Recent Posts


  • Official: Troops withdraw from home of Uganda’s Bobi Wine

    first_imgKAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — An attorney for Bobi Wine says Ugandan soldiers have withdrawn from the opposition presidential challenger’s home the day after a judge ruled that his house arrest was unlawful. But the attorney tells The Associated Press that security forces can still be seen in the village near the candidate’s property outside the capital, Kampala. The popular singer-turned-opposition figure is meeting officials with his National Unity Platform party at his home. Ugandan authorities have said he can only leave his home under military escort because they fear his presence in public could incite rioting. Wine insists he won the Jan. 14 election.last_img

  • ND reaffirms pro-life stance

    first_imgIn response to a recommendation of the University’s pro-life task force, Notre Dame has issued an institutional statement to affirm its commitment to the defense of human life, the University announced Thursday. Notre Dame also clarified its position on charitable gifts in the principles on charitable activity, another recommendation of the task force.The Task Force on Supporting the Choice for Life was created by University President Fr. John Jenkins in September, partly in response to controversy over Jenkins’ invitation to President Barack Obama to deliver the 2009 Commencement address.The statement on the defense of life reads: “Consistent with the teaching of the Catholic Church on such issues as abortion, research involving human embryos, euthanasia, the death penalty and other related life issues, the University of Notre Dame recognizes and upholds the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death.”According to the University’s Initiative on Adult Stem Cell Research and Ethics, Notre Dame does not engage in embryonic stem cell research, but scientists currently conduct research related to adult stem cells.University spokesman Dennis Brown said under the principles on charitable activity, Notre Dame will not contribute to or support organizations that engage in research that conflicts with Church teaching.Brown said Notre Dame does not anticipate any “dramatic changes” resulting from the new statement.“The statement and principles affirm what always has been the case at Notre Dame, that the University fully supports Church teachings on the sanctity of human life,” Brown said. “What they do is, in the case of the statement, provide a clear and unequivocal University position on life and, in the case of the principles, provide a consistent foundation for how best to direct our charitable giving.”The adoption of the statement in support of life is the first time the University has officially documented the position, Brown said.Margaret Brinig, law professor and co-chair of the pro-life task force, said the task force wanted to formalize the University’s position in support of life.“The task force felt that having a written statement, rather than simply an unstated policy, was important to both reaffirm and make explicit the University’s commitment,” Brinig said. “As a Catholic institution, we felt it important to re-articulate the centrality of our mission and its connection to the Church.”A document with criteria for the implementation of charitable activity based upon the principles in the statement is forthcoming, a University press release said. “I am grateful to the task force for recommending the creation of these documents and helping us compose them,” Jenkins said in the release. “The new principles provide standards for the University and its representatives in making determinations on giving in a way consonant with our beliefs.”Brinig said she also does not foresee any large changes as a result of the new statement. “We do not anticipate dramatic changes to University life since this statement simply re-affirms and makes explicit our standards so that we can apply them consistently,” she said. “Both documents reaffirm what always has been Notre Dame’s institutional position: We unequivocally support Church teachings on the sanctity of human life.”last_img read more

