first_imgTune in to President Clinton’s Facebook page tomorrow, August 7, at 12:30 PM EST/9:30 AM PST for a live conversation from South Africa.Embrace Tomorrow with Bill ClintonPresident Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, and Professor Njabulo S. Ndebele of the Nelson Mandela Foundation will lead an interactive dialogue from Pretoria about how we can all take action to change the world for the better – inspired by Nelson Mandela’s belief in the possibility of tomorrow.You can watch live on and ask questions using the hashtag #EmbraceTmrw.The event will also feature African change makers who are working to take positive action and give back to their communities: Kave Bulambo, Director and Founder, Women Across Borders; Zethu Ngceza, External Relations Coordinator, Ubuntu Education Fund; Shaka Sisulu, Founder of Cheesekids; Hadeel Ibrahim, Founding Executive Director, Mo Ibrahim Foundation; James Mwangi, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Equity Bank; and Strive Masiyiwa, Founder and Chairman, Econet Wireless.Please submit questions and share how you’re changing the world for the better using the hashtag #EmbraceTmrw – on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – before, during, and after the event.last_img read more

first_imgLOS ANGELES — Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk is set to unveil an underground transportation tunnel on Tuesday that could move people faster than subways.Musk also plans to show off the autonomous cars that will carry people through the test tunnel, which runs about 2 miles (3.2 kilometres) under the streets of Hawthorne, California, Musk’s SpaceX headquarters. He’s also planning to unveil elevators he says will bring users’ own cars from street level to the tunnel.Tuesday’s reveal comes almost two years to the day since Musk announced on Twitter that “traffic is driving me nuts” and he was “going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging.”“I am actually going to do this,” he added in response to initial skepticism.So began The Boring Company, tongue in cheek intentional. Since the announcement, Musk has revealed a handful of photos and videos of the tunnel’s progress.The tunnel, meant to be a “proof of concept,” is being used to help Musk and The Boring Company conduct research and development for a broader system in traffic-plagued Los Angeles and beyond.One, known as the Dugout Loop , would take Los Angeles baseball fans to Dodger Stadium from one of three subway stations. Another would take travellers from downtown Chicago to O’Hare International Airport. Both projects are in the environmental review phase.The Boring Company cancelled its plans for another test tunnel on Los Angeles’ west side last month after a neighbourhood coalition filed a lawsuit expressing concerns about traffic and disruptions from trucks hauling out dirt during the boring process.Musk has described a system in which vehicles would descend via elevators into tunnels and move on electrically powered platforms called skates. Up to 16 pedestrians and bicyclists could board autonomous vehicles also travelling on the skates as fast as 150 mph (240 kph).“Once fully operational (demo system rides will be free), the system will always give priority to pods for pedestrians & cyclists for less than the cost of a bus ticket,” Musk tweeted in May.For the privately funded test tunnel, Musk acquired a tunnel-boring machine that had been used in a San Francisco Bay Area project and put it down a shaft in a parking lot at the SpaceX headquarters.Musk’s vision for the underground tunnels, known as loop, is not the same as another of his transportation concepts known as hyperloop. That would involve a network of nearly airless tubes that would speed special capsules over long distances at up to 750 mph (1,200) kph), using a thin cushion of air, magnetism and solar power.The loop system is designed for shorter routes that wouldn’t require the elimination of air friction, according to The Boring Company.The company says on its website that the reason such a system hasn’t been done before is that tunnels can be as expensive as $1 billion a mile to dig. But by using the skates to transport cars, which reduces the size of the tunnels needed by about half, thus reducing the cost to build them by up to four times, the company says.Amanda Lee Myers, The Associated Presslast_img read more

21 February 2007Slovakia’s foreign minister today called for the United Nations to sustain its focus on how to help countries consolidate stability, carrying out further work to foster positive change. Since security practices are “better explored on the ground,” Foreign Minister Ján Kubiš of Slovakia, which holds the revolving Security Council presidency this month, told reporters at UN Headquarters that his country plans to hold workshops in Africa which “would look into lessons learned and experiences from concrete peacekeeping operations.”To be conducted jointly with South Africa, these studies would investigate the experiences of several countries emerging from war to ascertain deficiencies, such as insufficient funding and lack of national commitment, in maintaining security.The more attention paid to security sector reform, he said, “the better for the stability and for the control of the development” of the post-conflict country. Mr. Kubis, who spoke at Tuesday’s open debate at the Security Council on security sector reform, said the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is one likely candidate which will be studied jointly by Slovakia and South Africa.In a statement at the end of the day-long debate, Ambassador Peter Burian of Slovakia said that the 15-member body “stresses that reforming the security sector in post-conflict environments is critical to the consolidation of peace and stability, promoting poverty reduction, rule of law and good governance, extending legitimate state authority and preventing countries from relapsing into conflict.”Mr. Burian also pointed out that any reforms made in the sector will not impinge on the sovereignty of any State, and that the Council recognizes that it is the “primary responsibility of the country concerned to determine the national approach and priorities of security sector reform.” read more

