Warren Buffet Will Donate 90 Million To People Of Color

A Buffett family foundation will devote $90 million to supporting girls of color

The NoVo Foundation is making a big commitment.Image: alex wong/Getty Images
By Emma Hinchliffe2017-04-13 15:55:47 UTC

Warren Buffett does most of his philanthropic giving through the Bill Melinda Gates Foundation — eradicating diseases and supporting communities in the developing world. 
A new philanthropic endeavor from Buffett’s son is bringing that giving closer to home. The NoVo Foundation, established by the Omaha billionaire as a charitable trust, will devote $90 million over the next seven years to support young women and girls of color in the United States. 

Peter Buffett and his wife Jennifer Buffett, will distribute the $90 million through the NoVo Foundation. The foundation, which works on advancing adolescent girls’ rights, ending violence against girls and women, helping local economies, supporting Indigenous communities, and researching social and emotional learning, first announced its $90 million commitment a year ago. 
Since then, the nonprofit has talked to advocates and communities about how to ensure the funding is put to its best use. In practice, the money will go to community-based organizations, to communities in the Southeast, and to policy and research groups working on issues related to the lives of women and girls of color. The foundation expects to award about $13 million in its first year. 

The influx of funding for initiatives in the Southeast could be a big deal, since the foundation chose the region after seeing it had often been ignored by philanthropy. 
Community groups, local organizers, and advocates on the policy side can all apply for grants over the next few weeks. 

WATCH: This device can help 22 million Americans sleep better at night

Restoring sight to over 4M people: Eye surgeons Sanduk Ruit and Geoff Tabin, along with the doctors they’ve trained, have helped restore sight to over 4 million people and aren’t finished yet

The doctors were “gods” to an old, blind Burmese woman whose sight was restored by a quick operation.  Cataracts had stolen her sight for years, while others had been blind for decades – before the simple operation allowed them to see again. Bill Whitaker reports from Burma, also known as Myanmar, where two eye surgeons were bringing their program that has already reversed blindness in over 4 million people and could help to eliminate cataract and other reversible blindness in the developing world.  “Out of Darkness” will be broadcast on 60 Minutes at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

“Hallelujah!” shouts the old woman as the bandages are removed.  Her surgeons, Drs. Sanduk Ruit and Geoff Tabin look on and assure her they are not gods.  But they are miracle workers to the sightless in Burma and their plan has already changed the lives of millions more blind people throughout the world.

Dr. Ruit, a Nepalese eye surgeon, had been restoring the sight of cataract suffers using a technique that requires no stitches.  He met Dr. Tabin, an American eye surgeon and world-renowned mountain climber, and they created the Himalayan Cataract Project. Their revolutionary system goes beyond the surgery. They started a lens factory that produces implants for a fraction of the cost in the U.S. and they have a hospital in Nepal that has trained hundreds of doctors and nurses in their technique. During their visit to Burma, they were able to perform more surgeries in three days than are usually done in a year. They left behind a Burmese team trained in their techniques to carry on the work.

Their focus was originally in the Himalayas, but they have been so successful they renamed their group CureBlindness.org. They’ve operated in two dozen countries, including North Korea and Ethiopia, restoring sight to 150,000 people.  The doctors they’ve trained have given vision to 4 million others. It’s the developing world, but people are getting first-rate treatment says Dr. Tabin  “For these advanced cataracts, I’m performing the same quality of surgery that I would be doing in America.” Tabin is currently a professor at the University of Utah Medical School in Salt Lake City.

Their surgical outcomes have been peer-reviewed by the leading American journal for eye doctors.

And as Dr. Tabin points out, they are doing more than restoring sight.  “You know, once someone goes blind in a developing world, their life expectancy is about one-third that of age and health matched peers,” he says.  “And also in the developing world, it takes, often, a person out of the work force, or a child out of school, to care for the blind person. So when we restore sight to a blind person, we’re freeing up their family and restoring their life,” Tabin tells Whitaker.

This shuttle bus will serve people with vision, hearing, and physical impairments and drive itself

The current interior of the Olli bus. Manufacturer Local Motors and IBM are developing assistive technologies to add to the next generation of the vehicle.

