AN INCREDIBLE STORY: Meet the museums, theatres and arts organisations awarded £13m funding   
THIS week, the government's main arts funding body has pledged a whopping £13m over the next four years to ten Oxford museums, theatres and other arts organisations.
          Comment on Government Information Resources by Handout for Inaugural LISterine Workshop : A blog @ all things LIS   
[...] Thanks to Hans Raum for leading the inaugural LISterine Workshop on government information resources last week, and thanks to all who attended.  In case you weren’t able to attend, you’ll find a link to a handout in the description of the workshop here:  Government Information Resources. [...]
          Government Asks Microsoft for Low Offers On Windows 10 (OS)   

As per the latest information,the indian government has asked the global software giant Microsoft to offer,”one-time special” discount for its customers in india so that they can install the latest operating system(OS) to  protected their systems against the malware and  ransomware attacks. National Cyber Security Adviser Gulshan Rai told, we have asked Microsoft to offer […]

The post Government Asks Microsoft for Low Offers On Windows 10 (OS) appeared first on Charminar Talkies.

          Government Slashes Lower Interest Rates on Small Saving Schemes   

The government on Friday slashed interest rates on small saving schemes by 10 basis points for July-September period from the rates applicable in the previous quarter,a move that will prompt banks for lower deposit rates. According to the latest information the board of schemes rates have been decreased such as National savings certificate,Sukanya Samriddhi account, […]

The post Government Slashes Lower Interest Rates on Small Saving Schemes appeared first on Charminar Talkies.

          Wildlife Biologist II – Baffin - GOVERNMENT OF NUNAVUT - Pond Inlet, NU   
A Bachelors in Biology, Wildlife, Zoology, Ecology, Environmental Science or related field and four years of experience with wildlife laboratory services,... $97,734 a year
From Indeed - Fri, 17 Mar 2017 19:01:25 GMT - View all Pond Inlet, NU jobs
          OTR Truck Driver - ALPHA &OMEGA LOGISTIC - Texas Gulf Coast, TX   
Tankers and Hazmat endorsement are requirements needed on the CDL license 2 yrs of verifiable commercial driving experience twic card for government
From Indeed - Tue, 09 May 2017 17:44:55 GMT - View all Texas Gulf Coast, TX jobs
          New Jerseyans feeling impact of state government shutdown   

          Country Manager Poland - Vertex Pharmaceuticals - Poland, ME   
Lead the development and implementation of the Country Government Affairs plan in partnership with Regional and Government Affairs Lead and Patient Advocacy...
From Vertex Pharmaceuticals - Tue, 02 May 2017 17:03:51 GMT - View all Poland, ME jobs
          Rwenzururu conflict aftermath: Residents desert health centre   

Health workers at Bwesumbu Health Centre II in Bwesumbu Sub-county, Busongora North in Kasese District, have abandoned duty following the November 26, 2016 clashes between government forces and the royal guards that left at least 100 dead. Bwesumbu Health Centre II, located at the sub-county headquarters, was a battlefield between the Rwenzururu royal guards and security personnel during the attack on the Rwenzururu palace that left many bodies lying at the facility.

          Chris Christie Announces New Jersey Government Shutdown, Orders State Of Emergency   

Illinois, Maine, Connecticut: the end of the old fiscal year and the failure of numerous states to enter the new one with a budget, means that some of America's most populous states have seen their local governments grind to a halt overnight until some spending agreement is reached. Now we can also add New Jersey to this list.

On Saturday morning, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie declared a state of emergency in the state, and announced a partial state government shutdown as New Jersey become the latest state to enter the new fiscal year without an approved budget after the Republican governor and the Democrat-led Legislature failed to reach an agreement by the deadline at midnight Friday, CBS New York reports.

In a news conference Saturday morning, Christie blamed Democratic State Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto for causing the shutdown. And, just like Illinois and Connecticut, Christie and the Democrat-led Legislature are returning to work in hopes of resolving the state's first government shutdown since 2006 and the first under Christie, before NJ is downgraded further by the rating agencies.

"If there's not a resolution to this today, everyone will be back tomorrow," Christie said, calling the shutdown "embarrassing and pointless." He also repeatedly referred to the government closure as "the speaker's shutdown."  Christie later announced that he would address the full legislature later at the statehouse on Saturday.

Prieto remained steadfast in his opposition, reiterating that he won't consider the plan as part of the budget process but would consider it once a budget is signed.  Referring to the shutdown as "Gov. Christie's Hostage Crisis Day One," Prieto said he has made compromises that led to the budget now before the Legislature.


"I am also ready to consider reasonable alternatives that protect ratepayers, but others must come to the table ready to be equally reasonable," Prieto said. "Gov. Christie and the legislators who won't vote 'yes' on the budget are responsible for this unacceptable shutdown. I compromised. I put up a budget bill for a vote. Others now must now do their part and fulfill their responsibilities."

Politics aside, the diplomaitc failure has immediate consequences for Jersey residents: Christie ordered nonessential services to close beginning Saturday. New Jerseyans were feeling the impact as the shutdown took effect, shuttering state parks and disrupting ferry service to Liberty and Ellis islands. Among those affected were a group of Cub Scouts forced to leave a state park campsite and people trying to obtain or renew documents from the state motor vehicle commission, among the agencies closed by the shutdown.

As funds run out elsewhere, it will only get worse.  Police were turning away vehicles and bicyclists at Island Beach state park in Ocean County.

A sign posted at the park entrance featured a photo of Prieto and the phone number of his district office in Secaucus, along with the caption: "This facility is CLOSED because of this man."

When asked about the sign, Christie spokesman Jeremy Rosen said the governor wanted to make sure people knew why the site was shuttered.  "Speaker Prieto singlehandedly closed state government," Rosen said, adding that the governor wanted to make sure families "knew that the facilities were closed and who is responsible."

Not all things will be affected: remaining open under the shutdown will be New Jersey Transit, state prisons, the state police, state hospitals and treatment centers as well as casinos, race tracks and the lottery. 

A major point of disagreement is the ongoing stalemate between Christie and lawmakers over whether to include legislation affecting the state's largest health insurer into the state budget.

Christie and Senate President Steve Sweeney agree on legislation to make over Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, including allowing the state insurance commissioner to determine a range for the company's surplus that if exceeded must be put to use benefiting the public and policyholders.  But Prieto opposes the plan, saying that the legislation could lead to rate hikes on the insurer's 3.8 million subscribers and that the legislation is separate from the budget.  Prieto has said he will leave open a vote on the $34.7 billion budget that remains deadlocked 26-25, with 24 abstentions, until those 24 abstentions change their mind.

Democratic Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo, of Northfield, was among those abstaining. He reasoned that if the governor did not get the Horizon bill, then nearly $150 million in school funding -- $9.6 million of which would go to his district -- would be line-item vetoed out of the budget.   And indeed, Christie said Friday during a news conference that he would slash the Democratic spending priorities if he did not get the Horizon bill as part of a package deal on the budget.  "You want me to wave a magic wand to get a budget?" Christie said. "I can't get a budget to my desk. Only the Senate and Assembly can get the budget to my desk."

But where things may get nasty quick, is that Christie said public workers should not expect any back pay. "Yeah, don't count on it." Christie said of furlough pay. "That was Jon 'I'll Fight For a Good Contract For You' Corzine. I ain't him."

Meanwhile, the fingerpointing has begun, including Democrats pointing at other Democrats.

"It seems like he's just being stubborn," Mazzeo said of Prieto. "With all due respect to the speaker, then there should be some type of negotiations." But Prieto said it's lawmakers - fellow Democrats - like Mazzeo who are to blame for the shutdown. He said he is willing to discuss the Horizon legislation but after the budget is resolved.

Christie has balked at the proposal because he says lawmakers plan to leave town to campaign for re-election and he will be a lame duck.  According to CBS, all 120 lawmakers face voters this year.

Finally, putting the sheer chaos of it all in context, Christie who is term-limited and is expected to be out of office by January, has his family staying for the holiday weekend in a state-owned house at Island Beach State Park. The park is closed because of the shutdown.

          US Government Prepares For 'Space Weather Event' As NASA Warns "Solar Minimum Is Coming"   


A new report and video out from NASA about the upcoming ‘solar minimum’ has been published. The report titled ‘Solar Minimum is Coming’ outlines every 11-years, the sun oscillates from a solar minimum to a maximum. Today, the sun is called “solar minimum,” says Dean Pesnell of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD. “And it’s a regular part of the sunspot cycle”. The sun is heading towards a solar minimum where the sunspot count will be relatively low.

The report goes on to say, “while intense activity such as sunspots and solar flares subside during solar minimum, that doesn’t mean the sun becomes dull. Solar activity simply changes form”. During a solar minimum, we can expect more space weather events called coronal holes.

According to the report, coronal holes are vast regions of the sun’s atmosphere where the sun’s magnetic field opens up and allows streams of solar particles to escape the sun as fast solar wind.

Pesnell says “We see these holes throughout the solar cycle, but during solar minimums, they can last for a long time – six months or more”. Solar particles from coronal holes are then ejected towards earth’s magnetic field causing space weather events.

Space weather refers to the environmental conditions in Earth’s magnetosphere, ionosphere and thermosphere due to the Sun and the solar wind that can influence the functioning and reliability of spaceborne and ground-based systems and services or endanger property or human health.

Meanwhile, The White House in October 2016 quietly passed through an Executive Order— “Coordinating Efforts to Prepare the Nation for Space Weather Events”. 

Here is snippet of section 1 of the executive order:   

Space weather events, in the form of solar flares, solar energetic particles, and geomagnetic disturbances, occur regularly, some with measurable effects on critical infrastructure systems and technologies, such as the Global Positioning System (GPS), satellite operations and communication, aviation, and the electrical power grid. Extreme space weather events — those that could significantly degrade critical infrastructure — could disable large portions of the electrical power grid, resulting in cascading failures that would affect key services such as water supply, healthcare, and transportation. Space weather has the potential to simultaneously affect and disrupt health and safety across entire continents. Successfully preparing for space weather events is an all-of-nation endeavor that requires partnerships across governments, emergency managers, academia, the media, the insurance industry, non-profits, and the private sector.

Back in April 2017, we wrote an article titled ‘Yesterday’s Broad Power Outage Likely Caused By Geomagnetic Storm‘. While everyone thought terrorism was to blame, we correctly pointed out that large power failures in major US cities was due to an intense geomagnetic storm registering 8-10 on K-Planetary Index.

Conclusion: Our fragile nation is not adequately prepared for space weather events as highlighted in the recent Exec Order.

Frankly, this should of been done years ago, but it appears that our nation will soon deal with the consequences such as April 2017 power failures in major US-cities. Couple the solar minimum period with The Fourth Turning in the west, and we’re staring at the perfect cocktail for self-destruction of an empire. Perhaps, the downfall of America is not some external threat that the mainstream media makes you believe, but in actuality, it’s an implosion from with-in. It’s happened to the greatest empires that have attempted to rule our planet, why not now? 

Don’t believe me? Here are various minimums verse the rise and fall of Chinese Dynasties

*  *  *
Addendum: one reader noted the deja vu divergence once again between declining sunspot activity and surging stock prices... did not end well last time...

          Hundreds protest government's backtrack on Western Wall outside Netanyahu's residence   
'This is the time for women to wake up and secular people to wake up,' Women of the Wall's Anat Hoffman says at rally
          Comment on Shutdown after the night of long knives, and the aftermath by Questioning Dem   
A shutdown, yet construction projects will proceed. I guess that's to take any pressure off of Sweeney by keeping his people working. Why any public union would support this man for Senate is beyond me.
          Attorney III - Nebraska State Government - Lincoln, NE   
This position interacts with Administrative Services agency management, Attorney General's Office, Policy Research Office, Legislators, Union Representatives...
From Nebraska State Government - Mon, 26 Jun 2017 20:31:59 GMT - View all Lincoln, NE jobs
Assists patients and their families, attorneys, collection agencies, insurance companies, government agencies and other medical providers with questions...
From Bryan Health - Tue, 20 Jun 2017 13:25:17 GMT - View all Lincoln, NE jobs
          Insurance Claims Investigator I - Nebraska State Government - Lincoln, NE   
Corresponds with all entities involved, i.e., consumers, agents, insurance company personnel, medical providers, attorneys, and employers, gathering information... $18.16 an hour
From Nebraska State Government - Thu, 22 Jun 2017 20:28:50 GMT - View all Lincoln, NE jobs
          Background Investigator - KeyPoint Government Solutions - College Park, MD   
Criminal justice, educators, law enforcement/police, criminal or fraud investigators, federal investigators, military/veterans and security professionals....
From KeyPoint Government Solutions - Tue, 25 Apr 2017 04:06:23 GMT - View all College Park, MD jobs
          Deport the Government   

sevres-babylone posted a photo:

Deport the Government

          Quality Assurance Engineer III - KBRWyle - Mississauga, ON   
Was acquired by KBR. KBR is a publicly-traded technology, engineering, procurement, and a construction company serving the global hydrocarbons and government...
From KBRWyle - Tue, 09 May 2017 02:04:27 GMT - View all Mississauga, ON jobs
          Maternity Services: Labour Induction in India is effective and Safe, says Study   

July 1, 2017: A major study of two different types of labour induction methods was published by researchers from the University of Liverpool with colleagues from Gynuity Health Care in New York and the Government Medial College, Nagpur. It was studied that between 62,000 to 77,000 women die yearly from pre-eclampsia and eclampsia. Eclampsia is […]

The post Maternity Services: Labour Induction in India is effective and Safe, says Study appeared first on NewsGram.

          Reading the Office of Legal Counsel on Emoluments: Do Super-Rich Presidents Get a Pass?    


I wrote last November that the Foreign Emoluments Clause “is on its face a national security provision designed to the protect the country from officers too enmeshed with foreign interests.” If the Justice Department’s recent court filing is to be believed, that protection is exceedingly limited. This new position marks a decisive break from the more conscientious approach long espoused by both the Comptroller General and the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC).

At the heart of the emoluments controversy is President Trump’s refusal to liquidate his business holdings. He has instead maintained ownership of the Trump Organization, a multibillion-dollar umbrella company with thousands of domestic and international investments, and placed the assets in a revocable trust managed by his sons Donald Trump, Jr. and Eric Trump. Trump now faces three lawsuits alleging that he is profiting from his business empire in violation of the Constitution. Three days after his inauguration, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a government accountability watchdog group, filed the first suit in the Southern District of New York. This month, two more complaints were filed by the attorneys general of Washington D.C. and Maryland and 196 congressional Democrats, in federal district courts in Maryland and the District of Columbia, respectively.

All three suits center on the meaning and scope of the Foreign Emoluments Clause, which provides that “no person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept any present, Emolument, Office or Title of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince or foreign state” (U.S. Const. art. I, § 9, cl. 8). Citing Trump's business dealings with state governments and federal agencies, such as its lease on the Old Post Office Building that now houses the Trump International Hotel, two of the suits also allege violations of the Domestic Emoluments Clause. This provision applies specifically to the president and provides that he shall receive “for his Services” a fixed compensation during his tenure and not “any other Emolument from the United States, or any of [the states]” (U.S. Const. art. II, § 1, cl. 7).

Serious procedural challenges like standing notwithstanding, given the House and Senate’s failure to address head-on the risks posed by Trump’s financial conflicts pose, the lawsuits could prove important in forcing a much-needed conversation: Is Trump taking in profits in violation of the Constitution? And just as critically, are future presidents entitled to pull a Trump—or does the Constitution dictate that they, like Jimmy Carter, must sell their family peanut farms as a condition of taking office?

No Article III court has ever rendered an opinion on how either Emoluments Clause should be interpreted, though the Supreme Court has offered interpretations of the term “emoluments” as it appears in Foreign Emoluments Clause-related statutes periodically enacted by Congress since 1881. Because of the limited judicial precedent, the internal memoranda from the Comptroller General and the Office of Legal Counsel that have been made public over the years are among the most important sources of guidance we have on emoluments issues. And though these memoranda do not directly address the question posed by the Trump business empire, making some amount of inference and legwork necessary, in critical respects they quite clearly contradict the sweeping defense that the Justice Department put forward this month in its 70-page motion to dismiss the CREW case against Trump.

The key issue in these suits—once you get behind a set of justiciability questions that may prove dispositive—is what constitutes an emolument (though with respect to the Foreign Emoluments Clause there’s also some disagreement about what kind of entity constitutes a “foreign state”). In plain English, we are looking at an exotic presidential twist on the biggest and oldest challenge to enforcing any anticorruption law: What counts? Do the forbidden “emoluments” cover only goodie boxes, blatant quid pro quo arrangements, and employment-related compensation? Or are the profits that Trump enjoys by way of his business transactions also prohibited when they come from foreign states and domestic government entities? And if the latter, more expansive definition is the appropriate one, are the profits prohibited only when the take is in excess of  “fair-market-value”—and if so, does that definition serve as a meaningful limitation when at issue are luxury goods whose value or sales may be inflated by the fact that Trump is president and the products are prominently branded with his name?

Predictably, the dispute has taken the form of a battle for the original meaning of “emoluments.” An array of historical materials support both a limited and broad definition. The two possible interpretations are well summed up by the Oxford English Dictionary, which provides two definitions dating back to the Founding: “1. Profit or gain arising from station, office, or employment . . . . 2. Advantage, benefit, comfort.”

The Justice Department, like Trump’s lawyers at Morgan Lewis, latches onto the first definition  to argue that “the Emoluments Clauses apply only to the receipt of compensation for personal services and to the receipt of honors and gifts based on official position.” That is, President Trump is precluded only from receiving benefits in exchange for services provided to a foreign state in his official capacity as president, or—and this is crucial, given the subject matter of the OLC opinions—services provided “in a capacity akin to an employee of a foreign state.”

The plaintiffs in the three suits, on the other hand, argue for the much more expansive definition. Marshaling its own set of historical evidence, CREW asserts that emoluments are "anything of value, including money, permits, approvals, tax benefits, any other benefits, and anything else monetary or nonmonetary, regardless of whether it is given in exchange for goods or services, and regardless of whether it is part of a transaction at, above, or below market rates."

A close examination of the relevant Comptroller and OLC opinions reveals that the current Justice Department is reading the Emoluments Clauses too narrowly, while CREW and the other plaintiffs are reading them too broadly. None of the opinions approves the receipt of benefits that can even arguably be attributed to the prestige or influence conferred by an office, and together they do not support the Justice Department’s claim that presidents may, as a categorical matter, collect profits from business transactions with foreign entities and domestic government entities as long as fair value is extracted on both sides. But notwithstanding the plaintiffs’ hard pull in the other direction, the opinions also suggest that presidents may in limited cases accept certain fixed benefits—as I will explain, these might be pensions from the U.S. state that used to employ them or money damages from a foreign country against which, in a past life, they successfully won a judgment. The key is that those benefits cannot be subject to foreign or domestic government manipulation or adjustment in connection with the presidential office.

This happens to be a sensible position that accords with what the opinions repeatedly underscore as the purpose of the Emoluments Clauses and the ultimate touchstone for interpreting their meaning: “to prevent corruption and foreign influence” and to bar “payments which have a potential of influencing or corrupting the integrity of the recipient.”


Why Language About Emoluments Is Easily Misused

A threshold issue before turning to the OLC literature is the confusion created by cherry-picking historical materials without consideration of their factual context. For example, in its motion to dismiss, the Justice Department followed the lead of some scholars in pulling some Supreme Court language that suggests the term “emoluments” applies only to salary and other duty-related benefits. Most notably, in Hoyt v. United States, 51 U.S. 109 (1850), the Court defines emoluments as “every species of compensation or pecuniary profit derived for a discharge of the duties of office” (emphasis added).

But in Hoyt, the Supreme Court was specifically asked to decide what constitutes an “emolument of office” per a statute governing Treasury Department collectors in their official capacity; the case did not require the Court to consider or rule on the existence of emoluments of other kinds. This is a key point for purposes of properly construing any Comptroller or OLC opinion that cites Hoyt and regurgitates its definition of “emoluments.” These opinions, like Hoyt, have to be read with an eye to their facts: they do not assert that “emoluments” must derive directly from discharge of duty; rather, the kind of emoluments at issue in those opinions was the kind derived for discharge of duty. As a consequence, the reliance on Hoyt in these opinions does not serve as evidence of a limiting principle for emoluments in general.

In short, as pointed out by the plaintiffs and by assorted scholars, the proper question for purposes of discerning the historical scope of “emoluments” is not whether the term could be interpreted in a restricted way, to refer only to benefits derived from discharging the duties of an office, but whether it was necessarily so interpreted at the time the Emoluments Clauses were drafted. As John Mikhail has painstakingly documented, the answer is no—and we don’t have to look at secondary sources, however authoritative (e.g., Black’s Dictionary) to draw that conclusion. Consider, for example, some of the constitutions ratified during the first of two major waves of state constitution-making in the Founding decade. Several included “common benefits clauses” that used the word “emoluments” in a way that simply defies narrow interpretation. The Pennsylvania Constitution (1776) provides: “That government is, or ought to be, instituted for the common benefit, protection and security of the people, nation or community; and not for the particular emolument of advantage of any single man, family or sett [sic] of men, who are a part only of that community[.]” Very similar language appears in the Virginia (1776), Vermont (1777), and New Hampshire (1784) constitutions. Far more elaborate historical arguments demonstrating the broad uses of the term have been presented elsewhere: see here, here and here. The bottom line is that there is an abundance of primary Founding-era material making use of the broad definition of emoluments, so it is wrong to use language from fact-bound case law to assert that the term is an inherently limited one.


The Plaintiffs Define “Emoluments” Too Broadly

Does that mean, as plaintiffs assert, that all types of benefits conferred on the president by foreign countries and U.S. states are prohibited emoluments? According to the Comptroller and OLC opinions, clearly not.

A number of opinions explain that officers do not need to forego fixed benefits to which they are entitled for reasons manifestly unrelated to and uninfluenced by their office. This is a common-sense interpretation of the Clauses that avoids rigidity for rigidity’s sake, where denial of benefits would do nothing to serve the Clauses’ anti-corruption, anti-influence purpose.

For instance, the Comptroller and the OLC each independently concluded that President Ronald Reagan could collect ordinary retirement benefits from California, where he had served as the state governor, without violating the Domestic Emoluments Clause’s prohibition against the receipt of “emoluments” from a State. In its 1983 opinion, the Comptroller determined that President Reagan’s pension from California “cannot be construed as being in any manner received in consequence of his possession of the Presidency.” Coming to the same conclusion in its earlier 1981 opinion, the OLC also noted that “those [retirement] benefits are not emoluments in the constitutional sense” and their receipt does not “violate the spirit of the Constitution.” To support its reasoning, the OLC in turn relied on a 1964 opinion (not published) where it similarly decided the estate of President Kennedy was entitled to the naval retirement pay that had accrued during his presidency. Interpreting the Foreign Emoluments Clause “in the light of its basic purposes and principles,” it concluded he could receive payments to which he was entitled as a matter of law “prior to his taking office.”

The same principles support allowing officers to collect on certain kinds of money judgments, even from foreign powers. In a 1955 opinion, the Comptroller decided that an attorney in the Justice Department could receive a lump sum payment and lifetime annuity from the German government for his wrongful removal from the judgeship he held before he emigrated to the United States, as provided by German indemnification legislation. The Comptroller reasoned that those payments did not constitute emoluments from his former office, but rather “represent damages payable as a direct result of a moral and legal wrong.” Turning to its “spirit of the Constitution” analysis, the Comptroller had no trouble determining the payments were not problematic: they were “obviously . . . not intended to influence him as an officer of the United States,” were made under laws not specific to him, and were not payments voluntarily made by the German government but rather mandatory indemnification required by the Allied powers. In a 1954 opinion on the same matter, the OLC came to a slightly different place—the payments were not permitted to the extent they amounted to German retiree benefits—but like the Comptroller, it found that damages intended to redress injury were not prohibited emoluments.

Note what these opinions have in common: they generally allow the officer in question to collect payments or benefits that, patently, have nothing to do with and cannot possibly have been affected by his U.S. office. That 1983 Comptroller opinion put it best, and contains a line worth repeating: President Reagan was entitled to his pension because it “c[ouldn’t] be construed as being in any manner received in consequence of his possession of the Presidency.”

Applying this general rule, it makes sense that presidents are permitted to invest in U.S. Treasury bonds; and the rule also explains why wealth management solutions like blind trusts have long been accepted as workable resolutions to problems of conflict of interest. But it certainly doesn’t provide clearance for all profits derived from discretionary, “fair-market-value” transactions where the president is obviously and individually on one end of the sale.


The Justice Department Defines “Emoluments” Too Narrowly

A key move in the Justice Department’s brief is to rely heavily on a point of dubious significance: it asserts that “in every published OLC or Comptroller General opinion in which proposed conduct was determined to involve prohibited emoluments, the determination involved an employment relationship (or a relationship akin to an employment relationship) with the foreign government.”

If you think about it, there’s at least one common-sense explanation for the limited precedent: In general, the government employees on whose behalf these opinions were sought probably didn’t own hotel chains, lucrative licensing agreements, or hundreds of trademarks from which they derived significant foreign-based or domestic government-based income. Their thing of value, as civil servants, was their skill set, and thus the relevant question was whether they were constitutionally permitted to lend out that skill set to foreign governments or organizations with foreign state ties for payment.

A 1986 OLC opinion written by then-Deputy Assistant Attorney General Samuel Alito cuts against the assertion that whether the profit in question is derived from employment or personal services should be, by itself, dispositive. There, Alito determined that a NASA employee could indeed accept a fee for reviewing a PhD candidate's thesis for an Australian university. To get to this conclusion, Alito made two significant moves. First, uncertain as to whether a public university should be regarded a "foreign state," Alito instead decided to turn to the features of the proposed consultancy and consider whether they "raise[d] the kind of concern . . . that motivated" the prohibition’s enactment. This marks a functional, purpose-driven approach to the question of permissible benefits. Second, he suggested the following facts weigh against finding the fee a prohibited emolument: (1) the NASA scientist was not selected because of his position with the U.S. government, (2) the fee was an ordinary amount given the service to be rendered, (3) there was no reason for the officer to have "direct contact" with the university officials, and (4) the consultancy was "limited both in time and in substantive scope," and no "continuing relationship" was anticipated.

Note that the fact the scientist would be acting in an employment or personal services capacity did not automatically render the payment an emolument. This is the key takeaway from this opinion, and it is at odds with the Justice Department’s claim that employment is the make-or-break issue when it comes to determining whether a benefit or payment is an emolument. Second, consider the implications of the first and fourth points Alito highlighted. The scientist’s selection for the job and associated payment had nothing to do with his U.S. office, which is not a conclusion that can be readily drawn about the services purchased by foreign and state government employees newly flocking to Trump International Hotel. It may suggest the permissibility of accepting profits from truly routine transactions by truly routine hotel customers, including some government diplomats—but this possibility is undercut by Alito’s reference to the extremely limited nature of the permitted relationship and transaction in question.

The Justice Department is understandably leaning hard on the idea that an emolument must be received specifically as a function of office or employment. After all, without this very specific qualification, its argument for the permissibility of accepting profits from ordinary transactions falls apart. Two OLC opinions make this clear.

A 1982 OLC opinion determined that the Foreign Emoluments Clause barred an employee of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission from working on his leave time for an American firm contracted by a Mexican government agency to review the design of a government-owned nuclear power plant. And a 1993 OLC opinion concluded that law firm partners serving as non-government advisors on the Administrative Conference of the United States could not accept partnership earnings “where some portion of that share is derived from the partnership’s representation of a foreign government” without triggering the constitutional prohibition. In the 1993 opinion, the OLC actually dismissed the argument that the conference member was not subject to the foreign government's “control” as “not decisive.” Instead, the OLC concluded that the portion of partnership profits the conference member would receive "would be a function of the amount paid to the firm by the foreign government," such that "the partnership would in effect be a conduit for that government." Acceptance of that portion of income was therefore a prohibited emolument (OLC reconsidered this opinion in 2010, but only with respect to whether the members held an “Office of . . . Trust” for purposes of the Foreign Emoluments Clause).

In these opinions, the OLC simply did not care that there was nothing out of the ordinary about the payments in these cases from a transactional or fair-market perspective. This runs contrary to the crux of the Justice Department’s argument for the innocuousness of Trump’s business-related foreign and domestic government income.

The textual kicker in all this is that even accepting the Justice Department’s insistence that “emolument” is best read to mean “profit arising from an office or employ” (Barclay’s A Complete and Universal English Dictionary on a New Plan (1774)), it doesn’t follow that all ordinary business transactions are okay: What if those transactions are, in number or value, enhanced by the prestige of the president’s office? Couldn’t the profit thereby derived then constitute “profit arising from an office or employ”? [Update, 5:17 pm: This is a line of argument that Marty Lederman compellingly and more thoroughly details here.]

It is to prevent this reading that the Justice Department argues that prohibited benefits must arise not just from the office but from the provision of services pursuant to that office. But this argument relies on a stunted conception of the power that an "Office of Profit or Trust" confers. To lift an example wholesale from Ben Wittes: If Trump owned a nondescript hotdog truck outside the White House that charged the same price for hotdogs as any other foodtruck and sold them to some incidental foreign customers, that would not be problematic under this definition of emoluments. If the truck were Trump-branded and either charged inflated prices or enjoyed inflated sales because Trump is president, and Saudi potentates lined up to put cash in his register, that would seem to constitute impermissible “profit arising from an office,” as a textual matter and in view of the historic Comptroller and OLC perspective.

At base, this is what plaintiffs are claiming—that the profits Trump is enjoying “aris[es] from” his office—so “aris[e] from” may be a definitional phrase the Justice Department is interpreting too narrowly. Trump’s status as the most powerful man in the world affects his business transactions, which are self-branded to boot. Not only is he enjoying booming business at his exclusive properties, in part thanks to foreign guests reportedly seeking to get in the president’s good graces, but he has also won Chinese trademark protection that, according to plaintiffs, he would not have received had he not become president.

Finally, on a practical note, notice the perverse upshot of the Justice Department’s fixation on employment and personal services as the place where the river divides. This assertion that payment for goods and business-related services is permissible but payment for employment and “personal services” is not means that a president can’t profit off his brain or body when it comes to cash from foreign sources or U.S. government entities, but can, without limitation, profit off the brains and bodies of those he can afford to employ in his private capacity. It’s what you might call a constitutional free pass for super-rich presidents.

The Comptroller and OLC opinions do not support such a result. They repudiate it.


Ultimately, the Justice Department’s view of emoluments marks a departure from the public Comptroller and OLC opinions in at least two critical respects. First, the new position is a clear abrogation of the practical “spirit of the Constitution” analysis on which the Comptroller and OLC have consistently relied to ensure a stringent rather than forgiving interpretation of what constitutes an impermissible benefit or undue influence (see, e.g., 1955 Comptroller Opinion, 1981 OLC Opinion, 1983 Comptroller Opinion; see also OLC 1962, noting “the sweeping nature of the constitutional prohibition”; OLC 1980, citing 1902 Attorney General Opinion stating the Foreign Emoluments Clause is “directed against every kind of influence by foreign governments upon officers of the United States” and the “prohibition should be given the broadest possible scope and application”). Second, the Justice Department’s quite specific argument that the president can profit from employing people to do business with foreign countries and government entities in the United States amounts to a strange carve-out, one that allows extremely wealthy officers with people in their employ to cash out as they wish on the advantages that the prestige of their office confers, without any consideration whatsoever of the sources of that cash. This interpretation is flatly at odds with executive branch tradition: I have yet to see a single opinion that has permitted an officer to collect profits even arguably enhanced by the power of his office, much less categorically benefit from discretionary, price-indeterminant transactions that foreign governments and U.S. government entities may enter into at will.

