Ex-Trump campaign adviser Papadopoulos to report to prison
By HOPE YEN
Monday, November 26
WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos was scheduled to report to prison on Monday after a federal judge rejected his last-minute bid to delay his two-week sentence.
Papadopoulos was listed on the Bureau of Prisons website on Monday morning as “currently in transit.”
Papadopoulos was sentenced in September for lying to the FBI in the Russia investigation. He had sought a postponement of his prison term until an appeals court had ruled in a separate case challenging the constitutionality of special counsel Robert Mueller’s appointment.
But in a 13-page opinion Sunday, U.S. District Court Judge Randolph Moss said Papadopoulos had waited too long to contest his sentence. Moss noted that Papadopoulos had agreed not to appeal in most circumstances as part of his plea agreement, and the judge said the challenge to Mueller’s appointment was unlikely to be successful in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Four federal judges have upheld Mueller’s appointment as proper.
“The prospect that the D.C. Circuit will reach a contrary conclusion is remote,” Moss wrote.
Papadopoulos had filed an initial motion on Nov. 16, nearly two months after the deadline for appealing his conviction or sentence. He followed up with a request to delay his sentence pending that motion on Nov. 21, the day before Thanksgiving.
“Papadopoulos waited until the eleventh hour to seek relief; indeed, he did not file his second motion — the stay request — until the last business day before he was scheduled to surrender to serve his sentence,” Moss’ order states. “He has only his own delay to blame.”
Papadopoulos’ wife, Simona Mangiante, tweeted last week that Papadopoulos had been assigned to a prison in Wisconsin. The only facility in the state is a medium-security prison, with an adjacent minimum-security camp, in the village of Oxford, about an hour’s drive north of Madison.
Responding to the judge’s order, Papadopoulos wrote in a tweet on Sunday that he looked forward to telling the full story behind his case.
In recent months, he has spent many nights posting on Twitter, as has his wife, venting anger about the FBI and insisting he was framed by the government. He also has offered to testify before the Senate’s intelligence committee, which is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, if he’s granted immunity or other conditions.
“The truth will all be out. Not even a prison sentence can stop that momentum,” Papadopoulos tweeted. “Looking forward to testifying publicly shortly after. The wool isn’t going to be pulled over America’s eyes forever.”
Papadopoulos pleaded guilty last year to lying to federal agents about his interactions with Russian intermediaries during the 2016 presidential campaign. He also forfeited most of his rights to contest his conviction.
His lawyer argued that the appellate case could constitute new evidence that could allow him to mount a challenge. That case was brought by a witness refusing to comply with a Mueller grand jury subpoena.
Papadopoulos’ sentence, issued by Moss on Sept. 7, was far less than the maximum six-month sentence sought by the government but more than the probation that Papadopoulos and his lawyers had asked for. Moss at the time noted that many similar cases resulted in probation but said he imposed a sentence of incarceration partly to send a message to the public that people can’t lie to the FBI.
Papadopoulos, the first campaign aide sentenced in Mueller’s investigation, triggered the initial Russia investigation two years ago. Memos written by House Republicans and Democrats and now declassified show that information about Papadopoulos’ contacts with Russian intermediaries set in motion the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation in July 2016 into potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign. That probe was later taken over by Mueller.
The White House has said Papadopoulos was a low-level volunteer on the campaign.
Opinion: Expanding the Middle Class Requires Innovative Colleges, Not Free Ones
By Holly Kuzmich
The Catalyst, via InsideSources.com
Colleges and universities in the United States are at a crossroads. While a postsecondary education’s importance continues to grow, many institutions face significant financial pressures, and students are taking longer to graduate and doing so with increasing debt.
As the United States gears up for the next presidential election, we will hear more calls for investments in financial aid and erasing student debt. Some solutions can be found in public policy, but at their core, colleges and universities need an innovative approach to serving their students and preparing them for our economy.
Warning signs have been on the horizon, starting with college enrollment declining while the demand for postsecondary education has increased. Undergraduate enrollment decreased between 2010 and 2016 from 18.1 million to 16.9 million students. Yet Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce reports that two-out-of-three jobs require at least some education or training beyond high school.
