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Pope cuts penalties for paedophile priests – including one let off with just a lifetime of prayer for abusing five young boys

  • Pope Francis said to be applying his vision of a ‘merciful church’ to sex offenders 
  • He reduced sentence for Rev Mauro Inzoli from defrocking to lifetime of prayer 
  • But Vatican spokesman said abusive priests are also removed from the ministry

Pope Francis has been slammed by church officials and sex abuse survivors for cutting penalties for paedophile priests.

The Pope is said to be applying his vision of a ‘merciful church’ to sex offenders by reducing punishments to weaker sentences, such as a lifetime of prayer and penance.

It has been revealed by church officials that Pope Francis overruled advice given to him by the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith about two priests  – allowing them to be punished by a lifetime of prayer.

One of the priests was the Reverend Mauro Inzoli, who was found guilty of abusing young boys by the Vatican in 2012 and was ordered to be defrocked.

However, he appealed, and in 2014 Francis reduced the penalty to a lifetime of prayer, prohibiting him from celebrating Mass in public or being near children, barring him from his diocese and ordering five years of psychotherapy.

Rev Inzoli was then convicted by an Italian criminal court for his sex crimes against five children as young as 12.

He is now facing a second church trial after new evidence emerged against him.

A church official has said some paedophile priests and their high-ranking friends appealed to Pope Francis by citing the pope’s own words about mercy in their petitions.

They said: ‘With all this emphasis on mercy … he is creating the environment for such initiatives.’

Marie Collins, an abuse survivor and founding member of Francis’ sex-abuse advisory commission, expressed dismay that the congregation’s recommended penalties were being weakened.

She said: ‘All who abuse have made a conscious decision to do so. Even those who are paedophiles, experts will tell you, are still responsible for their actions. They can resist their inclinations.’

Many canon lawyers and church authorities argue that defrocking paedophiles can put society at greater risk because the church no longer exerts control over them.

They argue that keeping the men in restricted ministry, away from children, enables superiors to exert some degree of supervision.

But Ms Collins said the church must also take into account the message that reduced canonical sentences sends to both survivors and abusers.

‘While mercy is important, justice for all parties is equally important,’ she said.

‘If there is seen to be any weakness about proper penalties, then it might well send the wrong message to those who would abuse.’

Comparatively, his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, rarely granted clemency petitions and defrocked 800 priests, who had raped and molested children, during his eight-year papacy.

According to the church official, Pope Francis also ordered three staffers to be dismissed – two of whom worked for the discipline section that handles sex abuse cases.

But Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said they will be replaced and staffing is set to be strengthened after the Pope approved hiring more officials.

He said: ‘The speed with which cases are handled is a serious matter and the Holy Father continues to encourage improvements in this area.’

He also dispelled rumours that sex-abuse cases would no longer be handled by the congregation, saying the strengthened office would handle all submitted cases.

Mr Burke added the Pope’s emphasis on mercy applied to ‘even those who are guilty of heinous crimes’ and priests who are found to be abusers are permanently removed from the ministry but are not necessarily defrocked.

He said: ‘The Holy Father understands that many victims and survivors can find any sign of mercy in this area difficult, but he knows that the Gospel message of mercy is ultimately a source of powerful healing and of grace.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4259164/Pope-quietly-trims-sanctions-sex-abusers-seeking-mercy.html#ixzz4Zyp461Bb

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Robert Agostinelli’s Response to “Trump’s New Start With Russia May Prove Better Than Obama’s” by John Bolton.

