LONDON — A senior British Cabinet minister says businesses need to prepare for the possibility the U.K. will leave the European Union in March without an exit deal, as a growing number of British firms say they are stockpiling goods or shifting operations overseas.Last week British lawmakers threw out Prime Minister Theresa May’s EU divorce deal, and attempts to find a replacement are gridlocked. International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said Wednesday that “no deal is a possibility.”Many business groups say a “no-deal” Brexit will cause economic chaos by imposing tariffs, customs checks and other barriers between the U.K. and the EU, its biggest trading partner.Carolyn Fairbairn of the Confederation of British Industry says politicians must rule out a no-deal Brexit “to halt irreversible damage and restore business confidence.”The Associated Press read more

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers took his appeal for a truce to President Burhanuddin Rabbani during a meeting in Faisabad, according to a UN spokesman.President Rabbani “said he agreed with the idea on condition the other side did the same,” spokesman Fred Eckhard told reporters at UN Headquarters in New York, adding that the High Commissioner hoped that the Taliban would follow suit.Mr. Lubbers is scheduled to meet tomorrow with the Taliban’s so-called Foreign Minister, Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil, before flying to Pakistan to consult with high-level officials and tour refugee encampments.In addition to pressing for a halt to the fighting, the High Commissioner is “discussing technical aspects of increasing aid delivery to those who need it the most,” Mr. Eckhard said.Afghanistan’s humanitarian crisis, which UN officials describe as “perhaps the world’s worst,” is marked by decades-long conflict and severe drought. The combined effects of those twin scourges have pushed hundreds of thousands of people from their homes in recent months alone. UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, estimates that some 3.6 million Afghans live outside their home country. read more

More than 500 government officials and volunteer leaders from 108 countries will take part in a meeting next week in Geneva to evaluate the activities of the International Year of Volunteers 2001, according to the United Nations Volunteer programme (UNV), the global focal point for the Year.In a statement issued in Geneva, UNV said the International Symposium on Volunteering, to be held from 18 to 21 November, would recommend ways in which governments, the UN system and civil society can support volunteer action.”This gathering of volunteering experts is crucial as we take stock of the year’s extraordinary achievements and work out key messages for the United Nations General Assembly, which will convene two plenary sessions on the subject on 5 December – the annual International Volunteer Day,” said UN Executive Director Sharon Capeling-Alakija.The Symposium has received financial support from the Swiss Government, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the Canton of Geneva and the City of Geneva. It is organized by the International Symposium Association and International Conference Volunteers, under the patronage of Moritz Leuenberger, President of the Swiss confederation, the Swiss National Committee for the International Year of Volunteers based in Bern, and UNV. read more

“I’ve just had a very good discussion with the Prime Minister about Iraq and the role of the international community and the UN in post-conflict Iraq,” Mr. Annan told a press conference in Athens with Mr. Blair, a key player with the United States in the war that ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, at his side.”I am confident that the UN will play an important role and as we move ahead in the next few weeks, I expect that role to become much clearer and the Prime Minister and I are confident that we will be able to work with all the other leaders and the (UN Security) Council members to find a way forward,” Mr. Annan said.Agreeing on the importance of the UN role, Mr. Blair added: “That is a role that should be there not only in respect of humanitarian issues but also in respect of political and reconstruction issues that arise.”Mr. Annan, in Athens to attend a European Union (EU) conference and hold talks on Iraq with various European leaders, said the views of the Middle East as a whole had to be factored into the Iraq equation “because Iraq and its neighbours want to live in peace and so what happens in Iraq is of interest to the region as well.”The Secretary-General also met with Spanish Prime Minister José Maria Aznar, Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt of Belgium – with whom he also discussed the peace process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo – Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, and Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern.He began the day with a meeting with Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson, who reiterated his country’s position on “the necessity of putting the UN in the driving seat for the reconstruction of Iraq.”Asked about divisions in the EU over Iraq, Mr. Annan said: “I think that what is important is that here the European leaders are strongly behind the UN. They support the multilateral approach, and I think in this interdependent world, international cooperation is the only way to resolve the issues that confront all of us.”Mr. Annan said he and Mr. Persson also discussed the Middle East and the “need to press ahead with the Road Map and settle this long-lasting conflict once and for all.” The Road Map, a plan sponsored by the so-called diplomatic Quartet – the UN, EU, Russian Federation and United States – aims at settling the conflict through parallel steps over three years by the Israelis and Palestinians, culminating with the establishment of two sovereign states, living side-by-side in peace and security.During a press encounter following his meeting with Mr. Ivanov, the Secretary-General said the two believed that it was important the Road Map be released as soon as the new Prime Minister, Abu Mazen, has formed his government. “Of course, the settlement of that long standing problem will have a very positive impact on developments in the region,” he added.The Secretary-General later met with Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen of Denmark and Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder of Germany before holding a session with the foreign ministers of France, Germany, Russia, Spain and the United Kingdom.Following his talks with the Danish leader, Mr. Annan was asked if it was possible to combine a UN reconstruction role with a US military presence in Iraq. “I think there are various phases of post-conflict Iraq and I am not saying exactly when the UN gets in,” he said. “But of course, the (Security) Council will have to take some decisions and if the UN were to go in, regardless of what stage it goes in, one will have to define the relationship between the UN, the occupying power and occupied Iraq.” read more

