Justices Seem to Favor Most of Native Child Welfare Law

The U.S. Supreme Court appeared likely Wednesday to leave in place most of a federal law that gives preference to Native American families in foster care and adoption proceedings of Native children.
The justices heard more than three hours of arguments in a broad challenge to the Indian Child Welfare Act, enacted in 1978 to address concerns that Native children were being separated from their families and, too frequently, placed in non-Native homes.
It has long been championed by tribal leaders as a means of preserving their families, traditions and cultures. But white families seeking to adopt Native children are among the challengers who say the law is impermissibly based on race and prevents states from considering those children’s best interests.
Justice Brett Kavanaugh called the case difficult because the court is being called on to draw a line between tribal sovereignty and “the fundamental principle that we don’t treat people differently because of race, ethnicity or ancestry.”
He was among the conservative justices who expressed concern about at least one aspect of the law that gives preference to Native parents, even if they are of a different tribe than the child they are seeking to adopt or foster. Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Samuel Alito and Justice Amy Coney Barrett also raised questions about whether that provision looked more like a racial classification that the court might frown upon.
“To get to the heart of my concern about this, Congress couldn’t give a preference for white families to adopt white children, Black families to adopt Black children, Latino families to adopt Latino children, Asian families to adopt Asian children,” Kavanaugh said.
But none of the non-Native families involved in the case has been affected by the preference the conservative justices objected to, Justice Department lawyer Edwin Kneedler told the court.
Even if there is a court majority to strike down that provision, the rest of the law could be kept in place, said Ian Gershengorn, a lawyer for the Cherokee Nation, the Navajo Nation and other tribes.
He urged the court to uphold the law “that has made such a meaningful difference to so many children.”
Representing the non-Native families, lawyer Matthew McGill called on the court to strike down the law because it “flouts the promise of equal justice under law.”
Justice Neil Gorsuch, a conservative who is a strong supporter of Native Americans’ rights, and the court’s three liberal justices seemed strongly inclined to uphold the law in its entirety.
“Congress understood these children’s placement decisions as integral to the continued thriving of Indian communities,” said liberal Justice Elena Kagan.
Gorsuch said a broad ruling in favor of the challengers also would take “a huge bite out of” other federal programs that benefit Native Americans, including health care.
Most tribes ask court to uphold law
The law’s fate is in the hands of a court that has made race a focus of its current term, in cases involving the redrawing of congressional districts and affirmative action in college admissions. Two members of the court, Roberts and Barrett, also are the parents of adopted children.
The full 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down parts of the law last year, including preferences for placing Native children with Native adoptive families and in Native foster homes. It also said Congress overstepped its authority by imposing its will on state officials in adoption matters.
But the 5th Circuit also ruled that the law generally is based on the political relationship between the tribes and the U.S. government, not race.
The tribes and the Biden administration appealed some parts of the lower court ruling, while the white families and Texas, allied with those families, appealed others.
More than three-quarters of the 574 federally recognized tribes in the country have asked the high court to uphold the law in full, along with tribal organizations. They fear widespread impacts if the court attempts to dismantle the tribes’ status as political sovereigns.
Support from state attorneys general
Nearly two dozen state attorneys general across the political spectrum filed a brief in support of the law. Some of those states have codified the federal law into their own state laws.
A ruling in favor of the families and Texas could undercut the 1978 law and, the tribes fear, have broader effects on their ability to govern themselves.
When child protection authorities remove Native children from their homes, the law requires states to notify tribes and seek placement with the child’s extended family, members of the child’s tribe, or other Native American families.
All of the children who have been involved in the current case at one point are enrolled or could be enrolled as Navajo, Cherokee, White Earth Band of Ojibwe and Ysleta del Sur Pueblo. Some of the adoptions have been finalized while some are still being challenged.
Before the Indian Child Welfare Act was enacted, between 25% and 35% of Native American children were being taken from their homes and placed with adoptive families, in foster care or in institutions. Most were placed with white families or in boarding schools in attempts to assimilate them.

