Ethnic Adoption – Brain Ethics Sun, 02 Jan 2022 07:10:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Ethnic Adoption – Brain Ethics 32 32 UN resolution is welcome initiative Sat, 01 Jan 2022 11:56:20 +0000

The adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2615 should serve as a respite for the Taliban in their quest to consolidate their position by ensuring good governance and addressing US / EU and US concerns. other important capitals. The resolution grants a one-year exemption for “humanitarian assistance and other activities that support basic human needs in Afghanistan.” The resolution also clarifies that it is not a violation of paragraph 1 (a) of resolution 2255 (2015), which froze the funds and other financial assets or economic resources of the Taliban.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry hailed the adoption of Resolution 2615, stating that the resolution “reaffirms that the provision of humanitarian and other assistance to the Afghan people does not constitute a violation of the country’s sanctions regime. Security Council “. It also reflected the resolution unanimously adopted by the 17th Extraordinary Session of the OIC Foreign Ministers Council hosted by Pakistan last week. Describing the adoption of the resolution as “a step in the right direction to help the Afghan people in need”, the statement called for the attention of the international community to find a way “to revitalize the Afghan economy and thaw assets that rightfully belong to the Afghan people.

Indeed, the resolution provides the tools for donor countries to reach out to the Afghan people who are in desperate need of assistance. It will be a temporary relief for the Afghan people until UN funds and programs develop a comprehensive strategy for the delivery of aid. Operative paragraph 2 of the resolution “requests the Emergency Relief Coordinator to inform the Security Council every six months from the adoption of this resolution based on the delivery of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan” .

The role of the coordinator will be crucial in delivering aid as this office monitors UN agencies and other donors, including countries and NGOs. According to the Wall Street Journal, “The United Nations is planning an $ 8 billion aid and services program in Afghanistan for the next year, assuming many government functions at a time when the Taliban regime remains under economic sanctions and is missing. diplomatic recognition, according to the Wall Street Journal. international officials.

Prima facie, the United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC), will be responsible for delivering aid throughout the country. However, the fine print of the resolution makes it clear that this body would act as a watchdog to keep tabs on the activities of the Taliban to ensure that funds do not fall into their hands as long as resolution 2255 (2015 ) of the UNSC is not in vogue. The situation could change in favor of the Taliban if they strike a deal with the Americans on issues of “inclusiveness, denial of space to AQ / ISIS, and human rights, including women’s rights.”

The broad interpretation of the UNSC resolution can encompass four areas to defend the interests of multiple stakeholders. First, although unspecified, resolution 2615 authorized the United Nations to serve as the guardian of Afghanistan to meet its socio-economic needs. Food and medical aid would be covered by its emergency plan. It is also possible that the UN is helping to provide educational facilities, especially for girls. The Taliban are unlikely to have a say in the distribution of aid, even though they would be required to ensure the security of UN agencies and NGOs.

Second, since the scope of the ERC office would be nationwide, it would keep an eye on Taliban governance practices, especially human rights issues. ECR’s report to the Security Council on the behavior of the Taliban would carry substantial weight and determine the future course of the Security Council towards the Taliban government.

Third, the Taliban will be able to generate income within the country and through tariffs. In addition, there are no restrictions on Afghanistan’s trade with the rest of the world. This should allow the Taliban regime to use the income to pay the salaries of civil servants and to undertake development projects. It is estimated that the Taliban government earns some $ 3 million a day from customs and other taxes, which allows it to pay the salaries of government employees. The regime is currently preparing an annual Afghan budget that does not include foreign aid for the first time in 20 years.

Fourth, depending on the Taliban’s decision regarding the inclusion of various ethnic groups, religious minorities and women, the Afghan opposition may decide on its future strategy. In doing so, they will examine the external reaction to the events in Afghanistan. The US and the EU can be flexible about the inclusive aspect of cabinet under the Taliban. Yet they cannot compromise on human rights issues, including women’s rights to education and work.

Apart from Ahmad Shah Masoud’s son, other warlords will clash if Afghanistan worsens. Apparently, some well-known warlords including Dostum, Hekmatyar, Mohaqqiq and Qanooni recently met in Turkey to define their future course of action. They can wait until the beginning of spring. If an opposition alliance emerges, it may garner financial and material support from known external sources supporting the former Northern Alliance before September 11. Such a scenario would mean a repeat of the old enmities between the Afghans and their supporters outside. This would undoubtedly be a setback to the reconciliation efforts launched by the various stakeholders at the regional and international levels.

The Security Council resolution does not offer a long-term remedy for the stability of Afghanistan. Yet it opened a small window for stakeholders to work for lasting peace and stability in the war-torn country. A chaotic Afghanistan would thus provide an ideal framework for various terrorist organizations to fortify their sanctuaries and launch operations on the targeted destinations.

In an interview with CNN, former Afghan President Hamid Karzai called on the international community “to work with the Taliban to prevent millions of people from starving to death.” He advised the international community “to prioritize the aid the Afghans badly need and, for now, put aside its distrust of the Taliban.”

The author is a former Pakistani Ambassador to Iran and the United Arab Emirates. He is currently working as a senior researcher at the Islamabad Political Research Institute (IPRI).

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Shree expands its international presence with two new stores in the United Arab Emirates: Sheetal Kapoor – Sat, 25 Dec 2021 19:03:38 +0000

In conversation with Woman’s Era, Ms. Sheetal Kapoor, Co-Managing Director, SHR Lifestyle Pvt. LTD. talk about their brand Shree — The Indian Avatar and their journey to success.

How did the SHREE brand come about? Could you please share your journey and experience to success?