Note the issues I did not address here. What is not (yet) a point of debate in these particular lawsuits is whether these constitutional provisions apply to the president at all. The Domestic Emoluments Clause applies to the president by its express terms, and in its recent motion, the Justice Department doesn’t dispute CREW's claim, or the OLC’s preexisting determination, that the more obliquely phrased Foreign Emoluments Clause applies to the president as well (and notwithstanding the occasional argument to the contrary).

In addition, as the suits proceed in federal court, we can expect much of the legal discussion to focus on jurisdictional hurdles. There’s a strong argument that the courts don’t have a role to play, and that presidential corruption rising to the level of an emoluments violation is a political question whose resolution properly lies with Congress. Though the congressional suit spearheaded by Senator Richard Blumenthal and Representative John Conyers, Jr. alleges that Trump has failed to come to Congress for requisite permission in accepting foreign emoluments, Congress’s best recourse be impeachment proceedings. (Or if it so chose, Congress could avail itself of a lot of options short of impeachment, but in the words of Charles Black, Jr., circa 1974, “what an enormous if.” Recall that the House of Representatives has the power to demand Trump’s tax returns but has not exercised it.)

But as for the substantive question of whether the Comptroller and OLC of yore would have signed off on the Justice Department’s blessing of all monies flowing in by way of business transactions, the answer is “no.”

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          Herpes Pubic Hair Under Arms   

Your help to free a person who dares to denounce violations of human rights by

Choupinette Choupi Tuesday February 15, 2011, 16:54

The poet and journalist Angye Gaona was arrested. The Colombian government wants to silence her to keep the darkness of genocide. Angye Gaona Poet and witness stopped to think, Colombia, the country where the state has converted the act of thinking a crime. Angye Gaona, it is part of the committee organizing the International Festival of Poetry of Medellín.

Urgent international action is by his release and to denounce the Colombian state maintains more than 7,500 people jailed for "crimes of opinion" we are facing a real dictatorship camouflaged.

is an intolerable situation: each day they stop, are murder or disappearance of a political opponent, student union, a sociologist, a peasant ... Repression by the Colombian State against the Colombian people to appease his social claims is brutal.

It is urgent that the world moves in solidarity!

Signatures should be sent to: Aurora

Tumanischwili :

With only:

.. . I sign for the release of the poet Angye Gaona.

... With your first and last name, your "professional", your city and your country.

No link, but an email.

summary translation of this text :

Colombia is a country untouchable. The country is run by the American right. Unfortunately, once again, politicians, men of straw of the American right and wrong we want to do, with some exceptions, the international community avoid criticizing the Colombian Government. The international community silent all the abuses committed in Colombia the field of human rights.

A sampling of recent abuse of Colombian politics:

Have 7,500 political prisoners;
Dispose of Cabinet members involved in drug trafficking;
Having a connection between government and paramilitary groups;
Having a president also denounced for buying journalists
To win some voters, they believe they killed terrorists while the military has murdered innocent young people.

would have thought the international community if another country such as Ecuador, Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, etc.. This area had committed such acts?

Colombia is the only country in South America where U.S. bases are located and the Americans as corrupt Colombian politicians to believe that the Americans provide development assistance but this is false. Today, after the nightmare of Alvaro Uribe, Juan Manuel Santos chairs the country, the very man who chose to continue the policy of his predecessor. He was Minister of Defence under President Uribe with an army guilty of corruption and connections with the paramilitaries.

Day by day, human rights are trampled.

In the second week of January, the Government continued to imprison citizens opponents. One of felonies was the last stop Angye Gaona , Colombian poet and journalist, a woman who contends with the lowest single offense was to denounce the excesses that are discussed above. The government also as the prior art practice of Uribe's arrest disable members of associations which are respect for human rights. Angye was arrested with two students and a trade unionist.

Their technique: First they imprison people without charge, they keep them imprisoned for a year or so, to release them, saying they are innocent. In this way, they succeed to dismantle the social movements.

As for Kabila, we join the demand for the immediate issuance of Angye Gaona and all political prisoners who meet the Colombian jails. And we ask the Community Internationalequ'elle an end to excesses against human rights committed by the Colombian Government.

Other links: 20Gaona -a-bra-angye gaona.html
          How Much Does It Cost To Buy A Great White Shark   
In the Arab world, Islam and Western democracy means dictatorship

by Abdenur Prado - posted Friday, February 11, 2011
Source: UMMA . COM

The West finances dictators in the Middle East and the Arab world for over a century.
pro-democracy demonstrations against dictatorships supported by the West in the Arab world, shows once again the immense hypocrisy of our leaders. Which side Western governments are, with the demonstrators or the dictators? The answer is simple: the side of those who generate millions for the benefit of Western multinational corporations.

But that does not surprise anyone. It is well known that the West has funded more than a century of dictatorships in the Middle East and the Arab world because it is through the autocracies that [the West] were able to control the resources of this region. Even if this leads to the exploitation and misery of people facing decommissioning, orchestrated by the International Monetary Fund, their social services in order to repay foreign debt generated by the millions in arms purchases in the West ... As the aspirations of civil society, increasing poverty, torture and repression, lack of civil liberties and human rights ... No Western leader does not care at all. And all have shown, continuously, without exception, for over a century. Remarks made recently by Henry Kissinger are revealing in this regard: "We've had five presidents who have considered Hosni Mubarak as the best ally of the U.S. objectives in the region. "

Just out of the archives all the statements of Western leaders who praise the Arab tyrants: their economic policies, their continued political stability, their contributions to international security, that they safeguard secularism and prevent the advance of Islamist movements ... In short, for submission to the dictates of Western financial markets and the International Monetary Fund.

This overview does only one variable: whether or not the connivance with the State of Israel. This underscores the critical role of Israel vis-à-vis the maintenance of dictatorships in the Arab world, a fact corroborated by the comments made by Netanyahu in support of Ben Ali and Mubarak as well as decades of collusion with the family Royal Saudi monarchy and other issues of colonialism. No surprise then to learn that Israeli diplomacy has done everything possible to save Mubarak. It is true that Israel has cause for concern, not only for the danger posed by the rise of political Islam, but also because the democratic governments that might arise would maintain not only their country's complicity in the genocide of the Palestinian people. The open border between Gaza and Sinai is crucial for the survival of the Palestinian people. This is a convincing argument in favor of democracy in Egypt and the Middle East! And
"Islamism" in all this? It serves as a bogeyman to justify the support of dictatorships "secularists." However, it obscures the fact that the majority of parties "Islamists" in the Arab world accepted the idea of parliamentary democracy.
An example of this paradigm is that the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. In 1944 the founder, Hassan al-Banna, supported the participation in parliamentary elections, saying that the Egyptian constitution was "Islamic" because it recognized that the authority resides in the people, ensured the decision-making through consultation (Shura) and respect for individual freedoms. In some of his writings, he defends parliamentary democracy: "The bases of political organization based on the system of parliamentary representation does not contradict the fundamental principles that Islam has set in organization of power. "Since its founding, the Muslim Brotherhood have repeatedly stated that their intention is not to take power, but to educate society and to influence the system for Islamic ideals in justice being implemented. Despite this, they are portrayed as villains by the media manipulation and by Western governments. (I'm not a fan of the Muslim Brotherhood, but I am against their demonization. For their positions, see their website in English).

There is talk now of returning to Tunisia Rachid al-Ghannouchi, founder and historic leader of the party-Nahda in Tunisia, after 22 years of exile. According Ghannouchi, Islam provides a more fertile than that of the West to carry out democracy. There is a book of Azam Tamimi, where he studied his thought in detail, Rachid Ghannouchi: A Democrat within Islam, published by Oxford University Press. Among his ideals: "an Islamic system based on the will of the majority, free elections, free press, minority protection, equality between laity and religious parties, and achieving complete women's rights in all areas, participation in elections to the freedom to dress as they wish, the right to divorce, and even the right to be head of state. The role of Islam is to provide an ethical system. "

An ethical system that necessarily involves the abolition of usury Financial, which provides a minimum of social services for the entire population and the establishment mechanisms that prevent the accumulation of capital in the hands of a few individuals. An equally valid for Spain than for Egypt.

In Brief: Islamist movements are champions of democracy against tyranny corrupt funded by the West. It is curious to see how the terms were reversed at the point of passing the opposition, which demands democracy, for ... absolutists, and dictators that suppress civil liberties as saviors. The world upside down? The world seen through a mass media manipulation. That is to say, from a perspective of the interests of major Western financial corporations.

Translation: Amy Fetchman

          Avery Table Tents 5305   
Mohamed Hassan: "the causes of the revolution far beyond Tunisia Ben Ali and his party. "

Tunisians brought down the dictator Ben Ali. Today, they continue to fight against his men to head the transitional government. In this new chapter of our series "Understanding the Muslim world," Mohamed Hassan * ((photo-cons) explains the implications of the revolution of Tunisia and its root causes: how nationalism Liberal advocated by Tunisia under Bourguiba interests Western, plunging people into poverty, how a repressive state has put in place to maintain this system, why dictatorships in the Arab world are caused to fall, and how Islam became the condom imperialism

(Gregory Lalieu Michel Collon)

In December 2010, riots broke out in Tunisia. A month later, President Ben Ali fled the country after twenty-three year reign. What are the causes of this revolution? And why is it popular movement succeeded in bringing down the dictator where other attempts have failed?

For there to be a revolution, it is necessary that people refuse to live as before and that the ruling class is no longer able to govern as before. On December 17, 2010, Mohamed Bouazizi, a young seller of fruits and vegetables, has sacrificed out of desperation after police had confiscated his goods himself, and that local authorities have to stop working. The conditions were ripe for a revolution broke out in Tunisia Bouazizi and suicide was the trigger.

Indeed, the Tunisians did not want to live as before: they were not accepting corruption, police repression, lack of freedom, unemployment, etc.. Moreover, the ruling class could no longer govern as before. Corruption under Ben Ali had taken a phenomenal amount while the majority of the population had to face insecurity. To maintain this status, police repression would be higher but it had reached its limits. The ruling elite was completely disconnected from the people for whom there was no interlocutor. Therefore, when popular revolts broke out, the ruling class had no choice but to quell the violence. But with the determination of the people, the repression reached its limit. This is one of the keys to the success of the popular revolution of Tunisia: it managed to reach all segments of society, including members of the army and police who sympathized with the demonstrators. The repressive apparatus could no longer function as before either. If a revolt occurs but is not able to combine different segments society, it can not lead a revolution.

Even after the departure of Ben Ali, the protests continue. The situation that Tunisians refuse is not the result of one man? For

signs "Ben Ali emerges" signs were followed by "CDR releases. Tunisians are attacking the president's political party because they fear that one of his men to take power. But in reality, the root causes that led to revolt Tunisians far outweigh Ben Ali and the RCD. It is not enough to turn the president for the people earns his freedom and improves living conditions.

corruption, unemployment, social inequality ... What are the effects of imperialist domination of the West over Tunisia. For Tunisia, after independence, became a project of the United States.

What do you mean by imperialism?

Imperialism is the process by which capitalist powers politically and economically dominated by foreign countries. Western multinationals plunder the resources of Africa, Latin America and Asia. They find opportunities for capital they will accumulate and exploit cheap labor market. I say that multinationals are not buying as they plunder the resources at their fair value and the local people not benefiting from these riches. And this looting would not be possible if these countries operated, there were no leaders to defend the interests of multinationals. These leaders are getting richer in the process. They constitute the so-called comprador bourgeoisie. They have no political vision for their own country does not produce wealth and do not develop a real economy. But personally enriched by trading resources their countries with multinationals. Obviously, the people are the biggest victim in all this!

When you're a nationalist anti-imperialist cons, you are looking to develop for yourself. You nationalize key sectors of your economy, rather than leaving the management to foreign companies. This will create a national economy in the country and you allow it to grow on the basis of independence. That's what I call a national democratic revolution: national independent because of the imperialist powers, democratic as against feudalism and the elements reactionaries in the country.

However, Bourguiba, Tunisia's first president, was considered a socialist. And during his reign, the state played a very important role in the economy.

Bourguiba's political party was socialist in name only. If the state played an important role, it was only for the benefit of an elite only. This is called state capitalism. In addition, Bourguiba has systematically eliminated all the progressive elements and anti-imperialist in his party. So that this party became the party of one man, completely subject to U.S. imperialism.

Habib Bourguiba , great actor in the struggle for independence, was president of Tunisia from 1957 to 1987

What Was Tunisia important for the United States?

To understand the importance of that country to the U.S. strategy, we must analyze the political context of the Arab world in years 50 and 60. In 1952, officers overthrew the monarchy of King Farouk of Egypt and proclaim a republic. With Nasser at the helm Egypt becomes the basis of Arab nationalism inspired with revolutionary ideas of socialism. As evidenced by the nationalization of the Suez Canal, Nasser's arrival in power is a blow to the West because the Egyptian president's policy is totally at odds with the hegemonic Western powers in the Near and Middle East. Worse still: the anti-imperialist ideas of Nasser are emulated in the region. In Yemen for example, where in 1962 a revolution divided the country, the South becoming a bastion of Arab revolutionary movement. The same year, the independence of Algeria sends a strong signal to Africa and the Third World, the imperialist powers put on alert. Libya also note the Qaddafi coup in 1969. The colonel took power and nationalized major sectors of the economy, to the chagrin of the West. The same year, the Islamic revolution in Iran toppled the Shah, one of the most important pillars of U.S. strategy in the Middle East.

short, at that time, an anti-imperialist movement defies strong strategic interests of the United States in the Arab world. Fortunately for Washington, all countries in the region do not follow the path of Nasser. It the case of Tunisia. In 1957, a year after the independence of Tunisia, Bourguiba was one of the first Arab leaders to send U.S. in the prestigious journal, Foreign Affairs. The title of the article? Nationalism best antidote to communism. For the United States who want to counter the influence of Nasser is a godsend! Bourguiba wrote in his article: "With the regard, Tunisia has chosen to make unequivocal its way into the free world from the West." We are in the Cold War. The Soviets argued that Nasser's influence grows in the region. And the U.S. needs pro-imperialist agents Bourguiba as not to lose strategic control of the Arab world.

Nasser announced the nationalization of the Suez Canal in 1956

Can we be both nationalist and pro-imperialist?

Bourguiba was a liberal nationalist with anti-communist ideas which led him to join the imperialist camp in the West. In fact, I feel like George Padmore Bourguiba Arabic. Padmore was a leading Pan-Caribbean origin. In 1956 he wrote a book called Pan-Africanism or Communism: The battle ahead in Africa. Like Bourguiba, he fed anti-communist ideas and even if he declared himself a nationalist, his political vision was largely subservient to the interests of imperialist powers. Nationalism served as a cover, their policy is far from being independent. Padmore had a great influence on the first president of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah, one of the instigators of the African Union. Its pro-imperialist ideas were able to spread across the continent with the result that we see today is celebrated around the golden jubilee of independence in Africa, but many Africans know they have never become independent. President Nkrumah himself later regretted having taken the advice of Padmore.

In Tunisia too, the submission to imperialist interests has quickly been felt and it turned out that nationalism advocated by Bourguiba was a facade. In the 70s, for example, the President has passed a series of measures intended to attract foreign investors: tax exemption on company profits for ten years, exemption from all duties and taxes for twenty years, exemption from Tax Income property values, etc.. Tunisia has become a vast workshop of Western multinationals in recent repatriation of profits.

Tunisia did she not still been some good progress under Bourguiba?

Yes, there have been positive developments: education, status of women, etc.. First, because Tunisia were the progressives in his elite players, but they were quickly dismissed. Then, because Tunisia was to be dressed in his finest dress. Indeed, this country played a major role in the strategy of the United States to counter the influence of communism in the Arab world. But what had you on the other side? Progressive revolutionary movements that had toppled backward and monarchies who enjoyed popular support. You could not counteract this movement by advocating a feudal system. Saudi Arabia has done so because it could use its oil money for that. But Tunisia, unable to rely on such resources, should provide some progressive image. In the fight against communism, it was supposed to represent a successful Third World countries have chosen the path of liberal nationalism.

But behind the scenes was less flattering. As I said, Bourguiba has systematically eliminated the progressive elements that do not follow his steps. The anti-imperialists who wanted an independent Tunisia both economically and politically, those who wanted to assert their own position in the Third World and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, all were opposed. Tunisia has in fact been used as a laboratory of the imperialist powers. And what was supposed to represent the success of liberal nationalism has become a dictatorship.

When Ben Ali Bourguiba succeeded in 1987, he continues on the same track?

Absolutely. One can even say that the submission to Western interests has grown. Ben Ali was a pure agent of U.S. imperialism. In 1980, as ambassador to Poland, he even served as a liaison between the CIA and Lech Walesa, the union leader who fought against the Soviet Union.

In 1987, when Ben Ali assumed the presidency of Tunisia, the country was deeply in debt by the capitalist crisis of 1973. Moreover, at that time, the ideas of Milton Friedman and his Chicago Boys were very popular. These ultra-liberal economists believed that the market is an entity capable of regulating themselves and that the state should certainly not interfere in the economy. The technical elite Tunisian largely from U.S. schools were highly influenced by theories of Friedman. Ben Ali then left the state capitalism in effect at the beginning of the era Bourguiba. Under the supervision of the IMF and World Bank, he began a privatization program much more massive than what his predecessor had already begun in the 70s.

What were the effects of this new economic policy?

First, privatization of the Tunisian economy has allowed Ben Ali and his wife's family, Trabelsi, personal enrichment. Corruption has reached a very high level, Tunisia has become a country totally subservient to imperialism, headed by a comprador bourgeoisie. Obviously, Ben Ali and his clan did not have many raw materials to selling out to Western multinationals. But they took advantage of the education system established under Bourguiba to develop a service economy. Indeed, the Tunisian workforce is highly educated and inexpensive at a time. It therefore attracts foreign investors.

Tourism has also developed strong as to become the mainstay of the Tunisian economy. Here we see the lack of political vision of the elite. Indeed, no country can develop its economy based on tourism if not first developed a national economic base. The tourism industry consumes a lot but reported very little to the Tunisian people. Imagine: while Western tourists consume hectoliters of water to bask in pools, Jacuzzis or golf course, the poor peasants in the south face of the drying soil.

But it's not just the farmers who have suffered from this policy. Overall, the social conditions of the Tunisian people deteriorated while the president's entourage has amassed a huge fortune. Everyone knew the regime was corrupt. So to maintain this system, the system should prevent any disputes. The repression became even more brutal penny Ben Ali simple criticism or even the desire for modernity and openness were not allowed. Such a situation could lead to popular revolt. Moreover, trying to monopolize his clan the wealth of the country, Ben Ali has also drew the ire of some of the traditional bourgeois Tunisia.

You say that political repression was very strong. Is there anyway today, opposition forces can guide the people's revolution now that Ben Ali has fallen?

Genuine opposition parties were banned under Ben Ali. However, some continued to exist underground. For example, the first Tunisian Communist Party could not live openly and organize like any political party in a democracy. But he continued to operate secretly through associations of civil society (teachers, farmers, doctors, prisoners ...). The PGWPP was able to form a social base and fired a solid experience of this period. It is exceptional in the Arab world.

I think two major challenges now await the opposition parties. First, they must come forward and make themselves known to the general public in Tunisia. Then they must organize a united front of resistance to imperialism. In fact, the imperialist powers seek to maintain the system without Ben Ali Ben Ali. We see now with the Union government National rejected the Tunisians, which is very positive. But the imperialist powers will not stop there. They will certainly seek to impose an International Electoral Commission to support candidates who defend to their best interests. It is therefore necessary to resist interference by creating a united front to build a true democracy.

Opposition parties are they able to overcome their differences to create such a front?

I know that some political parties were reluctant to associate Islamo-nationalist movement Ennahda. This movement emerged in the 80s. He advocated an anti-imperialist line and in fact, has suffered political repression. Why not combine Ennahda in front of resistance to the interference of foreign powers? Tunisia is a Muslim country. It is normal that a political force emerges with an Islamo-nationalist trend. You can not prevent that.

But each of these movements must be studied separately, with its own specificities. This was done by the communist PGWPP. They studied scientifically objective conditions that apply Tunisia. Their conclusion is that the Communists and Islamo-nationalists have been victims of political repression and that even though their programs differ, they share common ground: they want an end to dictatorship and the independence of Tunisia. The Communists have proposed an alliance with the Islamo-nationalists long ago. Of course, the PGWPP does not make Tunisia a Islamic state. Its political agenda is different from that of al-Nahda. But it is the Tunisian people who will judge these differences democratically. Elections should be a contest open to everyone. That is true democracy.

Precisely opposition parties gathered in front of 14 January to fight against the interim government of Mohamed Ghannouchi, a henchman of former President Ben Ali. A hopeful sign?

Absolutely, Tunisia is on the right track: all opposition parties banned so far have created a united front to prevent the system is maintained without Ben Ali Ben Ali. Also underline the role played by the base of the union UGTT. The head of the union authorized under Ben Ali was corrupt and working with the state police. But since the basis of the union put pressure on its leaders and members who UGTT were part of the transitional government have resigned. Although much remains to be done, democracy wins Tunisian institutions under pressure from the people.

Western powers opposed to that. They want to impose democracy in Tunisia where only low-intensity "good" candidates would be allowed to stand for election. If you look at the type of democracy that the United States enjoy, you come across Ethiopia. The U.S. government has provided $ 983 million to countries in the Horn of Africa for the year 2010. That same year, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, in office since 16 years, was reelected with 99.5 percent of the vote! It's even better than Ben Ali! The reality is this: behind their rhetoric in support of the Tunisian people, the Western powers continue to actively support many other Ben Ali in the world.

The United States could not they support other candidates pro-imperialist, but in the eyes of Tunisians, were not associated with the Ben Ali era?

It would be difficult. There is a part of the comprador bourgeoisie which was lésinée by the corrupt system of Ben Ali. But this elite is not strong enough control the popular movement and not enough grounding in the Establishment to win.

The United States had also thought of another strategy: a few months ago, while Ben Ali was still in power, the U.S. ambassador has visited a Communist leader in prison. Officially, a simple observation visit in the framework of respect for human rights. Unofficially, the U.S. anticipated the departure of Ben Ali and wanted to test the waters. Their goal was to get the Communists against the Islamo-nationalists, divide the resistance to imperialism to weaken more. But the Communists Tunisia does not fall into the trap. They are very familiar with the strategy developed by Henry Kissinger in the 80s in the Middle East. They published a very good study on the subject and know they should not take orders from outside or adhere to ideologies manufactured by foreign powers.

Why the U.S. have they abandoned Ben Ali? Had he gone too far in personal enrichment? According to a cable Wikileaks, the U.S. ambassador was very critical of the system of quasi-mafioso Tunisian president, organized corruption are obstacles to investments by foreign companies.

This is not the problem. The United States does not care about corruption. Instead, it is a key element of the system of domination on the U.S. South. In fact, Washington was aware of the internal situation in Tunisia and knew that Ben Ali would not be able to govern. The West must now ensure that the replacement of Ben Ali will continue to defend their interests. The stakes are high. The capitalist crisis is causing serious problems in the West. Besides this, China is getting stronger and now provides more loans than the World Bank and other imperialist powers combined. She even wants to buy a significant portion of the debt of the euro area partly because it has economic interests with European countries, on the other imperialist powers to divide, the EU is historically associated with states USA.

In such a context, the Tunisian people's movement, under the auspices of a revolutionary leadership, could establish an independent government and take advantage of this situation of a multipolar world. The imperialist powers fear that countries that were traditionally under his rule become economically independent, turning also to China. Tunisia could build relationships with the Asian giant to develop its commercial ports. And it would seriously question the concept of the Mediterranean Dialogue, this expansion of NATO to the countries of the Mediterranean that is not a dialogue but a mere instrument of Western domination.

Another country that seems to fear democracy in Tunisia and in the region, Israel. Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom said shortly after the fall of Ben Ali that the development of democracy in Arab countries threaten Israel's security. This country often called only democracy in the Middle East, would he be afraid of competition?

Under a democratic facade, Israel is a fascist, apartheid state. In the region, it can not ally with repressive dictatorial states, led by comprador bourgeoisie that weaken the body of the Arab nation. Currently, these Arab states are rich countries inhabited by poor people. But if a democratic government in the full sense of the term emerges, it will increase economically the Arab nation as a whole. And this economic development will lead to an alliance of Arab countries against the state racist oppressing the Palestinians. Israel fears this course.

Moreover, there is a very big gap between the official positions of Arab dictatorships and the popular sentiment about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Since Egyptian President Sadat visited Israel in 1977, Egypt's position is "we want peace." But it is a position imposed by force to the population. And the current Egyptian government is not content to maintain peaceful relations with Tel Aviv. It participates actively in the strangulation of Gaza, while the majority of Egyptians in solidarity with Palestinians.

It's the same alignment of Arab dictatorships on Washington politics. Tunisia, Saudi Arabia and Egypt are allies of the United States while the populations of these countries are anti-imperialists. I was in Egypt when Muntadhar al-Zaidi, a journalist in Iraq, threw his shoes on George W. Bush. The Egyptian population was celebrated as a hero. I heard of fathers wanting to marry their daughter with the reporter. Still, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is one of the most faithful allies of Washington.

Do you think the revolution Tunisia a domino effect could cause the downfall of other dictatorships in the Arab world?

70% of the population in Arab countries is less than thirty years and knows that unemployment, police repression and corruption. But all these young people want to live. And to live, they need change. This is the reality of each country. It is therefore not even need a domino effect, the objective conditions are ripe for further revolutions erupt.

People no longer want to live as before. But for their part, the ruling classes are they unable to govern as before?

course. And we see in Egypt today. There are police everywhere in this country. But it is impossible to control everything. A state police has its limitations and the Arab world have reached.

Furthermore, information plays a very important role today. Tunisians, Egyptians and peoples of the Third World are better informed through Al-Jazeera as part of an Internet and social networks on the other. The evolution of information technology has increased the level of education and consciousness of people. The people no longer a mass of illiterate peasants. You have a lot of very smart young people, with a certain practical sense, able to circumvent censorship and of mobilizing the Internet.

there in these countries the opposition forces can guide the popular revolutions?

Why Punishment is so important if these dictators were not in danger? Why the comprador bourgeoisie, so greedy, she would spend so much money in the repressive apparatus if she was not afraid to be reversed? If there was no opposition, all this would not be necessary.

the side of Western observers, many fear that the collapse of these regimes Arab favors the rise of Islamism. As summarized so finely Christophe Barbier, editor of L'Express, "Ben Ali is better than the bearded." These fears proved on of Islamism are they based?

Islamism became the condom of imperialism. Western powers justify their strategy of domination in the Arab-Muslim world under the guise of fighting against Islam. There are Islamists everywhere today. Soon, we shall find even traces of Al-Qaeda on Mars if it is useful to the imperialists!

In reality, the West has always needed to invent an enemy to justify its hegemonic designs and incredible military spending (financed by taxpayers). After the fall of the Soviet Union and the demise of the communist enemy is Islam and Al Qaeda who have played the roles of villains villains.

But the West has no problem with Islamism. It adapts very well to this trend in countries like Saudi Arabia. Moreover, he himself fostered the rise of Islamist movements to counter the Arab nationalism at a time. The real problem for the West is anti-imperialism. That's why he tries to discredit any popular movement in the Arab world who is opposed to its interests by affixing the label "Islamist."

Finally, it should not be very smart to think that the Arab dictatorships are bulwarks against the rise of religious fanaticism. Instead, these repressive regimes have led some of the population to be radicalized. Who could afford to say that such and such people have no right to democracy? In a truly democratic country, different political forces may emerge. But the bourgeoisie comprador ruling in the Arab dictatorships can not convince people. She can not even face to face. To defend the imperialist interests, you must prevent other political forces to emerge because they are likely to convince the people against a corrupt elite. The West has always sought to maintain dictatorships that served its interests by waving the specter of Islamism. But the Arab peoples need democracy. They claim it today and nobody can not go against these claims.

          Zumba Before And After Picutures   
Democratic Transition in Tunisia

"Tunisia is between radical and authoritarian democracy"
EROS BY SANA (January 31, 2011)

Source: http://www.bastamag .net/article1401.html

How to build the democratic transition in Tunisia? Vincent Geisser, a researcher at the Institute for Research and Studies on the Arab and Muslim world, analyzes the role played by different actors in Tunisia - political opponents, former regime of Ben Ali, "Islamist" party, army, police - and foreign powers. It describes possible scenarios of democratic consolidation in the coming weeks. Maintenance.

Basta! : Where is the revolution in Tunisia? What are the strategies of the opposing forces to build the "transition Democratic?

Vincent Geisser [1]: The "democrats" Tunisians who supported and accompanied the revolution are deeply divided over the future of the protest movement. There are those who feel the need to strengthen the nascent democracy by putting a definitive end to the protest process. They are supporters of a certain security standards, based on a historic compromise between the "doves" of the former regime, opponents and independent representatives UGTT single union (the General Union of Tunisian Workers). They want to consolidate the democratic transition, including by dealing with the army and the party more "healthy" of the security apparatus, as well as some former bosses of the regime known for their "openness." This is the position advocated by Najib Chebbi (Democratic Progressive Party), former opponent in Ben Ali, currently Minister of the transitional government.

Others want to eradicate all traces of the old regime and the party-state, and reject any compromise. This is where supporters of Marzouki (Congress for the Republic) and members of the Communist Party of Tunisian Workers (POCT). And of course leaders movement of "unemployed graduates" of the interior. They wish to push through the "democratic revolution" to give birth to a new political, economic and social development. Both camps have no real difference in political culture, they are animated by democratic ideals. What separates them fundamentally, the strategy of rupture and especially the "democracy agenda".

What remains of the old regime?

There is some disappointment today protesting actors, quite understandable - I think particularly young people "unemployed graduates". But there is no objective risk of returning to the old regime or system restore mafia. A break has occurred. The dictator is gone. This is a crucial element when it is known that while Tunisia was around him, with extreme personalization of power. mafia clans and profiteers - families Ben Ali, Trabelsi and others - have fled. Darkest segments of the security apparatus were largely dismantled.

If we can legitimately understand the disappointment of " radical democrats, "as Marzouki, Hammami, Nasraoui, and unemployed graduates who feel that their revolution was stolen, the former regime is ousted. We are in a transition phase. But this transition can lead to a regime that bastard would an independent candidate access to presidential power, with new elements but also with elements of the old regime. This will lead to reinforce a kind of "authoritarian democracy" or "democratic authoritarianism".

What role did the Tunisian army played in the revolution and what role can it play in the future?

The army has been in recent weeks a fundamental role, not supporting the plan of repression of Ben Ali. She clearly rejected the extreme policies of the supreme leader, and instead played a protective role players protesters. The reason? The army is not connected with the mafia and clan interests of power. Unlike Egypt, Syria or even Algeria, Tunisia army has no direct interest in industry or in the management of oil revenues. It is an army of about 35,000 men, composed of employees, officials, technicians and engineers.

should not be provided to paint a romantic portrait. The Tunisian army played a repressive role in 1978 to channel the social movements, and in 1981 and 1984 to quell the "bread riots". This time, she refused the role because the sources of legitimacy of the regime were exhausted. Ben Ali was discredited, corruption was widespread. Faced with this stalemate, the military has understood that the only solution was to replace the dictator.