The tables and charts below detail annual trends by gross vehicle weight and type for the whole bus and coach market, taking data from the purpose-built and converted sectors.Annual trends – rolling year totals from December 2009 to November 2013Click through to download the November 2013 bus and coach registrations news release and data tables.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) Fourth month of growth for bus and coach registrations, up 38.4% to 623 units in November.Registrations for the market remain down 8.1% for the year-to-date.Purpose-built sector grew 29.6% in the month, but remains down 4.5% over the year so far.Another good month for purpose-built coaches, up 91.7% in the month and 18.4% for the year-to-date.“The bus and coach market has experienced a pleasing increase in the last four months, with registrations in November up 38.4%. There has been a move towards cleaner vehicles with a good uptake of hybrid buses this month, adding to the growth”, said Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive. “The year started slowly for the sector and registrations so far in 2013 are marginally down compared with 2012. Although the recent rate of growth is encouraging, we remain cautiously optimistic for 2014.”UK bus and coach registrations: 2013 and % change on 2012 read more

first_imgEntertainer Rolf Harris asked a 13-year-old girl “do you often get molested on a Saturday morning?”, when he assaulted her at BBC studios, a court has heard.The 86-year-old is alleged to have targeted the youngster after a live recording of Saturday Superstore, presented by Mike Read and Sarah Greene in 1983.She had been invited to the green room after the show and as she got a glass of water, Harris allegedly sexually assaulted as he whispered in her ear: “Do you often get molested on a Saturday morning?” Rolf Harris appearing by video link at Southwark Crown Court Rolf Harris appearing by video link at Southwark Crown CourtCredit:Elizabeth Cook/PA Her sister recalls Harris being “cuddly” towards the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons.The girl is one of eight women giving evidence at London’s Southwark Crown Court against Harris alleging that he sexually assaulted them when their ages ranged between 12 and 42.None of the assaults, which are said to have taken place between 1971 and 2004 when Harris was aged between 41 and 74, involved “penetrative activity”, the court has heard. Many of the girls allege they were targeted while asking for autographs.Prosecutor Jonathan Rees told the jury: “Most of the behaviour complained of falls into a broad category that might be described as unwanted groping, and includes, for example, grabbing or touching breasts over clothing.”He added: “One notable feature of the case is that none these assaults is alleged to have happened in private; all appear, so it is alleged, to have occurred in public settings when there were other people in the near vicinity.”And it may be that you will want to consider whether Mr Harris’s celebrity status played any part in making him apparently so brazen in what it is alleged that he did.” A screen split into four shows parts of the Southwark courtroom and the room where Rolf Harris will follow proceedings A screen split into four shows parts of the Southwark courtroom and the room where Rolf Harris will follow proceedingsCredit:Elizabeth Cook/PA Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Show more Jurors were told that Harris was currently in Stafford Prison, serving a sentence for a series of offences of indecent assault carried out on four female victims.Each of the new alleged victims contacted the police or the NSPCC in the wake of the “widespread publicity” surrounding the first trial, he said.The jury heard about an alleged assault on a 18-year-old backing singer at a music rehearsal studios near London Bridge in June 2002.It is alleged he began stroking her back and making inappropriate comments.Other members of the backing band say they remembered the incident and said they found the defendants behaviour “inappropriate, variously describing it as creepy, cringing and lecherous.”Harris, formally of Berkshire, denies the charges and the trial continues. You will want to consider whether Mr Harris’s celebrity status played any part in making him apparently so brazen in what it is alleged that he didProsecutor Jonathan Reeslast_img read more

Jill Farrell, chief operating officer at Zero Waste Scotland, said the policy was a “game-changer for recycling and the circular economy in Scotland”, adding: “By giving people an extra incentive to do something good for our environment, and having a consistent approach across Scotland, we are confident it will be easier for all of us to do the right thing.” DRS: What you need to know https://t.co/8x427rA6Is— Scottish Grocer (@scottishgrocer) May 8, 2019 Consumers are to be charged an extra 20p on each glass, plastic and aluminium drink container they buy under a controversial “deposit return scheme” that retailers warn will cost shoppers more than pounds50 million to run.Part of the Scottish Government’s efforts to tackle climate change, the scheme will apply to every retailer, no matter how small, and could be up and running late next year, or early in 2021.The charge will be refunded if customers take their empty containers back to collection points in shops and supermarkets.Scotland will be the first part of the UK to introduce a deposit scheme (DRS), which aims to capture 90 per cent of containers for recycling within three years.However, the plan prompted objections from retailers, business leaders and the drinks industry, who questioned its cost, viability and fairness.There was also confusion last night over how the scheme would work in pubs and restaurants, which will have to pay the deposit and could choose to pass it on to customers. A spokesman suggested customers could then return their bottle or can to the bar and receive 20p back. When asked how this would work in practice, in a busy bar or nightclub, a spokesman said an advisory group would provide expert advice on the practical details of the scheme. It said the inclusion of glass would add an additional £50 million a year to the cost, which would end up being paid by consumers, and called on ministers to put the necessary funding in place to help retailers set up the infrastructure required.Ewan MacDonald-Russell, the SRC’s head of policy, said: ”Glass is a difficult, bulky, and heavy material to manage and will be an enormous burden, especially for those operating from smaller stores.“Similarly, charging ahead with a Scotland-only scheme rather than working collaboratively on a pan-UK approach may affect the range and price of those products in scope.“For example, to prevent fraud, Scottish drink containers will need to be labelled differently from those in the rest of the UK. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. “That will impose enormous costs on retailers and producers, and could even place a question mark over the economic viability of selling some products north and south of the border.”Mr MacDonald-Russell said the cost of purchasing reverse vending machines was also likely to be over £100 million and retailers and called for a financial support package.Colin Borland, of the Federation of Small Businesses, said a bottle deposit scheme was a popular idea but the smallest shops would have concerns about storage.He added: “We’re unhappy that the Scottish Government hasn’t taken on board our concerns, despite a commitment to address the problems such a scheme poses for small retailers. Ministers need to explain to those that run the smallest shops how this scheme will work for them.”Miles Beale, chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association said the inclusion of glass bottles, despite industry concerns that existing glass recycling procedures were “efficient and well-understood”, could encourage greater use of plastic.He also said the impact of the scheme would be felt disproportionately by those on the lowest incomes, and those with no cars, who could find it harder to recoup their deposits.Ms Cunningham said she looked forward to working with partners on the next steps, and was open to working with the other UK administrations. Roseanna Cunningham said she was open to working with other administrations in the UKCredit:Ken Jack/Getty Roseanna Cunningham, the Environment Minister, told MSPs the scheme would apply to plastic bottles used for fizzy drinks and water bottles, glass bottles, and drinks cans.She decided not to include HDPE (high density polyethylene) plastic – primarily used for milk – due to concerns over potential contamination of other materials.Ms Cunningham said small retailers would have flexibility in how they enabled returns through different sizes of reverse vending machines, and manual over-the-counter arrangements.However, the Scottish Retail Consortium said the “disappointing design” of the scheme could make it “unachievable”. roseanna cunningham read more