Trump’s New Start With Russia May Prove Better Than Obama’s The new president’s reported disdain for his predecessor’s arms deal is an encouraging sign Media tittle-tattle about President Trump’s telephone calls with foreign counterparts received new fuel last week after details leaked of a conversation with Russia’s Vladimir Putin. The usual anonymous sources alleged that when Mr. Putin raised the 2010 New Start arms-control treaty, Mr. Trump asked his aides what it covered—and then, once briefed, declared it to be one of those bad Obama deals he planned to renegotiate. If so, Mr. Trump got the treaty right. From America’s perspective, New Start is an execrable deal, a product of Cold War nostrums about reducing nuclear tensions. Arms-control treaties, properly conceived and drafted, should look like George W. Bush’s 2002 Treaty of Moscow: short (three pages), with broad exit ramps and sunset provisions. Although President Obama had considerable help from then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in this diplomatic failure, Russia was hardly blameless. Moscow subsequently exploited the treaty’s weaknesses to rebuild and modernize its arsenal of nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles, while Mr. Obama stood idly by. Republican senators opposed New Start’s ratification, 26-13 (three of them didn’t vote), as did 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Mr. Trump’s remarks are therefore squarely in the party’s mainstream. Not so, however, are some of Mr. Trump’s comments—or at least the inferences drawn from them—on Mr. Putin’s political and military adventurism in Europe. Many Republicans worry that, rather than strengthening the international economic sanctions imposed on Russia for its belligerent incursions into eastern Ukraine and its 2014 annexation of Crimea, Mr. Trump may reduce or rescind sanctions entirely. This apparent difference is no small matter. Legislation to codify the existing sanctions is pending in Congress. It has overwhelming—most analysts think veto-proof—bipartisan support. Commentators wonder whether the remarkable Republican solidarity on Mr. Trump’s cabinet nominations might be shattered if Russia policy is the first area in which the new administration faces off with the Republican congressional majorities. The sanctions on Russia for its interference in Ukraine are already under assault in Europe: Germany, France and others appear close to succumbing to their apparently hard-wired inclination to sacrifice geostrategic imperatives for economic ones. Elections across the Continent this year may produce results even more favorable to Moscow (possibly, in part, because of Russian meddling). By contrast, the Baltic republics and other NATO members in Eastern and Central Europe are alarmed that Russia’s adventurism would increase if its Ukraine aggression were brushed aside and sanctions lifted. Yet amid the breathless press accounts about Mr. Trump’s purported fancy for Mr. Putin, one thing is clear: The Trump administration’s policy toward, and even its strategic assessment of, Russia is still under construction. Most important, if the substance of Mr. Trump’s comments on New Start was accurately reported, it shows him resisting items on Mr. Putin’s wish list, and not for the first time. Mr. Trump has, for example, unequivocally opposed Mr. Obama’s Iran nuclear deal. On Feb. 1, National Security Adviser Mike Flynn put Iran “on notice” that the deal was on life support. New U.S. sanctions against Iran underlined the point. The White House is reportedly considering listing Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization, which should have been done decades ago. Such a move would have a significant political and economic effect on Moscow’s military-industrial complex, particularly Rosoboronexport, its international arms-sales agency. Washington should be also push back against Russia’s inserting itself militarily and politically into the Middle East by using the Syria conflict as a wedge. While Ukraine may seem an unrelated issue, it is not. Moscow’s diplomatic efforts to “solve” the Syrian conflict are in substantial part an effort to “help” Europe with the Syrian refugee problem, providing yet another inducement to wobbly Europeans to roll back sanctions. Any perceived American weakness on the sanctions would embolden Russian efforts to further penetrate the Middle East, increasing the dangerous, destabilizing effects of Moscow’s tacit alliance with Iran. Significantly, Mr. Trump has said he doesn’t know what his relationship with Mr. Putin will ultimately be, and he must surely recognize that national interests, not personal chemistry, underlie great-power foreign policies. America doesn’t sacrifice its national-security bottom line just because a foreign leader “may smile, and smile.” So let’s raise our glasses to Mr. Trump’s disdain for New Start, not to mention the Iran nuclear deal, and hope for more of the same. The new president ought to strengthen the sanctions, reassure NATO allies (while juicing them to meet their commitments on military spending), and then have coffee with Vlad. Negotiate only from positions of strength. Response to “Trump’s New Start With Russia May Prove Better Than Obama’s” by John Bolton. Ambassador Bolton once again demonstrates a lucidity and clear minded even handed thinking that we have come to expect. His description of the albatross known chillingly as “New Start” could not be more on point. The Obama/Clinton team had their pocket and emotions picked by Putin. In a duel between serial liars, Russia has exploited the gaping holes in this most amateurish agreement to modernise and escalate their weapons stockpile while ours have continued to regress and decay. Whereas Trump has sought a spirit of solidarity with our brave Eastern European allies, the Obama crew left them exposed to Putin’s wrath. The discipline of our support must be reasserted. As for Iran and this is even more monstrous agreement, the sooner it is reneged the better. Sanctions should be applied not only to the IRG but asserted against any move by any European who would conduct business with this rogue regime. Until and unless we affirm peace through strength and place American interests first we will be vulnerable to the encroachment of these equally diabolical forces. Robert F. Agostinelli Palm Beach , Florida

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The 2015 HEC-DowJones Private Equity Performance Ranking

