Beyond CMMI and other process models for software industry: Needs a new rating method

first_imgDel-Q: Delivery Quality Rating:  a  new rating methodology  for the Software industryThe current need  is that the software industry    requires a new rating method that is more reliable yet economical in cost and duration and  also increases the confidence among the clients who are facing challenges  to make a decision on selection of a supplier /vendor of software servicesThe reasons are many, for instance, recently I had a meeting with a Quality Head of a software unit of a big organization, and during the casual discussion about the implementation of a process model he told me the following points:1.      The leadership was of the view that the Quality Head should give assurance of reduction of defects in all the deliverables with accurate numbers as a result of the implementation of CMMI® ML5 practices2.      As the Quality Head was not in a position to assure that, they dropped the idea of going for CMMI® ML5 and they simply were satisfied with the CMMI® ML3Though the process models such as CMMI® / ISO 9001® and others are really improving the process maturity in the organizations especially, software companies, yet these models are not able to give an accurate and precise metrics that will instil confidence among the customers. For example, no one can promise the quality of products/components in terms of the number of defects or other relevant metrics based on maturity levels. Can we say all CMMI® ML 3 organizations will have x number of defects, whereas CMMI® ML 5 organizations will have an x-n number of defects? You may have noticed the following limitations of these models:1.      Customers are not able to assess the capability of the vendor/supplier  based only on the maturity levels or any certification being used currently2.      The quality of the deliverables varies widely among the organizations/units that have achieved the same maturity levels. For instance, a company X that is at CMMI® ML3 delivers software products /components with 100 defects per component/KLOC, a company Y at CMMI® ML3 delivers products/components with 200 defects per component/KLOC. Therefore, it is clear that maturity levels are not giving the customer the insight of the product quality through these maturity levels will give us the insight about the process maturity.3.      Some of the clients had another experience  that they found out a positive correlation between the maturity levels and defects injected in the same organization4.      Due to business pressure, the entire models/standards are commoditized, as a consequence, the real maturity of the organization is masked5.      The appraisal method that uses the employees as Appraisal Team members may impact the objectivity of the appraisal6.      Moreover, the implementation and the appraisal process have become too costly to adopt in a small organizationAs everyone will agree with me that in this digital era, software plays a vital role in every sphere of life. For instance, from the rocket to the kitchen every appliance has software embedded in them. Therefore, no one will disagree to the fact that the quality of the software is really crucial and the standard that certifies the organization also is critical as based on the certification many customers will decide to select or not to select the vendorWe have come out with an initial draft of a rating methodology called Del-Q (Delivery Quality) for software organizations /units after a careful study and experience in working with current process models. This model is trying to give a precise and accurate judgement based on relevant metrics so that the real freedom of the limitations stated above.Del-Q focuses on the real metrics of the deliverables from the organization for some time. These metrics will be compared to the baseline standard. This will enable the assessor to categorize the organization in various star categories such as 1-star, 2-star,3-star,4-star and 5-star. Now based on this a customer can take an informed decision on whether to select the vendor or not. This is unambiguous without any hidden interpretation. This rating is not conflicting with any currently available process models whereas this will be complementing those modelsThe illustration given below shows how Del_Q and other process models are complementing each other:The structure and assessment methods will be published soon. As this is the initial draft I would like to invite the readers for a debate on this subject This article is the opinion of the author that is based on the overall experience only, there is no survey conducted to arrive at any conclusionlast_img read more