We have identified a lack of an everyday ethnic fashion brand in the textile and apparel industry that caters to the modern Indian woman who values ​​quality, comfort, convenience and affordability. For this, we have carefully researched and studied the Indian market, the main sartorial requirements and preferences in terms of fabrics, color tones, styles and cuts best suited to the target clientele. We understood that most women, who wanted a chic design with quality and the right fit, would mostly go to a tailor and still not be able to achieve the results they wanted.

So, we decided to form a brand for “women of today”. We didn’t know where to start, so we started as an e-commerce platform selling ethnic clothing on E-Bay in 2009. Shree made its presence in the markets in 2010 and has steadily started to grow in all of them. the main online markets. We opened our first brick and mortar store in Todapur, New Delhi in 2015 and it was a big milestone for us. Since then, there has been no turning back. Today we are 100 strong and growing stores in India as well as internationally!

Our brand name “Shree” has its origins in the Sanskrit word devi which means divine. We have decided to name our brand “Shree — The Indian Avatar” because we believe that every woman is a “devi” and imbued with divinity. Deeply rooted in our rich Indian culture, ‘Devi’ is quintessentially the core of every Indian woman.

Ethnic clothing, as we understand it, is the essence of every Indian woman’s wardrobe. And that’s where we come in. Our brand offers inexpensive, comfortable and everyday Indian ethnic clothing to all kinds of women.

What does your immediate expansion plan look like?

We are proud to say that we have come a long way and have succeeded in establishing our brand by offering affordable yet comfortable and high quality products. Last month (November 2021) we launched our 100th store in Amritsar. Having established 100 physical stores across India and building a strong digital presence here, we are now focusing on international markets.

We have already launched the brand in the United Arab Emirates. The City Center Sharjah store is already operational and the City Center Deira store will be launched by the end of December 2021.

We have already started to put together a team to take care of business and marketing strategies in UAE. We are going all out and launching a UAE-specific electronic communication portal ( this month (December 2021).

It is important to stress that Shree is the first “Made in India” brand to go international.

In addition, we have launched SHREE RETAIL 2.0 and have already started to integrate this new concept in all our new stores, starting with Bhel Chowk, Dehradun and Alpha Mall, Amritsar. This concept is in line with the new brand image of Shree which will be launched by February 2022.

The brand’s new colors are signal yellow, sky blue and fashion gray. These can be seen in the new retail concept in our new stores. The cultural nuance is represented through motifs of genda, leaves and Indian architecture.

What does the Shree brand represent?

Shree — The Indian Avataar is an inspired, sourced, designed and created “Made in India” brand exclusively in India for the modern Indian woman, celebrating style, individuality, quality and comfort. As a brand, we stand for “women’s empowerment”. It is understood that the modern Indian woman constantly strives to maintain a perfect balance between her social and professional life. We allow her to effortlessly and in style cross her personal and professional life, keeping her fashion functionality in mind! The goal is to fill your wardrobe with clothes that will be your go-to outfit every morning.

Shree’s design philosophy is simple: comfort and inclusiveness come first. Our outfits celebrate every body type, age, etc. Our designers work with colors and fabrics that compliment the modern Indian woman with the country’s extreme weather conditions in mind.

How do you plan your collections and design the outfits?

We design our outfits in 2 large collections specific to the seasons: spring / summer and fall / winter. We plan our season’s collection based on market research, competitor brand research and current trends. From these research predictions, we further create themes and stories within the larger seasonal collection of approximately 6+ sets each.

Based on the defined themes / stories, we design appropriate prints and then proceed to create the silhouettes. Our clients and their requirements / needs form the backbone of our creativity and style / outfit creation. In addition, we also analyze our previous collection to see the bestsellers and what worked, while of course keeping the cost of production in mind.

What is your business strategy for the future and how do you plan to make it sustainable?

Our future business strategy is guided by our intention to focus on what creates long-term value for our customers – a vision that we at Shree see as extremely important to the success of any business. Our strategy at this point is to stay tuned to customers, analyze and understand their expectations for fashion, functionality and convenience and accordingly streamline our business to deliver the products they are looking for.

To achieve this, the adoption of technology and digitization will play a major role. We have widely embraced this new transformation and have prepared all of our online and digital platforms (WhatsApp, social media, website, emails, SMS) to ensure we are communicating with our customers and vice versa at every customer touch point and the same time. have a simple and transparent interaction with our partners and other stakeholders.

In addition, we are also strengthening our internal processes, inventory management and brand building initiatives.

We are making an increasing number of sales through our website, social media and WhatsApp and offer fast deliveries to our customers’ doors. Our development team continuously sources new and sustainable raw materials and introduces new product lines.

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EU works to amend genocide denial law responsible for Bosnia crisis | Bosnia and herzegovina Wed, 22 Dec 2021 12:52:00 +0000

Senior EU officials are working behind the scenes to “correct” a new law in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) that criminalizes denial of the massacre of 8,000 Muslims in Srebrenica, after privately concluding that it risked rekindling a new regional conflict.

Milorad Dodik, the Serbian member of BiH’s tripartite leadership, has been accused in recent months of seeking to break up the country by removing its Serbian side from state institutions.

He claimed that there is an imbalance of power and that when Valentin Inzko, the outgoing chief of the Bosnian High Representative’s (OHR) office, banned genocide denial this summer, it was undemocratic and symptomatic of the problem.

Dodik’s attempts to regain power have been widely condemned by the international community, which accuses him of leading the region to war, but leaked minutes reveal that EU Enlargement Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi has concluded that Inzko’s law is responsible for the current crisis. .

During a meeting with the EU delegation in Bosnia, Várhelyi – who is responsible for strengthening the bloc’s relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina – gave his “frank assessment” that Inzko “was behind the current political crisis “in the country and the” delegitimization “of the office of the high representative.

“While the Inzko amendments could not be challenged from the point of view of the substance of the law, the fact that it was imposed on the last day of HR Inzko’s tenure was problematic,” Várhelyi said in the minutes. at the meeting of 25. November.