Live Events, the company which staged the Enrique Iglesias concert in Sri Lanka, was in December temporarily blacklisted over the failure to pay an entertainment tax of Rs. 29 Million. The organisers of the Enrique Iglesias Concert staged in Colombo last year have been issued notice and ordered to appear in court by the Colombo District Court.Live Events have been ordered to appear in court on April 26 to respond to a petition filed by agitated fans of the concert. Former Cricketers Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena who are the board members of Live Events Sri Lanka, had earlier called for an internal inquiry into the shortcomings at the Enrique Iglesias concert staged in Colombo and had also decided to compensate the fans.Sangakkara and Jayawardena said in a joint statement that the organizers were in agreement, with their direction, that such shortcomings must not be tolerated. (Colombo Gazette) The Colombo Municipal Council had said the company will remain blacklisted till the payment is made. read more

first_imgONE OF THE world’s most revered names, Mandela has also become a money-spinning brand that some fear may be abused and devalued by the very people supposed to protect it – his heirs.The man hailed for his selflessness and sacrifice had pointedly stated during his lifetime that he did not wish to be linked to commercial products.Yet in the last months of his life, feuds broke out among his close associates and family members over using the Mandela name to sell everything from wine to art – at times grabbing such attention the spats threatened to overshadow reflections on the great man himself.In financial terms, experts expect the Mandela brand to shoot through the roof in the months after the death of the revered statesman.“It is only natural that now, when the inevitable laws of nature have taken the first democratically-elected South African president from our midst, people want to have at least a small token as a reminder of the great man,” Jaco Jonker, chief executive officer of the online auction site bidorbuy, told AFP.T-shirts, flags, caps and badges bearing the Mandela likeness and name have been selling wildly at sidewalk stalls since Mandela – also lovingly known as Tata (father) and Madiba (his clan name) – died on 5 December, aged 95.Book sales have soared, and the bidorbuy online auction site reported a “phenomenal” rise in demand for Mandela-related products – with 378 items sold on each of the first three days after his death, compared to a usual daily average of about 60.Who owns the rights to Mandela image and name?Who owns the rights on products bearing the Mandela image or name, however, is somewhat of a grey zone.The Nelson Mandela Foundation, a charity created by the revered statesman, has 18 registered trademarks “to provide a legal instrument for acting against inappropriate use of Madiba’s name and image”, Verne Harris, head of the foundation’s Centre of Memory, told AFP.“The primary rationale for the registrations is… to prevent commercial exploitation.”South Africa’s Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office has 130 enterprises listed, including Lattelicious Mandela Square (a Johannesburg coffee shop), Mandela Auto Body Parts, Mandela Clothing, and Mandela Poultry Cooperative Limited.And then there are the dozens of roads, buildings, bridges, parks, schools and shopping malls, even a city – Mandela Bay in the Eastern Cape – that carry the famous name.Impossible to protect name completelyBranding expert Jeremy Sampson says it is impossible to protect a name absolutely, and suggested efforts to do so had been “a little slow to begin with”.“Certain things have been organised and set up that carry his mandate, but other things were set up by members of his family the he or his lawyers have been unable to control,” said Sampson.“It is a murky world at the moment,” he added.One key point that is not legally clear is what rights Mandela’s more than 30 children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren have to use the registered name that is also their own.And what about the ruling African National Congress with whom his name is intrinsically linked – an association presumably worth a few votes?Airing of dirty laundryIn recent months, some members of the Mandela family have sought to cash in on the brand, leading to much airing of dirty laundry.Two of the icon’s daughters sought to wrest control from four Mandela confidants of two investment firms created to channel proceeds from the sale of Mandela handprints to his family.The prints, produced between 2004 and 2005, were reportedly sold to celebrities for over €1.2 million.The daughters later abandoned their bid.There was also an argument involving grandson Mandla Mandela, who accused his aunts of trying to gain control of the Mandela millions.Mandla, in turn, moved the remains of his late father and two other relatives to Mvezo, Mandela’s birthplace and where Mandela is tribal chief, in a bid, his family claimed, to try and force the statesman’s burial there to cash in on the ensuing tourism.Forced by court orderMandla was forced by a court order to return the remains to Qunu, where Mandela grew up and where he had expressed a wish to be buried.Qunu, where the statesman was finally laid to rest last Sunday, already has a Mandela museum.Harris has previously said that Mandela wanted to avoid all commercial exploitation of his name.The guidelines included things like ‘I don’t want my face on commercial products, I do not want to be associated with tobacco, alcohol’, and so on.Yet a Mandela daughter and granddaughter have launched a range of expensive wines, named “House of Mandela”, that they claim honours his memory.Two other granddaughters are the stars of a television reality show called Being Mandela, and yet others launched the Long Walk to Freedom clothing line after the title of their forefather’s autobiography.Many fear the fight for Mandela’s name, and his assets, will intensify after the mourning period passes.“I think his family has already done a lot of damage to his name,” said Sampson.“Reputation impacts on the brand, and vice versa.”- © AFP, 2013last_img read more

