New: Montgomery's Messy Trifecta   
Montgomery v. Louisiana arrived at the Supreme Court at the intersection of three conceptually challenging and jurisprudentially opaque areas of law. First, Montgomery came to the Court as an Eighth Amendment case requiring the Justices to struggle yet again with the counter-majoritarian question of what limits the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause puts on government powers to impose certain sentences on certain defendants for certain crimes. Second, Montgomery came to the Court as a retroactivity case requiring the Justices to struggle with the practical question of how new constitutional rules are to apply to old and seemingly settled criminal judgments. Third, Montgomery became a federalism case because the Justices, when granting certiorari review, added the jurisdictional question of whether the Court even had authority to review how Louisiana had implemented the Supreme Court’s prior decisions on Eighth Amendment and retroactivity issues. In this short essay, I briefly ...
          Hundreds flee Mosul as Iraqi forces squeeze last pockets of IS resistance   
The areas where government forces are fighting have been under siege for months.
          Queen’s Speech clears Commons after abortion funding deal   
The Government’s move was announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond in the Commons.
          Serbian politicians elect first female, openly gay prime minister   
Ana Brnabic is Serbia’s first openly gay head of government.
          Fox's Sky takeover delayed by British government   
CNBC's Dominic Chu reports on Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox taking over Sky News delayed by the British government.
          Ray Appleton - 06.30.17 - A third of enrollees of the "Obamaphone" program may not be qualified   
San Francisco will pay $190K to an undocumented immigrant over sanctuary law violations. A list of esteem law professors suggest term limits for Supreme Court judges. A federal judge has blocked California's high-capacity magazine ban. California Senator Josh Newman supporters filed a lawsuit to stop the GOP recall effort over his vote on the gas tax. A new government audit finds more than a third of enrollees of the "Obamaphone" program may not be qualified among other fraudulent findings.
          Road construction has serious implications, India tells China   
NEW DELHI, June 30 - The government today expressed deep concern over China constructing a road in the disputed Doklam area near Sikkim, and said it had conveyed to Beijing that such an action would represent a significant change of status quo with "serious" security implications for India.
          Govt to roll out Operation Muskan-III from today   
GUWAHATI, June 30 - The Assam Government is all set to roll out the month-long (from July 1 to 31, 2017) Operation Muskan-III from tomorrow along with the rest of the country to rescue and recover missing children. This campaign is a follow-up of earlier campaigns like Operation Smile-II and Operation Muskan-II.
          Parley on Indo-Bangla bilateral relations   
GUWAHATI, June 30 - India Foundation in collaboration with State Innovation and Transformation Aayog (SITA), Government of Assam, Bangladesh Foundation for Regional Studies (BFRS) and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies (MAKAIAS) will be organizing the eighth round of Indo-Bangladesh Friendship Dialogue in the city from July 2 to 4.
          31st anniversary of Mizo peace accord celebrated   
AIZAWL, June 30 - The 31st anniversary of the signing of the historic Mizo peace accord between Union Government and the erstwhile underground Mizo National Front (MNF) was celebrated today in Mizoram.
          Concern over govt's apathy towards Jamuna    
TEZPUR, June 30 - The issue of government's alleged negligence towards international woman boxer Jamuna Boro has raised eyebrows of late.
          FDR3729 17 Intelligence Agencies Did Not Say Russia Hacked Election    
After the New York Times issued a retraction to the often repeated claim that 17 U.S. Intelligence agencies claim that the Russian government "Hacked The Election" - the Russia narrative is dead. New York Times Retraction: "A White House Memo article on Monday about President Trump's deflections and denials about Russia referred incorrectly to the source of an intelligence assessment that said Russia orchestrated hacking attacks during last year's presidential election. The assessment was made by four intelligence agencies — the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency. The assessment was not approved by all 17 organizations in the American intelligence community."Article: support is essential to Freedomain Radio, which is 100% funded by viewers like you. Please support the show by making a one time donation or signing up for a monthly recurring donation at:
          City Rail Link chairman looks forward to Monday   
Press Release – CCL Limited Media release- City Rail Link chairman looks forward to Monday 30 June 2017 City Rail Link Ltd, established to deliver the City Rail Link on behalf of its joint sponsors the New Zealand Government and Auckland Council, comes into effect tomorrow. Chairman … Media release- City Rail Link chairman looks […]
          Auckland Mayor and Government formalise creation of CRL Ltd   
Press Release – Auckland Council Auckland Mayor and Government formalise creation of CRL Ltd. to deliver NZs largest infrastructure project Today, Auckland Mayor Phil Goff, Deputy Mayor Cashmore and Ministers Steven Joyce and Simon Bridges, formalised the partnership between Government …Auckland Mayor and Government formalise creation of CRL Ltd. to deliver NZ’s largest infrastructure project […]
          Establishment of City Rail Link Limited   
Press Release – New Zealand Government Finance Minister Steven Joyce and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have today signed the agreements with Auckland Mayor Phil Goff that establish City Rail Link Limited to assume responsibility from tomorrow for delivering Aucklands City Rail Link, …Hon Steven Joyce Minister of Finance Hon Simon Bridges Minister of Transport 30 […]
          Feds’ commend Government on investment in global agriscience   
Press Release – Federated Farmers The announcement today, made by Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee, is a progressive step that will drive science and innovation in the agriculture sector.Feds’ commend Government on investment in global agriscience Federated Farmers commends the Government on investment of $11 million towards global agricultural research. The announcement today, made by Foreign […]
          Historic equal pay settlement takes effect. Questions remain   
Press Release – Public Service Association At midnight, the historic pay equity settlement for 55,000 care and support workers will take effect, but questions around door-closing legislation and funding remain and must be addressed by the Government, says the PSA.Historic equal pay settlement takes effect but questions remain At midnight, the historic pay equity settlement […]
          Changes recognise tobacco tax increases   
Press Release – New Zealand Government The Government is taking steps to ensure that small grocery businesses can continue to hold liquor licences, Associate Justice Minister Mark Mitchell announced today.Hon Mark Mitchell Associate Minister of Justice 30 June 2017 Changes recognise tobacco tax increases The Government is taking steps to ensure that small grocery businesses […]
          New Laotian cardinal was imprisoned for 3 years   

One of the new cardinals created by Pope Francis in the June 28 consistory was imprisoned by his nation's Communist regime for three years. Cardinal Louis-Marie Ling Mangkhanekhoun, apostolic vicar of Pakse, Laos, preached the Gospel in small villages and prisons without government permission.

          Students Scared After Distracted Driving ‘Drill’   
Every now and then, official government entities launch campaigns and other efforts to fight distracted driving. But other groups are also part of the effort, attempting to promote safety within their circles and make sure that safety comes first. While many of these efforts happen in other states, anyone who lives in Washington will agree […]
          Tory Government limps over line on Queen's Speech as Labour rebels defy Corbyn on Brexit   
Tory Government limps over line on Queen's Speech as Labour rebels defy Corbyn on Brexit
- THERESA May's Government limped over the line at Westminster to pass its first major parliamentary test but only after making a major concession on ...

          SNP's big Brexit problems   
SNP's big Brexit problems
- Sturgeon can legitimately say Brexit has been forced on to the agenda by others, Scots are not keen and the Scottish Government have a duty of sorts ...

          US slams Damascus as chemical weapons monitor says sarin used in April Syria attack, silent on blame   
Preview The US State Department is scolding the Syrian government, as the OPCW has reportedly determined that sarin, a banned nerve gas, was what killed dozens of Syrians in northern Idlib province on April 4.
Read Full Article at
          Jury finds Iran-linked office tower can be seized by US govt   
Preview A New York jury has concluded that a tower located in Manhattan can be seized by the US government. The nonprofit organization that owns the building was determined to be in violation of US sanctions against Iran.
Read Full Article at
          Using design to keep children and their families safe.   

On February 8, Wyong’s new multi-agency centre was opened- signalling brighter outcomes for children at risk in the Central Coast.  The innovative centre brings together government health and education representatives, caseworkers and NGOs in one physical space, making the process from call for help to the delivery of assistance, smoother. We’re extremely proud to have […]

The post Using design to keep children and their families safe. appeared first on Second Road.

          Quirk-Silva Bill to Protect California Jobs Becomes Law   
(SACRAMENTO) –Assembly Bill 1727 (AB 1727) by Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Orange County) was signed into law, by governor Edmund Gerald Brown Jr. AB 1727 reformed the Government Code related to Foreign Trade Zones and the California Foreign Investment Program. Foreign Trade Zones are areas within the state where goods may be imported more easily.  “International…
          Pre-4th fireworks: Hotel petition group exploring lawsuit and recalls   
Citizens for Responsible Government says it will continue its fight against city funding for a convention hotel, perhaps through the courts or removing members of the City Council.

          Charlotte convention hotel likely to need hefty taxpayer subsidy   
Government investment in convention hotels has become routine in most cities, according to industry analysts and executives.

          Comment on HIV Breakthrough Could Speed Up Cure by Dean   
There will never be a cure while pharmaceuticals and governments make sky high profits. Everyone that is affected or knows someone affected by this disease is very aware of this fact and doesn't understand why the media keeps on trying to place false hope on sufferers, families and friends.
          Grenfell Tower fire: MPs call for Government to seize control of Kensington and Chelsea Council   
The council should be stripped of its powers, Labour and survivors groups say
          Corbyn kicks off campaign to unseat vulnerable Tory MPs, starting with Amber Rudd   
Jeremy Corbyn is to hold an election-style rally in Home Secretary Amber Rudd's constituency of Hastings on Saturday, as part of a series of events around the country aiming to consolidate growing Labour support and demonstrate that the party is a "government in waiting".
          Only central government intervention can resolve the failings of Kensington and Chelsea Council   
The resignation of council leader Nicholas Paget-Brown was inevitable after RBKC sought to ban media from its cabinet meeting, but more action is necessary
          England could move to 'opt out' organ donation system, Downing Street says   
The Government is monitoring the results of changes in Scotland and Wales
          Product Adoption Specialist - LexisNexis - Toronto, ON   
As a result, we help lawyers win cases, corporations detect fraud, governments shape nations and academic institutions shape the future of those nations....
From RELX Group - Thu, 29 Jun 2017 23:00:16 GMT - View all Toronto, ON jobs
          Catalonia legalises marijuana consumption, cultivation and distribution   
It follows a campaign which gathered 67,500 petition signatures, forcing a government debate
          UK Government warned of 'serious consequences' of extreme internet surveillance plans   
'It is neither the cause nor the enabler of crime or terrorism'
          NEWS: Quebec government doesn’t rule out Nunavik education audit   
Quebec’s education minister has invited Makivik Corp. to sit down and discuss how to address problems within Nunavik’s education system. The invitation comes as a response to Makivik President Jobie Tukkiapik’s request to Quebec to launch an independent audit of the education system. In a May 30 letter, Tukkiapik said an audit is needed to first understand and then resolve shortcomings in the delivery of Nunavik’s education, prompted by the recent admission that Kativik School Board high
          NEWS: Don’t feed wild animals, Nunavut government says   
Foxes can be cute, but you’re better off not feeding them. That because, among other things, they can transmit rabies, which has recently been detected in Igloolik. And the Government of Nunavut says it’s also against the law in Nunavut, under the territory’s wildlife act, to feed wild animals. A GN advisory says feeding wild animals can also have “very negative impacts on their wellbeing, including the potential of death. “It can cause them to become human-dependent for food, which
          GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR) | Re: When the government taxes the sale of a particular type of good, eithe   
It took >30 minutes for me to prepare the mathematical model and to understand the logic; pretty useless for GMAT exam. Nevertheless, here is:


1. Tax(A) -> -Profit(A) OR (inclusive) +Price(A)
2. +Price(A) -> -Demand(A) AND +Demand(A-sub)
3. +Demand(X) -> +Price(X)

Now, as per logic,
(i) if a statement is true, its Contrapositive is also true.
P -> Q => ~Q -> ~P
here ~ means negation (logical opposite)
(ii) negation rules
~ (A OR B) => ~A AND ~B


          GMAT Sentence Correction (SC) | Re: The new government requires employers to inform an employee   
vishalkumar4mba wrote:

The new government requiresemployers to inform an employee of their legal right to holidays and overtime pay.

(A)employers to inform an employee oftheir
(B) employers to inform employees thathe has a
(C)employers to inform employees that there is a
(D) thatemployers inform an employee oftheir
(E) thatemployers inform theemployees thatthey have a


          GMAT Sentence Correction (SC) | Re: QOTD: However much United States voters   
However much United States voters may agree that there is waste in government and that the government as a whole spends beyond its means, it is difficult to find broad support for a movement toward a minimal state.

(A) However much United States voters may agree that- Correct - Parallelism is correct in this sentence
(B) Despite the agreement among United States voters to the fact= Missing "that" causing parallelism error
(C) Although United States voters agree = Missing "that"

          GMAT Reading Comprehension (RC) | The new government requires employers to inform an employee   
The new government requires employers to inform an employee of their legal right to holidays and overtime pay.

The question tests the usage of "that" and SVA( their, his andhave)

The new government requires the employers of the company to inform X.
X: The employee of a company has a legal right to holidays and overtimepay

The entire sentence has one action. The SVA must agree with the corresponding noun

(A) employers to informan employee oftheir
Employee: Singular

          Press and Public Affairs Officer Job Opening At The British High Commission   

The British Government is an inclusive and diversity-friendly employer.  We value difference, promote equality and challenge discrimination, enhancing our organisational capability. We welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds. We do not discriminate on the basis of disability, race, colour, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, veteran status or other category protected by […]

Press and Public Affairs Officer Job Opening At The British High Commission

          Where things stand on the AT&T and Time Warner deal   
AT&T’s (NYSE: T) $49-billion acquisition of DirecTV took a whopping 432 days to win government approval, eventually earning clearance from the Federal Communications Commission with a list of conditions. Now, 251 days since the Dallas-based telecom giant declared its intent to purchase content monster Time Warner, Inc., the process could finally be turning toward the point in which the two sides discuss the same type of conditions. Bob Quinn, AT&T’s senior executive vice president for external…

          Twisdom from JoeDunman, June 30, 2017 at 08:37AM   

via Twitter

June 30, 2017 at 08:37AM

          The pursuit of lasting peace in Colombia   

At this time last year Colombians were invigorated with hope for a lasting peace agreement between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

          Congress so far silent on civilian federal employee 2018 pay raise   

The House Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee stayed quiet on federal pay in its 2018 bill. Without action from Congress, federal civilian employees would receive a 1.9 percent raise next fiscal year. The appropriations bill also includes significant spending cuts to key priorities at the General Services Administration and Office of Personnel Management.

The post Congress so far silent on civilian federal employee 2018 pay raise appeared first on

          Turnbull slaps down ‘wreckers’   
MALCOLM Turnbull has publicly slapped down the “wreckers” in his Government ahead of the first anniversary of his election win, while privately telling confidantes he will not be distracted by Tony Abbott.
          251 days later: Where things stand on the AT&T and Time Warner deal   
AT&T’s $49-billion acquisition of DirecTV took a whopping 432 days to win government approval, eventually earning clearance from the Federal Communications Commission with a list of conditions. Now 251 days since the Dallas telecom giant declared its intent to purchase content monster Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX) for $85.4 billion, the process could finally be turning toward the point in which the two sides discuss the same type of conditions. Bob Quinn, AT&T’s senior executive vice president…

          SNP spared 60 million EU farm fine - because it is part of UK   
THE SNP Government will be spared fines of up to 60 million over its latest farm payments fiasco because Scotland is part of the UK, it emerged.
          7th Pay Commission allowances finally get government nod: Key highlights   

Here are the details of the 7th Pay Commission recommendations as approved by the Union Cabinet   Following are highlights of the approval given by theCabinet to the recommendations of the 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC) on allowances with some modifications. * House Rent Allowance will be paid at 24, 16 and eight per cent […]

The post 7th Pay Commission allowances finally get government nod: Key highlights appeared first on Govt. Employees India.

          केंद्र चाहता है कि सरकारी मकान छोड़कर खुद के घरों में रहें केंद्रीय कर्मचारी   

नई दिल्ली. 7th पे कमीशन से जुड़ीं सिफारिशों में सबसे अहम है हाउस रेंट अलाउंस (एचआरए)। पहली नजर में लगता है कि एचआरए कम किया गया है। लेकिन ऐसा नहीं है, क्योंकि 7th पे कमीशन में सैलरी काफी बढ़ चुकी है। दरअसल, सरकार चाहती है कि इम्प्लॉइज सरकारी घर छोड़कर खुद के घरों में रहें। […]

The post केंद्र चाहता है कि सरकारी मकान छोड़कर खुद के घरों में रहें केंद्रीय कर्मचारी appeared first on Govt. Employees India.

          7th Pay Commission – Press Release issued by Ministry of Finance on allowances   

PRESS NOTE The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the recommendations of the 7th CPC on allowances with some modifications. The revised rates of the allowances shall come into effect from 1st July, 2017 and shall affect more than 48 lakh central government employees. While approving the recommendations of the […]

The post 7th Pay Commission – Press Release issued by Ministry of Finance on allowances appeared first on Govt. Employees India.

          88-year-old nearly scammed by fake lottery, warns others   
“It's so real-looking. It was stamped by the government, approved by the government. I just figured, all these stamps, it’s got to be real.”
          Exclusive: India presses Microsoft for Windows discount in wake of cyber attacks   

By Euan Rocha

MUMBAI (Reuters) - India is pressing Microsoft Corp to offer a sharply discounted one-time deal to the more than 50 million Windows users in the country so that they can upgrade to the latest Windows 10 operating system in the wake of ransomware attacks.

Microsoft officials in India have "in principle agreed" to the request, Gulshan Rai, India's cyber security coordinator, told Reuters over the phone on Friday.

A spokeswoman for Microsoft in India declined to comment on the matter. Officials at the company's headquarters in the United States and regional headquarters in Asia also declined to comment.

If Microsoft agreed to such a discount, it could open up the global software giant to similar requests from around the world. Rai said the government was in talks with Microsoft management in India. It is not immediately clear whether any other countries were seeking similar deals.

Rai said India began talks with Microsoft after the WannaCry ransomware attack last month, noting that both WannaCry and this week's attack, dubbed by some cyberexperts "NotPetya", exploited vulnerabilities in older iterations of the Windows OS.

"The quantum of the price cut, we expect some detail on in a couple of days," Rai said, adding the Indian government expected the company to offer the software at "throw-away prices."

"It will be a one-time upgrade offer to Windows 10 and it will be a discounted price for the entire country," said Rai, who was hand-picked by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to be the country's first cyber security chief.

Rai declined to be more specific, but said he was confident that it would be "less than a quarter of the current price."

Rai, who has over two decades of experience in different IT areas including cyber security, said his team began coordinating with government agencies and regulators to push for OS upgrades soon after the WannaCry attack began on May 12.

The government's quick action helped minimize the impact of the NotPetya attack, which affected two of India's container port terminals, he said.

The government has also worked with banks to ensure that some 200,000 of the more than 240,000 ATMs in the country, most of which run on older Windows XP systems, have been upgraded with security patches released by Microsoft following the WannaCry attack, Rai said.

This is just an interim solution, however, said Rai, because although the patches fix vulnerabilities in older OS versions, they retain the limitations of those versions.

"New OS versions have different architecture, much improved architecture and much more resiliency," said Rai.


Windows 10 Home currently retails for 7,999 rupees ($124) in India, while the Pro version of the software typically used by large companies and institutions costs 14,999 rupees ($232).

Roughly 96 percent of an estimated 57 million computers in India currently run on Windows, according to Counterpoint Research. Apple- and Linux-based systems account for the rest.

Given that only a small minority of Windows users in India already have Windows 10, Microsoft could be forgoing several billion dollars of potential revenue if they agreed to sell just the more widely used Home version of Windows 10 at a quarter of its current Indian retail price.

In the price-sensitive Indian market, people using computers in households or small businesses often do not upgrade their OS given the steep costs. The wide use of pirated Windows OS versions, which would not automatically receive security patches, exacerbate the vulnerabilities.

In light of the attacks, Rai said, the government "wants to incentivise the common man to upgrade their systems".

The WannaCry attack in May affected a state-run power firm in western India, while the NotPetya attack this week crippled operations at two port terminals in India operated by shipping giant AP Moller Maersk, which was affected globally.

($1 = 64.5175 Indian rupees)

(Additional reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal in Mumbai, Salvador Rodriguez in San Francisco and Jeremy Wagstaff in Singapore; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

          Congress must raise debt ceiling by mid-October - CBO   

By Ginger Gibson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Congress will need to raise the nation's debt limit and avoid defaulting on loan payments by "early to mid-October," the Congressional Budget Office said in a report on Thursday.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has encouraged Congress to raise the limit before the legislative body leaves for their August recess. But it remains unclear if a bipartisan agreement has been struck to allow the limit to be raised, as both chambers continue to be weighed down by health care and tax reform and trying to find an agreement to fund the government after the September 30 deadline.

(Reporting by Ginger Gibson; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

          Black Lives Should Matter Long Before They're Lost   
Black Lives Should Matter Long Before They're Lost It's easier to rally people with an injustice and a clear and appealing villain to point to than with prescriptive measures that are likely to help others avoid similar terrible outcomes. This is especially true when prescriptive measures involve advising people to take responsibility and to take a hard look at problems in a community that could be changed, in part, with more responsible behaviors. I've blogged previously about the problem of out-of-wedlock births and single motherhood in the black community. Jason L. Riley at the WSJ takes a different tack, but is still looking at the framework of society for a lot of black people with the question in the subhead of his piece -- "why not focus on bad schools and job-killing regulations?"
On a certain level, the decision by BLM activists to single out policing as a major obstacle to black advancement has always defied comprehension. Police shootings have fallen dramatically in recent decades. In New York City, for example, cops shot 314 people in 1971, 93 of them fatally. In 2015, New York police shot 23 people, killing eight. Which means that police shootings and fatalities in the nation's most populous city have declined by more than 90% over the past 4½ decades. A 2016 paper released by Harvard economist Roland Fryer examined the use of force by police since 2000 in some of the country's largest urban areas and found that "blacks are 23.8 percent less likely to be shot at by police relative to whites." In theory, there is no reason these activists couldn't play a more useful role in helping blacks overcome obstacles and take advantage of opportunities that were unavailable to previous generations. But that would mean abandoning nonsensical narratives that scapegoat law enforcement for high black crime rates and instead picking more substantive fights with fellow progressives. Why not side with the hundreds of thousands of black children nationwide who linger on waiting lists for charter schools that have a proven record of narrowing the achievement gap? Why side with progressive politicians who stunt the growth of charters out of deference to powerful teachers unions that oppose school choice? ...Of course, improving educational and employment prospects for the black underclass would lower black crime rates and thus go a long way toward reducing encounters with police, the goal that is so near and dear to the Black Lives Matter movement. It's a win-win, but first the activists have to decide whether the real goal is to help black people or to help themselves.
Important point there at the end -- one I think few people consider (thanks to how race issues are now the third rail of discussion and debate today). I sometimes get hundreds of retweets and shares of a blog post, but never those about race. At least a few of those must be at least a little interesting to people, but again, major no-go area. Oh, and on the job-killing regulations, consider how the government is trying to put moms who earn money caring for others' children in their homes out of business. As I blogged previously:
Mothers have taken care of other mothers' children throughout human history, usually without death or horrible things happening. There should be no reason why a mother cannot be the judge of whether the person she wishes to leave her child with is a safe bet, rather than having the state intervene. This regulation also keeps poor women who are mothers from having an income by taking in children and caring for them. Again, women have done this throughout human history. Yes, there's always a chance a child will be injured -- maybe in the parent's own home. But a child can still be injured in that *perfectly regulated* hothouse of government regulation. Regulation is mostly keeping the childcare "industry" safe from those who'd like to enter without going to college and jumping through 26 hoops.

          Software Engineer   
Colorado Springs, If you are a Software Engineer with experience, please read on! Based in beautiful Colorado Springs, we are a forward thinking and ground breaking engineering firm that delivers technical and operational solutions to our customers in the government sector. Our exceptional team helps customers address near-term issues through rapid prototyping, as well as refine concepts to optimize future systems.
          Finance Analyst (Government)   
CO-Colorado Springs, AT&T GSI is searching for a Finance Analyst with strong experience to fill this vacancy. The candidate will be providing direct, on-site support to the Sensors and Optics Division (SMC/SYG) at Peterson Air Force Base, CO. The ideal candidate will have experience performing the following: Manage complex budgets across multiple SMC/SYG programs to ensure adherence to DoD regulations. Responsible for
          Program Management SME (Government)   
CO-Colorado Springs, This position is requires subject matter expert (SME) program management support to the United States Air Force, Space and Missile Systems Center, Space Superiority Systems Directorate, specifically the Sustainment of Optical Telescopes and Radars (SOAR) program office (SMC/SYGI) at Peterson Air Force Base, CO. The candidate must demonstrate applicable program management skill level and experience
          Software Engineer   
CO-Colorado Springs, If you are a Software Engineer with experience, please read on! Based in beautiful Colorado Springs, we are a forward thinking and ground breaking engineering firm that delivers technical and operational solutions to our customers in the government sector. Our exceptional team helps customers address near-term issues through rapid prototyping, as well as refine concepts to optimize future systems.
          Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government   

About the Program
PPIC's latest survey examines Californians' views on President Trump and Congress, as well as their preferences on immigration policy, terrorism and security, and government regulation. It also covers state issues, including attitudes toward elected officials, high-speed rail, and water infrastructure. PPIC researcher Dean Bonner will outline these and other key findings.

This research was supported with funding from the James Irvine Foundation, the California Endowment, and the PPIC Donor Circle.

The post Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government appeared first on PPIC.

          PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government   
Capitol Building – Statewide Survey

A majority of Californians disapprove of President Trump’s order banning travel to the US by people from six majority Muslim countries. And most support providing a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

All Adults [PDF]
Likely Voters [PDF]

Time Trends:
All Adults [PDF]
Likely Voters [PDF]

This research was supported with funding from the James Irvine Foundation, the California Endowment, and the PPIC Donor Circle.

The post PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government appeared first on PPIC.

          GST across the political landscape   
Marring the government's celebrations at Parliament was the silent protest by Rajya Sabha MP Ananda Bhaskar Rapolu at Gandhi statue.
          KK Venugopal appointed as new Attorney General of India   
Venugopal's name has been cleared by the office of the President of India. The 86 year old's name will soon be notified by the government.
          86 per cent wages of 1 crore workers paid within 15 days: Government   
Timely payment of wages under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) has been a major concern for the government for some time.
          Putin extends embargo on products from West through 2018   
A decree signed by Putin and posted in the official government database states that the embargo will now stretch to December 31, 2018.
          Syria rebels have motive to use chemical weapons: ex-CIA officer   
The U.S. government has accused the Syrian government of planning a chemical weapon attack and warned it would pay a heavy price for such a move.
          AN INCREDIBLE STORY: Meet the museums, theatres and arts organisations awarded £13m funding   
THIS week, the government's main arts funding body has pledged a whopping £13m over the next four years to ten Oxford museums, theatres and other arts organisations.
          Trump Revoked Key Pesticide Protections. We're Fighting Back.   

Trump Revoked Key Pesticide Protections. We're Fighting Back.

The EPA has said that the protections would prevent at least a thousand acute poisonings every year.

The EPA has said that pesticide protections would prevent at least a thousand acute poisonings every year.


This past January, three brothers—ages 7, 9 and 11—and their 17-year-old sister, died in their home in Amarillo, Texas, because a highly toxic restricted-use pesticide was improperly applied in their home.

And just two years ago, a family on vacation in the U.S. Virgin Islands and another family in Florida were poisoned after applicators grossly misused restricted-use pesticides. The vacationing father and his children were paralyzed; in Florida, the family’s 10-year old son suffered significant brain damage.

These kinds of tragedies prompted the federal government to enact long overdue updates to the Certification of Pesticide Applicators Rule, also known as the CPA Rule. Designed to protect lives from restricted-use pesticides—some of the most hazardous chemicals that can only be used by certified professionals—the rule hadn’t been updated since Nixon was in office.

The EPA’s revised protections were supposed to go into effect in March, but Trump's new EPA chief, Scott Pruitt, delayed the CPA Rule from going into effect for at least a year. This month, Earthjustice and Farmworker Justice sued the EPA for this unlawful delay.

By delaying this rule, the Trump administration is putting workers, children and families at risk.

The CPA Rule ensures that children are not allowed to apply restricted-use pesticides and that certified applicators get updated annual trainings. It also requires applicators to have access to essential information about the products they use, so that they can wear appropriate protective gear and know what they’ve been exposed to if accidents happen.

By delaying this rule, the Trump administration is putting workers, children and families at risk. They are allowing poorly trained pesticide applicators to handle the most dangerous chemicals in the fields where we grow our food, where we work and where we live.   

Although urban dwellers sporadically face these dangerous pesticides in businesses, homes and schools; there are roughly one million farmworkers who, together with their families, face pesticide exposures on a daily basis. As a second generation Chicana who comes from a lineage of laborers, farmworkers, and in general, a population whose children are nearly twice as likely to attend schools in close proximity to use of hazardous pesticides, the EPA’s delay of the CPA Rule is unacceptable to me on a deeply personal level.

We know that in some areas, 16-year-old kids are applying restricted-use pesticides because there is no minimum age limit for the roughly one million certified applicators nationwide. Moreover, most of the farmworkers facing the gravest pesticide risks are not just migrants, they are often low-income Spanish and indigenous language speakers who need these protections the most.

The EPA estimates that as many as 20,000 farmworkers are poisoned by pesticides every year, yet the agency is still delaying action.

The EPA estimates that as many as 20,000 farmworkers are poisoned by pesticides every year, yet the agency is still delaying action. For perspective, this is like saying that we know every inhabitant in a U.S. town will suffer severe pesticide poisoning each year, but we simply prefer not to take action.

The EPA itself said that the now-delayed rule, which was developed after years of reviews, would prevent at least a thousand acute poisonings every year. While this isn’t enough to get to where we need to be, in a society that values all lives alike, this is a much-needed start. None of us should be OK with delaying life-saving rules.

The federal government may be eager to bow to industry barons who care more about profit than life, but we the people have to defend our families and the most vulnerable populations. So while it’s clear that we can’t count on the Trump administration to do the right thing, we can use the power of the law to force them into action.

In fact, that’s exactly what we’re doing.

          African Governments Lead the Way on Data Revolution   

Millions to benefit from commitments that include: data-led agriculture plans to build food resilience and security, a birth registration drive using SMS and web to widen access to healthcare and...

(PRWeb June 29, 2017)

Read the full story at

          Weech and Takazawa to present research at BAI 2017   

Associate Professor Terry Weech and doctoral candidate Aiko Takazawa will discuss their research on the economics of information at the International Conference on Business and Information (BAI), which will be held July 4-6 in Hiroshima, Japan. The conference is an annual meeting for scholars in the business and information disciplines.

Weech and Takazawa will present their paper, "iSchools and Business Schools, Potential to Collaborate on Business and Information Research." In their talk, they will examine the potential contributions of collaboration between schools of information and business schools that have an interest in the impact and utilization of information in the business context. They will also present their plan for establishing a basis for collaboration between business schools and schools in the iSchools organization.
Takazawa's doctoral research seeks to understand how information search and seeking activities facilitate spontaneous collaborative work. The topics in her research area lie at the intersection of information behavior, learning, and self-organization. Her dissertation examines the case of a humanitarian aid group that emerged on social media platforms in response to the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan.
Weech's research interests include the areas of reference services and sources, government information, library administration, library cooperation and networks, library use instruction, and economics of information. His teaching experience includes appointments at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Emporia State University (Kansas); University of Iowa, Iowa City; and Mississippi University for Women in Columbus. At the iSchool, Weech teaches the Economics of Information course (IS 549). He has been active in the American Library Association (ALA) and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), and he has been involved in the administration of the Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award reception at the ALA Midwinter meeting for nearly twenty years. Weech received his MS and PhD degrees in library and information science from the iSchool at Illinois.

          Charting Russia’s most dangerous cities for LGBT people   

Here are the towns where it’s dangerous to be gay in Russia. A culture of silence and a law “against propaganda” are keeping them that way. Русский

An LGBT pride parade in St Petersburg, 2014. Photo CC BY-NC-ND 2.0: Maria Komarova / Flickr. Some rights reserved.

It’s become a tradition across the globe to celebrate LGBT Pride in the last days of June. Usually, such events are held on the weekend closest to the 28 June, as it was on that day that the modern LGBT movement in the USA began in earnest. It was an initiative that inspired strategies and tactics of human rights advocacy in many other countries. Although it takes different forms across the world, LGBT pride raises issues of freedom of expression, human rights, and healthcare for LGBT people. In some cities Europe and the USA it has turned into something of a commercial event or cultural festival for the wider public. In other locations, LGBT people march under the threat of police brutality.

In Russia, the first LGBT pride march was held in 1991 on the square before Moscow’s Bolshoi theatre as part of the Soviet Union’s first LGBT festival. The more modern history of LGBT parades in Russia began in 2006 when LGBT activist Nikolay Alekseyev attempted to officially organise a pride march in Moscow. Years passed, and the city authorities still haven’t found the guts to permit a march for LGBT human rights through the capital’s streets and provide security for its participants. However, other banned marches have been successfully challenged in the European Court for Human Rights and Alekseyev has generated support in other regions of the country. He and his colleagues have applied for permission to hold pride marches in Blagoveshchensk, Cherkessk, Cherepovets, Kazan, and Nizhny Tagil among many other cities across Russia, though they have always been rejected and sued city governments in response. A notable exception came in 2013, when the governor of St Petersburg did not forbid the city’s LGBT pride parade, although it did encounter violently homophobic protesters who tried to obstruct the march.

The metrics of hatred

In fact, these violent far-right groups keep close tabs on LGBT activists in Russia and the events they hold – or try to. While the government fights some homophobic campaigners and inciters of hatred, it supports others. After all, instigating violence against LGBT people is essentially the Russian state’s official policy towards sexuality. For example, the 2013 law banning “propaganda” of “non-traditional sexual orientations” sparked a wave of hatred against LGBT people across the country. As we discovered from court decisions last year, after the “propaganda” bill was signed into law, the number of hate crimes against lesbians and gay men doubled. 

In 2012, we found 33 examples of such hate crimes, while 2013 saw 50 hate crimes against LGBT citizens. By 2015 there were 65. We registered not only a common rise of LGBT hate crimes, but also the rise of homicides: following the enactment of the “propaganda” bill, there were more and more murders of people simply for being LGBT.

The growth in hate crimes against LGBT people across Russia. Image courtesy of the authors.

Of course, these are only the recorded crimes – many LGBT people may not dare approach the authorities after harassment, humiliation, or worse. These data are based on official court statistics, though we had to dig through the results ourselves. Nobody officially collects information on violence against LGBT people in Russia. On the contrary, the authorities pretend that nothing is happening. This attitude sometimes reaches absurd extremes when government officials claim that LGBT citizens simply do not exist.

After facts came to light about the systematic torture of gay men at secret detention camps in Chechnya, the republic’s press secretary immediately retorted that “you cannot repress those who are not and cannot be here in the Chechen Republic.” Despite the justified focus on Chechnya, these claims are hardly specific to one culture or region within the Russian Federation – officials in other regions speak in much the same manner. For example, the mayor of Svetogorsk in Leningrad Region declared his city “free from gays.” He subsequently argued that LGBT issues and rights are irrelevant there, neither an LGBT community nor LGBT people exist in the small city.

This imagined absence of LGBT people constitutes an active policy of silencing and excluding some citizens from the wider national community on the grounds of their sexuality

This imagined absence of LGBT people constitutes an active policy of silencing and excluding some citizens from the wider national community on the grounds of their sexuality. These comments certainly reinforce existing prejudices and reproduce violence against vulnerable groups. But what is the real picture? Let’s say that the authorities of a Russian city actually permitted an LGBT march to go ahead? Would these violent protectors of a false morality then take to the streets to fight those marching, to stop their fellow citizens expressing their point of view and standing up for their rights?

It depends on where you are. In other words, how dangerous is it to be gay in different Russian cities?

A “sexual stratification” of Russian cities

Media doesn’t simply inform society about current affairs; it also provides frames for understanding social problems, rendering some topics more important than others by virtue of generating discussion around them. Violence against LGBT people may be a key cause for concern in the human rights movement, but that urgency is lost in public discussions.

But media can also remedy societies from oblivion by sharing stories which are otherwise forgotten or ignored, and spark positive change. For example, the murder of gay teen Matthew Sheppard was one of the most publicised hate crimes in the US history. The furore in the press eventually led to changes in hate crime law.

One of the effects of Russia’s “propaganda” law was not simply the rise in violence against LGBT people. It also led to more frequent ewspaper publications on LGBT topics, hence public discussion on a topic which still remains taboo for many people. This was not entirely what legislators intended. We benefitted from this situation by researching the details and contexts of violence against LGBT in Russia as they were reported in media. The Sexuality Lab studied almost 4,500 media publications about violence against LGBT people in Russia between 2011 and 2016. We categorised all newspaper articles in accordance with the sexuality of the victims reported and the locations of crimes committed. All cities were then classified by population, making it possible for us to calculate an index of safety for every urban settlement.

The data reveal that the most dangerous places for LGBT people are villages in the countryside and small towns with a population below 100,000: they are characterised by the highest rates of violence against LGBT people per 1,000 persons. The safest locations are the largest cities (Moscow and St Petersburg): despite the greater number of crimes against LGBT in these cities, their relative indexes are actually the lowest. This can be explained by understanding the circumstances of these hate crimes.

Statistically, a gay person is safer in St Petersburg than in a smaller city like Nizhnevartovsk

Very often, hate crimes are committed as soon as perpetrators learn about the victim’s sexuality, which is usually revealed in a conversation in a private space over a drink or meal. These social gatherings occur more frequently in smaller settlements, because that way of life is simply more common there: there are fewer bars to go to, fewer crowds to blend into, and more free time to kill. People drink alcohol and talk about their personal lives as there’s no other way to spend one’s spare time. Alhough many people in Russia actually do not give a damn about LGBT issues, some still react violently to a person’s coming out – and such reactions are more common in smaller towns and cities.

The graph below shows incidents of violence against LGBT people in different towns and cities of Russia. We compare capital cities, big cities (of 500,000 people and above) and smaller cities (of between 100-500,000 people). This graph shows that the smaller a city, the bigger the probability of violence against LGBT people. Statistically, a gay person is safer in St Petersburg than in a smaller city like Nizhnevartovsk. This could explain why the mayor of Svetlogorsk thinks there are no gay men in his town – anybody with half a mind in that position would leave the place as soon as they felt threatened. 

Violence and hate crimes against LGBT people across Russia, by city size. Image courtesy of the author.

These results aren’t surprising; they just prove once again that homophobia is on the rise in Russia and that hate crimes are supported in its remote regions. We have based our claims on a survey of media publications, which limits the whole picture only to material in the public domain. As a result, there will be many hate crimes which went unreported, and some remote regions not covered in our media survey. However, it is no exaggeration to say that there are parts of the country which are simply not safe for LGBT citizens.

One of the ways to protect oneself is to keep silent about one’s sexuality, concealing it from the public in order not to become a victim of violence. So this secrecy around the existence of homosexuals is reinforced not only by political decisions, but also by individual moves as many LGBT people opt to hide their sexuality. While their response contributes to a culture of silence, they cannot and must not be blamed for it – simply put, they fear for their lives.

The LGBT pride parades pursue a radically different approach: a public and full-throated political demand to recognise that LGBT people exist. Do our data confirm that Russian cities are not ready to host such events on their territories? If our goal is to fight the silence, the data show exactly the contrary: as long as anybody suffers and is killed because of their sexuality, it is important to shout at the top of our voices to try and stop the murders and political climate in which they are tacitly tolerated. Human rights marches across towns and cities of all sizes are one way of articulating this; a means to make violence visible and demand that it stop.

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          Fewer US teens are giving birth. Here's why   
In the United States, teen-aged moms are increasingly rare. In 2016, the teen birth rate dropped 9% compared to the previous year, a new government report published Friday found. This record low for teens having babies continues a long-term trend.

          Servant Leadership Trumps Politics as Usual   

SEATTLE – Although the outspoken chairman and CEO of coffee giant Starbucks has dabbled in big issues before—his well-intentioned but quickly abandoned “Race Together” initiative had baristas writing racial harmony messages on cups—Howard Schultz is not running for president.

“Despite the encouragement of others, I have no intention of entering the presidential fray,” the chairman and CEO of coffee giant Starbucks said in an op-ed in The New York Times. “I’m not done serving at Starbucks. Although we have built an iconic brand while providing even part-time employees with access to health care, free college education and stock options, there is more we can do as a public company to demonstrate responsible leadership.”

But the fact that Schultz is not running … yet … doesn’t mean he has no opinion on what’s wrong with Washington and how a great leader should operate.

“We cannot afford more false promises, slogans, theatrics and fool’s gold,” he wrote. “Our nation has been profoundly damaged by a lack of civility and courage in Washington, where leaders of both parties have abdicated their responsibility to forge reasonable compromises to expand the economy, rebuild our infrastructure, improve schools, transform entitlement programs and so much more. We have become too desensitized to the horrendous metrics that define today’s America, from student-loan debt to food-stamp dependency to the size of our prison population.”

He continued, “The values of servant leadership—putting others first and leading from the heart—need to emerge from every corner of American life, including the business community.

“While Americans have diverse views in what they want from Washington, I reject the notion that our divided and dysfunctional government is merely a reflection of what the political class calls the red-blue divide. Too many of our political leaders are putting party before country, power before principle and cynicism before civility. The common purpose that created this great nation, which has united us in difficult moments, has gone missing.

“Our country is in desperate need of servant leaders, of men and women willing to kneel and embrace those who are not like them. Everyone seeking the presidency professes great love for our nation. But I ask myself, how can you be a genuine public servant if you belittle your fellow citizens and freeze out people who hold differing views?”

He concluded with a provocative challenge: “Our country deserves a candidate courageous enough to select a member of the other party as a running mate. Our country deserves a president humble enough to see leadership not as an entitlement but as a privilege."

Click here to read the complete New York Times op-ed.

And following on Shultz’s lead, as we head into the next presidential election cycle, what insights can politicians glean from the convenience-store, retail and restaurant industries? Send your ideas and comments to Greg Lindenberg, editor of CSP Daily News, at

          Austria’s Top Court Upholds Seizing of Hitler’s Birthplace   
Taking control of the building allows the government to prevent it from becoming a site for neo-Nazi activities, the court said.
          Myanmar Vows to Block U.N. Investigators From Entering   
The government said it would refuse to grant visas to three experts tasked with looking into violence against Muslims in the country.
          My Thoughts On Twitter, 6/27/17   
The world depends on the observer’s qualities–thus Kabbalah gets one out of #depression by helping to see their partner as beloved. #Governments can’t control their economies, sovereignty is disappearing but they cannot solve problems together, nationalism is on the rise Everyone has good and bad qualities. Smart people focus on and see only the good […]
          Russia on the Long and Difficult Path to True Civilizational Identity   
By now you must have heard it – Putin is “persecuting the Jehovah's Witnesses” in Russia. Alas, this one is true. Well, this is maybe not nearly as terrible as the Ziomedia makes it sound, but still, a pretty bad and fundamentally misguided policy. Why did the Russian government take such a drastic decision? The...
          Wanna tap 3 MEELLION phone calls? All it takes is one measly warrant   

Uncle Sam's wiretap stats show the state of surveillance in Land of the Free, Home of the Brave

The US government's annual wiretap report, published this week, has revealed the reach and scope of its agents' surveillance abilities.…

          Huawei Marine Selected for Cameroon-Brazil Subsea cable   
Huawei Marine, the joint venture between Huawei Technologies and UK-based Global Marine Systems, announced it has been contracted by China Unicom and Cameroon government-owned infrastructure operator Camtel to construct the South Atlantic Inter Link (SAIL), marking the official commencement of the SAIL cable system implementation phase.

Funded with investment from China Unicom and Camtel, the SAIL system will link Cameroon and Brazil and span around 6,000 km. The cable system will comprise 4 fibre pairs and offer a design capacity of 32 Tbit/s based on Huawei Marine’s advanced 100 Gbit/s technology.

The SAIL system will be the first direct access cable to connect Africa and South America, and on completion is designed to provide a reliable, high-quality intercontinental communications infrastructure between the two developing regions.

  • Huawei Marine originally announced that it had been commissioned to construct the Cameroon-Brazil cable system, initially called Cameroon-Brazil Cable System (CBCS), in October 2015.
  • Also in 2015, Huawei Marine announced it had started marine installation of the Nigeria-Cameroon Submarine Cable System (NCSCS), Cameroon's first wholly-owned submarine cable and part funded by the Cameroon government. Spanning around 1,100 km, the NCSCS directly connects Kribi in Cameroon with Lagos in Nigeria and will deliver 12.8 Tbit/s of capacity.
  • Camtel states that to date it has deployed more than 8,000 km of fibre that connects the ten regional chief towns in Cameroon, as well as around 60 divisional/sub-divisional chief towns and hundreds of rural communities; it also provides connectivity to CEMAC region countries including Chad. The company is aiming to build a network spanning over 20,000 km.

          Comment on Ask A Question by Chesteradhew   
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          Accusations PNG electoral rolls in 'utter chaos'   

A former prime minister and young voters in Papua New Guinea cry foul after thousands of them were taken off the electoral roll as the country goes to the polls, claims dismissed by the Government.

          Comment on Celgard: Important Challenge to the Federal Circuit’s Pervasive No-Opinion Judgments by Ned Heller   
Guest, you are right that it ties in to the fundamental issue of whether the PTO has jurisdiction to reexamine the validity of an issued patent. But, one of the bases for the decision of the Supreme Court in McCormick Harvesting that the government could not cancel the claims in an issued patent was because the government did not even have standing in a court of law to seek cancellation for invalidity -- referring to cases involving land patents and not, for some reason, to US v. American Bell that it decided earlier in that same year. (And this is a puzzle.) Chicken and the egg.
          Comment on Does the PTO have a Right to Intervene in IPR Appeals? by Guest   
Ned, you're defining this at one very narrow level. The level that I think the court would define this as is that the PTO is adverse to the patent owner in challenging the lawfulness of the agency's action, in an appeal where a victory would mandate the agency to perform certain actions. As Martin indicated, it would be stunning for the Court to hold that the agency does not have the right to defend the lawfulness/correctness of its own action. The government always has the right to do so. American Bell is a case arising out of a very different procedural posture, and those procedural differences are key. That case talks about when and how the government can sue in a district court to invalidate a patent. That's not the situation we have here. Here, there is a statute that gives the government the agency to perform an action (in this case, invalidating patents). Assuming for the sake of argument that this is constitutional, the question then is whether, once that agency acts, does it have the right to defend its own actions in court (only in the most narrow sense is it about validity). You view this as a very narrow inquiry, but I don't think the standing inquiry is quite so narrow as you view it.
          Comment on Does the PTO have a Right to Intervene in IPR Appeals? by anon   
Paul - I have already supplied the sections of the AIA itself that are on point (as opposed to your implying that the driver is only because the Supreme Court is asking the Government to participate). See link at 7.1.1. on this thread.
          Comment on Does the PTO have a Right to Intervene in IPR Appeals? by anon   
"<i>The Government parted with nothing by the patent. It lost no property. Its possessions were not diminished</i>" I think I see where you <i>want</i> to go with that, but the context is different and you cannot apply the "government loses nothing" with the <i><b>sense of</b></i> "case or controversy" of what losing the case might imply. The impact to the government - in context - is not, nor is it meant to be - such an aspect. Instead, the AIA was aiming for a different context. And, as I have already supplied the particular sections of the AIA to you***, <i>those sections</i> inform the context of the government's "loss." Please address the particulars already presented, Ned. *** see
          CN BC: Editorial: Time To Take Action On Marijuana Industry   
Prince George Citizen, 23 Jun 2017 - Thanks, Neil Godbout, for bringing it up (Citizen editorial, June 15). Marijuana is about to become a legal, government-regulated agricultural commodity all across Canada. Mostly, the plant will be cultivated in large greenhouses. Last week, a large greenhouse in the Lower Mainland announced it would no longer cultivate peppers but would switch to growing marijuana. Businesses across every jurisdiction are maneuvering to take advantage of a rare opportunity. This business is coming fast. Last fall, city council heard a bid from two entrepreneurs ready to set up shop and sell the stuff buy mail. They offered strong security and carefully laid plans for distribution, but the location was not approved.
          Cladding on major Brisbane hospital being investigated for fire risk   

The Queensland Government confirms it is investigating potentially flammable cladding on the outside of the Princess Alexandra Hospital — one of Brisbane's busiest hospitals — and a Brisbane CBD building.

          CN NK: N.B. Group Suggests 19 As Minimum Age To Buy Cannabis   
The Sun Times, 22 Jun 2017 - FREDERICTON - The legal age limit for recreational marijuana use in New Brunswick should be set at 19, a provincial working group recommended Wednesday in a report that also calls for sales to be handled by something similar to a Crown corporation. Health Minister Victor Boudreau said the province's Liberal government will consider the recommendation, but he said the actual age limit could be pushed higher.
          O&M Supervisor   
MD-Montgomery County, About Us: EMCOR Government Services offers an experienced single-source solution for meeting the routine and mission-critical needs of federal, state, local and other government organizations. By combining our expert professional technicians, commercial best practices, extensive facilities knowledge and strong commitment to reliable, responsive service, we enable our government clients to achieve
          Vaccinations recommended as whooping cough spikes in SA   

A 50 per cent increase in South Australian whooping cough cases prompts the State Government to recommend vaccinations just two months out from patient transfers between the Royal Adelaide Hospital and the new RAH.

          Technical Writer   
MD-Germantown, Hughes Network Systems, LLC, an EchoStar Company, (Hughes) is the world's leading provider of satellite broadband for home and office, delivering innovative network technologies, managed services, and solutions for enterprises and governments globally. HughesNet® is the #1 high-speed satellite Internet service in the marketplace, with offerings to suit every budget. To date, Hughes has shipped mor
          Service Order Manager   
MD-Montgomery County, About Us: EMCOR Government Services offers an experienced single-source solution for meeting the routine and mission-critical needs of federal, state, local and other government organizations. By combining our expert professional technicians, commercial best practices, extensive facilities knowledge and strong commitment to reliable, responsive service, we enable our government clients to achieve
          Project Manager   
MD-Montgomery County, About Us: EMCOR Government Services offers an experienced single-source solution for meeting the routine and mission-critical needs of federal, state, local and other government organizations. By combining our expert professional technicians, commercial best practices, extensive facilities knowledge and strong commitment to reliable, responsive service, we enable our government clients to achieve
MD-Rockville, ManpowerGroup Public Sector, an Experis affiliate, provides a full range of translation, transcription and interpreting services in 150 languages. We are located in Falls Church, VA, and serve both government and commercial clients. We are seeking cleared personnel to support an upcoming federal contract in the DC area starting in late September. The position is full-time with benefits for a multi
MD-Rockville, ManpowerGroup Public Sector, an Experis affiliate, provides a full range of translation, transcription and interpreting services in 150 languages. We are seeking cleared personnel to support an upcoming federal contract in the DC area starting in late September. The position is full-time with benefits for a multi-year contract and all work will be performed at a government location. WORKFLOW MANAG
          Account Clerk Typist - Cattaraugus County - Cattaraugus County, NY   
If you have applied for both State and local government examinations, you must take all your examinations at the State examination center....
From Cattaraugus County - Sat, 03 Jun 2017 10:44:41 GMT - View all Cattaraugus County, NY jobs
MD-Rockville, ManpowerGroup Public Sector, an Experis affiliate, provides a full range of translation, transcription and interpreting services in 150 languages. We are located in Falls Church, VA, and serve both government and commercial clients. We are seeking cleared personnel to support an upcoming federal contract in the DC area starting in late September. The position is full-time with benefits for a multi
MD-Rockville, ManpowerGroup Public Sector, an Experis affiliate, provides a full range of translation, transcription and interpreting services in 150 languages. We are located in Falls Church, VA, and serve both government and commercial clients. We are seeking cleared personnel to support an upcoming federal contract in the DC area starting in late September. The position is full-time with benefits for a multi
          CMS spikes Medicare Advantage data release at the last minute   

Medicare Advantage, privately run health plans paid for by Medicare, have covered an increasing number of seniors and disabled people in recent years. More than 1/3 of the 58 million Medicare beneficiaries opt for these non-traditional plans. The government has been collecting data about the care delivered to these enrollees since 2012. Last year, it […]

The post CMS spikes Medicare Advantage data release at the last minute appeared first on MassDevice.

          SA bankers and bureaucrats unite for charity sleepout   

The only frostiness between BankSA and the Government was the chilly winter air at the Vinnies sleepout, with the politics of the state's new bank levy left at the gates.

          Who botched Oz cancer registry rollout? Pretty much everybody   

Another day, another botched government contract

Australia's derailed outsourcing of its National Cancer Registry is the latest project red-flagged by the Australian National Audit Office.…

          Global Synthetic Biology Market (Products, Technologies, Applications and Geography) - Reports and Intelligence   

Global Synthetic Biology Market (Products, Technologies, Applications and Geography) - Size, Share, Global Trends, Company Profiles, Demand, Insights, Analysis, Research, Report, Opportunities, Segmentation and Forecast, 2013 - 2020

Portland, OR -- (ReleaseWire) -- 09/03/2014 -- Synthetic biology is a novel field that finds its origin at the intersection of biology and engineering. It's a multidisciplinary effort made by scientists to understand the functioning of biological organisms, cells & genes and implementation of artificial genetic processes to give specific characteristics to an organism. It can even be used to develop a completely new biological system. Global synthetic biology market was valued at $3.0 billion in 2013 and it is estimated to reach $38.7 billion by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 44.2% during the forecast period.

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Synthetic Biology Technology market is segmented into enabling technology and enabled technology. Synthetic Biology Enabling technologies segment is growing at a faster rate, and growing at a CAGR of 48.6% during the forecast period.

Synthetic Biology Application market is segmented into research & development, chemicals, agriculture, pharmaceuticals & diagnostics, biofuels and others (biotechnology and biomaterials). Biofuels is the fastest growing segment at a CAGR of 85.2% during the forecast period.

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Synthetic Biology product market is segmented into enabling products, enabled products and core products. Enabling product is the fastest growing segment at a CAGR of 53.7% during the forecast period.

