In the last few days and weeks I’ve blogged about the threat to the ruling CDU in Germany posed by this Sunday’s regional election in Hesse and Lower Saxony, and how both the rise of the neo-communists and the alleged racism of Hessian Prime Minister Roland Koch may turn the tide towards the opposition social democrats. Well, I was wrong to claim that the election was certain to get zero coverage abroad.Today’s Independent and Washington Post, as well as yesterday’s FT, all pick up on the threat to (federal) Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling party. As the Independent reports, Merkel came over to my temporary home of Frankfurt last night to speak in front of the grand opera house in the centre of town. It’s the major city of Hesse (10% of the state’s 6 million inhabitants live here), so the Frankfurters’ votes are certainly, erm, worth their mustard. Sadly for her, they through ketchup back in her face, and called for “Nazis out” in reference to her support for CDU colleague Koch’s attack on foreign criminals – he’s being called a “racist who talks shit” for the sin of mentioning crime problems among the immigrant community and suggesting the introduction of boot camps. Whatever the truth of his statements, Koch’s shot himself in the foot and handed votes to the SPD and far-left parties (the neo-communist Die Linke are on a massive 10%, according to one poll — that’s more a bigger share than the Greens, the SNP, Respect, Plaid Cymru, UKIP, the BNP and Sinn Fein got put together in the UK general election in 2005). It looks like his latest contribution to the Hessian melting pot may spell the end for the CDU’s very short political honeymoon.Cherwell 24 is not responsible for the content of external links
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Thank You,John Amato Dear Editor:Fellow Patriots: If Liberal Democrats Should Ever Get Their Way To Do Away With or Amend the U.S. Constitution. They will first come after and do away with (or amend) the “First Ten – Bill of Rights” (the following does not include all “Articles” and “Amendments” outside the 1st Ten Bill of Rights — I included the 11th & 12th because of their importance.)• 1st Amendment: Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression: Everyone will only be allowed to express the view of the state, religion of the state (or lack of religion), and the press will be controlled by the state.• 2nd Amendment: Right to Bear Arms: No citizen will own fire arms• 3rd Amendment: Quartering of Soldiers: Your home belongs to the state without your consent• 4th Amendment: Search and Seizure: No warrant would be needed to search your home• 5th Amendment: Trial and Punishment, Compensation and Punishment: The state could take your life, liberty, and property away without due process. You would be held for crimes you didn’t commit — you could be innocently indicted, except in time of war, or public danger; double jeopardy would be done away with; and you could be a witness against yourself.• 6th Amendment: You would have no right to a speedy trial, no “impartial” jury, nor would you have to face your accuser, nor would you be informed of your crime, and you would not have assistance of counsel for your defense.• 7th Amendments: Trial by Jury in Civil Cases: No jury would be given to you in Common Law cases exceeding $20.• 8th Amendment: Cruel and Unusual Punishment: Excessive bail and/or fines would be required for any case.• 9th Amendment: Construction of Constitution: Any one can be denied any of their “constitutional” rights.• 10th Amendment: Powers of the State and People: The States shall have no rights reserved to them that the Federal government does reserve to itself.• 11th Amendment: Judicial Limits: No protection of the State from being sued in a Federal court no state has a “sovereign immunity.”• 12th Amendment: Choosing the President, Vice-President: The Electoral Vote would be eliminated, and the president and vice president world be chosen by the popular vote.NOTE: The very idea to amend or do away with the U. S. Constitution is beyond the purview and purposes of our Constitutional Republic, and in my view is the intention of the socialist/marxist Globalist, a.k.a. Totalitarian State (indeed 1984) — in my estimation it consists of “Megalomania” which is defined as “obsession with the exercise of power, esp. in the domination of others. It is a delusion about one’s own power or importance (typically as a symptom of manic or paranoid disorder).