  • Harry Potter mania hits Notre Dame

    first_imgWith the Sorting Hat and butterbeer greeting students as they entered South Dining Hall and Hogwarts banners hanging from the ceiling, it seemed the only thing missing was Professor Snape leering at students from the Head Table. Wizard mania has officially swept Notre Dame, with South Dining Hall holding a “Harry Potter Dinner” in honor of the penultimate installment in the film franchise, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One,” set to be released in theaters Thursday at midnight. Sophomore Tommasina Domel said the additional décor in the dining hall only added to her belief of South Dining Hall resembling Hogwarts’ Great Hall. “I think its always looked like the Great Hall, but with the House signs and butterbeer, I feel like I am at Hogwarts,” she said. Freshman Jack Trunzo said he believes Harry Potter’s age throughout the books serves as a connection between current students and the series. “It is funny that the movies are ending now just as I get to college and my childhood is seemingly over,” he said. Domel also said the fact Harry’s age corresponds with the generation of current college students forges a connection that is particularly strong at the University of Notre Dame. “I feel like this is the perfect time to be in college because we all grew up with Harry,” she said. “I think we have more of an appreciation than other schools because we have a nerdier student body.” Domel said the magic of the dining experience would only continue on Thursday, as she was anticipating attending a midnight showing of “Deathly Hallows” with other residents of Badin Hall. “I am going to a midnight showing. We’re going super early and we’re planning to do trivia while we wait,” she said. “Costumes are expected for those attending.” Trunzo said he was planning on attending a midnight showing as well. He said anticipation for the new film is running high, even amongst friends from other universities. “A lot of my friends are seeing it at midnight at other schools. The general excitement is a lot higher than it was in high school,” Trunzo said. Trunzo said anticipation for the release is even spilling into the classrooms amongst his friends. “My friend at Brown is in class with Emma Watson, [the actress who plays Hermione Granger,]’” he said. “This week when she answered a question correctly, someone shouted out ‘Ten points to Gryffindor!’” Sophomore Patty Walsh said she knew tickets would sell fast, and it motivated her to buy tickets to the midnight premiere early. “Around Halloween we heard people talking about Harry Potter, so we knew we needed to get tickets right away before they sold out,” she said. “We would have driven up to half an hour away to make the premiere.” Local theatres have sold out multiple showings of the midnight release. The movie ticket website fandango.com listed the AMC Showplace 16 South Bend with four sold out midnight showings and Cinemark Movies 14 in Mishawaka with six sold out midnight showings. The notion of South Dining Hall serving as inspiration for Hogwart’s Great Hall of the films has become an urban legend of sorts, often fueled by campus tour guides. Junior and Administrative Assistant to Undergraduate Admissions Tim Gannatti said this rumor is just that, not based in any fact. “I would say it’s a tall tale that is passed on through the years; I remember my tour guide saying the same thing,” he said. “I have said it to my tours. No one told us to say it, and I don’t believe that it’s in the tour guide manual.”   The urban legend may be based in the Gothic architecture of the building. According to the Notre Dame Campus Tours website, South Dining Hall is modeled after a medieval Guild Hall. The website said, “Today’s students find it reminiscent of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts.” South Dining Hall Manager Bill Krusniak says the Harry Potter dinner has been in the planning since early October. “The students came up and asked with the new movie coming out, what are the chances of doing a dinner?” he said. “I ran it by the general manager, and we went from there.” Krusniak said he went directly to the movies to provide accurate inspiration for the decorations and the menu. “I rewatched the first movie because there were a lot of dining hall scenes. We’re trying our best to get the flavor of it, what they had during the meals,” he said. “The menu is based off of that, which tends to be everyday items. We’re trying to mimic the dessert items.” Krusniak said he was expecting around 1,000 more students than usual to attend Wednesday’s dinner, based on a Harry Potter dinner held in April 2009. He said he doesn’t believe any other film franchise could inspire such a demand from students. “I think how popular Harry Potter is, I don’t think many movie series could compete for campus wide acceptance,” Krusniak said.last_img read more