first_imgStay on target Before we go any further: It’s not aliens. That said, scientists have detected some rather strange radio signals from over three billion light-years away. These bursts are known as Fast Radio Bursts, and they are extremely powerful, but very short-lived. Discovered relatively recently, no one is yet quite sure what causes them, but these bursts are some of our best data yet.Breakthrough Listen, a project that scans the skies for possible signs of extraterrestrial intelligence, observed 15 FRBs in a repeating pulse just Monday. The signals originate from FRB 121102, a dwarf galaxy that has been under observation since at least 2012, specifically for these types of radio waves.What makes them odd is that they repeat, but without any recognizable pattern. That, combined with the fact these signals are very powerful (and would have to be to be detectable three billion light-years off), mean that single-source events like stellar explosions are unlikely.The running hypothesis at this point is that the signals could be caused by magnetars, or very special neutron stars that wield tremendous magnetic fields.Chair of the Harvard Astronomy Department, Avi Loeb told Gizmodo: “The conservative explanation for repeating FRBs is that they originate from a spinning neutron star which acts as a lighthouse. Its beam of radiation is sweeping across the sky again and again because the star is subject to some external force that jolts it around. The circumstances must be different from a pulsar where the beam…is visible to the observer with an exact periodicity. FRBs appear to repeat in a non-periodic fashion. Moreover, FRBs are ten billion times brighter than pulsars, so the neutron star must be special, possibly very young (10-100 years old) and with a very strong magnetic field, producing much more powerful radiation than a typical pulsar.”Loeb laments that it is at least possible that aliens are involved, but that that’s a dangerous conclusion to jump to. Moreover, with such an old signal it’d be almost impossible to find or communicate with these hypothetical extraterrestrials — even if they did exist.Researchers have more than 400 terabytes of data to pore through, though, and the hope is that since Breakthrough Listen got so much and such high-quality data, we may yet have some answers. For now, all we can say is that there’s really exciting new data about a celestial mystery that no one has managed to solve. It’s important to stress, though, that we haven’t discovered aliens. Given how excitable and alarmist much of science reporting can be, over the next few days, you’ll no doubt hear some claims to the contrary. At one time pulsars themselves were called “LGMs” or “little green men” because, at the time, no one knew that anything natural would produce the kinds of precise, repeating patterns we observe emanating from these bizarre stars. And yet, here we are. Now we know that they are not, in fact, aliens, and just another weird quirk of our magical universe.One day we will, in fact, find aliens. But today almost certainly isn’t that day.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. NASA Says 2 Asteroids Will Safely Fly By Earth This WeekendHubble Captures Saturn’s ‘Phonograph Record’ Ring System last_img read more

first_img Google+ Twitter WWE Hall of Famer Trish Stratus confirmed for WWE Smackdown premiere on FOX WWE Smackdown Live takes place tonight from Toledo, Ohio.Advertised for tonight is the WWE Championship celebration for new champion Jinder Mahal, Smackdown Commissioner Shane McMahon making a Money in the Bank announcement and Charlotte and Becky Lynch vs. The Welcoming will have live coverage of Smackdown Live tonight at 8:00 p.m. ET. Facebook Pinterestcenter_img WhatsApp Wrestleview Weekly: Predictions for tonight’s Clash of Champions event in Charlotte WWE Draft confirmed to be taking place as a two-night event starting on October 11 Jason Namako RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHORlast_img read more

first_imgMIAMI (WSVN) – Police are searching for the person who robbed a CVS Pharmacy in Miami, Tuesday.The man entered the CVS Pharmacy located along West Flagler Street and Northwest 37th Avenue, pulled a handgun on the employee and demanded money before taking off.No injuries were reported in the robbery.If you have any information on this armed robbery, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img