CTC, GE host fourth annual Community Day

first_img Top Searches Top Searches JeffWest Union High School 1963 GraduationSeama GE volunteers plus students from the OVCTC worked at the Adams County Homeless Shelter as part of last Friday’s Community Day. (provided photo) HomeNewsCTC, GE host fourth annual Community Day CTC, GE host fourth annual Community DayStudent volunteers give back to the community during day-long eventMay 24, 2019Mark CarpenterNews, Top Stories0center_img PreviousSenior Profile- MacKenzie Farahay, Peebles High SchoolNextPHS freshman to study in China Around the WebThis Video Will Soon Be Banned. Watch Before It’s DeletedSecrets RevealedMd: Do This Immediately if You Have Diabetes (Watch)Blood Sugar BlasterThis Weird Method Can Restore Your Vision Naturally (Watch)Healthier LivingHave an Enlarged Prostate? Urologist Reveals: Do This Immediately (Watch)Healthier LivingIf You Have Ringing Ears Do This Immediately (Ends Tinnitus)Healthier LivingWomen Only: Stretch This Muscle to Stop Bladder Leakage (Watch)Healthier LivingThe content you see here is paid for by the advertiser or content provider whose link you click on, and is recommended to you by Revcontent. As the leading platform for native advertising and content recommendation, Revcontent uses interest based targeting to select content that we think will be of particular interest to you. We encourage you to view your opt out options in Revcontent’s Privacy PolicyWant your content to appear on sites like this?Increase Your Engagement Now!Want to report this publisher’s content as misinformation?Submit a ReportGot it, thanks!Remove Content Link?Please choose a reason below:Fake NewsMisleadingNot InterestedOffensiveRepetitiveSubmitCancel Powered By 10 Sec Best Carrot Cake Ever NextStay Best Carrot Cake EverNOW PLAYINGMama’s Deviled EggsNOW PLAYINGHomemade Caramel SauceNOW PLAYINGApple Pie Bites With Caramel SauceNOW PLAYINGCream Cheese Cake Mix CookiesNOW PLAYINGOld Fashioned Soft and Buttery Yeast RollsNOW PLAYINGHawaiian Roll Ham SlidersNOW PLAYING5 Easy and Delicious Crock Pot Meatball Appetizer RecipesNOW PLAYINGApple Pie BitesNOW PLAYINGSweet Alabama PecanbreadNOW PLAYINGHow to Slice & Mince Vegetables Like a ProNOW PLAYINGHow to Knead DoughNOW PLAYINGSlow Cooker/Crock Pot HintsNOW PLAYINGHow to Use a Meat ThermometerNOW PLAYINGHow to Quarter a ChickenNOW PLAYINGHow to Clean Garbage DisposalsNOW PLAYINGHow to Clean Stainless Steel SinksNOW PLAYINGHow to Melt and Soften ButterNOW PLAYINGHow to Cook Scrambled EggsNOW PLAYINGHow to Peel Hard Boiled EggsNOW PLAYINGHow to Chill a Drink in 2 MinutesNOW PLAYINGHow to Chop an Onion PerfectlyNOW PLAYINGPerfect Bacon Every TimeNOW PLAYINGPumpkin Cream Cheese BarsNOW PLAYINGParmesan Baked Pork ChopsNOW PLAYING Arrow Left #1 Icon Created with Sketch. Arrow right #1 Icon Created with Sketch. By Patricia Beech-Students from the Ohio Valley Career and Technical Center (OVCTC) partnered with employees from the General Electric Test Facility in Peebles to work on several projects across Adams County for the fourth annual Community Day on Friday, May 10.About 200 students and teachers from the CTC participated along with 50 GE volunteers. Local leaders, businesses, and county organizations also provided volunteers.Alicia Sowards, Language Arts instructor at the CTC, spearheaded the event.She said her goal was to accomplish as much as possible during the day-long event.