Organisation Help by sharing this information RSF_en News May 12, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 The writer Mohamed Nijati Tayara arrested The writer Mohamed Nijati Tayara was arrested on a charge of disseminating false information. A Homs criminal court dropped the charge after the second amnesty of 21 June. His case was then transferred to a Damascus appeal court, which had taken no decision a month later. His health deteriorated after he began a hunger strike with other detainees in protest against their detention and he had no access to appropriate treatment. His was allowed to see his wife and lawyer once a week but no one else.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York [dropcap]W[/dropcap]hen the Working Families Party first approached Zephyr Teachout about throwing her hat in the ring to challenge New York’s formidable Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the Democratic primary last year, her immediate reaction was, “How dare I?”This emotional response is the typical reaction many women have to overcome as they summon the courage necessary to fight their way into the boys’ club that is New York government—where women make up only 11 percent of the State Senate and just 20 percent of the Assembly, and where no woman has ever held the position of governor, attorney general or comptroller. Locally, the Nassau County Legislature boasts nine women among its 19 members and is led by Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves (R-East Meadow), but just five of 18 members of the Suffolk County Legislature are women.This lack of parity in politics is astounding, considering that New York women have long demonstrated they can succeed at the top level of leadership in corporations, law, real estate and beyond. The challenges—both internal and external—that keep women from running for office does a disservice to the their natural constituency, as issues that range from choice to childcare to education fall by the wayside. Women’s voices are sorely needed in the highest echelons of New York politics. But first, they must “dare” to run.To find out more about this discrepancy, the Press spoke with a handful of prominent women in New York politics. Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City), state Assemb. Michele Schimel (D-Great Neck), former gubernatorial primary challenger Zephyr Teachout, former Democratic Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy, outgoing Republican Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray, and Nassau County District Attorney-elect Madeleine Singas, a Democrat, discuss their experiences, from coping with the emotional toll campaigning might have on their families to overcoming feelings of inadequacy to contending with the challenges of unequal fundraising.When Hempstead Town Councilwoman Lee Seaman (D-Great Neck Estates) first asked Schimel to run for the Assembly, she remembers she became physically ill.“I felt the heat on my face,” Schimel told the Press. “She said, ‘People know you. You’re an activist.’ I had young children. I went home. I actually threw up.”Schimel got over it. She’s served in public office for 22 years.“I had to be asked to run,” she said. “If I wasn’t, I wouldn’t be here today.”Her reluctance isn’t unique. On average, women need to be asked 14 times to run for elected office, according to a story that ran last year on NPR, because it takes that long to break through their objections before they will seriously consider running, whether it be for the school board or a seat in Congress.McCarthy wants more women to take the initiative—on many fronts.“They shouldn’t be waiting to ask for a pay raise if they know that they deserve it,” said the former Congresswoman. “They shouldn’t wait to advance themselves in whatever area they’re in. You’re not going to be asked. It’s still a man’s world. When I went to Congress, it was the first time in my life that I got equal pay because we all get the same paycheck. That doesn’t happen in the real world here.”Teachout, a law professor at Fordham University in the Bronx, says too many women rule themselves out for the wrong reasons.“I met a woman in Auburn (in upstate Cayuga County) the other day, covered in tattoos,” Teachout said. “‘People like me don’t run for public office,’ she said. ‘I’ve been divorced three times.’ We’re sort of stuck in a 1950s model of a politician, when we aren’t living in a 1950s world.”Teachout held center stage this June at a public discussion held in Hauppauge called “Why Educators Should Run,” sponsored by the New York State United Teachers union and the Working Families Party. The room was packed with teachers eager to hear how they could channel their activism, born out of a protest against the governor’s punitive Common Core evaluation system, into a change in public policy.“This is not a state in which women are not accomplished in every other area,” Teachout said, “so there’s something clearly systemically wrong in the way we’re selecting and supporting our candidates.”While on the campaign trail last year in Southampton, Teachout said that more women should be in New York politics, particularly so they could influence education policy.“Luckily we have women who are representing us federally, but not in Albany,” she told the Press, “and it’s affecting priorities.”“You know it’s a broken system when there are no women,” she added, “because it’s not that people don’t support female leaders, it’s that it’s a closed club.”Recently she was asked what ultimately gave her the courage to run against Cuomo in the Democratic primary.“I’ve wondered that myself!” she responded in a text message. “Even went and looked back over emails. But the key was, so much good could come out of it, and it was too good an opportunity to pass up.”She wanted to make it clear to women that running against someone is not being disrespectful.“It’s a sign of respect for the other people in your district or region that you think that they are adult enough to make these difficult decisions,” she explained. “Not that you are disrespecting this other person.”Former Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice. Rice was elected to Congress last year. (Photo: Nassau DA’s office)Rice believes women’s voices are crucial at all levels of government.“Women tend to be more pragmatic and collaborative,” she told the Press. “We absolutely bring a unique perspective to the table. And it’s not just about ‘women’s issues,’ but issues that affect all of us, from homeland security and veteran affairs to emergency preparedness.”“When I first announced that I was going to run for District Attorney, people thought I was crazy,” Rice added. “People said, ‘But no woman has ever held that position [in Nassau County] before. You’ll lose.’”Not only did Rice beat her opponent, 31-year incumbent DA Denis Dillon, she’s now in Congress, replacing Carolyn McCarthy in the seat she held for 18 years as the first female member of the House of Representatives elected from Long Island.“Just say, ‘Yes,’” Rice offered. “Say ‘yes’ to everything. Men do. Don’t let anyone else decide your potential.”McCarthy, retired last year after first being elected in 1997, told the Press that she’d had doubts about her own capabilities when she was first approached to run by then-Gov. Mario Cuomo.