Enrollment decreases have occurred nationwide, but they have been pronounced in the industrial Midwest and the Northeast. Loss of students means loss of tuition revenue and state support, further exacerbating the financial challenges. In fact, state financial support for higher education grew by only 1.6 percent from 2017 to 2018, which was down from a 4.2 percent increase the prior year. Eight in 10 undergraduates attend a public college or university, so state support is vital to their operations.
With these factors in play, it is no surprise that the cost of attendance is up and student debt has increased. The Federal Reserve reported earlier this year that outstanding student debt has reached an all-time high of $1.5 trillion. As many as one in six graduates will leave school with debt that exceeds their income.
Amid these pressures, policymakers are proposing to make college free for all students or erase the student debt of college graduates. These ideas can sound tempting, but paying for such lofty proposals is a major roadblock. Taking on that level of public support is unsustainable.
What’s more, taxpayers shouldn’t pick up the entire burden of rising costs; this must be a shared responsibility. While lower state support has played a role in higher costs, they aren’t the only cause.
Colleges and universities need to better manage their enterprises by controlling costs, improving efficiencies, and better aligning skills learned in higher education with workforce needs. Some schools have stepped up, but not enough. And those that stand on the sidelines, especially non-elite regional colleges, could find themselves obsolete.
Luckily, several college and university presidents are leading the way on innovation. They are managing costs and putting their colleges on good financial footing. More important, they are better serving students and preparing them for life after college.
Purdue University and its president, Mitch Daniels, have gained significant attention for the tuition freezes that keep costs in check at this public university. Tuition has been frozen, with in-state tuition and fees costing $9,992. Those costs have stayed flat since 2012 and will remain so until at least the 2019-2020 school year. That’s unheard of in higher education.
Daniels has frozen tuition by finding savings efficiencies in small ways that add up to significant savings. He’s been quick to take responsibility for keeping college affordable for students, instead of solely putting the blame on others.
He has also led Purdue to purchase Kaplan University, the for-profit online university that has been rebranded Purdue Global and allowed the university to reach thousands of adult students. Instead of building their own online education platform, Purdue made the innovative decision to leverage an existing platform.
While it is unknown whether this will improve student outcomes, Daniels is one of the few higher education leaders who would have executed such a project.
President Michael Sorrell at Paul Quinn College in Dallas is building an innovative work program to better prepare his students for life after college. When Sorrell arrived in 2007, Paul Quinn was on the brink of closure. But he has almost single-handedly turned it around.
He has implemented an urban work model for students that integrates a job with higher education, thereby reducing tuition and fees for students and average student debt loads and preparing students for careers. That practical model benefits students and has put the college on a more sustainable financial footing.
Georgia State University, a public university in Atlanta, has intensively used data and predictive analytics to track student progress and improve outcomes. Mark Becker, the university’s president, has a vision and plan to ensure that working-class students not only enter the university, but graduate with a degree on time. Its graduation rate has gone from 32 percent in 2003 to 54 percent in 2017.
Each of these schools and their leaders have taken an innovative approach to serving students. Unfortunately, too many others have not done adapted and updated their model, leaving them to face even more financial challenges. As the cycle continues, candidates will be tempted to propose making college free for students. But we’re far from having the resources available to enact those proposals.
It is hoped more colleges and universities like Purdue, Paul Quinn College and Georgia State will lead the way.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Holly Kuzmich is executive director of the George W. Bush Institute and senior vice president of the George W. Bush Presidential Center. She originally wrote this essay for “The Catalyst: A Journal of Ideas from the Bush Institute.” This is distributed by InsideSources.com.
Opinion: Why Okinawans Fiercely Oppose New U.S. Military Base
By Donald Kirk
WASHINGTON ― We hear so much about North Korea’s secret bases that it’s sometimes easy to forget the ruckus over U.S. bases in the region. They may not be secret, but they can be controversial.
Take, for instance, the huge U.S. air and Marine bases on Okinawa. People over there, living in Japan’s southernmost island prefecture, historically the independent Ryukyu kingdom, cannot see why the United States, fully supported by the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo, does not scale down the American presence.
