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China Southern recruits Australian pilots

first_imgChina Southern Airlines has welcomed 10 new Australian pilots to its international ranks in recent months, joining eight compatriots in a growing contingent of international aircrew.The airline now has 14 serving Australian pilots and a further four in training, just some of about 90 China Southern pilots enlisted from outside China.Each has been recruited as part of a program to increase the diversity and international experience of the airline’s pilots, coming from countries including Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Canada.China Southern regional general manager Australia and New Zealand Henry He said the introduction of Australian pilots highlighted the growing importance Australia played in the airline’s success.“Australian pilots are very highly regarded internationally and we consider Australia a key part of our international network, it’s important to us that Australian experience and expertise is represented in the crew we have aboard China Southern aircraft worldwide,” Mr He said.In addition to recruiting Australian pilots, China Southern Airlines has invested heavily in pilot training at the China Southern West Australian Flying College at Jandakot Airport in Perth.From its hub at Baiyun International Airport in Guangzhou, China Southern flies to almost 200 destinations in 35 countries including more than 150 Chinese cities on the world’s most extensive domestic network.China Southern is a proud member of the SkyTeam Alliance, which offers passengers a worldwide system of more than 19,000 daily flights spanning more than 1000 destinations in 187 countries.Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more

November 26 2014HAPPY THANKSGIVING to family and

first_imgNovember 26, 2014HAPPY THANKSGIVING to family and friends near and far.Much to be grateful for! Here are a few snapshots by photographer Ivan Pintar of the very early years at Arcosanti. Ivan was part of the Cosanti Foundation from the early 1960’s until his death at Cosanti in 1994. The Soleri Archives at Arcosanti houses his enormous slide collection.Here we see silt preparation of the panels for the South Vault.The side panels of the Vaults are in place, also the foundations of the Ceramics Apse.The South Vault.This photo is by Annette Del Zoppo.View from the top of the Vaults to the Ceramics Apse and Foundry.Silt work on the Foundry Apse.The Foundry Apse roof pour.Paolo Soleri on the silt for the Foundry apartment roof.last_img

Rep Yaroch to host spring listening tour

first_img20Feb Rep. Yaroch to host spring listening tour State Rep. Jeff Yaroch of Richmond will host a ‘Spring Listening Tour’ to connect directly with people throughout the community. Rep. Yaroch will also be visiting local boards and councils.“Talking to my neighbors and listening to their concerns about state government continues to be one of the most important parts of my job,” Yaroch said. “This listening tour is a great opportunity to directly hear your thoughts and questions about state government and I hope that you will join me.”Rep. Yaroch will be available at the following times and locations:Saturday, March 2 from 11 a.m. to noon at Clinton-Macomb Public Library North Branch, 16800 24 Mile Road in Macomb Township;Monday, March 18 from 6 to 7 p.m. at Richmond City Hall, 36725 Division Road in Richmond;Wednesday, March 27 from 5 to 6 p.m. at Clinton-Macomb Public Library North Branch, 16800 24 Mile Road in Macomb Township;Tuesday, April 2 from 6 to 7 p.m. at Memphis City Hall, 35095 Potter St. in Memphis;Monday, April 22 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Clinton-Macomb Public Library North Branch, 16800 24 Mile Road in Macomb Township;Monday, May 6 from 5 to 6 p.m. at Lenox Township Hall, 63775 Gratiot Ave. in Lenox Township; andMonday, May 13 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Clinton-Macomb Public Library North Branch, 16800 24 Mile Road in Macomb Township.No appointment is necessary. Residents unable to attend or who have questions related to state government may contact Rep. Yaroch’s office by calling (517) 373-0820 or by email at JeffYaroch@house.mi.gov. Categories: Yaroch Newslast_img read more

Use of catchup services and legal pay VOD service

first_imgUse of catch-up services and legal pay VOD services in France grew by over a quarter between January 19 and January 31, following the closure of the MegaUpload website, according to a study by the Hadopi, the commission set up to implement the law of the same name to counter illegal filesharing.Use of catch-up TV grew by 25%, while use of pay VOD jumped by 35%, according to the Hadopi, which also noted that visits to illegal streaming sites fell by 19.5% over the same period.The Hadopi based its findings on Mediametrie/NetRatings’ survey of 50 sites and a number of other studies including the TV Online barometer.last_img