“Mainly because it was an important decision, it should have been based on a thorough discussion with everyone on board. The question now was how to fix this.

Várhelyi, a Hungarian close to his country’s right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, told his fellow EU officials that the Bosnian Muslim leadership has shown its willingness to resolve this issue through the passing of a new law that could bring Dodik and the Serbian Republika Srpska entity back into the fold.

The current incumbent of the post of high representative, Christian Schmidt, confirmed in a statement that he supports explicitly impartial new legislation on the denial of any genocide.

The OHR said: “The High Representative takes the issue of glorification and war crimes very seriously.

“The main emphasis of the High Representative, however, is on the clear need to create the basis for a parliamentary legislative process through broad social debate involving social and religious stakeholders. He warns very clearly against politicizing the issue.

“Faced with the graves of innocent people, party politics must remain silent. Humanitas is the goal, and not inciting agitation ”.

The 1995 Dayton Peace Accord ended a civil war that claimed the lives of an estimated 100,000 people after the break-up of Yugoslavia, including more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys killed in and around the town of Srebrenica.

The agreement established a new constitution for Bosnia and Herzegovina, made up of two entities: the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, composed mainly of Bosnian Muslims and Croats, and the Republika Srpska. The three-member Bosnian presidency is held by representatives of these three main ethnic groups.

The so-called Bonn powers of 1997 also granted substantial legislative powers to the office of the high representative responsible for the implementation of the agreement. He has the power to impose decisions or dismiss officials that undermine post-war ethnic balance and reconciliation efforts.

Inzko, an Austrian diplomat, made genocide denial punishable by up to five years in prison in July. He cited the refusal of the Bosnian Serb assembly to withdraw the decorations awarded to three convicted war criminals as part of his reasoning.

The minutes reveal that Várhelyi said he believed there was a way out of the current crisis and had sanctioned a special session of the Republika Srpska assembly on December 10 where members held supported a resolution supporting the resumption of powers.

His condition, however, was that the legislation necessary to take back state powers in the areas of tax administration, justice, intelligence and even the national army, in order to create a Serbian force, be postponed by six. months to allow trading time.

Várhelyi said dealing with genocide law was vital for Dodik to recognize Inzko’s successor, who said the region was facing its biggest crisis in a quarter of a century.

A spokesperson for the European Commission said: “The process of reconciliation requires acknowledging what happened, honoring the victims and genuinely promoting reconciliation by addressing the roots of hatred that led to the genocide. Local ownership of the process is also essential.

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Dabur sows ‘real’ seeds for a healthy snack Tue, 21 Dec 2021 00:00:00 +0000

The leading juice brand has now added chia and pumpkin seeds to its portfolio. With this, it aims to bring millennials and Generation Z into its fold.

A few years ago, the Indian food industry witnessed a new trend where consumers suddenly realized that the indigenous crops grown in India, like millets and pulses, were the healthier options. And since then, these long ignored millets have become popular as “superfoods.”

We are now seeing a similar movement with the consumption of seeds. Tamarind, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, among many others, have been consumed in Indian villages for ages. Sometimes because of the rarity and sometimes for its taste. But now, urban households are adding it to their shopping carts for its health benefits. They have also achieved the iconic status of “superfoods”.

The Dabur Real juice brand will now offer the superfood with the launch of its chia seeds and pumpkin seeds. These seeds are known to be rich in antioxidants, omega 3, dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Monisha Prasher, AGM Marketing, Dabur India, says their research shows that health awareness has increased among consumers. While awareness was already there thanks to the internet and the ease of access to information, it became even more acute during the pandemic as people became more aware of what they were consuming.

“Consumers are now moving from a purely taste snack, such as crisps, cookies and savory options, to a more health-oriented snack. The brand is known for providing the best combination of taste and health to consumers. As it fits the core brand philosophy, launching the seeds of the portfolio was a very natural progression.

Dabur launched real fruit drinks in 1997. “Our current president, Amit Burman, started this journey. It was the first brand of packaged fruit juice in India and at the time it was a whole new concept. To this day, we continue to be the number one juice and nectar brand in the country, ”adds Prasher.

Real offers a wide range of fruit drinks, with 22 flavors, such as guava, pomegranate, mixed fruit, etc. Masala Guava, Masala Sugar Cane, Masala Pomegranate and Masala Fruit Mix.

Despite its heritage as a simple beverage brand, Prasher is confident consumers will readily accept chia and pumpkin seeds from the same brand.

“When we asked consumers what Real stands for, they said it is a combination of taste and nutrition because it allows them to indulge their taste without compromising on nutrition. Thus, consumers see the brand in a much broader perspective. We believe that the consumer will gladly accept and adopt the new offer. “

Dabur offers a full line of health supplements including products such as Chyawanprash and Honey. In the food category, it also owns the Hommade brand for chutneys and pasta. So why did Dabur choose to launch Chia and Pumpkin seeds under the Real brand?

“Real has always championed modern nutrition, while honey and Chyawanprash are our ethnic Ayurvedic products. It is the face of Dabur in the food and beverage category. So we thought that Real would be more suitable for this new category, ”explains Prasher.

Today’s consumer is spoiled for choice when it comes to snacks. During the pandemic, with all family members locked away at home, the demand for snacks increased. But with no help available and no homework to keep people busy, consumers were looking for easy snack options. Brands responded with the same enthusiasm and launched a variety of snacks across all categories. Along with the usual snack options like crisps, cookies and biscuits, frozen foods have gained prominence in this category and brands like McCain, ITC Master Chef, Wow! Momo and Prasuma, respond to this request.