Assistance from government and private organizations, rising number of entities conducting research and declining cost of DNA sequencing and synthesizing are key driving factors of the market. Governments are providing funds to research organizations, assisting them to find novel applications of synthetic biology. Bio-safety & bio-security issues, ethical issues and regulations are key retraining factors of the market. The fact that synthetic biology can be misused has raised concerns all around the world. Further, there are possibilities of accidental release of pathogens or genetically modified organisms into free atmosphere.

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Reports and Intelligence
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          Gormley: Canada at 150 worth celebrating   
Most baby boomers will not be around for Canada’s 200th birthday party in 2067, so tomorrow’s Canada 150 birthday bash is our last big symbolic patriotic party. While governments have promoted the sesquicentennial, the whole thing seems to lack the enthusiasm and panache that Canada’s Centennial had in 1967. That year, Canada also hosted Expo […]
          Noninvasive Cancer Diagnostics and Technologies Market   

Noninvasive Cancer Diagnostics and Technologies Market - Global Share, Industry Overview, Analysis, Growth, Trends Opportunities and Forecast 2012 - 2020

Portland, OR -- (ReleaseWire) -- 08/28/2014 -- Non-invasive diagnostic is a process of identifying the disease conditions with minimal incision in body during diagnosis. The global market for diagnostic/in-vitro diagnostics valued at $49.2 billion in 2012, which shows potential for market growth, especially in chronic diseases. Non-invasive cancer diagnostics is gaining importance over conventional diagnosis due to increase in incidences of chronic cancer such as breast cancer, and lung cancer. According to American Cancer Society, there were more than 1,660,290 new cases diagnosed in 2013.

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Commercialization of non-invasive cancer diagnosis is possible due to completion of Human Genome Project (HGP) that gives enormous diagnostic information based on genomic and proteomic. Increase in stringent regulatory guidelines and cost associated with diagnostics is hindering the growth of non-invasive cancer diagnostic market. The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance regulations for monitoring non-invasive diagnostics are issued by FDA, Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and Social Security Administration (SSA).

The global non-invasive market has a huge potential in developing countries; however, cost of diagnosis is creating hurdles to tap this market. Hence, to overcome this problem, the diagnostic market has to be analyzed by the developing countries such as China, Japan, and India. This report provides key market drivers that are driving the market with impact analysis. The report gives intelligence about key regulatory guidelines issued by respective governments.

Key companies included in report are Precision Therapeutics, A&G Pharmaceutical, Affymetrix Inc., AVIVA Biosciences Corporation, BIOVIEW Inc., Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (LabCorp), Quest Diagnostics Incorporated Cancer Genetics Inc., Digene Corporation, Gen-Probe Incorporated


-Key developmental strategies adopted by top market players engaged in this business so that companies involved in development non-invasive cancer diagnostic device can get competitive intelligence of their competitors

-Market estimation for therapeutics techniques and geographic segment is derived from current market scenario and expected market trends

-Market attractiveness analysis has been included for various product segments, therapeutics, techniques and geographic regions with detailed analysis of factors responsible for rapid growth of the market segments

-In depth analysis of key market drivers, restraints and opportunities of non-invasive cancer diagnostic market with impact analysis

-Value chain analysis, Porter's five force model, top investment pockets (GE9 Cell Matrix) are analyzed and presented in detail in the report so that the decision makers can receive clear picture of cancer diagnosis market



- Solid tumors
- Blood cancer
- Lung Cancer
- Breast Cancer
- Others


- Clinical Chemistry
- Immunochemistry/Immunoassay
- Molecular Diagnostics
- Other Clinical Instruments


- North America
- Europe
- Asia-Pacific
- RoW


- Medical devices manufacturing companies
- Pharmaceutical companies
- Government and Private Research Institutes
- Academic Institutes

Similar Report:
Global Medical Laser Systems Market (Product Types, Application and Geography)

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          Comment on PLP: ‘Disastrous Education Policy Will Change’ by ImJustSayin   
The PLP just find any screw up by the OBA and use it as their election platform. All the while not having any viable solutions. If they become the next Government they will just screw up the economy again because they don't have a clue they just wanna be the ruling Government. And all those who are crying about the OBA will be crying about the PLP. The cycle just repeats itself.
          TS253: Beyonce, Back to School, Judge Robin Camp, Guest Joan Ford   
This week Bryan shares his hatred of the word chocolatier, while Erin tells us about her time buying exclusive perfume at Le Labo! Rich, rich, rich, anybody rich? It’s back to school and many states are suing the Federal Government because they're refusing transgender children the simple right to use the bathroom they identify with, and dishonorable judge Robin Camp felt the need to shame and intimidate a rape victim, as if they have not gone through enough! Also, guest Joan Ford is here to discuss coming out to family, female superheroes and her new book “Killing It: The Action Girl's Guide to Saving the World (While Looking Hot.")
          "The Flight" Chapter 2 of Apurvai, a travelogue by P.L. "PuLa" Deshpande   
Many years ago, I translated chapter 1 from the 1960 book. You don't HAVE TO read it to follow this chapter, but it is recommended. Unlike my other translations which were done from audio files of PuLa narrating his work, this one has been done from the actual book. So even Marathis who've never read the book will find something new here. 

To set the stage a little, in this chapter, PuLa describes the experience of his first ever international flight. Based on the references to the Suez Crisis, I'm guessing it happened in 1956 or 1957. So almost 60 years ago! I was surprised to learn of the sheer number of stopovers flights had to make in those days. It is indeed a different era. But so much of what he writes resonated with me in terms of my experiences with international flights. Which is why I chose to translate this although it isn't as ROFLMAO funny as the previous chapter.

Usual caveats - Much of PuLa's humor comes from how he played with the Marathi language, and it can get lost in translation. But his observations and descriptions stay relevant even 55 years later.

Our flight to London from Santa Cruz airport was scheduled for 11 PM on August 20th. It wasn't my first time flying, but it was the first time I was flying to another country, that too on a huge airplane. I had been told to reach the airport about an hour before the flight. Even if I hadn't been told this, I would've gone there two hours before. Because even when I am taking an M.S.M. train (or as you kids today call it, Southern Railway), I go to the station an hour early. Even if I have a reserved seat. 

I find it convenient to allow that buffer for unforeseen but predictable events like getting on the wrong train, not being able to find my compartment, taxi to the station breaking down, heavy rain causing waterlogging, forgetting some important stuff at home and realizing it halfway to the station, forgetting to fill the water bottle, and of course, panicking every few minutes thinking that I have either forgotten the ticket at home or lost it. 

And of course, Indian Railways regularly contributes with unforeseen but predictable events of its own. Just as you've spread out a sheet on your berth and laid down, a railways employee comes and says the compartment has some problems, so we need to shift to another one. It takes about 45 minutes to find a porter, find the replacement compartment, and move all the luggage. It turns out that if you turn the lights on, the fan stops working, and if you turn the fan on, the lights stop working. Finally both are fixed, and when you go to the bathroom, there is no water in the compartment. So you have to stay awake till Lonand to find a guard and complain about it. If you're lucky, it'll get fixed by the time the train reaches Nira. Or then wait till Miraj at 5 AM so you can use the bathroom on the station. 

So even if you go very early to the station, there's no guarantee that your rail journey will be pleasant. I wonder if we are destined to ever get railways that take the responsibility of passenger comfort seriously. Until then, there are only two ways to travel without any problems - on foot like Vinoba Bhave or by air.

Or so I thought.

When I bought my tickets at the Air India office, the lady behind the counter had told me to reach the airport at 9 PM. And then, flashing me a disarming smile, suggested that I call the airline before leaving to make sure the plane wasn't delayed. So just as we were about to leave, I remembered that smile and mentioned this to the huge contingent of friends, family, and neighbors gathered at our house to bid us farewell.

"Haha, don't be an idiot! It's a plane, not an ST bus to be delayed. Airlines operate with second-by-second precision!"

A friend, who had never traveled an inch north of Malad or south of Kala Ghoda, said making me feel like an idiot in front of everyone. This guy has always had this publicly dismissive attitude towards me. I don't know why I am still friends with him. When I told him I was being sent to England by Doordarshan, his first reaction was,

"You??? Why??? Looks like the government has too much money to waste!"

When I first wore the suit mentioned in the previous chapter, he laughed and said I looked like a trumpeter from one of the Dhobi Talao wedding bands. Totally unnecessary snark. But he can't help it. So even though he had no first hand experience on the matter, he stayed true to his nature and ridiculed me for wondering if I should call the airline to check the flight status.

My wife called the airline office anyway. And we came to know that because the incoming plane from Tokyo hadn't reached yet, our flight was delayed by two hours. 

I winced. The idea of sitting in Mumbai's humidity for two more hours wearing a three piece suit, that noose-like tie, those damned expensive Chinese shoes, the nylon socks bought after the Middle East cooled down, and a thick coat meant for England's cold weather, was unbearable. I was tempted to take off all my clothes (except for one) and cal the whole thing off. 

"So....will the plane depart exactly two hours later than scheduled?"

Someone from the annoyingly large farewell contingent asked, and that question suddenly made our house explode into a pointless deliberation that made it resemble a legislative body debating a useless resolution.

"Will the plane leave two hours later or do you go to the airport two hours later?"

"But does two hours really mean two hours?"

"But what does a plane coming from Tokyo have to do with an Air India flight going to London?"

"Let's say the plane reaches earlier than estimated......will it still leave two hours late or earlier than that?"

"Let's say that Tokyo flight is delayed by four hours instead, will your flight leave two hours late or four hours late?"

"Someone told me that last week a flight scheduled for midnight eventually departed after dawn. Is that true?"

"Are you sure it's a plane from Tokyo? Maybe it's Kyoto."

"I just called a friend of mine who works in a restaurant at the airport. He says there is some mechanical problem in this plane, and the Tokyo plane thing is just an excuse."

"So the flight might get cancelled?"

"Do they have a replacement plane? How many planes does All India Radio have anyway?"

"It's Air India, not All India Radio."

"Yeah, same difference."

"Mechanical problems......that's scary!"

"You both have life insurance, right?"

"Remember the plane that crashed at Cairo five years ago? My boss' nephew was on it. His wife got two million as compensation!"

"I've heard you can buy life insurance at the airport."

All this nonsense from people who had nothing to do with our travel whatsoever. I prayed to god to rescue me from this plane chaos by sending the plane he sent for Sant Tukaram. 

"I'm telling you guys. Instead of spending the two hours sitting at home, spend them sitting at the airport. Let's say they repair the plane early and it leaves before time. What are you going to do? It's not like you can catch it on the way. It's not the Barshi-Pandharpur passenger train. Hehehehe!"

So finally, following the over-cautious traditions of my train journeys, we reached the airport at 9:30 PM for a plane that was scheduled to depart at 1:30 AM. Some of my other friends and colleagues were at the airport already to see me off. They either didn't know that the plane was delayed, or even if they knew, they were aware of my over-cautious traditions. 

All my friends at the airport made me feel very awkward and also emotional by showering me with so many garlands and bouquets, that the airport officials thought I was a politician. And I had an epiphany at that moment - the greatest wealth in my life is my friends. If wealth were to be measured in friendships, I am probably richer than Tata-Birla combined. I have so many dear friends in so many walks of life! And so many of them had come late at night and out of the way to the airport to see me off. 

I felt touched but also embarrassed. Firstly, I still wasn't sure I could pull off the suit-boot look. Having such a huge audience for it felt weird. And then there were these garlands and bouquets. I was overwhelmed. I have gotten used to getting such attention at functions and award shows and suchlike. But on this occasion, I was feeling like I had an emotional debt to pay off. Just popping by to say goodbye is one thing, but these guys had come all the way to the airport!

My embarrassment was compounded by the fact that I hadn't really done or achieved anything to deserve all the attention that night. When I get such attention after a successful theater performance, it's okay. At least I gave them some happiness, and they are appreciating it. But that night, my wife and I were just flying to England like thousands of people do everyday. And yet my mob of friends at the airport had made me feel like I was doing something special. With a luggage full of such love and good wishes, I started feeling confident that even if all the engines of the plane failed, I could fly anywhere I wanted. 

The crowd of friends and all the flowers being heaped on me made the press photographers hanging around think that I was some big deal. They suddenly started snapping our pictures like paparazzi. In all this chaos, one of my friends went to the airport officials and convinced them to open a "VIP Lounge" for me. A sturdy fellow in a crisp uniform politely asked us to follow him to the VIP lounge. 

At that moment, my wife looked at me happily with an expression that said - "all these years that I have put up with you are finally paying off!"

As we were led into the imposingly plush VIP lounge, I started feeling even more awkward. Given our colonial history, I know that "England returned" has a certain halo attached to it. But I had no idea that the halo starts appearing even before you leave India. I started feeling worried about the possibility of a real VIP showing up and frowning at how our raucous farewell contingent had made the VIP lounge resemble Khandke's chawl. 

Even in all that chaos, I overheard one of the uniformed guys whispering to the other,

"Nowadays, any random person can become a VIP."

His colleague responded,

"Hoga koi Minister ka baccha nahi toh jamai!"

and walked away.

So I tried to appear and act as VIP-ish as possible. I went around folding my hands and solemnly thanking all the people who had come to see me off. Then I started giving away the garlands and bouquets to kids and being unnecessarily nice to them. Basically, emulating every aspect of VIP behavior that I could remember. 

A few of the professional photographers kept taking pictures of all this, and then offered to send them to me. They helpfully quoted a "professional" rate for it that was ten times what it would cost to get a photo taken in my neighborhood studio. But I was pretending to be a VIP and had to play the part. Once I parted with all the advance payments for the photos, the expression on my face finally came to resemble something that actually deserved to be photographs. I have no idea where those expensive photos are now, by the way.

Eventually there was an announcement that the customs check process had started, and we finally prepared to leave that VIP cell....I mean lounge. While leaving, I handed a generous tip to the uniformed guys standing at the door. The astounded expressions on their faces made me realize that real VIPs probably never hand out any tips. They hand out only two things - promises or threats.

We left the lounge and walked straight to the weighing scales near the customs area. I put our bags on it one by one and felt relieved when each of them were a pound or so less than the 44 pound limit. My wife on the other hand seemed a little disappointed and said,

"Hmpf, I guess we could have taken a few more papads then."

I ignored her and walked to the customs booth, standing in front of the officer with an appropriately guilty expression on my face.

This was the second time in my life that I had faced a customs officer. A few years ago, when returning from Goa (then a Portuguese territory) I stood in front of a customs officer for the first time. Everyone in front of me had been questioned extensively and had their bags checked thoroughly. So I was already terrified. Even though there was no reason to be terrified. In the entire crowd there, we were probably the only ones returning from Goa without as much as a tiny piece of chocolate. But customs booths are one of those weirdly imposing places where I feel nervous by default.

Some people are scared of a dentist's chair. Not me. I have been to dentists many times. One dentist actually turned my simple complaint of an aching tooth into an imperative to extract it with the glee of a professional sadist. It hurt so much, I think I actually saw a few angels waiting to welcome me into heaven. But even then, the next time I went to a (different, obviously) dentist, I went with the ease with which I go to Kulkarni's restaurant to eat bhajiyas. No fear or worries. But put me in front of a custom's officer and my heart starts racing.

There are many random entries in my list of "people I am irrationally scared of". For some reason, I am terrified of every liftman. Not afraid of the actual lift, mind you. It's not like I am scared that the lift will plummet to the basement or anything. I am just scared of the liftmen, at least in Mumbai, where almost all of them seem to have a cold blank expression on their face. I am also terrified of waiters in fancy restaurants. If one is standing next to me, I feel so nervous that I invariably spill something. I was never scared of male teachers, but female teachers always petrified me. And I can slap a doctor on his back and sing songs with him even when he is in the middle of surgery, but when it comes to nurses, my hands start trembling even if I am handing them a note. I have no idea why I carry these bizarre fears in my heart.

That customs officer I encountered when returning from Goa had insulted me rather painfully! I still shudder and shed a tear when I think about it.

When it was my turn, he asked me my name, address, and profession. Those days, I earned my living in a college fostering deep hatred for literature among the students. As soon as I told the officer that I was a Professor, and that too of Marathi, he just looked straight into my eyes, and with an expression conveying immense pity, said,

"You can go."

He didn't ask to search my luggage, didn't ask me if I was carrying any contraband, didn't even ask me if I had anything to declare. With utter conviction that I lacked the ability or the means to smuggle in alcohol, gold, cigarettes, or anything like that, he sent me on my way. I have never felt more humiliated. I would've preferred it if he had instead put me through a two hour long interrogation under a bright lamp.

So that day in Mumbai airport, I was wondering if the customs officer in charge of examining departing passengers would be more respectful. He looked at my bags, then glanced at my face, and then wordlessly made some chalk markings on the bags and waved me through. Rude, isn't it?

Next my wife and I went to Passport Control. Our passports had been issued two years ago and were valid for three more years. But one of my friends in the farewell party had authoritatively said, 

"Ohhhh.....just three years validity left? That might create problems. Good luck!"

I nervously handed over the passports to the officer. He glanced at them for a nanosecond and returned them to me. I was less worried about the validity and more worried about the passport photo. But the officer had evidently discovered some similarity between my passport photo and the way I actually look. Once we were done with that, a health officer quickly made sure we had taken the necessary vaccinations and we were done.

Once we got the "worthy of traveling abroad" certification from Pandit Nehru's people, all we could do was wait for the plane to leave. It was past midnight. The departure area at Santa Cruz is decorated and furnished in a very modern way. There are lots of comfortable couches and chairs for passengers to relax in. But my wife and I were sitting there uncomfortably, feeling out of place.

There was a European couple sitting in front of us. They seemed confused by Indian currency. These were the days when paisa coins co-existed with anna coins and the poor visitors had no idea if the many coins they had were worth five rupees or five annas. Hoping to give them a happy memory of Indian hospitality, I jumped in to offer unsolicited advice and ended up compounding their confusion even more. Finally my better half stepped in, sorted the whole thing out, and informed them that Indian women have a much better understanding of money than Indian men. 

The European couple left for their flight and I started looking around at other fellow-passengers. With a parochial mindset, I went around to see if there were other Marathi folk there, and soon met a man named Patil and a student named Joshi. I was there representing the Deshpande name. All we were missing was a Kulkarni. If we had found one, we would have had Patil-Joshi-Deshpande-Kulkarni, the four pillars of the ancient Marathi administrative set-up. Sadly there was no Kulkarni on that flight, but it did end up having a pilot named Nadkarni. Nadkarni is essentially the South Kannada version of Kulkarni, so I guess we ended up with the full set eventually.

 Around 1 AM, the plane's wings must have fluttered because suddenly, there was a lot of activity around us. The crowd started walking in one direction, and we went along. I looked at the glass barrier at the customs desk and saw our contingent was still patiently waiting. The elders had tears in their eyes and the younger lot looked like they were cracking stale jokes at our expense and passing them off as new. 

When we eventually reached the gate, I confirmed three times that it was the right plane. Or else we'd wake up the next morning in Cochin instead of Cairo. I still carried emotional scars from the night at Pune station that I got on a train to go to Kolhapur and woke up the next morning to find I was in a compartment parked in the Pune railway yard. I have always had the kind of luck where I take a girlfriend to watch a movie on the sly and run into a nosy old relative who decided to come watch the same movie. And I couldn't afford to let that luck mess up international travel. 

There was an air hostess standing at the door, welcoming us with an unnaturally wide smile. The rest of the crew, dressed in crisp dark trousers and skirts and blindingly white shirts, sporting wing shaped lapel pins and painstakingly groomed mustaches, was darting about doing their work. We reached our seats and stared out the tiny oblong window at the terminal, wondering if our friends and family were still there. 

Once I was in the seat, I assured myself that despite all apparent obstacles, it now seemed like I would definitely go to England, and fastened the seat belt around my stomach. The engines started humming and the fans started rotating one by one.   The plane got going. After zooming along the ground for a mile or so, it slowed down and stopped at the other end of the runway. 

As soon as it stopped, I started fearing the worst. The plane had already been delayed by mechanical problems. I wasn't sure if they had fixed the problems completely or had postponed some repairs. Maybe now they'd discover more problems. I also carried emotional scars from bus drivers who'd make passengers board on a scorching hot day, bake them in that tin box for an hour while they waited, and then open the bonnet of the bus to examine what's wrong with the engine. 

Luckily, nothing like that happened. In a couple of minutes, the plane started moving again, then sped up, and eventually left terra firma in a graceful glide. I watched the airport rapidly disappear from my view and before I knew it, Mumbai started resembling a gem-laden ornament below us. In that ornament, four million people were probably dreaming as they slept, while I sat with wide open eyes, realizing my childhood dream of foreign travel. 

And next to me was my soul mate and my life partner accompanying me on this adventure. Over the previous twelve years, we had built many castles in the air together, while never feeling tempted to build a house on the ground. We never stayed in one place for more than 2-3 years anyway. We had in common a huge appetite for new challenges and new experiences. And the latest one was to be living in England for 5-6 months.

Our flight had been in the air for a while, and the plane was completely dark as was the sky outside, but I still couldn't sleep. The plane was completely packed and experienced travelers were already snoring. Our air-hostess was Japanese. She was promptly and efficiently offering candy and nuts to travelers with a studied smile straight out of the training syllabus. Her walk was brisk and her voice had the crispness of springtime. 

I was feeling really hot. That damned suit on my body started feeling like clunky armor and I again cursed myself for wearing it on the plane. I looked around and was taken aback when I noticed at an Englishman sitting in front of me. Here I was, wearing a brand new three piece suit because I was going to his snooty country. And this dude was sitting there looking very relaxed in khaki shorts, a flannel shirt with some twenty five pockets, and a flimsy felt hat that did not match.

So I discreetly looked around at the other white people on the flight. Not a single one of them was dressed even as remotely formally as I was. Sitting there overdressed in that damned suit in the middle of the night, I started feeling like even more of a neophyte than I already was. 

Suddenly the Japanese air-hostess appeared with a small wet towel on a plate. I eyed the towel suspiciously for a second. I had no idea what purpose a wet towel was supposed to serve at two in the morning. But I was brought up never to turn a plate away, so I picked up the towel and thanked her. I looked at my wife to see if she had any suggestions, but she was fast asleep. I slowly glanced across the aisle and saw that the guy there was gently rubbing the towel on his face. I did the same, and the cool cologne scented fabric gave me some relief from the intense heat I was experiencing. 

Our massive jumbo jet was slicing through the darkness leaving cities and mountains behind. I was finally feeling a little drowsy. Almost everyone around me, including my wife, was already asleep. That Englishman with the khaki shorts was in fact trying to drown out the noise of the engine with his own booming multi-octave snores with his mouth open. The ex-subject of Her Majesty's realm inside me felt relieved to observe first-hand that even the English can snore with their mouths open. Because once our travel plans were made, I was a bit worried about that. 

You see, I am one of "those" too. But over the course of my life, I have come across some impressively loud snorers. My grandma says that people with big hearts and minds snore the most. I don't know if there is any correlation between big bodies and big hearts and minds - I won't mind if there is. I started thinking a lot about snoring and hearts and minds. I do remember that I spent a lot of time thinking about it. But I don't know for how long, because the next thing I knew, I was waking up to the dawn's early light.

Our plane was flying over a huge desert. I noted how different this dawn was from any other dawn I had experienced in my life, thousands of miles over a limitless desert. This experience, coming right after I had experienced a darkness so different from any other darkness I had experienced in my life, spurred some philosophical and metaphorical thoughts. It felt like I was witness to the dawn of a new phase of my life. I thought about my recent years and realized that I hadn't really experienced real dawn in years. In Mumbai's fast-paced hectic life, by the time my day ended, it was usually well past midnight. So by the time I usually woke up, dawn would have given up on waiting for me and slid away, making way for harsh sunlight. 

Our Japanese air-hostess, still looking as fresh as a dew-kissed flower, was making the rounds with hot fortifying beverages for the morning. I have never found those beverages particularly fortifying immediately after waking up, so I politely declined her offer of tea or coffee. Instead, I got up and headed to the bathroom. Taking care not to wake up or bump into any of the other passengers, I tiptoed my way to the front, and slowly opened the door to what I thought was the bathroom. Instead I found myself face-to-face with the fine gentlemen flying the plane. It was the cockpit door! I guess the expression on my face gave away what my need was because the co-pilot, without saying anything, pointed me to the correct door. 

I finished my morning ablutions and returned to the seat to find the "fasten seatbelts" sign flashing. By the time I was able to find the belt and buckle it up, the plane had started its rapid descent. I looked out the window and saw that we were headed to a desert island surrounded by more desert. I assumed it was Cairo, our first stopover. I started looking around the landscape in the hopes of spotting some pyramids. By the time I spotted a bump that I thought was a pyramid and was about to point it out to my wife, the plane was touching down, and before I knew it, it was standing stationary in a foreign land.

I looked at the dinky terminal outside the window and was a little disappointed that a city as renowned as Cairo should have an airport that looks more like an ST bus stand. But once we got off the plane, I learned that we were not in Cairo, but in some place called "Bahrain" instead. I felt a bit like Columbus who reached land confident that he was in India but then discovered that he was instead in some strange land he did not know anything about. And I felt relieved that I had not pointed out those supposed pyramids to my wife.

I had never heard of Bahrain before and had no idea where the hell it exactly was or why we were there instead of Cairo. But we walked into the terminal and headed for the restaurant. I learned that there were oilfields nearby and that Bahrain is a small island nation that is known for its oilfields. That was pretty much all we learned about the place. 

We sat in the restaurant, ordered tea, and waited while the plane was refueled. The tea arrived after a long time. One sip of that concoction and I was convinced that in Bahrain, they used dried date palm leaves in lieu of tea leaves and the milk probably came from a camel instead of a cow. Over the course of my life, I have tasted many different kinds of tea......except of course the spilled tea from Mongini's mentioned in the previous chapter. Tea served in small glass tumblers in Mumbai, tea served in mud bowls on the banks of the Narmada, tea served in metallic cups in Madras, masala milk tea, railway station tea flavored with charcoal, tea without milk, tea without sugar, and even Chinese tea made from jasmine flowers. But I will never EVER forget that horrible tea from Bahrain airport. I will happily drink the bitterest castor potion than drink that tea again.

Well, at least the tea was free, because it was paid for by the airline.

Pretty soon, the plane was ready and we all climbed back into its belly. The plane took off soon and headed for Cairo. The flight from Bahrain to Cairo was essentially just desert after desert after desert. Once in a while, just as a change of scenery, there would be a small strip of water. But otherwise, totally barren. Not a single glimpse of green. 

And that's when I really understood why the green flag of Islam came was hoisted in these deserts first. The prophet was very clever in choosing the color green for his flag. It is obvious why millions of Arabs enthusiastically followed that rare pleasant colored flag. I'm sure that the green flag was as instrumental in the spread of Islam as the Koran was. Add to it the moon that the desert dwellers probably equated with the relief provided by night, and I felt I had to applaud the prophet for his grasp of semiotics. 

It was about 8:30 in the morning. I was staring at the desert out the window hoping to spot a camel train. But in vain. I did spot a lot of dry river beds though. Soon the sun got really bright and the glare made it difficult to keep looking outside. Soon our plane moved from the sea of sand to a sea of water. Being geographically challenged, I first decided it was the Red Sea, then the Caspian Sea, then the Black Sea, and then the Dead Sea. I still have no idea which one it was.

A while later, there were murmurs all around that we were flying over the Suez Canal. All passengers looked out the windows, identified the first strip of water they could find, and assured themselves that it was the Suez Canal. Again, no idea if any of those were actually the Suez Canal. From the height we were flying at, every strip of water looked as tiny as the Fergusson College canal in Pune. But in one strip, I spied some dots that seemed like boats and I silently convinced myself that it was indeed the Suez Canal. It was hard to believe that this tiny strip of water was responsible for almost starting World War 3 and almost sinking my travel plans.  

When your plane is flying so high that you can only see the sky and clouds above you as well as below you, you can't help but get philosophical. You forget any fears you have about the plane crashing. Looking at creation from a height that makes even seas look like saucers of water makes you realize how insignificant you are in the whole scheme of things. As our plane flew towards Cairo, I couldn't help but realize that I was looking at the cradle of civilization. These deserts were where the Babylonian, Sumerian, and Assyrian civilizations had once bloomed. Where the library of Alexandria was once home to millions of of books that were burned. I'm assuming some Big Four or Big Five must have had a summit even then and decided that burning books was in the best interests of the world.

As impressive as the sights of great oceans, great skies, and great lands is while flying, one look at the great space when flying above clouds make them all pale in comparison. And you start wondering what the whole point of creation is, and whether you make any difference to it whatsoever. 

Our plane was about to reach Cairo soon and I started thinking about it. Egypt is an ancient civilization, much like India. Historians have discovered that trade and cultural links between Egypt and India date back millenia. This is the land that saw rich culture flourish for millenia even before Christ was born. And when Christ was born, the bright star that shone was above these lands too. This is the land where Jews, Christians, and Muslims found their faiths and then unfurled the blood-soaked flags of those faiths.

I was in the middle of these thoughts and didn't even realize when I dozed off. The next thing I knew, someone was yelling "KAHIRO!!!!", waking me up.

The first sight I saw at Cairo airport was of battle-ready fighter jets. Next to them were imposing anti-aircraft guns with their barrels pointed to the sky. The stage seemed to be set for the next big war. The only question seemed to be which actors would enter the stage first and who the director would be. Actors from dozens of countries seemed to be ready, with war-paint on, or make-up on. Who knew when the final act would start and when it would end.

When I read a big sign that said, "WE WELCOME YOU TO EGYPT", I felt like someone had sprayed a stream of cold water on my face on an oppressively hot day. Why shouldn't all human beings be welcomed heartily all over this little planet of ours? Although as long as there exist things like passports and visas, built on an assumption of distrust of fellow human beings, can we really expect true expressions of such humanity? The sign that said "WE WELCOME YOU TO EGYPT" any "you" who reached there, regardless of race, religion, gender, creed.....why shouldn't such signs and more importantly sentiments, be displayed everywhere?

The funny thing is, this "WE WELCOME YOU TO EGYPT" sign was right next to the massive anti-aircraft guns and the irony endemic to human existence tickled me and troubled me in equal amounts.

We headed to the restaurant inside the terminal. The waiters there were very friendly and polite, and served us some divine Egyptian coffee. Compared to Mumbai airport, I thought Cairo airport was small. There was a lot of new construction happening around us though. Egypt is currently in the midst of writing a new chapter in its history. Everybody is watching carefully to see which way their new statesman (Nasser) takes them.

It was in Cairo airport that I first encountered Egyptian people. And as I examined their appearance carefully, I wondered how many Egyptians there might be in Mumbai too. Because in terms of appearance, I didn't really see any major differences between Egyptians and Indians. Beyond the facts I had memorized in my childhood to score 2 marks in the history exam, such as pyramids, mummies, pharaohs, and the Nile river, my knowledge about Egypt was as barren as their desert. I had never even thought about anyone living in Egypt other than Cleopatra, General Najeeb, and now this Nasser fellow.

Suddenly, I was overcome by a profound sense of ignorance and curiosity as a foreigner in a foreign land. And sitting there in the Cairo airport, I started thinking about how day-to-day life in Egypt must be and how I knew nothing about it. How do school teachers, lawyers, and bureaucrats here dress? Is it similar to how those folks dress in India? What is the most popular item in a typical restaurant in Egypt? Do wives here refer to their husbands by name or is there some tactful pronoun that has been coined for the purpose like in India? With each passing second, the expanse of my ignorance about this fascinating culture seemed to exceed the expanse of the desert.

Then I started thinking about the people who worked at that airport. For them, a typical day consisted of interacting with travelers from dozens of different countries, for maybe an hour or two at a time, before they went on their way and were replaced by a different set of foreigners. Do they feel the same sense of curiosity and note their ignorance about other cultures? Or has it become just a mundane feature of their lives by now? Do they actively notice the multi-colored lattice of different races and nationalities or does it just pass by in the blink of an eye like a frame from a cinema reel?

I spent the rest of the time in Cairo thinking about all this before we were called back to the plane. The next stopover was Geneva in Switzerland. As our plane surged through the clouds, we gradually left the desert behind and were soon traveling over Europe. Specifically, Italy, as the pilot informed us.

While I was almost entirely ignorant about Egypt except for its ancient history and contemporary politics, I at least knew more about Italy thanks to all the books I had read. Names like Rome, Venice, and Naples started swimming around in my head. I decided that if the plane had to crash right now, I would want it to do so near Naples. I had read that Naples was home to some of the most awe-inspiring sculptures in the world. So if my plane crashed in Naples, I could drag myself to those sculptures, see them first hand, and then die happy.

Yes, I know it is morbid to keep pondering the possibility of the plane crashing but that's how I am and be honest, aren't you too?

But the plane kept going. I kept looking at the Italian landscape underneath and we didn't see Naples or Venice. But we did fly over Rome. It was hard to miss. As I looked at the distant but clear images of various buildings and cathedrals in Rome, I first felt a great sense of satisfaction at seeing them first hand. Then I compensated for the unfamiliar bliss by berating myself for still not having read Gibbon's "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" even after buying it years ago. I made a mental note to read it as soon as I returned home.

When you're flying over different countries of the world, you think more about what you haven't read about those lands than what you have read. In another hour or so, our plane was flying over the gorgeous alps and I realized we were in Europe's Eden.

Soon the plane touched down in Geneva. I had heard a lot of cautionary tales about how the cold in Europe is way worse than anything I might have experienced in India. I experienced it first hand as I walked into the Geneva airport and felt like I had walked into a massive refrigerator. And this was just August! So I shivered a little and prepared for six more months of this inhumanly cold weather. No wonder these white folks ran away and captured our warmer lands.

As soon as I stepped into the chilly Geneva airport, my brain initiated a flashback from 20 years ago from my college days in Pune. I had grown up in Mumbai, where it never gets even remotely chilly. Then in Pune in the winters, every so often, I would wake up to such a chilly morning. It felt more bracing than oppressive, making me feel like running all the way across the world. I had always thought cold weather would make me feel like a shriveled old man, but instead, it made me feel like a daring young man, ready to achieve anything!

Anyway, we walked into the restaurant at the Geneva airport and it looked more like a flower shop than a restaurant. The faces of all the staff members were fresh and enthusiastic like recently bloomed lilies. There was a spring in their step. It didn't look like anyone could ever age, and everyone looked like they were in their 20s even though they probably weren't. We were served coffee in a very elegantly crafted glass cup. And it tasted divine and almost intoxicating. I wondered that if even the coffee here gets my pulse racing so much, what will stronger beverages do? I had heard that Switzerland is a place where extreme beauty and extreme pleasure is the default and my experiences at their airport confirmed it.

I didn't even realize when that stopover at Geneva ended. It was cold, but I was surrounded by beauty, human and non-human, and I felt more alive than I ever had. Before I got back on the plane, I turned around and took a 360 degree mental picture of all I could see of Switzerland from that terminal. The tall trees sheltering cute little houses, the snow-covered peaks of the Alps kissing the deep blue sky. I promised myself to return for a more leisurely visit. When the plane took off, I was looking at a meandering little river as it flowed through the verdant Swiss countryside, when suddenly, our plane ascended above the clouds. And those fluffy white things that a few hours earlier had seemed gorgeous, now seemed like villains for blocking my view of the Swiss landscape. Our journey continued.

The next stop was to be at Dusseldorf in Germany, It had been over 20 hours since we took off from Mumbai. The hands of my watch had already been rotated many times by then. Every hour, the pilot made announcements about how high we were flying, what the temperature outside was, what the local time was, and so on. Passengers around us were saying random things in response to those announcements like, "Oh! 18,000 feet? That's nice! Very high!"

We were flying through clouds at that moment, so I personally couldn't tell the difference between 18,000 feet and 18 million feet. Honestly, this whole thing of estimating distances has been a challenge for me, whether I am in the air or on the ground. Whenever I read about some witness in court say stuff like "the accused was 19 feet away from me", I feel jealous of his ability to express distance so precisely. Because I absolutely suck at it. I can't even remember the inches in my own measurements for shoes, hats, collars, socks, and so on. When a shoe salesman asks what size I want, I just give him the chappals I am wearing then and ask him to figure it out. I have immense respect for people who go shoe shopping and say stuff like "Bring me Number 8 pairs".

And when someone remembers the precise date on which something happened, I feel overcome enough with admiration to go hug them. When I hear someone say stuff like, "I remember it was July 17th...", I am amazed. I suck at dates too. Which is why I always sucked at history in school. Even now, I remember only three dates - Shivaji Maharaj died in 1680, the 1857 uprising happened in 1857, and using multiple reminder mnemonics, my wife's birthday. Other than these three, I have no idea of any other dates. You can ask me when India gained independence and I will try to hedge between 1947 and 1950.

Anyway, the point is, I am horrible with anything that is expressed numerically. So even before I could figure out how high 18,000 feet exactly is, our plane was touching down in Dusseldorf. Before I knew it, we were surrounded by cries of "Achtung! Achtung!" and "Gut! Gut!". My wife and I walked to the terminal, now sick of this sequence of stopovers. Yes. I was in Germany with its rich history and culture and intriguing contemporary split between East and West, but I didn't give a damn. The aforementioned Joshi and Patil left us here and we sat there hoping that we'd reach London before we died of boredom.

Why does the final stretch of the journey always seem to last the longest? Even when I am traveling from Pune to Mumbai by train, it is the same. The time from Pune to Thane or Kalyan seems to breeze by in a happy procession of vada, omelets, chikki, etc. But from there, Mulund, Bhandup, Vikroli, Dadar, etc seem to take an eternity to pass by. Very annoying! It's the same with other trips too. When you're taking a train from Mumbai to Delhi, everything seems great until you reach Mathura, and then after that, things seem to slow down. If you're going from Mumbai to Nagpur. it is Wardha that is the tipping point after which it is all yawns and polite curses.

The flight from Dusseldorf to London seemed similarly annoying and yawn-inducing. Finally, after about the hundredth yawn, the plane started barreling downwards. All the passengers around us seemed to have perked up as the plane continued descending. Finally there was a bump and the plane started slowing down. And a few passengers around me echoed my thoughts,

"Ah! London!"

          Identity is not always Community   
A few days ago, Rajdeep Sardesai, generally a liberal, reasonable and likable voice in the Indian TV media, tweeted,

Big day for my goa. Two GSBs, both talented politicians become full cabinet ministers. Saraswat pride!! @manoharparrikar and Suresh Prabhu.
I cringed. And not just as someone who, through the random genetic lottery, was born in a family whose caste label reads Goud Saraswat Brahmin (GSB). I was particularly disappointed that an otherwise progressive voice was echoing such medieval sentiments. I tweeted back my disagreement and gave in to the hashtag impulse, labeling it #SaraswatShame. The hashtag was half in jest, half in disappointment, and not exactly accurate, but we'll come to that later.

I was not the only one who found fault with his tweet. Many people pushed back, with the responses ranging from outright abuse to expressions of disappointment. Rajdeep doubled down, responding,

 proud GSB, proud Goan, proud Indian. No contradiction.
And yesterday, he defended himself at length in a column in Hindustan Times titled Identity is not always destiny.

The title of the column is perfect, because identity may not always be destiny, but identity is not always "community" either. In fact, the core of my disagreement with Sardesai lies in conflating caste with community, and placing caste identity in the same bracket as being from a state or a country.

I hate writing stuff like "Oxford/Webster's dictionary defines community as....." so I'll leave it to you to look up exactly what the definition is. But the way I see it, a community is shaped and defined through some common experience or attitude/outlook.

I consider myself a part of many many communities. I am part of Indian, American, Indian-American, Punekar, Mumbaikar, New Yorker, Maharashtrian, Marathi, etc. communities as a result of sharing geography or language and/or nationality with others in that group. I am part of Engineer, IIM, MBA, PhD, Penn State, Academia, Marketing, etc, communities as a result of sharing my education or career related experiences with others in that group. Thinking test cricket is the best sport ever makes me part of the test cricket puritan community. Loving the Pittsburgh Steelers team and cheering it on every season makes me part of the Steeler Nation.

I am not sure what experience or attitude or outlook would or should make me consider myself (and with unabashed pride) part of the GSB community, at least in the 21st century. I can understand caste being considered a source of community identity a century or two ago, when people lived more or less segregated into those castes. But then we all generally realized that the caste system isn't the best topology to adopt if we want to build a good society, because the system seeded and engendered discrimination on the basis of birth.

Almost all Indians I know think (or at least say) that the caste system is a relic that should be relegated to irrelevance in an ideal society. Then a good start would be to think of caste as irrelevant, not as a specious source of pride. And that's where Sardesai's tweet had a problem - by perpetuating that which should ideally be irrelevant.

Sardesai drops a lot of names, from Sachin Tendulkar to Deepika Padukone, when enumerating the "enormous contributions" of our supposed community. But what exactly do Rajdeep or I as GSBs have in common meaningfully with Sachin Tendulkar as a GSB, that we don't with Ajinkya Rahane, also from Mumbai and not (as far as I can tell) a GSB? What have we as GSBs shared with other GSBs other than simply the label of being called GSBs?

Is it the most commonly defined culinary feature of GSBs - we have religious sanction to eat fish? Heh! We do not have religious sanction to eat steaks but clearly both Sardesai and I enjoy a good slab of succulent cow meat.

I don't really consider myself part of the Saraswat "community" and so don't really feel #SaraswatShame in Sardesai's bizarre views. I know being Saraswat is a tiny irrelevant trivial part of my identity, but it's no more defining of me than my identity as a guy with black hair. And I am surprised that someone like Sardesai is conflating such an irrelevant expression of identity with community.

What is the basis of defining this community other than just the label identifying ourselves as such?

Shared history? I won't go into the specifics of the problems with the history-based argument Sardesai makes in his column, mainly because Kaustubh has done it splendidly already.

But history brings me to the other problem with the "Saraswat Pride" sentiment that Sardesai espouses. And that's the history of the privileged and powerful position that brahmins in general, including GSBs, used to hold in the caste system with legal sanction until recently. We had a monopoly on education and on running the religion. We were the "haves" in a system that perpetrated the vilest atrocities, violent as well as insidious, on a large swathe of the population we defined as lower caste or caste-less.

As Sardesai notes a little fallaciously

In this political milieu, the Brahmins have usually lost out because their numerical strength doesn’t justify greater political representation. Which is why it is significant that Parrikar and Prabhu made the cut.
This is a point on which I recently had an argument with some fellow Marathi Brahmin friends as well. This weird self-pitying victim mentality that many Brahmins have about not being uber-dominant in politics the way we are in almost every other aspect of Indian society, from industry to academia to entertainment. Never mind that the proportion of Prime Ministers, Presidents, Chief Ministers, and Governors over the years from the Brahmin community is probably at least 3 times the proportion of Brahmins in the general population (caveat - I haven't crunched the numbers, but I strongly suspect this to be the case based on what I could remember).

But we still love indulging in this weird victim mentality in the "political milieu". Never mind that both guys Sardesai mentions have held positions of political power in the past. Parrikar was the Chief Minister of Goa and Prabhu was a cabinet minister in the last BJP government as well.

Regardless of all this, even if you grant the factually questionable premise that Brahmins are deprived of political power as a result of caste-based politics prevalent in many parts of the country, this cannot be viewed as divorced from history, especially in a democracy. Autocratic rule allowed higher castes to monopolize power, resources, and education for centuries. If 6 decades of democracy has resulted in a backlash electorally, well, suck it up.

Related to this, someone asked me online, "Why do you have problems with Sardesai touting Saraswat pride but you have no problems with people celebrating historic Dalit or OBC achievements in politics?"

I couldn't believe that I had to actually explain it, but here is what I said. Dalit or OBC leaders achieving a position of power after centuries of discrimination and systematic disenfranchisement is actually bucking the trend of history. Righting old wrongs in a way. In terms of a sports metaphor, it's like cheering the underdog. On the other hand, when people from a caste that held power, enjoyed monopoly over intellectual resources and were complicit in perpetuating discrimination until recently start gloating about their achievements, it almost suggests they are implying supremacy again.

It's many commentators, black and from other races, expressed pride and satisfaction in a black man becoming President of the United States. In the historic context, it makes perfect sense. Your expressions of community pride, to not seem distasteful, have to gel with the historic context.

Let's say the next President of America is white. What Sardesai tweeted was the equivalent of a white news anchor like Brian Williams tweeting "White pride!" in response. And responding to criticism with "Proud white guy, proud Jersey guy, proud American! No contradictions."

Because identity is not always community.

          Antu Barva by P. L. "PuLa" Deshpande   
Fourteen years ago today, Purushottam Laxman Deshpande, arguably the most influential and beloved person from Maharashtra, died at the age of 81. He left behind a gargantuan legacy in the form of his books, plays, songs, movies, essays, social work, but more than that, the lasting impact he has had on Maharashtra. Every couple of years, I translate one of his essays or short stories on this blog. This time, I have chosen Antu Barva, a fictionalized life sketch that he created as an amalgam of several people he knew in Konkan. It is not exactly LOL funny, but is light-hearted while still tugging at your heart-strings. It is meant as a depiction of the tough life in Konkan in the middle of the 20th century, and the sort of complex and poignant characters such a life spawns.

But as somber as the basic subject matter is, PuLa manages to inject humor into it, even if the humor is dark. When I first read Antu Barva, I just read it as a slightly humorous life sketch. As I have re-read it and re-heard its narration over the years, I have come to recognize it as something beyond just that. It is one of PuLa's best allegorical social commentaries in my opinion. He was duly recognized for Vyakti Aani Valli, the book that this sketch appears in, with a Sahitya Akademi Puraskaar. In that book, I think this is THE most impressive and multi-layered sketch.

For years, I considered translating Antu Barva here but was too intimidated given how nuanced it is. PuLa gave Antu a specific Konkani "voice" (in text form as well as when he narrated the sketch for TV) that is impossible to translate. No matter how well I tried, I thought I would end up doing injustice to the original work. This is in addition to the usual difficulties in translating PuLa's wordplay and nuanced observations. So it is with a great sense of trepidation that I am even attempting this today. A LOT will get lost in translation. But I hope PuLa's fans will forgive me any errors. Because I think this particular piece is one of the greatest literary achievements from an Indian and it deserves a wider audience.

Miss you, PuLa. Bhool-chook maaf kara.

Ratnagiri's middle lane has been home to some towering personalities over the years. God used a unique formula when creating these people. These people tend to be a metaphorical amalgam of Ratnagiri's most famous products - sweet mango, rough jackfruit, hard coconut, irritating colocasia leaves, and intense betel nuts whose one bite will make your heart jump up your throat.    

It is in this unique Ratnagiri soil that Antu Barva grew and ripened. Actually, Antu's age doesn't really justify people casually calling him just "Antu". When I first met him 12-14 years ago, not just his stubble, but even the hair on his ears and chest had turned white. His teeth had mostly gone "Annu Gogtya".

Going Annu Gogtya = falling.

This is an idomatic phrase that Antu Barva coined. A lawyer from Ratnagiri named Annu Gogte has been standing in the local elections for many years. Standing and then falling. Repeatedly, without even coming close to winning. So even if a bucket falls in a well, Antu asks "has the bucket gone Annu?"

When someone is talking about old Antu, they just refer to him in the singular casual "Antu". As it is, characters from Konkan are quite singular. But no one calls Antu just "Antu" to his face.  They call him Antu sheth!

True blue Brahmin Antu got this trader caste suffix "sheth" decades ago. After all Antu himself had committed a sin justifying this demotion. During the first world war, Antu started a shop near the docks. It failed spectacularly even before the Treaty of Versailles. But that short-lived stint as a shopkeeper was enough to turn Antu into Antu sheth.

After that, no one remembers Antu doing anything specific to make a living. He manages to somehow score at least two square meals a day from somewhere. He has a little plot of land with a garden that has a couple of dozen coconut and Alphonso mango trees, sprinkled with the odd jackfruit and tamarind tree. He has a little single-room shack on that land. He has the right to draw water from the nearby well. Antu sheth manages to get by on all this.

I first met Antu at Bapu Hegishte's store. I had gone there to buy some cigarettes when Antu's face peered out from behind a newspaper. He slid his reading glasses up his forehead and said,

"You're Lawyer saheb's son-in-law, right?"

"Yes" I replied.

"Ahha! I recognized you right away! Please, have a seat, please. Bapu, some tea for our jawaibapu (a respectful term for son-in-law)!"

I had no idea who this guy was, suddenly acting so familiar. Antu sheth himself explained,

"Your father-in-law is a good friend of mine. Tell him Antu Barva said hello."


"Hmmm....when did you come from Pune?"

"Two days ago."

"Of course....the first Diwali after you got married....haha...ask him for a Ford car!"

"He is your friend. Why don't you tell him?"

"Haha, you're from Pune after all. Can't get the last word with you." he laughed. "So...staying long or just a flying visit?"

"Just a short trip. I'm leaving in a couple of days."

"Excellent! It's always good to keep such visits short. Familiarity breeds contempt and all that. Don't end up like that Kasopkar's son-in-law. He set up camp for six months. Finally Kasopkar lost his patience and made him plow his land! When a son-in-law stays with you for too long, he starts feeling like a pain in the neck, right?"

"You're right." I nodded.

"Bapusheth, I hope you recognized our lawyer's son-in-law. We are both your father-in-law's clients, jawaibapu."

Bapu Hegishte smiled and folded his hands in greeting.

"Welcome. Would you like to have some tea?" he asked.

"No, it's okay. It's really hot right now."

"Of course, it's always going to be hot in Ratnagiri!" Antu jumped in. "You can't sleep in a cowshed and then complain about the stink of cow piss! If Ratnagiri had cool weather, they'd have called it Shimla, not Ratnagiri!"

Before I could say anything, Antu continued,

"But the heat is way worse in your neighborhood with all those houses next to each other. Come to my garden near the beach. My garden do you say...."aircondition"!"

Antu sheth said the last words in English and laughed, and then added,

"That's our country joke, jawaibapu!"

Then he addressed Hegishte again.

"Bapusheth, did you know our jawaibapu here is a writer? Writes plays and movies and what not. Behave properly when he is around or he'll write a hilarious farce about you."

The pride I felt on my fame having spread even to someone like Antu Barva was dashed by Bapu Hegishte's next question. Bapusheth looked me up and down carefully for a few seconds and said,

"What do you do?"

"What the hell do you mean what does he do?" Antu thundered. "Are you insane, Hegishte? Take out that pile of raddi old newspapers and open them. You'll see his name and picture in dozens of places! He makes movies!"

"Movies!!?? Really??" Hegishte's expression changed to one of wonderment and he looked at me as if I was God.

"Jawaibapu, speaking of movies, can I ask you a question if you don't mind?"

I could see the naughty expression on Antusheth's face as he asked me this.

"Sure, go ahead."

"How much money do you make from one movie?"

This wasn't my first trip to Konkan. So by now, I had gotten used to dealing with such intensely personal questions.

"That really varies from movie to movie." I deflected.

"But still....I mean I have read that you get like a million or a million and a half."

"No way! There isn't nearly that kind of money in Marathi films."

"Yeah, but still. Even if you don't get fistfuls, you must be getting at least 2-3 pinchfulls?"

"You get it sometimes, and also lose it sometimes." I stuck to being vague.

"Well of course, it's a business after all. When it comes to business, you win some, you lose some. It's all part of the game."

Antu sheth got philosophical. But only for a moment.

"Can I ask you one more question? Only if you don't get angry."

"What's there to get angry about? Go ahead."

" know....whatever we read about these film actresses in magazines and that real or is it fake like Gangadhar Basthe's "real" Belgaum butter?"

"What do you mean all this about film actresses?" I kept a straight face and pretended to not get what he was saying.

"Quite a skillful guy you are, jawaibapu. Skillful! You'll make a great witness in court!" Antu sheth was having none of it. "All this about film actresses as in...the whole index finger nostril thing."

I didn't immediately get what he meant by the whole index finger nostril thing. So Antu sheth gently tapped his index finger against his nostril and winked. Fortunately, before I had to say anything, a waiter arrived with the tea Hegishte had ordered.

"Looks like all the cows in Ratnagiri are still pregnant, Jhampya!" Antu made a sarcastic remark to the waiter on the color of the tea. And then he poured the tea in the saucer and started slurping it.

Actually, Antu sheth could have just said to the waiter in plain words that the tea was low on milk. But he preferred the "all the cows are still pregnant" phrasing. Why just Antu sheth? Almost everyone from that middle lane in Ratnagiri spoke in that sarcastic obtuse way.

By now, Antu sheth and I have become good friends. In the last decade or so, whenever I have gone to Ratnagiri, I have spent time with him. He always included me in his group of friends, taught me the ganjifa card games they played. And over the years, I heard a lot monologues on the odd philosophy of life that those men in their 60s had developed.

I even learned all the idiomatic phrases the group had come up with. They all dressed similar. A cotton loincloth from the waist below, a small cotton scarf on the shoulder, worn-out sandals, one hand holding a walking stick, and the other holding a jackfruit. Dressed like that, Antu sheth would roam around in the neighborhood calling his friends to join him every afternoon.

"Govindbhat! Wanna play a couple of hands?"

"Paranjape? Are you awake or have you turned into a python?"

I too became a part of their card game gang. If once in a while, the card game wasn't really panning out well, Antu would put the cards down and say to me,

"Jawaibapu, why don't you sing a Malkauns or something? Godbolya, bash a little tabla with our guest. Khaju sheth, open your decrepit harmonium."

And then we'd have an impromptu jam session for a bit at Antu sheth's orders.

"Jawaibapu, your pipes are kick-ass!" he'd compliment my singing in his unique way.

Every other year or so, I'd visit Ratnagiri and attend Antu sheth's court. But with each visit, the court seemed to be getting smaller.

"Antu sheth, haven't seen Damu kaka around." I asked once.

"Who? Damu Nene? He is living it up! I am told Rambha is rubbing oil on his bald head, and Urvashi is airing him with a fan!"


"What do you mean what? Damu Nene got transferred from Ratnagiri!" and Antu Sheth pointed to the sky.

"Oh!" I finally understood what he meant. "I am so sorry. I had no idea."

"Why would you have any idea about it? Do you think that they're going to announce on the radio that Damu Nene has croaked? His family did pay for an obituary in the newspaper though. Heh, they wrote he was loving, caring, friendly, pious, and what not. What do the newspaper folks care? As long as you are paying, they will publish any nonsense."

Antu continued in his characteristic manner.

"Damu Nene and loving? Hmpf! Even when he was lying dead on the pyre, the furrow on his brow was intact! One day he decided to sleep outdoors because it was too hot. They found him dead the next morning. Lucky bugger. Died on Ashadhi Ekadashi too! So there were two processions from Ratnagiri that day. One for Lord Vithoba and another for Damu Nene. Damu died on Ashadhi. And then on Dussehra, Dattu Paranjape crossed the border and did seemolanghan. The first guy croaked, the second guy waiting for the third. They say things happen in three."

