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August 2021

Non profit living

Saginaw Neighborhood Celebrates Planned Return of Children’s Community Center


SAGINAW, MI – Eight-year-old Asia Pratt was sitting breathlessly laughing next to her friends during a break as she jumped inside the inflatable house set up for an event reconnecting a neighborhood in Saginaw on the south side with an old community center ready to reopen in the coming month.

“I feel very happy,” she said of the celebration going on outside the facility at 3145 Russell. “It was so much fun. I can’t wait to be able to go here.

Organizers say the building – known as “The Nabe” – will likely not open to the community until 2022, but the excitement surrounding the news warranted some sort of block party on Saturday, August 28. The rally included The Nabe’s future target demographic. : Pratt and children his age.

Pratt plans to be the third generation in his family to run and play inside the facility when it reopens. Her father, Michael Pratt, 50, was part of a group of nine adults who formed a non-profit organization and bought the community center where they once played as children.

The Saturday celebration also catered to its demographic age. A DJ played Rick James; Earth, Wind and Fire; Kool and the Gang and other old hitmakers.

Still, the rally seemed to remain focused on the future: more specifically, The Nabe’s potential for the South Side neighborhood that has become largely desolate over the past two decades. Organizers say they hope when the community center reopens it will help revive the area and provide a place to grow up for children living nearby.

Leola Gochett, 80, moved to the South Side neighborhood in December 1970. Her three children spent their youth at The Nabe, known for decades as the Lutheran Charities Neighborhood House Community Center. After several changes of ownership, the building has remained largely unused in recent years, after decades of declining participation.

Gochett said she was delighted to hear that former attendees are planning to resuscitate the community center. She has known the nine members of the association since they played there when they were children.

“I believe in them,” said Gochett, who attended the celebration on Saturday. “This community needs this, to help us get back to the way things were in this neighborhood.”

After purchasing the old building, members of the nonprofit – which bears the same name as the community center – began tidying up the Nabe earlier this summer. It has fallen into disrepair in recent years, so the walls have been repainted, the floors have been repaired and the rooms have been cleaned.

The work remains, organizers say, but the progress of their efforts was visible to anyone who saw the interior of the 24,000-square-foot facility a month ago compared to today.

During the visits organized on Saturday, the participants got a glimpse of this renovated interior. However, much of the event activity at the start of the day took place on the community center lawn and parking lot, which organizers have turned into something that looks like a small fair.

Food vendors were camping on the outskirts of the rally. Children rushed between two inflatable houses and a mobile truck carrying playable video game consoles. Within sight of these children were their parents and other adults socializing to the music of the event.

“I’m so grateful that it brought this community together again,” said Anthony Dent, a 52-year-old man who once attended the community center as a child. “I can’t wait to see how this place will grow when it opens. “

James Carthan, a member of the nonprofit that owns the facility, said the support expressed by the community on Saturday was a sign that more success could be in store for the Nabe.

“It takes a village to raise a child,” said Carthan, 50. “I want this place to be a bright light for the young people of Saginaw.”

Organizers have organized tours of the interior of The Nabe, a Saginaw community center that the owners hope to open within the next year. Here, participants visit a basketball court where a mural was being completed.

RELATED:

Childhood friends reunite to revive Saginaw children’s community center


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History organization

Tommy Lasorda fights with Phillie Phanatic


Tommy Lasorda gained a reputation for having a fiery, if not combative, personality throughout his tenure as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers. While this was often funneled to motivate his team, it led to an altercation with a mascot on this day in Dodgers history.

As the Dodgers faced the Philadelphia Phillies at Veterans Stadium on August 28, 1988, Lasorda became enraged with Phillie Phanatic dressing a model in his jersey. Lasorda barged out of the canoe and started picking up Phillie Phanatic’s all-terrain vehicle.

As the Phillies mascot started walking towards Lasorda, the Dodgers skipper turned and chased after him. A showdown ensued and Lasorda ended up with the doll, which he used to repeatedly punch Phillie Phanatic with.

It wasn’t Lasorda’s only run-in with a mascot during his tenure as manager of the Dodgers. The following August, Lasorda started yelling at the refs for some reason during a game against the Montreal Expos.

In the end, it was because Expos mascot Youppi !, was dancing on the visitors’ canoe and taunting Lasorda and the players for most of both innings. Lasorda was furious with what was going on, and the result was Youppi! being the first mascot ever to be ejected from an MLB game.

Whether it’s coincidence or not, the Dodgers won both games in which Lasorda got mad at a mascot. They defeated the Expos in 22 innings behind Rick Dempsey’s solo homerun and scored three runs in the first inning on Franklin Stubbs’ brace en route to a 5-0 victory over the Phillies.

Lasorda spent 20 seasons managing the Dodgers and has proven to be a worthy successor to Alston. Lasorda went 1,599-1,439-2, won eight NL West titles, four pennants and two World Series. He abruptly announced his retirement in July 1996 in part due to health issues and at the time he became vice-president of the Dodgers.

Lasorda maintained close ties and an active presence with the organization and had his No. 2 jersey removed by the organization on August 15, 1997. He died in January 2021.

Dodgers honoring Lasorda

The Dodgers are celebrating Lasorda’s memory throughout the 2021 regular season with a No.2 patch on their shirt sleeve.

Have you subscribed to Dodger Blue’s YouTube channel? Don’t forget to activate the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and more!


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International headquarters

Defense Intelligence Agency BREAKING Says Retired Commodore Olawunmi Wanted for Channels TV’s Anti-Buhari Interview, May Seize International Passport


The Defense Intelligence Agency said a former Nigerian navy commodore Kunle Olawunmi was wanted for exposing in an interview how President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration refused to question high-level politicians as Boko terrorists Haram have appointed them as their sponsors.

SaharaReporters has learned that the DIA asked Olawunmi to report to its headquarters in Abuja on Tuesday with his international passport, which could be seized.



The Defense Intelligence Agency is Nigeria’s main military intelligence agency.

“The agency said retired Navy Commodore Kunle Olawunmi was wanted for overthrowing Boko Haram sponsors under Buhari’s rule. They asked him to come with his international passport on Tuesday to the DIA office in Abuja, ”a prominent source said.

SaharaReporters reported last Wednesday that Olawunmi spoke when he appeared on Channels Television’s “Sunrise Daily” breakfast show.

He had condemned Tuesday’s attack by bloodthirsty bandits on the Kaduna campus of Nigeria’s main military university, the Nigerian Defense Academy, where two military officers were killed and another kidnapped.

The professor of global security studies said: “This is an aberration; you are not attacking the Nigerian Defense Academy and not getting out of it. In 2017, I conducted an investigation by the Minister of Defense who wanted me to verify what was going on with the training and security there (NDA). I remember spending about a week in the NDA with the commander and the staff but something struck me: every Friday the door of the NDA is wide open and everyone has access to the mosque to pray.

“On Fridays, you will see the same thing happen in all the military formations in the country. If you go to Defense Headquarters, I served at Defense Headquarters as Deputy Director, Defense Administration, between 2015 and 2017, during my two years at Defense Headquarters, j Have received visitors twice due to the strict security architecture but every Friday the door to Defense Headquarters is wide open for everyone to come in and observe Juma’at.

“This is the time when terrorists have time to profile our security environment. It always has been. I have served in military intelligence for the past 35 years. Our problem is religious and socio-cultural.

Olawunmi had added that he was a member of the Intelligence Brief at Defense Headquarters under the direction of the then Chief of Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin (retired).

The intelligence expert said he told the CDS at the time that the center of gravity of the Boko Haram insurgency ravaging the northeast and spreading to other parts of Nigeria was the sponsor.

“I then told General Olonisakin that the core of this problem cannot be solved the same way we solved the Niger Delta problem. The Niger Delta problem was solved during (ex-president Umaru) Yar’adua mainly by me and I told them that we cannot use the same model for Boko Haram.

“I told General Olonisakin to look at the center of gravity of the problem. I was appointed a member of the committee in 2016-2017, including the former army chief of staff, the lieutenant general. Ibrahim Attahiru who is deceased.

“I told them that the center of gravity of Boko Haram in Nigeria is the program sponsors. It was beyond us because the work that we had to do was kinetic but we cannot solve the problems of the sponsors of Boko Haram who were in the government of Buhari that we know of. That’s why we couldn’t pursue this aspect which could have solved the problem because we have to stop people.

“Recently 400 people were rounded up as Boko Haram sponsors, why did the Buhari government refuse to try them? Why can this government not bring them to justice if it is not that they are partisan and that they are part of the charade that is going on?

“You remember this Boko Haram problem started in 2012 and I was in military intelligence at the time. We arrested these people. My organization conducted interrogations and they (the suspects) mentioned names. I can’t go on the air and start mentioning the names of people who are in government right now that I know the boys we arrested mentioned. Some of them are now governors, some of them are in the Senate, some of them are in Aso Rock.

“Why should a government decide to cause this kind of embarrassment and insecurity in the sense of what happened yesterday (Tuesday at the NDA)?”

Olawunmi had also said that the Department of State Services had considerable information on the terrorists, but could do nothing except through the body language of the Commander-in-Chief.


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Canadian army

“Catastrophe” in Afghanistan: Canada saves only a fraction of the performers, according to an NGO


“As soon as the Canadians leave, the United States will leave, they will be massacred … It’s a disaster”

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Despite repeated government promises that Canada would save endangered interpreters and other Afghans who worked for that country, only a small fraction of them are airlifted out of Kabul, say advocates for local workers.

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About 90 percent of those flown by Ottawa from Afghanistan are Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Afghan origin, said Dave Fraser, a retired army general with the Veterans Transition Network.

Most performers and other ex-Canadian military and government employees are still waiting for a quickly fading opportunity to flee, he said.

“It’s always absolutely chaotic,” said Fraser, who led Canadian troops on Operation Medusa, that country’s most notorious offensive in Afghanistan. “It’s still incredibly dangerous.”

Chris Ecklund, founder of the Canadian Heroes Foundation, said only 100 of the 1,500 former employees and family members his group helps have made it to Canada. He estimates that the interpreters and their relatives represent only 5 to 10% of the evacuees.

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Meanwhile, the Taliban recently killed several former employees of that country, he said. Although he did not provide any details, such targeted assassinations have long been a hallmark of the organization.

“The government is just not interested in this, they never have been,” Ecklund accused. “We are there now, we have one week left. Are we going to take them all out? The math doesn’t make sense. It does not indicate that.

It’s still absolutely chaotic

Most have not received a visa from Canada and face a dangerous trek from privately funded secure homes in central Kabul to the airport, a trip that may include walking a mile down a sewer. in the open, according to defenders.

Other countries, like the British and the French, brought in hundreds of Afghans from the city in bus convoys.

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Although Canadian government officials told reporters that country’s special forces ventured outside the airport to bring people in, private lawyers say they see little evidence of this happening. produce.

As the August 31 deadline approaches for the departure of foreign forces from Afghanistan, desperation is growing among veterans and other Canadians helping ex-employees.

“It’s a nightmare,” said another Canadian NGO volunteer, who works with government officials and asked not to be named. “It is a disaster of epic proportions.”

Spokesmen for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) could not be reached before the deadline for comment – or to describe who exactly is being evacuated.

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But Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday that Canada was prepared to stay in Afghanistan to continue evacuation efforts past the August 31 deadline, if possible.

“We will continue to work every day to bring out so many people alongside our allies,” Trudeau told reporters after a virtual meeting of G7 leaders. “The commitment of our G7 colleagues is clear: we will all work together to save as many people as possible.

  1.     In this file photo taken on August 15, 2021, Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau holds a press conference at Rideau Hall after asking Governor General Mary Simon to dissolve Parliament.

    Trudeau says Canada is ready to stay in Kabul past August 31 deadline after G7 meeting

  2. British and Canadian soldiers stand guard near a canal as Afghans wait outside the foreign military-controlled portion of Kabul airport, hoping to flee the country on August 22, 2021.

    Former Canadian interpreter fears for his life while awaiting evacuation from Afghanistan

However, US President Joe Biden, who set the deadline, has indicated his country will not stay beyond the end of this month.

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Trudeau also said Canada will continue to pressure the Taliban to allow people to leave the country even after the current phase ends.

Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan said in a tweet that Canada had flown 500 people out of the country just on Monday, adding to several hundred previously.

But Fraser said his group believed that only 11% of the 1,000 former interpreters and their families followed by VTN had received visas to come to Canada.

Even if they do receive a visa, getting into the airport and boarding a Canadian plane is a major challenge.

IRCC officials are telling Afghans to make their own way to the compound, despite the threat posed by huge crowds and Taliban guards, Fraser said.

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An Afghan-Canadian working for a Canadian NGO at the airport said it took people several days to get from the city to the airport. The quickest route takes them for three hours through an open sewer, where they then have to wait while Canadian authorities check their papers, said the man, who asked not to be named to avoid conflicts with government officials.

A friend who managed to cross and board a plane said he had traveled for several days as his children were injured by barbed wire and then had to wade through the sewers, he said by phone from Kabul.

A Canadian soldier walks through an evacuation checkpoint during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 24, 2021.
A Canadian soldier walks through an evacuation checkpoint during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 24, 2021. Photo by Staff Sgt. Victor Mancilla / US Marine Corps / Document via Reuters

The NGO worker estimated that about 95 percent of those who board Canadian planes are citizens or permanent residents. Most of the interpreters he knows have not even received a visa.

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Once they make contact with Canadian authorities, the fleeing Afghans face another obstacle. IRCC staff categorically reject any family member – including in one case the widowed mother of a former employee – who does not themselves have a visa, the airport worker and a lawyer said based in Canada.

A former Canadian military interpreter in Kandahar province who immigrated to Canada in 2010 argued that Afghan nationals and their families should in fact be given priority over Canadian citizens. They do not have passports that would allow them to leave the country after the departure of foreign forces, he said.

Khan, who asked that his last name not be released to avoid reprisals against his family in Afghanistan, said the policy should extend to relatives of performers like him who have already settled in Canada, as those relatives are at increased risk of retaliation by the Taliban.

There are over 200 ex-performers in Canada and so far no family member in Afghanistan has made it, he said.

“As soon as the Canadians leave, the United States will leave, they will be slaughtered,” Khan predicted. “It’s a disaster.”

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Non profit living

Study: Food insecurity and poverty rate increased for Colorado children during pandemic


Referrals to early intervention services, which help young children from birth to 3 years old with developmental skills like speech therapy, also dropped dramatically in the first few weeks of the pandemic, dropping 63% over the course of the pandemic. during the first two weeks of March 2020.

That’s because primary care physicians, who make about a third of all referrals for such support, stopped doing good health checks on children at the start of the pandemic.

Providers aim to provide children with early intervention services in their ‘natural environment’, be it home or childcare – with the aim of making them function at the same level as their peers. said Christy Scott, director of the early intervention program at Colorado’s Office of Early Childhood. “And if we don’t get the early intervention they need, then we might see the ramifications when they get into kindergarten, special education, or even kindergarten.”

Scott said there has been an increase in referrals recently, and advocates for child care are hoping that trend continues.

Household income has fallen and food insecurity has increased

Almost half of households with children have reported loss of employment income since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the beginning of March 2021, a third declared having difficulty paying the usual household expenses.

Meanwhile, about 10 percent of Colorado households with children reported not having enough food to eat over the past week.

Black and Latino families have suffered disproportionately, reporting more food and rental insecurity – and more job losses – than white families.

“They entered the pandemic with higher rates of child poverty, higher proportions of children without health insurance, limited access to high quality child care, and kindergarten to grade 12 education.” , Manoatl said. “During the pandemic, they were hit harder than other households (economically)… it’s kind of like an aggravated effect.”


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History organization

Tourism alliance could raise billions to preserve Gullah Geechee culture


CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) – The Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Commission is mobilizing a new tourism alliance to raise awareness of Gullah Geechee culture.

The history of the Gullah Geechee people dates back to the 1700s. The food, dances, music and culture of the Gullah Geechee people continue along the coast from Wilmington, North Carolina to St. Augustine, Florida.

Gullah Geechee Tourism Alliance representative Laura Mandala said her organization is stepping up efforts to preserve this rich history.

“We are really trying to make people appreciate what their ancestors brought to this country and their current contributions to the region,” Mandela said. “I mean the food, the spices, the crabs, a lot of what’s in the hallway, comes from those traditions.”

The aim of the alliance is both to create more events and museums, as well as to think about how to bring together resources that strengthen those that already exist.

Mandela says the corridor along the coast has the potential to generate $ 35 billion in annual spending for visitors.

She says for Wednesday’s meeting.

The meeting starts at 2 p.m. on Wednesday and Mandala says more than 220 people have already registered. She says it will be completely virtual.

Those interested can register for the Gullah Geechee Tourism Alliance meeting via zoom.

Copyright 2021 WCSC. All rights reserved.


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International headquarters

Central American Countries Ask: Can Bitcoin Reduce Remittance Costs? | News from banks


Central American countries are eagerly awaiting to see if El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin as a parallel legal tender reduces the cost of remittances, a major source of income for millions of people, according to the development bank of the United States. region.

President Nayib Bukele’s allies in Congress have already approved legislation giving cryptocurrency official currency status alongside the US dollar, a world first. The move takes effect in September.

Bukele touted the adoption of Bitcoin as a way to facilitate remittances for Salvadorans living abroad.

“Everyone is watching if everything is going well for El Salvador and if, for example, the cost of remittances drops significantly… other countries are likely to seek this advantage and adopt it,” Dante Mossi, executive chairman of the Bank. Central American economic integration. (CABEI), Reuters news agency said on Wednesday. CABEI is an international multilateral development finance institution headquartered in Honduras.

Mossi called the plan an “extraordinary experiment” to increase financial inclusion in a region where many people do not have access to bank accounts or credit cards and depend on money sent by. parents living in the United States.

Technical assistance

CABEI, the regional development bank, is providing technical assistance to El Salvador for the implementation of cryptocurrency, a major show of support as the World Bank refused to help, citing environmental drawbacks and transparency.

The bank’s technical assistance aims to help El Salvador design a legal framework for the adoption of Bitcoin and ensure that strict international money laundering protocols are followed.

The aid is intended to help El Salvador “navigate waters that have yet to be explored,” said Carlos Sanchez, chief investment officer of CABEI.

Mossi said the Central American countries that receive the most remittances are the ones that prioritize the use of Bitcoin the most and stressed that CABEI has a “fiduciary duty” to support El Salvador in its request for aid.

“Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador are the countries that stand to gain the most if the adoption of Bitcoin reduces the cost of remittances,” Mossi said.