This reaction - some would say "Republican" - is primarily dictated by pragmatic: generals and senior officers are convinced that a crackdown could lead to chaos and their own demise. As the "political fluidity" present, the Tunisian army can play a more important role in the constitutional process and the "pacification" social, oscillating between registry and registry security mediation with the forces of the country.

"security apparatus" Tunisia is it still present and operational?

France has 60 million inhabitants, Tunisia 9 million. Yet both countries have almost the same number of police officers: 135.000. is huge! Tunisia is one of the countries with the most police per capita. The security apparatus, through the Ministry of Interior is fully engaged in repression. Part of the police fired into the crowd with live ammunition. It is the security apparatus of Ben Ali who is responsible for nearly 70 deaths officially deplored and thousands injured. But the whole apparatus police is not corrupt: the "rotten" mafia of the security apparatus was largely dismantled.

There is more to fear from areas of the Department of the Interior directly to the clans and Ben Ali Trabelsi. They are currently in hiding. I do not believe in a return of "old demons" even if the future Tunisian democracy can deal with safety trends similar to those we see now in France with Nicolas Sarkozy. In this sense there is a danger of creating in Tunisia in the coming months an "authoritarian democracy".

What role can the "Islamists" in the democratic process?

The "Islamists" Tunisians have long been integrated into "democratic forums." They are "fundamentalists embedded" in the democratic debate in exile. They participated in Paris, London, Marseille numerous opposition rallies, alongside the left, communist, socialist, even anti-Islamic. Many leaders of the left Tunisian 'secular' leaders have frequently met with "Islamists". In many ways the 'fundamentalists' are already integrated into the political game of Tunisia.

For the party Ennahdha (Renaissance) Rached Ghannouchi, the model is not radical Islam or Islamism Salafi Saudi-style, but the AKP, which currently leads Turkey. This means accepting the parliamentary game and advocating economic liberalism tinged social, and especially a certain pragmatism with other Democrats. There is a huge myth about "Islamists" of Tunisia. The party Ennahdha is more of a liberal conservative party, which is not at all in a process of creating an Islamic state or Islamic theocracy. The Islamists classic "Tunisians are now looking to Ankara, they did nothing" green fascists. " How

react today Western countries and Arab neighbors?

The United States has played a leading role in the departure of Ben Ali.
support President Barack Obama to the social movement, even if he was shy, was much sharper than that of France. Beyond this symbolic support, it would seem that the Obama administration has given its support to the Tunisian army and "doves" of the regime (Mohamed Ghannouchi, Prime Minister and Kamel Morjane, the Minister of Foreign Affairs) to sacrifice Ben Ali. It is clear that the United States supported the transition scenario.

Regarding the Arab countries, we can really worry that some plans make every effort to derail the democratic process in Tunisia. Saudi Arabia, Libya, Algeria has no interest in a democracy can arise in the Arab world. A "loose coalition" of Arab dictators could be to sabotage or disrupt the democratic process in Tunisia.

Support from U.S., EU and France to Tunisian Democrats is essential. Either you play the card of democracy in the Arab world or, rather, play an ambiguous role and promotes the perverse game of Saudi Wahhabis, the megalomaniac dictatorship of the regime of Gaddafi and Algerian generals. In this case, we should not complain about the progress of the Salafist jihadist ideology!

How Does France have made such errors of analysis on the situation of Tunisia?

The official position of France was not based on an error analysis, but on a political logic of total and blind support for Ben Ali regime. Interpret the statements of Michele Alliot-Marie as a political mistake is wrong. This is not a political mistake, this is a failing policy. France has always supported authoritarian regimes . She believes that one does diplomacy in relations between States and civil societies are not important.

The United States have both supported Ben Ali and developed concrete relations with unions and all the dissidents of the regime. In contrast, France has always prohibited its diplomacy to have any contact with everything that could affect the quality of its relations with Ben Ali. This blindness is the logic of French policy towards the Arab world: "We support dictators against the risks of destabilization! It seems that France has included a number of mistakes. Hopefully it reorients its policy towards Tunisia openly supporting the democratic process.

What are the possible scenarios in the weeks and months ahead?

Tunisia has a choice between two options. Either authoritarian democratic consolidation that would lead the country until elections, with a broad coalition around an opponent as independent Nejib Chebbi (PDP), with some elements of former regime elements and the trade union left. In this case, the elections will certainly be "democratic" (at least in appearance), but the scenario is first "programmed" the government candidate will have particular ways superior to those of its opponents. This scenario of "managed democracy" is intended to protect Western interests and pursue the integration of Tunisia in the "world economy" in the footsteps of the Bank World Bank and the IMF. A scenario where the candidate would be a sort of "Tunisian Ouattara.

Another assumption: the pressure of the street continues or increases and pushes the government to resign or to go much further, with the dissolution of the party of Ben Ali (RCD), the establishment of a genuine process with the constitutional election of a constituent assembly. Total semi-democracy or democracy? Radical break with the old regime or consolidation autoritaro-democratic? This is how I would put the political future of Tunisia. A future which, in all cases, will be without Ben Ali.

Interview by Eros Sana

Notes [1] Vincent Geisser is a sociologist and researcher at the CNRS and the Institute for Research and Studies on the Arab and Muslim world (IREMAM). He is author, with Marzouki, dictators on borrowed time. A democratic path in the Arab world, editions of L'Atelier, 2009.

          Copper Pipe Freezing Point   
Paris on the Nile

To keep a little of that light, sunshine and sweetness, columns, plant, tops and bas-reliefs of sphinxes, which dream ... I ' I ran Paris to find traces of Egypt, I found it and ready to smile sometimes, follow me!

the 17th century already ...
A Pierre Aubert, responsible for collecting tax on salt, the salt tax partnership building in the Marais a mansion . Built between 1656 and 1659 , the scenery is especially entrusted to the brothers Marsy. It Hotel Salé (5 rue de Thorigny, Paris 75004), Picasso museum since 1985.
Two sphinxes (lion body and bust of woman), with front paws crossed . A garland covers the sides and nemes (Egyptian headdress) is topped with crenellated towers
(I admit not having seen such Egypt ...)
Here is one who watches!

Not far away, along the Seine , 2a Wharf Celestine, 4 th arrondissement, the hotel door Fieubet (Gaspard Fieubet, Chancellor of Queen Marie-Therese) is guarded by two sphinxes,
that as the left wing and courtyard garden on the back cover are from the time of construction and renovation by the Sweat and Vicott on plans by architect Jules Mansart Hardoin in the years 1676 - 1681 . For the rest, since 1857 the hotel is a pastiche of Baroque Italian-English.

Along the Seine - stop at the Louvre, Egyptian Antiquities destination, if the desire is there, of course! - You can reach the garden of Tuileries (75001), near la Concorde to find " the Nile," marble, by Lorenzo Ottone ( 1688 - 1692)

This Italian sculptor (1658-1736) is best known for its baroque statues religious (cons-reform) in Rome.

In the next century, 18 th , and a long way to go to the park Bagatelle (Bois de Boulogne Route de Sevres to Neuilly and Allée de Longchamp , Paris 75016). Sphinxes ... by two, before the castle (18th century Folly built by the Comte d'Artois in 1777 after a bet with Queen Marie-Antoinette) ...

Oops! these, the garden, are well suited ... Egyptian character really, is not it?

A pair, controlled by Lhuillier 1778 by Belanger, architect of the Comte d'Artois to the steps of the castle. Lhuillier subcontracted in sculpture at Philip Lawrence Rolland (1746-1816) and fought in 1781.

And ... Bonaparte and then the campaign and the shipment Egypt (1798-1801).
A fighter, Maximilian Cafarelli, General (Engineering) to the wooden leg , scholar and philosopher, who held a key role in preparing the expedition will give Egypt as far his talent to improve the protection of Cairo, facilitate liaison between Alexandria and the Nile, participate in the creation of the Institute of Egypt. Creations of bread ovens, construction of windmills, water supply, irrigation, urbanization, conservation of "objects antique ", etc.. its activities are manifold.
He follows Napoleon en route to Syria, attended the massacre of Jaffa, and died before St. Jean d'Acre: the failure of Bonaparte the end of the dream of the Orient!
Even if little known, a street named after him, close to Temple Street (75003)

Part of Toulon, the expedition took with her soldiers but also 167 scientists, engineers and artists Members of the Commission of Science and Arts: Dolomieu geologist, mathematician Gaspard Monge (a founder of the Ecole Polytechnique), the chemist Claude Louis Berthollet , Vivant Denon, the mathematician Jean-Joseph Fourier, physicist Etienne-Louis Malus , naturalist Etienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire , engineer Nicolas-Jacques Conté the Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers are part of the trip, the sculptor Jean-Jacques Castex ...
Dolomieu Scientists (since 1879), Malus (since 1879), Berthollet, Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire and Monge have a street in their name in the 5 th Borough Street Monge constituting a sort of central axis.

Deodat Dolomieu (1750-1801), is recruited by the chemist Berthollet January 4, 1798 to participate in the expedition to Egypt. Upon landing on Egyptian soil, he undertook the verification of spatial data he had read in ancient authors, Greek and Latin . At the same time, following his experience in Malta he set up and monitor mills, grinding wheels, gears, flour and ovens for the manufacture of rolls of the army of General Bonaparte East. Urged by his friend Sucy, chief officer of the army of the East, returning to France with him, refuses Dolomieu, as two more months living in Egypt are necessary for the study of the Nile delta. This in turn will be captured in Calabria by Queen of the Two Sicilies. Stripped of its collections and manuscripts, it survives very painfully in a cell with almost no light with a few books he has managed to hide. This prison, as a criminal State in a dark dungeon of Messina in Sicily, will last 21 months. Dolomieu owed his deliverance to the military victory of Bonaparte at Marengo, June 14, 1800. Marked by his captivity, he died 17 months later.
It owes its name to the sustainability of mineral and rock that he discovered, dolomite.

Etienne-Louis Malus , physicist and mathematician (1775-1812) working to study Light . He participated in the expedition and became a member of the Institute Egypt

Claude Louis Berthollet (1748 - 1822) chemist , hand in Egypt in the Committee of Science and Arts, where he joined the Institute Egypt in the physics section and was elected vice president. He was elected president the following year. He made important research on natron to enable it to develop his theory on the affinities. In 1802 he was appointed chairman of the committee responsible for preparing the Description of Egypt .

During the expedition, Etienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire , French naturalist (1772 - 1844) passion for archeology to zoology as well as because he found in some graves animal mummies. He studied diligently birds, monkeys, crocodiles
(in Paris it!)
and snakes of Egypt, collected many specimens and made many communications various topics. After the surrender of French troops (August 1801), he played bitterly to the English collections he had so much trouble to set up and managed to return them intact in France they are so rich that their inventory it takes several years

Gaspard Monge (1746-1818) was a mathematician whose work touches to descriptive geometry, infinitesimal analysis and analytic geometry. After playing a major role in the French Revolution, both politically and in terms of establishing a new education system, He is responsible for mission in the expedition to Egypt (1798-1799).

Jean-Jacques Castex , (1731-1822), sculptor and is part of the Expedition to Egypt.
In January 1799, he accompanied the geographer Bertre engineer in his trip to Fayoum and is part of the commission led by Girard, who share Cairo March 19, 1799 for Upper Egypt . He creates a wax model, reduced to a third of Dendera Zodiac.
He is still famous to be carved on the great temple of Philae , registration
"year 6 of the Republic on 15 Messidor / a French army / commissioned by Bonaparte, / is down in Alexandria. / The army has taken twenty days, / the Mamelukes at the Pyramids on the run, / Desaix, commanding the first division, / has on undergraduate beyond the cataracts, / where he arrived on 13 of Ventose year 7. / The brigadiers / Davoust, Friant and Belliard, / Donzelot Chief of Staff, / Latournerie comm. of artillery / Eppler, Chief the 21st light / 13 Ventôse 7 of the Republic / March 3, year of Christ 1799. / Engraved by Castex sculptor.
Castex Street is close to the Rue St Antoine and bd Henri IV (75004)

" County has all the sciences in the head and all the arts in hand. " said Monge.
Nicolas Jacques Conte (1755-1805), invented the pencil as we know even today, consisting of a graphite mine and clay inserted in a body made of cedar wood. He was also one of the organizers of National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts . He took part in the expedition to Egypt with the dual capacity as head of brigade balloonists and director of engineering workshops. As such, it has created and is creating all sorts of instruments and tools.
From August 22, 1798, Conte was a member of the first Institute of Egypt, commissioned by the then government to lead the creation of great work that the commission would publish Egypt, Description Egypt.
Street County is in the 3 rd district, very close to the Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers
Mentioned several times, the engravings of the Description of Egypt is exciting and always consult a reference. Do not hesitate, just one click! careful surveys that are the source of these illustrations are due mostly to two boys, Prosper Jollois and Edouard Devilliers . These two men, engineers fresh out of the Ecole Polytechnique, arrive in Egypt in 1799. Members of the subcommittee that studied the regime of the Nile and the irrigation system, they are much more passionate for ancient monuments they discover. Soon completed their tasks, they "devour" the monuments. "The temples of Dendera, Esneh, Edfu, Kom Ombo, Philae, Luxor and Karnak and Thebes, the ancient Antinoe" erected by the Roman emperor Hadrian, come alive in their pencils.

Enthusiast entry Bonaparte in Cairo, Paris gave in 1799 the name Passage of Cairo, and Cairo Street (75002) tract newly created site of the former convent of the Filles-Dieu sold in batches to the revolution.

Here the facade of the building au, 2 place in Cairo (75002), of style "return from Egypt", unique in Paris tree and surprising! Oh! Beautiful Hathor!

A fountain 'return from Egypt "Is the fountain of Fellah at 42 rue de Sevres (75007), right beside the metro station Lapwing. This fellah, it would Antinous, a young favorite of the Roman emperor Hadrian.
A semicircular basin collects water flowing from two amphorae he holds in his hand. At the bottom of the fountain, a grotesque head of a lion. A Napoleonic eagle dominates all under the roof of the fountain.

Designed by Jean-François Bralle (1750-1832) and sculpted by Pierre Nicolas Beauvallet, it dates from 1806 .

Directorate on 19 th borough and at 211 Avenue de la Villette The fountain of lions Nubian . Built Place du Chateau d'Eau (now Republic Square) in 1811, it was renovated and transferred to the slaughterhouses of La Villette, where she served as a watering place for animals, when enlargement of the square in 1867. architecture was made by engineer Pierre Simon Girard (1765-1835), designer Ourcq canal, and the realization by the workshops at Le Creusot.
It has its place today at the Grande Halle de la Villette.

Jean-Francois Champollion (1790-1832) decipher the hieroglyphics on September 27 1822.
At Pere Lachaise Cemetery (75020), it lies beneath an obelisk .
It is very close to his friend the mathematician Jean-Joseph Fourier, who participated in the expedition to Egypt ...
friendly hands still lay stones and beetles ... double click on the picture to zoom , and look carefully on the edge of the base! Then the cursor on the back arrow at the top left of the screen in front of you, and click to go back on the blog!
the Père Lachaise cemetery if eclectic, there are also pyramids !

Between the Louvre and Opera, Underground station Pyramids

Seen in a window on the Rue de la Paix ...

Well no!
"The body of a goddess" of the Middle or new empire (2033-1069 BC), now in the Louvre, a gallery of Egyptian antiquities. Beautiful, is not it?

the center of the Place de la Concorde (75008) the obelisk of Luxor, offered to France in 1831 by the Viceroy of Egypt, Muhammad Ali, arrived and erected in October 1836.
Transportation of this monolith of pink granite, 230 tons and 23 meters tall, was an epic: it took two and a half years to ship , specially created for this event, arriving in France.

Originally, the obelisk and its Twin carved there are over 3000 years were placed on each side of the door of the Temple of Thebes, Luxor in Upper Egypt .

The cartridge Ramses II ...

must pass through the Tuileries Gardens to meet a Sphinx on the intersection of the Quai des Tuileries, Avenue du General Lemonnier . It arrived in Paris in 1855 with the spoils of war taken in Sevastopol by General Pélissier. (source

On your way into the garden, you can cross this another sphinx, seated in front of marble the "Venus Callypige, after the antique" Francis Barois (1656-1726)

can certainly look back towards the Louvre pyramid superb which I do not dwell in deference to his architect, M . Pei who rejects Egyptian inspiration ... It's like you want!

To reach the Place du Chatelet 75001, just not from the bridge ... but along the Seine ... here the fountain of Palm!
Napoleon I shaved the Grand Châtelet in 1802, and there built a fountain by Jean-François Bralle, between 1806 and 1808 to commemorate his victories and give free drinking water to Paris .

Circled ring bearing the names of the campaigns in Egypt and Italy, the column the fountain is decorated with palm leaves that give it its name Palmier fountain.

The four sphinx crouching in foot of the basement, which feeds the lower pool, were designed by Gabriel Davioud (1824-1881), architect and collaborator of Haussmann, and sculpted by Jacquemart in 1858.

The Luxor is a cinema located in the 10 th arrondissement of Paris, built by the architect Henry Zipcy decorated by Amedeo Tiberi and inaugurated in 1921 located at the corner of Boulevard Magenta and the Chapel. Long abandoned (1983), it is now being restored .


Finally, the icing on the cake, then see the program of the Paris Opera! earlier Egyptian ...

Do you know that you can make a trip to Egypt on Blog
" Parisienne truant?

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Unified Republican Party control of the federal government after the 2016 election brought a reversal of several Obama administration policies, especially those adopted via executive and administrative action in areas such as immigration, energy, the environment, and LGBT rights. The 2016 election also prompted a reversal of partisan perspectives with respect to federal-state relations, as Republicans in Washington moved to preempt state discretion in various areas, whereas Democrats in state capitols challenged the legality of presidential actions and resisted federal efforts to constrain state and local discretion. In this essay, we discuss these themes through an analysis of developments in 2016 and early 2017 regarding health care, immigration, education, marijuana, and energy and environmental policy. We also consider key U.S. Supreme Court decisions affecting the contours of state policymaking.

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          amaBhungane & Scorpio #GuptaLeaks: The Dubai Laundromat – How millions milked from Free State government paid for Sun City wedding   
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Type of Employment:. This employment opportunity is open to all applicants. Employment in some positions requires an acceptable criminal record check.... $97,734 a year
From Indeed - Fri, 17 Mar 2017 19:01:25 GMT - View all Pond Inlet, NU jobs
          Secretary / Receptionist – Hopedale - Nunatsiavut Kavamanga Government - Hopedale, NL   
Answer, direct and record telephone messages,. Nunatsiavut Government Nunatsiavut kavamangani....
From Nunatsiavut Kavamanga Government - Thu, 29 Jun 2017 19:46:50 GMT - View all Hopedale, NL jobs
          Secretary / Receptionist – Hopedale - Nunatsiavut Kavamanga Government - Hopedale, NL   
Employment Opportunity Suliaksak Ammajuk. Nunatsiavut Government Nunatsiavut kavamangani....
From Nunatsiavut Kavamanga Government - Thu, 29 Jun 2017 19:46:50 GMT - View all Hopedale, NL jobs
          Engineer - Frontier Natural Gas Company - Elkin, NC   
Negotiation and diplomacy skills are essential as this position must communicate with governmental and regulatory agencies as well as internal and external...
From Indeed - Mon, 10 Apr 2017 13:14:19 GMT - View all Elkin, NC jobs
          US Government Prepares For ‘Space Weather Event’ As NASA Warns “Solar Minimum Is Coming”   
– US Government Prepares For ‘Space Weather Event’ As NASA Warns “Solar Minimum Is Coming” * * * PayPal: Donate in USD PayPal: Donate in EUR PayPal: Donate in GBP
          #ToriesOut: 1,000s join anti-government rally in London (VIDEOS)   
– #ToriesOut: 1,000s join anti-government rally in London (VIDEOS): Thousands of protesters took to the streets of London on Saturday to protest Britain’s Conservative government. The rally, dubbed ‘Not One Day More #ToriesOut’, started at BBC Broadcasting House in Portland Place and marched for hours through to the Houses of Parliament in Westminster. Enormous crowd ... Read more
          Directors - Governor in Council Appointments - Canada   
The overarching goal of the Minister of Canadian Heritage is to implement the government’s plan to strengthen our cultural and creative industries....
From Governor in Council Appointments - Tue, 20 Jun 2017 19:15:13 GMT - View all Canada jobs
          President - Governor in Council Appointments - Canada   
The overarching goal of the Minister of Canadian Heritage is to implement the government’s plan to strengthen our cultural and creative industries....
From Governor in Council Appointments - Tue, 20 Jun 2017 19:15:13 GMT - View all Canada jobs
          High School Math/Science Teacher - Helen Kavik School - Government of the Northwest Territories - Canada   
Awareness of and sensitivity to cultural diversity and heritage. The Beaufort Delta Education Council actively promotes:.... $78,600 - $126,897 a year
From Government of the Northwest Territories - Sat, 10 Jun 2017 07:08:00 GMT - View all Canada jobs
          Wildlife Biologist II – Baffin - GOVERNMENT OF NUNAVUT - Pond Inlet, NU   
The Wildlife Biologist II – Baffin develops research and management initiatives for wildlife species and populations within the Baffin Island Region.... $97,734 a year
From Indeed - Fri, 17 Mar 2017 19:01:25 GMT - View all Pond Inlet, NU jobs
          Russia to Send More Fighter Jets to Syria War   

A protocol to reinvigorate the Russian Air Force in Syria was presented to President Vladimir Putin for approval after the recent US threats against the Damascus government.

          Free Trade, War and Debt: All Branches of the Same Tree   
Free trade, debt and war are all part of the same package, each feeding off the other. They are – each of them – rackets in their own right and they are all symptoms of the same problem. That problem has to do with the fact that our government  – along with the rest of […]
          The Ugly Canadian II: Justin Trudeau’s Foreign Policy   
When Justin Trudeau looks in the foreign policy mirror who does he see? Someone very much like Stephen Harper. On the world stage Canada under Trudeau the Second has acted almost the same as when Harper was prime minister. The Liberals have followed the previous government’s posture on issues ranging from militarism to Russia, nuclear […]
          My Thoughts On Twitter, 6/27/17   
The world depends on the observer’s qualities–thus Kabbalah gets one out of #depression by helping to see their partner as beloved. #Governments can’t control their economies, sovereignty is disappearing but they cannot solve problems together, nationalism is on the rise Everyone has good and bad qualities. Smart people focus on and see only the good […]
          New Accessible Playground Rules May Not Go Far Enough   
Last year, the federal government made accessibility standards at playgrounds mandatory under the Americans with Disabilities Act so that children with disabilities can more easily play alongside typical kids. But whether children with disabilities are able to enjoy their new civil rights to play may depend on where they live, and the design decisions their cities and towns made when they built local playgrounds. For 3-year-old Emmanuel Soto, who has spina bifida and uses a wheelchair, the local playground's design doesn't work. On a recent afternoon, his parents, Teresa and Juan Soto, walk with Emmanuel to a play area near their home in Richmond, Calif. As they arrive, the boy is excited to get there. But the wheelchair he uses gets stuck on the playground's floor. The surface is made of a type of loose wood fill that is in compliance with the new laws. Emmanuel, however, really can't move. So, his father lifts him out of his wheelchair and places him on a slide. It's a scene the
          For Kids With Special Needs, More Places To Play   
Remember running around the playground when you were a kid? Maybe hanging from the monkey bars or seeing who could swing the highest? It wasn't just a mindless energy burn. Many have called play the work of childhood. Play teaches children how to make friends, make rules and navigate relationships. But for kids whose disabilities keep them from using playgrounds, those opportunities can be lost. New federal requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act are changing the landscape for public playgrounds, requiring them to include equipment, materials and designs that provide children with disabilities the same play opportunities as typical children. But as NPR sought to explore the effects of the new rules, it found that parents and advocates are making the real difference — not the federal government. The higher cost of "inclusive" playgrounds means many local governments can't afford them. And in places that do offer the kind of shared playing experience contemplated by the
          White House Kills Dollar Coin Program   
The federal government will stop minting unwanted $1 coins, the White House said Tuesday. The move will save an estimated $50 million a year. Earlier this year, we reported on the mountain of $1 coins sitting unused in government vaults. The pile-up — an estimated 1.4 billion coins — was caused by a 2005 law that ordered the minting of coins honoring each U.S. president. We calculated that the unwanted coins had cost taxpayers some $300 million dollars to make. There were so many coins piling up that the Federal Reserve was redesigning a vault in Texas to help hold them all. We got to see a vault in Baltimore. It was the size of a soccer field, filled with bags of dollar coins. You can see the presidents' faces on the coins. Andrew Jackson, John Adams, James Buchanan. The mint is only about half way through the presidents. And the pile of coins has been growing. The mint makes enough of each new coin to meet initial demand. But about 40% of those coins get returned to the Fed, where
          Libraries of Business Process Segment Links    
I think I have seen this before, but was reminded of it by some recent work.  Why not have libraries of the graphs of typical business process segments?  Then allow us to paste these together to create complete or partial business process models?  And then edit these to make them come closer to what is really done?   Model with simulation to compare the result versus the ideal?

The below shows how this is done to detect money laundering, using Linkurious, but I am suggesting could also be used to model and refine legitimate process.   That would require a library of graph segments representing specific and known common business processes, and a way to link them together. Perhaps from  business transaction flows?   And create a process model along the way. Anyone done this?

Fighting financial crimes and money laundering with graph data
Posted by Elise Devaux 

Fighting financial crimes is a daily battle worldwide. Organizations have to deploy intelligent systems to prevent and detect wrongdoings, such as anti-money laundering (AML) control frameworks. We’ll see in this blog post how graph technologies can reinforce those systems.

Using graph technologies to fight financial crimes

Media previewIn today’s complex economy, law enforcement and financial organizations fight against a wide range of financial crimes: embezzlement, tax evasion, extortion, corruption, terrorism funding or money laundering, to name a few. While tracking down those activities, governments and financial institutions have to deal with a fast moving financial crime landscape and a growing volume of information of various formats.

Graph technologies like Linkurious can be powerful assets to help fight financial crimes. They provide exhaustive overviews of the different entities and their connections. And they support complex data queries on large data-sets in a near-real time environment.

In this article, we’ll focus on anti-money laundering procedures and explore a specific case with a graph approach. .... " 

          Has the Government's Welcome Home Loan scheme under-performed because of banks' relaxed credit policies?   

By Gareth Vaughan

Housing New Zealand's Welcome Home Loan scheme has not grown as the Government wanted it to.

We've had senior government ministers eagerly promote it, and a bank CEO extolling its virtues to participating lenders by pointing out; "It really carries no risk on our balance sheet because it's all government guaranteed."

The ministers were John Key and Nick Smith, and the CEO quoted above is SBS Bank's Shaun Drylie.

Housing NZ says, as of May 31 this year, it was "at risk" for 6,650 loans through Welcome Home Loan, with an original value of $1.469 billion. That's 150 less loans than the 6,800 - with an original loan value of $1.335 billion - at June 30, 2013. The drop, Housing NZ says, is because more loans have been repaid than taken on.

June 2013 is just before the Reserve Bank restrictions on banks' high loan to value ratio (LVR) residential mortgage lending were unveiled. Welcome Home Loans are excluded fom the Reserve Bank's LVR restrictions.

The Welcome Home Loan scheme launched in July 2003 as a two year pilot project with Kiwibank, known as “In Reach.” In July 2005, the scheme was opened to other lenders, and branded “Welcome Home Loan.” Eight lenders are actively using the Housing New Zealand scheme today. These are SBS, Kiwibank, Westpac, The Co-operative Bank, TSB Bank, NZCU Baywide, the Nelson Building Society, and the New Zealand Employees' Credit Union. 

As Housing NZ puts it; "Welcome Home Loan is offered by lenders, supported by Housing New Zealand, and, designed for first-home buyers who can afford to make regular repayments on a home loan, but have trouble saving for a large deposit. With Welcome Home Loan you only need a 10% deposit, not a 20% deposit as required by most lenders. Housing New Zealand does not issue the loan. This is done through normal lenders such as selected banks and credit unions. Housing New Zealand underwrites the loan for the lender [through lenders' mortgage insurance]. Individual applicants are required to meet the lender’s specific lending criteria. Income and house price caps apply."

'Trebling the number of loans'

Prior to the launch of the LVR restrictions, the Welcome Home Loan scheme had been going backwards. During the June 2013 year, Housing NZ settled 845 new loans, down from 1,358 the previous year.

The Reserve Bank announced on August 20, 2013 that high LVR restrictions would kick-in from October 1 that year, limiting lending to borrowers with deposits of less than 20%. Following that move the Welcome Home Loan scheme appeared, unsurprisingly, to gain in popularity given low equity loans made through the scheme are excluded from the Reserve Bank's restrictions.

Announcing Co-operative Bank's signing up to the scheme in April 2014, Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith said; "I am encouraging other banks to also join the scheme. I want as many New Zealanders as possible to have access to this Government assistance to buy their first home." At that stage ASB said its membership to the Welcome Home Loan Scheme was "currently under consideration." However three years on ASB hasn't joined, with a spokeswoman saying no decisions have been made to apply for entry. A Housing NZ spokesman said no applications from lenders wanting to join the scheme are currently under consideration.

Smith's comments came after Prime Minister John Key announced on August 11, 2013, a week before the Reserve Bank publicly unveiled its LVR move; “We will also expand the [Welcome Home Loan] scheme to treble the number of loans from about 850 loans a year to 2,500 a year."

Both in August 2013 and again in July last year as the Reserve Bank changed the LVR restrictions, Smith announced increases in house price caps for the scheme. In a rising property market, they have gone from $350,000 in Auckland, for example, to $600,000 for an existing house and $650,000 for a new one.

As it sought to "screw the scrum in favour of first home buyers," the Government also aligned the scheme's income caps with those of the KiwiSaver HomeStart scheme at $85,000 for a single person and $130,000 for a couple.

In November 2015 Smith said; "The 287 Welcome Home Loans issued for this latest quarter is also a record and shows how this programme, combined with HomeStart, is assisting families into home ownership."

'A relaxation of lenders' credit policies'

But that hasn't continued, with the 2,500 a year target looking a pipe dream. So what's going on?

Housing NZ's latest annual report, for the year to June 2016, says; "Uptake for Welcome Home Loans was lower than expected due to a relaxation of lenders' credit policies, allowing the provision of standard bank loans, rather than a Welcome Home Loan. This meant banks in the scheme did not have to draw on this product as much as in the past. Monthly demand for the Welcome Home Loan was steady over the year, but was around 10% lower than the previous year." 

Interestingly in its Financial Stability Report last month the Reserve Bank said; "Some banks have tightened lending standards over the past six months [See chart below]. In particular, banks are being more selective about their lending for residential property developments as capacity constraints in the construction industry and rising costs have contributed to increased credit risk in the sector."

The Welcome Home Loan insurance premium is 2.2% of the loan value, of which 1% is paid by the borrower and 1.2% by the Government. The Mortgage Insurance Scheme is assessed, by an actuary, three times a year to ensure the mortgage insurance liability is sufficient to cover any future claims, Housing NZ says. As of June 30 last year the total estimated liability was $29 million. At that point 40% of the original value of settled loans was with Kiwibank.

*This article was first published in our email for paying subscribers early on Tuesday morning. See here for more details and how to subscribe.

