peshkov/123RF Share this article and your comments with peers on social media The primary threat remains a sudden revaluation of risk “amid the general decoupling of securities prices from economic fundamentals,” said the regulator.Indeed, the report noted that valuations in most market segments are now at, or above, their pre-pandemic levels.“[Valuations] remain highly sensitive to events and volatility, as shown by the market movements related to Gamestop and the impact that a potentially slow roll-out of vaccines had on equity prices,” ESMA said.At the same time, ongoing monetary policy support has pushed fixed income valuations “far above” their pre-Covid-19 levels, ESMA said, reiterating that a sudden risk reassessment remains the primary threat to these markets too.“Looking ahead, ESMA anticipates a prolonged period of risk to institutional and retail investors of further – possibly significant – market corrections and sees very high risks across its whole remit,” the agency noted.Alongside the elevated market risks, ESMA said credit risk is also likely to increase due to rising corporate and public debt levels.“The extent to which these risks will further materialize will critically depend on market expectations on monetary and fiscal policy support as well as on the pace of the economic recovery,” said the regulator. The current high risk of a market correction won’t be easing anytime soon, warns the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA).In a new report, ESMA said it currently sees an array of high risks to financial markets. Elevated risks are here to stay: ESMA Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Keywords Risk managementCompanies European Securities and Markets Authority James Langton Pandemic turns banks into preppers Related news Market risk remains high, ESMA cautions
FBI(RICHMOND, Va.) — Authorities are urging the man who allegedly abducted a 14-year-old girl from her Virginia home to “reunite her with her family.”Authorities are urging the man who allegedly abducted a 14-year-old girl from her Virginia home to “reunite her with her family.”Eighth grader Isabel Shae Hicks was last seen in the early hours of Oct. 21 at her home in Bumpass, Virginia, about 40 miles north of Richmond, according to the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office.An Amber Alert was issued for the teen last week and authorities have obtained an abduction warrant for 34-year-old Bruce Lynch, according to the sheriff’s office.“We don’t know where Isabel is” but several places of interest have been identified and are being investigated, said David Archey, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office.At a news conference on Monday, Archey appealed directly to Lynch, saying, “You know Isabel should be home safe with her family, warm, rested, protected. I’m sure you want what’s best for her. Please return Isabel to a safe location or contact us and let us know how we can help you reunite her with her family.”Lynch is an ex-boyfriend of Hicks’ mother, ABC Richmond affiliate WRIC reported, citing family members.Authorities said Monday that Lynch is known to the teen but did not discuss their relationship.There is no evidence the 14-year-old was taken forcefully, authorities said; however, Lynch is believed to have a handgun and is considered dangerous.Hicks’ brother, Blake, told reporters last week, “We want you to come home. Please just let us know you are safe however you can.”“I’m still your big brother and I’ll love you forever. I just need my best friend back,” he said.Sheriff’s officials have asked the public to be on the lookout for Hicks, Lynch and this 2003 Toyota Matrix. The rear passenger side door handle is missing, authorities said.Lynch is described as having brown hair and brown eyes, standing at 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighing 195 pounds. He has cross tattoos on both upper arms and has a tattoo that says “Bruce” on the top of his back.Lynch left with camping gear; authorities suspect the two may be staying in wooded areas.Anyone with information is asked to call the Richmond Division of the FBI at 804-261-1044.Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.,FBI(RICHMOND, Va.) — Authorities are urging the man who allegedly abducted a 14-year-old girl from her Virginia home to “reunite her with her family.”Authorities are urging the man who allegedly abducted a 14-year-old girl from her Virginia home to “reunite her with her family.”Eighth grader Isabel Shae Hicks was last seen in the early hours of Oct. 21 at her home in Bumpass, Virginia, about 40 miles north of Richmond, according to the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office.An Amber Alert was issued for the teen last week and authorities have obtained an abduction warrant for 34-year-old Bruce Lynch, according to the sheriff’s office.