“I was speaking to a group of young women who were thinking about running, and I think they all came to the same conclusion: ‘Who am I that I think I can run for public office?’ I certainly had those thoughts myself,” McCarthy admitted. “I didn’t know anything about politics. I certainly didn’t know about fundraising and all the things you have to do to win an election. It’s difficult, and it depends how passionate you are about trying to make change.”McCarthy’s passion was fueled by her desire to make meaningful change in New York’s gun laws after the tragic 1993 LIRR massacre in which Colin Ferguson killed her husband, Dennis, and severely wounded her son, Kevin, as they were taking the train home together from Manhattan. She credits Kevin with persuading her to enter politics.“If my son hadn’t said to me, ‘Mom, you should run,’” McCarthy told the Press, then she probably wouldn’t have.“He said, ‘You’re already doing all the things it takes to be someone that wants to change legislation to try to save people’s lives,’” she continued. “So it was really [Kevin] that pushed me. It’s a difficult decision. Particularly because I was taking care of Kevin, and at that point of his recovery, he really couldn’t do a lot of things on his own, but he made a promise to me that if I run, that he will learn to do all the things he needs to do so that I could go out and campaign. So I had his support very strongly.”Family support is one of the biggest considerations that female candidates face. Often tasked with the primary responsibilities of taking care of children, women have to reconcile what affect their candidacy and elected office responsibilities would have on their family’s lives.“Women tend to be a lot more self-reflective and probably more self-doubting,” said Singas, who had replaced Rice as acting Nassau County District Attorney and won the job herself in Tuesday’s election.“For me, the decision to run was really about that I’d been doing this job for my entire professional career, and I never doubted my qualifications to do the job,” Singas said. “It was just about what effect it would ultimately have on my family and on my children. Did I want to put myself out there and my family out there for the kind of scrutiny and the unfairness that comes with campaigning? That was my only hesitation.”Singas hinted at the impact campaigning has on family time during her victory speech Tuesday.“They can finally have their mom back,” she said of her two children.Acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas won the Nassau DA Race by a wide margin Tuesday. (Rashed Mian/Long Island Press)Few of the women who spoke to the Press said that a career in government was their primary goal. What thrust them into the political arena was their personal experience as an activist on an array of issues.Both McCarthy and Schimel came into office via their passion to make lasting change in the state’s gun laws.“I was involved with Governor Cuomo in passing the assault weapons ban,” said Schimel. “I used to go to Albany every two years. They all knew me because I would yell at them.”But after a long time spent in the legislative process, Schimel says that other concerns arise for idealistic women like her.“You come in with a bunch of ideals, and by the end of the decade you have to look at all of the influences and make sure you are still true to your belief system,” Schimel said. “It’s difficult. I represent over 130,000 constituents who have so many different views. How do you represent them all and still stay true to the ideals that you came into the office with?”The Press spoke with McCarthy the day after a self-identified white supremacist gunman had opened fire in a South Carolina church, killing nine people on June 18. McCarthy was shaken by yet another American mass shooting, but her resolve to inspire lasting change has not wavered.“When I heard that there was a girl younger than nine or 10, who played dead, my heart just stopped,” McCarthy said. “That will never go away for all of these families that go through these kinds of tragedies. It’s heartbreaking, and I think that we do need more women that will be fighting for this because this is a family issue. It shouldn’t be a Democratic or a Republican issue. It should definitely just be an issue of protecting our people.”Thinking of others led Murray, the Hempstead Town Supervisor, to enter politics.“I always think of the vulnerable and people who need to be protected,” Murray told the Press at the Broadway Diner in Hicksville.“Actually, the three offices that I’ve held–I was the first women in each of those,” Murray said. “So, I like to think three fewer glass ceilings to shatter, I’m proud of that.”Before becoming town supervisor, she was town clerk and a state Assemblywoman.Former Democratic congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy seen in the film “The Long Island Railroad Massacre: 20 Years Later.”The transition from advocating for issues to launching a campaign for public office is rife with difficult choices for anyone, but for women, certain campaign responsibilities, particularly fundraising, appear to be more difficult. The playing field is not level.Women’s PACs, such as Emily’s List and Women’s Campaign Fund, have tried to help equalize women’s political fundraising capabilities, but women candidates remain at a disadvantage because funds tend to flow more readily toward the incumbents. Since men hold a vast majority of political offices, their war chests are exponentially more substantial.“It took me a lot of years to figure out when I was trying to raise money that the men—same issues, same ranking as I had—it was easier for them to get money,” McCarthy revealed. “I finally said to one group, ‘What’s the issue here? Because I’m a woman, I don’t deserve to raise the same amount of money as a man?’ And you know what? That changed. I was getting equal support. You have to ask for it.”Schimel observes that women often seem more comfortable giving money than asking for it, making fundraising particularly difficult.“It’s very frightening to ask for money to campaign,” she said. “It’s the hardest part. I daresay it’s harder for women.”But that’s the price women have to pay if they want to make a difference in public life, and women overcome tougher challenges than that every day, says McCarthy.“Give yourself more credit,” she said. “You’ve got more strength in you than you realize. And you can do the job. Because if you look at your daily life, you’re making executive decisions constantly.”In her best-selling business book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook, coined the term “Impostor Syndrome,” a condition she says can limit a woman’s ambition and her sense of what she could accomplish.“Many people, but especially women, feel fraudulent when they are praised for their accomplishments,” Sandberg writes. “Instead of feeling worthy of recognition, they feel undeserving and guilty, as if a mistake has been made. Despite being high achievers, even experts in their fields, women can’t seem to shake the sense that it is only a matter of time until they are found out for who they really are: impostors with limited skills or abilities.”For these Long Island women in public life, they’ve faced themselves in private and found they had the ability all along.
