Club celebrates Arabic language, culture

first_imgMendoza’s Jordan Auditorium hosted the third annual Arabic Culture Night Friday, as students were able to experience a variety of forms of performing arts from the Middle East.The event consisted of several folkloric dances from Egypt and Lebanon as well as an oriental dance, a song, a poetry recitation, a comedy play and a slide show showcasing the program of Arabic Language and Culture.All music, reading and dialogue was in Arabic and performed by students, most of whom are Arabic majors or Mediterranean/Middle East Studies minors.Professor Ghada Bualuan, chair of the Arabic Department and director and producer of the event, said it was a great way for students to experience Arabic culture and for the performers at the event to showcase their talents.“It was a unique opportunity to engage and explore the Arabic culture and forge a deeper connection to its people,” she said. “It was also an outlet for students of Arabic to perform on stage in the language and the culture that they are learning in the classroom.”Sophomore Joseph Dufour, vice president of the Arabic Club, said the event was a special opportunity to share Arabic culture with the rest of the University.“Students were able to enjoy song, dance, poetry and imagery that they wouldn’t otherwise likely get to experience at Notre Dame,” he said.  “It’s really a one-of-a-kind event and has grown in performances and popularity every year.”Junior Victoria Braga, a member of the Arabic Club, said the format of the event has grown stronger with each passing year.“Students attending the event hopefully learned more about Arabic Language and Culture,” she said. “This is the ultimate goal of the event, and we are happy that it seems the event has met its goal not only this year but in all of the past three years of its existence.”Bualuan said the inspiration for an event to share Middle Eastern culture came from students and from her own husband.“I started it two years ago with the idea of creating an opportunity for Arabic major students to connect to Arabic history and culture through music and arts,” she said. “Also, my husband produced several international festivals over 15 years ago at Notre Dame as a student, and I knew that his experience would be very useful.”Dufour said the event was a success because it blended performance with education.“Everyone there seemed to really enjoy the night whether they study Arabic or not,” he said. “It showcased aspects of the Arabic culture that people may not know about or [to people] who don’t study Arabic, especially since the readings and song in Arabic all had English translations on an accompanying slideshow to the event.”Bualuan echoed Dufour’s sentiment, noting that attendance at the event was very strong, with Jordan Auditorium at standing room only capacity. She said over 350 students attended, and their response was positive.“They were very excited, and the event has grown each year. I’ve already received many emails from students who were in the audience saying that they want to be part of the show next year,” she said.last_img read more

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RBS agrees ‘final deficit contributions’ for £45bn scheme

first_imgRoyal Bank of Scotland’s office in London Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has agreed to pay up to £3.5bn (€4bn) to its UK pension scheme to plug the deficit and allow the fund to operate on a self-sufficient basis.The changes to £45bn defined benefit (DB) scheme would also allow the company to pay dividends or otherwise distribute cash to shareholders for the first time since before it was bailed out by the UK government.“Subject to normal market conditions, the trustee and RBS’s central expectation is that no further deficit contributions to the main scheme will be required,” the bank said in a statement today.The scheme, in turn, would run a lower-risk long-term investment strategy by gradually reducing its exposure to listed equities and “increasing its exposure to assets that give a greater certainty over cash flows, while continuing to develop its comprehensive interest rate and inflation hedging strategy”. “The outcome,” added RBS, “will be an investment portfolio that targets a lower, more stable return, increasing security for members and posing less risk to the RBS Group.”Under the agreement reached with the trustees, RBS will pay £2bn in the second half of this year. It will also pay up to £1.5bn in aggregate from 2020 in the event that it distributes cash to shareholders. This could include ordinary dividends, special dividends or share buybacks.RBS said it intended to pay the scheme “an amount equal to each such distribution”, subject to an annual cap on contributions of £500m and until the £1.5bn had been paid.The UK’s Pensions Regulator has repeatedly called for employers to strike a balance between the money distributed to shareholders through dividends and contributions made to reduce DB scheme deficits.As at 31 December 2015, the pension fund, which has been closed to new members for more than 10 years, had a deficit of £5.9bn. The bank made a £4.2bn contribution to the fund in March 2016, which was estimated to have bumped up the funding ratio to 99% as at the end of 2016, according to the fund’s latest annual report.Ewen Stevenson, chief financial officer of Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “With these proposed payments, together with the one-off contribution into the fund in Q1 2016 we will have substantially addressed the historical funding weakness that existed in the fund and brought clarity to future funding arrangements.“For our shareholders, this [agreement] represents a further important milestone towards the resumption of capital distributions.”Ring-fencing decisionThe new funding contributions were agreed with trustees in a deal intended to pave the way for a restructuring required under UK law and to constitute the settlement required for the latest triennial valuation.This was brought forward from the end of December 2018 given that discussions between the employer and the trustees were already underway in connection with the restructuring required under ring-fencing legislation for UK banks.This, according to RBS, would entail a loss of employer covenant because certain RBS entities currently supporting the DB scheme would cease to do so.RBS decided that its main DB scheme would be sponsored by its ring-fenced business, which does not include the investment banking arm. By the end of March next year, the investment bank Royal Bank of Scotland plc – to be renamed NatWest Markets – and another entity would no longer be participating employers in the main DB pension fund and their liabilities would have been assigned to National Westminster Bank, RBS said.Employees within these entities would be transferred to new sections of the RBS group pension fund that would sit outside the ring-fenced bank. Earlier this year Barclays was criticised for its plan to link its DB fund to its investment banking arm.last_img read more