“We were able to visit more locations this year, so it was a lot bigger event then last year,” Sowards told the Defender. “We also had even more community involvement from groups who provided lunch for our volunteers.”Sowards said the day-long volunteer event allows students to show their appreciation by giving back to the community.“They understand that in giving back to their community they’re also building a better future themselves and others,” she said. “You can see that in the quality of the work they do on our community service day.”This year students spent the entire day at their project locations, stopping only long enough to have lunch.“By staying at each location for the entire day we were able to give back even more, and accomplish even more” says Sowards. “We’ve had nothing but positive feedback from all the locations we visited.The volunteers worked at several locations including:  Peebles Outreach Center; the Sinking Springs Community Center; the Adams County Fair Grounds; the Buckeye Trail; the Homeless Shelter here in West Union; Wilson’s Childrens Home; Manchester Future Bike Park; Christian School in West Union; St. Vincent DePaul House; the Interfaith House; the Adams County Regional Medical Center; the Winchester Community Garden; and the Courthouse in West Union.Char Brown, Director of the Adams County Homeless Shelter, said the work done by the students and other volunteers has a powerful impact on the agency she oversees.The homeless shelter is a 16-bed facility that has served the Adams County community for over two decades. It provides space for men, women, and families who have been made homeless through financial calamity, domestic violence, and natural disasters such as floods and fires.The volunteers did landscape work and helped repair the shelter’s eaves troughs, but Brown says their work does more than just improve the grounds and facilities.The time volunteers spend working at the shelter translates to dollar amounts that help the shelter meet its matching grant obligations, according to Brown.“A volunteer’s time is worth $10 an hour,” she told the Defender. “Food donations and clothes donations – which are valued at comparable Goodwill prices – are all given a dollar value we can claim to meet our matching fund requirements.”Local small businesses – NAPA Auto Parts, Black Diamond, Comac Foods, BK Scoop, St. Vincent Ladies Group, and Moyer Restaurant provided lunch for the volunteers. Save A-Lot in West Union, First Stop, and Winchester Whole Sale provided bottled water.Participating students included: Skills USA students, FFA students, and FCLA students.Anyone wanting to participate in the 2020 Community Service Day event should contact Alicia Sowards at the CTC.Students from the Ohio Valley Career and Technical Center plus volunteers from GE worked at the Adams County Homeless Shelter as part of the May 10 Community Day event. (Provided photo)last_img read more