With this trend comes the search for healthy alternatives by people. The pandemic has also made people aware of what they are putting into their bodies. These two trends have come together to create demand for healthy snack options. The recent launch of Dabur is the result of this growing demand. Many other brands have recently launched healthy snacks like granola bars and Greek yogurt.

While it may seem unlikely that the Indian consumer, who has traditionally munched on samosas and kachoris, will feast on seeds at snack time, Dabur is banking on this shift in consumer mindset and placed its seeds in this ever-expanding snack tray. . He positions the product as a snack because he believes that the consumer is most likely to consume this product while feeling hungry in the middle of the meal.

“Most people are looking for less healthy options during this time. But there is a guilt associated with that choice, ”says Prasher.

The brand also tries to educate the consumer on how they can add these seeds to their everyday dishes like soups, salads, smoothies and nut mixes. “Consumers typically have two questions when it comes to healthy snack options: how to consume them and what benefits they will receive. So we are trying to do a series of online videos and digital campaigns to educate the consumer on these facets. This will boost not only consumption, but also category understanding and hence adoption, ”she said.

She adds that the demand for such healthy snacks is currently limited to urban people. “But it’s purely an awareness and distribution function. Once available in the neighborhood store, all Indians would love to try it.

Currently, chia and pumpkin seeds are only available online because that’s where the audience is, but Dabur intends to roll them out to other channels soon. The first to adopt are people in urban areas who are looking for a healthier option for their snacking needs. They are increasingly health conscious and try to cut down on empty calories or add nutrients to their daily diet.

Regarding target audience, Prasher says, “We define TG more by mindset than demographics, mindset for change. “

The product is sold in 250 gram ziplock packs. While sitting, people can consume around 20 to 25 grams. The ziplock will ensure the freshness of the product. Also, with people returning to their desks, it will make it easier for them to keep it at their desk and consume it when they have mid-meal cravings.

“The brief for the packaging was simple: accentuate the seeds and make them mouth watering. At the same time, it has to look really premium, ”she added.

The healthy seed category has been largely an unorganized category. With its entry into the category, Dabur Real will compete with Del Monte which offers Chia and Sunflower seeds, and many D2C and local brands.

But Dabur sees the global snack market as its rival. It intends to eventually replace the different categories of snacks in the consumer’s life. While this is its first foray into the healthy snack category, the brand intends to take it deeper in the long term.

These seeds are not readily available in the nearby grocery store and are more likely to be found in specialty organic or health stores. Prasher believes that Dabur’s entry into this category will make them more accessible and also offer better quality.

In turn, the seeds will help bring millennials and Gen Zs into Dabur’s fold. “We are reaching out to a wide variety of consumers. From people who believe in age-old Ayurveda to people who are looking for modern alternatives. This will therefore allow us to integrate Generation Y and Generation Z, who are much more receptive to this type of product and are looking for these options to begin with, ”she said.

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FG seeks partnership with private sector to accelerate SDGs | The Guardian Nigeria News Sun, 19 Dec 2021 02:26:00 +0000

The federal government called for a partnership with the private sector to create innovative technology hubs that would help the country meet the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

The Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba, made the call yesterday during the United Nations roundtable on the SDGs on the creation of SDG innovation hubs in the six zones geopolitics of the country, held in Abuja.

The minister said securing private sector engagement in building innovation hubs is key to alleviating the structural challenges faced by subnational SDG offices in innovating pathways to accelerated progress.

He said: “Nigeria has a huge implementation context for Agenda 2030 – a large population, landmass and ethnic diversity. To achieve the SDGs and propel their effective implementation, it is important to establish the innovation hubs of the SDGs at subnational levels of government. The hubs will serve as an innovative approach to address some of the development challenges most relevant to each geopolitical context. “

Agba also said that the recent approval of the National Development Plan 2021-2025 by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) at its meeting on November 10, 2021, paved the way for the country’s transformation, as the plan has a strong component. protection and aims to lift 34 million Nigerians out of poverty by 2025 and 100 million Nigerians out of poverty within 10 years.

The Office of the President’s Senior Special Assistant on SDGs, organizers of the event, noted that the SDGs will ensure the effective implementation of social protection policy as a universal call to end poverty, to protect the planet and to ensure peace and prosperity for all. by 2030.

United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Deputy Resident Representative Lealem Dinku said the initiative would give state and non-state actors the opportunity to collaborate with each other, to check on progress since the adoption of the SDG targets in 2015, and on the other hand to ensure that the SDGs are accelerated by states, made redundant by private sectors and CSOs, government creating an enabling environment for innovators.

Represented by Clare Henshaw, Dinku said, “We are proud to work with other states, with a regional perspective to implement innovative programs and projects to have commendable impact in our respective states and areas. “

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What students learned over a year from a more diverse curriculum in Manchester schools Fri, 17 Dec 2021 16:55:00 +0000 The regime’s first anniversary sparked calls for further reform.

A year ago a Manchester MP supported a more diverse program for local schools

A project to diversify the Manchester schools curriculum marks its first anniversary.

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One in three schools in their constituency adopted the charter and started making changes to student learning.

And the first year since the charter was implemented has sparked calls for its adoption and further reform of what is taught in classrooms.

What is the Curriculum Diversity Charter?

Written in collaboration with The Black Curriculum, the Diverse Curriculum Charter has been presented to primary, secondary and secondary schools in Manchester Gorton.

Enrolling in would mean that schools provide a more diverse learning experience for students with an emphasis on anti-racism.

A third of Manchester Gorton schools have signed the Charter and in the new year it will be rolled out across Manchester for all schools to sign.

The Black Curriculum is a social enterprise founded in 2019 by young people to address the lack of teaching black British history in the classroom.

It offers teacher training, help with adopting black history into the curriculum, workshops on topics such as politics and the legal system, land and environment, history art and migration and assemblies aimed at improving social cohesion.

How is the anniversary going?