  • Coalition discusses snow removal ordinance

    first_imgStudent body president Catherine Soler asked city officials to help find solutions to students’ issues with a snow ordinance that mandates residents shovel sidewalks within 24 hours of snowfall at Wednesday’s Community/Campus Advisory Coalition (CCAC) meeting. The ordinance was recently passed to reinforce an old ordinance. South Bend residents can face a $15 – $25 fine if they do not clear sidewalks in the allotted time. Soler said students living off campus realize that they must comply with city laws, but she said some students are concerned with snowfall that happens during school breaks. “We understand that moving off campus, we have to be part of the community,” Soler said. But she suggested implementing a system where students could register their house to alert the city that it will be vacant over a break. “With the ordinance, when students are on break, is there a way their houses won’t be fined?” Soler asked. “What if they’re away for the weekend?” Coalition members were open to looking for ways to accommodate students on school breaks, and some suggested starting a volunteer program where willing city residents would shovel walks for those who can’t do it themselves in the 24 hours. This would benefit walks for vacant houses, and people that can’t physically shovel. “We can brainstorm. We know this is something that is a work in progress and we’re trying to come up with an answer,” Common Council Attorney Kathleen Cekanski-Farrand said. But South Bend Mayor Stephen Luecke said a volunteer program for shoveling walks could hold some liability for the city if, for example, a volunteer was injured on the job. Tim Sexton, Notre Dame’s assistant vice president for Public Affairs, said students should work with their landlords so the landlords are responsible for shoveling the walks during breaks. “It’s important for that to be in the lease,” he said. Sexton also said students who leave for break, but leave a car parked on the street of an off-campus house, have faced problems with city snow laws because the street around the car cannot be plowed. He suggested that students use the parking garage at Eddy Street Commons. For a fee, students can leave their car in the garage for the month of winter break. Sexton said about 100 students took advantage of that over break. Soler said students should be mindful of the ordinance, but she hopes to work with landlords and the city to find a solution to student fines incurring over breaks. The Coalition also addressed security of student homes over the winter break. Uniform Division Chief Jeffrey Walters said the South Bend Police Department staffed extra patrols around student houses over winter break. He said the department didn’t note an increase in break-ins over break, although he said the Clover Village apartment complex, formerly Turtle Creek, saw several recent burglaries. “We want to have a police presence out there while students are away,” Walters said. The Coalition will meet again in March.last_img read more

  • Senate discusses student discounts, new website

    first_imgIn its first meeting of the semester, Student Senate discussed the Students for South Bend Discount Program and brainstormed ways to attract more students to the new student government website. The discount program aims to motivate students to become more involved in the South Bend community by offering discounts for local businesses. It is available for use by all Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross College students. “We’ve established a meeting with downtown South Bend so we can present the program and list the merchants we’ll work with,” Chair of Off-Campus Concerns Committee Emily LeStrange said. LeStrange, along with representatives from Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross, plans to visit additional businesses she would like to enlist in the program. “We’ve gathered a list of people we’ve worked well with in the past,” LeStrange said. Student government also ordered decals to advertise the program, which will be given to those who participate. Student body vice president Andrew Bell presented the new student government website, emphasizing his desire to attract more visitors to the site. The new site will provide links to each committee within student government, which will lead to overviews of the committee’s current projects along with the contact information for the chair of the committee. “Hopefully with this addition, if people go on they will be interested and be able to see what we do,” Bell said. New Senate resolutions and documents will be posted on the site. It will also hold information for students looking to join student government. “It explains ways to get involved at various levels, whether it’s through Class Council or Senate or even just Hall Council,” Bell said. Members of Senate discussed different possible ways to draw more students to the new website, including a link at the top of the insideND homepage. Bell said the site is not online yet but student government plans to launch it soon.last_img read more

  • Political scientist discusses ‘How Rebels Rule’