It’s been 15 years since a degenerative eye disease forced Erich Manser to stop driving. Today, he commutes to his job as an accessibility consultant via commuter trains and city buses, but he has trouble locating empty seats sometimes and must ask strangers for guidance.
A step toward solving Manser’s predicament could arrive as soon as next year. Manser’s employer, IBM, and an independent carmaker called Local Motors are developing a self-driving, electric shuttle bus that combines artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and smartphone apps to serve people with vision, hearing, physical, and cognitive disabilities. The buses, dubbed “Olli,” are designed to transport people around neighborhoods at speeds below 35 miles per hour and will be sold to cities, counties, airports, companies, and universities. If the buses enter production in summer 2018, as planned, they could be among the earliest self-driving vehicles on U.S. roads.Since Olli is fully autonomous and does not have a human driver, it uses IBM’s AI-powered Watson technology to converse with passengers (via voice and text displayed on an iPad). Olli navigates using radar, lidar, and optical cameras from a company called Meridian Autonomous. Before deploying in a neighborhood, Meridian Autonomous constructs 3-D maps of the area that Local Motors says are accurate to the half-inch. A human fleet manager then determines the bus route. When Olli detects an emergency via its various sensors, it will stop, notify a (human) remote supervisor, and independently run through a checklist of possible problems. “If a passenger has a medical problem or [there’s a safety issue], Olli will call the authorities or drive itself to a hospital or police station,” says Gina O’Connell, a Local Motors general manager who is leading the project.

Local Motors and IBM started collaborating on Olli in early 2016 and produced a first iteration of the bus in June 2016. That vehicle is currently in trials in Germany and Switzerland. It is the next—second—generation of Olli that will include assistive technologies. That version, which the companies call “Accessible Olli,” will be manufactured starting in 2018, and will retain Watson as a tool for communicating with passengers and add additional Watson features.Local Motors and IBM are still testing technologies, but have already identified some capabilities they are likely to add. Future Ollis, for example, might direct visually impaired passengers to empty seats using machine vision to identify open spots, and audio cues and a mobile app to direct the passenger. Olli could also guide passengers via a special type of haptic feedback that uses ultrasound to project sensations through the air. An array of haptic sensors could be designed into every seat, and when people walk down the aisle they would feel a vibration on their hand or arm to alert them that they were at an empty seat, explains Drew LaHart, the program director for IBM’s accessibility division. For hearing-impaired people, the buses could employ machine vision and augmented reality to read and speak sign language via onboard screens or passengers’ smartphones. LaHart says that Olli could be trained to recognize sign language using machine learning and Watson’s image recognition capabilities. If the bus were equipped with AR technology, it might be able to respond via a hologram of a person signing.Machine vision could also enable Olli to recognize passengers waiting at bus stops who have walkers and wheelchairs. The bus would then activate an automated ramp to help them board and then deploy equipment that would secure their assistive devices, locking a wheelchair into place, for example.
Another potential Olli technology combines machine vision and sensors to detect when passengers leave items under their seats and issues alerts so the possessions can be retrieved, a feature meant to benefit people with age-related dementia and other cognitive disabilities.This would all be a significant improvement over the typical bus accommodations of today, which are limited to wheelchair ramps and lifts and audible and visual bus route updates. Local Motors, IBM, and the CTA Foundation, the charitable arm of the Consumer Technology Association, a trade group for the consumer electronics industry, and a partner in Accessible Olli, have spent the past three months soliciting ideas from disability rights organizations and retirement communities, among others. Manser, who works for IBM Accessibility, has organized a workshop with blindness organizations and public transit agencies and attended an MIT assistive technologies hackathon in March to explain the challenges he encounters on public transportation.Local Motors plans to keep soliciting public input for several more months. In July, it will devise an engineering plan for the new version of Olli, select suppliers, and calculate the cost of fabricating the bus. It aims to sell the vehicle for about $250,000 and will also offer a leasing-subscription service that would cost $10,000 to $12,000 a month and include hardware upgrades. Because Olli is mostly manufactured on-demand, through 3-D printing, its design can be tweaked quickly in response to user feedback, says O’Connell.The company expects public transportation operators will be its main customers and hopes that cities will buy the buses to fill in gaps in their regular transit systems and not just as paratransit vehicles for disabled people.For those with disabilities, though, Olli could be a big improvement over the current options.  Door-to-door paratransit service tends to be slow, has to be scheduled ahead of time, and is only available to people who qualify for it, says Henry Claypool, who is the policy director of the Community Living Policy Center at the University of California, San Francisco, and a wheelchair user. “It’s much more reliable to be able to get on and off a bus at the same place and have a predictable schedule, especially if the bus has this type of assistive technology,” he says.Olli offers a way to address important limitations of public bus and train systems as well, says Susan Henderson, the executive director of the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund. The Americans with Disabilities Act mandates only that “key” train and subway stations be accessible, which means that people with wheelchairs, walkers, and scooters often have to travel several stops out of their way to get home or to a destination, says Henderson. “If I still had 10 blocks to go after getting off at my local station, having an Olli rolling around my neighborhood would make a big difference,” she says.

