Sommeil : une seule nuit blanche parvient à affecter le système immunitaireUne nouvelle étude anglo-néerlandaise a récemment mis en évidence les méfaits d’une nuit blanche sur l’organisme et particulièrement sur le système immunitaire.Gare aux conséquences d’une longue nuit passée éveillé ! Une équipe anglo-néerlandaise de chercheurs a en effet récemment prouvé comment quelques heures de sommeil en moins peuvent avoir des effets néfastes sur l’organisme. En effet si l’on savait déjà que le manque de sommeil était mauvais pour l’organisme, l’équipe du Dr Katrin Ackermann de l’Eramus MC University Medical Center Rotterdam aux Pays-Bas a voulu s’intéresser plus particulièrement à l’impact d’une seule nuit blanche. Leur étude, publiée le 1er juillet dans la revue américaine SLEEP, démontre ainsi que les nuits blanches perturbent particulièrement l’activité des granulocytes, globules blancs du système immunitaire.À lire aussiDengue : symptômes, traitement, prévention, où en est-on ?Pour en arriver à une telle conclusion, les chercheurs ont mené une série d’expériences sur quinze hommes, âgés d’en moyenne vingt-cinq ans. Le protocole était le suivant : pendant une semaine, les volontaires ont été invités à équilibrer leur rythme circadien en dormant 8 heures par nuit, et en s’exposant au moins 15 minutes à la lumière du jour 90 minutes après leur réveil. Les trois derniers, il leur a également été interdit de boire du café, de consommer de l’alcool ou des médicaments. Après cette étape, les sujets ont alors été soumis à une période d’éveil de 29 heures consécutives. Par ailleurs, leur sang a été prélevé régulièrement à chaque étape afin de contrôler le niveau des globules blancs. En comparant la densité des globules blancs prélevé avant et après la nuit blanche, les scientifiques ont ainsi constaté une augmentation extrêmement importante des granulocytes pendant la veille imposée. Un phénomène qui traduit une importante activation du système immunitaire. Comme l’expliquent les chercheurs, la nuit de sommeil perdue pousserait en fait l’organisme à réagir en mobilisant un grand nombre de cellules immunitaires, exactement comme il le ferait s’il devait faire face à un stress physique. Or, d’après les résultats obtenus et les conditions de l’expérience, une seule nuit blanche suffirait à provoquer un tel phénomène.Si cette étude révèle donc encore une fois l’importance d’avoir un sommeil régulier pour l’organisme, elle doit être mise en parallèle avec d’autres recherches réalisées précédemment. Des travaux ont en effet démontré que le manque de sommeil rendait le corps plus vulnérable à certaines infections en perturbant les mécanismes de la défense immunitaire. Désormais, les chercheurs prévoient donc d’approfondir le sujet pour comprendre la manière dont une simple nuit blanche parvient à stimuler directement l’immunité. Le 5 juillet 2012 à 10:56 • Maxime Lambert
With a wave of construction worker retirements looming, the Southwest Washington Contractors Association took its job-recruitment plans to the drawing board.It came back with a coloring book.The six-page book, to be handed out at the upcoming Dozer Day, tries to charm boys and girls who might someday put on a hard hat. It tells the story of a child who falls in love with the industry and, decades later, starts a construction company.“It’s just to create awareness that construction jobs can be fun and rewarding,” spokeswoman Andrea Smith said.Many industries in Clark County would like to create awareness about jobs right now, as unemployment levels stay consistently low and companies say they can’t keep up with demand. Many are turning to youth to fill their ranks.Not every industry uses the same approach, but trades especially seem to be making the most concerted efforts to recruit new, younger workers.“The job market is really good. There’s a huge demand,” said Deken Letinich, area representative for the Washington and Northern Idaho District Council of Laborers. He added that he never misses a chance to talk at a high school.Meanwhile, educators and economic development organizations are trying to meet demand by revving up career and technical education — what today’s parents once knew as “vocational school.”Help wantedThe Southwest Washington Contractors Association isn’t the only one with a children’s book. Lakeside Industries, an asphalt company based in Issaquah, has one, too.
New Delhi, Aug 8 (IANS) A woman constable allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself inside her rented accommodation in Dwarka area on Wednesday night, the police said on Thursday. According to the police, the deceased has been identified as Lalita, a 2006 batch constable posted at Chhawla police station. She was found hanging inside the bathroom near the ventilation area inside her house in Durga Vihar area. Also Read – Subramanian Swamy cross-examined in National Herald case Advertise With Us “We received a call around 11:30 p.m. from her neighbours informing that no one was opening the door of her house while she was not responding to her phone calls. A team reached there and found the house locked. The door was broken and a team went inside. She was found hanging inside the bathroom with the help of a dupatta,” said a senior police officer. Also Read – War propaganda delays removal of internet restriction in Jammu and Kashmir Advertise With Us The police rushed her to a hospital where she was declared brought dead on arrival. “Her body was sent for post-mortem and her family members were informed about the incident. No suicide note was recovered from the spot. Meanwhile, a senior police officer has spoken to her family members, who have not suspected anyone,” the officer said. Police said she had not come on duty on Wednesday and that investigation has revealed that she was under medication for cancer.
