he contract will provide a minimum of 30 Non-Umbilical Downhole Deployment Valves Weatherford signs four-year contract with Eni. (Credit: Adam Radosavljevic from Pixabay) Weatherford International has been awarded an exclusive four-year contract with Eni S.p.A. The contract will provide a minimum of 30 Non-Umbilical Downhole Deployment Valves (NU-DDV™) that will be deployed in Eni’s critical wells, improving their operational safety and reservoir performance.“This award is the result of two years of R&D collaboration with Eni to launch a downhole casing isolation valve with RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Device),” said Dean Bell, President, Drilling, Evaluation and Intervention for Weatherford. “The goal was to develop an innovative solution capable of providing an independent downhole safety barrier to supplement the conventional barriers already in place, assuring control of unwanted formation influx while tripping.”During MPD or UBD applications, the NU-DDV addresses operators’ need to improve process safety by mechanically isolating the surface from the reservoir during tripping, thereby eliminating the need to kill the well. The RFID-enabled valve eliminates external control line and clamping operations, thus providing increased system reliability, decreased installation time and removal of personnel from the red zone. This NU-DDV also eliminates swabbing effects and reduces tripping time for improved operational efficiency.Bell added, “This contract aligns with both the Weatherford and Eni pursuit of continuous improvement in operational safety and environmental performance across the start-to-finish drilling and completion process.” Source: Company Press Release
Back to overview,Home naval-today US aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson returns home Share this article US aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson returns home View post tag: US Navy View post tag: USS Carl Vinson A June 12 US Navy photo of USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) transiting the Pacific.U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and the ships from its carrier strike group are set to return to their homeports of Naval Air Station North Island and Naval Base San Diego, June 23, following a five-and-a-half-month deployment to the Western Pacific.Returning with Carl Vinson are guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57), guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108), along with embarked Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 1.USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112), also part of the strike group, departed from its homeport of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Jan. 13, and returned, June 13.During the deployment, the strike group conducted operations with the Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force consisting of visit, board, search and seizure drills, tactical maneuvering, flag hoisting drills, and air, surface and anti-submarine warfare training.The strike group also participated in the maritime portion of exercise Foal Eagle, a series of annual defense-oriented training events designed to increase readiness to defend the ROK, protect the region, and maintain stability on the Korean Peninsula. The exercise was conducted by ROK-U.S. Combined Forces Command and United States component commands in Korea, to include ground, air, naval and special operations.Additionally, Michael Murphy conducted an 18-day joint mission with the U.S. Coast Guard in the Central and South Pacific under the Oceania Maritime Security Initiative (OMSI) to combat transnational crimes, enforce fisheries laws and enhance regional security.Over the five-and-a-half month span, the strike group conducted port visits in Fiji, Guam, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Saipan, Singapore and Solomon Islands. While visiting each port, Sailors participated in numerous community service events, including volunteer service at schools, community centers, animal shelters and food banks. June 23, 2017 Authorities
Wadham will trial a new smoking policy for Trinity Term that limits the act to areas “immediately” around eight smoking bins.The college informed students of the new policy via an email on 24 April.According to the email, Wadham “conducted a consultation last term on its smoking policy.”“As a result, Governing Body has decided that for a trial period lasting for all of Trinity Term, smoking on the main College site will be restricted to the immediate vicinity of the existing smoking bins.”A map attached to the email marks the locations of the smoking bins, most of which are skirting the edge of campus.The email continues: “The College will be closely monitoring adherence to the new guidelines, and will review the smoking policy at the end of the term.“It is essential that these new guidelines are fully respected. If they are not, the College will consider moving to a total smoking ban.”The email also warned students that there is no smoking bin outside the MCR, “where many smokers currently choose to congregate.”Wadham joins St Hugh’s college in trialling a smoking ban in Trinity, while seven colleges including St Edmund Hall and Mansfield have blanket bans on smoking.St Hugh’s decision to trail a ban was criticised by some students as “ridiculous” and “parental.”When Exeter announced a ban that was later withdrawn, Exeter JCR Disabilities Rep Grace Tully told Cherwell: “Habitual smokers are aware of the drawbacks and danger of the habit, but our community gains nothing from physically and socially ostracizing those of us who do still smoke.”Emily Patterson wrote in a 2017 comment article for Cherwell that banning smoking “simply means that [smokers] do not do it in a way that makes an impact on other peoples’ lives and health.“While colleges are not public spaces, we should remember that they are home to many people, and having an area filling with toxic fumes will not make everybody feel at home there.”