“We don’t know where Isabel is” but several places of interest have been identified and are being investigated, said David Archey, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office.At a news conference on Monday, Archey appealed directly to Lynch, saying, “You know Isabel should be home safe with her family, warm, rested, protected. I’m sure you want what’s best for her. Please return Isabel to a safe location or contact us and let us know how we can help you reunite her with her family.”Lynch is an ex-boyfriend of Hicks’ mother, ABC Richmond affiliate WRIC reported, citing family members.Authorities said Monday that Lynch is known to the teen but did not discuss their relationship.There is no evidence the 14-year-old was taken forcefully, authorities said; however, Lynch is believed to have a handgun and is considered dangerous.Hicks’ brother, Blake, told reporters last week, “We want you to come home. Please just let us know you are safe however you can.”“I’m still your big brother and I’ll love you forever. I just need my best friend back,” he said.Sheriff’s officials have asked the public to be on the lookout for Hicks, Lynch and this 2003 Toyota Matrix. The rear passenger side door handle is missing, authorities said.Lynch is described as having brown hair and brown eyes, standing at 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighing 195 pounds. He has cross tattoos on both upper arms and has a tattoo that says “Bruce” on the top of his back.Lynch left with camping gear; authorities suspect the two may be staying in wooded areas.Anyone with information is asked to call the Richmond Division of the FBI at 804-261-1044.Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
Vermont Business Magazine Central Vermont Home Health & Hospice (CVHHH) has partnered with Sugarbush Resort and Henri Borel of Chez Henri Bistrot in Warren to host the 30th Annual Chez Henri Cup. New this year, CVHHH will be the sole beneficiary of event proceeds. Borel, who turned 91 in February, is a fixture of the Mad River Valley community. The race and raffle, which stretches over two days, starts with a cheese fondue party at the bistro on Friday evening and ends with a late-season race, raffle, and awards reception on Saturday afternoon.“We hope that, by partnering with CVHHH, more people in the Mad River Valley will understand the range of beneficial services that CVHHH provides in our community,” said Henri Borel, who celebrated his 91st birthday in February. Henri first encountered CVHHH a few years ago when his wife was very ill. Henri was her sole caregiver and realized that he needed support. “I did not want to separate from my wife. The most important thing is to be with your partner and to have your family around,” he said. “The nurses and physical therapists from CVHHH were so helpful. They gave me instructions over the phone and came to our house to help us when we needed it. When my wife died, she died happily and peacefully because she could be at home.”In 2017, CVHHH staff made over 5,000 visits to the Mad River Valley towns of Waitsfield, Warren, Fayston, Moretown, and Duxbury. Services provided included home health and hospice care, long-term care, and maternal-child health care. CVHHH also hosts regular public foot care clinics throughout the year at Evergreen Place in Waitsfield.“We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with Sugarbush and Henri Borel to host a community fundraising event in the Mad River Valley,” says Kim Farnum, Manager of Community Relations & Development for CVHHH. “As a not-for-profit Visiting Nurse Association, we serve individuals regardless of their ability to pay. In practice, this means that we often care for people who do not have insurance or who cannot cover the full cost of their care. To help make up for this difference, we rely on the generous support of our community through fundraising events like the Chez Henri Cup. Funds raised are also used to purchase innovative technologies like telemonitors that enhance the patient experience of care at home. We invite you to join us on March 17th for a day of skiing and exciting raffle prizes!”Event DetailsRegistration & Fondue Party Friday, March 16, 4:00pm – 7:00pm at Chez Henri Bistrot. You may also register before the race at the