Pray also for me

first_img By Judith Cooley“Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” Ephesians 6:19-20We know that prayer changes things. Prayer can heal, rejuvenate, calm, convict or embolden. Prayer can change anything. We pray for others; we pray for ourselves, but why is it we rarely ask for others to pray for us?Is it just me or do we cheat the Holy Spirit out of much holy work by refusing to humble ourselves and ask for prayer? Some people are good at it, but I guess I personally struggle to ask for prayer. Could it be pride, self-deprecation, or fear of opening up? Probably a mixture, frankly, and I do myself a huge disservice by behaving this way.Anytime I have someone pray for me I feel the Spirit stir. So much life-affirming love flows over me and makes me feel truly seen and truly known and truly loved by my Father. Could that also be why I struggle to ask for prayer, because the Devil knows how miraculous those moments are for me, and He makes me feel selfish for asking prayer? Probably so, and I would venture it’s the same for you. The Devil doesn’t want us feeling the power of Heaven spoken over us with authority and conviction. He wants us feeling weak and cut off from our supernatural supply.Praying for others gives joy and a purpose unlike anything else. Could I be robbing someone else of these feelings by not asking for prayer? I think so. Christians love to pray because prayer is the uninterrupted moments of communication with our Father Above, and it’s a way to really impact someone.We might not be charged with missionary and evangelistic journeys that Paul was when he wrote his letter to the church of Ephesus asking for boldness, but we still need prayer support to succeed in our own mission field. The Devil doesn’t play fair. There is a never-ending struggle on the Devil’s part to diminish any ground won for Christ. Thus the Devil is always opposing us.Paul, one of the most courageous and most power of apostles, asked for prayer support. It wasn’t a one-time occurrence when he asked for prayer either. Paul knew the power of prayer, and he knew the desperate attempts of the Devil to prevent him from doing his good works.Modeling the behavior of our mentors in the faith is important. We shouldn’t be ashamed to ask for prayer! Paul asked his fellow man to pray for him so that he could spread the Gospel as he should. Jesus himself asked His disciples to pray for Him as He lived out the fulfillment of Scripture. Shouldn’t , all the more, ask our support systems to pray for us as we live out our calling for the Kingdom? Yes, we should!I ask that you pray for me as I do the work God has laid out for me as I pray for each of you. I may not know you personally, but God does, and He knows the words I utter on your behalf. Let us be a generation that calls upon the Lord, lifting each other up in prayer. Praying for boldness, resolve, strength, gentleness, and mercy as we bring souls into His fold.Prayer changes things. Prayer makes all the difference. Sometimes we have to ask for prayer, and that’s okay. It’s actually the best thing to do. God’s ear is always attentive to the righteous.“Brothers and sisters, pray for us.” 1 (Thessalonians 5:25) Powered By 10 Sec Best Carrot Cake Ever NextStay Best Carrot Cake EverNOW PLAYINGHow to Clean Stainless Steel SinksNOW PLAYINGApple Pie Bites With Caramel SauceNOW PLAYINGApple Pie BitesNOW PLAYINGHomemade Caramel SauceNOW PLAYINGPerfect Bacon Every TimeNOW PLAYINGOld Fashioned Soft and Buttery Yeast RollsNOW PLAYINGHow to Chop an Onion PerfectlyNOW PLAYINGHow to Chill a Drink in 2 MinutesNOW PLAYINGHow to Peel Hard Boiled EggsNOW PLAYINGHow to Peel TomatoesNOW PLAYINGHow to Melt and Soften ButterNOW PLAYINGCream Cheese Cake Mix CookiesNOW PLAYINGHow to Slice & Mince Vegetables Like a ProNOW PLAYINGHow to Make the Ultimate Light and Fluffy Mashed PotatoesNOW PLAYINGSweet Alabama PecanbreadNOW PLAYINGPumpkin Cream Cheese BarsNOW PLAYINGHow to Core and Slice a PineappleNOW PLAYINGHow to Knead DoughNOW PLAYINGHow to Use a Meat ThermometerNOW PLAYINGSlow Cooker/Crock Pot HintsNOW PLAYINGHow to Quarter a ChickenNOW PLAYINGHow to Clean Garbage DisposalsNOW PLAYINGHow to Cook Scrambled EggsNOW PLAYINGHawaiian Roll Ham SlidersNOW PLAYING Arrow Left #1 Icon Created with Sketch. Arrow right #1 Icon Created with Sketch. Pray also for meOctober 27, 2020Mark CarpenterColumns, Opinion0 HomeOpinionColumnsPray also for me PreviousRoger Lee Hayslip, SrNextStay away from the Gropley place Around the WebThis Video Will Soon Be Banned. Watch Before It’s DeletedSecrets RevealedMd: Do This Immediately if You Have Diabetes (Watch)Blood Sugar BlasterThis Weird Method Can Restore Your Vision Naturally (Watch)Healthier LivingHave an Enlarged Prostate? Urologist Reveals: Do This Immediately (Watch)Healthier LivingIf You Have Ringing Ears Do This Immediately (Ends Tinnitus)Healthier LivingWomen Only: Stretch This Muscle to Stop Bladder Leakage (Watch)Healthier LivingThe content you see here is paid for by the advertiser or content provider whose link you click on, and is recommended to you by Revcontent. As the leading platform for native advertising and content recommendation, Revcontent uses interest based targeting to select content that we think will be of particular interest to you. We encourage you to view your opt out options in Revcontent’s Privacy PolicyWant your content to appear on sites like this?Increase Your Engagement Now!Want to report this publisher’s content as misinformation?Submit a ReportGot it, thanks!Remove Content Link?Please choose a reason below:Fake NewsMisleadingNot InterestedOffensiveRepetitiveSubmitCancel Top Searches Top Searches Adams County Common Pleas CourtSeamaMulli last_img read more