Executive Summary

The 2015 HEC-DowJones Private Equity Performance Ranking lists the world’s Top PE firms in terms of aggregate performance based on all buyout funds raised between 2002 and 2011. This ranking answers the question: “Which firm(s) generated the best performance for their investors over the past years?” The ranking draws on a comprehensive set of data on PE fund performance provided by DowJones and directly from PE Firms and uses a unique methodology to calculate the aggregate performance of a PE firm based on difference performance measures for all the funds managed by this firm. The method is able to aggregate performance across vintage years and considers relative and absolute returns. In total, we analyzed performance data from 309 PE firms and the 554 funds they raised between 2002 and 2011 with an aggregate equity volume of $1015bn.

The Ranking: Top 30 out of over 300 PE Firms

Rank Firm Performance Score
1 Vista Equity Partners 3.03
2 Odyssey Investment Partners 2.88
3 Waterland Private Equity Investments B.V. 1.66
4 Endeavour Capital 1.57
5 Advent International 1.39
6 Clayton Dubilier & Rice 1.35
7 Platinum Equity 1.32
8 Berkshire Partners LLC 1.28
9 ABRY Partners LLC 1.25
10 Astorg Partners 1.16
11 Rhone Capital LLC 1.08
12 Apollo Investment Corp. 1.07
13 Littlejohn & Co. LLC 1.00
14 American Securities LLC 0.84
15 BLUM Capital Partners 0.84
16 Trilantic Capital Partners 0.77
17 Permira 0.74
18 Leonard Green & Partners LP 0.74
19 Baring Private Equity Asia 0.63
20 Centerbridge Partners LP 0.62
21 Water Street Healthcare Partners LLC 0.54
22 GTCR LLC 0.51
23 Ardian 0.47
24 Hellman & Friedman LLC 0.41
25 Oaktree Capital Management LP 0.37
26 Equistone 0.27
27 Charlesbank Capital Partners LLC 0.26
28 Cinven 0.25
29 Lindsay Goldberg LLC 0.24
30 Silver Lake Management LLC 0.22

Introduction

The Private Equity industry is notorious for being opaque and access to any data is chronically difficult. In particular, little is known about the performance and competitive behaviour of the key PE Firms. While performance rankings exists for many other areas (the best ‘business school’, the best ‘place to work’, the best ‘stock market analyst’ etc), nothing worth that name exists in PE.  Until recently, the only available rankings for Private Equity were based on size

alone, which has very limited meaning. Since 2009, HEC Paris and DowJones have joined forces to publish regular rankings of PE Firms based on their historic performance and expected future competitiveness respectively.

Simply Speaking, what does the performance ranking mean?

This ranking answers the question: “Which firm(s) generated the best performance for their investors over the past years?” It draws on performance information from all buyout funds managed by a given PE Firm and aggregates their performance based on a novel and proprietary methodology (see below) into one overall performance score.

What are the data sources behind the rankings?

To obtain a most accurate picture of the universe of PE Firms and their investments, we drew on a variety of available databases and performed a number of cross-checks of the information used in this study. We used the DJX DowJones database as the primary database for fund performance information, in addition to an increasing amount of information directly provided by PE Firms to HEC for the purpose of these rankings.

While HEC has access to additional proprietary information on the activity and performance of

PE Firms (HEC Buyout Database), this data is anonymous and cannot be used for this study.

How have the evaluated PE Firms been selected?

We  gathered  data,  as  of  October  2015,  on  the  universe  of  PE  firms  worldwide  on  which DowJones provides performance data or which provided data directly to HEC for the purpose of the performance rankings. This results in a sample of 309 PE firms and the 554 funds they raised between 2002 and 20011 with an aggregate equity volume of $1015. From this starting sample, we selected all those PE firms that met the following objective criteria:

  • At least 2 funds which raised over the 2002 to 2011 period for which full performance information is available;
  • At least $1000m raised during this time;
  • At least 10 observation years (i.e. the sum of the ‘age’ of all funds as of today);
Why these selection criteria?

It is our intention to limit the analysis to PE Firms that are of relevant scale in terms of their activities. (i.e. minimum capital under management). Also, we want to make sure that we do not

report any ‘one-hit-wonders’, hence the requirement to have at least 2 funds with full performance information and 10 ‘observation years’. We do not consider funds raised after 2010, as their performance is still too unreliable to be judged at this point.

How large and representative is your sample of PE Firms?

