“You know what’s sad? Martin Luther King stood for nonviolence. And I don’t care where you are in America, if you’re on Martin Luther King Boulevard, there’s some violence going down.”— Chris Rock, comedianThey were intended to be grand public thoroughfares, tributes to the vision and legacy of one of the country’s most important leaders. But 50 years after Martin Luther King Jr. marched from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., the American streets named to honor the slain Civil Rights icon are often corridors of unyielding socioeconomic struggle, bypassed by community investment and development.“The popular perception is that these streets are not worthy of King’s name. They’re segregated, they’re poor, there’s vacant property everywhere,” said Daniel D’Oca, design critic in urban planning and design at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD). “And in our research we’re finding that that is partially true … but I think we’re also super-inspired by what we saw. The people who live and work on these streets are amazing, and they really inspired us with some of their ideas.”Daniel D’Oca attributes some of the decline along MLK streets to planning and development tactics such as racially driven zoning, urban renewal, disinvestment in high-poverty areas, federal mortgage insurance practices that rewarded “white flight” to the suburbs, and “red-lining” by banks that frequently denied residents and businesses in predominantly African-American neighborhoods mortgages and loans. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerReacting to a St. Louis nonprofit group dedicated to improving the quality of life on the nearly 900 streets across the nation named for King, D’Oca began teaching a new studio course this semester that asks students to use urban planning and design, architecture and landscape architecture to help local residents begin to remake their neighborhoods.“St. Louis has an interesting and very terrible history because it’s a place that has either invented or perfected a lot of racist, exclusionary tools. It’s been really creative in how it’s kept white and black populations apart,” said D’Oca.He attributes some of the decline along MLK streets to planning and development tactics such as racially driven zoning, urban renewal, disinvestment in high-poverty areas, federal mortgage insurance practices that rewarded “white flight” to the suburbs, and “red-lining” by banks that frequently denied residents and businesses in predominantly African-American neighborhoods mortgages and loans.To get a better sense of local conditions, the GSD class focused on Martin Luther King Drive in St. Louis and Martin Luther King Avenue in Washington, D.C. Earlier this month, the class walked the streets in both cities, meeting with residents, business owners, community development and housing groups, local aldermen, and city and police officials to understand better how these areas have evolved, what the barriers are to improvements, how residents perceive their neighborhoods, and what they would like to see happen.“I want[ed] to get the students to talk to as many people as possible, both so that they understand what people’s hopes and fears are for these two corridors but also for them to understand the political climate,” said D’Oca.The GSD group met a woman who ran a tailoring business in St. Louis, but because the buildings on either side of her shop were abandoned and had fallen into neglect, she could not get insurance. “That’s not her fault, and she’s paying the price,” said D’Oca.The trip was everything from exciting and fun to sad and confounding for those involved.“It was an incredibly powerful experience, one that I most likely would never have had without this studio,” Jeffrey Knapke, who’s pursuing a master of architecture degree in urban design, wrote in an email. “I’ll admit that I probably would not have ventured into these rough areas on my own prior to this trip, perhaps out of fear. What became clear almost instantly is that the people there really love their neighborhoods and desperately want to see them bounce back.”Sourav Biswas, who is studying landscape architecture, said he was moved by seeing the staggering scope of the abandoned buildings and vacant lots in St. Louis left by the exodus of 500,000 people to the suburbs over the last 50 years, but also by what he heard from hopeful residents looking for opportunities to restore the neighborhood and start businesses.“We have access to GIS [Geographic Information System] data. We have access to all these other tools that let us have a top-down approach,” said Biswas. “But to be able to really listen became the key for how we could find projects that are genuinely useful to the community.”Since the fieldwork, D’Oca and his students have been meeting to determine how best to collaborate on a plan that will be meaningful and can be carried on by the community after the class finishes.“We don’t want to end up with the same traditional deliverables that happen in every design studio, where if you’re 13 students, you have 13 projects and you just design those projects on a rolling board to a jury at the end,” said Biswas.Eric Shaw, M.U.P. ’00, director of D.C.’s office of planning, strongly supports the driving force behind the class, noting that little attention has been paid to how cities can articulate the needs of communities and how to change them through the language of design.“How do we understand the teachings of Martin Luther King as a means to facilitate a community development/community design program?” said Shaw.A white-hot real estate market serving professionals earning close to the District’s $100,000 annual median income has rapidly swept gentrification across the city and is now poised to transform — for better or worse — Ward 8, a predominantly African-American area where the annual median income is just $35,000.“The studio is going to help us better understand how to make sure that our policies and activities are contextual to that place and in line with our equity goals,” said Shaw, who has so much confidence in the students that he plans to put one or two of their finished ideas before Mayor Muriel Bowser.Ultimately, D’Oca hopes the students will not only propose effective innovations to improve neighborhoods in each city, but will carry a sense of justice and racial equity into their work once they leave GSD.“My feeling is planners and architects have helped us get into the mess we’re in and are really complicit in creating the kind of segregated, imbalanced communities that we have,” he said. “If we can create these problems, hopefully we can create the solutions, too.”