first_imgGermany pours cold water on Greece deal105 views00:00 / 00:00- 00:00:0000:00Germany pours cold water on Greece deal105 viewsBusinessNot good enough – Germany’s response to Greece’s request for a six month loan extension. Athens offered up major concessions but ran into strong objections from the EU paymaster. The German financeVentuno Web Player 4.50Not good enough – Germany’s response to Greece’s request for a six month loan extension. Athens offered up major concessions but ran into strong objections from the EU paymaster. The German financelast_img

first_imgWe read a book, we love the book. We google it,  we read every back story possible, we watch films/TV shows made on the book, we obsess day and night over it and we go over endless debates and discussions over the plot of the story, about characters, there are a hundred fantasies about the characters. The internet has given rise to the fandoms (fan-kingdoms for those who are not aware) and these are boys and girls (though age hardly matters in such things) who are a little too much in love with their favourite books or writers. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’There are endless groups and chat rooms, and Facebook pages and tumbler posts where the fandom meets to discuss, debate and even fight with other fandoms. There are OTPs (one true pairing) where fanboys and girls discuss which character should have ended up with whom, they ‘ship’ these pairs, they make head cannons, stories that are not part of the books in question and are figments of fan’s imagination which turn into fan fictions. . In fact, the popular book series Fifty Shades of Grey was initially a fan-fiction for the Twilight series and has now become a best seller book series. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixSo in a world where fandoms have taken over the internet, JK Rowling the author of the Harry Potter  series had decided to launch a series of character backstories on her website as a Christmas gift, where she reveals to her fans the history of some of her characters. As expected it has taken the fandom by storm and being a Harry Potter fan girl myself I know the crazy appeal of it. How people have spent hours reading every bit of new knowledge about their favourite characters as Harry Potter even after years of its release is one of the most potent fandoms on the internet. But it also makes one think whether it’s time for the obsession to stop. Shouldn’t we move on and let the characters rest in our hearts instead of letting the obsession go on? And with new stories popping out every day, I wonder when shall it end at?last_img read more

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Share Tags: Black Friday, Caribbean, Cyber Monday, MSC Cruises About Latest Posts Travelweek Latest posts by Travelweek (see all) Another win for The Travel Agent Next Door: RCI Partner of the Year, Canada – March 28, 2019 You’re not imagining it, that waterfall really is coming out of a sksyscraper – July 26, 2018 Israel tourism numbers jumped 25% in 2017 – January 4, 2018 Deal alert: MSC Cruises sweetens its 2-for-1 Caribbean cruise deals FORT LAUDERDALE — In celebration of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, MSC Cruises is sweetening its 2-for-1 Caribbean cruise deals by offering passengers shipboard credit, drink packages and Wi-Fi, for an added value of up to US$350 per stateroom.Starting Nov. 23 and lasting through Nov. 30, guests can choose from select 2017 sailings on the ultramodern MSC Divina, now sailing year round from Miami to the Caribbean with prices starting at $399 per person for a seven-night sailing. In addition, during the promotion, guests will receive extra perks, based on category of stateroom booked.For an Inside Stateroom, guests will receive an extra $25 shipboard credit per stateroom. For an Oceanview Stateroom, they’ll receive an extra $25 shipboard credit per stateroom, plus a free Surfer Wi-Fi package for an added value of $70 per stateroom. For a Balcony Stateroom, guests will earn $25 shipboard credit per stateroom, free Surfer Wi-Fi package, plus a free mealtime drinks package (unlimited wine, beer, mineral water and soft drinks during lunch and dinner) for an added value of $350 per stateroom.More news:  Visit Orlando unveils new travel trade tools & agent perksSeven-night cruises qualifying for the Black Friday/Cyber Monday promotion, leaving from Miami, include (but are not limited to):April 1, 2017: Stops in Nassau, Bahamas; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Philipsburg, St. Maarten, with prices starting at $399 per person based on 2-for-1 dealMay 6, 2017: Stops in Ocho Rios, Jamaica; George Town, Cayman Islands; Cozumel, Mexico; and Nassau, Bahamas, with prices starting at $449 per person based on 2-for-1 dealMay 27, 2017 (Memorial Day Cruise): Stops in Philipsburg, St. Maarten; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Nassau, Bahamas, with prices starting at $529 per person based on 2-for-1 dealMSC Cruises’ Black Friday/Cyber Monday pages are live but will not show any deals until Nov. 23. For more information go to and Tuesday, November 22, 2016 Travelweek Posted bylast_img read more

