Leading a nation long considered a model of economic dysfunction, Prime Minister Edi Rama of Albania has pushed for change since his election last year. And the change needed in his country is not the electioneering “change” promised by virtually everyone in U.S. politics, but sweeping reforms that remodel institutions and foster the economic revival taking hold oh-so-slowly in the former communist nation.“We have … the youngest government in the history of Albania,” Rama said during a recent visit to Harvard. “My choice was to have ministers who have never been ministers.”He added, “In politics, experience is what kills innovation and reform.”But Albania isn’t relying on youth alone. Rama’s government is in the midst of a two-year project, funded by the Open Society Foundations, that partners it with Ricardo Hausmann, a professor of the practice of economic development at Harvard Kennedy School, and with experts at the School’s Center for International Development (CID), which Hausmann directs.“Their findings are helping us structure or restructure sectors or subsectors,” said Arben Ahmetaj, Albania’s minister of economic development, trade, and entrepreneurship. “We feel lucky, but the cooperation goes beyond traditional consultancy. It’s a partnership [for] development.”“I cannot tell you how much I’m learning, how much I’m thinking about Albania,” said Harvard’s RIcardo Hausmann. “Things are much clearer to understand when they are in the extreme and Albania is an extreme case in many things.” File photo by Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerFor decades, Hausmann said, Albania was a European version of North Korea, isolated from the rest of the world under the dictator Enver Hoxha. After the fall of communism in 1992, the nation made a difficult transition to capitalism, marked by a proliferation of pyramid schemes whose collapse led to unrest in 1996 and 1997.“There’s no reason in the world that the country shouldn’t have a per capita income like Greece or Italy except for the fact it’s been mismanaged for 60 years,” Hausmann said.With the Harvard-Albania project just past the halfway point, Ahmetaj and Rama see progress — analyses performed, reforms under way, and a 26 percent rise in exports.“It’s absolutely a fascinating and unique experience,” Rama said, “very much based on knowledge, innovation, dialogue, and — first and foremost — working together. It’s not experts on one side and pupils that have to follow on the other. It’s about … results.”While it’s not unusual for Harvard faculty members to advise or even serve in government, the depth of the relationship in this case is striking, said Elaine Papoulias, executive director of the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies and a former director of the Kennedy School’s Kokkalis Program on Southeastern and East-Central Europe.Papoulias said the CID project with Albania is an extension of a relationship between Rama and Harvard that reaches back to the early 2000s, when Rama was mayor of the national capital, Tirana. A onetime artist who had lived for years in Paris, as mayor Rama demonstrated a flair for the dramatic. He painted drab downtown buildings pink, yellow, and green, and took aim at the problem of rampant illegal development, reclaiming land for the city and encouraging green spaces. He was a Time magazine European hero in 2005.Rama’s first visit to Harvard was in 2003, when he was invited by Papoulias and the Kokkalis Program to participate in a mayors’ lecture series. The invitation stemmed largely from her observation of Rama’s “unique” and “authentic” leadership style, Papoulias said, one that set him apart from the region’s other political leaders.“His leadership was an ethos that was not only new for Albania, but for all of the region, a region … that had too many leaders who desired only to produce followers,” Papoulias said.Rama soon started thinking about the kind of technical expertise Albania needed, and began pushing talented young leaders to participate in HKS executive education programs, both in Cambridge and in Greece. Today, Papoulias said, a quarter of Rama’s cabinet has some sort of Harvard training.With Rama’s election to prime minister, the time seemed right for a more formal relationship between his country and the University. Backed by the Open Society Foundations, Hausmann began a two-year project aimed at institutional and economic reform.“HKS became active in Southeastern Europe starting in the late ’90s — a formative moment for this region,” Papoulias said. “The CID project in Albania is an evolution and deepening of Harvard’s involvement in this region, and demonstrates how impactful being at the right place at the right time in a country’s developmental trajectory can be.”Hausmann, former planning minister for Venezuela, former chief economist for the Inter-American Development Bank, and an expert on developing economies, started the initiative with a trip to Albania to talk to government officials about priorities, and to examine growth challenges and opportunities.An early priority was assisting in negotiations with the International Monetary Fund, which in February approved $457 million to help Albania meet its financial obligations while it undertakes reform. Hausmann also secured a World Bank grant so that six of the country’s ministers could attend an executive education program at HKS that month.