Chapter 2 Humbling the Oligarchs For a national

first_imgChapter 2: Humbling the Oligarchs For a national leader wishing to cement a hold on power—especially a would-be autocrat—nothing beats war. Turning the children of the common folk into soldiers and sending them to do battle with a feared or hated enemy tends to unite those folk in support of whoever is in charge, no matter what the actual reason for the fighting. It works in any country. So it was with Putin and Chechnya. Although the breakaway republic wasn’t exactly a foreign country, to most Russians it might as well have been. So they fell right in line behind their aggressive new president and his Chechnya campaign. Putin is always ready for the next move, the zag after the zig. He recognized that as quickly as war wins the population over to your side, the advantage can just as quickly be lost. The longer a war goes on, the more likely people are to turn against it. Lose a war, and everyone decides they were against it all along. So to gain from a bloody conflict, a leader needs a swift, decisive victory. The First Chechen War had left Russians with a sour taste in their mouths. It went on for two years and ended with their well-equipped, modern army failing against a posse of back-country guerrillas—a replay of Afghanistan in Russia’s own backyard. No one was in the mood for more of the same. The people rallied behind Putin because they detected his willingness to do whatever it took to get the job done. What else would you expect from an ex-KGB officer? Predictably, Putin went at the Chechens with maximum firepower and subdued them with minimum loss of Russian lives. After that, Russia’s lingering troubles with the republic hardly mattered. The war had ended quickly, and it had ended in victory, a demonstration of Putin’s strength for all to see. No more wishy-washy leaders in the Kremlin. A real man was back at the helm. The people cheered. Disposing of an outside threat was important as a first step toward Putin’s goal of reestablishing Russian might, with himself as the revered leader. It was the relatively simple part, however. Next, he had to deal with his political enemies. Some were easy to identify. The drifting policies of the Yeltsin years had fostered a small class of crafty and often violent billionaires, a wild bunch known as the oligarchs. In the words of a former deputy chairman of Russia’s central bank: “All Russian oligarchs are fiendishly ingenious, fiendishly strong, malicious, and greedy—tough customers to deal with.” Land of Opportunity During the 1990s, the country was struggling to adopt the ways of a free-market society. After 70 years of enforced collectivism, suffocation by central planning, and the quashing of individual initiative, Russia’s freedom makeover wasn’t going smoothly. The transition from centralized command and control to free markets was hindered by a massive flight of domestic capital, foreign investors deserting the country, a sharp rise in unemployment, widespread failure to meet payrolls for those who actually held jobs, and a precipitous drop in the foreign-exchange value of the ruble (which hit its all-time low in late 1993). Before the early 1990s, there wasn’t even a stock market. Three generations of Russians had toiled under the threat of communism’s gulags and been trained to look to Moscow for decisions in all matters. And that was after three and a half centuries of submission to czarist rule. Suddenly, people were thrown into a situation they weren’t prepared for and had no experience with. That they were overwhelmed by their first whiff of freedom was hardly a surprise. Most were utterly lost, but not all. As state control of enterprises withered, a few crafty individuals saw they could exploit what was happening. Some were already wealthy, whereas others simply seized the opportunity to start a fortune. What they all had in common was an aptitude for business that was in such short supply in Russia. The best that can be said of the oligarchs is that they were ready for economic freedom when almost no one else was. They certainly helped with the transition to a market economy. But in a society where cronyism, bribery, extortion, and murder for hire are normal, it would be a stretch to argue that these newly minted billionaires came by their fortunes in an honest way. They were utterly ruthless. But they would soon learn that someone else was even more so: Vladimir Putin. Nailing Khodorkovsky Putin realized early on that the key to Russia’s rebirth was its vast wealth of natural resources. Oil, gas, uranium—the country had them all in abundance. All figured into his master plan. And because of their importance, energy companies could not be allowed to fall under the control of foreign investors, no matter what. Even domestic private owners would have to answer to the state or, more to the point, to Putin. The oligarchs mattered to Putin not merely because of their wealth but because energy was precisely the industry in which they were most prominent. Mikhail Khodorkovsky was the richest and most powerful of them, with a fortune of $18 billion. In his struggle with the oligarchs, Putin’s contest with Khodorkovsky was the decisive battle. When it ended—with Khodorkovsky and others stripped of their wealth and imprisoned, exiled, or dead—there was no doubt that Putin would be the overlord of Russia’s energy sector. And he would be thanked for what he did. As with Chechnya, attacking the oligarchs was a hit with the public, who resented both their great wealth and how they had gotten it. Seeing them humbled amped up Putin’s popularity yet again. The Khodorkovsky match was not the only front in Putin’s war with the oligarchs. But it was the splashiest, and it best illustrates his methods. Like Putin, Khodorkovsky had spent his childhood in a shabby communal apartment and, also like Putin, he had ambition to spare. After working as a leader in Komsomol, a communist youth organization, he opened the Youth Center for Scientific and Technological Development. Later he founded an import/export firm. As he transitioned from communist to capitalist, Khodorkovsky came to believe that the new Russian economy should be centered on high-tech industries rather than on natural resources. That put him in conflict with Putin’s notion that resources are the natural engine for Russia’s economic progress. Khodorkovsky became a prominent advocate for a free market. In 1993, he published the Russian capitalist manifesto, The Man with the Ruble. In it he wrote: “It is time to stop living according to Lenin! Our guiding light is Profit, acquired in a strictly legal way. Our Lord is His Majesty, Money, for it is only He who can lead us to wealth as the norm in life.” Khodorkovsky’s compliance with the law was noticeably far from strict. But that was the norm at the time. Several of his early millionaire colleagues had gotten so closely involved with criminals that they eventually had to flee the country to save their lives and the lives of their families. Shootings in public view were common, as were kidnappings of women and children. It was all part of the cost of doing business. That Khodorkovsky’s import/export company was known to violate dozens of laws surprised no one, and by comparison with many others he was a goody-goody. It was entering the financial arena that put Khodorkovsky on track to join the billionaires’ club. And it was through Bank Menatep that he positioned himself to become the richest man in the new Russia. Vouchers Bank Menatep, which Khodorkovsky established in 1989, made significant profits, reportedly enhanced by diverted state funds. The bank also operated a lucrative market for trading state privatization vouchers, which turned out to be more than just another profit center. Though it seems crazy now, the voucher program must have made sense to Boris Yeltsin at the time. He initiated it in 1992 on a day when, perhaps, he was heavily into the vodka. Yeltsin proposed that every man, woman, and child in Russia be issued a voucher that could be exchanged for shares in one of the state enterprises undergoing privatization. That way, Yeltsin was convinced, every citizen would gain a stake in the emerging capitalist economy. However, consistent with capitalist principles, everyone would be free to trade or sell his or her voucher if one chose to. The voucher idea had been imported to Russia by consulting economists from the United States. It made good sense in a textbook kind of way. But it made no sense at all if the vouchers were going to be issued to people who didn’t understand what the pieces of paper represented. Over 140 million Russians participated in the grand voucher program, the great majority of them cash poor and lacking even a rudimentary comprehension of capital markets. Most chose to capture a little cash immediately by selling their vouchers. That played right into the hands of anyone with a bit of investment sense—especially the oligarchs. They were ready and able to accommodate the millions of Russians who knew nothing about the vouchers except that they could be turned into instant cash. Buying on the very cheap, they gained control of formerly state-run companies, which concentrated an astronomical amount of wealth and power in the hands of a very few. Khodorkovsky topped the list of those who made the people’s ignorance his gain. Through Bank Menatep and a separate holding company, he took control of a string of companies for mere kopecks on the ruble. It wasn’t quite theft, but it was a process in which informed consent played no role whatsoever. In 1995, Group Menatep moved on Yukos, a major petroleum conglomerate. Yukos had been assembled by the Russian government in 1993 to roll up dozens of state-owned production, refining, and distribution assets, including one of the most productive oil fields in western Siberia. Like most other Russian companies struggling to adapt to a market economy, its performance had been dismal. Oil production rates were declining, employees were months behind in getting paid, and financial controls were haphazard. Khodorkovsky set out to grab Yukos and fix it. He captured Yukos in two bold moves and in so doing demonstrated that he was a wily businessman, someone to be reckoned with. Vladimir Putin—at the time still working for the mayor of St. Petersburg, but with his eye on higher office—took notice. Perhaps, given his dispassion in separating ends from means, he even admired how Khodorkovsky operated. It happened this way: First, knowing that the Yeltsin administration was strapped for cash, Bank Menatep participated in the ill-fated “Loans for Shares” program. Under the arrangement, Yeltsin’s government pledged shares in several of Russia’s most profitable companies as collateral for loans from oligarch-controlled banks. The value of the collateral was several times more than the value of the loans secured. If the state defaulted—and its debilitated condition made that likely—the lending bank was supposed to auction off the shares. But the auctions that actually took place were rigged. Everything was carefully planned to exclude anyone who might outbid the lending bank. In this instance, Bank Menatep lent the Kremlin $159 million under conditions that virtually ensured default. For collateral, the Kremlin pledged 45 percent of Yukos, which at that point was worth over $3 billion, or some 20 times the size of the loan. Then, when the government indeed defaulted, Khodorkovsky effectively swapped the IOU Bank Menatep was holding for nearly half of Yukos. Days later, to gain full control, Menatep purchased another 33 percent of Yukos from Yeltsin’s desperate government for just $150 million, or about 15 cents on the dollar. Over the next several years, Khodorkovsky brought the company back to health. In 2002 Yukos became the first Russian oil company to pay dividends to its shareholders, and by 2003 it was accounting for 20 percent of all Russian oil production and 2 percent of the world’s. It had become the country’s second-largest taxpayer, covering 4 percent of the Russian federal budget. This was quite a high standing for a company about to be smashed. Whether Putin could have succeeded in moving on Khodorkovsky in a different political and economic climate is difficult to judge. But he clearly made savvy use of the man’s past. You’ve just read an excerpt from Marin Katusa’s new book, The Colder War: How the Global Energy Trade Slipped from America’s Grasp. Click here to order your copy now.last_img read more

