is also available at the individual county level. Data is collected from more than 2,200 counties nationwide, and those counties account for more than 90 percent of the U.S. population. RealtyTrac’s report incorporates documents filed in all three phases of foreclosure: Default – Notice of Default (NOD) and Lis Pendens (LIS); Auction – Notice of Trustee Sale and Notice of Foreclosure Sale (NTS and NFS); and Real Estate Owned, or REO properties (that have been foreclosed on and repurchased by a bank). If more than one foreclosure document is filed against a property during the month or quarter, only the most recent filing is counted in the report. The report also checks if the same type of document was filed against a property in a previous month or quarter. If so, and if that previous filing occurred within the estimated foreclosure timeframe for the state the property is in, the report does not count the property in the current month. U.S. Foreclosure Market Data by State – Feb 2009 Properties with Foreclosure Filings Rate State Rank Name NOD LIS NTS NFS REO — U.S. 54,064 55,509 78,234 28,729 74,095 42 Alabama 0 0 312 0 401 32 Alaska 0 0 112 0 91 2 Arizona 3 0 12,258 0 5,858 18 Arkansas 162 0 1,050 0 404 3 California 43,072 0 18,831 0 18,872 11 Colorado 4 0 3,126 0 1,089 14 Connecticut 0 1,793 3 118 306 33 Delaware 0 0 0 203 70 District of Columbia 135 0 180 0 64 4 Florida 0 27,492 4 12,923 5,972 8 Georgia 0 0 7,073 0 3,112 27 Hawaii 102 0 364 0 71 5 Idaho 1,003 0 669 0 92 7 Illinois 0 6,882 1 4,362 2,973 13 Indiana 0 1,386 3 1,603 1,414 37 Iowa 0 0 215 0 364 28 Kansas 0 149 1 375 646 43 Kentucky 0 95 0 219 284 40 Louisiana 0 2 4 494 178 39 Maine 115 0 124 0 22 16 Maryland 0 2,183 0 470 523 26 Massachusetts 0 1,498 0 486 956 6 Michigan 0 0 7,838 0 4,726 23 Minnesota 5 0 1,089 0 1,480 44 Mississippi 0 0 173 0 121 21 Missouri 3 0 1,592 0 1,534 46 Montana 0 0 10 0 44 50 Nebraska 0 0 0 3 10 1 Nevada 8,406 0 4,560 0 2,817 19 New Hampshire 0 0 586 0 153 29 New Jersey 0 1,783 2 840 654 38 New Mexico 0 133 0 140 100 35 New York 0 3,200 2 729 370 36 North Carolina 217 0 492 0 1,330 47 North Dakota 0 0 0 15 22 10 Ohio 0 4,453 2 3,376 3,400 34 Oklahoma 261 0 542 0 227 9 Oregon 33 0 2,803 0 772 31 Pennsylvania 0 1,686 5 1,383 1,118 30 Rhode Island 0 0 197 0 212 20 South Carolina 0 1,129 1 393 950 48 South Dakota 0 0 0 30 2 17 Tennessee 0 0 1,994 0 1,697 24 Texas 19 0 5,943 0 4,565 12 Utah 523 0 674 0 608 49 Vermont 0 0 0 0 11 15 Virginia 1 0 3,198 0 1,624 25 Washington 0 0 2,055 0 966 45 West Virginia 0 0 90 0 21 22 Wisconsin 0 1,645 0 567 774 41 Wyoming 0 0 56 0 25 % Change % Change Rate State 1/every X from from Rank Name Total HU (rate) Jan 09 Feb 08 — U.S. 290,631 440 5.92 29.95 42 Alabama 713 2,997 -22.50 0.99 32 Alaska 203 1,390 21.56 37.16 2 Arizona 18,119 147 23.48 87.76 18 Arkansas 1,616 797 6.60 16.01 3 California 80,775 165 5.23 50.62 11 Colorado 4,219 504 -2.41 -37.38 14 Connecticut 2,220 648 34.46 1.00 33 Delaware 273 1,424 56.90 19.74 District of Columbia 379 750 83.09 11.47 4 Florida 46,391 188 13.79 42.97 8 Georgia 10,185 389 2.81 33.47 27 Hawaii 537 944 59.35 275.52 5 Idaho 1,764 358 16.67 129.39* 7 Illinois 14,218 369 -1.59 62.34 13 Indiana 4,406 631 -3.29 -14.40 37 Iowa 579 2,296 -14.48 22.41 28 Kansas 1,171 1,041 76.09 156.80 43 Kentucky 598 3,187 -10.88 25.63 40 Louisiana 678 2,742 39.79 4.31 39 Maine 261 2,669 -15.26 28.57 16 Maryland 3,176 730 -14.09 -20.92 26 Massachusetts 2,940 926 -12.55 -24.73 6 Michigan 12,564 360 10.04 14.67 23 Minnesota 2,574 895 36.48 63.84 44 Mississippi 294 4,268 6.91 98.65* 21 Missouri 3,129 846 26.73 -9.80 46 Montana 54 8,065 10.20 -70.17 50 Nebraska 13 60,062 -58.06 -94.37 1 Nevada 15,783 70 9.27 155.93 19 New Hampshire 739 804 -1.47 14.93 29 New Jersey 3,279 1,067 -34.49 -41.43 38 New Mexico 373 2,311 127.44 -25.99 35 New York 4,301 1,846 23.03 -17.97 36 North Carolina 2,039 2,023 -14.54 -49.68 47 North Dakota 37 8,393 -28.85 68.18 10 Ohio 11,231 451 0.29 8.14 34 Oklahoma 1,030 1,576 5.86 -42.49 9 Oregon 3,608 446 -20.02 127.78 31 Pennsylvania 4,192 1,307 13.85 73.58* 30 Rhode Island 409 1,102 -45.10 -8.30 20 South Carolina 2,473 818 0.41 254.30* 48 South Dakota 32 11,164 -17.95 23.08 17 Tennessee 3,691 738 0.79 -25.57 24 Texas 10,527 896 7.92 -14.14 12 Utah 1,805 513 0.78 40.14 49 Vermont 11 28,312 83.33 175.00* 15 Virginia 4,823 679 -10.12 15.19 25 Washington 3,021 908 -3.79 36.08 45 West Virginia 111 7,952 50.00 184.62 22 Wisconsin 2,986 857 10.63 24.78 41 Wyoming 81 2,992 -2.41 26.56 *Actual increase may not be as high due to data collection changes or improvementsAbout RealtyTrac Inc.RealtyTrac (www.realtytrac.com(link is external)) is the leading online marketplace of foreclosure properties, with more than 1.5 million default, auction and bank-owned listings from over 2,200 U.S. counties, along with detailed property, loan and home sales data. Hosting more than 3 million unique monthly visitors, RealtyTrac provides innovative technology solutions and practical education resources to facilitate buying, selling and investing in real estate. RealtyTrac’s foreclosure data has also been used by the Federal Reserve, FBI, U.S. Senate Joint Economic Committee and Banking Committee, U.S. Treasury Department, and numerous state housing and banking departments to help evaluate foreclosure trends and address policy issues related to foreclosures.IRVINE, Calif., March 11 /PRNewswire/SOURCE RealtyTrac