A chief ethics officer is coming to a boardroom near you soon

first_img whatsapp The ethical executive is coming to a boardroom near you Nor is it only high-profile teenagers who are making a difference. Change is happening everywhere, on a mass scale. The employee walkouts at Google and the #DeleteUber campaigns on social media show how times are changing, finally. Employees and consumers alike are fed up with the status quo. At the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier this month, one of the most globally influential members of Gen Z, Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, scolded the world’s billionaires and chief executives for their role in impacting climate change.  Corporates know that they have to become more “humane” and aware of their impact on society. There are limits to what you can do with company policy and messaging alone — if you want to be humane, you need a human. Once you’ve realised that tomorrow’s workers and consumers demand greater social and ethical responsibility from companies, you need to put that at the heart of your business. Millennials, according to all the research, crave workplace satisfaction and work-life balance, but they also expect their employers to reflect their own defined set of values, especially around social and economic equality. Donald Trump, Brexit, Cambridge Analytica, the weaponisation of data, deep fakes, and artificial intelligence (AI) — phenomena that would have seemed inconceivable a decade ago are now our day-to-day reality. The power of protest To return to Davos, the chief executive of customer-relationship management provider Salesforce, Marc Benioff, warned this year that “this obsession that we have with maximising profits for shareholders alone has led to incredible inequality and a planetary emergency”. He declared modern capitalism is “dead”, saying that business leaders now have a “responsibility” to think beyond just shareholders.  Bindi KariaBindi Karia is founder and chief executive of boutique advisory firm Bindi Ventures and an ambassador for Innovate Finance. Start with the fundamentals: people. Millennials (born after or around 1980) and Generation Z (born after 1996) are not just entering the workforce — they’re beginning to dominate it. As such, they are increasingly influencing how we work. Show Comments ▼ whatsapp In August 2019, the Business Roundtable, an organisation representing over 200 chief executives of America’s largest corporations, released a statement about their change in direction. It concluded that: “The best-run companies do more. By taking a broader, more complete view of corporate purpose, boards can focus on creating long-term value, better serving everyone — investors, employees, communities, suppliers, and customers. In the end, it’s the most promising way to build long-term value.” Clearly, corporates need to get serious about addressing this paradigm shift, or they will end up with no customers — and no staff. And this message finally seems to be getting through. Generation game City A.M.’s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M. by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeBetterBe20 Stunning Female AthletesBetterBeRest Wow68 Hollywood Stars Who Look Unrecognizable NowRest WowFactablePut Baking Soda Around The Base Of A Tomato Plant, Here’s WhyFactableLiver Health1 Bite of This Melts Belly And Arm Fat (Take Before Bed)Liver HealthAtlantic MirrorA Kilimanjaro Discovery Has Proved This About The BibleAtlantic MirrorZen HeraldShe Inspired Three Of The Most Popular Songs EverZen HeraldNoteableyJulia Robert’s Daughter Turns 16 And Looks Just Like Her MomNoteableyMisterStoryWoman files for divorce after seeing this photoMisterStoryOceandraw29 Gorgeous NASCAR Wives & Girlfriends, Don’t Miss #9Oceandraw Main image credit: Getty Technology, most notably in the form of social media hashtag campaigns, is making it easier for people to gang up against companies for not doing the “right thing”. Look at the $36bn drop in Facebook’s valuation in March 2018 — after The Guardian published its findings on how Cambridge Analytica used data on over 87m unsuspecting users taken from the social media platform for political purposes — to see the material impact that this can have on businesses. Google, meanwhile, set up an external advisory board in April 2019 to focus on the ethics of its own AI work and to ensure that it was following its own manifesto on AI principles. center_img So are corporations really becoming more “woke”? Clearly, they are — or at least, they are realising that they have no choice.  Corporations cannot afford to ignore this. And as a result, we’ve seen some of the world’s largest technology companies try to address this tectonic shift by launching new initiatives, internal teams, and external advisory boards to demonstrate their willingness to change. It’s only a matter of time before chief ethics officers are a staple part of any big company’s management team. Could 2020 be the year that this new job title becomes mainstream? My money’s on yes. While some businesses are ahead of the game, many have taken too long to wake up to this brave new world. So with demographic and technological shifts subverting everything that we thought we knew, how can businesses chart a way forward? But there are companies out there that are truly making an impact. Microsoft — long considered a “bad guy” ever since its 2001 Department of Justice antitrust judgment — launched an “AI for Accessibility” programme in 2019, and has published a book on the effects of AI in certain industries and on bias in recruiting. The tech giant now finds itself in the ironic position of suing the US government to defend its customers’ privacy rights. In addition, Microsoft announced recently that it aims to be carbon negative by 2030.  Benioff is putting his money where his mouth is. Not content to just talk about ethics, he’s hired someone to make it happen. In 2019, the company appointed Paula Goldman as  chief ethics officer to “implement a strategic framework for the ethical and humane use of technology” and build “an understanding of Salesforce’s broader responsibility to their customers and society”.  Benioff isn’t the only one to have had this idea. Julian Wheatland, acting chief executive of Cambridge Analytica until it was shut down in May 2018, declared in a recent interview that chief ethics officers should be the norm. Sign up to City A.M.’s Midday Update newsletter, delivered to your inbox every lunchtime We are undergoing a paradigm shift in our political, economic, and commercial worlds — and it’s truly stranger than fiction. With millennials and Gen Z expected to account for over 75 per cent of the workforce by 2035, organisational culture must shift towards meeting the demands of these younger demographics. Wanted: a chief ethics officer Share Opinion Meanwhile, Gen Z — completely comfortable in a mobile-first, multi-device, multi-app environment — value making a meaningful contribution to the world, and in return expect their input to be respected. They are also less tolerant of hierarchical corporate environments. You can, of course, doubt how effective these initiatives are going to be in practice. Google’s advisory board, for example, was sadly disbanded after just a week because of a backlash surrounding one of the appointed members. Talking the talk clearly isn’t good enough. Why? “To ensure that the company is actually doing what it says it’s doing. This person, along with internal audit procedures, would be responsible for making sure that the company is complying with its own data ethics policies and, frankly, thinking two steps ahead and anticipating danger — in precisely the way that regulators can’t.” Monday 3 February 2020 5:17 am You only have to look at some of the straplines of participating corporations to see the impact her disapproval had. Take McKinsey, for example, which stated that it would be engaging with business executives, experts, and policymakers to discuss topics including climate change, how technology can be harnessed for social good, and the role of business leadership in the twenty-first century. Tags: Davoslast_img read more