first_imgPT Putra Tongga Samudra manages some of the largest tin and sand mining activities on Bangka Island, with its tin mining project in Pemali Sungailiat being one of the biggest. The operation started almost a decade ago in 2009, which is the same year the tin mining company was established. As production picked up momentum, PT Putra Tongga Samudra looked to Terex Trucks when it decided to purchase three TA400 articulated haulers in 2010. That year, they produced a total of 256 t of tin.Since then, the company has mined 5,600 t of tin down to a depth of 110 m and has steadily grown its inventory of Terex Trucks machines in order to keep up with production. “We have 27 units of the TA400 articulated hauler,” says Fondy Hidajat, Director of Operations at PT Putra Tongga Samudra. “The first factor we considered before buying the articulated haulers was pricing. Second was the ease of operation. Thirdly, we evaluated how well they could operate during the rainy season. We will continue to purchase more articulated haulers to maintain optimal performance of production as long as the price of tin is still feasible for us to mine.”Mining tin in a hot, tropical climate is no easy feat. “We were interested in Terex Trucks articulated haulers because they work well during the rainy season and they are easy to operate,” says Hidajat. The haulers are being used to shift large quantities of overburden. Some of them have 20,000 hours on the clock, testament to just how hard they’ve been working. PT Putra Tongga Samudra’s TA400s were supplied by Terex Trucks’ official dealer in Indonesia, PT United Equipment Indonesia. “As for maintenance, all of our Terex Trucks articulated haulers are handled by PT United Equipment Indonesia,” says Hidajat. “The benefits of having PT United Equipment are that we have used them for many transactions so it is easier to negotiate, as well as the ready availability of new units.”The TA400 is the biggest model in Terex Trucks’ articulated hauler range. The company states: “It has been built to perform in challenging conditions, making it a firm favourite among customers working in mines, quarries and large-scale construction sites. Built in Motherwell, Scotland, the 38 t hauler is powered by a six-cylinder Scania DC13 engine, which develops a gross power of 331 kW and a maximum torque of 2,255 Nm. It provides great traction and an effective power-to-weight ratio, which ensures material is moved as quickly as possible in all conditions. This results in excellent productivity and low cost of operation. The planetary gear transmission provides smooth, efficient gear shifting for optimised fuel consumption and reduced cost of operation. Ground level test points and a fully tilting cab, combined with an electronically raised hood, ensure ease of service and reduced downtime. The machine is also fitted with a spacious and ergonomic cab to aid operator comfort.”last_img read more

first_imgThe unattractive holiday sweater is simply a fact of life this time of year. No matter how much you don’t want them, you will occasionally pry open a gift box to find a garish wintery textile staring up at you. Integrating technology into the holiday sweater could prove to be a vast improvement, or a colossal failure depending on how it’s done. Macy’s is selling a tech sweater this year that is probably flirting with failure. You see, it has a tiny OLED screen on the sleeve.The Sean John Fashion Video Name Tag is coming exclusively to select Macy’s stores starting this week. The sweater itself is an understated charcoal gray, but the left sleeve has a 2.8-inch active matrix OLED (AMOLED) panel with 2GB of built-in storage. The idea is that you’ll load up your own holiday video that people will see as long as they are standing to your immediate left.The panel is about 0.75-inches thick, and has a plastic bezel around the screen. For a self-contained video display, it’s not terribly big. However, for a video unit attached to your sleeve? It’s probably a little awkward. The screen will run video continuously for 6-10 hours at 320×240 (QVGA) resolution. The display can be removed for charging and cleaning the sweater.It’s nice that Macy’s is trying to evolve the holiday sweater, but I think humans already have this “shirt” thing pretty well sorted out. If you do pick up this item, be aware that AMOLEDs tend to work very poorly outdoors in direct sunlight. This is more of an indoor wow factor. The price is not currently available, which could be a bad sign.via SlashGearlast_img read more

