The Association of American Geographers has named Peter Bol as its 2015 Honorary Geographer. Bol is the vice provost for advances in learning and the Charles H. Carswell Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University.In making its selection, the AAG recognized Bol’s leadership role and engagement with the AAG to build university-wide support for geospatial analysis in teaching and research at Harvard University, and the resulting establishment of the Harvard Center for Geographic Analysis, of which he was its first and extraordinarily successful director.AAG Executive Director Douglas Richardson will confer the 2015 AAG Honorary Geographer Award upon Peter K. Bol at the 2015 AAG Annual Meeting in Chicago during the “Launch of the AAG GeoHumanities Journal” session on Thursday, April 23. The session begins at 1:20 p.m. in the Gold Coast room at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. Read Full Story
By Dialogo June 23, 2009 Washington, 22 June (EFE).- Reza Cyrus Pahlavi, the son of Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, deposed by the Iranian Revolution in 1979, today expressed his confidence that “it is time for Iran” to overthrow the Islamic regime, after years of failed attempts. In an emotional press conference, the Iranian prince, who has lived in the United States since 1984, characterized the protest movement that has developed in his native land as a result of the June 12 elections, considered fraudulent by the opposition, as a “cry for freedom and democracy.” With his voice breaking with emotion, he indicated that what is happening in Iran “is almost revolutionary” and that “this is the first time ever in modern Iranian history” that the Iranian people are demanding the intervention of the international community so that their voices may be heard. “We have to defeat the system; we know that this regime ultimately must end,” affirmed Pahlavi, who left Iran in 1978 and has lived in Morocco, Egypt, and the United States since then. The son of the last shah of Persia, who died in exile in Egypt in 1980, acknowledged that many have tried before to cause the “ultimate collapse” of the Iranian regime, but he expressed his conviction that “it is time for Iran after thirty years” of struggle. He affirmed that there exists “impetus” to put an end to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Islamic government, but he also suggested that the movement would not “succeed” without the support of the international community and the “tactic ,” more than verbal, support of foreign governments. “I have seldom seen non-violent movements of change succeed without international support,” he stated. Along these lines, he described himself as “encouraged” by the most recent declarations by U.S. president Barack Obama, who over the weekend called on Tehran to “stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people.” Pahlavi, basing himself on reports reaching him from Iran and on his contacts with Iranians in political, military, and religious circles, explained that at the present time there are two groups in the upper levels of the Iranian government, those who are loyal to the regime and those who are carefully planning their “exit strategy.” Looking forward, the prince said that, as time passes, the movement will grow, and pressure on the regime will increase. “At some point there will be much clearer positions announced” on the part of members of the government, of military intelligence, and of the Iranian clergy, either against or in favor of the people in the street, he predicted. “This has become also a defining moment for the clergy to show a complete demarcation from the system,” he indicated. “A decision will have to be made pretty soon” by the various Iranian authorities on whether they join the voice of the people and distance themselves from the regime or continue to support it, he added. What is important is to keep the protest movement going, given that pressure will “further deteriorate and fragment” the Iranian theocratic regime, he insisted. “We will not let it die,” he said of the movement, which he considers “not Islamic or anti-Islamic,” but rather it seeks the “sacred” and “sovereign” of the voters’ decision to prevail. “This has gone beyond just a result of an election or a candidate,” he added, and has become a matter of achieving “democracy” and “the liberty to vote and choose freely.” Pahlavi, who lives in Maryland with his wife and three daughters, indicated that his decision to speak out in favor of the Iranian people had nothing to do with his own future, but rather with the struggle to establish a democratic, parliamentary, and secular system in his country, because this is “the only solution” and outcome for Iran.
‘Many, many more challenges’ But the IOC warned that the logistics of postponing the Games were extremely complicated, with venues potentially unavailable, millions of hotel nights already booked and a packed international sports calendar.”These are just a few of many, many more challenges.”The IOC is responsible for making any final decision on the Games, and has come under increasing pressure as the coronavirus crisis grows, with more than 14,300 deaths worldwide by Sunday, according to an AFP tally.The virus has already had an impact, with qualifiers cancelled and events to celebrate the Olympic torch arrival and relay scaled back.Despite the measures, tens of thousands of people flocked to a cauldron displaying the flame in northeastern Japan, raising fears about whether the relay can be held safely.The idea of holding the Games on schedule has drawn a swelling chorus of objections.On Sunday, nine-time Olympic track and field champion Carl Lewis, and the head of French athletics, became the latest to urge a delay.”I just think it’s really difficult for an athlete to prepare, to train, to keep their motivation if there’s complete uncertainty. That’s the hardest thing,” Lewis told Houston television station KRIV.”I think a more comfortable situation would be two years and put it in the Olympic year with the Winter Olympics [Beijing 2022] and then make it kind of a celebratory Olympic year.” ‘So irresponsible’ The head of the French athletics federation Andre Giraud also said postponement was inevitable. “Everyone agrees that the Games cannot be held on the dates planned,” Giraud said. And for some athletes, the IOC’s announcement was too little, too late.”So wait… does this mean that athletes face up to another FOUR weeks of finding ways to fit in training — whilst potentially putting ourselves, coaches, support staff and loved ones at risk just to find out they were going to be postponed anyway,” tweeted Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith, the world 200m champion.”So irresponsible,” she added. “I was really hoping to hear an announcement that they’d postponed it to 2021 this week.”Canada said it would not send its athletes to any Games held this summer, calling on the IOC and International Paralympic Committee to “postpone the Games as a part of our collective responsibility to protect our communities”.But Bach, speaking to German outlet SWR on Saturday, warned postponement was “a very complex operation.””Postponing the Olympic Games is not like moving a football game to next Saturday,” he said. “Cancellation is not an option,” Abe said, echoing comments from IOC chief Thomas Bach, who ruled out scrapping the Games, saying it “would not solve any problem and would help nobody”.The IOC has also shifted its position on the Games, issuing a statement on Sunday saying it was stepping up planning for different scenarios, including postponement.It said it would hold “detailed discussions” on the “worldwide health situation and its impact on the Olympic Games, including the scenario of postponement”.A decision should come “within the next four weeks”, the body added.”Human lives take precedence over everything, including the staging of the Games,” Bach wrote in an open letter to athletes. Topics : And Australia’s Olympic committee told athletes to prepare for a Tokyo Olympics in the northern-hemisphere summer of 2021.”It’s clear the Games can’t be held in July,” Australian chef de mission Ian Chesterman said.For weeks, Japan and Olympic officials have held the line that preparations are moving ahead to hold the Games as scheduled, but there has been increasing pressure from sports federations and athletes whose training has been thrown into turmoil.On Monday, Abe told parliament that Japan was still committed to hosting a “complete” Games, but added: “If that becomes difficult, in light of considering athletes first, it may become inevitable that we make a decision to postpone.” Postponing the Olympics over the coronavirus pandemic may become “inevitable”, Japan’s prime minister conceded Monday, after the International Olympic Committee said a delay was being considered as pressure grows from athletes and sports bodies.The comments from Shinzo Abe were his first acknowledgement that the 2020 Games may not open as scheduled on July 24, as the coronavirus marches across the globe causing unprecedented chaos.Canada’s Olympic and Paralympic committees meanwhile announced they will not send teams to the Games if they are held this summer, citing the health of their athletes and the general public.