“The moment they got back they started to implement ideas they got in the course,” Hausmann said.Harvard Kennedy School student He Tian was part of the team that went to Albania and worked on industrial parks in an effort to figure out why existing policy had gone wrong. Photo by Ann WangFaculty members with expertise in key areas were consulted, including Associate Professor of Business Noel Maurer on electricity; Visiting Professor of Public Policy Francisco Monaldi on oil; Albert L. Williams Professor of International Trade and Investment Robert Lawrence on economic integration; CID senior fellow Eduardo Lora on tax, debt, and social security reform; and research fellow Ljubica Nedelkoska on migration and labor issues.In the summer, Hausmann sent Kennedy School students to Albania for eight- to 10-week internships at ministries. The students examined issues ranging from the value chain of agricultural exports to the stalled implementation of industrial park legislation. Associate Professor of Public Policy Matt Andrews, who guided some of the students, also directed the formation of problem-solving “black belt” teams in agriculture, industrial zones, light manufacturing, and tourism.Boban Paul, a master’s student in public administration, worked in the Ministry of Agriculture with two other students. The trio focused on the value chain of agricultural products, analyzing how a plant or animal gains value before it is offered for sale.The students then developed a series of recommendations for three products (tomatoes, poultry, and sage). Paul, who worked with sage, suggested setting up a quality-control lab as well as measures to bring home some production currently done abroad, such as processing and bottling the leaves.“That to me was a good learning experience,” Paul said. “It’s not easy to make policies.”He Tian, who worked on the Ministry of Economics’ black-belt team on industrial parks, was among those tasked with figuring out why existing policy had gone wrong. Six years ago, the government passed laws to create nine industrial zones in the country, not one of which is operational today.The team dug into the dysfunction, demonstrating in one case the harmful role of illegal development. To make matters worse, the land had been sold by the local government, Tian said, providing a stark illustration of what can happen when the goals of central and local governments are poorly aligned.The lessons have not been restricted to students.“I cannot tell you how much I’m learning, how much I’m thinking about Albania,” Hausmann said. “Things are much clearer to understand when they are in the extreme and Albania is an extreme case in many things.”Albania’s still-lengthy to-do list includes improved rule of law, more effective administration, reforms in the energy and financial sectors, improved education and technical training, and more success in attracting foreign investment.“We’re seeing an interesting increase in economic growth, but it’s a fragile trend and we’re working hard to consolidate it,” Ahmetaj said. He added that as he looks ahead to the project’s conclusion, “We will do our best not to let Ricardo, CID, and Harvard go away from Albania.”
Walter Reeves When “Gardening in Georgia” host Walter Reeves showed how to change the color of hydrangea flowers a few weeks ago, you may have thought that was all there was. You were wrong. On this week’s show July 4 and 7, Reeves has more about these prolific bloomers.”Gardening in Georgia” airs on Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. and is rebroadcast on Saturdays at 12:30 p.m. on Georgia Public Television. The show is produced specifically for Georgia gardeners by the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and GPTV. To learn more, visit the show’s Web site.This week, Reeves shows off some hydrangeas with flower forms unlike the familiar mophead, including “Teller Red,” “Preziosa” and “Cardinal Red.”A Georgia NativeGuest Parker Andes of Callaway Gardens points out the oakleaf hydrangea. A Georgia native, it uses little water and grows in either sun or shade. The big flowers are infertile but attract pollinators to the fertile flowers growing below them.Reeves also reveals how easy it is to propagate a hydrangea in summer. He bends a limb to the earth and wounds a small section, then dusts the wound with a rooting hormone and buries the branch in the soil. A brick holds it in place. Three months later, the limb will have rooted in place.Cobb County Extension Agent Nina Eckberg explains why you should use mulch: fewer weeds, consistent soil temperatures and retention of soil moisture. She shows mulches that gardeners can use and how to apply them: 2 to 4 inches deep, but not against the trunk or bark.A Flower TowerHelen Phillips of Callaway Gardens shows how she recycled a piece of 8-inch PVC pipe to create a flower tower. She drilled 2-inch holes in the side and anchored it in a pan of concrete. Then she hung a short soaker hose in the middle as soil is added to fill the pipe. Plants such as nasturtium and petunia can be planted in the holes.CAES horticulturist Jim Midcap describes the Trident maple (Acer buergeranum), a 1998 Georgia Gold Medal Winner.And finally, CAES entomologist Beverly Sparks describes the life cycle and control of the armored scale. That armored covering is hard for predators, adverse weather and even pesticides to penetrate. UGA CAES File Photo