The 86 firms that passed the criteria raised 276 funds between 2002 and 2011 with total equity of over $782bn. This corresponds to over 70% of the starting sample in terms of equity.

How has the aggregate past performance been assessed?

Private Equity is an asset class that makes it particularly challenging to assess the aggregate performance of a given PE Firm. Performance is typically recorded at the fund-level (and not for the entire PE Firm). Furthermore, three factors make the aggregation of performance to the firm- level challenging:

  1. Alternative, complementary performance measures are used to assess performance (e.g.
IRR vs. Return Multiple), so that it is not trivial to know what measure to look at.
  1. People disagree whether firms should be assessed according to their absolute performance or based on the performance relative to a performance benchmark.
  2. Private Equity Firms typically manage a number of limited-life funds raised at different vintage years simultaneously and the so-called J-Curve phenomenon makes it difficult to say, whether a 4-year-old fund with a 15% IRR is better or worse than a 7-year-old fund with a 20% IRR.

In a project sponsored by advisory firm Peracs Due Diligence Services, Prof. Oliver Gottschalg from HEC School of Management, has developed a proprietary methodology1 that makes it possible to comprehensively assess the aggregate performance of all funds managed by a Private Equity Firm. The basis for this assessment is the performance of each fund, measured in terms of three complementary performance measures: IRR, DPI (cash-only return multiple) and TVPI (a return multiple that considers accounting values of ongoing investments). We assess performance in each measure both as absolute values and measured against the corresponding performance benchmark, leading to 2*3=6 performance indicators.

These six indicators are then combined for multiple funds based on a proprietary statistical method that considers the empirically-derived historical reliability of performance measured at a given ‘fund age’ as weights. The intuition for this method is as follows: We determined empirically the reliability of performance of funds that are 2, 3, 4… years old. Our sample included detailed data on the evolution of the performance of 492 actual buyout funds over time. Imagine, the performance of a 3-year-old fund predicts its final performance with 35% accuracy, while the performance of a 5-year-old fund predicts its final performance with 70% accuracy. We would then give twice as much weight to performance data of 5-year-old funds than to the performance data of 3-year-old funds in the aggregation. Finally, we combine all six performance measures to a single performance score2 using a standard statistical method called ‘Principal

1 US and International Patents Pending

2 The extracted factor has an Eigenvalue of 5.1 and captures 86% of the total variance of all 6 performance measures.

Component Analysis’. This makes it possible to compare the overall value creation ability of

Private Equity Firms across all their funds.

How to Interpret the ‘Aggregate Performance Score’?

The aggregate performance score is neither an IRR-type annual return measure nor a money multiple. It can only be interpreted relative to the average aggregate performance score of all firms we analyzed: An aggregate performance score of 1 means that a given PE Firm has an aggregate performance that is one ‘standard deviation’ above the average performance, which would position it typically at the 85% percentile, i.e. 85% of all firms would have a lower aggregate performance. Also, an aggregate performance score of 2 means that performance is twice as high as for an aggregate performance score of 1. A PE Firm with the average performance has (by design) an aggregate performance score of 0.

How sensitive are the results to the valuation of unrealized investments?

The valuation of unrealized investments has only a small impact on the rankings. First, we only consider funds that are at least four years old. Second, according to our methodology, young (with relatively more unrealized investments) funds carry less weight in the performance aggregation than older funds, as we consider that the performance of younger funds is inherently less precise. Finally, two of our six individual performance measures (DPI) consider cash-on- cash performance only and ignores valuations of unrealized investments.

What does the ranking not capture?

The Performance Ranking is backward-looking by definition. It cannot capture recent changes in the strategy, the core team or the fund/deal size of a PE Firm. As such, it may not capture all elements of the current competitiveness of a given PE Firm.

LIMITATIONS

The confidential nature of the PE industry makes it impossible to compose a 100% accurate database on private equity and we cannot exclude the possibility of biases in our results due to missing or inaccurate information. However, we rely on the same data sources typically used to compose industry-standard statistics of PE activity and we consider our data by far the ‘best available’ for this kind of analysis.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER

This material has been prepared on the basis of publicly available information, internally developed data and other third party sources believed to be reliable, however, HEC Paris and Peracs, LLC have not sought to independently verify information obtained from these sources and makes no representations or warranties as to accuracy, completeness or reliability of such information. This material is for information and illustrative purposes only, is not investment advice and is no assurance of actual future performance or results of any private equity segment or fund. HEC and Peracs do not represent, warrant or guarantee that this information is suitable

for any investment purpose and it should not be used as a basis for investment decisions. Nothing herein should be construed as any past, current or future recommendation to buy or sell any security or an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy any security. This material does not purport to contain all of the information that a prospective investor may wish to consider and is not to be relied upon as such or used in substitution for the exercise of independent judgment.