Music scouting platform Instrumental secures Tencent backing

first_imgInstrumental has been contacted for comment. A British music scouting firm that uses algorithms to discover new artists is said to have secured fresh investment from Chinese tech giant Tencent. Instrumental has also capitalised on the growing popularity of streaming services such as Spotify, which have fuelled a sharp increase in the number of independent artists and challenged the might of the big four record labels. Music scouting platform Instrumental secures Tencent backing The deal will come as a major boost to Instrumental, which uses data analytics to identify unsigned artists with commercial potential. A consortium led by the Chinese tech giant last year took a 10 per cent stake in Universal Music Group, and is reportedly looking to increase its shareholding to as much as 20 per cent. Its business model has drawn comparisons with the bestselling book Moneyball, which tells the story of baseball executive Billy Beane, who used data to scout undiscovered talent. whatsapp But the tie-up with Tencent will enable the company to cash in on the lucrative Chinese music market. The London-based firm works with a string of major players in the music industry, including Sony and Live Nation. Tuesday 27 October 2020 5:23 pm whatsapp Instrumental was founded in 2016 by former Warner Music Group executive Conrad Withey and Abi Hanna. Instrumental uses algorithms to identify unsigned artists with commercial potential (AFP via Getty Images) Also Read: Music scouting platform Instrumental secures Tencent backing The company has secured backing from Warner Music, as well as business incubator Blenheim Chalcot. Instrumental is set to announce the strategic partnership, which will see Tencent take a minority stake in the company, as early as tomorrow, Sky News reported. Instrumental uses algorithms to identify unsigned artists with commercial potential (AFP via Getty Images) Also Read: Music scouting platform Instrumental secures Tencent backing James Warrington The deal also marks the latest effort by Tencent to expand its presence in the global music market. by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeDaily FunnyFemale Athlete Fails You Can’t Look Away FromDaily FunnyPast Factory”Waltons” Actress Says Magazine Ended Her CareerPast Factorybonvoyaged.comTotal Jerks: These Stars Are Horrible People.bonvoyaged.comNoteableyAirport Security Couldn’t Believe These Jaw-Dropping MomentsNoteableyJustPerfact USAMan Decides to File for Divorce After Taking a Closer Look at This Photo!   JustPerfact USAZen HeraldEllen Got A Little Too Personal With Blake Shelton, So He Said ThisZen HeraldBetterBe20 Stunning Female AthletesBetterBeFinanceChatterViewers Had To Look Away When This Happened On Live TVFinanceChatterOne-N-Done | 7-Minute Workout7 Minutes a Day To a Flat Stomach By Using This 1 Easy ExerciseOne-N-Done | 7-Minute Workout Instrumental uses algorithms to identify unsigned artists with commercial potential (AFP via Getty Images) Share According to the report, the deal will include an alliance with Tencent Music Entertainment that will benefit the roster of artists licensing tracks onto Instrumental’s Frtyfve label and publishing arm. Show Comments ▼last_img read more