View of the meeting in the Santa Ifigenia cemetery in Santiago de Cuba, on 1 January, 2019, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution. Photo: AFPCuba, long a source of inspiration for leftist Latin American governments, celebrated the 60th anniversary of its revolution on Tuesday facing increasing isolation in a region dominated by a resurgent right.Ex-president Raul Castro lashed out at what he called a return by the United States government to “confrontation with Cuba” after restoration of diplomatic ties and a friendlier tone under the former administration of Barack Obama.”Now, once again the US government seems to take the course of confrontation with Cuba and to present our peaceful and supportive country as a threat to the region,” said Castro, first secretary of the Communist Party.He gave his address at the grave in Santiago de Cuba of his brother Fidel Castro, Cuba’s revolutionary leader who died in 2016.”Increasingly, senior officials of the (Donald Trump) administration, with the complicity of some lackeys, disseminate new falsehoods and once again seek to blame Cuba for all the ills of the region,” he added in the presence of President Miguel Diaz-Canel, 58, the first president since 1976 who is not a Castro.Diaz-Canel took over in April as president from Raul Castro, who retains the top party post and called in his speech for living side-by-side with the US “in a mutually beneficial relationship of peace and respect.”It is the first such anniversary of the post-Castro era, and coincided with the inauguration in Brazil of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, whose recent election victory is one of several for right-wing governments across the region.Flags and postersBolsonaro, who had made a point of not inviting Diaz-Canel and Venezuela’s Socialist leader Nicolas Maduro to his inauguration, unfolded his nation’s green and yellow flag in Brasilia and proclaimed: “This is our flag, which will never be red.”Like Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Peru have all swung to the right in recent years, unseating leftist governments.Maduro paid tribute to the “heroic Cuban people” in a tweet, lauding their “resistance and dignity” in the face of “60 years of sacrifices, struggles and blockade.”Another surviving leftist leader, Bolivia’s Evo Morales, said Cuba’s revolution gave birth to “the light of hope and invincible will for the liberation of the people.”The streets of Santiago were adorned with flags and posters. In one, a vigorous Fidel raises a rifle next to Raul, with the legend “60 years of victories.”Diaz-Canel wasn’t even born when Fidel Castro declared victory for his revolution on 1 January, 1959.US-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista had fled the country earlier that day, opening the way for Castro to install a one-party communist system.Today Cuba remains one of only a handful of communist states left in the world, and has been under a US economic embargo since 1962.Last week, a defiant Diaz-Canel wrote on Twitter: “The Cuban revolution is invincible, it grows, it lasts.”But not everyone is convinced.Dissident Vladimiro Roca, whose father Blas Roca served as a high-ranking official under Fidel Castro, insists that “the revolution died a long time ago.”Abroad, Cuba’s government has faced heavy criticism for its authoritarian nature, intolerance of opposition and persecution of detractors. Vladimiro Roca was jailed from 1997 to 2002 for his protests.And while US-Cuba relations thawed under Obama, the Caribbean island of 11 million people has had to contend with an increasingly hostile administration under Trump these last two years.Change is coming, though.In February, the communist regime is to submit to referendum a new constitution that will officially recognize private property, markets and foreign investment.However, the document also ratifies communism as the nation’s “social goal,” insists the country will “never” return to capitalism, and defines the Communist Party as by nature, single, and the “supreme political force of state and society.”‘A new cycle’Economic changes are on the way as well. One deal, between Major League Baseball in the US and the Cuban Baseball Federation, will allow the island’s top talents to sign multi-million dollar agreements with MLB clubs.”For sure, a new cycle is being opened. This cycle is continuity and change,” academic Arturo Lopez-Levy, from Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota, told AFP.That’s not the view of Jorge Duany, director of the Cuban Research Institute at Florida International University.”For now, it looks like Castrism without a Castro” in power, he said.Russia and China remain allies, but neither has shown willingness to subsidize the country’s economy in the way the former Soviet Union did for 30 years.Diaz-Canel has repeatedly said that the “most important battle is the economy,” which has grown barely one percent in recent years, not enough to support its population.The president and his team are left “with the challenge of applying a contradictory policy,” said Lopez-Levy. Cuba is institutionalizing the revolution during economic crisis, while the Communist Party creates a market economy in which inhabitants can get rich in a society based on egalitarian principals.
Andrew SchneiderHarris County Judge Ed Emmett (left) arguing with Commissioner Rodney Ellis (right) over the bail bond lawsuit. Commissioner Jack Cagle sits between them.The fate of a lawsuit over Harris County’s bail bond system now rests in the hands of the incoming county government. County Judge Ed Emmett said he’s done trying to reach a settlement. The case has been stalled most of the year, following a ruling by the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. The 5th Circuit upheld most of a lower court decision that the bail system discriminates against poor defendants, keeping them in jail if they can’t afford to pay their bond. Judge Emmett said he and the county commissioners were willing to settle based on the appeals court ruling, but the plaintiffs weren’t.“I’m going to leave it to the county attorney to move forward,” Emmett said. “A couple of us aren’t going to be here come January, and you all can hash that out, but I think we made our best effort to settle based on what the 5th Circuit did.”Emmett accused the plaintiffs of delaying a settlement until after the election for political reasons. “The pound of flesh has been extracted from this deal,” he said, “but we tried to settle. Make no bones about that.”Emmett lost his bid for reelection to Lina Hidalgo. Commissioner Jack Morman of Precinct 2 lost to former Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia. In addition, seven of the 15 criminal court judges who are defendants in the lawsuit were defeated at the polls. Their successors will take office January 1. Listen To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Share 00:00 /00:49 X