          Does Auckland have the infrastructure capacity to host the America's cup? Alex Tarrant reviews two of the Mexican stand-offs involving central government, the Auckland Council, the Airport and Watercare   

By Alex Tarrant

Emirates Team New Zealand’s America’s Cup win has certainly fired up the Auckland infrastructure debate (as if it needed more fuel). Every interested party is now reviewing their wish list trying to figure out whether their pet project could be completed in four years. Rail, roads, houses and water pipes.

The 2021 event (Auckland will also hold the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit that year) might be a Godsend for getting even more Auckland infrastructure work on the move (if we can find the labourers needed – don’t mention foreigners!).

But the multiple Mexican stand-offs between the Government, Auckland Council and other parties like Auckland Airport and Watercare need to be resolved. The key in each dispute is who pays for what, when, why and how.

This (rather long) column focuses on two of those stand-offs. Rail to Auckland Airport from the CBD, and cheaper, faster provision of water services for new housing in Auckland – including boosting incentives for cheaper densification. On Rail, there is a simple answer to get things moving if the project would indeed lead to benefits. On water, revised legislation debated in Parliament last week provides some hope.

Rail to the airport

Politicians were quick to jump on the success of ETNZ earlier this week and the expected economic benefits to Auckland from holding the Cup in 2021. The Green Party used the occasion to question the Transport Minister on whether Auckland would have capacity to host the event.

“Will the government start building rail to the airport sooner, if Auckland hosts the next America’s Cup regatta, or will Aucklanders still have to wait 30 years?” Julie Anne Genter asked Simon Bridges.

Bridges’ answers focussed on the current plan of protecting a sole purpose route that will originally be marked out for a busway to the Airport. This showed the government was prioritising the project, he claimed, being careful to add it was difficult to explain what the timeframe could be for progressing to rail. This would be driven by demand and usage numbers, Bridges said.

So why not just kick-start the project of rail to the airport? If central government were to lead on funding, couldn’t others like the Council be given time to come up with their share? The reason this National-led government isn’t making any firm commitments like this is down to the principle of, whoever benefits should pay.

Steven Joyce, Simon Bridges and other Ministers have in recent months been talking more about the use of value uplift taxes to help fund new projects – rates will be higher in areas that profit from increased transportation links, for example. These could be residential rates paid by homeowners in areas with improved access to the CBD from a new road, which would have boosted the value of their property. They could also be imposed on commercial businesses that benefit from more foot-traffic due to being closer to, say, a new train station.

The government openly admits that a value uplift tax would have been a perfect fit for Auckland’s inner-city rail loop. But, because the loop was announced before Ministers could start spraying the idea around, they feel it would be a bit rude (think a vote-loser) to suddenly turn around and clamp such a tax on business owners close to where the new stations would be, regardless of the economics.

They have to find a project that hasn’t yet started, and which would clearly benefit the areas linked by the project. Penlink has been talked about. I also give you the Airport-City rail link.

However, Bridges and Joyce are engaged in a stand-off with Auckland Airport. ‘If you come to the table, then we will too.’

Auckland Airport would clearly benefit from any rail link with the city. So, Bridges et al are waiting for them to come to the party. If we’re talking light rail – trams – then Dominion Road businesses and residential properties should also benefit in value uplift.

It’s a stand-off though. If the airport argues against paying more because the benefits won’t be that great, then the government can turn around and say, ‘ok well that’s a good argument for not needing to build the new connection’. If the government just starts funding the link itself, then it runs the risk of no-one else coming to the party. They also don't want to be seen starting the project with inclusion of value-uplift taxes that no-one agrees on - that's not the way this government wants to work.

In effect, the sticking point is a matter of principle. It’s a principled Mexican stand-off. Or a prisoners’ dilemma in a low-security prison.

Water pipe dream

The next stand-off is a key component in Auckland’s housing debate. Water pipes. A couple of weeks ago I wrote about how the National Cabinet would love to take a swipe at the monopolistic, not-for-profit Watercare in Auckland. They’re getting nearer to it.

The Local Government Amendment Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) was introduced last year by former Local Government Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga. And boy was it popular. The Local Government Select Committee heard nearly 200 submissions on the Bill. They’ve now reported back with amendments. The Bill received a second reading last week.

The stand-off between local and central government on water pipes can best be summed up by a conversation between media and Local Government New Zealand a few weeks back. A lot of New Zealand’s water pipe infrastructure was put in in the 1960s, we were told. Those pipes had an expected lifetime of 60 years, so we’re heading towards an exponential renewals curve over the next 15 years for assets worth over $100 billion.

A couple of the journalists (including this correspondent) were a tad miffed by this. Did local councils know there was only a 60-year life span? “Yeah, they did,” was the reply. ““The renewals curve is not a surprise. But it’s here, now.”

So why haven’t councils planned over those 60 years to put replacement funds aside? The problem, we were told, was that in the 1960s a lot of the pipes were paid for by central government. Now, technically only local government is on the hook. “Under our current funding model, it’s rates and debt [to pay for it]. The issue becomes, is that a sustainable position? Our view is it is not.”

That’s why local government is calling on central government to agree to a co-funding model for the replacement of water pipes nationwide that are coming to the end of their working life (even though this was all known about for 60 years).

I asked Local Government New Zealand chairman Lawrence Yule whether they’d had any indications from central government that this could be done. He said central government had always indicated a willingness to look at it “but only once you’ve made sure what you’re doing currently is being done as efficiently as it can be.”

It’s a stand-off. Local government is refusing to consider how to fund replacement pipes until central government agrees to a co-funding model. Central government won’t agree to a co-funding model until local government gets its own house in order and ensures water services operations are as efficient as possible.

The issue got to a point where central government decided to try and take the initiative. This is where the Local Government Local Government Act Amendment Bill (No 2) comes in. Central government clearly believes things aren’t being done as efficiently as possible.

The Bill will allow various councils to band together to create Transport and Water Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs) to provide services across several local authorities. Scale. It will also give greater scope for re-organisation of CCOs. As now-Local Government Minister Anne Tolley put it in Thursday’s second reading, it provides “an opportunity for the sector to show their local strategic leadership, which may require hard decisions about difficult options in order to secure a positive future for their communities.”

Let’s take Watercare. In its submission on the Bill (co-submitted with Auckland Council), it argued that since its first fully operational year in 2011/12, it has reduced the cost of water delivery to Aucklanders compared the rag-tag pricing run previously by individual councils pre-Super City.

That’s true. The $1.30 per thousand litres was below the range of $1.31-$3.50 encompassing Rodney, North Shore, Waitakere, Auckland, Manukau and Franklin. Job well done. Scale worked. But since then, that cost has risen each year to $1.44 per thousand litres in 2016/17. That’s not what central government (or Auckland residents) wanted to see.

A 2015 Cabinet paper introducing the Amendment Bill reveals what some Cabinet Ministers really wanted to do. The Local Government Minister at the time highlighted the potential benefits of requiring Watercare to have to pay a dividend (“distribute surpluses”) to the Council. This could encourage more efficient pricing of water services and allow it better access to finance.

However, due to the prospect of the move not being supported by “the community,” the idea was not included. Indeed, when the Local Government Select Committee reported the Bill back to the House in June, Section 70 was there prohibiting the distribution of surpluses by water services CCOs.

A pity. There is some exciting stuff in there, though. Central government is aiming to be imposing a number of requirements that I’m told are aimed at drastically changing the way Watercare operates.

The Productivity Commission’s 2016 report, Using Land for Housing, helped. Looking at Watercare from a housing supply lens, the Commission raised a number of concerns and recommendations which will partly be tackled by the Bill.

Firstly, Watercare’s Infrastructure Growth Charges (IGCs) do not recover the full costs of growth (new pipes for new housing), the Commission pointed out. Although initially this could produce benefits for new home buyers not paying the full cost for water infrastructure, deficits will need to be recovered from somewhere. Recovery from existing residents will reduce community acceptance of growth, limiting the supply of infrastructure-enabled land, therefore contributing to higher house prices.

Watercare needed to change how it calculates charges to better reflect the underlying economic costs of supply in different locations and for different types of dwelling, the Commission said. This linked in with criticisms of Watercare’s model of charging flat fees.

“To the extent that certain types of development result in lower infrastructure costs than others, a flat charge will result in a cross-subsidy between different types of dwelling. This might result in a situation in which smaller and more affordable dwellings are cross-subsidising larger standalone dwellings.”

The Bill requires Watercare to shift away from the IGC model to a development contribution model. It has until 30 June 2018 at the latest to figure out how to best make the switch.

Meanwhile, the Commission urged Watercare to consider development agreements, which would enable private developers to take responsibility for building trunk infrastructure. It referenced research that developers may be able to provide infrastructure solutions at lower costs than Watercare, particularly due to ‘over specification’ required by Watercare.

“Watercare notes that development agreements have a range of advantages (eg, they provide a mechanism for bringing in private capital into the provision of public infrastructure) and disadvantages (eg, the time required to prepare and finalise the agreements, especially if more than one developer/landowner is involved). The obligation to consider requests from a developer to enter into development agreements and provide the developer with a written response would not compel Watercare and other CCOs to enter agreements where there are good reasons not to. But a requirement to set out in writing why a development agreement may not proceed would provide clarity and transparency about the reasons for the decision.”

The Bill doesn’t appear to go as far as the Commission would have hoped, but it does provide legislation for Watercare to be able to enter into development agreements.

Finally, the Commission appeared horrified that for both Auckland Transport and Watercare, “supply of infrastructure to support growth is not reflected in either organisation’s performance measures.”

“While the primary accountability documents for Watercare and Auckland Transport (the Statements of Intents) are broadly aligned with the Auckland Plan vision, they do not give effect to the specific objective in the Auckland Plan to increase the city’s supply of new dwellings,” it said.

“Auckland Transport and Watercare’s SOIs should be amended to include performance measures relating to the efficient roll-out of new infrastructure to support an increased supply of new dwellings.

“The regulatory and institutional framework around the water sector can be improved. Discipline and transparency around the pricing of water services, and better performance monitoring, would improve the ability of the water sector to support urban growth,” the Commission said.

The Bill includes provision for Council input on CCO statements of intent and for performance monitoring. Each CCO – ie Watercare – must provide its shareholders the opportunity to influence the direction of the organisation, and must provide a basis for the accountability of the directors to their shareholders for the performance of the organisation.

And that performance monitoring? A local authority must undertake regular performance monitoring to evaluate a CCO’s contribution to the achievement of the authority’s objectives for the organisation, the desired results set out in its SOI and the overall aims and outcomes of the local authority.

What’s yet to be seen, however, is whether the changes would have such an effect as to fix the pending funding crisis for water pipe replacement and extension. I would think not. But with this Bill, central and local government will both be able to tap the argument that councils and their organisations have reached, or will soon reach efficiency limits.

And that’s the trigger for central government coming to the funding party.

          Crown Prosecutor - St. Paul & Grande Prairie - Government of Alberta - Alberta   
Paul as well as in the Provincial Court in Bonnyville, Cold Lake, Lac La Biche, Vermilion, Lloydminster and Wainwright.... $6,250 - $12,934 a month
From Government of Alberta - Fri, 30 Jun 2017 22:32:21 GMT - View all Alberta jobs
          Park Interpreter - Government of Saskatchewan - Wood Mountain, SK   
Responsibilities include but are not limited to facilitating curriculum based school programs, leading nature hikes, cultural interpretation, organizing special... $18.32 - $22.96 an hour
From Government of Saskatchewan - Thu, 08 Jun 2017 01:07:58 GMT - View all Wood Mountain, SK jobs
          Obama Laments ‘Absence of American Leadership’ Under President Donald Trump   

Former President Barack Obama challenged President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate agreement, describing it as the “absence of American leadership.”
          Phones for Dead People: GAO Report Uncovers Massive Fraud in ‘Obamaphone’ Program   

A new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reveals that the infamous “Obamaphone” program, meant to provide low-income Americans phone and internet service, is riddled with waste, fraud, and abuse.
          Donald Trump Declares Victory over ‘Garbage Journalism’ at CNN   

President Donald Trump described CNN as “garbage journalism” and “fake news” on Twitter, celebrating after the network experienced a difficult week.
          Pro-Life Provisions in Obamacare Repeal Bill ‘Non-Negotiable’ for Many Republicans   

Many conservative leaders say whatever form the Republican bill to repeal and/or replace Obamacare takes, it must contain provisions to protect the unborn and get taxpayers out from having to fund Planned Parenthood.
          28 Injured After Gunfire Erupts at Little Rock Nightclub   

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- Clubgoers screamed and scrambled for cover as dozens of gunshots rang out during a rap concert in downtown Little Rock early Saturday, leaving 28 people injured from an 11-second melee that police quickly said was not related to terrorism.
          Mika in NYT Interview: Dina Powell Is in White House Because of Me   

Mika Brzezinski is taking credit for putting in place one of President Donald Trump’s now top national security advisers, Dina Powell.
          Exclusive– Seniors Group Files FCC Complaint Against Very Fake News CNN   

The Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC), the leading conservative seniors' organization in the country, filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Thursday over CNN's reporting on Russian hacking.
          Trump: Kate’s Law and Sanctuary City Votes Present Choice Between Protecting Americans and Shielding Criminal Aliens   
During Friday’s Weekly Address, President Trump stated Kate’s Law and the No Sanctuary For Criminals Act present the choice of, “either vote to save and protect American lives, or vote to shield and comfort criminal aliens who threaten innocent lives – and they’ve been shielded too long.” Transcript as Follows:  “My fellow Americans, This week, I was joined at the White House by American families whose loved ones were killed by illegal immigrants. Many of these illegal immigrants had extensive criminal records and had been repeatedly deported. Every single one of these deaths was preventable. These beautiful American lives were stolen because our government refused to do its job.  If the government had simply enforced our immigration laws, these Americans would still be alive today. That is why, since the day I took the oath of office, I have been restoring the enforcement of our immigration laws and the protection and defense of our borders. These courageous Americans joined me at the White House to call on Congress to pass two bills that I campaigned on during the election.  If enacted, these bills will save countless Americans lives.  The first bill, Kate’s Law, is named for Kate Steinle, who was killed
          ‘There is raccoon s— all over the place’: ‘Opportunistic’ rodents breaking into Toronto city hall   
As if things couldn't get any worse, we now have rodents gnawing at the seat of municipal government. Raccoons, rats, mice and even birds have moved in
          Florida legislators from Brevard detail session, differences   
They are not unified on measure to take powers away from local government

          Photos: Government Affairs State of the State Breakfast   

          Comment on Look 20 years out by RJW   
Rob, The end of the process probably won't be market rules capitalism because the middle class will be impoverished, but a return to feudalism on the Latin American model. The rich will prosper. Members of the middle class are always easy marks for conservative low tax, small government propaganda, even though they have proportionally, the most to lose. Let's be optimistic, surely America's institutions will prevent it from following that scenario.
          Comment on Does the Packingham Ruling Presage Greater Government Control Over Search Results? Or Less? (Guest Blog Post) by Theperkyone   
The underlying conflict has always been Google's insistence on one hand that it is a neutral party and on the other that its output is editorial free speech which the government can't compel. This stance is woefully inconsistent with the way our culture has traditionally done business. From sport's umpires to judges the price of being perceived as neutral is public silence. Google doesn't want to pay that price because profit margins but over the long-term it is not a sustainable position.
          'She must go!' John McDonnell calls for Theresa May’s head to make way for Labour    

JOHN McDonnell has called for Theresa May's head in an all-out attack on her minority government at today's protest.
          'Tories Out' march: Jeremy Corbyn rallies comrades in bid to oust Theresa May & become PM   

THOUSANDS of Corbynistas descended onto Parliament today in a national march against the Conservative Government led by Jeremy Corbyn.
          “Buy American, Hire American” Executive Order May Lead to New Whistleblower Claims   

President Trump recently signed a new executive order as part of his initiative to give priority to U.S. made goods and companies that hire U.S. citizens in government procurement decisions. This… read more →

The post “Buy American, Hire American” Executive Order May Lead to New Whistleblower Claims appeared first on Pate & Johnson Law Firm.

          House Speaker Welcomes Resignation Of National Security Adviser Flynn   
Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit KELLY MCEVERS, HOST: Michael Flynn has resigned as national security adviser, but many questions remain, like, what did White House officials know of Flynn's contacts with Russia, and when did they know about them? The most likely place to get some answers in public is on Capitol Hill. NPR's Ailsa Chang reports Democrats and Republicans want a complete investigation. AILSA CHANG, BYLINE: Look; Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina says he gets it. This isn't a time to get partisan. He urged his GOP colleagues to consider if the shoe were on the other foot. LINDSEY GRAHAM: Now, I can only imagine what Republicans would say if the Obama administration had reached out to Iran or Iraq or any other government to say, just be patient; we're going to change some policies of the Bush administration. We would all be pretty upset. CHANG: And Graham says there are now two central questions lawmakers need answered about Flynn's conversations with the
          PsySR Calls for End of Gaza Siege   
In advance of the direct peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders in Washington in early September, Psychologists for Social Responsibility (PsySR) has issued a statement below calling on the Government of Israel to end the siege of Gaza and urging health and mental health professionals to join our call. Psychologists for Social Responsibility Calls […]
          Government & Industry Relations Manager - Syngenta - Canada   
Company helping to improve global food security by enabling millions of farmers. Syngenta is a leading agriculture....
From Syngenta - Sun, 07 May 2017 00:24:06 GMT - View all Canada jobs
          Finally - A Pan-Lutheran Litany for All To Use - No Charge   
Stormtroopers agree - it's all symbolic.

Leader: The other Lutheran groups  are terrible. They cover up crimes, protect their friends, and teach false doctrine.
The People: So do we!

Leader: The other Lutheran groups use the worst translations of the Bible.
The People: So do we!

Leader: They go to schools that feature false doctrine and worship there.
The People: So do we!

Leader: The other Lutheran groups use slander, malicious gossip, threats, excommunication, and property theft to keep everyone in line.
The People: So do we!

Leader: The other Lutheran groups talk about grace and forgiveness.
People: So do we!

The Leader: But they condemn and criticize and shun.
The People: So do we!

The Leader: The other Lutheran groups beg and plead for money from the government, the life insurance companies, and foundations.
The People: So do we!

The Leader: The other Lutheran groups are hypocrites. Do I hear an Amen?
The People: Amen. We are dead indeed!


          Secretary / Receptionist – Hopedale - Nunatsiavut Kavamanga Government - Hopedale, NL   
Position will also provide general administrative. Operations of the reception area of the Nunatsiavut. Nunatsiavut Government Nunatsiavut kavamangani....
From Nunatsiavut Kavamanga Government - Thu, 29 Jun 2017 19:46:50 GMT - View all Hopedale, NL jobs
          Christina Chan   

Christina Chan is the Director for the Climate Resilience Practice, which seeks to help national and sub-national decision-makers understand the drivers of climate vulnerability in their countries, engage vulnerable people in adaptation efforts, and access the information, tools, and resources they need to take account of climate change in planning and programs.

Prior to joining WRI, Christina was a Branch Chief at the U.S. State Department’s climate change office, where she led U.S. government efforts on global adaptation policy, launched several major adaptation partnerships, including the Adaptation Partnership and the National Adaptation Plan Global Network, and provided leadership on adaptation as a Vice-Chair and Co-Chair of the UNFCCC’s Adaptation Committee. Christina also spent eight years with CARE, helping communities reduce their disaster-related risks and leveraging CARE’s on-the-ground work with communities to inform CARE International’s policy advocacy on global climate change policy with the United States and other Parties to the UNFCCC.

Christina holds a graduate degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Cornell University and an undergraduate degree in Human Biology from Stanford University.

First Name: 
Last Name: 
(202) 729-7767
People Types: 
Person Status: 
Languages Spoken: 

          PATIENT SERVICE SPECIALIST-ED - Access/ED - Casual - Varied   
Posted on: 2017-07-01

Responsible for interacting with patients, payers and providers to gather information necessary for accurate registration including assigning of appropriate Medical Record Number, referral/authorization, point of service payment collection, document collection and arrival/check-in functions. Receives and routes messages received in the department appropriately as well as manages customer billing and payment inquires as needed. Effectively manages the patient check-in and check-out process from start to finish, which includes identification verification; updating or confirming demographic and insurance information on every patient; ensuring appropriate forms are provided, signed and witnessed at the time of the patient visit; verifying coverage including benefits, authorization, pre-determination, payer specific policy exclusions or limitations to coverage, collecting any patient responsibility and accurately preparing end of day reporting or payment reconciliation as needed.


Assisting patients with HPE eligibility, discussing payment arrangement options including financial assistance information, providing price estimates. Regularly displays a proactive approach to customer service by listening to the patient, taking ownership of solutions and is able to accurately identify the need to involve leadership in order to resolve concerns. Acts as a member of the patient care team by supporting the clinical care staff in the care of the patient.

Required Experience/Specialized Skills: Minimum 1 year experience in a medical front office and/or business medical office position. Experience with commercial and government health insurance and billing guidelines.  
Must be able to demonstrate proficiency of computer applications, excellent mathematical skills and ability to handle monies. Excellent communication and customer service skills. Strong organizational and analytical skills; innovative with ability to identify and solve problems. Able to adapt, prioritize and meet deadlines.

Preferred Education/Experience/Specialized Skills/Certification: 2 or more years experience in a medical front office and/or business medical office position.
 Knowledge of medical terminology, ACA requirements, understanding of DRG's, Medical ICD9/ICD10 codes and CPT/HCPC Codes and Modifiers.

Scripps Health is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, status as a protected veteran, among other things, or status as a qualified individual with disability.

Job: Access / Business Services


Organization : 435 H STREET

Job Posting :

Benefit status :

          PATIENT SERVICE SPECIALIST - Patient Financials - Full-Time Varied   
Posted on: 2017-07-01

Responsible for interacting with patients, payers and providers to gather information necessary for accurate registration including assigning of appropriate Medical Record Number, scheduling/re-scheduling, referral/authorization, point of service payment collection, document collection and arrival/check-in functions. Receives and routes messages received in the department appropriately as well as manages customer billing and payment inquires as needed. Effectively manages the patient check-in and check-out process from start to finish, which includes identification verification; updating or confirming demographic and insurance information on every patient; ensuring appropriate forms are provided, signed and witnessed at the time of the patient visit; verifying coverage including benefits, authorization, pre-determination, payer specific policy exclusions or limitations to coverage, collecting any patient responsibility and accurately preparing end of day reporting or payment reconciliation as needed. Assisting patients with HPE eligibility, discussing payment arrangement options including financial assistance information, providing price estimates. Responsible for accurately scheduling and re-scheduling patient appointments. Successful scheduling includes, but not limited to, exhibiting proficiency in appointment scheduling procedures, accurate documentation and routing of messages, scheduling and confirming appointments according to practice guidelines, entering appropriate insurance, initiating authorizations and referrals, performing Key User duties with minimal errors. May coordinate scheduling, meeting and travel planning needs, department communication as needed. May assist in gathering necessary reports, statistics, outcomes for the department as needed. Regularly displays a proactive approach to customer service by listening to the patient, taking ownership of solutions and is able to accurately identify the need to involve leadership in order to resolve concerns.

Required Experience/Specialized Skills: Minimum 1 year experience in a front office and/or business medical office position. Experience with commercial and government health insurance and billing guidelines.  


Must be able to demonstrate proficiency of computer applications, excellent mathematical skills and ability to handle monies. Excellent communication and customer service skills. Strong organizational and analytical skills; innovative with ability to identify and solve problems. Able to adapt, prioritize and meet deadlines.

Required Education/Course(s)/Training:High School graduate or equivalent

Preferred Education/Experience/Specialized Skills/Certification: 2 or more years experience in a front office and/or business medical office position.
 Knowledge of medical terminology, ACA requirements, understanding of DRG's, Medical ICD9/ICD10 codes and CPT/HCPC Codes and Modifiers.

Scripps Health is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, status as a protected veteran, among other things, or status as a qualified individual with disability.

Job: Access / Business Services


Organization : 435 H STREET

Job Posting :

Benefit status :

          SUPERVISOR, MEDICAL CODING - Business Services Admin - Full Time - Day   
Posted on: 2017-07-01

Performs a variety of medical specialty based charge capture and/or coding functions (entering charges, reviewing and resolving coding edits, adding/removing modifiers, validating medical necessity, appropriately selecting the correct codes (ICD9/ICD10, CPT/HCPCS add modifiers), ensuring completeness of clinical documentation supports medical billing, performs partial/full record abstraction of charges and other medical coding or charge capture related duties. Reviews, processes and posts transaction data from patient accounts. Gathers, classifies, tabulates and proofreads financial data. Performs arithmetic calculations. Scans and electronically files documents. Checks items on reports, summarizing and posting the data to designated accounts, performs a variety of other fiscal office duties. Performs regular coding monitoring and educational reviews for providers and coding team to support meeting billing requirements for governmental and commercial payers. Provides timely and accurate updates to key stakeholders relative to coding updates and performance to maintain and/or improve reimbursement. Responsible for assisting with charge reconciliation and charge corrections. Also responsible for reviewing providers who are on continued coding holds (aka Concurrent Coding Reviews). Responsible for assisting with the communication of annual coding updates to providers. Responsible for evaluating patient related coding disputes. Oversees and performs quality audits to assure consistency, accuracy and standardization of procedures and optimizes medical coding. Ensures compliance with policies/procedures and standards coding. Actively involved in improvement efforts, workflow design and validation with input on policies and procedures. Supervises departmental resources effectively. Performs quality audits, providing retraining or action plans as needed to improve accuracy and meet production/patient satisfaction targets. Generates and reviews reports to track performance outcomes, performs root cause analysis to identify performance improvement needs. Works with leadership on process improvement, tracks all efforts and outcomes. Monitors reports to identify additional process improvement opportunities. Assigns work based on staffing levels and work load to optimize productivity and meet department standards. Communicates with customers including clinical and non-clinical staff, physicians and leadership to manage department operations. Provides timely feedback to staff on job performance, improvement or corrective actions as needed. Provides input on and may conduct staff annual performance evaluations. Responsible for keeping abreast of current policies, practices and procedures and provide guidance to staff. Assists in urgent situations requiring immediate decision making. Responsible for assisting/preparing staff schedules and managing coverage arrangements to ensure excellent patient care.

Required Education/Experience/Specialized Skills: Requires 4 years coding or charge capture experience in ambulatory or professional fee billing with 2 year experience in utilization of spreadsheets, graphics, power point, analytics and database applications with focus on the performance of charge quality assessments. 2 or more years of supervisor or leadership experience strongly preferred. Requires strong working knowledge of commercial and governmental payor policies. Working experience in the use of medical terminology and Medicare regulatory requirements for coding, billing and reimbursement is required. Familiarity with HIPAA privacy requirements for patient information. Basic understanding of medical ICD9/ICD10 codes, CPT/HCPC codes and modifiers. Ability to multitask, meet deadlines and stay organized. Must have excellent verbal and written communication skills and customer service skills. Must be detail oriented with the ability to prioritize work. Requires a moderate level of interpersonal and problem solving skills. Knowledgeable on medical coding and billing specific to insurance and reimbursement processes. Must demonstrate the ability to establish/maintain cooperative working relationships with staff, operations and providers. Proficient in preparation and presentation of summary information to provide clear and concise coding monitoring and quality updates to focused groups and finance leadership.

Required Certification/Registration: Requires certification from either Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT); Certified Coding Associate (CCA) or Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) from American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) or a comparable certification from another accredited coding organization.(i.e. Certified Professional Coder from the American Academy of Professional Coders).


 Scripps Health is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, status as a protected veteran, among other things, or status as a qualified individual with disability.

Job: Access / Business Services


Organization : 10010 CAMPUS POINT DRIVE

Job Posting :

Benefit status :

          Wildlife Biologist II – Baffin - GOVERNMENT OF NUNAVUT - Pond Inlet, NU   
The incumbent must have English written and oral communication skills for conveying and integrating information to/from a variety of audiences, including... $97,734 a year
From Indeed - Fri, 17 Mar 2017 19:01:25 GMT - View all Pond Inlet, NU jobs
          New Jerseyans feeling impact of state government shutdown   
New Jerseyans were feeling the impact as a state government shutdown took effect Saturday, shuttering parks and other public sites and disrupting ferry service to Liberty and Ellis islands.
          Christie and top Democrat at impasse as gov't shutdown looms in NJ   
New Jersey lawmakers will try again to pass a nearly $35 billion budget on Friday, hours before a midnight deadline to avert a state government shutdown.
          Agreement reached on revised Colombia peace deal   

The Colombian government and the FARC rebels have reached agreement on a revised peace deal, the two sides announced in Havana Saturday following days of intense discussions.

          Colombia, rebels ink ceasefire: "May this be the last day of the war"   

The Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebel group took a final step toward peace in their decades-long conflict Thursday, signing a cease-fire agreement at a ceremony in Havana.

          Ceasefire marks "last day of the war" for Colombia and FARC rebels   

The Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrilla group on Wednesday announced a bilateral ceasefire, negotiators in the Cuban capital Havana said, in what is a last step towards a peace accord expected for next month.

          FARC rebels, Colombia government announce ceasefire agreement   

The Colombian government and FARC rebels announced Wednesday a bilateral ceasefire in a historic deal that marks a critical step toward the signing of an overall peace agreement.

          FBI probes Tallahassee real estate projects   
The FBI has started an investigation into real estate redevelopment projects in Tallahassee that could affect the 2018 race for governor. Federal grand jury subpoenas were issued to obtain records from Tallahassee’s municipal government and the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency, or CRA. Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, a candidate for governor, is not named in the subpoenas, which seek records from the city and the CRA on high-profile developments in the city and the individuals and ... [more]
          Melayu Boleh! Phenomenal   
The phenomenal growth of Malaysia under the leadership of its previous prime minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad has brought about a patriotic sense of achievement amongst its people especially Melayu

The Government has led the way to show that Malay can (Melayu boleh) excel in whatever they put their minds to, and this, in no small way, has produced a society that tries to outdo itself (sometimes at ridiculous levels, if truth be told) in the endeavours it pursues.

Embodying this spirit is the slogan "Melayu Boleh!" which loosely translated means "Malays Can Do It!" How this slogan came to be the "battle cry" of a Malay politic party is rather sketchy but the general belief is that it was the slogan used by a health beverage in its marketing campaign in the 80s until now.

It caught on and soon cries of Melayu Boleh! Were heard, first only at political events like the Malay Politic Conference then later everywhere else as it was embraced wholeheartedly by the Malay people as a means to push them to endure and accept challenge, to set targets, to excel.

The "Melayu Boleh!" spirit has since produced many achievers and achievements, and has been a cornerstone of the success story that is the new Malaysia.