Promoted Content7 Universities In The World With The Highest Market Value6 Extreme Facts About Hurricanes10 Risky Jobs Some Women Do10 Phones That Can Easily Fit In The Smallest Pocket11 Most Immersive Game To Play On Your Table TopWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?Who Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?6 Great Ancient Mysteries That Make China Worth Visiting10 Phones That Can Work For Weeks Without RechargingTop 10 Tiniest Phones Ever Made7 Ways To Understand Your Girlfriend BetterCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable Way Loading… FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Semenya is among a minority of female athletes who have an unusually high level of testosterone, which gives them added strength. The media-shy South African has faced constant legal battles during her career, leading to temporary bans from competing in her favourite 800m. The latest testosterone regulations left her with a choice of competing in the 200m or a distance longer than the mile. She has not returned impressive times over longer distances in the past, which prompted her to seek 200m qualification for Tokyo. Read Also: Ronaldinho: Paraguay appeals court rejects release request Semenya must trim another 0.69 sec off her Pretoria time to secure a place in the South African Olympics team. The 200m world and Olympic records are held by American Florence Griffith-Joyner, who clocked 21.34 sec at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Away from athletics, Semenya joined a Johannesburg-based football club last year but was unable to play immediately because she missed the registration deadline. Star South African 800-metre athlete Caster Semenya said on Friday she hopes to compete in the 200m at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. South African Olympics champion Caster Semenya (R) wins the 200m final at a provincial championships in Pretoria Friday The 29-year-old is prohibited from defending her 800m Olympics title because she refuses to adhere to testosterone regulations set by governing body World Athletics. Semenya, and other female athletes with differences of sexual development (DSD), are banned from competing in races between 400m and the mile unless they take testosterone-lowering medication. She won the 2012 London and 2016 Rio Olympics 800m titles and was the world champion over the distance in 2009, 2011 and 2017. The South African must clock a 22.80-second 200m to qualify for Tokyo and her best time, achieved Friday in Pretoria when winning a provincial championships final, is 23.49 sec. “My dream has always been, and will continue to be, to compete at the highest level of sport,” Semenya said on her Instagram account. “So in order pursue my goals and dreams, I have decided to change events and compete in the 200m. “This decision has not been an easy one, but I look forward to the challenge, and will work hard, doing all I can to qualify for Tokyo and compete to the best of my ability for South Africa.” Semenya took the athletics world by storm 11 years ago when becoming world champion in Berlin at the age of 19. But as her list of successes lengthened, rival female athletes began to question how the South African could leave them trailing in her wake.