Singing janitor puts smiles on the faces at Mountain View. He’ll do the same for you.

On any given day, Leo Zaverukha’s booming voice echoes through the Mountain View High School halls that he mops and across the fields that he mows.

Some days it’s Russian folk songs. On others, he serenades students with American classics or Christian hymns. Either way, he’s tough to miss.

A Ukrainian, Zaverukha came to the United States in 1996 after his parents fled from Russia as refugees. He first settled in California before getting the job at Mountain View in Meridian in 2005. He’s been a fixture ever since.

Know of any other Treasure Valley residents who are worth meeting? Let Joe know: like everything. I like people around me. I like school. I like positive things. And I like flowers — there are plenty of flowers here because I am the groundskeeper, and my little hobby is to plant the bushes and flowers, too, that you can see outside.”

In Sacramento, he sang to nursing home residents. In Meridian, high school students get serenaded on their birthdays or other random times throughout the day.

“He’s just a roving superstar. … He is as pure as the driven snow,” said John Rollins, Leo’s friend, occasional singing partner and history teacher. “There probably isn’t a teacher or administrator here who wouldn’t have him and his wife over for dinner.”

Leo is universally loved by students, teachers and administrators for his buoyant spirit and relentless positivity, Rollins said.

“Leo is the epitome of all the good qualities you can have in a man,” he said. “He’s one of those people who, no matter how your day is going, he can lift you.”

Pope opens free laundromat for Rome’s poor

Six washing machines, six dryers and a number of irons have been donated by the Whirlpool Corporation, while Proctor and Gamble are furnishing laundry detergent and softener.

The Vatican said the Pope’s laundromat is a service to “restore dignity to many people who are our brothers and sisters.”

In the next few months, the Vatican plans to add showers, a barbershop and medical services at the location.

The laundromat is in the Roman neighborhood of Trastevere, not far from the Vatican, in an old hospital complex now run by the Community of St. Egidio.

This is the second facility the Pope has opened in Rome for assisting the poor. Two years ago, he opened a shower and barber service next to St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican and a dormitory nearby.

Venezuela frees Pepsi workers it arrested for not making enough Pepsi

Employees at a Pepsi-Cola Venezuela plant have been freed after being detained by the government for halting operations, Empresas Polar, the owner of the local Pepsi division, said late on Sunday.

The company blamed the production pause on a lack of raw materials but the country’s president, Nicolas Maduro, has routinely accused Polar, the country’s largest food and beverage producer, of slowing production or hoarding goods to spur product shortages in the Opec nation’s struggling economy.

“Pepsi-Cola Venezuela managed to obtain full freedom for its Caucagua plant workers, who were arbitrarily detained on Friday,” tweeted Polar, which has denied Maduro’s claims.

Polar said labor ministry inspectors arrested several workers on Friday and ordered the reactivation of its plant in the town of Caucagua in the central state of Miranda.

Reuters was unable to immediately obtain comment from the government.

Polar said production lines were halted because of delays due to the country’s currency control system that left it unable to import the necessary raw materials.

Venezuelan media reported that labor ministry inspectors, along with local police, ordered the arrest of the manager, two human resources workers and a lawyer at the plant.

Maduro has described the country’s chronic product shortages as the product of an “economic war” led by opposition leaders and private companies.

His critics say currency controls have left companies unable to obtain imported machine parts and raw materials while price controls have made it unprofitable to produce many basic consumer goods.

The decaying state-led model created by the late socialist leader Hugo Chavez has also suffered heavily from the collapse in 2014 in the price of oil, which provides nearly all of the country’s export revenue.

The ruling Socialist party lost control of Congress for the first time in 16 years in a sweeping opposition victory in December that was driven largely by anger over the economic crisis.

Insane Clown Posse Accused of Plagiarizing ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’

A young man smiles to his father.  He drew a picture and waited each day for him.  The young man also found some worms to go fishing with his old man.  Each day, the child would do something new to impress his dad.  One day, the young child, now a man, went off to war.  His father asked him to return safely.  But, he didn’t.

