Thirteen students from the class of 2015 have received fellowships this year from prestigious programs such as the Fulbright U.S. Student Program and the National Science Foundation, Dr. Jeffrey Thibert said.“This success is a testament to the outstanding undergraduate education that our students receive, not only in terms of their academic work but also in terms of the scholarly engagement activities that they pursue beyond the classroom both in the U.S. and abroad,” said Thibert, the assistant director of national fellowships for the Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement (CUSE).“CUSE looks forward to continuing to work with the Class of 2015 as they become alumni — it’s never too late to apply for some of these fellowships, and every year, alumni receive major awards like the Rhodes Scholarship, the Gates Cambridge Scholarship or the Fulbright.”The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants for international research or study projects and English teaching assistant programs, according to the program’s website. Nine seniors received Fulbright grants this year, and Notre Dame had 17 recipients as an institution, the most the University has ever had, Thibert said.Claire Donovan will travel to Togo in West Africa to research “Micronutrient Fortification and Maternal Health in Togo: A Model for Sustainable Aid” on a fellowship.Christina Gutierrez received the Fulbright/Casten Family Foundation Award to study at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy. Gutierrez is a Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar, as well as a Kellogg Institute International Scholar.(Editor’s note: Gutierrez is the business manager for The Observer.)A Kellog Institute International Scholar, Alexis Palá will be studying in Chile on a Fulbright.Three students earned English Teaching Assistantship grants from the Fulbright program: Leila Green, Kendra Reiser and Ryan Schultheis. Green will be teaching in South Africa, Reiser in Indonesia and Schultheis in Mexico.The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships provide funding for research-based study leading to a master’s or doctoral degree in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math), according to the Fellowships’ website.The program receives more than 16,000 applications for 2015 and awarded 2,000 fellowships.The three recipients of the fellowship were Ashley Armstrong, a mechanical engineer; Patrick Marino, a physics and mechanical engineering double major; and Annie Stephenson, a physics major.Tyler Barron, a sociology and American Studies double major, was awarded the Udall Native American Congressional internship. The internship provides American Indian and Alaska Native students an opportunity to understand the government-to-government relationship between Native Tribes and the federal government, the program’s website said. Barron is the first recipient from Notre Dame in the school’s history, Thibert said.Two students received the Austrian Teaching Assistantship, which provides graduates with an interest in Austrian students to work at secondary schools throughout Austria, the website said. Eric Donahue and Rachel Ruddick, both majors in biological sciences with minors in German, both declined for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.Eric Donahue also was awarded the DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst, German for ‘German Academic Exchange System’) Study Scholarship.CUSE encourages the class of 2015 to continue to apply for fellowships; alumni are eligible to apply for scholarships such as the Rhodes and Marshall Scholarships, Thibert said.“These fellowship opportunities can significantly enhance a recipient’s profile while advancing their academic and professional trajectories in unique ways and connecting them to future leaders in a variety of fields,” Thibert said.To learn more about these opportunities, visit http://fellows.nd.edu/fellowships.Tags: Austrian Teaching Assistantship, Class of 2015, CUSE, DAAD Study Scholarship, Fellowships, Fulbright U.S. Student Program, NSF Graduate Research Fellowships, Udall Native American Congressional Internship
Reyes Aragon has been wanted for drug trafficking since 2010, when Nicaraguan police issued an arrest warrant for him. The OIJ had been investigating the activities of Reyes Aragon and Los Tarzanes since 2012, according to OIJ Director Francisco Segura Montero. Los Tarzanes, which is allegedly is run by Reyes Aragon and his six brothers, is suspected of smuggling cocaine from Colombia and marijuana from Jamaica into Costa Rica. Authorities believe Los Tarzanes operatives store the drugs in Limon for later shipment by boat or truck to Honduras and Mexico, or for sale in Costa Rica’s domestic illicit drug market. Los Tarzanes In addition to the arrests of the suspected members of Los Tarzanes, Costa Rica police and security forces have scored a number of successes