Mr Khan marked a year since the charter was launched by calling on the government to make a meaningful commitment to reforming national curricula to give every child the chance to experience the various stories and contributions that have shaped the Great Modern Brittany.

He said the minister should consider following the lead of the Welsh government, where a newly reformed program is introduced in 2022.

These reforms include ensuring that all areas of learning reflect the diverse experiences and contributions of Black, Asian and minority communities and individuals in Wales past and present, as well as mandatory anti-racism and anti-racism training. diversity for all trainee and temporary teachers.

Mr. Khan said: “I am extremely proud of the positive reception the Diverse Curriculum Charter has received in its first year.

Member of Parliament for Afzal Khan. Official portrait of the British Parliament

Manchester Gorton Schools have already embarked on a fantastic job of integrating diversity and anti-racism into their courses, but this initiative has spurred an even more in-depth review of the curriculum and sparked a renewed commitment to a positive change.

“At a time when calls for greater diversity in education have never been stronger, the government continues to shut its ears.

“It is time they followed the fantastic example set by the Labor Government in Wales and implemented National Curriculum Reform.

“Until that happens, here in Manchester we will continue to do things differently to ensure our young people receive a diverse education that truly reflects modern British society.”

What happens when a school adopts the charter?

William Hulme’s Grammar School (WHGS) said how it marked Black History Month this year was influenced by its signing of the charter.

There was a student-led assembly on black history and heritage, and the learning resource center had exhibits celebrating black authors.

In history, subjects such as the Ghanaian Empire and the Mangrove Nine (whose history was the subject of a Steve McQueen film) were included in the program.

The owners of Mangrove Restaurant in 1970. Photo: Keystone / Hulton Archives / Getty Images

In geography, students learned about Haiti and its revolution that freed the island from slavery, while the faith of black religious leaders was studied in RE and the modern languages ​​department looked at the Afro poet. -German May Ayim.

The achievements of various mathematicians and scientists are also highlighted and celebrated for the students.

Peter Mulholland, Director of WHGS, said: “At WHGS, we adopted the Diverse Curriculum Charter because it fit perfectly with our ambition to deliver a program that celebrates all groups and faithfully reflects our school community.

“We want all of our children to feel included and valued as individuals with their own history and their own heritage. “

What else was said about the charter?

Councilor Garry Bridges, Executive Member for Children and Schools of Manchester City Council, said: ‘Manchester has always been proud to be at the forefront of the fight for equality, but we cannot allow us to be complacent. This fight for equality is more important than ever.

“The education that children receive in school shapes the way they see the world and their place in it.

“I am happy to support the Diversified Curriculum Charter as a necessary step to ensure that diverse backgrounds are properly represented and that our education engages with diverse experiences in our curriculum.

“Schools in our city have led the way in this agenda and I think they will find this charter a useful help when they look at their own resources and teaching.

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Luzerne County Council faces busy agenda in addition to budget passage Tue, 14 Dec 2021 04:50:00 +0000

In addition to passing a 2022 budget, Luzerne County Council is due to vote tonight to fill a vacant seat on the director search committee, close legal fees in a dispute involving the district attorney’s seat, and decide on a lease related to the settlement of another lawsuit.

It is also the last meeting of the five outgoing council members.

Linda McClosky Houck and Harry Haas are leaving because they have served the three consecutive terms authorized by the County Self-Government Charter, both since the autonomy implementation ten years ago, in January 2012. The Board members Sheila Saidman and Matthew Vough are completing their terms. because they weren’t reelected last month.

These four seats will be filled by the winners of the November general election Kevin Lescavage, John Lombardo, Brian Thornton and Gregory S. Wolovich Jr.

Walter Griffith’s seat will be vacant after taking the oath of office as the newly elected county comptroller on January 3, meaning a majority of the remaining 10 council members must choose his replacement on the Republican council in 2022.

Those remaining on the board: LeeAnn McDermott, Tim McGinley, Chris Perry, Kendra Radle, Robert Schnee and Stephen J. Urban.

Manager search

Council has agreed to contact previously publicly interviewed citizen candidates for the Manager Search Committee to determine if they are interested in filling a committee seat vacated by Ray Wendolowski.

McGinley said on Monday that he contacted the previous seven candidates and was told that five were still ready to serve: Angelo P. Grasso Jr., John Magagna, Walter S. Mitchell Jr., Patrick Musto and Jeffrey Rockman .

The two remaining former candidates – George F. Hayden and Michael Reich – have withdrawn their candidacies, McGinley said.

This external committee must “recommend the candidates it deems most qualified” for the post of senior county officer. The Board then conducts its own interview and final selection, with seven votes required to hire the manager.

The new person appointed to the search committee will join committee members Chris Hackett, Sherri Homanko, Rick Morelli, Brian D. O’Donnell, Patrick Patte and Alec Ryncavage. They plan to start looking for candidates for the director’s post on December 27.

Litigation DA

Hired by the County Council, Stevens & Lee billed the County $ 33,143 for its handling of the Litigation Board and County District Attorney, Sam Sanguedolce, jointly filed on the County Electoral Council’s decision to place the DA race. on the general election ballot last month, according to information provided to Council members.

The Board had already approved $ 30,000 in budget transfers to pay Stevens & Lee, but another transfer will be needed to close the bill.

The Council is set to vote on a budget transfer and terminate services at the law firm, apparently because it has no plans to pursue further legal actions.

While the underlying litigation is still pending in county court, the council and the prosecutor’s office lost their appeal in Commonwealth court. The appeal had challenged Chester County Senior Judge Robert J. Shenkin’s refusal of their preliminary injunction trying to prevent the county electoral board from holding the DA elections on November 2 for a two-year term.

Sanguedolce ran unopposed and won.