Finsbury Food Group achieved a group revenue increase of 9.4%, in its full-year financials, as its cake division continued to grow.Revenue stood at £207.4m for the 52 weeks to 30 June 2012, up from £189.6m in 2011. Sales were up 9.2% in its cake division, to £152.4m, driven by both the UK and export markets. Its bread and free-from arm saw sales up 10% to £54.9m, due to strong growth in the fresh gluten-free market, its Vogel’s brand, and the performance of fresh free-from in the speciality bread market. Among its operational highlights, was the launch of Heston’s Hot Cross Buns with Waitrose, which was supported by an Easter TV campaign, said the firm. It also noted the continued expansion of its 50%-owned subsidiary Lightbody Europe.John Duffy, chief executive, said he was pleased to be able to report “such a noteworthy set of results”.“The formula we have pursued has and will continue to remain steadfast, to maintain the pattern of growth in profitability, underpinned by a commitment to meeting the needs of our customers and consumers,” he added.
Saint Mary’s junior Catherine Cleary said she felt honored when she was appointed to the National Student Advisory Council for the American Association of University Women (AAUW). The council, which consists of college women ranging in age from sophomores to graduate students, works with the AAUW staff to provide a direct link to the program by voicing student needs and ideas, Cleary said. “AAUW is reputable organization, and there were many qualified applicants,” Cleary said. Members are responsible for updating the program’s blog, monthly conference calls with the council, promoting AAUW’s National Conference for College Women Student Leaders and collaborating with the local AAUW branch in their area. Cleary said that she is eager to carry out the mission of AAUW on Saint Mary’s campus. “AAUW is a fantastic organization with a purpose that I feel very strongly about,” she said. “By being a part of it, I can bring the programs and a fresh perspective to our campus.” Cleary, a self-designed Women’s Studies major, said she learned about the program from a former Saint Mary’s student previously on the Council. She said she hopes to use her position on the council to bring awareness to the discrimination of women in higher education and the workplace. Cleary recently attended the Council’s retreat in Washington, D.C., where she met other members of board. “The council has a great range of ages, experience and culture,” she said. “I am both excited and grateful to have been given the chance to serve with the women.” Cleary, who is involved in numerous campus organizations ranging from Campus Ministry to Saint Mary’s Straight and Gay Alliance, was also the recipient of the Office for Civic and Social Engagement’s Sister Christine Healy Aware for Service with Women award. “My goal has always been to be an advocate for women, and this program is a fantastic way to do that,” Cleary said.
Civil rights leader Diane Nash will serve as the keynote speaker at the Martin Luther King Celebration Luncheon on Jan. 20 at the Joyce Center, the University announced in a press release Tuesday.Nash has a long record of service in the Civil Rights movement. Her involvement began as a college student at Nashville’s Fisk University, where she was jailed for participating in a sit-in at a desegregated lunch counter. The Chicago-native went on to help establish the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and was a member of Dr. Martin Luther King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference. She helped organize a wide variety of protests, including the Freedom Rides and the 1965 Selma right-to-vote movement in Alabama.She eventually returned to Chicago, the release said, where she continued to “advocate for causes such as fair housing and anti-war efforts around the Vietnam War.”“Diane Nash is a passionate champion of civil and human rights whose courageous leadership helped end the stronghold of segregation in the South,” University President Fr. John Jenkins said in the release. “The example of her tireless commitment to justice and nonviolent action inspires us all to serve the cause of justice.”Nash previously received an honorary degree from Notre Dame in 2016. In 2017, she was the inaugural lecturer at Notre Dame Law School’s Dean’s Lecture on Race, Law and Society. She has also received major national awards for her civil rights work.The Martin Luther King Celebration Luncheon is an annual event taking place during Walk the Walk Week, a weeklong series of events beginning Jan. 19 that is designed to inspire the community into making Notre Dame more welcoming and inclusive, the release said.Tags: Civil Rights, Diane Nash, Martin Luther King Celebration Luncheon, Walk the Walk Week
Dear EarthTalk: Freight companies like FedEx, UPS and all those 18 wheelers on the highways probably generate a lot of pollution and global warming. Is anything being done to address this? – Michael Brown, Washington, DCFreight companies operating in the U.S. and beyond do generate significant amounts of pollution. While transportation technologies and fuels have gotten more efficient in recent years, freight demands have grown considerably over the past two decades. Today, in the U.S. alone, for example, freight is responsible for about a quarter of all transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions.Most freight trucks, locomotives and ships run on diesel engines, which are major sources of emissions of nitrogen oxides, particulate matter and carbon dioxide (CO2). Repeated exposure to nitrogen oxide-based smog and particulate matter has been linked to a wide range of human health problems, and we all know what CO2 emissions are doing to the planet’s atmosphere and ecosystems in terms of global warming.According to a 2005 analysis by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHA), heavy duty trucks are the biggest villains, accounting for 77.8 percent of