Source taken from

          If there's a smart path to single payer healthcare in California, we haven't found it yet - Los Angeles Times   

Los Angeles Times

If there's a smart path to single payer healthcare in California, we haven't found it yet
Los Angeles Times
Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) and Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) would create a first-in-the-nation state insurance program to replace all private insurers and, if possible, public programs as well. Its laudable goal is to make healthcare in California ...
California Today: The Fight Over Single PayerNew York Times
Single payer health care was destined to fail in California | The ...Sacramento Bee
California Universal Healthcare Bill Taken Off Life SupportTownhall
The Mercury News -The San Diego Union-Tribune -Pacific Standard -California Legislative Information - State of California
all 104 news articles »

          In blocking a bad single-payer healthcare bill, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon was not 'cowardly' – quite the ... - Los Angeles Times   

Los Angeles Times

In blocking a bad single-payer healthcare bill, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon was not 'cowardly' – quite the ...
Los Angeles Times
Many Democrats would have lost politically regardless of how they sided on this pipe dream — angering taxpayers satisfied with their current insurance if they voted for the bill, or riling the potent California Nurses Assn. if they opposed it. Rendon ...
California Single-Payer Organizers Are Deceiving Their Supporters. It's Time to Stop.The Intercept
Death threats directed at Assembly leader over universal health care billSacramento Bee
What Killed Single-Payer In California?New Republic
Science 2.0 -ThinkProgress -PJ Media -The Mercury News
all 103 news articles »

          Single-payer healthcare for California is, in fact, very doable - Los Angeles Times   

Los Angeles Times

Single-payer healthcare for California is, in fact, very doable
Los Angeles Times
Enacting Healthy California would entail an overhaul of the state's existing healthcare system, which now constitutes about 14% of California's GDP. In particular, it would mean replacing the state's private health insurance industry with government ...
Single Payer Healthcare: Too Expensive? - HealthlineHealthline

all 11 news articles »

          Worried about losing health care? You're in good company - Sacramento Bee   

Sacramento Bee

Worried about losing health care? You're in good company
Sacramento Bee
Californians have a message for Republican-controlled Washington as the U.S. Senate continues work to overhaul the health care system: We like what we've got. A new statewide poll found that Golden State supporters of the Affordable Care Act, also ...
With Obamacare, More California Latinos Sought Care for

all 7 news articles »

          Dap Should Focus On Fixing Their Democratic Deficit Rather Than Peddling Fake News   

Prime Minister Najib Razak s Press Secretary s statement 1 Liew Chin Tong should stop pushing what is obviously fake news smears and outright lies about the Government He should be more concerned about the serious predicament of his party D...
          New Investments Announced for Waterfront Toronto   
The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, the Premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne, and Mayor of the City of Toronto, John Tory, joined Waterfront Toronto CEO Will Fleissig earlier this week to announce joint funding of $1.185 billion for Waterfront Toronto. The Government of Canada will contribute up to $384 million to this project, and […]
          Anaklia Deep Sea Port Project on the Way   
The Anaklia Development Consortium (ADC) has completed the feasibility study and is continuing to work on their deep sea port project EIA report, which has been distributed for public review and discussion. The preliminary design for phase 1 is set to be submitted to the Georgian Government as scheduled on June 30, 2017. The consortium […]
          Air Force None? Trump Threatens To Cancel New Presidential Plane Over Cost   
President-elect Donald Trump wants to clip the wings of a new Air Force One, saying the customized 747 is too expensive. "The plane is totally out of control," Trump told reporters Tuesday morning. "I think Boeing is doing a little bit of a number. We want Boeing to make a lot of money, but not that much money." Earlier in the day, Trump tweeted that the new aircraft would cost more than $4 billion and urged the government to cancel the contract. Neither Trump nor his spokespeople said where that cost estimate came from. Trump's tweet followed an article in the Chicago Tribune suggesting Trump's tough talk on trade could be bad for Boeing's export business. Last year the Air Force struck an agreement with Boeing to deliver two new 747s around 2024, by which time the two planes now in service for presidential travel will be more than 30 years old. The new models will be able to fly about 1,000 miles farther than the current planes. They'll also be slightly larger and faster, but will
          01/07/2017: FRONT PAGE: Super-prison out of step with policy of cutting the number of inmates   
PLANS for a super-prison for women in Inverclyde seemed ill-conceived from the start. The £75 million project, brought forward by Kenny MacAskill when he was justice secretary, appeared to run counter to Scottish Government policy of reducing the...
          01/07/2017: FRONT PAGE: Holyrood to escape farm subsidy fines … because UK met deadline   
TOM GORDON while we are making progress, we still need to do better.” A Scottish Tory spokesman said: “The SNP Government’s handling of farm payments has been a fiasco from start to finish. “It now appears the Scottish Government has been saved from...
          01/07/2017: FRONT PAGE: How generations of Scots helped forge the Canada we know today   

THERE is a story about government officials travelling round the Highlands and Islands in the 19th century and when they arrived in one particularly remote community asked locals where their leaders were. “They are away running Canada,” came the...
          By: Bill, vacationing on BizzaroWorld   
That's strange, Noga... My loading of that page says something very much different. <blockquote>"His abrupt withdrawal came after Freeman, who advocated and endorsed the use of the US military against peaceful protesters, drew fire from civil liberties and pro-free speech organizations." In his notorious memo, written in May 2006, Freeman showed not only his support for the Chinese Politburo and MacArthur's suppression of the Tiananmen and Bonus Army protests, but also supported the principle of using the military to suppress any other potentially embarrassing protests such as the 1963 civil rights march on Washington that featured Martin Luther King's famous "I Have a Dream" Speech. From the Freeman memo (emphasis ours): "For myself, I side on this — if not on numerous other issues — with Gen. Douglas MacArthur. <i><b>I do not believe it is acceptable for any country to allow the heart of its national capital to be occupied by dissidents intent on disrupting the normal functions of government, however appealing to foreigners their propaganda may be.</b></I> Such folk, whether they represent a veterans’ “Bonus Army” or a “student uprising” on behalf of “the goddess of democracy” should expect to be displaced with despatch from the ground they occupy. I cannot conceive of any American government behaving with the ill-conceived restraint that the Zhao Ziyang administration did in China, allowing students to occupy zones that are the equivalent of the Washington National Mall and Times Square, combined. while shutting down much of the Chinese government’s normal operations. I thus share the hope of the majority in China that no Chinese government will repeat the mistakes of Zhao Ziyang’s dilatory tactics of appeasement in dealing with domestic protesters in China."</blockquote> Having a wonderful time. Wish you all were here.
          01/07/2017: FRONT PAGE: Family in fresh inquest plea   
A CALL by the families of four military policemen killed in Iraq for a fresh inquest into their deaths has been rejected by the Government’s chief legal adviser. Corporals Russell Aston, 30, and Simon Miller, 21, and Lance Corporals Benjamin McGowan...
          01/07/2017: FRONT PAGE: Chinese mother wins legal fight to stay in UK   
JAMES MULHOLLAND The government decision was upheld by a specialist immigration court. Both lawyers acting for Ms Zheng and the government later accepted that the court had made the wrong decision with the evidence at its disposal. She then went to...
          01/07/2017: FRONT PAGE: Legal ruling on Hitler’s house   
Austria’s highest court has ruled the government was within its rights to seize the house where Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler was born in 1889 after its owner refused to sell it. Authorities said the move was needed to give the state full control over...
          01/07/2017: FRONT PAGE: Why there is a sour and jaded atmosphere at Holyrood   

NICOLA Sturgeon attached a brave coda to the speech in which she ruefully bumped her plan for a second referendum down the road past Brexit. As MSPs digested the first part of her statement on Tuesday, she hit them with this: “Any government, after 10...
          Account Executive - FELLFAB - Canada   
Grow FELLFAB Limited as a prime supplier to the Canadian Government/Military Segment. With more than 65 years of experience and multiple manufacturing...
From FELLFAB - Wed, 19 Apr 2017 02:31:54 GMT - View all Canada jobs
          Should the Mainstream Middle Class Be Rescued or Made to Sink?   
This has been on my mind and chest for a long time and basically I want to get your views on this topic. Everyone says we need to save/rescue the mainstream middle class from oblivion and basically do what we can to bring jobs. To be honest, I'm all for letting the mainstream middle class sink or swim. I don't like how the mainstream whine about people on welfare being dependent on the government, but want the government to create laws and policies to protect their interests. They want student loans forgiven, but keep taking out massive loans for prestigious...
          'She must go!' John McDonnell calls for Theresa May’s head to make way for Labour    

JOHN McDonnell has called for Theresa May's head in an all-out attack on her minority government at today's protest.
          Calls for government to secure interim trade deal for motor industry - ChoiceQuote Insurance Services   

ChoiceQuote Insurance Services

Calls for government to secure interim trade deal for motor industry
ChoiceQuote Insurance Services
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) is calling on the government to reach an interim deal with the European Union following Brexit in order to prevent the motor industry from "falling off a cliff edge". According to SMMT, the plan for ...

and more »

          John Elliot Woolford, artist and architect   
John Elliot Woolford, Barrack Master, had charge of the army buildings in Frederiction and of the building of Government House, and was the architect for King's College. He was one of the artists who exhibited at the Grand Exhibition in Saint John in August 1842.
          The Right Side of Things/Independence Day?   
As this nation's Independence Day is upon us we are deluged with Patriotic Imagery, Song Countdowns on Classic Rock Stations,  Barbeques and Retrospectives on our Founding but no REAL Celebration of TRUE Freedom. Freedom from Oppression, be it from the Government, Religious Instittions, The Media, Fanatic Groups ( you know who I mean), televison PROGRAMMING, GMO's and a thousand OTHER intrusions. What IS true Freedom? Do we even KNOW anymore?
          Decision on Waikato's med school bid looms   
After months of campaigning, the fate of Waikato's med school bid nows sits with the Government.
           The Meadowlark Sings by Helen Ruth Schwartz    
In 2020 an American government dominated by the religious right bans homosexual acts. Thanks to mandatory testing for the "Scarpetti gene," the government identifies all gays and evacuates them to an island off the coast of California. For 35 years the two societies are isolated from each other. Heterosexuals born on the island of "Cali" are sent to the US, and homosexual babies from the US are sent to the island; otherwise the two populations never meet.
          Comment on Trump Takes Aim at Energy R&D Funds by Zero   
Unfortunately there is an imbalance in the financial beneficiaries of government research. I believe that until a more comprehensive equitable way of distributing profits from tax payer funded research, the research should be halted. Electric car development absent an equal "home" development program is an imbalance and will only result in greatly higher electricity rates for homeowners. The government has no right to select winners and losers. Decentralize the profits by providing significant subsidies, not the low subsidies and incentives now in place, directly to homeowners to install energy efficient systems including solar and wind. Decentralized, not centralized benefits are the key and a proper pathway to balanced and more sustainable growth while at the same time closing the income and wealth gap exacerbated by centralized profit models.
          'It's Falling Out Of The Trees,' Former Prosecutor Says Of Obstruction Evidence   
Hours after a news report that President Trump had asked the FBI director to back away from an investigation, Democrats seized on the information to accuse the White House of a serious crime. "We are witnessing an obstruction of justice case unfolding in real time," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., a former state attorney general. "On its face, this is a textbook prima facie case of an attempt to obstruct justice," concluded Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., a former U.S. attorney. He added: "Whether there are mitigating circumstances remains to be seen." It's far too soon to make a definitive judgment about whether any laws have been broken in connection with the president's contacts with James Comey, the FBI director he fired a week ago. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has demanded memos, recordings and other materials that Comey may have prepared, with a deadline of next week. Lawmakers from both political parties said they want to hear Comey testify in
          Trump Travel Ban Returned To Court, With President's Words At The Center   
Updated at 7 p.m. ET A 13-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit heard arguments on Monday over President Trump's revised travel ban, with judges repeatedly questioning the government's lawyer in the case about Trump's campaign call "for a complete and total shutdown" of Muslims entering the country. The president's first executive order restricting visitors from a handful of majority-Muslim countries provoked chaos at airports across the country in January. Federal judges stepped in to block the order, partly because it included legal permanent residents, who have rights under the U.S. Constitution. Weeks later, the White House issued a new order, dropping Iraq from the list of countries whose travelers faced restrictions and making clear green-card holders would not be covered. Judges on the court based in Richmond, Va., on Monday returned over and over to remarks made by Trump during the campaign. Judge Henry Floyd questioned Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey
          9/11 Simplified...   
9/11 Simplified...
James Perloff

Yes, Virginia, there really were hijackers on the 9/11 planes—but not the ones we were told

This post is not intended to be taken dogmatically; I do not insist that its conclusions are correct; they are just presented for consideration.
In this post, though they have already been much discussed and debated within alternative media, I’ll address three major components of the 9/11 controversy: (1) what brought down the Twin Towers; (2) what initially struck the Towers; and (3) what happened to the original planes and passengers.
However, there is a valid complaint often voiced in the Truth Movement, which runs like this: “I really don’t care how 9/11 was done and I’m tired of all the infighting about this. What really matters is, we know the government’s story is bogus, so we need to focus on identifying the criminals and bringing them to justice.”

I consider this a very legitimate grievance. But I don’t think we can separate “who” from “how.” When a prosecutor presents his case in a courtroom, he doesn’t name a crime’s perpetrator without describing how the crime was carried out. Nor does he present the jury with the crime’s details and methodology without identifying the suspect(s).
So let’s tackle both how and who, and we’ll start with “who,” because doing so clarifies a lot of “how.”

The Who

What’s wrong with the following math equations?
3 + 3 = 68
98 – 7 = 2
58 X 7 = 35
What’s wrong, of course, are the 8s. Take away the 8s and each equation reads correctly.
I believe that, when it comes to resolving the mystery of how 9/11 was executed, the Truth Movement suffers from a major “8” (in addition to any individual doses of cognitive dissonance that have been deliberately sprinkled in). I believe that “8” is:
9/11 was an inside job.
I believe a far more correct rendering is:
9/11 was an outside job, done by Israeli operatives, but with consent and cooperation at the highest levels of the U.S. government.
To understand this, it may be helpful to compare Israel’s vicious 1967 attack on the USS Liberty. It is well understood that President Lyndon B. Johnson and Defense Secretary Robert McNamara fully cooperated, by twice recalling U.S. fighters that the Sixth Fleet had sent to rescue the Liberty, and later by ordering a cover-up. However, at the physical operational level, the attack was carried out by Israelis, not by Americans in an “inside job.”
OK, but what’s the evidence that Israel was behind 9/11? By far the best summary I’ve seen is the WikiSpooks post 9-11/Israel Did It. (Incidentally, as many of my regular readers know, I’m half-Jewish on my father’s side, so knee-jerk charges against me of “anti-Semitism” can be stuffed in the appropriate place.)
A sampling of highlights:
• The five notorious “dancing Israelis” who filmed the Twin Towers’ destruction, after which they celebrated, high-fiving each other and even photographing themselves flicking a lighter against the backdrop of the smoking ruins. They were arrested after driving off in a van whose license number was reported by a neighbor. Later it was revealed that at least two of them were agents of Mossad, Israel’s intelligence service.
• Michael Chertoff was put in charge of the Justice Department’s investigation of 9/11, despite his mother having been a Mossad agent, and Chertoff himself reportedly holding dual citizenship in Israel. Chertoff released hundreds of arrested Israelis back to Israel, including the notorious “dancing Israelis.”
• Quoting Wikispooks: “The company that ran airport security at all three airports where the alleged hijackings originated was Huntsleigh USA, a wholly owned subsidiary of ICTS International and owned by Ezra Harel and Menachem Atzmon —both Israeli Jews.”
• ”Lucky Larry” Silverstein, who became the new owner of the World Trade Center less than two months before the attacks, and earned an insurance payout of nearly $5 billion on his $124 million investment (after missing the disaster due to a fortuitous doctor’s appointment on the morning of 9/11) was such good friends with Benjamin Netanyahu that the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported in November 2001: “Every Sunday afternoon, New York time, Netanyahu would call Silverstein. It made no difference what the subject was or where Netanyahu was, he would always call.”1
• Supported by funds from Israel’s government, Zim Israel Navigational was the world’s ninth largest shipping firm. It had its American headquarters in the World Trade Center—until about two weeks before 9/11. Zim then moved its offices and employees to a new building, claiming rent was cheaper there.
• The 9/11 Commission’s executive director was Philip Zelikow, a dual U.S.-Israeli citizen. Why should anyone with sworn loyalty to a foreign nation be entrusted with such a position?
• On 9/11, the chairman of George W. Bush’s Defense Policy Board was Richard Perle, whom the National Security Agency had caught spying on the U.S. for Israel in 1970.
• On 9/11, employees of the Israeli instant messaging company Odigo received messages two hours before the attack, warning them not to be in the World Trade Center.
• Ptech, a software firm linked to Israeli intelligence, had provided vital software being used by the FAA, FBI, and U.S. armed forces on 9/11.
• On 9/11, seated in row 9 of Flight 11 (directly behind “Mohammed Atta”) was Danny Lewin, a former captain in the IDF (Israeli Defense Force), and who served in the Sayeret Matkal, which specializes in counter-terrorism, hostage rescue, and assassination. Lewin could bench-press 315 pounds and “was trained to kill terrorists with a pen or a credit card, or just his bare hands.”2 In 2000, he had himself photographed in front of panels resembling the Twin Towers, wearing a Swatch Watch whose model name was “Hijacker.” The hour, minute and second hands were all on the “11” and the date was set to the 11th, even though the picture was taken on the 10th.

The odds against all four time indicators being on “11” are more than 20,000 to 1. Times the odds of the watch model being named “Hijacker”: unfathomable.
That’s just a small sampling of the evidence that Israel did 9/11. When police detectives try to solve a murder, among the first questions asked is: Who benefitted from the crime? In 9/11’s case, Middle Eastern Muslims did not benefit—the U.S. has been making war on them for 16 years. America did not benefit—we’re suffering the casualties and trillions in costs from the wars, as well as degradation of our liberties in the name of security. The only beneficiary was Israel—her enemies have been neutralized one by one, courtesy America, in fulfillment of the Greater Israel plan, with Iran reputedly next on the hit list.
That’s the main who; let’s talk about the how.

(1) How were the Twin Towers destroyed?

Within alternative media are three major schools of thought about this. One is nano-thermite, largely advocated by Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth. Another is Directed Energy Weapons (DEWs), whose foremost advocate is Dr. Judy Wood. The third is nuclear devices, which I and a few others support. Let me be clear: I have friends in all three camps, and differing opinions on this matter don’t impede our friendships.
I’ve laid out why I believe the Twin Towers’ collapse was a nuclear event in an extensive blog post. To minimize redundancy, I’ll shrink this to a “top ten” list:


1. Thyroid cancer occurs at above-average frequency in 9/11 first responders more than any other type of cancer (see full post for citations). This is a signature of nuclear bombs; they emit iodine-131, which collects in the thyroid, often causing cancer. (This is why some people keep potassium iodide tablets on hand—to protect their thyroid glands in case of a nuclear attack.)
2. World Trade Center dust samples examined by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) found Uranium, Strontium, Barium, Thorium, and other products of nuclear fission, in high concentrations that only an atomic blast could explain. Although the Survey avoided calling attention to the significance, William Tahil vetted it in his pioneering 2006 book Ground Zero: The Nuclear Demolition of the World Trade Centre. (The phrase “ground zero,” incidentally, had only been applied to nuclear detonation sites prior to 9/11.)
3. There was molten steel underneath the rubble of the World Trade Center, whose fires kept burning for over three months. Extraordinary heat is yet another signature of a nuclear bomb.
(Note: I’m aware that molten steel was seen at a corner of the South Tower before its collapse; I don’t doubt that pre-planted explosives were in the Towers, probably including the incendiary thermite, but I don’t believe these explosives were what destroyed the WTC. To clarify, each Tower had six basement levels, and the thesis of my full post—which I had excellent assistance with—is that each Tower was destroyed by a suitcase nuke positioned at the lowest point in either building: the services pits beneath elevator 50. This was the only elevator that ran the full length of either Tower, and the only elevator whose service pits were carved into the bedrock beneath the World Trade Center. This location would make the ideal “launching pad” for a nuke, as the bedrock would contain the sideways and downward force of a nuclear explosion, which would follow the path of least resistance up through the shaft. See the full post for diagrams.)
4. The Towers did not simply “fall,” they exploded, throwing chunks of steel weighing multiple tons hundreds of feet. Check, for example, this piece that embedded itself in the American Express Building across the street:

No exotic weapons are needed to explain this. A nuclear bomb is the most powerful explosive known.
5. The Towers’ inner contents were vaporized: no furniture, filing cabinets (except one), computers, or toilets survived. All turned into dust. Even the buildings’ concrete became dust, instead of falling as chunks of debris. The vaporization, of course, included the people inside (whole bodies that were found belonged to people who jumped before the Towers disintegrated). Not only is a nuclear bomb the most powerful explosive known, its blast—unlike conventional explosives—endures for several seconds, enabling it to inflict considerably more damage.
6. At the times of the two Tower “collapses,” seismographs at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, New York, recorded enormous off-the-chart spikes consistent with huge explosions.

This shot of the South Tower exploding caught a huge singular upward burst of energy.
7. A nuclear blast explains the damage to the rest of the World Trade Center. Buildings 5 and 7 suffered enormous fires, and building 6 was cratered out. These phenomena could not have begun before the Towers’ destruction; otherwise, videos of the burning Towers would have shown additional smoke plumes, and cameras would have panned to the blazes.
Nuclear blasts originating at the lowest levels of the Twin Towers may provide the answer. Underground the World Trade Center was interconnected by pipes, not only for sewage, but a 3-foot-wide storm water drainage system.
Any building’s place at greatest risk for flooding is its lowest point. For the Twin Towers, this would have been Elevator 50’s service pits. From here flood water would be pumped through pipes to the 36-inch storm drain. Thus atomic blasts here would not only follow the path of least resistance through Elevator 50’s shaft, but through the 36-inch storm water drain, traveling through the underground pipes and shooting up through buildings 5, 6 and 7, igniting them. Falling debris could not have caused the raging internal fires seen in the smaller buildings; edifices outside the World Trade Center (American Express Building, Winter Garden Atrium) were heavily impacted by debris, but they did not catch fire. THEY WERE NOT CONNECTED TO THE WTC’S UNDERGROUND DRAINAGE SYSTEM.
Please see my full post for elaboration and documentation of the above point.
8. On 9/11, New Yorkers fled two terrifying dust clouds that engulfed the area surrounding the WTC. Anyone who watches videos of nuclear bombs detonating will see that they create sprawling ground-level clouds. Although building demolitions also routinely make dust clouds, the 9/11 ones seemed to have had a life of their own.


Chris Bollyn "9-11 Deception: Greater Killsrael"  

          Brandon Smith: “Next Phase of Collapse Will Include the End of the Dollar as We Know It”   
Brandon Smith: “Next Phase of Collapse Will Include the End of the Dollar as We Know It”

The Federal Reserve Is A Saboteur – And The “Experts” Are Oblivious
I have written on the subject of the Federal Reserve’s deliberate sabotage of the U.S. economy many times in the past. In fact, I even once referred to the Fed as an “economic suicide bomber.” I still believe the label fits perfectly, and the Fed’s recent actions I think directly confirm my accusations.
Back in 2015, when I predicted that the central bankers would shift gears dramatically into a program of consistent interest rate hikes and that they would begin cutting off stimulus to the U.S. financial sector and more specifically stock markets, almost no one wanted to hear it. The crowd-think at that time was that the Fed would inevitably move to negative interest rates, and that raising rates was simply “impossible.”

Many analysts, even in the liberty movement, quickly adopted this theory without question. Why? Because of a core assumption that is simply false; the assumption that the Federal Reserve’s goal is to maintain the U.S. economy at all costs or at least maintain the illusion that the economy is stable. They assume that the U.S. economy is indispensable to the globalists and that the U.S. dollar is an unassailable tool in their arsenal. Therefore, the Fed would never deliberately undermine the American fiscal structure because without it “they lose their golden goose.”
This is, of course, foolish nonsense.
Since its initial inception from 1913-1916, the Federal Reserve has been responsible for the loss of 98% of the dollar’s buying power. Idiot analysts in the mainstream argue that this statistic is not as bad as it seems because “people have been collecting interest” on their cash while the dollar’s value has been dropping, and this somehow negates or outweighs any losses in purchasing power. These guys are so dumb they don’t even realize the underlying black hole in their own argument.
IF someone put their savings into an account or into treasury bonds and earned interest from the moment the Fed began quickly undermining dollar value way back in 1959, then yes, they MIGHT have offset the loss by collecting interest. However, this argument, insanely, forgets to take into account the many millions of people who were born long after the Fed began its devaluation program. What about the “savers” born in 1980, or 1990? They didn’t have the opportunity to collect interest to offset the losses already created by the Fed. They were born into an economy where saving is inherently more difficult because a person must work much harder to save the same amount of capital that their parents saved, not to mention purchase the same items their parents enjoyed, such as a home or a car.
Over the decades, the Fed has made it nearly impossible for households with one wage earner to support a family. Today, men and women who should be in the prime of their careers and starting families are for the first time in 130 years more likely to be living at home with their parents than any other living arrangement.
People are more likely to be living with their parents now than back during time periods in which young people actually wanted to stay close to their parents to take care of them. That is to say, most young people are stuck at home because they can’t afford to do anything else, not because they necessarily want to be there.
This is almost entirely a symptom of central bank devaluation of the currency and its purchasing potential. The degradation of the American wage earner since the Fed fiat machine began killing the greenback is clear as day.
The Fed is also responsible for almost every single major economic downturn since it was established. As I have noted in the past, Ben Bernanke openly admitted that the Fed was the root cause of the prolonged economic carnage during the Great Depression on Nov. 8, 2002, in a speech given at “A Conference to Honor Milton Friedman … On the Occasion of His 90th Birthday:”
“In short, according to Friedman and Schwartz, because of institutional changes and misguided doctrines, the banking panics of the Great Contraction were much more severe and widespread than would have normally occurred during a downturn.
Let me end my talk by abusing slightly my status as an official representative of the Federal Reserve. I would like to say to Milton and Anna: Regarding the Great Depression. You’re right, we did it. We’re very sorry. But thanks to you, we won’t do it again.”
Bernanke is referring in part to the Fed’s program of raising interest rates into an economic downturn, exacerbating the situation in the early 1930’s and making the system highly unstable. He lies and says the Fed “won’t do it again;” they are doing it RIGHT NOW.
The Fed was the core instigator behind the credit and derivatives bubble that led to the crash in 2008, a crash that has caused depression-like conditions in America that we are still to this day dealing with. Through artificially low interest rates and in partnership with sectors of government, poor lending standards were highly incentivised and a massive debt trap was created. Former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan publicly admitted in an interview that the central bank KNEW an irrational bubble had formed, but claims they assumed the negative factors would “wash out.”
Yet again, a Fed chairman admits that they either knew about or caused a major financial crisis. So we are left two possible conclusions — they were too stupid to speak up and intervene, or, they wanted these disasters to occur.
Today, we are faced with two more brewing bubble catastrophes engineered by the Fed: The stock market bubble and the dollar/treasury bond bubble.
The stock market bubble is rather obvious and openly admitted at this point. As the former head of the Federal Reserve Dallas branch, Richard Fisher, admitted in an interview with CNBC, the U.S. central bank in particular has made its business the manipulation of the stock market to the upside since 2009:
“What the Fed did — and I was part of that group — is we front-loaded a tremendous market rally, starting in 2009.
It’s sort of what I call the “reverse Whimpy factor” — give me two hamburgers today for one tomorrow.”
Fisher went on to hint at his very reserved view of the impending danger:
“I was warning my colleagues, Don’t go wobbly if we have a 10 to 20 percent correction at some point… Everybody you talk to… has been warning that these markets are heavily priced.” [In reference to interest rate hikes]
The Fed “front-loaded” the incredible bull market rally through various methods, but one of the key tools was the use of near-zero interest rate overnight loans from the central bank, which corporations around the world have been exploiting since the 2008 crash to fund stock buybacks and pump up the value of stock markets. As noted by Edward Swanson, author of a study from Texas A&M on stock buybacks used to offset poor fundamentals:
“We can’t say for sure what would have happened without the repurchase, but it really looks like the stock would have kept going down because of the decline in fundamentals… these repurchases seem to hold up the stock price.”
In the initial TARP audit, an audit that was limited and never again duplicated, it was revealed that corporations had absorbed trillions in overnight loans from the Fed. It was at this time that stock buybacks became the go-to method to artificially prop up equities values.
The problem is, just like they did at the start of the Great Depression, the central bank is once again raising interest rates into a declining economy. This means that all those no-cost loans used by corporations to buy back their own stocks are now going to have a price tag attached. An interest rate of 1% might not seem like much to someone who borrows $1000, but what about for someone who borrows $1 Trillion? Yes, borrowing at ANY interest rate becomes impossible when you need that much capital to prop up your stock. The loans have to be free, otherwise, there will be no loans.
Thus, we have to ask ourselves another question; is the Fed really ignorant enough to NOT know that raising rates will kill stock markets? They openly admit that they knew what they were doing when they inflated stock markets, so it seems to me that they would know how to deflate stock markets. Therefore, if they deliberately engineered the market rally with low interest rates, it follows that they are deliberately engineering a crash in markets using higher interest rates.
Mainstream economists and investment “experts” appear rather bewildered by the Federal Reserve’s exuberance on rate hikes. Many assumed that Janet Yellen would hint at a pullback from the hike schedule due to the considerable level of negative data on our fiscal structure released over the past six months. Yellen has done the opposite. In fact, Fed officials are now stating that equities and other assets appear to be “overvalued” and that markets have become complacent. This is a major reversal from the central bank’s attitude just two years ago. The fundamental data has always been negative ever since the credit crisis began. So what has really changed?
Well, Donald Trump, the sacrificial scapegoat, is now in the White House, and, central bank stimulus has a shelf life.  They can’t prop up equities for much longer even if they wanted to. The fundamentals will always catch up with the fiat illusion. No nation in history has ever been able to print its way to prosperity or even recovery. The time is now for the Fed to pull the plug and lay blame in the lap of their mortal enemy – conservatives and sovereignty champions. They will ignore all financial reality and continue to hike. This is a guarantee.
In the Liberty Movement the major misconception is that the Fed is attempting to “catch up” to the next crash by raising interest rates so that they will be ready to stimulate again. There is no catching up to this situation. The Fed has no interest in saving stock markets or the economy. Again, the fed has raised rates before into fiscal decline (during the Great Depression), and the result was a prolonged crisis. They know exactly what they are doing.
What does the Fed gain from this sabotage? Total centralization. For example, before the Great Depression there used to be thousands of smaller private and localized banks in America. After the Great Depression most of those banks were either destroyed or absorbed by elite banking conglomerates. Banking in the U.S. immediately became a fully centralized monopoly by the majors. In a decade, they were able to remove all local competition and redundancy, making communities utterly beholden to their credit system.
The 2008 crash allowed the banking elites to introduce vast stimulus measures requiring unaccountable fiat money creation. Rather than saving America from crisis, they have expanded the crisis to the point that it will soon threaten the world reserve status of our currency. The Fed in particular has set the U.S. up not just for a financial depression, but for a full spectrum calamity which will include a considerable devaluation (yet again) of our currency’s value and resulting in extreme price inflation in necessities.
The next phase of this collapse will include the end of the dollar as we know it, making way for a new global currency system that uses the IMF’s SDR basket as a foundation. This plan is openly admitted in the elitist run magazine ‘The Economist’ in an article entitled “Get Ready For A Global Currency By 2018.
It is important to understand what the Fed actually is — the Fed is a weapon. It is a weapon used by globalists to destroy the American system at a given point in time in order to clear the way for a new single world economy controlled by a single managerial entity (most likely the IMF or BIS). This is the Fed’s purpose. The central bank is not here to save the U.S. from harm, it is here to make sure the U.S. falls in a particular manner — a controlled demolition of our fiscal structure.

The US Is Becoming A 3rd World Nation As The Economy Breaks Down: Paul Craig Roberts


          Spiritual Wickedness in High Places: Malachi Martin on The End of Religion (As We Know It)   
Spiritual Wickedness in High Places: Malachi Martin on The End of Religion (As We Know It)
(Note: The following was one of the last interviews by Malachi Martin before his death in 1999.)