The answer in part is they’re the cutting edge of U.S. power in the Pacific. More than 50,000 U.S. troops are based in Japan, nearly twice as many as the 28,500 in South Korea, and U.S. and Japanese strategic planners see their presence as critical as long as North Korea remains a threat, refusing to give up its nukes and missiles, and China looms as a dominant regional power from the Indian Ocean to the South China Sea to the Yellow Sea.
A majority of the people of Okinawa clearly disagree. Okinawa’s newly elected governor, Yasuhiro “Denny” Tamaki, is in Washington explaining why he easily defeated a candidate supported by the central government in the recent election. The differences centered on the determination of the government to build a U.S. Marine air station off the northeastern coast near a major U.S. Marine base, Camp Schwab, and the equal determination of clearly a majority of the people of Okinawa to stop construction.
“We have good relations with Americans,” Tamaki told me after arriving here on a whirlwind round of visits to think tanks, political figures and officials. “The purpose of my visit is to convey the message to Americans to understand why the Okinawa people do not want the base at Henoko.”
That’s a message the Americans have been hearing for years in polite conversation as well as mass demonstrations that break out after some criminal offense, notably the rape of local women. In between such outbreaks, foes of the Henoko project are camped out day and night beyond the fences surrounding the base, making their views known while the government insists it’s needed to replace another Marine air station at Futenma, near the Okinawan capital of Naha.
Opposition to the Henoko project bears a certain similarity to the ruckus raised over construction of the Korean navy base on the southern coast of Jeju. The comparison, of course, is flawed. The base at Henoko, unlike that on Jeju, would be for aircraft, not ships, and it would be a U.S. base. Still, the emotions generated by what is seen as an intrusion on local society and culture reminds a visitor of the ongoing protest on Jeju.
Tamaki’s view is the Americans should build the air station elsewhere in Japan — anywhere but Okinawa. He does not really oppose the presence of Kadena Air Base, one of the largest U.S. Air Force bases anywhere, and he is not calling for the Marines to go home. Maybe, he said, they could relocate elsewhere on Okinawa, somewhere near Kadena. It’s not likely, however, that Japanese would welcome expansion of U.S. forces on the main Japanese islands. The U.S. Navy base at Yokosuka and the air base at Yokota, both fairly near Tokyo, are vital, but Japanese oppose having more U.S. bases on their soil.
For old people on Okinawa, the worst nightmare is the battle for Okinawa in the spring of 1945 when more than 200,000 died, more than half of them local citizens. U.S. forces won the battle at a cost of 12,520 American lives. The Okinawan people suffered far more. All told, 94,000 civilians were killed ― plus 22,228 soldiers from Okinawa drafted into in the Japanese army. An additional 65,908 troops from “mainland” Japan died in the battle, the worst in the Pacific War.
There is no doubt, if the confrontation between North and South Korea goes on, that Okinawa would be a crucial rear-base area. There is also no doubt that Okinawa would be caught in the crossfire, victims of North Korean missiles, maybe even nuclear warheads, fired at U.S. bases.
Such talk seems highly abstract, a distant apparition, but helps to explain Okinawan opposition to a base at Henoko ― and the need for serious peace, not just a “peace resolution,” on the Korean Peninsula. It also explains why the Americans and their Japanese ally, having been defeated on Okinawa, view the bases on Okinawa as so critical to their own defense and that of the region.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Donald Kirk has been a columnist for Korea Times, South China Morning Post many other newspaper and magazines. He wrote this for InsideSources.com.
More than just working in your pyjamas, telecommuting saves time and money
November 18, 2018
Associate Professor, R2B2 Project Leader, University of Guelph
Economist, University of Guelph
Dr. Helen Hambly leads the R2B2Project.ca which receives research funding from the Southwest Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) initiative, Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), Halton Region and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC).
Dr.Jamie Lee receives funding from the Southwest Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) initiative, Ontario.
University of Guelph provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation CA.
For some, it’s a familiar question on a grey, winter morning: Should I drive in for those meetings, or join online?
Researchers at the University of Guelph’s Regional and Rural Broadband (R2B2) project say the average resident in southwestern Ontario will save $12,000 a year by telecommuting three days per week.