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Secretive Rhone Group said to hit €2.6bn close for Fund V

Secretive private equity house Rhône Group has reportedly held a €2.6bn close for its fifth buyout fund after just over six months in the market. The firm, which has decided not to embrace a wave of increasing openness exhibited by the private equity community over the past few years, has a single-page website which simply includes its New York and London office addresses and a button for investors to log in. Rhone’s latest fundraise was reported by Financial News, which cited a person familiar with the matter. The vehicle is more than twice the size of the firm’s fourth fund, which closed on about €1.2bn following its 2011 launch, if the report is accurate. Rhone, which was founded in 1996, is slightly more open about its dealmaking activity. Last November the firm agreed a deal to purchase Global Knowledge from New York-based MidOcean Partners. A month earlier it teamed with Goldman Sachs to buy logistics service provider Neovia Logistics from Platinum Equity Partners. One of its bigger deals from the past few years was the €1.05bn buyout of the bakery supplies business of CSM in 2013.

Source: https://www.altassets.net/private-equity-news/by-news-type/fund-news/secretive-rhone-group-said-to-hit-e2-6bn-close-for-fund-v.html?vemail=tjh@trinity-group.co.uk&mc_cid=0a1cae01da&mc_eid=8c4d9fcf7b

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Rhone Capital pronta a vendere la sua quota nella catena Unieuro

Another Italian article I found.

Banca Imi e Unicredit si sarebbero mosse in qualità di advisor su una serie di private equity e alcune offerte sarebbero già al vaglio

Rhone Capital ha iniziato il suo rapporto finanziario con SGM Distribuzione nel 2005 ed è ovvio che come tutti i fondi voglia rientrare del proprio investimento, tanto più che lo stesso è stato avviato 10 anni fa. Ebbene, a quanto trapela, questo sarebbe per Robert Agostinelli – volto e fondatore del fondo – il momento più propizio alla luce dei risultati incassati dalla società di Forlì nell’ultimo esercizio che si è chiuso lo scorso 28 febbraio. Secondo infatti quanto confermato da Corriere Economia, Banca Imi e Unicredit si sarebbero già mosse in qualità di advisor su una serie di private equity italiane ed estere e alcune offerte di acquisizione del 70% delle quote della catena nelle mani di Agostinelli e socio sarebbero al vaglio. Il giornale parla di un valore dell’operazione di 300 milioni di euro. Oltre al fondo americano il resto del capitale è nelle mani ancora del colosso Dixons Retail (15%) con cui nel 2013 è stata siglata la fusione tra la rete MarcoPolo Expert e quella Unieuro, di Giuseppe Silvestrini (10%) – tuttora presidente di SGM distribuzione – e di Giancarlo Nicosanti Monterastelli (5%) attuale amministratore delegato. Lo scorso esercizio si sarebbe chiuso con ricavi per quasi 1,4 miliardi di euro, con un utile lordo di 355 milioni e un EbitDA positivo per 57 milioni, con debiti netti per 35 milioni di euro. Source: http://www.e-duesse.it/News/Distribuzione/Rhone-Capital-pronta-a-vendere-la-sua-quota-nella-catena-Unieuro-188751

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Robert Agostinelli’s Response to “Israel Alone”, by Bret Stephens WSJ, April22,2015

First came the repudiation of our greatness in the form of apology and the bows. Then came the humbling of our self esteem and shame for our systems that enshrine individual rights and reward for human endeavor. Then came the dual track of retreat of global responsibility, neglect to the full term of betrayal of our allies in every theater and the embrace of enemy after enemy.  The Obama mantra marches to its radical drumbeat.

Front and center of this disgrace is the shattering of our alliance with life long allie, Israel. Colored as a personal confrontation between Bibi and Obama belittles the magnitude of the latter’s intent to undermine and even erase Israel’s existence. It is joined in an embrace of one of our most dangerous enemies, Iran. It has confused everyday Americans and every Arab state that understands the motives and design of this creature from that deep well where they chant to this ludicrous notion of the lost Imam and the return of their Caliphate.