easyJet, the leading European airline, continues to expand into the Croatian market with the opening of seven new routes from Croatia.New routes include four new routes from Pula to Basel, Liverpool, London Southend and Milan Malpensa. In this way, EasyJet expands the choice of Croatian passengers in connection with European primary destinations, as well as European tourists with Croatia.”We are very excited to launch seven new routes from Croatia next year, offering over a million points for sale during 2018 to and from Croatia. We expect a record summer next year, with more than 3.100 flights and more than 540.000 seats offered for sale to and from Croatia in July and August 2018. Since our first flight to Croatia in 2009, easyJet has transported more than 3,8 million customers , supporting the growing Croatian tourism industry.With over 46 routes from Croatia, easyJet is committed to making travel easy and affordable for our Croatian customers by offering them a wide connection with major European cities, whether it is a business trip, the so-called. city break trip or visit friends and relativesSaid Ali Gayward, UK Country Manager for easyJet.This year, the airline transported a record number of passengers to and from Croatia, ie more than 910.000 passengers, which is an increase of 35% compared to the previous year. easyJet now connects Croatia with six European countries and over 23 destinations across Europe, including Amsterdam, Geneva and Paris-Orly, and currently serves 46 routes from four Croatian airports, Dubrovnik, Pula, Split and Zadar.
Advertisement Mauricio Pochettino has been hopeful that Spurs would play at their new stadium before the end of the campaign (Getty Images)Should Spurs indeed be back at White Hart Lane for April, their first game will either be against Brighton, managed by former Tottenham player Chris Hughton on Sunday, April 7 or the following weekend against Huddersfield Town on Saturday, April 13.That would depend on whether or not Brighton successfully overcome Championship side Millwall in the FA Cup quarter-final on March 17. Should the Seagulls win that game, their semi-final would be scheduled for either April 7 or April 8 meaning their match with Spurs would have to be moved.As well as Brighton and Huddersfield, Spurs also have to play West Ham at home on April 27 and Everton on the final day of the season on May 15. There is another home game with Crystal Palace to be played too after that was rescheduled following their own progress in the FA Cup.Spurs will be hoping to play Champions League football at their new stadium as well depending on whether or not they can avoid a capitulation against Borussia Dortmund in the last-16. They hold a 3-0 advantage from the first leg ahead of the return tie in Germany on Tuesday.Before Spurs’ game against Leicester City last month, Mauricio Pochettino said: ‘My wish is to play at the new stadium before the end of the season.‘We’ll see what happens. My gut feeling is that it’s going to be tough but my wish, my hope and my dream is to finish this season playing in the new stadium.’More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal Advertisement Comment Tottenham are hoping to move into their new ground in April (Getty Images)Tottenham Hotspur are hopeful that Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Arsenal in the north London derby will be their final home game at Wembley this season as they seek to move into their new stadium in April, according to the Evening Standard.Spurs had originally hoped to be in place at their new 62,062 all-seater capacity for the Premier League game against Liverpool in September, however, issues with the safety systems in place inside the stadium has resulted in numerous delays.There is a growing sense of optimism within the club, though, that their long wait to move in will be at an end next month, which would mean Spurs fulfilling their final five home games of the season at their new stadium, as well as potentially a Champions League quarter-final.AdvertisementAdvertisementSpurs still have to stage two test events at the stadium before they can host a match there but they plan to do so before the end of this month with Spurs not scheduled to have any home games until the start of April. There is also an upcoming international break which gives Spurs time to do the tests.ADVERTISEMENT Tottenham hopeful of completing new stadium move ahead of season run-in in April Metro Sport ReporterMonday 4 Mar 2019 11:45 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link