CABEI participated in a recent meeting of the Central American Monetary Council, which is part of the Central American Integration System (SICA), where participants asked about El Salvador’s Bitcoin plans and discussed expressed interest, he added.

The Central Bank of Honduras referred Reuters to a June 11 statement that the bank does not prohibit, supervise, or guarantee the use of cryptocurrencies as payment methods in the country.

The governments of Guatemala and Honduras did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Bitcoin ATMs

El Salvador has started installing Bitcoin ATMs, allowing its citizens to convert cryptocurrency to U.S. dollars and withdraw it for cash, as part of the government’s plan to make the token legal tender.

The government will install 200 ATMs to initially accompany its digital wallet called Chivo, a local slang term for “cool,” President Bukele said on Twitter on Sunday. Transactions will be commission-free, he said, adding that there will also be 50 financial branches across the country to withdraw or deposit money.

Adopting Bitcoin will save Salvadorans $ 400 million a year in fees for receiving remittances from abroad, Bukele said.

According to Autonomous Research, less than 1% of the volume of global cross-border remittances is currently made in cryptocurrencies, but in the future, cryptocurrencies are expected to account for a larger share of the more than $ 500 billion. global annual remittances.

Bitcoin offers, in theory, a fast and inexpensive way to send money across borders without resorting to traditional channels.

Salvadoran Bitcoin law will come into effect on September 7 and Salvadorans will be able to download the government’s Chivo digital wallet, enter their ID number and receive $ 30 in Bitcoin, Finance Minister Alejandro Zelaya said in an interview with local television. The government has created a $ 150 million fund to support Bitcoin to U.S. dollar conversions, he said.


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History organization

The relationship between race and well-being has never been so pressing | At the Smithsonian


This summer, Simone Biles, widely regarded as the greatest female gymnast of all time, shocked the sports world by retiring from the majority of her events at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Citing her struggles with “twisties,” a mental block that makes gravity-defying gymnastics movements incredibly dangerous, the 24-year-old has received widespread praise for putting his health first.

Biles later said she took inspiration from Naomi Osaka, the 23-year-old tennis star who retired from Roland Garros and Wimbledon in order to prioritize her mental health. The two women, both black athletes at the peak of their sport, are part of a growing wave of black individuals “publicly [taking] their sanity in their hands in a way never seen before in elite sports, ”as NBC News reported.

Lonnie Bunch, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, says the example set by Biles, Osaka and others has brought the issue of “mental health through the lens of race” to the fore. This topic, along with the broader relationship between race and well-being, looks particularly timely in 2021, as the United States continues to contend with systemic racism and a pandemic that disproportionately affects people of color.

“Part of the fight for equity in America is the fight for equitable health care and access to mental health care,” Bunch said.

Race, welfare and wealth will feature prominently in an upcoming forum hosted by the Smithsonian’s Our Shared Future: Reckoning With Our Racial Past initiative. Scheduled for Thursday, August 26 at 7 p.m. EST, the virtually broadcast summit will put Smithsonian academics in conversation with authors, experts and activists. Planned programming includes sessions on the history and impact of race, the link between health and wealth, the role of race in mental health and trauma, and local organizations striving to reinvent a better future.

The Smithsonian announced its Reckoning With Our Racial Past initiative last summer, following the murder of George Floyd and the outbreak of widespread protests against police brutality. Funded with a $ 25 million donation from Bank of America, the goal of the campaign is to “confront race and highlight racism and social justice from a historical perspective,” Ariana said. Curtis, director of content for the initiative. Reckoning With Our Racial Past also seeks to emphasize the relevance of its topic today and to offer ideas on how to move forward as a nation.

The Smithsonian announced the initiative last June, in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and widespread protests against systemic racism.

(Photo by Tasos Katopodis / Getty Images)

In addition to virtual and live events, the multi-year initiative will include town halls, digital resources, educational tools, immersive pop-up experiences, storytelling projects, fundraising efforts and more. This week’s event will be the first of three national forums.

“When I became a secretary [in 2019], what was important for me was to recognize that the Smithsonian had a contemporary resonance, that it had an opportunity, really a responsibility, to have value, to say basically: we are going to help the public by giving him tools to grapple with everyday life, from the challenge of climate change to race issues, ”says Bunch.

He adds: “When a nation is in crisis, its institutions must be strengthened. And clearly, this country is in crisis.

The Smithsonian’s collections and researchers represent a wealth of expertise, and its status as a beloved 175-year-old American institution means it is uniquely positioned to bring together people of different backgrounds and experiences.

“Our network includes other museums and cultural centers in the United States of varying sizes and missions, as well as community organizations, academics and activists,” says Curtis. “We are certainly not assuming that the Smithsonian is the first organization to think about these [questions of race,] but thinking of the power we have as a trusted institution to bring these [issues] to a larger and larger audience is really important.

The secretary envisioned the project as a way for the Smithsonian to “do what we do best”: namely, to make complicated subjects accessible to the public, provide a historical and cultural context that illuminates the present, and forge links between people who could not otherwise interact. . With the funded initiative, the Smithsonian could shed “some light” on a moment “fraught with misinformation, hatred and partisanship.”

The team responsible for developing the initiative focused its efforts on six thematic pillars: running and well-being; race and wealth; race and location; race, politics and ethics; race beyond the United States; and race, arts and aesthetics. All of these topics tie in with ongoing Institution-wide work of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center’s Care Package, an online exhibit of creative offerings released at the height of the pandemic, when the crimes of Anti-Asian hatred was in the news across the nation — on the NMAAHC’s Talking About Race portal.

“The term ‘systemic racism’ can seem unwieldy and overwhelming,” explains Curtis, “and so we wanted to think about how to make it knowable? How to make it understandable? How do you make it feel changeable? “

She adds that she wants the forums to give the public a sense of optimism: “We want people to think about a way forward. “

Covid-19 test

The Covid-19 pandemic has taken a disproportionate toll on people of color.

(Governor Tom Wolf via Flickr under CC BY 2.0)

The ongoing pandemic influenced the decision of the organizers to center the initiative’s first forum on race, welfare and wealth. But this week’s event doesn’t just focus on Covid-19. One session will discuss the development of race as a social construct and the lingering consequences of unsubstantiated claims that race is based on biological differences. “[This is] a time when people are trying to go beyond race as an identity and really want to question how race works, what race means, what role race and racism have in our lives today ”, Curtis explains.

Joi Lewis, founder of the Healing Justice Foundation; Monique Morris, President and CEO of Grantmakers for Girls of Color; and Diana Chao, Founder and Executive Director of Letters to Strangers, will lead a separate discussion on mental health and trauma, a topic explicitly linked to public statements made by Biles, Osaka and other black athletes.

“This particular conversation is intergenerational,” Curtis explains. “Younger generations of black women speak openly about their mental health in ways that would not have seemed acceptable or permitted to previous generations. Opening this conversation in public spaces is really important.

To ensure the initiative reaches a large part of the country, the Smithsonian is working with local partners, including cultural organizations, historically black colleges and universities, sports teams, and nonprofits. These groups will help organize pop-up events in cities across the United States, addressing issues through a local lens in recognition of the fact “that the race takes place differently in different places,” according to Bunch.

“It’s less about the Smithsonian saying we have the answers, and more about the Smithsonian as a facilitator,” he adds. “What I hope it will become [is] a driver of possibility, a driver of collaboration that… the Smithsonian can continue to do long after I’m no longer a secretary.

For Bunch, the initiative represents “an opportunity for the Smithsonian to demonstrate that it has value, not only as a place that looks back, but as a place that looks to the future.” He hopes this “will help a nation recognize that it has a common future even though race issues have always divided us.”

The initiative’s first forum, on the theme of race, well-being and wealth, will be held virtually on August 26 at 7 p.m. EST. Join Secretary Bunch and a panel of esteemed experts at oursharedfuture.si.edu.


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Canadian army

Edmonton women scramble to save brother from hiding in Afghanistan


Two Edmonton sisters were unable to sleep or eat as they hope their family will be selected under an Afghan resettlement program announced by the federal government last week.

CBC News has agreed to identify them only by first name for the safety of their families.

Malali and Maska say their brother worked for NATO and the US military, which now puts him and the rest of the family at risk.

According to Malali, they have been in hiding for about two weeks.

“The whole family – my brother and my mother and my two sisters and four brothers – they all live in the same house. And all of their lives are in danger because of this brother who worked with the US military,” he said. she declared.

“The 20,000 Afghan refugees they announced they would bring, I want my family to be one of those 20,000.”

Malali, a woman from Edmonton, became emotional as she spoke of the danger her family currently faces in Afghanistan. (Jamie McCannel / CBC)

The Taliban seized power in Afghanistan last week as the United States and its allies withdrew their troops after a 20-year war.

The sisters have appealed to the Canadian and US governments for help, they said on Sunday. They received no response.

The women say they feel helpless to be so far away, knowing how their families in Afghanistan are struggling and knowing that supplies are running out – for their families and in the country in general.

“He risked his life for seven years for these people and they left him behind,” said Malali. “Without any help or anything. He is very desperate. The situation is very desperate. We don’t know what to do.”

Federal ministers provided an update on the situation in Afghanistan on Sunday.

Foreign Minister Marc Garneau said the government understands how desperate Afghans are to flee the country and Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino has vowed to speed up resettlements.

The Canadian military airlifted about 1,100 people – mostly Afghans – out of the country, Mendicino said. So far, 12 flights have left the country.


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International headquarters

Conservatives offer alternatives to optimistic demolition


Georges Nikolajevich

At its July 26 meeting, the City of St. Louis Preservation Council heard testimony regarding the proposed demolition of the Optimist International Headquarters building (s) located at 4490-4494 Lindell Boulevard in the Historic District of Central West End, where developers are looking to develop a 150-unit building.

The hearing was an appeal against the rejection of the demolition project by the Bureau of Cultural Resources. In 2013, the CRO commissioned a survey and appraisal of 2,300 Mid-Century Modern (1945-1975) buildings in St. Louis, 50 of which were deemed highly significant. The original part of the Optimist property, located at the corner of Taylor Avenue and known as the “Pavilion”, which was built in 1961 according to plans drawn by the famous St. Louis firm of Schwarz & Van Hoefen, was listed in the 2013 Survey as a High Merit Building that is individually eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, and
was among the 25 most important of the 2,300 buildings studied.

Following lengthy testimony at the July 26 hearing, the question was put, first on a motion upholding Cultural Resources’ refusal, followed by a motion to allow the appeal and authorize the demolition, which was not passed. Both motions were tied up, and the matter was postponed for further deliberation at the next Preservation Council meeting on Monday, August 23.

The architectural context along Lindell Boulevard, particularly in the three-block section between Newstead Avenue and the Kingshighway, is rich, diverse and unique and must be respected. Notable examples of the wide variety of high quality buildings of various types and eras in the immediate vicinity of the Optimist site include: 4401 Lindell-Cathedral Basilica St. Louis (1908, Barnett, Haynes & Barnett); 4440 Lindell-Pierre Chouteau Apartments (1929, C. Odenwald); 4445 Lindell-Chancery of the Archdiocese of Saint-Louis (1962, WA Sarmiento); 4501 Lindell-Lindell Terrace (1965, Gyo Obata); 4510 Residence of Archbishop Lindell (1891, C.
Jungenfeld); 4545 Lindell (2010, Louis Sauer); 4600 Lindell-Saint Louis Woman’s Club (1895, Grable, Weber & Groves); 4625 Lindell- City Bank Building (1971, Wedemeyer, Cernik & Corrubia); 4931 Lindell-Chase Apartments (1921, Preston J. Bradshaw); 4943 Lindell-Chester Apartments (1921, Preston J. Bradshaw); 4950 Lindell-St. Regis Apartments (1908, George H. Kennerly); 212 N. Kingshighway-Chase Hotel (1921, Preston J. Bradshaw); and 114 N. Taylor-Grant Medical Clinic (1938, Harris Armstrong)!

Georges Nikolajevich

Our aim is not to thwart new development activities, but rather to encourage a more sensitive design that would both preserve buildings of merit and contribute to the rich architectural heritage and distinguished character of Lindell Boulevard. and the center-west. Thus, the supporters of the preservation of the “Pavilion” proposed an alternative approach to the redevelopment of the Optimist site which would allow the corner building to be preserved by integrating it into the base of a new structure, while allowing the development of 150 apartment units in a new tower on the eastern part of the site. This suggestion was summarily rejected without consideration by the potential promoter.

Georges Nikolajevich

The question boils down to the question of whether the well-documented justification supporting the preservation of the architectural heritage of Saint-Louis will prevail in this case, or will it be discarded to accommodate the development of a generic building of the type proposed? This important decision rests with the members of the Preservation Council. We think the answer is clear… the building must be preserved.

Georges Nikolajevich

James Dwyer
Chairman, Central West End Association Planning and Development Committee

John C. Guenther, FAIA, LEED AP
President, Society of Architectural Historians, St. Louis Chapter

Michael R. Allen
Director and Architectural Historian, Preservation Research Office
Senior Lecturer, Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Urban Design, Washington University

Andrew B. Weil
Executive Director, Landmarks Association of St. Louis

Illustrations by George Nikolajevich, retired Cannon Design alumnus.

NextSTL – Optimist replacement comes before Preservation Council

Lux Living’s proposal to replace the Optimist buildings in Lindell and Taylor.


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Non profit living

The Recorder – Regina Curtis is retiring as GCC executive. director of institutional promotion


GREENFIELD – Regina Curtis has amassed a 48-pound stash in thrift stores. From September 1, she will have more time to read them.

Curtis is retiring as Executive Director of Institutional Advancement at Greenfield Community College on August 31, after 16 years on the job. She coordinated the school’s legislative affairs and oversaw its grants office in addition to being the executive director of the GCC Foundation, the nonprofit fundraising arm of the college.

“Community college students stay in their community. They end up living and working within a 25 mile radius, usually. So we are really educating the workforce in this community, ”she said. “This college is exactly where it needs to be.”

Curtis, 62, said she turned legislative affairs over to her colleague Keith Bailey and new recruit Alexis Page took on other responsibilities. She said their abilities reduced her natural anxiety about quitting the job she had been heavily involved in for so long.

She previously worked for State Representative Stephen Kulik and plans to follow her former employer’s advice on retirement – don’t make any additional commitments for at least a year. She intends to continue serving on the board of directors of Rural Development Inc., a nonprofit organization created by the Franklin County Regional Housing and Redevelopment Authority, but wishes to spend more time walking, hiking, kayaking and visiting her son in North Carolina and her daughter-in-law. in Idaho. She would also like to relearn Spanish and knitting.

Curtis grew up in the Detroit area, but has lived in Franklin County his entire adult life. Warwick has been his home for decades.

She worked at the college for 16 years, serving on the Board of Trustees of the GCC Foundation for six years previously, including two as President. Prior to that, she was a campaign volunteer for the school. But that was not his introduction to college. She received her associate’s degree in commerce in 1986 at the age of 28, after taking evening classes for five years while working full time. The average age of a CCG student is around 27, she said.

Curtis then transferred to North Adams State College (now Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts) for another five years to earn a bachelor’s degree, graduating while pregnant with her son. She waited four years before pursuing her Masters of Business Administration in five years.

“I know women who… worked full time and went to school in the evenings with me and had a baby, but I couldn’t… think about that. So I waited until he was 4, then I started at Fitchburg State College (now the University) because, ”she said,“ I only attend public higher education institutions. from Massachusetts that are next to Highway 2. It’s like my jam.

“I never worked full time during all of this,” she added. “It’s just that the career trajectory was made possible thanks to the degrees I acquired along the way, which was possible thanks to GCC. … It is definitely the mission to make higher education accessible to all who want to learn. This is not the case for many colleges.

Curtis also said that many CCG students are, like her, first generation students. She said 48% of them transferred to four-year colleges and 25% were from Hampshire County.

“I’ve always wondered if there is a magical way to survey every employer in Franklin County and find out how many GCC employees (there are),” she said, adding that a third of Greenfield Savings Bank employees are GCC graduates. “It’s quite remarkable.”

Curtis also said that GCC will celebrate its 60th anniversary next year.

“GCC and I are about the same age. Funny – I never thought of it that way, ”she said. “We kind of grew up together. ”

Contact Domenic Poli at: [email protected] or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.


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History organization

The Sheldon Museum of Art opens its exhibitions in the fall semester | Announce


Works by Ron Gorchov, Dan Christensen and Anish Kapoor are exhibited at the Sheldon Museum of Art in the exhibition “Point of Departure”.

The Sheldon Museum of Art at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has opened four new exhibitions for the fall semester. Each draws on the museum’s collection of nearly 13,000 objects to provide a thematic presentation that fosters inquiry, discovery and opportunities for students, faculty and staff, alumni and visitors to engage with. art and with each other.

Until December 31, Sheldon presents the exhibitions: “Point of Departure: Abstraction 1958 – Present”, “The Nature of Waste: Material Pathways, Discarded Worlds”, “Framing a Legacy: Gifts from Ann and James Rawley” and “Sheldon Treasures. “

“Point of Departure: Abstraction 1958 – Present” examines the evolution of abstraction from the late 1950s – after the first wave of artists associated with Abstract Expressionism – to the present day.

The title of the exhibition is taken from a 1958 jazz recording by Andrew Hill that both illustrates and defies its time. Hill’s music has its roots in a post-Monk, hard-bop style, pushing it to the edge of free jazz and, as the title suggests, into new territory. Abstraction in the visual arts, like Hill’s music, continues to evolve.

Abstraction is one of the strengths of the Sheldon collection. The founding funds of early Modernism in America inspired key postwar acquisitions of works associated with Abstract Expressionism. With perseverance, this concentration has continued until now. Recent additions to the collection offer an inclusive presentation of diverse voices and perspectives that lead to deeper and more focused discussions of abstraction. To this end, Point de Départ includes six recent acquisitions and four loans from local collections.

“The Nature of Waste: Material Pathways, Discarded Worlds” presents a holistic investigation of waste streams, examining works of art that draw inspiration from our scraps, leftovers, trash, rubbish, scarcity and ruins. With subjects ranging from 19th-century ragpickers to today’s eco-critical practices, the works highlight the complex relationship of waste to colonialism and industrial production.

This exhibition was curated by Katie Anania, Assistant Professor of Art History at the School of Art, Art History & Design. Support for the exhibit is provided by the Hixson-Lied Endowment, the Nebraska Arts Council, the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, the Sheldon Art Association, and the Daugherty Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

“Framing a Legacy: Gifts from Ann and James Rawley” is a celebration of the artwork donated to the museum by longtime supporters Ann and James Rawley. This not only underscores their affinity for the collection of paintings, sculptures and works on paper, but also Ann’s meticulous practice of framing.