Thanksgiving is traditionally one of the busiest travel periods of the year. As families take to the roads this holiday season, law enforcement is reminding drivers that extra patrols will be cracking down on impaired and dangerous driving behavior and seat belt violations as we attempt to increase safety on our Indiana roadways.This patrol effort has been appropriately designated as “Operation Safe Family Travel”, where upwards of 150 extra Troopers will be working overtime hours as part of a comprehensive effort to curb impaired and dangerous driving. Identifying high risk driving behaviors, such as high speeds, following too closely, unsafe lane movements, distracted driving / texting while driving, and failure to properly use seatbelts and child restraints are just a few of the targeted violations.The Indiana State Police remind drivers that proper planning, preparation, and time management are the keys to any successful commute, especially during periods of holiday travel when our roadways are heavily traveled.Plan your route ahead of time to include consideration for inclement weather forecasts, areas of road construction, and areas known for heavy congestion, all issues that may increase your travel time and risk associated with operating in heavy traffic.Ensure that your vehicle is mechanically sound and up to handling the trip. Sufficient tire tread and proper tire pressures lead not only to better fuel consumption, but combined with a proper brake system, these are two of the most important mechanical components contributing to safe vehicle handling.As you plan your trip, make sure that you give yourself plenty of extra time so that you don’t find yourself feeling rushed. Drivers up against a time crunch will undoubtedly find themselves more likely to be distracted, and more likely to take risks while driving in order to expedite travel time.Last year in Indiana, the 2018 Thanksgiving holiday period from November 21-24 experienced more than 2,100 vehicle crashes across the state. 267 of those crashes involved personal injury, and seven involved fatalities.The Indiana State Police Fort Wayne Post is committed to making this 2019 Thanksgiving holiday as safe as possible for all motorists on our roadways in northeast Indiana. As you head out to spend time with family and friends this week, please join your Troopers in making this a safe and enjoyable holiday for all. Plan accordingly, don’t be rushed, and avoid impaired and dangerous driving behaviors. FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
The University of Southern Indiana Board of Trustees has announced the appointment of Dr. Ronald S. Rochon, USI provost, as USI’s fourth president. The announcement was made at a special session of the Board on Thursday, April 19.“After an exhaustive search, I am excited to announce that Dr. Ron Rochon emerged as the best candidate for the position of president,” said Harold Calloway, chair of the USI Board of Trustees and chair of the Presidential Search Committee. “Dr. Rochon has proven to be a strong leader and true person of character, and we look forward to seeing him continue to sustainably grow USI in size, stability and in reputation.”Rochon joined USI as provost in 2010. As provost, he directly supervised the deans of USI’s four academic colleges, Graduate Studies, Outreach & Engagement, International Programs, Rice Library, Student Affairs and all other academic departments. During his tenure, Rochon oversaw the revamping of the University Core Curriculum and UNIV 101 seminar course, led the creation and approval of USI’s second doctoral program in Educational Leadership, developed new opportunities and programs for undergraduate, graduate and online learning students, and fostered new approaches to recruit students to campus and developed programs to help them excel.“I am honored and humbled by the opportunity to serve as the next USI president,” said Rochon. “The responsibility to shepherd and continue the growth of this amazing institution is something that I am grateful for and take very seriously.”The Presidential Search Committee and Board of Trustees conducted a national search for the position, which drew more than 90 qualified candidates for review. The candidate pool ranged from sitting university presidents to executives outside the higher education landscape. The committee narrowed the pool to four finalists, which were presented to the Board for the final decision.“I want to express my thanks to the Search Committee members who put in hours of work reviewing and interviewing candidates, and who sacrificed time and energy to ensure USI had the best person for the job,” said Calloway. “This was by no means an easy decision. All of the finalists were well qualified for the position. I also want to thank Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, the search firm that assisted us throughout this process.”Rochon’s academic and professional career has focused on advocating for educational excellence, access, equity and equality. He has taught classes on the history of American Education, culturally relevant and responsive teaching practices within pre-K through 12 schools, and organizational leadership within higher educational settings. His body of work has centered on the needs of diverse learners within underserved schools and communities as well as their integral contributions to the larger society.