    first_imgJennifer Keister, who earned her Ph.D in political science at the University of California, San Diego in 2011, visited the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and delivered a lecture concerning Thursday rebels and their coercion techniques. She presented her dissertation, “States within States: How Rebels Rule,” which is now being turned into a book manuscript.  The main purpose of the lecture, Keister said, was to answer why some rebels rule through fear while others generate popular support through providing services to the population. “I argue that rebels use coercion and services to get what they need from the population.  Both of these are useful tools of government,” she said. Keister’s hypothesis contends that all activists need a certain amount of resources to achieve their goals, adding that rebellion is a costly enterprise. “You still need the population to do what you would like them to do in order to survive and operate effectively,” Kiester said. “Rebels have three tools which they use to rule populations.  The first is coercion, which generates compliance through fear. The second is service provision, which generates compliance through a principle of exchange.  The final tool rebels use is ideological positioning.” Keister used Mindanao, the southernmost island of the Philippines where she conducted her dissertation research, as an example in her lecture. “Mindanao is home to between four-to-eight million predominantly Muslim Moros.  They have been actively seeking secession since 1968,” she said. “They are represented by three separate rebel organizations, each of which has a slightly different ideological flavor, and has made different choices.  We have the Moro National Liberation Front, or MNLF, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, or MILF, and the Abu Sayyaf Group, or ASG.” The MILF is predominantly domestically-backed, the MNLF is currently backed by the Islamic Conference, and the ASG is backed by an Indonesian terrorist group and individuals in the Middle East and is historically more violent. Humanitarian concerns are not of high priority for these groups, she said. Keister surveyed Mindanao villagers and asked what group they would turn to for help in the event of a dispute or tragedy.  21 percent reported the MILF, five percent said the MNLF, and zero percent said the ASG. Due to these results, Keister said rebels balance their own ideological positions and need for support with the interests of the domestic population and the influence of international ties. Contact Joanna Lagedrost at jlagedro@nd.edulast_img read more

  • NASA seeks help from Notre Dame physics professor

    first_img NASA has named Notre Dame Assistant Professor of Physics Justin Crepp as one of 11 Kepler Participating Scientists, a role in which he will join the Kepler Mission’s search for extrasolar planets capable of supporting life.  Crepp will study the readings of the Kepler spacecraft, which detects possible planetary bodies orbiting stars thousands of lights years away and flags them as Kepler Objects of Interest (KOIs).  Crepp said Kepler works by measuring the intensity of each stars’ light and detecting any changes. When a planet passes in front of a star, it creates a kind of “shadow” perceptible to the spacecraft. This process requires that Kepler measure a large number of stars, he said.  Crepp said such planets can only be detected under specific and fortunate circumstances. “You have to be lucky in the sense that the planet has to be just at the right orientation that, relative to you, it’s blocking the star,” Crepp said. “If it has a face-on orbit, then you’re never going to see it. So we figure out the geometry and the probability of a planet passing in front of a star, and it depends on the size of the planet and how far away it is, et cetera et cetera. Kepler finds those fortuitous events, we make a list of [Kepler Objects of Interest] KOIs, and then we study those KOIs individually.”  Each KOI could be etiher a planet or a kind of “false positive,” such as a binary system in which two stars revolve around each other, Crepp said.  Crepp said his and Notre Dame’s access to the Large Binocular Telescope in Arizona, which has been used to look at some of the thousands of KOIs that Kepler detects and identify them as planets, helped him in his application to be a Kepler Participating Scientist.  “My particular role is to do imaging follow-up of any stars that Kepler seems to find as potentially interesting,” Crepp said.   In addition to working with the Kepler mission, Crepp said he is working on a proposal to develop an instrument that detects planets orbiting small stars that are nearer to Earth – Kepler can only detect those that are more than 1,000 light-years away. He said the new instrument would use the Doppler method to measure the “wobble” of stars as the stars’ and planets’ gravitational fields affect one another.  The ultimate goal of developing such a device is to find nearby planets with the right characteristics, including a sufficiently developed atmosphere, to support extraterrestrial life, Crepp said. One Notre Dame professor has been asked to directly lend his expertise to the efforts of NASA to find inhabitable planets beyond our solar system.last_img read more