James Rawley (1916-2005) was Carl Adolph Happold Professor Emeritus of History here at the university. He has taught courses and published books in his areas of specialization: the American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln, and the Atlantic slave trade. His significant contributions to the study of American history are recognized by the James A. Rawley Prize (OAH), awarded in his memory by the Organization of American Historians for the best book on race relations, and the James A Prize. Rawley (AHA), awarded by the American Historical Association for the best Atlantic history book.

“Sheldon Treasures”, an ongoing exhibition that changes every semester, highlights some of the museum’s most important and well-known objects. The works presented in the fall 2021 edition of “Sheldon Treasures” demonstrate the breadth of approaches taken by artists to represent the human figure. Throughout art history, the representation of the human form has provided expressive possibilities for stylistic innovation, social commentary, and storytelling.

For more information on the museum’s exhibits and programs, visit sheldonartmuseum.org.

More details on: https://sheldonartmuseum.org/


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International headquarters

We Make History in Natchez – Mississippi’s Best Community Newspaper


Historic economic development in Natchez – it’s time to say it.

Time to print it: Based on current economic indicators, Natchez is now one of the state’s fastest growing economies, and quite possibly the fastest growing per capita.

Consider only the last days:

  • This week we received our July sales tax payment of over $ 500,000. We’ve now passed $ 500,000 four straight months – a city record and quite possibly the state’s strongest per capita sales tax performance.
  • On August 11, we announced that a large Southern energy company, Delta Fuel, was moving its headquarters to downtown Natchez – more than 50 well-paying jobs. They are now embarking on a multi-million dollar renovation of the historic Callon building.
  • On August 16, we kicked off the million dollar renovation of the historic Broadway Depot, which will soon become the best farm-to-table restaurant on the cliffs of the Mississippi River.
  • On August 19, we celebrated the announcement of a $ 24 million renovation of the historic Eola Hotel in the heart of downtown Natchez, to include a parking garage, new retail space downtown and the development of new restaurants by renowned restaurateur NOLA Dickie Brennan.
  • Also on August 19, we met in Jackson with Governor Tate Reeves, his economic development team, and the CEO and vice-president of Velocys, an international technology company, to discuss an agreement that is currently underway to build a $ 1.5 billion biorefinery. -Belwood Industrial Park Plant – one of only two such facilities built in America to produce sustainable aviation fuel using timber resources.

Additionally, this week we had a very important meeting with one of the country’s leading consulting firms, the Horne Group, to discuss the final details of the MED Natchez marketing plan. Medical Economic Development, promoting Natchez as a regional ‘health center’, is about to take place, with a public reveal in September where we will release details of this sweeping plan.

We also met with officials from the Mississippi Department of Agriculture this week to discuss international timber exports using the Port of Natchez. A follow-up meeting will be held on August 30 with a visit to Natchez by Port of New Orleans Executive Director Brandy Christian and his staff. Working closely with Natchez Harbor Manager Anthony Hauer and the Adams County Supervisory Board, great projects and opportunities are ahead.

If we add to the fact that over the past year we have experienced record employment growth (nearly 700), record real estate sales (nearly 600), record growth in new business (more of 70) and new record building permits (over 250 worth over $ 40 million), these facts tell a historic story. Natchez is booming. And as previously stated, we are now among the fastest growing economies in Mississippi.

Words are insufficient to express my gratitude. So many individuals, groups, entities and businesses came together to make it all possible. And I truly believe that God’s favor is on our city because we make it a priority to work together and love each other.

Well done Natchez! Let us commit to maintaining this momentum.

Natchez deserves more.

Dan M. Gibson is mayor of the city of Natchez.


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History organization

Maine Gardener: Why Maine Audubon added non-native plants to its sale


When I read on the Maine Audubon Society website that the organization had started selling non-Maine plants, I was surprised.

I was sure the environment mainstay hadn’t given up on its commitment to the plants that Maine’s birds, insects, and other species need to survive. But I wondered what caused the change.

The added non-natives are good plants. One of them, Liatris scariosa or the northern flaming star, is native to York County but not the rest of the state, by the standards used by Audubon. Audubon had therefore previously excluded him from the sale of plants.

Eric Topper, explaining the change, said some birds, insects and other animals, as well as some plants, have extended their historical range, mainly north and east as the climate has warmed. So why wouldn’t Audubon sell plants whose historical range is somewhat south and west of Maine.

The change was not an instant decision.

“Since we’ve been in the world of native plant restoration six or seven years now, we’ve struggled to define our definition of native plants,” Topper said in a telephone interview.

When sales began, Maine Audubon opted for the list, also used by state officials, called BONAP, the Biota of North America program, which has long studied native plants. Audubon also consulted with state officials, and if the state thought a factory shouldn’t be on the list, it was removed, Topper said.

As a result, the list of native Maine Audubon plants for sale (mainenativeplants.org) was among the most restrictive of the native Maine listings.

Over the years, with real life experience, those in charge have started to question boundaries. Audubon staff have noticed how much hummingbirds love Monarda didyma, with the common names scarlet bee balm or red bergamot.

While working in greenhouses to water the plants, bumblebees (which are native) cover and worship Liatris spicata.

So, Audubon added these plants, which are not strictly native according to the definition she chose to use, because of their enormous benefits to birds and other wildlife that Maine Audubon’s mission is to protect.

Topper said his organization did not make the decision without outside help. He received help from Dan Jaffe, now a horticulturist at the Norcross Wildlife Foundation in Massachusetts, who co-authored the book “Native Plants for New England Gardens” while with the Native Plant Trust.

In addition to Liatris spicata, Monarda didyma, and Liatris scariosa, other non-native plants added to Audubon are Echinacea purpurea or purple coneflower, and Coreopsis lanceolata or lanceleaf coreopsis – both native to the northeastern United States but not Maine.

Buyers seem to have agreed with Audubon’s choice. Scarlet Bee Balm, Spearleaf Coreopsis, and Purple Echinacea are already sold out for this year.

Topper encourages people to research these species – not cultivars of those species, which would have a brand name with single quotes at the end – at local nurseries, and plant them.

I asked Topper if selling plants that might not be strictly native to Maine amounted to assisted migration. There has been some concern, which I spoke about in 2018, that plants might go extinct because their natural habitats are getting too hot for them to live. And these plants cannot naturally migrate as fast as climate change moves their ideal climate further north.

Topper said the sales could help with the migration, but that was not the group’s intention. He thinks the species got to Maine anyway, because people love them and planted them in their gardens.

One thing Topper said towards the end of our interview surprised me. Despite Maine Audubon’s emphasis on native species, he realizes that non-natives also have a great advantage in wildlife. He had just spent a week in the heart of nature, places where the forest has taken over from abandoned farms. Apple trees – native to Kazakhstan – in these woods still thrive and are a huge boon to wildlife, he said, giving just one example.

By the way, the Maine Audubon plant sale has gone well this year, and although three of the new introductions have sold out, there are still many good native plants in stock.

And he says, and I agree, that September and early October are great times to plant shrubs and perennials in Maine. Plus, buying them will help Audubon staff.

“We don’t want to take care of these plants in the winter,” he said.

Tom Atwell is a freelance writer who gardens in Cape Elizabeth. He can be contacted at: [email protected]

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Canadian army

Victory is not always on the battlefield, says father whose son was killed in Afghanistan


“The Taliban are not afraid of guns and bombs; they are afraid of school children with textbooks. That’s why (Kevin) left, ”says Fred McKay

With Afghanistan now under Taliban rule, Canada’s involvement in this war-torn country is commemorated, celebrated and questioned.

Perhaps more than by the Silver Cross mothers and fathers of fallen soldiers who served with honor.

When the Canadian soldier and native of the Barrie region Pte. Kevin McKay was killed in action in Afghanistan on May 13, 2010, he died knowing he had made a difference in a country that needed all the help it could get.

“The reason Kevin wanted to go to Afghanistan was so the kids could go to school,” says his father, Fred McKay. in a telephone interview from Perth in the Ottawa area. “He wanted them to at least have a glimpse of what life could be like if they could go to school and reject Taliban ideology.

“The Taliban are not afraid of guns and bombs; they are afraid of school children with textbooks. That’s why he left. “

Kevin McKay, who grew up in the Horseshoe Valley of Oro-Medonte Township and attended WR Best Public School and Barrie’s Eastview Secondary School, was 24 when he was killed by an improvised explosive device during of his last night patrol, just two days before the end of his tour of duty.

Fred McKay (pronounced “mac-eye”) says the village his son was assigned to at one time was a hotbed of Taliban activity.

“When our troops reached the village and were able to tell the elders that it was safe for the children to return to school, Kevin volunteered for the first patrol which started in the morning at 6 a.m. He said. “He wanted to do the first patrol because he wanted to see the smiles on the children’s faces when they returned to school after a long absence, or for the first time.

“It is the key to the future in Afghanistan, it is to give an education to the children. He had this little personal victory and could see the smiles on the children’s faces, and this magical moment of feeling of accomplishment and mission accomplished.

As distant as they seem now, there have been some victories, and others not so small.

“The Canadian military has built 55 schools and most Canadians don’t know it,” says McKay. “They built clinics and helped farmers with pumps and generators and a bit of know-how. That’s how they conquered the people, but you can’t keep the soldiers there forever.

So what kind of legacy is left?

“It’s not just Kevin, it’s the Canadian military and all NATO troops,” McKay says. “They got this country 20 years of education for children. It’s a generation.

“See it all go down now when the troops have retreated …” he said with a pause. “My question for the Canadian government, the Afghan government and NATO is, ‘What did you think was going to happen?’

“Donald Trump wanted to be the great peacemaker, so he made a deal with the devil (the Taliban as opposed to the Afghan government) I think… and he covered his tracks.”

Before Trump, however, there were years of NATO-led training of Afghan soldiers.

“Our soldiers did their best to train the Afghan army. They had 300,000 trained and equipped soldiers, but they stopped engaging with the Taliban, ”McKay said. “They are afraid of the Taliban because they are ruthless.

“But if they are not going to fight for their country, then I don’t think it is appropriate that we fight for their country for them,” he adds. “We taught them how to do it and we equipped them. You can lead a horse to the watering hole, but you cannot force it to drink. They trained the Afghan army and I think it was the Afghan government that dropped the ball. They did not take advantage of this training and the education that the children received.

Recognizing that coalition forces could not stay in the country forever, McKay says he maybe like many, many other Canadians I would have liked to see a different result.

“They should have stayed until the job was done,” he said of the coalition forces. “They are soldiers. They wanted to be there. Kevin wanted to be there. They went there to help, not to hurt.

“They were crippled by the rules of engagement where they weren’t allowed to search and destroy the enemy,” McKay adds. “Instead, they did other things. Better things, in fact.

Does he think Kevin died in vain?

“Not for a second. We are very proud of what Kevin and all the soldiers have done. It was because he wanted to see the looks of those Afghan children when they returned to school that he went there, ”McKay says. “As we know, there will be no victory day in Afghanistan when the enemy is defeated and the good guys have won. It’s just going to go on and on.

“But at least for a while then there were a lot of kids going to school. So it was a victory. “


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Non profit living

Can humor, laughter and AI reduce stress for women living with cancer? | New


NEW YORK and WASHINGTON and PALO ALTO, California, August 11, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Sounds like the opening of a classic joke: “Cancer survivor, scientist and doctor walk into bar,” but it’s more of a groundbreaking 8-week study on the mindset and metastatic cancer research using artificial intelligence to study personalized stress reduction strategies for women living with advanced cancer. This study is the result of Saranne Rothberg, a stage IV cancer survivor and founder of the ComedyCures Foundation.

Want to have fun ? Sign up for this groundbreaking study on mindset and metastatic cancer research.

“Humor, laughter, play, meditation, yoga, breathing and visualization techniques were essential in reducing my stress, giving me more energy and hope as I battled three surgeries against the cancer, 44 radiotherapy treatments and more than two years of chemotherapy starting in 1999, “says Rothberg, who no longer has cancer.

As part of this study, she invites other people living with a metastatic diagnosis to create an individualized stress management and relaxation plan, informed by artificial intelligence, to improve their quality of life. Rothberg enlisted the help of Dr. Catherine Grill, neuroscientist and co-founder of Neolth, an award-winning digital health platform from Silicon Valley. Dr. Grill explains, “Mental health is often overlooked when clinicians create treatment plans for cancer patients. I wanted to make mental health support more accessible to patients. We are excited to add Saranne’s expertise and fun strategies, along with original ComedyCures content, to our Neolth platform as part of this important study. ”

Neolth’s chief medical officer, Dr. Claire Wheeler, integrator and psychologist specializing in stress management and author of “Pocket Therapy for Stress” will also supervise the collaborative study as co-principal investigator. Dr Wheeler says, “Women with cancer who participate in stress management and emotional support programs have significant improvements in quality of life, immune markers and even improve their survival rates.”

Rothberg happily describes: “Each participant will be invited to use the Neolth platform via a mobile device, tablet and / or desktop computer to create their own personalized self-care plan with the help of proprietary technology. from Neolth and many experts. A free subscription to Neolth will be provided to every woman through an innovative cancer and behavior research grant awarded to our ComedyCures Foundation by the Willow Foundation. In previous years, the foundation grant was awarded to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center.

Co-founder of the Willow Foundation and survivor of stage IV cancer Lea Evert confirms: “Because the pandemic has put even more isolation, health risks and stress on people living with cancer, the Willow Foundation felt that this year’s grant should go to the ComedyCures Foundation in because of his track record of positively impacting the lives of others. in the event of a mental, emotional and / or physical crisis. “

Evert adds, “As a cancer and COVID-19 survivor, Saranne’s authentic vision to seek an immediately scalable and affordable health solution integrating artificial intelligence, technology, as well as the award-winning ComedyCures and Neolth programs, has made the funding of this mindset research very compelling. “

In addition to the many relaxation practices offered by the study, participants will have the opportunity to attend three live online sessions with Rothberg and several of his ComedyCures comedians. Please see the Study FAQs for more information and to register immediately.

ABOUT THE COMEDYCURES FOUNDATION

The ComedyCures Foundation is a 501 (C) 3 non-profit, here 24/7 to tickle fun bones. Through award-winning digital programming and live events, ComedyCures entertains, educates and helps patients, caregivers and frontline workers develop their superpowers of laughter, hope, joy, play and perspective. comical. https://www.ComedyCures.org @ComedyCures

ABOUT NEOLTH

Neolth provides stress and mental health support by providing personalized care on demand through its self-guided platform. This includes relaxation practices, self-care and mental health monitoring, as well as mental health videos. Neolth presents a variety of original content from the ComedyCures Foundation to support people living with cancer. All participants in the ComedyCures study will have free access to Neolth for an extended period. https://www.Neolth.com @Neolth

ABOUT THE WILLOW FOUNDATION

The Willow Foundation (United States) supports research efforts that help link behaviors to better outcomes for patients with advanced and advanced cancer.

https://www.willow.foundation/goals

ABOUT SARANNE ROTHBERG

From the patient with stage IV cancer to the CEO of ComedyCures, Saranne Rothberg is a thought leader, speaker, patient advocate, and health and happiness expert. She started the ComedyCures foundation from her chemo chair in 1999 and is cancer free today, helping over 1 million people at over 1,800 live and digital events around the world to rediscover their funny bones. , their mojo and their lens. https://www.saranne.com @sarannelive

View original content to download multimedia: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/can-humor-laughter–ai-reduce-the-stress-of-women-living-with-cancer-301353265. html

SOURCE The ComedyCures Foundation


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International headquarters

Vast Conquests Test America’s Hopes for a More Moderate Taliban


Officials in the Biden administration have maintained the optimistic claim that a desire for international approval could influence the actions of the Taliban. They reject criticism from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Who opposes the withdrawal and rejects what he calls “diplomatic carrots.”

“If the Taliban claim to want international legitimacy, these actions will not give them the legitimacy they seek,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Monday in one of several warnings from the administration.

US envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad traveled to Qatar on Tuesday to make the point directly to Taliban officials, telling Voice of America that if the Taliban take control of Afghanistan by force, ” they will become a pariah state ”.

Whether or not the Taliban heed this warning, Biden shows no signs of slowing down or reversing a decision to withdraw from the war.

The United States ends its nearly 20-year combat mission in Afghanistan on August 31 as part of an agreement President Donald Trump signed with the Taliban in 2020 plotted the September 11 attacks. He overthrew, along with Afghan allies, the Taliban government which had refused to surrender Osama bin Laden.

Only Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have recognized the former Taliban government. The inward-looking rulers applied the strictest interpretation of Islamic law. They banned singing, flying kites and watching television, and held public hangings at Kabul’s main sports stadium.

Mullah Mohammed Omar, then Taliban leader, made a gesture to the international community before September 11 by ending the heroin poppy cultivation, which UN officials have verified. But Omar told his ruling council that he believes there is nothing his government can do to end the international condemnation.

Members of Omar’s Taliban council at the time admitted that the financial sanctions were causing suffering.

For today’s Taliban, US talks about things like international inclusion, aid, and money for reconstruction might have mattered more if they had come a few years ago, a said Andrew Watkins, senior Afghanistan analyst for the International Crisis Group.

Today’s Taliban have been emboldened by the US withdrawal. Hopes of capturing all or part of Afghanistan, along with all the import fees at the border and other income a country offers, make international support less essential.

During the talks in Qatar, “the political representatives of the Taliban have expressed a genuine interest in international legitimacy and all the benefits that flow from it,” Watkins said. such global recognition or financial support, he said.

Trump and Biden officials hoped that the prospect of ending its former pariah status would moderate the behavior of the fundamentalist Pashtun ethnic group in various ways: negotiating its place in the Afghan power structure rather than taking it over, dealing with the Afghan minority groups with humanity and prohibit Islamic extremist groups from using the country as a base to attack on a regional or global scale.

Yet the Taliban’s political and military wings often seem at odds with Taliban representatives in Qatar, who negotiate as Taliban field commanders roll over the territory at home.

While political leaders speak of compromise and power sharing, Pakistani officials accustomed to private talks with the insurgent movement say they want full power.

They also envision a strict religious government, allowing girls to go to school and women to work, but only under their Islamic injunctions. Pakistani officials spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.

Some European diplomats are more skeptical than Americans that international opinion can influence the Taliban. The Afghan president too.

