HLS legal clinic lands victories for veterans

first_imgStanding in near-frozen water while guarding a bridge during the notorious Battle of the Bulge in 1945, the infantryman sustained such severe frostbite he almost lost a foot. Evacuated to a hospital in England, he avoided amputation but had serious problems with his feet the rest of his life. When he died in 2008 from a variety of health problems, his widow — who had very little income — applied for a type of benefit for survivors of veterans whose death had resulted, at least in part, from a service-related disability. But a doctor with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) said losing the use of his feet had nothing to do with her husband’s death.It took nearly six years and a trip to federal court, but with the help of the Harvard Law School (HLS) Veterans Legal Clinic the widow finally prevailed, winning a monthly payment from the VA that completely changes her financial health. While two other VA doctors concurred with the first opinion, the clinic retained two experts of its own who reached the opposite conclusion. Under the guidance of Clinical Professor of Law Daniel Nagin, who founded the clinic in 2012, Christopher Patalano ’14 wrote a winning brief that persuaded the Board of Veterans Appeals that the VA was wrong. Chris Melendez ’15, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, also worked on the case as a summer intern at the clinic.“I hardly had [any] income. Now I know I have something I can stand on. I’ve got more to live for,” the elderly client said as she thanked the students and Nagin for her victory.“After knowing that she had fought so hard and so long for these benefits,” said Patalano, “it was an extremely happy day when we received the final decision from the VA.”In just two years, more than 30 HLS students have enrolled in the Veterans Legal Clinic — housed at the WilmerHale Legal Services Center (LSC) in Jamaica Plain, with Nagin as its faculty director — and represented more than 100 clients in areas of federal and state veterans’ benefits, discharge upgrades, and estate-planning matters. They have landed numerous victories before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) and in veteran-related federal and state agencies, and assisted many more vets in companion programs at the Legal Services Center in such areas as combating predatory student lending, foreclosure defense, family law, and tax law.Among other victories, they obtained service-connected disability benefits for an Afghanistan war veteran diagnosed with cancer; won a female veteran’s appeal to the CAVC of the VA’s decision to deny her PTSD benefits for military sexual trauma; and successfully represented a veteran in an appeal of a state agency’s decision to deny benefits based on the character of his military discharge. The clinic also offers veterans estate planning under the guidance of Clinical Instructor Tamara Kolz Griffin, an excellent opportunity for students looking to develop their skills outside the courtroom.In a particularly consequential victory, students represented a combat veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars in his appeal to the CAVC challenging the VA’s denial of benefits for a service-related injury. They persuaded the court to hear the case on its merits in a first-of-its-kind decision that now allows certain veterans returning from combat deployments additional time for to file appeals, and then succeeded in vacating the adverse lower-court decision. As part of its annual educational and outreach campaign, a three-judge panel of the CAVC heard oral arguments in the case in the Ames Courtroom at HLS in the fall of 2013, with clinic students arguing on behalf of the veteran.“That’s a big decision because it not only helped this client, but provides a new source of legal argument for other veterans whose appeals might otherwise not be allowed to proceed on the merits,” said Nagin.The clinic’s docket at the CAVC is a part of a partnership with the DAV (Disabled American Veterans) and Chisholm & Kilpatrick, a firm in Rhode Island. The clinic also participates in the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program at the CAVC. The clinic’s value is manifold, Nagin said, noting, “It’s a privilege to be able to advocate for someone who’s sacrificed for the nation.”From an educational standpoint, it provides remarkable opportunities. “The world of VA benefits is extraordinarily complex,” Nagin said. “It’s a labyrinth of statutes and regulation and policies, which is a great teaching environment.” The cases require students to work with medical experts, “providing a rich opportunity to see how the legal and medical frameworks intersect,” he added. It is an excellent training ground for practicing administrative law, and offers students the chance to get into federal court.Just as important, Nagin said, “We hope we light a flame — if it wasn’t already there — of pro bono commitment to veterans as people go off into their careers.” At least two 3Ls who have worked at the clinic are now looking to devote their careers to representing veterans, he said.last_img read more