first_imgWellington’s decadent Sofitel will reopen its doors in October, following a temporary hiatus.Wellington welcomes back the original Sofitel team, along with the hotel’s top grill restaurant, Jardin Grill, the Green Room lounge, and Sofitel’s five-star rooms and suites.The 129-room, 14-storey hotel is returning to its original status as the capital’s favourite destination for business and leisure travellers, nestled between Wellington’s landmarks, The Beehive and the Botanical Gardens.The hotel’s design blends local flair with French heritage through a botanical-inspired decor which is influenced by the gardens of Wellington and the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris.Stephen Gould, Sofitel Wellington’s general manager, says the Sofitel’s return has been highly anticipated.“The team and I are excited to reopen our doors and pick up where we left off; offering Wellington locals, Kiwi travellers and tourists alike a place to relax and enjoy themselves in a refined environment with a sophisticated ambience.“It is important for us to resume our reputation where guests come first. Also, to remain as a destination buzzing with activity. We’ve got some great things planned for our welcome back including stimulating talks, live music, and culinary events.”With a wine list curated by New Zealand wine authority John Saker, and menu designed by Royxeenn Giam – the Jardin Grill promises to be a staple with locals and travellers alike.True to its theme, the restaurant is beautifully set among floral frescoes. Its menu is based upon the grill, expanding the offerings from large to small plates.The Green Room lounge and bar lives up to its name with Bolton Street’s verdant gardens, viewable through expansive floor to ceiling glass walls.Sofitel Wellington is the third Sofitel in New Zealand, joining its award-winning sister properties Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour and Sofitel Queenstown Hotel & Spa. Guests enjoy beautifully appointed rooms and suites in vintage gold and bronze tones with rain showers, complimentary Wi-Fi for multiple devices, Smart TVs with Bluetooth, the So Fit gymnasium and three meeting and event venues.Sofitel Wellington is now bookable online for stays from 9 October 2017. Room rates start from NZ$269 per room per night.last_img read more

first_img31Aug House mental health task force schedules Lansing meeting Categories: Vaupel News Tags: CARES Task Force, Mental Health center_img State Reps. Klint Kesto and Hank Vaupel, co-chairs of the House’s mental health task force, today announced the panel’s next meeting is Thursday, Sept. 7, at the state Capitol.The bipartisan task force will meet with mental health professionals and advocates throughout the state to gather input and ideas for improving services for Michigan residents.“We’re only about halfway through the information-gathering process, but I think I speak for all of the members of the task force when I say this has been an eye-opening experience,” said Vaupel, of Fowlerville. “Our first three meetings in Howell, Auburn Hills and Grand Rapids have taught us a tremendous amount about mental illness and the obstacles people face each and every day.”Kesto, of Commerce Township, said feedback gathered during task force meetings will help legislators develop reforms that address a wide variety of mental health challenges, such as veterans support, substance abuse, law enforcement training and more.“Mental health isn’t a one-size-fits-all issue,” Kesto said. “This process will result in a number of meaningful changes that give struggling Michigan residents a better opportunity to lead happy, successful lives.”Experts scheduled to address the task force on Sept. 7 include an official from MedCart Specialty Pharmacy; Dr. Laura Hirshbein of University of Michigan Medicine; John Kinch, CEO of Macomb County Community Mental Health; Dennis Bott, executive director of the Macomb Oakland Regional Center; and an official from Peckham Inc. The public also is invited to attend and participate during a comment period.The meeting will take place in the House Appropriations Room inside the Michigan State Capitol, Room 352. It will begin at 1 p.m. or after House session ends for the day.Anyone unable to attend a task force meeting can submit written suggestions regarding mental health services online at read more