“Yes they have changed, but negatively,” Ashraf Ghani, who rushed to Balkh province, already surrounded by Taliban-held territory, told his cabinet this month to seek help to repel the insurgents.

The Taliban have become “crueler, more oppressive” and would only share power if they were forced to do so on the battlefield, Ghani said.

Scenes of black-turbaned Taliban officials signing the US withdrawal agreement with officials Trump himself have given the Taliban new legitimacy. The same is true of Trump’s praise of the enemies of the US Taliban on the battlefield as “very tough, very smart.”

Eager to maintain regional and even global trade and economic ties, Taliban officials appealed to Central Asian governments and diplomats in Russia and China, assuring the Taliban would be good neighbors.

The Taliban have largely honored at least part of their deal with Trump, repelling attacks on the withdrawal of US forces.

The deal’s core requirement for Americans says that the Taliban cannot again allow al-Qaida or anyone else to use Afghanistan to threaten the United States or its allies.

But an April Pentagon report said the Taliban had “mutually beneficial” relations with groups linked to al-Qaida, and felt the militia was unlikely to take substantive action against them.

Overall, “I don’t think the United States will get what it hoped for,” said Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili, associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh, researcher in Afghanistan and former head of US development in Central Asia. .

The Taliban “don’t really have any incentives,” unless their governing plans have changed, and it is not clear that they have changed, she said. “I think there was a lot of wishful thinking that the Taliban had changed, you know, in the fundamental sense of the word.”


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History organization

How the US withdrawal from Afghanistan threatens Russia


The departure of the United States from Afghanistan marks the culmination of the long turbulent period that began with the Soviet invasion of 1979. During this time, the Afghan Islamists became the adversaries of the United States and the USSR. Russia, and the discord between them helped them survive and persevere. While some Russian observers might view the US withdrawal as a defeat and a weakness, this development could lead to more problems for Moscow than benefits.

The US-led war in Afghanistan began in October 2001 in response to the September 11 attacks organized by Al Qaeda. Photo: internationalaffairs.org.au.

US-Russian competition and the emergence of the Islamic threat

The consequences of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan must be understood in the context of the history of Moscow-Kabul relations. Afghanistan has been a volatile place for a long time. In 1973, following a Rebellion organized by pro-communist rebels, the monarchy, led by Mohamed zahir shah, the only legitimate force accepted by most Afghans of diverse ethnicities, was overthrown, sparking a civil war. As internal fighting ravaged the country, Moscow first observed from a distance, but then decided, in 1979, to intervene in what became the USSR’s first foreign invasion outside its sphere of influence. . The ensuing guerrilla warfare lasted for years, with Afghanistan turning into a “bloody wound” for the Soviet Union, in the words of the Soviet Union. Mikhail Gorbachev.

It is generally assumed that the Soviet invasion was doomed, as the British had been before and the Americans after. This was not the case. Unlike the United States and even the British Empire, the USSR was prepared for a conflict that spanned several generations. It should be remembered that it took almost a hundred years for the Russian Empire to conquer the Caucasus, while the Soviet war with Basmachi, the Islamic rebels of Central Asia, lasted more than a decade, until early 1930s. But Gorbachev’s unexpected rise to power weakened the Soviet state, and by 1989 Soviet troops had left Afghanistan.

In the context of the Cold War rivalry, the United States was understandably content with the Soviet situation and actively supported the Afghan resistance, portraying its members as heroic freedom fighters. But with the departure of Soviet troops and the Afghan government left to its own devices, the Taliban, an Islamist movement and a military organization, have taken control of the country. In 1995, the Talibs enter Kabul, assassinate the Afghan president Mohamed najibullah, and created the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

Since Najibullah was installed by the Soviets, Washington was not disturbed by his demise, and the Taliban did not subsequently emerge as a problem for the American political establishment, for various reasons. This perspective, however, was primarily defined by the United States’ relationship with post-Soviet Russia. Undoubtedly, some American policymakers and observers believed that Russia would transform into a democratic capitalist state, marking this Francis Fukuyama called “the end of the story”. But, paraphrasing George orwell, “All ‘endings of the story’ are equal, but some are more equal than others. In this sense, Russia’s “end of history” in the form of the Soviet collapse differs greatly from that of the United States. resistance, even if some of its members were Islamists, in the Chechen wars for independence, on the assumption that they were the enemies of Russia. At the same time, the Russian elite have continually tried to extend an olive branch to Washington, even as the geopolitical honeymoon seemed over, especially after the 1999 attack between the United States and the United States. NATO against the former Yugoslavia.

The “Scythian” grievances of the West and Russia

Vladimir PoutineRussia’s succession to the presidency in 2000 did not bring about an immediate change in Russian attitudes: the new elite was not yet ready for a direct confrontation with adversaries and underestimated the danger of Islamism global. When he came to power, Putin sent mixed signals to the United States. On the one hand, he hinted that Russia would be more assertive, visiting North Korea and canceling a Chernomyrdin-Gore Commission deal that had cut off Russian arms sales to Iran. On the other hand, he was the first foreign leader to express full support for Washington after 9/11. He also made no objection to US bases in Central Asia, likely expecting geopolitical rewards. When none followed, Putin’s position hardened.

In his Munich speech in 2007, the Russian president accused the United States of striving for unchecked world domination, referring to its wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. By then, Russian-American cooperation had waned and Moscow was pushing Kyrgyzstan to close American bases in Manas. Still, Putin did not want to completely sever ties. In 2012, for example, he agreed that the United States could use the air base near the Russian city of Ulyanovsk as a “multimodal” transit facility to “transport goods and personnel to and from Afghanistan” .

Perhaps one of the best glimpses of Russia’s position on Afghanistan comes from a 2010 editorial for the New York Times co-written by the general Boris Gromov, former Soviet commander in Afghanistan, and Dmitry Rogozin, then Russian Ambassador to NATO. The article suggested that the United States and Russia should work together, as the two countries have a lot in common, at least when it comes to jihadists. The authors noted that Soviet troops in Afghanistan had defended “Western civilization,” which was, in a way, a reference to an idea first expressed in 1918 by the Russian seminal poet. Alexandre blok in his poem “The Scythians”.

In the poem, Blok explains metaphorically that the “Scythians” or Russians, while having “slanted eyes” to Asians, were in fact closer to Europeans, their “white brothers”, than to Asians. The “Scythians” had protected their “white brothers” for centuries from the “Mongols”, the barbaric Asian hordes, and expected gratitude. But instead, the “white brothers” waged endless wars against the “Scythians” (Russians). As such, the “Scythians” launched a final appeal to their “white brothers”, calling on them to make peace and unite together, otherwise they would simply let the countless hordes of “Mongols” and “Huns” pass. to Europe. and attack their “white brothers”, who, despite their technological advances, would not be able to resist these multitudes. If that were to happen, the “Scythians” (Russians) “will not budge” when the “frenzied Huns… roast their white-skinned fellows alive”.

In a way, these ideas were reflected in the thinking of a considerable section of the Russian elite, not just General Gromov and Rogozin, who hinted in the editorial that America should reconsider its views on Russia, and if the former were to follow his advice. , Moscow would help him deal with Afghanistan. The Kremlin was clearly prepared to compromise with the United States in the name of visible geopolitical cohesion, but nothing was achieved. In addition, with the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the Donbass War, US-Russian relations deteriorated almost to the level of the Cold War era, and any hope of cooperation between the two countries faded. practically extinct – even direct conflict could not be ruled out. Marking a new low, last year it was reported that members of a Russian military intelligence unit (GRU) offered to pay bounties to Taliban fighters to kill US and Allied soldiers in Afghanistan.

“Defeat” of the United States and Russian fears

Yet after the president Joe biden announced in April 2021 that US troops would withdraw from Afghanistan to end a war that had lasted around two decades – a move that sparked heated discussions over America’s crushing ‘defeat’, the Kremlin changed of your. Moscow probably realizes that it was the “white brothers” who protected Russia from the Asian hordes and Islamic extremists, and not the other way around. With the US withdrawal and the emergence of a power vacuum, these hordes could potentially spill over into Central Asia and head further north, to the borders of Russia, reactivating radical Islamism in the Caucasus regions of the North and the Volga.

This is an old Russian fear, envisioned in the 1990s by the late general Alexandre lebed, which at one point was considered Boris Yeltsinthe successor of. While the Taliban assures everyone, including Russia, that it has no appetite for overseas expansion – and the Taliban elite might in fact say it – the movement cannot control all of them. its factions: some of them surely dream of a world Islamist revolution. To add to the concerns of the Russians, there are groups of radicalized Tajiks and Uzbeks currently operating in Afghanistan who may attempt to bring extremist ideas back to their home countries, near Russian borders. Finally, the very vision of the Taliban beating the powerful “infidel” – America – could incite Islamists everywhere, including in the backyards of Russia. If history is any indication, the Bolshevik victory in the Russian Civil War spurred revolutionary movement around the world. All these factors alarmed not only the Russian leadership, but also the countries of Central Asia. In May, the Tajik president Emomali rakhmon arrived in Moscow for consultation and assurance, becoming the only foreign leader to participate in the annual Russian Victory Day parade in 2021.

The decline of the Roman Empire opened the doors for hordes of barbarians to invade unprotected territories and destroy Rome’s traditional enemies in the process. After (and even before) the January 6 Capitol uprising in Washington, some observers have drawn parallels between the United States and the declining Roman Empire. There is an analogy to be drawn: a decline in resources and social cohesion has led to the withdrawal of Rome (and now Washington) from the periphery of the empire. In both cases, many tribes and nations initially applauded this release. But let’s not forget that the end of Roman rule did not lead to universal peace, but to the long dark ages, strewn with chaos and subsequent decline.

Surely the Kremlin realizes that this scenario is likely to happen. And if chaos ensues after the United States withdraws from Afghanistan, the American imprint in that country and the Middle East may well be remembered with nostalgia, as Roman rule once was in a darkened plunged Europe. in the dark ages.


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World News Roundup: Trudeau Sentences 11-Year Chinese Court in Canada’s Espionage Case; Iranian Raisi appoints anti-Western hard line as new foreign minister, more


Here is a summary of the news in the world.

Trudeau condemns Chinese court’s 11-year sentence in Canadian spy case

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Wednesday that a Chinese court’s sentencing of Canadian businessman Michael Spavor to 11 years in prison for espionage was “absolutely unacceptable” and called for his immediate release. The US Embassy in Beijing also condemned the conviction in a statement, saying the prosecution of Spavor and another Canadian accused of espionage was an attempt to “use human beings as a bargaining chip.”

Iranian Raisi appoints anti-Western hard line as new foreign minister

New President Ebrahim Raisi on Wednesday appointed an anti-Western diplomat as foreign minister as Iran and six world powers seek to restore their 2015 nuclear deal. Raisi, a hardline supporter under Western sanctions for allegations of human rights violations while a judge, was sworn in on August 5 with religious leaders in the Islamic Republic facing growing crises at home and abroad.

Taliban could take Afghan capital in 90 days – US intelligence

Taliban fighters could isolate the Afghan capital in 30 days and possibly take control of it in 90 days, a US defense official told Reuters on Wednesday citing US intelligence as militants took control of an eighth Afghan provincial capital. The Taliban now control 65% of Afghanistan and have captured or are threatening to take 11 provincial capitals, a senior EU official said on Tuesday.

Ramaphosa de S. Africa says he tried to resist corruption as deputy to ex-president Zuma

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, testifying in a corruption probe on Wednesday, said he chose to “stay but resist” rather than resign as vice president when allegations of widespread corruption surfaced. surfaced under his predecessor Jacob Zuma. Ramaphosa, Zuma’s number two from May 2014 to February 2018, made anti-corruption a mainstay of his presidency, although opposition parties criticized him for not doing enough to stop the rot during his tenure of deputy.

Germany arrests Briton suspected of spying for Russia

German police have arrested a Briton who worked at the British embassy in Berlin on suspicion of passing documents on to Russian intelligence services in exchange for cash, prosecutors said on Wednesday. German prosecutors said the apartment and workplace of the man, identified only as David S., had been searched and he would be brought before an investigating judge later on Wednesday.

North Korea warns of “security crisis” if US, South Korea escalate tensions

North Korea said on Wednesday that South Korea and the United States had missed an opportunity to improve relations and risked a “serious security crisis” by choosing to escalate tensions as they conduct joint military exercises . Kim Yong Chol, a general and politician who played a leading role in historic summits between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and former US President Donald Trump, criticized South Korea and the United States for responding to Pyongyang’s goodwill with “hostile acts”.

Belarus calls on US to cut embassy staff by September 1, RIA says

Belarus has called on the United States to cut staff at its embassy in Minsk and revoked its consent to the appointment of Julie Fisher as ambassador in response to the latest Washington sanctions, Russian news agency RIA reported on Wednesday. RIA quoted a spokesperson for the Belarusian Foreign Ministry as saying that Minsk wanted the embassy staff to be reduced to five by September 1.

At least 65 dead in forest fires in Algeria

Forest fires that ravaged forest areas in northern Algeria have left at least 65 dead, state television reported on Wednesday, as some of the most destructive fires in the country’s history continued to rage . The government has deployed the military to help fight the fires, which have ravaged the mountainous region of Kabylia the hardest, and 28 of the dead are soldiers, with 12 others seriously injured from burns.

Analysis-Brazil Bolsonaro deploys tanks to cover weak position

Clouds of black exhaust fumes spewing aging tanks and amphibious vehicles passing far-right President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday were a bad smokescreen for a leader whose political support is crumbling and whose re-election is in trouble. Politicians and analysts said this week’s unusual military display outside the Presidential Palace https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/brazil-military-parade-presidential-palace-rattles-politicians-2021- 08-10 in Brasilia had not revealed the strength but rather the political weakness of a president on the ropes for not having taken Brazil out of the coronavirus pandemic and an economic crisis.

Greece says EU “is not ready for another migration crisis”

The European Union is unable to cope with another migration crisis like the one in 2015 and must act to try to prevent people from fleeing the growing conflict in Afghanistan, Greek Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi said on Wednesday. . Mitararchi, who last week co-signed a letter with ministers from five other EU countries saying deportations of failed asylum seekers should continue despite the fighting, said ending such returns “would send a bad message ”and would encourage more Afghans to try to reach Europe.

(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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Forest fires ravage Greece’s forests and cut the big island in two


GOUVES, Greece (AP) – Columns of smoke and ash blocked the sun over Greece’s second largest island and turned the skies orange as a days-old wildfire devoured pristine forests and triggered more evacuation alerts on Sunday, as residents called for additional firefighting. to help.

The fire in Evia, an island of mountains and forested canyons dotted with small coves of crystal clear water, began on August 3 and swept through the popular summer destination from coast to coast, burning uncontrollably for five days. Dozens of homes and businesses have been destroyed and thousands of residents and vacationers have been evacuated.

The fire is currently the most serious of dozens to erupt in Greece following the country’s most prolonged and intense heat wave in three decades, which has raised temperatures to 45 degrees Celsius (113 F) and created conditions of bone dryness.

The Greek Coast Guard said that three patrol boats, four navy ships, a ferry, two tourist boats and numerous fishing and private boats were ready to carry out further potential evacuations from the seaside village of Pefki, in the northern tip of Evia.

About 350 people have already boarded the ferry, the coast guard said, as towering flames cut many evacuation routes from the roads. Evacuation orders were issued for four villages, including Pefki, but some residents refused to leave, hoping to save their properties.

Planes and helicopters dropped water on the flames from above.

“It is already too late, the area has been destroyed,” lamented Giannis Kontzias, mayor of the municipality of Istiaia, north of Evia, on the Greek television channel Open TV. Residents of neighboring villages were urged to travel to Istiatia, a town of 7,000 in northern Evia that firefighters struggled to save overnight.

Villagers and residents of North Evia’s main port, Aidipsos, were urged to close windows, doors and fireplaces to prevent embers from entering homes.

Civil protection chief NIkos Hardalias said conditions in Evia were particularly difficult for planes and helicopters dropping water. Their pilots were facing “great danger” with limited visibility, air turbulence and wind currents from the fire, he said.

“We have a tougher afternoon ahead of us, a tougher night,” said Hardalias. “All the forces that have fought an uphill battle all these days will continue to operate with relentless intensity, with the same selflessness. “

Overnight, coast guards and ferries evacuated 83 people from the beaches of northern Evia. On Friday evening, ferries evacuated more than 1,000 people from beaches and a seaside village in doomsday scenes as flames raged on the hills behind them.

Local officials and residents of northern Evia called for television news broadcasts on Saturday, calling for more firefighters and planes to drop water.

Firefighters said 575 firefighters with 35 ground crews and 89 vehicles were battling the Evia blaze, including 112 Romanian firefighters and 100 Ukrainian firefighters sent to Greece as reinforcements. Four helicopters and three planes, including a huge Beriev-200 leased from Russia, provided air support.

Three other major fires also burned on Sunday in Greece’s southern Peloponnese region, while a massive blaze that ravaged forests, homes and businesses on the northern outskirts of the Greek capital appeared to be in decline. This fire traversed large swathes of a national park on Mount Parnitha, the largest remaining forested area near Athens which still bore deep scars from a fire in 2007.

The reactivation of the blaze north of Athens was a constant concern, Hardalias said, adding that firefighters and the military had patrolled through the night to deal with the situation. A firefighter was transferred to hospital on Sunday after losing consciousness while on patrol, Hardalias said. His condition was not life threatening.

A volunteer firefighter died on Friday from head injuries caused by a fall from a utility pole north of Athens, while at least 20 people were treated for fire-related injuries, including two firefighters who were hospitalized in intensive care.

The causes of the fires are under investigation. Three people were arrested on Friday _ in the greater Athens region, central and southern Greece _ on suspicion of starting fires, in two cases intentionally.

Another person, a 47-year-old Greek, was arrested on Saturday afternoon in the Athenian suburb of Petroupoli for lighting two fires in a grove and setting four dumpsters on fire, police said.

Ten countries have already sent firefighting personnel and equipment such as planes to Greece, while eight others are sending additional reinforcements.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis visited the firefighters’ headquarters in Athens on Saturday and expressed “deep sorrow” for the death of the volunteer firefighter. He then went to the airport from where the firefighting planes take off and thanked the pilots, Greek and French.

Ensuring aid to all those affected by the forest fires will be “my first political priority,” the prime minister said, promising that all burnt areas would be reforested.

“When this nightmarish summer is over, we will turn our full attention to repairing the damage as quickly as possible and restoring our natural environment,” Mitsotakis said.