“My love for this institution comes directly from my love of teaching, and I’m proud that USI has some of the best educators at any university in the country,” said Rochon. “The relationship between our faculty members and our students is crucial to our success, and I am excited to see what the next generation of Screaming Eagle role models will do when they come to campus and experience that relationship for themselves.”Prior to coming to USI, Rochon served as the inaugural dean of the School of Education and associate vice president for Teacher Education and professor at Buffalo State. He was director and co-founder of the Research Center for Cultural Diversity and Community Renewal at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, as well as interim associate dean and director of the school of education. In 2010, Rochon also served as chair of the Board of the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (Washington, DC). His professional teaching career has included work at Texas A & M University, Washington State University, and University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse. Rochon earned a bachelor’s degree at Tuskegee University and master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His doctoral work was in educational policy studies, with an emphasis in educational history and policy analysis.Rochon will assume the duties of president on July 1, succeeding Dr. Linda L. M. Bennett who will retire on June 30 after nine years as president. He resides in Newburgh with his wife, Lynn, and two children.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
A new festival is bringing the bluegrass to Florida, as the inaugural Anastasia Music Festival has just been announced! The three day event will head to the St. Augustine Amphitheater from March 16-18, bringing along a stellar lineup of folk and bluegrass favorites.The festival will see performances from The Del McCoury Band (two sets), David Grisman’s Bluegrass Experience, Sam Bush, Elephant Revival, Fruition (two sets), Cabinet (two sets), The Jeff Austin Band, The Travelin’ McCourys (two sets), Mandolin Orange (two sets), Sierra Hull, The Broomestix, Dustbowl Revival (two sets), Joe Pug, Jon Stickley Trio (two sets), Grits & Soul (two sets), Nikki Talley (two sets), Taylor Martin (two sets), and Steve Pruett as an artist-at-large. Still more artists are yet to be announced.Tickets and more information for Anastasia can be found here! Enjoy.
A federal court in Boston will receive motions for summary judgment on Friday in a lawsuit involving Harvard College’s admissions process that experts say could reshape the nation’s higher education landscape and undermine efforts to foster diverse student communities at colleges and universities across the country. A trial date has been tentatively set for October.In a lawsuit filed in 2014, an organization calling itself Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) alleged that Harvard discriminates against Asian-American students in its admissions processes. Harvard has denied the claim, saying its admissions policy is based on a whole-person review of each applicant that comports with federal law and a string of previous U.S. Supreme Court rulings.The driving force behind the litigation is Edward Blum, SFFA’s president and chief architect of a range of lawsuits challenging affirmative action and civil rights protections, including most recently an unsuccessful attempt in Fisher v. University of Texas. After failing to eliminate the use of race as one of many factors in college admissions with the Texas case, Blum said he “needed Asian plaintiffs” and created SFFA, an organization that purports to work on behalf of Asian-Americans.Blum, who seeks out candidates as plaintiffs in his cases, recruited Asian-American applicants who had been denied admission to Harvard College to take part in the current lawsuit. SFFA has similar suits pending against the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and again against the University of Texas at Austin.Terry W. Hartle, senior vice president for government relations and public affairs at the American Council on Education, sees the litigation as part of a “broader debate about higher education diversity and the ability of colleges and universities to decide who gets admitted. The Supreme Court has repeatedly and unambiguously said that consideration of race can be one factor in college admissions decisions; it can’t be the only factor.”Some observers view the Harvard case as the latest attempt to strike at the heart of diversity policies more broadly, including John C. Yang, president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, a nonprofit whose mission is to “advance the civil and human rights for Asian Americans and to build and promote a fair and equitable society for all.” Yang, whose organization helped sponsor a 2016 national poll that found 64 percent of Asian-Americans favored efforts to ensure that people of all races and ethnicities could access higher education, said he wants to make it clear “that Asian-Americans are not a wedge in this issue.”In a letter to the community on Tuesday, Harvard President Drew Faust reiterated the University’s commitment to diversity, and its efforts to develop a diverse student body.