Baylor College of MedicineBaylor St. Luke’s Medical Center is preparing for a full site inspection by federal regulators, News 88.7 has learned.A January inspection found the hospital out of compliance on three of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) requirements: patient rights, quality assurance and performance improvement, and nursing services. Findings from that inspection triggered CMS to order a full unannounced survey of the hospital within 60 days to be carried out by state health officials, a CMS spokesperson said. This will be the first full survey of St. Luke’s since April 2018.A letter sent to physicians by Chief of Staff William Granberry and obtained by News 88.7, details practices in need of “immediate attention” before inspectors arrive.Verbal orders are not acceptable except in emergencies, Granberry noted. He added that all handwritten orders must be dated and timed, and pre-signed order sets will no longer be accepted. He instructed staff not to make any documentation using a medical provider’s log-in.Granberry also reminded staff of proper hand washing and sanitizing procedures, not to take food into patient areas, and of when to change scrubs, face masks and shoe covers. Included in his note were reminders of universal protocols such as marking surgical sites on patients, using two patient identifiers and performing a “time out” to ensure everything is correct prior to surgery.“Baylor St. Luke’s leadership has already mobilized multi-disciplinary teams of physicians, nurses and staff – guided by outside experts from across the country – to evaluate every key aspect of our operations and identify immediate steps we need to take for patient care,” Baylor St. Luke’s Vice President of Quality Megan Fischer said in a statement released to News 88.7.The CMS notification of the upcoming inspection does not affect Baylor St. Luke’s status for Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement, or affect ongoing hospital operations, the hospital said.Courtesy of Baylor St. Luke’s Medical CenterT. Douglas Lawson was named president of Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center following the departure of former president Gay Nord.St. Luke’s lost federal funding to its heart transplant program last year following a Houston Chronicle and ProPublica investigation into surgical complications at the hospital. Later investigations by the papers revealed problems within the hospital’s lung and liver transplant programs.The hospital has since removed its president and two administrators and hired three new executives as it tries to address problems with its transplant programs and nursing practices.View a copy of the letter below: Share
#CONCACAFAwards 2016 Male Player of the Year goes to @bryanruizcr of @fedefutbol_cr @Sporting_CP pic.twitter.com/8nn6SnuQp5— CONCACAF (@CONCACAF) January 18, 2017 La Sele captain Bryan Ruíz was announced as the 2016 CONCACAF Player of the Year Wednesday after a fan and media vote chose the Tico as the region’s top footballer.Ruíz has helped put Costa Rica on the fast track to make it to the World Cup in Russia next year with his great play in qualifiers. The men’s National Team has climbed to No. 17 in the world as it rides a nine-game unbeaten streak.For Costa Rica, Ruíz had two goals in all matches last year while making his biggest impact as a passer and creator for La Sele’s other scorers. At the club level, Ruíz again impressed for Portugal’s Sporting CP in his second season there. He has helped the Leões remain one of the top teams in the Portuguese Primeira Liga as a mainstay in the starting lineup. Related posts:Costa Rica returns with full-strength lineup in last step toward World Cup qualifying Costa Rica humiliates the United States 4-0 in World Cup qualifier Óscar Ramírez faces first adversity as La Sele’s head coach Costa Rica seeking revenge against the United States La Sele head coach Óscar Ramírez won the CONCACAF Coach of the Year Award as well on Wednesday. The former National Team player has helped lead Costa Rica to an impressive 14-4-4 record since he took over in September of 2015. Though La Sele had a disappointing showing at last year’s Copa América tournament, Ramírez has managed his team well through World Cup Qualifying. Costa Rica leads the regional table in the final “Hexagonal” round of six where the top three teams get an automatic qualifying spot for Russia 2018.Superstar goalie Keylor Navas, who was the 2014 CONCACAF Player of the Year, was named this year’s top goalkeeper in the region and also included in the Men’s Best XI, a selection of the region’s best players at each position. Alongside Ruíz and Navas on the CONCACAF Best XI are left-wing defender Ronald Matarrita and midfielder Christian Bolaños.The young Matarrita has been an instant mainstay in Ramírez’s lineups and shone in his role as both wing defenseman and facilitator for La Sele offense. The 22-year-old left back has two goals in Costa Rica’s last three World Cup qualifying matches.Though a decade older, Bolaños has revived his career under Ramírez and given La Sele a huge boost in the midfield next to Ruíz. Like Matarrita, Bolaños had a huge 2016 and is on a scoring streak in World Cup qualifying where he has four goals in his last three CONCACAF matches.On the women’s side, Costa Ricans Gloriana Villalobos and Shirley Cruz were named to the Women’s Best XI team as the best players at the midfield position. The 17-year-old Villalobos just signed her letter of intent to play on the women’s team next fall at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida where she will play for one of the best teams in the NCAA for the next four years.Alex Morgan of the U.S. was honored with the Women’s Player of the Year Award. Facebook Comments
By Stefanos EvripidouThere is a widely held view among a section of the planet’s inhabitants that we’re living in a more chaotic and unpredictable world. Then there are those who point to facts and figures that purport to show we’ve never lived longer or had so much peace and prosperity before.Of course, the statistics are useful but we are too complex a species now to get bogged down in numbers alone.From the perspective of countries in the middle to high income gap, the point is not so much about whether we’re smarter, richer or healthier, but more about how we feel. Do we feel safe and secure?Technological advancements, particularly in telecommunications, have brought sweeping changes to the way we live our lives and interact with others, creating a plethora of new, interlinked and overlapping communities, specifically in the online world.The dissemination of information has been revolutionised. We can get our news from a wide variety of colourful sources at any time, on time, and even before time.And by news, I mean literally… anything. From white knuckle handshakes to bomb explosions and the latest in pet grooming, we have access to it all.It is within this environment that one must question how safe and secure we feel, not simply within the confines of a graph showing global figures on violent deaths in the last 100 years. The question needs to be posed in the knowledge that we have access to