AG: Union City man busted after having several small gatherings, violating…

first_imgCommunityHobokenNewsPolitics & Policy Bayonne man busted with cocaine, heroin, semi-automatic handgun after fleeing from cops By John Heinis – April 9, 2020 6:26 pm 0 Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter CarePoint Health reaches deal for Cigna Health Insurance to join their network A Union City man was busted after having several small gatherings at his home, violating state emergency orders, finally charged for having people over on Wednesday, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced.New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal. Twitter photo.By John Heinis/Hudson County ViewMoshe Knopfler, 55, of Union City, was charged with violation of the emergency orders, a disorderly persons offense, and failure to disperse – petty disorderly persons offense – Grewal said in a statement.Police had warned Knopfler on several prior occasions when he held gatherings on his property. He was charged on Tuesday, April 7th, when police found approximately 13 people on his property.“Our police officers are working bravely and tirelessly every day to protect us during this health crisis.  Regrettably, they are being called upon far too often to deal with people violating the emergency orders— or what is more egregious, people using the virus to spread fear or impede officers in their vital work,” Grewal added.Violations of the emergency orders constitute a disorderly persons offense carrying a potential sentence of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.Grewal also said that anyone seeing a lack of compliance with the governor’s emergency orders should contact your local police department or report here.This afternoon, the New Jersey Department of Health disclosed that there are now 51,027 cases of the coronavirus statewide, along with 1,700 deaths, including 5,879 cases in Hudson County and 132 deaths – the third most in the state by county. Bayonne Facebook Twitter Previous articleHudson County Community College going the extra mile for students during COVID-19Next articleWith COVID-19 deaths surging in Hoboken, measures underway to protect seniors John Heinis TAGSgurbir grewalnew jersey attorney general’s officestay-at-home order SHARE Bayonne AG: Union City man busted after having several small gatherings, violating state orders RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Bayonne man pepper sprayed, arrested after punching cop in the face, authorities say Bayonne last_img read more