In But You Didn’t, a son speaks to his father.  Written by Ohio poet Stanley Gerbhardt, the poem shows a boy who grew up into adulthood neglected by his father.  He dies after going off to war.  But You Didn’t appeared in A Second Helping of Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Now, Gerbhardt claims that Detroit hip-hop duo Insane Clown Posse stole the lyrics.

According to the lawsuit, Insane Clown Posse member Violent J (Joseph Bruce) used the poem without permission.  In 2007, Violent J uploaded a video on YouTube reading the lyrics, pretending it was his.  One commenter caught the copyright and wrote,

The term ‘Juggalos’ refer to Insane Clown Posse fans.  ICP fans had previously posted comments praising the poem as well as Violent J.  Some fans said that the poem made them cry, and others called it “deep.”

“this makes me strait up cry evry time i litsen to it and it makes me think of what could happen all my juggalo familie and what could happen to my GF cause i could never stand to lose her she is the love of my life.”

[email protected] man this touched my heart and it makes me think about the bad things ive done and how i wanna get ridnof them and start over and fix evrything and show my fammile that  i love them.”

According to the Detroit Free Press, Stanley Gerbhardt copyrighted the poem in 1993.  In the lawsuit, he asked a federal judge to have the video pulled down immediately.  The poem can be freely found online.

You can watch the video Violent J’s Poem below, still available on YouTube.

Friends take stranger on holiday after friend can’t make it

A group of friends decided to invite a random Joe to go on holiday, just to replace their friend Joe, who pulled out at the last minute.Joe McGrath from Manchester received a Facebook message in March, asking if he “would consider coming on holiday with a group of nine strangers if they had already arranged flights and an all inclusive hotel?”The group from Bristol had arranged a holiday in Spain for April, but later found out their friend Joe McGrath couldn’t go, so decided to contact others with the same name.”I first read the message and I was at a gig in Manchester. I ignored it straight away,” Joe told Sky News.”It wasn’t until the following day that I went back to the message and soon realised this offer might be legit,” he said. Joe ended up driving to Bristol and flying to Majorca, with a Ryanair ticket which had only a name associated with it.”The holiday was mint because the people were so good and welcoming, the weather was lovely and we drank a lot,” Joe told Sky.”Imagine a bar full of old expats singing karaoke, we crashed the bar and stole the show! The old folks didn’t know how to take us at first but by the end, we were all dancing together,” added the 21-year-old. The nine friends got in touch with 15 other people named Joe McGrath before one decided to call back.”I was the only mad enough Joe to say yes!,” he wrote on Twitter.”What a legend for coming away with strangers. We had a ace time,” one of Joe’s travel companions replied.Asked about how they got along and if there were any trips planned with his new friends, Joe said he just wants “to bring them to Manchester and show them a big night out”.

Canadian Police Search for 20 Metre Cell Tower Stolen From Northern Manitoba

EGG LAKE – Cranberry-Portage RCMP are asking the public to be on the lookout for an unusually large stolen item, a 20 metre cell tower.

That’s about the height of a six storey building.

The tower, which was used to support a cell phone booster and wireless internet, was stolen on April 2nd from Egg Lake, Manitoba.

It was disassembled and loaded on to a trailer pulled by a red Dodge truck, according to a post on the RCMP’s Facebook page.

Cash-strapped Brazilian football team use shirt numbers to advertise special offers at the local supermarket

Brazilian fourth-tier side Fluminense de Feira have taken shirt sponsorship to a whole new level.

Not content with simply featuring sponsor’s logos on their shorts as well as their shirts, the Brasileiro Série D side have started using their shirt numbers to advertise special offers in the local supermarket.

Players now have a product written where their name would usually be printed on the back of their shirts, with conventional numbers replaced with the prices of bargain deals.

So their star striker Fernando Sobral, for example, no longer wars the number 10. Instead he is 10,98 – which is coincidentally the price of a pizza at the local superstore.

Another player wears 20,38 to advertise the cost of shaving cream, while a team-mates shirt displays the price of a bottle of shampoo.

By way of explanation the team’s marketing director, Xiko Melo, said the move was made necessary because the Brazilian Football Confederation does little to support football clubs further down the league pyramid.

“Football is very ungrateful to small teams on this sponsorship issue,” he told local media. “You cannot put together a good team without conditions and having a good team requires resources.

“We had a few sponsors in the beginning, so we decided to have sponsors per game.”

However the shirts haven’t exactly helped matters on the pitch.

Fluminense de Feira lost their first match wearing their new shirts 6-0, to bitter local rivals Vitoria de Bahia.