total U.S. freight greenhouse gas emissions. Boat, train and airplane freight contribute 10.8, 8.7 and 2.8 percent respectively.Besides filling up loads completely and keeping equipment well tuned, shippers can reduce emissions via smarter operations and procedures. Software developed by UPS’s Roadnet helps logistics managers re-engineer their fleet routing, preventing tons of emissions and saving millions of dollars and in the process.Newer Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emissions standards aim to reduce nitrogen oxide and particulate matter pollution from freight operators upwards of 60 percent by 2020. They are a step in the right direction, but the failure of Congress to pass substantive federal legislation limiting CO2 emissions means that a growing freight sector will continue to pump out more and more greenhouse gases.A recently released report by the tri-lateral North American Free Trade Agreement’s (NAFTA’s) Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) lays out a vision for how to make freight—the second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in North America after electricity generation—more efficient and less polluting across Mexico, the U.S. and Canada.The report identifies some scary trends. For example, emissions from freight-related vehicles grew 74 percent between 1990 and 2008—some 40 percent more than emissions growth from passenger vehicles over the same time span. Also, while emissions by light duty vehicles are expected to drop 12 percent by 2030, freight truck emissions are expected to grow by 20 percent. To start turning the freight sector around, CEC recommends that the three countries party to NAFTA start shifting to lower carbon fuels, putting a price on carbon emissions and replacing crumbling infrastructure. These fixes won’t be cheap, but CEC claims they will save money in the long run and clean up of North American freight altogether. 1 2
By Dialogo February 19, 2016 “The creation of financial intelligence by the FIU uses different databases that provide added value to the Suspicious Transaction Reports (STR) received by reporting entities,” according to GAFILAT. “The different bodies involved in money laudering prevention seek to work in constant contact from the beginning of the investigations to achieve an efficient exchange of information and experience, in addition to the bimonthly meetings held by the Money Laundering Prosecutor’s Office and the FIU in terms of coordination. Likewise, the efforts made by the law enforcement institutions are recognized.” In July 2015, during the GAFILAT XXXI Plenary Meeting in the Costa Rican capital of San José, authorities unveiled the National Strategy to Counter Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing, a far-reaching instrument aimed at creating new tools to prevent those crimes from occurring in the country. The initiative was based on 40 recommendations made by regional group, and among other things, proposed legislation to combat terrorism financing. Prevention, intelligence, investigation Costa Rica’s strategy is based on the principles that make up the core of GAFILAT’s Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing system, which includes prevention, detection and intelligence, and investigation and criminal justice. GAFILAT, which operates under the umbrella of the global Financial Action Task Force (FATF), stated in a July 2015 report that “[Costa Rica] is in the process of developing a National Strategy aimed at implementing policies and activities based on the risks identified.” “Mostly, they enter through South America (…) Argentina, Uruguay, and Ecuador – and start their journey, always going north in our continent, so they need resources,” he added. “The aim is to armor and protect countries so those diversions don’t take place, and provide [countries] with that option to detect, control, but above all, prevent that from happening in our countries, so the threat won’t materialize.” The aim of the proposed revisions is to “assure Costa Ricans that a contribution made to any organization – it could be a non-governmental or a private organization – won’t be diverted to fund terrorist cells or members going through the Americas,” Araya explained. “We’ve seen Syrians going from country to country, sleeping in hostels, taking buses, and some taking planes. It’s from those small funds they live off and travel in the Americas, with a destination that could be any country.” Costa Rica “could benefit from the allocation of more economic, human, and technological resources sufficient to carry out their duties in a more effective manner,” according to GAFILAT’s report. Now, key legislation is moving forward. According to Guillermo Araya, Director of the Costa Rican Institute on Drugs (ICD), a bill aiming to bolster the laws and regulations to help security forces fight money laundering and terrorism financing was approved by Costa Rica’s Congressional Security and Drug Trafficking Committee on December 18th, and will be presented to the country’s Parliament for debate on a date yet to be determined. Costa Rica is continuing to take steps to comply with recommendations by the Latin American Financial Action Task Force (GAFILAT, for its Spanish acronym) to stop terrorism financing within its borders. The report also pointed out that ICD’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) generates information that “is used by the competent authorities in money laudering investigations” and suggests that “the usefulness of said financial intelligence could be increased with a greater feedback by the authorities using it.” The proposed legislation seeks to reform four of Law 8204’s 170 articles to further strengthen provisions against the financing of terrorism. Its revisions would empower the ICD to freeze funds, bolster its ability to track international money orders, and take into consideration terrorists and terrorist organizations identified by the UN Security Council.
63SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,John Pettit John Pettit is the Managing Editor for CUInsight.com. John manages the content on the site, including current news, editorial, press releases, jobs and events. He keeps the credit union … Web: www.cuinsight.com Details It’s nice when you feel like you have a firm grip on your budget. But then there’s those unexpected bills that like to pop up. Here are three budget items you may be forgetting about…Pest control: This isn’t something any of us like to think about (mainly because gross) but if you see critters in your home, you’ll want to get it taken care of. Pest control varies from town to town, but a one-time visit can cost hundreds of dollars according to homeguide.com. You’ll probably save a ton if you do it yourself.Oil changes: I hope when that little oil light comes on, you do something about it. You don’t have to change your oil every 3k miles, (that little sticker is a ploy to take your money) but check out a bottle of the motor oil your mechanic uses and find out the mileage recommendation on your brand. Here’s another resource you can use.Haircuts: Haircuts aren’t exactly cheap. I remember in high school when my barber upped his price to $10 bucks and that seemed expensive. Haircuts now require mortgages. Good thing I like my hair short and I’ve got a good pair of these bad boys…
Saudi Arabia unveiled plans Monday to triple its Value Added Tax (VAT) and halt monthly handouts to citizens as part of a series of austerity measures amid record low oil prices and a coronavirus-led economic slump.The measures, which state media said would boost state coffers by 100 billion riyals (US$26.6 billion), come as the government steps up emergency plans to slash spending to deal with the twin economic blow.The austerity drive could stir public resentment amid an already high cost of living and intensify scrutiny of lavish multi-billion dollar state projects and expenditure including the proposed purchase of English football club Newcastle United. Saudi Arabia, the top crude exporter and the Arab world’s biggest economy, has shut down cinemas and restaurants, halted flights, and suspended the year-round umrah pilgrimage in a bid to contain the deadly virus.Saudi Arabia, along with other Gulf states, imposed a five percent tax on goods and services in 2018 in a bid to generate additional revenue.The petro-state had also introduced handouts worth billions of dollars to citizens, known as the cost of living allowance, to cushion the impact of rising costs.But the savings from the austerity measures are unlikely to plug the kingdom’s huge budget deficit, which the Saudi Jadwa Investment group said would rise to a record $112 billion this year.‘Scrutiny of spending’Riyadh has posted a budget deficit every year since the last oil price rout in 2014.The International Monetary Fund in April projected that the Saudi economy would contract by 2.3 percent this year.Jadaan has said he expected Riyadh could lose half of its oil income, which contributes about 70 percent of public revenues, as oil prices have fallen two-thirds since the start of the year.He said the world’s leading crude exporter would borrow close to $60 billion this year to plug the budget deficit.The austerity measures are likely to increase criticism of the government’s multi-billion dollar push to host entertainment and sporting extravaganzas as part of economic diversification plans.Also under the spotlight is a proposed £300 million ($372 million) Saudi-backed takeover of Newcastle United.”Saudi citizens are starting to feel the economic impact of the virus in a concrete way,” said Middle East expert Yasmine Farouk from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “With hardship will come more scrutiny of state spending elsewhere including the purchase of a football team and millions spent on entertainment events.”Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s other ambitious plans to wean the economy away from oil remain vulnerable to austerity measures.But it remains unclear whether the prince’s dream project NEOM – a $500 billion megacity set to be built from scratch along the kingdom’s picturesque western coast – will be impacted.The plans hit a new roadblock last month when a member of the local Huwaitat tribe was gunned down by state forces after he refused to give up his land for the project.Campaigners said many other members of the Bedouin tribe were detained for spreading anti-displacement slogans and refusing to sign relocation documents, in a rare domestic clash with the government that has a reputation for crushing dissent.Topics : “It has been decided the cost of living allowance will be halted from June 2020 and VAT will be raised from 5 percent to 15 percent from July 1,” Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan said in a statement released by the official Saudi Press Agency.Jadaan insisted the measures were necessary to shore up state finances amid a “sharp decline” in oil revenue as the coronavirus pandemic saps global demand for crude.The government was also “cancelling, extending or postponing” expenditure for some government agencies and cutting spending on projects introduced as part of the ambitious “Vision 2030” reform program to diversify the oil-reliant economy, the minister added.Jadaan last week warned of “painful” and “drastic” steps to deal with the double shock of the novel coronavirus and record low oil prices.