      Ever since Nimrod and the Tower of Babel, the Power Elite have never given up on their feverish dream of a One World Government.

      Former Jesuit Malachi Martin's novel, Windswept House (Doubleday/ Main Street Books), offers a lurid behind the scenes look at a cabal of Vatican insiders who want to use the Roman Catholic Church as a foundation for a politico-religious New World Order.

      The plot of the novel involves a group of Church officials who scheme with a group of like-minded corporate executives to manipulate the Church into a ready-made infrastructure for a One World Religion -- a universal umbrella for everybody from Episcopalians to voodoo practitioners.

      The new ecumenicalism is clothed in Globalist garb. The agenda includes promoting issues like population control, environmentalism and secular humanism, which the plotters hope will eventually lead to the complete secularization of religion. 

      The most outrageous and controversial premise of the novel -- described in great detail in the prologue -- is that a ceremony was performed in the Vatican in 1963 -- an occult ritual which enthroned the fallen archangel Lucifer as the head of the Roman Catholic Church.

      Does Dr. Martin believe that this enthronement actually took place in his novel, which could liberally be described as a roman a clef?

      "Yes, it did," he says emphatically. "Beyond a shadow of a doubt in my mind. But now the place, time, hour etc., are all obfuscated to protect the guilty and save the innocent."

      Was it common knowledge in the Vatican at the time? "Not common knowledge," explains Martin. "But I found out about it by being a member of the Vatican circles that learned these things. It's like everything else. I'm sure there are people floating around Washington, and they know an awful lot about what's going on. Someone says, 'how do you know that'? Well, it's just... we know it."

      The story ofWindswept House continues in present day Europe as an international group of conspirators spanning Church and State plots a one world government on behalf of Lucifer. So are readers to infer that no matter what happens, the Pope and the Church hierarchy are bound to serve the fallen angel?

      "No," explains Dr. Martin. "What it means is that for the moment, Lucifer the biggest archangel, the leader of the revolt against God, has a big in with certain Vatican officials. Enthronement doesn't mean that he rules. It means that they did their best to put him there. The ideal would be to have their man as Pope. In that case then Satan would be enthroned."

      The book goes on to describe how two brothers, one a priest and the other an investment banker, grapple with these awesome consequences as pawns in the game. Meanwhile the cabal of Globalist-oriented Vatican officials and European-based internationalists try to corner the Pope into voluntary resignation so that they can get their man in the Chair of Peter.

      This theme coincidentally is also the basis, albeit in non-fiction form, of Martin's book The Keys of This Blood: Pope John Paul II Versus Russia and the West for Control of the New World Order.

      The upshot? A One World Government is a fait accompli, he infers. What Dr. Martin calls the "millennium endgame" is a competition for a new global hegemony by the key Globalist players. What's interesting is that the novel appears to be a seamless transition from his previous non-fiction work. The reader then is put in the position of concluding that the New World Order is a done deal, that a One World Government is here and now and, as the expression goes, it's all over but the crying.

      But you wouldn't expect Globalist agit-prop from a former Jesuit. Or would you?

The Enthronement of Lucifer in the Vatican


And Who Is Malachi Martin?

      Author of 15 books on religious and geo-political topics, Malachi Martin is highly regarded and respected as a world renowned scholar.

      Trained in theology at Louvain, he received his doctorates in Semitic Languages, Archaeology and Oriental History. He subsequently studied at Oxford and Hebrew University in Jerusalem. From 1958 to 1964, he served in Rome, where he was a close associate of the Jesuit cardinal Augustin Bea and Pope John XXIII, as well as a professor at the Vatican's Pontifical Biblical Institute.

      Malachi Martin is the author of many best-selling books including Vatican, Hostage to the Devil, The Jesuits, The Final Conclave, and The Keys of This Blood. Also he was a Roman Catholic priest of the Society of Jesus until 1964 when he left the Jesuits. Why?

      "It was a grave decision," he says. "I could see the way the Church was going, the way churchmen were going in their decisions and all the anchors I had for morality and zeal were being undone. Then when the Vatican Council started in 1962, I could see the way the flow of opinion was going in the Vatican by a group of cardinals from Belgium, Germany and France. They were maneuvering the Church into totally new ecclesiology. I couldn't accept this."

      As an advisor to three Popes, Dr. Martin has had his fair share of romanita, that uniquely Roman methodology of connivance and power politicking. "I started off as an advisor on Judaism," he continues. "I was trained in Semitic languages and I spent a year and a half studying the Talmud... Then my superiors in Rome also found that I understood Judaism very well. They wanted someone to explain it, since they were studying the whole question of Jewish-Christian relations. So I was drafted into helping with that."

      And the outcome? "They produced a document in which they sort of absolved the Jewish people of the death of Christ."

      Based on his research? "No, not on my research," argues Martin. "I was only a cog in the wheel. I didn't agree with the final document either. It went too far. And then there were conclusions about the need for Catholics to study Judaism and get to know them better."

So this was the ecumenicalization of the Church that was going on?

      "That's it in one word," concurs Martin. "And I couldn't agree with the total effect of all that because I thought they went too far."

      Dr. Martin was also involved with Vatican intelligence. What did he do? "Just assessing things in Israel, whatever anti-Christianity there was amongst the Israelis. There was and still is. And what was the position of the Arabs. I used to live in Jordan and Lebanon and Egypt. I knew those places very well and could assess the position of the Church and the various Christian communities."

      The many-talented Dr. Martin is also known as a practicing exorcist and has even written a book about the subject called Hostage to the Devil.

      He says he came up against evil as a force in the world in an uncontrovertible undeniable way in his first exorcism.

      "I was in Cairo and it was evil," Dr. Martin recalls.

      "You know you only have to enter its presence, or for it to enter your presence to know that you are in the presence of something which is summarily evil."

      "It's invisible. You can't see it. But you know it wants you dead. Dead. Dead. And in a horrible way," he repeats in a hypnotic voice. "It's touching your very bones by its presence."

      So how does he explain the phenomenon of demonic possession? "Free will", says Dr. Martin. "For the first time in the work we have been doing for thirty-one years in this corner of the globe, during the last ten years or so, we have found young men and women thirty-somethings or twenty-somethings coming forward and saying, 'Listen I made a pact with the devil. I wanted this woman. I wanted this man. I wanted this job. I wanted this money. I wanted this, this, this, and I made a pact and he gave it to me and now I can't get free of him. He dominates my will. Please liberate me. And then people get to it by means of things like a ouija board or by spiritual seances or channeling."

      Malachi Martin is also known as a serious scholar of apocryphal writings, having authored a book called The Scribal Character of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

      (As an impressive mark of his erudition, Malachi Martin even knew about the alternative Abraham and Isaac story in one of the so-called Pseudepigrapha, the Book of Jubilees. In this unsanctioned version of Genesis, Abraham is commanded to kill his son, but not by God. Instead it is Mastema, a fallen angel known as "the accusing angel" as well as the Tempter and Executioner, who tells the Hebrew patriarch to do the dirty deed. To his credit, of course, Abraham doesn't slaughter his firstborn. When asked why the Genesis version omits details of the fallen angel Mastema as the instigator of Abraham's test, however, even Malachi Martin admits ignorance.)

Bernard Janzen "Fr. Malachi Martin: Camouflaged Apostasy"

The Globalist Imperative

      Like the prissy intellectuals of the 1930s enamored by National Socialism (as well as Fabian Socialism), the current fin de siecle version of internationalists are likewise paving their own road to a Globalist hell with good intentions.

      Using the Hegelian model of history, first there was Capitalism (thesis), then Communism (antithesis), and now there's the New World Order (synthesis), risen from the ashes of the Cold War and the formerly 'competing' ideologies.

      International socialism or corporate fascism (aka Globalism) is, in fact, the trendy philosophy for the end of the millennium. In his book Megatrends 2000, Olympian futurist John Naisbitt calls it "free market socialism," a hybrid economic system that combines welfare state policies with multinational corporate business on a global level.

      Globalism, however, as a secular religion, has a dogma all its own. Its primary belief system is based on the notion that the usefulness of the nation-state is over. In other words, national sovereignty is a thing of the past and a One World Government is inevitable. But... this effort, at least for now, must be couched in cryptic language for the unwashed masses. Otherwise they'd get too upset.

      Globalist spokesman Zbigniew Brzezinski, former Columbia University professor, President Carter's former National Security advisor, and founder of the Trilateral Commission spoke at the Gorbachev Foundation's State of the World Forum in 1995, "We cannot leap into world government in one quick step," he said. "(It) requires a process of gradually expanding the range of democratic cooperation." In plain language, that means people must be further indoctrinated.

      Eurocrat Jean-Marie Guehenno hints at this global hegemony or one world totalitarianism calling it an "empire without an emperor." Guehenno wrote The End of the Nation-State (1995) which was called La fin de la democratie (The End of Democracy) in the original French version. Since nation states are obsolete, he claims, "'wise men' capable of thinking through the finite world that has become our common lot" must be entrusted to guide us into what he calls an 'Imperial Age'." Presumably Guehenno counts himself as one of the ranks of "The Wise Men."

      Most striking though is a chapter in Guehenno's book called "Religions without God", which evokes the image of the humanist shaking his fist at an empty sky. The ultimate reduction of this conundrum for the internationalists is to hint at a "global politburo" to run the world as posited by Paul Mazur in Unfinished Business (1979).

      According to Dr. Martin's nomenclature, Guehenno is one of the Transnationalists -- bureaucrats who believe that Globalism is based on "the development of new and ever wider interrelationships between the governments of the world".

      On the other hand, the Internationalists are "individuals who operate from a power base of finance, industry and technology". Together these groups are the Globalists, the social engineers conniving for the convergence of East and West in the so-called New World Order.

Luciferian Geo-Politics

      For a Churchman, Malachi Martin shows a remarkable familiarity and understanding of Luciferianism, a belief system which hold human wisdom, secular humanism if you will, as its paragon and the fallen archangel Lucifer as the Prince who will rule the world.

      Readers ofWindswept Houseare given the impression that the old traditional Catholic Church is good because the protagonists, Christian Gladstone and his mother are defending it, while we know that the Church has been dedicated to Lucifer. Faced with these two alternatives, the conclusion is that the Roman Catholic Church run by Lucifer is good -- a classic (and incredibly sophisticated) double bind, which is constantly reinforced in the reader's mind throughout the 646 pages of the novel.

      "Well, the Church itself has not been given to Lucifer," argues Dr. Martin. "He was enthroned in the Vatican by Vatican officials. That doesn't mean he possesses the Church yet. The Church anyway is an ambiguous term because it either means the actual physical bloc of churches, convents, libraries, academies, parish houses and cathedrals, the physical plant. Or it means the group of faithful in the state of grace whether they are alive in Purgatory or in Heaven. That is the body of Christ."

      "There has always been, since the fourth century, this organization set up by the Emperor Constantine. But that is not essential for the Church. The Church can exist without it. So that mystical body of Christ has not fallen into Lucifer's hands. The organization to some degree has. That's the difficulty."

      What about the book putting his readers in a double bind? You're presented with two choices. Either A. The Luciferian-controlled Roman Catholic Church. Or B. The Luciferian-controlled New World Order. So where does Malachi Martin find himself?

      "The New World Order is definitely won by Luciferian believers," says Dr. Martin. "There's no doubt about that."

      And then he starts to rationalize their modus operandi.

      "But these are men who came to be and are in their actions at least, humanitarian and philanthropic. They want to wipe out hunger and disease. They want to limit the population of the world. They believe the world is headed for mass starvation. They also want to enter into education. They would like to have an alliance with the Roman Catholic Church and with another pope. This one -- they know would stand in their way in regards to population control because he is deadstart against abortion, contraceptives, genetic engineering."

      And what about "The Process" he refers to in his book?

      Dr. Martin replies that it's the "Luciferian Process" of secularizing every religious mind so that the common mind today would be one which regarded the earth as a planned paradise to be built up. There is no God above the skies, no heaven, and there is no hell beneath the earth. It's complete secularization."

      (John Lennon's classic rock anthem "Imagine" comes to mind. "Imagine there's no country," he sang. "It isn't hard to do. Nothing to kill or die for. And no religion too.")

      But do the Luciferians have a timetable?

      "We are now according to the official doctrine of the Luciferians in what they call "the Availing Time". They have a tradition that in these years they can avail of the time to install the Prince, who is Lucifer, as the greatest power on earth in charge of human civilization and adored by men."

      And to what end?

      "To exalt the power of Lucifer. That is the end in itself. It's the Luciferian purpose. If they don't do it in these years, then it is put off sine die, without resolution. They are very keen on getting it done."

      And what are the next steps in this "Process"?

      "The purpose is to secularize education completely," continues Dr. Martin. "And to eliminate from considerations of life and death -- medicine, sociality, finance, birth, development etc., to free that of any religious presumption whatever. To free it from the superstition of religion so that man is dealt with scientifically and humanly. And that is 'the Process'. 'The Process' is to make the human mind accept that... 'The Process' is whereby all education, primary secondary and higher, college university and all public activity is completely rid of all religious presumptions."

      "There is a layer of satanism, of satanist ritual which prepares people for perfect Luciferian adoption. They have covens and sacrifices and rites. The Luciferians have no rites, you know."

      So dabbling with satanism in these rituals leads to a different form of "commitment" which is Luciferianism?

      "It is a preparation for Luciferianism and there are reversals sometimes," claims Dr. Martin. "You will find a crowd of Luciferians having a satanic ritual as a reminder of things. But they have all passed through in a sense and that involves three things: the infliction of pain without flinching, the infliction of death without flinching, and the use of fire."

Windswept House — Message and Subtext

      In Windswept House, Christians and Luciferians clash over the remains of the Roman Catholic Church. It's a controversial and provocative story, a political thriller with metaphysical implications. It delves into the depths of treachery, intrigue and Machiavellian politics at the highest levels of the Church. As a fact-based novel with frequent lengthy asides on real historical geopolitical events like the fall of the Soviet Empire and the Helsinki Accords,Windswept House is a vehicle for one simple message -- the New World Order is here and now.

      While a group of cardinals scheme to force the Pope to resign his office so they'll be able to install a man who will do the Luciferians' bidding, a priest, Christian Gladstone is called to Rome. Cardinal Maestroianni, a power player and one of the leaders of the cabal, enlists the priest to poll bishops regarding closer ties with the European Economic Community. In fact, however, the Cardinal is assessing the timing for a conclave in which the Slavic Pope would be forced to resign because he has become a stumbling block in the Luciferians' plans.

      From the business side, Paul Gladstone, Christian's brother and an expert in international relations working at a Globalist law firm, is also unknowingly recruited to bring the Luciferian plan to fruition. When the brothers find out they are both being unwittingly used in the schemes of the Luciferians, they join forces. Christian then must reach the Pope to tell him that he is being manipulated to abdicate the Chair of Peter.

      Will the Pope resign? And will he exorcise the Church in time?

      The subtext? It doesn't really make a hell of a lot of a difference. 

Father Malachi Martin: End of Christian Civilization

The Future of the Church Militant

      In his novelWindswept House Malachi Martin expostulates his readers regarding the reasons why the "Slavic Pope" (Pope John Paul II) is so ineffectual. But what is the Pope's agenda as he sees it?

      "I think that from the very start John Paul II for whatever reasons, has sought after one thing and one thing only," says Dr. Martin. The formation of what now appears to be in his mind, a universal assemblage of Catholics at the core; grouped with them the Protestant denominations, sects and churches; grouped around them believing Jews, believing Muslims, believing Hindus, believing Buddhists. And that would be a universal religious assembly that could have a powerful dynamic kick in civilization and in solving the problems of men and women today. That is the only thing you can really say this man has sought heart and soul and body with all his travelling. When he went to churches all over the world, member churches of the Catholic Church in all the countries, he was bolstering the reputation of the papacy and he was speaking Catholic dogma, Catholic belief, Catholic morals. But in reality he was reaching out to everybody. He wanted to make friends with everybody."

      And what about the widespread homosexuality, pedophilia and satanic rituals in the Church, common knowledge he avers known to all Vatican insiders? Since as he wrote Christ is no longer honored in the tabernacle, what does he think will happen?

      "Once the tabernacle is emptied of Christ's real presence, then the Church ceases to be holy and therefore it's going to be entered by the opposite power, Lucifer," says Martin. "And this is taking place now. Not widespread, but it is taking place. There's no doubt about that."

      So will the Church fall on its own? "It's disintegrating slowly," says Martin. "As an organization, it's being marginalized sociopolitically and culturally. And religiously, it's weakening and decaying, obsolescing..."

      "If you look at any country today there are three identifiable components of that State. One, the government. Two, there is industry. Third, there are what we call NGOs, the non-governmental organizations. That's everything from Mothers Against Drunk Drivers to the Catholic Church. And they're just simply lumped together, voluntary associations with as much power as they can grasp but of no special importance. Now fifty or seventy years ago, when an ethical or moral question arose, people and governments looked to the churches. Now they don't any longer."

      And yet another sensitive question. Something doesn't add up. Malachi Martin's a priest. He's supposed to fight evil. Yet his bookWindswept Houseis clear evidence that he's thrown in the towel.

      "Well I don't see evidence of having thrown in the towel," protests Dr. Martin. "Because there's a lot I'm being made to pay for, in the sense that the writer obviously likes and reveres this Pope even though he disagrees with him. The writer also believes in the blessed sacrament. He believes in the Pope's infallibility. He believes in salvation. He believes in hell. He believes in the evil of the devil."

      So why doesn'tWindswept Houseend with Christ victorious in the book?

      Does Dr. Martin believe that the Luciferian forces have won already?

      "No. No. No," insists Dr. Martin. "This is an interim book. It ends in a big doubt -- everybody waiting." This must be what they call the European ending -- as opposed to the American ending where all the loose ends are tied up.

      Then the story shifts into "The Devil, Er, I Mean the Editor Made Me Do It". "The publisher said, 'listen the story isn't finished yet,'" says Dr. Martin. "I had a lovely glorious ending. I had a vision. I had a marvellous thing over the Alps. He cut it out."

      This is an actual editorial decision? "Yes," says Dr. Martin.

      But with all due respect, it almost sounds like Luciferian tampering. Not that anyone wants a saccharine ending. So are readers to conclude that the Luciferians won because of the passivity of the Pope in defending the Church?

      "Well, they haven't won yet," says Dr. Martin on a slightly upbeat note. "We're waiting for this man to do something. He's the Vicar of Christ. I know I'm defending him but..."

      "Readers who call me or write me say, what do we do now? I say, read my next book," he continues.

      With Martin's death on July 28, 1999, his suggestion seems to be a moot point.

      "So perhaps editorially," he concludes, "it was the right decision, but religiously it was the wrong decision. I don't know."

      It's been said that "by their fruits, ye shall know them." Malachi Martin's assent to the so-called "process" is the tangible "fruit" of Windswept House.

      Is the novel a prophecy? Or is it just a warning?

      In any case, the New (Luciferian) World Order that Martin describes puts a religious spin to the whole "process" of history.

It's also clear -- the book is a Luciferian masterpiece.  

TradCatKnight in the media: THE SATANIC VATICAN DECEPTION 

          Decision on Waikato's med school bid looms   
After months of campaigning, the fate of Waikato's med school bid nows sits with the Government.
          [$$$] Construction Job Board - Superintendent (6035716) - Aerotek   
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          This Popular Island Destination Is Exporting Monkeys for Cruel Experiments   
Mauritius is one of the world's largest suppliers of non-human primates for inhumane medical experiments.

Mauritius, a small island in the Indian Ocean, is a dream holiday destination for tourists from all over the world. It is famous for its beautiful beaches, lagoons, tropical climate, heritage sites, lush forests and wildlife. Yet, this idyllic location is also infamous for a sinister reason—the cruel exploitation of its population of monkeys. Mauritius is one of the world’s largest participants in the cruel trade of supplying non-human primates for experiments. In 2016, 8,245 long-tailed macaques were exported from Mauritius to the USA, Canada and Europe with 3,522 imported by the USA, the largest importer of monkeys from Mauritius.

In Mauritius, the long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis) lives freely. However, the species is not considered indigenous, despite having been well-established on the island for about 400 years. Although the species is listed on Appendix II of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), there exists no legislation to protect the primates of Mauritius. Instead, they are widely persecuted and exploited.

Historically, monkeys were trapped in the wild to be shipped overseas. Following international condemnation of the trade in wild-caught primates, tens of thousands of primates are now held in farms across Mauritius. Many of these animals were captured from the wild and are now imprisoned in these farms and used for breeding. Denied their freedom in the lush foliage of their jungle homes, these individuals spend their lives behind bars, on concrete. Their offspring are transported as ‘cargo’ in small wooden crates on airplanes to laboratories around the world to feed the international research industry.

Tourism is a key pillar of the economy of Mauritius and contributes significantly to the economic growth of the island. Mauritius is also promoting the island’s image as a green, eco-friendly tourist destination. The reputation of Mauritius as a country where the environment is valued is being put at risk by the export of monkeys for cruel experiments. Added to this is the introduction of recent regulations that will, for the first time, allow such experiments to be carried out on the island itself. The main species to be used in the research will be the country’s population of long-tailed macaques.

It cannot be argued that the economic benefits of the monkey trade and potential revenue from experiments are more important than tourism. Even a brief glance at the figures shows this controversial trade, worth less than 2 percent of Mauritian export, is economically insignificant compared with the income that Mauritius receives from its tourism industry. It is well-established that if a country develops a reputation for unkind treatment of animals, it has a very strong negative effect on tourism.

An additional factor to consider which is equally puzzling is that Hinduism is the largest religion in Mauritius. The country has the third highest percentage of Hindus in the world after Nepal and India. Lord Hanuman, the monkey god, is one of the most popular idols in the Hindu religion and is worshipped as a symbol of physical strength, perseverance and devotion. The trade in primates on Mauritius clearly is contrary to the very concept of Hindu culture and society which emphasises the spiritual equality of all living beings.

There are concerns that the introduction of animal experiments to Mauritius is primarily to provide a new market for the primate breeding companies and a reaction to problems with airlines refusing to transport primates for research purposes, moves to impose tighter restrictions on the import of primates within the European Union and a growing public concern about the use of primates in research. Animal researchers and companies may be looking to travel to Mauritius to carry out research that would not be allowed to take place in their own country.

A glance at the new regulations governing the experiments shows that substantial sections have simply been taken from EU and UK legislation, but this has not been consistently done, so there are significant gaps and contradictions. For example, there is no provision for governmental inspections of laboratories. Nor are there any rules in the regulations about the housing, environment and enrichment to be provided to animals. Furthermore, transparency and accountability appear to be absent because, although there is a requirement for researchers to submit records to the government, there is no provision for the government to subsequently put such information into the public domain. 

The long-tailed macaque is the most widely traded primate species for research worldwide and the most widely-traded mammal on the CITES database. In the laboratory, these primates may suffer substantially, including the effects of poisoning (such as vomiting, internal bleeding, weight loss, organ failure and even death) after being forced to consume large quantities of chemicals or drugs in toxicity tests or face being subjected to major brain surgery, their skulls cut open and devices implanted into their brains.

Examples of recent research carried out on long-tailed macaques in the USA makes disturbing reading: 1) experiments that have attempted to mimic traumatic military injuries; 2) forced addiction to recreational drugs such as alcohol and cocaine; 3) injections with phencyclidine (PCP or ‘angel dust’) and 4) forced inhaling of cigarette smoke several hours a day (for some monkeys it was the equivalent of a person smoking four packs of cigarettes a day).

The development of alternative methods to using animals is a growing and pioneering field. There is now a wide range of more human-relevant and humane approaches and animal tests are being replaced in areas such as toxicity testing, neuroscience and drug development. These alternatives include cell, tissue and organ cultures; methods using chemistry, computers or imaging machines; and ethical and highly effective studies using human volunteers.

Cruelty Free International is dedicated to ending this cruel exploitation of the Mauritius monkeys. We believe that the focus for Mauritius should instead be on these new technologies for non-animal experiments and we are urging Mauritius to become a forward-thinking country that adopts humane and cutting-edge alternatives. Mauritius’ image abroad is already tarnished because of its role in the cruel international trade in monkeys for research. Allowing animal experiments to take place will have a further negative impact and likely result in further widespread protest.

Our campaign has received widespread support from around the world, including in Mauritius, by scientists, wildlife experts, politicians and socio-cultural groups as well as members of the public. Indian politician Maneka Gandhi and internationally renowned primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall have also voiced their concerns.

There are three actions you can take to support our campaign to protect the monkeys of Mauritius and let government officials know that what they are doing is unacceptable:

1. Send an email/letter to the Mauritius Embassy in Washington:

H. E. Mr S. Phokeer

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

Mauritius Embassy

1709 N. Street, NW

Washington D.C. 20036

2. Send an email/letter to the Minister of Tourism in Mauritius:

The Hon Anil Kumarsingh GAYAN, SC

Minister of Tourism

Ministry of Tourism

Level 5, Air Mauritius Centre

John Kennedy Street

Port Louis


3. Sign this petition.


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          United Nations and World Health Organization Call for Drug Decriminalization   
American activists aren't the only ones seeking drug policy reform.

In a joint statement, the United Nations (UN) and World Health Organization (WHO) expressed their support for countries in the review and repeal of laws that criminalize drug use and possession of drugs for personal use. This joint statement, which addresses discrimination in health care settings, comes in light of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which aim to “ensure that no one is left behind”.

The WHO has previously called for drug decriminalization as a necessary measure for public health but this joint statement with the UN represents another significant step in the global movement for drug decriminalization.

There is growing support for drug decriminalization – the elimination of criminal penalties for drug use and possession – in the U.S. and around the world. Leading medical, public health and human rights groups have endorsed drug decriminalization, including the International Red Cross, the American Public Health Association, American Civil Liberties Union, the NAACP and Latino Justice.

Public opinion on decriminalization has also been steadily increasing as the harms of criminalizing drugs become more apparent. Polls of presidential primary voters in MaineNew Hampshire and even South Carolina found that substantial majorities in each state support ending arrests for drug use and possession. In 2016, the first state-level decriminalization bill was introduced in Maryland and a similar version was reintroduced in 2017. 

Internationally, several countries already have some form of drug decriminalization. Portugal, most notably, decriminalized drugs back in 2001 as a response to the country’s HIV crisis and has demonstrated the vast benefits of decriminalization – substantial reductions in overdose, HIV/AIDS and addiction, all without any increase in drug use or crime.

Not only does drug decriminalization drastically reduce the number of people mired in the quicksand of the criminal justice system – it also, as the UN/WHO statement highlights, vastly improve public health. It decreases the stigma against people who use drugs and addresses the discrimination they historically face.

The harms of discrimination are only exacerbated in health settings, where it is literally a matter of life and death. Decriminalization can be the difference between a loved one getting the health services they need and a loved one being stigmatized, denied treatment and in danger of losing their life.

Drug decriminalization is a rational and fiscally sound policy rooted in health and human rights. Governments throughout the U.S. and around the world have an indisputable moral and scientific imperative to pursue it.



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          After Sy Hersh's Bombshell Investigation, Why Won't Media Tell the Real Story of Trump's Military Strike in Syria?   
Western media are continuing to do their part in the propaganda war on Syria.

If you wish to understand the degree to which the supposedly free western media are constructing a world of half-truths and deceptions to manipulate their audiences, keeping us uninformed and pliant, there could hardly be a better case study than their treatment of Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh.

All of these highly competitive, for-profit, scoop-seeking media outlets separately took identical decisions: first to reject Hersh’s latest investigative report, and then to studiously ignore it once it was published in Germany last Sunday. They have continued to maintain an absolute radio silence on his revelations, even as over the past few days they have given a great deal of attention to two stories on the very issue Hersh’s investigation addresses.

These two stories, given such prominence in the western media, are clearly intended to serve as “spoilers” to his revelations, even though none of these publications has actually informed their readers of his original investigation. We are firmly in looking-glass territory.

So what did Hersh’s investigation reveal? His sources in the U.S. intelligence establishment told him the official narrative that Syria’s Bashar Assad had dropped deadly sarin gas on the town of Khan Sheikhoun on April 4 was incorrect. Instead, they said, a Syrian plane dropped a bomb on a meeting of jihadi fighters that triggered secondary explosions in a storage depot, releasing a toxic cloud of chemicals that killed civilians nearby.

One might assume that an alternative narrative of the events would be of great interest to the media, given that Donald Trump approved a military strike on Syria based on the official narrative. Hersh’s version suggests that Trump acted against the intelligence advice he received from his own officials, in a highly dangerous move that not only grossly violated international law but might have dragged Assad’s main ally, Russia, into the fray. The Syrian arena has the potential to trigger a serious confrontation between the world’s two major nuclear powers.

But in fact, the western media were supremely uninterested in the story. Hersh, once considered the journalist’s journalist, went hawking his investigation around the U.S. and UK media to no avail. In the end, he could find a home for his revelations only in Germany, in the publication Welt am Sonntag.

There are a couple of possible, though unlikely, reasons all English-language publications ignored Hersh’s story. Maybe they had evidence his inside intelligence was wrong. If so, they have yet to provide it. A rebuttal would require acknowledging Hersh’s story, and none seems willing to do that.

Or maybe the media thought it was old news and would no longer interest their readers. It would be difficult to sustain such an interpretation, but at least it has an air of plausibility—except for everything that has happened since Hersh published last Sunday. His story has spawned two clear “spoiler” responses from those desperate to uphold the official narrative. Hersh’s revelations may have been entirely uninteresting to the western media, but strangely they have sent Washington into crisis mode.

Of course, no U.S. official has addressed Hersh’s investigation directly, which might have drawn attention to it and forced western media to reference it. Instead, Washington has sought to deflect attention from Hersh’s alternative narrative and shore up the official one through misdirection. That alone should raise the alarm that we are being manipulated, not informed.

The first spoiler, made in the immediate wake of Hersh’s story, was statements from the Pentagon and White House warning that the U.S. had evidence Assad was planning yet another chemical attack on his people and that Washington would respond harshly if he did so.

Here is how the Guardian reported the U.S. threats:

The U.S. said on Tuesday that it had observed preparations for a possible chemical weapons attack at a Syrian air base allegedly involved in a sarin attack in April following a warning from the White House that the Syrian regime would ‘pay a heavy price’ for further use of the weapons.

On Friday, the second spoiler emerged. Two unnamed diplomats “confirmed” that a report by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had found that some of the victims from Khan Sheikhoun showed signs of poisoning by sarin or sarin-like substances.

There are obvious reasons to be mighty suspicious of these stories. The findings of OPCW were already known and had been discussed for some time. There was absolutely nothing newsworthy about them.

There are also well-known problems with the findings. There was no “chain of custody”—neutral oversight—of the bodies that were presented to the organization in Turkey, as Scott Ritter, a former weapons inspector in Iraq, has noted. Any number of interested parties could have contaminated the bodies before they reached OPCW. For that reason, OPCW has not concluded that the Assad regime was responsible for the traces of sarin. In the world of real news, only such a finding—that Assad was responsible—should have made the OPCW report interesting again to the media.

Similarly, by going public with their threats against Assad, the Pentagon and White House did not increase the deterrence on Assad, making it less likely he would use gas in the future. That could have been achieved much more effectively with private warnings to the Russians, who have massive leverage over Assad. These new warnings were meant not for Assad but for western publics, to bolster the official narrative that Hersh’s investigation had thrown into doubt.