Source: Voice Of America

Urgent Investment Needed for Young People to Drive Sustainable Development

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) launched a National Human Development Report (NHDR) focusing on ‘Youth as Drivers for Sustainable Development’. As one of the largest and fastest growing youth populations in Southeast Asia, the Lao PDR is undergoing a demographic transition.
The working age population (20-64 years), who pay more tax and are economically productive, is overtaking the dependent population (0-19 and those above 65 years), who rely more on support and services. The country has a once in a generation opportunity to turn this demographic transition into a demographic dividend.
This is made possible when the large working age population is healthy, educated, has secure employment and opportunities to participate in the decisions that affect their lives. Only then can this generation spur economic growth and contribute to sustainable development.
The NHDR examines the current state of youth in the Lao PDR, the challenges they face, the opportunities they have, and their aspirations for their future. The Report captures young people’s lived experiences, including young people from marginalized and vulnerable groups, such as young women, young persons with disabilities, young migrants, ethnic youth, LGBTIQ+ youth and young people from rural and remote areas.
The launch, co-chaired by Dr. Sthabandith Insisienmay, Vice Minister of Planning and Investment and Ms. Ricarda Rieger, UNDP Resident Representative, follows extensive consultations with young people, the Government, UN Agencies, development partners and civil society. Over 7,000 young people participated in a national survey and focus group discussions.
“The Report acknowledges the efforts of the Government to support young people and highlights to us the urgent need to strengthen our investment in young people to yield the demographic dividend. The Report provides us with concrete recommendations that will require strong partnerships over the coming decade to achieve the Lao PDR’s priorities in the 9th National Socio-Economic Development Plan,” said Dr. Sthabandith Insisienmay.
“In this time of uncertainty, one thing is certain, young people will grow up and inherit the world as we create it, and leave it. We have a unique opportunity to engage young people now, to work with us in finding solutions for the development problems we face today. Young people must participate in decision making to shape their own destiny. By using the Human Development approach we can help to expand young people’s agency and freedoms to help us navigate and flourish in uncertain times,” Ms. Ricarda Rieger drew upon UNDP’s Global Human Development Reported.
The NHDR concludes that young Lao people are not reaching their full potential, and under the current trajectory, the Lao PDR will not achieve the demographic dividend. Young people lack adequate skills to contribute productively to the economy. Learning outcomes are inadequate and unequal. Health risks such as adolescent pregnancy and mental health are barriers that prevent thousands of young women and men from fulfilling their potential. The overlapping shocks that Lao PDR has experienced in recent years including floods, COVID-19 and impacts from the conflict in Ukraine are likely to push the country further off track.
The Report advocates for investments in future-ready skills development, healthcare that addresses to the specific needs faced by young people, including mental health, and empowering them to participate in decision-making. The most marginalized and vulnerable youth must be targeted through these investments. For young people to fulfill their potential as drivers for sustainable development, the Report highlights urgency, and inclusion to ensure this once in a generation opportunity is seized, through concrete actions, to leave no young-person behind.

Source: Lao News Agency

Bright Peak Presents New Therapeutics Highlighted by Multifunctional PD-1 Targeted Immunocytokines at SITC 2022

– BPT567, a first-in-class PD1-IL18 immunocytokine, delivers coordinated PD-1 blockade and potent IL-18 signaling to PD-1+ T effector cells resulting in striking antitumor activity –

– BPT331, a PD1-IL2 cis-signaling immunocytokine with potent best-in-class properties –

– Innovative chemical conjugation platform enables combination of multiple key immuno-oncology mechanisms in a single molecule with unparalleled flexibility –

SAN DIEGO and BASEL, Switzerland, Nov. 09, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Bright Peak Therapeutics, a privately held biotechnology company developing next-generation, multifunctional precision immunotherapies for cancer and autoimmune disease, today announced the presentation of multiple new cancer immunotherapy agents at the 37th Annual Meeting of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) being held on November 9-12, 2022, in Boston, MA.