Antu looked at me mischievously and shrugged.

And that's the essence of Antu Barva for you. Standing at less than 5 feet, bronze-fair complexion, small pockmarks on his face, small gray eyes, creased skin belying his advanced age, half his teeth fallen....or "gone Annu"...leading to a new habit of poking his tongue through the gaps while talking.... and with all this, weighing in at barely 100 lbs.

Every aspect of Antu Barva's earthly existence was getting worn out with each passing year except for two - the nasal booming voice and the slick intelligence fed by decades of rubbing coconut oil on his head.

It wasn't just Antu sheth. Almost all the men his age from that part of Ratnagiri were of a similar bent....which was a crooked bent. Their language was unnecessarily complex and their attitude exceedingly cynical. They didn't feel happy if someone did well, and didn't feel sad if a tragedy befell someone. There was no joy for births, no mourning for deaths. Most of them apart from Antu didn't really like music, but didn't dislike it either. And when it came to food, the taste and flavors didn't matter, as long as their belly got filled. The engine of their life never really faltered when it ran out of steam, nor did it go fast when it did have some steam. But the road their lives took was like every road in Konkan- serpentine.

That's the hand life had dealt them. Even though their lives were full of the wholesome coconut tree, their fates and thus their tastes leaned less towards the sweet creamy inside of the coconut, and more towards its tough shell.

One summer, a second-rate theater company from Mumbai was touring Ratnagiri staging Ram Ganesh Gadkari's famous play Ekach Pyala. I went to watch it. The production was barely competent in the first act. At intermission, I walked outside to the hissing clinks of soda bottles being opened. Under a Kitson lamp, I saw Antu sheth's diminutive form. He was talking to the fur-cap clad manager of the theater company.

"'s the attendance?" Antu sheth asked.

"Not bad." the manager gruffly replied.

"Not bad? Most of the chairs seem empty. Why don't you let me in for half price?"

"No way!" the manager shook his head rudely.

"Why are you brushing me away like a lizard? I heard the first act from out here anyway. The guy playing Sindhu doesn't seem to be very good."

[aside - in the early-to-mid 20th century in orthodox Maharashtra, it was taboo for women to perform on stage. So much like in Shakespeare's days, female parts were usually played by men. The legendary Bal Gandharva excelled at this and one of his most famous roles was playing Sindhu in the first staging of Ekach Pyala.]

"The guy playing Sindhu doesn't seem to be very good." Antu sheth said. "He sang 'lage hridayi hurhur' like a squeaking mouse. Did you ever hear how Bal Gandharva sang it?"

The manager got pissed off.

"I'm not begging you to come watch it!" he thundered.

"But the town is full of your advertising boards begging us to come watch it." Antu sheth instantly replied. "And yesterday your people were going door to door with fliers. As it is, it's mainly empty chairs you are showing this play to. How about four annas?"

"Four annas? What is this? A monkey performing on the street?"

"That's better than this! They perform first and then circulate a plate for money. Why don't you try that? If the next act is better than the first one, I'll pay you an extra four annas!"

The people standing around them started laughing and the manager got even more upset. That's when Antu sheth noticed me.

"Namaskar, jawaibapu! How's it going? How's Ekach Pyala?"

"It's okay." I said.

"I'm sure you got a complimentary pass. You're from the same community. I have heard that barbers don't charge each other for shaves."

"No, nothing like that. See, I bought a ticket."

"Then why a wishy-washy response like "it's okay"? You've paid hard-earned money for this, haven't you? Assert your rights as a paying customer. Call it what it is. Utter crap. Especially that guy playing Sindhu is totally useless!"

"What do you mean the guy playing Sindhu? It's a woman playing the role." I told him.

"WHAT??" Antu sheth looked genuinely shocked. "You're kidding me! That voice and that built! If she decides, she can lift Sudhakar up like a baby! Sindhu indeed.......more like Sindhudurg!"

"So you watched the play after all?"

"For a few minutes. Moved the curtains from the window and had a peek. Hmpf! Even gypsy performers are better than these idiots."

Antu sheth spat out another unsolicited opinion and walked away.

But that's pretty much what his life was - spitting out unsolicited opinions. I knew Antu for so many years, but I never found out much about his family situation. Once Anna Sane from Antu's court had let slip a mention of his son.

"What? Antu sheth has a son?" I asked.

"Of course he has a son. Not only that, his son is a Collector!" Anna Sane nonchalantly said.


"Yup. He's in charge of collecting tickets on Byculla station." he deadpanned without letting a single muscle move.

"Doesn't look like he helps out his father financially."

"He does sometimes. When he can. He has his own family. Besides, a Western Railway compartment has been attached to a Central Railway train."

A PhD student could do a dissertation on those guys' peculiar idioms and phrases. I was well-versed in the language by now but it took me a few moments to realize that this was code for an inter-religion marriage.

"So you see, Antu sheth has trouble with his post-bath rituals at his son's place. Plus apparently his son is also into some other Anglicized habits if you know what I mean. So how can Antu sheth spend too much time there? Still, once Antu sheth swallowed all the insults and went to Mumbai to see his grandson. Came back looking like he had messed up a math problem."

"Every Dussehra and Diwali, Antu gets his son's love in the form of a money order. Not much, maybe 5-10 rupees. For a few days after that, Antu acts like he's won the lottery and splurges as much as he can. Which isn't much."

"Understandable." I said. "After all, how much can a ticket collector's pay be?"

"Yeah, the pay is pretty meager. But one hears that a ticket collector can also make a little more on the side, especially in holiday season if you know what I mean." Anna said. "Nothing wrong with it of course. If he has an opportunity to make some money, why shouldn't he? You know how it is in this country. If you get caught taking a ten rupee bribe, they put a striped cap on your head and send you to prison. But if you get caught taking a million rupee bribe, they put a Gandhi cap on your head and send you to Parliament! Democraticaly elected people's representative!"

Politics was the most favorite topic for Antu sheth and his buddies to express their unique opinions on. They had profound thoughts on every politician and party. One year, there was a famine in Konkan. Konkan is always facing a famine as it is. But this particular one was so bad that in Antu sheth's words it had "been approved under the Famine Act".

Nehru was touring the famine-hit parts of Konkan. He visited Ratnagiri for a speech and the whole town was caught up in Nehru-mania. One evening, someone asked Antu sheth,

"Antu sheth, I didn't see you at the speech?"

"Whose speech? Nehru's? Hmpf!" Antu sheth's disdain was obvious. "What nonsense. There's a famine here. Stop giving speeches. Give us food! This is like seeing a man drowning and instead of saving him, reading from the Quran to ensure that he doesn't end up in hell. Utterly useless. But everyone else is stupid. Oh, Nehru is here? He is giving a speech? He gives great speeches! Let's go! Bloody lemmings!"

"And now that Nehru is in Ratnagiri, what did they do? Idiots took him to show the house, room, and bed where Lokmanya Tilak was born! Morons. Tell me, did god appear in Gangadhar Tilak's dreams and tell him that your wife is going to give birth to a great leader? How would anyone even remember what bed Tilak was born on? But who cares? They just showed Nehru some random room and bed and bluffed - this is where Tilak first went WAAAAAAAAAA."

"Morons! Where's the proof? Where's the proof? Did they get the midwife from Tilak's birth to certify the bed? Hmpf! Forget Tilak. It's been a 100 years since he was born. You tell me. Can your own mother confidently identify the room and the bed where she gave birth to you? Go ask her and then tell me about Nehru and Tilak."

And so ended the rant.

I always wondered if there was anything or anyone in the world that Antu sheth and his friends had respect for. If they ever had a polite dignified response for anything at all.      

Somebody's son became a Professor. And Antu's response,

"Professor? In a circus?There used to be this Professor Chhatre in circuses performing magic tricks."

Someone opened a new store. And Antu's response,

"Tell him to have a bankruptcy form ready. It'll save time when the inevitable happens."

Who knows what school of philosophy these guys followed. More than half of them survived on money orders from children and relatives. They saved money from that and file lawsuits for the strangest reasons. Every lawsuit is stuck in delayed hearing dates. These guys have a big beautiful sea coast, coconut trees, gardens, everything you could reasonably hope for to be happy. But that apparent prosperity gets punctured by an occasional bout of misfortune and all that remains is an impenetrable shield of gallows humor.

Somehow the topic of Gandhi came up. And Antu sheth got on his soap box.

"Gandhi? What Gandhi? Traveled all over the world, but never came to Ratnagiri! Because he was smart. He knew that here, no one gives a damn about his loincloth or his walking stick. We are all just as naked and just as skinny. And his obsession with spinning khadi. It's all useless. Our own Shambhu sheth. All his life, he followed Gandhi's teachings and spun khadi for his clothes. Forget the British government, even Ratnagiri's Collector Gilligan didn't fear his "civil disobedience". And you're talking about Gandhi."

"Then there are all his hunger strikes and fasts. Half of Konkan is hungry and fasting, and not by choice. Someone who is well-fed will find something remarkable about hunger strikes. What do we care? Don't get me wrong. I am not saying Gandhi wasn't a great man. He was. But in our books, under what column should we make an entry for his greatness? And if you are talking about independence, then that had nothing to do with Gandhi, or Tilak or Savarkar."

"So did independence just fall out of the sky?" I asked him.

"It's up to you to find out where it fell out of." Antu replied. "One thing I am sure of is that the Brits left because they got bored. What more was left for them to loot? Their Raj business started making a loss, so they effectively declared bankruptcy and went home. The potter left with his pottery, and we sit here cradling his leftover broken pieces. This is all just a cycle of life and bigger than anything we can comprehend. It's not British rule, nor is it Nehru's rule, nor people's rule, nor anyone's rule. It's the creator's rule."  

"So how did your creator end up siding with the British?" I asked.

"Don't be silly. The creator is sitting pretty on his throne. He just played a small game."

"A game that translated into 150 years of slavery?"

"It's 150 years for you and me." Antu sheth was steadfast. "The almighty's wrist watch doesn't move forward by even one second unless a thousand years go by for us. In his eyes and on his scale, all this is just a minor game that lasted barely a millisecond."

When these emaciated old men started spouting this philosophy on the front yards of that impoverished middle lane in Ratnagiri, with dark shadows formed by the dim light of their age-worn oil lamps dancing on their wrinkled faces, my heart couldn't help but shudder.

"Socialism? What socialism? All nonsense, I tell you. Not even two mango leaves are alike. And these guys want to pretend all men are equal. In the creator's eyes, each individual is unique. How are they going to have equal opportunities or equal outcomes? But everyone is just blabbering....socialism is coming. Just like that Ratnagiri's legislator is saying...Konkan Railway is coming, Konkan Railway is coming. Sure, Konkan Railway is coming. And it's tracks are going through where one-armed Pandu Gurav's toilet used to be. Even if it does, is it going to make Pandu's shoulder stump sprout an arm? What difference will it make?"

"And without an arm to plow his field or pick his crops, no matter what you do with that damn railway, what good is it going to do him? He is still the same. Just because India became independent, does not mean that Hari Sathe's lazy eye got fixed. Nor did Mahadev Godbole's paunch disappear.  Nothing really changed. Even in the fabled Ram Rajya, Ram didn't uproot Hanuman's tail and attach it to his own ass. No. Ram stayed a man, and Hanuman stayed a monkey."

At such times, it almost seem like the Goddess of Wisdom Saraswati is sitting on Antu sheth's tongue.

"You're right." I said.

"Don't just say I am right for the heck of it to be polite. If I am wrong, say that and correct me. You might be younger than me when it comes to age, but when it comes to education, you are my elder, jawaibapu!"

Once in a while, Antu sheth will say something genuinely from his heart, without any sarcasm. But there is always some burning issue close to his heart underlying what he says.

The last few years, I could not go to Ratnagiri as often as I used to. In the meanwhile, Ratnagiri finally got electricity, its own college, tar roads, and all other features of 20th century life. When I met him after that, I said,

"Antu sheth, your Ratnagiri has now become posh! Electric lights and everything. Did your house get an electric connection?"

"No, not yet. But it's good that it's dark. Tomorrow even if I do get electricity, what is there to look at in that bright light? A penniless life? Who needs electricity to look at chipped walls and leaking shingles? It's better that my poverty stays hidden in darkness."

And then he laughed loudly for a full minute like it was a joke.

This time I saw that his teeth had gone almost completely Annu Gogte. I also learned that a couple of more friends of his had passed on and that the card game court was emptier than ever. For a change, I spotted a sense of love, longing, and kindness in the way Antu sheth spoke. I guess the empty seats at his card games were starting to make a place in his heart.

"Joglekar's son got a big promotion and moved to Delhi!" Antu sheth voluntarily shared some pleasant news without his customary sarcastic rejoinder. "Took his old man to Kashi, Haridwar, Vishweshwar, Hrishikesh and all. Fed a 100 brahmins there. Old man Joglekar was thoughtful enough to get me a small sealed pot with water from the Ganga. When you come visit next time, jawaibapu, you'll probably see that the seal has been broken and the water was poured down my throat if you know what I mean."

The next time I visited Ratnagiri, fortunately Antu sheth's Ganga water pot was still sealed.

"Wow, jawaibapu, wow! Congratulations! I heard you're going to England! Congratulations! Have a great trip. Just one "request" for you. Now I have to speak with you in English. So a "request"."

"What request?"

"Go see the Kohinoor diamond once. For some reason, it's an obsession I have always had, the Kohinoor diamond. I can't go see it, but you do it on my behalf. And then come back and tell me how it looks. See all the sights in London and Paris and everything!"

For some reason, I was overcome with a desire to touch his feet, something I had never done before. Right there on the street, I bent down and touched his feet.

"Live a long life!" Antu sheth touched my head gently. "You are a good person, which is why you are so successful."

I said goodbye and started to leave. I had barely gone four steps when I suddenly heard the familiar


"Yes, Antu sheth?" I turned around.
"Forgot to ask you one thing. Are you going alone or with your wife?"

"Both of us are going."

"That's good. Don't mind me, I just had a nagging doubt, so I asked. You are going far away to learn something new. So I was reminded of Devayani's tale from mythology. Hahaha. Convey my blessings to your wife too. I am telling you, your good fortune is all because of her. That's all life is eventually about - the right woman."

Antu sheth paused and continued.

"Let me tell you something. Just between us. My wife passed away 40 years ago. Since then, the alphonso mango tree near my door has stopped flowering. When she was around, the tree yielded hundreds of mangoes every year. But since she know....fate can take really strange turns. Sorry, I am rambling. Anyway, safe travels. So when are you leaving from Ratnagiri?"

"Tomorrow morning by bus."

"Direct Ratnagiri to Mumbai?"


"Good call. Once someone completes that journey, then even traveling around the world seems easy in comparison. The other day Tatya Jog made the trip. He is still trying to locate all his bones.  Told me some 7-8 bones are missing!"

And he started laughing hard with his mouth wide open. I noticed that there was only one tooth remaining that hadn't gone Annu Gogte.

The next morning at 5 AM at the bus stand, I again heard the familiar cry,


Antu sheth approached me and gave me a small paper pouch.

"I know you don't believe in god, jawaibapu, but do me a favor and keep this in your pocket. It is holy ash. It will keep you safe. You are going to London by air, so this small pouch shouldn't add too much weight to your luggage."

I put the pouch in my pocket. As the bus got going, I saw Antu sheth lift his shirt and gently wipe tears from his small blinking gray eyes. In that dim dawn light, seeing his bony chest and his concave stomach which had all but touched his back suddenly tugged at my heart.

Just like Konkan's jackfruit, it's people taste sweet only when they ripen for a long time.


          Comment on Minister: Committed To Our Children’s Education by wahoo   
We could send the kids to boarding schools for about the same price as the government pays now, the kids would have exposure to the big wide world and guarantee they come back as well rounded educated young adults capable of doing great things here. An added benefit would be breaking the gang recruitment.I am rambling now....even if we sent the neediest or most at risk 40% abroad for their education perhaps it would have huge rewards for Bermuda. Out sourcing education?
          Comment on PLP Acknowledges Paula Cox’s Resignation by Cromwell   
Why does a former Premier and Minister of the Bermuda government feel she needs to work with Constituency 14 voters earn their trust and confidence when she held the highest offices in the country!!!Her comment as a former PLP Premier and resignation from the PLP appears as a repudiation of the past and former PLP governments.It sounds to me as she is saying don't vote for the PLP but vote for me.
          Publish new tobacco plan as a priority, government urged   
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          Comment on PLP Acknowledges Paula Cox’s Resignation by Point boy   
It tells me she knows right from wrong! The Government of the day are truly moving forward despite lies and half truths. An OBA vote is a responsible vote. We have seen the tides change before!OBA all day! Everyday
          Why I Threw Away My Ferrari Gear   
I used to be an ardent Formula 1 fan. And an ardent Ferrari fan. Over the years, I lost interest in the sport. But occasionally I would still catch portions of a race on TV and in my heart, I was always cheering for a Ferrari win. On a recent trip to Europe, I bought some Ferrari gear to occasionally display my support.

This morning I threw all the Ferrari gear in trash. Because of this.

The background story in a nutshell is this. Two Italian navy sailors killed two innocent Indian fishermen in Indian waters (the Italians dispute the jurisdiction). India arrested and charged the sailors. The Italian government has been supporting these murderers. So has the Italian media. Note that they're not denying that the sailors killed those innocent fishermen. They still want the Indian government to let the sailors go. Why? The reasoning is flimsy and convoluted and in my opinion can be summarized as "Because!". The arrogance and the racist undertones in Italy's stance are obvious to me and many others. To me, the subtext is, "yes, our boys killed two guys by mistake. But they were just a couple of brown fishermen. Let our boys go! Give them back to us and we'll give them a slap on the wrist. You Indians have no right to try someone who killed your citizens". Do you think that if the fishermen had been Americans killed off the coast of America, the Italians would dare be this brazenly arrogant?

And in a sickening display of further arrogance and willful insensitivity, Ferrari decided to inject itself into the situation. The Formula 1 Indian Grand Prix is this weekend. Ferrari has announced it will carry an Italian Navy flag specifically in support of the two murderous sailors. It's not like Ferrari has been carrying the flag throughout the season. They're doing this only in India. They're not even using the pretext of just supporting the Italian navy in general. Their statements specifically mention support for the murderers. To me this is a small scale version of a British team carrying the flag of General Dyer's regiment only in India to express solidarity with his actions in Jalianwala Bag. Or some other European team supporting one of their fellow citizens who has been locked up in Goa for abusing street kids.

Ferrari is wrong for needlessly wading into this debate specifically during the Indian GP. But more importantly, they are absolutely wrong in supporting those two murderers whose crime, I repeat, is not even in doubt.

As an Indian, I find Ferrari's stance reprehensible and I cannot in good conscience support them in the slightest. So I threw away my Ferrari gear. I hope Indian fans who go watch the race on Sunday are not so slavishly beholden to the team and so morally bankrupt and insensitive as to wear caps or t-shirts supporting these proud backers of murderers.

          Translating a Raj Thackeray Speech   
I don't agree with Raj Thackeray's stance against immigrants from UP and Bihar. I can sort of, kind of, see where he is coming from, but I don't agree with the conclusion. And I find his forcible and occasionally violent methods to have his way (especially against powerless shopkeepers and job applicants) abhorrent.

However, as a Marathi person, I find the gap between what he says in Marathi and what is reported in the national media to be suspiciously wide. There are two problems. First, they wrongly translate a lot of what he says. Second, they seem to pick and choose the most provocative bits that can be spun into an attention-grabbing soundbite. I have written about the dangers of this phenomenon before.

Today Raj Thackeray led a rally to Azad Maidan (without permission from the police top brass) as a protest against the August 11 incident. He gave a speech there. Again, I marveled at the difference between what he was saying and what the national media was reporting he was saying.

So I had an idea. I have translated PuLa Deshpande's work before. Surely I can translate a speech. So here it is, the speech in Marathi, and then, what I think is an objective, unbiased, and direct translation in English. This is not an endorsement of what he said. Just a translation for illustrative purposes. I agree with some parts, and disagree with some. I'll leave you to judge it for yourself.

Note - I am translating it in a bit of a hurry. So please forgive any typos or inadvertent grammatical errors.

When it's an institution from Maharashtra, be it a police department, a media company, or anything else.... even just a person from Maharashtra....we should demonstrate the strength to ensure that no one ever looks askance at them again with the intention of harming them.

For the last two days, this has been going on... police officials come to me and ask, how will you take the rally from Girgaum chaupatty? I told them we'll walk.

(crowd laughs)

Then they're like, you can't go from here, you can't go from there...all these efforts at putting obstacles in our way have been spearheaded by Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik. I found out the other day..... in fact a few police officials told me this...that they'll try to stop our cars, and try other things to stop us. I called the Chief Minister right away, and asked him, what is this? What happens or doesn't happen (at the rally) is something we can deal with later. But can't we express our protest in a democratic way with a rally?

Why stop us at every point? I assured them at our rally will be a peaceful one, and they still refused us permission for it? And they had no problems giving permission for that Raza Academy rally? But here we are, with a rally to protest what happened the other day right here, and they refuse us permission?

Then there's (Home Minister) R.R. Patil who says - we won't spare anyone who threatens the law and order of the city. Really? So what happened that day? Was his tail between his legs?

(crowd laughs)

The other day he calls up (MNS MLA from Mumbai) Bala Nandgaonkar and says, "What could I do? What was I supposed to do? Was I supposed to take a big stick and stand there?"

(crowd laughs)

There is this one boundary line that cannot be crossed. I have never crossed that line, and will never cross that line. Never raise your hands against the police.

(crowd applauds and cheers)

If you demoralize the police to such an extent, then where will the common man go with his problems? Where will he go? If this keeps happening, tomorrow even the police will say "we don't want to get involved here, do whatever you want".

Is this how a state is run? And this Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik. The cops caught the guilty people. And what does he say to the DCP who arrested the guilty people? He says, "You bastard, let them go!" He tells him to let the criminals go!

Our policewomen sisters were tormented here... they were pulled aside and beaten up and molested......all these guys, our Marathi police constables, were getting beaten up... and they weren't getting any orders?

Oh, and these (police head honchos) knew everything from the beginning. They knew that there were trains full of these goons coming for the rally. And they had choppers, and rods and everything else... tell me, are there ever any rocks lying around here (in Azad Maidan)? Where did the rocks come from?

These people had advance warning of all these facts, and they still ignored them. And they refuse permission for my peaceful rally? The other day, when some police officials came to meet me, I told them. I told them that the 11th August rally at least had targets. That mob knew that it was supposed to target the police and the media.

Who do we want to target (in this rally)? I have already declared our targets. Arup Patnaik, resign! R.R. Patil, resign! I declared this in the beginning itself.

We have not come here to destroy cars or set something on fire. We don't even wish to do all that. Even if we were to, whose cars would we destroy and whose property would we set on fire? Our own? Those belonging to our citizens from Mumbai and Maharashtra? This rally isn't for such purposes.

But how else are we supposed to express our anger? They won't let us express our anger at whatever happened. And they say, please respect democracy. This is democracy?

Go and look at the track record of Raza Academy and its rallies. A few years ago, this same Raza Academy had a rally in Bhiwandi. This bhadva (translates to 'pimp' but pimp doesn't have the same punch :)) Abu Asim Azmi went to that rally. He gave a speech there, that too an inflammatory speech. And they're sending me notices - "don't make inflammatory speeches". That Abu Azmi went there, made an inflammatory speech in Bhiwandi. You know what happened next?

The mob killed two police constables by bashing their heads in with big rocks. Then they cut off their private parts and threw their corpses into burning buses..... the government had no problems with that. And they refuse me permission for a rally?

Whoever came here (on 11t August) had no connection with Maharashtra. They all came from outside Maharashtra.

(crowd applauds and cheers)

After everything that went down here that day, this passport was found, a Bangladeshi passport...

(shows a Bangladeshi passport to the crowd)

This was found right here. Single entry passport (I assume he meant visa). Needed only to come into India. No intentions of going back, so it was thrown away here...

(throws it away)

There are countless such people coming into Maharashtra... they are all setting up their bases in Maharashtra. Tell me something....they say 'coincidence'....what coincidence?

In 1992 when the Babri Masjid was demolished, where was its retaliation felt instantly? In Mumbai! There was no violence anywhere else in the country (GS: this isn't true...there were riots in many other cities)...only in Mumbai! And when this incident happened during the rally on 11th August, its reaction happened in Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh. So something happens in Uttar Pradesh, there's a reaction in Mumbai, and something happens in Mumbai, there's a reaction in Uttar Pradesh. Doesn't India have any other states???

The reason is, all these people are coming here from there. All these Pakistanis and Bangladeshis who have infiltrated and set up bases in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and Jharkhand, they're all coming here by the trainfuls. And the bases that they are setting up here in Mumbai, those are going to create trouble for us in the future.

Otherwise tell me, this Abu Azmi is elected from two different constituencies in Maharashtra. Two different constituencies? Should any politician from Maharashtra get elected from two different constituencies? He gets elected from two constituencies because all the people in those two constituencies have all come from outside, and they vote for him.

That day, it finally came to the police (couldn't understand the word he said here despite re-playing it many times, at 12:20)...then they had to do it. While doing that, the guy who died, Abu Azmi announced 1.5 lakh rupees for him. So why not for our policemen?

(crowd applauds and cheers)

Even the state government hasn't announced anything yet. No announcements from the state government that they are going to provide compensation for those who were hurt or troubled in those events. Nothing. Nope, just get beaten up.

Why didn't R.R. Patil speak up then? He threatens us.... anyway, what's the point in threatening us? It's almost time for us (and him...a pun) to leave now.

(crowd laughs)

They don't think about anything that has already happened or what may happen. They don't do anything useful. Just get the cops beaten up. Anyone will come, drag our cops away, and beat them up?

The other day when they had that rally in Uttar Pradesh, rioted, destroyed property and all. The ones who did that were also all from outside - Pakistani Muslims and Bangladeshi Muslims. They all poured out into the streets. And what did they do? They defaced a statue of Gautam Buddha. Everyone saw it. Everyone saw pictures, saw it on TV.

Where is Mayawati? Where is that Ramdas Athavale? Where is R.S. Gavai? Where is Prakash Ambedkar? Why are they all silent? All they're obsessed with, as if possessed by a ghost, is Indu Mills Indu Mills Indu Mills Indu Mills. Don't they have anything else to do? What do they want to build in Indu Mills - a bungalow?

Why aren't they talking now? But no one will talk about these things now. They're not ready to utter a word. It's been so many days since the (11th August) incident. But there has been no statement about it from Ramdas Athavale. No statements from R.S. Gavai or Prakash Ambedkar or Mayawati, or anyone else. Nothing. Cat's got everyone's tongues.

This Mumbai Police Comissioner.....he has a "favorite" (that's the word he used) officer Dhoble. The other day, he takes a hockey stick and goes to that...what was that..juice center bar... juice center something...where did he go?

(crowd prompts)

Yes, Amar Juice Center. Is that a place to take a hockey stick to? Take your wife, your kids, I can understand, but a hockey stick? He takes a hockey stick there and beats up innocent people with that hockey stick? And what's his defense? He found drugs there....then why didn't he shut it down?

And this idiot...Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik....what's his explanation? He says Dhoble was on his way to play hockey and stopped over at the juice center. Tomorrow, if someone has gone for his honeymoon. So will he just turn up there naked?

(crowd laughs and cheers)

So Patnaik will go out of his way to protect Dhoble! Because Dhoble is his "favorite". And here (in Azad Maidan) when cops were waiting for orders to tackle the mob.....if not firing, at least give us orders for a lathi charge.... at that time Patnaik had nothing to say. And when our police officers were catching the guilty culprits, Patnaik abuses the officers, calling them "bastards"? He is demoralizing cops to such an extent?

This won't be allowed to happen in Maharashtra anymore. I only want to say one thing to R.R. Patil and Arup Patnaik. Even if you have a little bit of shame left...even a minuscule amount of shame left.... then resign. If you have even the slightest bit of shame left.

For the last two days, some newspapers have been saying - "Raj Thackeray's Maharashtra Navnirman Sena is now moving towards Hindutva". Whoever raises his hands against a cop, whatever his religion, he should be bashed up wherever he is.

When my own party's MLA was bashed up....Harshavaradhan he here?  When Harshavardhan was bashed up.... I gave the orders for him to be bashed up... would he have been bashed up otherwise? When I gave a speech at that time, I said the same thing. Harshavaradhan, no matter what happens, you DO NOT raise your hands against a policeman. Never raise your hands against a cop.

This has nothing to do with religion. All the constables who were here, all my policewomen sisters...the female cops... I consider them all my Marathi brothers and Marathi sisters. I have come out on the streets here for them.

The rally that day (11th August) was organized by Muslims and today I have organized a protest rally against it.... so immediately they're jumping to the conclusion that I am "moving towards Hindutva"? I only understand...this Raj Thackeray only understands one religion...and that is Maharashtra religion. I don't understand any religion except that one. No one dare cross this Maharashtra religion. No one dare think of harming it.

And today's rally is only to boost the morale of the police and to provide wholehearted support to the police.  Along with them, we have people from the media here. Media vans were attacked, burnt, photographers were beaten up.... this rally is to express support for all of them too.

I thank you all for the tremendous response to this rally. If ever such events reoccur, we must stand together in strength like this.

When you're going back...all of you, when you're going back...keep in mind and make absolutely sure that you don't indulge in any sort of untoward activities. Go back in an orderly and peaceful manner to wherever you came from.

I hope that in the future whenever I call upon you, you will return with the same enthusiasm. And now I take your leave.

Jai Hind! Jai Maharashtra!


          The New York City SBS Receipt Social Contract   
Living in New York is a continuous assault on the senses - in a good way. You get to see, hear, and experience so many things unique to the city, that it becomes commonplace in a while. But every few days, I have a new experience that makes me love this city even more. This is one such experience.

This semester I have been teaching in the Bronx 3 days a week. The commute is long, and involves something I have never had to resort to in Manhattan - riding the bus! I take a subway train from Manhattan to the Fordham Rd station. And from there, take a bus to the Fordham campus, about a mile away.

This is an SBS (Select Bus Service) bus. Unlike normal buses, where you pay the fare when entering from the front door, the SBS buses require you to swipe your metrocard at the bus stop, take a receipt, and keep it in your pocket. The driver assumes that everyone has a receipt. Most of the times, no one checks if you actually have the receipt. But once in a while, when you get off the bus, an MTA employee is waiting to check your receipt. If you don't have it, you pay a fine. Doesn't happen too often (I've encountered receipt checkers only 3 times in the last 3 months), but acts as a deterrent against free riders.

Obviously, you need to get the receipt from the fare machine BEFORE the bus gets there. Which is what I usually do. I get off the subway, walk to the bus stop which is a block away, swipe my card, take the receipt, and wait for the bus. That receipt is free, because transfer from an MTA subway to an MTA bus is free. So I'm not paying the city of New York another $2.25, just getting a proof of the fact that I have a right to be on the bus.

A couple of days ago, I got off the subway, and saw that the bus was already at the stop. Instinctively, I ran. I wasn't in a hurry or anything. I could just as easily have taken the next bus and been well in time for my class. But the human urge to run after the earliest bus is as irresistible as the canine urge to chase cars. So I ran.

As I ran, I started wondering if I really could catch the bus. I would have to go to the fare machine, swipe my card and get the receipt (a process than takes 10-15 seconds), and then get on the bus. New York City bus drivers, quite understandably, don't hang around waiting for tardy passengers. Time, tide, and MTA buses wait for no one. It seemed like I would probably miss the bus. I still kept running.

As I approached the bus, before I could head to the fare machine, a man getting down from the rear door thrust his hand out in my direction. In New York, if a stranger makes a strange gesture, you ignore it. So I did. Another man did the same thing, trying to hand me something. I assumed he was handing out fliers like someone at every street block in the city seems to be doing, ignored him, and kept running. Although I was in no particular hurry, I kept hoping I could get to the fare machine, get the receipt, and hop aboard before the bus left.

When I was about to run past the middle door towards the fare machine, a big black guy about 2 metres tall and almost as wide stood halfway in my path. With a swift motion of his arm, he thrust something in my hand and grunted,

"The f**k's wrong withchoo man? Get on the damn bus!"

I stopped dead in my tracks. Not like I had a choice, given that he was blocking my way. I looked at my hand. It held an SBS receipt. I looked up and saw the big lug had already started lumbering away. He looked back at me and said,

"You gonna miss the bus."

With the receipt in my hand, I hopped aboard, and stood there, trying to figure out what the hell just happened. It took several seconds for me to grasp the concept. And I finally understood that the other guys thrusting their hands at me had been trying to do the same thing - hand me their receipts.

I had been the beneficiary of a benevolent social contract that seemed to have come about among those who travel on SBS buses. When you're getting off the bus, if you see someone running to catch it, you give them your receipt. The receipt is no good to you anyway after you've gotten off. The poor running sap will have to go to the fare machine, and will probably miss the bus. So an elegant solution to help others out - give them your receipt.

The simplicity and elegance of this implicit social contract almost made me go "AWWWWWWWW". There's no way to know how this norm started or when. But it's another example of how human beings thrown together in a tough situation develop mechanisms to help each other out. Often, when it's a tough situation brought on by "the man" or the government. It's a bit like how drivers on the interstate highways, when they see a cop hiding in the bushes to catch speeders, flash their lights to oncoming drivers to warn them.

The next time I get off the SBS and see someone sprinting towards the bus, I am going to hold out my receipt for them too. That really is the essence of "pay it forward".
          TS202:Raisins,Christmas,Kim Davis Returns,Working Girls   
This week it’s Millennials v. Baby Boomers! Church v. State! TSPOD v. Land Lines!  Watch the war unfold as Bryan takes a deeper look into the total ineptitude of government employees and Erin cracks down on gender bias in the work place. Call your local HR department because this episode is about to get saucy!
          TS201:Dog Carriages,Coolio,Virgin Hotel,Kim Davis   
Why do people put their dogs in carriages? Why can’t we take luggage carts from airports? And why is uber trying to fuck Erin over?! This week Virgin opened a hotel that caters to women and not so shockingly it turned into something sexist. Speaking of assholes, a government employee in Kentucky refuses to issue marriage licenses to gay people and is being a total brat about it. Plus Bryan sings for us! Happy Labor Day!
 mobile app among 10 best according to GCN   
[ Editor’s Note: This post first appeared in the Deep Web Technologies Blog. ] Government Computer News (GCN) recently reviewed mobile apps developed by the federal government. Mobile was among the top 10 listed. GCN gave the Mobile app (which runs on the Android and on the Mobile Web) scores of 7 for […]
          TS172:50 Shades,Grammys,Matt Moore, Frozen Men   
Are you seeing 50 Shades? Did you see what Kanye did to Beck at the Grammys? Bryan and Erin did, and they have some soft opinions on both of them. Plus, an ex-gay blogger named Matt Moore defended the conservative church's views on gays by saying "we're not as bad as ISIS." And hedge fund founder Jonathan Hoenig went on Fox News to say that government intrusion with vaccines would lead to forced abortion. Fun? Fun.    Subscribe and Rate Us! iTunes Tweet Us!  @gibblertron & @bryansafi Use the Hashtag #tspod Email Us! Like Us! Throwing Shade Facebook Page Old School Listen! RSS Feed
          Fox's Sky Buyout Hits Roadblock, UK Demands More Scrutiny   
Rupert Murdoch s Twenty First Century Fox Inc s FOXA proposed acquisition of remaining 61 stake in Europe s leading pay TV broadcaster Sky plc hit a roadblock after U K government minded to refer the deal for second phase of review to Competition and Markets Authority CMA
          Delta releases full-length video educating employees on Gulf carrier subsidies   
In the latest US3/ME3 spat, Delta Air Lines released a 15-minute long documentary-style video regarding the unfairness of government subsidies to the Middle East's three largest airlines from their respective countries. Delta is urging their employees to watch the video, share it with friends and family, and join the US3 in asking the U.S. government to take action.
          TS104: Barilla Pasta Homophobia, David Gilmour, Sleepless in Austin & Breaking Bad Spoilers   
Erin's back in the saddle again!!! She and Bryan are back with the FRESHEST Throwing Shade we've ever baked. They chat Barilla's no-homo policies, author/professor David Gilmour's "no lady author" classroom, and Shade/No Shade on the government shutdown, "Fifty Shades of Grey"  the wine, NSA, Crocodille Dundee's house, "Breaking Bad" MAJOR SPOILERS and the iPhone 7 update. Subscribe and Rate on iTunes @gibblertron & @bryansafi #tspod Official Max Fun Page Facebook page RSS Feed
          T&T ranked 14th for resource governance   

T&T scored 64 out of 100 points in the 2017 Resource Governance Index and ranked 14th out of the 89 assessments undertaken in the 81 countries surveyed.

Sherwin Long, head of the T&T Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (TTEITI), said T&T was one of the better performing countries in terms of score.

“We scored 64 out of 100. Out of the Enabling Environment we scored 71 out of 100, Revenue Management was our weakest performance and we scored 57 out of 100. We fell short in Revenue Management because of national budgeting fiscal rules and open data restrictions ,” he said yesterday at the launch of the 2017 Governance Report at the Ministry of Energy’s offices at the International Waterfront in Port-of-Spain.

The Index assesses the quality of governance in 81 countries which produce 82 per cent of the world’s oil and 17 per cent of its gas. T&T ranked fourth in Latin American and Caribbean behind Chile, Brazil and Colombia.

Long said T&T’s state enterprise reporting rules appear to be sound. Sound rules also govern the Heritage and Stabilisation Fund (HSF) which helped this country’s high position. He added that the Index also looked at state enterprises.

“Petrotrin was assessed against 74 other state energy enterprises globally and Petrotrin ranked ninth out of these state run enterprises with a score of 75. The company was deemed to have good rules related to the reporting on finances and operations as well as transfers from the company to Central Government,” he said.

Long said the index is important as it determines how other agencies evaluate T&T and it improves the country’s governance.

“Credit agencies look at governance indices to rank the country such as the Corruption Perception Index and the Global Competitiveness Index. These are indicators which show what we face as a country in terms of corruption and competitiveness,” he said.

Long said Brazil was ranked higher than T&T on the Index although there are allegations of corruption surrounding acting President Michel Temer and state owned oil company Petrobas because more than one factor determines the ranking.

“What the Index looked at is the laws as well as well as the practice. How well are these laws actually used? In terms of the laws and the practice in T&T there was a ten point difference between the law and how it is actually practiced and governs the energy sector. In T&T, there is a large gap between the law and how it is practised,” he explained.

          New Senator to focus on taxes   

Newly appointed Government Senator Allyson West says she will focus on tax administration after she is sworn in as Minister in the Finance Ministry today.

West, in her first interview since being appointed, said her ministerial appointment was taking place at “a very difficult time in the country (and) I have a tough task ahead of me.” She said, however, she has “quite a lot of experience in the tax area (and) that will be my focus and I am very hopeful that I can make a positive difference.”

Asked if citizens should be fearful of her appointment because of her focus on taxes, West smiled and said ,”No, my objective would be to ensure that taxes are fairly and properly applied (and) I really want to bring the concept of service to the tax area and ensure that the administration recognises that the taxpayers are our clients, so that we deal with them more efficiently , we give them their refunds but we collect the taxes that are due to the Government.”

She also worked previously at the Board of Inland Revenue as a State Counsel. She said she had “short stints in teaching” and was part of the implementation team for the VAT system- which was introduced under former prime minister Arthur Robinson during the 1985 to 1991 term. She was also a representative on the permanent and negotiating double taxation treaty committees.

West insisted yesterday she remains committed “to the tax system and getting it working properly.”

She said she was not surprised by the Prime Minister’s decision to appoint her as minister, adding that she knew the Prime Minister “for quite some time and I do know he appreciates my knowledge in the area (tax administration), so it didn’t shock me .”

She said, however, that she was “hoping to avoid a political post because I have shied away from politics all my life but Prime Minister Rowley said if we need to get it done properly this is how we need to do it , so I accepted the challenge.”

Asked to elaborate, West said she is “happy with the Ministry of Finance but the position of senator is not something I would have gravitated towards but I was called to serve and I have decided to take up the challenge.”

She said her first priority will be to gather information on the BIR. West said she wants “to see where the BIR is at with their challenges to determine what we can do differently as soon as possible.”

She said the establishment of the Revenue Authority is also on the agenda.

West said she “always thought that was the way to go. We have lost too many good people from the BIR because of the inflexibility of the public service, so if we create

some more flexibility in terms of remuneration , hiring and firing people, promotion based on merit rather than seniority , I think we will produce a better organisation.”

West said taxpayers should “recognise that we all have a responsibility , we are placing great demands on the Government and the demands don’t decrease with the government’s revenues.”

She also said: “To enable the Government to meet those demands we need to play our part, and if we all play our part then the burden is spread more evenly and it doesn’t fall on a few of us . So the issue of increasing tax rates should not arise if everybody is paying the correct amount of taxes, so that will be my focus.”

          PM shaken by gruesome attack   

The gruesome murders of 13-year-old Videsh Subar and his 56-year-old sitter Rose Mohammed have impacted on Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, so much so that it has left him very disturbed and shaken.

Speaking at yesterday’s post-Cabinet media briefing, Rowley said he hoped the T&T Police Service can bring the perpetrators of the killings before the courts expeditiously.

The throats of Subar and Mohammed were slit by their killers at Mohammed’s Ajim Baksh Street, Malabar home on Wednesday during a home invasion.

Yesterday, Rowley said there were some new developments taking place in the country, some of which were not uplifting and disturbing.

“I am very, very shaken and disturbed with what happened in the East with that child and its guardian who were so brutally murdered, and it makes us wonder what kind of people we have become,” said Rowley, his voice dropping as he spoke.

Saying it is now standard practice that when violent and heinous crimes are committed there is a public demand that the Government do something about crime, Rowley said “that demand is understandable because people want to feel safe, people want to feel secure and people want to know that their families and their communities are protected from these things.”

The PM said the interventions by individuals who make a decision to carry out such activities “shock us all the time.” He said whatever the Government has in place, be it prison, police or court “we are always surprised by these kinds” of murders.

In extending condolences to the family of the victims, Rowley said just looking at the grief on television as a citizen, he was quite “shaken by this kind of thing and I trust that the law enforcement authorities would find the perpetrators of such heinous and disturbing action.”

Asked about the TTPS’ ineffectiveness in its battle against the criminal elements and he could do to fill the gap, Rowley replied, “That is one area where you do not have an alternative. There is no alternative but to keep working and improving the ability of law enforcement in the country. And law enforcement in our country under the Constitution is largely the Police Service.”

In the area of national security, Rowley disclosed that Cabinet took a decision not to pay $200 million to maintain for one year four of the country’s helicopters.

“This is a cost that has been negotiated downward I was told. US$34 million I was told. We just can’t afford that! If we can’t afford it then the helicopters would stay on the ground… much as we would like to have them in the air. If we have $200 million dollars, the question that arises is that the best way to spend $200 million in the fight against crime?”

He said selling the helicopters was one option the Government may look at.

          If something comes up again I’ll act: PM   

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley yesterday defended his re-appointment of Marlene McDonald to his Cabinet. In fact, he said her return as Public Utilities Minister came at an opportune time.

However, Rowley assured that reassigning Fitzgerald Hinds as Minister in the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs was not a demotion.

At the post-Cabinet media briefing at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s, Rowley spoke about the impromptu Cabinet reshuffle—his second since assuming office in September 2015.

Asked if McDonald’s return was a way of expressing confidence in her, given the fact there were a series of allegations made against her which were investigated by the Integrity Commission, Rowley said it was a matter that needed to be looked at.

Having been elected as Port-of-Spain South MP in 2015, Rowley said McDonald was appointed to the Cabinet after serving as Opposition Chief Whip. In early 2015, he said “certain persons were making some very disturbing allegations against Miss McDonald.”

Last March, Mc Donald was fired from the Cabinet following media revelations that she had employed her common-law husband Michael Carew in her Port-of-Spain South constituency office. A report from Fixin T&T head Kirk Waithe stated he received information from Parliament which showed Carew and a director of the Calabar Foundation were employed at McDonald’s constituency office for five years, while Carew’s brother Lennox Carew still worked at the MP’s office.

McDonald’s common-law husband, who worked at the office from June 1, 2010 to September 7, 2015, had earned a salary of $13,400 for the full parliamentary term while Lennox began working in the office on March 1, 2011 and had been in receipt of $14,000.

But Rowley said it was the allegation of how McDonald conducted herself in the Ministry of Housing which forced him to ask her to remove herself as a minister so the Integrity Commission investigate. When the allegation surfaced, he said there was information “which persons were prosecuting to the point of persecuting about how she conducted herself in the Ministry of Housing. It was alleged that she was buying houses in the Ministry of Housing in other people’s names and they identified the names and individuals… and she had a relationship with and so on. That, was an area I found required the removal of Miss McDonald so to allow the investigation to take place.”

To the best of his knowledge, Rowley said investigations had taken place and the commission had indicated to Mc Donald that “they had found no basis to conclude that she had breached the Integrity in Public Life Act on this package of investigations and probably others. On that basis, I as Prime Minister have no difficulty in reappointing Miss McDonald in the Cabinet. Of course, that would displease some people who believe what pleases them should happen.”

Rowley said in the future if something else surfaces against McDonald he would deal with it.

Asked if Hinds’ shifting was a demotion, Rowley said he was “very versatile and is a tremendous asset to the Cabinet and Government.” This was Hinds’ second realignment by Rowley. He was first removed from the Ministry of Works and Transport and put to manage the Ministry of Public Utilities, which McDonald is now in charge of.

But the PM said Hinds has expertise in Constitutional and criminal law and as a former policeman, he was ideally suited to work in the AG’s office. He said, however, that Stuart Young will continue to hold the position as Minister in the Ministry of the AG and Legal Affairs as well.

Rowley said Government intended to have a very robust legislative programme in which Hinds will play an integral role.

          Wilson To Give Abramoff Contribution To Boy Scouts   
ALBEQUERQUE, NM - Rep. Heather Wilson, R-N.M., will donate a $1,000 campaign contribution to the Boy Scouts from Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who entered into a plea agreement in an investigation into corruption in government.
          The Amazon's new danger: Brazil sets sights on palm oil   
Brazil’s ambition to become a palm oil giant could have devastating social and environmental impacts if the move is not carefully managed, say experts Tom Levitt in Brasília and Heriberto Araujo The Guardian 29 Jun 17; Jorge Antonini takes a palm kernel in his hands and slices it open. Squeezing it between his fingers, the kernel oozes the oily liquid found in hundreds of everyday products, from cakes to chocolate spread. The scientist is standing on a government-owned farm near the Brazilian capital of Brasília. Here, he and a small group of colleagues from Embrapa, the powerful...

this is a summary, for the full version visit the wild news blog
          Stop exporting plastic waste to China to boost recycling at home, say experts   
Governments must end incentives that see plastic waste shipped abroad, where it is often buried or burned, rather than being turned back into bottles at home, say industry leaders Sandra Laville and Matthew Taylor The Guardian 29 Jun 17; Governments must stop exporting so much plastic waste to countries such as China and keep more in-country to be recycled into bottles to tackle the waste crisis, industry insiders say. A day after the Guardian revealed that a million plastic bottles are bought every minute across the world, experts aiming to provide a closed loop in which each bottle is...

this is a summary, for the full version visit the wild news blog
          Lawyer - Australian Government Solicitor - Resolution, VI   
This position is designated as Lawyer and classified as either APS Level 5 or APS Level 6 within the APS Level 3-6 Broadband....
From Australian Government Solicitor - Thu, 29 Jun 2017 00:34:31 GMT - View all Resolution, VI jobs
          Can Trump Succeed Where Reagan Failed?   
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

People with family members who were killed by undocumented immigrants meet with Attorney General Jeff Sessions on June 29, 2017.

On Thursday, the House passed the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act, which proposes to withhold federal funding from localities that refuse to cooperate with Trump administration immigration measures aimed at criminal noncitizens and other undocumented people. The bill would also allow individuals and close family members of individuals who are victims of felonies committed by undocumented immigrants who have been released from local or state custody against the advice of federal authorities to file suit against states.

The day before, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, the new president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, called on Congress to work on bipartisan immigration and criminal justice law reforms, adding that cities could use more federal assistance to fight terrorism and crime, and provide mental illness, substance abuse, and reentry programs.

Landrieu said in a letter to House members that local leaders do not want their law enforcement officers involved in federal immigration detention activities, nor do they want to be put in legal jeopardy for possible violations of the Fourth Amendment’s prohibitions against unreasonable searches and seizures. (A related bill known as Kate’s Law would establish new mandatory minimum prison terms for deported criminals who return to the United States.)

The sanctuary cities battle, like so many of Trump’s hastily conceived and poorly executed policies, appears headed for another showdown, either when the bills arrive in the Senate, or, in the unlikely event that the upper chamber drums up the 60 votes needed to approve them, almost certainly in the courts.

While the Trumpian turmoil is new, past presidents’ attempts to compel localities to comply with federal policies have met with mixed success. A new report, “Reagan vs. Cities: The 20th Century Battle Over South African Apartheid & Lessons for the Trump Era,” from Jobs to Move America and the Center for Media and Democracy, details the 40th president’s efforts to stamp out the U.S. anti-apartheid movement by several means, including denying federal funds to cities and states that took actions against companies that did business in South Africa.

The report explores the mixed outcomes for two cities that sought to stand their ground against this federal overreach. In 1984, the U.S. Department of Transportation, with the backing of the Justice Department, threatened New York City with the loss of transportation dollars unless the city revoked a local ordinance preventing city officials from contracting with businesses that operated in South Africa or used materials from the country. Although Mayor Ed Koch complained all the way up to President Ronald Reagan, the feisty New Yorker finally backed down, declined to take the matter to the courts, and finally reworked the measure to satisfy federal officials and preserve the city’s federal funding.

Two years later, Baltimore, which had crafted a local ordinance requiring city pension funds to divest $1.1 billion from entities that did business with South Africa, also came under fire. The trustees of the pensions funds and the funds’ beneficiaries (who feared significant financial losses in the short timeframe the funds had to comply with the divestment ordinance) joined forces to take the city to court.

The State Department and the National Security Council submitted briefs supporting the trustees and beneficiaries. But Baltimore ultimately prevailed in the state courts, and the Supreme Court decided not to hear the case. By 1991, nearly 100 cities in 28 states had taken a variety of actions against companies doing business in South Africa.

Although an early attempt by Trump to deny federal funding to sanctuary cities was roundly criticized as unconstitutional (the president aimed to usurp powers granted to Congress) and ultimately blocked by a federal judge, Republicans in Congress have stepped up to take their turn at the issue. Federal courts likely will have the final word on whether the federal government can compel states to assist in immigration enforcement activities or whether such provisions infringe on state powers.

Congress can indeed attach conditions to funding, especially if the funding is related to a specific purpose like law enforcement. Since the Supreme Court has indicated its willingness to consider wider immigration questions like those posed by the administration’s travel ban, it is unlikely that the high court would decline to weigh in, as it did in the Baltimore pension funds question.

Like the anti-apartheid activists, sanctuary cities supporters may find that public response to the crisis may compel different responses from Washington. Grassroots efforts to protect undocumented people have sprouted up all over the country; nearly 650 of the country’s more than 3,000 counties have placed limitations on local law enforcement assistance to federal immigration detention efforts.

But the support for such measures is far from solid in the country at large. Lawmakers in more than 30 states have introduced bills to curb cities’ abilities to weigh in on immigration enforcement. A new Gallup poll shows that Americans’ interests in decreasing the numbers of immigrants admitted to the country have not shifted dramatically.

The “Reagan vs. Cities” report also notes that in addition to cutting off federal funds and other measures, Trump’s tactics include “a public relations strategy aimed at vilifying opponents.” The court of public opinion, however, isn’t always malleable. Reagan may have been the “great communicator,” but he was mostly unable to compel cities and states to abandon divestment and other economic strategies aimed at crippling South African apartheid. Trump, if anything, is more of a great alienator than communicator, who will ultimately run up against the numerical impossibility of deporting millions of undocumented people.

          6/29/2017: YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE: Digital school shake-up   

The school curriculum is in for a shake-up with the Government proposing to shift education into a ‘‘digitally oriented system’’. Education Minister Nikki Kaye announced the proposal on June 28 and said it would break new ground. But she acknowledged...
          6/29/2017: YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE: $1.25m spent on asbestos control   

Auckland Council have spent about $1.25 million on asbestos-related work in the past two years. Information provided in an Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act request revealed asbestos work, including control or removal, had taken...
          Trump’s Travel Ban Is Back   
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Travelers wait in line near an Emirates ticket counter at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. 

A limited version of President Trump’s controversial travel ban is back in place after the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government could impose restrictions on certain foreign travelers and refugees. The constant back-and-forth rulings have created a bureaucratic nightmare for those involved in the refugee resettlement process, and Thursday’s developments promise even more disruption.

While President Trump proclaimed victory, refugee and human rights advocates have been on tenterhooks this week. The high court’s decision was certainly a blow to opponents of the ban, but just how hard that blow is will depend on the Trump administration’s next moves.

The government’s new guidelines would significantly limit the total number of noncitizens and refugees that can enter the country, according to a State Department background briefing Thursday afternoon. The department released its guidance just four hours before the ban is scheduled to go into effect. However, the Department of Homeland Security, which controls border enforcement, has not issued its own guidance on the new policies.

During its short but turbulent existence, two versions of the travel ban have been issued, blocked by federal courts, and now given the go-ahead with certain restrictions. But the Supreme Court decision and the subsequent federal guidelines do not reassure refugees advocates. “Nothing is off the table when it comes to this travel ban,” says Justin Cox, a National Immigration Law Center (NILC) staff attorney. “We can’t assume smooth sailing.”

On Monday, the justices said that they would wait until October to hear two cases regarding Trump’s travel ban. Until then, the high court granted a partial stay to injunctions freezing the controversial executive order, allowing a limited version of the travel ban to go into effect.

Noncitizens who can show they have a “bona fide relationship” with a “person or entity” in the United States will be allowed to enter the country, as will anyone who has already been issued a visa. People who cannot prove that they have a close relationship with a U.S. citizen will be banned from entering the country for 90 days if they are from the six Muslim-majority countries included in the executive order. That time period increases to 120 days for refugees from any country who have not yet received permission to enter the U.S. 

The high court gave a few examples of what constituted a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the U.S., such as visiting a relative or traveling to work or study, but stopped short of providing comprehensive definitions, preferring to leave the work of coming up with more nuanced characterizations to the federal government and lower courts.