Gate House Lodge on Saturday, March 17 from 8:00am – 9:00amRace Saturday, March 17, 10:00am – 1:00pm at Lincoln Peak, Sugarbush ResortAwards Reception & Raffle Saturday, March 17, 3:00pm at Chez Henri BistrotTickets $40 Entry Fee, includes Raffle Ticket (you do not have to race or be present to win one of many prizes)3 tickets for $100, 5 tickets for $150Support for the race is being provided by event co-sponsors Sugarbush Resort and Henri Borel of Chez Henri Bistrot, with additional backing from Mountainside Ski Service, Rossignol, Apex Ski Boots, and The Pitcher Inn, a Relais & Chateaux Property.For more information about the race, visit www.cvhhh.org/chezhenri30(link is external) Source: CVHHH 3.7.2018
Some people don’t know the Foundation for Blind Children exists in North Phoenix despite being one of the largest preschools in the country, which motived the construction project to make itself more visible to the public. March Ashton, CEO of FBC, was looking for a “wow factor” and SmithGroupJJR delivered.“Two years ago, I approached SmithGroupJJR with three simple requests,” said Ashton. “One, design an iconic building that will make the 19,000 drivers that pass by every day know that the Foundation for Blind Children exists; two make the building accessible and fun for our blind children; and three make a building that we can afford to build.”The FBC wanted the new building to tell the foundation’s rich history and many success stories. For example, the mountain-designed façade along North Avenue was based off FBC’s 2009 trip to Africa where the largest group of blind climbers and youngest blind climber set two world records when they successfully climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.During the project’s construction, several outdated structures were demolished and replaced by a new 37,000-square-foot, single story building. Designs integrated the new space alongside the remaining buildings in order to provide new and larger play areas in addition to expanded parking.The new school encompasses administrative offices, 12 new lecture rooms, therapy rooms, a vision store, a 6,000-square-foot multi-purpose room and other supplemental accommodations. The multi-purpose room is filled with several extracurricular activities equipment such as basketball, goalball (a version of dodge ball for the blind), locker rooms and therapy activities. Each classroom has floor-to-ceiling windows as well as long horizontal windows for parents to observe their children in class without intruding. In addition, the interior courtyard contains specialized play, instruction areas and a sensory garden.Developer: Foundation for Blind ChildrenContractor: Haydon Building Corp.Architect: SmithGroupJJRSize: 37,000 square feetLocation: PhoenixCompleted: August 2015Subcontractors: Kitchell, Caruso Turley Scott Inc., Dibble Engineering
Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church in Farmington will host, “Passion Through Mary’s Eyes,” a Lent experience presented April 12 and 14 at 8 p.m.With actors from Farmington and surrounding communities, the play presents the story of Jesus’ crucifixion and death told through the eyes of his mother. Admission is free.The church is located at 23815 Power Road. Reported by Farmington Voice Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)
Farmington Voice Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) Reported by Beaumont Commons, Farmington Hills (formerly Botsford Commons) community took home four awards from this year’s Michigan Center for Assisted Living conference.(Beaumont Commons, Farmington Hills)The yearly awards program is open to assisted living facilities in Michigan that are in good standing. The Beaumont winners included:Diane Beri was named Executive Director of the Year. The award recognizes an individual who demonstrates outstanding innovation and achievement in the provision of high-quality, person-centered care in an assisted living community.Joan Daly is Resident of the Year, an award that recognizes an individual who demonstrates outstanding contributions to the well-being of fellow residents and/or the assisted living community.Sally Cahill is Volunteer of the Year, an award that recognizes an individual, duo or group who volunteers in a community with specific requirements including, time, quality of service and genuine care for residents of the facility; andThe Giving Tree program received the Public Relations Award, which recognizes any event, activity or program that leads to improved public relations through unpaid and earned media coverage.