almost everything that happens near or far, and that this enhanced awareness can often make one feel like they’ve been plugged into the physical heart of the ‘butterfly effect’. As Cosmo Kramer would say, “It’s no picnic.”The impact of instant news and social media on our overall sense of security is rarely discussed when debating security issues at the highest levels. It’s simply taken for granted.According to a 2016 Eurobarometer survey, immigration and terrorism are at the top of the list of concerns of EU citizens while the environment is at the bottom.Nobody asks the question anymore: if a tree falls in a forest but nobody saw it, does it make a sound – because whether anyone saw it or not, there’s a YouTube video of the tree falling set to the sound of Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball. And it’s already got a billion views.It is within this setting that many Europeans panicked when over a million migrants entered Europe in 2015 – a smaller figure than the number of refugees who’ve settled in Lebanon since the Syrian war broke out. Still, for a while, the EU bloc of half a billion people was at a loss as to what to do.It is perhaps not surprising then to learn that a majority of Europeans are in favour of an integrated defence policy.Despite the many trials and tribulations that the EU project has been through, particularly in recent years with the single currency, most Europeans actually want to see greater EU cooperation on security and defence in order to tackle existing or future security challenges.According to a Eurobarometer survey from March 2017, 68 per cent of Europeans would like the EU to do more on security and defence policy.Across member states, the percentage in favour of a common security and defence policy ranges from 87 per cent in Lithuania and Luxembourg, to 72 per cent in Greece, 64 per cent in Italy and 59 per cent in Sweden. Of course, the further East you go, the less popular it becomes, as former Warsaw Pact countries shun any collaboration that could overshadow NATO’s role as a bulwark against potential Russian aggression.Cypriot public opinion is overwhelmingly in favour of a more integrated policy among EU member states, with 81 per cent of respondents saying they support a common policy.A migrant is escorted by an officer from European Union border agency FrontexIronically, it’s the national governments that have been holding back on pooling resources in this area. The legislation exists at an EU level – since the Treaty of Lisbon came into effect in 2009 – to do a lot more on a common security and defence policy but the political will was never there.However, it seems the migration flows from the Middle East and Africa, the latest wave of terrorist attacks, Brexit vote, Trump tweets (yes, really) and election of Emmanuel Macron have created a set of circumstances where EU leaders are actually ready to do more together.Europe is getting a rude awakening from across the Atlantic that it cannot take for granted anymore the US provision of security for the continent. At the same time, the new French President has risen to the top after battling anti-EU elements within his country, and he is unabashedly pro-Europe.With Trump distancing the US from Europe, Britain negotiating its sayonara, Macron fresh on the scene and Merkel sturdy as ever, the previously unthinkable is now looking like a real possibility.Just last month, at Macron’s first EU summit, EU leaders agreed to establish permanent European defence cooperation, while pushing forward with a Defence Fund and EU battlegroups. The fund aims to provide over five billion euros annually by 2020 to promote research and financing capabilities in Europe’s defence sector. This will go towards rationalising defence purchases and developing an EU defence procurement market.The sense of insecurity prevailing in EU and world affairs seems to have inspired some key figures within the EU to go ‘all in’, in an effort to create a Europe that can act independently and enjoy strategic autonomy in tackling threats and enhancing its security.The Guardian’s Natalie Nougayrede recently wrote that she heard the following comment in discussions with European experts and officials: “A golden decade may be dawning for Europe.”At a media seminar in Madrid last month on the future of EU defence policies, organised by the European Parliament, one official said Brexit had created a new sense of urgency.Despite being the second biggest spender in defence after the US, Europe is not as effective as it could be, said Dimitri Barua, Press Officer for the European Commission Representation in Spain.We simply don’t get enough bang for our buck, he said, adding that the EU does not have strategic autonomy to act alone because it doesn’t have enough tools to do so.A Frontex patrol vesselThe 28 members of the EU spent as a whole around €227 billion on defence last year, compared to €545 billion by the US, counting for 1.34 per cent and 3.3 per cent of GDP respectively.Trump wants NATO members (22 of whom are EU members) to increase spending to 2 per cent of GDP. But spending in itself won’t improve Europe’s situation.As Barua argued, “We need to spend more efficiently, which means spending collaboratively.” Purchasing weapons jointly provides for economies of scale. Developing systems in common also allows for interoperability.Europe’s defence systems are plagued by duplication, evidenced by the number of different types of weapons used by EU member states, in comparison to the USA.For example, there are 17 different types of main battle tanks across the 28 EU countries and only one in the US.According to Barua, the EU notion of security is complex. The term does not entail one set of threats. There are many new types of hybrid threats out there, involving global and regional powers re-arming, terrorists striking in Europe and around the world, piracy, the escalation of cyber attacks, changing migration flows and so on. These are best tackled by working together, developing key technologies and strategic capabilities, he said.If you don’t have strategic autonomy, you don’t have a seat at the table, Barua added.The current thinking is that an integrated and multi-layered approach to conflicts and crises is required. Providing security does not mean adopting a single set of instruments. It entails many things, from providing humanitarian aid to capacity-building (strengthening law enforcement and administration in unstable regions), conflict prevention, tackling climate change and providing boots on the ground.EU foreign policy chief Federica MogheriniThe EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini delivered a Global Strategy for the EU’s foreign and security policy last year, highlighting the bloc’s main priorities, which included:1) Responding to conflicts in an integrated manner– this requires capability, having civilian and military forces ready to take a multi-pronged approach to tackling a hot situation fast, with all that entails in terms of equipment, planning, command and