“Evolution is a fact; therefore, evolution is a fact.” That kind of logic would strike most people as either odd or flawed. Yet it is common fare in scientific journals, where the assumption of evolution is used as proof of evolution. Darwinists are fond of comparing evolution to gravity, making it appear such a well-grounded belief, supported by such an immense weight of evidence (e.g., 01/26/2006), that it is no longer in need of proof. For instance, in USA Today this month, Harvard evolutionist E. O. Wilson said,Modern biology has arrived at two major principles that are supported by so much interlocking evidence as to rank as virtual laws of nature. The first is that all biological elements and processes are ultimately obedient to the laws of physics and chemistry. The second principle is that all life has evolved by random mutation and natural selection.Because evolutionists believe that molecules-to-man evolution is a law of nature, it can be used as an axiom from which other ideas can be logically deduced. Alternative explanations are simply out of bounds by definition, even when evolutionary inferences appear stretched. For example, consider a paper by Geerat J. Vermeij (UC Davis) published this week in PNAS,1 entitled “Historical contingency and the purported uniqueness of evolutionary innovations.” Vermeij tackled a vexing problem between evolutionists: whether evolutionary innovations are unique, rare, one-time occurrences (as argued by the late Stephen J. Gould); or, instead, somewhat predictable, because environments will constrain evolution to follow replicable pathways. The abstract states:Many events in the history of life are thought to be singular, that is, without parallels, analogs, or homologs in time and space. These claims imply that history is profoundly contingent in that independent origins of life in the universe will spawn radically different histories. If, however, most innovations arose more than once on Earth, histories would be predictable and replicable at the scale of functional roles and directions of adaptive change. Times of origin of 23 purportedly unique evolutionary innovations are significantly more ancient than the times of first instantiation of 55 innovations that evolved more than once, implying that the early phases of life’s history were less replicable than later phases or that the appearance of singularity results from information loss through time. Indirect support for information loss comes from the distribution of sizes of clades in which the same minor, geologically recent innovation has arisen multiple times. For three repeated molluscan innovations, 28-71% of instantiations are represented by clades of five or fewer species. Such small clades would be undetectable in the early history of life. Purportedly unique innovations either arose from the union and integration of previously independent components or belong to classes of functionally similar innovations. Claims of singularity are therefore not well supported by the available evidence. Details of initial conditions, evolutionary pathways, phenotypes, and timing are contingent, but important ecological, functional, and directional aspects of the history of life are replicable and predictable.Clearly Vermeij takes the second of the two positions. What’s interesting about the paper, though, is that all the support for it comes from evolutionary assumptions. His paper contains two tables: one of first-time evolutionary innovations, and another of repeated instantiations of previous innovations that arose by “convergent” or “parallel” evolution. Even the dates for the innovations came from the geological column, a construct devised from evolutionary assumptions. Evolutionary theory, therefore, not only was assumed in the tables, but also used to deduce how evolution acted in the past, and will act in the future and throughout the universe. In creation-evolution debates, when asked to provide examples from the immense “weight of evidence” for evolution, debaters on the Darwinian side will typically point to the shapes of finch beaks, antibiotic resistance in bacteria (01/29/2006), the color of peppered moths, or other small-scale changes. Even creationists agree that these kinds of variations occur naturally. The innovations listed in Vermeij’s table, by contrast, are large-scale changes involving complex systems with interrelated parts, including: the origin of life, the universal genetic code, sexual reproduction, wings, and human language. Creationists deny that small-scale change can be logically extrapolated into large-scale change, citing lack of evidence from the fossil record and observed limits to artificial selection. Scientific journals, however, give no voice to these criticisms, because they already have taken molecules-to-man evolution to be a fact based on the observed small-scale changes. Having extrapolated from finch beaks to all of the variety and complexity of life, the evolutionist feels free to speculate on even larger issues. Vermeij used his logic to address questions of what life could be expected to look like on other worlds. Apparently none of the editors or reviewers at the National Academy saw any problem with any of this.1Geerat J. Vermeij, “Historical contingency and the purported uniqueness of evolutionary innovations,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, Published online before print January 27, 2006; DOI 10.1073/pnas.0508724103.What this means is that to the degree Darwinian dogma relies on circular reasoning, it is like a gigantic house of cards balanced on a toothpick. Effectively dislodge the point holding up the whole structure, and it could collapse quickly and catastrophically. Phillip Johnson predicted a growing body of scientists and lay people who would ask the right questions and no longer take bluffing and evasion for an answer. Learn to look past the E. O. Wilsons and Lord Martin Reeses of the Darwin Party who stand up flaunting their science badges, spouting royal hot air about the overwhelming weight of evidence for evolution. Remember what Schwarz said last week about that evidence? (01/26/2006). Don’t look at the size of the house of cards or how intricately its parts are interlocked. Look at the flimsy pillar of assumption supporting it. Test that, and stand back.(Visited 42 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