first_img It was an honor to present state tributes alongside state Rep. Ann Bollin to the Livingston County Veterans Council Veteran of the Year Ralph Sharp from American Legion Devereaux Post 141 in Howell and Auxiliary Member of the Year Geneva Fredenberg from VFW Post 4357 in Brighton.  Both are hard-working patriots who have served their communities faithfully for years, working tirelessly on behalf of veterans and their families. We are blessed to have them in Livingston, and they are well deserving of the recognition.***I was privileged to help recognize the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office as a veteran friendly employer. The Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency identifies employers throughout the state who go above and beyond to hire and retain veterans, and the Sheriff’s Office was acknowledged to be a leading example. They currently employ 28 veterans from various branches and times of service. I had the opportunity to speak at the event and express my appreciation for Sheriff Mike Murphy’s dedication to support those who served. He and his team have worked hard to make this a reality, which will undoubtedly benefit both local veterans and the office as a whole.***Last week, I attended the Hartland Optimist Club’s Respect for Law breakfast. During the presentation, Livingston County Prosecutor William Vailliencourt and Sam “Sensei” Larioza, owner of Ohana Karate in Howell, were awarded for their collaborative work with Hartland schools and for supporting a culture of responsibility throughout the community. Congratulations and thank you both for all you do to strengthen our county. Categories: Vaupel News I also joined state Sen. Lana Theis and state Rep. Ann Bollin to provide a legislative update on what is being addressed in Lansing. It was a great opportunity to share some key points on the issues facing our state.***It was a blessing to welcome Pastor Ryan Guenther and members of Victory Baptist Church in Hartland to my office on Tuesday. They were in Lansing to pray with legislators and offer words of encouragement as part of 121 Capitol Connections, an effort by pastors and church members across the state to connect with their representatives and senators. Thank you for visiting and praying for wisdom and strength for our state!***If you have any ideas, comments or questions for my office, please do not hesitate to call us at 517-373-8835 or send an email to We are happy to hear from you!center_img 06May Rep. Hank Vaupel Weekly Column: May 6, 2019last_img read more

first_img03Jul Rep. Chatfield sets local summer office hours Categories: Chatfield News State Rep. Lee Chatfield is inviting residents to join him during local office hours for the months of July and August. The schedule for office hours is as follows:Monday, July 15, 10:00–11:00 a.m.Top of the Lake Snowmobile MuseumW11660 US-2Naubinway, MI 49762Monday, August 12, 10:00–11:00 a.m.Indian River Chamber of Commerce3435 S Straits HwyIndian River, MI 49749No appointment is necessary and there is no cost to attend. Anyone unable to attend may contact Rep. Chatfield’s office by calling (517) 373-2629, via email at or through his website at

first_imgShare40TweetShare5Email45 SharesLA Rape Map / Neon TommySeptember 13, 2016; The AtlanticIt’s stressful enough being in a war zone, not knowing if the next shot or explosion you hear will be the one to end your life or maim you. When a woman enlists and is sent overseas into combat, she acknowledges being killed or seriously injured as a possibility. But there’s also a sense of pride and patriotism in defending your country along with your fellow countrymen and women. However, getting raped by a fellow soldier or a commanding officer is nothing a female soldier anticipates or signs up for and the barbarity and betrayal leave lifelong scars.“Some [female soldiers] expect to go to war knowing and embracing the fact that there is a possibility of being killed but never thinking of a possibility of being raped,” says Ginger Miller, founder and CEO of Women Veterans Interactive, a Virginia-based nonprofit that works with female veterans.The American Psychological Association reports that reports of sexual assaults in the armed forces went up about 88 percent between 2007 and 2013. There were 2,688 reports in 2007, compared to 5,061 in 2013—and that’s just the tip of the iceberg: The Department of Defense says less than 15 percent of military sexual assault victims report the incidents. If so, that means that there may have been as many as 18,000 military sexual assaults in 2013 out of approximately 203,000 service women.Another report, this one released by the Pentagon in 2014, revealed an eight percent annual increase in reported sexual assaults. Perhaps even more troubling was the finding that 62 percent of female service victims also reported being targets of retaliation.Why? As with the civilian sector, reports of rape are low because many in society lay some if not all the blame on the victim. But unlike the civilian sector, where a victim who’s assaulted at work can quit and change jobs, leaving early is not an option for military victims if they want to receive an honorable discharge. It’s no surprise, then, that so many female military victims are subsequently diagnosed with PTSD. The agony and fear of seeing your perpetrator, sometimes on a daily basis, must be tormenting.On top of that, some servicemen who are convicted of rape merely get a slap on the wrist and continue to serve alongside their victims. Unlike the inconsistent definitions reported throughout the federal government in a recent inspector general’s report, the Uniform Code of Military Justice clearly defines rape. However, it leaves the punishment up to “as a court-martial may direct.” Some military members convicted of rape only receive a drop or two in rank and a fine for such egregious crimes, whereas a Department of Justice analysis of rape and sexual assault in the civilian sector reported that in 1992, a little more than two-thirds of convicted rape defendants received prison sentences with an average term of just under 14 years. Many sentences also included additional penalties like fines, victim restitution, required treatment, community service and other penalties.It’s small wonder, then, that reports of rape in the military are lower than in the civilian community. Conviction rates in the military are even lower—less than one percent. NPQ reported last April on activists who charged the Pentagon with misleading lawmakers on military sexual assault cases. There was talk on the Hill about removing the authority of senior officers to determine whether or not to prosecute sexual assault cases and instead hand that decision over to seasoned military trial lawyers.Supporters of improving the military justice system believe doing so would prompt more victims to come forward. Miller says a fairly large number of women veterans opened up about having been raped after meeting or hearing her talk. “The stories are some of the most horrific I have heard because they all have been raped and some by more than one person, and to make matters worse for the women that have the strength to come forward, they are not initially believed.”Nonetheless, recent congressional attempts to tighten up the Military Justice Improvement Act failed in both houses. Others, like one presidential candidate, have implied that women should not serve in the military at all. “What did these geniuses expect when they put men and women together?“ asked Donald Trump. He attempted to “clarify” his tweet during a recent forum interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer.Luckily, even in such closed systems, persistent advocates take risks and eventually may see the movement that’s needed to redress even the most protected of problems. Miller feels there should be “funding set aside to create a national outreach program for [military sexual trauma (MST)] survivors” in which veterans who are also MST survivors can provide peer support to fellow victims. Miller, who also served in the military, feels the military must hold its members accountable for such crimes and treated the same, regardless of rank.—Scott ShiraiShare40TweetShare5Email45 Shareslast_img read more

