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Macron taps trio to help drive coronavirus recovery

first_imgTopics : On the eve of the reshuffle, Macron said his 2017 campaign promises remained central to his policymaking. But he said they must “adapt to international upheavals and the crisis we are living through: a new path must be drawn.”Political rivals denounced the reshuffle as window-dressing that would not deliver the “new path” Macron promises.Bruno Le Maire, who spent heavily to keep flagship companies afloat and save jobs during the lockdown, will stay at the helm of a finance ministry tasked with steering France out of the downturn, and now has full control of the budget.Elisabeth Borne will take charge of an enhanced labor and social affairs ministry just as the depression unravels gains on unemployment.Macron wants to reset relations with unions and voters after waves of protests. Borne, who successfully pushed through changes to French railways in the face of union opposition, will be in charge of seeing sensitive pension reforms over the line.Greener policies?A week after the Green party seized control of some of France’s biggest cities, including Lyon and Bordeaux, establishing themselves as a real political force, Macron also named former ecologist Barbara Pompili as environment minister.Pompili’s ministry will oversee energy and housing as Macron seeks more emphasis on green policies to drive the economic rebound and build a sustainable future for companies like Air France and Renault.In 2018, she chaired a parliamentary committee that delivered a report critical of France’s nuclear power industry. A senior source inside state-owned utility EDF described her appointment as disastrous for the sector.But Greenpeace France said it was skeptical how much influence over environmental policymaking Pompili would have. A presidential aide said the theme for the main economic briefs was “continuity”, in a sign Macron will not veer left and will seek to consolidate his center-right base ahead of 2022.Macron’s appointment of Castex, a little-known senior civil servant, as prime minister was taken as a sign by rivals he was intent on taking back full control of policy ahead of elections in 20022.They said the changes fell short of the reinvention Macron had promised.”It’s a game of musical chairs,” Alexis Corbiere, a lawmaker for the far-left France Unbowed party, told BFM TV. “Let’s be frank, it’s a roadmap for more of the same.”center_img France is creating three beefed-up ministries to spearhead its recovery from coronavirus turmoil as Emmanuel Macron attempts to recast his presidency less than two years before a possible re-election bid.In a cabinet reshuffle days after voters punished Macron and his party in local elections, the president and his new prime minister, Jean Castex, are putting the focus on tackling the pandemic’s social and economic fallout, and the environment.Macron, 42, swept into power in 2017 promising to cut corporate taxes and ease regulation to drive growth and create jobs, while protecting the most vulnerable. But the worst depression in decades has reversed some hard-fought gains and left Macron with 21 months to persuade voters that his reforms will leave them better off.last_img read more