Think the UK’s experiencing a migrant crisis? It’s nothing compared with Denmark, Austria and Sweden

first_img Tags: EU migrant crisis UK immigration Think the UK’s experiencing a migrant crisis? It’s nothing compared with Denmark, Austria and Sweden whatsapp The UK may be in the grip of a migrant crisis – but the number of people applying to come to the UK pales in comparison to many other European countries, it turns out.The number of people seeking asylum in Europe peaked at 70,720 in February, data from Eurostat shows. Of those, 2,255 applied to come to the UK – while 4,050 applied to go to Sweden, and 26,085 applied for shelter in Germany.  And as a percentage of the population, the number of people applying for asylum in the UK is also low compared with many other European nations, with 493 people seeking asylum in the UK per million members of the population, compared with 8,343 in Sweden, 4,343 in Hungary and 3,269 in Austria. To be fair, the present migrant “crisis” has caused problems for the UK’s hauliers, with the Freight Transport Association suggesting the UK is losing as much as £250m in trade a day thanks to the delayed shipments of goods.Nevertheless – when put into perspective, it looks like the number of people trying to get into the UK is less a “swarm”, more a “trickle”… Emma Haslett Show Comments ▼ Sharecenter_img whatsapp by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeMoneyPailShe Was A Star, Now She Works In ScottsdaleMoneyPailSwift VerdictChrissy Metz, 39, Shows Off Massive Weight Loss In Fierce New PhotoSwift VerdictPost FunKate & Meghan Are Very Different Mothers, These Photos Prove ItPost FunComedyAbandoned Submarines Floating Around the WorldComedyMaternity WeekA Letter From The Devil Written By A Possessed Nun In 1676 Has Been TranslatedMaternity WeekGameday NewsNBA Wife Turns Heads Wherever She GoesGameday NewsEquity MirrorThey Drained Niagara Falls — They Weren’t Prepared For This Sickening DiscoveryEquity Mirrorzenherald.comMeghan Markle Changed This Major Detail On Archies Birth Certificatezenherald.comForbesThese 10 Colleges Have Produced The Most Billionaire AlumniForbes Thursday 3 September 2015 3:58 pm More From Our Partners Killer drone ‘hunted down a human target’ without being told tonypost.comInstitutional Investors Turn To Options to Bet Against AMCvaluewalk.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comNative American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgWhite House Again Downplays Fourth Possible Coronvirus Checkvaluewalk.comBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.orgKamala Harris keeps list of reporters who don’t ‘understand’ her: reportnypost.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgInside Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis’ not-so-average farmhouse estatenypost.comWhy people are finding dryer sheets in their mailboxesnypost.com980-foot skyscraper sways in China, prompting panic and evacuationsnypost.comSupermodel Anne Vyalitsyna claims income drop, pushes for child supportnypost.comConnecticut man dies after crashing Harley into live bearnypost.comMatt Gaetz swindled by ‘malicious actors’ in $155K boat sale boondogglenypost.com‘Neighbor from hell’ faces new charges after scaring off home buyersnypost.comBiden received funds from top Russia lobbyist before Nord Stream 2 giveawaynypost.comUK teen died on school trip after teachers allegedly refused her pleasnypost.com last_img read more

News / Final-mile postal tariffs set to rise, but by how much is still in the air