In fact, the U.S. threats increase, rather than reduce, the chances of a new chemical weapons attack. Other anti-Assad actors now have a strong incentive to use chemical weapons in false-flag operation to implicate Assad, knowing that the U.S. has committed itself to intervention. On any reading, the U.S. statements were reckless—or malicious—in the extreme and likely to bring about the exact opposite of what they were supposed to achieve.

But beyond this, there was something even more troubling about these two stories. That these official claims were published so unthinkingly in major outlets is bad enough. But what is unconscionable is the media’s continuing blackout of Hersh’s investigation when it speaks directly to the two latest news reports.

No serious journalist could write up either story, according to any accepted norms of journalistic practice, and not make reference to Hersh’s claims. They are absolutely relevant to these stories. In fact, more than that, the intelligence sources he cites are not only relevant but are the reason these two stories have been suddenly propelled to the top of the news agenda.

Any publication that has covered either the White House-Pentagon threats or the rehashing of the OPCW report and has not mentioned Hersh’s revelations is writing nothing less than propaganda in service of a western foreign policy agenda trying to bring about the illegal overthrow of the Syrian government. And so far that appears to include every single U.S. and UK mainstream newspaper and TV station.



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          Protests in India Against 'Cow-Protecting' Vigilantes Succeed in Breaking Prime Minister's Silence   
Do some Indian lives matter more than others? The Modi government seems to think so.

On June 29, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi gave a long-awaited (though mild) admonishment of violent “cow protection” vigilantes who have been let loose in the streets of India, on its trains, buses and village and city public spaces, lynching Indians (almost always Muslims or Dalits, members of the lowest caste). Modi, who is normally outspoken, has previously been mum on the spate of killings, conveying an overall climate of immunity to murderous mobs. What appears to have broken this studied silence are the spontaneous protests that finally erupted all over India and coalesced on July 28 when citizens, including celebrities, in 12 cities took over public squares and promenades after a spontaneous call by Delhi-based filmmaker Saba Dewan in a Facebook post.

Though they took some time in coming, the protests appear to have had their desired effect, temporarily at least. Not only has Modi spoken, but the normally distanced Indian commercial television channels have given space to this democratic expression of outrage.

The immediate provocation was the lynching of a Muslim teenager named Junaid Khan on a train, shortly after it departed from Delhi. The men who stabbed Junaid also left his brothers seriously injured. The incident occurred on June 23, the last Friday of the holy month of Ramzan (Ramadan), when the auspicious Alvida Namaaz(prayers) are read and which has a special significance for the devout.

At SabrangIndia, we reported the train incident following an unusually prompt press release from the Communist Party of India, whose politbureau members had visited the site of the incident. We commented in our report that India would soon need its very own “Lynch Calendar.” What we could not report until three days later was that on the same Friday, some 1,088 kilometers away in Chatra Jharkhand, 24-year-old Mohammad Salman was shot and killed in cold blood by men in uniform who simply entered his home, shoved him outside and ordered their subordinates to commit the crime.

In the same eastern Indian state of Jharkhand, there have been a spate of horrific killings, including lynchings, that still haunt public memory—particularly the March 2016 hangings of dairy farmers Mazloom Ansari and 12-year-old Imteyaz Khan in a deserted public village. What has faded away from the current outrage and even the media commentary is the fact that the National Commission for Minorities (a statutory body set up specifically to protect the rights of minorities) had been compelled to send a team to investigate.

The report of the Commission severely indicted the Jharkhand police and the political class for failing to “rein in the cow protection groups who are taking law into their own hands.” The NCM also recorded in its report that “Deep and widespread communalisation of sections of the Jharkhand police force, and slogans like ‘go to Pakistan’ were frequently used by the local police against the Muslims, pointing toward a larger communalisation of the state police.” That report was from May 2016. Today the NCM stands discredited with political appointments by the Modi government who have put into position representatives who have no background in terms of autonomy and rights and are simply toeing a majoritarian government’s line.

Noted activist Shabnam Hashmi returned her 2008 NCM Award on Tuesday, making a strong public statement. She said in her open letter:

“I am returning it [the award] in the memory of the innumerable innocent victims lynched by marauding mobs. Mob Lynching of Muslims and Islamophobia have taken over India. Even before the community can mourn its dead, the next incident takes place. There is an atmosphere of fear and terror. Under the present Government, the marginalization of minority groups has become the norm.

“The design of turning India into a Hindu Rashtra [nation], which began decades ago with calling Muslims dirty, having too many children and being illiterate moved on to excluding them from residential spaces, targeting them as terrorists, has now reached its pinnacle where all public spaces and all means of livelihood are becoming unsafe for the Muslim community.

“Similar to Hitler’s Germany, Muslims are being projected as the biggest enemy of the state and the people of the country. There is legitimization of the communal ideology by the State and the media, [which] has led to acceptance of prejudices and stereotyping without questioning them in popular consciousness, deep infiltration of hate in the minds and hearts of ordinary people and apathy on the part of a large section of the society especially ‘educated’ middle classes.”

The list of assaults is gruesome: The Muslim Maulvi (cleric) who was beaten in April 2017, on a day supposedly important for devout Hindus (Ram Navmi, the birthdate of Lord Ram), in Jharkhand; the beating death of cattle farmer Pehlu Khan from Mewat while he was on agrarian business in Alwar Rajasthan in April 2017; or the lynch mob murder of political activist Zafar Hussain of the Communist Party of India, also in Rajasthan. Each of these murders is happening in the name of faith by the mob proponents of the Hindu nation, who believe the cow to be more precious than human life. The militarized march to a Hindu nation is laden with such dutiful tasks as cleansing the nation of the “dirty,” be it Dalits, Christians, Muslims or Communists.

Countries around the world need to better understand this: If the protests on June 28 drew Indians out of a numb fear that appeared to have gripped even opponents to this ideal, they need to continue and intensify. At the first instance of such an episode in September 2015, a similar dam of protest had broken. Writers led by the eminent Nayantara Sahgal returned their national awards in a powerful protest that embarassed the Modi government and put it on the defensive. Dozens of writers in over a dozen Indian languages, all winners of awards and powerful cultural commentators in their own right, followed by filmmakers, joined in this powerful symbolic protest. But life went on, and the killings continued. It would be tedious to list all the dead, and the circumstances in which they were lynched—most for rumors or frenzied hysteria about transporting cows or bullocks or eating beef, some for marrying a Hindu.

What is crucial to emphasize is the chain of command of culpability in this climate of impunity and lynchings. They began after the Modi government came to power and were aided and abetted by those in power within the government who spewed venom against Indian Muslims and Christians even while holding senior constitutional posts. They were further emboldened when governments run by the same party Modi represents, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), passed unconstitutional “beef laws” to curtail the slaughter, consumption and transportation of beef. They got greater pats on the back when their parent organization, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), spoke of the Holy Cow and its protection. The nail in the coffin was the recently introduced ban on the sale of cattle passed by the Modi government.

Indian newspapers have extensively reported recently, as they also did a year ago, that despite Modi’s apparent regrets about the lynchings, in his previous position as Gujarat chief minister, he was a firm proponent not just of cow protection, but against beef exports. The Indian Express recalls Modi statements of 2013, 2012 and 2014, when he attacked the previous Congress-led government for allowing the export of beef. That politicians indulge in the proverbial doublespeak, before and after a campaign, is only part of the problem. The other is more substantive.

As I have argued:

“For years now, since distributions of trishulsthrough trishul dikshaprogrammes, since violent arms trainings by the RSS and Bajrang Dal, since the terror unleashed by the Mobs on the Street—ever available at the blow of the metamorphical whistle—be it the Mob that lynched Christians (there were over 75 attacks between 1999 and 2002 documented by the All India Christian Union and published by Communalism Combat)or the Mob that attacked Naroda Patiya or Gulberg Society or Odh or Sardarpura villages (Gujarat 2002) or the Mob terror unleashed in Muzaffarnagar, Shamli, Baghpat and Meerut (September 2013)—we have been arguing, with and to the political class and law enforcement agencies: treat Mob terror and Bomb Terror on Par. Do not look at these equally debilitating and vicious kinds of violence that impact innocent lives, differently.”

When there is the terror of the mob attacking a neighborhood, or lynching people, there is a section of the populace, including law enforcement, that participates through its silence, simply looking on. It is this majority participation, through the silence of complicity, that ensures selective outrage and token utterances from the powerful. No wonder then that the Modis, and the Venkaiah Naidus and even law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad only speak selectively and occasionally. Do some Indian lives matter more than others?

Unfortunately it seems that they do. The killers of Mohammad Ayub in Gujarat, lynched on the eve of Modi’s visit to his home state, were given bail by the higher courts; the killers of Mazloom Ansari and Imiteyaz in Latehar also got out on bail six months ago. On the other hand, those accused, even falsely, of acts of bomb terror do not get bail, often until the final acquittal. They remain incarcerated. This imbalance, even prejudice or bias—privileging mob terror over bomb terror—must stop. The Indian establishment must look at them as two sides of the same coin, or else we are perpetrating an injustice of our own.

That the numbness has finally broken is a good beginning, even if it comes somewhat late. It needs to go further, however, to assert, again and again, in public discourse, that mob terror is as vicious as bomb terror, and to ensure that every police station, every district collector, every railway policeman functions as the Indian Constitution requires him to, with equality before the law and non-discrimination as his credo.

To end with hope, it’s worth reproducing this Facebook post from a mother, which went viral on Thursday. With the picture of an Indian woman holding the holy book of India, its Constitution, she writes:


Junaid was lynched by a mob of cruel human beings. I don’t care what religion those lynchers belonged to. Nor do I care what religion Junaid belonged to. I only care about one thing. A group of mean, cruel human beings killed a teenager and assaulted three other young men brutally!
Junaid was 16.
My elder son will turn 16 next year.
My heart breaks for Junaid’s mother.
Not only did a group of cruel human beings kill Junaid, another group of cruel human beings egged them on. Junaid was also killed by those cruel people who witnessed the insanity & chose to remain silent.
There are some cruel people who justify this lynching.
Yes! Hate allows for all sorts of justification.
There has been a long list of these lynchings. It has become so common that no one talks about it. Nobody asks questions about what happened to the perpetrators. Whether they were caught & given the strictest punishment or whether they were released to unleash more violence!
I cannot fathom how anyone can kill unarmed, innocent human beings!
I cannot fathom how people can justify this horrific violence!
Instead of taking law into their own hands why are police complaints not made?
Is it because the lynch mob knows that there is no reason behind what they have done?
All they want to do is to kill in the name of hate.
Whichever religion, ideology, language, ethnicity you belong to, lynching done in any name cannot be condoned!
We’ve suffered so many riots, terrorist attacks, pogroms, lynchings but we haven’t learnt anything.
The bottom line is that innocent human beings become the target of that hate. They are usually poor. They are usually those who are incapable of fighting back. It is really too, too disheartening.
Innocence dies when hate rules!
I cannot be a part of those who encourage hate.
I was with the Ekta Manch marching from Parel to Azad Maidan singing “Hum hongey kaamyaab….” to promote brotherhood between fellow citizens of all faiths in 1993 after the horrendous riots followed by the heinous bomb blasts in Mumbai.
I marched to the Gateway of India to protest the utter failure & crass mishandling of 26/11 by the then Congress Govt in the State and the Centre in 2008.
I supported the Anna Hazare anti corruption movement when he waged the civil battle against the UPA 2 Govt at the Centre.
I was vocal about women’s safety after the horrendous rape & murder of Jyoti Singh as well as Pallavi Purkayastha as well as the sickening hacking of Swathi.
Today I stand firmly against the lynch mentality that has an active political patronage in our country.
I do not belong to any political party. I am a citizen of one of the finest democracies in the World. That is why it is so important for all of us to respect & protect the tenets of our Constitution.
I, as a proud citizen of India, do not conform to the views of anyone who actively or passively supports this lynching.
My allegiance lies with the Constitution of India.
If the Govt or any other body does anything to undermine the basic tenets of democracy in our country, I will vocally oppose it.
I so wanted to be a part of the peaceful civil protest at Carter Road today but I can’t. But I will not be a part of this hate!
I do not want my children to inherit this hate.
I will not have the blood of innocents on my hands.





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President Trump correctly noted that the organizational framework surrounding workforce development still needs some work, but this criticism is too simplistic. States have made major strides in recent years to improve the coordination of workforce development, and some have promoted apprenticeships as a part of the effort. The WIOA legislation made a requirement for workforce plans at the state level and some states have plans to expand apprenticeships. Many states have invested state tax revenue in apprenticeships and other mechanisms to strengthen training for youth.

Ohio, for instance, has recently taken critical steps to link apprenticeship programs to young people’s educational experiences. These include: 1) expanding linkages between high schools and state-recognized pre-apprenticeship programs through the College Credit Plus program, 2) developing an optional state recognized pre-apprenticeship pathway for students in regular career and technical programs, and, 3) expanding registered apprenticeships utilizing the state community college system, particularly for non-traditional apprentice occupations and under-represented populations.[1]

The point here is that apprenticeship programs are—not to mince words—boutique programs. A program that trains roughly 3,000 new apprentices a year in 2010 in Ohio cannot make a major dent in the labor demands for the state as a whole. In a study of ten states, only 35,000 students annually start apprenticeship programs. Ohio has over 5.8 million people working and has an unemployment rate of below 5 percent. There is great need for new entrants into the skilled trades. There are currently 7,500 jobs for “construction” alone and 700 for “welders” on OhioMeansJobs, the state online job posting system. In 2015, the combined output for all Ohio schools on an annual basis was only 654 welders. While it is projected to increase over time, the Ohio Education Research Center’s research shows that it can be very hard to meet the labor supply needs of growing firms with educational institutions.[2] All the more reason for the apprenticeship system to be improved.

Registered apprenticeship programs can be high quality. The best evidence indicates that the median annual earnings of completers of apprenticeships are over $60,000/year in the State of Washington, which works out to a median hourly wage of $37. In the ten-state study from 2012, the average difference in annual earnings for those in skilled professions was over $6,000 between those that did an apprenticeship and those that did not.  

Dr. Eric Hanushek recently suggested in an opinion piece that apprenticeships might not be the ideal education program for youth, and that young people need better general education. However, since the average age of apprentices is about 30 years old, apprenticeships are clearly serving a clientele that has tried other programs and had work experience and is looking for something new. An apprenticeship is still a great option for an adult seeking to support a family. And programs have gotten much better at linkages with community and technical colleges. In the future, they very well may be a real alternative for youth as well as 30-year-olds. But what I worry about in response to Dr. Hanushek’s work is that we throw out a good training system just because it doesn’t teach general skills as well as a good suburban high school.  

In addition to being small in comparison to the demand, apprenticeships are devilishly hard to scale up. An apprenticeship is a complex system of industrial relations, including an educational component (often at a community college), a trade union supervising the curriculum and training, and employers working on the practicum part of apprenticeships. The reason they thrive historically in Germany has a lot to do with the interdependence between firms, unions, and educational institutions and the “Lander” or regional government. We should be very skeptical that we can transplant the form to the United States without major effort at research and development. 

Doing this right at the national level is not going to cost $200 million. If we take the estimates on the government costs from the 2012 study, it might be on average $1,000 per apprentice. For an apprenticeship system as big as, say, the community college system, we would need $170 million dollars just for Ohio. What happens if we really want to take on the problem and we give $1,000 per apprentice to a state the size of Texas or even California? Costs will vary among programs, so the real costs will be much greater. Clearly, President Trump will need to increase the overall budget for apprenticeships, as will states, if we really want to make a dent in the demand for skilled trades in the nation.

The nation would do well to take education for careers more seriously than it has in the past. The apprenticeship system is a major part of this potential source of training. However, taking it seriously requires dealing with a whole host of fiscal, educational, and social issues. I hope the states, including Ohio, are up for it.

Joshua D. Hawley is Associate Professor in the Glenn College and an Associate Professor in the College of Education and Human Ecology at The Ohio State University.

[1] The State of Ohio has a new apprenticeship website:

[2] We have built two tools for state government in Ohio to examine workforce supply. They are available at and


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Donations help build the future

The campaign allowed donors to target their donations to the University's activities in general or to one of three fields: business, art and design, or technology.

Aalto University focuses on top-quality research and teaching. Supporting the enthusiasm of our students and preparing them for future working life are our most important objectives.

The donations will become part of Aalto University's capital. The donations will be added to the University's funds and invested in capital markets in accordance with the University's investment strategy.

The additional funding generated by this capital income will help the University to remain economically independent and improve the University's capacity for directing resources towards strategic focus areas and develop its activities as a top university. In the coming years, the capital gains will be used to cover around 5 % of the University's annual operating budget.

Donations are still tax-deductible

Aalto University will continue its fundraising even after this current matched-funding campaign. Donations are still tax-deductible for at least the end of this year for private donors as well as companies and organisations. To be eligible for a tax deduction, the donation must amount to at least 850 euros per year and it can be given in several instalments throughout the year.


Aalto University was founded in January 2010 by merging together Finland’s top universities of design, economics and technology. Between 2008 and 2011, Aalto University received a total of approximately 200 million euros in capital as donations from Finnish companies, organisations and private persons. The government granted the university 2.5 times this sum in government capitalisation. This fundraising helped the University accumulate an endowment capital of a total of approximately 700 million euros.

The accumulation of the University's endowment capital was ensured by the Federation of Finnish Technology Industries, the Technology Industries of Finland Centennial Foundation, Liikesivistysrahaston kannatusyhdistys ry, Teollisuuden ja työnantajain Keskusliiton (TT) -säätiö, Academic Engineers and Architects in Finland (TEK), The Finnish Business School Graduates and the Confederation of Finnish Industries EK.


Further information:
Ilkka Niemelä, President from 1 July,
Coordinator Pirjo Peippo-Lavikka, tel. +358 50 512 2496.

          General Duty Nurse (RN) - Manitoba Government - Beausejour, MB   
This unique opportunity will be of interest to a dynamic and broadly-experienced nurse who would like to become a member of a professional medical unit that... $35.55 - $41.92 an hour
From Manitoba Government - Tue, 27 Jun 2017 00:06:00 GMT - View all Beausejour, MB jobs
          Correctional Psychiatric Nurse (RPN,RN) - Manitoba Government - Beausejour, MB   
Consider a career in Correctional Nursing - This unique opportunity will be of interest to a dynamic and broadly-experienced nurse who would like to become a... $35.55 - $41.92 an hour
From Manitoba Government - Tue, 27 Jun 2017 00:05:57 GMT - View all Beausejour, MB jobs
          Comment on Make No Mistake, We Are Already at War in Syria by Hexexis   
"The single best thing the United States government could do to advance American interests and national security is to shutter the CIA. Have the military (DIA) do all intelligence gathering and covert operations." Trouble is, CIA was created as alternative to mil. intell., which wasn't all that great during WWII. These days, the CIA's an annex to the DoD, & together they & the NSC run forn. policy, which they've pretty much done since the Iran hostage crisis 1979 & which is why bellicosity precedes diplomacy.
          Tintagel Castle Footbridge submitted for Planning Consent   

An application has been made for Planning Consent for a new footbridge at Tintagel Castle in Cornwall.

The last time I featured this project was to discuss the six shortlisted competition entries back in December 2015. In March 2016, the winner was announced as Ney and Partners with William Matthews Associates. The scheme is for a new bridge to take visitors onto the Tintagel Castle promontory, a beautiful and deeply historic site. The bridge will provide access for the mobility-impaired for the first time.

You can find the full planning application online, but I've extracted some of the pertinent material to share here.

The bridge gives the appearance of being a very slender arch structure, but in fact it is formed of two giant steel cantilevers, each shaped with a parabolic curve in elevation. In theory, this means that the lower rib carries a constant force when the bridge is subject to a uniform load, allowing for an efficient use of structural steel. In practice, things are never so simple.

The lower and upper ribs each comprise two weathering steel fabricated box girders. These span 66.7m in total. The cantilevers are not quite symmetrical.

The upper ribs are parallel, with the 3.0m wide structure supporting a 2.5m wide walkway. At midspan, these ribs are a mere 175mm deep, impressively slender by any standard. The lower ribs converge towards their foundations, and are also exceptionally small, being only 140mm deep over most of their length.

The structure's strength comes from the depth of the twin cantilevers, which reaches 4.4m near the supports. The upper and lower ribs are connected by what the designers refer to as a "Thomas Telford" detail, for reasons which should be obvious. These spandrel lattices are formed from solid stainless steel bars varying in cross-section from 30mm square to 65mm square.

The structural dimensions illustrate a peculiar talent that Ney and Partners seem to have for exploiting design standards to their absolute limit, and creating structures of astonishing slenderness. The total weight of the steel structure is stated as 66 tonnes, which is quite amazing for this span. It's no surprise given the slenderness to read that the bridge's first natural frequency is 1.6 Hz (well into the vulnerable area for pedestrian excitation).

The bridge deck consists of slates placed on edge in a sand bedding layer, carried on stainless steel pans supported between the primary structural ribs. The pans have drainage scuppers in the soffit, and there is an air gap between the deck pans and the main ribs to ensure the weathering steel can weather properly.

The bridge balustrades consist of stainless steel bars supporting oak handrails, 1.3m high in total.

The bridge foundations are proposed as rock anchors for both the compression (lower rib) and tension (upper rib) elements, with additional rock anchors used to stabilise the exposed cliff faces.

The gap in the middle of the bridge is nominally 42 mm, reducing to 5 mm under maximum temperatures, and increasing to 85 mm under minimum temperatures. There's clearly a degree of controversy to this particular detail, given the risk of a trip hazard or simply the discomfort caused to visitors already made anxious by height and exposure.

At competition stage I observed that significant differential deflections could also be expected when one cantilever was loaded more than the other (by pedestrians or by wind), but the planning submission makes clear that the two cantilevers are in fact connected by shear pins, in a similar manner to a twin-bascule bridge.

I think the poetic idea behind the gap justifies the problems that it creates: the intention is to make intensely apparent the sensation of stepping from the present into the past, of the division between the Tintagel Castle and the mundane world.

The designers have also sought to address the other major objection raised at competition stage, which was to the adoption of weathering steel at an exposed coastal site, where the wind will blow salt spray high above the sea. They have instituted a series of corrosion tests on steel plates exposed at the project site, and the planning submission documents make clear that if these are unsuccessful, the weathering steel will simply be substituted with conventional painted structural steel.

However, there seems to be little acknowledgement of the bimetallic corrosion issue created by the use of so much stainless steel and weathering steel connected together. This combination will tend to lead to accelerated corrosion of the weathering steel at connection points, especially if moisture and salts are present.

Results of the on-site salt spray corrosion tests were due to be completed in June 2017 so it would be very interesting to see the results.

An article in The Guardian focuses on what appears to be increasing opposition to the entire idea of a bridge and captures some of the key issues. If you visit the planning consent website, it's clear there are numerous objectors.

One that's particularly worth reading is from Cornish bard, Bert Biscoe, arguing that whatever the merits of the particular bridge design, they cannot outweigh the damage that will be caused to a site of major archaeological importance. The argument is not about the physical impact of the bridge, but about the very desire of the site's custodian, English Heritage, to increase visitor numbers in such a sensitive site. This is an argument about the merits of preservation over the merits of public access - it is intrinsically anti-populist, but perhaps necessary.

I have been to Tintagel and my initial feeling about the bridge was that the improved accessibility would be very welcome. The promontory is currently accessed via a low-level bridge and a series of awkward steps, which are very difficult for some visitors to traverse. The planning submission notes that some 15% of visitors who buy a ticket for the Castle never actually make it up the existing steps onto the promontory.

However, the bridge is no panacea for this, as there will still be areas which are only accessible via steps or very narrow paths. It's therefore legitimate to consider whether the adverse impacts of such a major intervention are justified by the benefits.

I will be very surprised if the bridge fails this initial planning consent hurdle. However, Scheduled Monument consent will also be required, and I expect opponents of the scheme will petition central government to call in the entire planning application for further review, such is the sensitivity of the site

 I think the designers involved have done an excellent job in addressing the site constraints, within the limits of their brief, and this will be a very interesting project to follow, especially if it proceeds all the way to be built.
          Sikorsky Signs Five-Year Production Contract to Build Black Hawk Helicopters for U.S. Army   
...could cause actual results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements including: changes in government procurement priorities and practices, budget plans, availability of funding and in the type and number of aircraft required; challenges in the design, development, production and ...

          Government of Canada invests in Nova Scotia's clean technology sector   
...570 million in working capital to support clean technology producers • $450 million in additional project finance for clean technology producers • Budget 2017 also commits $400 million to recapitalize Sustainable Development Technology Canada's SD Tech Fund , which supports the development and ...

          At least 546 Indian Nationals In Pakistani Jails   

At least 546 Indian nationals, including almost 500 fishermen, are languishing in Pakistani jails, as per a list the Pakistan government given over to the Indian envoy today.

The list was given to High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale under the Consular Access Agreement signed between the two nations on May 21, 2008.

The foreign office said the Indian prisoners included “52 civilians and 494 fishermen”.

It said the “step is consistent with the provisions of the Consular Access Agreement”, under which both nations were required to exchange lists of prisoners in each other’s custody twice every year – on January 1 and July 1.

The foreign office said the Indian government will likewise hand over a list of its detainees in India to Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi.

As per the rundown Islamabad shared to India on January 1 this year, there were 351 Indian detainees held in Pakistan, including 54 civilians and 297 fishermen.

The foreign office said 219 Indian fishermen were released on January 6 this year and included that Pakistan would release another 77 fishermen and one civilian on July 10.

The post At least 546 Indian Nationals In Pakistani Jails appeared first on NewsCrab.

          TSDEECET 2017 Merit List, results announced, details here   

Telangana State Diploma in Elementary Education Common entrance Test (TSDEECET – 2017) merit list and results have been declared on the official site of TSDEECET 2017. The TSDEECET 2017 results are available on TSDEECET 2017 is conducted by Department of School Education, Government of Telangana for applicants who intend to take admission into two years Diploma in Elementary Education (D.EL.Ed) in Government District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs) and Private Elementary Teacher Training Institutions in the state. The hopefuls are advised to check the TS DEECET 2017 site for further details about counselling.

“The Ranks assigned in this Merit List are just tentative as they based on the data submitted online by the hopefuls and thus are subject to change according to the ‘Physical Verification of Certificates’ to be caused shortly,” said the results notification.

TSDEECET 2017 merit list: How to check

The TSDEECET 2017 merit list and results have been appeared on the official site in this order:

1) Result Lists of all Candidates – Medium Wise

Telugu Medium

Urdu Medium

English Medium (With Regional Language Telugu)

English Medium (With Regional Language Urdu)

2) Merit List of Qualified Candidates – Medium Wise

Telugu Medium

Urdu Medium

English Medium (With Regional Language Telugu)

English Medium (With Regional Language Urdu)

The post TSDEECET 2017 Merit List, results announced, details here appeared first on NewsCrab.

          Married at 8, Rajasthan woman scripts NEET success story 13 Years Later   

She was married off at the young age of eight, however that never deterred Rupa Yadav from pursuing her dream of turning into a doctor. Presently 21, she has secured an all-India rank of 2,612 – scoring 603 marks in the current year’s National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET).

Boy injured because of monkeys fight in Ajmer

Her husband and brother by marriage, both ranchers, additionally supported her all along, even driving an auto to meet the education costs, disregarding villagers’ disparaging remarks.

Born into a poverty-ridden farmer’s home in Kareri town of Jaipur region, Ms Yadav, then a student of class III, and her senior sister Rukma, were married to Shankarlal, who was then 12, and his elder sibling Babulal, respectively.

After her class X exams, in which she scored 84% marks, her better half and brother -in-law helped her continue her studies.

Ms Yadav continued to excel again scoring 84% in class XII exam, and managed household chores at the same time.

The same year, she enlisted herself for a B Sc course and furthermore showed up for the AIPMT examination, securing an all India rank of 23,000. “Despite the fact that I didn’t qualify for a good government medical college, the AIPMT marks encouraged my better half and brother – in-law to send me to Kota for preparing for MBBS entrance test,” Ms Yadav said.

A year ago she showed up for NEET yet fell short of achieving her goal. The next year, with a scholarship from her coaching institute, she at last cleared the hurdle.

The post Married at 8, Rajasthan woman scripts NEET success story 13 Years Later appeared first on NewsCrab.

          Punjab Government Abolishes 3 Police Ranges, Will Have 7 Police Ranges   

As per the media reports the Punjab government will no longer have two supervisory levels in its policing structure. Dubbed as a police reform move the state on

The News Punjab Government Abolishes 3 Police Ranges, Will Have 7 Police Ranges appeared first on Sikh Siyasat News.

          Nepotism Prevail Over Merit In Punjab Law Officers Appointment   

Wife of Punjab advocate general (AG) Atul Nanda, kin of some politicians and at least six former judges are among the 121 names announced by the Punjab government

The News Nepotism Prevail Over Merit In Punjab Law Officers Appointment appeared first on Sikh Siyasat News.

          Receptionist/Assistant - Government of Alberta - Calgary, AB   
The Alberta Justice Social Enhancement Legal Team (SELT) is recruiting a receptionist to field all phone calls and direct visitors and callers to the... $3,073 - $3,740 a month
From Government of Alberta - Thu, 29 Jun 2017 22:31:44 GMT - View all Calgary, AB jobs
          Mexican agents probe family in 3 ritual murders   
It was a family people took pity on, one the government and church helped with free food, used clothes, and farm animals. The men were known as trash pickers. Some of the women were suspected of prostitution.
          Governor exercises amendatory veto power on 911 bill – Saves Taxpayers Millions   
In 2015 the legislature created more government bureaucracy by creating the Illinois State Police office of 911 Administration.
          Parents of UK Baby Barred From Experimental Treatment in US Prepare for Son’s Mandated Death   
(Daily Wire) -- Per Orwellian U.K. court rulings, ten-month-old baby Charlie Gard was set to have his life support removed on Friday, but due to a heartbreaking plea from the sick boy's parents, they will now have more time, an undisclosed amount, to say goodbye to their child before his government-mandated death sentence. "Charlie suffers from a mitochondrial...
          NCSC rolls out four measures to boost public sector cyber security   
Active Cyber Defence measures will immediately help to improve basic cyber security across UK business and government departments, says NCSC
          Japan, EU on cusp of free trade agreement after U.S. TPP rebuff   

Japan, EU on cusp of free trade agreement after U.S. TPP rebuffJapan and the European Union are on the cusp of a wide-ranging free trade agreement that could help blunt the forces of protectionism sparked by U.S. President Donald Trump's trade policies. EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said she was "quite confident" that a broad agreement can be announced at a summit on July 6 with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as both sides finalise the reduction of tariffs on autos and agricultural goods. Clinching a deal would offer Japan and Europe an important political victory and could raise questions about the U.S. government's influence on the agenda for the global economy.

          Duterte rolls out legacy projects   
While the Duterte administration has courted near-constant division over its polices on politics, security and foreign policy, it has unified critics and allies alike on the country's crucial need for infrastructure.   On its first year, the administration made clear that the implementation of its projects --- from new roads, airports and railway lines --- would shift drastically from the policies of the Aquino government.   Described by Duterte officials as a "golden age of infrastructure," the "build, build, build" program calls for about P8 trillion in public and private spending over the period of the President's term until 2022.   Among the so-ca...