But under the new guidelines, relatives only include immediate family members already in the country: parents, spouses, children, adult sons or daughters, sons- or daughters-in-law, and siblings. Grandparents were not included in the guidelines.

Refugees who have already been admitted to the U.S. and are booked to travel before July 6 will be exempt from the ban. A senior administration official said that the fate of those who’ve been booked travel after that date would be addressed at a later time. The briefers also said that establishing valid connections with American entities by refugees would need to be “formal” and “documented”: Simply being connected to a resettlement agency would not be sufficient. Roughly one-third of refugees waiting to be admitted do not have family ties in the United States, according to resettlement agency estimates.

“This is an unduly restrictive approach,” says Eleanor Acer, director of Human Rights First’s Refugee Protection program. “Refugees who go through multiple security entities, are approved by the DHS [Department of Homeland Security], vetted by various government agencies, and have long relationships with resettlement agencies should all be viewed as having requisite bona fide relationships.”

The limited ban could still leave thousands of people in limbo. “This isn’t like postponing a vacation,” says Melanie Nezer, vice president of policy and advocacy at HIAS, a Maryland-based Jewish resettlement agency. “These are life or death situations that refugees could be forced to remain in.”

Of the top 10 countries for total numbers of refugees granted permission to enter the United States during the last fiscal year, only three—Somalia, Syria, and Iran—were listed in Trump’s original executive order. Iraq is also among the top 10, and there are tens of thousands of people who worked with the U.S. government who are waiting to get clearance to resettle in this country. Under these current guidelines, it’s not clear if they would be granted entry.

The reinstated ban has stoked fears of a return to the chaos that played out in airports across the country following the haphazard rollout of Trump’s first executive order.

Naureen Shah, Amnesty International’s senior director of campaigns announced that the organization would be sending researchers to airports to “monitor how the ban is being implemented.”

“There’s going to be massive confusion in airports around the world,” says Acer, who anticipates a heightened legal response to refugees connected to resettlement agencies being blocked from entering the country.

In his partial dissent, Justice Clarence Thomas warned that the court’s decision would “invite a flood of litigation”—a comment that will likely prove prescient in the months to come. Lawsuits challenging the original and updated versions of the travel ban have inundated federal courts.

“I expect that we’ll be back in court soon,” says Cox of the NILC. “No one is going to take this lying down.”

Critics of the ban argue that refugees are already the most rigorously vetted group allowed into the U.S., undergoing a process that can take up to two years or more. “I don’t know how much more extreme the vetting can get, frankly,” says Cornell law professor Stephen Yale-Loehr.

This new wave of uncertainty unfolds at a time when the number of approved refugees approved to enter the U.S. had just started to bounce back after Trump’s initial immigration restrictions. Resettlement numbers plummeted in the wake of Trump’s first two attempted travel bans: In January, the U.S. admitted nearly 7,000 refugees admitted by March that number had declined to just 2,000 in March, according to State Department data

More than 46,000 refugees have been admitted and resettled in the U.S. in fiscal 2017, nearly reaching the 50,000 limit that Trump had specified in his original executive order, but still a long way off from the 110,000 ceiling that the Obama administration had put in place.

The Supreme Court allowed the U.S. to cap refugee arrivals, but justices did not allow the Trump administration to prohibit refugees with bona fide relationships, even if “the 50,000-person cap has been reached or exceeded.”

Officials at HIAS, one of nine agencies that work with the State Department to resettle refugees, were already worried they wouldn’t hit their resettlement targets before the travel ban was reinstated. Even in the “best-case” scenario, the agency expects to resettle 1,400 fewer than they had been approved to resettle at the beginning of the fiscal year. Other resettlement agencies have reported similar drops.

“The program changes on an almost weekly basis,” says Nezer. According to Nezer, these changes in policy can stall refugee case processing. That can often result in medical and security clearances expiring, which in turn creates even lengthier delays.

Trump had originally ordered federal agencies to wait 72 hours after the court’s decision to implement the ban. Trump maintains that the ban is necessary to protect the nation from terrorist activities and praised the court’s decision as “a clear victory for our national security.”

          6/29/2017: YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE: Millions thrown into ESOL   

Children learning English as a second language will benefit from an additional $9.4 million boost in Government funding over the next two years. Education Minister Nikki Kaye said the Government had allocated additional funding in English for speakers...
          Companies, governments assess damage from latest malware   

Companies and governments around the world on Wednesday counted the cost of a software epidemic that has disrupted ports, hospitals and banks. Logistics firm FedEx says deliveries by its TNT Express subsidiary have been "slowed" by the cyberattack, which had "significantly affected" its systems.

          Modified Travel Ban Takes Effect, Hawaii Files Suit   
Lawyers for the State of Hawaii and an imam in Hawaii yesterday filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration’s partial ban that went into effect last evening. The lawsuit argues that the definitions being used by the government are narrower than what the Supreme Court allowed in its order. Read more about the issue here, here, here, and...
          Canadian Dollar Advances On Oil Price Rise    
The Canadian dollar strengthened against other major currencies in the European session on Thursday, as crude oil price rose after U.S. government data revealed the biggest weekly decline in domestic crude production in almost a year.
          Indian stocks to scale new highs on government reforms: Poll   
Indian stocks to scale new highs on government reforms: Poll With gains of over 15 percent so far this year, the Sensex has outperformed most major global indices, overriding worries about domestic company performance in part thanks to a pool of global investor cash looking for higher returns.
          Texas Supreme Court Undermines Marriage Equality   
On Friday the Texas Supreme Court discarded a lower court’s ruling that spouses of gay and lesbian public employees are entitled to government-subsidized marriage benefits. The court argued that, although Obergefell v. Hodges requires states to license and recognize same-sex marriages, it does not mandate that states “provide the same publicly funded benefits to all married persons.”
          Comment on Aadhar Card Apply – Online or Offline by Rajpal singh   
I just want to share something about my experience of Aadhar. The government of India has really did a wonderful job as ever happened in India, Because of this step the people will get beneficial things and I am fully satisfied from this. Our honorable prime minister Shri Narendra Modi ji is trying to bring some development in India.
          Before the UK parliament debates the affirmative S...   
Before the UK parliament debates the affirmative SI , would it not make sense for the JCSI to first check whether there is any possibility of the UK staying in the UPC post-Brexit?

Even if one assumes that Gordon and Pascoe are correct and that the UK's continued participation is possible, there are a number of preconditions that must be met. The problem for the government is that some of those preconditions might be (politically or practically) impossible, or inconsistent with the government's Brexit policy in another area.

Problematic areas that immediately spring to mind are the jurisdiction of the CJEU (both Mrs May and, more worryingly, Mr Hunt have said that this must come to an end) and the time that it will take to get all relevant parties to agree upon and ratify a revised version of the UPC Agreement. The latter point is particularly challenging, as I would question whether there is already too little time - and there will certainly be too little by the time that we might actually know what the UK's exit agreement looks like (and so precisely how the UPCA needs to be re-written).

To me, it would seem to be the worst of all possible worlds for the UK to help bring the UPP to life, only then to (shortly afterwards) exit the EU and (likely) both leave the unitary patent system and bring into doubt the continued validity of anything done under the UPC Agreement. That would take the levels of uncertainty for rights holders and third parties to truly stratospheric levels.

Of course, to take any of this into consideration would require joined-up thinking within government... and so I guess that I had better not hold my breath waiting for that to happen!
          Glad to be out of the madhouse: Agreed, but as th...   
Glad to be out of the madhouse:

Agreed, but as they aren't particularly concerned, there is every possibility that if they believe the government thinks the UPC or any other IP issue is particularly important they will ask for another few £100m to agree to it.
          Comment on Fueled by $100 Million Donation, San Francisco Aims to Reduce Chronically Homeless Population by Half by James L   
I applaud the one caller for expanding the scope of the issue to include some of the federal government's policy changes since the late 70's, mainly the cuts in funding to departments like HUD. In my opinion Forum in the past has failed to give more weight to the greater context of the housing issue. What one also does not hear included in the discussion both today and in the past are the effects of excessive inflows of people into the country and state. High demand for housing drives up prices and excessive labor drives down wages, it's simple supply and demand. I personally support a diverse society in the practice of my life and consider myself liberal. But it seems like there is no room for having a discussion on a major driving force behind the excess demand for housing, population growth. I resent and perhaps others do to that there is no room for nuance on the issue on the left for the desire to have a slower rate of population growth without being painted as insensitive and wish Forum to take the greater context into account effecting the number of the homeless of our fellow citizens.
          Beyond Inauthentic Opposition   
The really critical thing,” the great American radical historian Howard Zinn once sagely wrote, “isn't who's sitting in the White House, but who is sitting in—in the streets, in the cafeterias, in the halls of government, in the factories. Who is protesting, who is occupying offices and demonstrating—those are the things that determine what happens." However you vote (and I honestly don’t know that my head could ever make my right hand mark a ballot for a Democrat again), the act takes two minutes once every two or four years. What do you do with the rest of your political life? More
          Common Cause, Democrats urge Maryland not to comply with Trump election data request   

A government watchdog group and the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland urged state election officials on Friday to refuse to comply with a data request made by the Trump administration as part of an investigation into the integrity of elections.

The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election...

          Disillusioned migrants trickle back to Calais   
Hundreds of migrants have trickled back to Calais and are sleeping rough in the woods, awaiting the chance to cross to the UK. And since the French government closed the squalid 'jungle' camp, conditions have got even worse. Lucy Fielder reports.

          UK kicks Murdoch's Sky bid down the road   
Rupert Murdoch's proposed takeover of Sky needs further examination, the British government says, raising concerns that the deal would give the Australian billionaire's family too much influence over Britain.

          Bond Report: Short-term Treasury yield hits highest since 2009, as bonds sell off a fourth session   
U.S. government bond prices on Friday get hit, extending yield gains to a fourth straight session, as investors close out a bruising week for government paper, marked by hand-wringing about the policy posture of global central banks.

          Senior Tax Analyst - Xerox Corporation - United Kingdom   
We do this for small and mid-size businesses, large enterprises, governments, graphic communications providers, and for our partners who serve them....
From Xerox Corporation - Mon, 26 Jun 2017 11:41:38 GMT - View all United Kingdom jobs
          You May Wear Pants   

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.

Cardinal George Pell is the third-most powerful official in the Catholic Church as head of the Vatican’s finances. And he’s just been charged multiple sexual assaults in his native Australia. I think it’s time to play this song again.

Gov. Matt Bevin of Kentucky signs into law a bill allowing Bible classes in public schools. I’m sure that not far behind are classes on the Qu’ran, the Bhagvat Gita, Dianetics, and the Books of Bokonon. Any day now.

ProPublica reveals “a trove” of Facebook’s internal documents showing its secret guidelines for determining what is and is not hate speech, and thus able to be censored. And some of it is frankly disturbing:

One document trains content reviewers on how to apply the company’s global hate speech algorithm. The slide identifies three groups: female drivers, black children and white men. It asks: Which group is protected from hate speech? The correct answer: white men. ... White men are considered a group because both traits are protected, while female drivers and black children, like radicalized Muslims, are subsets, because one of their characteristics is not protected. 

Adi Robertson at The Verge notes that Facebook’s task is more or less impossible:

If the company decides to promote a positive social environment without taking clear political sides, it will trend toward a faux neutrality where “hate” is any negative opinion, punishing people who criticize the status quo. But if it admits to an ideological bent, it will have to start formulating political stances on which groups worldwide deserve the most protection from hate. The more social responsibility it accepts, the more liable it is for failing to police its users, and the more power it has to control speech — not just comments to other users, but personal timeline posts or photographs. 

Oh, hey hey hey, make sure you dig the latest Cause & Effect newsletter. It’s got international news, SCOTUS news, and not all of the news is bad!

CFI’s Benjamin Radford is on the panel for a discussion about psychics (along with a bunch of alleged psychics) on WNPR’s Colin McEnroe Show.

Another “psychic,” Michelle Marks of Dixon, Illinois, is arrested for “exploitation of an elderly person and multiple weapons charges.” Wow she was busy!

Researchers at the Catholic University of Louvain wanted to see if atheists in Western Europe were more or less closed-minded than the religious. And that’s what they found, more or less:

Atheists tended to show greater intolerance of contradiction, meaning when they were presented with two seemingly contradictory statements they rated one as very true and the other as very false. They also showed less propensity to be able to imagine arguments contrary to their own position and find them somewhat convincing.

A group of scientists and other figures sign on to an initiative called Mission 2020, intended to get greenhouse gas emissions to “curve downward” by 2020, because failing that, the goals of Paris become unattainable. While it’s noble, I am skeptical. Especially after my Point of Inquiry interview with Elizabeth Kolbert earlier this month.

Undaunted by my kind of despair, a “global covenant of mayors” pledging to meet the goals of the Paris accord has brought on board more than 7400 cities.

Cleve Wootson at WaPo introduces us to Michael Tate Reed, the guy who keeps ramming his car into Ten Commandments monuments, as he did in Arkansas yesterday:

[In 2014] He was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and released under an agreement that required him to continue treatment. He sent a rambling letter to the newspaper apologizing and describing the voices in his head and his attempts to recover from mental health issues. 

Speaking of which, Joseph Frankel at The Atlantic looks at how the phenomenon of “hearing voices” in one’s head—which is sometimes what makes people think they’re psychic, and others say they’re psychotic—may be more common than once thought, and also may be more controllable:

These experiments suggest that auditory hallucinations are the result of the mind failing to brand its actions as its own. Watching what the brain does during these hallucinations may clarify how that works, and what differences in the brain create these experiences. ... Drawing a parallel with Autism Spectrum Disorder, the [researchers] are interested in the extent to which the psychics they saw “might occupy the extreme end of a continuum” of people who hear voices. 

The Mormon Church is taking bold strides into the latter half of the 20th century, offering paid maternity or parental leave to church employees and (hold on to your butts) allowing women to wear pants.

A California health department report says that 111 people have chosen to take their own lives in the first six months of the state’s right-to-die law. 

Uranus isn’t just odd because its name makes you chuckle (which is why I must pronounce it “YURen-uss,” not, you know, the other way). It’s on a crazy 98-degree axis, and its magnetic shield is all wobbly.

When there’s somethin’ strange…in the neighborhood…who you gonna call? The Royal Thai Police Force! They ain’t afraid o’no phi pob. 

Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter is a fun, scientific, educational museum experience for the whole family! Oh wait, the city wants them to pay a “safety assessment fee”? I meant to say, it’s a ministry. So, sorry. Exempt. Phew! I mean, “amen.”

My home state of Maine gets its first case of measles in 20 years. Oh god I hope it’s not me! 

Quote of the Day:

I’m just gonna give this one to Colbert:

* * * 

Linking to a story or webpage does not imply endorsement by Paul or CFI. Not every use of quotation marks is ironic or sarcastic, but it often is.

Image by Chris&Rhiannon (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Follow CFI on Twitter: @center4inquiry

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News items that mention political​ candidates are for informational purposes only and under no circumstances are to be interpreted as statements of endorsement or opposition to any political candidate. CFI is a nonpartisan nonprofit.


The Morning Heresy: “I actually read it.” - Hemant Mehta


          Davis hampered by May’s Brexit ‘red lines’, says ex-government adviser   
James Chapman says the PM should reconsider her position on the ECJ, immigration and the European Atomic Energy Community.
          Hundreds flee Mosul as Iraqi forces squeeze last pockets of IS resistance   
The areas where government forces are fighting have been under siege for months.
          Queen’s Speech clears Commons after abortion funding deal   
The Government’s move was announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond in the Commons.
          Serbian politicians elect first female, openly gay prime minister   
Ana Brnabic is Serbia’s first openly gay head of government.
          * This work can be done from any location in india * Should be at least Higher Secondary passed.   
Basic Computer and internet Knowledge Home Based - Online/ part time work without investment and zero registration fees.Earn Rs.10000- Rs.15000 per month doing online work from can transfer your earning directly in your bank account.It is government registered company For more information c[...]
          Central Bank rule change, not Help-to-Buy scheme, causing higher house prices, says Daft report author   

Sharp rises in property prices are not because of the Government’s Help-to-Buy scheme, according to a house prices report compiled by a property website.

          Security fears over return of foreign fighters   

The military onslaught against so-called Islamic State in Syria is likely to result in increasing numbers of foreign fighters returning to their home countries, according to the Government’s draft risk report.

          Policing Authority fears over lack of Garda progress in meeting government targets for recruitment   

The Policing Authority has expressed considerable concern at the lack of Garda progress in meeting government targets to recruit 500 civilians by the end of 2017.

          Section Planner - Network Rail - Stirling   
Employment at Network Rail is subject to employees meeting the BPSS government standard pre-employment vetting. A career with Network Rail is a journey.... £19,000 - £24,000 a year
From Network Rail - Sat, 24 Jun 2017 07:48:24 GMT - View all Stirling jobs
          Cost Analyst/Estimator   
Arlington, Position Summary: Assist the government with the establishment of scenario-based Life Cycle Cost Estimates (LCCE) for NSD programs that adhere to the best practices of the ‘GAO Cost Estimating and Assessment Guide’ and provides the functionality to run budget options and alternatives analysis (i.e. what-if scenarios) to assist in budget formulation. The contractor shall collaborate with government
          Cost Analyst/Estimator   
Arlington, Position Summary: Assist the government with the establishment of scenario-based Life Cycle Cost Estimates (LCCE) for NSD programs that adhere to the best practices of the ‘GAO Cost Estimating and Assessment Guide’ and provides the functionality to run budget options and alternatives analysis (i.e. what-if scenarios) to assist in budget formulation. The contractor shall collaborate with government
          Senior Budget Analyst - Top Secret Clearance   
Arlington, Job Description: The Senior Budget Analyst assists the government in formulating and executing NSD programs and project’s budgets, including assisting the government with all phases of the Planning, Programming, Budget, and Execution (PPBE) process. The Senior Budget Analyst will lead a team of personnel providing this support and will provide Subject Matter Expertise to the client. * Assist the g
          Project Manager - Network Rail - Glasgow   
Employment at Network Rail is subject to employees meeting the BPSS government standard pre-employment vetting.... £50,000 - £56,250 a year
From Network Rail - Thu, 22 Jun 2017 07:45:56 GMT - View all Glasgow jobs
          Investigation into Uganda “land grab” must be genuinely independent and transparent   

Oxfam concern that company continues to dismiss people’s allegations of abuse

Oxfam welcomes the World Bank’s1 call that UK-based New Forests Company (NFC) must open up to a full investigation into claims of bad practice in its Uganda forestry projects.

This follows a report by Oxfam and the Uganda Land Alliance on September 22 that said more than 20,000 people had been evicted without compensation or consent to make way for NFC plantations, in breach of international guidelines. Many of these people are now living in destitution. Some claim the evictions were violent.

NFC has stated it will investigate. However, Oxfam is concerned about the nature of the investigation because NFC continues to discredit people’s allegations. It most recently described the claims as “fictitious” and “irresponsible and one-sided propaganda.”

“The company’s remarks are ill-judged and unprofessional”, said Oxfam GROW campaign coordinator Katia Maia. “NFC continues to refer to ‘peaceful and non-violent voluntary vacations’ as fact. This makes us sceptical about the investigation that it intends to set up,” she said.

Oxfam has since asked NFC to ensure that the investigation is genuinely independent, transparent and takes into account the experiences of affected communities.

“Oxfam rigorously defends its research. We spoke with hundreds of individuals from affected communities and with government authorities. We presented NFC’s position accurately in our report. NFC can’t simply dismiss our research because it disagrees with it,” Maia said.

“Many of those evicted can no longer feed their families or send their children to school. They are living in destitution. The World Bank and NFC must ensure that any investigation will be credible and meaningful.”

Oxfam says that:

  • No-one was compensated for their loss of land, crops and belongings. Oxfam says that NFC operates under international guidelines designed to protect people’s right to adequate compensation. NFC cannot dodge its responsibilities and blame solely the government.
  • Many evictees describe violence during the evictions, of houses burnt and crops destroyed. A recent New York Times article quoted a woman who said her son died in a fire during the evictions.
  • There are still two legal suits active today that describe the evictions as violent and that outline people’s own legal claims to the land. The suits also seek compensation and damages.

NFC also claims that the International Finance Corporation (IFC, the commercial lending arm of the World Bank) and the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC, the gold standard of forestry certification) had both passed its projects as ‘clean’. However Oxfam believes that neither organization has provided sufficient evidence to support NFC’s claims that the evictions were ‘legal, voluntary and peaceful’2.

Oxfam engaged with NFC for a number of months before publishing its report. In March, April and July Oxfam made several attempts to get the company's reaction but it refused to respond. Since August, Oxfam has engaged extensively with the company's management.

Read more

The New Forests Company and its Uganda plantations: Oxfam Case Study

Learn more about land grabs

Pull quotes: 
We presented NFC’s position accurately in our report. NFC can’t simply dismiss our research because it disagrees with it.
Quotee's organisation: 
Notes to editors: 
  1. The World Bank has a financial interest in NFC via an equity investor. The World Bank insists that its investees must operate in a responsible manner and meet certain social standards.
  2. Oxfam says that the IFC report was not an “audit” but was instead a field appraisal that only took place after the evictions. The IFC officer who undertook the appraisal did not talk to affected communities and only reviewed one of the two districts. Similarly, the FSC certification audit only reviewed one plantation, Mubende not Kiboga. And despite the legal suits and media coverage saying that there had been violence, the FSC said that disputes over tenure had been ‘resolved’ and that there were ‘no reported incidents of violence’.
Contact information: 

For more information contact:

Matt Grainger on +44 (0)1865 339128 / +44 (0)7730 680837 /, or

Lucy Brinicombe on +44 (0)01865 472192 / +44 (0)7786 110054 /

Space only: 
Regions and Countries: 

          Oxfam warns that modern day land rush is forcing thousands into greater poverty   

Oxfam calls for British company to investigate the forced eviction of more than 20,000 Ugandans to make way for its plantations

Oxfam today launches a major new report highlighting the growing pace of land deals brokered around the world, often to the peril of poor communities who lose their homes and livelihoods – sometimes violently – with no prior consultation, compensation or means of appeal.

In the report Land and Power, the international agency reveals preliminary research indicating as many as 227 million hectares have been sold, leased or licensed in large-scale land deals since 2001, mostly by international investors. Lack of transparency and the secrecy that surrounds land deals makes it difficult to get exact figures but to date up to 1,100 of these deals amounting to 67 million hectares have been cross checked. Half of these deals are in Africa, and cover an area nearly the size of Germany. (1)

Oxfam warns this modern day land rush follows a drive to produce enough food for people overseas, meet damaging biofuels targets or speculate on land to make an easy profit. However, many of the deals are in fact ‘land grabs’ where the rights and needs of the people living on the land are ignored, leaving them homeless and without land to grow enough food to eat and make a living.

This is likely to get worse as the increasing demand for food, the gathering pace of climate change, water scarcity and non-food crops like biofuels compete for land. Already, nearly three billion people live in areas where demand for water outstrips supply.

Land grabs: devastating vulnerable communities

Oxfam International’s Executive Director Jeremy Hobbs said: “The unprecedented pace of land deals and the increased competition for land is leaving many of the world’s poorest people worse off. In the scramble for more land, investors are ignoring the people who currently live on the land and depend on it to survive.”

Oxfam’s report profiles the devastating effect land grabs in Uganda, South Sudan, Indonesia, Honduras and Guatemala are having on vulnerable communities. The report is part of Oxfam’s GROW campaign which aims to secure a future where everyone has enough to eat. Women, who produce up to 80 per cent of food in some poor countries, are usually most vulnerable as they have weaker land rights.

In Uganda, Oxfam’s research indicates that at least 22,500 people have lost their homes and land to make way for a British timber company, the New Forests Company. Many evictees told Oxfam how they were forcibly removed and have been left destitute, without enough food or money to send their children to school. There were court orders in force which named the company but eye-witnesses say that company workers took part in some of the evictions anyway. NFC denies that it was involved in any evictions. (2)

Evicted without consultation or compensation

Christine, a farmer in her mid 40s, who lived in Kiboga district before the Uganda land grab said: “All our plantations were cut down – we lost the banana and cassava. We lost everything we had. The company’s casual laborers would attack us – they beat and threatened people. Even now they won’t let us back in to look for the things we left behind. I was threatened – they told me they were going to beat me if we didn’t leave.”

Hobbs said: “The Uganda case clearly shows how land grabs are slipping through the net of existing safeguards which are intended to ensure the protection of vulnerable people. Thousands of people are suffering because they have been evicted without meaningful consultation or compensation.

“The New Forests Company describes itself as an ethical company, adhering to international standards. It needs to investigate these claims urgently. It’s not acceptable for companies to blame governments. They must respect the needs and rights of poor communities affected by their investment.”

Prioritize existing land use rights

Oxfam is calling for investors, governments and international organizations to prioritize putting a stop to land grabbing by fixing the current policies and regulations which all too often fail to ensure that, when investors negotiate deals, local people are consulted, treated fairly, and that all relevant international standards are respected. These include the World Bank's International Finance Corporation Performance Standards and the Forest Stewardship Council’s standards.

Governments should avoid pandering to investors’ wishes, and prioritize existing land use rights – not just where legal land title or formal ownership rights are held. Governments should recognize that women have equal rights over land and ensure that all agricultural investments benefit local communities who rely on the land to survive. While governments and companies get their house in order to stop future land grabbing, there is an urgent need to remedy the damage done by existing land grabs, including in the case of the Uganda international investment.

Flawed biofuels policies

Perverse incentives such as the flawed biofuels targets, like the EU’s target of obtaining 10 per cent of transport fuels from renewable sources by 2020, should be scrapped to curb the rush on land to meet biofuel demand.

Meanwhile, the UN’s Committee on Food Security in Rome could take an important first step when it meets in Rome next month, by adopting credible pro-poor, pro-women guidelines on land tenure.

Hobbs said: “Land investment should be good news for people in poverty but the frenetic scramble for land risks putting development in reverse. We need urgent global action so that local people with relatively little do not lose everything for the benefit of a few, and to secure a future where everyone has enough to eat.”

Read more

Pull quotes: 
I was threatened – they told me they were going to beat me if we didn’t leave.
Quotee's organisation: 
Farmer from Kiboga district, Uganda
Notes to editors: 
  1. This data is compiled by the Land Matrix Partnership, a coalition of academic, research and non-governmental organisations. The 227 million figure is based on information on land deals over 200 hectares from a whole range of different sources including government reports, academic research, company websites, media reports and the few contracts that are available. The coalition is currently cross checking the records of land deals it has identified.  It is calling for increased transparency among companies and governments so that the true scale of the problem can be accurately understood.
    The Land Matrix Partnership includes the International Land Coalition, the universities of Bern and Hamburg, the French research institute CIRAD, the German agency for technical cooperation, GIZ and Oxfam.
  2. The evictions took place between 2006 and 2010. One High Court order was granted on 24 August 2009 and remained valid until 18 March 2010. The other was granted on 19 June 2009 and remained in force until 2 October 2009. Both were to restrain evictions by the company.
    The New Forests Company stated that the majority of local residents had no legal right to the land, that they had left peacefully and that the process was the sole responsibility of the Ugandan National Forestry Authority.  It told Oxfam that it had brought jobs and amenities to local communities and that its activities had been approved by the Forestry Stewardship Council and International Finance Corporation.

Useful figures:

  • The global economy, which is expected to triple in size by 2050, will demand ever more scarce natural and agricultural resources
  • Palm oil has become the world’s most consumed edible oil and can be found in up to half of all packaged food and hygiene products. Production is expected to double by 2050, increasing the land area under cultivation worldwide by 24 million hectares – six times the size of the Netherlands
  • In Guatemala, eight per cent of farmers account for 78 per cent of the land in production. Of the smallholders who control the remaining land, just eight per cent are women.

Oxfam’s GROW campaign is calling for global action to fix a broken food system where 925 million people already go hungry every day. This could get worse in the face of dwindling natural resources, like land, the gathering pace of climate change and increasing food price volatility. Find out how we can help prevent this from getting worse at

Contact information: 

Tricia O'Rourke,, +44 1865 339157 or +44 7876 397915

Space only: 

          Right to Build   
Last month the government relaunched a scheme which has been more controversial than most schemes to emenate out of Whitehall over the years: Right to Buy. Finding its roots way back in the distant past (well, the 80s), this scheme encourages council tenants to take their first steps onto the home ownership ladder through providing […]
          Sweden Wind Power Capacity, Generation, Levelized Cost of Energy - Industry Analysis, Trends, and Forecast Report 2030   

Market Research Hub

(EMAILWIRE.COM, June 30, 2017 ) Market Research Hub (MRH) has recently announced the addition of a fresh report, titled “Sweden Wind Power Market Outlook to 2030, Update 2017 - Capacity, Generation, Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE), Investment Trends, Regulations and Company Profiles” to its report offerings. The report provides in depth analysis on global renewable power market and global wind power market with forecasts up to 2030.

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"Wind Power in Sweden, Market Outlook to 2030, Update 2016 - Capacity, Generation, Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE), Investment Trends, Regulations and Company Profiles is the latest report from GlobalData, the industry analysis specialists that offer comprehensive information and understanding of the wind power market in Sweden.

The report provides in depth analysis on global renewable power market and global wind power market with forecasts up to 2030. The report analyzes the power market scenario in Sweden (includes conventional thermal, nuclear, large hydro and renewable energy sources) and provides future outlook with forecasts up to 2030. The research details renewable power market outlook in the country (includes wind, small hydro, biopower and solar PV) and provides forecasts up to 2030. The report highlights installed capacity and power generation trends from 2006 to 2030 in Sweden wind power market. A detailed coverage of renewable energy policy framework governing the market with specific policies pertaining to wind power is provided in the report. The research also provides company snapshots of some of the major market participants.

The report is built using data and information sourced from proprietary databases, secondary research and in-house analysis by GlobalDatas team of industry experts.

The report analyses global renewable power market, global wind power (Onshore and Offshore) market, Sweden power market, Sweden renewable power market and Sweden wind power market. The scope of the research includes -
- A brief introduction on global carbon emissions and global primary energy consumption.
- An overview on global renewable power market, highlighting installed capacity trends, generation trends and installed capacity split by various renewable power sources. The information is covered for the historical period 2006-2015 (unless specified) and forecast period 2015-2030.
- Renewable power sources include wind (both onshore and offshore), solar photovoltaic (PV), concentrated solar power (CSP), small hydropower (SHP), biomass, biogas and geothermal.
- Detailed overview of the global wind power market with installed capacity and generation trends, installed capacity split by major hydropower countries in 2015 and key owners information of various regions.
- Power market scenario in Sweden and provides detailed market overview, installed capacity and power generation trends by various fuel types (includes thermal conventional, nuclear, large hydro and renewable energy sources) with forecasts up to 2030.
- An overview on Sweden renewable power market, highlighting installed capacity trends (2006-2030), generation trends(2006-2030) and installed capacity split by various renewable power sources in 2015.
- Detailed overview of Sweden wind power market with installed capacity and generation trends and major active and upcoming wind projects.
- Deal analysis of Sweden wind power market. Deals are analyzed on the basis of mergers, acquisitions, partnership, asset finance, debt offering, equity offering, private equity (PE) and venture capitalists (VC).
- Key policies and regulatory framework supporting the development of renewable power sources in general and wind power in particular.
- Company snapshots of some of the major market participants in the country.

Reasons to buy
- The report will enhance your decision making capability in a more rapid and time sensitive manner.
- Identify key growth and investment opportunities in Sweden wind power market.
- Facilitate decision-making based on strong historic and forecast data for wind power market.
- Position yourself to gain the maximum advantage of the industrys growth potential.
- Develop strategies based on the latest regulatory events.
- Identify key partners and business development avenues.
- Understand and respond to your competitors business structure, strategy and prospects.

Read Full Report with TOC:

Table of Contents:

1 Table of Contents 2
1.1 List of Tables 6
1.2 List of Figures 7
2 Executive Summary 8
2.1 Government Support in Conjunction with Technology Development Driving Global Renewable Power Installations 8
2.2 Top 10 Countries Account for Over 84% of Wind Power Capacity 8
2.3 Renewable to Account for a Maximum Share of Installed Capacity by 2030 9
2.4 Wind Power to become One of the Primary Sources of Electricity in the Future 10
3 Introduction 11
3.1 Carbon Emissions, Global, 2001-2015 11
3.2 Primary Energy Consumption, Global, 2001-2025 13
3.3 Wind Power, Global, Technology Definition and Classification 15
3.4 Wind Power Market, Technology Overview 15
3.5 Wind Power Market, Turbine Components 16
3.6 Report Guidance 18
4 Renewable Power Market, Global, 2006 - 2030 19
4.1 Renewable Power Market, Global, Overview 19
4.2 Renewable Power Market, Global, Installed Capacity, 2006-2030 21
4.2.1 Renewable Power Market, Global, Cumulative Installed Capacity by Source Type, 2006-2030 21
4.2.2 Renewable Power Market, Global, Cumulative Installed Capacity Split by Source Type, 2015 and. 2030 23

Make an Enquiry:

About Market Research Hub:

Market Research Hub (MRH) is a next-generation reseller of research reports and analysis. MRH’s expansive collection of Wind Power Market Research Reports has been carefully curated to help key personnel and decision makers across industry verticals to clearly visualize their operating environment and take strategic steps.

MRH functions as an integrated platform for the following products and services: Objective and sound market forecasts, qualitative and quantitative analysis, incisive insight into defining industry trends, and market share estimates. Our reputation lies in delivering value and world-class capabilities to our clients.

Contact Details:

90 State Street,

Albany, NY 12207,

United States

Toll Free: 866-997-4948 (US-Canada)

Tel: +1-518-621-2074



Read Industry News @

Sudip S

Source: EmailWire.Com
          That was the local government week that was   
It’s been a proper busy news week and with more days and more time we could have written twice as many posts this week. Nonetheless, our Friday post gives us a chance to catch up. We’ll try to do the week some justice and also pick up a few slightly different pieces but goodness knows […]
          Diving into the downward spiral   
When I was a kid our local leisure centre had a cool water flume type ride. What was great about it was that after you had gone through the fun of the flume it opened out into a big bowl which you spun round and round before dropping out of the end. It was great! […]
          Sweden Hydropower Capacity, Generation, Regulations - Industry Analysis, Trends, and Forecast Report 2030   

Market Research Hub

(EMAILWIRE.COM, June 30, 2017 ) Market Research Hub (MRH) has recently announced the addition of a fresh report, titled “Sweden Hydropower Market Outlook to 2030, Update 2017 - Capacity, Generation, Regulations and Company Profiles” to its report offerings. The report provides in depth analysis on global renewable power market and global hydropower market with forecasts up to 2030.

Request Free Sample Report:

"Hydropower (Large, Small and Pumped Storage) in Sweden, Market Outlook to 2030, Update 2017 - Capacity, Generation, Regulations and Company Profiles" is the latest report from GlobalData, the industry analysis specialists that offer comprehensive information and understanding of the hydropower market in Sweden.

The report provides in depth analysis on global renewable power market and global hydropower market with forecasts up to 2030. The report analyzes the power market scenario in Sweden (includes conventional thermal, nuclear, large hydro and renewable energy sources) and provides future outlook with forecasts up to 2030. The research details renewable power market outlook in the country (includes hydro, small hydro, biopower and solar PV) and provides forecasts up to 2030. The report highlights installed capacity and power generation trends from 2006 to 2030 in Sweden hydropower market. A detailed coverage of renewable energy policy framework governing the market with specific policies pertaining to hydropower is provided in the report. The research also provides company snapshots of some of the major market participants.

The report is built using data and information sourced from proprietary databases, secondary research and in-house analysis by GlobalDatas team of industry experts.
The report analyses global renewable power market, global hydropower market, Sweden power market, Sweden renewable power market and Sweden hydropower market. The scope of the research includes -
- A brief introduction on global carbon emissions and global primary energy consumption.
- An overview on global renewable power market, highlighting installed capacity trends, generation trends and installed capacity split by various renewable power sources. The information is covered for the historical period 2006-2016 (unless specified) and forecast period 2017-2030.
- Renewable power sources include wind (both onshore and offshore), solar photovoltaic (PV), concentrated solar power (CSP), small hydropower (SHP), biomass, biogas and geothermal.
- Detailed overview of the global hydropower market with installed capacity and generation trends, installed capacity split by major hydropower countries in 2016 and key owners information of various regions.
- Power market scenario in Sweden and provides detailed market overview, installed capacity and power generation trends by various fuel types (includes thermal conventional, nuclear, large hydro and renewable energy sources) with forecasts up to 2030.
- An overview on Sweden renewable power market, highlighting installed capacity trends (2006-2030), generation trends(2006-2030) and installed capacity split by various renewable power sources in 2016.
- Detailed overview of Sweden hydropower market with installed capacity and generation trends and major active and upcoming hydro projects.
- Deal analysis of Sweden hydropower market. Deals are analyzed on the basis of mergers, acquisitions, partnership, asset finance, debt offering, equity offering, private equity (PE) and venture capitalists (VC).
- Key policies and regulatory framework supporting the development of renewable power sources in general and hydropower in particular.
- Company snapshots of some of the major market participants in the country.
Reasons to buy
- The report will enhance your decision making capability in a more rapid and time sensitive manner.
- Identify key growth and investment opportunities in Sweden hydropower market.
- Facilitate decision-making based on strong historic and forecast data for hydropower market.
- Position yourself to gain the maximum advantage of the industrys growth potential.
- Develop strategies based on the latest regulatory events.
- Identify key partners and business development avenues.
- Understand and respond to your competitors business structure, strategy and prospects.

Read Full Report with TOC:

Table of Contents:

1 Table of Contents 2
1.1 List of Tables 5
1.2 List of Figures 6
2 Executive Summary 7
2.1 Fall in OECD Countries Carbon Emission despite a Global Rise during 2010-2015 7
2.2 Technological Advancements and Government Support Driving Global Renewable Power Installations 7
2.3 Top 10 Countries Account for Over 70% of Hydropower Capacity 7
2.4 Renewable to Stock Up Maximum Installed Capacity by 2030 8
2.5 Hydropower Capacity Dominates Electricity Generation in Sweden 9
3 Introduction 10
3.1 Carbon Emissions, Global, 2001-2016 10
3.2 Primary Energy Consumption, Global, 2001-2025 12
3.3 Hydropower, Global, Technology Definition and Classification 14
3.4 Report Guidance 16
4 Renewable Power Market, Global, 2006-2030 17
4.1 Renewable Power Market, Global, Overview 17
4.2 Renewable Power Market, Global, Installed Capacity, 2006-2030 18
4.2.1 Renewable Power Market, Global, Cumulative Installed Capacity by Source Type, 2006-2030 18
4.2.2 Renewable Power Market, Global, Cumulative Installed Capacity Split by Source Type, 2016 and 2030 20
4.2.3 Renewable Power Market, Global, Net Capacity Additions by Source Type, 2016-2030 22

Make an Enquiry:

About Market Research Hub:

Market Research Hub (MRH) is a next-generation reseller of research reports and analysis. MRH’s expansive collection of market research reports has been carefully curated to help key personnel and decision makers across industry verticals to clearly visualize their operating environment and take strategic steps.

MRH functions as an integrated platform for the following products and services: Objective and sound market forecasts, qualitative and quantitative analysis, incisive insight into defining industry trends, and market share estimates. Our reputation lies in delivering value and world-class capabilities to our clients.

Contact Details:

90 State Street,

Albany, NY 12207,

United States

Toll Free: 866-997-4948 (US-Canada)

Tel: +1-518-621-2074



Read Industry News @

Sudip S

Source: EmailWire.Com
          New Year, New Predictions   
Happy New Year! 2011 was a pretty momentous year for those of us working in the public sector with cuts, strikes, riots, redundancies, rising demand for our services and a surrounding narrative that pitted those who work in the public services against those who use those services. For those of us working in local government […]
          Liberal Anonymity   
This blog is not necessarily one that takes a great amount of notice of the internal workings of our country’s political parties. However, as I listened to my daily dose of John Humphries and his Crazy crew this morning I heard that one of today’s ‘highlights’ at the conference would be a speech by the […]
          Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Absolution Coming First to PlayStation 4 on July 7   
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Absolution Coming First to PlayStation 4 on July 7 New DLC Pack Features Four Diverse, New Multiplayer Maps Actress Cassandra Peterson Reprises Her Iconic Role of Elvira in New Zombies Experience “Attack of the Radioactive Thing!” set in a 1950s Creature Feature June 30, 2017 – Activision and Infinity Ward have unveiled the first official details of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Absolution, the third DLC Map Pack for 2016’s No. 1 top-selling console video game in the United States (excluding hardware bundle sales), Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. The map pack features four new, diverse multiplayer maps, and a new zombies co-op experience called Attack of the Radioactive Thing!, set in a ‘50s era beach town where a government science experiment has gone horribly wrong. Absolution is scheduled to release July 7, first on the PlayStation Network for the PlayStation 4 computer entertainment system, with other platforms to follow. “Our team couldn’t be more thrilled to introduce another wild, twisted zombies experience in Attack of the Radioactive Thing!, which continues the story and adds some awesome new gameplay,” said Dave Stohl, Studio Head of Infinity Ward. “For our multiplayer fans, we’re delivering four diverse maps that reward the different gameplay styles our community has embraced since the game launched last year. We can’t wait.” Attack of the Radioactive Thing!, the next action-packed chapter of the Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare zombies experience, once again features the return of Willard Wyler, the enigmatic movie director villain portrayed with voice and likeness by Paul Reubens (Pee-wee’s Big Holiday, Gotham). Wyler has trapped the four protagonists inside an all-new horror film, set in the 1950s and in the style of the Creature Feature films of the era. Players will fight a new array of zombie enemies across a ravaged beach town where a government science experiment has transformed the residents into flesh-devouring zombies and introduced a new biological menace into the city. Additionally, horror movie icon Elvira, played with voice and likeness by Cassandra Peterson (Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, Elvira’s Movie Macabre), will help players survive and give them gameplay tips and side quests with her unique Elvira style. New weapons, traps and more will augment the hallmark Call of Duty action, with Seth Green (Robot Chicken, Austin Powers) as “the Scientist;” Ike Barinholtz (Neighbors, Suicide Squad) as “the Rebel;” Jay Pharoah (White Famous, Saturday Night Live) as “the Soldier;” and Sasheer Zamata (Saturday Night Live, Inside Amy Schumer) as “the School Girl,” all making a return from the ongoing story in this all-new experience. In addition to Attack of the Radioactive Thing!, Absolution will also include four new multiplayer maps: Bermuda – A shantytown created around the remnants of a crashed ship, Bermuda allows players to duck, dive, and wall ride from the fish market to the lighthouse in this small to medium sized map that’s been water-wasted and sandblasted. Permafrost – Set within the chill of a frozen city skyline, Permafrost lets players stick to the ground and pick their plan of attack in one of three main lanes. They will traverse the map, moving from street side to train station, and hobo village to wrecked theatre house in this small, tight-quarters map. Fore – In Fore, the only thing miniature about this large map is the golf courses players will be fighting in. Fore features great visual variety as players swing around the sights and sounds of areas that brandish magical forests, giant creamsicles, and elevated castle walls. Ember – Located near an old town castle, Ember is a remake of the Modern Warfare 3 classic map Resistance, featuring old world aesthetics retrofitted with modern technology. The surroundings include lava, gallows and a torture room, where players will want to stick close to their teammates. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Absolution releases on July 7, 2017 first for the PlayStation 4, with other platforms to follow. The game is rated MA15+ for Mature (Blood, Intense Violence, Strong Language). For more information, please visit Fans can also follow @CallofDuty on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
          Squeezing the Balloon   
This weekend the Observer carried a major Tory split headline: Eric Pickles warns David Cameron of rise in homeless families risk The claim from Mr Pickles (well, actually one of his staff) was that the Overall Benefits Cap being proposed by the Prime Minister might have some wider effects and not lead to the savings […]
          On the fifth day of Christmas our bloggers gave to me   
A picture of Eric Pickles and Grant Shapps actually cutting red tape: Pure Genius!
          Alberta Hits C$10.8 Budget Deficit in 2016-17   
From Reuters Canada CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) – Canada’s main crude-producing province Alberta ended the 2016-17 fiscal year with a C$10.8 billion ($8.29 billion) budget deficit, the government’s annual report said on Thursday, as weak oil prices hurt the economy for a third consecutive year. That was C$263 million higher than forecast in the government’s original 2016 budget. It reflects the impact[Read More...]
          "The Clenched Fist of Truth"?   
This is not the NRA I thought I knew.

The old concept was always that an armed citizenry could hedge against government tyranny. That's not what is on offer here.
          Why Do People Want to Kill Each Other Over Politics?   
A philosophically-trained writer at the Federalist says it's because we view the government's power as far more necessary to life and its goods than it really is.
If government power is the people’s best and only hope, then to deny the use of that power, or even to exercise it in the wrong way, is just like killing people. So you are naturally going to long to see the political malefactors behind such a policy struck down, for the same reasons we love the scene in the action movie when the bad guy finally falls off the skyscraper and gets what’s coming to him.

This attitude is not strictly limited to the provinces of the Left where we currently see it so flamboyantly displayed. As we have recently discovered, some on the Right also look to government for salvation, hoping that the right kind of limits on trade and immigration, the right deals made by the right dealmaker, will solve all of our problems—and anyone who doesn’t support that leader is a traitor.

But the basic idea of government as salvation is associated more with the Left, because expanding the power of government is their primary political cause.
Is he right about that? Vox argues that it's impossible to tell conservatives apart from their caricature of conservatives -- and for them, I don't doubt that this is true. Republicans want to kill the poor in order to provide tax cuts for the rich, and that's the only way to understand the policy they're proposing.

I don't care a bit about tax cuts for the rich, but I'd like to see the government get completely out of health care. My reasoning has two parts: most importantly, because government-run health care poses severe challenges to human liberty; less importantly, because the government's effectively-unlimited money distorts markets and produces runaway price inflation. If the government must be involved at all, it should be on the back end, quietly repaying expenses for qualifying veterans (and potentially certain very poor individuals) so that no one realizes that there's an unlimited pool of money they could chase. Then people's capacity to come up with the money up front would serve as a market brake on the inflation, and yet veterans would be able to pursue the health care they want from the doctors they choose -- not ones imposed on them by an uncaring, massive bureaucracy.

But I suppose that's tantamount to saying that I want people to die.

          Georgia Alters the Deal   
I mean, eight percent is better than nothing, but a promise is a promise.
          American Pravda: How the CIA Invented "Conspiracy Theories"   
A year or two ago, I saw the much-touted science fiction film Interstellar, and although the plot wasn't any good, one early scene was quite amusing. For various reasons, the American government of the future claimed that our Moon Landings of the late 1960s had been faked, a trick aimed at winning the Cold War...
          Marriage is a covenant   
In a 2015 pastoral letter on the same-sex marriage debate, themed ‘Don’t mess with marriage’, the Catholic Bishops of Australia observed that “At this time in history, there is much discussion about the meaning of marriage”. In Malta, although certain laws were introduced that directly or indirectly changed the meaning of marriage, unfortunately, there was little debate both in Parliament and in the social arena. The government has now declared it will introduce ‘same-sex marriage’. I am convinced that if a debate takes place, the stand of the Catholic Church might be of great help to all those of goodwill who would like to make the right choice for the common good. Justice requires us to treat people fairly and, therefore, not to make arbitrary, groundless distinctions. Thus, we must treat like cases alike and different cases differently. It, therefore, follows that if the union between a man and a woman is different from other unions then justice demands that we treat that union accordingly. Marriage is an institution designed to support people of the opposite sex to be faithful to each other and to the children of their union. This truth is not only based on faith but also on...
          Benefit of Dashboard Reporting for Government Operations   
Dashboard reporting has never been more important to the government. Considering the humungous streams of data collected through government agencies and programs, the challenge is how to make sense of these data in a way that they will benefit the organization and perhaps save large amounts of money as a result. The use of this type […]
          Vice highlights one hate group’s assault on LGBTQ youth   

Sarah Wasko/Media Matters

A recent Vice report detailed Alliance Defending Freedom’s (ADF) stealth years-long effort to chip away at the separation of church and state in public schools and take away the rights of LGBTQ students. Most recently, as Vice reported, ADF was a “major force” behind the Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer case in which the Supreme Court ruled that the state of Missouri violated the church’s First Amendment rights by denying it access to government grants meant for secular use. Trinity v. Comer was viewed as a “major First Amendment decision” in terms of the separation of church and state.

Media Matters identified ADF as the anti-LGBTQ hate group leading the national campaign against transgender students in November 2015. Since then, ADF has kept up its assault on the rights of transgender students to access a fair and equal education: It has drafted a model policy to deny transgender students equal protection in school, repeatedly sent representatives to testify at school board meetings to advocate against protecting transgender students, and even sued school districts for implementing transgender-inclusive policies.

Vice reported that ADF has “an army of over 2,600 private attorneys and assets of around $40 million” to work on clawing back the rights of LGBTQ youth in schools:

Why has the organization dedicated so much attention to schools in recent years? According to [Angelo] Carusone at Media Matters, maintaining control of the country's education system is part of ADF's long view of the fight to control public policy.

“They see this as a generational fight, and you target kids when you're fighting a generational war,” he said. “They think they can turn the tides of culture, and they're willing to fight this for decades... They're not fighting individual skirmishes over individual policies. They see this as a battle in a decades-long, multi-generational effort to make sure every member of the LGBT community is not just pushed back into the closet, but put in jail.”

The report also highlighted efforts by LBGTQ organizations and coalitions, such as the Eliminate Hate campaign, to push back against ADF’s actions:

That the ADF has taken such an active role in manipulating educational policy has not gone unnoticed by LGBTQ organizations. Recently, a coalition of LGBTQ advocacy groups launched a campaign called “Eliminate Hate,” dedicated to exposing ADF interference in school districts and bringing attention to other anti-LGBTQ hate groups.

“It's bad enough when you're not accepted at home,” said Sara Grossman, communications manager at the Matthew Shepard Foundation (MSF), which advocates for an end to violence against LGBTQ people. “Sometimes school is your safe space. To take that away is atrocious. They're just kids.”

Besides media outreach, coalition partners are also placing op-eds in major news outlets, and working to connect supportive parents with school officials so that their voices can't be ignored.

But it’s going to be difficult to counter the ADF’s vast legal and financial resources, particularly now that they've been successful in the Trinity case. With a sympathetic administration in the White House, it’ll be easier than ever for states to reduce funding for public schools and increase funding for discriminatory private schools.

          Media Matters responds to the latest setback for 21st Century Fox’s bid to take over Sky   

Media Matters for America President Angelo Carusone released the following statement after U.K. Culture Secretary Karen Bradley announced that she was “minded” to refer 21st Century Fox’s bid to take over Sky PLC to the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority on grounds of media plurality:

The government should not approve 21st Century Fox’s bid to take over Sky. It’s alarming that the company’s demonstrated culture of malfeasance and governance deficiencies borne out of Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch’s commitment to advancing his personal political agenda has not already been sufficient to warrant outright rejection.

The soft touch to which the government is treating Murdoch’s bid is also revealing -- it seems to come in part because of the disproportionate amount of political power and influence that Murdoch wields. As Secretary Bradley accurately notes, this takeover will give Murdoch even more power and influence. That kind of disproportionate control, especially in the hands of an already destructive entity, is not in anyone’s interest except Murdoch’s.

Beware Murdoch’s promises and assurances. As we have noted, he has made an awful lot of them in the past in order to a secure a deal, only to swiftly disregard his word once the deal was finalized.

In mid-June, Media Matters for America President Angelo Carusone sent a letter to the U.K.'s chief broadcasting regulator, Ofcom, highlighting a number of recent developments -- all of which concern Fox News -- that are pertinent to Ofcom’s investigation into the potential takeover of Sky PLC by Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, Fox News’ parent company.

The recent developments detailed in Media Matters' letter to Ofcom further underscore that Murdoch and his sons fail to satisfy the conditions necessary to acquire British satellite broadcasting company Sky in full and expose dangers that the bid for Sky would pose to the British public and media landscape.

The letter from Carusone follows a March 30 report Media Matters submitted in partnership with global activism group Avaaz to Ofcom that detailed the risks Murdoch’s desired takeover of Sky poses to British broadcasting standards.

Before that, Media Matters and Avaaz submitted a report to Secretary Bradley of the U.K. Department for Culture, Media and Sport that demonstrated that the risk of Foxification is too great to simply rubber-stamp a Murdoch takeover. On March 16, Bradley referred Murdoch's takeover bid to Ofcom for a thorough investigation on the grounds of "media plurality and commitment to broadcasting standards." The findings of the Ofcom investigation are due by June 20.

21st Century Fox already owns 39.1 percent of Sky. Murdoch abandoned a previous bid for full ownership in light of an investigation into mass hacking at his U.K.-based newspapers. Following an investigation, a parliamentary report found that Murdoch was “not a fit person” to run a major corporation and that his son James (who at the time ran the parent company of News Of The World and The Sun; he is now the CEO of 21st Century Fox) showed “wilful ignorance” of the industrial-scale hacking. In September of 2016, it was reported that Fox News had engaged in similar tactics, hacking the phone of Media Matters reporter Joe Strupp.

          Annexationism among Cubans   
Annexationism among Cubans HILDEBRANDO CHAVIANO MONTES | La Habana | 29 de Junio de 2017 – 00:20 CEST. A group of Cuban intellectuals gather at Cuban TV’s Round Table (a misnomer) to analyze (once again) Donald Trump’s alteration of America’s policies towards the Cuban Government. They insist on accusing US leadership of harboring annexationist intentions, […]
          Watch: 5 Celebs Who Have Lost Credibility As They Were Busy Buttering The Govt.   

Remember the good days when celebrities used to be all charming and well behaved? Well, it is no more the same now thanks to politics and a special mention to the present right wing government. In the past months, we have seen tremendous shifts towards right by people who used to be unbiased and centrist. […]

The post Watch: 5 Celebs Who Have Lost Credibility As They Were Busy Buttering The Govt. appeared first on ED Times | The Youth Blog.

          Why Rajput Community Is Protesting Against Encounter Of Gangster Anand Pal Singh   

Anand Pal Singh was shot dead by Rajasthan Police a few days ago. Rajput community is boiling since then, his family has refused to take the body and protests have become violent with people burning government cars and buildings. This calls for a ED special Demystifier on what exactly the issue is. Who Was Anand […]

The post Why Rajput Community Is Protesting Against Encounter Of Gangster Anand Pal Singh appeared first on ED Times | The Youth Blog.