first_imgUS postage stamp, circa. 1959 © Chris Dorney By Ian Putzger 02/07/2020 Several outfits have sounded the alarm in recent days, warning parcel shippers that use postal services that their costs would increase dramatically. The UK’s Royal Mail said it would have to pay double the rate for final-mile deliveries in the US made by its American counterpart.Logistics provider Seko Logistics, which focuses on international e-commerce traffic, cautioned international shippers that the rates for final-mile delivery in the US could rise as much as 150%.The US Postal Service has yet to announce its compensation for final-mile delivery for postal agencies from countries that ship more than 75,000 tonnes of mail to the US in a year. Nor have postal agencies from other countries that meet the criterion, parcel carriers or online merchants.Horst Manner-Romberg, principal of parcel research and consulting firm M-R-U, reckons postal agencies are looking to the US to make the first move.He believes the new regime has presented postal service providers with a massive increase in complexity. The terminal dues system was unfair but relatively straightforward. An exit from this framework means postal agencies have to negotiate new arrangements with each other on a bilateral basis.This is introducing new complexities, said Mr Manner-Romberg. A postal service has to decide on its own rate structure for inbound mail, taking into consideration what others are charging in order to remain competitive.“What do you do if one postal service you’re competing with charges 15%, but another charges 25%?” he said.Moreover, postal providers have to embark on “an administrative marathon” of negotiations with each other, a process that is time-consuming and generates costs, which would be passed on to mail users, he pointed out, adding that he thinks it will take months for the full picture to emerge.Deyman Doolittle, COO and co-founder of ShipSights, which helps shippers reduce transport spend, is also certain charges will increase.“While it may go up 100%, the actual impact on the shipper may be lower,” he said. Many shippers have negotiated special rates and disbursement fees with their postal service partners, he pointed out.There will also be repercussions for some traffic carried by integrated carriers using the US Postal Service for final-mile deliveries. Both FedEx and UPS have a 2% margin on terminal dues, as long as they handle the paperwork for the shipper – which is usually the case, Mr Doolittle noted.“They stand to get increased margins,” he said.Some post offices have already struck agreements with each other, Mr Manner-Romberg noted. One of the first was Swiss Post, which negotiated with China Post a few years ago. This raised the compensation the Swiss operator receives from its Chinese counterpart to Sfr0.52 from Sfr0.32 per parcel.A major reason for the US offensive against the terminal dues regime was to level the playing field for US online merchants paying higher postal delivery charges in their home market than Chinese exporters using the mail service. However, experts doubt that the shift to the new regime will hamper Chinese sellers seriously.“I do not imagine that this will impact parcel flows,” Mr Doolittle said.Mr Manner-Romberg agreed. Many Chinese online merchants had already adapted their strategy, setting up distribution centres in Europe and North America, from where they use domestic delivery services for the final mile, he said.Seko is advising clients to consider this approach and scrutinise the option of holding inventory in the US to accelerate deliveries, as well as the viability of drop shipping parcels from Asia to the US, to avoid higher duty and taxes on B2B shipments to the US, said Brian Bourke, its chief growth officer.center_img Parcel shippers are bracing for higher delivery costs on international shipments, but it is unclear by how much they may rise.Under a decision by the Universal Postal Union (IPI) in October, countries with imports in excess of 75,000 tonnes of mail from another nation are free, as of 1 July, to set their own charges for the final delivery of postal traffic from that country.This replaces a terminal dues regime that set fixed rates depending on the classification of country of origin. The US government led the charge against terminal dues, threatening to quit the organisation.Under the UPU agreement, qualifying post offices can now raise their rates as high as 70% of the price of domestic delivery, and up to 80% later. Countries that do not reach the 75,000-tonne threshold can start raising their charges in 2025.last_img read more