DUESSELDORF, Germany — Tyson Fury defeated Wladimir Klitschko by unanimous decision to end the Ukrainian’s 9 1/2-year reign as heavyweight champion on Nov. 28 and take his WBA, IBF, and WBO heavyweight titles.After a bruising encounter that ended with cuts near both of Klitschko’s eyes, referee Tony Weeks went to the judges’ scorecards.Cesar Ramos and Raul Caiz Sr. scored it 115-112 each, while Ramon Cerdan had it 116-111 in favor of the undefeated Briton (25-0, 18 KO).Fury, 12 years younger than the 39-year-old Klitschko, taunted and baited the champion at various stages, prompting jeers from fans at the 55,000-seat soccer stadium in Duesseldorf.Klitschko (64-4, 53 KO), contesting his 28th title fight, was cautious until attempting a recovery in the final rounds, but suffered his first defeat since April 2004.“The speed was missing. Reach played a big role. I tried but it didn’t work,” said Klitschko, who at 1.98-meters (6-foot-6), was in the unusual position of facing someone taller in the 2.09-meter (6-foot-9) Fury. Fury, who weighed in at 112 kilograms (247 pounds) also had half-kilo (1.1 pound) weight advantage.Klitschko, the premier heavyweight of his era, relinquished the IBF belt he had held since 2006, the WBO title he’d owned since 2008, and the WBA crown he’d had since 2011.The other major belt, the WBC title, was held by Deontay Wilder of the U.S. That was vacated in 2013 by Klitschko’s older brother Vitali, the current mayor of Kiev, Ukraine.“I’ve said some stupid things,” an emotional Fury said of his pre-fight talk and antics. “Wladimir, you’re a great champion and thanks for having me. It was all fun and games in the buildup.”The buildup had seen Fury dressing as Batman, serenading Klitschko, goading him and insulting him, and even complimenting him on his scent.Earlier, Fury threatened to call off the bout unless an issue with the canvas being too soft was resolved.There were also issues over gloves and glove-wrapping. Vitali Klitschko oversaw Fury’s glove-wrapping, but the Fury camp was incensed when the younger Klitschko wrapped the gloves without any of them present. That spat was resolved when he agreed to re-wrap.Fury was itching to go from the start, and he ran into the first round to put Klitschko off kilter. The Briton also goaded Klitschko during and after the round.Fury then landed a big right on Klitschko in the fifth, when he opened a small cut under his right eye, and taunted him again.The Briton’s intensity seemed to drop as Klitschko improved, but still he needled him in the seventh, when he urged Klitschko to “come on” and baited him with his hands behind his back, prompting more jeers.Klitschko replied to an uppercut in the ninth with a big right of his own, before Fury was warned for punching the back of his head. But then he had Klitschko in trouble in the corner.Klitschko needed a response, and sought it in the 10th, by which time there was blood coming from his left eye, too.Fury had a point deducted for hitting behind the head in the 11th and both fighters gave their all in a furious final round before raising their arms in celebration. The Fury camp’s celebrations seemed more sincere.(CIARAN FAHEY) TweetPinShare0 Shares
HALIFAX – Ottawa remains confident in its assisted dying legislation, and doesn’t plan changes despite a Halifax woman’s deathbed plea, federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould said Friday.She said the government feels strongly the two-year-old legislation strikes the appropriate balance between the protection of people’s autonomy and safeguards for vulnerable people.“We’re not considering changing something in the legislation,” Wilson-Raybould told reporters.“We’re confident in the legislation that we brought forward, that it finds the right balance in terms of being able to access medical assistance in dying, protecting the autonomy of individuals to make the appropriate decisions for themselves as well as protecting vulnerable individuals.”Audrey Parker, a terminally ill Halifax woman, ended her life Thursday with medical assistance, after issuing an impassioned deathbed plea urging lawmakers to change the legislation.Diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer in 2016, the 57-year-old woman had been approved for an assisted death but said the restrictive nature of the law forced her to end her life sooner than she would have liked.Parker stressed the law had to be changed because anyone approved for a medically assisted death must be conscious and mentally sound at the moment they grant their final consent for a lethal injection.The issue will be among those considered in a report being drafted by a panel of experts, which is due by the end of the year but is not expected to make recommendations.“We’re looking forward to receiving those reports back on mature minors, on advance directives, and on mental illness alone as an indicator for medical assistance in dying, and we’ll review those reports when we get them,” said Wilson-Raybould.She said her heart went out to Parker and her family.Parker was given a lethal injection and “died peacefully” in her Halifax apartment, surrounded by close friends and family.“I wanted to make it to Christmas and New Year’s Eve, my favourite time of the year, but I lost that opportunity because of a poorly thought-out federal law,” Parker wrote in a Facebook post hours before her death.She asked people to send emails or texts to their member of Parliament to encourage them to amend the law to help people in her category, which she described as “assessed and approved.”Meanwhile, Dying With Dignity Canada spokesman Cory Ruf questioned why the government was being so definitive in its stance only a day after Parker’s death.“It appears callous for the government to so quickly dismiss the lessons of her story,” Ruf said in an interview.“It’s interesting that the justice minister used the word vulnerable. People who qualify for assisted dying, who’ve been assessed and approved for assisted dying, are vulnerable.”Ruf said his organization questions the government’s suggestion that the rule that forces people to confirm their wishes before being assisted in death protects the vulnerable.“In fact Audrey’s story shows us that it does the opposite,” he said.Ruf said his organization is determined to continue a fight that doesn’t end with Parker’s death.“More stories like Audrey’s are going to come their (the government’s) way,” he said. “Her story, the decision she faced at end of life is not unique and government knows that.”