first_imgA perfect storm ‘Perfect storm’ and ‘endless crisis’ are not phrases that easily come to mind as you sit atop the Areopagus Hill, just west of the Acropolis, and watch the orange sun disappear improbably beneath the Saronic gulf.It is a spectacle of such aching beauty that, each night from April to October, tourists from around the world and canoodling locals gather on the marble rocks, with their backs turned to the Parthenon.It is a view that I had remembered and come to see—except that you can never really remember such extravagance, only hope to return to the well.This is the Athens I have come to love over the last decade, with its ancient history and its arid hills, its fierce daylight and soft summer evenings filled with the floating sounds of bazoukis: a new antiquity to explore around every corner, and each sunset its own revelation.But I found myself, this time around, having to pinch myself.I wanted to remind myself that beneath the expanse of white roofs tinged with the purple of the dusk − beneath the entire greater sprawl of post-war Athens, laid out like a carpet beyond the agora beneath us − one in every four eligible Greeks in this city is unemployed. One in every two Athenian youths has no prospect of work.The health and education systems are suffering from crippling under-funding and endemic cronyism. By some accounts, more than 40 per cent of all Greeks now live below the poverty line.Hundreds of thousands of educated Greeks have fled their homeland, especially younger Greeks (the ‘brain drain’).Well over half of the population register deeply pessimistic appraisals of what is to come. And, despite six long years of internationally-brokered economic adjustments, there is still no end in sight.Feet on the ground It is hard to gather too much ‘on the ground’ when you are only in a place for a week, spending your days at a conference, with a limited functional command of the native language.The young Greeks I have spoken to, it has to be said, remain refreshingly optimistic. “Greeks will always find a way,” one told me. “What else can you do? Greeks have always found a way.”“I do not want to talk about the crisis,” another reflected. She had for some years previously run a tour around the ancient sites. Everyone seemed more interested in the Greece of today.“It is better we are optimistic, isn’t it?” We nodded.The taxi drivers are, as ever, a more interesting sample. I pressed one about Greek President Alexis Tsipras, who had come to power so dramatically in January 2015 promising a “better deal” for Greece from its EU creditors. “Tsipras is a great actress,” he laughed quietly, although he clearly did not find the situation amusing. “Tsipras deserves an Oscar,” a second cabby rejoined, unbidden. “He deserves some reward for all the lies he has told.”Moving around the tourist areas at the feet of the Acropolis, with young and old reclining on the endless café chairs, you could be forgiven for thinking that nothing could ever change in old Greece.The young people are still fashionably attired. They move around with the same insouciance as ever. The young men, especially, engage in heated, laughing exchanges.But at Monastiraki, it seemed to me that one in every three shops is closed in the touristic ‘Flea Market’ that I remember being a hive of activity less than 10 years ago.There seemed to me to be many fewer tourists than I remember from 2007 or even 2010. The Plaka still bustles at noon. Monastiraki chokes with celebrants in the evening. But on one park bench near the Thesion, I saw a man lying asleep, uncovered in the rising morning heat. The previous night I almost fell over another homeless man huddled in a doorway, his eyes opened wide.Beggars are another new presence I don’t recall from previous trips. Some − as in India − have gross deformities (one man’s arm was almost wholly scarred with burning). Each asks − as in India − for any charity that might be passing by.But then again, since I had first come here with a friend in 2007 pursuing the Greece of Socrates, Pericles and Thucydides, a good deal has changed in the Hellada of the ‘troika’, austerity, the memoranda and the referendum.After 2009, caught in the wake of the global financial crisis, Greece’s GDP has shrunk from over €240 billion to under €180 billion. GDP per capita has fallen nearly 25 per cent from €22,500 to around €17,000.The public debt that caused the storm has not shrunk. It has now grown to an estimated (conservatively) 180 per cent of GDP. Indirect taxes have multiplied, with all that implies for social equity. Public assets have been privatised: at the moment, even the Piraeus is up for sale.The health and education systems have been ‘defunded’, triggering humanitarian concerns and tales that sound like they come from the third world.Then, in 2014, refugees from the Middle East began to come in their boats. At first to pass through Greece northwards. But then −when fences arose and the borders closed − awaiting a decision on their fate in this half-impoverished land.In the 1930s, the Philhellenist Albert Camus used the title ‘Greece in Rags’ to describe the impoverishment of the indigenous populations of the Kabylie region in the Algerian highlands. Today, he might have used the same term to evoke the original he passionately loved.Domestics Much has been written on the causes of the Greece ‘sovereign debt crisis’. Even the most ardent Graecophile would be hard pressed to deny that there are not domestic, as well as international causes to today’s imbroglio.Greece’s successive social democratic (PASOK) and liberal-conservative (New Democracy) governments all ran budget deficits since the emergence of the democracy from authoritarian control in 1974, until SYRIZA’s advent in 2015.The deficits were under three per cent before 1980. They were over three per cent since then, culminating in about nine per cent per annum in the 2001-2009 period when other economic indices were still heralding Greece’s ‘Olympian’ four per cent growth.Since the reign of PASOK in the 1980s (if not before), clientilism has become an accepted part of Greek politicking. In a way that makes Australian politics look mild, the parties here have competed in offering largesse to particular electoral groups. Budget deficits have regularly increased in election years as the public’s purse strings were advertised and opened.After 2004, public servants’ positions became life-tenured, attracting a whole series of bonuses alongside this enviable guarantee of permanence.Greece was rated the lowest of the EU nations in the Transparency International Corruption Index in 2010, scoring only 36/100.As everyone will know who has spent some time here, a flourishing ‘informal economy’ continues to exist − estimated by some to be as large as about one quarter of Greek GDP. Tax evasion has become for many older Greeks an established point of ‘tradition’ or ‘cultural difference’ − especially among the large proportion of Greek sole traders and very small businesses, including farms.As one of my philosophical cabbies genuflected (he was about 50): “My generation will perhaps pay half their taxes, then the next generation will pay three quarters. But in two generations, the young Greeks will all pay, and things will get better.”Economists estimate that by 2010, the Greek government was losing up to €20 billion per annum on unpaid taxes.Next year, in Brussels Yet we should beware of assigning the Greek crisis solely to those ‘lazy Greeks’, who economic figures suggest work as many hours −those that are employed − as nearly anyone else in modern Europe.In many ways − as so many times before in the nations’ long histories − the Greek situation holds up a mirror to Europe, and perhaps to the wider world, of larger changes and tendencies afoot.Take first the famous, crisis-triggering announcements of the PASOK government in 2009 that the Greeks had systematically under-reported their level of government debt − from ‘six to eight per cent’ of GDP (as estimated by the conservative ND government) to 12.7 per cent, announced in May 2009 (a figure given by Papandreou and PASOK that was finally revised to 15.7 per cent).Like the calculations about Greece’s budget deficit that allowed the country to enter into the eurozone in 2001 − calculations whose means and numbers are still disputed − the Greeks had apparently been practicing the same kinds of recondite accounting arts that had led the American investment banks into such infamous trouble in 2007-2008.In 2000-2001, the Hellenic government had in fact availed itself of Goldman Sachs’ esoterikes technai (refined or secret arts) to hide some €2.8 billion of debt in ‘currency swaps’.Liberal, democratic But consider next how in a larger sense, the Greek situation casts the tensions inherent in our notion of ‘liberal democracy’ into the kind of crystalline light that streams down from the sky in this country in the summers − alongside, of course, the manifold tensions in the notion of the European Union as it has evolved in successive waves since the end of World War II in 1945.Commentators from the start pointed to the potential problems in the idea of the common currency, in a continent so economically diverse.The problems come from the disconnect between nation-based governments retaining their fiscal powers over taxing and spending, while losing their monetary autonomy to the larger political-economic union, and its central banks.Nations in economic trouble, like Canada in the 1990s or Iceland after the GFC, have traditionally been able to unilaterally devalue their currencies. This has the happy effect of simultaneously devaluing any debts held in that currency − a situation which can also lead to its own problems, as the Weimar experience shows − and making that country’s exports more internationally competitive.But when it became clear in 2009-2010 that Greece was in serious economic trouble, with unsustainable government debt and an increasingly uncompetitive national economy, the Greek government that had spent so liberally and taxed so ineffectively had no capacity to devalue the euro.Instead, as the whole world knows, the Greeks were forced to go cap in hand to the International Money Fund, the European Commission and the European Bank (known colloquially as the ‘troika’).The ignominious task was to ask for yet further loans, in order to service the debts the Hellenes had up to this time publicly accumulated, and reassure the creditors that a massive default (Greek basically declaring itself bankrupt) was not to occur.At this moment, all the tensions between the ‘liberal’ and ‘democratic’ in our phrase ‘liberal democracy’, held at bay when times are good, emerged fully and clearly.Greece wanted, and still wants, largely, to be European, internationalised and economically ‘liberal’.It wants to spend the cultural capital its history affords it, as well as to enjoy the economic benefits of participating in the European Union: benefits that, in the form of cheaper loans, flooded the country post-2001.Yet, to accept the ‘bailout’ deals, and what has become, since 2010, not one or two but three memoranda worth hundreds of billions of euros, the Greek government had to accept a sizeable political-economic slap on the wrist. Indeed, the better metaphor here would be handcuffs, if not what Max Weber and Andrew Gamble have differently dubbed an ‘iron cage’.The slap or the cage was called ‘austerity’ (austerotes, litotyte).‘Austerity’ is the same combination of privatisations, depressing of real wages, cutting back on public sector expenditure, deregulation of labour (or ‘opening’ of ‘closed’ labour markets) that the IMF had visited on debtor countries across the global south for three decades. With Greece in 2010, ‘austerity’ had found a bridgehead, through the Mediterranean periphery, into Europe itself.Freedom coming our way? The condensed sequence of the left-wing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras calling a referendum on whether the Greeks would continue to accept austerity in late June 2015 (as default on memorandum 2 loomed imminent); then getting a resounding 62 per cent ‘OXI’; then going to Brussels to negotiate that ‘better deal’, before returning to Athens by August with Memorandum Mark 3 which had traded wage cuts, new indirect taxes, further promised privatisations and labour-market deregulation …All this neatly captures why ‘liberalism’ − or, rather, for this is a dangerously overused term, what is called the ‘neoliberalism’ that emerged ascendant in the West after 1975 − has always been an uneasy bedfellow with democracy.While democracy indeed emerged in classical Greece, history after all tells us, liberalism emerged somewhat later − in the 17th century, in fact. For well over two centuries it worked well enough without universal male (let alone female suffrage). ‘Neoliberalism’, spawned in the 1940s, only came of age in the 1980s.In 2015 and 2016, in any event, the home of democracy has been taught that its ‘yea’ (Nai) or ‘nay’ (Oxi) − whether on the Pnyx Hill or in the ballot box, the Areopagus or the Syntagma − now means materially very little. When one is in debt, one must pay. And while we may wax lyrical about Pericles or the Pnyx, Greece’s European creditors amount in effect to a second, deciding constituency that Tsipras or any subsequent Greek prime minister must now win and woo, beyond the Greek people themselves.Indeed, 2015 showed that it is this second constituency, unelected by the Greek people, which for the foreseeable future casts the deciding vote. Athens, Melos …Although I love the Greeks, it is unconscionably kitsch to make too much of the comparison of Periclean Athens and Papaendreou’s, Tsipras’ or Mitsotakis’ beleaguered capital.Democratic Athens, also an imperial power, arguably has a bit more in common with today’s Brussels or Berlin, having set itself up as the leader (hegemon) after 480BC of a kind of Aegean protection racket against the (soon-fading) Persian threat.Today’s Athens seems indeed to me much more like the little island of Melos which, Thucydides reports, tried in vain to rebel against its imperial overlord in 416BC.In the background was Athenian anxiety about a ‘domino theory’, incidentally: the idea that if the Melians were allowed to abdicate from the Athenian League, what might the other member-cities venture?When the Melians appealed to justice and the right to preserve their sovereignty against the hegemon, the Athenian emissary explained to them unceremoniously that the Great Law of the world is that might makes right: “The strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.” The Athenians did not discover this law, they counsel and console their debtors. But if the Melians found themselves in the Athenians’ shoes, they would apply the same principle of violence to their present oppressors. As someone more recently said, ‘there is no alternative’.The alternative the Melians faced in 416BC was complete surrender or the utter destruction of their polity − a proposal the Athenians were soon to make very real, on the way to their own decline and fall.Now it would be unfair on Greece’s creditors to suggest a too-direct comparison between them and Imperial Athens at the point of its imminent decline, talking freedom and bringing the swords and the triremes.After all, the Greeks’ 2015 referendum was allowed, if subsequently ignored. Perhaps − as some Greeks will tell you − it was conceived by Tsipras as a last hopeless instrument to try to ‘leverage’ something not recessionary from the northern hegemons.That said, like the great prow of the Acropolis that surges east into the blue, the Greece of 2016 allows us to see clearly that we are all entering a brave new period in global political life − one in which the liberal-democratic compromises that characterised much of the 20th century seem set to come apart.It is a situation which, romance aside, is not without profound attendant risks, notably those of the populism of the far right, represented in Greece by Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avyi), turning legitimate grievances about loss of peoples’ democratic sovereignty today into calls for radically illiberal forms of identity politics.What peoples will occupy this world, and whether this will be a democratic, a plutocratic, or a new postmodern authoritarian era remains to be decided. Matthew Sharpe is an associate professor in philosophy and teaches classical Greek and Roman philosophy at Deakin University.This story was originally published in theconversation.com Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

