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Students reflect on activities as “Welcome Weekend” concludes

first_imgWelcome Weekend drew to a close Monday, concluding orientation activities for incoming first-year and transfer students.Junior Prathm Juneja, student government chief of staff, said he thought this year’s Welcome Weekend staff and student government volunteers did a great job of creating an “all-inclusive” environment for new students.“I think what we did best was trying to establish a welcoming, incoming connection individually to really show that student government really cares about our students,” he said. “Everyone here can be really connected and it should be an opportunity for everyone to get to know each other.”Freshman Carmen Bolivar, also a resident of Lewis Hall, said moving into her dorm helped her feel welcomed during her first few days at Notre Dame. Her older brother knew a sophomore Welcome Weekend ambassador in Lewis, who she met during the weekend.“I think just seeing her and starting to meet everyone in Lewis was super fun,” Bolivar said. “I think just having that as my first experience coming into Notre Dame really made me feel more in the family and really connected to everyone.”Freshman Carina Walton-Roberts, a resident of Lewis Hall, said her favorite event was the class photo.“I liked Domerfest but I think the most fun would probably be the class picture that we took,” she said. “They took it from the football field and we stood like the band does in the ND shape.”Sophomore Dea Meissner, said she and other transfer students were divided into small groups which allowed them to get to know other students. Meissner said it was especially helpful for those who were not Gateway students — students who enroll at Holy Cross College during their first year of studies and transfer to Notre Dame during their sophomore year.“I think they did a good job of breaking people into small groups because I think the hardest part is no one knows each other or you’re in a situation where half of the people are Gateway and you’re not Gateway,” she said.Sophomore Kyla Kosidowski, a Gateway transfer student, said each small group was led by upperclassmen who had transferred to Notre Dame in previous years.“They were really willing to help us with anything we needed, and … they were just more than happy to help us with anything that we had questions on,” she said. “So that’s been nice, [having] a support system from people who’ve already been through the same thing we have.”Junior Margaret Meserve, Cavanaugh Hall’s Welcome Weekend co-captain, said it was rewarding to see the event come together this weekend.“  … You go into things like this with a little bit of anxiety because it’s kind of your baby,” she said. “We’ve been working on it since the spring so I think we started in April. It’s a long time of planning … but it really just ended up being a success so I think it went really well.”Tags: Class of 2021, Welcome Weekend 2017last_img read more

Asia forms world’s biggest trade bloc, excluding U.S.