This image released by Paramount Pictures shows Sonic, voiced by Ben Schwartz, in a scene from “Sonic the Hedgehog .” (Paramount Pictures/Sega of America via AP)If the Hollywood mantra for making blockbusters is “faster, faster, faster,” then the creators of “Sonic the Hedgehog” have wisely ignored it.The little blue alien who can sprint quicker than the speed of light has ironically benefited from slowing it down, taking a pit stop to retool and emerge this month as a total crowd-pleaser.Respectful of the rich history of the brand and yet welcoming to newcomers, ” Sonic the Hedgehog ” is a feel-good buddy movie for both adults and their own little aliens. “Nailed it!” screams Sonic at one point and that might be a fitting summary for the film.Director Jeff Fowler has been entrusted on his feature film debut with bringing to life the ball of super CGI energy, whose origins lie in Sega video games. But things didn’t look too good when a trailer dropped last April that portrayed Sonic as more rat-like with creepy human teeth. . An outcry led to the film being delayed for a reset, resulting in a Sonic with a sleeker design, larger eyes and fewer chompers.While there’s no way to give a side-by-side comparison, the film that emerges portrays Sonic as a cute, naive teenager, prone to saying very 2020 things like “I am living my best life” and “I can’t with that guy.” He has fled his own planet with a warning to “never stop running” and a twist on the “Spider-Man” proverb: “With great power comes great power-hungry bad guys.”In the script by Pat Casey and Josh Miller, Sonic is naturally attracted to fast things — “Flash” comic books and the movie “Speed” (Keanu Reeves is “a natural treasure,” declares our heroic blue guy, one of many lines that will go over your little ones’ heads.)Reeves isn’t the only celebrity to get a shout-out: Vin Diesel, Will Smith and Obi-Wan Kenobi are all invoked for laughs. Amazon and Olive Garden also get some love. There’s a weird urban-versus-rural tension throughout, with the scriptwriters clearly putting their fingers on the scale against life in the big city. One great sequence ends with everyone agreeing on a common enemy: hipsters.The plot isn’t too far from the classic “ET” or the more modern “Bumblebee” — an alien lands on Earth to hide and soon must team up with a kindly human (James Marsden, in a very Marsden groove) to escape the clutches of evil government scientists who want to dissect it.In this case, Jim Carrey dons a Civil War mustache and a black full-length leather coat to play the baddie Dr. Robotnik as only he can — ultra-arch, absolutely unhinged and dangerously unpredictable. “You know what I love about machines? They do what they’re told,” he snarls. Carrey has his own insane dance sequence that will make you spit out your popcorn.Sonic, voiced by Ben Schwartz, is sweet and funny and self-aware. He does The Floss. He farts. He wears gloves, socks and sneakers but points out “I’m not even wearing pants.” He discovers what a bucket list is and instantly wants to do all kinds of stuff, including start a bar fight. “You two are so cute,” a woman tells Marsden and Sonic. They protest: They’re loose cannons. (OK, very cute loose cannons).The non-human one goes fast, to be sure. A radar gun clocks him at 300 mph but later in the film he moves so fast he stops time, zipping around while everyone is as still as a statue. The filmmakers have also added an excellent, propulsive soundtrack, which includes X Ambassadors, Queen and the Wiz Khalifa-led “Speed Me Up.” (Steal it for your workout playlist.)There are references to the video game throughout, including a sequence in which Dr. Robotnik chases Sonic through Paris, up the Egyptian pyramids, and along the Great Wall of China. Green Hill is where the creature ends up on Earth — echoing a key level in the game — and we learn he hates mushrooms, a frequent Sonic touchstone.So much thought has been put into the film that at the very beginning the Paramount logo substitutes its regular stars for Sonic’s golden rings. A potential sequel is set-up during the end credits — as well as the glimpse of a familiar creature that fans are sure to get excited about. The filmmakers might not have rushed making this film, but that’s no reason for you to press the brakes now.“Sonic the Hedgehog,” a Paramount Pictures release, is rated PG for action, some violence, rude humor and brief mild language. Running time: 99 minutes. Three and a half stars out of four.___MPAA Definition of PG: Parental guidance suggested.___Online: https://www.sonicthehedgehogmovie.com___Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits
Astronaut Mandla Maseko will feature in the next instalment of Brand South Africa’s Play Your Part TV series, to be aired on Sunday 20 July at 9pm on SABC2. Maseko won the global Axe Apollo Space Academy competition for an hour long sub-orbital trip of 62 miles, or about 100 kilometres. Handpicked for the trip on the Lynx Mark II Spaceship, Maseko is one of only 23 civilians from around the world to win a seat on the space mission. He saw off a million other entrants to emerge victorious. (Image: Sthe Shabangu)• Brand South Africa+27 11 483 [email protected]• South Africa takes to space • Ubuntu coming to phones• Blast-off for space weather centre • Ubuntu beats Windows and Mac • From township to space, the world’s first black African astronautMelissa Jane CookIt is an extraordinary dream come true. Like music to Mandla Maseko’s ears, this part-time DJ will blast off into space, literally. No-one in Maseko’s family has ever stepped outside South Africa, but now the 25-year-old is preparing to rocket into space in 2015.Maseko won the global Axe Apollo Space Academy competition for an hour long sub-orbital trip of 62 miles, or about 100 kilometres. Handpicked for the trip on the Lynx Mark II Spaceship, Maseko is one of only 23 civilians from around the world to win a seat on the space mission. He saw off a million other entrants to emerge victorious.The son of a toolmaker and a cleaning supervisor, he hails from the dusty Mabopane Township near Pretoria. He will be the first black African, and the only other South African besides billionaire Mark Shuttleworth to have gone into space. Shuttleworth is a white entrepreneur and philanthropist who bought a seat on a Russian Soyuz capsule for £12-million and spent eight days on board the International Space Station in 2002.“Excitement does not begin to describe how I feel right now,” Maseko told the Pretoria News daily. “If there was a better word than ‘excitement’ I would use it.” He was forced to put his civil engineering studies on hold because he could not pay the fees; now will get to experience zero gravity and a journey that normally comes with a $100 000 price tag.He heard the news of his achievement on 5 December 2013, only a few hours after the death of Nelson Mandela. “I have run the race and completed the course, now here is the torch,” Maseko imagined Mandela would have said to him. “Continue running the race and here’s the title to go with it.”Watch Mandla Maseko discussing his once in a lifetime opportunity:Entering the competitionIn August 2013, Maseko was lying on the couch when he heard an advertisement for the competition on the radio and decided to enter, along with thousands of other South Africans. “I needed to send in a picture of myself jumping off something. I jumped off the wall in the backyard. I had to do it three times before I was happy with the picture.” His motivation for entering, he said was because he wanted “to defy the laws of gravity”.Hopefuls from more than 105 countries competed for a spot on the shuttle. Only 30 entrants from South Africa were selected from a field of 85 000 determined individuals for the first set of challenges in Free State; they were cut down to three, who went to the US for further gruelling preparations. Maseko was among them – one black, one white, one of Indian origin. “We wanted to show South Africa is way past the colour of our skin. We are the human race.”From December 1 to 8, Maseko and fellow South Africans Dean Roddan and Haroon Osman faced arduous challenges at the Kennedy Space Center in Orlando, Florida. This would test their resolve, strength and courage.While at the Axe Apollo Space Academy, Maseko engaged in a series of missions that gave all recruits a taste of the thrills and trials faced by real astronauts. Among training missions, he learned to pilot an Air Combat USA aircraft and braced himself for the strength of blast off in a G-Force Simulator at the Kennedy Space Centre Visitor Complex.Other challenges included skydiving, building and launching a rocket and conquering obstacle courses. “Unfortunately we could not get our rocket to launch, but we made up points because we were judged on bravery, enthusiasm and teamwork,” Maseko said. “We face things head on. I knew I had to learn, master and excel at the challenges, so I did.”Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, was one of the competition’s judges, and Maseko got the opportunity to meet Aldrin when he was announced a winner. “I got to shake his hand three times. I was like, ‘Oh, is this you?’ He said, ‘Yes, it is me!’” For Maseko, the encounter was magical. “This is how it feels to be out in space,” he thought.Aldrin is among 12 people – all American, all men and all white – to have walked on the moon. But Africa has growing space ambitions: the majority of the Square Kilometre Array, the world’s biggest and most powerful radio telescope, will be spread across South Africa and eight other countries on the continent.Watch Mandla Maseko discussing Space Jump Suits:Destined for greatnessHe was a “typical ekasi township boy” who still lived at home with his parents and four siblings, said Maseko. His father, who grew up in such poverty that he got his first pair of shoes when he was 16, was determined that his children would never go hungry. “I don’t remember going to bed without having eaten,” he said. “My dad provided for us. He is my hero, and then Nelson Mandela comes after.