Meet the furry pitchmen promoting a new drug for dogs scared of fireworks

first_img Tags animalsanxietydrug marketing The drug, a low-dose version of a dog sedative, hit the market last month. It was approved late last year by the Food and Drug Administration to treat dogs with a condition called “noise aversion” that causes symptoms ranging from skittishness to extreme panic and can result in dogs running away or injuring themselves.Zoetis estimates that about a third of dogs are afflicted by noise aversion, which can be triggered by everything from the bangs of celebratory gunfire to the swishing of a running dishwasher.Sileo is the latest offering in a crowded market of remedies. A dog vest branded as Thundershirt has amassed a huge following with the promise to relieve anxiety by simply applying gentle pressure. And a Texas company last week launched a wearable device that promises to deliver “calming frequencies that the dog can hear and feel.”Sileo, which must be prescribed by a vet, is sold as a gel that is absorbed by mouth and costs $30 for several doses. Zoetis pitches it as an option that works faster than existing sedatives and antidepressants, without putting dogs into a stupor. The Finnish drug maker Orion, which developed the drug, tested it on 144 canines on New Year’s Eve and said 75 percent of dogs who took Sileo had lower anxiety than expected during fireworks, compared to 33 percent of dogs who got a placebo. (That’s according to their owners, who were asked to report on their pets’ reactions.)The drug launched so close to July 4th that vets worried their clients wouldn’t learn about it before the skies lit up with fireworks. So they took to social media to spread the word — giving Zoetis a free marketing campaign that speaks to the powerful role social media can play in boosting or sinking the fortunes of a drug.Linda Randall, a veterinarian who owns a pet hospital in Ohio, paid a small fee to Facebook to widely advertise two photos she took to promote the drug. One post urges pet owners to “Call us to see if Sileo is right for your dog.”In another, her border collie, Trace, and her receptionist’s corgi, Chuck, wear bright pink earmuffs. (Trace and Chuck, for the record, are just unpaid actors; neither of them actually suffers from noise aversion.)“If I put a cute picture with it, that might catch people’s eyes,” Randall told STAT in a phone interview over a chorus of barking. “People obviously can’t help their dogs if they don’t know the drug exists.”Some animal clinics and hospitals had dogs don the Sileo-brand bandanas, emblazoned with stars and stripes, for social media photos. There’s new hope for dogs spooked by fireworks. Frank Rumpenhorst/AFP/Getty Images By Rebecca Robbins July 1, 2016 Reprints Zoetis, the big animal drug maker that’s marketing Sileo in the United States, didn’t organize or ask for the PR campaign. But it did supply its sales reps with red-white-and-blue bandanas printed with the drug name to distribute to pet clinics. And it did launch the drug just in time for the Fourth of July. Vets couldn’t resist.advertisementcenter_img BusinessMeet the furry pitchmen promoting a new drug for dogs scared of fireworks Zoetis wouldn’t say how many prescriptions have been filled since Sileo became available last month.But STAT counted about 40 social media posts from vets and pet clinics promoting the drug. In a Facebook video posted by an Oklahoma pet hospital, a small dog named Olivia cowers under a desk during a thunderstorm, shaking and panting audibly, her tongue stuck way out of her mouth.“I’m going to try a new product called Sileo,” her veterinarian owner says before cutting the feed.Twenty-five minutes later, the camera comes back on: Olivia is still under the desk but only trembling slightly. And her tongue is securely back in her mouth. They’ve sold out to Big Pharma to hawk a new drug — and they didn’t even get paid for it, not in biscuits or in bones.The furry faces of pitchdogs are flooding Facebook and Twitter as dozens of veterinarians and pet hospitals seek to raise awareness of Sileo, the first drug approved to calm canines who are afraid of fireworks and thunderstorms.“Do not fear, Sileo is here!” Aston, a gray-and-white dog with a remarkable grasp of English, is quoted as saying (or perhaps, barking) in one post.advertisementlast_img read more

Army Corps of Engineers to reduce outflows from Lake Okeechobee

first_imgAdvertisementDC Young Fly knocks out heckler (video) – Rolling OutRead more6 comments’Mortal Kombat’ Exceeded Expectations Says WarnerMedia ExecutiveRead more2 commentsDo You Remember Bob’s Big Boy?Read more1 commentsKISS Front Man Paul Stanley Reveals This Is The End Of KISS As A Touring Band, For RealRead more1 comments June 11 fishing report from Byron Stout June 13, 2021 Blue-green algae bloom found at Franklin Locks on Caloosahatchee River June 6, 2021 AdvertisementRecommended ArticlesBrie Larson Reportedly Replacing Robert Downey Jr. As The Face Of The MCURead more81 commentsGal Gadot Reportedly Being Recast As Wonder Woman For The FlashRead more29 comments Advertisement Calusa Waterkeeper, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting waterways in Lee County took pictures of Lee County shorelines Wednesday, December 2, to show the effect of recent water releases from Lake Okeechobee. There have even been reports of brown water in Naples.Although fewer water releases may sound like good news, an official from the Calusa Waterkeeper said that it might be too little too late. The water that’s already been released from Lake O is priming our coastal areas and back backs for another red tide bloom.Tomorrow, Dec. 5, Lake O releases are being reduced from 4000 cubic feet per second to 3000. After that, it could likely be reduced again. Lake O’s levels need to be reduced by 14 feet, and south Florida is still too wet from hurricane season to send the water that way. The Corps will figure out more details about the dry season schedule by February. RELATEDTOPICS DeSantis briefed on blue-green algae treatment used on Caloosahatchee June 7, 2021 AdvertisementTags: Caloosahatchee RiverLake OkeechobeeUS army corps of engineers Army Corps works to finalize Lake O plan that could affect Florida waters June 11, 2021 LEE COUNTY, Fla. – The Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District will start reducing outflows from Lake Okeechobee to the estuaries, starting Saturday, December 5. They will start reducing releases from Lake Okeechobee gradually to allow time for the ecosystems of the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers and estuaries to adjust. The Army Corps will begin the transition to dry season operations on Lake Okeechobee on December 5 by implementing a 7-day release with a reduced average target flow for the Caloosahatchee Estuary of 3,000 cubic feet per second. This is as measured at the Moore Haven Lock & Dam. At the same time, the Army Corps will implement a multi-week release pattern for the St. Lucie Estuary, starting with a 5-day pause to allow for recovery of estuary health. This will be followed by a 7-day average release of 1,500 cubic feet per second as measured at St. Lucie Lock & Dam near Stuart, the Army Corps of Engineers said. AdvertisementAdditional runoff from rain in the local Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie basins could occasionally result in flows that exceed one or both targets. The USACE said lock operators will make real-time adjustments to spillways along the Caloosahatchee and the St. Lucie Canal to maintain canal levels.Lake Okeechobee is currently at 16.02 feet above sea level, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. Over the past week, lake levels receded 0.18 feet, with a 0.19-foot drop in the past 30 days. The Army Corps of Engineers want the lake to drop to 13 to 14 feet and are hoping to do so in the next month. Advertisementlast_img read more