first_imgSFR lance une nouvelle box plus performanteSFR a révélé les détails de sa nouvelle box. La Neufbox Evolution, dédiée à l’offre triple-play de l’opérateur, allie performance et écologie.SFR espère frapper un grand coup avec sa sixième box. L’opérateur souhaite surtout séduire les téléspectateurs avec un décodeur innovant. Ce dernier fait office de plaque tournante des services de SFR. Il accepte tous les formats vidéos et audio tout comme il gère les services “télévision” grâce au flux TV. À lire aussiNomophobie : traitement, symptômes, qu’est-ce que c’est ?La Box adopte un nouveau format. Diminué de 40% par rapport à la génération précédente, l’appareil est aussi plus performant. Il bénéficie d’un Wi-Fi plus puissant et peut se brancher en ADSL ou avec la fibre optique. Un boitier Femtocell permet aussi de garantir un bon réseau 3G dans un foyer pour alimenter au maximum cinq terminaux. Pour bénéficier de ce nouveau matériel, SFR propose des abonnements à partir de 34,90 euros et 29,90 euros si elle est couplée à une offre téléphone. Pour les clients déjà abonnés à SFR, il faudra débourser 49 euros pour recevoir le matériel Evolution.Sous iOS ou Android, il est aussi possible d’entrer dans les paramètres de son décodeur afin d’y modifier les options. Le 17 novembre 2010 à 12:36 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