Last night, the multi-Grammy Award winning music icon Dionne Warwick returned to the Royal Albert Hall once again in support of The Hunger Project.Warwick led a stunning All Star Cast, including Sir Cliff Richard OBE, Alexandra Burke, Boy George, Caro Emerald, Tony Hadley, Joe McElderry, Katie Melua, Mica Paris, Rumer and The London Community Gospel Choir.The evening was the culmination of events designed to raise awareness for World Hunger Day, and supported the international aid work of The Hunger Project.Last night also saw Dionne lead the first ever public performance of “One World, One Song” as a duet with Joe McElderry. The song was written to celebrate our ability to end world hunger sustainably and permanently.To learn more about how you can get involved, visit The Hunger Project websites in the US and UK. In the UK, you can donate now by texting LOVE28 £3 £5 or £10 to 70070.Copyright ©2012Look to the Stars
CALGARY, A.B. – Albertans dealing with steep discount prices for oil produced in the province expressed frustration Thursday with Ottawa’s fiscal update that they say offered little acknowledgment of pain being felt in the oilpatch.But Finance Minister Bill Morneau said in Ottawa the federal government is aware of the “acute issue” of a glut of oil in Alberta that exceeds export pipeline and rail capacity and pledged to be “relentlessly focused” on long-term solutions.Despite increases in world oil prices over the past year, prospects for more activity in the Canadian oilpatch are limited, according to the 2019 drilling forecast issued by the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors on Thursday morning. It calls for an increase of only 51 wells to about 7,000 next year compared with 2017, as price discounts discourage spending on exploration. The industry drilled about 13,000 wells in 2014 before global oil prices crashed.“Other industries in the same situation would be holding their hands out for a government bailout. Yet instead our industry has only asked for government permission and support to get our products to market,” said association president Mark Scholz at a morning event.“The lack of action and attention by the federal government to this pressing issue is deafening.”He criticized Ottawa for failing to put in place measures to allow the building of oil export pipelines needed to win better prices in Alberta, despite buying the Trans Mountain pipeline and its stalled expansion project for $4.5 billion last summer.Premier Rachel Notley, the keynote speaker at the event, said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will likely hear a great deal of frustration as he visited Thursday to give a speech to the Calgary Chamber of Commerce and meet with oil and gas company CEOs.“There are a lot of folks here who would be forgiven for saying, ‘Gee if there were this kind of economic crisis going on in the manufacturing sector in Ontario, we’re pretty sure it would make its way into the first two paragraphs of the fiscal update.’ Yet it didn’t find its way into the first two paragraphs,” she told reporters. “I think that Ottawa needs to be seized of the matter and I suspect they will be by the end of the prime minister’s day here today.”In a statement, Calgary chamber president Sandip Lalli said she is “disillusioned” that Wednesday’s economic update did not meaningfully address the oil market access problems that are costing the Canadian economy as much as $80 million a day.She applauded, however, the government’s decision to allow the full cost of machinery and equipment used in the manufacturing and processing of goods to be written off immediately for tax purposes.At an event in Ottawa, Morneau said challenges are “very significant” in Alberta. “It’s much more dramatic than we’ve seen previously given the enormous difference in the price that we get for our oil versus the world price,” he said. “And there are significant economic impacts, the most dramatic of which are in Alberta, but they are Canada-wide. Our forecasts have incorporated that.”Alberta has called on Ottawa to help increase crude-by-rail shipments. On Thursday, Notley said the province is willing to go it alone to buy trains to add between 120,000 and 140,000 barrels per day of oil export capacity if the federal government isn’t willing to help.That capacity would be in addition to current record levels of crude-by-rail shipments, she added. The National Energy Board reported Wednesday exports reached about 270,000 bpd in September.Asked about the rail request, Morneau said pipelines are his preference, vowing to continue to push to build the Trans Mountain expansion.It remains in limbo after the Federal Court of Appeal struck down its NEB approval in August, citing inadequate Indigenous consultation and failure to consider impacts on marine environment.Notley announced Thursday her government would add oil and gas drilling to a list of trade-exposed industries exempt from the province’s carbon tax, a move expected to provide $750,000 to $1.5 million per year in relief for the drilling industry.She also announced that six projects to partially upgrade oilsands bitumen have been short-listed for up to $1 billion in government incentives. Partial upgrading would allow the heavy oil to flow with less added diluent, freeing up pipeline space.
NEW DELHI: The Election Commission Tuesday turned down the AAP government’s request to release advertisements about summer camps in government schools prompting Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia to write a letter to the poll body to reconsider its decision.The EC has pointed out that it has no objection to running summer camps which is part of AAP government’s Mission Buniyad Programme, subject to the condition that the appeal to send their wards to the camp has to be made to the parents through schools and not through print, TV or radio advertisements. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderSisodia, who is also Delhi’s Education Minister, questioned the “basis” on which the request has been rejected. “I feel extremely disappointed that the ECI chose to look at this issue from a very narrow political lens, completely ignoring the interest of lakhs of children largely from marginalised section of society. The success of the camp is contingent upon support of parents which is ensured through regular reach out to them by government using print media, TV and radio,” Sisodia said in a letter to the ECI. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsHe said by exercising your power to stop a simple message to the poor parents asking them to send their children to school during summer vacation, do you really think you are aiding in conducting free and fair elections? “The elections will be over in the next one month but the loss to lakhs of children cannot be compensated if you allow your unjustified decision to stay on,” he added. During a press conference, Sisodia said,”Did the EC even think for a while as to what mode to be adopted by the school to ask the poor parents to come to school in the first place?” The summer camps in Delhi government’s school, an initiative of the AAP dispensation will be organised from May 16 to June 9 for classes 3 to 8.