  • Professor analyzes post-World War II liturgical spaces

    first_imgGretchen Buggeln, the Phyllis and Richard Duesenberg Chair in Christianity and the Arts at Valparaiso University, analyzed why post-World War II American churches look the way they do in a lecture titled, “Art, Architecture and Liturgical Space in Postwar America,” presented Tuesday in DeBartolo Hall.Buggeln’s lecture, sponsored by the Cushwa Center for Study of American Catholicism, looked at Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist and Presbyterian churches primarily built in the 1950s and ’60s in the Midwest.Buggeln said much of her research focuses on how people experienced architectural space during these times.“For a worship space to succeed, it has to support the ritual needs of the community,” Buggeln said.Buggeln explained that her most recent research focused on understanding the way church leaders, architects and the laity grappled with the place of art, the character of modernism and the relative agenda of society in Postwar America.Focusing primarily on the works of Edward Dart, Edward Sovik and Charles Stade, Buggeln employed these architects’ projects to illustrate the changing orientation of worship space in Protestant churches at the time.“The buildings were designed with a high degree of intentionality, and three themes were prominent in the development of the churches in this time period,” she said. “Leaders at this time thought that church architecture was derivative and inauthentic, so they worked toward moral fervor. There was also feelings of ambiguity over the future, and the future of the church in the modern world, so Christianity needed a new form to speak to the modern person.“Finally, practical and financial concerns drove the building projects with discussions of necessary programs and the need to keep costs down,” she said.These themes, Buggeln noted, led to a triumph of modernism in Christian architecture as well as a desire for cultural relevance, specifically in how Christian symbols would be displayed in American society. Furthermore, these themes encouraged the use of new and cheaper building materials that became a great match for these new designs.Buggeln pointed out that two main styles came forth in this period because there was no definitive solution to church planning: Revivalism – which allowed for auditorium style churches that were influenced by theatres, and Romanticism – which incorporated long rectangular spaces and historical references such as Roman columns and Gothic stain glass windows.Buggeln also discussed the art inside the church, focusing on the cohesion between church architecture and the art in the liturgical space. American churches in the postwar era had to work with simpler buildings and with less resources than their European counterparts, so the sculptures, altars, stained glass and painted murals were radically different that art of earlier periods. Nonetheless, the churches still fulfilled their goal of creating effective and faithful communication of the grace of God, she said.At the conclusion of the lecture, Buggeln noted that these buildings and the art within them are rich repositories of the ideas that reanimated American congregations in the postwar years.“This was a significant, unique episode in American religious history and the way that faith took material form in these residential urban neighborhoods and the expanding suburbs gives us really quite revealing window into the religious culture of that place and time,” she said.Tags: architecture, architecture in churches, Buggelin, charles stade, cushwa center for study of american catholicism, edward dart, edward sovik, Gretchen Buggeln, post-world war II american churches, Valparaiso, Valparaiso Universitylast_img read more