The Easiest First Step Its crucial to place some

first_img The Easiest First Step It’s crucial to place some of your savings beyond the easy reach of your home government. It keeps that government from trapping your money if and when it implements capital controls or outright asset seizures. Any government can do either without warning. The ultimate way to diversify your savings is to transfer it out of the immediate reach of your home government and into something tangible. Something that cannot be easily confiscated, nationalized, frozen, or devalued at the drop of a hat or with a couple of taps on the keyboard—while retaining as much privacy as legally possible. Something whose value is recognized around the world and is not controlled by any government. Gold (and silver) fit the bill perfectly. There is nothing particularly American, Chinese, Russian, or European about gold. Different civilizations have used it as money for millennia. It’s always been an inherently international asset. Buying gold is perhaps the easiest step you can take towards diversifying your savings. When you buy gold, you trade in paper money—which the government can devalue and confiscate at will—for a hard asset that’s been a stable store of value for thousands of years. Gold is universally valued. Its worth doesn’t depend on any government. In other words, simply buying gold is the easiest way to lessen the political risk to your savings. Freedom Insurance Somehow, someway, your home government will keep squeezing your pocketbook harder. It will keep subjecting you to escalating, arbitrary, and burdensome regulations and restrictions. Expect more government and less freedom all around. With each passing week, the window to protect your personal and financial freedom closes a bit more. Fortunately, you don’t need to be hostage to a desperate and out-of-control government. International diversification is a time-tested route to freedom. Wealthy people around the world have used it for centuries to effectively protect their money and their families. Buying gold is an important first step. Regards, — Less than 10 people in the world know about this True breakthroughs rarely happen in the world of market trading… But this is one of them. Developed in secrecy over five years, it’s a never-before-seen indicator of short-term stock profit opportunities. Only a handful of people know about this data-proven 93.5%-accurate way of picking future market wins… But now we’re throwing back the veil on it — so that YOU can get rich. Discover it now by clicking here. Justin’s note: As longtime readers know, owning gold for the long term is one of our core recommendations here at Casey Research. And it’s now more important than ever. That’s because every day, the window to protect your personal and financial freedom closes a bit more. Today, we’re handing the reins to Crisis Investing editor Nick Giambruno to explain why… By Nick Giambruno, editor, Crisis Investing It’s predictable… A government in need of cash will turn to destructive “solutions.” Money printing, higher taxes, and more regulations often come first. Unfortunately, these are just the hors d’oeuvres before a 10-course meal. As they become increasingly desperate, governments implement increasingly destructive policies. This might include capital controls, price controls, people controls, official currency devaluations, wealth confiscations, retirement account nationalizations, and more. — Nick Giambruno Editor, Crisis Investing P.S. Buying gold is where to start. But there’s much more to do… The US government gets bigger, more invasive, and more aggressive by the day. But you can take concrete steps to protect yourself from this hostile giant. That’s why New York Times best-selling author Doug Casey and I just released an urgent video that explains more about the crisis that’s about to hit America…and why it’s so important that you take action today. You can learn more right here.center_img [EXPIRES MIDNIGHT] Today is your last chance to get the top pick of one of the most successful analysts in Bill Bonner’s network… and lock in a free year of one of his most popular research services. Click here for all the details. Recommended Link The same pattern has played out again and again around the world and throughout history. The worse a government’s fiscal health gets, the more destructive its policies become. This is the root of political risk. It’s no secret that political risk is snowballing in many parts of the world. This is especially true in the US and Europe, where welfare and warfare spending continues unabated. It doesn’t matter which party is in power. But no matter where you live, international diversification can greatly reduce the threat your home government poses to your personal and financial well-being. You know the benefits of diversifying your investment portfolio. If you put all of your asset eggs in one basket, you could lose your entire portfolio if that basket breaks. The same idea applies to political risk. If your home country “breaks”—and turns to the destructive policies I just mentioned—you could lose everything. Most people have medical, life, fire, and car insurance. You hope you never have to use these policies, but you have them anyway. They give you peace of mind and protect you if and when the worst does happen. International diversification is the ultimate insurance policy against an out-of-control government. Think of it as “freedom insurance.” It frees you from absolute dependence on any one country. Achieve that freedom, and it becomes very difficult for any group of bureaucrats to control you. The results can be life-changing. Recommended Linklast_img read more