Bright Peak has leveraged its exclusive technology platform and world-class protein engineering capabilities to functionally optimize the master cytokines IL-18 and IL-2, and integrated these highly active payloads with PD-1 checkpoint blockade. “We are extremely excited to present our PD-1-targeted multifunctional immunocytokines. We are advancing these therapeutics to upgrade immune checkpoint therapy to the next level – our aim is to establish these unique “PD-1 2.0” programs as new backbone agents in immuno-oncology,” said Jon Wigginton M.D., President of Research and Development of Bright Peak Therapeutics. “At SITC, we are introducing BPT567, the first ever PD1-IL18 immunocytokine. We have observed compelling preclinical antitumor activity with BPT567. We hypothesize that BPT567 may accomplish this by simultaneously blocking the PD-(L)1 pathway and delivering strong IL-18 signaling in cis to PD-1+ IL18R+ T effector (Teff) cells located within the tumor microenvironment.”

Additionally, using the same functionally optimized IL-18 payload that has been incorporated into BPT567, Bright Peak has developed BPT543, a best-in-class, half-life extended IL-18 therapeutic designed for IV administration. This IL-18 binding protein-resistant molecule with enhanced affinity for the IL-18 receptor has demonstrated striking synergistic antitumor activity in combination with PD-1 blockade in preclinical models.

“We have also advanced BPT331, a PD1-IL2 immunocytokine that demonstrates superior antitumor activity compared to PD-1 inhibition alone,” continued Dr. Wigginton. “We rationally designed our PD-1 targeted IL-2 payload with the intent of selectively targeting and activating antigen-experienced PD-1+ Teff cells in the tumor microenvironment, while limiting the broad systemic activation of other immune cells.”

Details regarding the upcoming SITC abstract presentations are as follows:

November 10, 2022, 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM (EST)
Poster 1195: Generation of a highly potent, cis-signaling PD1-IL2 immunocytokine using a novel chemical synthesis and conjugation platform

Abstract Highlights: Bright Peak has developed a unique, chemical conjugation process that enables the generation of immunocytokines via rapid and site-specific conjugation of synthetically engineered cytokines to the Fc domain of existing human Abs. We generated a PD1-IL2 immunocytokine (BPT331) with significantly enhanced potency in PD-1high versus PD-1low T cells. In mice, high tumor exposure of BPT331 relative to blood combined with PD-1-targeting and cis-signaling result in potent immune stimulation, and strong antitumor efficacy that is markedly superior to an anti-PD-1 antibody alone. These results demonstrate the ability of our cytokine engineering platform to generate potent, multifunctional immunocytokine therapeutics with synergistic, complementary mechanisms of action.

November 11, 2022, 9:00 AM – 8:30 PM (EST)
Poster 1080: Using site-specific chemical conjugation to generate superior half-life extended or PD-1-targeted formats of a potent IL-18 variant resistant to IL-18 binding protein

Abstract Highlights: Bright Peak has identified a conjugatable variant of human IL-18 that is 300-fold more potent and >600-fold less sensitive to inhibition by its natural inhibitor IL-18 binding protein (IL-18BP) than wild-type IL-18. Site-specific conjugation of this enhanced IL-18 payload to a 30 kDa PEG created BPT543, which significantly improves PK/PD properties, and mediates strong antitumor efficacy and potent synergy in combination with an anti-PD-1 antibody. Chemical conjugation of our enhanced IL-18 payload to an anti-PD-1 antibody generated BPT567, a PD1-IL18 immunocytokine with fully preserved potency of the cytokine payload as well as PD-1 binding. BPT567 demonstrates enhanced potency in PD-1high versus PD-1low T cells, and exhibits striking antitumor activity in vivo, with complete responses in 89% of animals.

The abstracts will be made available for viewing on Bright Peak’s website upon presentation at the SITC Annual Meeting (www.brightpeaktx.com).