“I’m not trying to make this a race thing but us blacks grew up dreaming to a certain stage. You dreamed of being a policeman or a lawyer, but you knew you wouldn’t get as far as pilot or astronaut. Then I went to space camp and I thought, ‘I can actually be an astronaut.’”But he had known since he was a boy that he was destined for greatness. “We were not brought up to believe we can be bigger than big, but I always knew I would be.” His mom, Ouma Maseko, agreed: “When I was pregnant with him in 1988, I knew I would give birth to a star,” she said.The young Maseko’s imagination was fired by the science fiction series Star Trek and films such as Armageddon and Apollo 13. “I thought, that looks fun. No matter what life throws at you, you can use it and come out on top. If you get lemons, you must make lemon juice… My life has taken a total turn and this is my big break. People will be telling their children and grandchildren that I was the first black South African youth in space.”Plans for the futureDuring the long wait before his trip, Maseko hopes to complete his civil engineering qualification. One day when he had money, he said, he wanted to pay for the education of a child from his area. This humble boy has been offered a gigantic launch pad and the ability to defy the laws of physical and political gravity. His long-term plans are to study aeronautical engineering and qualify as a space mission specialist with the ultimate dream of planting the South African flag on the moon.“South Africa has come a long way. We have reached a stage where we are equal and we are one. This year is the 20th anniversary of democracy and what better way to celebrate than sending the first black South African into space?”The idea of making history when South Africa celebrates 20 years of democracy, appeals to him. “The vision of all youths here in Mabopane is to drive a taxi, do drugs or work on houses. It’s good to be a solution to your township rather than a problem. I want to break that system and this is a nice way to go down in history. I believe that will motivate me. The sky is not the limit.”Derek Hanekom, the minister of science and technology at the time – he became tourism minister in May this year – saw Maseko as a role model for “the future generation of space professionals and enthusiasts”. His experience could not have come at a better time than “when Africa is gearing up its space ambitions” as host to the world’s biggest and most powerful radio astronomy telescope, said Hanekom.The director of that project, Bernie Fanaroff, also hailed Maseko as an ambassador for science. “Anything that raises the profile of science up there must be good because it brings to the attention of young people what they can achieve in science and engineering.”It is a big responsibility, but the last word must go to the spaceman himself: “I have had to learn so much about astronomy and space to teach others. It’s been a dream, a lifetime dream come true, and I don’t want to stop here. When I come back, I want to become an astronaut and I will work hard to get there,” he said.
International cricketers share much better relations due to the Indian Premier League as the Twenty20 event has given them an opportunity to know each other, feels Sri Lankan vice-captain Mahela Jayawardene.”It has opened doors for harmony among the players. In the IPL, you get to know other foreign players better. we have created better relations as a result of that,” he said.Jayawardene said the concept of the IPL and the various Twenty20 leagues across the globe has a lot of potential.”We have seen that in the IPL, we have seen that in the English counties, we have seen that in the Big Bash, that’s the way forward for Twenty20 cricket,” he said in a function to announce an Indian sponsor for the Sri Lankan team ‘Wayamba XI’, which will participate in the Champions League Twenty20 next month.”I think that will evolve quite a bit, just having the Twenty20 World Cup for the national teams, and then the 50-over cricket and Test matches will take a different path.”When the IPL came for the first time, everyone was surprised. But n the second and third year you saw how it became such a big thing,” Jayawardene said.Jayawardene, who will play for the Wayamba team in the Champions league, said the tournament will grow in stature with time.”People now understand what the concept is all about, we need to give it some more time and it will improve,” he said.Wayamba is captained by Jehan Mubarak and includes Mahela Jayawardene, Ajantha Mendis, Rangana Herath, Thisara Perera, Farveez Maharoof and Mahela Udawatte.advertisementSpeaking on the occasion, Sri Lanka Cricket secretary Nishantha Ranatunga said the Twenty20 version of the game can co-exist alongside Test cricket.”From the board’s point and personal point of view, I see Twenty20 as another product, We have Test cricket, one-day cricket and Twenty20 cricket,” Ranatunga said on Tuesday.”From the players’ point of view they have to prove themselves in all three formats. From the board’s point of view, I don’t see any harm as far as the players get the right breaks.”So far, we have been happy and lucky that the players have had the right breaks and participated in the country’s tournaments. It is good to have more competitive cricket, people like it, why not give it,” Ranatunga said.