Woman falls asleep & crashes into tree on Fowler Street

first_imgAdvertisementAdditional information about the crash is not known. Fort Myers police officer involved in Freeh Report back on leave June 10, 2021 FORT MYERS, Fla. — An SUV ran into a tree on Fowler Street near Carrell Road early Thursday morning. Woman arrested during drug bust at Fort Myers home June 10, 2021 RELATEDTOPICS Advertisement A female at the scene told an officer with the Fort Myers Police Department that she fell asleep at the wheel. The driver was complaining of back pain after the crash, so she was taken to Lee Memorial Hospital by Lee County EMS.One southbound lane of Fowler Street was blocked as crews worked the clear the scene. AdvertisementTags: car crashFort Myers Police DepartmentFowler Advertisement AdvertisementRecommended ArticlesBrie Larson Reportedly Replacing Robert Downey Jr. As The Face Of The MCURead more81 commentsGal Gadot Reportedly Being Recast As Wonder Woman For The FlashRead more29 comments Ohio man smashes his car after a cicada hit him in the face June 15, 2021 AdvertisementDC Young Fly knocks out heckler (video) – Rolling OutRead more6 comments’Mortal Kombat’ Exceeded Expectations Says WarnerMedia ExecutiveRead more2 commentsDo You Remember Bob’s Big Boy?Read more1 commentsKISS Front Man Paul Stanley Reveals This Is The End Of KISS As A Touring Band, For RealRead more1 comments Man killed during shooting at Central Avenue June 12, 2021last_img read more