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Badger hockey wins sixth national title

first_imgAll it took for the Wisconsin men’s hockey team to break its longest drought of national title game appearances was a guy who knew a thing or two about Badger NCAA titles.In just his fourth year as head coach, Mike Eaves guided UW to its sixth national title. As a player, Eaves remains the Wisconsin all-time career points leader with 267 and helped lead the Badgers to the 1977 NCAA title.After going 1-1-1 in three overtime games to start the season, the 2005-06 Badgers went 13 games before taking another loss. UW took a 26-10-3 record into the NCAA Tournament, and hoped to improve on the previous season, where it came one win away from the Frozen Four.UW earned the No. 1 seed in the Midwest region and enjoyed the benefit of playing its games at the Resch Center in Green Bay. The Badgers enjoyed an easy 4-0 victory over Bemidji St. in the opening game, highlighted by Joe Pavelski’s hat trick. It took three overtimes for Wisconsin to come out with a 1-0 win over Cornell, but Jack Skille’s goal in the 112th minute advanced the Badgers to the Frozen Four.Wisconsin continued its home-state advantage, as the Frozen Four was hosted by Milwaukee’s Bradley Center. A 5-2 win over Maine set up a showdown with Boston College for the title.Tom Gilbert’s third-period goal gave UW a 2-1 win in front of a largely pro-Wisconsin crowd. UW fell behind 1-0 in the first period, but pulled ahead to cap off the program’s seventh 30-win season, finishing 30-10-3.UW fifth-year senior and current tri-captain Ben Street is the only player on this year’s squad that was a member of that title-winning team. Street had 10 goals as a freshman that season and remembers how determined the 2005-06 team was to win.“That team was just full of guys who would not lose,” he said. “It was a mindset every game — right from the get-go — that it was national championship or bust. That was the mentality.”last_img read more