control, mobility, intelligence etc.2) Building up the capacity and resilience of partners – in other words, tackling the roots of rising instability at their source; incidentally the EU’s zone of interest, where many of the world’s hotspots can be found, is Cyprus’ neighbourhood.3) Protecting the Union and its citizens – by working together in an interconnected manner on external security as well as internal security within the bloc (eg. implementing controls and sharing information to root out foreign fighters returning from Syria and Iraq).Reflecting the mood of the public, the European Parliament has consistently encouraged greater cooperation on defence between EU member states.One country that never liked the idea of the EU developing parallel capabilities to NATO and always opposed greater defence cooperation was the UK. Brexit could remove that obstacle, but at the same time, the EU is losing a UN P5 member and a nuclear power.Head of the European Parliament Information Office in Madrid, Maria Andres, noted that since the election of Macron, the mood in Europe has changed.On the day of his election, he celebrated playing the EU hymn, Beethoven’s Ode to Joy. There is more will now among the institutions for greater cooperation and you can feel it in citizens too, said Andres.Even with all the good will in the world, increasing cooperation on security and defence will not be a walk in the park when you’re dealing with so many national governments with their national sovereignties, sensitivities and competencies.Saying that, the European Border Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) has managed to create a rapid reaction pool of 1,500 officers from across member states that can be deployed immediately if there is an emergency at any one of the EU’s external borders. This would have been unheard of a while ago.Frontex spokesperson Ewa Morcure explained that the responsibility for managing external borders lies primarily with the member states, while Frontex supports them to coordinate technical and other assistance.She noted that after the migration experience, the agency has also added to its tasks the carrying out of vulnerability assessments to evaluate the capacity of member states to face challenges at their external borders.Frontex officers are also able to gather evidence on cross-border crime such as human traffickers or stolen cars and pass it on to Europol or national authorities.Also participating in the Madrid seminar, Cypriot MEP and member of the European Conservatives and Reformists group, Eleni Theocharous said growing security risks have intensified the need to harmonise European defence cooperation.Eleni TheocharousShe referred to a piece of information recently heard in Malta, that 30 million people are planning to move from the African continent to Europe in the coming years. The humanitarian refugee crisis has been turned into a political tool, threatening the social cohesion of the EU, argued Theocharous.Among other challenges and threats to EU security, the Cypriot MEP and Solidarity leader underlined Turkey’s “destabilising policies” in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East and the Balkans.Portuguese MEP, Paulo Rangel, belonging to the European People’s Party (EPP), noted that the EU represents 7 per cent of the global population but 55 per cent of global social spending. Hence, everyone wants to come to Europe, he said.Now, you can’t have freedom without a high level of security, but it would be naive to think we could close our borders, build walls and let no one enter, he argued.Responding to a question, Rangel said Germany’s Merkel, a leading figure in the EPP, is of the view that we cannot avoid migration, so it’s better to regulate it than try to stop it in such a way that we’ll end up being confronted with a more chaotic situation in the future.Most in the EPP agree with this analysis. There are some who don’t, specifically those belonging to the Visegrad group (Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia). These former Warsaw Pact countries seem to view the EU as some kind of postmodern Soviet stand-in.As such, they don’t like being told what to do and tend to go against the grain when they think their national sovereignty’s being threatened.Some also see their security strictly embedded in a NATO architecture and do not look kindly upon efforts to create new or parallel processes, regardless of what Trump says or tweets about those pesky European freeloaders.At the end of the day, Europeans will determine how far they want to go in creating a common security and defence policy based on how safe and secure they feel.Do they prefer to go it alone? Is it time for a European army? How many thousands of people can they accept drowning in the Mediterranean en route to Europe? Would they feel safer and more secure if they simply switched their smartphone off?Difficult to say, but one thing’s for sure, the next couple of years are going to be very interesting.You May LikeFigLeaf Beta AppHow to Become Fully Anonymous Online in Less Than 3 Minutes? Better safe than sorryFigLeaf Beta AppUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoCity BeautyDo This To Fix Sagging Jowls Without SurgeryCity BeautyUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboola
20Jan State Rep. Joel Johnson, son attend 2016 State of the State State Rep. Joel Johnson, R-Clare, welcomed his eldest son Clayton Johnson to the House chamber on Tuesday evening for Gov. Rick Snyder’s 2016 State of the State address. “I’m glad the governor not only showcased the great strides we have made, such as in employment and education, but also addressed the challenges Michigan is facing,” Rep. Johnson said. “By meeting those challenges head on with practical solutions, rather than skirting the issues, we can be successful problem solvers that move our state forward. That’s how we can continue to grow Michigan as the best place in the world to live, work, and raise a family.” The speech is given annually by the governor to provide citizens with an update on the current condition of the state and to detail Michigan’s executive branch goals for the coming year. Categories: Johnson News,Johnson Photos
07Sep Representative García invites first responders as her guests for ceremony PHOTO INFORMATION: State Representative Daniela R. García, of Holland, today hosted Port Sheldon Fire Chief Kevin McNutt and Port Sheldon Assistant Fire Chief Andrew Lawrence as her guests for the Michigan House’s annual Sept. 11 Memorial Service at the Capitol. The ceremony remembers first responders and members of the military from Michigan who died in the line of duty in the past year. Categories: Garcia News,News