Greek and European officials have blamed climate change for the large number of fires that have ravaged southern Europe in recent days, from Italy to the Balkans, Greece and Turkey.

Massive fires have also been burning in Siberia in northern Russia for weeks, forcing the evacuation of a dozen villages on Saturday. In total, forest fires have burned nearly 15 million acres this year in Russia.

In the United States, hot, dry and gusty weather also fueled devastating wildfires in California.

About the photo: People use a ferry to evacuate the village of Pefki on the island of Evia, about 189 kilometers (118 miles) north of Athens, Greece on Sunday, August 8, 2021. Columns smoke and ash block sun above Greece’s second-largest island as days-old wildfire is devouring pristine forests and triggering more evacuation alerts. (AP Photo / Petros Karadjias)

Copyright 2021 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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Dixie Fire explodes into the largest fire in California history; Forest fires continue to ravage Greece


In northern California, the Dixie Fire exploded over the weekend to become the largest blaze in California history – with half a million acres burned. California Governor Gavin Newsom visited Greenville, a gold rush-era town north of Sacramento, its downtown area almost completely destroyed by the Dixie fire on Saturday.

Governor Gavin Newsom: “Extreme weather conditions, extreme droughts lead to extreme conditions and forest fires like we have never seen in our history. And therefore, we have to recognize, right now, that these are climate-induced forest fires. “

There are currently 11 major wildfires raging in California and over 100 fires in 15 states – with over 2 million acres burned. Denver, Colo. Experienced the worst air quality of any major city in the world on Saturday as smoke from western fires filled the sky with a thick yellow-brown haze.

Meanwhile, fires continue to rage in southern Europe, which is experiencing a prolonged heat wave. In Greece, thousands of people fled their homes on the island of Evia, some of them escaping aboard coast guard ships, as a massive forest fire turned the night sky red .

Vasilikia: “I am very angry. Most of the people here are very angry. The catastrophe, you can see it, isn’t it? It’s huge. Our villages are destroyed. Nothing remains of our houses, our properties. Nothing. Nothing. “


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Afghanistan will sanction Pakistan? Vice-President Saleh reacts to ex-Canadian call for “invasion”


Responding to a tweet from former Canadian politician and diplomat Chris Alexander, Afghan Vice President Amrullah Saleh described the current period as a “period of shock” and has flooded confidence as he recovered. The Canadian diplomat spoke of the “Pakistan invasion of Afghanistan” and how it should be treated. With the hashtag “Sanction Pakistan”, the Canadian politician blasted Pakistan for its alleged involvement in the violence in Afghanistan.

“It’s on its way. The Afghan route,” the vice president wrote amid fierce fighting with Taliban forces.

Demonstration of the Afghan vice-president against Pakistan

As Afghanistan is in the throes of war, the country’s first vice president, Amrullah Saleh, joined a civil protest against the Taliban and Pakistan last week. As he marched through the streets of Kabul on August 3, the Afghan First Vice President was seen chanting Allah-o-Akbar and criticized Pakistan for supporting the Islamist movement Deobandi and the organization. military. The former director of the National Security Directorate, who has consistently spoken out against Pakistan’s support for the Taliban, took to the microblogging site and called the protest a “historic moment” against Tablian terrorists and their supporters.

25 Pakistani fighters killed by Afghan forces

According to reports, 25 Pakistani terrorists have been killed by Afghan forces so far in Nijrab, located 100 kilometers from Kabul. Among them, five are said to be Pakistani army commandos dressed as Taliban terrorists. The major revelation came as evidence regarding Afghanistan’s claims of Pakistani involvement on its soil. Reports further indicated that one of the commandos fighting alongside the Taliban had been ambushed by Afghan forces. After the assault, Afghan forces returned the bodies of Pakistani commandos through the Red Cross.

Imran Khan calls Taliban “normal civilians”

Anger against Pakistan escalated after a shocking statement was recently adopted by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in which he described the Taliban as not in military dress, but “normal civilians”. In an interview, Khan asked how Pakistan was supposed to hunt down the Taliban as it hosts three million Afghan refugees, the majority of whom are Pashtuns, the same ethnic group as the Taliban fighters. Khan has also denied claims about the Taliban’s alleged safe havens on Pakistani soil and has repeatedly shifted his argument in favor of the three million refugees in the country.


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Non profit living

Even if live concerts return, stream here to stay in Michigan


Just days before the pandemic interrupted life in the Detroit metro area and around the world in March last year, Stephen Wogaman, president of the Chamber Music Society of Detroit, was talking on the phone with his brother, a consultant. in computer science.

His brother asked what Wogaman was planning to do about COVID-19.

“I said, ‘Well, I heard about it,'” Wogaman recalls. “He said, ‘You have to be careful.’

Soon he was. COVID completely turned the Chamber Music Society season upside down, as it did all over cultural institutions, forcing them to quickly turn to streaming and webcast performances, which they never had. done before.

But that change – which involved quickly figuring out what equipment was best for streaming, perfecting the audio, and figuring out how to create the best quality webcast – was a step forward for the Chamber Music Society.

Even as he prepares for his 2021-22 season, which begins in September, they aren’t straying from the webcasts they’ve perfected during COVID. They will offer live performances but will stream them at the same time for those who wish to watch from home or from a distance.

“As we come out of this time – with caution – we see it as a way to expand our audience, to facilitate connections from audience members who may not be entirely comfortable coming back,” Wogaman said.

Concerts and live performances may be making a comeback in venues across the region, but streaming is here to stay in some venues, especially when it comes to classical, chamber and folk music. Some say they can reach an even larger audience far beyond Michigan through streaming or those with accessibility issues.

“It’s an important tool and access point,” said Marianne James, executive director of The Ark, a well-known folk music venue in downtown Ann Arbor that aired its popular folk festival in January. . “It doesn’t replace live performances, but it’s something that can really go with that and give artists and performances more reach.”

But could streaming concerts deter people from buying tickets to see shows in person, as some worry? Time will tell us.

Dinner with the DSO

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra, a leader in webcast presentation, has offered digital concerts for years, but expanded its offering during COVID-19 to include its pop concerts. Anne Parsons, CEO of DSO, said several subscribers told her how much they enjoyed the concerts that were broadcast during the pandemic, sitting down to “dine with the DSO.”

“When we have these gigs, they’re one of a kind,” Parsons said, referring to the pop gigs. “They tend not to be captured and they should be – and shared with the world.”

For this year’s Concert of Colors, the Midwest’s largest free music festival that runs through Monday, the format was a mix of live, broadcast and broadcast performances. Last year’s Concert of Colors, which was fully streamed, recorded 162,000 plays and views.

“We don’t want to give this up entirely,” said Ismael Ahmed, longtime founder and director of Concert of Colors.

But like James at the Ark, Wogaman agrees that streaming is not an alternative to live music. He said there is “no doubt” that hearing music in person is the “superior” way to experience it, but the pandemic has caused bands like his to rethink their approach. in some ways.

“A webcast captures this incredible sense of collaboration,” especially when it comes to chamber music, Wogaman said. “And that brings you to the front row when you’re in your living room.”

Learning curve

Even before Wogaman got out of the car after that phone call with his brother – who works with Gartner, a well-known company that does IT consulting work – he was already thinking about the bedroom’s next steps. He called the manager of his next act in March and asked if they would rather broadcast their performance than perform live, offering to pay 40% of their fees.

“The following week, two days after the World Health Organization declared the pandemic, we had an audience of 3,000 people watching our first webcast,” said Wogaman, who noted that it was is five times the audience they would have had in person.

Three weeks later, they aired another show. In total, since COVID, the Chamber Music Society of Detroit has broadcast over 30 concerts to date with over 60 other music presenters across the country on its CameraMusic platform, reaching audiences of nearly 200,000 across six continents. .

The Ark also launched a series of live concerts during COVID called the Ark Family Room series. They broadcast over 100 live shows.

“People really appreciated having access to this,” James said. “It was a great way to keep performers and audience members together.”

But it has been a learning process for the sites. The Chamber Music Society of Detroit has invested more than $ 10,000 in streaming material – they now use a live video streaming platform called Resi – and Wogaman has even started broadcasting streaming services at his Episcopal Church in Birmingham to train more.

“Personally, I learned to do it all – all the technical webcast stuff,” Wogaman said. “It’s not that we hired someone. We bought the equipment, we learned how to use it, we bought the licenses for the streaming equipment.”

One thing they noticed with the Wogaman Church webcasts is that people who didn’t normally attend church, or who could be considered recluses, “were suddenly much more connected than they were. never have been. Because they were able to attend the service. “

This approach could also help aging clients who cannot attend live shows for all kinds of reasons.

“For me, the most exciting thing about this ability that we have spent hundreds of hours learning and tens of thousands of dollars obtaining is now that we are able to do things that we cannot do. ‘Never even imagined possible,’ Wogaman said. “We flipped a switch and there it is.”

Every program that the Chamber presents this year, they will also be broadcast. They will also sell digital subscriptions for concerts and something called Digital Plus which will allow customers to attend two concerts in person as well.

In fact, the Chamber Society of Detroit now has so much streaming equipment – which Wogaman has driven all over the Midwest and East to broadcast concerts – that they are creating a set that they plan to set aside for them. non-profit groups.

Blessing and curse

The DSO launched its on-demand digital archive of performances called DSO Replay in 2015, making it the first streaming archive of any American orchestra. The orchestra was already a leader in webcasting its performances.

But not all cultural institutions have turned to streaming.

Streaming performances are not yet something the Michigan Opera Theater has looked at, said Christine Goerke, MOT’s new associate artistic director, “but I think it’s here to stay on course.”

“There are things that were made especially for streaming. It’s a different animal,” Goerke said. “Creating a piece designed to be filmed as if you were watching a movie? There’s another art form. It’s different from what we do. Maybe we’re creating something brand new.”

The Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD series shows its operas in more than 2,000 theaters across the country and in 70 countries around the world. But there is a downside to these HD shows, Goerke said.

“When these HD shows came on, it was a wonderful thing for people who lived far away, but it also reduced the number of subscribers,” she said. “They could just go to their movies instead of driving three hours to see a live show. It’s a blessing and a curse.”

James de l’Arche said the fear of deterring live audiences is something they also encounter with the artists they book. She said there was “general reluctance” on the part of some artists to stream their performances.

“Artists are really focused on wanting to be in a room with people” right now, she said.

Nevertheless, L’Arche is studying the performances it could still broadcast and the equipment it will need. He will likely begin with his free Artist Spotlight series when he returns this fall.

“We have learned so much and the public has come so far and accessed this technology,” said James. “A lot of people were reluctant like in ‘I won’t do this.’ Others have found that they really like this access. “

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Residents of the third quarter worry about gentrification, think it could lead to a loss of culture and history


THIRD ROOM – Residents who live in the historic Third Quarter said this is changing.

A quick drive around the neighborhood will reveal new developments in the form of luxury townhouses and vacant lots. According to Assata Richards, a third generation resident, this is the demolition of affordable housing for those who live in the neighborhood.

Richards said without affordable housing, longtime residents are displaced, which she says will result in the loss of the rich history and cultural heritage of predominantly African-American neighborhoods.

“My parents met in this block, in this street (rue des Emancipations). And when I see these institutions disappear, it breaks my heart, ”said Richards.

Richards said his family moved to the neighborhood in the 1950s and called him from home.

The changes in the neighborhood prompted her to become a founding member of the board of directors of the Economic Development Council of Emancipation.

A d

She said the organization is focused on combating gentrification and preventing it.

“Specifically, the displacement of African American residents and the history and culture of the neighborhood,” Richards said.

Dr. DZ Cofield, senior pastor of Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Third Ward, leads a congregation of over 2,500 people.

He tells KPRC that he has seen the effects of gentrification with his own eyes.

“Some of our older members chose to sell, and in some ways I understand. If you paid $ 100,000 for a house 50 years ago and someone offers you 900,000, and you’re already struggling with taxes or whatever, it’s like – I’m maybe be older but i’m not stupid. I will sell, ”said Dr Cofield.

One of the most notable aspects of gentrification, according to locals, is development.

For this reason, community organizations have formed the Emancipation Community Development or ECDP partnership to reduce displacement.

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A report from the ECDP Strategic Implementation Framework shows that investors owned 37% of the vacant land in the third quarter.

Bill Fulton, director of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University, conducted a separate study identifying neighborhoods at risk of gentrification.

According to the study, gentrification often eliminates affordable housing options, deep-rooted social networks and long-standing conveniences.

Land prices will also increase, just as they are in Third Ward.

“So if you want to develop a new building in the third quarter, what happens is that it has to be basically high-end townhouses so that the developer can make their money. So what we see before actual gentrification is often land speculation and the price of land going up dramatically, ”Fulton said.

A d

Fulton said the development is raising property taxes and longtime homeowners are struggling to pay their bills or maintain their homes, but he believes there may be a solution.

“Create a property tax system where long-term owners in places like this pay less in taxes,” he said. “There are property tax exemptions and reductions for all kinds of things, right? There is certainly a way to do this for long-time residents of gentrifying neighborhoods. “

Affordable housing for tenants is also needed.

According to an ECDP report, 27% of households in Third Ward paid more than half of their income in rent in 2017, which is comparable to 25% for the city of Houston, but is likely due to the high percentage of housing. community. households benefiting from a 25% housing allowance.

The report also pointed out that the median household income in Third Ward was $ 23,325, less than half that of the city of Houston, which is $ 47,493.

A d

Libby Viera-Bland, neighborhood development project manager at Project Row Houses, said organizations that provide affordable housing or are essential in keeping residents in communities.

“We have built affordable housing over the past decade in half an hour,” said Viera-Bland.

She said that so far, the organization has built 80 affordable housing units and is building 12 more units this year.

Richards believes that providing affordable housing will help residents of the community stay in their beloved neighborhood, but also preserve the history of the neighborhood, which is why she said she continues to fight for Third Ward.

“This community enabled me to obtain a doctorate. as a single mother. It has enabled me to achieve all of my aspirations as a first generation student, so I know what this community is all about, ”said Richards.

Copyright 2021 by KPRC Click2Houston – All rights reserved.


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Canadian army

Military will likely need more help with natural disaster response, DND says


With wildfires and flooding raging across the country this summer, hundreds of members of the Canadian Armed Forces have been called in to help with provincial emergencies – but they will likely need help to keep it going. do, a spokesperson for the Department of National Defense told iPolitics this week..

“WWe expect requests for assistance to increase, depending on the availability of provincial emergency resources, ”the spokesperson said in an email response. “This is consistent with the increase in the frequency and severity of natural disasters, both at home and abroad.”

Provincial emergency management organizations are the first to respond, but they can call in the military if they are overwhelmed.

“WWe expect that the need for Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) support for missions (Operation Lentus) will continue to increase at a constant rate in the medium to long term, which will result in an increased need for resources, ”he said. declared the spokesperson.

Operation Lentus is the CAF’s mission to respond to natural disasters.

While the military expects more deployments to require more resources, it is difficult to know when and how.

As the nature of the missions (of Operation Lentus) is unpredictable, there is no way to say exactly how or when this might impact our resources, ”the spokesperson said. “CAF’s requests for assistance are not predictable and therefore no amount is planned or set aside in advance. “

The cost of disaster relief has fluctuated wildly since 2013, according to figures provided to iPolitics by the Department of National Defense (DND).

In fiscal year 2017-18, thousands of troops and hundreds of vehicles were sent across the country to help six provinces deal with ice storms, floods and wildfires, according to a ministry. breakdown. DND spent $ 14 million on incremental costs, which are costs attributable to a specific mission.

In fiscal year 2014-2015, however, natural disaster relief cost the ministry just under $ 150,000.

While DND cannot predict with certainty how much future deployments will cost, it anticipates “more cyclical events,” the spokesperson said. These include the seasons of fires and floods, said Jonathan Vance, former Chief of the Defense Staff, speaking to the House Defense Committee in 2018.

The CAF plans for cyclical events, such as floods and forest fires, including such things as forecasting critical areas and assessing capacity gaps, ”the spokesperson said.

This planning includes “the identification, preparation and pre-positioning of Forces, facilitators and reserves (who) would be required to respond to fire, flood, natural disaster and the routing of goods.” humanitarian aid ”, as well as“ computer simulations, planning conferences, teleconferences, tabletop exercises, field simulations, etc. “Said the spokesperson.

The use of the military for more and more natural disasters is a source of concern, said Lt. Gen. Wayne Eyre, acting chief of staff, talk to the canadian press Last year. If this continues to be commonplace, which the ministry said it expects, it could hamper the military’s combat readiness, Eyre said.

Despite the expected increase and four deployments to date in 2021, the CAF is still ready to fight, the spokesperson said..

Although the increase in natural disasters has had an impact on the number of missions (Operation Lentus) performed by the CAF, it has not yet affected our combat readiness, ”they said.

“Mincentives are always in place to ensure that CAF support on the international stage, both for combat and non-combat missions, never suffers, ”the spokesperson said.

“This includes relying more heavily on the Reserve Force for domestic operations, at times, or working with federal and provincial partners to ensure the most efficient use of CAF resources here at home. “

The more frequent use of reserves has not changed the structure of the reserve forces, “nor the way they train or are employed, but simply the frequency with which they are called,” said the spokesperson.

The military response to more natural disasters is also of concern to Adam MacDonald, member of the International Council of Canada, who wrote a test on the subject for the Institute of the Conference of Defense Associations.

There is a “growing trend for the military (increasingly responding to national and) localized environmental disasters, which are expected to increase, given climate change,” he told iPolitics.

MacDonald worries “that this is already built into what the military was going to do in the future, without really thinking politically about whether or not we want the military to do it,” he said. declared.

As climate change continues to cause large-scale natural disasters and the military expects the military to continue to assist, MacDonald has suggested two solutions, without explicitly arguing for either. ‘other.

The first is that army reserves play a more active role in emergency management.

“I don’t think it’s realistic for a number of reasons,” he said. “Number 1 is that the reserve is a force of volunteers,” and volunteers might not want to fight fires or other disasters.

The second is that reserves are trained to do the same job as regular forces, so playing a more active role in emergency management could take time compared to training to replace regular forces when deployed overseas. , did he declare.

The other option is to create a new department, similar to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the United States, which is explicitly responsible for responding to disasters.

“This is the question, ‘do we need to build capacity and expertise to (deal with) the increasing likelihood of natural disasters and other national problems? ”Said MacDonald.