A man who proclaims he wishes a world without nuclear weapons and proceeds to unilaterally disarm the stabilizing peaceful force of the country of his oath while enabling our murderous enemies the certainty of ultimate possession of the same is the edge of treason and irresponsibility dressed as sophisticated diplomacy. Forcing Israel to heal to strong arm tactics and threats, with disclosure of their own nuclear secrets and plans of proactive defense while inventing once again the Palestinian rouse as the real threat to regional peace, are all part acts of a foe not a friend. Finally the term of the Ayatollah of “Big Satan” rings true for reasons that world make our Founders turn in their graves and remind us to all re read the Federalist Papers to understand the threat to our Republic of the usurper we call POTUS.

For tiny Israel they are forced between a rock and a hard place and recalling their mantra of ” never again”. Regretfully they must pull the trigger of self defense in an environment where they are already well past the due date.

Robert F. Agostinelli A Founding Leader of The Friends of Israel Initiative.

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Rhone Group – Preqin:Most Consistent Performing Private Equity Fund Managers in 2014

Rhone Group

Rhone Group

Prequin

Prequin

Rhone Group – Preqin Announces the Most Consistent Performing Private Equity Fund Managers in 2014

Now this should help me a lot as Robert is the Managing Director of Rhone. – CA

Extract: Key Findings:
  • Four buyout managers achieved the best possible score of 1.00: Altor, based in Sweden, and Rhone Capital, Trilantic Capital Partners and Wynnchurch Capital Partners, all of which are based in the US. Rhone Capital and Trilantic Capital Partners are new entries to the league table this year.
  •  Five venture capital fund managers have achieved the best score of 1.00: Pittsford Ventures Management,Sequoia Capital, Benchmark Capital, OrbiMed Advisors and Union Square Ventures, all of which areheadquartered in the US. Union Square Ventures is a new entry in 2014.
  • Only one fund of funds manager has achieved the best average score of 1.00 in 2014: Nordea Private Equity based in Denmark. The manager is advised by North Sea Capital Copenhagen.

Link to PDF: https://www.preqin.com/docs/press/Consistent-PE-14.pdf

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Friends of Israel Initiative

Robert Agostinelli and the Friends of Israel Initiative

Robert Agostinelli and the Friends of Israel Initiative

Under the leadership of former Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar a high level group met in Paris in the middle of 2010 to launch a new project in defense of Israel’s right to exist. This “Friends of Israel Initiative” has been joined by such notable figures as Nobel Peace Prize Laureate David Trimble, Peru’s former president Alejandro Toledo, Italian philosopher Marcello Pera, former United States Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, British historian Andrew Roberts, and others. Their key aim is to counter the growing efforts to delegitimize the State of Israel and its right to live in peace within safe and defensible borders. This Initiative arises out of a sense of deep concern about the unprecedented campaign of deligitimation against Israel waged by the enemies of the Jewish State and, perversely, supported by numerous international institutions. This Initiative differs from previous such ventures primarily in that it is being led by people who are not Jewish and whose motivations are based on the firm conviction that Israel is part of the Western world. Indeed, the sponsors of this initiative are convinced that Israel is of fundamental importance to the future of the West. Although the peace process is important, the members of the Friends of Israel Initiative are even more concerned about the onslaught of radical Islamism as well as the specter of a nuclear Iran, both of which threaten the entire world. The Friends of Israel Initiative is committed to act consistently and diligently in its effort to disseminate its members’ vision of Israel as a democratic, open, and advanced nation like any other, and that it should be perceived and treated as such. Israel is a sovereign democracy which like all the others is, of course, capable of making mistakes. Nonetheless, this should not be used as an excuse to question Israel’s right to exist, its legitimacy, or its basic rights as an independent state. Israel is an inextricable part of the West. We stand or fall together.

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Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation

Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation

Robert Agostinelli and the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation

Since 1962, the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation has been Honoring Marines by Educating Their Children. The Nation’s oldest and largest provider of need-based scholarships to military children, the Scholarship Foundation pays particular attention to those students whose parent has been killed or wounded in combat or has demonstrated financial need.
  • 52 Years of Honoring Marines by Educating Their Children.
  • 2194 Students awarded for the 2014-15 academic year.
  • Nearly $90M In value of scholarship funds awarded since 1962.
  • 50% Of students are first-generation college students.
  • $3K Average scholarship awarded for 2014-2015.
  • 86% Graduate from their degree program, more than double the national average.

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