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S&P: New U.S. coal plant retirements likely to hit 28GW through 2023

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Despite continued attempts by the current federal administration to restore coal production in the United States to its former peak, economic forces driving wholesale electricity markets present a dim reality for coal-fired generation.S&P Global Market Intelligence projects that coal’s market share will continue to erode in the coming five-year period as a slew of announced retirements take place and the economic picture forces out additional coal plants that are exposed to the market. The increasingly favorable economics of zero-fuel cost renewables have contributed to a continued expansion in the market share of carbon-free generation, while the aging coal fleet continues to retire regardless of political backing. Additionally, natural gas-fired generation continues to claim market share from coal due to increased flexibility in unit dispatch, greater unit efficiency, and a prolonged stretch of low natural gas prices.Due to these headwinds, S&P Global Market Intelligence estimates that 28 GW of U.S. coal-fired generation will retire in 2019-2023. The Eastern Interconnect accounts for the majority of the retirements, with approximately 11 GW of announced capacity retirements coming offline by 2023 and another 9 GW forecast to retire due to poor economics. More than half of the anticipated retirements located in the East are within PJM. Approximately 8 GW of coal-fired generation is also expected to retire in the Western Interconnect.As a result of these retirements, conservative estimates suggest that demand for thermal coal will fall by more than 150 million tons over the coming five-year period. It is likely that coal pricing will be heavily exposed to the downside during this time while coal production struggles to ratchet down at the same pace as the contraction within the sector. Falling global coal prices will hinder the export markets from offering much of a reprieve as the outlook there also looks bleak. There is little chance of a recovery on the demand side of the equation, with 85 anticipated retirements of coal units in the next five years.Analysts have cited lower expected electricity demand this summer as a possible drag on coal volumes. Added to the prospect of lower electricity demand is a continued surplus of natural gas supply out of the Permian and Marcellus regions, which have depressed spot and forward prices. Henry Hub futures currently trade at $2.40/MMBtu for the balance of 2019, with much of the Midwest, West and Texas trading at discounts ranging from $0.15-$1.15/MMBtu. If these price levels should persist through the summer, significant additional volumes of coal could be displaced in the second half of 2019.The S&P Global Market Intelligence coal forecast currently projects a 91 million ton decline in power sector consumption from 2019-2020. Coal displacement at current price levels could bring half of this decline forward into 2019, pushing forecast power coal consumption for 2019 down to approximately 515 million tons, or 116 million tons lower than 2018.More ($): Facing increasingly grim economics, U.S. coal plant retirements may surge again S&P: New U.S. coal plant retirements likely to hit 28GW through 2023last_img read more

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Stay a little longer for an adventure in Southern West Virginia

first_imgGet your pulse racing in Southern West Virginia! Paddle raging whitewater rivers, go off-roading on an ATV and hike twisting trails to amazing views. Mild or wild, there’s an adventure here for everyone.Whitewater RaftingSouthern West Virginia is home to some of America’s best whitewater. From the mild UpperNew to the raging Gauley, there’s a whitewater trip here for every type of adventurer.The New River is considered to be one of the oldest rivers in the world and features twosections – the Upper and the Lower. A trip on the Upper New River is the perfect family-friendlywhitewater adventure. Gentle class I – III rapids and rippling shoals make this trip exciting forkids! Or, kick things up a notch with a trip on the Lower New! This section of the river featuresclass III-IV rapids that create huge, splashing waves and incredible excitement.The Gauley River, also known as The Beast of the East, features class III – V rapids. Thisextremely technical stretch of whitewater hits peak season in the fall, when Summersville Damis opened and water from Summersville Lake rushes into the Gauley, creating the biggestwhitewater on the East Coast and a thrilling ride for everyone.ATV AdventuresRev your engines! Southern West Virginia is home to the Hatfield-McCoy Trail System. Morethan 700 miles of off-road adventure wind through our mountains. Get dirty and take in themountain views from the trails. Along the way, discover ATV-friendly communities and smalltowns full of charm and heritage.Stunning ViewsNo matter where you go in Southern West Virginia, there’s a gorgeous view waiting to bediscovered. Hiking trails here will lead you along wooded paths, past waterfalls, and wildflowers,to beautiful mountaintop scenery. We’re home to many state and national parks full of hikingopportunities. In fact, the Endless Wall Trail in the New River Gorge National River was namedthe Best National Park Hike in America by USA Today voters in 2015. Hit the trails and getinspired by nature.With so much to do, looks like you’re going to need a few extra days. Stay a little longer anddiscover your next adventure in Southern West Virginia.last_img read more