“This is where the FEMA structure could work, but it could be a bit difficult, given that each province has their own emergency management organization, so there could be (battles) over who is in charge. enough to.”

Helping provinces deal with natural disasters is a core function of the CAF, as defined in the 2017 Defense Ministry report. policy document, “Strong, secure and committed”.

The use of CAF members to help provinces is increasingly common, says analysis by military experts Christian Leuprecht and Peter Kasurak for the Center for International Governance Innovation.

From 1996 to 2006, the CAF was deployed on 12 weather-related missions. Between 2007 and 2016, this number rose to 20.

From 2017 to 2019 alone, the CAF was mobilized for 15 missions.

In a mission last year dubbed Operation Laser, the CAF even helped long-term care homes in Quebec and Ontario that were overwhelmed by COVID. Other than this effort, the CAF has only been deployed to the provinces once: to help Newfoundland and Labrador weather a major snowstorm in January 2020.

In 2021, the army has so far been deployed in Manitoba, Ontario and British Columbia to fight forest fires, and in the Yukon to help protect against flooding.

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International headquarters

G7: Iran, behind the attack on an oil tanker, “threatens international peace” | Expedition News


Tehran denies being behind a drone attack on an oil tanker linked to Israel, but the G7 says “all available evidence clearly points to Iran.”

G7 foreign ministers said that “all available evidence clearly indicates that Iran” was behind a July 29 drone attack on an Israel-linked tanker that killed a former British soldier and a Romanian national.

“It was a deliberate and targeted attack, and a flagrant violation of international law … There is no justification for this attack,” ministers from the world’s seven most developed countries said in a statement on Friday.

The vessel was a Japanese oil tanker, flying the Liberian flag, operated by the Israeli company Zodiac Maritime.

Iran has firmly denied having any connection to the MV Mercer street attack, which came as tensions rise in the region and talks to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear program deal stalled .

But European countries and the United States renewed their accusations at a closed-door Security Council meeting at UN headquarters in New York on Friday.

“The UK knows Iran is responsible for this attack. We know it was deliberate and targeted, ”said British Ambassador to the UN Barbara Woodward, who added that the evidence was“ clear ”.

“The door to diplomacy and dialogue remains open. But if Iran chooses not to take this path, then we will seek to hold Iran to account and apply a cost to it, ”she told reporters.

The Security Council is due to discuss the incident further at a public meeting on maritime security on Monday.

G7 ministers declared that “ships must be allowed to navigate freely in accordance with international law” and pledged to “do everything possible to protect all navigation, on which the world economy depends”.

“Iran’s behavior, as well as its support for proxy forces and armed non-state actors, threatens international peace and security,” they said, calling on Tehran to end all activities inconsistent with Iranian resolutions. Security Council.

“Iran will not hesitate to defend itself”

The United States and Israel have singled out Iran for being behind the attack on the tanker, which is led by a prominent Israeli businessman in London.

Iran’s deputy ambassador to the UN, Zahra Ershadi, rejected accusations that Tehran was behind the attack and warned against retaliation: “Iran will not hesitate to stand by. defend and protect its national interests “.

In a separate statement, the US military said explosives experts from the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan – which deployed to aid Mercer Street – concluded the drone was produced in Iran.

He said explosives experts were able to recover several pieces of a drone, including part of the wing and internal components that he said were almost identical to previously collected samples from Iranian attack drones.

The US military also suggested the attack may have been launched from the Iranian coast, saying the distance to the scene of the attacks “was within range of documented one-way Iranian drones.”

“Some of the material was transferred to the headquarters of the US Fifth Fleet in Manama, Bahrain, and then to a US national laboratory for further testing and verification,” said Central Command, which oversees US forces in the area. region, in the press release.

Security analysts said the fatal attack raised the stakes in the “shadow war” against ships linked to Iran and Israel.

Iran was blamed again on Tuesday for the alleged hijacking of an asphalt and bitumen tanker in the Gulf of Oman, which prompted further denials from the Islamic Republic.

The tensions came as former head of the hard-line judiciary Ebrahim Raisi took over as Iranian presidency this week following his victory in the June election, replacing Hassan Rouhani who was seen as a more moderate figure.


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History organization

The continuation of Kurdish oppression in Turkey


EDMONDS, Washington – The Kurdish ethnic populations have resided in parts of Asia Minor and the Middle East for centuries. Various nations have forcibly drawn lines across their native territories over time. After World War I, the establishment of Turkish borders limited the possibility of a formal and cohesive Kurdish state. In modern times, there are around 30 million ethnic Kurds in the world. This makes the Kurdish people “one of the largest groups of people without […] a nation-state ”or a land of their own. Much of the total Kurdish population resides in Turkey, where Kurds face violence, discrimination and social ostracism.

Kurdish oppression in Turkey

Ethnic Kurds and ethnic Turks have had particularly strained relations in recent history. According to The Kurdish Project, a non-profit rights advocacy and education organization, Turkey’s modern borders run directly through Kurdistan. Kurdistan, a historically Kurdish region that is not a country, has territories in Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria.

Since the founding of Turkey, Kurdish culture, language and expression of identity have come under fierce repression, with tensions having increased dramatically over the past 40 years. In an interview with The Borgen Project, retired US diplomat Fred Lundahl said: “What the Kurds had to face in order to do something, to gain a sense of respect, has always been difficult. Lundahl spent 30 years in embassies around the world for the State Department.

The Turkish government has a history of oppression against Kurdish culture, even suppressing the names Kurdish families give to their children. In 2003, the Turkish national authorities passed a reform law aimed at limiting names using the letters x, q, and w – letters traditionally found in Kurdish names. ” Because they are [Kurds] immediately noticed by their names […] they’ve been fundamentally oppressed all this time, ”Lundahl observed.

In a court case around the same time, authorities attempted to prosecute seven parents in the southern Turkish town of Diyarbakır for giving their children Kurdish names. The prosecution argued that the names were secret codes in a Kurdish terrorist ploy against the Turkish government. Although a judge ultimately dismissed the case, resistance to Kurdish expression continued.

Kurdish reprisals

Continued oppression and exclusion from Turkish political, cultural and social landscapes has resulted in the ostracization of the Kurds. According to Lundahl, “government after government has missed the boat in trying to calm that sentiment. This led to the tensions that still persist today.

The Kurdish oppression exercised by the Turkish government has directly and indirectly generated a committed nationalist movement. This manifestly manifested itself in the form of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, in the 1970s. Until his capture in 1999, Abdullah Öcalan, a Kurdish Turk, led the PKK, which was widely referred to as an organization. terrorist. Before Öcalan’s capture, the actions of the PKK resulted in the deaths of around 30,000 people. The group initially worked with the goal of establishing a Kurdish region in southern Turkey, although this goal has changed over time.

In its early years, the PKK appealed to many Kurds of all stripes. In particular, he tried to attract Kurds from poor and disadvantaged areas. A major conflict between the PKK and the Turkish government in 1984 resulted in the government’s forced expulsion of around one million Kurds. Mass unrest and the destruction of Kurdish communities accompanied these expulsions. The Kurdish Project suggests that organizations like the PKK provide the Turkish government with the justification to oppress and terrorize everyday Kurds.

The politics of the Turkish majority and the Kurds

Over the past 20 years, the majority political party in Turkey has risen: the Justice and Development Party, or AKP. The AKP’s growing power has led to even fewer attempts at inclusion in Turkey, according to Lundahl. At the forefront of this struggle are the current Turkish President Recep Tayyip ErdoÄŸan, leader of the AKP, and the organization’s conservative values. “What [ErdoÄŸan] in fact, it is to serve the Islamic people, more fundamentalist, in the small towns of central Turkey, it is its base. And this base feels threatened by the Kurds, ”Lundahl said.

Particular movement against the Kurds in Turkey, in addition to political persecution and imprisonment, has come in the form of Turkey’s hydroelectric efforts in the Kurdish regions of Turkey. Since the early 2000s, when the AKP came to power, the government has exercised significant control over a campaign of roadblocks in Turkey’s southeastern provinces. This has disproportionately affected Kurdish communities and infrastructure, as well as neighboring regions heavily dependent on controlled water supplies.

“There have also been major development projects in eastern Turkey that revolve around these dam systems […] for electricity and water for irrigation, ”Lundahl shared. “These projects were peddled because ‘it will bring economic development to the Kurdish regions of Turkey.’ In fact, the Kurds did not take advantage of it. The Kurds lost land, Turkish companies arrived with big agricultural companies. All of these things… are getting worse and worse.

The Kurdish role in the Syrian civil war

Other factors of Kurdish oppression are the war on terrorism and the involvement of the United States in the Kurdish regions of northern Syria. The main US allies in the fight against Islamic extremism, the Kurdish Protection Units, or YPG, have played a crucial role in helping US forces fight groups like ISIS.

Turkey, on the other hand, treats the YPG with significant hostility. When former President Donald Trump withdrew US forces from Syria, the YPG lost significant support and resources that the United States provided, paving the way for Turkish forces in the region to resume their efforts to counter them. Kurds and others in the area.

In Turkey, the conflict in Syria has also shaped the social landscape. According to Lundahl, “He [were]large number of Syrian refugees that the Turks had allowed in, and what was interesting about it was that this was allowed by the [Turkish] government, it was to keep them away from the war zones, which happened to be Kurdish zones.

Lundahl now owns Music for the Eyes, a boutique specializing in cultural objects in Langley, Washington. He recalled his last trip to Turkey to visit suppliers: “Many shops in downtown Istanbul were run by Syrians… so there was a whole other social problem that arose because they were taking the relay of the urban Turks. Lundahl further suggested that Kurdish businesses in Turkey had been affected by the Syrian refugee crisis. It also further ostracized the Kurds.

Outlook

Despite the Turkish government’s best efforts to subdue the Kurds, many still have hopes for cultural, social and political freedom. “We have been following for years the struggle of the Kurds to emerge from their second-class status [… as well as] the wonderful things the Kurds did in Iraq to get their own country, indeed, ”Lundahl said. Kurds in cities in southern Turkey revive the ancient oral practices of Dengbej, a musical storytelling tradition that dates back 5,000 years. His return represents the preservation of heritage in the face of oppression.

Although the situation carries a complex diplomatic weight and serious humanitarian concerns, it is not hopeless either. Organizations like The Kurdish Project strive to make Kurdish oppression, history and struggles known to everyday Kurds. Their work continues to advocate for the rights of Kurds in Turkey and beyond.

– Maddie Youngblood
Photo: Unsplash


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Canadian army

Mundell brings the history of vets to life in downtown Terre Haute


August 6 — Downtown Terre Haute hosts another mural, this one honoring deceased Vigo County veterans, as well as veterans from surrounding counties.

“The intention is to honor fallen soldiers,” said Brian Mundell, owner of the Terre Haute Veterans Memorial Museum, 1129 Wabash Ave.

“My goal is to have names there that have passed, not only from Vigo County, but also from surrounding counties. several different counties. Local artist Becky Hochhalter has started the piece and expects her part of the work to be finished early next week, depending on the weather. Then, once Mundell receives the signs with the names of the fallen soldiers, it will be complete.[memorialhonoringfallensoldiersfromseveraldifferentcountiesocalartistBeckyHochhalterhasstartedthepieceandexpectsherpartoftheworkwillbefinishedbyearlynextweekdependingontheweatherThenonceMundellreceivesthepanelswiththenamesoffallensoldiersitwillbecomplete[memorialhonoringfallensoldiersfromseveraldifferentcountiesocalartistBeckyHochhalterhasstartedthepieceandexpectsherpartoftheworkwillbefinishedbyearlynextweekdependingontheweatherThenonceMundellreceivesthepanelswiththenamesoffallensoldiersitwillbecomplete

Nine years ago, Mundell opened the museum to pursue his passion for military history and memorabilia.

He started collecting objects in 2004 after a trip to France, and his basement quickly began to overflow with history. So he decided to move his growing collection to a space that would honor local veterans.

“I have a lot of personal things like uniforms, photos, helmets and a lot of things that belonged to soldiers,” Mundell said. “I have German, Japanese and Vietnamese things. I try to identify everything with the veteran he belonged to. I also try to get a picture of the veteran, so that people passing by can put a face on that person. “

Mundell is always on the lookout for military memorabilia from the First World War to the present day.

“There are so many things in people’s closets, attics, basements and garages,” he said. “It’s amazing how many things came through the door that were donated by the people here.”

The museum is always looking for volunteers and is open every Saturday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. or by appointment.

Visitors who wish to make an appointment can call 812-208-1396.


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International headquarters

Smart Wires CEO Peter Wells explains his stint at NC


Peter Wells, CEO of energy technology company Smart Wires, believes his business is poised for serious growth in the years to come.

But that growth, according to Wells, would have been difficult to manage in the San Francisco area, where the company has been based since its inception in 2010.

Last week, Smart Wires, which manufactures technology to efficiently manage energy in power grids, announced it was moving its Bay Area headquarters to Durham. It’s a move that will ultimately create some 250 jobs at the Triangle, and North Carolina has offered the company a $ 2.8 million incentive program to make it happen.

In an interview with The News & Observer, Wells said the decision was about access to talent. In California, he said, competition between companies has grown fierce and the cost of living keeps entry-level employees away.

“It’s a little harder to find (and) dear people when you do,” Wells said in a Zoom interview.

And due to the nature of their business, which is designing technologies for power grids, the business often hires highly skilled electrical engineers, many of whom have doctorates. And other companies and industries have constantly tried to pull them off.

“The talent was sort of being harvested by other industries that maybe paying a lot more money than you might see in energy,” Wells said. “It was a challenge.”

As the company was poised to accelerate its growth in the coming months, Wells believed it was time to move the corporate headquarters. And as the company’s lease expires at the end of the year, it has started a nationwide search.

Smart Wires ended up narrowing its search to five cities, Well said, including Austin, Atlanta, Denver, the Triangle and its existing location in Union City, California.

Pierre.jpg
Peter Wells, CEO of Smart Wires Smart wires

The Triangle, Wells said, had the best overall score in its analysis thanks to its cost of living, existing energy technology companies and local universities.

“There are other (power) companies here, like Hitachi ABB,” Wells noted. And “NC State is doing very well in this area. Duke has a very good electrical engineering program. There are other colleges around, and Georgia Tech is not that far. I mean there is a lot going on in the area.

It’s also – at least for now – reasonably priced, Wells said, especially compared to places like Boulder, Colorado and Austin.

“The cost of living and housing is clearly increasing (in the Triangle),” he said, “because companies are coming in and investing… but there is still a long way to go before they reach” the levels Californians.

Wells knows the Triangle well, although a lot has changed since he was last there. He worked at the GE plant in Wilmington between 2003 and 2010, and visited Raleigh often. Since then, he said, the area’s cultural amenities, from bars and restaurants to music and cafes, have improved dramatically.

The company hopes to open its research and development lab in Durham later this year. It is currently targeting space in southern County Durham, near Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

Some of the company’s 140 or so employees will relocate to the Triangle, but most of them will either stay in California or work remotely. About 40% of the company’s employees work abroad.

Currently, approximately 15% of Smart Wires’ business is located in the United States. The company is very active in South America, the UK and Australia, where countries are really investing in efforts to modernize their power grids, Wells said.

But Wells believes the US market could be an important area of ​​growth in the years to come, as investment picks up in wind and solar power. Smart Wires technology helps utility providers connect their grids to wind turbines and solar panel farms and helps them efficiently manage the energy that results from them.

Wind turbines and solar panels are often built far from traditional power grids, complicating how utility companies can efficiently manage their energy.

“In England, all renewable energy is produced in Scotland and off the North Sea. But all the demand is in the south of England, “Wells said, adding that most countries have a similar dynamic, including the United States.” You can’t just move electricity. And everyone’s having these issues, so they don’t have enough capacity, and they’re having congestion issues.

Wells said the United States could see increased investment in modernizing power grids across the country, so they can handle more connections to alternative energy. The company is closely monitoring what will be included in an infrastructure bill currently being debated in Congress, and hopes it will provide incentives to modernize power grids.

“Frankly, even without this (infrastructure bill),” Wells said, utilities “are going to have to modernize. They can’t avoid it. So we think that over time, the US market … will probably represent more than 30 to 50% ”of the company’s activity.

This story was produced with the financial support of a coalition of partners led by Innovate Raleigh as part of an independent journalism scholarship program. The N&O retains full editorial control of the work. Learn more; go to bit.ly/newsinnover.

Related articles from Raleigh News & Observer

Zachery Eanes is the Innovate Raleigh reporter for The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun. It covers technology, startups and large companies, biotechnology and education issues related to these fields.


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Non profit living

The logic of Cori Bush’s fight for the moratorium on evictions


Cori Bush knows the violence that can stem from homelessness – and how it so often begins with deportation. Local surveys have found that from 12% to almost half of people living on the streets blame the eviction for their homelessness. Bush, who is now the Democratic Representative of the United States from Missouri, lived in a Ford Explorer with her then husband and two young children for three months after the family was deported in 2001.

It considers the right to housing to be a central principle of environmental justice. Homelessness and housing insecurity, she argued, hamper families’ ability to access the resources – clean water, fresh food, heating and air conditioning – needed to survive. The past year has been particularly deadly for homeless people, as relentless heat waves, poor COVID-19 precautions and unhealthy air quality levels exacerbated by wildfires and pollution have made life on the streets even more dangerous. At the same time, cities across the country have decided to criminalize housing settlements and limit the rights of the homeless.

“I don’t want anyone else to have to go through what I’ve been through, ever,” Bush told The Associated Press. So when the White House said last week it couldn’t extend the federal moratorium on evictions – which has banned evictions since March 2020 to curb the spread of COVID-19 – by possibly letting it expire, it took the fight in hand. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimated that 11.4 million adult renters were on the verge of eviction.

For four nights, Bush slept outside the United States Capitol, demanding that President Joe Biden extend the moratorium. In the end, she and her congressional allies won. On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, issued a new moratorium on evictions that will last until October 3. which would cover areas where 90 percent of the US population lives. The CDC’s new moratorium comes after the Biden administration claimed it did not have the power to extend the eviction ban – and after some localities have already started resuming evictions. (Despite the moratorium, declining state protections and inadequate legal services have led to at least 450,000 evictions during the pandemic, according to the Princeton University Eviction Lab.)

Representative Cori Bush speaks with supporters outside the United States Capitol to call for an extension of the federal moratorium on evictions on July 31, 2021. Photo by Joshua Roberts / Getty Images

In a column for Time last week, Bush denounced the “consequences of our government’s failure to provide the basic necessities that people need to survive.” On the same day, she introduced a “Homeless Bill of Rights,” which calls on Congress to end homelessness in the United States for good by 2025 by investing in affordable housing, universal housing vouchers and social services for people most likely to live on the streets.