A Quiet Man, Heard Across Oceans

first_img SHARE A Quiet Man, Heard Across Oceans Analysis & Opinion [imText1]One of the founders of the movement for human rights in North Korea, Dr. Nam Jae Joong, passed away in his home from a heart attack on June 6, 2005, at the age of 60. He is survived by a wife and two sons.Dr. Nam was born at Andong, in present-day South Korea, in 1945. He graduated from medical school at Korea University and studied for his medical board certification at Georgetown University.After the successful completion of his certification in 1986, he entered private practice in Falls Church, Virginia, near Washington, D.C. To Those Who Knew Him, A Gentle Influence Dr. Nam’s son, Joon, recalls his father’s gentleness and modesty. Neither of Dr. Nam’s sons fully appreciated the importance of their father’s activism until some of Washington’s most powerful people came to his funeral. In fact, Dr. Nam was a small, soft-spoken man who was shy of personal publicity, even as he demonstrated an impressive capability to direct it toward North Korean refugees from behind the scenes.In 1998, after visiting China and being moved by the plight of North Korean refugees fleeing their impoverished homeland, Dr. Nam founded the Aegis Foundation, an NGO dedicated to helping North Koreans and publicizing the conditions in which they live, and often die. He divided his time between actively assisting North Korean refugees, meeting with representatives of influential Washington think-tanks, and carrying the message of North Korea’s suffering to the news media.Dr. Nam financed most of Aegis’s efforts from his own pocket and dramatically scaled back his medical practice to devote more of his time to helping the North Korean people.A Key Co-Founder of a Movement Dr. Norbert Vollertsen (news links) remembers Dr. Nam as a source of cheerful encouragement in the darkest times. “‘You are in big trouble,’ he always smiled when I was beaten up or staged some other protests.” It was his habit of appearing when most needed, and then quietly retreating into the background until needed again, that endeared Dr. Nam to those who worked alongside him. On some occasions, this included offering to pay for Vollertsen’s lodging, or his travel back to Korea to continue his activities.In recent months, Vollertsen had noticed that the strain of the constant travel and activity was showing in Dr. Nam’s visibly deteriorating health. Vollertsen pleaded with him to cut back, but Dr. Nam refused.Vollertsen credits Dr. Nam with introducing him to some of America’s most important activists for North Korea—Suzanne Scholte, Sin-U Nam, and Chuck Downs and Michael Horowitz. Dr. Nam worked tirelessly with these leading activists, dozens of others, and sympathetic government officials to bring Hwang Jang Yop, North Korea’s highest-ranking defector, to Washington in November 2003. Hwang’s testimony before Congress was a milestone in the formation of Washington’s North Korean human rights lobby, a movement whose subsequent accomplishments include the North Korean Human Rights Act of 2004 and gulag survivor Kang Chol Hwan’s recent visit to the White House.Dr. Vollertsen added his energy, uncompromising dedication, and moral authority to the movement, along with his media contacts and his ability to attract needed publicity. In return, Dr. Vollertsen gained access to policymakers who could implement the policy changes he passionately urged. It was just one early example of Dr. Nam helping to form some of the movement’s most important interpersonal connections.Capturing the World’s AttentionAnother well-known activist, Rev. Douglas Shin (news links here, here, and here) (site), credits Dr. Nam with helping to bring the mass migration of starving North Koreans into China to the attention of The Washington Post in 1998.Shin also attributes international media coverage for the reports of North Korea’s gas chambers to Dr. Nam’s efforts. The story resulted in a full-length BBC documentary, Access to Evil, which in turn resulted in prominent editorials in The Washington Post and The Boston Globe, among others, and which inspired Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center to add his considerable voice to the movement. The reports virtually assured the unanimous passage of the North Korean Human Rights Act.Like Vollertsen, Shin recalls Dr. Nam for his kindness, his dedication, and his omnipresent smile.Dr. Nam’s partner in the Aegis Foundation, Sei Park, credits Dr. Nam with bringing human rights conditions in North Korea to the attention of Representative Henry Hyde and Senator Sam Brownback, the two most important congressional boosters of the North Korean Human Rights Act. Park described how Dr. Nam “published countless articles . . . , organized and participated [in] numerous conferences, worked with government agencies, NGOs, and individuals who run covert operations in China and other countries to help [North Korean] refugees.”Working through the Aegis Foundation, Dr. Nam and Sei Park also secretly provided food, medicine, and shelter to refugees trying to reach South Korea through China. They also worked with other activists to help the refugees escape. Park described the danger of those operations and cited them as the primary reason the Aegis Foundation kept a low profile. In China, both the activists and the refugees were in constant danger of arrest. One of the operations Aegis helped to fund, a secret orphanage and day care center for North Korean refugee children, was discovered by Chinese police. One activist was arrested and remains imprisoned in China.How Dr. Nam Changed His WorldIt would not have mattered to Dr. Nam that in Aegis’s clandestine efforts, the secrets had to remain hidden while the tragedies were exposed to the world. It is for this reason that his efforts as an activist in Seoul and Washington will be those for which he is remembered.The Reverend Tim Peters operates Helping Hands Korea, a charity that helps North Korean refugees as they make their desperate journeys through China. Peters also recalls Dr. Nam as a man who would arrive to marshal a well-cultivated network of friends and contacts when problems seemed insurmountable. Rev. Peters remembers a typical case in 2004 when Dr. Nam rescued a floundering, fund-starved project, receiving no recognition for his untiring efforts. “I don’t think that fazed him in the least,” Rev. Peters recalls, “[g]etting the message out and getting the job done: that’s what mattered to Dr. Nam. That will always be an enduring memory for me.”For Joon Nam, part of his loss was not having fully appreciated his father’s impact. It was on describing this realization that he became emotional and had to pause before continuing the interview.Dr. Nam himself died without knowing the full measure of his own impact. He passed away a little more than a week before Kang Chol-Hwan, one of the North Korean defectors whose plight he had worked tirelessly to publicize and ameliorate, spent 40 minutes with the President and Vice-President of the United States in the Oval Office. That was approximately the same amount of time President Bush had spent with South Korean President Roh Moo-Hyun just a few days before.After the meeting, President Bush reportedly put Kang’s book, The Aquariums of Pyongyang: Ten Years in the North Korean Gulag, on the mandatory reading list for White House staff, a move that triggered unfavorable comparisons in South Korea. Dr. Nam’s efforts helped to lay the groundwork for that meeting, and probably played at least an indirect role in arranging it.Dr. Nam believed that persuading other nations to abandon their support for the North Korean regime was essential to changing conditions inside North Korea itself. His efforts moved at least one of them, his adopted homeland in the United States, and it is likely that the North Korean people will eventually remember him for this. It is an idea that gives those of us who knew him some comfort, even knowing that Dr. Jae-Joong Nam did not live to see the hour of liberation he worked so tirelessly to bring about. By Daily NK – 2005.06.21 10:36am RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR AvatarDaily NKQuestions or comments about this article? Contact us at [email protected] Analysis & Opinioncenter_img Analysis & Opinion Tracking the “unidentified yellow substance” being dried out near the Yongbyon Nuclear Center Is Nuclear Peace with North Korea Possible? Analysis & Opinion Facebook Twitter Pence Cartoon: “KOR-US Karaoke”last_img read more