On the anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution, 35 human rights groups and WRI call on the presidential candidates to reaffirm the fundamental legal framework that makes environmental protection possible.Constitution Day is Wednesday, September 17th. 221 years after the document’s ratification, the Constitution continues to provide the framework for one of the world’s most stable and robust republic and democracy.In honor of this day, an ideologically diverse coalition calls upon all presidential candidates to demonstrate their commitment and ability to “protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” (Read the | text = full media advisory.)Presidents and the Executive Branch exercise a great deal of discretion and flexibility in interpreting the Constitution. It is therefore essential that the presidential candidates, with the media’s help, hold a national dialogue on the Constitution. This would allow the American people to cast an informed vote by understanding where they stand on constitutional issues.Why would an environmental think tank like WRI be so concerned about where candidates stand on constitutional issues?The Constitutional framework is essential to environmental protection, because it establishes the legal principles, check and balances, and enforcement mechanisms that make regulations work. The next administration must therefore respect the Constitution and the legal foundation it provides.In recent years, presidents of both parties have aimed to expand the scope of their authority through abuses of executive power. These practices not only weaken essential environmental laws and regulations, they are unconstitutional.For example:Our scientists’ recommendations for ozone standards were overridden by an Executive Branch supporting laxer regulations. The President made a last minute intervention in the regulatory process to overturn recommendations from the Environmental Protection Agency’s expert advisory panel which had been approved by the Administrator. Later, when asked by Congress to justify this action in the course of a subpoena, the Executive Branch withheld about 25 percent of the inter-agency communications which could have shed light on this intervention.The legal protections given to us by Congress over nuclear waste management were disregarded by the President through signing statements. In the Energy Policy Act of 2005, Congress established whistleblower protections for members of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Department of Energy and federal contractors who would report safety violations in nuclear waste management. Yet President Bush declared in a signing statement that “the president or his appointees will determine whether employees of the Department of Energy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission can give information to Congress.”The people were left out of the design of their own national health or energy plan. The Clinton Health Care task force and the Cheney Energy Task force conducted their operations behind closed doors, resisting both participation from a wide base of informed stakeholders and judicial proceedings to retrieve the information kept secret about the content and participants of the meetings.When the rule of law fades, our environment deteriorates along with the American people’s health and security. The Bush administration’s abuses of executive power in particular are unprecedented in number and scope and have been exposed and denounced by groups and individuals across the political spectrum. Do they now constitute a precedent for the next President to follow? This question must be answered by the presidential candidates. We need to find out how the candidates would exert their executive authority as President before the election rather than learning it the hard way.We want all campaigns to let the American people know where they stand on such core principles as checks and balances in government, government oversight by Congress, and transparency of information. WRI supports this call, along with the following organizations:America SpeaksAmerican Booksellers Foundation for Free ExpressionAmerican Conservative Defense AllianceAmerican Freedom AgendaAmerican Freedom CampaignBill of Rights Defense CommitteeCalifornians AwareCenter for American Progress Action FundCenter for Constitutional RightsCommon CauseDefending Dissent FoundationElectronic Frontier FoundationEqual Justice SocietyGet FISA RightGovernment Accountability ProjectHuman Rights WatchInternational Association of Whistleblowers (IAW)Liberty CoalitionMinnesota Coalition on Government InformationMuslim AdvocatesNational Campaign to Restore Civil RightsNational Coalition of Organized WomenNational Lawyers GuildNo FEAR CoalitionOMB WatchOpen The Government CoalitionOSC WatchPrivacy LivesProject on Government OversightPublic CitizenRepublican Liberty CaucusScientific Integrity Program of the Union of Concerned ScientistsThe Brennan Center for JusticeThe Rutherford InstituteTranspartisan CenterWhistleblowers USAWorld Resources Institute