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GambleAware secures £9m UKGC emergency fund to help maintain support network

first_img Related Articles Submit Share Share Winning Post: Swedish regulator pushes back on ‘Storebror’ approach to deposit limits August 24, 2020 GambleAware: Engage those with lived experience of gambling harms August 28, 2020 StumbleUpon The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has transferred £9 million in industry penalties to help its problem gambling, support, research and treatment charities cope with the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. The UKGC has directly allocated £9 million to lead gambling-harm prevention charity GambleAware, who will be tasked with distributing funds to its partner network.The UKGC and GambleAware have prioritised ensuring that gambling harm support and treatment services can continue to operate effectively, withstanding additional pressures caused by the coronavirus outbreak.The £9 million emergency fund has been secured from industry settlements received by UKGC, accounting for penalty charges on social responsibility, customer interaction and money laundering failings.Since the start of 2020, the UKGC’s regulatory action has led to the industry paying £27 million in penalty packages.William Moyes, Chairman of the Gambling Commission, said: “In the current climate, and with the potential risks to British consumers in mind, we have fast-tracked this settlement-driven funding to GambleAware so their work to prevent gambling harms and award grants can continue seamlessly.“Through the use of regulatory action to prevent harm, such as the ban of credit for gambling, alongside the use of regulatory settlements to support treatment services, the Commission is taking wide-ranging action to address the additional risk of harm that may come from Covid-19.”In its statement, the UKGC detailed that gambling participation has fallen during the lockdown period. Nevertheless, the Commission notes that ‘there is evidence of an increase in the use of certain gambling products such as online slots, poker, casino gaming and virtual sports’.GambleAware confirmed that it is helping partners shift their support structures to alternative models of delivery such as online, aiming to maintain the UK’s problem gambling support networks during a period of uncertainty.Marc Etches, CEO of GambleAware, said: “We welcome the receipt of these regulatory settlements at this uncertain time. Guided by a public health model, GambleAware commissions prevention and treatment services across England, Scotland and Wales in partnership with expert organisations and agencies, including the NHS. “These funds will enable us to provide greater security around the funding of the National Gambling Treatment Service, and help keep people safe from gambling harms.” UKGC launches fourth National Lottery licence competition August 28, 2020last_img read more

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Springboks to face in-form World XV: Mallett