Florence makes landfall; police chief predicts ‘biblical proportion flood’

first_imgABC News(NEW BERN, N.C.) — Hurricane Florence is pummeling the North Carolina coastline, making landfall with life-threatening storm surges and hurricane-force winds.“I see a biblical proportion flood event that’s going to occur,” Wilmington, North Carolina, Police Chief Ralph Evangelous told ABC News. “I see the beach communities being inundated with water, and destruction that will be pretty, pretty epic in nature.”More than 372,000 customers in North Carolina are without power early Friday, as residents brace for the impact of the Category 1 storm. Here’s the latest:Catastrophic flooding is feared in much of the coastal Carolinas. Rainfall has already reached as much as 2 inches per hour in parts of eastern North Carolina.More than a foot of rain has already drenched Atlantic Beach, North Carolina.In Bayboro, North Carolina — one of the areas under evacuation — resident Kim Dunn stayed behind, and now she’s trapped in her truck surrounded by rising water, as her boyfriend and his cousin are stranded on a paddle boat less than a mile away.The water is as high as street signs, and “we have no way to get to them,” Dunn told ABC News Friday morning.“They’ve been out there for about six hours now, just screaming for help,” she said. “Only communication we have with them is just me flashing my lights to them, and I think they have a flashlight they’re flickering back to us.”Dunn — mother to a 10-month-old, a 3-year-old and an 8-year-old — said she made a decision to stay behind as others evacuated.“We were trying to figure out if we had enough finances to get out, and if we were to get out, were we going to be able to get back home? So we made a decision to stay,” she said. “I don’t know how long it’s gonna be before the water actually starts to come into the apartment.”In nearby New Bern, where water levels reached 10 feet overnight, 150 people have requested rescue. Volunteers are using private boats to pitch in and help, city spokeswoman Colleen Roberts said.The downtown area, at the confluence of two rivers, is mostly underwater.“You may need to move up to the second story, or to your attic, but WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU,” the city said on Twitter.The rainfall is forecast to reach 20 to 40 inches over the next several days.Storm surge could be as high as 11 feet in parts of North Carolina, prompting officials to closely watch the rise of rivers in the eastern part of the state. River flooding may be worse than Hurricane Floyd in 1999.  “Surviving this storm will be a test of endurance, teamwork, common sense and patience,” North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said Thursday. “The heavy rains and high winds are likely to spread across North Carolina and linger for days.”“We will survive this, and we will endure,” he said. Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Migrant Educator

first_imgMigrant EducatorFunction and Scope: The Brockport Migrant Education Programis a Title I federally funded program that provides educationalsupport to the children of migratory agricultural workers inMonroe, Orleans and Niagara Counties. Migrant Educators provideadvocacy leading to self-advocacy and tutoring support to eligiblestudents age 3- 21.BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DUTIES INCLUDING LEVEL OF SUPERVISIONREQUIRED:Assess the needs of every migrant child within a specifiedservice area and plan appropriate interventions, which will enableeach student to reach a high standard of academicperformance.Provide tutorial services to at risk students either throughvirtual platforms or in-person following approved safetyguidelines.Provide advocacy by linking with service providers in the areaand referring students and families as needed.Provide advocacy within the school district to supportappropriate grade placement for students, entrance into specialprograms as needed, access to interpretation, and other districtprovided requirements.Support students and parents to develop skills forself-advocacy.Support communication between assigned school district andparents through home contact on a regular basis.Transport students/ parents for Program activities whennecessary and following approved safety guidelines.Participate in Migrant Education Parent Engagement meetings andstudent enrichment activities.Attend local and State professional development training andmeetings using virtual platforms.Maintain records on every assigned student that includes astatement of goals, a plan of action, periodic updates and recordof supplemental services provided. Fulfill data collectionrequirements.Perform other duties as assigned by the Director.Required Qualifications:Excellent oral and written communication skillsPost secondary education, preferably a B. S. DegreeCareer goals related to educationDriver’s license and reliable vehicleAbility to work with a culturally diverse populationBilingual (English-Spanish)Preferred Qualifications:Teaching/ tutoring experienceExcellent math skillsSPECIAL NOTES:Request application and forward credentials.Work sites in Orleans & Niagara Counties.Includes some evening and weekend hoursThis position is a Research Foundation for The State Universityof New York (RF) position and issubject to The Research Foundationfor SUNY policies and procedures, sponsor guidelines, and theavailability of funding< 2 l. All finalists for this positionwill be subject to suitable pre-employment back-groundinvestigation and may include confirmation of credentialing. Offersmay not be extended until we receive a positive outcome from thepre­ employment background investigation.The Research Foundation for The State University of New York(RF) is a private non-profit educational corporation. The RF is notan agency or instrumentality of the State of New York. RF employeesare not state employees, do not participate in any state retirementsystem, and do not receive state fringe benefits. The RF operatesunder a contract with The State University of New York and receivesno directly appropriated state funding.Applicants will not be reimbursed for any travelexpenses.Research Foundation employees working more than 50% of the timereceive fringe benefits.For more information about the RF, check our website: http://www.rfsuny.orgBeginning Review Date: As neededPersons interested in the above position should submit a resumealong with a letter of application and three (3) letters ofreference to:Name: Donna Peterson-Spence, DirectorBrockport Migrant Education ProgramAddress: SUNY Brockport350 New Campus DriveBrockport, NY 14420-2945Telephone: (585) [email protected] Research Foundation for The State University of New York(RF) is committed to equal opportunity and non-discrimination inemployment for all qualified persons without regard to race, color,religion, sex, gender identity or expression, national origin,citizenship, age, creed, disability, veteran status, maritalstatus, familial status, military status, domestic violence victimstatus, sexual orientation, genetic characteristics/geneticinformation, or any other trait protected by federal, state, orlocal law. This policy applies to all employment practicesincluding recruitment, advertising, selection, hiring, promotion,upgrade, demotion, transfer, layoff, termination, return fromlayoff, performance evaluation, rate of pay or other forms ofcompensation and fringe benefits, and selection for training anddevelopment.jeid-b7aac9841526d041913d83a628c8880flast_img read more