Swedish insurer Folksam, which has both pensions and non-life business, reported a narrowing of investment returns in the first nine months of the year to 2% from 8% and said it was facing many challenges even though it was financially strong.In its interim report, Folksam said its life and pensions parent company Folksam Liv had seen a 25% increase in premiums in the first nine months of the year, to SEK11bn (€1.18bn) from SEK8.8bn in the same period last year.The total return on investments for the company fell to 2% from 8%.Jens Henriksson, chief executive and head of the Folksam group, said: “Although a lot of things are going well for Folksam and we are economically strong, we are also facing a range of challenges.” He said global economic uncertainty, particularly regarding China and other emerging economies, was contributing to turbulence in the markets, and that it was a challenge for the whole industry to make returns in the prevailing low-interest-rate environment.On top of this, there he said there were many regulatory issues high on the agenda.He described the move on 1 January 2016 to the new Solvency II regulatory regime as “another important crossroads lying just ahead for the occupational pensions sector, which could change the industry fundamentally”.In its interim report, Folksam said it was now awaiting a decision expected on 18 November from the Swedish Parliament on a bill on the implementation of the Solvency II Directive in the insurance sector.Among other things, the bill addressed transitional arrangements for occupational pension providers, it said.Folksam and its subsidiary KPA Pension, the local government pension scheme, supported this element of the bill because it meant providers would then not need to change their basic regulation more than once.Total assets at the parent company grew to SEK162bn at the end of September from SEK156bn at the end of December 2014, and solvency was 157%, up from 155% at the end of December.Meanwhile, at KPA Pension, which is 60% owned by Folksam and 40% owned by the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SKL), investment returns dropped to 2.1% over the first nine months of this year from 9.5% for the same period a year earlier.Premium income rose to SEK10.7bn from SEK9.3bn, and assets under management grew to SEK134.6bn from SEK119.8bn.KPA Pension’s solvency was 169%, up from 166% at the end of December.
President Trump is visiting the U.S. Southern Command in Doral Friday where he will be briefed on drug trafficking from South America.Retired Acting Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Thomas Homan told 850WFTL that President Trump’s trip to Miami will highlight his administation’s ephasis on stopping drug trafficking and illegal immigration.Unlike our southern border, Florida has 1350 miles of coastline, which is difficult for ICE to police alone. Homan says that’s why in Miami, there’s a joint task force of multiple federal agencies that does drug importation investigations. ICE is joined by the U.S. Coast Guard, Homeland Security and the US military in its fight to keep drug smugglers and illegal immigration from Florida’s borders. Homan says they are all making a huge impact in reducing maritime smuggling into the United States.ICE Director Thomas HomanPresident Donald Trump with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, left, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Deputy Director Thomas Homan, right, speaks during a roundtable talks on sanctuary cities with law enforcement officers in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, in Washington, Tuesday, March 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)The President recently directed SOUTHCOM to partner with the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Drug Enforcement Administration and other organizations to continue conducting enhanced counter-narcotic operations in the Caribbean Sea and East Pacific Ocean. Listen to full interview with former ICE Director Thomas Homan here.SFS Thomas Homan Former ICE Director on immigration and drugs
Football News Sunil Chhetri rues lack of proper football infrastructure, development during his growing up years
India has slipped to 103 in the latest FIFA rankings.Sunil Chhetri is considered one of the best football players from India.Hindustan Zinc, a Vedanta Group company, has initiated the Zinc Football programme. Udaipur: Indian football captain Sunil Chhetri on Saturday lamented that he did not have access to top-class facilities during his growing days but felt the situation has been changing in the country. Chhetri, during a visit to the Zinc Football Academy at Zawar, Udaipur, said he was delighted to see a world-class infrastructure here. He said initiatives like this would take Rajasthan and Indian football to greater heights in the future. “I have seen a football academy for the first time in Rajasthan and I’m really happy to see a state-of-the-art infrastructure here. Initiatives like Zinc Football, with the kind of world-class infrastructure, will help uplift the cause of Indian football in the coming years,” he said. “I wish I had access to infrastructure and facilities like this while growing up. With the right guidance, I am sure the kids here can go a long way not only within Rajasthan but at the national level as well.” To help grassroots development in the country and take Indian football to the next level, Hindustan Zinc, a Vedanta Group company, initiated the Zinc Football programme as part of their social investment programme.Also Read | Sunil Chhetri reckons Indian football team will be difficult to beat in upcoming AFC Asian Cup At the core of the programme is a full-fledged residential academy with 40 of the best under-15 footballers who have been scouted from among over 5000 children. Chhetri emphasized upon the various facets that had gone into the making of a top professional footballer and shared his experiences with the kids who were excited to have the star footballer among them. Chhetri also took the field to play a short game with the kids.Also Read | Sunil Chhetri named ‘Asian Icon’ by AFC on his birthday, gets praise for rivalling Ronaldo, Messi President of Vedanta Football, Annanya Agarwal, said, “We could not have been happier to host Indian football’s superstar Sunil Chhetri. His achievements and what he has done on the pitch is there for everyone to see. “It was extremely gratifying to see him interact with our young footballers and inspire them to reach greater heights. As a group, Vedanta is focused on building a development model for grassroots football in the country and identify and cultivate footballing talent, roping in icons such as Sunil Chhetri in the process.” highlights For all the Latest Sports News News, Football News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.