          Kanpur’s Leather Industry Is In Distress But The UP Government Seems More Interested In Cow Protection   

The Leather hub of India, Kanpur is in distress. The economy of Kanpur which contributes 4% to UP’s GDP has fallen apart due to a slew of factors which has resulted in the decimation of the leather industry. The Yogi Adityanath Factor The arrival of the new CM has spelled doom for the slaughter houses. […]

The post Kanpur’s Leather Industry Is In Distress But The UP Government Seems More Interested In Cow Protection appeared first on ED Times | The Youth Blog.

          (DF) Prime Minister Borissov Urges Balkan Political Elites to Rise above History   
June 30 (BTA) - Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov attended a meeting of heads of state and government of the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP), which was held in Dubrovnik on Friday. During his visit to the Croatian city, Borissov was accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva and the Minister for the Bulgarian Presidency of the EU Council in 2018, Liliyana Pavlova.
          (DF) Bulgarian Foreign Minister Tells Her Balkan Counterparts There Is No Alternative to European Prospects for the Region   
June 30 (BTA) - Addressing a meeting of heads of state and government of the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) in Dubrovnik, Croatia on Friday, Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva said there is no alternative to the European prospects for the Balkan countries, said the Foreign Ministry.
           Davis hampered by May´s Brexit `red lines´, says ex-government adviser    
James Chapman says the PM should reconsider her position on the ECJ, immigration and the European Atomic Energy Community.
          (DF) PM Borissov: "Bulgarian-Croatian History Is Deeply Rooted in Bulgaria, Continues to Make Successful Progress"   
June 30 (BTA) - Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Frankovic unveiled a memorial plaque to Tsar Ivan Asen II's Dubrovnik Charter in the Croatian city on Thursday, the Government Information Service said.
          From Human Rights to Biological Threats, 25th National Security Law Institute Covers U.S. Safety   
Streaming Audio

Prominent national security scholars and other experts, including former and current government officials, convened at the University of Virginia School of Law for the 25th National Security Law Institute earlier this month to discuss the nation

          Faculty Analyze Future of Corporate Governance Regulations   
Streaming Audio Audio icon 17_04_14_corporate_governance.mp3

A panel of UVA Law professors analyzes past and current trends of federal regulation of corporate governance, including the shifting power structure between the state and federal government, shareholder activism and changes under the Trump administration. The panel includes Professors Julia Mahoney, Michal Barzuza and George Geis, with Professor Quinn Curtis moderating.

          Torngat Hospitality Coordinator – Torngat Mountains National Park - Nunatsiavut Kavamanga Government - Park, MB   
Delivery and continuous improvement of the tourist programs. Nunatsiavut Government Nunatsiavut kavamangani....
From Nunatsiavut Kavamanga Government - Tue, 27 Jun 2017 13:43:37 GMT - View all Park, MB jobs
          Katie Redford '95 Discusses Current Trends in Human Rights and Environmental Justice Lawyering   
Streaming Audio Audio icon 16_10_18_redford_human_rights.mp3

Katie Redford ’95, co-founder of EarthRights International, a non-governmental organization focusing on human rights and environmental justice, discusses current trends, threats and opportunities in human rights lawyering. 

          Air Pollution a Concern at Levels Currently Accepted as "Safe"   
The Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) warns today that government agencies must not become complacent in the effort to provide clean air to all citizens.
          LASG: We didn’t issue directive to conduct School Assembly in Yoruba   
The Lagos State Government has debunked reports trending on the social media in respect of a purported directive issued to Schools in Lagos State to conduct Assembly in the Yoruba language on Thursdays.
          Lagos targets 640,000 pregnant women in Maternal, Newborn Week   
The Lagos State Government on Friday said it is targeting reaching 640,000 pregnant women in this year’s Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, MNCH Week which begins on Monday across the state.
          MLC urges Christians to utilise government's benefits   
The state governments' Chief Whip in Legislative Council Ivan D'Souza said that two lakh brochures have been printed and are being circulated across t...
           Death toll in Pakistan oil tanker fire rises to 190    
The death toll from an oil tanker explosion in central Pakistan has risen to 190, hospital and government officials said Friday as 16 more people succumbed...
          Vietnamese Catholic blogger sentenced to 10 years in prison   

A Vietnamese court sentenced a Catholic blogger to 10 years in prison for propaganda against the Communist government.

           Texas court questions right of benefits for gay spouses    
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Gay spouses may not be entitled to government-subsidized workplace benefits, the Texas Supreme Court ruled Friday in a unanimous...
           Hundreds flee Mosul as Iraqi forces squeeze last pockets of IS resistance    
The areas where government forces are fighting have been under siege for months.
           Groups challenge US plan to lift grizzly bear protections    
BOISE, Idaho (AP) - At least three different legal challenges were launched Friday against the U.S. government's decision to lift protections for grizzly...
          UK lawmakers pass May government's 2-year agenda   
UK lawmakers pass May government's 2-year agenda
- Abortion is far more tightly restricted in Northern Ireland than in the rest of the U.K., ... the Conservative government's plans for a Brexit-dominated parliamentary ... But the government is likely to get its way thanks to Northern Ireland's ...

          Hard Brexit' could mean higher prices for Irish consumers   
Hard Brexit' could mean higher prices for Irish consumers
- The Government has warned that Irish consumers will have to pay higher prices for goods and services if the UK leaves the European Union with no ...

          Comment on Centros de Asesoría by Discover More   
The section will inform you all the principles of Razz and link you to another content material you might be enthusiastic about equivalent to Razz technique and where to play Razz on-line. The final round of betting commences - all gamers who match the bets in this spherical will go to the Showdown, with the final aggressor being the primary one to indicate his playing cards. It's up and operating as effectively, and features a number of licensed poker websites, the most important of which is , which even has a staff of sponsored Indian poker pros. It's anticipated that Pokernation and Zee Group will take steps to ensure that poker is totally recognised as a sport of ability by governments and the judiciary and doubts about collaborating in poker for stakes are eliminated. Betyourskills involves the rescue of poker players in India Be a part of at our site and get a direct join bonus as a token of welcome from our aspect. 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By on-line poker 2020 we take into consideration that there may very well be a million avid gamers in India and IPA will do all it would presumably to hunt out and hone a world champion. You will note how the energy of your hand, and the best way you play it, can vary - sometimes radically - depending on the situation you're in. The plot of Casino Royale revolves largely round poker, though the best way the game of poker is proven in the movie is unrealistic and a bit too dramatic. If Maharashtra's efficiency at implementing its 1976 regulation legalising casinos can be used as a marker, the highway ahead should be lengthy. This is why this can be very vital to take care of your primary wants earlier than sitting down to play poker. In July final year Calcutta High Courtroom passed an order in the matter Suresh v. State of West Bengal & Others directing the state government, police, municipal and different authorities to not interfere in poker video games offered the organisers had the required permits. It certainly helped that I caught two first rate fingers throughout those first hours of play. She has also gained the coveted PokerStars Trophy in one of many largest, most prestigious tournaments of Asia - Macau Poker Cup. These articles not only cover the easy poker arms order info, in addition they introduce the new player to the varied rounds of betting, when the cards are dealt, and find out how to form a profitable Texas Maintain 'em hand. Shail Agarwal, well known to the poker group in India, can be part of Team Thrill India. For those who assume you'll want to know extra, take a look at our tips on how to play poker information for all the pieces about poker guidelines, technique, odds, poker hands & more. Poker ranks are all the time based mostly on five playing cards solely, and if these playing cards are equal the palms are equal, irrespective of the ranks of any unused cards. You is probably not confident in your teaching, but a fast take a look at a educated poker article may have your pupil on top of things in a matter of minutes. PokerStars has sent invitations to a select variety of play money players in the United States to help present feedback and make sure all the things works on a technical degree. They are going to then be dealt two cards each, which can solely be seen by their proprietor. On common, you will want to play over a quarter million fingers to hit a Royal Flush (so do not anticipate to see this one come by any time quickly and be extraordinarily completely happy when it does). Pineapple - Dealt three hole cards, discard one earlier than the flop, play like Texas Hold'em. Sport Quantity - the 3-digit number 774 printed on the back and front of each Eligible Ticket. If you've been enjoying your playing cards shut, and not betting wildly, start bluffing a bit extra. Final 12 months each the Rockets Poker Room in Jayanagar and the House of Kards in Basavanagudi were subject to police raids in the house of a few months. While there is likely to be other legal guidelines banning house poker video games in California, an intensive studying of the Gambling Management Act makes it clear that it doesn't limit dwelling games. I have a great deal of friends who've carved in stone" favorite hands and would play crazy simply to show theirs are the fortunate one. Many poker sessions stretch over 10-12 hours, with gamers usually needing cocaine or other drugs to help stay alert. Pokabunga is to change into the second online poker operator to launch its companies in India after father or mom firm WYZ Video games India Personal secured a capacity gaming licence in Nagaland. The digital Maintain ‘Em Poker recreation and digital bonus wheel are for leisure functions only. These gamers don't play free and go all in each hand, as you would possibly see on television. The draw was added previous to 1850 (when it was first talked about in print in a handbook of games). Equally, Germany may claim that since the server internet hosting the website Poker is situated within its jurisdiction Germany has the final say. Here's a listing of the commonest mixture of video poker palms ranked from the best potential to the bottom. Straight flush - five playing cards of the identical swimsuit in sequential order (e.g. 34567 all of hearts); in the exceedingly unlikely event that two gamers each have a straight flush, their rank is decided by the very best card within the straight, with an ace-excessive straight flush being the strongest doable hand in poker (known as a royal flush). The approval of the Nagaland bill is anticipated to result in additional regulated on-line poker in India. Madhav Gupta , owner of On line casino Pride in Goa, noticed, We are seeing a rise within the variety of gamers turning to poker. Little by little, because the word unfold, casinos in Goa began hosting poker events in 2008. It boasts over a hundred,000 energetic gamers, in-game challenges to maintain issues fun, and a simple UI that puts the sport first. Any dispute or controversy arising out of this Agreement which cannot be mutually settled by the parties inside an affordable time period not to exceed sixty (60) days shall be submitted to arbitration pursuant to the then present business rules of the American Arbitration Association and the decision of the arbitrator(s) shall be closing and binding and judgment thereon could also be entered in any courtroom of competent jurisdiction.
          May prepares to make embarrassing Queen's Speech climbdown to avoid defeat on abortion rights ...   
May prepares to make embarrassing Queen's Speech climbdown to avoid defeat on abortion rights ...
- But an amendment put forward by Labour backbencher Stella Creasy threatens to cause trouble for Mrs May by driving a wedge between the Tories and her allies the DUP.
It insists that women subject to tough abortion laws in Northern Ireland should have access to free treatment in England. 
After Speaker John Bercow announced he had selected Ms Creasy's proposal for debate, Commons leader Andrea Leadsom signalled that the government is considering accepting it to avoid an humiliating defeat. 

           Colombia and ELN rebels move peace talks toward ceasefire    
QUITO, June 30 (Reuters) - Colombia's government and Marxist ELN rebels agreed to work toward a ceasefire, both sides said on Friday, a move that would ...
           U.S. soy acres hit record high; wheat plantings lowest ever -USDA    
By Mark WeinraubWASHINGTON, June 30 (Reuters) - U.S. farmers seeded a record amount of soybeans this spring, the government said on Friday, in the hope...
          Assistant Unit Catering Manager (77013) - Bradford Metropolitan District Council - Grove   
From October 2016 Central Government will be introducing a new Code of Practice as part of the Government Immigration Bill, which specifies that all public... £7.89 - £7.95 an hour
From Bradford Metropolitan District Council - Mon, 19 Jun 2017 01:54:35 GMT - View all Grove jobs
           Germany denies report US threatening to stop regulation cooperation    
BERLIN, June 30 (Reuters) - The German government on Friday denied a media report which said the United States had signalled it could discontinue...
          New Innovative Analytics & Training, LLC Study Reveals Public...   

Governments and public agencies worldwide can enjoy the same benefits as commercial enterprises by embracing cloud technology, according to a new study released by Innovative Analytics and Training,...

(PRWeb June 30, 2017)

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           U.S. soy acres highest on record; wheat acres lowest on record -USDA    
By Mark WeinraubWASHINGTON, June 30 (Reuters) - U.S. farmers seeded a record amount of soybeans this spring, the government said on Friday, amid hopes that...
          Pre-4th fireworks: Hotel petition group exploring lawsuit and recalls   
Citizens for Responsible Government says it will continue its fight against city funding for a convention hotel, perhaps through the courts or removing members of the City Council.
           Germany sees Turkey's Erdogan as "important guest" at G20 summit    
By Andrea ShalalBERLIN, June 30 (Reuters) - The German government on Friday sought to contain a further erosion of ties with Turkey after it banned...
           Football clubs urged to check cladding at stadiums following Grenfell Tower fire    
A Government-funded public body has written to owners and managers at stadiums.
          Chicago Police, Feds Team Up On New Effort To Curb Violence   

Chicago police, federal agents and prosecutors are launching a new initiative Friday to stem the flow of illegal firearms in the city as part of efforts to curb rampant gun violence that President Donald Trump says is at “epidemic proportions.” Trump’s remark on Twitter came ahead of an announcement by Chicago police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives about the formation of the Chicago Crime Gun Strike Force. Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office acknowledged that an additional 20 ATF agents have been sent to Chicago. State police, intelligence analysts and state and federal prosecutors will target illegal guns and repeat gun offenders, Chicago police said. Superintendent Eddie Johnson said in a statement Thursday night that “we are foundationally changing the way we fight crime in Chicago.” Trump tweeted Friday morning that “Crime and killings in Chicago have reached such epidemic proportions that I am sending in Federal help.” In January, he warned Chicago about its high number of homicides, saying on Twitter that he is ready to “send in the Feds.” Adam Collins, spokesman for Mayor Rahm Emanuel, said the city wants federal help. “Six months ago we made it clear that we would welcome additional federal support, and six months later we appreciate the 20 new ATF agents that are now arriving,” Collins said in an email. But as the police department released figures that show the number of homicides, shooting incidents and shooting victims has dropped, Collins said “the progress CPD has made this year has happened without any of the new resources from the federal government we requested.” In fact, earlier this week, officials announced that the ATF had loaned the city a van outfitted with ballistic testing equipment to help police more quickly solve gun crimes. Trump’s latest tweet said there have been 1,714 shootings in Chicago this year. According to the police department, there have been 1,703 shooting victims. There were 1,935 shooting victims in the city during the same period last year. Also, there have been 1,360 shooting incidents so far this year — 224 less than were reported during the same period in 2016. So far this year, there have been 320 homicides compared to 322 by this time last year, according to the police department. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, speaking Friday on the Fox News Channel’s morning show, “Fox & Friends,” said the Justice Department is “sending in additional gun investigators” to Chicago and that he has urged the U.S. attorney’s office to prosecute gun cases aggressively. “The police have been demoralized in many ways,” he said. “In many ways, the policies in Chicago have not been working. Murders are way, way too high. It is critical for the people of Chicago’s public safety that we begin to work together here and deport violent criminals that have been convicted. They need to not be a sanctuary city, they need to be protecting the people of Chicago from violent criminals.” Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement late Thursday that federal and Cook County prosecutors plan to develop new strategies to prosecute gun crimes and offenders. Sessions last week pledged federal assistance to 12 cities to help them develop individualized, long-term strategies to fight violence. But Chicago was not among them. The Justice Department said that’s because Chicago was already […]

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          Jury Finds That NYC Skyscraper Owner Violated Iran Sanctions   

The U.S. government said it’s ready to seize a Manhattan skyscraper from an Iranian-American charity after a jury found Thursday that the charity’s majority ownership was derived from financial dealings that violated sanctions against Iran. Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said the owners of the office tower near Rockefeller Center “gave the Iranian government a critical foothold in the very heart of Manhattan through which Iran successfully circumvented U.S. economic sanctions.” “For over a decade, hiding in plain sight, this 36-story Manhattan office tower secretly served as a front for the Iranian government and as a gateway for millions of dollars to be funneled to Iran in clear violation of U.S. sanctions laws,” Kim said in a statement. “In this trial, 650 Fifth Avenue’s secret was laid bare for all to see, and today’s jury verdict affirms what we have been alleging since 2008.” The verdict in the civil case was sure to be appealed. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had earlier ordered the case to go to trial after U.S. District Judge Katherine B. Forrest ruled in favor of the United States. Over the last month, lawyers for the Alavi Foundation argued that the charity was unaware if Iran was secretly benefiting from a partner who owned 40 percent of the building. The Alavi Foundation owns 60 percent. Kim said the building was worth at least a half billion dollars, though some estimates put its worth closer to a billion dollars. Kim said the sale of the building, combined with several other properties around the country, would represent the largest terrorism-related civil forfeiture in U.S. history. The prosecutor said the verdict “allows for substantial recovery for victims of Iran-sponsored terrorism.” The government is seeking to turn over proceeds of a sale to holders of over $5 billion in terrorism-related judgments against the government of Iran, including claims brought by the estates of victims killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Defense lawyers didn’t immediately comment. It was unclear what effect the verdict will have on the Alavi Foundation, which supports a Queens school among other charity works. The verdict seemed to spare a Catharpin, Virginia, property after jurors concluded its funds did not violate sanctions and were not used in money laundering activities. The government said the verdict should allow it to seize properties in Houston; Carmichael, California; and Rockville, Maryland. The Fifth Avenue building was erected in the 1970s on property acquired by the not-for-profit corporation. It was valued at $83 million in 1989 and has steadily risen in value. Government lawyers said Iran has secretly controlled the building for years as millions of dollars in rent payments are funneled to it from a partnership made up of Alavi and a shell company fronting for a secret interest held by the state-owned bank of Iran, Bank Melli. (AP)

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          Global Cyberattack Seems Intent On Havoc, Not Extortion   

A cyberattack that caused indiscriminate economic damage around the world was apparently designed to create maximum havoc in Russia’s neighbor and adversary Ukraine, security researchers said. While the rogue software used in the attack was configured as extortionate “ransomware,” that may have just been a ruse. “It is clear that this was targeted indiscriminately at Ukrainian businesses, and the Ukrainian government,” Jake Williams, president of the security firm Rendition Infosec and a former member of the U.S. National Security Agency’s elite cyberwarfare group, told The Associated Press in an online chat. “The ‘ransomware’ component is just a smokescreen (and a bad one).” UKRAINE IN PAIN Although the attack was global in its reach, Ukraine bore the brunt. Computers were disabled at banks, government agencies, energy companies, supermarkets, railways and telecommunications providers. Many of these organizations said they had recovered by Thursday, although some experts suspected that work was incomplete. “There is still a lot of damage, especially in banks,” said Victor Zhora, CEO of the Kiev cybersecurity firm InfoSafe. “ATMs are working (again) but some bank operations are still limited.” He estimated damage in “the millions of dollars, perhaps tens of millions.” And that’s just in Ukraine. Microsoft said the malware hit at least 64 nations, including Russia, Germany and the United States. “I expect that we will see additional fallout from this is the coming days,” said Williams. In Ukraine, suspicion immediately fell on hackers affiliated with Vladimir Putin’s regime, although there is no direct, public evidence tying Russia to the attack. Relations between the two nations have been tense since Moscow annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in 2014. Pro-Russian fighters are still battling the government in eastern Ukraine. Experts have also blamed pro-Russian hackers for major cyberattacks on the Ukrainian power grid in 2015 and 2016, assaults that have turned the eastern European nation into the world’s leading cyberwarfare testing ground. A disruptive attack on the nation’s voting system ahead of 2014 national elections is also attributed to Russia. THE MOSCOW CONNECTION The malicious program, which researchers are calling NotPetya, initially appeared to be ransomware. Such malware locks up victims’ files by encrypting them, then holds them hostage while demanding payment — usually in bitcoin, the hard-to-trace digital currency. But researchers said the culprits would have been hard-pressed to make money off the scheme. They appear to have relied on a single email address that was blocked almost immediately and a single bitcoin account that collected the relatively puny sum of $10,000. Firms including Russia’s anti-virus Kaspersky Lab, said clues in the code indicate that the program’s authors would have been incapable of decrypting the data, further evidence that the ransom demands were a smoke screen. The timing was intriguing, too. The attack came the same day as the assassination of a senior Ukrainian military intelligence officer and a day before a national holiday celebrating the new Ukrainian constitution signed after the breakup of the Soviet Union. “Everything being said so far does point to Russia being a leading candidate for a suspect in this attack,” said Robert M. Lee, CEO of Dragos Inc. an expert who has studied the attacks on Ukraine’s power grid. What’s most worrisome and reprehensible, said Lee, is that whoever was behind the attack was unconcerned about the indiscriminate, collateral damage it […]

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           London fire: May's office rebukes council for ending meeting    
LONDON (AP) - The British prime minister's office rebuked a local government council Friday for abandoning a meeting on the fatal high-rise fire in west...
           Somalia Islamist insurgency splits as loyalty of key commander wavers    
By Feisal OmarMOGADISHU, June 30 (Reuters) - Somalia's insurgency suffered a significant split after government officials confirmed on Friday that they had...
          Organic Electronics Market to Hit 32.6% CAGR, Fuelled by Growing Adoption of Organic Electronics Among Consumers   

Recent research and the current scenario as well as future market potential of "Organic Electronics Market - Global Industry Analysis, Market Size, Share, Growth And Forecast 2012 - 2018" globally.

Albany, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/30/2017 -- This research report is an effort to identify factors, which will be the driving force behind the organic electronics market and sub-markets in the next six years. The report provides extensive analysis of the organic electronics industry, current market trends, industry drivers and challenges for better understanding of the organic electronics market structure. The report has segregated the organic electronics industry in terms of application and geography.

This report analyzes the worldwide markets for Organic Electronics in USD million by the following application segments: Display market, Organic lighting market, Logic and Memory, Organic RFID tags, organic sensor, organic photovoltaic and printed batteries market.

The report also provides value chain analysis and market potential for organic electronics market. The report provides separate comprehensive analysis for the U.S., Europe and Asia Pacific organic electronics market. Annual estimates and forecasts are provided for the period 2012 through 2018. The report profiles 11 companies including many key and niche players such as BASF, Merck, Evonik Company among others.

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Major Segments Analyzed

By application
Display Market
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By geographies
Asia Pacific
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For the research report, we conducted in-depth interviews and discussions with a wide range of key industry participants and opinion leaders. Primary research represents the bulk of our research efforts, supplemented by extensive secondary research. We reviewed the key players' product literature, annual reports, press releases and relevant documents for competitive analysis and market understanding. Secondary research also includes a search of recent trade journals, technical writing, internet sources, and statistical data from government websites, trade associations and agencies. This approach has proven to be the most reliable, effective and successful approach for obtaining precise market data, capturing industry participants' insights, and recognizing business opportunities.

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          Years of apathy make Grenfell not a tragedy, but an atrocity | Deborah Orr   

Our society treats those in poverty as moral failures, whose voices of concern are a sign of ingratitude

It remains hard to grasp the enormity of the Grenfell Tower fire. There is the catastrophe itself: Grenfell, quite simply, is the deadliest fire to have raged on our soil in over a century. Even the blitz didn’t start a single fire as hard to escape from as that which began in a single flat in North Kensington on 14 June 2017.

Related: Anger over Grenfell has spilled out across the country - we want answers

Related: Grenfell is political. The right can’t make that fact go away | Suzanne Moore

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          Tackling the plastic bottle crisis and our wider disregard for nature | Letters   

Green co-leader Caroline Lucas says she hopes to build a cross-party coalition to stop bottle wastage, while other correspondents offer their thoughts on protecting the environment

The Guardian’s coverage of the global plastic bottle crisis (Surge in plastic bottle use sparks global alert, 29 June) has been powerful and compelling. Like so many of the environmental challenges we face, this issue has been largely ignored in the mainstream, which has led us to the extraordinary situation where we have one million bottles being bought every minute globally. Britain’s contribution to this problem is significant. We use a staggering 38.5m plastic bottles each day, accounting for roughly 40% of the litter found in our environment along with cans. We’ve all read in horror the stories of whales’ stomachs filled with plastic waste, and we’ve all seen bottles littering our local communities.

The government must take responsibility for this growing crisis. One easy step forward would be to introduce a bottle deposit scheme. Such systems were commonplace in the UK until the 1980s, and are used in 11 other European countries. The concept is simple: you pay a small deposit on bottles and take them back to the shop you bought them from after use for recycling. The Scottish government has taken a major step towards introducing such a scheme – now the Tories must follow suit. We should also be ensuring that it’s easier for people to refill water bottles in shops and other businesses. This week has shown that the government is far more pliant towards the will of parliament than previously, and I’m hoping to build a cross-party coalition on this issue in the coming weeks so that Britain becomes a world leader in tackling plastic bottle pollution.
Caroline Lucas MP
Co-leader, Green party of England and Wales

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          Grenfell bungling and the democratic deficit | Letters   
David Nowell argues for local electoral reform in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster, while Leigh Daynes highlights the plight of ex-residents too frightened to get medical help

The extraordinarily inept way in which Kensington and Chelsea council has handled the Grenfell Tower disaster (Public barred as leader of council gives his apology for failings, 30 June) has been exacerbated by first-past-the-post elections and Blairite local government reforms. Before the introduction of streamlined cabinet decision-making, the old committee-based system at least ensured that any opposition councillors’ constructive comments and objections had to be minuted before key decisions were made, and not after the event.

Even if within the Royal Borough more than half still wish to vote Tory next May, at least the introduction of the single transferable vote would ensure much more diversity. Instead of four-and-a-half Labour wards confined to Kensington, including Grenfell Tower, there would be less geographic polarisation without any safe seats. STV has transformed Scottish local elections so that it is even possible for a Conservative to squeak into the last elected place to represent one of Glasgow’s poorest wards. So why can’t the wealthiest wards in Chelsea use it to replace their worst Tory councillors with some real representatives?
David Nowell
New Barnet, Hertfordshire

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          Fixed-odds betting terminal review delayed until autumn   

Rift between Treasury and DCMS over regulation and growing influence of DUP put a brake on timetable

A long-awaited review of fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) has been delayed until the autumn, following a rift between the Treasury and the government department responsible for the gambling industry over regulation of the controversial machines.

The government’s decision has been further complicated by the fact that MPs in the Democratic Unionist party, which holds the balance of power in parliament, are in favour of cutting the maximum FOBT stake from £100 to as low as £2.

Definitely not in long grass. Process is really important on this issue.

Related: UK gamblers lose record £13.8bn as industry braces for FOBT crackdown

Related: MPs' report on FOBTs found to breach parliamentary standards

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          Make our mental health laws fit for purpose | Letters   
Leading figures involved in the law, mental health and social work call on the government to ensure the detention of people with mental health problems is central to its promised review of current legislation

The increasing use of powers to detain patients with mental health problems is deeply disturbing. Reform of mental health legislation – announced in the Queen’s speech – must ensure respect for people’s rights and dignity. It must also incorporate robust, independent research into why rates of detention are increasing so rapidly and why people from some minority ethnic groups are so disproportionately the subject of detention measures. Too few people are able to access quality treatment and support when and where they need it. The root causes of the current mental health crisis – including societal factors such as poverty, addiction and austerity – must be properly investigated if we are to develop new legislation fit for our times.

The views of mental health service users and patients, their families, professionals and carers alongside a comprehensive assessment of community support and treatment options must be central to a credible review. Mental health underpins national social and economic wellbeing – we are glad the government has committed to giving it the urgent attention it deserves.
Robert Bourns President of the Law Society of England and Wales, Paul Farmer Chief executive, MindMark Winstanley Chief executive, Rethink Mental Illness, Wendy Burn President-elect, Royal College of Psychiatrists, Dr Ruth Allen Chief executive, British Association of Social Workers

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          The Guardian view on Grenfell Tower: more heads must roll | Editorial   
Kensington and Chelsea council has failed to manage the fallout of the disaster. Ministers should put the local authority into special measures and send in a new team to take over the running of it

Kensington and Chelsea’s political and administrative leadership failed in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster. In the days after the deadly fire – which has now claimed 80 lives – so cack-handed and chaotic was the council response that responsibilty for taking care of the survivors was handed over to a central government-appointed team of London’s council chiefs. Kensington and Chelsea’s own chief executive Nicholas Holgate only went after the communities secretary intervened to tell him to go. Mr Holgate seems to have thought he should have been allowed to continue collecting his £15,000-a-month pay cheque despite appearing useless in an emergency. Kensington council leader Nick Paget-Brown disgracefully suggested sprinklers were not fitted during the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower because residents did not want the disruption. His attempt to block journalists from a council meeting which he shut down when the courts forced him to hold it with the media present was shameful. It’s unbelievable it took No 10 to intervene before Mr Paget-Brown went.

Grenfell Tower is a catastrophe at the heart of the country’s capital and after two weeks the council cannot get a grip on the situation. It’s good news that the chief executive of the company that managed the Grenfell Tower resigned – but it should just be a prelude to the removal of the rest of the council leadership on whose behalf he operated. Given the acute need in the borough to heal divisions, reassure residents and provide long-term services to victims, the time has come for central government to relieve Tory councillors of duties they patently cannot fulfil. It seems clear that local politicians, including deputy leader Rock Feilding-Mellen, who chaired the council’s housing committee and oversaw the refurbishment of the 24-storey block, are perhaps too consumed with the questions of responsibility – such as did cost-cutting play a part in the disaster – that the fire raises. There may be plenty more prodding from a public inquiry, police investigations into potential criminal offences, inquests into the deaths and potentially a slew of civil claims.

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          Emily Thornberry accuses Chuka Umunna of virtue signalling on EU vote   

Shadow foreign secretary calls Labour divisions a distraction and claims the manifesto, not the leader, was the real star of the party’s election campaign

Emily Thornberry accused Chuka Umunna and other Labour Brexit rebels of “virtue signalling”, and fighting “faux battles” after three of the party’s frontbenchers were sacked for voting for his amendment.

The shadow foreign secretary said the rebels’ approach had unnecessarily exposed Labour divisions at a time when the party should be presenting itself as an alternative to Theresa May’s minority government.

Related: Corbyn sacks three frontbenchers after single market vote

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           Myanmar to bar UN human rights investigators from entering    
YANGON, Myanmar (AP) - Myanmar's government said Thursday it will instruct its embassies around the world to bar members of a U.N.-approved fact-finding...
          'Spocs' are directing funding to small charities – here's your essential guide   
Fewer grants and poor commissioning are crippling local voluntary services. A single point of contact model brings charities together to bid for government contracts Times are tough for small charitie ... - Source:
           Upbeat outlook, investor inflows lift emerging market first half debt issuance    
LONDON, June 30 (Reuters) - An improving economic backdrop and yield-hungry investors helped lift hard-currency debt sales from emerging market governments...
          Administrative Secretary - Manitoba Government - Russell, MB   
Experience providing administrative and clerical support including reception, booking meetings, processing mail, preparing correspondence, filing and other... $40,323 - $46,091 a year
From Manitoba Government - Tue, 27 Jun 2017 18:06:48 GMT - View all Russell, MB jobs
          Torngat Hospitality Coordinator – Torngat Mountains National Park - Nunatsiavut Kavamanga Government - Park, MB   
Nunatsiavut Government Nunatsiavut kavamangani Employment Opportunity Suliaksak Ammajuk Internal/External SuliaKakvimektunut/SuliaKakvimengitunut
From Nunatsiavut Kavamanga Government - Tue, 27 Jun 2017 13:43:37 GMT - View all Park, MB jobs
          Lepik (Re), 2017 BCSC 1086 (CanLII)   
non-government student loans — bankruptcy — discharge — non-governmental student — student loan
          KeyBank to Provide a Total of $7.3 Million in Financing for Estee Senior Apartments in Upstate NY   

KeyBank’s Community Development Lending & Investment (CDLI) team will provide a total of $7.3 million in financing to Liberty Affordable Housing, Inc. to support the new construction of 37 energy efficient affordable housing units for seniors ages 55 or older in Gloversville, NY. Specifically, KeyBank will provide a $2.6 million construction loan and up to $4.7 million in LIHTC equity financing.

“KeyBank values helping clients and communities thrive by providing quality affordable housing in neighborhoods across the country,” said Rob Likes, national manager of KeyBank’s CDLI team. “We are inspired by the opportunity to serve seniors in Gloversville, NY, by partnering with Liberty Affordable Housing, Inc. to develop new and critical housing options for seniors.”

Estee Senior Apartments will replace a blighted former school building in a central business district. Eight of the 37 units will provide rental assistance to households earning up to 50% AMI; ten units will target households earning up to 50% AMI and 19 units will target households earning up to 60% AMI. Six units will be set aside for elderly and frail individuals or individuals with disabilities who are veterans. The complex will be managed by CRM Rental Management, Inc.

“We are committed to providing all of our neighbors with excellent affordable housing options,” said Davis G. Yohe, executive director of Liberty Affordable Housing, Inc. “We are thrilled to bring Estee Senior Apartments to Gloversville through our partnership with KeyBank, and believe it will positively and meaningfully impact the neighborhood.”

Residents with special needs will have access to supportive services through the Resource Center for Independent Living, (RCIL) and Northeastern Association of the Blind at Albany, Inc. (NABA) and the Fulton County Office for Aging/Youth.

The project is one part of the Gloversville Comprehensive Plan, a significant neighborhood revitalization effort by local government that responds to housing needs among low- to moderate-income families.

“Our team is dedicated to making transformational change in the communities where we live and work,” added Lynne Callis-Wilson, senior relationship manager on KeyBank’s CDLI team who arranged the financing along with Victoria O’Brien. “We are passionate about this work, and committed to seeing through the development of new, green and affordable units here in Gloversville.”

The financing was made possible by an allocation of LIHTCs from New York State Housing and Community Renewal.

About Key Community Development Lending and Investment

KeyBank Community Development Lending and Investment (CDLI) helps fulfill Key’s purpose to help clients and communities thrive by financing projects that stabilize and revitalize communities. Experts in complex tax credit lending and investing, Key is one of a handful of affordable housing lenders in the country with a platform that brings together balance sheet, equity, and permanent loan offerings. CDLI has a substantial investment and loan portfolio worth more than $2 billion, 90% of which is Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) projects. For its ability to lend to, invest in, and serve its communities –especially low-to-moderate income communities – KeyBank has earned eight consecutive “Outstanding” ratings on the Community Reinvestment Act exam, from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

About KeyCorp

KeyCorp's roots trace back 190 years to Albany, New York. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Key is one of the nation's largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $134.5 billion at March 31, 2017. Key provides deposit, lending, cash management, insurance, and investment services to individuals and businesses in 15 states under the name KeyBank National Association through a network of more than 1,200 branches and more than 1,500 ATMs. Key also provides a broad range of sophisticated corporate and investment banking products, such as merger and acquisition advice, public and private debt and equity, syndications and derivatives to middle market companies in selected industries throughout the United States under the KeyBanc Capital Markets trade name. For more information, visit KeyBank is Member FDIC.

About Liberty Affordable Housing Inc. (LAH)

LAH is a not-for-profit organization founded in March 2002 to acquire and develop affordable housing primarily for low income seniors and families. In addition to developing affordable housing, LAH has also assumed ownership interest in four additional properties which utilize Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment programs and other federal and state housing programs for low-income persons and families. Since inception, LAH has successfully completed 19 preservation and new construction projects (15 acquisition/rehab and 4 new construction) totaling 2,749 units. Projects range from 33 to 292 units including both family and senior projects.

          French Pastry School of City Colleges of Chicago Educator Named 'Knight' by the French Government   

French Pastry School Educator, Chef Jacquy Pfeiffer joins the ranks of Sean Connery, Bill Gates and Julia ChildCHICAGO, June 30, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Chef Jacquy Pfeiffer, co-founder of The French Pastry School of Kennedy-King College at City Colleges of Chicago joins the ranks of Sean Connery, Bill Gates and Julia Child, as they have the honor of being named a Knight!  Being Knighted by the F...

          Ruckus: Convention Hotel Financing, Olathe Lives Matter, Kansas Gubernatorial Race   
Mike Shanin interviews Citizens for Responsible Government’s Dan Coffey about his objections to the downtown convention hotel and a single terminal KCI. Gwen Grant, Steve Glorioso, Crosby Kemper III and Steve Mirakian talk about the financing, setbacks and delays for a new downtown convention hotel, the outrage sparked by a GOP event promoted as “Olathe Lives   ...Continue Reading
          Live: Watch MLAs debate ahead of B.C. non-confidence vote   
A confidence vote is expected today in the B.C. Legislature that will likely see the recently elected Liberal minority government fall. The B.C. NDP-Green alliance has said it will use its 44 votes in the house to pass a non-confidence amendment to Premier Christy Clark’s throne speech at around 5:30 p.m. The Liberals hold 43 seats. […]
          Mike Smyth: Clark wants another election — but doesn’t want to be blamed for it   
Christy Clark keeps saying that nobody wants another election in British Columbia. But when her Liberal government is defeated on a non-confidence vote on Thursday, there will be only two options available to Lieutenant-Governor Judith Guichon. Guichon can ask NDP Leader John Horgan to form a new government, supported by the third-place Green party. Or […]
          Mike Smyth: NDP-Greens close in on Christy Clark’s Liberals   
It was an all-too-clever attempt by Christy Clark to break up the political bromance between the two guys who want to steal her throne. But NDP Leader John Horgan and Green party Leader Andrew Weaver were having none of it. Horgan and Weaver have vowed to bring down Clark’s minority Liberal government at the first […]
          State Reserve Police Force openings in Department of Environment and Forest Government of Assam   
Education: 12TH, Job Location: Assam, Vacancies: 90, Last Date: 21-07-2017

Please visit for more details

          6/30/2017: CANADA: Confidence vote in B.C. sends Liberals packing   

VICTORIA— British Columbia’s minority Liberal government lost a nonconfidence vote Thursday in the legislature, setting the stage for the NDP to govern or for another election. No members of the legislature broke ranks as the Greens backed the New...
          6/30/2017: CANADA: Military contractor’s website has been hacked   
OTTAWA— A contracting company that does millions of dollars in business with Canada’s federal government and military agencies has been hacked, the Star has learned. Valcom Consulting confirmed Thursday morning that its website was recently defaced,...
          Handset companies seek help to stay competitive against Chinese rivals   
Karbonn and Intex argued that the Chinese players were not expanding the government’s Digital India vision by not launching sub-Rs 5,000 smartphones, run entirely by local players.
          6/30/2017: NEWS: Poetic suggestion for anthem   
Re The wrong side of history, Editorial, June 29 Without supporting the obstructionist senators who blocked passage of the changes to Canada’s national anthem, the delay in enshrining the partial rewording does give the government a convenient...
          Steps taken to enhance IT infra security at JNPT: Government   
One of the four terminals, run by Danish firm AP Moller- Maersk at JNPT, ranked among top 12 major ports in the country, was impacted by the 'Petya' ransomware attack.
          Chief Administrative Officer - Village of Neilburg - Neilburg, SK   
Must have a valid driver’s license and reliable vehicle. Applicants must possess a Local Government Authority “C” Certificate and Urban Standard “C” Certificate...
From Indeed - Mon, 03 Apr 2017 17:45:20 GMT - View all Neilburg, SK jobs
          Jury finds that NYC skyscraper owner violated Iran sanctions   

The U.S. government said it's ready to seize a Manhattan skyscraper from an Iranian-American charity to benefit victims of terrorism after a jury found Thursday that the charity's majority ownership was derived from financial dealings that violated sanctions against Iran.

Acting U.S. Attorney Joon...

          Sweden proposes tax change for some foreign workers   
More foreign workers in Sweden may have to pay tax, if a government proposal goes ahead.
          Modernizing Shipping, Logistics Sector   
[Ethiopian Herald] One critical bottleneck for the growth of external trade and manufacturing industry in Ethiopia had been the outmoded system of service provision in the Shipping and Logistic transport sector. As the sector is the lifeline to success the national aspirations, the government has attached increased attention to modernize it by taking various practical measures.
          Prime Minister to Attend Nepad, Arei Meetings in Ethiopia   
[New Era] Windhoek -Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila will lead a delegation of cabinet ministers and senior government officials to the 29th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Assembly in Ethiopia, the presidential spokesperson Albertus Aochamub confirmed yesterday.
          The Non-Debate over Non-Reform   
As the discussion of health-care policy unfolds, what we are seeing is a non-debate over non-reform. The Democratic proposals promise to entrench the status quo, which does not fit with the principles of personal responsibility and fails to allocate resources sensibly.To show what I mean, hold up ten fingers. Each finger represents 10 percent of health-care spending in the United States. Five fingers -- half -- represent what is paid for by government programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid. Four of the remaining fingers represent what is paid for by private health insurance. One finger represents what individuals pay out
Read More ...
          The Polish example   
This speech in Poland by the God-Emperor sounds promising.
President Trump will ask other European nations to “take inspiration” from Poland, which has rejected refugee resettlement, in a speech later this week.

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster told reporters Thursday that President Trump will deliver a speech in Warsaw’s Krasinski Square, which symbolizes Polish heroism. He is flying to Poland next Wednesday and stopping there before he attends the G20 summit in Hamburg.

McMaster said that Trump will deliver a “major speech” in which he will “praise Polish courage” and its “emergence as a European power.” The nation is currently ruled by a nationalist Christian party that has rejected refugee resettlement and mass immigration.
Of course, the President's message would be more meaningful if he would follow the Polish example and reject refugee resettlement and mass immigration in the USA too.

The Czech example isn't bad either:
The Czech parliament is working to liberalize the country’s gun laws, allowing people to better defend themselves. The reason for this new policy is safety, as well as practicality; in light of recent attacks in neighboring countries, the Czech government recognizes that disarming people puts them in danger, and that broad European gun control policies are ineffective. The Interior Minister said it best when he asked parliament to “show [him] a single terrorist attack in Europe perpetrated using a legally-owned weapon”.

          Ethical Public Servant for Economic Transformation   
[Ethiopian Herald] The absence of ethical and industrious public service would create misunderstanding between the government and governed said Oromia State Administration as it marked 'International Public Service Day' for the 6th time on Tuesday at Adama town.
          The cost of Black America   
If you are a white American, over the course of your lifetime the federal government will, on average and on your behalf, transfer $384,109 of your wealth and income to a single black individual.

According to the data derived from the 2014 federal budget, the average annual net tax/benefit broke down as follows:
  • White: -$2,795
  • Black: +$10,016
Over the course of an average 79-year lifespan, a white individual contributes a net $220,805 to the system, whereas over the course of an average 75-year lifespan, a black individual receives a net $751,200. However, since there are 4.6 times more whites than blacks in the USA, the black share has to be divided among the various contributors to sort out a one-to-one comparison.

So, the net cost to the average White American of the average Black American is $384,109. Married? That's $768,218. Got 2 kids? That's $1,536,436. 4 kids? Now we're talking $2,304,654 lifetime.

Diversity is expensive. Now you understand why you won't have much of an inheritance to leave to your children. Do you really think it's worth it? And then, those natural conservatives to the south, the Hispanics, will surely improve the situation, right? After all, immigration helps the economy! Well, not so much.
  • Hispanic: +7,298
In fact, because there are more Hispanics in the USA than Blacks, Hispanics are already a bigger cumulative net drain on the economy, $411,950,000,000 to $389,710,000,000. Needless to say, the ongoing demographic change from a predominantly white society to a less productive, less white one can be expected to have even more serious negative effects on the long-term economic prospects of the United States that it already has.

To quote the original author: "The negative fiscal impact of blacks and hispanics is significant. All of this discussion of a “national debt” and “deficit” is primarily of function of blacks and hispanics. Without them, we would be running budget surpluses today, even when keeping the military the same size."
          Libertarianism is dead   
The Cato Institute embraces equalitarianism:
It is not enough to be passively “not racist.” We must be actively anti-racism.

Libertarians tend to think of freedom as either a means to an end of maximum utility—e.g., free markets produce the most wealth—or, in a more philosophical sense, in opposition to arbitrary authority—e.g., “Who are you to tell me what to do?” Both views fuel good arguments for less government and more personal autonomy. Yet neither separately, nor both taken together, address the impediments to freedom that have plagued the United States since its founding. Many of the oppressions America has foisted upon its citizens, particularly its black citizens, indeed came from government actors and agents. But a large number of offenses, from petty indignities to incidents of unspeakable violence, have been perpetrated by private individuals, or by government with full approval of its white citizens. I would venture that many, if not most libertarians—like the general American public—haven’t come to terms with the widespread, systemic subversion of markets and democracy American racism wreaked on its most marginalized citizens. Consequently, libertarians have concentrated rather myopically on government reform as the sole function of libertarian social critique without taking full reckoning of what markets have failed to correct throughout American history.

Take, for example, the common libertarian/conservative trope: “We believe in equal opportunity, not equal outcomes.” Most people, outside of the few and most ardent socialists, should believe that is a fair statement. But to say such a thing as a general defense of the status quo assumes that the current American system offers roughly equal opportunity just because Jim Crow is dead. Yet, that cannot possibly be true.
I left libertarianism because I concluded that it is a hopelessly utopian ideal that is practically impossible in a fallen world of real human beings, libertarianism did not leave me. But this is not libertarianism, this is the convergence of libertarianism and its cooption by equalitarians.

At this point, it's safe to say that libertarianism is as intellectually dead as communism. That doesn't mean it won't retain any number of dogmatic adherents, but at this point, it can no longer be considered conceptually viable. And this new Cato-endorsed variant is little more than a farcical parody.
          EXCERPT: Hitler in Hell   
An excerpt from Martin van Creveld's new novel, Hitler in Hell. Please note that on the advice of one of our Amazon-bestselling authors, we have removed the book from the Castalia House bookstore for the time being and entered it into the Kindle Select program. It is now available via Kindle Unlimited; if you purchased the book from our bookstore but did not download it, please email us and we will make sure you receive you receive your book. We apologize if this causes any confusion.

Revolution and Collapse

Over the next few years, during which I began my political activity, I had plenty of opportunities to analyze the causes of the collapse. In fact, addressing them in numerous public meetings large and small, I did so until I was blue in the face. Some of my conclusions simply continued thoughts that had been with me during the war and even before it had started. The rest were directly related to our defeat.

The Second Reich, as it was widely known, had been born under an auspicious star amidst the thunder of victorious battle. For that we had Bismarck to thank and, coming right after him, Chief of Staff Helmut von Moltke and Minister of War Albrecht von Roon. Nothing symbolized it as well as the Siegessäule, or Victory Column, in Berlin. Originally sixty-seven meters tall, it was wrapped entirely by captured enemy cannons. In 1939, as part of my plan to renovate the city and to turn it into Europe’s capital, I had its height increased by another seven and a half meters. I also moved it from its original site at the Königsplatz (now misnamed the Platz der Republik) near the Reichstag to the Grosser Stern. But back to the Reich. Over the first forty-three years of its existence it enjoyed immense prosperity and economic growth. Simple people, who always and everywhere form the great majority, were impressed by that prosperity as well as the evident military strength of the Reich, which was put on display on appropriate occasions.

Having done so, they attributed the sudden collapse of the structure solely to the war, which had brought so much misery to them. But this is absurd. In fact, all the collapse did was to expose weaknesses that had long existed. Chief among them were general suffrage which Germany got before England, misleadingly known as the “mother of democracies,” did. On its heels came elections and democracy. All three were non-German elements of government. Initially, they were foisted on us by the professors of 1848, who wanted nothing better than to ape the “ideals” of the French Revolution. Once established, they quickly turned into a morass of useless chatter and corruption.

Next came the failure to properly deal with the liberated provinces, Alsace and Lorraine. As a result, they never truly became an integral part of the Reich. To repeat, Wilhelm II’s foreign policy was essentially misdirected. To add insult to injury it was often weak and vacillating as well.

Finally, there was the tolerance long shown for those vile Marxist traitors, the Social Democrats. Starting long before the war and redoubling their efforts while it lasted, they did whatever they could to foment discontent and to incite the people against the army and the government. Their ability to do so was due to the government’s inability or unwillingness to rein in the press. Not that the non-socialist press was necessarily better. Only parts of it supported the government in its conduct of the war, and much of it did what it could to undermine them.

Though the war was over, the British blockade still continued. Only in the middle of 1919 was it finally lifted, enabling us to resume our imports and exports. But this happened only to a very limited extent. Partly because of carelessness in August 1914, partly because of enemy action, and partly because no new merchantmen were built during the war, we had lost almost our entire merchant navy.
Much of what we still possessed had to be given away gratis as reparations. In any case the enemy had used the war to steal our overseas markets from us. This caused production to come to a halt and unemployment to soar. The demobilization of the armies, which at the end of the war still numbered several million men, added to the problem. That’s to say nothing of the hundreds of thousands maimed and crippled men who had to be taken care of in one way or another.

Determined to avenge themselves on us, our enemies took large parts of Prussia and Silesia, which had been German for centuries, if not longer, away from the Reich. This caused hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens, who understandably were unwilling to live under Polish (mis)rule, to leave their homes to migrate to the west, where nothing had been done to receive them. Nor did the process of drawing the borders unfold peacefully. Throughout 1919, in many places, volunteer units known variously as Freikorps, or the Black Reichswehr, fought heroically, if ultimately unsuccessfully, to retain the lands in question.

All over Germany, wherever one looked, people shivered and hungered. It goes without saying that I detest that self-appointed artist and filthy pornographer, Georg Grosz. Luckily for him, he left the country in a hurry in 1933, or else I would have had him thrown into a concentration camp! Still I must concede that many of his sketches, which show starving workers, fat, evil-looking capitalists with heaps of money, and made-up prostitutes presented a true, if one-sided and perverted, picture of reality at the time. Much later, I learned that the origins of this misery had been explored in depth by the English economist John Maynard Keynes in his booklet The Economic Consequences of the Peace (1919). He could hardly have done a better job.

Political conditions naturally reflected the economic situation. The new Social-Democratic government was unable to resist the Allied demands. So weak were the “statesmen” whom the so-called “Revolution” had brought to power that they signed the famous Kriegsschuld, war-guilt, article under which Germany assumed responsibility for the war. To be sure, history bristles with occasions when the defeated were not only despoiled but humiliated. However, the Kriegsschuld business was something new and unprecedented. Besides preparing the “legal” basis for extracting reparations, it hit straight at the nation’s soul, which, of course, was just what it had been meant to do.

Internally, the political situation was even worse. The Social Democrats, having successfully undermined public order, were unable to reimpose it. Everywhere workers, incited by their often Jewish leaders, spat on officers, tore the epaulets from their shoulders, and beat them up. So bad were conditions that many places were reduced to anarchy. That specifically included Bavaria and Munich, where I was stationed at the time and where the Jews set up a “Soviet Republic.” The stupidity of these people was truly amazing. During the few days the “Republic” lasted its foreign affairs commissar, Franz Lipp, whose record included several stays in mental hospitals, actually declared war on Switzerland. That was done, he explained, because the Swiss had refused to lend him sixty locomotives! At one point I myself, rifle in hand, had to chase away three scoundrels who had come to arrest me in my quarters.