first_img14 May 2014The Springboks will face an in-form team when they take on a World XV at Newlands in Cape Town on 7 June in their first test of 2014, Nick Mallett, the coach of the composite side, said on Tuesday.The squad of 23 players is made up of tests stars from New Zealand, France, Australia, Ireland, Samoa, Tonga, Georgia and South Africa, and boasts a total of 707 caps between them.‘Very good form’“The group of players who have been selected for this match are not only very experienced, but are all in very good form at the moment,” Mallett said in a statement.The latest additions to the squad of 23 include four All Blacks with 185 tests worth of experience between them. Experienced hooker Andrew Hore, who has 83 caps for New Zealand, heads the list of Kiwis, followed by scrumhalf Jimmy Cowan (51 tests) and speedsters Sitiveni Sivivatu (45) and Rene Ranger (6).The Kiwi quartet will be joined in the World XV squad by French test players Aurelien Rougerie (centre, 71 caps) and Alexandre Lapandry (loose forward, 6 caps), as well as loose forwards Roger Wilson (Ireland, 1 cap) and Mamuka Gorgodze (Georgia, 51 caps).Samoan lock Joe Tekori (26 caps) and Tongan prop Sona Taumalolo (5 caps) will add a Pacific flavour to the line-up.The only uncapped members of the squad are the South Africans Rory Kockott and Schalk Ferreira. The most experienced of the South African contingent in the squad is BJ Botha, who has 25 Springbok caps to his name, followed by Juandre Kruger (17 caps), Schalk Brits (5 caps) and Alistair Hargreaves (4 caps).‘Very happy’“I’m very happy that the final pieces of the jigsaw are now falling into place,” said Mallett.“Despite the very short preparation time, I’m really looking forward to getting together with this group of very talented players and preparing them for this match.‘Relishing the opportunity’Looking ahead, Mallett added: “It promises to be a very exciting match, looking at the talent assembled in this strong squad. I’m sure they are all relishing the opportunity to play against the Springboks in South Africa.“It’s also a rare chance to see a World XV-style team playing in South Africa, and where better than the oldest test venue in the country?”Unfortunately French loose forward Julien Bonnaire, who has 75 test caps to his name, was forced to withdraw from the squad because of an injury. A replacement will be named in due course.TicketsTickets for the match – priced from R75 for standing tickets to R250 and R350 for seated tickets – are available from Postnet outlets nationwide, the Western Province ticket office and online from www.ticketpros.co.za.SAMSUNG WORLD XV SQUADBacks: James O’Connor (London Irish, Australia, 44 test caps), Drew Mitchell (Toulon, Australia, 63), Hosea Gear (Toulouse, New Zealand, 14), Sititiveni Sivivatu (Clermont, New Zealand, 45), Aurelien Rougerie (Clermont, France, 71), Rene Ranger (Montpelier, New Zealand, 6), Matt Giteau (Toulon, Australia, 92), François Trinh-Duc (Montpelier, France, 48), Rory Kockott (Castres, South Africa, uncapped) and Jimmy Cowan (Gloucester, New Zealand, 51)Forwards: Steffon Armitage (Toulon, England, 5), Alexandre Lapandry (Clermont, France, 6), Roger Wilson (Ulster, Ireland, 1), Mamuka Gorgodze (Montpellier, Georgia, 51), Alistair Hargreaves (Saracens, South Africa, 4), Joe Tekori (Toulouse, Samoa, 26), Juandre Kruger (Racing Metro, South Africa, 17), Schalk Brits (Saracens, South Africa, 5), Andrew Hore (New Zealand, 83), Schalk Ferreira (Toulouse, South Africa, uncapped), Sona Taumololo (Perpignan, Tonga, 5), BJ Botha (Munster, South Africa, 25) and Carl Hayman (Toulon, New Zealand, 45)SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

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Expansion of N3 between Joburg and Durban