“I have affirmed in the past, and do so again today, that Harvard will vigorously defend its longstanding values and the processes by which it seeks to create a diverse educational community,” Faust wrote. “We will stand behind an approach that has been held up as legal and fair by the Supreme Court, one that relies on broad and extensive outreach to exceptional students in order to attract excellence from all backgrounds.”The admissions processIn its complaint, SFFA claimed Harvard uses “racially and ethnically discriminatory policies and procedures in administering the undergraduate admissions program at Harvard College in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.” Specifically, the suit alleges Harvard’s use of race in its admissions process holds Asian-American applicants to a higher standard, that Harvard engages in “racial balancing,” that it uses race as a dominant factor in its admissions decisions, and that it overlooks race-neutral alternatives when choosing which students to admit.In response to the claims, Harvard has consistently denied that it has engaged in racial discrimination or suppressed the number of Asian-American students. Instead, the University says that it reviews every aspect of each applicant’s background and experience in order to develop a diverse student body that University officials say helps better prepare undergraduates to succeed in a society where working with people who have different life experiences, perspectives, and backgrounds is increasingly essential.While this process puts a high value on academic excellence, “when evaluating applicants from among the large pool of academically qualified students who seek a place in the freshman class, Harvard — like many of the country’s universities — considers the whole person, not just an applicant’s grades and test scores,” notes the Harvard response.The website also says that the share of Asian-Americans in each admitted class has grown by 29 percent over the past decade, from 17.6 to 22.7 percent, or twice the growth rate of, for example, admitted Hispanic students, whose share of the class has increased by 12 percent over that period. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, 5.6 percent of all people in the country identified as Asian, either alone or in combination with one or more other races.According to Hartle, colleges and universities across the country engage in similar admissions practices to ensure diversity among their student bodies. The policies, he said, are based on the widely accepted view that students learn most effectively when exposed to people different from themselves.Harvard’s admissions website says it seeks students who will “be the best educators of one another and their professors — individuals who will inspire those around them during their College years and beyond.” Harvard’s admissions process prizes academic excellence but never reduces applicants to any one factor, say administrators.The admissions committee looks at the whole person and considers each applicant’s unique background and experiences, alongside grades and test scores, to find applicants of exceptional ability and character who can help create a campus community that is diverse in many ways — including in academic and extracurricular interests, race, and life experiences — and who can take advantage of all that Harvard offers and contribute to the learning and social environment. Factors such as life experiences, overcoming adversity, or specific talents are particularly important in deciding who will be offered admission, say administrators, adding that this comprehensive process reinforces Harvard’s long-held belief that a diverse campus community is critical to its educational mission and undergraduate experience.A report compiled by the faculty Committee to Study the Importance of Student Body Diversity, and adopted by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in 2016, said a Harvard education is most effective when it challenges assumptions and beliefs both in the classroom and in campus life and exposes students “to novel ideas” and “to people whose backgrounds, points of view, and life experiences are profoundly different from their own.”