About Bright Peak Therapeutics

Bright Peak is a privately held biotechnology company based in Basel, Switzerland and San Diego, CA. We are rapidly advancing a robust portfolio of next generation, multifunctional, immunotherapies for the treatment of patients with cancer and autoimmune disease. We accomplish this by leveraging our world class protein engineering capabilities and our unique cell-free technology platform to chemically synthesize and conjugate novel protein therapeutics that reflect state-of-the-art insights into cytokine and immune checkpoint biology. Our pipeline stretches from discovery to IND-enabling and encompasses enhanced cytokines, antibody-cytokine conjugates and other novel formats. Bright Peak is funded by a syndicate of leading healthcare investors.

Contact: info@brightpeaktx.com

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8692514

Hitachi Energy to provide world’s first SF6-free 420 kV gas-insulated switchgear technology at TenneT’s grid connection in Germany

Contributing to TenneT’s carbon neutrality goals to build a sustainable and resilient grid in Germany

Zurich, Switzerland, Nov. 09, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Hitachi Energy announced today it will provide the world’s first sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) free 420-kilovolt (kV) gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) technology and a state-of-the-art modular prefabricated grid connection solution at a key node at TenneT’s power grid in Germany, supporting the leading European grid operator to achieve its carbon neutrality goals.

This project covers a major grid connection upgrade which significantly extends the operating life of existing power assets to ensure the longevity and continued efficiency of the existing power infrastructure. The global technology leader will deliver innovative EconiQ™ 420 kV GIS that uses a game-changing technology that eliminates SF6 with reliable and scalable solutions for the lowest carbon footprint.

TenneT is a major transmission system operator in the Netherlands and Germany, supplying power to some 42 million homes and businesses in both countries. The company aims to be a driving force behind the energy transition by investing in eco-efficient technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As a transmission system operator, TenneT is a key player on the historic path to a safe, reliable and carbon-free energy system.

To support TenneT on its transition to SF6-free solutions, Hitachi Energy will contribute pioneering technologies, unique system integration capabilities, engineering expertise and extensive experience with local grid code requirements to strengthen the grid connection at the 220-megawatt (MW) Erzhausen pumped storage power plant near Hanover. This project uses Building Information Modeling, a consolidated and collaborative digital working method that allows decision-based 3D modeling and improves facility management via a digital twin for the life cycle of the power asset. The entire project will be completed in 2026.

In this project, Hitachi Energy will install three bays of EconiQ 420 kV GIS to enable the transmission of large amounts of electricity over long distances while eliminating significant volumes of SF6. This eco-efficient innovation remains similar in size while being 100 percent as reliable as the conventional GIS solution based on SF6. This installation will effectively avoid the addition of nearly 2,300 kg of SF6, equivalent to removing the CO2 emissions of around 1,1501 passenger vehicles per year.

“We are proud to collaborate with TenneT in their efforts to accelerate the energy transition and strengthen the power infrastructure in Germany,” said Claudio Facchin, Chief Executive Officer of Hitachi Energy. “At Hitachi Energy, we are championing the urgency of the energy transition through innovation and collaboration. Through our modular prefabricated grid connections and EconiQ high-voltage switchgear technology, we are supporting our customers to reduce their carbon footprint and enabling a more sustainable, flexible and secure energy system.”

EconiQ is Hitachi Energy’s eco-efficient portfolio for sustainability, where products, services and solutions are proven to deliver exceptional environmental performance. Hitachi Energy has placed sustainability at the heart of its Purpose and is advancing a sustainable energy future for all.

1 Based on the assumption that a passenger vehicle emits 19 kg CO2 equivalent per 100 km and drives 10,000 km per year.

About Hitachi Energy Ltd.

Hitachi Energy is a global technology leader that is advancing a sustainable energy future for all. We serve customers in the utility, industry and infrastructure sectors with innovative solutions and services across the value chain. Together with customers and partners, we pioneer technologies and enable the digital transformation required to accelerate the energy transition towards a carbon-neutral future. We are advancing the world’s energy system to become more sustainable, flexible and secure whilst balancing social, environmental and economic value. Hitachi Energy has a proven track record and unparalleled installed base in more than 140 countries. Headquartered in Switzerland, we employ around 40,000 people in 90 countries and generate business volumes of approximately $10 billion USD.




About Hitachi, Ltd.