first_imgShare28Tweet25ShareEmail53 SharesBy Brian Stansberry (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia CommonsMarch 6, 2018; The GuardianThe US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has dismissed a civil rights case brought by residents of the small, overwhelmingly Black town of Uniontown, Alabama, against an Alabama environmental agency. The agency had approved the dumping of four million tons of coal ash at a landfill site in their community, reports Oliver Milman in the Guardian. In 2013, several dozen Uniontown residents filed a complaint under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. In its 29-page letter, the EPA dismissed the complaint on the grounds that there is “no causal connection” between the “alleged harms” and the landfill site.The group that organized and launched the complaint in 2013, Black Belt Citizens Fighting for Health and Justice, was featured last month on an NPQ webinar in which the organization’s president, Esther Calhoun, participated. With the support of the American Civil Liberties Union, Calhoun and her colleagues last year successfully beat back a $30 million defamation lawsuit launched by the landfill owners that had sought to shut down the group.Uniontown is a small town of 2,400, located about a half hour’s drive west of Selma. About 90 percent of Uniontown’s population is Black, and about half live below the federal poverty line. The town is also home to the Arrowhead landfill. As Milman explains, “Arrowhead, operated by Green Group Holdings since 2011, sprawls over an area twice the size of New York City’s Central Park, accepting the waste from 33 different states.”Milman adds that, “The site used to contain a jumble of car parts, electronics, and other discarded items until a flood hit a coal plant 330 miles away in Kingston, Tennessee, in 2008. Over the next two years, the clean-up of Kingston involved shifting four million tons of potentially hazardous coal ash by train to the Arrowhead landfill abutting Uniontown.”In 2015, Kristen Lombardi reported for NBC News that, “Foul odors, corrosive dust and menacing buzzards have become facts of life for people who live here. Some no longer sit on their porches, grow their gardens or let children play in their yards. In the area abutting the landfill, almost everyone claims to have suffered ill effects—from headaches and earaches to neuropathy.”In a report published last April, Calhoun told the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy that, “We took pictures [of] the waters coming off the landfill. We had a scientist test the waters that had arsenic in it. We had the EPA come from Georgia to view how close this huge mountain [of landfill] is. Alabama Department of Environmental Management allows sewage water to flow into the creek. The creek flows down, and it goes from community to community. There is sewage that’s contaminating the water, and children are drinking this water.”EPA’s dismissal of Uniontown residents’ Title VI claim is being met with widespread incredulity. “To say there is insufficient evidence is ludicrous; I just can’t take it seriously,” says Ben Eaton, who has lived in Uniontown for 33 years and is vice president of the Black Belt Citizens community group. “The protection we’ve got from the government is little to none. I can’t help but feel it’s because the population is mainly black and poor. This was forced on us. If this was a white, wealthy community, this would’ve never happened.”Milman notes that, “Coal ash contains toxins such as mercury and arsenic that can affect the nervous and reproductive systems and cause other health problems. According to the EPA, people living within a mile of unlined coal ash storage ponds have a one-in-50 risk of developing cancer.”Milman adds, “Residents, already upset the landfill was placed next to a historic cemetery, began to fret that the coal ash would seep out into the air and water. Some stopped drinking the tap water. Many still spend as little time outdoors as possible due to the smell and swarms of flies. A rash of nosebleeds, breathing difficulties, mental health issues and cancers have been blamed upon the coal ash, although the authorities have not conducted any studies to analyze the potential link.”“The shipping of toxic coal ash from a mostly white county in Tennessee to this rural, poor and most black county and community in the Alabama black belt is a textbook case of environmental racism,” remarks Robert Bullard, a pioneering environmental justice researcher.Marianne Engleman Lado, a Yale Law School lawyer who represented residents, says an appeal against the EPA was possible but unlikely. Lado notes that the EPA dismissed the complaint because it found the company was operating the landfill within regulatory guidelines. But Lado says that mere compliance with environmental permits should not negate civil rights concerns.“The decision is frustrating, it’s angering. Uniontown is a classic civil rights situation. How can people trust the government if it can’t even recognize how this enormous facility is affecting the community? It’s mind-boggling.”—Steve DubbShare28Tweet25ShareEmail53 Shareslast_img read more