In This Issue… * Currencies & metals rally… * Will ISDA trigger CDS’s? * Bollard gets under Chuck’s skin… * ECB, BOC, BOE all meet today… And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! Greek Bond Swap Deadline Approaches… Good day… And a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday to you! Well… another day, and another trying day for yours truly, with getting the Pfennig out, and having it “legal”… We’ll have to see how this all plays out… But, hey! If cancer didn’t stop me from writing, neither will this roadblock! OK… well, as we draw closer to deadline for the Greek Bond Swap, it appears as though Greece will end up will have attracted enough investors to swap their current Greek Bonds for new bonds. This news is positive for the euro, and we all know that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, and all we have to do is switch goose for euro, and gander for currencies and metals. For instance, the Aussie dollar (A$) is back above $1.06, and Gold is back to $1,700 this morning. There are a few currencies this morning, that are not participating in the euro-led rally… The Japanese yen for instance is getting hammered after Japan printed the largest Current Account Deficit since comparable data began in 1985… 437.3 Billion yen… The trend here is not good for Japan, folks… they Gov’t debt has been soaring for a decade now, but Japan always had that Trade Surplus, that feeds the Current Account… The Japanese don’t have that Trade Surplus to fall back on any longer… This is where I would normally tell you my opinion, which could be wrong, about how I view yen… But, like Hall & Oates, no can do! The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) met last night (Thursday morning for them!) and left rates unchanged… RBNZ Gov. Bollard, has gotten under my skin for so long now, and this is just another example of his ability to do so… Bollard said, “The domestic economy is showing signs of recovery. Household spending appears to have picked up over the past few months and a recovery in building activity appears to be underway. That recovery will strengthen as repairs and reconstruction in Canterbury pick up later in the year. High export commodity prices are also helping to support a continuing recovery in domestic activity.”… OK… so that sounds like he’s ready to remove the emergency rate cuts that were made last year, right? Wrong! Bollard then went on to say, “the RBNZ’s forecasts are not inconsistent with a story that would see rates remaining in one place for much of this year.” So… in other words, he doesn’t want to be different than the other Central Banks around the world… I would tell Bollard if I had the chance, the same thing I used to tell my kids, when they would tell that “all the other kids are doing something”… I would say, “but don’t you want to be better than the other kids?” So… Allan Bollard, don’t you want to be better than the other Central Banks, that allow inflation to build a strong foundation, without batting an eye? This euro-led rally in the currencies and metals this morning, leads me a thought that I heard years ago, back in the 70’s, when I first began my career in the markets, that’s right, I said the 70’s… 1973 to be exact… I know, you’re sitting there thinking, but I’ve seen him, there’s no way he’s that old! HA! OK, back to the saying… When the markets want to rally, they’ll use any excuse to do so… This is what today’s rally looks like, as the markets are using the fact that Greek is swapping their old bonds for new bonds at HUGE losses to the holders, as a reason to rally… Think about that for a minute, dear readers… the markets are making lemonade out of lemons… but “they’re never wrong”, right? Speaking of the euro… The European Central Bank (ECB) is meeting this morning to discuss rates, and other things on their collective minds. I expect that ECB President, Draghi, will announce in a bit that the ECB will keep rates unchanged… They are currently at historic lows, so unless the ECB wants to be JUST LIKE the U.S. and Japan with their near zero and zero interest rates respectively, the ECB should just sit on their hands… Yesterday, I saw a story title flash across the screen that the ECB’s balance sheet has soared to 3 Trillion euros… Well, as best as I can find on the internet, and believe me this is difficult stuff to find, the Fed’s balance sheet is about the same size… So, when you consider that the Eurozone as a whole has a larger GDP than the U.S. , having a balance sheet about the same size doesn’t seem to be so bad… For those of you keeping score at home… Global GDP in 2011 was $74.5 Trillion… Eurozone $14.8 Trillion or 20% USA $14.7 Trillion or 20% China $10.1 Trillion or 14% Japan $ 4.3 Trillion or 6% And rounding out the top 5… India at $4.1 Trillion or 5% The Bank of Canada (BOC) will also meet today to discuss interest rates… I don’t believe that BOC Gov. Carney has come out of his “bunker” yet, so he’ll keep rates unchanged, as he continues to have a bunker mentality about global problems… In Australia overnight, Aussie job creation received a hit last month, and lost 15,000 jobs… But don’t go out and start with your impression of Chicken Little here… In December Australia posted a 36,000 job loss, but that was reversed with a positive 46,000 in January… So, we’ll have to wait a month or two to tell is this is a trend… Somehow I doubt it, as the mines that were flooded last year are coming back on board… Hopefully Aussie employers don’t do their version of a bunker mentality, because China lowered their GDP target… Speaking of China… the Chinese applied the brakes once again on renminbi appreciation, making that every day this week, so far. Speculators are backing away from the renminbi in droves, as the forward