Light-touch sheriff

first_img Curriculum Vitae1971: Joins the Christian Democratic Union 1974-79: Student of law and history at the universities of Münster and Freiburg 1983-84: Member of staff to mayors of West Berlin, Richard von Weizsäcker and Eberhard Diepgen 1986: Gains doctorate in law, University of Münster 1985-89: Head of the policy division, Berlin Senate Chancellery 1990: Aide to the prime minister of the last GDR government; member of the delegation negotiating the Unification Treaty 1990-94: State secretary, ministry of culture, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania 1994-98: Head of the state chancellery, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania 1999: Minister of state and head of the state chancellery, Saxony 2001-02: Minister of state for finance, Saxony 2002-04: Minister of state for justice, Saxony 2004-05: Minister of state for the interior, Saxony 2005-09: Head of the federal chancellery and federal minister for special tasks 2009-: Federal minister of the interior Fact File Not all that long ago, Thomas de Maizière could pop over to Berlin’s Hauptbahnhof from his office and snack on a late-night döner kebab without anyone recognising him. With his square-edged glasses, greying black hair and unspectacular suits, passers-by might easily have mistaken the 57-year-old Rhinelander for a mathematics professor or civil servant. Angela Merkel’s interior minister and trusted confidant had always prided himself on being one of the men behind the scenes, the kind without whom the machinery of governance could not run – at least, not smoothly. Even as Merkel’s pointman on domestic security – Germany’s sheriff – he managed to remain inconspicuous longer than anyone would have predicted, especially given the likes of his loud, media-conscious predecessors, Otto Schily and Wolfgang Schäuble. Unlike the law-and-order types who usually wear the badge, de Maizière exudes calm from behind a fatherly smile. “I’m the minister for security, not insecurity,” he says. Merkel appointed de Maizière because of his even keel – an asset, she felt, in dealing with a coalition partner prickly about government incursions into the private sphere. And true to that task, de Maizière refrained from sounding the alarm on terrorist threats at the least provocation – a course resented by hardliners in his own party. Thus, when de Maizière’s smile vanished and he did finally put Berlin on high alert last November, no one, not even the government’s most vociferous critics, accused it of crying wolf. German and US intelligence services had intercepted communications that a jihadist attack on Germany was imminent, most probably in downtown Berlin, maybe even on the Reichstag. De Maizière was everywhere on the evening news and talk-shows. The city crawled with machine gun-toting police who scoured train stations, public buses, and interrogated civilians milling around the Brandenburg Gate. The Reichstag was fenced off and security visibly beefed up around government buildings. “There’s cause for concern, but not for hysteria,” said de Maizière, tempered words that speak to his demeanour and the way he defines his job. Though de Maizière may not be a household name in Germany, even now that he is spotted in the Hauptbahnhof, the republic’s insiders have had him on their radars since unification. De Maizière is a scion of Calvinist Huguenots who fled persecution in 17th- century France to find sanctuary across Protestant Europe, not least in Prussia. The de Maizière family seems never to have forgotten its debt to the German state, in whatever form it took at the time. His father was a career officer who served the fighting forces of the Weimar Republic, then the Third Reich, and finally the Federal Republic, rising to inspector-general of the Bundeswehr at the height of the East-West conflict – a position that meant Thomas grew up in West Germany’s Cold-War capital, Bonn. His mother was an artist who steeped her two boys in the fine arts and classics, a cultural education befitting a family of upright and sophisticated Bildungsbürger straight out of a Thomas Mann novel. De Maizière studied law and entered politics through the West German Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the only party of choice for a de Maizière. It was, though, another conservative de Maizière who first grabbed the political spotlight in his generation – when the Berlin Wall fell, Thomas’s first cousin Lothar represented East Germany in the unification negotiations and served as its first, and last, democratically elected minister-president. Thomas acted as his adviser and even recommended a certain Angela Merkel to his cousin as spokesperson. It was her first position of authority and cemented a bond – friendship, even – that persists to this day. Thomas de Maizière’s specialty is getting governments and public bureaucracies to function at their highest capacity, so that they can deliver to citizens what they are supposed to deliver. It was therefore in former East Germany – the site of an enormous, dysfunctional, post-communist bureaucracy – that de Maizière made his career. In the aftermath of the GDR’s collapse, de Maizière was one of the western imports sent over to show the ‘new federal states’ how things are done. He held one ministerial post after another in CDU governments, first in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania along the Baltic Sea and then in Saxony. “He wasn’t one of the westerners who came in thinking he knew everything already,” says Steffen Flath of the Saxony CDU. “He was curious and asked us about our experiences. He really wanted to get to know the place before making decisions.” So at home did the de Maizières – Thomas, his wife, and three teenage sons – feel in Saxony that they settled in a village outside Dresden, where they live today. (Sundays are sacrosanct: a day of church and classical music – Bach and Brahms are de Maizière’s favourites.) De Maizière’s inclinations are liberal, inclinations that are currently being tested by a data-retention law that Germany’s highest court struck down last year. The 2008 legislation, which the CDU sponsored, allowed for the storage of data on telephone calls, text messages, and email traffic for a period of six months. The Christian Democrats want a revamped version of it that de Maizière argues is essential for chasing down terrorists. “On this issue, he puts on a better show that the guys before him,” says the Greens’ security expert Hans-Christian Ströbele, “but he wants the same thing: wide-ranging access to private data that can be used for any purpose”. Even the Christian Democrats’ coalition partners, the Free Democrats, oppose the measures, a source of coalition tension that in 2011 might well force de Maizière out of his corner. In 2005, when the first Merkel government took office, the chancellor-elect called on de Maizière to be her chief of staff, the perfect post for a behind-the-scenes operator. Merkel values de Maizière so highly because of his supreme competence, but also because he poses no threat to her – at least not until recently, when his name was raised as a possible successor to Merkel. Does the modest and soft-spoken perfectionist harbour ambitions for higher office? TV appearances and pressing flesh are not his forte. But if the call comes – and some see it coming – it would be difficult for a de Maizière to say no to his country. last_img read more