Rural and peri-urban areas (where rural and urban regions meet) have the highest savings from telecommuting because their total commute distance and total time to commute are higher.
This has an impact on out-of-pocket costs such as fuel, car maintenance and insurance. According to the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA), the cost per kilometre of driving a mid-size vehicle with an average consumption of 8.34L/100km is $0.52. Across southern Ontario, daily telecommuting distances could be as high as 152 kilometres.
In Caledon, located in Peel Region northwest of Toronto, more than 57 per cent of households report at least one telecommuter. Caledon has taken proactive steps to address connectivity within their area. Caledon, along with Niagara region and the Western Ontario Wardens Caucus, created the fibre-optic initiative known as SouthWest Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT).
As research partners to SWIFT, the R2B2 project analyzed telecommuting from 4,000 premises across the Niagara region, Caledon and southwestern Ontario. It’s the first major study in Canada in recent years on employee savings from telecommuting since the 2015 U.S.-based Global Workplace Analytics White Paper.
Canada is a commuting nation
The Statistics Canada’s report Journey to Work: Key Results from the 2016 Census outlines general trends that find 15.9 million Canadians are commuting each day. The Conference Board of Canada conducted a survey in 2017 that found that nine out of 10 organizations in Canada promote working remotely from home (referred to as flexi-work or telework).
There is an important distinction here: Telecommuting means using telecommunications to avoid the use of transportation to or from the work site. This includes driving your own car, ride-sharing or taking the train.
Broadband completely changes the ways Canadians live and work; this is what communications researchers Lee Rainie and Barry Wellman call the “triple revolution” implied by the proliferation of ultra-fast internet speeds, connectedness afforded by mobile technologies and life in multiple and virtual networks that cross over into real-time voice or face interactions.
Smart work saves time and money
Sometimes the term “smart work” is used to refer to using information and communication technologies to work efficiently and conveniently regardless of time and space. Enabling smart work has been part and parcel of the opportunities for those people living in smart cities.
But ultimately, despite all the “smart” rhetoric of digital technologies, there has to be a net private benefit for telecommuters that we will translate here as “more money in the pocket” at the end of the work year.
In an article published by Telecommunications Policy, we report that southwestern Ontario households with two telecommuters save even more money. The typical savings for the first telecommuter telecommuting three days per week ranges from $13,980 to $17,050 per year. The second telecommuter saves between $12,108 to $20,640.
Rural telecommuters save more
Telecommuters from farms, cottages and more remote rural locations in southwestern Canada are at the higher end of the savings spectrum. We found that households operating a home-based business from the premise have an annual savings of nearly $26,000.
In regions outside the greater Toronto area, more reliable and faster speed internet services is a public policy imperative.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has declared that basic telecommunications services for all Canadians would include the target of 50 Mbps download and 10 Mbps upload internet access by 2021.
More than two million Canadians do not have access to service that meets that 50/10 target. It’s not just in the remote areas of our vast country where connectivity is lagging behind the national standard.
Across southwestern Ontario, Niagara region and Caledon, SWIFT reports that nearly 230,000 premises do not achieve the 50/10 speed target.
We all benefit
We also believe there are numerous reasons why the social benefits of telecommuting may exceed their calculations of the net private benefit of telecommuting.
Not only does telecommuting directly reduce the use of private and public-transit vehicles on the roads; it creates social benefits in terms of less road congestion, helping drivers for whom telecommuting is not an option or not on option each day of a work week.
There are other societal benefits offered by telecommuting. Other studies conducted in North America have reported that the vast majority of workers consider their commute to be a waste of time and a significant source of stress.
Reduction in fatal road accidents, particularly during winter weather, are also worth considering. Polish professor Stanisław Żukowski also sees telecommuting as creating opportunities for a more inclusive society for disabled workers.
The net private benefit of telecommuting in southwestern Ontario is enough to justify and support the idea of more frequent telecommuting as broadband expands further into sub-urban and rural hinterlands.
Linking the planning of transportation infrastructure to improved broadband infrastructure in one of the most densely populated regions of Canada makes both sense — and cents.