first_imgThe deal was signed on the sidelines of an online ASEAN summit held as Asian leaders address tensions in the South China Sea and tackle plans for a post-pandemic economic recovery in a region where U.S.-China rivalry has been rising.In an unusual ceremony, held virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic, leaders of RCEP countries took turns standing behind their trade ministers who, one by one, signed copies of the agreement, which they then showed triumphantly to the cameras.“RCEP will soon be ratified by signatory countries and take effect, contributing to the post-COVID pandemic economic recovery,” said Nguyen Xuan Phuc, prime minister of Vietnam, which hosted the ceremony as ASEAN chair.RCEP will account for 30% of the global economy, 30% of the global population and reach 2.2 billion consumers, Vietnam said.‘Historical breakthrough’China’s finance ministry said the new bloc’s promises include eliminating some tariffs within the group, including some immediately and others over 10 years.There were no details on which products and which countries would see immediate reduction in tariffs.“For the first time, China and Japan reached a bilateral tariff reduction arrangement, achieving a historic breakthrough,” the ministry said in a statement, without giving further details.The deal marks the first time rival East Asian powers China, Japan and South Korea have been in a single free trade agreement.Despite being outside RCEP and having been in the administration that propelled the TPP, President-elect Joe Biden – Obama’s vice president – is unlikely to rejoin the TPP anytime soon, analysts said, as his government will have to prioritize handling the COVID-19 outbreak at home.“I’m not sure that there will be much focus on trade generally, including efforts to rejoin” the TPP successor grouping, “for the first year or so because there will be such a focus on COVID relief,” Charles Freeman, senior vice president for Asia at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said this month.RCEP “will help reduce or remove tariffs on industrial and agricultural products and set out rules for data transmission,” said Luong Hoang Thai, head of the Multilateral Trade Policy Department at Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade.The pact will take effect once enough participating countries ratify the agreement domestically within the next two years, Indonesia’s trade minister said last week.For China, the new group, including many U.S. allies, is a windfall largely resulting from Trump’s retreat from the TPP, said ING’s Pang.India pulled out of RCEP talks in November last year, but ASEAN leaders said the door remained open for it to join. The United States is absent from both RCEP and the successor to the Obama-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), leaving the world’s biggest economy out of two trade groups that span the fastest-growing region on earth.By contrast, RCEP could help Beijing cut its dependence on overseas markets and technology, a shift accelerated by a deepening rift with Washington, said Iris Pang, ING chief economist for Greater China.RCEP groups the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. It aims in coming years to progressively lower tariffs across many areas.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Representatives of signatory countries are pictured on screen during the signing ceremony for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade pact at the ASEAN summit that is being held online in Hanoi on November 15, 2020.NHAC NGUYEN | AFP | Getty Imagescenter_img – Advertisement – Fifteen Asia-Pacific economies formed the world’s largest free trade bloc on Sunday, a China-backed deal that excludes the United States, which had left a rival Asia-Pacific grouping under President Donald Trump.The signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) at a regional summit in Hanoi, is a further blow to the group pushed by former U.S. president Barack Obama, which his successor Trump exited in 2017.Amid questions over Washington’s engagement in Asia, RCEP may cement China’s position more firmly as an economic partner with Southeast Asia, Japan and Korea, putting the world’s second-biggest economy in a better position to shape the region’s trade rules.- Advertisement –last_img read more

‘Double Arrears’: Football House Owes Staffers, Referees

first_imgThe Chief Scribe of the 53-member Secretariat of the Liberia Football Association (LFA) and the President of the Liberia Football Referees Association (LIFRA) have both confirmed arrears of salaries and match indemnities.The LFA’s Secretary General Alphonso Armah has admitted that the football house owes it staffers for three months as of Wednesday, April 30, 2014; while LIFRA President, Atty. Joseph Kollie has announced that the LFA is indebted to the referees for over US$10,000.Mr. Armah, in an exclusive interview with the Daily Observer yesterday, failed to state whether the outstanding in the employees’ salaries was due to technical or administrative reasons, but said the staffers would be paid this week.“I don’t know why the press is blowing this thing out of proportion, but let me say this, they will be paid this week – I mean they will get their salaries this week,” Mr. Armah said.For his part, the Liberia’s referee boss, in a poignant tone said the LFA owed them about little over US$10,000 because after the April 14 inauguration, they received some of their outstanding receivables.“We are hopeful before the start of the National Play-off of the 3rd division teams, the LFA would clear us off,” Atty. Kollie said.Though he refused to state whether the referees would lay down their wrestles, reports gathered have said that discontentment is fast setting in and there is growing disgruntlement among the referees, something soccer administrators presage could spell embarrassment for the National Playoff.However, football pundits have argued that the apparent sluggishness in the payment of salaries of LFA employees and matches indemnities for referees are cruelty in that FIFA provides an annual Financial Assistance Programme (FAP) to every member country.The FIFA’s FAP is designed to support its member associations and the confederations to improve their administrative and technical capabilities.According to the FIFA’s FAP, Liberia receives US$250,000 every year including bonuses, if FIFA deems it necessary.Unconfirmed reports say Liberia has received approximately US$500,000 for bonuses between 2010 and 2012 excluding the annual US$250,000.“The annual amount of funds available as financial support for all member associations and confederations under the FAP (“FAP funds”) is determined in FIFA’s annual budget (except for FAP bonus payments), which is ratified by the FIFA Congress and communicated to the member associations and confederations by the FIFA general secretariat,” Chapter 4 of the FIFA FAP’s regulations stated.Besides the FIFA’s FAP, the LFA also receives US$165,000 every year from Cellcom GSM, for sponsorship for the National League, which is known as the Cellcom LFA National League.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more