The wrenching testimony of Christine Blasey Ford

first_imgThe wrenching testimony of Christine Blasey Ford, who is accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of a sexual assault years ago, raises questions about the long-term emotional and physical toll this kind of trauma takes on survivors and how our society responds to those who come forward long after the assault.Emily R. Dworkin, a senior fellow at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, studies how the social interactions of trauma survivors can affect their recovery. She was also the lead author of a paper published in the journal Clinical Psychology Review in 2017 that looked through more than 100,000 studies conducted in the last 50 years and found nearly 200 relevant ones on the relationship between sexual assault and mental health to analyze.What she found, Dworkin says, is strong evidence that sexual assault is associated with an increased risk for multiple forms of psychological harm “across most populations, assault types and methodological differences in studies.” Too many survivors still face stigma and internalize that blame, and that can make it harder to seek help. And while some types of therapy have been shown to be helpful, she says, more information on evidence-based treatments for survivors “is critically needed.”Dworkin talked with NPR about her research findings and offered her perspective on where society and science need to go next to prevent assaults and help survivors heal. Our interview was edited for length and clarity.You looked at a lot of studies about the mental health impact of sexual assault, but it’s not an area as well-studied as say, heart disease. So what do we know?Sexual assault [any type of sexual activity or contact that happens without the consent of both people] began getting research attention in the ’70s as society as a whole was going through a feminist awakening, and it kind of developed at the same time as PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder], which was then known as “combat trauma.” Many things can lead to depression or anxiety. People with PTSD relive the trauma in the form of intrusive memories, nightmares, or even flashbacks. They avoid things that remind them of the trauma.The symptoms that people were showing when they were coming home from war were the same as victims of rape trauma — recurring memories and a wish to avoid triggering them.These days, lots of people are doing research, but there’s still a lot left to understand. What we do know is that sexual assault is associated with a higher risk for a lot of different mental health problems, including PTSD [and depression, anxiety, substance abuse and suicidality] … especially PTSD.What do we know about how ethnicity and education affects the mental health of survivors of sexual assault? We need to know more. Some of my past research on queer women shows that ongoing forms of stress can compound stress. And we know that people from marginalized groups are just at greater risk for sexual assault [and a number of other health problems]. So it’s likely that these groups experience more trauma — but I don’t think we can completely say for sure.How does sexual assault compare with other forms of trauma, in terms of effects on mental health?We never want to have the Olympics of trauma. But compared to other types of life-threatening trauma, survivors of sexual assault do seem to be more likely to get PTSD. In my preliminary look at the data from 39 studies on this topic, it seems like 36 percent of survivors meet criteria for a diagnosis of PTSD in their lifetime, versus 12 percent of people who don’t have a history of sexual assault.My thinking is that sexual assault is a unique form of trauma. It is highly stigmatized, and when people go to seek help for it, unlike in a car accident — well, the police are not going to ask you if you’ve really been in a car accident.Also, people don’t always do the most effective job of supporting sexual assault survivors. Sometimes they do things that can actually compound the trauma. In the ’70s it was known as “the second rape” when you tell the police, undergo a rape kit exam and explain it to family and friends. They don’t always know how to help.What can survivors who are feeling overwhelmed, depressed and traumatized do to recover, and how can friends and family help?It’s important for survivors to know that they can regain a sense of power over those triggers, and that the most natural response is to push away the triggers. Self-care isn’t about turning off those bad feelings, but feeling those feelings so that they can subside naturally.It’s kind of a counterintuitive idea, and it’s not what we usually think to do for our loved ones. When somebody’s in pain, all you want to do is to take that pain away. It’s understandable to try to distract them, take them out for a drink, but it’s better to be a shoulder to cry on. You don’t need to cheer somebody up in the moment. Be there for them as a witness to their pain.What about the professionals — the police, the lawyers, the therapists — that survivors need to talk to? How can they do a better job?This all comes back to … dealing with the false beliefs we have around sexual assault — blaming the victim, challenging the victim’s choices. Changing these cultural norms is important.One of the evidence-based treatments for PTSD is overcoming the trauma by sharing the story. That’s a very different thing than being forced to tell it in public.I don’t want to imply that it’s the survivor’s fault they have PTSD. And they feel like they don’t want to relive it again, which is totally natural. But our bodies can’t sustain that intense emotional response for long — those feelings come down naturally.In my clinical work, a woman came to me with her story of sexual assault. The first time she told it, she was crying. By the fourth time, she was almost yawning. Her story is not one that has power over her anymore. She has the control over whether she’s going to have her life altered.Has the public’s perception of sexual assault changed since the Kavanaugh hearings?I think about this stuff every day. I’ve been thinking it about every day since I was 18 and beginning my research. It takes me awhile to catch up and realize that everyone else is thinking about it now.My hope is that we’re changing some of the cultural conversation around this.It’s important to know that most of the disorders are very treatable conditions. I do feel like if survivors can get connected to evidence-based treatments, they can be helped — even years later.What are the resources and treatments that work best for survivors who are experiencing PTSD or other mental health symptoms?First-line options should be things that we know work well. What I recommend is prolonged exposure therapy [helping people gradually approach trauma-related memories and feelings] or cognitive processing therapy [a specific type of cognitive behavioral therapy that helps patients learn how to challenge and modify unhelpful beliefs related to the trauma]. Both have been around since the ’80s and were developed to treat survivors of rape. They have really strong evidence of reducing symptoms or eliminating the diagnosis [of a mental health disorder].For resources, look for a good therapist who offers cognitive processing therapy. Also, you can check out the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies [for more information about the treatment].As a society, what should we focus on to help survivors of assault?Ending some of our stigmatizing beliefs about sexual assault and our mistrust for people that come forward is huge. It’s always up to survivors as to whether they disclose. The fact that we’re having these conversations in the public sphere gives me hope.In schools, [to prevent unwanted sexual advances and sexual assault in the first place] we can teach respect for others and their autonomy. We’re not comfortable with the idea of hearing about these sorts of assaults. Our cultural norm is to avoid uncomfortable experiences. … But we need to keep talking. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

