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Remarks of Senator Patrick Leahy at the Economic Recovery Conference at Champlain College

first_imgThank you, President Finney and Champlain College, for hosting us at this timely conference today.  We welcome this opportunity to offer Vermonters, Vermont businesses, and Vermont communities a chance to learn more about how they can take advantage of the recently passed federal economic recovery act.  And the more rapidly and effectively that Vermont puts these resources to work, the better we will be able to keep Vermonters working today, and the better we will be able to lay the groundwork for growing our economy for the jobs of tomorrow.   I d like to thank the Vermont Procurement and Technical Assistance Center and the Vermont Small Business Development Center for sponsoring and helping to organize this event.  For those of you who don t know about the great work these organizations do and the many other organizations represented at this conference today I really encourage you to take advantage of their superb knowledge and expertise about doing business in Vermont.  I also want to thank Governor Douglas, Legislative leaders, and so many Federal and State officials for being here today.  The Congressional Delegation worked closely with the Governor and the Legislature under the leadership of Senator Peter Shumlin and Speaker Shap Smith and with State agencies to make sure that the economic recovery plan is a good match for Vermont s job needs today and in the future. Vermonters are hurting today because of the economic and financial crises gripping the world.  We have a rising unemployment rate.  The State s budget, local municipal budgets and local school budgets are all stretched to the breaking point.  Our roads and bridges are strained and worn.  And hard-working families are struggling to put food on the table.  This really is one of the worst economic messes our country has seen since the Great Depression. As President Obama so clearly told the nation last week before a joint meeting of the Congress, rebuilding the foundation of a strong economy won t be easy.  It will take sacrifice, and it will take wise, concerted and sometimes courageous action.  And this economic recovery package is just one part of the solution.  We still have to stabilize our financial markets, our housing market, and consumer confidence in our overall economy.Some want these efforts to fail.  Worse yet, some pundits and even some politicians seem determined to try to make these efforts fail.  We cannot afford that kind of corrosive negativism in the best of times.  And when it comes to setting right an economy that has been going off keel for many years, this is anything but the best of times.  As for this Vermonter — and I think as for many, many Vermonters — I want this President and this country to succeed.  Some of the tools we need for economic recovery are in this legislative package, and the workshops where these tools will be put to work are right here in Vermont and in other states.  If Vermont gets a little head start on other states — that s OK by me.  This conference, which we re told is the first statewide conference of its kind, can help us jump off the starting block.   And I must say that the interest you have shown in being here is a sign that Vermonters are ready to lead the way back to economic vitality.  The economic recovery package is bold action taken by the Federal government to help put Americans back to work and we must be prepared to quickly and constructively take advantage of it. The package includes tax relief for working families and for businesses.  There are investments for broadband deployment, for job training, for electrical smart grids, for water and transportation infrastructure, for better schools, for housing, for first responders, for new energy sources, and for a whole host of other items that will help cushion pressures on the State budget, and for helping to lay the groundwork for a renewed and vibrant Vermont economy.In all, we expect Vermont will receive more than $700 million in direct federal funding under this economic recovery package, with hundreds of millions more coming to the State through competitive grant programs and tax reductions for individuals and businesses.President Obama has ordered Federal agencies to detail all of their economic recovery plans on the www.Recovery.gov(link is external) Website a site that I suggest you all bookmark on your computers.  According to the site, most of the Federal funding won t be released to states or noticed for competitive bidding until May.  But all of Washington has been impressed by the quick and competent way that formula grant funds already are flowing to the states, including millions of dollars to Vermont. Nevertheless, we hope that today s sessions will give you a sense of the breadth of opportunities available in the economic recovery package, will help you get a sense of how these resources will be directed, and will get you started thinking about ways your business, your organization, your municipality, or you yourself can take advantage of these opportunities.I ll caution you now — we probably won t have answers to all of your questions today.  As this bill goes into implementation it s impossible to know the details of everything.  My staff, the governor s staff, and our workshop panelists will do their best with the information they have available.  Most Federal and State agencies are still working on their rules and distribution plans right now, so please feel free to follow up with any of us in the weeks and months ahead. Again, thank you all for coming.  We appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedules to be here today.  I hope you ll find this a worthwhile conference because the economic recovery package really is a unique opportunity to save and create jobs and to make life better here in Vermont. Thank you.last_img read more