Federal deficit continues to fall despite $9 billion spike in March

Facebook LinkedIn Twitter B.C. budget forecasts three years of billion-dollar deficits Ottawa’s books took an unexpectedly large $9-billion hit in March but the $23.5-billion deficit it expects for the just-ended budget year appears to be below the Harper government’s previous estimates. The month included two large spending items that were out of the ordinary — a $2.2-billion payment mostly to compensate Quebec for adopting the harmonized sales tax and a $1.8-billion increase partly due to workforce adjustment costs related to public service cutbacks. Julian Beltrame The Department of Finance cautioned that the deficit report issued Friday is preliminary and that a final number won’t be known until the fall. However as things stand now, the deficit for the year is nearly $13 billion smaller than predicted for 2011-12 when the budget was announced last June and slightly better than in the most recent revised estimate, showing Ottawa continues to make progress towards balancing its budget. TD Bank economist Sonya Gulati said the big deficit in March — the last month of the government’s financial year — came as a shock, given that there were surpluses in the previous two months. But Gulati did not believe the red ink reflected so-called “March madness,” a term denoting last-minute splurges as department heads attempt to spend to their budget limits before the end of the fiscal year. “Usually when you see that, you see it in the back office category,” she said. “We didn’t see that at all. We actually saw a year-over-year decrease in that.” “I think it’s more timing issues (where spending) wasn’t necessarily recorded in the last two months and we’re seeing that hit in March.” There was also a large deficit of $6.2 billion in the final month of the previous fiscal year. The government attributed March’s overall $4.3-billion spending increase from last year mostly to increases in major transfers to the provinces — including the special HST payment to Quebec and legislated growth in other transfers. Gulati said the 16.5% decrease in the “other transfer payments” category suggests Ottawa has done a good job of trimming departmental costs. The question is whether the government will be able to keep spending restraint in place in the next few years to meet its goal of returning to surplus by 2015-16, she said. The data released Friday suggests Ottawa has at least made a good start. The $23.5-billion preliminary deficit figure — subject to adjustments — follows a $33.4-billion shortfall in 2010-11 and a $55.6-billion hole the previous year. Analysts attributed the improvement to better economic conditions, in conjunction to the phase-out of stimulus spending and departmental cost controls. Revenues increased by $11.4 billion as personal income tax returns rose 7.2% and business tax receipts increased by 8.9%, offsetting a 3.8% decrease in GST taxes. Program expenses were mostly flat, rising 0.2% over last year. The government said it still expects the final deficit, once all adjustments are made, will be “in line with the deficit of $24.9 billion projected… in the March 29, 2012 budget.” Alberta hopes higher oil prices will power recovery Related news Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Ontario budget promises billions in health care Keywords Budgets read more

New defect rectification guide helps current and future apartment owners navigate building faults

first_imgNew defect rectification guide helps current and future apartment owners navigate building faults University of NSWThe step-by-step guide helps strata property owners and managers navigate the process of identifying and rectifying defects in apartment buildings.As the NSW Government works towards delivering better quality builds for the future, a recent collaborative effort has seen the development of a consumer friendly guide (a first of its kind) to assist prospective purchasers, property owners and strata managers to navigate the complexities of identifying and rectifying building defects.Researchers from UNSW Sydney’s City Futures Research Centre and the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) have developed the ‘Strata Defects Rectification Guide’ in partnership with Strata Community Association (NSW) for strata owners and managers in New South Wales.The online tool provides vital information to help property owners and strata managers navigate the process of identifying, documenting, reporting and rectifying building defects in strata schemes.“It’s an informative guide to support strata property owners and purchasers worried about whether there are defects in an apartment building, and for owners who need /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:building, community, future, Government, Internet, New South Wales, NSW, property, quality, research, Sydney, technology, university, University of Technology Sydney, UNSW, UNSW Sydneylast_img read more