first_img13 January 2015The N3 Toll Concession (N3TC) is investing more than R1-billion to expand the N3 toll route over next three years, the company has said.The N3, between South Africa’s inland provinces and Durban, is one the country’s most strategic freight and logistics corridors. N3TC manages a portion of the road, between the Cedara interchange near Hilton, in KwaZulu-Natal, and the Heidelberg South interchange in Gauteng.Work on a R444-million rehabilitation project between Mooi River and Estcourt began in 2013, and will be completed towards the end of 2015. The left lane – or truck lane – is being rehabilitated and the project includes a new asphalt pavement surface to all lanes on this section.In addition, a 60km section between Harrismith and Warden will be reconstructed at a cost of R413-million, with working beginning this month. The existing road surface in both directions will be reconstructed and will receive a new asphalt overlay.Roadmac Surfacing will do the reconstruction; SNA Consulting Engineers designed the project and will oversee its execution. It is expected to be completed by April 2017.N3TC says it is “acutely aware” of the disruption that road construction may cause to the free flow of traffic. To minimise inconvenience to road users, the company has agreed to limit single lane closures in either direction to 3km sections at a time.“There will, at all times, be at least one lane open to traffic to regulate the flow of traffic while construction is under way,” says N3TC’s technical manager, Douglas Judd. “Therefore, no undue delays are anticipated.“Traffic will be accommodated contra-flow in the lanes where construction is not under way at a specific time. This will allow for a safe working space for contract workers.”N3TC says the time frames of the road works programme have been planned to ensure that all four lanes are open to traffic at peak times such as Easter and long weekends.Finally, the most complex of the three construction projects – over 14 kilometres from Cedara to Tweedie near Howick – will begin in August. This R400-million expansion project should be completed within 24 months.Two additional traffic lanes, one in each direction, will be constructed in the existing median to increase the route’s capacity in this high traffic zone. The Umgeni River Bridge will also be expanded.“N3TC is implementing this expansion well in advance of its actual capacity requirement in order to minimise the impact on heavier traffic in later years,” says Judd.A traffic management programme will be in place to minimise disruption and inconvenience to road users, with construction taking place in the median.This multimillion-rand investment will be funded by N3TC with no additional tolling required.It is part of a tightly managed rehabilitation and expansion programme on the route, the company says. As a result of high traffic volumes, this programme typically follows an eight-year cycle.“We are committed to ensuring additional road capacity is added before traffic volumes increase to a level which may negatively impact on the safety, convenience and mobility of N3 toll route users,” adds Judd.Sainfo reporterlast_img read more

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Sembcorp Marine Pens LoI for SeaOnes CGL Carriers

first_imgzoom Singapore-based Sembcorp Marine and SeaOne Caribbean LLC (SeaOne) of Houston, Texas, have inked a letter of intent (LOI) for the design and construction of at least two large compressed gas liquid (CGL®) carriers.These vessels are intended to be deployed for SeaOne’s Caribbean Fuels Supply Project.Under the deal, Sembcorp Marine will provide the design for the neo-panamax CGL carriers based on SeaOne’s single gas and liquids cargo delivery requirements.The design will incorporate proprietary ship component ideas from Sembcorp Marine subsidiary LMG Marin, a ship design house stationed in Europe.Front-end engineering design (FEED) studies for the project are in progress. “SeaOne has been working with Sembcorp Marine management and engineers for a while now. We have found them to be a proactive company that listens to new ideas in the gas and liquids marine transportation business and provides constructive inputs on the design of the large CGL transportation vessels,” SeaOne President and COO Dr. Bruce Hall said.“The Caribbean Fuels Supply Project is certainly an industry game-changer,” SeaOne Chairman and CEO Forrest Hoglund said.“Supported by the Sembcorp Marine-built large CGL carriers, it will, for the first time, provide to the region the lowest cost of fuel while reducing emissions substantially. This will have a significant positive impact on current socio-economic benefits to the region.”The 366m long, 2 billion cubic feet (Bcf) capacity carriers will be equipped with SeaOne’s patented CGL® technology and systems.They will transport CGL cargos to receiving terminals in the Caribbean, Central, and South American regions, from a CGL production facility now under construction at the Port of Gulfport in Mississippi, USA.As described, SeaOne CGL containment system operates independently within insulated cargo holds maintained at -40ºC, and is not integral to the vessel design. The containment system is 100% full in transit, not subject to sloshing and boil-off, and does not retain a gas blanket after the CGL cargo is offloaded.The CGL carriers will run on IMO Tier III diesel engines with a maximum sailing speed of 20 knots. They will be ABS-classed and under the Marshall Islands flag, the shipbuilder said.last_img read more