Council voted in September to pay $ 585,000 to purchase a three-parcel residential property on Susquehanna Avenue in West Pittston to close the 2018 lawsuit filed by Richard and Kimberly Hazzouri. This lawsuit argued that the borough had not sufficiently advertised the possibility of participating in a former buyback program financed by disaster recovery funds channeled by the county following the record flooding of the Susquehanna River in 2011, officials said.

The total settlement stands at $ 650,000, and county officials said the remaining balance would be paid by non-county defendants and / or their insurance.

Council is expected to vote tonight on a settlement-related lease that would allow plaintiffs to rent the property while they obtain a new residence, according to documents posted on the county’s website. This lease would be $ 200 per month for a period of up to two years, according to the documents. The Hazzouris would pay for utilities and upkeep / upkeep but would not be responsible for property taxes, flood insurance or damage / liability insurance, according to the documents.

As with all pending litigation, the lease should be discussed in an executive closed session before council votes.

Tonight’s meeting begins at 6 p.m. at the County Courthouse on River Street in Wilkes-Barre. Instructions for attending the meeting remotely are posted under the public council meetings online link at

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The pseudo-Uighur court – CGTN Sun, 12 Dec 2021 09:37:28 +0000

Editor’s Note: Alfred de Zayas is professor of international law at the Geneva School of Diplomacy and was United Nations independent expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order 2012-18. He is the author of ten books, including “Building a Just World Order”. The article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the CGTN.

On December 9, the anniversary of the General Assembly’s adoption of the Genocide Convention in 1948, the so-called Uighur Court in London declared that China had committed genocide against Uighurs and other ethnic minorities .

What kind of tribunal was it and what credibility does it have? Over the past decades, we have seen that some popular courts such as the Bertrand Russell Tribunal on Vietnam (1966), the Kuala Lumpur Tribunal on Iraq War Crimes (2011) or the Leilo Basso Tribunal on genocide against Tamils ​​(2013) can be helpful. institutions, especially where the corporate media have failed to inform the public about war crimes and crimes against humanity. These courts are legitimate because they reflect a spontaneous protest against the crime of silence by the government and the media. Such courts constitute a form of transitional justice which challenges the legalism and the judicial monopoly of the State. They are needed where the world order has failed to punish war crimes and crimes against humanity, for example in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq.

On the other hand, there are also political tribunals which are set up to advance and corroborate the geopolitical agendas of certain countries. No one will claim that the allegations against China regarding the Uighurs have been ignored or covered by the press. On the contrary, for years American and British politicians have made unproven accusations, which the mainstream media, including the BBC, have dutifully reported and amplified. A “tribunal” like the Uighur tribunal has a very specific purpose – not to enlighten the public but to fuel a well-orchestrated campaign.

This UK-based “tribunal”, launched on September 3, 2020, with the help of a non-governmental organization, the Coalition for Genocide Response, is a partisan exercise aimed at manipulating public opinion against an economic rival – China.

Who finances the propaganda exercise? It is common knowledge that the tribunal is funded by the “World Uygur Congress”, a pseudo-“regime change” organization backed by the United States’ National Endowment for Democracy. This Uighur World Congress is also associated with the East Turkestan Islamist Movement, a terrorist organization on the UN terrorist list, guilty of terrorist activities in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

Since the rise of unrest against China under Donald Trump, the Chinese government has provided answers and evidence to the almost surreal allegations of “genocide” in Xinjiang. China has opened its doors to United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, who will likely visit the region. There is no objection to a truly impartial investigation into “forced labor” charges, but investigators must be objective and in good faith.

Anyone who has followed the developments around the Uighur tribunal and the disinformation in the corporate media realizes that the tribunal was created to come to a certain conclusion, namely genocide, and that the “trial” was conducted on a “presumption of guilt, ”as spokesperson for the Chinese mission to the UN in Geneva, Liu Yuyin, said in a statement. Therefore, this would not deserve our attention, except that it is a propaganda tool that the “narrative managers” of corporate media in the US, UK and EU will use to achieve. continue their Sino-phobic disinformation about Xinjiang and the ongoing hatred. speech campaign against China.

It is not entirely clear why a legal expert like Sir Geoffrey Nice, former prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, would lend his good reputation to this. In any case, the judgment rendered is not exactly what we read in the boulevard press, which is sensationalist and greedy for scandal.

While the tribunal examined the five acts of genocide listed in article 2 of the 1948 Genocide Convention, it rejected four, observing that there was no evidence of genocidal intent. But then the court examines the fourth criterion for imposing measures to prevent reproduction and finds it sufficient to consider it genocide.

There is really no case law on this act, and the Uighur case is hardly a candidate for such a momentous conclusion because the aim of the Chinese measures is not and never has been to “destroy in all or in part “the Uighur group by suppressing births, but reflects a general strategy of population control in a country which already has 1.4 billion human beings.

Such a measure can be criticized, but it seems to fall within the internal competence of a State concerned with the well-being of the entire population. Prima vista, this does not seem unusual due to the very high birth rate in the area. Despite Chinese measures, the Uighur population continues to grow faster than the population of the rest of China.

So where is the genocide? There is no legal or precedent to claim that trying to reduce a very high birth rate to something more modest is something contemplated by Article 2 (d) of the Genocide Convention. Does this make any sense? Any serious international jurist would regard such an interpretation of the Convention as absurd.

One possible explanation for what happened is that even though the tribunal could not see the validity of the genocide argument in general, it also could not bring itself to reject it altogether. By developing this bizarre twist, the court managed to save face because, with the Sino-phobic environment surrounding the proceedings, a full acquittal by China would have been unthinkable.