13Sep Rep. Lucido advocates for state database of health facilities Categories: Lucido News Tags: Health Policy, healthcare, patient rights, seniors Legislator: Patients need ease of access to make informed health care decisionsState Rep. Peter Lucido today testified before the House Health Policy Committee advocating for a bill he introduced requiring the state to provide a database of health facilities and agencies to be accessed through the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs website.The proposed database would include the contact information, days and hours of operation, license information, complaints, violations and investigations of each health facility or agency.“Health providers and care facilities have a responsibility to remain transparent to potential patients,” said Lucido, of Shelby Township. “I certainly wouldn’t want my parents to be cared for by a facility being investigated for cleanliness standards or malpractice – I imagine other Michigan residents feel the same way.”Lucido says this streamlined approach to accessing information will allow Michigan residents to find all the facts they need in one place. In his testimony, the legislator stated he wants to ensure elderly residents, especially, have the resources they need to find a care facility that is best for their unique needs. The bill is part of Lucido’s commitment to residents to put families first in his legislative efforts.“I’m fortunate that my siblings and I are close by to care for my elderly parents – they cared for me my whole life and now I’m happy I can care for them,” said Lucido. “But every family is different, and I feel for those who don’t live near their elderly loved ones – these people need to know every detail possible before selecting a care facility for their parents.”The bill language states the department shall inform the public through press releases and other media avenues of the information available in the database and how to access the free online resource.House Bill 4361 remains under consideration by the Health Policy Committee.###
Categories: Noble News 12Oct Rep. Noble co-sponsors legislation requiring balanced budget by July 1 Legislators would forfeit pay after missed deadlineState Rep. Jeff Noble of Plymouth Township co-sponsored legislation introduced Wednesday to require the Michigan Legislature to present a balanced budget to the governor by July 1 each year.The joint resolution proposes amending the Michigan Constitution to establish the July 1 deadline and ensure legislators adhere to it. Should the Legislature fail to complete the budget in time, representatives and senators would forfeit their daily salaries until the governor receives the budget.“The state budget should be done by July so the numerous school districts and local governments that start their fiscal years on July 1 will know what their state funding levels are,” Noble said. “The proposed penalty is fitting because legislators who can’t give their communities certainty about the budget haven’t earned their pay.”If House Joint Resolution X is approved by two-thirds of both the House and Senate, the measure would be placed on the ballot for voter consideration.It was referred to the House Appropriations Committee.###
Share2TweetShareEmail2 SharesImage Credit: Mexicali, Baja California, Yvonne EsperanzaAugust 17, 2015; SalonAlthough this columnist announced his plan to not cover the presidential campaign of Donald Trump, that commitment will be violated in this instance simply to take note of Trump’s announced policy ideas on immigration because of what they represent about a segment of the American electorate.Trump’s immigration “reform” plan includes the following:Build a wall along the entire U.S./Mexico border and make Mexico pay for it—and if Mexico proves recalcitrant, penalize Mexico (and Mexicans) by taking a number of actions: “Impound all remittance payments derived from illegal wages; increase fees on all temporary visas issued to Mexican CEOs and diplomats (and if necessary cancel them); increase fees on all border crossing cards—of which we issue about 1 million to Mexican nationals each year (a major source of visa overstays); increase fees on all NAFTA worker visas from Mexico (another major source of overstays); and increase fees at ports of entry to the United States from Mexico. [Tariffs and foreign aid cuts are also options.]”Cut off federal grants to all “sanctuary cities”End “birthright citizenship”“Mandatory return of all criminal aliens,” and for those countries that refuse to accept “their own criminals,” cancelling visasEstablish a “hire Americans first” requirement for U.S. employersApparently, though it is not specified in his published immigration policy agenda, Trump told NBC News that he would rescind the executive actions that President Obama issued to protect children from deportation—presumably the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that began in 2012 after the failure of the DREAM Act in Congress—and somehow deport all undocumented immigrants. “They have to go,” Trump proclaimed.If Trump himself is a loudmouthed buffoon whose overall bluster and incoherence will eventually do him in, why take the plan seriously? Because there are elements of this plan that appeal to the American populace—and more than you might imagine.In Salon, Joan Walsh writes that this plan would require the creation of a massive police state with enough police to track down and deport millions of undocumented immigrants—plus, according to his “keep families together” language, their children who might have been born in the U.S. Just by the numbers, the police state required for this plan would be unavoidable, but the scary part is that many Americans would go along with that, given their fear and hostility toward immigrants. Don’t imagine that the negative reaction to the militarized police apparatus that showed up in Ferguson and elsewhere isn’t applauded by many Americans.The Trump immigration plan also raises the canard that immigrants of all sorts, undocumented as well as visa’ed, are taking away jobs from Americans. The plan makes special emphasis on the purported impact of immigrants on jobs and wages available to African Americans. The appeal is to Americans who see themselves as having been left behind in the nation’s purported economic revival. Wages are almost stagnant, the new employment that has emerged in the wake of the Great Recession is largely in low wage sectors such as leisure and hospitality, and wage and employment gains have been uneven among racial and ethnic groups, particularly for black men and women. When American workers are frustrated with their prospects, the manipulative tactic of a political leader to find a group to blame as the cause—undocumented immigrants—will find some resonance.Trump’s proposed hire-Americans-first component epitomizes the nativist underpinnings of all of the recommendations. Nonprofits such as the Texas Organizing Project have been mobilizing around the nation to support immigration reform, but the new dynamic of Trump’s proposals and their resonance with a slice of the American electorate should be a concern for all nonprofits. While nativist groups such as the Center for Immigration Studies have been generating recommendations and statistics much like Trump’s, having a loud-mouthed presidential candidate give them a platform elevates nativism to a new level. Concerns that their policy recommendations toward undocumented immigrants might be inhumane and prohibitively expensive don’t faze the nativists, motivated by “make Mexico pay” and deprive-immigrants-of-federal-program-services pipedreams.The facts don’t matter to the nativists or their national political mouthpieces. This is a new and scary level of the anti-immigrant movement that should spur reasonable, normal, democratically-focused nonprofits to think deeply about how they respond among their own constituencies, whose anger with national politics and economic torpor might lead them in nativist directions.—Rick CohenShare2TweetShareEmail2 Shares