first_imgStay on target Carrie Coon Joins Infinity War, A Strange Sequel and More MCU NewsFargo Leaves the End of its Story Up to Us Never go to Los Angeles. That’s the lesson I took from both stories in this week’s installment of Fargo’s third season. After last week featured disappointingly little of Carrie Coon’s former-chief Gloria Burgle, this week gave her an entire show to herself. No Stussy Brothers, no stamps, not even any small town police station politics. Just Gloria in L.A., trying to figure out who her former stepfather was in a former life, and who might have wanted to kill him. Of course, we all know the exact details that led to Ennis’s death, and that L.A. had nothing to do with it. The whole trip is pointless, and the box of books is a red herring. But every good story has a few of those.The episode switches between eras, with half following Gloria’s investigation in 2010 and the other half chronicling Thaddeus’s time in 1970s Hollywood. After winning an award for his sci-fi novel, The Planet Wyh, Thaddeus met Howard Zimmerman. Howard claimed to be a producer but was just a con man.Pretending to want Thaddeus to adapt his novel into a movie, he and his young actress/accomplice/girlfriend, Vivian Lord, tricked the naive kid out of all the money he had. It’s the ’70s, so naturally, a lot of cocaine is involved.Gloria’s time in L.A. is nearly as bad, though considerably less cocaine-fueled. Upon checking into the same motel Thaddeus stayed in, her luggage is immediately stolen. There are men dressed in Santa suits, there for a convention, lounging around the sunny motel, which serves to highlight what a strange detour this episode is. It isn’t often Fargo leaves Minnesota, and this is probably the longest, weirdest detour of the series. It’s also the most pointless, which is the entire point. After checking into the hotel, Gloria finds a useless box: a small machine whose only function is to turn itself off. That machine turns out to be a pretty good indicator of how her trip is going to go.Rob McElhenney and Carrie Coon (Photo via FX)She meets a few people who may have the ability to help her, but they certainly have no desire to. An LAPD officer, played by It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia‘s Rob McElhenney, doesn’t find her suitcase and doesn’t give her any of the information she’s looking for. Instead, he brings her to a douchey bar and tries to get in her pants. She finds Vivian Lord, who insists she doesn’t remember anything from the 1970s. She finds Howard Zimmerman, who gives her a speech about how he used to believe the collisions of our atoms mattered, then tells her not to let the door hit her on the way out.In addition to the two L.A. stories, we get cute animated sequences detailing the plot of The Planet Wyh. A robot is told by his dying master to get word back to their home planet that the journey wasn’t pointless. The robot wanders the planet for millennia, trying to communicate that information. He sees civilizations rise and fall until he’s eventually told to switch himself off, much like the Useless Box does. All the information he gathered is now completely useless to him. The robot’s journey mirrors Gloria’s in a way that makes this entirely pointless detour feel satisfying nonetheless.She realizes how pointless her journey is when Vivian finally decides to tell her what happened with Thaddeus. He ran out of money, realized he’d been conned and beat Howard within an inch of his life. Gloria wonders if that’s maybe connected to his murder back in Minnesota, but realizes that none of this is. “It’s just a story. None of this has anything to do with… OK.” A story led her off on a meaningless diversion. But in a season where stories mean everything, it was a worthwhile one.Fred Melamed and Thomas Mann (Photo via FX)She does eventually find out some information, but in true Coen Brothers fashion, it happens by accident, and it was nowhere near worth the effort it took to get it. On the toilet bowl in the motel room, she finds the “D” has faded from the “Dennis Stussy & Sons” logo on the bowl. That’s the entire origin of Ennis Stussy and nothing else matters. The only useful information comes from fingerprints pulled from the scene of the murder back in Minnesota. She knows who Maurice is now. It appears she would have been better off staying home. But hey, a good story was told. That’s what’s really important.In any other series, an episode like this would feel like filler. But Fargo has this strange ability to make even unimportant things feel vital. It was an oddly satisfying, self-contained detour that, if nothing else, gave us an hour of Carrie Coon’s brilliant acting. It was also the most Coenesque the show has been in a while. The series took a chance in stepping away from the world of Fargo to give us a little bit of Barton Fink. It paid off, making for a fun detour into the themes of the Coens’ less commonly explored work. It was a reminder that in every good story, even the seemingly meaningless detours can be important.last_img read more

first_img Related Items:#magneticmedianews, #SouthCaicosFathersDayfire Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppTurks and Caicos, June 20, 2017 – South Caicos – Police have still said nothing of the fire in South Caicos, but Member of Parliament for the district, Ruth Blackman reports to Magnetic Media that the building which caught fire in the wee hours of Father’s Day morning was old and abandoned, that the interior is totally burned out.Hon Blackman also reported that the property had been the subject of much debate in South, as the building is reportedly given to Sail Rock developers but the community disagrees.  Ms Blackman said the matter is one for Cabinet to consider as residents say they want the land back.#MagneticMediaNews#SouthCaicosFathersDayfire Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img read more