“We emphatically embrace and reaffirm the University’s long-held view that student body diversity — including racial diversity — is essential to our pedagogical objectives and institutional mission,” the faculty committee concluded. “It enhances the education of all of our students, it prepares them to assume leadership roles in the increasingly pluralistic society into which they will graduate, and it is fundamental to the effective education of the men and women of Harvard College.”David Pilbeam, a member of the committee and a former dean of Harvard College, emphasized the importance of exposing students to diversity to prepare them for the workforce.“All our graduates are going to end up in jobs, in work, and other aspects of their lives dealing to varying extents with people who aren’t exactly like them,” said Pilbeam, Henry Ford II Professor of Human Evolution. “In that context, I think it’s actually a no-brainer to want to put together a group of young people who are diverse on lots of dimensions, including one of the more fundamental aspects of identity.”The legal landscapeThe current case involving Harvard is the most recent in a series of lawsuits argued over the past four decades aimed at eliminating race as one factor among the many that universities can consider when choosing whom to admit. Beginning in 1978, the Supreme Court, in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, upheld consideration of race in admissions but banned racial quotas. In his opinion, Associate Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr. cited Harvard’s admissions program as a model.“In recent years, Harvard College has expanded the concept of diversity to include students from disadvantaged economic, racial, and ethnic groups,” Powell wrote. “Contemporary conditions in the United States mean that, if Harvard College is to continue to offer a first-rate education to its students, minority representation in the undergraduate body cannot be ignored.”The court reaffirmed this decision in 2003 in a case involving the University of Michigan Law School.Most recently, in 2016 the Supreme Court ruled that the University of Texas at Austin could continue to consider the racial and ethnic backgrounds of academically qualified applicants as part of a whole-person admissions review, rejecting efforts to limit the university’s freedom and flexibility to create a diverse campus community and reaffirming previous Supreme Court decisions allowing colleges and universities to consider race as one factor in their admissions processes. Abigail Fisher, a white applicant who had not been admitted and who was subsequently recruited as the plaintiff by SFFA president Blum, argued that campus diversity can be created by alternate methods. But writing for the majority, Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy noted that “the Equal Protection Clause does not force universities to choose between a diverse student body and a reputation for academic excellence.”“As this court has said, enrolling a diverse student body ‘promotes cross-racial understanding, helps to break down racial stereotypes, and enables students to better understand persons of different races,’” Kennedy wrote, quoting a decision in an earlier case. “Equally important, ‘student body diversity promotes learning outcomes, and better prepares students for an increasingly diverse workforce and society.’”What’s at stakeAssessing the 2016 ruling, Tomiko Brown-Nagin, incoming dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and Daniel P.S. Paul Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School, said, “Once again you had a decision upholding a state’s interest in pursuing educational diversity, and upholding the limited use of holistic admissions.” Yet given the narrow way in which the court has tailored previous rulings, Brown-Nagin added that colleges and universities “certainly should be aware that they need to not only endorse the educational benefits of diversity but show that the way in which they are implementing their mission is consistent with the law, that it’s fair, and that applicants are not being denied opportunities based on race.”Brown-Nagin said it’s too early to tell if the current case will end up before the Supreme Court. If it were to be heard by the current justices, she thinks a ruling could depend on Kennedy, who has supported competing arguments in past cases involving race-conscious admissions. “It really will turn on Justice Kennedy,” said Brown-Nagin, “and what he’s thinking about these issues now.”But such cases can take years to reach the high court, and if Kennedy were no longer on the bench when the case was heard, how the court might rule would be far less clear, Brown-Nagin said.In addition to the SFFA lawsuit, the Trump administration recently opened a separate investigation into the role of race in Harvard’s admissions practices. In the spring of 2015, a group lodged a complaint against Harvard with the departments of Education and Justice regarding its use of race as a factor in its admissions. The Department of Education dismissed the case later that year. But in late 2017, the Department of Justice, led by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, resurrected the complaint and opened an investigation.