Share10TweetShare1Email11 SharesOctober 21, 2016; CNBC (Associated Press)In a move that could affect developing countries and the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) within their borders, longtime UN leader and transparency activist Alfred de Zayas called upon incoming UN Chief António Guterres to prioritize ending offshore tax havens. The law professor anticipates that Guterres, the former prime minister of Portugal, will understand the impact of tax havens and secrecy jurisdictions on a country’s economy. De Zayas’ goal is to convene a UN conference to explore some viable options, which dovetails the pact made between the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and more than 85 countries sharing financial data to prevent shadowy financial dealings.Tax havens and secrecy jurisdictions are “places that intentionally create tax regulation for the benefit of use of non-residents to undermine another jurisdiction’s legislation and regulation.” Tax havens are legal, offering the benefits of low or no taxes, and are characterized as “tax avoidance.” Secrecy jurisdictions use non-reporting to hide money, which is tax evasion. However, according to de Zayas’ thinking, the potential to test the boundaries of ethics and the law exists in both.Unchecked, users of secrecy jurisdictions are unidentifiable, allowing participants to engage in both legal and illicit money laundering. Accordingly, de Zayas urges the General Assembly to outlaw tax havens worldwide. According to him, “Once you have transparency, tax havens are useless, [but] secrecy jurisdictions remain problematic.”According to de Zayas’ most recent report to the UN General Assembly, an estimated $32 trillion is held offshore in secrecy jurisdictions, escaping regulated taxation. Legal transactions can also be problematic. Matt Salomon, chief economist at Global Financial Integrity, told the CBC the amount legally siphoned from developing economies into tax havens is around $1 trillion per year.The top three secrecy jurisdictions in 2015 were Switzerland, Hong Kong, and the United States—specifically, Wyoming and Nevada, although South Dakota has recently opened for business as well. Rothschild and Co. established a trust in North America in Reno, Nevada in 2013. Customers with a mix of assets and relatives in the United States and abroad were attracted to the “stable, regulated environment” available in the U.S. Trident, another trust, “moved dozens of accounts out of Switzerland, Grand Cayman, and other locales, into Sioux Falls, South Dakota, ahead of a January 1st disclosure deadline.” Alice Rokahr, president of Trident in South Dakota, with its low taxes and confidential trust laws, was surprised at how many former Swiss bank accounts wanted out of Switzerland.Other high-profile jurisdictions include Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Belgium, Malta, Cyprus, Singapore, Liberia, the United Kingdom, and Panama—as was emphasized dramatically by the leak of the “Panama Papers” in May. The 11.5 million Panamanian law firm documents brought renewed calls for an end to shadowy financial activity. The UK was singled out with more 100,000 dummy companies registered in the British Virgin Islands. Britain’s former world dominance has created havens for hiding money in its overseas territories.The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa estimates in a recent report that African governments lose between $30 billion and $60 billion per year to tax evasion, or other “illicit financial flows.” During the 2015 UN Financing for Development Conference, African nations lobbied Western countries to close tax loopholes and shut tax havens, with many offering to forgo aid in return. Heavy pressure from Britain’s David Cameron and other Western nations successfully passed the conference’s major tax breakthrough, the Addis Tax Initiative. The initiative pledged that donor countries would double aid to strengthen tax systems in African and other developing countries. They never mentioned reforming their own tax haven systems, which produce an annual $1 trillion loss to illicit financial flows, according to Global Financial Integrity. These countries receive a mere $135 billion in annual aid.The differences between economic powerhouses and the rest of the world can’t be overstated. Secret and illegal tax haven dollars in developing countries could fund basic infrastructure projects, health and welfare programs, and improved educational systems. In 2007, Vodafone, the global telecom provider powerhouse, wanted to buy Hutchison Essar Ltd, an Indian subsidiary of a Hong Kong-based company. Although Hutchison Essar did business only in India, it was registered as a business in the Caribbean Cayman and British Virgin Islands—both tax havens—and Mauritius, another one in the Indian Ocean. Vodafone bought the company through a Netherlands-based subsidiary. None of those places levy capital gains tax. Consequently, India was not able to claim the $2.2 billion it would’ve earned without the tax havens.“The United Nations must take concerted action against abuses and crimes perpetrated by individuals, speculators, hedge funds, and transnational enterprises who skirt taxes and loot governments,” de Zayas insists. In a global economy where poverty rates are rising as incomes for a small percentage of people skyrocket, now, he believes, would be the perfect time to take steps toward leveling this playing field.—Mary Frances MitchnerShare10TweetShare1Email11 Shares