against transnational criminal organizations engaged in the drug trade. For example, on June 10 and 11, 2014, the Costa Rica Coast Guard seized more than 4 tons of cocaine found on Costa Rican fishing boats off the Pacific Coast. The seizure was reportedly the largest in the country’s history. Costa Rican drug seizures have more than doubled since 2011. Costa Rica security forces have dismantled more than a dozen international drug trafficking operations since 2006, according to published reports. The capture of Reyes Aragon and the increase in drug seizures may indicate that Costa Rican security forces are improving their effectiveness in fighting drug trafficking, said Armando Rodríguez Luna, a security analyst at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). Costa Rican security forces have improved their effectiveness in fighting Los Tarzanes and other organized crime groups “because they have improved their ability to protect the country’s border in the fight against drug trafficking, and they have continued to collaborate and exchange information with other governments in joint border operations,” according to Rodríguez Luna. Julieta Pelcastre contributed to this article. Costa Rican authorities have arrested the alleged leader of a Nicaraguan drug trafficking group known as Los Tarzanes. Agents of Costa Rica’s Judicial Investigation Body (OIJ) arrested Agustin Reyes Aragon, 40, on June 12. They arrested Reyes Aragon during a series of raids in the Caribbean coastal province of Limon. Security forces also detained three other suspects: a Nicaraguan man, a Honduran man, and a female whose nationality was not immediately determined. OIJ agents confiscated two AK-47 assault rifles, a vehicle and currency in the amount of $14,000 (USD) and one million colones during the raids. Wanted in Nicaragua Los Tarzanes was founded in the mid-1990s as part of a drug trafficking network operated by the now defunct Norte del Valle Cartel in Colombia, Nicaraguan police have said. Operating primarily as transporters, Los Tarzanes operatives use go-fast boats and vehicles to move shipments of Colombian cocaine and precursor chemicals for methamphetamine production north for eventual sale to Mexican transnational criminal organizations such as the Gulf Cartel (CDG). Los Tarzanes was originally based along Nicaragua’s southern border. In recent years, as Nicaraguan security forces have increased patrols in that region, the drug trafficking group has increased its operations on the Costa Rican border. Costa Rican security successes By Dialogo July 02, 2014
Belgium’s council of ministers has approved a bill that will exempt cross-border pension funds from fiscal and administrative levies and said the new law would underline the country’s position as a top location for pan-European schemes.The draft bill was put forward by the finance minister Johan Van Overtfeldt and approved by the Cabinet on Friday.It proposes that Belgium’s tax code not apply to second-pillar pensions provided by a Belgium-domiciled pension fund or insurance company to a non-resident as long as there is no further connection to Belgium – for example, no taxable revenue is incurred in Belgium by the work the pension is linked to.The proposed reform of the tax code would impose an obligation on the pension funds to provide the authorities annually with certain information in relation to the pensions for which the tax exemption was applied. The measure is applicable as of 1 January 2017.It is being passed to the council of states, the country’s highest administrative court.A government statement said Belgium would “confirm its position as the country of first choice for the establishment of pan-European pension funds”.PensioPlus, the Belgian pension fund association, said it was delighted the government had confirmed it would not be taxing cross-border funds.“This decision,” it said, “represents an important stimulus for the further development of pension funds and additional pensions in Belgium.”At present, 15 multinational companies – including Johnson & Johnson, Euroclear, BP and Alcon – have established pan-European pension funds in Belgium, and several other companies are looking to follow suit.The financial supervisory authority in Belgium recently approved a pan-European pension fund for General Electric. The European Commission has also decided to set up a cross-border scheme in Belgium for researchers who work in different EU countries.PensioPlus said many companies were choosing pan-European schemes because they provided a better overview for governance and greater transparency. “The joint management structure can also contribute to a higher pension through costs-saving and simplified management as a result of benefits of scale,” it said.Dutch pension funds that have relocated to Belgium in recent months have also argued that supervision in Belgium is more flexible than it is in the Netherlands.