  • Visiting professor details breakthrough for airline industry labor union

    first_imgRyan Murphy, an assistant professor of history from the Earlham College, gave a lecture Friday on his award-winning book, “Deregulating Desire: Flight Attendant Activism, Family Politics and Workplace Justice,” as part of the Higgins Labor Program’s series Lunchtime Labor RAPS.Murphy spoke briefly about having worked as a flight attendant in 1988 before transitioning to life as a graduate student after the events of 9/11 and how his experiences led him to write his book.“This book is the culmination of my dissertation project for my Ph.D. in American Studies, and what I would say it does is two things. Number one is it tells a story of my coworkers and me and of our union and of its history from 1970 to the present, so it establishes a narrative of flight attendant labor organizing,” Murphy said. “The second thing that it does is it identifies a phenomenon in that it is connected to the specifics of airline work.”Murphy pointed out that the flight attendant workforce was quite unusual for its time, in that “in 1998 … almost 90 percent of [his] colleagues were women, a largely female workforce because of the original history of airlines almost always requiring flight attendants to be young, single white women.” This culture resulted in “a really unusual situation in that almost all the households in [his] workplace were woman-headed households.”This contributed to the larger phenomenon of “families generally [becoming] ever the less traditional,” Murphy said.This coincided with another trend of “traditional family [becoming] ever the more important to U.S. politics,” Murphy said.“The airline was a place to kind of tease out how that happened, and how people can counter-mobilize against the use of ‘traditional family’ as an idea to work against workers, and workers were at large in all positions,” he said.He then read and explained a few excerpts from his book. The first excerpt was an explanation of how “many new airline jobs are similar to casual labor because they are very low wage and part-time.”“[In Delta Airlines,] many employees begin their customer service careers in a non-union program called ‘ready reserve,’ where the starting wage is $9.07 per hour,” Murphy said. “Though they may fly free on Delta flights, ready reserves have no other benefits. No health insurance, no sick pay, no vacation and no retirement. Ready reserve is a part-time position, and workers rarely accrue more than 20 hours a week.”Another example came from Allegiant airlines, whose “virtual domicile base program” for pilots forced them to relocate to new cities and be away from their families for at least one month.“Itinerant groups of mostly male workers leave their loved ones to live on the road, flying long trips with short layovers and then sitting idle with other men in airport motels until Allegiant calls with the next assignment,” Murphy said.After expanding on these parallels between airline employees and casual labor, Murphy shared an anecdote from 1983, when TWA’s flight attendants won a small victory against their company. In this incident, “management [was] cracking down and trying to force flight attendants into giving up work rules,” Murphy said.“Work rules are basically, in the airline industry, those things that allow you to work shorter hours and have more control over your schedule, so you can have more time outside of work, which is especially important to single women heads of household, or any head of household,” Murphy said.Although the flight attendants’ union offered a chance to formally negotiate the terms, management refused.“During the last week of February, the company sent a new settlement offer directly to the homes of all 5,500 TWA flight attendants,” Murphy said. “They did so without notifying core union activists and without offering to negotiate the deal. … Although the offer that managers sent directly to flight attendants included the work rule cuts management had sought from the union, it came with an hourly pay increase of 30 percent over five years.”This, Murphy said, was the company’s “effort to divide rank-and-file flight attendants from the union negotiating committee.”“Managers wagered that union leaders would be more committed to protecting those work rules than those in the front lines,” he said. “Managers thus made an offer that coupled work rule givebacks … with a large hourly pay increase, a package that they guessed would appeal to ordinary flight attendants while remaining unacceptable to union leaders with a long-standing commitment to feminist activism.”Murphy said this was a huge misjudgment from the company.“Work rules would give flight attendants the time and the money that pilots, machinist, ground crews and managers had always expected,” he said. “But in this particular case, a 30 percent raise — as in the era of low inflation — would actually do the exact same thing, even if it came with work rule givebacks. … [It] would give TWA flight attendants both the time and the money that they had been demanding since the 1970s.”This realization caused the flight attendants’ union to accept the deal during a dramatic arbitration meeting with the company, at which a federal mediator was present. The deal was “one of the most lucrative economic offers recently negotiated by any group in the airline industry,” Murphy said.He said that the real significance of this victory had political and cultural significance because it broke barriers defined by class and gender.“Flight attendant crews could access middle-class economic resources without necessarily living in middle class social locations or subscribing to middle-class cultural values,” Murphy said. “All of a sudden, just like automobile workers, just like machinists and just like building tradesmen, flight attendants could buy a house, send a child to the university or take a winter vacation at the beach.“But unlike their labor movement peers, 91 percent of TWA flight attendants in the mid-1980s were women. … Therefore, although many flight attendants lived in domesticated nuclear families, those families became far less traditional after March 1983 because they could count on a feminized service worker to be their breadwinner.”last_img read more

  • Jamestown Police Update Protocols Amid Virus Outbreak

    first_imgJAMESTOWN – Jamestown Police have updated their protocols amid the COVID-19, novel Coronavirus, outbreak.Jamestown Police Chief Harry Snellings, in a news release Friday, said effective immediately when calling for assistance all calls to dispatch will be screened in order to see if the caller is ill.Snellings says for non-emergency calls that can be handled over the phone; an officer will call back to take the report.Any call that requires an officer to response to a location, the officer will follow social distancing rules. Police are also encouraging the community to call ahead before visiting the police station.Snellings says there is no change to in-progress or emergency call procedures. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more