The “judgment” handed down by this tribunal is fundamentally flawed as it is partly based on false information, extrapolations, hyperbole and blithely ignores this fundamental principle of all courts – audiatur and altera pars – which means not only listening to all aspects of an issue, including documentation made public by the Chinese government, but proactively seeking out all relevant information and assessing it in good faith. Even the Internet provides abundant information that contradicts the court judgment.

We should all be concerned about the Orwellian corruption of language, double standards and the manipulation of public opinion, which undermine our democracies and erode our self-esteem. We have to be very careful that such hostile propaganda does not lead the world down the geopolitical precipice.

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Trucks Catch Up in Autonomous Vehicle Race, Auto News, ET Auto Thu, 09 Dec 2021 06:21:00 +0000
In the year to December 6, total investment activity in autonomous logistics vehicles quintupled to $ 6.5 billion, from $ 1.3 billion in the same period in 2020 , according to the PitchBook starter data platform.

By Nick Carey and Paul Lienert

OXFORD: We’d all be spinning around in the robotic axis by now if Elon Musk had been right.

Instead, fully self-driving cars struggle to pull away from the starting grid, and some investors are betting that driverless trucks will reach the checkered flag first.

Just a year ago, startups developing robotaxis attracted eight times more funding than companies working on trucks, buses and autonomous logistics vehicles, but the gap has narrowed significantly in 2021.

With fewer regulatory and technological barriers, trucks traveling on major highways, fixed delivery routes, or in environments away from cyclists and pedestrians such as mines and ports are now seen as a faster way to generate revenue. returns.

In the year to December 6, total investment activity in autonomous logistics vehicles quintupled to $ 6.5 billion, from $ 1.3 billion in the same period in 2020 , according to the PitchBook starter data platform.

The investment activity of robotaxi companies, meanwhile, fell 22% to $ 8.4 billion from $ 10.8 billion in the same period, according to PitchBook data compiled for Reuters.

The numbers may even underestimate the trend, as some robotaxi companies such as Alphabet Inc’s Waymo are also pumping more money into their own autonomous trucking operations.

In the latest trucking deal, Robotic Research said on Thursday it had raised $ 228 million by bringing in outside investors for the first time to expand its truck, bus and autonomous logistics vehicle business.

The new money comes from investors such as SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2, Enlightenment Capital and Luminar Technologies, which makes lidar sensors used in self-driving cars.

Robotic Research chief executive Alberto Lacaze told Reuters the company is deploying autonomous vehicles on a large scale where the business case works for customers “right now.”

“They don’t have to wait until 2025, unlike the robotic axis where you have to drop the cost of all sensors by an order of magnitude,” he said.


As recently as 2019, Tesla’s Musk had promised a million robotaxis “next year for sure,” but self-driving cars that can safely navigate anywhere are still a long way off.

Peter Rawlinson, head of electric vehicle (EV) start-up Lucid Motors, said last month it would take a decade before fleets of robotic axles hit the roads – even with the most advanced sensors.

PitchBook’s senior mobility analyst Asad Hussain said startups such as Gatik, which makes short-haul self-driving vans, and Nuro with its mini delivery robots, could outshine Waymo and compete with Cruise over the years. next few years in large-scale marketing.

Yet, while long-haul trucks are easier to automate than robots, because major highways are simpler environments than busy urban roads, leaders of self-driving truck companies are cautious about how fast they can go. grow in power.

“We are very aware of the excessive promises made by the industry,” said Cheng Lu, general manager of autonomous truck technology company TuSimple, which went public in April with a market value of $ 8.5 billion.

“The industry now understands the complexity of the problem and that it will take longer to resolve,” he said.

For now, TuSimple has a fleet of around 50 trucks with on-board safety drivers crisscrossing America’s hottest southern states, but it plans to have a nationwide network covering major US highways from around the world. ‘by 2024.

This will involve major investments in highway mapping, learning how to deal with more difficult weather and road conditions further north and in new autonomous trucks being developed by Navistar, which is part of Volkswagen’s Traton.


But rolling out a true nationwide grid could take years, as autonomous trucks still face a major challenge – human drivers.

An autonomous vehicle will always brake if it encounters a “human man loaded with testosterone,” said Ralf Klaedtke, chief technology officer at TE Connectivity, which makes sensors and electronic systems to handle masses of autonomous driving data for the driver. ‘automobile industry.

“The autonomous vehicle will always be the slowest in mixed traffic,” he said.

Paul Newman, founder of UK autonomous vehicle software startup Oxbotica, said robotaxis remains his “North Star,” his clear long-term goal.

But for now, it is focusing on simpler applications, some of which use a fully electric autonomous vehicle designed for this purpose by Australian startup Applied EV.

“It’s a long journey,” he says, pointing to test vehicles at the company’s headquarters in Oxford, England. “It is one of the most difficult engineering problems to solve.”

Oxbotica is working on vehicles for mining in partnership with Wenco, which is part of Hitachi Construction Machinery, and on many different options with energy company BP, such as vehicles for remote wind and solar farms.

Morag Watson, BP’s senior vice president for digital science and engineering, said Oxbotica’s technology could monitor large sites or transport equipment to humans undertaking repairs. She said they will be testing many different options in 2022.

“We’ve barely scratched the surface of what we can do with industrial autonomy,” Watson said.

Oxbotica also works with UK food delivery and online technology company Ocado, which automates supply chain systems for US retail chain Kroger. BP and Ocado have both invested in Oxbotica.

Alex Harvey, head of advanced technology at Ocado, said Oxbotica’s technology could be used “in the warehouse, in the yard, on the road or from the sidewalk to the kitchen.”


U.S. autonomous electric vehicle maker Outrider has targeted distribution yards – picking up trailers after truckers drop them off and lining up new ones to haul – including at a Chicago yard for the Georgia-Pacific paper company.

Outrider has developed a robotic arm for the truck to connect and disconnect trailers. It has raised $ 118 million so far and chief executive Andrew Smith has said it will grow to thousands of vehicles over the next five years.