In the end the Reichswehr, assisted by Freikorps units, re-took Munich and exacted a well-deserved vengeance. Eugene Leviné, the Jewish Communist who had led the uprising, was killed. Not so his uncouth right-hand man and fellow Jew, Erich Mühsam. He was arrested, tried, and sentenced to fifteen years in prison. But he did not have to stay there for long; in 1924 an amnesty was granted, and he was released. After the Reichstagbrand on 28 February 1933, I had him arrested and sent to a concentration camp where the boys, seeking their revenge, saw to it that he would expire. Good! As these two gentlemen illustrate so nicely, behind each and every one of these problems stood the Jews.
           Employers get breathing space as govt delays new migrant worker law   
The government will delay enforcing stringent measures to penalise violators of the new foreign labour law by 120 days to minimise negative impacts on employers and migrant workers, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said on Friday.
          Communist Belorussia Wants Bases in Venezuela   
New Zeal The encirclement of the US continues as neo-communist Belorussia cozies up the Cuba and Venezuela. From Cuba’s Granma: PRESIDENT Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus stated at the end of an official visit to Cuba that his stay had been a highly positive one, while emphasizing his government’s major prospects in terms of relations with […]
          (IT) Java Build and Config Engineer - Banking   

Rate: Negotiable   Location: City of London   

Role: Senior Java Build and Config Engineer - Banking Key Essential Skills Java Configuration Build & DevOps Engineer, SDLC, JERA, TeamCity, TDD, MSAzure, Solid background in automated testing. Investment Banking Knowledge of Apache Stack, Flink, Park, Ignite Outline Thebes Group Thebes Group is a leading UK wide IT Infrastructure Technology Consultancy. We are well-known for our extensive talent pool of highly competent IT professionals and exclusive academy Programmes, which provide a great opportunity to undertake technical training in core disciplines. Thebes work with a number of leading vendors, government, financial institutions and insurance companies including investment banks, brokers and hedge funds. To see our list of core capabilities please click here. Essential Experience Configuration/Build Specialist with extensive DevOps Proven Hands on Java skills including related tooling 5+ years' experience in Software programming languages - JavaScript and C++ to run Flink Experience with scalability and setting up/influencing code optimisation. Experience using Cloud based systems Solid understanding of software development life cycle (SDLC) methodologies such as Waterfall and Agile Experience working within a Financial Sector Role & Responsibilities Work constructively with other team members to discuss and solve technical problems Communicate effectively with other geographically-dispersed teams across the business unit Work in conjunction with Business representatives to understand and evolve business requirements and come up with pragmatic and supportable designs To analyse, design and build any such projects Manage projects through the full project life cycle Handle projects that deals with rating, billing and finance and in certain cases, complex projects require coordination with external systems Thebes provides IT solutions & services differently from most other IT service providers. As an Assured Outcome Provider (AOP), we have spent fifteen years willingly sharing the client's risk with them by focusing on outputs (ie quality service & solutions and return on investment ROI) rather than inputs (ie pricelists and headcount). We do this by fitting our skills, solutions & capabilities to needs, augmenting our staff with enthusiastic professionals from our Academy Programme and remaining flexible as our clients' needs change. Thebes Group is a leading IT services and technology consultancy based in the city of London and Milton Keynes. Thebes work with a number of leading Vendors, Government, Insurance and Financial Institutions including Investment Banks, Brokers, Hedge Funds. Established in 1992, we are a full service provider that is 100% focused on delivering client value. We design, develop and implement leading technology solutions and resources, which help you, run your businesses better. Thebes - Lead by Passion, Driven by Innovation and Dedicated to Results. Thebes may process any personal information supplied
Rate: Negotiable
Type: Contract
Location: City of London
Country: UK
Contact: Thebes Group
Advertiser: Thebes IT Solutions Ltd
Start Date: ASAP

          (IT) Senior Java Build and Config Engineer - Banking   

Rate: Negotiable   Location: City of London   

Key Essential Skills Java Configuration Build & DevOps Engineer, SDLC, JERA, TeamCity, TDD, MSAzure, Solid background in automated testing. Investment Banking Knowledge of Apache Stack, Flink, Park, Ignite Outline Thebes Group Thebes Group is a leading UK wide IT Infrastructure Technology Consultancy. We are well-known for our extensive talent pool of highly competent IT professionals and exclusive academy Programmes, which provide a great opportunity to undertake technical training in core disciplines. Thebes work with a number of leading vendors, government, financial institutions and insurance companies including investment banks, brokers and hedge funds. Essential Experience Configuration/Build Specialist with extensive DevOps Proven Hands on Java skills including related tooling 10+ years' experience in Software programming languages - JavaScript and C++ to run Flink Experience with scalability and setting up/influencing code optimisation. Experience using Cloud based systems Solid understanding of software development life cycle (SDLC) methodologies such as Waterfall and Agile Experience working within a Financial Sector Role & Responsibilities Work constructively with other team members to discuss and solve technical problems. Mentoring and coaching Communicate effectively with other geographically-dispersed teams across the business unit Work in conjunction with Business representatives to understand and evolve business requirements and come up with pragmatic and supportable designs To analyse, design and build any such projects Manage projects through the full project life cycle Handle projects that deals with rating, billing and finance and in certain cases, complex projects require coordination with external systems Thebes provides IT solutions & services differently from most other IT service providers. As an Assured Outcome Provider (AOP), we have spent fifteen years willingly sharing the client's risk with them by focusing on outputs (ie quality service & solutions and return on investment ROI) rather than inputs (ie pricelists and headcount). We do this by fitting our skills, solutions & capabilities to needs, augmenting our staff with enthusiastic professionals from our Academy Programme and remaining flexible as our clients' needs change. Thebes Group is a leading IT services and technology consultancy based in the city of London and Milton Keynes. Thebes work with a number of leading Vendors, Government, Insurance and Financial Institutions including Investment Banks, Brokers, Hedge Funds. Established in 1992, we are a full service provider that is 100% focused on delivering client value. We design, develop and implement leading technology solutions and resources, which help you, run your businesses better. Thebes - Lead by Passion, Driven by Innovation and Dedicated to Results. Thebes may process any personal information supplied in relation to your application. By providing your information, you consent to Thebes using
Rate: Negotiable
Type: Contract
Location: City of London
Country: UK
Contact: Thebes Group
Advertiser: Thebes IT Solutions Ltd
Start Date: ASAP

          (IT) Data Architect   

Location: New York, NY   

Software Guidance & Assistance, Inc., (SGA), is searching for an Data Architect for a right to hire assignment with one of our premier financial clients in New York, NY. Responsibilities : We are looking for an experienced Technologist/Data Architect is responsible for ensuring that the data assets of an organization are supported by a data architecture that aids the organization in achieving its strategic goals. The data architecture should cover defining technical architectures and subject domain based design for operational/transactional data as well as analytic data in both Rational and NoSQL/Big Data technology environments. Besides the data modeling tasks, the data architect is also expected to contribute to the data processing tasks for data mapping, data conditioning, ETL/ELT, data delivery through java, python as well as metadata management system. Analyze functional and non-functional business requirements and translate into technical data requirements and create or update existing logical and physical data models. Create data models (logical) and DB designs (physical), that depict the business areas and systems. Design and develop a data processing techniques in Cassandra and Hadoop environments Design and implement solutions for data re-conciliation, data delivery as well as data forensics. Implement data technology solutions in the area of master data, metadata, and reference data Design and implement data analytics solution using analytics tools like dash boarding, reporting. Required Skills : BS in Computer Science or in related fields, higher degree preferred. 5+ year working experience in data modeling methodology and process using Erwin Data collection, curation, preparation and transformation Data warehousing, reporting and business intelligence, such as dash boarding Clear verbal and written communication; demonstrated ability to collaborate with peers from a variety of disciplines Working knowledge with RDBMS (DB2) as well as Cassandra and Hadoop Implementation skills such as in Java, Python, and Scripting Preferred Skills : Breadth and depth of skill to build and deliver scalable data and reporting solutions for Deep knowledge and experience with the Cassandra, related software tools, and performance optimization An obsession with delivering an exceptional customer experience and site resiliency Desire, initiative and resourcefulness to learn new tools, frameworks, languages SGA is a Certified Women's Business Enterprise (WBE) celebrating over thirty years of service to our national client base for both permanent placement and consulting opportunities. For consulting positions, we offer a variety of benefit options including but not limited to health & dental insurance, paid vacation, timely payment via direct deposit. Only those authorized to work for government entities will be considered for government roles. SGA is an EEO employer. We encourage Veterans to apply.
Type: Contract
Location: New York, NY
Country: United States of America
Contact: george wellington
Advertiser: Software Guidance & Assistance
Reference: NT17-02437

          Texas court questions right of benefits for gay spouses   
The Texas Supreme Court has questioned whether gay spouses are legally entitled to government-subsidized workplace benefits in a unanimous decision quickly condemned by gay-rights groups.
          (IT) Senior Scala Engineer   

Rate: Euros 550 - 600 per day   Location: Dublin   

My client is a Financial Services Powerhouse who are looking to add a number of top Scala Engineers to their team based here in Dublin..Great time to come over and contract in Dublin as the Euro is very strong against the Brithish Pound and with the added government benefits of UK based contractors coming over here, now is a great time to secure a contract role here in Dublin for more bang for your buck.* They are looking for people who have both commercial experience in Scala, but will also be happy to speak with people who come from a strong Java based background who want to enter a commercial environment and gain Scala exposure. Great team with a very tech driven manager who ensures that his team not only use best practice to deliver on the large scale applications that they are building but have fun doing it. Job Description If you are committed to change and like a challenge, then this is the place for you. My client has moved from a traditional application aligned software delivery methods to highly agile cross functional and component teams. This is one of the most interesting and exciting times to join the organisation. Their culture is one of excellence; team work, learning, delivered value and believing in their people. They look for new team members that love to learn and take initiatives and take opportunities to improve processes. If working amongst people who are committed to leading the industry appeals to you, then you need to apply for this role. They want you to be part of a strategic drive to migrate their classic applications to the new strategic architecture; The strategic system is being constructed in Scala and Python using Angular in the web stack. They follow Agile management, Agile, Scrum and Kanban delivery methodologies, with a focus on ATDD/BDD & TDD. Responsibilities You will be a key figure within the Dublin team working across a number of teams in other regions, working within an Agile team, writing requirements and specification (eg automated tests), developing relationships across the technology and user communities. In addition making sure you are always focusing on delivery of value using exceptional quality. As the successful applicant you will be responsible for supporting modern agile software development methods; including educating & mentoring less experienced OOP team members and working with teams across London and other regions. Requirements A background in modern OO language with experience in at least one of Java/Scala/Python/C# with a preference for Scala Experienced in using design patterns and following best software engineering practices An understanding of fundamental algorithms and ability to optimize existing code Proficient written and verbal communication skills to support and shape the platform and clearly articulate technical designs and concepts Relationship building skills A team player with exceptional interpersonal skills, eg collaborative working skills Experience of Specification by
Rate: Euros 550 - 600 per day
Type: Contract
Location: Dublin
Country: Ireland
Contact: Brendan Hennessy
Advertiser: Stelfox Ltd
Start Date: ASAP
Reference: JS

          Former StarKist Tuna Exec Pleads Guilty To Price Fixing   
The U.S. government began investigating price fixing of canned tuna between StarKist, Bumble Bee Foods and Chicken of the Sea more than two years ago.
          One of the largest Roman Catholic churches in Podillya ruined by communist regime to be restored in Vinnytsia region   
Ancient Roman Catholic hurch of Archangel Michael in a small town of Tyvriv, which is located in Vinnytsia, is returned to life. With the restoration of the church, where the Soviet government arranged a plant and set up a laundering facility at the most sacred place of the temple, a cultural Christian center of the all-Ukrainian level should appear, UNIAN-Religion reported referring to Urban, a magazine of Vinnytsia.
          New Super-Man. 01, Made in China by Yang, Gene Luen, author.   
"An impulsive act of heroism thrusts an arrogant young man into the limelight of Shanghai as China begins to form its own Justice League of powerful heroes. As the government creates their own Superman, will they live to regret the person they've chosen? Rising from the ashes of SUPERMAN: THE FINAL DAYS OF SUPERMAN and the death of the Man of Steel, will this New Super-Man step up to the challenge, or be crushed under the weight of his hubris and inexperience? Award-winning writer Gene Luen Yang
          These Pictures Of Samantha Will Make You Fall In Love With Handloom Sarees!   
Well We all very well know that Telangana Government appointed samantha as the brand ambassador for Handlooms industry of the state. In the IIFA Utsavam 2017 awards we all know that samantha has promoted the state culture through her saree which has telangana state symbols – state bird palapitta and tree jammi chettu , deer and … Continue reading These Pictures Of Samantha Will Make You Fall In Love With Handloom Sarees!
          Auckland Mayor and Government formalise creation of CRL Ltd   
Auckland Mayor and Government formalise creation of CRL Ltd. to deliver NZ’s largest infrastructure project Today, Auckland Mayor Phil Goff, Deputy Mayor Cashmore and Ministers Steven Joyce and Simon Bridges, formalised the partnership between Government ...
          Stock market opens higher as Wall Street looks to wrap volatile week in the green   

U.S. stocks on Friday climbed and a selloff in bonds subsided somewhat, as a report on inflation and spending came in weaker than expected. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.5% at 21,371, the S&P 500 index gained 0.4% at 2,429, while the Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 0.3% at 6,165. Friday's moves follow a downdraft for equities in the previous session, underpinned by selling in technology shares , more than offsetting gains in the financial sector . Among corporate news, shares of Nike Inc. climbed and was buoying the Dow, after the sportswear giant late Thursday posted better-than-expected quarterly profit and sales. Meanwhile, government bond-yields looked to stabilize in early trade after spiking throughout the week on investor fears that global central bankers would put an end to easy-money policies, which have supported bond prices and pushed yields to record lows. The 10-year Treasury note was at 2.27% in recent trade. Prices move inversely to yields. On the data front, a consumer report early Friday showed the Federal Reserve's preferred inflation gauge, the price index for personal-consumption expenditures, fell 0.1% in May from the prior month while personal consumption expenditures increased a seasonally adjusted 0.1% in May from the prior month, the Commerce Department said. Friday's action caps a bumpy week for equities and closes out the month, quarter and first half of 2017.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit for more information on this news.

          UK Government suffers defeat in court by Palestine campaigners over boycott, divestment and sanctions   
LONDON/PNN/ The Palestine Solidarity Campaign has won a key victory for the peaceful Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against the UK government today. War on Want, Campaign Against Arms Trade and the Quakers supported the legal challenge with witness statements. PSC was represented in the proceedings by Bindmans LLP, Nigel Giffin QC and Zac Sammour. …
          British government ‘content’ to let Palestine Expo proceed   
London /PNN/ Despite the best efforts of Britain’s pro-Israel lobby, the organisers of the biggest-ever Palestine event in Europe have been told by the British government that it is “content to let the event proceed.” A spokesperson for the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) advised the chairman of Friends of Al-Aqsa of the decision …
          Government lowers GST on fertilisers just ahead of launch   
“12 per cent rate of GST some felt it may increase burden on farmers, so the consensus within the Council was to bring the rate down to 5 per cent,” Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who chairs the GST Council announced after Friday’s meeting at New Delhi’s Vigyan Bhavan.
          ‘Pay at the Port’ streamlines MilAir travel   
Due to a recent Air Force Accounting and Finance Office directive, Airmen will now use their Government Travel Charge Card for MilAir travel related expenses.
‘Pay at the Port’ streamlines MilAir travel
          APC has succeeded in dividing Nigeria – Chekwas   

NATIONAL Chairman of United Progressive Party (UPP),Dr. Chekwas Okorie yesterday stated that the All Progressive Congress (APC)has succeeded in dividing Nigeria along primordial cleavage more than any government before it.

The post APC has succeeded in dividing Nigeria – Chekwas appeared first on Vanguard News.

          ONDO: How herdsmen killed man whose farm is near Falae’s   

SIXTY Four year old father of seven, Linus Ogbeh, left home at about 6.00 am last Sunday to fetch cocoyam for his family members’ breakfast before going to church but he never returned as suspected herdsmen riddled his chest with bullets in his farm. The farm was located next to that of former Secretary to Government of the Federation, SGF, Chief Olu Falae, at the agrarian Ileyo community in lgbatoro, Akure North area of Ondo State.

The post ONDO: How herdsmen killed man whose farm is near Falae’s appeared first on Vanguard News.

          NIGERIA: What is restructuring?   

GENERAL Ibrahim BabangidaI will strongly advocate for devolution of powers to the extent that more responsibilities be given to the states while the Federal Government is vested with the responsibility to oversee our foreign policy, defence, and economy. Even the idea of having Federal roads in towns and cities has become outdated and urgently needs revisiting. That means we need to tinker with our constitution to accommodate new thoughts that will strengthen our nationality.

The post NIGERIA: What is restructuring? appeared first on Vanguard News.

          How anti-grazing law unified Ortom with critics in Benue – Kwaghngu   

I think those who say this government has not performed are not in touch with their people back home. They are obviously people who are living outside the state and perhaps do not come home regularly to appreciate the positive things that are going on in the state at the moment. I want to say emphatically that within the last two years, the Governor Samul Ortom led administration has performed and done a lot of things which have touched the lives of the people positively.

The post How anti-grazing law unified Ortom with critics in Benue – Kwaghngu appeared first on Vanguard News.

          4 Ways in Which Payroll Services Are Important To Small Companies   

There are different types of companies today and all these companies require payroll services. Processing employees’ salaries is a task that is time consuming and is supposed to be handled by a professional because it is complicated in one way or the other. Most small companies like payroll outsourcing as compared to employing their own because in this way they are able to save some money that they will use in developing and expanding their businesses.

Activities involved in payroll processing

Some of the functions involved in payroll processing are determination of salary, various health and government benefit contributions, sick leave allowance and deductions for absences. The use of external payroll services is very important because they make it easy for you to reduce the …


Payroll tax is taxation scheme based on Australian State and Territory and it works in Australia. It’s all calculations are self analyzed. Fringe benefits, superannuation and wages are important points for its calculations. Each territory and state has set a percentage value which is important in calculation, along with the specific threshold for the taxation to be payable. In every July an annual reconciliation is performed for the receptive fiscal year in which this ratio and threshold value is indexed bi-annually or annually payments that are made to the different office employers monthly. In simple words this tax has been imposed on the salaries of employees and it’s also called payroll service Australia.

Shifting from federal to state government

In 1941, federal government started funding …

          Suspense Novel Makes an Exciting Read with Multiple Twists and Turns   

  - The novel starts with the death of an investigative reporter for a Washington, D.C. based national newspaper, Matthew Kittle. Besides being a reporter, Kittle had an alternative motive in doing the research on this particular operation that was being carried out under the radar of the United States Government. People in the higher hierarchy of the government were directly involved in this scheme. His death was set up as a suicide and his death, coincidentally, happened a few days befo

Read the full story at

          6/30/2017: MR. PREMIER-DESIGNATE   

B.C.’s New Democrats will return to power at the legislature for the first time in 16 years after toppling Premier Christy Clark’s Liberals Thursday and being asked by the lieutenantgovernor to form a government. NDP Leader John Horgan was summoned to...
          Occupational Health and Safety Coordinator - Denison Environmental Services - Elliot Lake, ON   
Valid class G driver’s licence. Develop and offer training programs to community business, schools, governments and the general public....
From Indeed - Tue, 30 May 2017 15:23:30 GMT - View all Elliot Lake, ON jobs
          CURMUDGUCATION: Why Your ESSA Plan Is Nonsense   
CURMUDGUCATION: Why Your ESSA Plan Is Nonsense:

Why Your ESSA Plan Is Nonsense

At EdWeek, Andrew Ujifusa offers an explanation. In "Here's Why You Can't Understand Your State's New Plan for Education" he points the finger at jargon and offers some rather fun analytics for education argle-bargle. The top four bits of balonial verbage are, in descending order, stakeholder, engagement, professional development, and needs assessment. 

Yes, this can only end well
Ujifusa breaks down the nature of the nonsense in your state's ESSA plan, but he doesn't really address the cause. But at this juncture, it's useful to remember why ESSA plans will be just as much jelly-filled fluffernuttery as oh, so, many government-drafted educational master plans before them.

It's not complicated. Master Plans for Education, both Great and Small, are almost always nonsense because they are written by bureaucrats, not educators.

Imagine military strategy and tactics being written by people who have no military training and who have never set foot on a battlefield. Imagine a plan for manufacture and assembly of widgets concocted by someone who has never used, built or worked on a widget. Imagine someone holding the highest office in the land who had no concept of how any of the policies or functions under his control actually work.

That's where we have been with education for decades. On the state and federal level we consistently find bureaucrats overseeing education who don't really know what they're talking about. Their knowledge and understanding of actual education is second, third or fourth hand. Sometimes it's no hands-- just made up out of whatever they come up with in their own little heads.

So they come up with policies that sound good, or that are birthed by the committee process (it's 
CURMUDGUCATION: Why Your ESSA Plan Is Nonsense:

          In The Land Of Bill Gates, A Standoff Over Money For Schools | GOOD Education   
In The Land Of Bill Gates, A Standoff Over Money For Schools | GOOD Education:

In The Land Of Bill Gates, A Standoff Over Money For Schools
Not one of Washington State’s 13 resident billionaires pays a dime in income tax.

ZACHARY WARREN SPENDS A LOT OF HIS TIME THINKING ABOUT CHAIRS. Desk chairs, to be more specific. Though there’s a range of chair sizes in the classroom where he’s taught for years in the Seattle Public School system, he says, “They don’t fit the kids. The desks don’t fit the kids.”
The problem, Warren believes, is that public education in his state isn’t fully-funded. Which means equipment doesn’t always work. Or adequate supplies simply aren’t available. So teachers like him — who already struggle to make it on salaries that are well below what it takes to live in the blazing Seattle housing market — must dig into their own pockets to pay for them. And when it comes to desk chairs, well, they aren’t exactly available for a couple bucks at the corner store.
Teachers being asked to foot the bill isn’t a pattern that’s limited to Washington; it’s a nationwide problem, due in large part to the fact that teachers, who are evaluated on student success, can’t do their jobs without basic supplies. But it’s surprising that in a prosperous state with a booming economy — home to two of the world’s biggest corporations, Amazon and Microsoft — schools can’t seem to put the coins together to pay for pencils and paste.
It’s a familiar conundrum for the Washington State legislature. Colloquially referred to as the WaLeg, the state government entered its second special session this month, an extension to the 2017 legislative period. Though the word “special” is right in the name, there’s nothing unique or surprising about the fact that lawmakers are staying in Olympia, the capitol, for an extra 30 days. It happens almost every year.
Despite the state’s reputation as a liberal haven, the WaLeg is split nearly dead in half down the aisle (the Senate has 24 Democrats and 25 Republicans, while the House has 50 Democrats and 48 Republicans). It’s a division that has led to some unusual funding shortfalls in one of the nation’s wealthiest states: Not a single one In The Land Of Bill Gates, A Standoff Over Money For Schools | GOOD Education:

          CT Voices for Children is absolutely right about CT budget situation - Wait What?   
CT Voices for Children is absolutely right about CT budget situation - Wait What?:

CT Voices for Children is absolutely right about CT budget situation

Image result for CT Voices for Children

Statement from CT Voices June 30, 2017;
Connecticut Voices for Children strongly believes that a fiscally responsible and stable state budget is the cornerstone for equitable economic growth. The only way to build a strong foundation for long-term inclusive economic prosperity is having a state government with solid finances that is willing and able to support long-term strategies for economic growth and equitable opportunity.
Connecticut’s current fiscal crisis is the result of years of short-term budget thinking and a failure to address our state’s economic challenges. During the past few months, Connecticut policymakers have struggled with the daunting task of closing a budget gap not of their own making. After years of short-term fixes, they are now confronted with a harsh fiscal reality with no easy solutions.
As the Governor and the Legislature go back to the drawing board this special session, we urge them to ground their work in an understanding of the economic, demographic, and political changes which have created today’s ever-growing challenge.
The state budget is the clearest statement of Connecticut’s policy priorities. Working from our strengths, and with the courage to address our weaknesses, we can build a more inclusive economy that enables all families to thrive, provides quality education for all children from cradle to career, and provides the support services necessary to ensure that no child is left behind.
To achieve these priorities, the Governor and General Assembly must seek a balanced approach that combines smart, strategic spending in key budget priorities with tax reforms that assure fairness, stability, predictability, and adequacy. Connecticut needs a stable, responsible budget, with real structural reforms, rejecting the crisis-driven, short-term approach that has marked state fiscal policy for years. Legislators should create a stable revenue stream by modernizing Connecticut’s tax structure to reflect its changing economy, which is increasingly built on services rather than goods. This will require combining bold revenue reforms with a strategic rethinking of budget priorities that include a renewed willingness for forward-looking investments in education, workforce development, and health.
We understand that this shift will not be easy; Connecticut’s fiscal woes are deep, and fixing them will require making many hard decisions. Connecticut Voices for Children believes, however, that working together we can reach a balanced budget that ensures that our state is an attractive place to find a job, start a business, and raise a family. It is time for everyone that cares about the future of our state to set our differences aside and work towards this common goal.CT Voices for Children is absolutely right about CT budget situation - Wait What?:

          Friday News Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all   
Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all:

Friday News Diane Ravitch's blog
A site to discuss better education for all

Civil Rights Activists Outraged by Trump Choice to Lead Civil Rights Division at Justice Department

The key job in the federal government in terms of civil rights enforcement is the leader of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department. Trump has selected Eric Dreiband, who has represented numerous clients accused of violating civil rights laws. Activists are outraged. The selection of Dreiband is in keeping with 

Los Angeles Times: Cheerleading for Privatization and the Trum-DeVos Agenda

The Los Angeles Times editorial board published an editorial today chastising the California Teachers Association for resisting privatization of public education via charters. I assume that this editorial was in no way influenced by Eli Broad, who subsidizes the Times’ education coverage, which is a blatant 

We Lost a Dear Friend of Public Libraries and Public Schools: Joan Kramer of Los Angeles

Joan Kramer, a hero of public libraries, public education, and the common good, died a few days ago. Joan was a hero to all who knew and loved her. This is a tribute from some of her friends who knew her well. Here she is testifying before 

Big Oil Sells Fossil-Fuel Love to Children in Elementary Schools

This is an alarming story, prepared by the Center for Public Integrity. . Teaching materials are being distributed by the fossil fuel industry to elementary schools. It begins: “Jennifer Merritt’s first-graders at Jefferson Elementary School in 

National Education Policy Center: New Research on Virtual Charter Schools

The National Education Policy Center has released new research on virtual charter schools that shows variation among those in different states, though all have poor academic results: Key Takeaway: Case studies from the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute suggest that policymakers should prioritize understanding and improving virtual school performance before permitting further growth Pre
Nancy E. Bailey: Beware! Computer Instruction is NOT Inclusion!

Nancy E. Bailey writes here about current efforts to put children with disabilities on a computer and call it “personalized learning” and “inclusion.” It is neither. “Personalized learning must not be mistaken for inclusion. The reality is that it’s student isolation! “Inclusion is generally defined as the action or state of including or of being included within a group or structure. Doing school
Montana Teacher: Questions About AP Courses

This comment by a reader called amontana Teacger continues a discussion of the value of AP courses. My observation: AP courses are a big money-maker for the College Board, which on its face is nonprofit, but aggressively pursues opportunities to generate revenues, like claiming that access to AP courses promotes equity. Other posts are here and here . Montana Teacher writes: “Thank you for all of
Tomorrow Is My Birthday!

Tomorrow I will be 79! My older sister says that it’s all downhill from here, but I’m not going anywhere, not without raising a ruckus. Carol Burris has created a giant birthday card for me. I hope you will consider signing it. This will be the first time in my life that I ever asked anyone to sign a birthday card that
Urgent Note to Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan: Hands Off Our Schools and Our Children!

Education Week reports on the plans of billionaires Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan to redesign American education. They have launched something called the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative–or CZI Initiative–to carry out their plan for “personalized learning”‘( I.e., “depersonalized learning”) to remake education into whatever they think in their limited experience is best. They have hired J
June 30: Join Student Data Deletion Day!

Today is the first Student Data Deletion Day. This is a parent’s response to the obscene amounts of personal data collected about every child. Why do they do it? Because they can, and because you let them. Please open to see the many links. As usual, this is an excerpt: “Our K-12 public schools are collecting an enormous amount of data about our kids that will pre-determine whether their dream sc


Phyllis Bush: Facing Cancer Head On, with Humor and Determination

My dear friend and ally, Phyllis Bush, started a blog to write about her experience with cancer, which she insists on calling cancer schmanzer. She is feeling better . She is cleaning closets. She is ready for the fight for her life. Phyllis keeps me informed about the corporate and billionaire funded effort to destroy public education in Indiana. She is a fighter. She is a founding board member
Silicon Valley's Influence on Public Education | Truth in American Education:

Silicon Valley's Influence on Public Education 

The New York Times published an interesting article about how Silicon Valley companies have pushed coding into public schools.
Natasha Singer writes:
At a White House gathering of tech titans last week, Timothy D. Cook, the chief executive of Apple, delivered a blunt message to President Trump on how public schools could better serve the nation’s needs. To help solve a “huge deficit in the skills that we need today,” Mr. Cook said, the government should do its part to make sure students learn computer programming.
“Coding,” Mr. Cook told the president, “should be a requirement in every public school.”
The Apple chief’s education mandate was just the latest tech company push for coding courses in schools. But even without Mr. Trump’s support, Silicon Valley is already advancing that agenda — thanks largely to the marketing prowess of, an industry-backed nonprofit group.
This push coincides with corporations’ interest in public education and a shift to a focus onSilicon Valley's Influence on Public Education | Truth in American Education: 

          The delusion that things can’t get any worse   

That’s it really. You probably know exactly what I am thinking. So get commenting.

My thoughts along these lines were provoked by a comment on this piece in The Sun by Iain Martin, who is prophesying Corbynite doom, in the event of a Corbynite victory.

The comment, in response to what Martin and the first few commenters all say, went thus:

But standards of living are falling and poverty is increasing while those that rule over us get richer and this is happening under a Tory government, so how is this any better than the nightmare scenario that you portray.
...continue The delusion that things can’t get any worse

          After 3 days and 140 witnesses, public hearing on NAFTA hints at huge work ahead for U.S. negotiators   

As Washington events go these days, the hearing on the North American Free Trade Agreement was a snoozer: panel after panel of speakers reading five-minute-long statements, one after another, followed by a round of questions from a team of government bureaucrats.

Yet the three-day public session...

          CBO Says Debt Limit Will Be Reached in October   
The CBO says in a new report that the government will run out of money by October if the debt ceiling is not raised. Here is what this means for TSP investors.
          Republicans grow increasingly anxious about heading home without a health plan - Washington Post   

Washington Post

Republicans grow increasingly anxious about heading home without a health plan
Washington Post
The dispute within the Republican Party over health care widened further Friday as President Trump joined with two conservative senators in calling for an outright repeal of the Affordable Care Act if the party fails to agree on an alternative plan by ...
Conservative groups unleash on Senate Republicans over repeal billPolitico
What exactly does Trump want from this health care bill?CNN
GOP's Plan B for Obamacare repeal began with quiet push from Koch networkLos Angeles Times
ABC News -Breitbart News -The Atlantic -BuzzFeed News
all 148 news articles »

          Trump and Moon must unite to send a tough message to North Korea - The Hill (blog)   

The Hill (blog)

Trump and Moon must unite to send a tough message to North Korea
The Hill (blog)
South Korea's new president, Moon Jae In, visited the White House today to seek President Trump's support for his North Korea policies, following visits from Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in February and China's President Xi Jinping in April. Which ...
Trump just slammed one of America's close alliesWashington Post
Moon Jae-in, Mika Brzezinski, Jay-Z: Your Friday Evening BriefingNew York Times
Trump Ups Trade Tensions With SKorea in Welcoming New LeaderU.S. News & World Report
Miami Herald -Reuters -The Weekly Standard
all 1,307 news articles »

          The United States Congress: Decorum Lost   
Lord, what would the Founders say if they read the letter from the Congressional Black Caucus to President Trump indicating their desire to “educate” him on all things relating to—what else—the Black community?  It is one thing to enfranchise a group in our representative government; but to be condescended to by them in this manner?  […]
          Texas Supreme Court sends same-sex...   

The Texas Supreme Court on Friday threw out a lower court ruling that favored of government-subsidized same-sex marriage benefits and sent the Houston case back to that court for reconsideration.


          Gold Project, E-Waste Database Support SCP   
EBRD will loan US$140 million to Bakyrchik Mining Venture LLP for development of the Kyzyl gold deposit, enhancing the use of modern technology in Kazakhstan’s mining sector and bringing the sector in line with the highest international standards. The IGF has developed a guidance document to help governments develop, implement and monitor effective management strategies for artisanal and small-scale mining. UNU's Sustainable Cycles programme, the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) and the ITU formed a Global e-Waste Statistics Partnership to build country capacity to produce comparable, reliable e-waste statistics and track developments over time.
          Sustainable Development Innovations Added to African Knowledge Hub   
In collaboration with the South African Government’s Department of Science and Technology, the SA SD KH has added its first cohort of African sustainable development innovations. The first cohort of innovations includes a number of innovations that respond to SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation). The SA SD KH was launched with a view to linking development partners with relevant and potentially transformative African evidence.
          Event: Climate Week NYC 2017   
The 9th annual Climate Week NYC will take place during the General Debate of the UN General Assembly (UNGA). It will gather leaders from business and government to demonstrate how continued investment in innovation, technology and clean energy will drive profitability and lead us towards a net-zero emissions global economy. The Week will seek to demonstrate how non-state actors are embracing the opportunities of the clean economy and innovating to create jobs and prosperity for businesses and communities alike. Climate Week NYC 2017 will showcase the role that non-state actors are playing in ensuring the successful implementation of the Paris Agreement and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Week is organized by The Climate Group, an international non-profit that works internationally with businesses, states and regions to deliver a world of net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and greater prosperity for all.
          Event: UN Private Sector Forum 2017   
The United Nations Private Sector Forum 2017, organized by the UN Global Compact, will focus on the theme of 'Financing the 2030 Agenda'. The organizers note that achieving the SDGs requires unlocking new forms of financing at an unprecedented scale, and ensuring the UN and its partners "make a strategic pivot" to facilitating financial innovation, catalyzing responsible business growth, and increasing private and public investment in the Goals. The annual Forum aims to bring the voice of business to intergovernmental debates, and to enable CEOs, heads of state and government, and UN and civil society leaders to explore partnerships to address challenges that no single organization or sector can take on alone.
          Pre-4th fireworks: Hotel petition group exploring lawsuit and recalls   
Citizens for Responsible Government says it will continue its fight against city funding for a convention hotel, perhaps through the courts or removing members of the City Council.

          Critical Lilac Sky trust finance warning kept under wraps for months   
A critical financial notice issued by the government to an academy trust revealing “significant irregular financial and governance practice” was kept under wraps for more than ten months. The Education Funding Agency (EFA) has today published a financial notice to improve (FNtI) that was issued to the controversial Lilac Sky Schools Academy Trust in August last year. It revealed the trust, which was already in the process of transferring its nine schools to new sponsors, had “significant irregular financial and governance practice over a number of years” – with government officials said to have “significant concern”. It’s not known why there was such a long delay in the EFA publishing the FNtI on its website. The trust is now in the process of liquidation, and is being run by new trustees installed by the government. There was significant irregular financial and governance practice over a number of years Analysis by Schools Week of the four other notices to improve published this year show the maximum time between the letter being issued and published online was just over two months. One FNtI was even published within three days of being issued. As Schools Week previously revealed, LSSAT’s founder Trevor Averre-Beeson went on to...
          U.S. Senate revises Russia sanctions bill, sends it to House   
The U.S. Senate reached an agreement on Thursday to resolve a technical issue stalling a new package of sanctions on Russia, although the measure's fate in the House of Representatives remained uncertain, lawmakers said. The legislation passed the Senate by a nearly unanimous 98-2 margin on June 15, looking like it might complicate President Donald Trump's desire for warmer relations with Moscow, where officials have denounced new sanctions. But it was blocked in the House, where Republican leaders said the Senate bill violated a constitutional requirement that any bill affecting government revenues originate in the House, something known as a "blue slip" violation. Lawmakers from the two chambers have bickered about the issue since. Democrats accused House Republican leaders of trying to kill the bill to please Trump after administration officials said they had concerns about it. Senator Ben Cardin, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters
          Jury finds United States can seize Iran-linked office tower   
A jury in New York on Thursday found that the U.S. government can seize a Manhattan office building from a nonprofit foundation accused of violating U.S. sanctions against Iran. The jury in a Manhattan federal court said the Alavi Foundation, majority owner of an office tower at 650 Fifth Avenue, knew that its partner and the building's minority owner, Assa Corp, was a front for Iran, and helped conceal the fact. Jurors said the government had proven that the property was involved in or traceable to money laundering. The government wanted to seize the 36-story building, which could be worth nearly $1 billion, to benefit people with legal judgments against Iran relating to bombings and other attacks. "In this trial, 650 Fifth Avenue’s secret was laid bare for all to see," said Acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim in Manhattan, whose office represented the government. "On behalf of all of our clients, we are extremely pleased with the decision and the verdict handed down today," said
          Comment on Claimant Forced To Crawl Up Assessment Centre Stairs by Sarah   
It is a rediculous situation in the 2nd decade of the 21century, 13 years after all physical barriers to access were to be removed under the DDA 1995. Howcome the DWP and their so called independent assessors can break the law once again? What reasonable adjustments were made under the Equality Act none! They should be anticipating the needs of all users by haveing fully accessible premises that at least meet the minimum current Part M building regulations, 5 years ago my then local assessment centre would not allow Wheelchair users in because we were deemed a fire and safety risk But it was apparently alright to send disabled people on long journeys on non accessible public transport. I got an amusing letter back from the then DWP minister who failed to answer all the issues raised, fortunately I did not have to attend a face to face after for WCA The DWP for the WCA for ESA assumes modern businesses are accessible, but not the DWP , ATOS CApITA or Maximus, amazing! They sometimes try to get round it by home visits, whether you want one or not for both WCA and PIP. Why should other service providers or businesses bother with access if a Government department could not care less. it is vital people do let their MPs know when faced with access issues , and or sent on unreasonable journeys, for these benefits so that they can write to the current ministers , they have to answer MP s. I was given no choice for my PIP assessment, only a home visit. This may sound great, as you can not be forced to walk longer distances than normal, but instead they make assumptions about the distance without any evidence on their part, and no checks to see if it is reasonable, reliable or safe, The face to face assessors only appear to have one agenda to write fiction and lies and fail you.
          Trial Date Set for Children’s Climate Lawsuit Against U.S. Government   
The judge also agreed to let the country’s biggest fossil fuel lobbies withdraw from the case, which may shield them from having to turn over documents.

A federal judge has set a trial date for the landmark lawsuit brought by 21 children and young adults over the U.S. government's alleged failure to rein in fossil fuel development and address climate change.

read more

          Texas Supreme Court Rules That Married Gay Couples Have No Right to Government Spousal Benefits   

The Texas Supreme Court ruled – unanimously – on Friday that gay married couples have no right to government-provided spousal benefits, the Austin Statesman reports: The 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that established the right to same-se…

The post Texas Supreme Court Rules That Married Gay Couples Have No Right to Government Spousal Benefits appeared first on Towleroad.

          Randgold declares $173m in payments to governments for 2016   
Mark Bristow-led Randgold Resources made payments of $173-million to the jurisdictions where it operates in the year ended December 31, 2016. In a breakdown of its payments to governments, released on Friday, the gold miner noted that this included $161-million paid to the Mali government, where it operates the Morila gold mine.
          Acacia paid $184m in taxes to governments in 2016   
Gold miner Acacia Mining paid $184-million to the governments of countries where it operates in 2016. Of this, $88.11-million in income tax and royalties was paid the government of Tanzania. When payroll-related and other taxes are included, this figure rises to 165-million.
          Canada's Gabriel Resources sues Romania for a record C$5.7bn   
Canadian project developer Gabriel Resources is suing Romania for a record C$5.7-billion before the World Bank's International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), the TSX-listed company revealed on Thursday. The company hopes to tie up a drawn out dispute with the country’s fluid government, based on what it argues boils down to the effective expropriation, without compensation, of its flagship Roşia Montană gold/silver project – the largest undeveloped gold deposit in Europe and among the top 20 undeveloped gold projects globally.
          Tanzania laws would allow govt to tear up mining, energy deals   
The Tanzanian government submitted three Bills to parliament on Thursday that would allow it to force mining and energy companies to renegotiate their contracts, the latest in a string of moves that have alarmed foreign investors. It was not immediately clear how the proposed renegotiation of contracts would affect a planned $30-billion gas project, or the troubled mining sector, which generates about 3.5% of Tanzania's gross domestic product.
          Reeling from Horrifying GOP Health Care Bills? Just wait till you lose your Voting Rights, just around the corner.    
While everyone is still wondering how Republicans could ever seriously fix their health care bills that drop 22 to 23 million Americans with a few more insane amendments, voting rights is about to take a huge hit:
The Republican presidential tactic of crippling agencies you don't like by putting either the incompetent or the actively hostile in charge of them (continues) ... Kris Kobach, the godfather of the national movement to suppress the votes of people the GOP would prefer not to exercise the franchise (was) named as vice-chairman of his Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, a snipe hunt the only apparent purpose of which is maintaining the fiction that masses of people, many of them brown, are gaming our elections. 
Here's the most damning news that might just alert us to specific Republican governors who take the bait:
Kobach wrote a letter to his fellow secretaries of state that left many jaws on the floor. From The Kansas City Star: In a Wednesday letter, Kobach asked the Connecticut secretary of state's office to provide the commission with all publicly available voter roll data, including the full names of all registered voters along with their addresses, dates of birth, the last four digits of their Social Security numbers, voting history and other personal information ... he sent similar letters to election officials in every state. 

Quite simply, any secretary of state who complies with this request is either too stupid to hold the job, or is in sympathy with Kobach's goal of whitewashing the electorate.  Alex Padilla, the Secretary of State for California, said, "California's participation would only serve to legitimize the false and already debunked claims of massive voter fraud made by the President, the Vice President, and Mr. Kobach. The President's Commission is a waste of taxpayer money and a distraction from the real threats to the integrity of our elections today: aging voting systems and documented Russian interference in our elections."

Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill was a bit more discreet: "The courts have repudiated his methods on multiple occasions but often after the damage has been done to voters. Given Secretary Kobach's history we find it very difficult to have confidence in the work of this commission."
BREAKING: Scott Walker gives up voter information to Trump's big government demands. Hey, we just had a recount too. All is well?

Wisconsin elections officials said Friday that they'll sell some voter information to a presidential commission investigating election fraud. Administrator Mike Haas issued a statement Friday saying data is available for purchase and the commission must release it to buyers, adding that the commission routinely sells the information to political parties, candidates and researchers. The commission would charge the presidential panel $12,500 for the data.
Having done a lot of research on "the right to vote," I found that despite the guarantee in the 14th, 15th and 19th Amendments...with help from the Voting Rights Act (now destroyed by activist conservative Justices), voting seems to be the least defended squishy right ever. In fact, I could make the argument that women and African Americans were definitely given the right to vote, but anyone else including white guys...nope.

What if Obama did this? Always the best test against hypocritical Republican policy:
As Vanita Gupta points out in that same K.C. Star report, if someone in the Obama administration had made this request, at the very least, there would be a full week of howler monkeys screaming about federalism from every perch in every conservative think-tank in the jungle. At the most, there would be hearing after hearing about the Obama administration's plan to seed thousands of the president's fellow Kenyans in every crucial precinct in Ohio and Florida. What's more important, though, is that the national campaign to roll back voting rights now has reached the highest levels of government, with the blessing of the president* and the president*-in-waiting. This is the final step backwards across the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

          NRA Declares War on Liberals.    
I've been writing about the Republican authoritarian movement for some time now along with their sheepishly devoted voters. They've been vilifying liberals, progressives and Democrats for years. Not coincidentally, I've also noticed my conservative friend in Milwaukee has made the attacks more personal, with an arrogance rooted from one party rule. After all, they "won" and will never lose power again. And according to my friend, with the appointment of conservative judges, liberals will lose in the courts as well.  

NRA Ad Warning: What I've seen from tweets and blog commentary is perfectly summed up in the recent NRA ad. It is literally all there, with the added call to arms of course. Trump's blatant attack on the First Amendments very clear protections of the press, the rise of right wing media, and the many years of vilifying  "the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances," the NRA ad may be the marker right wing authoritarians have been waiting for. Especially after the way this ad hit the fan:

"They use their media to assassinate real news. They use their schools to teach children that their president is another Hitler. They use their movie stars and singers and comedy shows and award shows to repeat their narrative over and over again. And then they use their ex-president to endorse “the resistance.”

All to make them march. Make them protest. Make them scream racism and sexism and xenophobia and homophobia. To smash windows, burn cars, shut down interstates and airports, bully and terrorize the law-abiding — until the only option left is for the police to do their jobs and stop the madness.

And when that happens, they’ll use it as an excuse for their outrage. The only way we stop this, the only way we save our country and our freedom, is to fight this violence of lies with the clenched fist of truth.

I’m the National Rifle Association of America. And I’m freedom’s safest place."
As Vox's Zack Beauchamp put it:
This chilling NRA ad calls on its members to save America by fighting liberals: A liberal insurgency is destroying American society. The “only way” to protect yourself from this surge in left-wing violence (a made-up threat, to be clear) is to donate to the NRA.

In a 2013 op-ed, for example, NRA Vice President Wayne LaPierre argued that a lawless America was inevitable if the liberals succeeded in their nefarious plan to take your guns … it functions as a kind of anti-politics — casting the NRA’s political opponents as devious enemies who can’t be opposed through normal politics. Republicans control all three branches of government and a large majority of statehouses nationwide. There is literally zero chance that any kind of major gun control passes in America in the foreseeable future.

The threat, instead, is from a kind of liberal-cultural fifth column: People who are acting outside of legitimate political channels to upend American freedoms, through protest and violence. It’s a paranoid vision of American life that encourages the NRA’s fans to see liberals not as political opponents, but as monsters.
The ad features right-wing pundit Dana Loesch, who seems determined to turn everything in our country beet red:

The NRA made the mistake of using "blue" as their background, making it ripe for parody, like this...

          In Kenya’s drylands, education is an insurance policy, but only for some   

Livestock is so central to the economy, food, and status of pastoralists in Kenya’s northern drylands that formal education has traditionally taken second place to the role children play in tending to cows, goats, and sheep.

But with climate change increasingly seen as imperiling livelihoods, many pastoralists are now taking the longer view and regard education as a sort of insurance policy. And yet the severity of the current drought affecting much of east Africa, coupled with a long interruption in the provision of free meals, has led to a drop in school attendance.

“The drought has become too harsh,” said Atiir Lokwawi, a 42-year-old mother who lives in the village of Kalokutanyang, in Kenya’s Turkana County. “Animals are dying in huge numbers. We restock, but before we stabilise, drought comes and takes away our investment.”

Lokwawi’s husband travelled to Uganda to graze most of the family’s herd. Of the 40 goats he left behind, 35 have died because of the drought.

“It is good if at least one child goes to school,” said Lokwawi. “Educating our children is also another way to earn money – animals alone cannot help us survive,” she said, explaining that of her seven children, only one, a 15-year-old girl, is currently attending school.

“It will take time for our children to go to school and get jobs, but at least there is hope that, someday, someone will be there for us.”

To help make ends meet, Lokwawi makes charcoal and attends evening classes at a local mobile school.

“I burn charcoal to invest in my daughter’s education. The government pays for her fees, but I have to buy her books, pen, and uniforms. She is my hope, my only family hope,” said Lokwawi, adding that she would like her daughter to become a doctor.

Another of her daughters was married off, bringing the family a substantial dowry of livestock. But most of these animals also perished.

Teaching adaptation

Christine Tukei, a teacher at Kalokutanyang’s mobile primary school, said education for pastoralists “needs to go beyond the [national] curriculum.

“It needs to add value and incorporate their lifestyle. It is vital to help communities prepare for and respond to impacts of climate change while promoting a sustainable way of life.”

The mobile school has about 100 students: roughly two thirds youths aged between nine and 17, and one third adults aged between 35 and 42.

Classes take place between 8 and 10 pm, as during daytime the children are usually tending to livestock herds while the adults make and sell charcoal.

The ravages of the drought have led Tukei to add adaptation strategies to what she teaches.

“We discuss the importance of early destocking, minimising herds to manageable levels; the importance of investing in education; and alternative businesses. I also teach about preserving meat with salt as they slaughter some animals and store for food; and about good health and sanitation,” she explained.

Disastrous drought

The current drought, which started in 2016 and which the Kenyan government deems a national emergency, has dried up water resources in half of the country’s 47 counties, leaving an estimated three million people lacking access to clean water, according to OCHA, the UN’s emergency aid coordination body.

“Recurrent droughts have destroyed livelihoods, triggered local conflicts over scare resources and eroded the ability of communities to cope,” OCHA said, noting that prices of staple food had risen considerably.

The drought has sent rates of global acute malnutrition soaring: in Turkana North sub-county, the rate is 30.7 percent, more than double the emergency threshold.

Across Kenya, up to 3.5 million people are expected to need food assistance in August, up from 2.6 million in February, according to the UN’s World Food Programme.

Large numbers of livestock deaths have been reported in Turkana County, as well as in the counties of Marsabit, Samburu, and Mandera.

As well as Kenya, drought is ravaging Ethiopia and Kenya. In these three countries, the education of some six million children has been disrupted, according to OCHA.

A Turkana boy herds his family's cows in Kenya
Wendy Stone/IRIN
Many children in Turkana tend livestock rather than attend school

Low enrolment

Although the national introduction of free primary education in 2003 led to an increase in school attendance across Kenya, enrolment rates in dryland counties such as Turkana remain much lower than the rest of the country.

And of those who enroll in the first year of school, barely one in five stick it out through the eighth year, with dropouts attributed to early marriage and the need to look after livestock.

Even though going to school can lead to improved agriculture, better health, improved community relations, and better management of natural resources, “the culture [here] does not allow the community to attach much premium on education,” Muthengi Muvea, the director of education in the sub-county of Turkana Central, told IRIN.

“A high number of pastoralists are not willing to wait for over 20 years to see returns on their investment, while a child has immediate returns such as dowry for girls and herding for boys,” he explained.

According to Muvea, at any given time, at least 40 percent of children who are supposed to be in school in Turkana County are not.

This is attributed to: parents migrating during drought in search of pasture and water; inadequate infrastructure; understaffing in schools; and the parents’ general unwillingness to enroll their children in school.

“January 2017 saw enrollment [in Turkana] drop by over 9,200 from the 2016 third term,” said Jesse Nyongesa, of the Ministry of Education.

Matters were made worse in the first few months of 2017 by an interruption in the provision of free school meals across much of the country, although these meals – provided since 1980 by WFP and the Kenyan government and now benefiting 1.5 million children at an annual cost of four billion shillings ($39 million) – resumed in May.

“During drought, the meal the children get in school is the only meal they are likely to get for the day,” said Matthew Epetet, the head teacher of a primary school in the Turkana Central village of Lochwa.

“It’s critical to attaining food security in this part of the country. Unless it's assured, the rate of retention is low, especially for the junior classes.”

Since it launched a Home-Grown School Meals programme in 2009, the government of Kenya has gradually increased its role in feeding school children. HGSM now benefits twice as many children as WFP’s contribution and is set to feed all by 2019.

Under the programme, food is bought from nearby farmers, thereby stimulating the local economy while encouraging children to attend school.

The interruption of free school meals, combined with the migration of parents in search of water and pasture, led attendance at the school to fall by more than half, said Epetet.

“From a total of 585 students, only 257 students are attending class now,” he said. “Among the 103 girls enrolled in school, about 37 are no longer in school. The pre-primary pupils have already stopped coming to school.”

The head teacher explained that the recent start of oil exploration in Turkana’s Lokichar Basin had been another factor in falling attendance.

“Fifteen boys have dropped out of school to work as motorcycle riders within Lokichar,” he said. “Some are seeking manuals job from those employed in oil exploration companies such as fetching water.”

Muvea believes it will take time before education fully improves the welfare of the community and contributes to a meaningful, sustainable manner of resilience.

“It's about perception,” asserted Muvea. “School becomes necessary during drought emergencies because of food access. The way pastoralists perceive education has to change if it is to play a fundamental role in strengthening their resilience.”


(TOP PHOTO: Break time at Karoge Primary School. Sophie Mbugua/IRIN)

Turkana school Feature Solutions and Innovations Environment and Disasters Climate change In Kenya’s drylands, education is an insurance policy for some Sophie Mbugua IRIN Kalokutanyang Kenya Africa East Africa Kenya
          NECC 2009: Session Notes   
A Ripple Effect: 21st Century Innovations that Matter
Cheryl Lemke

Adolescent learning: peers, school, home, distributed resources, work, networked publics (a networked space where the public meets). —B. Barron, 2006

We need to create environments where we can work and learn peer-to-peer with our students because that is where they go to learn what interests them. Students need to see the value-added that the teacher offers.

94% of adolescents are involved in online gaming. —Pew

Multi-tasking is a myth. Our brains have an executive function that allows us to only think about things serially. Students, though, are faster than adults because they are younger (our brain processing speed peaks at between 20 and 30. When you move from one task to another, there is a slight delay and loss of time. There is, however, background tasking (e.g., listening to music). When students are engaged in difficult to cognitively process content, we should decrease the need for background tasking and multi-tasking. Drill and practice builds automaticity that leads to a greater ability to do background tasking while engaged in processing new content. Our students are giving us their “continuous partial attention” (Linda Stark). : This is a game that allows users to try and keep a country alive. It considers elections, economics, etc.

If you grant students choice, on average, their grades will increase by a full grade.

On average there’s less than 10 seconds of sustained discussion in the average classroom. Instead, there is teach-talk followed by student-talk, followed by teacher-talk. This is a nice tool for working with video, stills, audio, and text/drawings. This is a tool that assists in visualizing data (e.g., Twitter posts about Obama during the Inaugeration, growth of Wal-Mart). is a similar program that allows you to track demographic features over time. This tool is good for teaching students about gaming and gaming environments from a design perspective.

Tammy Worcester
Tammy’s Favorite Technology Tips, Tricks, and Tools

  • Users type in text and the application reads it aloud.
  • Allows you to record your voice. It results in an embed code.
  • Allows users to very easily create music loops.
  • Allows you to shorten multiple URLs into one. This creates a website that would be great for creating webquests or smaller Delicious sites.
  • This is a free online basic version of KidPix. More than one individual can work on the whiteboard at a time and you can email the project to others. The email includes the real-time drawing, not just the finished product.
  • or Allows you to do screen captures and make edits (e.g., adding arrows and text). You can also record voice and screen changes (like with Snapz Pro X).
  • Allows you to download YouTube videos for later use. Just add “kick” in the YouTube URL and choose (from the bar on the top) the format in which you want to download. Then, click the green “Download” button. Next, right-click over the “Down” button to download the video to your hard drive.
  • (Random Name Picker): Picks a name from a list you provide. The application includes an embed code so you can have the program run whenever you wish to use it (e.g., from the class blog).
  • Looks in Flickr to find any images relating to the tag you select. You could create your own tag and hen look at the image (a globe) with just your pictures.
  • Firefox Shortcuts: Use Apple-L to move to the URL bar. To create a shortcut, go to the search box for the website (e.g., Amazon) and right click and create a shortcut (e.g., type az twilight and it will look for
  • “Twlight” in Amazon).

Dr. Christopher Moersch
Teaching 2.0: Challenging the Interactive Generation

  • H-E-A-T (high-order thinking, engaged learning, authenticity, technology use
  • There are three parts to every learning activity: content, process, and product
  • Allows schools to take the LoTi digital-age survey
  • “What gets measured gets improved.”
  • Allows analysis of textual passages.

Tom March
WebQuests 2.0: A Richer Web Improves a Good Idea

  • Allows you to copy/paste from multiple webpages therefore creating a pool of resources related to a personally-selected topic.
  • Allows you to highlight, ask questions, and comment on individual websites.
  • This is an alternative to iGoogle. It provides you with an assigned web address instead of having it just be available after logging in. The site allows you to subscribe to multiple RSS feeds in the form of tabs at the top of the page. This would be good to allow students to take turns reviewing individual webquests.
  • This is an online version of Inspiration.
  • CEQ•ALL ("Seek All")—Choice, Effort, Quality, Attitude, Labor of Love (A taxonomy for this century); Set-up educational opportunities that allow students to make choices, requires hard work/effort, the teacher makes him/herself available for ensuring quality of student work/learning, allows students to feel good about themselves by having a good attitude, and teachers and students must put a labor of love into their work.
Vendor Notes

Global Fever (a vendor that provides curriculum relating to the environment) created a collection of rich resources using ComicLife. Their sample pages all use ComicLife and can serve as excellent examples. Like Thinkfinity, this is a central location for accessing several website. Its function is to bring together government sites intended for use by children.

From Banned to Planned: Cell Phones in Schools
Hall Davidson

Poll Everywhere
: Allows you to have students take a quick poll using their phones.

Suggestions for ways teachers are using cell phones in the classroom are avilable at another resource is

: A tool for creating projects like HyperStudio, but it allows you to add audio recorded directly from your cell phone.

Davidson suggests we rename "cell phones." In some countries they call it a hand phone and keitai ("a snug, intimate technosocial tethering"). Cell phones are different from other technologies because they are both input and output devices.

"Classroom management is less of an issues when engaged learning is taking place."

Qik: This site allows you to broadcast live from a cell phone. It will also allows you to embed code into blogs or Google Earth.

: It allows you to hold-up your cell phone to a song and the phone can decode the name of the song.

Cell phones can read bar codes (bar code readers are freely available online) and they can create bar codes from text/pictures (QR code generators).

Amazon bought a company that does object recognition (e.g., you can take a picture of someone's shoes, send it to Amazon, and Amazon with offer it for purchase).