The government has announced a fresh review into p

first_imgThe government has announced a fresh review into prolonged seclusion and long-term segregation of people with learning difficulties and autistic people in hospitals, more than 70 years after concerns were first raised by civil rights campaigners.Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock announced this week that he had asked the care regulator to launch an immediate review into “the inappropriate use of prolonged seclusion and segregation” and said that some disabled people had been “treated like criminals”.His call came following a series of media investigations into conditions in privately-run assessment and treatment units (ATU), facilities that are supposed to be used for short-term care if someone with autism or learning difficulties is in crisis and community-based services cannot cope.The media reports have included allegations of widespread abuse, cruelty, physical restraint, poorly-trained staff and wrongful use of medication, as well as the frequent use of lengthy periods of solitary confinement.In a letter to the chief executive of the Care Quality Commission (CQC), Ian Trenholm, Hancock pointed to one teenager, Beth – whose case was exposed by BBC Radio Four’s File on Four – who has been kept in solitary confinement and fed through a hatch in the door in a privately-run ATU for nearly two years.Hancock said he had asked NHS England to carry out a serious incident review into Beth’s care.But he said he also wanted CQC to carry out a review into “prolonged seclusion and long-term segregation for children and adults with a mental illness, learning disability or autism in secondary care and social care settings”.The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is also set to act. It is considering which of its enforcement powers – such as launching an investigation or an inquiry – it can use “to fix the current system”.David Isaac, EHRC’s chair, said the current inpatient care system for people with learning difficulties had led to “some horrific situations at a number of assessment and treatment units where people’s fundamental human rights are being disregarded”.The children’s commissioner for England has also written to NHS England to raise concerns about Beth’s treatment, and to raise a series of questions about how many ATUs are used by NHS England, how many children they have as inpatients and their use of restraint and segregation.Anne Longfield, the commissioner, has asked for an update on the government’s Transforming Care programme, which was launched in the wake of the 2011 Winterbourne View scandal.She said: “The NHS must work with councils to be more transparent about what is going on in these units and be proactive about making sure every child receives the support and treatment they deserve.”Transforming Care aimed to “transform services so that people no longer live inappropriately in hospitals but are cared for in line with best practice, based on their individual needs, and that their wishes and those of their families are listened to and are at the heart of planning and delivering their care”.But successive governments appear to have achieved little to fulfil those aims.In 2012, a year after Winterbourne View, there were an estimated 3,400 people in NHS-funded learning disability inpatient beds.The latest figures, published last month, show 2,315 people with learning difficulties and/or autism in England are still being detained in mental health hospitals.Calls to address the scandal of people with learning difficulties living “inappropriately” in long-stay institutions date back at least as far as the 1940s – more than 70 years – to when the National Council for Civil Liberties launched a campaign against eugenicist laws that led at their peak to the institutionalisation of more than 50,000 people in long-stay hospitals.A series of scandals through the late 1960s and 1970s highlighted concerns similar to those raised by File on Four, with inquiries reporting cruel ill-treatment, inhumane and threatening behaviour towards patients (at Ely Hospital), the “harmful over-use of drugs” (Farleigh Hospital) and the use of tranquilisers and “side-rooms” – or solitary confinement facilities – at South Ockendon Hospital.Disabled activist Simone Aspis (pictured), director of the consultancy Changing Perspectives, who campaigns to free disabled people from ATUs and other institutions, welcomed the CQC review but said there needed to be a “proper root and branch review of legislation”, and that it needed to lead to “action”.She said: “It is the legislation that allows ATUs to exist and oppress and treat disabled people as inhuman and treat them like animals.“Feeding people through a hatch. What is that if not treating someone like an animal?“It is the existence of ATUs, the power entrusted within them by the state.”She said that whether the review had an impact would depend on “how much are they really going to listen to the voices of people with autism”.She pointed out that poor practice and the institutionalisation of disabled people had persisted, seven years after Winterbourne View, allowing “easy detainment of people with learning difficulties and autism”.Aspis, who is a member of EHRC’s disability advisory committee, but was speaking in a personal capacity, said she hoped EHRC would do something at a “much more fundamental level, with much more robustness” than she believed CQC would be able to.She pointed to EHRC’s draft strategic plan for 2019-22, which has as one of its “priority aims” improving the rules on “entry into detention and conditions in institutions”.Aspis said: “You can welcome [the CQC review] but is it going to say anything more than we know already?“What we need is some serious action around closing these places down.“As long as there are alternatives there, there is always an alternative to providing homes for people in the community.“So the government has to say that these places need to be shut down and that the intensive care and support needs to be provided in people’s homes.”She added: “Often people with learning difficulties end up being institutionalised because of the inadequacy of the support provided for people with learning difficulties and autism within the community.”Aspis is currently working with two disabled people who are trying to secure their release from ATUs.She said: “A lot of patients feel scared of speaking out and seeking support because they are concerned about the implications. There are a lot of disempowered people.”Dr Paul Lelliott, CQC’s deputy chief inspector of hospitals and its lead for mental health, said: “There is understandable public concern about the use of prolonged seclusion and long-term segregation on people with mental health problems, learning disabilities or autism. “It is vital that services minimise the use of all forms of restrictive practice and that providers and commissioners work together to find alternative, and less restrictive, care arrangements for people who are subject to seclusion or segregation. “Failure to do this has the potential to amount to inhuman and degrading treatment of some of the most vulnerable people in our society.“The secretary of state for health and social care has requested that the Care Quality Commission undertake a thematic review of this issue and we are now considering how we will take forward this important work.” A note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…last_img read more

Fallen Giants Iconic Companies That Disappeared

first_imgImage credit: Roadsidepictures via Flickr Along with Best Buy, this electronics retailer was where you went to pick up the latest and greatest gadget through much of the 1990s. As online shopping took off, though, things began to falter. And bad retail locations and questionable business moves (like abandoning its lucrative appliance-sales business and partnering exclusively with Verizon for mobile phone sales) led to bankruptcy.Officials tried to secure a buyer but were unable to do so, forcing the company to lay off 30,000 employees and liquidate its stores in 2009.Related: Martha Stewart: It’s all about branding Once America’s second-largest shipbuilder and steel producer, Bethlehem Steel was beginning its decline in the late ’80s, as the U.S. transitioned away from industrial manufacturing (amid lower labor costs in other countries).But the thought of the company that built the Golden Gate Bridge going away entirely was still something few considered. It gave up shibuilding in 1997, and in 2001 the company was forced to file for bankruptcy, weighed down in part by spiraling pension and health-care costs as workers were laid off. Two years later International Steel Group bought what was left.Related: Business titans disclose their biggest mistakes –shares 4 min read CNBC In the early days of the personal computer, Compaq was a premier name, and by the mid-’90s it was the country’s largest supplier of PC systems. By the end of that decade, though, it was suffering from product-quality issues and wasn’t able to keep up with the rapidly changing industry.Lower-cost competitors, like Dell, began capturing the attention of consumers—and the collapse of the dot-com bubble didn’t help matters, as demand for the company’s high-end systems evaporated. In 2002 the company agreed to merge with Hewlett-Packard, and the Compaq name slowly evaporated.Related: Secrets of success from business titans Compaq This story originally appeared on CNBC Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Image credit: Gwydion M. Williams via Flickr Amoco The business landscape has changed significantly in the past 25 years—not only in how we work but also with whom we work. It’s sometimes easy to forget that king of the hill isn’t a permanent position, and companies that seem invincible might not be around forever in their current form—or, in some cases, any form. Icons fall, and here are some of the names we took for granted in 1989 that have since faded away. Bethlehem Steel Fallen Giants: Iconic Companies That Disappeared Lehman Brothers May 2, 2014 Circuit City The oil company that started in 1910 was a giant in 1989. It was a leader in the lead-free gas movement and became the largest natural-gas producer in North America in the late ’90s. Amoco never saw significant financial troubles: In 1997 the company earned $2.7 billion on revenue of $36.3 billion. But in 1998 it merged with British Petroleum in a $61 billion deal. Existing service stations were rebranded under the BP name, and the Amoco brand slowly dissolved.  Image credit: Christopher S. Penn via Flickr Add to Queue Image credit: Minale Tattersfield Roadside Retail via Flickr Brands Image credit: yum9me via Flickr Next Article Once the fourth-largest investment bank in the country, Lehman’s 2008 bankruptcy filing was the largest in U.S. history, with the firm holding more than $600 billion in assets. It was something that seemed unthinkable just a few years prior, but weighed down by toxic housing assets and unable to find a buyer, the company ended up playing a significant role in the global financial crisis.After the bankruptcy filing, Barclays bought the company’s North American division for just $1.75 billion, with Nomura Holdings taking over the Asia-Pacific, European and Middle Eastern operations.To see the rest of this article, go to CNBC. Image credit: Alexander Rabb via Flickr Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Register Now »last_img read more