Hitachi drives Social Innovation Business, creating a sustainable society with data and technology. We will solve customers’ and society’s challenges with Lumada solutions leveraging IT, OT (Operational Technology) and products, under the business structure of Digital Systems & Services, Green Energy & Mobility, Connective Industries and Automotive Systems. Driven by green, digital, and innovation, we aim for growth through collaboration with our customers. The company’s consolidated revenues for fiscal year 2021 (ended March 31, 2022) totaled 10,264.6 billion yen ($84,136 million USD), with 853 consolidated subsidiaries and approximately 370,000 employees worldwide. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company’s website at https://www.hitachi.com.


Jocelyn Chang
Hitachi Energy Ltd.

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8692688

Sacombank Selects Temenos Infinity to Elevate Digital Banking and Deliver Seamless Omnichannel Experience

Leading Vietnam bank will use Temenos to power digital banking for over 15 million retail and business customers

Sacombank and Temenos Signing Ceremony for Omnichannel Banking Platform Implementation

[Front row left to right]: Craig Bennett, Managing Director – APAC, Temenos; Bui Van Dung, Deputy CEO, Sacombank; Pham Dang, Deputy CEO, HiPT.

GENEVA, Nov. 09, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) —  Temenos (SIX: TEMN), today announced that Sacombank, one of the largest banks in Vietnam with over 15 million customers, has selected Temenos Infinity to elevate its digital banking and deliver a seamless omnichannel experience to retail and business customers.

Since Kony’s acquisition in 2019, Temenos Infinity has been selected by over 200 new customers and the product’s leadership has been cemented with multiple analyst accolades. Temenos has been named a leader in the Forrester Waves™Digital Banking Engagement Platforms and Digital Banking Engagement Hubs evaluations in 2021. Temenos was also the only vendor rated best-in-class in Aite Matrix Evaluation of US digital banking solutions.

Sacombank has a customer-centric business strategy focused on providing high-quality financial products and services to individual and corporate customers, especially small and medium-sized enterprises. Temenos Infinity will enable the bank to reimagine the way it interacts with customers and meet the growing customer demand for digital products and services and fast, frictionless customer experiences.

Vietnam is leading the way in digital banking in Southeast Asia. It has a large younger demographic of digitally savvy consumers and a vibrant local fintech and ecommerce industry. Vietnamese enjoy quick and easy digital experiences for a wide variety of services and expect the same from their banking.

Temenos Infinity is a true omnichannel, multi experience platform-based product that enables a comprehensive 360-degree customer view, helping Sacombank to acquire, service, retain and cross-sell to customers, on multiple channels and devices using native features. Offering pre-composable banking services – built on microservices and accessible via APIs – the platform enables Sacombank to develop innovative products quickly and that bring real benefits to consumers and businesses.

The bank plans to introduce fully digital customer onboarding and origination as well as enhance the service experience for existing customers through digital channels. Additionally, Temenos’ open and composable platform will help Sacombank connect with e-commerce providers, social networks and other online services to accelerate a cashless ecosystem, a priority for the Government of Vietnam.

In selecting a new digital banking platform, Sacombank looked at various leading solutions in the market and after a thorough evaluation decided on Temenos Infinity. Sacombank is a longstanding Temenos customer and will run Temenos Infinity on top of its existing Temenos Transact core, providing complete front-to-back banking capabilities on a single platform.

Temenos Infinity is the world’s best-selling digital banking platform used by over 850 financial institutions, from global tier one banks to digital challengers. It can connect to any core banking system as a standalone solution for larger banks or to Temenos Transact. Temenos Infinity can run on any cloud or as SaaS on the Temenos Banking Cloud.

Bui Van Dung (Mr.), Deputy CEO, Sacombank said: “The omnichannel platform project is an unavoidable step to make a breakthrough in digital business of Sacombank. Sacombank believes that Temenos has the best reputation, capacity, and technology in omnichannel, along with a consultant team experienced in implementing similar projects at the leading banks, financial institutions in area and world-wide, hence, Temenos is able to support Sacombank in implementing its digital business strategy to comprehensively innovate in quality.”