Davidson has placed Fatherlee's paperwork for using cell phones in the classroom on his website (see above). It includes a letter home to parents, instructions for designing cell-phone educational activities, and a tech-survey for parents to ensure students aren't being charged for their in-class work.
MD-Rockville, ManpowerGroup Public Sector, an Experis affiliate, provides a full range of translation, transcription and interpreting services in 150 languages. We are located in Falls Church, VA, and serve both government and commercial clients. We are seeking cleared personnel to support an upcoming federal contract in the DC area starting in late September. The position is full-time with benefits for a multi
MD-Rockville, ManpowerGroup Public Sector, an Experis affiliate, provides a full range of translation, transcription and interpreting services in 150 languages. We are seeking cleared personnel to support an upcoming federal contract in the DC area starting in late September. The position is full-time with benefits for a multi-year contract and all work will be performed at a government location. WORKFLOW MANAG
MD-Rockville, ManpowerGroup Public Sector, an Experis affiliate, provides a full range of translation, transcription and interpreting services in 150 languages. We are located in Falls Church, VA, and serve both government and commercial clients. We are seeking cleared personnel to support an upcoming federal contract in the DC area starting in late September. The position is full-time with benefits for a multi
          Jr. Proposal Manager   
VA-Vienna, Enterprise Information Services (EIS) has an immediate need for an experienced hands-on Proposal Manager to develop winning proposals for Federal government customers. S/he is a key contributor with a significant level of responsibility for planning, organizing, facilitating, and executing proposals (both prime and subcontractor role; IDIQ, Project, and Task Order). Responsibilities: Responsible f
          FIFA issue ban deadline to Sudan over government intervention   

FIFA gave Sudan’s Football Federation (SFA) until June 30 to avoid an international ban from football by reinstating the FIFA-recognised SFA chairman and board of directors. The international governing body of football has warned Sudan that it’ll face suspension from world football in case it failed to overturn an order by the ministry of justice […]

The post FIFA issue ban deadline to Sudan over government intervention appeared first on KingFut.

          Searchers’ wounds will be considered at Bergdahl sentencing   

A judge says serious wounds to a soldier and a Navy Seal who searched for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl can be used at the sentencing phase of his upcoming trial.

The post Searchers’ wounds will be considered at Bergdahl sentencing appeared first on

          Trump revives National Space Council, to be led by Pence   

President Donald Trump is forming a National Space Council to be led by Vice President Mike Pence

The post Trump revives National Space Council, to be led by Pence appeared first on

          The Latest: Graphic, videos detail Baton Rouge police ambush   

The gunman who killed three law enforcement officers in Baton Rouge last summer had searched online for the home addresses of the two white police officers who killed a black man in Baton Rouge outside a convenience store

The post The Latest: Graphic, videos detail Baton Rouge police ambush appeared first on

          Bergdahl case: Judge lets rare misbehavior charge proceed   

The military judge overseeing Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's case has ruled that prosecutors can move forward with a rare charge alleging he endangered comrades by walking off his post in Afghanistan.

The post Bergdahl case: Judge lets rare misbehavior charge proceed appeared first on

          Turkish, Qatari ministers meet amid crisis with Arab states   

Qatar's defense minister in Turkey for talks amid his nation's feud with four Arab states

The post Turkish, Qatari ministers meet amid crisis with Arab states appeared first on

          Ports recover, but Ukraine still disrupted by cyberattack   

Danish shipping giant A.P. Maersk-Moller says cargo terminals and port operations are returning to normal following a strikingly virulent and disruptive outbreak of malicious software

The post Ports recover, but Ukraine still disrupted by cyberattack appeared first on

          UN ends peacekeeping mission in Ivory Coast after 13 years   

UN ends peacekeeping mission in Ivory Coast after 13 years, while some worry it comes too soon

The post UN ends peacekeeping mission in Ivory Coast after 13 years appeared first on

          The Latest: Lavrov wants ‘pragmatism’ in Trump-Putin talks   

White House says Trump will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G-20 summit next week in Germany

The post The Latest: Lavrov wants ‘pragmatism’ in Trump-Putin talks appeared first on

          Global cyberattack seems intent on havoc, not extortion   

Security experts say the cyberattack that has locked up computers around the world while demanding a ransom may not be an extortion attempt after all, but an effort to create havoc in Ukraine.

The post Global cyberattack seems intent on havoc, not extortion appeared first on

          Analysis: Trump’s policy now incredible shrinking travel ban   

Analysis: Watered-down travel ban not the policy victory Trump originally had in mind

The post Analysis: Trump’s policy now incredible shrinking travel ban appeared first on

          Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data Announces New...   

The Board is drawn from Civil Society, Private Sector, UN and Governments

(PRWeb June 29, 2017)

Read the full story at

          JBS changes structure after corruption scandal   

Beleaguered Brazilian meat giant JBS has created an executive committee to advise its board directors as it seeks to distance itself from the government corruption scandal that has rocked Brazil. 

          Mixed response to Zimbabwe livestock development plan   

The Zimbabwe government’s plan to roll out a $300 million (m) livestock development programme aimed at resuscitating the country’s ailing meat production sector has prompted mixed reactions from industry experts.

          Belarus’ president pushes for farms in Chernobyl exclusion zone   

Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko has instructed the country’s government to prepare a decree allowing agricultural activity, including the building of poultry, pig and cattle farms, in an area of the exclusion zone surrounding the Chernobyl power plant. 

          High School English Teacher - Nasivvik High School, Pond Inlet, NU - Government of Nunavut, Department of Education, Qikiqtani Region - Pond Inlet, NU   
Subject knowledge, training and experience relevant teaching High School EnglishPlanning skills (lesson plans, themes/units, emergency plans, long range plans... $73,528 - $115,291 a year
From Education Canada - Wed, 28 Jun 2017 23:28:39 GMT - View all Pond Inlet, NU jobs
          Birmingham’s Frequent Flyers   

City government officials have logged over $300,000 in travel expenses. Where are they going — and what do they have to show for it?

The post Birmingham’s Frequent Flyers appeared first on Weld: Birmingham's Newspaper.

          GST effect: Tamil Nadu theatres to shut down from July 3   
Multiplexes in the city are yet to open bookings for weekend movies as they are unsure if the government would levy entertainment tax over GST.
          Teaching Faculty vacancy in Dr. RML Avadh University Faizabad 017    
Faculty Vacancy in Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Avadh University   Applications on prescribed format are invited from eligible candidates as per University Statute/ Government of UP/UGC/AICTE norms for vacant teaching posts of various teaching departments of the Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Avadh University (RMLAU), Faizabad (UP) Campus.  : Faculty Vacancies : Professor / Director :...

Please Click on the Title to Read Full Details.

          Where things stand on the AT&T and Time Warner deal   
AT&T’s (NYSE: T) $49-billion acquisition of DirecTV took a whopping 432 days to win government approval, eventually earning clearance from the Federal Communications Commission with a list of conditions. Now 251 days since the Dallas telecom giant declared its intent to purchase content monster Time Warner, Inc., the process could finally be turning toward the point in which the two sides discuss the same type of conditions. Bob Quinn, AT&T’s senior executive vice president for external and…

          Russia, Syria Respond to White House Chemical Attack Allegation, Threaten Retaliation   
The Syrian and Russian governments have responded to allegations by White House officials made earlier this week that the Syrian regime was planning to carry out a chemical weapons attack, with the Russians threatening retaliation to any “preemptive” American strike.
          Comment on FG Reduces Agencies At Seaports To Seven by Confusion At Nigerian Ports As NDLEA Defy Osinbajo's Executive Order   
[…] News reported that an Executive Order on the ease of doing business issued by Osinbajo had listed seven government agencies – the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), […]
          Comment on Court Grants Usman Leave For Overseas Medical by Fight Boko Haram, Leave Opposition Leaders, Fani-Kayode Tells FG   
[…] Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) and Jointrust Dimentions Nigeria Ltd. are being tried by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a 17-count charge of laundering about N4.6 […]
          Comment on FG To Offer 5% Reward To Whistleblowers In Anti-Graft Fight by FG Announces Payment Of N375.8m To 20 Whistleblowers   
[…] Whistleblower policy was introduced by the Ministry of Finance to help in the effort of President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to […]
          Logistics Officer Job at The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)   

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) is a non-governmental, humanitarian organization with 60 years of experience in helping to create a safer and more dignified life [...]

The post Logistics Officer Job at The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) appeared first on Jobzilla Nigeria .

          Comment on Buhari’s Administration Is Managed By Criminals – Dino Melaye by You Can't Pitch Me Against Buhari, Melaye Tells Sahara Reporters   
[…] at the Sheraton hotel where he was quoted that the All Progressives Congress-led administration of President Buhari is running criminocracy; which he called the government of the criminals, for the criminals and by the […]
          Syrian Soldiers Find Israel-Made Weapons Near Homs City   
Syrian government soldiers have discovered a number of Israeli weapons and ammunition in the al-Wa’er district, Northwest of Homs city. The Syrian army’s engineering units found the weapons while sweeping the region of the remnants [...]
          Comment on FG Announces Official Shutdown Of Abuja Airport, Declares Kaduna Ready by Abuja Airport Closure Causes Boom In Rail Service Operation   
[…] Federal Government announced the closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja which has taken effect from midnight of Wednesday, March 8, 2017, to allow for extensive […]
          Graduate Jobs at Digital Economy Initiative (DEW Initiative)   

Digital Economy Initiative (DEW Initiative), is a non-governmental initiative with the primary objective of empowering youth, women and person with disability with digital skills and [...]

The post Graduate Jobs at Digital Economy Initiative (DEW Initiative) appeared first on Jobzilla Nigeria .

          Fred Branfman Risked His Life for Ordinary People   
Fred was one of the bravest and most decent journalists I ever encountered. He exposed the terrorism of the U.S. "carpet bombing" over Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia that was explicitly aimed at "drying up the sea" of millions of innocent village people that the U.S. government claimed were providing cover to the enemy during the...
          Catholic Relief Services Job in Abuja for an Accountability Specialist   

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is an International non-governmental organization supporting relief and development work in over 99 countries around the world. CRS programs assist persons [...]

The post Catholic Relief Services Job in Abuja for an Accountability Specialist appeared first on Jobzilla Nigeria .

          Carrboro Floating $18M Project at Greensboro Street Lot   
A library, town offices, and a new location for the nonprofit ArtsCenter may soon fill a parking lot at the corner of Greensboro and Main streets in Carrboro.

If the complex is built, it will be the town government’s second new construction project in a hundred years, Mayor Lydia Lavelle said following a public hearing on the concept Tuesday night.

Plans for 203 South Greensboro Street are, at this point, just that: a concept. Jim Spencer Architects is modeling what can fit on the 0.89-acre site, including the possibility of a parking deck; in addition, the ArtsCenter is figuring what it can afford, and the town is seeking public input.

Work began in 2015, when Orange County expressed an interest in using the site for a new library branch.…
          Durham-Orange Light Rail Nears Next Step in Grant Process, Has No Guarantee of Federal Funding   
The Federal Transit Administration could decide within a few weeks whether the proposed Durham-Orange light rail can move onto the next phase of an application to win a grant that would cover half the cost of the $3.3 billion project.

Mike Charbonneau, communications director for GoTriangle, which is working with Durham and Orange counties to head the project, said the transit authority expects to hear from the FTA by the end of July.

If the FTA gives its approval, Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit can move from the project development phase of a federal grant application process to the engineering and design phase.…
          Mahathir resorting to ‘fear tactics’, says Gerakan   
Gerakan chief says PPBM chairman is making unfounded and maliciously motivated claims to smear the ruling BN government.
          DAP: Gerakan trying to sabotage Penang tunnel, roads project   
Gerakan is afraid of another 'severe defeat', hence the attempt at tarnishing Penang government's projects, says Chow Kon Yeow.
          Electricity tariffs maintained for peninsula, Sabah, Labuan   
Minister Maximus Ongkili says the government will absorb rising costs of power supply caused by increasing gas prices.
          Study: Public varsity freedom in name only   
A study commissioned by IDEAS finds that even private universities are subjected to 'extra-legal' circulars, directives and schemes by the government.
          Conservationists take aim at poachers   

As the rate of animal poaching continues to rise, conservationists have begun calling for stronger laws and deterrents to wildlife crimes.

African governments and non-governmental organizations are starting to take wildlife crimes as seriously as other transnational crimes such as drug smuggling and human trafficking. In recent years countries have strengthened anti-poaching laws and stepped up prosecutions.

          Governments Changing Censorship Tactics as More Websites Adopt HTTPS   

With websites and social media platforms moving from HTTP to secure HTTPs connections in recent years, a new degree of complication is affecting Internet censorship efforts around the world. A new study conducted by the Internet Monitor project at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society finds that the move to HTTPS is preventing censors "in the middle" from seeing exactly which pages a user visits. This, in turn, has made blocking specific pages on a domain impossible using standard filtering techniques. From the study: "These trends have created additional challenges for government censors. Now more than ever, governments have an all-or-nothing choice when it comes to censorship. Instead of targeting individual webpages or social media accounts, government censors must choose between allowing all content on a social media platform or a messaging app and blocking all content to conceal the information they deem detrimental. It is unclear whether this development will over time result in lesser or greater access to information."

          High School English Teacher - Nasivvik High School, Pond Inlet, NU - Government of Nunavut, Department of Education, Qikiqtani Region - Pond Inlet, NU   
Reference #: NAS 1718 1910 ASchool: Nasivvik High SchoolCommunity: Pond Inlet, NUStart Date: August 21, 2017 End Date: January 24, 2018The Nunavut Department $73,528 - $115,291 a year
From Education Canada - Wed, 28 Jun 2017 23:28:39 GMT - View all Pond Inlet, NU jobs
          Administrative Secretary - Manitoba Government - Russell, MB   
The incumbent will provide administrative and secretarial support for various programs within the Education Administration Services Branch of the Professional... $40,323 - $46,091 a year
From Manitoba Government - Tue, 27 Jun 2017 18:06:48 GMT - View all Russell, MB jobs
          High School English Teacher - Nasivvik High School, Pond Inlet, NU - Government of Nunavut, Department of Education, Qikiqtani Region - Pond Inlet, NU   
Promotion of the Inuktitut Language and Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit Local control of Education Inclusive EducationFor educators currently employed by the Government... $73,528 - $115,291 a year
From Education Canada - Wed, 28 Jun 2017 23:28:39 GMT - View all Pond Inlet, NU jobs
          Two Recent Maryland Rulings on Development Rights and Responsibility Agreements   

In my previous blog post, "Development Rights and Responsibility Agreements: The Give and Take of Development," I discussed the purpose and requirements for a Development Rights and Responsibility Agreement between a land developer and the local government having jurisdiction over the property. Now that developers are using DRRAs, and as issues inevitably arise regarding the interpretation and enforcement of a DRRA, those agreements are being put to judicial scrutiny.


By Mazi Onyebuchi Eze
Family Writers

One thing that has seriously baffled many Biafrans is why the IPOB declaration of "No More Election" in Biafra land has continued to be the headache of the people in Abuja, Sokoto and Kano. It is worthy of note that  Biafrans have vehemently vowed that there will be no election again in Biafra land beginning with a plan to resist the conduct of Anambra governorship election billed for November 18, and ultimately boycott it should INEC and Nigeria government defy IPOB declaration and go ahead to conduct the election. Biafrans are making the world to know that by the civil disobedience to be demonstrated with "No Election" arrangement of IPOB Worldwide, they have peacefully wanted to use peaceful means to withdraw all the political office holders serving or representing Biafrans in Nigeria government because they have rejected Nigeria government and everything associated with it.

There will be total rejection, resistance and eventual boycott of all the proposed  elections if Nigeria government fail to organized a referendum for Biafra, there will be nobody elected anymore as a Senator, House of Representative member, Governors and House of Assembly members in Biafra land, because there will be nobody to vote in any election anywhere in the Biafraland. When this arrangement which we are perfecting in Biafra land is completed, Biafra land must have cut off legislative and executive ties with Nigeria government. As for the propaganda of Nigeria government against Biafra agitation with threats of war, IPOB has no business with Nigeria government over the beating of the drums of war because a demand for referendum has never been construed anywhere in the world as a call for war except in Nigeria which is a place of intellectual bankruptcy.

Biafrans want to use the rejection, resistance and outright boycott of the elections to tell the International Community that they are no more interested in Nigeria government and thereby peacefully chose to stop sending representatives in the government which they have rejected because after October 1st, 2017, any government structure of Nigeria in Biafra land as whole will be considered as forcefully occupying the Biafra territory without the approval of the indigenous people because Biafrans will no longer willfully give allegiance to Nigeria government and accord it the deserved respect as their Federal government. This development will be manifesting itself through an unprecedented freestyle of contempt and flagrant disdain against Nigeria government because it will be considered as an empirical alien government of dark ages only obtainable centuries ago during the Roman Empire under Caesar Augustus or Emperor Nero.

It is upon this ugly development coming against Nigeria government within the next few days, that IPOB Worldwide hereby advise Nigeria government not to wait until this ugly development set-in before relevant actions could be taken to remedy the battered image of Nigeria government which must have been seriously made caricature of by Biafrans by that time. Nigeria government should just organize a referendum for Biafra without further delay because there is no more going back on the issue of Biafra restoration struggle. When Biafra eventually exit Nigeria, the new sovereign nation called Biafra and the remaining parts of Nigeria could be good neighbouring countries.

So, why are Nigerians wailing now as we have decided to withdraw our representatives from Nigeria government through the instrumentality of the election boycott all over the Biafra land? For many years now, mischief makers in Nigeria have being challenging Biafrans to withdraw their Senators and House of Reps members from Nigeria National Assembly if they do not want Nigeria any more but truly desire Biafra restoration. As it is at moment, Biafrans have decided to respond to the challenge of Nigerians in withdrawal of their representatives from Nigeria government through direct peaceful election boycott. It is important for Nigerians to know that Biafrans are not terrorists like Arewa people who believe in doing everything in violence but they are civilized people who do things peacefully because Biafrans knew very well that a person must be elected through an election before he becomes a Senator, a House of Representative member, a Governor and a State House of Assembly member. Therefore, Biafrans as peaceful and civilized as they are always, they will never violently remove the serving Senators, House of Representative members or the serving Governors but any time their tenures elapses and Nigeria government yet to organize referendum for Biafra, let it be known to the world that Biafrans will not even allow election again in Biafra land not to talk about electing anybody into any office representing Nigeria government from Biafra land.

In conclusion, let Nigeria government and the world at large be aware that Biafrans have started the process of withdrawal of our representatives from Nigeria government as we were challenged to do by Nigerians months back if we are truly demanding for Biafra restoration. As for Anambra governorship election, we are not only going to boycott it but resist the conduct of it against INEC in totality.


By Mazi Onyebuchi Eze
For Family Writers

The information reaching the news room of Family Writers Press has it that Ohaneze Ndigbo political hungry pigs led by the political Chameleon known as Chief John Nnia Nwodo has declared a systematic war against Biafrans all the world in general and IPOB in particular by sabotaging Biafra restoration. The declaration of war was contained in the speech which John Nnia Nwodo of shame delivered in the Anambra State House of Assembly chamber in Awka. In the John "Chameleon" Nwodo's speech, he publicly challenged the authority vested on Mazi Nnamdi Kanu (De Great) by Biafrans  which is going to attract serious consequences on John "Chameleon" Nwodo reputation in particular and Ohaneze mushroom organization bereft of membership in general after this showdown with IPOB and Biafrans.

Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) under the Supreme command of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu (De Great) cannot pretend ignorance of what Ohaneze Ndigbo of shame and John "Chameleon" Nwodo is turning out to become at the moment because their Chameleon-like body language over the months is already a pointer to IPOB that a day will come when they will pitch tent with the oppressors of Biafrans in Aso Rock to fight against the restoration of Biafra. A point to their chameleons disposition is stemmed at their regular attitude of frequent switching from support of Biafra restoration to call for dubious restructuring. But as Ohaneze Ndigbo led by John Nnia Nwodo has openly shown that they are not interested in Biafra restoration, is it not time for Biafran youths to banish the hungry pigs out of Biafra Land to serve as deterrent to many people who may intend to sabotage the restoration of Biafra in the future on a mere Ghana Must Go bags of money?
Chief John Nnia Nwodo

However, whatever eventually happens with John Nnia Nwodo and Ohaneze political harlots, it is important for everyone in Biafra land to show these fools that the bags of money given to them by Prof Osinbajo in Aso Rock as revealed by an insider from the presidency to Family Writers investigation department, is not more valuable than the lives of Ezu River Igbo youths killed by Anambra state government with the support of Ohaneze Ndigbo just because of their stand for Biafra restoration.
Family Writers Press want Biafrans of Anambra State to ask Ohaneze Ndigbo the following questions:
1. What did Ohaneze and John Nwodo of shame said when Gov Willie Obiano openly supported the massacre of the same Anambra people  inside St Edmund Catholic Church in Nkpor on 29/5/2016 and bath many bullet wounded people with acid to die slowly by Nigeria Army?
2. What did Ohaneze fickle Chameleons and John Nwodo said when Gov Willie Obiano openly declared before Nigeria Army kangaroo panel that nobody was killed at Nkpor even when the massacre was done in a broad daylight?

3. Is it true that Ohaneze hungry pigs went to Aso Rock only to go and collect Ghana Must Go bags of money and have started to fight against Biafra restoration struggle?
All these questions are begging for answers but must be answered by the Ohaneze Ndigbo fickle Chameleons under the leadership of John Nwodo of disgrace. Presently in the investigation room of Family Writers Press is a revelation still under enquiries that politicians in Biafra land placed a bounty of huge amount of money for Ohaneze Ndigbo and other mushroom numberless organizations in Igbo land to challenge and render IPOB "No more Election" order useless and grab the bounty. It is important for Biafrans to ask Ohaneze Ndigbo, how long will you people continue to trade our collective destiny for peanut's money? How long will you people continue to pitch tent with Fulani Janjaweeds from Aso Rock who kill our people with impunity even inside church at Nkpor?

Haba John Nwodo! Where is your hypocritical singing of Biafra youths as your children since you are now going about collecting bags of money from Prof Osinbajo, Gov Willie Obiano and other governorship aspirants in Anambra State in order to destroy the road map of the Biafra youths in restoring Biafra? As you have declared war against Biafra restoration struggle by openly countering the order of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, be ready to die in shame because Biafrans are going to show you that you are like an ant before Nnamdi Kanu and Ohaneze is like an earth-worm before IPOB. By the time IPOB finish with you and your Ohaneze political hungry pigs, you will bury your head in shame. It is now iron for iron, teeth for teeth and bone for bone with Ohaneze.

As for Anambra governorship election, the battle line has been drawn between IPOB and the political elites in Biafra land who have sucked the blood of our people enough. Biafrans are not even going to allow INEC to anywhere to sit and conduct any election again in Biafra land unless Biafra referendum is conducted by Nigeria government. It is important for John Nwodo to understand that what we are planning against the elections is bigger than a mere boycott of the election but total resistance of the conduct of the election in the first place. The boycott of the election is going to be our final frontier in the framework of NO ELECTION campaign in the designed template of IPOB.
In conclusion, IPOB is calling on Biafrans in Anambra state to disown Ohaneze Ndigbo and John Nwodo because none of those political predators can command even 1000 persons without financial inducement. Then, who and who are the members of Ohaneze Ndigbo? A word is enough for the wise!


By Ekwenye Samuel, Sunday Okafor and Paul Emerenini;
For Family Writers Press.

Do you know that South South is more Biafran than you think?  You may not know this and that is why some people keep on contacting us for clarifications up until this day, both on Radio Biafra group page, Emeka Gift's page  and some direct inbox messages. These messages came after one of us wrote a letter to all the Biafran governors titled- "OPEN LETTER TO SOUTH EAST AND SOUTH SOUTH GOVERNORS OF BIAFRA LAND" , which was published on the Biafra Herald website dated 18th of June, 2017. One of the critical questions encountered was:  "who told you that South - South is part of Biafra?". Now listen, to get the facts straight.

As at 1900, the three geographical areas around River Niger,  South East/South geographical area was known as  Biafra. The South_ West geographical area harbouring the Yorubas, was known as Oduduwa  and the Northern geographical area harbouring the Hausas was known as  Arewa. These three had been in existence before they were coined to form what is currently known today as Nigeria by the British colonists through Frederick Lord Lugard and his girl friend, Flora Shaw in 1914.
Before Nigeria was amalgamated, Biafra was already in existence, but because nobody knew what was going to happen in subsequent years to come, our fathers as at then, could not hesitate to raise a disagreement motion when the British colonial masters came to amalgamate the protectorates between 1912-1914.

Having seen the intelligence and the natural blessings of  Biafrans,  the British government brought up a  demarcation between the South East  and the South South. If you go through the old world map containing Biafra before Nigeria was amalgamated, you will find out that South-South was located in Biafra  until a new map was drawn and Biafra was erased completely. Then why must some people at this new era without any knowledge of history at all come up and open their mouths to proclaim that they are not  Biafrans?

All the States located in the so called South-South were Biafran States before the fraudulent amalgamation. People like Gen. Philip Effiong who hailed from  Akwa-Ibom  fought for Biafra with all his strength, passion and love for the motherland during the 1967 to 1970 civil war against Nigeria. Effiong defended the national boundaries of Biafra alongside other people from the Niger Delta axis. They knew why they fought for and defended Biafra, because they were Biafrans and not Nigerians. Do you think that we know  more than they knew then?  Not at all, because it is quite glaring that the British imperialists only came to divide, conquer and rule over Biafrans.

Also, another question that should be posed to the doubting Thomases in the Niger Delta is; What prompted the elders from Bayelsa State in the Niger Delta to pay a solidarity visit to Mazi Nnamdi Kanu at his father's residence in Afaraukwu?  And why were gifts of a glittering sword and a lantern given to him?

The visit simply means that they  are not left out of this struggle for freedom of all of us as Biafrans. Among these elders were those who witnessed the Nigeria - Biafra civil war and who must have been told by their parents  how  the coming of the British colonists  forcefully colonized Nigeria, thereby amalgamating  three different groups of people with different ideology,  mentality,  socio cultural beliefs, as well as different languages to coexist as  one concocted entity. The  bold step which the elders took was to correct all the anomalies infiltrated by those who  think that Biafra is for the Igbos alone, by showing the whole world that they are not Nigerians rather, Biafrans.

The sword and the lantern  given to Nnamdi Kanu is highly significant. It is a very vital proof that the Igbos,  Ijaws, Itsekiris, Idomas and others within the Eastern region have the same ideology and cultural beliefs.

Sword and lantern when given to somebody generally signify the following in Biafra Land:
1. Lantern when given to a person could mean to lighten the person's paths. How do we mean?  The people of the east and south of Biafra have been in total darkness over the years without any or little knowledge of our existence. During the time of Ojukwu in 1967, they fought for Biafra, because Biafrans were  tormented and killed in the northern Nigeria almost on daily basis. So they fought for Biafra freedom not  because we were not Nigerians but because of the evils Biafrans were subjected to in Nigeria. Therefore, they believed that the only possible way to stop such an inhuman act was to  declare  Biafra as an independent nation.  Unknown to many people then, we were quite too different from the other ethnic groups which made up Nigeria and our  heroes left it without clarifications.
During the time of Uwazurike from 1999, many people were yet again left without proper sensitization and knowledge about our existing as Nigerians and our origin. But from 2012 when Nnamdi Kanu took over the mantle of Biafra leadership, quite a lot of people were sensitised, educated with the knowledge of history concerning the root of Biafrans. With the lantern illuminating every Biafran territory, the gospel of Biafra will spread like a flame of fire to every doubting Thomas.

2. The Sword. The sword means to fight spiritually without any intimidation or fear against the enemies, both internal and external oppressors.
THE INTERNAL ENEMIES : These are the ones within the territory of the nation which can either be an individual, or  a group of people such as the governors in Biafra land,  the senators in Biafra land, the ministers of Biafra origin, and so many  others to mention but a few. They are regarded as enemies because they do not  want Biafra to be restored due to  their selfish and personal interests  from the Nigerian government, thereby selling their people to a fake entity (Nigeria) as slaves.

THE EXTERNAL ENEMIES.  These are the ones who are not of Biafran origin, and are fighting against her restoration. They can  as well be classified as both individuals like the northern Hausa-Arewas and the Western yoruba Oduduwas, countries like Nigeria, Britain, Saudi Arabia and some other countries of the world.

Even Nnamdi Kanu said it in one of his speeches at his father's residence in Afaraukwu Abia State  that all  the South South areas are naturally Biafra entities. So, what are you waiting for? It is high time you joined the moving train of Biafra restoration for freedom, because that is the only hope we have to survive in this part of the Islamic world.

With this, we end this week's edition of FWFFA. Greetings to you, goodbye.

Edited by Paul Ihechi Alagba.

Prominent resource control crusader, Ankko Briggs, has backed down on her call for the restructuring of the country.
Briggs said making such move at this time in the life of the nation was too late.

She rather called for the parting of ways by the different sections of the country. In a position made known on Wednesday amid the call for restructuring by several prominent individuals and groups, Briggs said the restructuring of the country should have been long done before the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan or the National Conference held in 2014.
She said at the time, nobody understood why she stood on the side of restructuring the country.
Ankko Briggs

Now Briggs said that call is coming too late. She said what will work for the country at this time is for the different regions to go their separate ways. Briggs said: “Going by the figures, the North is getting over 60 per cent of the total local government allocations and even when we come to the states as well they also receive far more than the Southern states.

“Again, if you go to the National Assembly, they are far more in numbers, especially in the House of Representatives, and so by the time there is a motion or bill, which they are not in support of, ends up being frustrated or not being passed at all.
“A good example is the PIB that had to spent over 10 years in the National Assembly.

“How can this continue?”

According to the renowned advocate for resource control in the Niger Delta, the time for restructuring Nigeria was long gone owing to the fact that it had become another political tool in the hands of the ruling elites, whose plan is to increase revenue allocation to some parts of the country currently agitating, but then retain the same form of governance, which has bred institutional injustice in the country.

Briggs said: “For me, calling for restructuring now is too late we want to go our separate ways because you see what they are calling restructuring is not what restructuring is.
“Restructuring to them is that the status quo should remain and perharps a little increase in revenue to agitating regions, but the real restructuring is when everybody keeps what you have, even if it is only water that you have, and if you can sell it, sell it.

“So anything apart from that is not restructuring.
“What is federalism?
“This is where you have the states, which are the federating units.
“So a federation means that every component is autonomous to itself within that nation.
“So how can the Federal Government be interested in building hospitals in Abia State or building a university in Rivers State?
“Nigeria is a good example of how impossible to run a government.

“How can one man alone, who is of a different culture, language, religion run or oversee the rest of the people of over 400 ethnic groups as if he is overseeing his own personal property or estate?
“He cannot do it right because he doesn’t know my culture and so how can he make decisions that will be 100 per cent appealing to me because the things I would put into consideration if I am to make the same decisions will be totally different.

“People even say that I don’t fight other people’s battle, but that is not true.
“I can fight the Igbo man’s battle because I understand his way of life and culture to a very large extent because my grandmother is Igbo and I can speak Igbo language well too, I can understand them, I can work with them and if I am working with them and I make decisions for my people and Igbo people, I won’t go wrong because I know what to do.

“Now reverse the case and ask me to make decisions for the Hausa-Fulani man or the Muslim man, I will make a terrible decision and this is because I don’t understand them.
“So this is what we are saying that someone who doesn’t understand a people cannot make any good decision for them.

“If this simple conditions are not met, governance will fail and that is what has happened in the real sense, it has failed in Nigeria.
“The then military leadership under General Abdusalami Abubakar had a rare opportunity of gathering Nigerians together to come up with a document meant to be the constitution, but it was bungled because what happened was that one man just sat down and made sure that the document was written to favour a particular section of the country and he called it the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The Nigerian constitution is the only constitution in the world that tells a lie against itself and its people, when its first sentence says: ‘We the people.’
“That statement is a lie.

“There was never a gathering of any people or group of persons to discuss any constitution.
“Do you also know that the constitution was designed to work against people who are not Muslims as the word Islam, Muslim, Sharia or Mosque was mentioned over 200 times, while the word Christian or Church was never mentioned in the constitution?
“And you say that same constitution is me
          BIAFRA: Ohanaeze Ndigbo Disown Nnamdi Kanu   
BIAFRA: Ohanaeze Ndigbo Disown Nnamdi Kanu

Published by Family Writers Press

Ohanaeze Ndigbo Frowns At Kanu’s Activities

Ohanaeze Ndigbo on Thursday descended and distanced itself from Kanu and his IPOB organisation.

Chief John Nnia Nwodo, President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, made the stand of the body known while addressing members of the Anambra State House of Assembly at the Legislative Complex, Awka, Anambra State.

Nnamdi Kanu and Nnia Nwodo
Nwodo, who was particularly not happy with the statement credited to Kanu that governorship election should not hold in Anambra in November, said Kanu had breached the undertaking he took before him (Nwodo) when he was released from detention.

“I’m just being paternal. The way I commended them as my children is the way I have the right to chastise them when they go wrong. We don’t need this heat up”, Nwodo said.

“News that reached us in the past few days that Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of IPOB, has declared that there will be no election in Anambra in November is shocking and disturbing. I hereby countermand that declaration as president general of Ohanaeze.

“Whereas Ohanaeze understands the marginalisation and unfair treatment of Igbos which have given rise to self-determination movements in Igboland, leaders of these movements must not arrogate to themselves the supreme leadership of Igboland.

“Statements of the kind credited to Nnamdi Kanu are provocative, misleading and unproductive. Why should Anambra people be denied the opportunity to choose their own leader? Why should any of us who are not from Anambra, no matter how highly placed, descend to the arena and dictate for Anambra people when to vote, whether to vote or who to vote for?

“Anambra, nay Igbos, are still part and parcel of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Yes, we are not happy with our treatment in Nigeria. Yes, some of us want Biafra. Yes, some of us prefer a restructured Federal Republic of Nigeria. But the fact remains that we are still part and parcel of the present Federal Republic of Nigeria, bound by its laws, no matter how repressive or unjust”, Nwodo said while addressing the legislators.

Continuing, he said, “Our approach to reforms of our laws even if it leads to self-determination or restructuring must be lawful. We must convince other Nigerians of our point of view, we must strive to make others share our convictions.

“Our language must be civil, respectful and lead to consensus building. We must resist any attempt to turn division amongst us, as to which way we must go, become a source of altercations between us.

“As we speak very many of our people living in Northern Nigeria are in complete awe and consternation regarding how safe they will be after October 1st. Other Northerners living amongst us are also worried.

“The Inspector General of Police has taken public notice of Nnamdi’s comments inviting a possible invasion of Anambra by the Nigerian police, increasing the already existing siege of our people which lead to daily extortion on our highways. All these developments have arisen out of unguarded utterances.

“I find no venue more suited for the statements I make here. Every constituent part of Anambra is represented here. I believe that the honourable members here are competent enough to carry the Ohanaeze message to every nook and cranny of Anambra State”.

Nwodo, who said the organisation would visit other houses of Assembly in Igbo speaking states, said, “We are happy with the peace that exists here. We are happy with the steady progress Anambra has registered over the years. The next election can only improve not retard it.”

Igbos Must Not Be Divided

Earlier, Chief Willie Obiano, Anambra State governor, represented by his Senior Special Assistant on Legislative Matters, Chief Chiedozie Ezeugwa, said that the state government was committed to the Igbo cause and would continue to do everything to support the Ohanaeze in protecting the interest Igbos.

Mrs. Rita Mmaduagwu, Speaker of Anambra Assembly, and a former national chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Umeh, in their speeches said Igbos should avoid being divided in whatever cause they pursue in the prevailing circumstance, adding that the time to listen to Igbos has come.

It would be recalled that on Wednesday Kanu in Umuahia, Abia State, was unanimously chosen by seven pro-Biafra groups as leader of all groups agitating for the sovereign state of Biafra.

Announcing the decision of the groups under the banner of Biafra Peoples National Council (BPNC) at Nnamdi Kanu’s country-home at Afara Ibeku in Umuahia North Council, the leader of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Uchenna Madu, said Kanu’s sincerity, focus and doggedness in the struggle towards realisation of Biafra made the pro-Biafra groups to ask him to lead them.

The groups, according to him, are MASSOB, Eastern People’s Congress (EPC), Biafran Revolutionary Organisation (BRO), Joint Revolutionary Council of Biafra (JRCB); World Union of Biafran Scientists (WUBS), Biafran Liberation Crusaders (BLC), Salvation People of Biafra (SPB) and IPOB.


          India’s Child Rights Record Scrutinised In UN Review—And It Doesn’t Come Out With Flying Colours   

India received 73 recommendations on child rights at its third universal periodic review at the UN Human Rights Council. Kumar Shailabh On 4 May, during India's Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the UN Human Rights Council, Bulgaria recommended to the government to introduce a child-rights-based approach in all its policies. This was a welcome move that turned […]

The post India’s Child Rights Record Scrutinised In UN Review—And It Doesn’t Come Out With Flying Colours appeared first on HAQ : Centre for Child Rights.

          NIGERIA: Many Of Those Calling For Restructuring Are Opportunists, Irresponsible – El-Rufai   
Many Of Those Calling For Restructuring Are Opportunists, Irresponsible – El-Rufai
El-Rufai, while speaking on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily said President Buhari’s administration has done far more in practical terms than past administrations and that many of those calling for a restructuring rather see it as a means of opportunism. He stated that some of the practical steps taken towards restructuring included the fact that state governors are now more than ever, involved in economic policy making at the national level. According to him, things that have always been hidden from state governments are now much more open as they are now more involved in investigations of finances of the excess crude account, among other things. “We meet every month under the auspice of the National Economic Council and working together with the Federal Government we chart directions of economic policy and that is part of shifting the federal- state balance. “A lot of the talk about political restructuring is political opportunism and irresponsibility in my opinion “It is popular and people that have presidential aspirations think there is a platform upon which they will exploit this. As I said, if you look at the APC manifesto, all the elements to divulge power to the state to change the balance in the federation are there and we are committed to that as a party. “The National Chairman of our party will restate that commitment and we are discussing it and as I said President Buhari and Osinbajo’s government has taken very concrete steps rather than rhetoric to actually move in that direction and we are going to move in that direction but we do not believe that the basis for it is rhetoric and opportunism, we do not believe that the 2014 CONFAB report is a sensible basis to even begin. “We all know the circumstances in which the so-called CONFAB was put together, we all know the composition, how lopsided it was, how important stakeholders were not taken to account, how even the composition and numbers do not reflect the demographics and the diversity of this country and we took a position as a party not to participate but to encourage our state governors to be there at the table.”


          IPOB: Pro-Biafra groups forge common force, make Nnamdi Kanu overall leader   
IPOB: Pro-Biafra groups forge common force, make Nnamdi Kanu overall leader

By Anayo Okoli

Published by Family Writers Press

UMUAHIA – SEVEN pro-Biafra groups Wednesday  agreed to work together under the leaders of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, with the aim of achieving faster the their quest for referendum that will lead to the emancipation of Republic of Biafra.

The groups said that they decided to work together so that they would be speaking with one voice seeking for one objective of securing the Republic of Biafra.

Well over 5000 people from the various groups converged on Afaraukwu, native home of Nnamdi Kanu to witness his appointment as the over leader of Biafra. The groups were the Movement for the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, Biafran Revolutionary Organization, BRO, Eastern People Congress, EPC, Joint Revolutionary Council of Biafra, JRCB, Biafra Liberation Crusaders, BLC, and Salvation People of Biafra, all of who agreed to work indiscriminately with the Nnamdi Kanu led IPOB to pursue the Republic Biafra. Rising from a closed down with Kanu, Comrade Uchenna Madu addressed journalists on their decision. He said the decision was to work together and speak with one voice under a central leader, saying however that all the groups still exist but would be speaking with one voice more so as the quest for referendum hits up.

“Distinguished members and great people of Biafra and supporters of divine mission of emancipation of the land of Biafra from the oppressing Nigeria State, we salute you. Today as we stand in this holy land of Bifra in unique and brotherly gathering to honour our own brother who distinguished himself in the self determination struggle for Biafra actualization and restoration. “Today in honour of our supreme leader, Chukwu Okike Abiama and in remembrance of Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, we the people of Biafra under the representation of all the pro-Biafra groups hereby adopt and declare our brother, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu as the new leader of Biafra Nation, whose under his leadership, through the grace of Chukwu Okike Abiama shall the people  of Biafra rest. “Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s leadership shall bring unity, peace, progress and brotherly love among the esteemed people of Biafra through the instrumentality of mutual and intimate understanding among the pro-Biafra groups”, the declaration read by MASSOB leader, Comrade Uchenna Madu said.

Kanu Reacts In his reaction, Nnamdi Kanu said that he was humbled by the decision of the various groups and assured that h would not let them down. “I am humbled by this decision of the groups, we started together and we have all ended up together because we are sincere and purposeful. I am not in the habit of letting my friends down, that thing you said I cannot do is what I will down. “Everybody will be carried along; if I am invited for any meeting I will take some people along. Today is a great day for Biafran all over the world.

Today we have shamed our enemies think that we cannot come together, who think that if when we get Biafra we will kill ourselves, we have shamed them”. In answer to a question, Kanu said he did not believe in the restructuring of Nigeria being called by eminent Nigeria, saying that Nigerian Government would not keep any agreement reached in the restructuring exercise. According to him, it is a referendum or nothing.

He said that Aburi agreement was reneged by Nigerian Government and that the 2014 National Conference was dumped where it was coated by dust until the Biafra agitation became intense and it was remembered. On whether the IPOB has formerly written to the United Nations demanding referendum, Kanu said that the best letter was the continuous civil disobedience which he said serves as “handwriting on the wall for the Government, they wake up to see it every day”. “We are going to compel the powers that be to recognize the inevitability of the referendum. Man made the law, man will change it. We will continue to deploy civil disobedience. It is not war, it is self-determination”, Kanu said.


A United Nations observer, Prof. Nwaimo Emma was around yesterday to see what was going on. According to Nwaimo, who said he is a professor of religion, he was overwhelmed with the crowd he saw and said that he would report back to the United Nations the true position of what he observed.


Meanwhile, the leader of Afenifere Youths, Eric Olawale has said that the Afenifere youths have totally lost confidence in the leadership of the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris over his failure to arrested the Arewa Youths who gave the Igbo quit notice from the North. Olawale also said that they have lost confidence in the Northern governors over the same issue, saying with their action they have failed to provide leadership. Olawale who said he was in Umuahia in solidarity with Nnamdi Kanu and other pro-Biafra groups, said that they are also keenly interested in having Oduduwa Republic. He said that they came to give support to Kanu because they all part of Southern Nigeria, and will not watch and see their brother being punished.

          Germany gears up to defend against possible G20 cyber attacks   
BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany is girding itself for possible cyber attacks on next week's G20 summit in Hamburg, by hacker groups or cells linked to foreign governments, its top cyber official told Reuters.

          In The Mailbox: 06.29.17   
— compiled by Wombat-socho OVER THE TRANSOM EBL: Molly Pitcher & The Battle of Monmouth Twitchy: Greta Van Susteren Out At MSNBC Louder With Crowder: PURE EVIL! Baby Sentenced To Death By Government Healthcare National Review: Kyle Smith – Inside The Delightful Suicide Of Gawker RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES Adam Piggott: Bad Decisions American Power: […]
          Legal Marijuana Sales in Nevada: Eight Things You Need to Know   

This article was published in collaboration with AlterNet and first appeared here.

As of 12:01am Saturday, legal adult marijuana sales begin in Nevada. And they will commence immediately, with dispensaries on the Las Vegas Strip announcing plans to be open to usher in Sin City's newest attraction.

[image:1 align:left caption:true]But don't go lighting up on the Strip! Smoking in public is not allowed.

Nevada now joins Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington in allowing people to legally buy and sell weed in pot shops. It's the first of the states where voters legalized it at the polls to see shops open, getting out of the gate ahead of California, Maine, and Massachusetts.

That's because the state fast-tracked legal pot sales by granting licenses to a few dozen existing medical marijuana dispensaries in order to let them sell to any adults while officials finalized regulations for the legal marijuana market, which was mandated to begin by January 1, 2018.

So, now that you can add legal weed to Las Vegas's allures, here are a few things you need to know:

1. How much can I buy? Visitors and residents alike can purchase up to an ounce of buds and up to an eighth-ounce of marijuana edibles.

2. Where can I buy it? Look for medical marijuana dispensaries that have been granted recreational sales licenses. Those are clustered in the Las Vegas and Reno areas, including dispensaries on the Strip. There's a complete list of dispensaries here, but remember, not all have the recreational sales okay, so if you're about to go shopping, contact them directly to find out.

3. What do I need? You need to be at least 21 and have government-issued ID that says so. If you're a medical marijuana card holder, you don't have to be 21. And you need to have cash. That's because the federal government refuses to let banks handle marijuana business since pot is still federally illegal. Congress is working on this issue, but in the meantime, hit the ATM ahead of shopping.

4. What should I buy? Regular consumers will have a pretty good idea what they like, but novices can consult their budtenders. There will be a variety of high-quality, high-potency strains on sale, both "stimulating" sativas and "enervating" indicas, as well as a dizzying plethora of hybrid strains.

5. What about edibles? Edibles will be on sale, too, in a wide variety of forms, but because of emergency regulations issued Monday by the Department of Taxation, those products can contain no more than 10 milligrams of THC per dose or 100 milligrams per package. That 10 milligram measure is a good one; novice users will certainly feel an impact at that level. But those emergency regs, which also restrict packaging and labeling are likely to produce initial shortages of edibles given the short lag time between their promulgation and opening day.

6. What's it going to cost? Grams will be going for $10 to $15, ounces for anywhere from $150 for bargain buds to $325 for the primo. Edibles prices will depend on the various products.

7. Where can I smoke it? Well, therein lies the rub, especially for visitors. The only places smoking pot is allowed are at your home or on your front porch. There's no smoking it on the Strip, in clubs or casinos, at rock concerts, or any other public place. And there's no smoking it in hotel rooms, either. Either a lot of tourists are going to end up with public smoking citations, or they start making local friends in a hurry, or they end up paying smoke damage surcharges on their hotel room credit card bills, or all of the above. This is going to have to change, especially since estimates are nearly two-thirds of legal pot buyers are going to be visitors. In the meantime, it could make edibles more attractive.

8. Can I take it home with me? Not if you live in a state where it is illegal. And if you live in a state where it is legal, why bother? If you get caught trying to bring it onto an airplane, the TSA won't bust you (since they're looking for terrorists, not tourists), but will turn you over to the local cops, who also won't bust you (since your weed isn't illegal in Nevada), but the hassles might cause you to miss your flight.

          Trump administration approves permit to construct Delta Tunnels   
"The federal government has only released a biological opinion on the construction of the tunnels-the public will have to wait for future biological opinions on the intakes and operations of the project," explained Bill Jennings, Executive Director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA). "In essence, they're asking contractors to commit to paying for construction without knowing how the projects will be operated and how much water can be exported." Photo: Paul Souza, Pacific Southwest Regional Director for US FWS. Photo courtesy of NOAA Fisheries.
          Oregon Republican group to have right-wing ‘government resistance’ militia run their security: report   
The Republican Party of Multnomah County, Oregon has elected to allow local right-wing militias to run security for them at events, as per the Portland Mercury newspaper. According to documents leaked to the Mercury, the Multnomah County Republicans voted Monday to allow the Oregon Three Percenters ...
          Legislators should scrap idea of 'basic income' and just lower taxes   

The idea of a so-called guaranteed national income or "universal basic income" has become fashionable as a way to address concerns about everything from wealth inequality to a future in which technology has run amok. It has the appealing simplicity of a bumper sticker: Everyone in society should be paid a cash grant from the government, enough to prevent any person from living in poverty.

          Russia threatens retaliation if Pentagon bans controversial Kaspersky Lab cybersecurity software   
Communications Minister Nikolay Nikiforov served notice on Friday that the Russian government would retaliate against U.S. companies if Congress bans the Pentagon from using controversial cyber-security software from Kaspersky Lab. In an interview with Bloomberg, Nikiforov said that any “unilateral ...
          Groups challenge US plan to lift grizzly bear protections   
At least three different legal challenges were launched Friday against the U.S. government's decision to lift protections for grizzly bears in the Yellowstone National Park area that have been in place for more than 40 years.
          US Treasurys edge lower as bond investors digest data   
U.S. government debt prices were mostly lower, as investors parsed through economic data on the last day of June.
          Thousands join the justice march from Ankara to Istanbul   
Thousands of protesters are on the road from Ankara to Istanbul on the 'March for Justice' The head of Turkey's secularist Republican People's Party (CHP), Kemal Kilicdaroglu stands at the head of the march in a demonstration to protest against the 25-year-prison term handed down to fellow party member Enis Berberoglu for espionage. He is expected to arrive to Istanbul's Maltepe prison on July 9 where Berberoglu is imprisoned. 00.13 CHP LEADER KEMAL KILICDAROGLU MARCH 00.20 PEOPLE MORE MARCH 00.25 VOX POP1 (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) ACTIVIST, OZNUR OZKOK, SAYING: "Wherever Kilicdaroglu goes, wherever justice goes we will follow it and end there. It may go to eternity, we do not care, we will walk." 00.33 VOX POP2 (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) ACTIVIST, MEHMET YIGIT, SAYING: "I had to join this march. I have to join for my son, for my daughter, for all our children. Everybody needs to take to the streets." 00.42 Berberoglu was the first CHP lawmaker to be imprisoned in a government crackdown that followed the attempted military coup in July 2016. More than 50,000 people have been jailed and more than 150,000 sacked or suspended from their jobs.
          Philippines: Protest marks Duterte anniversary   
Hundreds of people staged a protest in Manila on Friday to mark the first anniversary of Rodrigo Duterte becoming President of the Philippines. They headed to his presidential palace, denouncing policies including his notorious war on drugs that has seen thousands of extra-judicial killings. Critics held placards with slogans such as "Stop killing the poor" and displayed a 'report card' giving a damning verdict on his presidency. Protest leader Renato Reyes of the Patriotic Alliance group said: "The human rights record is a very serious concern. It is a bloody mark on the report card of the president and the killings have to stop, martial law has to stop, the militarisation of communities in the countryside has to stop." A bloody drug war and an ISIS-linked city siege mark Duterte's first year in office TIME (@TIME) 30 juin 2017 Duterte was a provincial city mayor whose brash man-of-the-people style, pledges to crush crime and firebrand rhetoric struck a chord with the Filipino people. His popularity saw him beat establishment rivals in last year's election and swear the oath of office. Since then he has joked about rape, compared his war on drugs to the Holocaust and told Barack Obama to 'go to hell'. Now facing his biggest crisis, as government troops battle Islamist rebels, Duterte scored an "excellent" personal trust rating in an opinion poll in May. with Reuters
          Simone Veil, French abortion pioneer, Birkenau survivor and former President of the European Parliament dies aged 89 - family   
One of the few French postwar politicians to earn near unanimous respect, Simone Veil, has died aged 89. Deported from France by the Nazis aged 16, she survived Birkenau, although her mother and sister perished. On her return to France she embarked upon a career in the law, becoming a magistrate, and in 1956 became the Director of French prisons. Marking a break with her predecessors, she visited many such institutions personally and railed at the primitive, "medieval" conditions she found there. In 1962 she became Minister of civil Affairs, and took a principled stand on adoptions, becoming a pioneer of the idea that a childs' rights should come first, an idea later amplified by Francoise Dolto in her landmark book "The baby is a person". This was her first experience of the brutality of parliamentary debate, and the ingrained sexism of the legislature. Thirteen years later came the key moment in her political career when she forced through, in the teeth of furious opposition form within her own party, the law allowing abortion for the first time in France. It earned her vilification, with her actions being compared to the Nazis, and her home and husband's car were defaced with swastikas. She became a hate figure for the ultra-Catholic far right, which never forgave her. President Giscard d'Estaing chose his Health Minister to lead the centre-right's list for the 1979 European elections, and this led to her becoming the President of the European Parliament. She sat in the assembly until 1993, when she returned to government in France as Prime Minister Eduard Balladur's Social Affairs Minister. A fervent European, in 1998 she become a member of France's Constitutional Court, a position she held until 2007. In 2010 Veil received the supreme accolade that can be awarded to a French public figure, being elected to the Academie Francaise, and took seat 13, previously held by Racine.
          Croatia rejects ruling in maritime dispute with Slovenia   
Croatia has rejected a ruling by an international arbitration court that hands victory to Slovenia in a long-running maritime dispute. In a row that centres on the Bay of Piran, judges have granted Slovenia unhindered access to international waters in the Adriatic Sea with a 10-nautical mile corridor. The countries have argued over a stretch of their sea and land border since independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991. Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar told a news conference: "The ruling of the arbitration court is final and legally binding for both countries. For Slovenia and for Croatia. "The historic moment has arrived for Slovenia. The decision must be respected." Slovenia wants to now look at implementation of the decision, even though it says not all expectations have been met. But Croatia walked out of the arbitration talks in 2015 and says it is not obliged to obide by the ruling. Croatia's Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said: "The first and most important message from Croatian government regarding the arbitration decision is that we do not consider ourselves obliged by this ruling, we are not obliged to abide the ruling at all, and we will not apply the contents of this ruling." "For us this arbitration has no legal value. But we stand ready to discuss this border issue with Slovenia. We don't expect them to make any unilateral moves in light of this ruling." Both countries agreed to arbitration in 2009, in a deal that also saw Slovenia drops its opposition to Croatia joining the European Union.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday challenged BJP leaders to a debate on what the Union government had achieved in three years in office and he was...
          Modi stresses on sports, Buddha monument in Gujarat   
The Modi government plans to launch 'Khele India' on the lines of the Khel Mahakumbh of Gujarat. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was speaking on Friday a...
          Highland Copper Announces Extension of White Pine Acquisition Closing   

LONGUEUIL, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - June 30, 2017) - Highland Copper Company Inc. (TSX VENTURE:HI) (the "Company") announces that Copper Range Company ("CRC"), a wholly-owned subsidiary of First Quantum Minerals Ltd., and the Company have agreed to extend the period to complete the acquisition of the White Pine project to September 30, 2017. The final closing of the acquisition is subject to releasing CRC from certain environmental obligations associated with the remediation and closure plan of the historical White Pine mine site in a manner that is acceptable to all parties involved, including applicable governmental authorities, and replacing the related environmental bond posted by CRC.