markets have some semblance to them. Good riddance to them! The speculators have made dealing in renminbi very difficult for years… So, if they never come back, that will be too soon for me! But, what’s with China applying the brakes here? Well… we’ve seen this many times in the past 9 years that we’ve dealt in renminbi and followed the Chinese moves. It’s really the opposite of what happens here in the U.S. The Chinese don’t want the markets to believe that the renminbi is a ONE-WAY street of appreciation, so they apply the brakes every now and then to remind the markets that it’s not a ONE-WAY street… Whereas, the U.S. applies the brakes on the way down, instead of the way up… The U.S. cannot allow all its creditors to believe that they are going to get paid back with inflation, tremendously weakened dollars, which they will, but for now, instead of just allowing the dollar to go to what Doug Casey calls, “its intrinsic value”… There are circuit breakers and we have these periods of dollar strength… OK… so, we talked briefly about the Greek bond swap proposal, and I gave you the breakdown of what each bondholder receives… But the problem is that unless Greece attracts enough bondholders that want to swap bonds, the deal falls through… so… 90% of total holders is the goal… if that’s not met, then the next deal breaker is 60%, but if between 60 and 90% accept, then the Greeks have to decide to implement CAC’s (collective action clauses), which would force the hold-outs to take losses on their bonds… And if CAC’s are implemented, then the ISDA people might view this as a default, which would begin to trigger CDS (credit default swaps)… So… 90% is the goal for the Greeks… the deadline is around 2pm CT today, but we won’t know the details until tomorrow morning… But for now, the markets are saying they believe that even if the goal isn’t met, and CAC’s are implemented, that’s it’s not going to bring about systemic risk… that’s why they are buying euros this morning and selling dollars. OK, before I go to the Big Finish… I saw this come across yesterday, and immediately began to choke… January Consumer Credit soared to $17.77Billion VS $10.45 Billion forecast… Add to that December’s total of $16.27 Billion and what you’ve got here is another trip down the “we spend more than we make” road… And this, also made me choke… From the WSJ… “Federal Reserve officials are considering a new type of bond-buying program designed to subdue worries about future inflation if they decide to take new steps to boost the economy in the months ahead. Under the approach, the Fed would print new money to buy long-term mortgage or Treasury bonds but effectively tie up that money by borrowing it back for short periods at low rates. The aim of such an approach would be to relieve anxieties that money printing could fuel inflation later, a fear widely expressed by critics of the Fed’s previous efforts to aid the recovery.” I’m thinking of all kinds of dastardly things that I could say here, but wait! I can’t anymore! So, just move along, Chuck, these are not the droids you’re looking for… Then There Was This… The Dutch Freedom Party has called for a return to the Guilder, becoming the first political movement in the Eurozone with a large popular base to opt for withdrawal from the single currency.“The euro is not in the interests of the Dutch people,” said Geert Wilders, the leader of the right-wing populist party with a sixth of the seats in the Dutch parliament. “We want to be the master of our own house and our own country, so we say yes to the guilder. Bring it on.”Mr Wilders made his decision after receiving a report by London-based Lombard Street Research concluding that the Netherlands is badly handicapped by euro membership, and that it could cost EMU’s creditor core more than 2.4 trillion euros to hold monetary union together over the next four years. “If the politicians in The Hague disagree with our report, let them show the guts to hold a referendum. Let the Dutch people decide,” he said. Chuck again… The Dutch leaders must want something from the Eurozone because they normally fall in line right behind the Germans… To recap… The Greek bond swap deadline approaches, and more holders of Greek bonds have announced that they will participate in the bond swap, thus reducing further the fear factor on the euro… The euro is leading most currencies and metals higher this morning. Yen is not participating as they posted the largest Current Account Deficit on record for them, and China is applying the brakes, just to prove the renminbi is not a ONE-WAY Street… Currencies today 3/8/12… American Style: A$ $1.0660, kiwi .8265, C$ $1.0050, euro 1.3260, sterling 1.5810, Swiss $1.10, … European Style: rand 7.5075, krone 5.5950, SEK 6.7085, forint 220.70, zloty 3.0990, koruna 18.6660, RUB 29.37, yen 81.70, sing 1.2515, HKD 7.7575, INR 50.28, China 6.3160, pesos 12.78, BRL 1.7550, Dollar Index 79.32, Oil $106.96, 10-year 1.99%, Silver $34.09, and Gold… $1,701.00 That’s it for today… Well, the major conferences started their Conference Championships yesterday… My beloved Missouri Tigers play tonight, and they need to win to advance. I sure hope to them cutting down the nets this weekend! Alex informed me last night that I had jumped the gun on the first Water Polo game of the year, it’s Monday not Friday… I see where the new I-Pad was announced yesterday… of course, I had just received an I-Pad2, 3 months ago! Already obsolete! Well, not obsolete, I’ll still use it! It’s what I’ll take to spring training with me, not so I can keep up with the markets, but so I can use it like everyone else does! And with that… I had better get this process going… I hope you have a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837 www.everbank.com