Microsoft Retreats in Smartphone Battle Laying Off More Than a Thousand

first_img Add to Queue Reuters This story originally appeared on Reuters Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Microsoft Register Now » Next Article –sharescenter_img 3 min read Microsoft Corp. announced more big cuts to its smartphone business on Wednesday, just two years after it bought handset maker Nokia in an ill-fated attempt to take on market leaders Apple and Samsung.The U.S. company said it would shed up to 1,850 jobs, most of them in Finland, and write down $950 million from the business. It did not say how many employees currently work on smartphones in the group as a whole.A Finnish union representative told Reuters the cuts would essentially put an end to Microsoft’s development of new phones.”My understanding is that Windows 10 will go on as an operating system, but there will be no more phones made by Microsoft,” said Kalle Kiili, a shop steward.Microsoft said in a statement it would continue to develop the Windows 10 platform and support its Lumia smartphones, but gave no comment on whether it would develop new Windows phones. Microsoft bought Nokia’s once-dominant handset business for about $7.2 billion in 2014, but failed to turn the business around and last year announced $7.5 billion of writedowns and 7,800 job cuts.Global market share of Windows smartphones fell below 1 percent in the first quarter of 2016, according to research firm Gartner. Earlier this month, Microsoft sold its entry-level feature phones business for $350 million.The company said on Wednesday it expected to cut all 1,350 jobs at its Finnish mobile phone unit and close down a research and development site in the country. A further 500 jobs will go in other countries, it said, without giving details.”We are focusing our phone efforts where we have differentiation,” said chief executive Satya Nadella in a statement.”We will continue to innovate across devices and on our cloud services across all mobile platforms.”Nokia dominated around 40 percent of the world’s mobile phone industry in 2008 before it was eclipsed by the rise of touch-screen smartphones.As a result, Nokia and Microsoft have slashed thousands of Finnish jobs over the past decade, and the lack of substitute jobs is the main reason for the country’s current economic stagnation.”We have a very difficult situation at hand… We must quickly secure that new jobs can be found and created,” Economy Minister Olli Rehn told a news conference.Nokia, now focused on telecom network equipment, just last week said it was cutting around 1,000 jobs in Finland following its acquisition of Franco-American rival Alcatel-Lucent.(By Jussi Rosendahl and Tuomas Forsell; Editing by Mark Potter and Adrian Croft) Microsoft Retreats in Smartphone Battle, Laying Off More Than a Thousand May 25, 2016 Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Image credit: Reuters | Pichi Chuanglast_img read more

New Research Reveals More Than Half of Marketers Are Not Delivering the

first_imgVennli’s “Optimize Content Marketing Performance Through Active Audience Listening” Whitepaper, in Partnership with the Content Marketing Institute, Highlights Obstacles Marketers Face in Executing Planned StrategiesVennli, a content intelligence platform, announces the release of its “Optimize Content Marketing Performance Through Active Audience Listening” whitepaper. The whitepaper, in partnership with the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), uncovers the challenges marketers face with technology, content strategy and lack of confidence in planning new content.According to 2019 survey results, 60 percent of respondents say their organization has a documented content management strategy in place. This is in comparison to last year’s survey where only 43 percent of those surveyed had a documented strategy for managing content in place. While the increase in content strategy is positive, many marketers are unable to implement these strategies. Almost half (48 percent) of the respondents shared that their typical approach to content is “project-focused,” meaning they create content in response to internal requests, instead of in alignment with a planned strategy. In fact, only 22 percent of marketers build content around buyer personas and less than 15 percent align content to the customer journey.Marketing Technology News: Media.net Donates Code To IAB Tech Lab To Promote Open Transparent Marketplaces“It’s clear that companies know what message they want to convey to their target audiences,” said Marty Muse, CEO at Vennli. “However, what they want to say versus what their customers want to hear doesn’t always match. Incorporating solutions, like content intelligence, can confirm the right messages at the right time at the right place so that marketing teams no longer have to guess.”In addition to the inability to implement content strategies, marketers’ confidence in delivering the right content is not as strong as one would think. When asked about whether their organization is delivering the right content to the right person at the right time, 51 percent of respondents either remained neutral or disagreed. Only 10 percent of respondents felt strongly they were delivering the right content.Marketing Technology News: New Soda Study Reveals Significant Increase in Customer Personalization Budgets Despite Lag in Capabilities“What the research revealed is that today’s marketers are too busy managing content to manage content well,” said Robert Rose, chief strategy officer at CMI. “Many marketers know exactly what they want to say only because they are reacting to internal content requests from other parts of the business. But they, unfortunately, don’t know what audiences want to hear, because they haven’t implemented listening strategies to truly understand their customer’s needs.”Data for the report was collected during the months of January and February of 2019. CMI surveyed 250 marketers to learn more about their approaches to managing content. Qualified respondents were those who indicated 1) their organization takes a strategic approach to managing content and 2) they are involved with some aspect of strategic content management in their organization. Agencies and consultants were excluded.Marketing Technology News: Madison Logic Unveils New Data Cloud to Accelerate ABM for B2B Organizations Globally content marketingContent Marketing InstituteMarketing TechnologyMarty MuseNewsVennli Previous Article23% of Global Domains Targeted by Cyber-Attacks, Says MarkMonitorNext ArticleBrainshark Wins in The American Business Awards for 8th Year in a Row New Research Reveals More Than Half of Marketers Are Not Delivering the Right Content PRNewswireMay 8, 2019, 6:44 pmMay 8, 2019 last_img read more

Almost 9000 children and teens died from opioid poisonings in over two

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 31 2018Nearly 9,000 children and adolescents died from opioid poisonings with prescription and illicit drugs between 1999 and 2016 based on an analysis of national data.The death rate almost tripled over that time to nearly 1 per 100,000 based on the data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Prescription opioids were implicated in 73 percent of the deaths (6,561) and most of the deaths were unintentional (nearly 81 percent). The majority of deaths were among non-Hispanic white males but over time non-Hispanic black children accounted for a larger proportion of the deaths. The highest annual death rates during the 18 years examined in the study were among teens 15 to 19, with heroin implicated in nearly 1,900 deaths. The study relied on data from death certificates so the potential for misclassification of cause and manner of death exists. Researchers urge lawmakers, public health officials, clinicians and parents to implement protective measures to address the growing public health problem. Source:https://media.jamanetwork.com/news-item/study-details-opioid-poisoning-deaths-among-children-teens-over-two-decades/last_img read more