          UK Snoopers' Charter to be Challenged in High Court   

Human rights group Liberty was today granted permission by the UK High Court to challenge part of the UK government's mass surveillance Investigatory Powers Act (IPA). The IPA, nicknamed the Snoopers' Charter, became UK law in November 2016 and came into force at the end of December.
read more

          Zakzaky: H/Court fixes July 6 For Judgement On N2bn Suit Against Army, Others   

BY ISAIAH BENJAMI,Kaduna The Federal High court sitting in Kaduna yesterday adjourned to 6th July, 2017 for Judgement on the N2bn suit filed by the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky against the Nigerian Army, the Attorney General of the Federation and Kaduna State Government. El-Zakzaky had dragged the Nigerian […]

The post Zakzaky: H/Court fixes July 6 For Judgement On N2bn Suit Against Army, Others appeared first on

          Kaduna Govt. Announces Foreign Scholarship Opportunities For Residents   

BY ISAIAH BENJAMIN,Kaduna The Kaduna State Government has announced scholarship opportunities for qualified candidates to study Medicine, Nursing and Health Technology-related courses in foreign universities. Prof. Andrew Nok, the Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology who disclosed this to newsmen in Kaduna yesterday, said that the measure was to bridge the manpower gap in the […]

The post Kaduna Govt. Announces Foreign Scholarship Opportunities For Residents appeared first on

          Restructuring: Between Referendum and Constitution Review   

Esteemed readers, a careful observation of the polity in the last one week suggests that there is a cross-regional consensus to restructure Nigeria’s federalism. Although, many vocal voices have relentlessly canvassed for a smaller, leaner federal government with reduced responsibilities. Pronouncements by governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and their […]

The post Restructuring: Between Referendum and Constitution Review appeared first on

          Nollywood Gets Over N420m Additional Grant   

The Federal Government says it has released the sum of N420.2 million to the Nigeria film industry popularly called Nollywood to improve and support aspiring practitioners. According to a statement issued by the Deputy Director of Information, Federal Ministry of Finance, Mrs Patricia Deworitshe, on Friday in Abuja, the money, which is the second tranche […]

The post Nollywood Gets Over N420m Additional Grant appeared first on



Whoa. My amdt to sunset 2001 AUMF was adopted in DOD Approps markup! GOP & Dems agree: a floor debate & vote on endless war is long overdue.






The truth is the battle continues.

But the truth is tossed to the side by the immature.

That would include those who lap at the crotches of military men (they themselves haven't usually served ever).

MOSUL LIBERATED has fallen in Lions of Iraqi forces retake the city of Mosul from ISIS completely.

Those are the heroes?

I would think the people of Mosul who managed to survive three years of being occupied by the Islamic State would be the heroes.

You know, the people the Iraqi government abandoned for over two years?

The ones the Iraqi government made no effort to assist or help?

Reality: It's day 249 of The Mosul Slog.

It could end today.

It might not.

But as of right now, it continues.

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"How will Hillary celebrate?"

"Globalisation can't be just about outsourcing and low wages"   [Jeff Immelt, Chief Executive Officer General Electric, quoted in Financial Review, 26 June 2017]

“In an appearance at the University of Chicago on Monday, former President Barack Obama unloaded a relentless barrage of complete sentences in what was widely seen as a brutal attack on his successor, Donald Trump.” [Andy Borowitz writing in The New Yorker, 24 April 2017]

“Coal India—a government-back coal company–is reportedly closing 37 of its "unviable" mines in the next year to cut back on losses.
India is primed for an energy revolution. The country's ongoing economic growth has been powered by fossil fuels in the past, making it one of the top five largest energy consumers in the world. But it has also invested heavily in renewables, and the cost of solar power is now cheaper than ever. In some instances, villages in India have avoided coal-powered electricity altogether, and "leapfrogged" straight to solar power.” [ Journalist Ankita Rao writing in Motherboard, 24 June 2017]

          Sales Manager 1 Small Business Retail - New York, NY   
Join us in the big leagues! AT&T is a world leader in communications, business solutions, and entertainment. As part of our Business Sales teams, you'll work with small to large enterprises and government agencies to sell our full-scale business solutions. Our wireless...
          Comment on If you believe the latest lies from the “Campaign to Fix the Debt,” they own you. by Rodger Malcolm Mitchell   
No, it's more like this: For the entire many-billion history of the universe, prior to 1780, there was no such thing as a U.S. dollar. Then, in 1792, suddenly the U.S. Congress <strong><em>arbitrarily</em></strong> created laws from thin air, that created the U.S. dollar, also from thin air. Congress <strong><em>arbitrarily</em></strong> created as many of those dollars as it wished and gave those dollars the <strong><em>arbitrary</em></strong> value it wished: 1.60 grams of gold. <blockquote>In the Coinage Act of 1834, the 15:1 ratio of silver to gold <strong><em>arbitrarily</em></strong> was changed to a 16:1 ratio by reducing the weight of the nation's gold coinage. This <strong><em>arbitrarily</em></strong> created a new U.S. dollar that was backed by 1.50 g (23.22 grains) of gold. The result of this revaluation, which was the <em>first arbitrary devaluation of the U.S. dollar</em>, was that the value in gold of the dollar arbitrarily was reduced by 6%. In 1853, the weights of U.S. silver coins arbitrarily were reduced. The Gold Standard Act of 1900, arbitrarily created by Congress and arbitrarily signed by the President, provided that: <em>"The dollar consisting of twenty-five and eight-tenths grains (1.67 g) of gold nine-tenths fine, as established by section thirty-five hundred and eleven of the Revised Statutes of the United States, shall be the standard unit of value, and all forms of money issued or coined by the United States shall be maintained at a parity of value with this standard."</em></blockquote> Since then, Congress, the President, and the Federal Reserve Board, arbitrarily have changed the value of the dollar many times, and today the FRB changes the dollar's value by arbitrarily changing interest rates. That is how Monetary Sovereignty works. The U.S. government, unlike state and local governments, is <strong>SOVEREIGN</strong> over the U.S. dollar. It can create as many dollars as it wishes and can make the dollar equal to anything it wishes. By fiat, the government can make the dollar equal to an ounce of gold, a pound of silver or a partridge in a pear tree. It is <strong>SOVEREIGN</strong>.
          The 64th Sydney Film Festival Awards On Body and Soul (Berlin winner)   


The 64th Sydney Film Festival tonight awarded On Body and Soul, directed by Ildikó Enyedi, the prestigious 10th anniversary Sydney Film Prize, out of a selection of 12 Official Competition films. 

The $60,000 cash prize for 'audacious, cutting-edge and courageous' film was awarded to Enyedi at the Festival’s Closing Night Gala awards ceremony and event at the State Theatre, ahead of the Australian premiere screening of Bong Joon-ho's Okja. 

Accepting the award, Enyedi said, “It was such an amazingly strong competition. It’s marvellous that such a film can move so many people, it gives me so much hope in cinema and in human communication.”

Sydney filmmakers Sascha Ettinger Epstein and Claire Haywood were awarded the Documentary Australia Foundation Award for Australian Documentary’s $10,000 cash prize for The Pink House, about the last brothel in old mining town Kalgoorlie.

The Dendy Awards for Australian Short Films saw the $7000 cash prize for the Dendy Live Action Short Award going to Adele, directed by Mirene Igwabi.  Sunday Emerson Gullifer was Highly Commended for her short film Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow.  And Daniel Agdag's animation Lost Property Office took out both the $7000 Rouben Mamoulian Award for Best Director and the $5000 Yoram Gross Animation Award.

The Event Cinemas Australian Short Screenplay Award, a $5,000 prize for the best short screenwriting, was awarded to Michael Cusack, the writer and director of stop motion animation After All.  And the writers of Screenability short film The Milky Pop Kid, Johanna Garvin and Emily Dash, were Highly Commended. 

The $10,000 Sydney-UNESCO City of Film Award, bestowed by Create NSW to a trail-blazing NSW-based screen practitioner, went to Indigenous Australian actor, director and writer Leah Purcell.

Chris Freeland announced he will step down as Sydney Film Festival Chair while remaining on the Board.   Freeland, a Partner of Baker McKenzie and a member of its Asia Pacific Regional Council, chaired the organisation for eight years.  He led an era of expansion as well as industry and public popularity, seeing attendances almost double.

Festival Board Director Deanne Weir was welcomed to the position of Chair. Weir has over 25 years’ experience in media and communications and is Foxtel’s Managing Director, Content Aggregation and Wholesale.  She is also a renowned television producer and philanthropist whose passion is to support the advancement of women in the community.

Sydney Film Festival CEO Leigh Small said, “This year again, the Festival exceeded previous attendance figures – a continuing ten-year trend. There was an average of 72% capacity across all sessions with almost 185,000 attendances. This result marks a fitting end to Chris Freeland’s eight year tenure during which the number of people attending the Sydney Film Festival almost doubled.”

Sydney Film Festival Director Nashen Moodley said: “2017 has been a significant year for film and filmmakers.   As the world looks for ways to understand and interpret the momentous events and challenges facing humanity, filmmakers across the globe have risen to the challenge.

“From refugees and the horrors of war, to the state of the world’s oceans,  this program of films - screened to Australian audiences for the first time at the 64th Sydney Film Festival - has provided an opportunity to debate and discuss some of the most pressing and contentious issues of our time.

“With a spotlight on questions of equality in race, sexuality, wealth, accessibility, and many other global conversations, these 12 days have provided a wealth of stories from diverse viewpoints and a moment in time to take stock of who, what and where we are today.

“I congratulate all the winners and all of the finalists, as well as the hundreds of filmmakers who have joined us at the Festival to present their ideas and opinions in films, talks and discussions,” he said.


On awarding the Sydney Film Prize to Hungarian filmmaker Ildikó Enyedi’s On Body and Soul, Jury President Margaret Pomeranz said:

"Over the past 12 days we’ve experienced a most extraordinary cinematic journey curated by Sydney Film Festival.

"We’ve seen films about women struggling to find a space for themselves in a world that seems to want to keep them in their place; there have been films about transgressions, from youthful murder to child abuse.

"We’ve seen films about the many faces of sexual desire; we’ve been invited into worlds of wonder we have never experienced and we’ve been exposed to the ugly side of ourselves, through racism, poverty, cruelty and displacement.  And we’ve also been invited into the world of human compassion.

"And that element of compassion is very present in the film we’ve chosen to award the Sydney Film Prize.  It’s a film that shows us that even in this divided world we are capable of sharing the same dreams, that amongst the ugliness of a slaughterhouse, kindness, gentleness can be found," she said.

"So the Sydney Film Prize goes to the graceful, measured and ever so compassionate On Body and Soul from Hungarian filmmaker Ildikó Enyedi."

Winner of the Berlinale Golden Bear, On Body and Soul is Enyedi’s visually ravishing return to filmmaking after an 18-year break.  The film is about the unconventional romance between two co-workers who discover that each night they have exactly the same dreams.

The Festival jury was comprised of Australian film critic Margaret Pomeranz, critically acclaimed Nepali director Deepak Rauniyar, former senior film executive of South Korean powerhouse CJ Entertainment Kini Kim, independent Asian-Canadian animator Ann Marie Fleming, and Australian film producer Rosemary Blight of smash-hit The Sapphires and acclaimed television series Cleverman.

Previous winners include: Aquarius (2016), Arabian Nights (2015); Two Days, One Night (2014); Only God Forgives (2013); Alps (2012); A Separation (2011); Heartbeats (2010); Bronson (2009); and Hunger (2008).

The competition is endorsed by FIAPF, the regulating body for international film festivals, and is judged by a jury of five international and Australian filmmakers and industry professionals.

The selection of films in Competition for the SFF 2017 Sydney Film Prize are listed HERE.


The Documentary Australia Foundation Award for Australian Documentary was awarded to The Pink House from filmmakers Sascha Ettinger Epstein and Claire Haywood. The Jury comprising award-winning Asian-American filmmaker Ramona S. Diaz, CEO of the Documentary Australia Foundation Dr Mitzi Goldman and Australian based Iranian filmmaker Amin Palangi in a joint statement said:

"Amongst ten noteworthy films, one film enthralled us with its blend of nuanced characters and narrative depth. 

“In classic cinema verite fashion, the filmmaker introduces us to two singular women who give her unfettered access to their constantly changing lives, revealing a profound trust between filmmaker and subject that renders this film deeply personal and intimate.

“Through the unflinching gaze of her lens, this filmmaker immerses us in a world that, in less disciplined hands, could very well have been voyeuristic.  Instead we are treated to a film that is handled with affection and grace.”

“We the Jury give the Australian documentary prize to Sasha Ettinger Epstein and Claire Haywood for The Pink House.” 

2017 marks the fourth year the prize has been supported by the Foundation.

Previous winners include: In the Shadow of the Hill (2016); Only the Dead (2015); 35 Letters (2014); Buckskin (2013); Killing Anna (2012); Life in Movement (2011); and The Snowman (2010). In 2009 the inaugural prize was shared between Contact and A Good Man, and each film received a $10,000 cash prize.

The 10 finalists for the 2017 Sydney Film Festival Documentary Australia Foundation Award for Australian Documentary are listed HERE.


The Dendy Awards for Australian Short Films were awarded to Mirene Igwabi for Adele (Dendy Live Action Short Award), Sunday Emerson Gullifer for Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow (Highly Commended), and Daniel Agdag for Lost Property Office (Rouben Mamoulian Award for Best Director and Yoram Gross Animation Award). The Jury comprised Canadian filmmaker Kirsten Carthew, former Vice President of Paramount Pictures Mike Selwyn, and Australian film producer Kath Shelper. In a joint statement, the Jury said:

"This year’s Jury was particularly excited by the exceptional talent that continues to emerge from Australia’s animation sector.

“We were captivated by the original and diverse stories and variety of animation techniques presented in both the Dendy Awards and in the rest of the Festival.

“Lost Property Office stood out for its direction, storytelling and exquisite visuals that could only have been realised through animation, which was the perfect choice of medium to tell this story.”

The Festival’s short-film competition is now in the 48th year; and has been sponsored by Dendy Cinemas for 29 years. Winners of the Best Live Action Short Film award and the Yoram Gross Animation award, sponsored by Yoram Gross Films, are Academy Award-eligible, opening new pathways for many Australian filmmakers.

These ground-breaking awards have kick-started the careers of many prominent filmmakers, with past competitors Warwick Thornton, Ariel Kleiman, Cate Shortland, Jane Campion, Phillip Noyce and Ivan Sen among Dendy Awards alumni.   

The 10 finalists for the 2017 Dendy Award for Australian Short Film are listed HERE.


A jury comprising Canadian filmmaker Kirsten Carthew, former Vice President of Paramount Pictures Mike Selwyn, and Australian film producer Kath Shelper awarded the Event Cinemas Australian Short Screenplay Award to Michael Cusack, the writer and director of stop motion animation After All. Highly Commended the writers of Screenability short film The Milky Pop Kid, Johanna Garvin and Emily Dash.

Sponsored by Event Cinemas, Anthony Kierann, Area General Manager, Event Cinemas said:

“Event Cinemas is proud to once again sponsor The Event Cinema’s Australian Short Screenplay award.  Events acknowledges and supports the idea, concept and vision of a short film as penned by the writers in this exciting category.

“To be able to participate and support an outstanding written script by an Australian at this iconic film festival, we hope to encourage and support the writer towards inspiring development and achievements in the film landscape. We applaud all the short films within the category as stand out short films from the writers.”

The Australian short films eligible for the 2017 Event Cinemas Australian Short Screenplay Award are listed HERE.

Winners of all Sydney Film Festival awards are presented with the Festival’s signature mesmeric swirl award, designed and handmade in Sydney by Festival partners Dinosaur Designs.

The UNESCO Sydney City Of Film Award

The $10,000 Sydney-UNESCO City of Film Award, bestowed by Create NSW to a trail-blazing NSW-based screen practitioner, went to Indigenous Australian actor, director and writer Leah Purcell.


From Wednesday 7 June to Sunday 18 June 2017, the 64th Sydney Film Festival offers Sydneysiders another exciting season of cinema amidst a whirlwind of premieres, red-carpet openings, in-depth discussions, international guests and more.

Sydney Film Festival also presents an Official Competition of 12 films that vie for the Sydney Film Prize, a highly respected honour that awards a $60,000 cash prize based on the decision of a jury of international and Australian filmmakers and industry professionals. Previous Sydney Film Prize winners: Aquarius (2016); Arabian Nights (2015); Two Days, One Night (2014); Only God Forgives (2013); Alps (2012); A Separation (2011); Heartbeats (2010); Bronson (2009); and Hunger (2008).

The Festival takes place across Greater Sydney: at the State Theatre, Event Cinemas George Street, Dendy Opera Quays, Dendy Newtown, Skyline Drive-In Blacktown, Art Gallery of NSW, Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace Cremorne, Randwick Ritz, Casula Powerhouse, the Festival Hub at Sydney Town Hall and SFF Outdoor Screen in Pitt Street Mall.

The Festival is a major event on the New South Wales cultural calendar and is one of the world’s longest-running film festivals. For more information visit:

The 64th Sydney Film Festival is supported by the NSW Government through Screen NSW and Destination NSW, the Federal Government through Screen Australia and the City of Sydney. The Festival’s Strategic Partner is the NSW Government through Destination NSW.



          Lessons from Television   
NOTE: This is an older posting that I just completed today.

Was television always this bad?  Yea, I'm afraid it was.

We are staying in a campground, and I thought I would see what is on television.  We have a small flip-down video player in the camper, which I bought on eBay for $150.  It plays DVDs and such, but does not receive off-the-air TV.   

Another camper was throwing away a new-in-the-box digital television converter (the kind you could buy with a government coupon, back when they made the switch).  I dug it out of the trash and hooked it up to the A/V input on the flip-down television.   Voila, TeeVee!

You can get a lot of channels off-the-air these days, it seems, although most of them are garbage.   A lot of religious channels (send us your money) and a few play old television shows (I dream of Jeannie, Bewitched, that sort of thing) with frequent commercials.

The commercials are fascinating.  One tells you that you have some undiagnosed illness and you should "ask your doctor" about TRAFLYPTIX once-a-day medication.   The next ad is from a law firm advertising that "if you took TRAFLYPTIX and had side effects, you may be eligible for damages!"

It is the old  something-for-nothing game.  A pill will change your life.  If it doesn't, well, you win at litigation lottery.

Other pitches were for "diet supplements" that would make you feel "decades younger" and eliminate wrinkles, etc.  Or, you can get your hair back (two different companies, here, but I suspect they are the same).   Eat an acacia berry.  Or get your own free (or "nearly free") back-brace, if you call this number in the next ten minutes!

Also, interestingly enough, are a lot of pitches for charities.  The ASPCA has a long, long spot with pictures of pitiful pooches (mostly pit-bull roteweiller mixes) that have been abused.  They want you to pledge $18.99 a month (!!!!) to help their charity.   All I could think was, "Gee, that's a lot of money" and "That television ad must have cost a lot of dough!"

A similar ad for the wounded warrior project.   Noble causes?  Yes.   Money spent on television ads?  Staggering.

But it reflects the statistics on charities - poor people will donate far more of their money to charities than the rich, as a percentage of income.   And often these poor folks donate to questionable charities that have very high overheads and very high salaries for their key employees.  Charity is a fine thing and all, but investigate the company (and it is a company) you are giving money to.  If they can afford ads that cost tens of thousands of dollars a minute, you have to ask yourself where the money is going.

Of course, the Jesus channels, staffed by sweaty, overweight white men (or sweaty overweight black men), who put the fear of God into you, ask for $1000 from "40 people" to buy a new fiber optic cable to spread the word of God to Muslims (!!!).  A thousand bucks!   Gee, that makes the ASPCA look pretty cheap by comparison.  Of course, the Jesus channel needs more money as they broadcast 24/7, not just in 30-second spots.

It struck me that the ads were all aimed at poor people and people who had a victim mentality and were sympathetic to the victim mentality.   If you are overweight and feel like shit, it isn't your fault.  All you need is a simple pill!  And when that pill causes your son to grow breasts (I am not making this up) you can sue for damages!   In the meantime, you can latch onto the next cure for a disease you don't have, or help rescue a rotweiller mix from some white trash who tried to beat it to "make it a mean guard dog!"   Dang puppies, always being so goofy and cute!  Need to toughen them up!

But sadly, the number of rednecks in the world who decide they have to have a mean dog is apparently infinite.  Go to any shelter and you will see cage after cage of these inbred mutts, all with short muzzles and large heads, bred for fighting and not much else.   They don't make good pets, so don't bother trying to "save" one.   An elderly friend of mine tried that, and it did not work out well.  The dog was basically untrainable and wild, and when he saw a squirrel, he bolted, pulling my friend off their feet so that they broke their hip.

You can't save the world - particularly if you don't save yourself first.

It got me to thinking, though.  Was television always this bad?  So chock full of poor normative cues?  So utterly stupid?

Well, yea.

The off-the-air programs were old sitcoms from the 1960's and 1970's.    While dreck like I Dream of Jennie and Bewitched and other "Screen Gems" were patently stupid (and recycled the same plot from week to week), even the "progressive" intellectual shows of the 1970's such as All in the Family and Maude (and other Norman Lear dreck) were really idiotic and written at an 8th grade level, if that.   Back then, they were "groundbreaking, thought-provoking" shows because they often dealt with trendy issues.  But the writing and the jokes were lame beyond belief.  You try to watch them today and you just shudder.

Television has always been stupid, I'm afraid.  And only stupid people watch it.  If you are not stupid, and start watching it, you will become stupid in short order.  You can't help it - you are being barraged with an information stream of data that hits your cerebral cortex at the speed of light, without your brain being able to filter or process it, first.

Sadly, there is very little media these days which is analytical, thoughtful, intellectual, or rational.   Most media is designed to capture eyeballs, whether it is sensationalist journalism or explosion movies.   News programs are heavily biased to the right or left, with little in-between.  And sadly, even the newspapers (which are now websites) are resorting to sensationalism to generate clicks and capture eyeballs.

I am not sure what the answer is, other than to unplug entirely and read a good book.  

          Index Funds?   
What are index funds and should you invest in them?

A few years back, a reader wrote that I should look into index funds.  And I did and bought some shares in a couple of them.  What are index funds?  They are just mutual funds - that follow some stock index.   There are a plethora of mutual funds out there, investing in everything from stocks to bonds, to government bonds, to whatever.   And each fund usually has some sort of goal or strategy.  Small Cap, Large Cap, foreign bonds, US bonds, Municipal Bonds, tech stocks, energy stocks, income stocks, or whatever.

And each fund has a fund manager or managers who manage the fund and decide what to invest in.  And for the most part, you have no idea on what they are investing in, on a day-to-day basis.   You can sort of get an idea from the prospectus and annual report, but you don't know what they are buying and selling in real-time.   You are leaving it to an expert to make sound decisions, and he generally gets paid more for making better decisions, so his interests are aligned with yours.

Compare this to hedge funds, where the managers get paid a percentage of the fund balance regardless of whether they make money or not.   You can understand why people are fleeing hedge funds these days - the overhead is high and the returns in recent years are not as attractive.

Mutual funds may have front-end loads or back-end loads or they may be no-load.   For a typical "load" fund may have to pay a fee upfront (deducted from your investment) when you invest, and often this fee goes in part to the salesman who sold you the fund.  Yes, that friendly "investment advisor" isn't working for oxygen, he needs food on his table.  And that is why, when you, as a young person, go to a "storefront" investment advisor (and you know exactly which one I am talking about - coming to a strip mall near you!) they really aren't interested in talking to you unless you have at least $10,000 to invest - so they can make $500 "advising" you which mutual funds to invest in.   If you are just starting out in investing, well, go fuck yourself.   Come back when you got some real money, kid!  (Or at least that was my experience when I was in my 20's).

Some funds have fees (back end loads) you have to pay when you sell shares in the fund.  The idea here is to encourage you to invest for the long haul, rather than trade. So they penalize you when you decide to sell.   And some funds are "no load" which seems to defy gravity.  How does a mutual fund company make money if they are not charging a fee?  Volume?  No, they have something called an expense ratio that they charge to the fund every year.  You don't see this as a line-item on your statement, but it is buried in the annual report somewhere if you look for it.  And no, the friendly storefront investment advisor doesn't mention it unless you ask, and even then....

And let me just say right here that I was invested in mutual funds for well over a decade before I understood any of this.   And yes, I had investment "advisors" tell me I was investing in a "no load" fund which turned out to have a 5% front-end load, of which the advisor got half.   When rolling over a 401(k) or IRA, be particularly aware of this.   You might, after a few years of hard work, accumulate $100,000 or more in your 401(k).   Your friendly "investment advisor" will suggest you roll this over when you leave the company.   And if you are not careful, he may skim 5% off the top when you move the funds to his company - as a State Farm rep once tried to do with me.

It seems that no matter what investment house you use, the want you to "roll over" your investments to their little playpen, and usually there is a reason for this - a monetary reason.   Caveat Emptor.

But there are "no load" funds out there, and these funds make their money for their managers through the expense ratio fees.  And some funds charge a lot, and some charge a little.  Vanguard has a lot of low expense ratio funds.  And of these, index funds usually have the lowest expense ratios.  Why?  Well an index fund, as the name implies, invests in a "market basket" of stocks that correspond to some market index, such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), the S&P 500, the NASDAQ Composite, or the like.

What are these indexes?  Well, that is the funny thing.  When people say "the stock market went up" or "the stock market went down" they are not talking about the entire market but an index instead.  The DJIA, for example, tries to measure the health of the market using a collection ("market basket") of stocks, usually "blue chip" type stocks.  And who is on this list of stocks and who is not, changes over time.  So in essence, the Dow, Jones people are "managing" your fund by determining what stocks are in the DJIA.   Your management company merely buys these stocks, takes a small, small cut as the expense ratio (like 0.15%) and then pays you the rest.

The advantages touted by such funds are many.   These indexes seem to go up over time far more than many "managed" investments.   People say if you just followed "The Dow" you'd make out better than most prognosticators, over time.   And since the expense ratios are tiny, you don't waste a lot of money on overhead costs.   For the mutual fund company, the costs are low, as a computer can basically trade the stocks automatically, as each person buys into the fund or sells out.

For example, Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund, states its goals as follows:
The Fund seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of the overall stock market. The Fund employs a "passive management" approach designed to track the performance of the CRSP US Total Market Index.
So in this case, the "index" is the "US Total Market Index" as determined by the Center for Research in Security Prices (CRSP).   This is an index that actually tries to track the overall market.   How does the fund perform?  What are they invested in ?   Well our friends at Morningstar (who I thought made breakfast sausages, but I was mistaken) have some data on this:

Performance  VTSMX More...

YTD 1 Mo 1 Yr
3 Yr  * 5 Yr  * 10 Yr  *

Growth of 10,000 10,970 10,142 12,299
Fund 9.70 1.42 22.99
+/- S&P 500 TR USD -0.42 0.22 0.59
+/- Category 0.40 0.21 1.36
% Rank in Cat 44 32 35
# of Funds in Cat 1,431 1,495 1,358
* Annualized returns.
Data as of 06/28/2017. Currency is displayed in USD.

Top Holdings  VTSMX More...

Weight % Last Price Day Chg % 52-Week Range

Apple Inc 3.00 144.57 -0.88
93.63 - 156.65

Microsoft Corp 2.02 68.98 -1.15
49.80 - 72.89 Inc 1.59 981.77 -0.84
710.10 - 1017.00

Facebook Inc A 1.41 151.34 -1.23
112.97 - 156.50

Johnson & Johnson 1.38 133.13 -0.50
109.32 - 137.00

% Assets in Top 5 Holdings 9.40

What is a little scary to me about index funds is that these indexes tend to include popular and trendy stocks.   I would not buy Facebook stock on a dare, but since I am invested in mutual funds, I end up owning some of it, although only 1.41% of the overall fund.

Should you invest in an index fund?  Sure, why not.  But not as the only thing you invest in.  Odds are, at your place of work, if you have a 401(k), one of the choices of funds to invest in, is an index fund.   I would not put all my eggs into one fund basket, though, as indexes do go down over time.

Which are the best funds?   Well, it depends on who you ask, and when.  "Investorplace" has a list of the 7 best funds, but they also have a list of 10.  Kiplinger has a list of "only five" funds you need to know about.   Even Motley Fool has a list.   Odds are, your investment house has some of their own funds.  Fidelity and Vanguard have them, I am sure Merrill does as well.  The real decision to make is which index to use and who has the lowest expense ratios.   It goes without saying that paying a "load" on an index fund is sort of pointless.   It is not like they are advising you or trading your shares.

The advantages are many.  It sort of puts your investments on auto-pilot.   The market goes up, you make money.  It goes down, you lose with everyone else (unless your particular index outperforms the overall market).  You don't have to worry about traders churning your account down to zero by making crappy trades.  It is a pretty brainless form of investing.

But for the most part, it is a risk-taking venture, and unless your index fund is indexed on a government bond index or something, you can lose money.   So putting all your eggs into the index-fund basket is, in my opinion, a bad idea.

          The Reality Show President   

People don't understand Trump because they don't understand Reality Television.

I have noted time and time again that Reality Television isn't real.  And many others have documented on YouTube and elsewhere how it is created.   You may not have a script with lines and direction, but you have suggestions and a rough outline.  You video your actors (and they are actors) for hours and hours and then in editing, using strategic cutaways, mood music, and snippets of conversations, create the story line you want.

The media is losing its collective mind over Trump - that is except Fox News.   Trump promises to save jobs at Carrier - and the jobs go away anyway.   And the number of jobs is pitiful to begin with.  Why is a President worried about 700 jobs at factory?   He promises to create new coal jobs and claims tens of thousands are "put back to work" in coal mines (what a treat!) when in fact, few, if any jobs have been created.   He claims that "clean coal" technology will save coal, in an era of dirt-cheap natural gas.   And in Mississippi, Southern Company decides to toss in the towel with "clean coal" as the technology simply doesn't work and the plant is converted to natural gas. 

But Trump continues with his Pepe-the-Frog shit-eating grin.  He doesn't seem bothered by the fact that the facts contradict almost everything he says or tweets.  Is he delusional?  Crazy?  Or just a reality television star?

Trump may be smarter than he appears, or at least more clever.   He doesn't really care about the 700 votes he'll get from Carrier employees (and likely lose, when their jobs go away).   What the rest of his supporters remember is that he "cared about the little man" and "saved jobs" even if the jobs weren't saved.   These are people getting their "facts" from Inforwars, not the New York Times.   So they believe that big coal is back on track, and Carrier is employing thousands more in Indiana, and Ford is building its new Focus in Detroit. 

With reality television, perception is the key, not reality.

In the Tee-Vee show, The Apprentice, people didn't actually work as an apprentice to Donald J. Trump.  They didn't "create a new hamburger" for Burger King.   If you believe this, you are a dolt.   What they did was get Burger King to sponsor the program, and then take a product that Burger King had already developed (or developed for the show) and then faked up a "contest" to have the "apprentices" appear to invent it.

But the plebes eat this shit up.  They all want to see the end part of the program where, in a conference room to the tune of dramatic music, Trump "fires" someone.   Of course it is all fake.  I mean, Celebrity Apprentice?   You really think Jay-Z is going to work every day at Trump Tower as Donald's butt-boy?

These are the kind of people who vote for Trump - people of low intellect who think reality television is real, or that American businesses are like The Jetsons, where someone gets "fired!" every week.  The reality of American business is that if you fired everyone who lead a project that was unsuccessful, you'd fire your entire staff every year and have a horrendous turnover rate.   Not all projects succeed, that is a given.  Which is why research is so expensive.  But then again, the projects and research on The Apprentice are all fake and the outcomes predetermined anyway.

This is what Trump is selling - The Reality Presidency.   And his fans eat it up.  He tweets outrageous things and says even more outrageous things - and people sit on the edge of their seat to see what outrageous thing he says next.   And the folks who hate Trump watch twice as much as those who like him.

But unlike television, ratings don't count for much in a Presidency.   But again, maybe that is where his real genius lies.   He was only days into his Presidency when he formed his re-election campaign.   Trump knows where the real battle ahead lies, not in legislative or executive branch "accomplishments" but in selling a narrative to his core base that he is "getting things done" and "saving jobs for little people" even as he knows it isn't true.

In a way, it is so beautiful how this is constructed.  He's reduced the Presidency to its essential core - all appearance and no real action.   He is, to some extent, like the Queen of England - cutting the ribbon at a new Tesco, but not really controlling the government.

And that is what most people want out of a President.   Not policy wonkism or carefully thought out foreign policy.  They want a President who speaks out about issues that are important to them.  Who says things that staid politicians shy away from.   Whether or not this accomplishes anything is actually secondary, what people want to hear is that the President is thinking of them.

And maybe there is precedent for this.   Teddy Roosevelt said that the Presidency was a "Bully Pulpit" and he used his position to rail against corruption and the trusts.   And people ate it up, even if his progressive agenda didn't go too far - and his hand-picked successor unraveled much of it.  He was a populist President, and one that many folks thought might be a bit reckless.

Another Roosevelt used a similar technique to his advantage.   Franklin Roosevelt certainly won the hearts and minds of many folks during the Great Depression by talking about their problems, even if he came from the same wealthy patrician family as his distant cousin.   Many "New Deal" programs were later invalidated by the courts, and many historians and economists debate the real effect of things like the "National Recovery Act" in turning around the economy.   The point is - and was - he was a populist.  Herbert Hoover didn't engage the troubled working class and showed that he cared about their plight, but was standoffish and talked about economic policy as if it didn't affect real people.

I am not comparing Trump to the two Roosevelts, of course.  Even Teddy was far, far smarter than the Donald.  But if you read his biography, Teddy was, in part, a "reality" star, traipsing off to Montana in his Abercrombie and Fitch dudewear, trying to remake himself as a cowboy, rather than the fop he was known as.   Teddy Roosevelt built a tennis court behind the White House, but famously remarked that he would never allow a photographer to take his photo holding a tennis racket, but rather holding a gun.   He knew about how to groom a public image.

President Trump isn't nearly as smart, of course.   But he knows how to groom a public image, as indeed, much of his life has been sent selling himself as a "brand" to other people, particularly in recent years, where his vaunted real estate deals amount to little more than branding arrangements.

The media is getting it all wrong, if they think they can debunk Trump with "the truth".  His supporters don't care about the truth, they care about appearances.   And their perception of the truth is shaped not by witty editorials in the Huffington Post, The New York Times, or The Washington Post, which largely go unread by the masses of his supporters.    They are getting their "truth" from shadowy conspiracy theory websites, Alex Jones, and Fox News.   And very likely, in four years, they will vote again for Donald Trump.

And he might win, if the Democrats put up a "progressive" candidate like Elizabeth Warren, who by all accounts is a nice and sincere person, but doesn't stand a snowball's chance in hell of winning in the States that count.

And given that the Democrats seem to spend an awful lot of time these days cow-towing to Bernie Sanders, who isn't even  a Democrat, I suspect we may see eight years of Donald Trump.   Not because he will win, but because the Democrats will lose.

          This week in Supreme Court history: New limits on the spending power   
On June 23, 1987, the Supreme Court upheld the ability of the federal government to impose conditions on money received by the states.
          Canadian Free Trade Agreement Starts July 1   

Consumers and businesses in Nova Scotia will benefit from improved trade within Canada with the implementation of the Canadian Free Trade Agreement(CFTA) on July 1.

“Over half of Nova Scotia’s trade in goods and services occurs within Canada,” said Premier Stephen McNeil. “This modern set of rules to guide domestic trade gives Nova Scotia companies more opportunity to do business across provincial and territorial boundaries, and a clear process to address barriers.

“The CFTA builds on work we are doing with our Atlantic partners to reduce regulatory and administrative barriers to trade. Canada’s 150 celebration is a fitting opportunity to bring into force this modern, Canada-wide agreement as we continue efforts to create jobs for young Nova Scotians and more opportunity for the middle class.”

Since December 2014, federal, provincial and territorial governments have worked to modernize Canada’s internal trade. The CFTA resulted from these negotiations.

“The CFTA will make it easier and less costly for Nova Scotia businesses to sell their goods and services across Canada,” said Geoff MacLellan, Minister of Trade. “It increases choice for consumers, expands access to government contracts in other provinces, and creates more jobs for Canadians.”

CFTA includes rules that open trade in goods and services, processes that cut red tape by reducing differences in regulations and standards, and provisions that increase access to billions of dollars in government procurement opportunities for Canadian businesses.

Nationally, internal trade is worth $400 billion and represents roughly 20 per cent of Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP).

The agreement also establishes a new framework to review interprovincial trade over the next year in areas like alcohol, fisheries, the territorial food sector and financial services.
The CFTA will replace the existing Agreement on Internal Trade which has been in place since 1995.

Source: Release
          Bluenose II Kicks Off Canada Day in Pictou   

Nova Scotians can celebrate Canada Day this weekend with the province’s sailing ambassador, Bluenose II, in Pictou.

As part of Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta, Bluenose II will visit Pictou today, June 30. It will remain in Pictou through July 3.

The Bluenose will be open to the public in Pictou for deck visits as well as for harbor cruises on July 3 (weather pending). Information on the Bluenose’s schedule is available at and .

“Having the RDV 2017 Tall Ships Regatta in Pictou for the Canada Day weekend, and especially Canada 150, is a great honour. The fact that we are also able to host Bluenose II at our port is even more special,” said Darlene MacDonald, director for sector development at Tourism Nova Scotia. “As Pictou is home to Nova Scotia’s other tall ship, the Ship Hector, it is indeed a great pleasure to welcome all these vessels to our home port.

“Pictou has a rich seafaring tradition and this weekend will see that tradition come alive once more.”

For the full Pictou Canada Day weekend schedule, visit .

Canada Day will also mark the launch of the Bluenose II mobile exhibit. The exhibit, which contains artifacts and information panels, is an information centre for the ship. It will join the Bluenose II at each post she visits this summer.

Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta is a 7,000-nautical mile transatlantic race, led by Sail Training International. The Tall Ships will visit Nova Scotia ports until August 16. A full schedule is available at . The province and the Government of Canada/Heritage Canada provided financial support to make RDV 2017 happen.

Other Canada Day celebrations supported through the Government of Nova Scotia’s 150 Forward Fund include the Chester Yacht Club Parade of Sail, the Canada 150 Literary Festival in Margaree Forks and the Stan Rogers Folk Festival. As part of the 150th anniversary of Confederation, funding was provided to about 170 community organizations to plan events that honour significant Nova Scotians or achievements, commemorate significant historical events, or celebrate the province’s cultural identity and ethnic diversity.

“The Government of Nova Scotia was pleased to provide over $6 million for Canada 150 projects throughout the province,” said Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister Leo Glavine. “These events unite us as Nova Scotians and as Canadians. They help us celebrate our province’s rich cultural tapestry, our ethnic diversity, and our unique Nova Scotian identity.

“It’s a great weekend for all Nova Scotians to be out in our communities enjoying a multitude of festivals and special events. On behalf of the Government of Nova Scotia, I wish every Nova Scotian a happy Canada Day!”

Source: Release
          7/1/2017: NEWS: Govt again cited over emissions   
The Government is facing fresh legal action over alleged inadequate greenhouse emissions targets. The new case is being brought by the Mataatua District Maori Council over the Government allegedly failing to fulfil Treaty of Waitangi obligations to...
          PACT – Finance Internships In Kenya July 2017   
July 2017 – PACT NGO Finance Internships In Kenya Work opportunity : Finance Internships Vacancies in Kenya July 2017 Latest Jobs opening at PACT In Kenya July 2017 Finance Internships at PACT NGO Pact’s mission is to build empowered communities, effective governments and responsible organizations that give people an opportunity...
Read more »
          Lightning over Puyehue-Cordon Caulle   
mordorshitrightthere.jpg Photo: Carlos Gutierrez with Reuters Lightning flashes around the ash plume at above the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano chain near Entrelagos. The volcano in the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle chain, dormant for decades, erupted last month in south-central Chile, belching ash more than 6 miles into the sky. Winds fanned it toward neighboring Argentina, prompting the government to evacuate several thousand residents, authorities said.
          Delta releases full-length video educating employees on Gulf carrier subsidies   
In the latest US3/ME3 spat, Delta Air Lines released a 15-minute long documentary-style video regarding the unfairness of government subsidies to the Middle East's three largest airlines from their respective countries. Delta is urging their employees to watch the video, share it with friends and family, and join the US3 in asking the U.S. government to take action.
          Experts: Mexico opposition party targeted by spyware   
MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Mexico&apos;s scandal of high-tech spying against journalists and human rights defenders widened Thursday, with experts confirming that leading members of a main opposition party were also targeted by Israeli-made spyware sold exclusively to governments....
          IT’S ON: Trump Says “Strategic Patience” is Over In Dealing with North Korea   
north korea

As the North Korean government continues its ridiculous international provocation, U.S. President Donald Trump has announced that the world has had enough.

The post IT’S ON: Trump Says “Strategic Patience” is Over In Dealing with North Korea appeared first on The Constitution.

          This is Socialist Healthcare: European Courts say Hospital has Right to Kill Child Against Parents’ Wishes   

While liberals may argue that socialism means more people get insurance coverage, they forget to mention that it also means that the hospital and the government now get to make the final decision about YOUR healthcare

The post This is Socialist Healthcare: European Courts say Hospital has Right to Kill Child Against Parents’ Wishes appeared first on The Constitution.

          WE’RE FROM THE GOVERNMENT AND WE’RE HERE TO HELP: “The opioid epidemic can also be linked to the ov…   
WE’RE FROM THE GOVERNMENT AND WE’RE HERE TO HELP: “The opioid epidemic can also be linked to the overuse of Medicaid.” Quick, somebody put together a conspiracy theory about ho ... - Source:
          RIGHT ON!: Court rules U.S. can seize Manhattan skyscraper from a sanctions-violating Iranian “chari…   
RIGHT ON!: Court rules U.S. can seize Manhattan skyscraper from a sanctions-violating Iranian “charity.” A New York jury has ruled that the U.S. government can seize a Manhattan skyscraper ... - Source:
          Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau Announced to Join WE Day Canada Lineup   

OTTAWA, ON--(Marketwired - June 30, 2017) -

- WE Day Canada will inspire young people and their families across the country to unite, step up and build a stronger and more caring and compassionate future Canada over the next 150 years -
- WE Day Canada is part of the Government of Canada's weekend long celebrations in the capital region -
- On July 2, Canadians across the country can watch WE Day Canada live on WE's Facebook page -
- WE Day Canada will be taped for a special broadcast airing Saturday, July 8 at 7 p.m. EDT on CTV -

          High School English Teacher - Nasivvik High School, Pond Inlet, NU - Government of Nunavut, Department of Education, Qikiqtani Region - Pond Inlet, NU   
Subject knowledge, training and experience relevant teaching High School EnglishPlanning skills (lesson plans, themes/units, emergency plans, long range plans... $73,528 - $115,291 a year
From Education Canada - Wed, 28 Jun 2017 23:28:39 GMT - View all Pond Inlet, NU jobs
          Circulation Management Association of Canada Merges with Magazines Canada   

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - June 29, 2017) - The Circulation Management Association of Canada (CMC) has merged with Magazines Canada. The merger was unanimously recommended by the CMC Board and ratified by its members during the CMC's annual general meeting yesterday in Toronto. The CMC, Canada's national association for circulation professionals, will now take steps to dissolve the association and merge with Magazines Canada, the national trade association for all magazine media.

The CMC was formed in 1981 to provide training and professional development in circulation management. Magazines Canada, founded in 1973, is the national association representing the majority of Canadian-owned, Canadian-content consumer, cultural, specialty, professional and business magazines. Following a similar merger announced earlier this year, Magazines Canada now continues the tradition of advocating and serving the Canadian magazine industry that goes back nearly 100 years, to the original founding of the Canadian Business Press in 1920.

Under this agreement, the longstanding partnership between the two organizations will be made permanent. Current CMC members will receive access to Magazines Canada's professional development events and services, and can elect to join a renewed and empowered Circulation Marketing Advisory Committee which will advise the Board and staff on professional development (including the MagNet conference), awards programs, and research. Additionally, the CMC legacy will continue under Magazines Canada in the form of a maintained brand identity and web archive.

"The CMC and Magazines Canada have worked together for many years in supporting the magazine marketing industry. This merger secures our ability to support the circulation industry at a national level for the years to come. Closer cooperation and one collective voice means a stronger, brighter future for magazine marketing professionals, and I look forward to working together," said Amanda Beattie, President of the Circulation Management Association of Canada and Audience Marketing Manager for AZURE Magazine.

"This is a great move for the industry: it builds off Magazines Canada's strong national marketing campaigns and the distribution service that we offer our members. Even more importantly, a merger with the CMC brings the voices and perspectives of important players along the supply-chain to the table -- from suppliers and distribution all the way to retail -- it makes a lot of sense for us to be working together," said Scott Jamieson, Chair of Magazines Canada's board of directors and Director of Engagement for Annex Business Media.

About Magazines Canada
Magazines Canada is the national association representing the majority of Canadian-owned, Canadian-content consumer, cultural, specialty, professional and business magazines. French and English member titles cover a wide range of interests across multiple platforms including arts and culture, business and professional, lifestyle and food, news and politics, sports and leisure, women and youth. The association focuses on government affairs, professional development, coordinating national awards programs and marketing campaigns, and delivering services that meet the needs of the magazine industry.

          Two self-defense bills scheduled for further hearings, possible amendments & vote in House committee   

Chairwoman Kristina Roegner (R-37) has announced that the House Federalism and Interstate Relations Committee will be hearing testimony on two self-defense bills on Wednesday, July 5 at 1:00p.m. in Room 115.

The committee will be hearing testimony on HB 142 (Repeal LEO notification). House Bill 142 seeks to repeal requirements that, when detained for a law-enforcement purpose, a concealed carry licensee must "promptly inform" an approaching law enforcement officer that the licensee is a licensee and is carrying a concealed handgun. In 2015, a study by revealed that Ohio was in a vast minority of states that makes such a requirement of concealed handgun license-holders. This will be the fourth hearing for this important legislation, and the chair has indicated that possible amendments may be offered before a possible vote.

The committee will also be considering proponent testimony on HB 233 (DEFEND Act), a bill which seeks to decriminalize so-called “no-guns" victim zones for concealed handgun license (CHL) holders. This will be the third hearing for this important legislation, and given that opponents will be given the chance to testify, committee members are no-doubt in store for yet another round of "sky-is-falling" predictions that will never come to pass. The chair has indicated that possible amendments may also be offered on this bill before a possible vote.

In the DEFEND Hearing's second hearing on June 20, bill sponsor John Becker submitted an amendment to his original bill which he said accepts suggestions from prosecutors but preserves the spirit of the bill.

The changes, he said, add the word "knowingly" in terms of intent and change a proposed penalty of disorderly conduct to trespassing. The new version also changes the term firearm to deadly weapon.

Buckeye Firearms Association's Jim Irvine testified in support of the bill, saying no need has ever been shown for many of the restrictions on firearms. He informed the committee the bill overall reduces penalties and minimizes the potential that a person would face a crime for taking a gun to a location where they are prohibited.

Please contact your State Representative TODAY and politely urge him or her to support this pro-gun legislation.

Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary, BFA PAC Vice Chairman, and an NRA-certified firearms instructor. He is the editor of, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website.


Following is Jim Irvine's proponent testimony on HB 233, delivered to the House committee on June 20:

Good afternoon Chairwomen Roegner, Vice Chairman Lipps, ranking member Leland and members of the House Committee on Federalism and Interstate Relations. I testify today in support of Sub H.B. 233.

We all enjoy many constitutionally protected rights. And we understand that the State may put restrictions on those rights. To properly do so, they must show a justifiable need for that restriction. You can’t yell “FIRE!” in a crowded movie theater.

No need has ever been shown to restrict the constitutionally protected, individual right to bear arms in most of the places that Ohio law restricts people from having a firearm available to defend their life.There is serious criminal activity in Ohio. We are suffering through a drug epidemic. Serious crimes deserve serious (felony) punishment. It is a waste of law-enforcement, prosecutorial, and judicial resources to criminalize an otherwise law-abiding citizen with a similar degree of crime for status offenses.

There is a huge difference between the crimes of rape, murder, arson, and a CHL holder walking into a church or library which happens to be a government building. The law should reflect that stark difference.

Sub. H.B. 233 makes the punishment fit the crime.

We have endorsed it and recommend its passage.

          Football clubs urged to check cladding at stadiums following Grenfell Tower fire   
A Government-funded public body has written to owners and managers at stadiums.
          Stadiums or Schools: An Analysis of Public Expenditures   
Dan here…I don’t usually pass along a study that has a company attached to the article itself, but thought this one might be of interest for readers. On government handouts sports, stadiums or schools is the political side of the issue. Stadiums or Schools: An Analysis of Public Expenditures What we found is that ten […]

          Where things stand on the AT&T and Time Warner deal   
AT&T’s (NYSE: T) $49-billion acquisition of DirecTV took a whopping 432 days to win government approval, eventually earning clearance from the Federal Communications Commission with a list of conditions. Now 251 days since the Dallas telecom giant declared its intent to purchase content monster Time Warner, Inc., the process could finally be turning toward the point in which the two sides discuss the same type of conditions. Bob Quinn, AT&T’s senior executive vice president for external and…

          Hope and Comfort   
[This was shared during the funeral of the father, father-in-law, grandfather, and great-grandfather of friends from Cincinnati earlier today.]

2 Corinthians 1:3-4
John 11:21-27

There’s a passage of Scripture I mentioned as we began today’s service. It comes from the first chapter of the New Testament book of 2 Corinthians and says: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort…

I know something of how important Lee was to people, especially to his family. He was a strong presence in the life of that family, a man who loved his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. And he was a vital presence in their lives almost to the end, as the video Dave shared on Facebook the other day, showing Lee teeing up on the golf course at the age of 90, demonstrates. All of you have been blessed to have Lee in your lives and you know it.

But now what?

People who haven’t been blessed as you have, strangers to Lee or to all of you, might not understand that it’s possible to grieve just as much, sometimes more, for an older person who has left this life as it is to grieve for someone younger. When someone has been the patriarch of a family for so long, it leaves a hole in many lives.

So, the first thing that I would say this morning is that you shouldn’t let anyone tell you that it’s time to snap out of it, time to stop feeling your loss.

As I read God’s Word, the Bible, it becomes clear to me that death was never meant to be part of the human experience. We were created in the “image of God,” Genesis says, and the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes tells us that God “has put eternity into [humanity’s] heart…” We have every right to feel offended by death, to resent its removal of loved ones from our lives. We weren’t made for death. It’s offensive and hurtful to us.

Listen: It’s offensive to God and hurts God too. He loves us. He wants more for us than death and grief. He wants to give us life and hope and peace.

That’s exactly why He took on human flesh in the person of Jesus, Who took the death sentence for sin each of us inherits at birth and then rose from the dead so that all who turn from their own sin and trust in Him have a life with God that cannot be taken from them.

When a friend of Jesus, a man named Lazarus, died, Jesus took His apostles with Him to the little village of Bethany. Some regarded this as a risky trip because, by that time, the forces of government and religion had decided that Jesus needed to be killed and Bethany was close to Jerusalem, where temple police or Roman soldiers could easily get their hands on Him. But Jesus went anyway.

Lazarus had two sisters, who also lived in Bethany. Martha was the first of them to see Jesus when He got to Bethany and she was none too pleased with Him. She and her sister had sent urgent pleas to Jesus to come and help their brother. They were sure that Jesus, Who already had a track record of miracle-working, could come and heal Lazarus. But, by the time Jesus arrived, Lazarus was dead four days.

And so, when Jesus arrives, Martha is reproachful. “Lord, if you had been here, my brother he would not have died,” she tells Him. “But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” They exchange a few more words, then Jesus tells her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.”

Jesus was offering to Martha at that moment the same thing that He offers you today: hope. Hope that when we dare to follow Christ, dare to turn away from sin, and turn to Him in trust, we have life with God. It’s a hope that God will be with us always and a hope that death need not have the last word over the lives of those who trust in Jesus.

To all people, Christ offers universally and unreservedly the chance to receive what, deep in our souls, we all know we were made for, eternal life with God. “I am the way, and the truth, and the life,” Jesus says elsewhere. “No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also.” As we turn to Jesus each day, He brings God’s hope to us, even when we grieve.

But this same God can give something else to you today. I pray that you’ll take it as He offers it to you. It’s mentioned in that passage from 2 Corinthians I spoke of a few moments ago: Comfort. The passage calls God “the Father of mercies and God of all comfort.”

If you seek God, the God made plain in Jesus, He can bring you comfort.

I remember being at a funeral visitation. One of the friends who stopped by to visit the grieving family was a man I’d met several times previously. We fell into conversation. He talked about how it had been when he lost his wife of fifty some years. They had been inseparable and he was devastated. He talked about how often at night he would fall to his knees in his bedroom and cry out, “God have mercy on me.” God’s Word, the Bible, promises that all who call on God will be saved. This man, as he called on God for help, was saved from facing His grief alone. “I don’t know how I would have survived without God’s help,” he told me.

And speaking personally, when I had a heart attack seven years ago and needed to be hospitalized, my son spent the night with me. As I lay in bed, I asked him to read some Scripture to me. I'll never forget the comfort I felt amid the noise in my soul when he read the words of Psalm 46:10: "Be still, and know that I am God."

The God Who has experienced death and grief Himself, wants to offer that same comfort to you today.

He wants you to know that you’re right to be hurt by the loss of your father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and friend.

He wants you to know that, for all who dare to trust in Christ, there is a hope for life with God in this world and a perfect life with God in the world to come, and there is comfort for those who run into the strong, compassionate arms of the God Who made you, loves you, died for you, rose for you.

Take the comfort and hope that only the God we meet in Jesus can offer.

And know that a lot of people, including Ann and me and our family, love you. God bless all of you. Amen

[Blogger Mark Daniels is pastor of Living Water Lutheran Church in Centerville, Ohio.]

          Experts: Mexico opposition party targeted by spyware   
MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Mexico&apos;s scandal of high-tech spying against journalists and human rights defenders widened Thursday, with experts confirming that leading members of a main opposition party were also targeted by Israeli-made spyware sold exclusively to governments....
          [wanabidii] News Digest: Live updates: India braces for GST rollout   
Friday, June 30, 2017
Today's Headlines

Live updates: India braces for GST rollout

Will buy AI only if profitable for us: IndiGo president
"Let me be very clear that if it is not profitable and does not add value to our employees, customers and shareholders, we will not embark on this journey," IndiGo president Aditya Ghosh wrote in a mail to staff on Air India acquisition bid.

Debt-hit RCom seeks to give up Rs 340 cr worth spectrum

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