Share8Tweet7ShareEmail15 SharesUS Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jensen Stidham.April 12, 2018; Sumter ItemHow do we assess the value and impact of a public school? Do we weigh it mainly by its educational effectiveness, as measured by its test scores? Do we measure it based on its cost per student? Do we consider its impact as a community asset? Or, is it just a pawn in larger political battle?These questions become very relevant when school leaders are asked to choose which schools, if any, to close. A dispute over the closing of two rural South Carolina schools illustrates how complicated and politically fraught school closing decisions can become.According to the Sumter Item, the Sumter School Board “voted in favor of Interim Superintendent Debbie Hamm’s proposal to close Mayewood Middle School and F.J. DeLaine Elementary School at the end of this school year and consolidate those students and teachers into nearby schools to create magnet schools with special programming.”The rationale seemed quite straightforward, prompted by the district’s financial problems, including running a $6.2 million operating deficit in fiscal 2016. The selection of these two specific schools, according to the district’s administration, was done with a commitment to ensuring that “any changes would be educationally beneficial to children, continue educational services in the rural areas of the county and minimize transportation time to new schools. Other considerations included enhancing the image of Sumter School District to help with teacher recruitment, among other factors.” The school district estimates that closing the two schools will reduce costs for the district by $2.4 million. Still, the decision to close was controversial, passing narrowly on a 5-3 vote, with both board members whose districts included the closed schools voting against the motion, along with the school board chair.From the perspective of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF), the story is even more complicated. In a letter to the Sumter School Board, the LDF, along with local nonprofit The Family Unit, “expressed concerns surrounding the rushed and non-transparent process that has surrounded the proposals to close schools attended by predominately Black students.”The schools, according to the LDF, are “located in rural areas of Sumter County and are considered part of South Carolina’s notorious Corridor of Shame because of the State’s unconstitutional chronic underfunding of these schools.”Each school’s student body is majority-Black and low-income. These schools also have a long history of educating Black students when de jure and de facto segregation sanctioned white-only schools…our understanding is that white flight, in part, contributes to today’s low enrollment and over-concentration of low-income Black students in these schools. Specifically, white students with access to private transportation chose to travel to urban areas of Sumter County to enroll in school. Residents also have attributed low-enrollment in these schools to inequitable school zoning and attendance lines; that is, decisions which do not assign students to these schools but other ones.The LDF and The Family Unit also raised questions about a process that did not engage local input and a change in the makeup of the school board. They charged that local state legislators proposed legislation that effectively reduced the political power of the district’s Black residents, permitting a decision that would affect them directly. Overriding a gubernatorial veto, the legislature added two at-large members to the board and allowed local legislators to appoint them until the next regularly scheduled school board election. Prior to this change, the majority of the board had come from districts where Black voters were the majority. The newly appointed school board members proved to be the crucial votes in approving these school closures, a decision which reversed the prior Board’s previous rejection of this plan.School closures have become issues of contention from coast to coast, and they are seldom easy. Inadequate school funding, the desire to foster educational choice and introduce charter schools, and demographic shifts are factors pushing public school authorities to attempt to “right-size” their districts. Sumter’s experience is not atypical; too often, the decisions to close schools reflect concerns and agendas that transcend school performance and economics. The LDF asserted that the Sumter decision did not properly weigh “the various negative impacts of the school closures on the students and the surrounding communities, [that] closing neighborhood schools will have a deleterious effect on the culture and vitality of the surrounding community; and predominately Black students will bear the burden.” It is a caution that other district leaders would benefit from considering.—Martin LevineShare8Tweet7ShareEmail15 Shares
Satellite operator SES has seen its contract backlog increase to €7.1 billion, up 9% since the end of 2010, with €1.6 billion of renewals and new business signed for the year-to-date.SES reported revenues of €1.282 billion for the first nine months, with recurring revenue up 3%. Profit for the first nine months was €446.7 million, up 34.3%.SES confirmed that it was in line to achieve revenue and EBITDA growth of approximately 3% for the full year, excluding a revenue shortfall of €10 million as a result of launch delays. The company launched four satellites – Astra 1N, SES-2, SES-3 and QuetzSat 1 – in the quarter, with SES-4 now scheduled for launch in December and SES-5 moved to 2012.Operational highlights from the third quarter included contracts with Zeonbud to support DTT in Ukraine, contracts with ProSiebenSat.1 and the Austrian state broadcaster for capacity over Austria, the launch of Magticom in Georgia and a deal with Gazprom Space Systems to move Astra 1F to 55° East to provide capacity over Russia ahead of the launch of Yamal 402 next year.
Polish DTH operator Cyfrowy Polsat has launched a new offer giving users access to TVP1, TVP 2, Polsat, TVN, TV4 TVP Info and various free-to-air channels free of charge.Customers will need to buy a decoder for PLN149 (€33) to receive the channels and will not be required to sign a contract. Polsat is also offering its Mini HD package free of charge for six months.
Spanish broadcasters Antena 3 and La Sexta are set to complete their merger on April 25.The process will be completed at Antena 3’s annual general meeting and comes less than four months after the two companies agreed to merge. The move completes the integration process that began in December and will see La Sexta shareholders getting 14% of the new entity. The deal comes a year after Mediaset-owned commercial broadcaster Telecinco acquired smaller rival Cuatro in December 2010.
Ukrainian cable operator Volia is launching a high definition movie channel. The operator is launching Voila Kino HD and Voila HD+1, which it says are the first two HD premium movie channels in the country.Customers who subscribe to the Volia HD package and take its film package will have free access to the channels, which will air a raft of action, adventure and fantasy movies from local studios and international producers.The service will be available initially in Kyiv, Sevastopol, Lviv, Donetsk, Sumy, Kharkiv, Khmelnytsky, Dnipropetrovsk and Poltava.Volia Kino HD will air about 50 new titles a month, and plans to add library content and kids movies over time. Most titles will be made available in Ukrainian and Russian.
3D channel High TV has launched in Belgium on Telenet’s cable platform.The channel, which began airing in the US in 2010, airs entertainment shows, news, travel shows from around the world, exclusive dramas, comedies, fitness programmes and movies in 3D.“We are delighted that we can now offer our subscribers 24/7 high quality native 3D programming,” said Benny Salaets, vice-president, content at Telenet.