Insider QA Mozilla exec says to demand better internet

first_img Citation: Insider Q&A: Mozilla exec says to demand better internet (2018, May 28) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-insider-qa-mozilla-exec-demand.html Firefox Reality beckons our browser future © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Q: What data does Mozilla have?A: For many years we tried to collect absolutely nothing, thinking that was the best way to ensure privacy and security. We shifted in the last few years. But the spirit of the (EU) law, Mozilla’s always been trying to meet. The data we do have is mostly about our own product. We don’t sell it. We’re not monetizing against it.Q: How is Firefox doing?A: There’s no question that for a few years, (Google) Chrome has beaten us. They had the newest generation of technology, and it showed. Once you’ve got a product out, it’s hard to change something so deep in the guts. But we found a way to do it.As of November, with our Firefox Quantum release, we have the technical crown again. It’s not easy to reach consumers about it because you get used to the browsers you’re using, but we do have some reaction.Q: What’s Mozilla’s approach to virtual reality and augmented reality?A: Our vision is that thing we used to call the web. Send a link, and anyone can click on that. That seems obvious. But that’s not how AR and VR are today, where you have to pick (a system). If I want to see that content, I have to move to the next closed system. We’re trying to make it interoperable so developers really have a chance to do something new and consumers like us can find and see what we want. The manifesto Mitchell Baker wrote for the free software community Mozilla declared the internet to be a global public resource and privacy a fundamental right that “must not be treated as optional.” Explore furthercenter_img In this May 14, 2018, file photo, Mitchell Baker attends the 22nd Annual Webby Awards at Cipriani Wall Street in New York. The manifesto Baker wrote for the free software community Mozilla declared the internet to be a global public resource and privacy a fundamental right that “must not be treated as optional.” Twenty years later Baker says she’s on a mission to reassert those principles and update them for an era when online privacy, rational discourse and verifiable information seem elusive. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File) This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. In this May 14, 2018, file photo, Mitchell Baker attends the 22nd Annual Webby Awards at Cipriani Wall Street in New York. The manifesto Baker wrote for the free software community Mozilla declared the internet to be a global public resource and privacy a fundamental right that “must not be treated as optional.” Twenty years later Baker says she’s on a mission to reassert those principles and update them for an era when online privacy, rational discourse and verifiable information seem elusive. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File) Twenty years later, as executive chairwoman and “chief lizard wrangler” of the Mozilla Foundation, Baker says she’s on a mission to reassert those principles and update them for an era when online privacy, rational discourse and verifiable information seem elusive. She’s also working to refresh interest in Mozilla’s flagship product, the Firefox browser.Baker spoke with The Associated Press on the sidelines of MIT’s Solve conference. Questions and comments have been edited for length and clarity.Q: How did you come up with “Demand better of the internet” as your five-word acceptance speech for the Webby Awards’ Lifetime Achievement Award?A: I thought of one that was wildly aspirational—”global, safe, trustworthy, open internet”— but felt that didn’t capture some of what’s in the air right now—how the internet can amplify good things but also anti-social behavior. I thought it would be good to acknowledge that.Q: What do you think of Europe’s new, stricter data rules?A: As a signal that some set of societies will take action, they’re extremely helpful. The options are to do nothing and hope that things resolve themselves. Or take action, as the European Union has, knowing that some things will work and others won’t, but that we must take a stand as a society that the current path of commercial enterprise is unacceptable.last_img read more

UK watchdog fines child care company for selling data

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Britain’s information watchdog has fined a firm that offers advice on pregnancy and child care 140,000 pounds ($180,000) for illegally collecting and selling personal information that ended up being used in a database for the Labour Party. Citation: UK watchdog fines child care company for selling data (2018, August 9) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-08-uk-watchdog-fines-child-company.html The Information Commissioner’s Office said Lifecycle Marketing (Mother and Baby) Ltd, also known as Emma’s Diary, sold the information on 1 million people to Experian Marketing Services. Experian created a database to help the Labour Party profile new mothers before Britain’s 2017 general election.The case is part of ongoing investigations into the use of data for political purposes.”Even though this company was not directly involved in political campaigning, the democratic process must be transparent,” Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said in a statement. “All organizations involved in political campaigning must use personal information in ways that are transparent, lawful and understood by the UK public.”The Information Commissioner’s Office said the company’s privacy policies didn’t disclose that the data would be used for political marketing or by political parties. Lifecycle Marketing said it “never previously provided data to a political party” and would “never do so again.””We are sorry that on this isolated occasion our interpretation of the Data Protection Act has not been in line with the ICO’s,” the company said. UK regulator investigating Facebook over political campaigning © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Explore furtherlast_img read more