While many environmental activists, including the Sunrise movement, have called the new moratorium a victory for climate justice, Bush and other housing advocates argue that protection is one of many that must be instituted to ensure housing and environmental justice for America’s most vulnerable .

Julian Gonzalez, a water policy lobbyist with nonprofit group Earthjustice, says issues such as unaffordable public services are another front in the fight to ensure housing security. (Disclosure: Earthjustice is a Grist advertiser.)

“The affordability of utilities, especially the affordability of water, is a big part of the housing crisis and environmental justice,” Gonzalez told Grist. “Eventually the moratorium on evictions is going to be lifted and people are going to be grappling with bills, and they are going to have their water and electricity cut off – with that comes displacement and eviction.”

This is especially important, according to Gonzalez, because while there are state and national programs to provide assistance for energy bills, there are none for water. Households across the country face billions of dollars in utility debt, and hundreds of thousands of homes face utility cuts. Earthjustice and other organizations across the country are calling for the inclusion of water and utility assistance programs in the next congressional infrastructure bill, which in its current version only includes a pilot low-income rural water assistance program in 40 towns without authorized funding.

Courtney McKinney, director of communications at the nonprofit Western Center on Law and Poverty, said the United States should create a system that permanently limits the prevalence of evictions. The center is working to create state-based legal aid funds, dubbed the “homelessness prevention fund”. Across the country, only 10 percent of tenants who go through eviction proceedings have legal representation, compared to 90 percent of landlords.

The eviction creates an endless cycle of substandard housing, McKinney argues. According to Princeton’s Eviction Lab, 70% of evicted tenants experience serious quality-of-life issues in the next home they move into.

“Across the country, the climate is making the situation even more dire,” McKinney told Grist. “In the West, in particular, climate change, substandard housing and homelessness are a deadly reality in the future.”




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A Q&A with The Wilderness Society’s New Mexico Deputy Director – High Country News – Know the West


Kay Bounkeua discusses Lao-Chinese childhood in the state, its connection to the landscape, and the future of the conservation movement.

In the mid-1980s, when Kay Bounkeua was a toddler, her family moved to Northeast Heights, a historically white-only neighborhood in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her parents had moved to the city from a refugee camp in Thailand more than a decade earlier, after war flooded their landlocked home Laos. When neighbors learned that a Lao-Chinese family was moving in, they signed a petition warning that immigrants would bring the crime with them and devalue local real estate. It was one of the many incidents of racial harassment that plagued Bounkeua’s childhood.

Growing up the way she did, worried about discrimination, financial hardship, and feelings of not belonging, Bounkeua enjoyed biking and hiking in the Sandia Mountains with her family. There they could just be themselves. She fondly remembers speaking with her parents in Lao and Mandarin while contemplating the desert landscape. They all found solace outside, she said. They didn’t worry about “speaking bad languages” and “eating bad food”.

In 2010, Bounkeua joined the Asian Family Center in New Mexico, where he later served as Executive Director. She has led initiatives to provide language access to newcomers and has championed community concerns in local and national politics. But over a year ago, she changed careers: she became the New Mexico deputy director of the Wilderness Society, focusing on working with underrepresented communities in the outdoors and in conservation. .

Heidrich photography

Recently, High Country News spoke with Bounkeua about his transition from social work to conservation, and what it’s like to be one of the few Asians in conservation in the South West. Now that the Biden administration is committed to the “30×30” plan and an inclusive and sustainable future, she believes this is the perfect time to bring diverse community perspectives into the mainstream of conservation. This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

High Country News: Can you tell me a bit about your past work with the Asian community in New Mexico?

Kay Bounkoua: In 2010, I came to the Asian Family Center as a program coordinator. At the time, it was primarily a direct service provider, providing intervention services to victims of domestic violence. Four years later, I became the managing director. As the organization grew and I dealt with what my family had been through, we created culturally appropriate programs. Just think of those who go from moving to relocating and trying to figure it all out as you build a new home.

I also thought about the future of the organization more from a social justice perspective. As young people who have felt, seen and experienced oppressive actions against our community became more politically engaged, the center has done more organizational and civic engagement work to help members of the Asian community. to exercise their right to vote. We have also started to discuss access to languages ​​in New Mexico. In this way, the Asian Family Center not only provided services to people in the community, but also implemented change at the system level.

HCN: Why did you join the Wilderness Society?

KB: Because I had my daughter, who is now 2 1/2 years old. This shift to parenthood got me thinking about the kind of life I want her to have and the kind of world we leave for our children. And I think this connection to land and place is critical.

As for my relationship with the land and what it means, I think a lot about Laos. When I visited Laos when I was little, before even going up a mountain road, we visited a shrine that people created at the bottom of the mountain, where you pray that the mountain spirits ask permission to cross the country. and guides you throughout your journey. This kind of spiritual connection reminded me that so many do have that spiritual connection with places here in New Mexico.

My dad always told me that the landscape of New Mexico is similar to that of Laos in that it is landlocked and warm. This vivid landscape made me feel connected to my parents’ homeland when I was young – but I’m afraid it will fade away and the ways I connected across the land of New Mexico are no longer. available so that I can share them with my daughter.

Kay Bounkeua and her young daughter hiked the Sandia Mountains near Albuquerque, New Mexico last winter.

Courtesy of Kay Bounkeua

HCN: How has your past community work inspired your conservation efforts at the Wilderness Society?

KB: To do conservation work, you cannot separate it from community work. We should consider the environment and its impacts on the health of communities as an ecosystem. For example, neighborhoods that have been marked in red have fewer trees and are more affected by heat waves. A higher urban heat index is also correlated with higher rates of violence. All of these contribute to the negative effects on the health of our communities.

HCN: What would you like to see changed in the Wilderness Society under your leadership to address the history of exclusion and discrimination in the mainstream conservation movement?

KB: I hope that we will continue to recognize the deep trauma suffered by communities while proposing solutions found within these communities. How can we examine environmental racism, environmental degradation and the root causes of these problems in our community? How do we invest money in Indigenous, Asian, Latin and other colored communities? For those who continue to be most impacted by climate and extinction crises, I think this is where the magic will happen. And a big part of that job is building trust and relationships, which takes a long time.

There is a lot of harm when we do not include people of color in the decision making process. So we began to conduct a series of 25 different hearing sessions with Black, Indigenous, Asian, Latinx and other people of color leaders and organizations to understand what “conservation” means to them and how to make conservation into the realm. New Mexico could be in a respectful relationship with them.

To do conservation work, you cannot separate it from community work. We should consider the environment and its impacts on the health of communities as an ecosystem.

HCN: To achieve a fair and sustainable future under “30×30”, what should policymakers and environmental organizations in the West do to involve more people of color in the movement?

KB: It is important to note that traditional knowledge and science can coexist. But so many times it feels like you can only do one or the other. If we create policies by looking only at Eurocentric science, it is a huge disservice to things that people have known for generations that could potentially support something that we are working on. And we need to welcome people who have been historically excluded from the environmental conservation movement so that they can give their opinion.

There are so many amazing indigenous led organizations across the state and across the country that we should just follow suit as they were the original and continuing stewards of this land. We can also learn from emerging groups, such as Outdoor Afro, Outdoor Asian and Latino Outdoor. They are so culturally based and understand these issues from a racial equity perspective and can provide many solutions to the issues that we are all trying to solve.

Wufei Yu is an editor at High Country News. Send him an e-mail To [email protected] or submit a letter to the editor.



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Non profit living

Jam to Low-Down Blues with Hurricane Jerry Loos at the Westerwood Blueberries and The Blues Concert


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Aug 4, 2021 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) – The Westerwood Senior Living Community is hosting a Blueberries & The Blues Summer Concert from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Friday August 13, 2021, featuring the local blues artist Hurricane Jerry Loos. Relax in the shade as you listen to soft blues and celebrate Columbus blueberry season with chilled blueberry limoncello cocktails and savory treats created by Chef Marshall of Westerwood.

“We are delighted to welcome Hurricane Jerry and showcase Chef Marshall’s culinary skills,” said Lisa Burkhart, Executive Director. “These events are a great way for us to showcase our great community. Participants will be able to meet residents and team members, and schedule community tours.

RSVP today for The Blueberries and The Blues concert by calling 614-368-1209 or visiting https://www.liveatwesterwood.org/events/. And be sure to enter to win one of four Fresh Thyme Market gift certificates and a basket full of all things blueberries.

Hurricane Jerry Loos began playing guitar in the late 1960s and worked for decades at local recording studios in Columbus Ohio. A versatile guitarist, Jerry has worked with a wide range of independent artists playing styles such as Gospel, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Country and more. Jerry enjoys many styles of music but plays blues / rock in his band “Hurricane Jerry and Stormfront”

Listen to Hurricane Jerry on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aaHC4215onQ.

Westerwood is also hosting a Resident Lifestyle Brunch at 10 a.m. on August 18, 2021. In addition to enjoying a delicious free brunch, residents and the dedicated team will share what makes Westerwood a great place to enjoy. the life. They will also share updates on the exciting new outdoor amenities that are being added to the 23-acre campus! RSVP today by calling 614-368-1209 or visiting https://www.liveatwesterwood.org/events/.

Westerwood, formerly Friendship Village Columbus, is a quaint 23-acre nonprofit retirement community rooted in northeast Columbus. It is minutes from downtown Westerville and the University of Otterbein. The active resident community enjoys lifelong learning, artistic pursuits, exercise, giving back and connecting with nature. Westerwood offers a full continuum of best-in-class care, including a Life Care contract.

This wooded oasis offers restaurant quality cuisine cooked from scratch, wellness classes with a personal trainer, an art studio, carpentry and gardens in a friendly atmosphere where ageless spirits can satiate their curiosity. . Westerwood is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit charitable community. It is classified as a community of choice by the Holleran group in recognition of an exemplary culture of resident engagement. Westerwood is SAGECare Platinum Certified, has received the Columbus CEO Top Workplaces Award six years in a row, and has received the Best of Business: Retirement Community award. Learn more at https://liveatwesterwood.org/.

#SummerConcert #HurricaneJerryLoos #OurCampusYourCanvas #SeniorLiving #ColumbusBlueberrySeason

NEWS SOURCE: Westerwood Life Care Community

This press release was issued on behalf of the information source (Westerwood Life Care community) who is solely responsible for its accuracy, by Send2Press® Newswire. Information is believed to be accurate but is not guaranteed. Story ID: 73980 APDF-R8.2

© 2021 Send2Press®, a press release and electronic marketing service of NEOTROPE®, California, United States.

To view the original version visit: https://www.send2press.com/wire/jam-to-low-down-blues-with-hurricane-jerry-loos-at-the-westerwood-blueberries-and-the- blues-concert /

Disclaimer: The contents of this press release were not created by The Associated Press (AP).


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International headquarters

Aro Biotherapeutics Expands Management Team and Plans to Move to New Philadelphia Headquarters to Drive Next Phase of Growth


PHILADELPHIA CREAM – (COMMERCIAL THREAD) – Aro Biotherapeutics, a pioneering biotechnology company in the development of genetic tissue-targeted drugs, today announced the appointment of three new executives, including Scott Greenberg as COO, Jeffrey Staiger as as Senior Vice President of Finance and Business Development, and Michael Tortorici, PharmD, Ph.D. as Vice President of Clinical Pharmacology and Non-Clinical Development. Mr. Greenberg recently served as Aro’s Commercial Director, while Mr. Staiger and Dr. Tortorici are new additions to the management team. The company also announced its intention to relocate its headquarters to Curtis in Philadelphia to accommodate the continued growth of its operations and staff.

“The expansion of our leadership team provides Aro with proven leadership expertise as we advance our first molecules into clinical development and continue to evolve our organization, ”said Susan Dillon, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of Aro Biotherapeutics. “I am happy to welcome Jeff and Mike to Aro. They both have extensive experience in their respective functional areas which will bring great value to our organization. In his expanded role, Scott and his team will help us develop additional business capabilities that will support our future growth. ”

Mr. Greenberg joined Aro in 2019 from Roivant Sciences, where he most recently served as Vice President, Chief Operating Officer. Previously, he worked at Celgene Corporation in several roles spanning business development, project management, strategy, sales and marketing. He began his career in investment banking at Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. and received an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Mr. Staiger is an international leader in finance and business development having spent over 13 years with Celgene / Bristol Myers Squibb, in roles spanning finance, clinical development, corporate strategy, business operations, leadership alliance and business development. Mr. Staiger began his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers, becoming a Chartered Accountant, and held positions in finance at Quest Diagnostics. He received degrees in economics and accounting from Gordon College (MA).

Dr Tortorici, PharmD, Ph.D. has 15 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry in the field of clinical pharmacology for small molecules and biologics in a wide range of diseases. He was most recently Executive Director and Head of Clinical Pharmacology at CSL Behring, leading the team responsible for clinical pharmacology for all programs in the portfolio. Prior to that, he worked at Pfizer in clinical pharmacology. Dr Tortorici received his PharmD and Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Pittsburgh.

Beginning in October 2021, Aro will begin moving operations to the Curtis in downtown Philadelphia. The Curtis is one of the best places for the scientific community to develop and perfect life-saving therapies and attract world-class talent to achieve their goals. The expanded space will be customized to Aro’s needs, providing an ideal location for the development of Centyrin’s proprietary Aro platform – siRNA drugs. Aro plans to complete the move to The Curtis in the first quarter of 2022.

“We couldn’t be happier to move to the historic Curtis Building as we enter our next phase of growth, ”said Dillon. “Lab and office spaces will help us create a world class facility, and with other building amenities and attractions nearby, The Curtis is ideal for Aro to hire and retain top talent.

About Aro Biotherapeutics

Philadelphia-based Aro Biotherapeutics is a pioneering biotechnology company in the development of tissue-targeted genetic drugs with a platform based on a proprietary protein technology called Centyrins. The company is developing a wholly owned pipeline of Centyrin-based therapeutic candidates and is working with industry partners to leverage Centyrins for tissue-specific targeting of therapies for a diverse set of diseases. For more information visit www.arobiotx.com.


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Canadian army

IDF Facing Israel’s Next Major Threat: Climate Change


The Israel Defense Forces has started to consider how to incorporate the dangers of climate change into their threat assessments, although some are urging the military to do much more and recognize that global warming is a major strategic threat to the country.

Netta Blass, an officer in the military’s strategic division, told a meeting of the Ministry of Environmental Protection on Monday that her unit was working with her counterparts in the IDF planning unit to examine the possibility a climate-related work plan and the creation of a special unit.

These two divisions, she said, also liaise with the Department of Environment’s Climate Change Preparedness Directorate, which held the sixth meeting on Monday since its inception in 2018, opening up part to more of 100 external people.

“The subject is on our agenda,” she said.

Michael Herzog, international researcher at Washington Institute and a retired IDF brigadier general who headed the army’s strategic planning division, was involved with a small team of academics and others in trying to get the defense establishment to recognize and adapt to the enormous implications of global warming.

Brigadier General (Retired) Michael Herzog. (Courtesy)

He told The Times of Israel on Tuesday that he thought the military was “waking up,” but, he said, “there isn’t enough awareness at the top.

“It’s good that they appointed someone down there, but I think what we really need to see is top executives taking care of it and the budgets are allocated and then you know that it is serious, ”he added.

The IDF’s work is still in its infancy, officials said.

In June, former IDF chief of staff Gadi Eisenkot told the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), where he is now a senior researcher, that unlike the US military, where climate change was an integral part, it was “not discussed” within the IDF and relegated to the “most marginal” place among all issues handled by the military.

This despite the potential of global warming to have an impact on runways and aircraft formation, he said during a confab held (in hebrew) to launch the INSS publication “Environment, Climate and National Security: A New Front for Israel”. The military was already changing training schedules to make sure soldiers were not outside during the hottest hours, he added.

An abandoned watchtower near a military road, Judean Desert, January 4, 2018 (Dario Sanchez / Flash90)

Gideon Behar, the Foreign Ministry’s special envoy for climate change and sustainability, has also been actively involved in the attempt to have climate change recognized as a threat to national security.

Gideon Béhar. (Courtesy)

“We have to go much faster,” he urged attendees at Monday’s meeting. “The rhythm of [climate] change is faster than expected and impacts are increasingly difficult to predict. No one else will correct the things that we ourselves don’t do today. This is our shift and we need to work day and night to strengthen preparedness, as well as mitigation. “

Stressing the importance of regional cooperation to ensure that neighboring states can build their resilience against the effects of global warming, Behar revealed that two years ago, Cyprus launched a regional climate cooperation initiative between countries Mediterranean and Middle Eastern (excluding North Africa).

Despite a business disruption during the coronavirus pandemic, 12 working groups have been set up and a regional meeting is scheduled for mid-October, in which Israel will participate, he said.

The IDF could look to the US military for advice, with the Pentagon leading the way in mainstreaming climate change, Dr Yehuda Troen of the Knesset’s Research and Information Unit said at the time. from the same meeting.

Work on the plans began in 2014 in light of the U.S. military’s need to be more active at the North Pole – where melting glaciers have enabled a higher Russian presence, and to provide humanitarian assistance, conduct operational activities, intelligence gathering and training, in a warming world.

In this file photo from July 22, 2017, a polar bear comes out of the water to walk on the ice in Franklin Strait in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. (AP Photo / David Goldman, on file)

Two years ago, the U.S. military presented Congress with a comprehensive climate preparedness report at 148 military bases, detailing the risks of events such as recurrent floods, droughts and wildfires today and 20 years to come, Troen said.

Last year, it published a Climate Resilience Handbook, outlining measures that must be implemented.

The Israeli military has already experienced these problems.

At the start of last year, flooding of a number of underground hangars caused damage estimated at NIS 30 million (9.3 million) to eight F-16 fighter jets and their infrastructure.

However, it does not appear to have prompted the military to take major action.

“It is not really clear what the IDF is doing,” Troen said, adding that “the National Security Council has said it is not really dealing with the matter, although it would be ready to cooperate.”

An F-16 fighter jet sits in a flooded hangar at Hatzor Air Base in southern Israel in January 2020 (Social media)

The current director of the NSC, Meir Ben-Shabbat, is due to retire at the end of August. He will be replaced by the 45-year-old former Mossad officer Eyal Hulata.

Environmental Protection Minister Tamar Zandberg is also trying to get the government to recognize climate change as a national strategic threat.