first_imgCALLIE RICHMOND / TEXAS TRIBUNELauretta Jackson, a physical therapist from Any Baby Can, works with Sara weekly to improve her body strength. Nonprofit therapy providers are worried budget cuts made by lawmakers will put them out of business.Statewide funding cuts to therapies for young children with developmental delays went into effect Thursday. Some state lawmakers have vowed to reverse cuts during the legislative session next year. But until that reversal happens, Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) providers are going to have a hard time keeping their doors open.Families and ECI therapy providers have been bracing for lower Medicaid reimbursement rates for a while now. State lawmakers cut funding for the therapy programs last year as part of a way to save money on Medicaid. Providers tried to stop the cuts in court, but those efforts failed.“Many [providers] have already been preparing for these cuts and have cut back on services already,” said Stephanie Rubin, CEO of Texans Care for Children. “So, many families are really struggling to find therapy for their kids with disabilities. Even now.”KUT’s Ashley Lopez reportsRubin also points out that these cuts have already been rolled into managed care contracts. So, a lot of kids on Medicaid have already been dealing with the cuts.Texas House Speaker Joe Straus said recently he plans on reversing the cuts when lawmakers convene in January.“I believe the approach was well intentioned,” Straus told Texas Tribune’s Evan Smith. “It did not work and it will be addressed in our supplemental budget.”Rubin said this is good news, but it doesn’t solve the immediate problems.“It doesn’t bring any immediate relief to the kids with disabilities who may lose these services this month, or in January, and their parents are going to scrambling in the next couple of months and it’s very worrying,” she said.State Rep. Donna Howard (D-Austin) says she’s particularly worried about children in rural areas who already face hurdles obtaining services. Howard also says Republicans leaders were also routinely urged to stop the cuts well before they went into effect.“It was this last year in August that there were 60 of us – House and Senate Democrats – who sent a letter to the lieutenant governor and the speaker urging them, as co-chairs of the Legislative Budget Board, to use their positions on that budget board to bring it together, to prevent these cuts from happening,” Howard said.The cuts were added to the budget as a cost-saving measure during a conference committee – when members from the House and Senate meet, often behind closed doors, to negotiate a final version of a bill. Lawmakers, in this instance, were prompted by a study that providers argue was flawed.Howard says there were missed opportunities to admit mistakes were made.“We have had opportunity over the past year to reverse the damage that this could be doing to these vulnerable children and the action was not taken,” she said.A spokesperson for the state Health and Human Services Commission says the agency secured replacement therapists for some of the areas where providers have already stopped services.Copyright 2016 KUT-FM. To see more, visit KUT-FM. Sharelast_img read more

first_img Next Game: MIAMI 1/6/2019 | 6 p.m. PDF Box Score Photo Gallery Matchup History Chris Mack Postgame Press Conference Story Links Jordan Nwora and Christen Cunningham Postgame Full Schedule Roster ESPNU Listen Live Postgame Notes Preview Buy Tickets Live Stats LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Tyler Herro had a career-high 24 points, Keldon Johnson added 15 and No. 16 Kentucky beat Louisville 71-58 on Saturday in this fierce Bluegrass rivalry.A close game for 10 minutes quickly swung toward the Wildcats (10-2) behind an 11-0 run for a 31-17 lead. The spurt typified their success on both ends. They kept the Cardinals (9-4) from passing and driving inside and grabbed offensive rebounds leading to second and third chances.Herro thrived the most, making 10 of 13 from the field with four 3-pointers to pass his previous best of 18 achieved twice, most recently on Dec. 1 against UNC Greensboro. Johnson was just 5 of 13 but helped Kentucky keep a double-digit lead for much of the final 30 minutes. The Wildcats won their third in a row overall and 10th of 12 in the Bluegrass rivalry.Christen Cunningham had a season-high 20 points and Jordan Nwora 17 for Louisville, which shot just 36 percent in having its three-game winning streak stopped.POLL IMPLICATIONSKentucky should rise after its latest impressive win.BIG PICTUREKentucky: Playing their first true road game in perhaps the most hostile environment they’ve faced, the Wildcats played at their tempo and were poised throughout. Besides creating good offensive looks, they edged the Cardinals 34-33 on the boards and forced them into shots they didn’t want. Ashton Hagans had 11 points for the `Cats, who shot 51 percent.Louisville: The Cardinals showed early promise before being overwhelmed by Kentucky’s size. They were also undone by several sloppy stretches in losing on their home floor for the first time this season.UP NEXTKentucky begins defense of its Southeastern Conference championship on Saturday at Alabama.Louisville opens Atlantic Coast Conference play Jan. 6 against Miami to conclude its five-game home stand. Postgame Quotes Print Friendly Versionlast_img

first_imgRestores Twitter’s old interface with GoodTwitter, an extension for Firefox and Chrome by Ashwin on July 26, 2019 in Software, Uncategorized – 10 commentsYou may remember my previous article about how to disable Twitter’s new design. I had been using those tricks to avoid the new interface until yesterday when Twitter disabled the options for my account.In case you are in the same boat, there’s good news. There is an alternative way to get the legacy interface back. Here’s how to do it.GoodTwitterGoodTwitter is an extension for Firefox and Chrome which restores Twitter’s old interface. It is a new add-on but that is understandable considering that Twitter started to roll out the new design just recently. For those worried about the permissions, it is an open-source project, the source code is available at GitHub.Take a look at the code, and you will see that the method it uses (which I have highlighted) to restore the old Twitter interface. It spoofs the user agent that is sent to Twitter which sees the browser as Internet Explorer. This essentially tricks Twitter to load the website in a design that is compatible with IE which is the old design.Download GoodTwitter from the Firefox add-ons repository, or the Chrome Web Store. That’s it, you don’t have to do anything else. There are no settings to tinker with. I tested the extension in Microsoft Edge 77.0.223.0 and Mozilla Firefox 68.0.1, and it works fine.Note that some functionality may be limited on the site as Twitter “thinks” the browser that is used is Internet Explorer.Non add-on methodNow some of you may not want another add-on to make this work. I hear ya! All you need to do is configure your browser to spoof the user agent for Twitter.com.As far as I can tell, Chrome doesn’t have a permanent per-site user agent switch. The only method I know that does not involve the use of an extension is a temporary one, which uses the Developer Tools > Network Conditions > Set User Agent option. You’re better off using GoodTwitter instead. If you are using a User Agent Switcher extension which allows site-specific settings, you can copy the user agent string from the method below.Check out extensions such as Chameleon for Firefox or User Agent Switcher for Chrome mentioned here.This trick is exclusive for Firefox users.Open a new tab, and type about:config. Hit enter and select the “I accept the risk” button. You know the drillRight-click anywhere in the tab, and select New > String.Paste the following text in the “Enter the preference name” field, and click ok: general.useragent.override.twitter.comIn the “Enter string value” field, paste Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 9.0; WOW64; Trident/7.0; rv:11.0) like Gecko and hit ok.Refresh the Twitter tab (might have to do it a few times, try Ctrl + f5).Chrome users may want to check out Google Chrome’s powerful override feature.Et voilà! The good old, usable interface is back. And we used the exact same trick that GoodTwitter uses.Summary12345 Author Rating5 based on 2 votes Software Name GoodTwitterOperating System Firefox, ChromeSoftware Category InternetPrice FreeLanding Page https://github.com/ZusorCode/GoodTwitter Advertisementlast_img read more