first_imgShare32Tweet13ShareEmail45 SharesBy Torsten Henning [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsJune 27, 2018; Next CityA social justice caucus and a nonprofit have come together to bring the city of Newark, New Jersey, to court for failing to keep lead out of the water. As NPQ has noted, there is a lack of will to address aging water pipes in cities, even though it may provide economic benefits. Communities must to turn to nonprofits and others for help in making their water safe for families.The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has joined with Newark Education Workers (NEW) Caucus to address the already elevated levels of lead in drinking water.“Access to safe water should be a basic right for everyone,” Al Moussab, president of the NEW Caucus, said in a statement. “However, for many working-class people, it’s not. By joining this lawsuit, we hope to hold the city and state governments accountable for providing safe drinking water to every home and school in Newark.”According to NRDC, Newark’s data demonstrates that 10 percent of the samples of water tested at an elevated level of 26 parts per billion. The “federal action level” of the Safe Drinking Water Act is 15 parts per billion. NRDC reports that one test had a count of 182 ppb of lead in the water.The suit contends that the city is not meeting federal standards for testing and monitoring and is not providing appropriate treatment systems. The Department of Environmental Protection requires that the water be tested for lead two times a year. NRDC claims the city did not test 91 of Newark’s 131 high-risk sites.Water fountains in 30 of Newark public schools were turned off two years ago while they waited to replace the pipes due to high levels of lead. Still, city officials claim that the charges are without merit. Newark’s director of water and sewer utilities, Andrea Adebowale, in a statement to Asbury Park Press, stated the issues were “confined to a limited number of homes with lead service lines.”The NRDC says in its lawsuit, however, that “the City does not know the scope of the problem because it has failed to identify which service lines contain lead and has failed to properly monitor lead levels at Newark residents’ taps.”Exposure to any level of lead is especially unsafe to children, with potential impact on IQ and ability to learn, according to the CDC. The lawsuit against Flint, Michigan was settled and lead water lines will have to be replaced throughout the city.NRDC and the ACLU were also plaintiffs in the case against Flint, Michigan. NRDC attorney Claire Woods stated that “if it takes filing a lawsuit to end violations of federal drinking water law, we’ll do it.”—Marian ConwayShare32Tweet13ShareEmail45 Shareslast_img read more

first_imgRevenues from DTH services in western Europe will continue their slow upward trajectory this year and top US$15 billion (€12 billion) by 2015, according to new research from Informa Telecoms & Media.
In the UK BSkyB recently recorded a modest quarterly subscriber increase and its Italian counterpart lost over 80,000 customers as economic conditions impacted its customer base. Informa forecasts that there will be revenues of US$14.3 billion at end-2012 compared with US$14 billion at end-2011. The total will increase to US$14.7 billion next year and to US$15.1 billion by end-2014.DTH revenues in eastern Europe meanwhile will increase at a similar rate, albeit from a much smaller base. There were revenues of US$2.6 billion from eastern Europe from the end of last year and that total will rise to US$2.8 billion this year. It will top three million in 2014 when the year-end total will be US$3.1 billion.last_img read more

first_imgBreaking BadBlinkbox has signed deals with nine distributors as it brings back its ‘Try TV on Us’ trial programme.The UK VOD service last year launched the free sample by offering single episodes of programmes for free in a bid to hook in new customers.It has now scored deals with All3Media, BBC Worldwide, Entertainment One, Twentieth Century Fox Television, ITV Studios, Lionsgate, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Starz and NBCUniversal for a new trial period.Programmes included in the deal are the pilot of Breaking Bad, which Sony sells and will be available until February 11; BBC Worldwide’s Sherlock; Fox’s New Girl, How I Met Your Mother and Glee; NBCU’s Battlestar Galactica; and Lionsgate’s Weeds.Customers can access up to 28 episodes until March 2, at which point the deal expires.last_img read more