Craig Bennett, Managing Director – APAC, Temenos, said: “Vietnam is a strategic market for Temenos. More than 20 Vietnamese banks run on our core banking technology, and we see growing adoption and interest for our Temenos Infinity digital banking platform. As one of the biggest banks in Vietnam and the Southeast Asia region, we are hugely proud to extend our relationship with Sacombank. Adding Temenos Infinity to the bank’s technology stack will propel the bank forward, opening new opportunities and delivering outstanding customer experiences.”

About Temenos
Temenos (SIX: TEMN) is the world’s leading open platform for composable banking, creating opportunities for over 1.2 billion people around the world every day. We serve over 3000 banks from the largest to challengers and community banks in 150+ countries by helping them build new banking services and state-of-the-art customer experiences. The Temenos open platform helps our top-performing clients achieve return on equity three times the industry average and cost-to-income ratios half the industry average.

For more information, please visit www.temenos.com.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/54af5e1a-1e98-4441-897e-7d90b91e8ad4

Media Contacts

Jessica Wolfe & Scott Rowe
Temenos Global Public Relations
Tel: +1 610 232 2793 & +44 20 7423 3857
Email: press@temenos.com

Alistair Kellie
Newgate Communications on behalf of Temenos
Tel: +44 20 7680 6550
Email: allnewgatetemenos@newgatecomms.com

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8692708

Yevgenia Albats, Sam Muller and Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka Awarded Tällberg-SNF-Eliasson Global Leadership Prizes

STOCKHOLM & NEW YORK, Nov. 09, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, the Tällberg Foundation announced the winners of this year’s Tällberg-SNF-Eliasson Global Leadership Prizes, awarded annually to well-established leaders working in any field and any country, whose leadership is courageous, innovative, rooted in universal values and global in application or in aspiration.

The 2022 laureates:

Yevgenia Albats, Russia, for her passionate commitment to reporting truth in the face of repression and corruption, and for forcefully asserting her—and every Russian’s—personal responsibility to work for a democratic future in their country.

Sam Muller, Netherlands, for his innovative work in creating and implementing new, concrete concepts and ways of working for law practitioners that focus on solving people’s real needs and thereby reinforce their commitment to democracy.

Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka, Uganda, for her persistent, innovative leadership in developing new approaches to human/wildlife interaction at a time when the danger of zoonotic diseases is rising worldwide.

“Converging crises are challenging all our societies. If we ever needed great leadership it is now,” said Alan Stoga, the Tällberg Foundation’s chairman. “What these three extraordinary individuals—working in dramatically different contexts on different kinds of problems—demonstrate is the power of courageous, creative, persistent leadership.”

The Prizes are made possible by the financial and moral support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF). SNF Co-President Andreas Dracopoulos said, “What each of the most serious challenges humanity faces—such as climate change, the erosion of democracy, unmet mental health needs, the risk of future pandemics—requires is sound, selfless leadership. SNF is proud to support the Prizes in recognizing leaders whose practical optimism unlocks human potential to meet these critical challenges.

“We are deeply committed to the idea that great leadership comes in many different flavors. The leaders selected by the jury this year prove the point. What do a journalist, a jurist and a veterinarian have in common? Great leadership skills and the fundamental optimism to challenge the status quo with innovation and energy. The world needs as much of that as we can find, which is why SNF supports this initiative.”

The winners receive a $50,000 cash award and the opportunity to participate in the Tällberg Foundation’s global leaders’ network. They will be honored in a virtual celebration on Dec. 13. To register to participate, go to tallberg-snf-eliasson-prize.org.

The Tällberg Foundation separately recognizes and honors emerging leaders whose work has less track record and more potential. This year’s emerging leader laureates will be announced on Nov. 16.

Prize winners are nominated through an online process open to anyone anywhere and are ultimately selected by a global jury. The Tällberg-SNF-Eliasson Global Leadership Prize was established in 2015 and has honored 27 global leaders.

Learn more at tallberg-snf-eliasson-prize.org.

Contact Information:
Cecilia Nordström
+46 70 618 3587

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