The Greeks overspend? Tell that to Christos Panagopoulos

first_imgThe Greek embassy and residence previously occupied three buildings on Sheridan Circle, considered the heart of Embassy Row, with dozens of stately converted mansions, but now just the middle building of the Greek compound is used.Built in 2006, this newest of the three contains the official embassy offices and reception areas, while the brick building to the right, once the home of the widow of General Phil Sheridan, sits vacant, waiting to be sold. The mansion to the left of the center building, positioned on the circle itself, was once the ambassadorial residence, with four floors of opulent salons and eight-bedrooms the structure was impressive; it now wallows in disrepair, renovations abandoned in 2010 due to lack of funds.“The cost to maintain the residence and bring it up to date is immense, in the millions,” says Maria Galanou, who works in the press office at the embassy. “We just don’t have the funds, and we haven’t for many years now.” Fifteen years ago, when pockets were deeper, that wasn’t the case; the residence underwent a glamorous facelift helmed by one of Washington’s society decorators, Aniko Gaal Schott, the go-to designer for embassies and residences in need of a refreshing. Those days appear to be long gone. “We used to use the residence on occasion for ceremonial events, but now we don’t at all,” added Galanou.Greece may have serious money troubles, but Christos Panagopoulos is doing his part for austerity. Europeans are accusing the Greeks of profligate spending, but tell that to poor Christos Panagopoulos, Greece’s ambassador to the U.S., who lives in a rented house in Washington because his country hasn’t been able to afford its own ambassadorial residence for the past several years. Though nestled in the pricey enclave of Foxhall Crescent, the Greek rental in no way comes close to competing with the grandeur of other European ambassador residences in Washington.The Italians have serious budgetary problems at home too, but you wouldn’t know that from visiting Ambassador Claudio Bisogniero’s opulent mansion a few miles from Panagopoulos’ house. The 24,000-square foot, $42 million, neo-Tudor, Northwest Washington estate, dubbed Villa Firenze, comes complete with a pipe organ and a bowling alley in the basement. Spain is also causing huge headaches for the eurozone because of its massive debt, but Spanish ambassador Ramon Gil-Casares’s modern masterpiece features a main reception hall the size of a football field and stately rooms decorated with 16th century tapestries. French Ambassador Gerard Araud, meanwhile, is hosting several hundred people for the annual Bastille Day party on Thursday night in his newly renovated residence in Kalorama, a 19-bedroom estate whose recent, two-year overhaul cost France a whopping $4 million.Even the Turkish residence, on the same Mass Ave circle as the Greek residence, boasts a ballroom and four grand reception rooms, plus an indoor swimming pool.last_img read more

Boris Johnson gives clearest hint on vaccine passports for global travel

first_imgJohnson has earmarked Monday to reveal more information about the U.K.’s plans to resume travel overseas, as the country gradually lifts lockdown restrictions.A government task force led by the Department for Transport had been set up to look at the safety of resuming global travel, as well as the rules for traveling overseas.Spain and Greece have already said they want to attract British tourists this summer, as long as they can prove they have received a coronavirus jab or a negative PCR test. For the time being, anyone trying to leave the U.K. without an essential reason to do so can be fined £5,000. LONDON — Vaccination passports will “definitely” be necessary to cross international borders in the near future, Boris Johnson said in his clearest hint about the U.K.’s plans for resuming global travel.Speaking during a visit to Middlesbrough, the U.K. prime minister said other countries and the aviation industry are interested in this policy and “there’s a logic to that.”“There’s definitely going to be a world in which international travel will use vaccine passports,” he said. “I think when it comes to trying to make sure that we give maximum confidence to businesses and customers in the U.K., there are three things – there’s immunity whether you have had it before so you have natural antibodies, whether you have been vaccinated, and of course whether you have had a test.”last_img read more

MonoNeon Releases New Album, ‘Living The Best And Worst Life At The Same Damn Time!’ [Listen]

first_imgBassist MonoNeon released a new eight-track album on Wednesday, Living The Best And Worst Life At The Same Damn Time!Related: MonoNeon Joins Charles Cornell For Auto-Tuned Remix Of Cardi B’s Swisher Sweets Uggs VideoThe quirky project hears MonoNeon (real name, Dwayne Thomas Jr) playing a captivating and loose mix of space-funk on his bass and other instruments with additional contributions from Amber Baker (drums), Sam Porter (drums, keyboards), Nina Gnewd (vocals), and Jelani Brooks (tenor saxophone). Tracks on the album include “Don’t Get Drunk, Just Believe In Yourself”, “Your Life Is Wild, Keep Smiling”, “Can We Start Over? Unblock My Number”, and the previously-released “MYPA (Masturbate Your Problems Away)“.The arrival of Living The Best And Worst Life At The Same Damn Time! on Wednesday marks the second album from the funk-rock bassist so far this year, as he released the nine-track My Feelings Be Peeling back in January.MonoNeon has been with his Ghost-Note bandmates throughout most of the summer as part of the band’s 2019 world tour, which continues into the fall months. The next scheduled performances will see the band team up with The New Mastersounds for a three-show run throughout Colorado in mid-October. Head to the band’s website for tickets and tour info.Scroll down to stream MonoNeon’s new album in full.MonoNeon – Living The Best And Worst Life At The Same Damn Time! – Full Album<a href=”http://dywanethomasjr.bandcamp.com/album/living-the-best-and-worst-life-at-the-same-damn-time”>Living The Best And Worst Life At The Same Damn Time! by MonoNeon</a>[Audio: MonoNeon Bandcamp]last_img read more