One vessel, the patrol boat Almirante Didiez Burgos (PA-301), ARD., paid an official visit to the port of Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, and sailed around the Netherlands Antilles. Meanwhile, the other two — Coast Guard boats Orion GC-109, ARD., and Altair, GC-112, ARD. — conducted exercises and patrols in Dominican territorial waters. “In 2013 in Colombia some of our cadets participated in the Unitas exercises and in 2014 some participated in the Basic Course Regional Training Command for Peacekeeping Operations (CREOMPAZ) in Guatemala,” said an ARD spokesman, who asked not to be identified by name. “They have also participated in International Sails Cruises aboard the training ships of Venezuela, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, etc.” After completing the other phases of their training, the crew of the Almirante Didiez Burgos laid a wreath at the bust of Brigadier General Juan Pablo Duarte Diez, (1813-1876), one of the founding fathers of the Dominican Republic, during a ceremony at the Almirante Padilla Naval Cadet School of the city of Cartagena de Indias. That presentation was made by Dominican Republic Navy Commander V. Bisonó and Captain Juan Camilo Forero Hauzeur, the Deputy Director of the Naval School of Cadets, who said the event was an opportunity “to strengthen ties between members of the two Armed Forces and strengthen the ties that bind the sea, such as Naval tradition.” Partners throughout Latin America are helping the ARD train to counter such threats. For example, during its visit to Cartegena, the Almirante Didiez Burgos visited the country’s Almirante Padilla Naval Cadet School; there, four Dominican Caders are studying to become Naval Officers through a cooperative agreement between the countries’ navies. ARD service members participate in joint training operations through such arrangements in Latin America throughout the year. Midshipmen Summer 2015 helps ARD service members prepare to meet the challenges imposed by organized crime groups trying to take advantage of the country’s location in the Caribbean. Such organizations often use maritime routes in the Caribbean to traffic narcotics, weapons and people. The Dominican Navy evolves to confront new threats Three Dominican Republic Navy (ARD) vessels recently completed Midshipmen Summer 2015, an annual two-week training course where Midshipmen perform on a ship what they were taught in classrooms. They carried out search and rescue missions, plotted navigation courses on charts, performed electronic and celestial navigation and administered first aid, among other exercises, before returning to the Naval Post station of Sans Souci on June 30. The Dominican Navy’s traditional role has been focused on “civil-Military operations, defense and coastal security, environmental care and protection, disaster mitigation, both natural and man-made, and maritime security, among other [responsibilities],” said an ARD spokesman, who asked not to be identified by name. But today, he added, Dominican Navy personnel trains “in the fight against drug trafficking, illegal fishing, smuggling (contraband in general), organized crime, common crime, terrorism and other challenges that may arise.” The training has proven useful in efforts such as that launched on January 18, when the Dominican Navy deployed three cutters and two interceptor go-fast boats as part of Amphibious Shield, a security operation in the country’s northern and southern regions to combat organized crime groups who exploit natural resources and traffic narcotics, weapons, humans and contraband, such as untaxed cigarettes. By Dialogo July 31, 2015
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The energy ministers of the United Arab Emirates and Israel discussed possible cooperation and investment opportunities, including natural gas exports to Europe, in a video call on Wednesday, an Israeli statement said.Israel and the UAE signed an agreement on Sept. 15 to establish diplomatic relations, an accord that Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said in the statement presented a “historic opportunity” for energy development in the region.”I spoke [with the UAE energy minister] on cooperating in linking power grids and developing the natural gas market for exports via pipeline to Europe … as well as other projects,” the statement quoted Steinitz as saying. Topics : The statement, released by Steinitz’s office, said he proposed the UAE join an Egypt-based energy forum that seeks to promote natural gas exports from the east Mediterranean.”They [the UAE] said they would examine the issue,” the Israeli statement said.Egypt, Israel, Greece, Cyprus, Italy and Jordan signed a charter on Tuesday establishing the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF).The group unites regional rivals of Turkey, which has been locked in a bitter dispute with European Union members Greece and Cyprus over gas drilling rights in the region.In a report on the Israeli and UAE ministers’ discussion, the UAE state news agency WAM said they spoke about possible investment opportunities in oil, gas and green energy.