The startup wants to start making short hops between job sites, but operating on public roads adds complexity, Smith said.

“We saw through the early hype of the technology and the proven distribution fleets were the perfect short term solution with their low speed repetitive operations in confined environments,” he said.

Getting out on the public highway requires traveling with caution, in part because of regulations, but also because of the legal pitfalls of a contentious market like that of the United States.

Ian White, chief executive of digital insurer Koffie Labs, said a crash of a “billion dollar black swan” could wipe out any business that goes too fast and gets it wrong.

“You would put your record on the line,” he said.

This is why Gatik has taken a cautious approach to its “mid-point” delivery routes between distribution centers and retailers, said managing director Gautam Narang.

Gatik’s trucks take short, predictable routes avoiding left turns through oncoming traffic, schools, hospitals, fire stations, blind turns – or whatever is complicated.

“We are not working on all the sticky situations that the autonomous vehicle industry is trying to solve,” he said. “We are taking small steps using routes that are problem free from a complexity perspective. ”

Gatik works with Walmart Inc and Loblaw Companies Ltd using self-driving trucks with safety drivers, although he operates some unmanned routes in Arkansas and sees the global driver shortage as an opportunity.

“We decided to focus on a simpler use case where the need was very acute,” Narang said. “We are not building technology for technology.”

Read also :

Now these questions are at the heart of an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration after at least 12 crashes in which Teslas using Autopilot drove in parked fire trucks, police cars and other emergency vehicles. , killing one person and injuring 17 others.g

While much of the early focus on autonomous vehicles was on the robotic axis, more investment is being made in less complicated uses of logistics that can generate revenue much sooner.

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Poor critical communication | Coeur d’Alene Press Sat, 04 Dec 2021 09:17:50 +0000

The Idaho education official said there was a communication problem when she told local Republicans that the Coeur d’Alene school district was one of the “worst offenders” in the city. teaching of critical race theory.

State Superintendent of Education Sherri Ybarra made the comment during a 15-minute presentation Nov. 23 to the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee.

“My comment that the district is one of the worst offenders reflects the perception I have heard from parents and clients,” Ybarra told The Press on Friday. “I recognized that I had heard the multiple specific concerns of the Coeur d’Alene community members regarding critical race theory in their classes and programs in the schools in the district.”

Coeur d’Alene School District Superintendent Shon Hocker said he wanted to dispel this misinformation.

Hocker said Ybarra admitted that was not what she meant and accidentally left out the word “alleged”.

“I just don’t want our community to have any idea that (Ybarra) thinks we are a ‘worst offender’,” Hocker said on Friday. “She told us it wasn’t.

Scott Maben, director of communications, said critical breed theory is not taught in public schools in Coeur d’Alene, nor integrated into curricula, business plans or staff programs. .

“It didn’t find its way into our school district, and it wasn’t taken into account – period,” a statement from the district said.

In an interview with The Press, Ybarra said he heard from different members of the community and saw information at events that shows Critical Race Theory, as defined by some people, is being taught in the district. Ybarra said people saw the terminology in the curricula and showed him specific examples of what they believed to be critical race theory.

She said that when she asked community members to explain their concerns, they told her that the district teaches social-emotional learning.

Ybarra said that while the school district says it doesn’t teach Critical Race Theory, it teaches someone else’s definition of Critical Race Theory.

Ybarra said she believes part of the debate is that critical race theory is difficult to define and everyone has different definitions.

Debbie Critchfield, a Republican candidate for the 2022 Idaho state superintendent of public education race and former chairperson of the State Board of Education, said Ybarra was essentially bowing to her audience of the Central Committee – which turned on him when the video of his presentation was shared on social media.

Critchfield also said that Ybarra had done nothing to provide real leadership to districts to address concerns about critical race theory and other issues that affect parents, students and educators, other than doing contradictory statements.

Hocker said when community members have come to speak to the district or teachers to ask questions about critical race theory, the questions typically focus on equity and socio-emotional learning.

Keith Orchard, mental health specialist for the Coeur d’Alene School District, said socio-emotional learning is about giving children tools to learn to work through their emotional issues.

He said students learn to resolve conflict, be respectful and trustworthy, and other life skills that parents are already teaching and teachers are reinforcing in classrooms.

Maben said equity in education is about improving outcomes and experiences for every student, which includes removing barriers to learning.

“Achieving academic success means providing education and resources to students based on their individual needs, not on what works for the majority of students,” Maben said on Friday. “We truly believe that every student deserves to feel seen, valued, loved and challenged to learn when they enter our schools. “

In April, Idaho passed a “Dignity and Non-Discrimination in Public Education Act” that prohibits public schools from ordering or compelling a student to “personally affirm, adopt or adhere” to the law. one of the principles of the critical theory of race.

Maben said the district already had a non-discrimination policy before the new law was enacted.

Hocker said he believed part of the reason for the confusion was due to the COVID-19 shutdown of community members entering schools and participating in programs.

“I hope that in the future we will have more opportunities for community engagement,” said Hocker. “We are actively making plans to help create even more opportunities for community engagement, more community input, really helping us know what our community is thinking.”

Ybarra said the Cd’A School District’s actions by hosting community forums and being open to the public on the subject is a prime example of how school districts should approach the problem.

“I appreciate the efforts of the District Superintendent and Board of Directors to listen to the concerns of parents and other members of the community, no matter how lively those conversations may be,” Ybarra said. “All neighborhoods, like Coeur d’Alene, need to encourage parental involvement, and that was the underlying theme of my talk.

A committee of 34 parents and community members from the district began meeting this week to review the district’s equity framework.

“We had people, community members who showed up to the board meetings and really thanked us for this work and involvement,” Hocker said. “I think we have good success.




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