Olympic broadcasters gear up for the biggest show on earth

first_img Citation: Olympic broadcasters gear up for the biggest show on earth (2018, December 2) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-12-olympic-gear-biggest-earth.html London 2012 to be broadcast in 3D © 2018 AFP Yiannis Exarchos, CEO of the OBS, says the Olympics were becoming a burden for host broadcasters “During the games we employ a team of more than 7,000 professionals coming from 90 different countries, we have 1,000 cameras, hundreds of thousands of kilometres of cables,” says Exarchos.”This started to become a big burden for the organising committee as the Games grew bigger and more complex. “As early as the Games of Atlanta (1996), it was made clear that the IOC should do something to support the cities.” One hundred and sixty people work at the OBS headquarters in Madrid For most people, it is not actually a particularly significant milestone but for 160 people of 35 nationalities beavering away in a building overlooking a highway in Madrid, the pressure of organising the biggest television show on earth just went up a notch.These are the people of the Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS), a wing of the International Olympic Committee responsible since 2008 for providing the pictures of every competition which are beamed around the world.The size of the audience is phenomenal as is the money that is generated. Over five billion viewers tuned in for the last Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 as opposed to 3.4 billion for this year’s football World Cup.Television stations from around the world have dished out more than six billion dollars for the rights to the Games in Tokyo—broadcasting the event is a complex, lucrative business managed from the Spanish capital.”Preparing and planning for the games is an ongoing function, so as we speak we are obviously very close to the finalisation of our plans for Tokyo,” says Yiannis Exarchos, the imposing Greek boss of the OBS.”But we have already started quite detailed planning for the winter games in Beijing (2022) and we have already started engaging with Paris (2024) and Los Angeles (2028).”A ‘burden’ on host citiesThe first time pictures were beamed live from the Olympics was Berlin in 1936. It wasn’t until the 1964 Games, also in Tokyo, that pictures went live around the world.Back then it was the responsibility of the host nation to provide the coverage and that is how it stayed until 2008. The Olympic Broadcasting Services are close to finalising plans for Tokyo 2020 Explore further Clock-watching is an integral part of any Olympic Games but even the most eagle-eyed sporting anoraks might be forgiven for missing the fact that Sunday marks 600 days until the start of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. So it was that the IOC created OBS in 2001 to provide coverage of all Olympic and Paralympic Games.InfrastructureBeijing 2008 marked the OBS’ first outing and it comes as no surprise to discover that Sotiris Salamouris, who is in charge of technology at OBS, was back in Beijing last month to discuss the next Winter Olympics in 2022. “We need to have a good number of discussions with the organising committee in terms of the infrastructures they need to make available for us,” says Salamouris. “The IBC, that is the priority.” The IBC is the International Broadcast Centre, a bustling hub set up in each host city where television channels from all over the world get the signal from OBS to broadcast back home.”We need to work quite early with the organising committee to find this facility, to secure it, to agree about timelines, additional works necessary.”This is what we have begun with Paris,” says Salamouris looking ahead already to the Summer Olympics of 2024.Given that the IOC is based in Lausanne, it may raise an eyebrow to see that the OBS is centred in Madrid. “It does not come from heaven, it comes from (Manolo) Romero,” jokes IOC member Juan Antonio Samaranch Salisachs whose father served 21 years as president of the IOC.A Spaniard and in charge of radio and television coverage of the Games since Mexico in 1968, Romero was appointed head of OBS when it was created and insisted on the headquarters being in Madrid, where he lived.’Lifeline’ for sport”Major sports events remain the holy grail of broadcasting,” says Exarchos.Demand for television rights is constantly on the increase, and this, he points out, will continue with the emergence of new digital players in the market.”Ninety percent of the TV rights go for the support of the Olympic movement and the development of sport,” he says.The IOC keeps the rest.”The funding that comes from the television rights of the Games is a lifeline for the support of sports.” “The vast majority of the sports which are in the Olympic programme would have a hard time surviving if it were not for revenues coming from the rights.”And with that, Exarchos returns to work, ticking off another day on the road to Tokyo. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Assam NRC is fair objective Rajnath tells Rajya SabhaAssam NRC is fair

first_img COMMENT SHARE Published on RELATED BJP intensifies attack on Mamata over NRC issue Opposition ups the ante against RS Chairman SHARE SHARE EMAIL politics TMC delegation leave Assam after overnight detention August 03, 2018 Rajya Sabha No Indian citizen will be left out from the register, says Home Minister The ruckus in the Rajya Sabha over Assam’s National Register of Citizens seems to have ended on Friday after a reply by Home Minister Rajnath Singh. Chairman of the Rajya Sabha M Venkaiah Naidu allowed members from both sides to ask clarifications to Singh’s statement on the issue, an indication that elders may not press for a further debate on the matter next week in the House.Singh told the Upper House that the process of NRC was objective and no Indian citizen will be left out from the register. “The whole process (adopted for NRC) is fair and objective. There has not been any discrimination. I want to assure that there will not be any discrimination in future as well. It is not fair if someone makes such allegations,” Singh said.He said an atmosphere of fear has been created on the issue and it was unfortunate. “Some confusion has been created through some people. Propaganda has been carried out through vested interest on social media to internationalise the issue and disturb the communal harmony,” he said. “Certain people are trying to create communal disharmony and this should not be done.” ‘SC is monitoring’He reiterated that it is not the final NRC. “The process has been done under the observation of the Supreme Court,” he said.The issue was taken up in the Lok Sabha too. Singh said there that Trinamool Congress MPs created an “unruly situation” at the Silchar airport and said they were detained following a report by the intelligence that their presence could create a law and order situation. “The Assam government had some information and based on intelligence inputs… In view of the prevailing law and order situation and to ensure the situation does not deteriorate, TMC MPs were detained at the Silchar airport,” Singh said.Trinamool’s member Kalyan Banerjee raised the issue in the Lok Sabha and said six MPs were manhandled just for visiting Assam to assess a situation. “Is this not undeclared Emergency in the country? During the Emergency also people had freedom of movement. Election is coming. Everyone is preparing for that. Are you nervous because of the unity of Opposition?” he asked.Singh replied: “The kind of respect that should be shown to a public representative, similar respect was shown to TMC MPs. With folded hands the District Magistrate requested them to return. But without paying heed to the request, the MPs got into shoving in which two women security personnel also got hurt.” In the Rajya Sabha, Trinamool’s leader Derek O’Brien maintained that the matter was not just limited to Assam but was a national issue. “What is the real voice of the government? What Home Minister says here or what BJP President says outside? We need to know the real voice. We are hearing two voices,” he said. RAJNATH SINGH, Home Minister   –  PTI COMMENTSlast_img read more

Commission for farmers proposal for badbank may figure in Oppositions CMP

first_imgCOMMENTS SHARE SHARE EMAIL politics SHARE Published on agriculture February 19, 2019 COMMENT Formal discussions among Opposition leaders on drafting a common minimum programme for the elections are yet to start, but informal parleys based on a document — the People’s Progressive Agenda for India — are on, sources say. The document, prepared by Samruddha Bharat Foundation, has the blessings of almost all Opposition leaders and some of them reportedly participated in its drafting.Opposition’s campaign A document on the key themes of the Opposition’s campaign — distress of farmers and unemployment — a copy of which is with BusinessLine, suggests setting up of a farmers’ commission to roll out special packages supporting labour-incentive industries. Sources in the Opposition parties told BusinessLine that several of the suggestions may find a place in the common minimum programme that is likely to be released soon. The document said the proposed farmers’ commission should strive to ensure that farmers’ incomes are first protected and then augmented. It should also function as a debt-relief commission to arbitrate between banks, insurance companies and farmers. The Commission will also ensure enhanced public investment on agriculture research, rural infrastructure and irrigation.Pointing out that food processing, leather and footwear, furniture, textiles, apparel and garment industries account 62 per cent of total manufacturing employment, the document recommended special packages for them to meet the growing domestic and export demands. The document also called for synergy between industrial and trade policy as China is vacating many labour-intensive sectors in export-oriented manufacturing. It recommended the Centre to increase financial allocation to cluster development programmes through a new central scheme.It has also called for framing the National Urban Employment Guarantee Scheme, on the lines of MGNREGA, to address underemployment and low wages in the informal urban sector. The document recommended a national commission on education to allocate resources and monitor programmes. This will help reverse the trend of communalisation of education, it added.Banking sectorRecommending urgent policy reforms in the banking sector, the document said the country will have to seriously consider the feasibility of a “bad-bank,” which can “quickly clean up the banking system to resume lending.” last_img read more

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The device may also be able to measure a user’s blood oxygen level. read more