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Too little, too late

first_imgAubrey BruceThis is my take on the Steelers 2012 season, enjoy or hate, you digggg…Week one: Denver 31, Pittsburgh 19. Even though the Steelers had the ball ten more minutes than the Broncos, “new” QB Peyton Manning passed for more yards (253) than Ben Roethlisberger (245). Manning also threw his 400th TD pass. At the time Manning said, “It’s just one game. I try to keep it in perspective.” Well now it is really in perspective because the Manning-led Broncos are the No.1 seed in the AFC. Broncos cornerback Tracy Porter, returned a Roethlisberger pass 43 yards with less than 3 minutes to go leaving the Broncos with a six-point lead that capped the victory for the Broncos. Roethlisberger said, “I should’ve called timeout. I hate to burn timeouts. I should’ve. I already told my teammates and coaches that it’s my fault. It’s on me. It’s disappointing. I hate to let my team down, my coaches, the fans. That loss is squarely on my shoulders. I’ll take that and get better and learn from it.” Pay attention, you will hear this again. Week two: The Steelers returned to the “friendly” confines of Heinz Field to meet, greet and beat the confused, confounded and grounded NY Jets 27-10. “Big” Ben and the Black and Gold were starting to feel their oats. After that game, wide receiver Mike “need-a-bit of stickum” Wallace had this to say about his “elite” quarterback: “Ben is one of the top in the game; I’ll ride with him against anybody.” Okay Mike, by the way, will you be singing the same Roethlisberger “psalms” next year when you are wearing a different colored jersey? Week three: Took the men of steel to the “Black Hole” to play the Oakland Raiders and contrary to popular belief the “Silver and Black” found an old Al Davis talisman and sent the Steelers back to Pittsburgh licking the wounds of a 34-31 loss. Safety Ryan Clark had this to say after the loss: “They outplayed us defensively. Their defense made the stops when they needed to, and we didn’t. It wasn’t from a lack of trying. Maybe it was trying too hard.” La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la means I love you….  Week four: It was a bye week for Pittsburgh but they were not really off. They spent their leisure time online searching for an adequate supply of “kick a-s.” However it appears that all the wholesalers may have been fresh out.Week five: Pittsburgh offered up a weak performance returning home to barely escape the Philadelphia Eagles and their turnover plagued one hundred million dollar quarterback Michael Vick, 16-14. After the game, Mike Tomlin had this glowing assessment of his defense: “We had the ball last such is life.” Roethlisberger added, “I always have confidence in myself and the guys that we can do it.” I can dig it; can you dig it, boys and girls?  Week six: Was a short week because on the following Thursday Pittsburgh traveled to Tennessee to meet the much ridiculed and snickered at Tennessee Titans and their on again, off again All Pro running back Chris Johnson. Pittsburgh left Tennessee just as they left the “Black Hole” in Oakland, “Cali” nursing the wounds of a 26-23 defeat. This was their third straight road loss leading Tomlin to offer this assessment: “We’re not doing enough things to finish games in hostile environments.  That’s just the reality right now. Hopefully, it’s just right now. We didn’t do the job tonight. We defeated ourselves in some areas.”  Week seven: The Steelers rolled into Paul Brown Stadium to face the now ever dangerous Cincy Bengals. Pittsburgh prevailed by the score of 24-17. This was their first road victory of the season prompting Ryan Clark to say, “It puts us right there in the hunt.” The hunt for what Ryan? “Red October.”  Week eight: The Steelers visited the nearest beekeeper to borrow uniforms as they humbled rookie phenom Robert Griffin III and the Redskins 27-12. Hope springs eternal.Week nine:  The Steelers traveled to the Hurricane “Sandy” ravaged shore of New Jersey to face the listless New York Giants and won 24-20, gee were any of you surprised, boys and girls? Steelers running back Issac Redman said this: “This shows we have a lot of heart. When you play for the Steelers, it’s all about heart.” Yep, uh-huh.Week 10: Monday night football at Heinz Field. Hurricane Charles and Cassell swept through Pittsburgh disguised as the KC Chiefs as Romeo Crennell’s boys lost by the paltry score of 16-13 in overtime. This game was a serious omen. The handwriting was on the wall and the worst was yet to come.Week 11: The B-more Ravens flew into Heinz and beat the “scrambling” sub QB Byron Leftwich 13-10, nuff said.Week 12: X-mas came early in Cleveland. The Steelers handed the Browns eight “gifts” and a 20-14 win.Week 13: The Steelers went dawn to M&T Bank in Baltimore and returned the favor beating the Ravens and crying tears of joy. Tears of sorrow were on the way.Week 14: The much maligned San Diego Chargers rolled into Pittsburgh and beat the Black and Gold 34-24 leaving behind “Rivers” of tears.Week 15: The Steelers traveled to the Lone Star state and lost to the Cowboys by the score of 27-24. There was a pick involved.Week 16: The Bengals came to Heinz Field and won the AFC “wild card” championship. There was also a pick involved. “We should be (in the playoffs) if it wasn’t for me,” Roethlisberger said after throwing his second game-deciding interception in eight days. More tears followed.Week 17: The Steelers barely beat the Browns 24-10 in a meaningless contest as Cleveland’s third string practice squad quarterback Thaddeus Lewis passed for more yards than Pittsburgh’s “elite” QB. Wait until next year…you just wait.(Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: [email protected] or 412-583-6741.)last_img read more

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UCLA signs Dorrell through 2011

first_imgUnder terms of the contract, there is a negotiating window from Dec. 15 through Jan. 15 to extend the deal for a year. Both sides must agree to the rollover. “We are looking forward to an exciting and successful season in 2007,” UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero said. “With Karl solidifying his coaching staff, an experienced team returning and a terrific home schedule, we are poised to take the next step with our program.” LOS ANGELES – UCLA and Karl Dorrell mutually agreed to a one-year rollover of the football coach’s contract, which now runs through the 2011 season. Terms of the rollover year are the same as in the five-year contract Dorrell agreed to a year ago. He is guaranteed $850,000 annually, and can make another $505,000 in incentives. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!center_img Meanwhile, Dorrell continues to search for an offensive line coach, and sources said University of Arizona tight ends coach Dana Dimel is a possibility. Dimel was the offensive line coach at Kansas State from 1989-94, and served as head coach at Wyoming and Houston. last_img read more

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