Johannesburg: Former South African captain Graeme Smith is reportedly in the running to become the Proteas’ first-ever Director of Cricket. The position has been created in the wake of its 2019 World Cup performance. Graeme Smith, who is regarded as one of the most influential captains in the history of South African cricket, told ESPNCricinfo that he was among those interviewed for the post.South Africa has struggled to replace the likes of AB de Villiers, Dale Steyn, Hashim Amla and Morne Morkel who all retired in the space of the past two years.They crashed out of the 2019 World Cup in the group stage with just three wins after which they were handed a 3-0 thrashing by India in a recent Test series. They had also lost to Sri Lanka in a home Test series earlier in the year, the first time ever that they lost a Test series against an Asian side in South Africa. IANSAlso Read: No Decision Yet on Ashwin’s Future in KXIP, Says Anil KumbleAlso Watch: Assam TET 2019 to be held tomorrow morning
The Department of Public Safety met with the Association of Indian Students to discuss methods for improving student-officer relationships, on Monday.The meeting, held at the USC University Religious Center, addressed students’ concerns at their annual international foods festival.Erwin Valencia, the community relations officer for DPS, meets regularly with AIS and suggested that the organization should invite DPS to their foods festival this semester. Valencia, who is also the international student liaison for DPS, stressed the importance of strong relationships in the USC and overall L.A. community.“The idea here is that the students can get to know us more,” Valencia said. “That way, in the future, if they need something or if they become victims of something, they know DPS officers are here for them.”Valencia encouraged students to reach out to him via telephone and Facebook, about issues ranging from petty theft to landlord abuse.“If they need something and they reach out, we want to look for a possible solution to the problem,” Valencia said.Students also sought to discuss homelessness, theft and other prevalent issues affecting the USC community. According to Valencia, several student body associations have organized events with DPS aimed at improving student-officer relations, especially in light of the current presidential administration.According to DPS Chief John Thomas, student citizenship status is not a concern among DPS or LAPD officers, and DPS is working to relieve this fear through similar community relations events. Thomas said LAPD has no authority to ask people for their immigration status, which has been a department policy since 1979. Thomas stressed DPS’ commitment to USC students and the community surrounding USC, especially expressing their willingness to help the international student population.Thomas said that many international students are unaware of the help available to them at the University. Thomas continued to explain that citizens from certain countries such as India do not have close relationships with police, which often causes mistrust in the police system. However, he expressed his and DPS’ availability and readiness to all students.“In America, the police work for the people,” said Thomas. “We’re an extension of the people, whereas in other countries the police are an extension of the state.”
It’s been mentioned frequently during the 2016 European Championship that Belgium have reached the dizzy heights of number one in the FIFA world rankings.In fact, the Belgians are currently ranked second in the world, behind Argentina, but are they really Europe’s top national team?Step forward the Elo rating system: a method of ranking competitors that was originally developed for rating chess players, but has also been adapted and applied to football. *The basic principle of the Elo system is that the difference in ratings between two opposing teams provide a prediction for the result of a fixture. The rating is then updated based on how the teams perform.If a team performs better than expected the rating increases, if they perform worse than expected, the rating decreases (for more explanation, click here).Check out the top eight national teams at Euro 2016, based on the Elo ranking system, in the slideshow above, correct up to and including results on 19 June 2016. 7. Portugal are ranked the seventh best team at Euro 2016, with 1859 Elo points 8. Croatia are ranked the eighth best team at Euro 2016, with 1814 Elo points*. Click the right arrow above to find the top ranked teams at the Euros… 8 5. Italy are ranked the fifth best team at Euro 2016, with 1909 Elo points 8 6. Belgium are ranked the sixth best team at Euro 2016, with 1885 Elo points 8 8 3. France are ranked the third best team at Euro 2016, with 1945 Elo points 1. Germany are ranked the best team at Euro 2016, with 2013 Elo points 8 8 2. Spain are ranked the second best team at Euro 2016, with 2003 Elo points 8 8 4. England are ranked the fourth best team at Euro 2016, with 1942 Elo points