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Harvard study suggests tumbling object may have been alien craft

first_imgCambridge, Ma. — A mysterious cigar-shaped object spotted tumbling through our solar system last year may have been an alien spacecraft sent to investigate Earth, astronomers from Harvard University have suggested.The object, nicknamed ‘Oumuamua, meaning “a messenger that reaches out from the distant past” in Hawaiian, was first discovered in October 2017 by the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope in Hawaii.Since its discovery, scientists have been at odds to explain its unusual features and precise origins, with researchers first calling it a comet and then an asteroid, before finally deeming it the first of its kind: a new class of “interstellar objects.”Now, a new paper by researchers at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics raises the possibility that the elongated dark-red object, which is 10 times as long as it is wide and traveling at speeds of 196,000 mph, might have an “artificial origin.”“‘Oumuamua may be a fully operational probe sent intentionally to Earth vicinity by an alien civilization,” they wrote in the paper, which has been submitted to the Astrophysical Journal Letters.The theory is based on the object’s “excess acceleration,” or its unexpected boost in speed as it traveled through and ultimately out of our solar system in January 2018.“Considering an artificial origin, one possibility is that ‘Oumuamua is a light sail, floating in interstellar space as a debris from an advanced technological equipment,” wrote the paper’s authors, suggesting that the object could be propelled by solar radiation.The paper, written by Abraham Loeb, professor and chair of astronomy, and Shmuel Bialy, a postdoctoral scholar, at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, points out that comparable light-sails already exist on earth.“Light-sails with similar dimensions have been designed and constructed by our own civilization, including the IKAROS project and the Starshot Initiative. The light-sail technology might be abundantly used for transportation of cargos between planets or between stars.”In the paper, the pair theorize that the object’s high speed and its unusual trajectory could be the result of it no longer being operational.“This would account for the various anomalies of ‘Oumuamua, such as the unusual geometry inferred from its light-curve, its low thermal emission, suggesting high reflectivity, and its deviation from a Keplerian orbit without any sign of a cometary tail or spin-up torques.”‘Oumuamua is the first object ever seen in our solar system that is known to have originated elsewhere.At first, astronomers thought the rapidly moving faint light was a regular comet or an asteroid that had originated in our solar system.Comets, in particular, are known to speed-up due to a process known as “outgassing,” in which the sun heats up the surface of the icy comet, releasing melted gas. But ‘Oumuamua didn’t have a “coma,” the atmosphere and dust that surrounds comets as they melt.Multiple telescopes focused on the object for three nights to determine what it was before it moved out of sight.“We are fortunate that our sky survey telescope was looking in the right place at the right time to capture this historic moment,” NASA Planetary Defense Officer Lindley Johnson said in a statement last year.“This serendipitous discovery is bonus science enabled by NASA’s efforts to find, track and characterize near-Earth objects that could potentially pose a threat to our planet.” CNN Wire Reportlast_img read more

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Super Spurs Thrash Sarri’s Chelsea 3-1

first_imgTottenham inflicted Maurizio Sarri’s first competitive defeat as Chelsea boss to leapfrog their London rivals into third in the Premier League with a 3-1 win at Wembley that barely reflected Spurs’ dominance.Dele Alli and Harry Kane put the hosts 2-0 in front inside 16 minutes and Son Heung-min’s brilliant individual run and finish early in the second-half hauled Mauricio Pochettino’s side back to within five points of league leaders Manchester City.Olivier Giroud pulled back a late consolation for Chelsea, who slipped eight points off the leaders with a dreadful display that left Sarri visibly frustrated. By contrast, Spurs couldn’t have started a huge week in better form with a do-or-die Champions League clash with Inter Milan and the North London derby against Arsenal to come.Chelsea were unbeaten in their first 18 games in all competitions under Sarri, but were blown away by a combination of Spurs’ flying start and some questionable defending.The world’s most expensive goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga also failed to cover himself in glory for both of Spurs opening goals.Alli got ahead of his marker to flick home Christian Eriksen’s free-kick despite the £71 million Kepa getting a hand to the English international’s header.Eight minutes later Kane was given acres of room to stride forward and take aim from outside the area, but again Kepa could have done better as the Spaniard stood motionless while the ball nestled in the net low to his right.Chelsea felt aggrieved as they could have had a penalty seconds before Kane’s goal when Juan Foyth appeared to trip Eden Hazard inside the area.Alvaro Morata was then denied at point-blank range by Hugo Lloris as the visitors briefly threatened to get back into the game. But they remained a shambles at the back and were lucky not to be put to the sword more comprehensively after the break.Spurs’ solitary second-half goal was delivered in style by Son as he accelerated past Jorginho and David Luiz before slotting his 50th goal for the club into the far corner.Kane then somehow fired over with the goal at his mercy and Alli also skewed a great chance off target as Sarri bellowed at his side to regain some composure.The Italian managed to make a difference with the introduction of Ross Barkley, Pedro Rodriguez and Giroud from the bench. And it was Giroud who grabbed Chelsea’s consolation five minutes from time when he powered home Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross at the back post.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Son and Kane got a goal each in a dominant Spurs performancelast_img read more

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