first_imgOn Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order laying out a national plan to boost the leadership in Artificial Intelligence ( AI) technology by establishing American AI Initiative. According to most of the experts, this move seems to be aimed at China’s swift rise in AI. Nearly two years ago, the Chinese government released its own sweeping AI plan and has committed tens of billions of dollars in spending toward developing it. But it seems Trump’s new order indicates the American response to China. The official announcement framed it as an effort to win an AI arms race. The announcement states, “Americans have profited tremendously from being the early developers and international leaders in AI. However, as the pace of AI innovation increases around the world, we cannot sit idly by and presume that our leadership is guaranteed.” The announcement further mentioned five major areas of action: Investing in AI Research and Development (R&D) by having federal agencies increase funding for AI R&D Making federal data and computing power more available for AI purposes and further unleashing AI resources Setting AI government standards for safe and trustworthy AI Building and training an AI workforce Engaging with international allies and also protecting the tech from foreign adversaries Trump said in a statement, accompanying the order, “Continued American leadership in Artificial Intelligence is of paramount importance to maintaining the economic and national security of the United States.” Trump’s executive order did not allocate any additional federal funding towards executing the AI vision. But the document, instead, calls on federal agencies to prioritize existing funds toward AI projects. Response by the experts In a response to IEEE Spectrum for the take on the announcement, most of the experts said that it might be a response to China’s AI policy, which calls for major investment to make China the world leader in AI by 2030. In an interview, the former head of Google China recently even explained to IEEE Spectrum why China has the edge in AI. According to Darrell West, director of the Brookings Institution’s center for technological innovation and author of the recent book, The Future of Work: Robots, AI, and Automation, Trump is trying to set the American AI Initiative at the top and compete well in the race of AI. Also, according to him, the idea seems unclear with respect to implementation. He said, “Trump is signing an executive order on AI because it is the transformative technology of our time and he needs a national strategy on how to retain U.S. preeminence in this area. Critics complain there is no national strategy, so he is using the executive order to explain how the government can help through R&D support, workforce development, and infrastructure enhancement. The order is a step in the right direction, but it is not clear whether there is new funding to support the initiative or how it will be implemented.” Daniel Castro, director of the Center for Data Innovation was a bit positive on this go and said, “Ensuring American leadership in artificial intelligence is critical for U.S. competitiveness. Accelerating the development and adoption of AI holds the potential to increase productivity, grow the economy, and harness the many societal benefits the technology can bring. The administration’s initiative will prioritize AI research and training programs and boost auxiliary infrastructure such as data and other inputs.” Amy Webb, a “quantitative futurist” and author of a forthcoming book about AI called The Big Nine: How the Tech Titans & Their Thinking Machines Could Warp Humanity, doesn’t envy the legislators. According to him the American AI Initiative is vague and lacks details. In a statement, he said, “The American AI Initiative at the moment is a collection of bullet points. It is vague at best and makes zero mention of detailed policy, a concrete funding plan, or a longer-term vision for America’s future.” Lawmakers and major tech companies are happy because of this move. Most of the tech companies now see this as an opportunity to cash in on AI. Intel said in a statement that, “It makes “perfect sense” for federal agencies to play a “key role in AI implementation.” To know more about this news, check out the official announcement. Read Next The US to invest over $1B in quantum computing, President Trump signs a law Google slams Trump’s accusations, asserts its search engine algorithms do not favor any political ideology The U.S. just launched the American AI Initiative to prioritize AI research and developmentlast_img read more

first_imgBrisbane in flood danger Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T / M.H Qantas issue flood condtions waivercenter_img Brisbane River burst its banks this morning as evacuations and power outages continued, with airlines issuing flood waivers for travellers.Although flights are operating as scheduled, flood conditions in Brisbane have caused disruptions to people’s flight arrangements.Qantas customers holding valid tickets for travel to/from Brisbane up to and including Thursday 13 January have been offered a special waiver of conditions.Passengers have been given the opportunity to re-route, return, re-book or retain the value of their purchased ticket, given the current circumstances.Emirates has also waived all fees and penalties for any customers who need to postpone or cancel their flights from or to Brisbane Airport. The waiver extends to passengers travelling on Emirates’ interline airfares from or to other destinations in Queensland that connect with Emirates’ Brisbane services. A number of buildings in the CBD and Fortitude Valley have been evacuated, while West End residents have been urged to move to higher ground, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.Two evacuation centres will be operating including the centre at QEII Stadium on Kessells Road at Nathan, in the city’s south, as well as the RNA Showgrounds at Bowen Hills.North of the city, Caboolture has become completely isolated, while Strathpine residents are also being told to make for higher ground.Evacuations are also under way on Brisbane’s north-side at Albion and Bowen Hills, the ABC reported.Trains travelling north of Burpengary and west of Ipswich have been disrupted by the floodwaters.last_img read more

first_imgPolice will on Monday begin a week-long campaign to clampdown on drink driving, they said on Sunday.In a brief announcement they said driving under the influence of alcohol remained one of the main causes of fatal road collisions.Also as of Monday, the police traffic department will roll out its new automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) in some areas for testing.The technology uses optical character recognition on images to read vehicle registration plates so that officers can check on the spot if a vehicle is registered or licensed.You May LikeTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoFigLeaf Beta AppFigLeaf brings You 3 Easy Steps to Privacy on Your Terms…FigLeaf Beta AppUndoCity BeautyDo This To Fix Sagging Jowls Without SurgeryCity BeautyUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoOur View: Argaka mukhtar should not act as if he owns the beachUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more