The climate crisis and responsible journalism

As an environmental reporter for The Times of Israel, I try to convey the facts and science behind climate change and environmental degradation, explain – and criticize – official policies affecting our future, and describe the Israeli technologies that can be part of the solution.

I am passionate about the natural world and disheartened by the dismal lack of awareness of environmental issues of most of the public and politicians in Israel.

I am proud to do my part to keep The Times of Israel readers properly informed on this vital topic – which can and must lead to policy change.

Your support, by joining The Times of Israel community, allows us to continue our important work. Would you like to join our community today?

Thank you,

Sue surke, Environment Journalist

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International headquarters

Flexicon expands global headquarters in Pennsylvania


Flexicon Corp. expanded its manufacturing space in Bethlehem, Pa., by 50,000 square feet to meet growing demand for its bulk handling equipment and systems.

The new space is mainly intended for the storage of sub-assemblies, the crating and the staging of the assembled equipment. This includes stocking Quick-Ship models of flexible screw conveyors, bulk bag unloaders and bulk bag conditioners for immediate shipment, freeing up the main facility for increased fabrication and assembly capacity.

Founded in 1974 in Fairfield, NJ, the company purchased its first manufacturing plant in Lodi, NJ in 1978, quintupled with the purchase of a plant in Phillipsburg, NJ in 1988, and added a satellite plant in Easton, PA in 1995 U.S. operations were then consolidated and expanded with the construction of the company’s global headquarters in Bethlehem, PA in 2001.

“In 2014, we doubled the size of our headquarters in Bethlehem, maximizing the coverage of the existing site, so we are fortunate that a facility adjacent to our main building is available this year,” said David Boger, vice president executive.

International factory expansions include the establishment of a manufacturing facility in the UK in 1994, one in South Africa in 2001 and another in Australia in 2008.

The company’s technical sales staff also grew with the addition of 26 factory direct sales offices located in US, UK, Chile, Spain, Germany, France, Africa. South, Australia, Singapore and Indonesia.

“All of the company’s locations can easily rely on Flexicon’s 25,000 installations around the world to find existing solutions to most bulk handling problems,” added Boger.

The company holds 36 patents reflected in the designs of its flexible screw conveyors, tube cable conveyors, pneumatic conveying systems, bulk bag unloaders, bulk bag conditioners, bulk bag fillers, bag emptying stations, drum / box / container tippers and batch weighing systems. A separate project engineering division. integrates large-scale systems in all industries in which bulk materials are handled.


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Non profit living

Bloomington tent residents face ‘eviction’ as restaurant prepares to open


Jamie stands shirtless on a vacant lot on the west side of Bloomington. He is wearing jeans that his brother gave him. Behind him are flattened tents, blankets and clothing sprawled out on an asphalt, concrete and weed floor as the sun dries out these essentials after recent torrential rains.

The Indescribable Lot is what Jamie and about half a dozen other people call home. It will soon house a Panda Express restaurant. Bloomington City Council has approved plans to build the restaurant at the location along West Market Street.

The property runs along a busy highway not far from the highway. It is surrounded by gas stations, restaurants and other shops. It is not a residential area at all, with the exception of this tent city.

Some McLean County social service providers say tent towns have been a problem in Bloomington for decades. Advocates say the plight of the tent dwellers points to a bigger problem that has not been addressed.

As state and federal governments lift moratoriums on evictions related to the coronavirus pandemic, these residents will soon face their own type of eviction.

Jamie is 33 years old. He does not give his last name. He has lived in a tent in this vacant lot for almost three years.

Jamie’s brother checks him regularly and gives him clothes and a place to shower.

“He came over here and (said) ‘Jamie get in the car’, where are we going, Disneyland? ‘ Jamie asked. “No, we are going home. You’re going to get cleaned up.

Jamie said he was staying at the Salvation Army’s Safe Harbor shelter in Bloomington. He said he went to work in Texas and had to come back to Bloomington to help his brother. He said the Salvation Army would not take him back. Jamie has other people looking after him.

Her cousin Chris has been living in the camp for a few weeks. “I came here and found my cousin and I’m not going to leave him alone here,” Chris said.

Chris said he was worried about his cousin’s safety. He said he sent Jamie to the hospital three times due to seizures. Chris said there were always people looking for trouble there. Jamie said he had been doing drywall since he was 14 and believed he had a chance to return to work.

“I have my old boss’s number and he told me that once I got together and got my meds and stuff, he said he would put me back to work,” he said. Jamie said.

Jamie said he was taking medication for the seizures and for his mental health. Now he says his old boss no longer works for himself. Jamie is not optimistic, he will call back.

Jamie said he made do with his father’s monthly Social Security check and all the money he could get by begging. Jamie said he already won $ 80 in 20 minutes.

Bob is basically in the same situation as Jamie. Bob is 58 years old. He stands next to Jamie, sporting a graying beard, a face mask under his chin, and a vintage Chicago Cubs t-shirt. Bob said he had been living in the tent camp for a few years. He has done flooring for a living but cannot access the ground floor of the job market.

“Give me a rug, I can put it up,” beamed Bob, but said he couldn’t find a job either. He said shelters would not take him because of his criminal record. He said he received monthly disability checks. He said he needed a place to clean up for a job interview.

Homeless Services

These services are available at Bloomington-Normal, including from a religious organization that feeds them. Bloomington’s Abundant Life Church delivers non-perishable food weekly to the homeless population of Bloomington-Normal. The church also maintains a pantry and clothing and serves hot lunches daily.

Pastor Roy Koonce said he’s worried about whether those living in Tent City will have a place to go.

“That’s a great question and I don’t have an answer for what they will do,” Koonce said. “I know that if they come here, we’ll do our best to help them.”

Koonce said the church had no shelter but would offer all possible help to anyone who came to its door. Koonce said the church has rules but will not permanently reject anyone.

“I’m 68 and for the first time in my life, I feel like I have my goal,” Koontz said. “I like to do what we do. I like helping people. I like the success rate.

“It breaks my heart when I see someone who can’t.”

Bloomington’s two homeless shelters, Safe Harbor and Home Sweet Home Ministries, have said they don’t reject anyone who needs a place to stay, unless their history or behavior suggests it is. a threat to staff or other residents. But both shelters have had limited capacity for much of the past year due to pandemic restrictions.

Roy Koonce of the Abundant Life Church has said he would like the city of Bloomington to do more to help its homeless residents. He said the police are generally trying to avoid the problem.

“A lot of wanderers and homeless people sleep in the parking lot because they all get some heat to keep the ground from freezing (in winter). The police, all they do is go through there and chase these guys away. They don’t stop them, ”Koonce said.

Police intervention

Koonce suggested that an arrest would help some homeless people begin a process to seek medical attention and other treatment.

Town of Bloomington

Greg Scott

Bloomington Acting Police Chief Greg Scott said officers can’t arrest anyone if homeless residents don’t commit a crime.

“What they’re doing there isn’t specifically illegal,” Scott explained. “The State of Illinois and even the Supreme Court of the United States have made decisions that have said it is their First Amendment right to do these things.”

Scott said homeowners must file a trespass report before police arrest anyone. In the case of the proposed restaurant, Scott said no one had filed a complaint. Scott said the homeless population needs social services, not police intervention.

“It really doesn’t help anything,” Scott said.

Accommodation possibilities

A Bloomington City Council member said he would agree that jail is not the solution for people with no roof over their heads. Jeff Crabill said the goal should be permanent housing. Crabill said he was not sure what the city could do to better facilitate this, other than calling attention to the problem and encouraging more landlords to rent to people through a rapid relocation program.

“They just don’t want to have someone in their apartment or their house who is homeless. There is a stigma to this. I think some owners want to avoid this if they can, ”Crabill said.

Jeff Craybill speaking into the microphone

Emilie Bollinger

Jeff Craybill

The PATH Crisis Center in Bloomington recently launched the relocation program. The association secured funding from the CARES Act to provide short-term housing for people during the pandemic to limit the risk of the spread of COVID-19.

Karen Zangerle recently retired as Executive Director of the nonprofit group. She said tent cities have been around in Bloomington for decades. Zangerle said that there is often a certain culture in these wanderer communities that can make relocation difficult.

“People who live in tent cities like it because they don’t have anyone to tell them what to do, they have no responsibility to follow,” Zangerle said. “It’s a bit like a big camping trip.

Zangerle said PATH has asked outreach workers to meet with tent dwellers and other homeless people to discuss their options for a permanent place to stay. She said some will welcome the aid and some will not.

“What ultimately happens is that a certain group of them will find a new place and they will leave,” Zangerle said, adding that a large part of the tent city’s population is moving to the south when the weather gets colder.

Where to go from here

Bob, a resident of Tent City, said he plans to move soon, regardless of the restaurant’s schedule. “When it’s cold we have to go somewhere,” he exclaimed, but added that he was not sure where he was planning to move.

Jamie said once the proposed restaurant moves in, it will likely end up across the street behind the McDonald’s where he lives.

“It’s the only other place we can go,” Jamie said.

Jamie and Bob both laugh at the feeling that they don’t want help.

“We’ve tried and tried and tried and tried and they avoided us,” Jamie said.

“We’ll get there one way or another,” Bob said.

Where and how they will do it remains an open question. These two tented city dwellers think they’ll have to rely on their experience and survival instinct when their home from the last few years is uprooted for a fast food franchise.

It is not known when Panda Express plans to take over the West Bloomington site to begin construction. The company did not return any messages seeking comment.


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Canadian army

Global Military Land Vehicle Industry Expected to Reach $ 31.6 Billion by 2031


DUBLIN, August 03, 2021– (COMMERCIAL THREAD)–The “Global Military Land Vehicle Market to 2031 – Market Size and Drivers, Major Programs, Competitive Landscape and Strategic Outlook” report was added to ResearchAndMarkets.com offer.

The global military ground vehicles market is valued at US $ 21.9 billion in 2021 and will grow at a CAGR of 3.74% to reach a value of US $ 31.6 billion by 2031.

The cumulative global military ground vehicles market is expected to reach US $ 292.8 billion during the forecast period. The demand for military ground vehicles is expected to be driven by the European region, especially in countries like France, Russia and the UK. The North American region will occupy the second place in the world, showing a steady growth rate during the forecast period with a CAGR of 2.34%. Major military forces around the world are now undertaking modernization efforts to replace their old platforms in the face of modern threats. These efforts will support market growth over the next decade.

Heightened geopolitical tensions, the need to deploy forces to regions around the world and the demands for standardization under alliances such as NATO are some of the reasons that push military forces to acquire military ground vehicles. modern. In addition, tensions with Russia in Eastern Europe are pushing other countries in the region and NATO to improve their conventional capabilities with new platforms capable of countering the heavy armored and mechanized formations of the United States. Russian army. In addition, the old Soviet equipment currently in the stocks of the armies of Eastern Europe must be replaced with new platforms, which further stimulates the growth of the market in the region.

The global military land vehicle market is expected to be dominated by Europe. Major European countries have increased their defense budgets and tried to maintain them even during the pandemic. This will allow them to implement large-scale procurement projects without major delays. North America will follow the European market. This growth is attributed to the implementation of a wide range of supply programs by the US Army and the US Marine Corps. The most notable programs are the JLTV and the Stryker, which will standardize the country’s vehicle fleet and provide increased protection for its deployed forces. The Canadian military also contributes to regional growth through the implementation of a series of programs covering several market segments.

Highlights

  • The global military land vehicles market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.75% during the forecast period.

  • The global military land vehicles market is categorized into different categories; Armored personnel carrier, infantry fighting vehicle, main battle tank, multipurpose armored vehicle, tactical truck, armored support vehicle, armored engineer vehicle and light utility vehicle.

  • The global military land vehicle market is expected to be dominated by Europe with a revenue share of 41.1%. The growth of the European market is attributed to spending by countries such as the UK, Russia and France, among others.

  • Armored personnel carriers are expected to be the largest segment of the military ground vehicles market during the forecast period.

Reasons to buy

  • Determine potential investment areas based on a detailed analysis of global military ground vehicle trends over the next ten years

  • Gain an in-depth understanding of the factors underlying the demand for different segments of military ground vehicles in the world’s heaviest spending countries and identify the opportunities offered by each of them

  • Strengthen your understanding of the market in terms of demand drivers, industry trends and the latest technological developments, among others

  • Identify the major channels driving the global Military Land Vehicle market, providing a clear picture of future opportunities that can be exploited leading to increased revenue

  • Channel resources by focusing on ongoing programs undertaken by defense ministries of different countries in the global military land vehicle market

  • Make the right business decisions based on an in-depth competitive landscape analysis consisting of detailed profiles of the major military ground vehicle vendors around the world. Company profiles also include information on key products, alliances, recent contracts awarded, and financial analysis where applicable.

Main topics covered:

  • Summary

  • Global Military Land Vehicle Market – Overview

  • Market dynamics

  • Global Military Land Vehicles Market – Segment Analysis

  • Global Military Land Vehicles Market – Regional Analysis

  • Global Military Land Vehicle Market – Trend Analysis

  • Analysis of key programs

  • Competitive landscape analysis

Companies mentioned

For more information on this report, visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/a6e7e2

View the source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210803005491/en/

Contacts

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History organization

PH lockouts: a brief history


Police checks, like last year’s one, have become commonplace when the lockdown is enforced. FILE PHOTO / NINO JESUS ​​ORBETA

MANILA, Philippines — The latest looming lockdown in the National Capital Region (NCR) is believed to be the fourth in the capital, which accounts for more than half of the Philippine economy.

As more than 12 million residents wait for the latest round of restrictions that will begin on August 6 and end on August 20, they are told that limiting their movement is the price to pay to avoid a greater tragedy: coronavirus infections get out of hand.

The measures appear to tilt in favor of one aspect of the crisis – health – and neglect the other: the economy and livelihoods. Some experts say that protecting people from disease and the loss of their livelihood is not necessarily a choice proposition.

Disease experts have shown that keeping people separate is an effective way to slow down the transmission of the virus for one basic reason. Humans are the main carriers of the virus.

“The primary mode by which people become infected with SARS Cov2 is exposure to respiratory fluids carrying infectious viruses,” the United States Centers for Disease Control has said in its numerous COVID-19 advisories.

According to the CDC, people are mainly infected with:

  • Inhalation of microscopic respiratory droplets and virus-carrying aerosol particles
  • Getting the virus into the mouth, nose, or eyes from a splash or spray of virus-laden particles from an infected person
  • Touching mucous membranes or contaminated surfaces

There are still inconclusive studies indicating that the virus is suspended in the air, which could be alarming, but it has not been shown to be certain.

Experts are sure of one thing, however. Close human contact increases the risk of infection, which would make containment an essential weapon in the fight against SARS Cov2.

During one of his briefings on the government’s response to COVID, President Rodrigo Duterte blurted out how difficult it would be to keep people at a safe distance in a place as populated as Metro Manila.

On this point, Duterte was right. Metro Manila is one of the most densely populated urban areas in the world. In Manila alone, there are at least 71,263 people per square kilometer, according to 2015 census data. In Mandaluyong city, the density is 41,580 people per square kilometer. In Pasay City, it’s 29,815 people per km².

Locking down these densely populated areas could mean keeping people locked in very tight spaces, which could defeat the goal of preventing transmission of the Delta variant.

Delta, who was previously known as Indian, was as contagious as chickenpox, according to the US CDC. To get an idea of ​​how contagious Delta is, a person with chickenpox is 90% likely to pass the infection on to people close to them who are not immune, the CDC said.

Why resort to confinement in places where you cannot separate people like in congested poor urban communities? According to Socio-Economic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua in a statement last year, the lockdown or strengthened community quarantine would prevent 323,262 additional COVID cases, of which 9,698 are serious or critical.

But the blockages have taken place and will happen soon. They are now part of the package against COVID-19 around the world.

NCR lockdown episodes would show numbers that may or may not lead to a conclusion about the effectiveness of restriction of movement as a measure to slow the transmission of the virus.

Graphic by Ed Lustan

When the first lockdown, or Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), was imposed from March 14 to April 30, 2020, according to the World Health Organization, there were 196 cases of COVID on the second day of the lockdown, March 16. On March 23, there were 768 cases. As of March 30, there were 2,019 cases. As of April 6, two days after the expiration of the ECQ period, there were 1,334 cases.

Graphic by Ed Lustan

During the second lockdown, which moved to the modified ECQ (MECQ) from August 4 to 18, 2020, the WHO said there were 2,463 cases of COVID on August 10, six days after the start of the locking. On August 17 or a day before the MECQ expired, there were 29,305 cases.

A third cycle of ECQ was implemented from March 29 to April 4, 2021. On the day the ECQ went into effect, there were 71,606 cases of COVID, according to the WHO. As of April 5, the day after the ECQ expired, there were 69,164 cases.

Graphic by Ed Lustan

It is not yet clear to what extent blockages in the NCR have been successful in achieving its primary goal of protecting people from infection. But it has come at a cost.

Unemployment in 2020 climbed to 17.7 percent, or 7.3 million people, according to the Philippines Statistics Authority’s April 2020 Labor Force Survey.

In the results of a survey carried out in November 2020, Social Weather Stations (SWS) said 48% of the Filipino population considered themselves to be poor. At least 12 million families have declared themselves poor, according to the SWS poll. The striking figure is that 2 million of these families are considered “newly poor”.

This next ECQ from August 6, millions of families are again facing an uncertain outcome. Duterte had asked the Ministry of Budget and Management to identify sources of funds for cash assistance after repeatedly saying in the past that the government lacked funds for this purpose.

The Department of Labor and Employment, quoted by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, has forecast the loss of more than 167,000 jobs.

Senatorial Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, and several other senators, call on the government to stop fundraising and simply turn to the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflicts (NTF-Elcac), which in 2021 alone gets more than 19 billion pesos in funding.

The task force had already released billions of pesos in villages, supposedly for development projects that would pit communities against communist rebels. An audit of the projects is requested although the Ministry of Interior and Local Government (DILG), which transferred the funds to the villages, has provided a list of project descriptions.

If funding was found, the government planned to distribute P 1,000 in cash per person and up to P 4,000 per family during the two-week ECQ August 6-20.

It was, according to Bayan chief Renato Reyes, misleading to give hope for help but not to be sure of the source of funding.

Meanwhile, people with cash have formed long lines at grocery stores and supermarkets to stock up on supplies. Shopping centers, with the exception of stores considered essential, have turned dark again, restaurant after restaurant closed on August 1.

Millions of people hope there will be light at the end of the seemingly endless tunnel.

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