A number of major central banks – including the Bank of Japan and European Central Bank – have implemented negative-rate policies in the years since the 2007-2009 financial crisis because their sluggish economies have failed to produce the desired level of inflation.Last week for the first time ever, fed funds futures began reflecting a small chance that negative rate policy would find its way to US shores. The futures market is used both to hedge for and bet outright on the level of the Fed’s benchmark overnight interest rate as far as three years down the road.The effectiveness of negative rate policy remains the subject of debate in global central banking circles. The idea has at least one high-profile fan, President Donald Trump, who tweeted favorably about negative rates again this week.Trump has frequently called negative rates a way to limit dollar strength and keep US exports competitive, calling the Fed “Boneheads” last September for failing to pursue the policy. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell had a clear message to interest rate futures traders on Wednesday: Bets that the United States central bank will pursue a negative interest-rate policy are off-base.The Fed’s top official became the latest in a parade of policymakers to brush off the notion that they might push rates into negative territory after futures tied to Fed interest rate policy expectations recently began pricing a small chance of sub-zero US rates within the next year.“The committee’s view on negative rates really has not changed. This is not something that we are looking at,” Powell said in answer to a question during an event hosted by the Peterson Institute for International Economics, as he referenced the Fed’s policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). “As a former real estate developer, the idea of being able to borrow at low or negative rates suits Trump’s mindset,” said Mark Sobel, a longtime former US Treasury and International Monetary Fund official and currency policy expert. “The strong dollar has given him a lever to push for that.”Fed unanimityPowell is only the latest in a string of US policymakers to rebuff the idea that a sub-zero policy is on the table. At least six of the 12 presidents of the Fed’s regional banks have shot the idea down, and Powell noted during Wednesday’s event that disregard for it has been the subject of rare unanimity among policymakers.Officials most recently discussed it during last October’s meeting, Powell said, “and the minutes said that all FOMC participants – and that’s not a sentence you get to say very often – all FOMC participants currently did not judge that negative rates … appear to be an attractive monetary policy tool in the United States.”Powell said policymakers prefer alternatives such as forward guidance – or hard signals of how long current policy will remain in place – and large-scale asset purchases, also known as quantitative easing, or QE.“We’ve said that we continue to rely on those tools that are tried, and they are now a part of our toolkit,” he said.Rate futures tempered the pricing for negative rates somewhat after Powell’s remarks. However, a dozen contracts that mature from April 2021 through March 2022 are priced to reflect a fed funds rate of between minus 0.01 percent and minus 0.025 percent at contract expiration.Some analysts threw cold water on the notion that the market was seriously pricing in negative rates.Subadra Rajappa, head of US rates strategy at Societe Generale in New York, said while futures markets “are still pricing it in … we’re looking at very small volumes in fed funds futures out the curve. Even then you are looking at negative rates of one or two basis points, so it’s not in any way suggestive of a policy move that the market is pricing in.”Rajappa said this was probably indicative of “hedges that are being put in place in case the Fed goes in that direction.”Topics :