Hill to forgo senior year; NFL awaits

first_imgRunning back P.J. Hill, who rushed for 140 yards against Florida State, won\’t return to Wisconsin for his senior year.[/media-credit]In one day, the University of Wisconsin football team lost 3,942 rushing yards, 42 rushing touchdowns and one of the most recognizable Badgers in recent memory.Despite having one more year of eligibility, running back P.J. Hill opted to forgo his senior season and enter the NFL Draft, though it was not without much discussion with the coaching staff.“When I got to talk to P.J., he just felt that this was his time,” UW head coach Bret Bielema said. “He’s done a lot here at the University of Wisconsin, but he’s always dreamed of playing in the NFL, and he wanted that shot now.”Ending his tenure at UW in fitting fashion, Hill culminated his Wisconsin career with a big game against Florida State, rushing for 140 yards in his final game.In the following weeks, Hill met with Bielema to discuss his future in the NFL and his projected draft status. While the Badgers would have surely welcomed their top back for his senior year, Hill decided to go straight to the NFL.“I was trying to give him all the information we had,” Bielema said. “Not only did I talk to the same committee he did, but I reached out to other people in the NFL that I’ve become close with.“I talked to scouts, coaches and GMs that I know,” he continued. “In PJ’s case, I received a variety of different answers and angles to help him make his decision.”Looking forward, the Badgers will have to make up for the loss of PJ but will still have tight end Garret Graham, who will be returning for his senior year. Graham was Wisconsin’s leading receiver last year, but a few injuries and a chance at major improvement led to his decision to remain at UW for another year.“The bottom line is that he’s a player with a lot in front in him,” Bielema said. “I think that another year in our program will make him play at a higher level which will allow him to be a higher draft prospect a year from now.In terms of the remaining members of the Wisconsin backfield, Bielema still has redshirt freshman John Clay, who was a more than serviceable backup, rushing for 884 and averaging 5.7 yards per carry.Last year, Jack Ikegwuonu’s departure left the Badgers with a serious hole in the secondary. This year, despite Hill’s exit, the running back situation will be in good shape, especially with Clay and Zach Brown moving up on the depth chart. Bielema also believes players are only as good as they want to be, and if Hill were forced to stay, he wouldn’t be as effective as he could be.“I think that anyone who’s doing something that they don’t want to do can be not only detrimental to themselves, but to the team as well. … P.J. just thought it was his time to go,” Bielema said.With redshirt Clay unable to produce against the Seminoles, Hill’s performance in the Champs Sports Bowl may have been a precursor for what lies next for Badger football. Regardless, Bielema is not worried about his other running backs’ production next season.“I think that’s a concern any time you have a great player leave your program,” Bielema said. “When P.J. came up his freshman year, nobody knew who he was, nobody knew anything about him, and he went on to have some very productive numbers. … Whoever the next guy is, whether it’s John or Zach or Bradie (Ewing), whoever it is will be able to come up with those same kind of numbers.”last_img read more

USC selected for Dept. of Energy Solar Decathlon

first_imgUSC was selected as one of 20 universities in the world to build an energy-efficient home for the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2013 Solar Decathlon.Two architecture professors will lead a multidisciplinary team of USC students over the next two years to design and build an innovative and energy-efficient solar home for a single-family dwelling.Model home · Shahab Rahimi, a senior majoring in architecture, prepares a small model of a study for their entry in the Dept. of Energy’s Solar Decathlon. – Photo courtesy of Christine TanguayAlice Kimm, chair of undergraduate studies in the School of Architecture, applied for the start-up grant of $100,000 last fall, which qualified USC to participate. Kimm, in collaboration with Gary Paige, a visiting critic at the USC School of Architecture, will guide the students working on the project.“Our overall goal is to bring an energy-efficient house to the world,” Kimm said.The professors said they would like the house to built on or near campus, ideally Exposition Park, but have not determined where. Final projects are judged on a range of 10 separate performance categories including design, energy efficiency, livability and affordability.The project already is getting its feet on the ground at USC. Solar Decathlon is a topic studio class in the architecture school this semester. Nine undergraduate and four graduate students signed up for the course, which broke up the students into teams to develop six unique design ideas for the competition. At the end of the semester, the students will select the best design and that will serve as the design schematic for the actual competition prototype.Christine Tanguay, a senior majoring in architecture, is one of the students enrolled in the design studio. Tanguay said the class comes with its own unique set of challenges.“We have a set of rules, a budget and many other constraints that are required by the competition beyond the regular California building code,” Tanguay said.The Solar Decathlon competition isn’t limited to architecture students; students from interdisciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to join the team to work on the project. Tanguay said the interdisciplinary element was also a draw.“I was inspired by the fact that the competition will incorporate many schools at USC and we will be required to collaborate on a holistic, sustainable design,” Tanguay said.Kimm envisions Viterbi students working on solar technology, Marshall students establishing a marketing strategy for selling the house, Annenberg students creating a public relations campaign, School of Cinematic Arts students documenting the progress and students at Rossier School of Education bringing students from Los Angeles Unified School District to visit the house to learn about environmentally sustainable living.“USC has the opportunity to do incredible collaborations,” Kimm said. “It’s all here on campus.”When the competition is over, Kimm said, the school plans to dismantle the house and to give it to a family.“The School of Architecture is very community-based,” Kimm said. “This is the opportunity to give back to the community: to build an energy-efficient house that can set an example in the neighborhood and the city of Los Angeles.”Students looking to get involved in the competition will be able to find more information on USC’s Solar Decathlon team website, which Kimm said should be online in two weeks.last_img read more