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Fairfax eyeing some US stores after Toys R Us Canada purchase

first_imgTORONTO – Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd.’s president Paul Rivett says its plans for Toys “R” Us are not limited to Canada, as it is exploring options to keep a foothold in the U.S. and elsewhere.The Toronto-based company, whose $300-million stalking horse offer for the Canadian subsidiary of the toy retailer was approved in a U.S. court this week, is looking for stores outside of Canada it can potentially snap up.“There’s pieces now we can invest in, pods of stores in the U.S., or elsewhere, and utilize the fact that they’ve got all the systems in Canada,” Rivett said in an interview Thursday after Fairfax’s annual general meeting of shareholders.A Virginia court approved the sale of Toys “R” Us Canada to Fairfax on Tuesday, ending the uncertainty looming the Canadian subsidiary after it filed for creditor protection in September, and the retailer’s U.S. division sought bankruptcy protection.The sale is scheduled to go before Ontario Superior Court on Friday.Fairfax had made a $300-million stalking horse offer last week, triggering an auction for Toys “R” Us’ 82 Canadian stores. Fairfax emerged as the only bidder.The Toronto-based company’s bid surpassed the $215-million bid made earlier this month, outside of the auction, by California-based, privately held toy company MGA Entertainment Inc.Fairfax, which is involved in property and casualty insurance and reinsurance and investment, had been keeping a close eye on Toys “R” Us Canada but it was a call from another toy-industry figure that prompted a closer look, Rivett said.Vic Bertrand Jr., of the family who founded toy maker Mega Brands best known for its building blocks, called Fairfax, according to Rivett. Fairfax had been a key investor in the Mega Blox maker until it was sold to American industry giant Mattel in 2014.“They said, ‘Listen, these folks at Toys “R” Us are saying there’s really a good viable business in Canada. Don’t let it die’… As a result of them calling us, we took another look,” Rivett said.The rationale to purchase included the Canadian subsidiary’s $100-million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, but the value of the stores themselves as well.Conservatively, the real estate portfolio is valued at $220 million but could be worth as much as the $300 million price-tag, Rivett added.Fairfax has brought in a third-party to assess the Canadian subsidiary’s stores, and several located in high-density areas have “significant value that might not have been properly appreciated.”“We have no current intention to do anything with the stores … (but) we’re value investors,” he said. “So when we buy something, we want to have the downside protection.”The Canadian stores will remain open, and the profits will remain in Canada and reinvested in the business instead of being extracted out by its U.S. parent in order to pay debtholders.“We’re going to let them keep their cash and reinvest in the business, and do better from an economic perspective,” Rivett said. “Change the store formats so it’s more inviting for families and kids, and move away from the big box that hasn’t changed over the last 20 years or so.”Companies in this story: (TSX:FFH)last_img read more

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Via Rail places 989million train order with Siemens for key rail corridor

first_imgCompanies in this story: (TSX:BBD.B)The Canadian Press MONTREAL — Via Rail has selected Germany’s Siemens over Bombardier Inc. for a $989-million contract to build new rolling stock as the Canadian passenger rail service renews its fleet of locomotives and cars for the rail corridor between Quebec City and Windsor, Ont.The company confirmed the contract that will see trains built in California.Deliveries will begin in 2021 for entry into service the following year.Via Rail and Siemens also announced a 15-year technical services and parts agreement valued at $355.5 million.The Canadian rail company requires 32 new trains to maintain its current capacity of 9,100 seats. The equipment must be able to run on electricity once that is installed along the route.Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau has said the decision to bypass Bombardier and workers at its plant in La Pocatiere, Que., is justified because Canada’s free trade agreements with the European Union and the United States doesn’t allow Via Rail to favour Bombardier in the awarding of contracts.last_img read more

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