Keep on reading: Duterte rolls out legacy projects
          US, PH hold joint naval patrols in Sulu Sea   
The Philippines and United States navies held a joint naval patrol in the Sulu Sea off Mindanao on Saturday, as battles between troops and pro-Islamic State (IS) extremists in Marawi City continued.   The one-day joint naval patrol strengthened cooperation between the two navies and "enhanced both navies' ability to respond to piracy and transnational criminal activity at sea," according to the US Embassy in Manila.   The joint patrol was held upon the invitation of the Philippine government, the Embassy added.   Enhance regional peace   "These patrols enhance regional peace and stability. Our at-sea operations with the Philippine Navy demo...

Keep on reading: US, PH hold joint naval patrols in Sulu Sea
          Economy still on ‘solid ground’   
According to the Washington-based Institute of International Finance (IIF), the Philippines will benefit from its solid macrofundamentals even as investors have gone on a wait-and-see mode in light of President Duterte's controversial rhetoric.   In a June 22 research note titled "Still on Solid Ground," economist Kevin Sanker and chief economist for Asia-Pacific Bejoy Das Gupta of the IIF noted that "aggressive presidential tactics have ruffled feathers, but [the President] retains popular support."   "The government's ambitious agenda is aimed at raising incomes and reducing poverty by the end of President Duterte's term in mid-2022.   He has also a...

Keep on reading: Economy still on ‘solid ground’
          Going to a New Jersey State Park or Beach? Not This Holiday Weekend - New York Times   

New York Times

Going to a New Jersey State Park or Beach? Not This Holiday Weekend
New York Times
Park rangers patrolled the New Jersey coastline along the Island Beach State Park border on Saturday. State parks and beaches were closed because a budget impasse led to a government shutdown. Credit Tom Brenner for The New York Times. ISLAND ...
New Jerseyans feeling impact of state government shutdownWashington Post
New Jersey government shuts down in budget standoffCNN
States Miss Budget Deadline, Go Into Full Or Partial Shutdown ModeNPR -NBC 10 Philadelphia
all 156 news articles »

          Immigration symposium: The future of immigration exceptionalism   

Immigration symposium: The future of immigration exceptionalismDavid S. Rubenstein is Professor of Law and Director, Robert J. Dole Center for Law & Government, Washburn University School of Law. For anyone still wondering how President Donald Trump’s travel ban is possibly constitutional, “immigration exceptionalism” is the reason. The phrase captures the idea that special constitutional doctrines apply in immigration cases that don’t […]

The post Immigration symposium: The future of immigration exceptionalism appeared first on SCOTUSblog.

           Nokia To Supply Shanghai Oriental Pearl Group With Advanced Wireless Networking Technology For Smart City Services    
Friday 30 June, 2017
Nokia to deploy LTE in 700 MHz band to support smart city and public safety applications in Hongkou district of ShanghaiNokia's first commercial LTE 700 MHz contract in China intended to make city services smarter in fast-growing area of China's largest city

30 June, 2017

Shanghai - Nokia is to supply a LTE network in the 700 megahertz spectrum band to the Shanghai Oriental Pearl Group, a diversified broadcasting, media, manufacturing and real estate company. The deployment will transform Shanghai's fast-growing former industrial district of Hongkou through a range of new smart city services, for which Nokia will supply advanced wireless communications based on FDD-LTE technology for smart city and public safety applications. Nokia Shanghai Bell, Nokia's JV company in China will provide the deployment and services.

The LTE network is being deployed to provide broadband connectivity for city services, specifically high-speed wireless links to video from cameras used for traffic control, video monitoring and analysis, and additional services in future. The network is based on Nokia's FDD-LTE solution and offers the data capacity needed to support a variety of bandwidth-intensive video formats, including high-definition and ultra-high definition 4K, 3D and more. This deployment marks Nokia's first for LTE technology in the 700 MHz spectrum band in China.

In addition to network infrastructure, Nokia Shanghai Bell's global services team will provide services including systems integration, network planning and implementation.

The project builds on Nokia's strong track-record supporting smart city initiatives worldwide. It also highlights the progress of Nokia's strategy of expanding its customer activities outside of the traditional telecommunications sphere, a key focus of the company.

Ding Yong, General Manager of Oriental Pearl Digital TV, said: 'Nokia has been an excellent partner for these new smart city initiatives. Their LTE 700 MHz technology performed extremely well in testing and the strong local support from Nokia Shanghai Bell has been very beneficial as well. We look forward to our continued close cooperation to bring smart city services to the people of Shanghai.

Jin Jian, head of Enterprise & Public Sector at Nokia Shanghai Bell, said: 'This collaboration with Shanghai Oriental Pearl Group is an important first step in efforts to bring smarter services to China's largest city and critical business and innovation hub. As a leading provider of wireless connectivity solutions, Nokia is honored to play a key role in such an important project.'

Key facts:

LTE currently serves more than two billion subscribers globally today and is expected to reach 75% of the world's population by 2020.Low frequency bands, such as the 700MHz, allow for excellent coverage with a reduced number of base stations.With technology enhancements, LTE not only serves mobile broadband users but also delivers efficient and reliable connectivity for the Internet of Things and critical applications needed for public safety networks.


Connect with Nokia:

About NokiaWe create the technology to connect the world. Powered by the research and innovation of Nokia Bell Labs, we serve communications service providers, governments, large enterprises and consumers, with the industry's most complete, end-to-end portfolio of products, services and licensing.

From the enabling infrastructure for 5G and the Internet of Things, to emerging applications in virtual reality and digital health, we are shaping the future of technology to transform the human experience.

Media Enquiries:NokiaCommunicationsPhone: +358 10 448 4900Email:

No media attached. Please contact Pressat Wire for more information.

Distributed by
          Friday News Roundup - International   
With guest host Indira Lakshmanan . A curious warning from the White House to Syria about further use of chemical weapons was just one of the big global news stories this week. In Latin America, Brazil and Venezuela face crises of government. Chinas Xi Jinping pays a first visit to Hong Kong as president. And a top aide to the Pope is charged with sexual assault. GUESTS James Kitfield , Senior fellow, Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress; contributing writer, Atlantic Media; author of Twilight Warriors: The Soldiers, Spies and Special Agents Who Are Revolutionizing the American Way of War Nancy Youssef , National security correspondent, BuzzFeed Brian Winter , Editor-in-chief, Americas Quarterly and vice president of the Americas Society/Council of the Americas For more, visit . 2017 WAMU 88.5 American University Radio. Copyright 2017 WAMU 88.5. To see more, visit WAMU 88.5 .
          GOP Health Plan Vote Delayed, But Sen. Rounds Will Vote 'Yes'   
Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: The Senate delay in voting to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act is giving lawmakers extra time to discuss the legislation. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING) RAND PAUL: If we get to impasse - if we go to a bill that is more repeal and less big-government programs, yes, I'll consider partial repeal. BILL CASSIDY: Right now, I am undecided. DEAN HELLER: Not the answer. It's simply not the answer. INSKEEP: We heard Republicans Rand Paul, Bill Cassidy and Dean Heller all expressing various concerns about the measure. And this is key - they are different concerns. South Dakota Republican Mike Rounds is here. Senator, welcome back to our studios. MIKE ROUNDS: Thanks. Appreciate the opportunity to visit. INSKEEP: Glad you could come by again. Now, you told us in May - I looked this up - that the House version of this bill was projected to cause about 23 million more Americans to go off insurance. And you wanted to do better
          Sun investigation reveals catalogue of ‘outrageous’ fire safety failings in London tower blocks evacuated after Grenfell Tower blaze   
SHOCKING details of the full extent of Britain’s tower block fire death traps can be revealed today. Our investigation uncovered a catalogue of safety failures in buildings evacuated last week. It comes after the Government admitted cladding on at least 137 high-rises in 41 council areas had failed fire safety tests. But other failings are […]
          AKC Backs Cruelty Hotline Bill   
North Carolina’s Senate Bill 209 aims to establish an animal-welfare hotline and website within the state attorney general’s office as well as a court fee to support the investigation of animal-cruelty violations. The AKC supports this bill and AKC Government Relationssees the proposed law as an important step in safeguarding the health and welfare of... read more
          Government Economics Flashcards   

Learning the ins and outs of government economics can be a tricky business as an adult, but when you learn these concepts at an early age, you can start to understand the inner...

The post Government Economics Flashcards appeared first on Excel Templates.

          Going to a New Jersey State Park or Beach? Not This Holiday Weekend - New York Times   

New York Times

Going to a New Jersey State Park or Beach? Not This Holiday Weekend
New York Times
Park rangers patrolled the New Jersey coastline along the Island Beach State Park border on Saturday. State parks and beaches were closed because a budget impasse led to a government shutdown. Credit Tom Brenner for The New York Times. ISLAND ...
New Jerseyans feeling impact of state government shutdownWashington Post
New Jersey government shuts down in budget standoffCNN
States Miss Budget Deadline, Go Into Full Or Partial Shutdown ModeNPR -NBC 10 Philadelphia
all 156 news articles »

          Encryption - Why It Matters to You   
Five words or less(NewsUSA) - Sponsored News - Much ado has been made about encryption lately. And on some level, you probably understand it. Sort of. You might know, for instance, that the FBI and Apple have tangled over it. (Apple won.) Most large companies like Google and Facebook support Apple's position. And that encryption keeps your "stuff" safe from prying eyes. The problem is that the idea of privacy is just that these days -- an idea. "The way technology is woven into our daily lives, you can't do without it," Amy Danker, an employee at Epic Wines and Spirits, told the Oakland Tribune in a recent interview. "So what's your other option? Are you gonna go back to a pager? I just assume that all my private information is already available through my IP ad-dress. You don't even think privacy exists, because it doesn't anymore, right?" Natalie Plotnikova agrees, saying the arm of the law is getting too long. "I don't really like it," Plotnikova told the Oakland Tribune as she waited to be cleared through security at the Federal Building in San Jose. "I don't want the government to be able to use my phone to see my information." This, say experts, is why encryption is necessary and important -- especially in our current mobile, on-the-go environment, where everything you do is done on smartphones. By having your information scrambled so that only the person you are sending it to can see it, your privacy is maintained and your information remains secure. To that end, technology from a company called VirnetX -- which created an app called Gabriel, that uses encryption technology derived from a CIA national security program -- may be the answer. The Gabriel app, available at the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store, was designed and built with personal privacy and security as a foundational principle. For just $10 to $15 per year, users can take advantage of the Gabriel app and benefit from uncompromising encryption security when they talk, video chat, text, email or share photographs or documents. No one will be able to see, hear or intercept your communications except for the party you're in contact with because Gabriel does not transmit or store data with any third party. It's person-to-person, end-to-end encryption that all but eliminates hacking possibilities. Other benefits include: * Making free voice or video calls or sending instant messages to other Gabriel members. * Receiving spamless email. * Sharing pictures or files that can't be intercepted. For more information, or to download Gabriel, please visit
          Encryption Technology for Your Privacy   
Five words or less(NewsUSA) - Sponsored News - Encryption and controversy seem to go hand in hand lately in the technology community. Case in point: When The FBI sought to compel Apple to assist in unlocking a cell phone in the case of the San Bernardino shooter last December. Ultimately the FBI was denied its request by a California district court. This type of technology can be a gray area, yet one that tech companies take seriously. On the one hand, the government insists it needs access to technology in which crimes have been perpetrated, noting that encryption also allows terrorists to communicate in ways that agencies can't track -- all the while, using encryption to secure its own communication. Privacy advocates argue that if the government is using it, private citizens should be allowed to as well, without prying eyes looking over their collective shoulder. To that point, one company that has come down firmly on the side of citizens and their right to privacy is VirnetX. The software and technology company said it believes in personal privacy and that strong encryption is imperative in protecting those rights. VirnetX has been so focused on providing secure communications using encryption that it designed an app called Gabriel. Gabriel uses encryption technology derived from a CIA national security project, and is one of a kind. "Gabriel has been designed and built with personal privacy and security as a foundational principle," says Dr. Robert Short, VirnetX chief technical officer and chief scientist. To that end, the program currently provides uncompromising data security, which means that users do not have to transmit data to, or store data with, any third party, including VirnetX. Users can therefore have peace of mind that their data is stored only on their devices, be it phone, tablet or computer. Gabriel is a product unto itself and can be found in Apple's App store, the Google Play store or This set of integrated applications allows for secure messaging, secure voice and video calling, secure mail and secure file sharing -- all encrypted. Other benefits to using Gabriel's encrypted apps include: * Making free voice or video calls or sending instant messages to other Gabriel members in your network. * Receiving spamless email. * Allowing for person-to-person messages that disappear once the session has ended. * Sharing pictures or files that can't be intercepted. Gabriel transmits person-to-person with end-to-end encryption to further eliminate hacking possibilities. For more information or to download Gabriel, go to
          Think Your Data is Safe? Think Again   
Five words or less(NewsUSA) - Sponsored News - No matter who you are or what business you are in, you're vulnerable to a cyber attack. That's the unfortunate reality of the times we live in. Think you're immune? There are millions of cyberattacks in the United States every year, with big companies like Home Depot, Adobe Systems, Sony, Citigroup, Target, Facebook, Evernote and The New York Times taking the biggest hits and falling victim. And like Fortune 500 companies that seemingly have the resources to battle data breaches, small businesses are just as exposed, if not more so. According to a Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report more than 70 percent of the businesses in the study that were breached had fewer than 100 employees. Those breaches result in huge losses. Trend Micro found that "cybercriminals steal as much as $1 billion a year from SMBs in the United States and Europe, alone." Which begs the question: If both large and small companies and the U.S. government can be compromised (even with security protocols in place), then what does that mean for individuals? It's a question that Dr. Robert Short, chief technology officer and chief technical scientist of VirnetX, struggled with and finally answered in the form of Gabriel, a set of secure encrypted communication apps derived from a CIA-sponsored Department of Defense project. "The genesis of Gabriel really was trying to solve the problem of how you make security transparent to the user. The means to automatically create a secure connection whenever a secure connection is needed to wherever it is needed, and create it on demand," says Short. "That has always been the vision behind Gabriel." The difference between Gabriel and other products, says Short, is that users do not have to transmit data to or store data with any third party, including VirnetX. In this way, data is stored only on their own devices. Essentially, users maintain control of their own data. Gabriel users also have secure, encrypted (spamless) email, text messages, free voice and video calls and picture or file share with other trusted Gabriel users in their network -- all directly from their personal device. Gabriel runs on iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows and Mac OSX. For more information or to download Gabriel go to, the App Store or the Google Play store.
          Wildlife Biologist II – Baffin - GOVERNMENT OF NUNAVUT - Pond Inlet, NU   
Inuktitut is an asset. Fluency in more than one of Nunavut’s official languages is an asset. Knowledge of Inuit language, communities, culture, land and Inuit... $97,734 a year
From Indeed - Fri, 17 Mar 2017 19:01:25 GMT - View all Pond Inlet, NU jobs
          Sinn Fein’s Gerry Adams not expecting powersharing deal on Monday   
A series of deadlines have been missed to restore multi-party devolved government in Northern Ireland.
          Grenfell fire: Government will watch council closely, says Sajid Javid   
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan earlier led calls for commissioners to be drafted in to take over the day-to-day running of affairs in the west London borough.
          Wildlife Biologist II – Baffin - GOVERNMENT OF NUNAVUT - Pond Inlet, NU   
*GOVERNMENT OF NUNAVUT* *EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY* *Department: * Environment *Community: * Pond Inlet *Salary: * $97,734 per annum for 37.5 hour/week $97,734 a year
From Indeed - Fri, 17 Mar 2017 19:01:25 GMT - View all Pond Inlet, NU jobs
          CAUGHT ON VIDEO-----> CNN Producer Admits Russia Story is “Bullsh*t”---- Manufactured For Ratings…   
The manufacturing of FAKE NEWS from CNN, and it's all caught on hidden camera.
WATCH: Since the Inauguration, CNN has mentioned Russia 15,694 times. Here's why:

James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas has struck again : This time, a senior CNN producer was caught on camera by one of O’Keefe’s investigators admitting that the network’s relentless bashing of President Donald Trump with the Russia scandal lacks proof.

“Could be bullshit. I mean, it’s mostly bullshit right now,” the CNN producer, John Bonifield, said in a video O’Keefe’s Project Veritas released on Tuesday, when asked about his thoughts on the Russia investigation. “Like, we don’t have any giant proof. Then they say, well there’s still an investigation going on.

So, I just feel like they don’t really have it but they want to keep digging. And so I think the president is probably right to say, like, look you are witch hunting me. You have no smoking gun. You have no real proof.”


          Women Will Work For Free From Now Until The End Of The Year, Says Charity   

Monday 9 November marks Equal Pay Day in the UK. The Fawcett Society claims that it will take over 50 years to close the gender pay gap.

Pauline Bercker from Leeds joins an equal pay for women demonstration in Trafalgar Square, London, 18 May 1969.

Stan Meagher / Getty Images

Monday 9 November marks the day when women working full-time essentially stop earning and work for free the rest of the year, the UK's leading gender equality charity announced today.

Women are paid on average 14.2% less an hour than men according to the Fawcett Society, which analysed 2014 data on the average full-time hourly earnings for men and women using the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.

After subtracting the percentage difference of average earnings from 100%, the findings revealed women are paid on average 14.2% less an hour than men.

Equal Pay Day was then calculated by subtracting 14.2% of the year (52 days) from the end of the year, producing today's date.

Prime minister David Cameron speaking to an audience in Edinburgh.

Wpa Pool / Getty Images

The gender pay gap has declined by 1.3% in the last five years. At this rate of progress, it will take over 50 years to close the gap, the charity claims.

"Progress has stalled in recent years but with real commitment from government and employers, together with action from women and men at work, we could speed up progress towards the day when we can consign it to history," Sam Smethers, the Fawcett Society's chief executive, said in a statement.

Earlier this year, prime minister David Cameron pledged to "end the gender pay gap in a generation". The Conservative government made it mandatory for large companies to publish information about the gender differences in average earnings.

The government claims the national living wage of £7.20 per hour will also help with the pay gap.

View Entire List ›

          From Cyborgs to Hacktivists: Postfeminist Disobedience and Virtual Communities   
Carolyn Guertin

For many the term postfeminist might call to mind the vanilla pleasures of metrosexuality, webcams, online soaps, and blog culture, but, for me, a 40-something cyberfeminist scholar, curator and some time activist, the politically-minded feminist texts I work with are in fact dyed-in-the-wool postfeminist ones that occupy a different place on the postfeminism continuum from those more loudly-lauded, lighter confections. Usually given a bad rap by the media, postfeminism has been accused of being antifeminist, whereas it is instead what the next wave of second wave feminism has become. Its name is not a marker or movement that intends to imply that feminism is dead and gone, any more than Donna Haraway’s “postgender” and N. Katherine Hayles’ “posthuman” mean the death of those old shoes. As Ann Brooks puts it in Postfeminisms, “the concept of `post’ implies a process of ongoing transformation and change” (1). Postfeminism is that indicator that shows us the organism formerly known as feminism has grown into something far more complex than its liberal origins would lead us to expect.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, second wave feminism, which had spoken predominantly from and to a position of white middle class privilege, began to fracture to include a broader chorus of voices, classes, and races. Postfeminism or, more exactly, postfeminisms have expanded to include a multitude of situated perspectives within the context of postmodern thinking, and have swelled to embrace the new emphasis on what Michèle Barrett identified in 1992 (the year that the World Wide Web was born) as “fluidity and contingency” - features that are the trademark stock in trade of the cyber age. Barrett believed feminism’s paradigm shift to be the result of a new interest in culture that in turn gave rise to a whole new collectivity of subjectivities. It is no accident that this shift coincided with the advent of a technology that foregrounded networked communications. It was only a few years earlier, in the fledgling days of the personal computer back when the Internet was still a vehicle predominantly for hackers and technogeeks, that Haraway first articulated a politics of connectivity for women in the context of these new technologies. In her “Cyborg Manifesto” Haraway’s half-woman, half-machine revels in the confusion of body boundaries and fractures all sense of an originary unity or simplex gender through embracing the cyborg as a model: a being who revels in discursivity, multiplicity, hybridity, and perversity. As the Web has evolved, it has become something of a gene pool for creative explorations of sexualities, subjectivities and identities - and has proved to be as liberating for men as for women in that regard. Cyberfeminist scholar Sadie Plant even argues for the feminizing influence of technology in a connected age. Without a doubt, though, this new technology’s most important role has been that of facilitating communication.

 “cyberfeminism is post-feminist” (76) Cyberfeminism was born at a particular moment in time, 1992, simultaneously at three different points on the globe. In Canada, Nancy Paterson, a celebrated high tech installation artist, penned an article called “Cyberfeminism” for Stacy Horn’s Echo Gopher server. In Australia, VNS Matrix (Josephine Starrs, Julianne Pierce, Francesca da Rimini and Virginia Barratt) coined the term to label their radical feminist acts and their blatantly viral agenda: to insert women, bodily fluids, and political consciousness into electronic spaces. That same year, British cultural theorist Sadie Plant chose the same term to describe her recipe for defining the feminizing influence of technology on western society and its inhabitants.

-Judy Wajcman

Connectivity has been called the genius of feminism by theorist Robin Morgan (53), and this genius is being realized in electronic spaces and texts in more complex ways than in any other medium to date. Connectivity is the poster child of the postfeminist universe, which is why the first cyberfeminist collective, VNS Matrix, chose the image of the matrix - the cosmic womb - as its symbol The Australian collective VNS Matrix announced its inception with a rallying cry called the “Cyberfeminist Manifesto”:
We are the modern cunt
positive anti-reason
unbounded unleashed unforgiving
we see art with our cunt we make art with our cunt
we believe in jouissance madness holiness and poetry
we are the virus of the new world disorder
rupturing the symbolic from within
saboteurs of big daddy mainframe
the clitoris is a direct line to the matrix
terminators of the moral code
mercenaries of slime
go down on the altar of abjection
sucking the visceral temple we speak in tongues
infiltrating disrupting disseminating
corrupting the discourse/we are the future cunt
Its separatist nature bears a resemblance to philosophies put forward by hackers.
. Another cyberfeminist collective, the Old Boys’ Network, defined its local chapters as “nodes” that “collide, disintegrate, regenerate, engage, disembody, reform, collapse, renew, abandon, revise, revitalize, and expand” (OBN FAQ 7). These structural and mechanical concerns are not accidental. Postfeminisms do not inhabit a network; they are the network of feminist discourse in virtual space and they are at their best when they are helping to forge communities of practice. In its incarnation most familiar to ebr ‘s readers, the electronic, hyperlinked text is both a narratological structure and the means of navigation in space and time. In the webbed space of hyperlinked fiction, the pregnant gaps between the nodes are at least as important as the textual nodes themselves. The nodes exist in conjunction with the dynamic space of the journey and cannot be discussed in isolation. So with the newest literary forms of the postfeminist universe. They cannot be separated from the communities and material praxes that they both engender and nurture on and off the Web.

In the cyberfeminist corner of the postfeminist universe, girl gamers such as Brenda Laurel and Mary Flanagan immediately spring to mind; so too do techno-performers such as Laurie Anderson and Coco Fusco, and new media artists such as Mez or Olia Lialina, but the most important and distinctive Web-native postfeminist form is, I would argue, hacktivism. The term was first coined in 1998 The rallying cry of hackers has long been “information wants to be free.” to describe an emerging hybrid form that united the best attributes of peaceful social protest - activism - and tech-savvy online civil disobedience - hackerism The term “hacktivism” has been attributed to a Toronto-based hacker who goes by the handle of Oxblood Ruffin.. It is a solution-oriented form of political action that inserts bodies and media-based dissent into real time material concerns. It should not be confused with its adolescent and illegal cousins, cractivism - code cracking, vandalism, data blockades (DDos) and the loss of digital data - or cyberterrorism - acts and agents of wanton destruction including worms and viruses. One of its trademark features is that the Web cannot contain hacktivism’s flows, allowing it to spill out into the world in the form of political protest at WTO and G8 events, for example, and in books, pamphlets,, and performance art.

Hacktivism as a praxis was born in December 1997 when Critical Art Ensemble Critical Art Ensemble has been very much in the news lately since one of its members, Steve Kurtz, a professor in the Department of Art at SUNY Buffalo, was arrested on 12 May 2004 and charged with bioterrorism under the American Anti-Terrorism Act. These trumped up and widely protested charges have resulted in the FBI appropriating CAE’s materials and equipment used for testing for the presence of genetically- modified DNA - the tools CAE uses in creating their political art. member and software engineer Carmin Karasic was so appalled by the events of the Acteal Massacre - 45 Zapatistas were murdered at the hands of the Mexican government - that she set out to create a Web interface that would perform political protest as an aesthetic act. Three other Critical Art Ensemble members joined her in forming a new collective they named the Electronic Disturbance Theatre. (The group’s name is drawn from the concept of civil disobedience first proposed by Henry David Thoreau.) Their electronic civil disobedience engine is named FloodNet; funded by RTMark and launched in September 1998, it is Karasic’s brainchild in her war against injustice. Filling the browser page with the names of the dead, this activism tool “would access the page for Mexico’s President Zedillo seeking bogus addresses, so the browser would return messages like “human_rights not found on this server” (Cassell). Unlike the attacks launched by cracktivists, no damage is done by this software agent. When the Electronic Disturbance Theatre alerts its “online activists to `commence flooding!’” they visit EDT’s website and click on FloodNet’s icon (Harmon). The software then directs their browser to the target, and cues the same page to load over and over again.

As a postfeminist work, it is no accident that FloodNet must function as a community-based performance:

FloodNet’s action only drew its validity from the number of people showing support. “It was only actualized through thousands and thousands of participants,” she remembers. “It was meaningless without the masses.” Popular support transforms a random act of vandalism into a show of presence, Karasic argues. “This is an important difference between the single hacker/hacktivist who takes down a server with a single script” (qtd. in Cassell).

Similar to the disruptive aestheticization of codework by the Dutch trio, Karasic sees her collectivity interface as something more closely akin to “conceptual art” than to cyberterrorism (Harmon). No one and no data are harmed in these `attacks,’ but websites are effectively shut down while the protest is being transmitted.

Advancing human rights through the electronic media is also the purview of another collective, a cyberfeminist one called subRosa. It is currently comprised of Laleh Mehran, Hyla Willis, Steffi Domike, Lucia Sommer, and Faith Wilding. It was also formed in the fall of 1998 - around the same time that Karasic was vowing to respond to Mexican excesses with FloodNet. Donna Haraway was the first to identify science as one of the most insidious cultural forms women needed to address to regain control of their bodies; subRosa follows in that tradition. subRosa uses its art to critique “the relationships between digital technologies, biotechnologies and women’s bodies/lives/work” (Griffis). The goal of these hacktivists, akin to the Electronic Disturbance Theatre’s, is the creation of communities, what they call “female affiliations that respect difference and create productive projects in solidarity with others who are working on similar ones” (Griffis).

Embracing bell hooks’ definition of feminism as that which seeks to eradicate ideologies of domination (qtd in Griffis), subRosa undertakes projects of activism and public education on topics as wide-ranging as eugenics, Frankenfoods, stem cell and cloning research, and Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART). Seeing their purpose as a pedagogical one, they launch inclusive electronic campaigns, publish pamphlets and books, and travel out into (particularly third world) communities to perform their topical art. These are what they call resistant projects, tactical cyberfeminist ones, and situational information theatre: “As cyberfeminists and artists we are using the framework of participatory performance as an information theatre of pedagogical art that models various tactics for intervening and commenting on the seductive representations of the flesh machine” (subRosa). One of the keys to their successful distribution of information is their willingness to mix media and cross boundaries, producing their art and materials in a plethora of formats contextually situated for their audiences. Like FloodNet’s participatory form, subRosa’s mode of information distribution is reproducible, for it argues “[i]n the digital age, resistant cultural producers can embrace recombinance for subversive ends” (subRosa).

All of this may seem somewhat removed from the electronic book and literary traditions, but when postfeminisms meet the new media they encourage these kinds of pleasures in the confusion of boundaries between bodies, texts, technologies, politics, and cultures. In a hyperlinked age when the only true path through a text is a personal journey, the many roads of postfeminism show that comminglings of radical politics and material concerns are alive and well in both the virtual and real worlds. How effective these hacktivist actions are is difficult to measure, but they are remarkable as tools for global mobilization and peaceful protest. It is clear that they are very effective at allowing women’s voices to be heard.


Postfeminist Artists and Groups

Electronic Disturbance Theatre.

Flanagan, Mary. The Adventures of Josie True.

Fusco, Coco. Coco Fusco’s Virtual Laboratory.

Karasic, Carmin. FloodNet.,, and Karasic’s Homepage:

Lialina, Olia.

Mez. The Data][h!][Bleeding Texts.



Works Cited and Consulted

Barrett, Michèle and Anne Phillips, Eds. Destabilizing Theory: Contemporary Feminist Debates. Cambridge: Polity Press, 1992.

Brooks, Ann. Postfeminisms: Feminism, Cultural Theory and Cultural Forms. London and New York: Routledge, 1997.

Critical Art Ensemble.

Critical Art Ensemble Defense Fund.

Cassel, David. “Hacktivism in the Cyberstreets.” AlterNet. 30 May 2000. 16 June 04.

Griffis, Ryan. “Tandem Surfing the Third Wave: Part 3, interview with subRosa.” YOUgenics. 2003. 16 June 04.

Haraway, Donna. “The Cyborg Manifesto.” Simians, Cyborgs and Women. New York: Routledge, 1991. [1985] 149-181.

Harmon, Amy. “`Hacktivists’ of All Persuasions Take Their Struggle to the Web.” New York Times on the Web. 31 Oct 1998. 16 June 04.

Hayles, N. Katherine. How We Became Posthuman. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1999. 17 June 04.

metac0m. “What is Hacktivism?” Dec 03. 16 June 04.

Morgan, Robin. Demon Lover: On the Sexuality of Terrorism. London: Methuen, 1990.

Old Boys’ Network (OBN). “FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions.” 16 June 04

Plant, Sadie. Zeros and Ones. New York: Bantam, 1997.

subRosa. “Tactical Cyberfeminism: An Art and Technology of Social Relations.” 16 June 04.

VNS Matrix. “Cyberfeminist Manifesto.” 1992. 17 June 2004.

Wajcman, Judy. TechnoFeminism. Cambridge and Malden, MA: Polity Press, 2004.

Wray, Stefan. “Electronic Civil Disobedience and the World Wide Web of Hacktivism: A Mapping of Extraparliamentarian Direct Action Net Politics. Nov 1998. 16 June 04.



          Crowley: The Declaration of Independence and equality   
The fireworks and cookouts celebrate the Declaration of Independence, especially its opening paragraph before the unending list of British governmental issues. Lincoln made constant reference to the Declaration of Independence. Its sentence on equality was his touchstone for the wrong of slavery. It was to the Declaration his four score and seven pointed in the […]
          Comment on Angela Merkel Reflects Fear and Loathing Amid EU Elites… by 2x4x8   
the natural resource, asset stripper cartel is on the outside in this Government, and the wealth benefits Americans, think of the North Dakota Sovereign Fund but lifting energy exports controls could work against us in a Cartel controlled Government, shipping out crude oil while our prices skyrocket here kinda reminds me of Poland paying its debt to the Soviet Union by packaging hams hidden in paint cans to export while the Polish went hungry just a thought on Jason Chaffetz and his decision on leaving Congress, seems Trump did not side with the GOPe effort to sell off large tracts of Government land to the Cartel strippers and instead appointed Ryan Zinke at Interior (i supported Sarah Palin for the job) so that eliminated the need to reward an undeserving chairmanship to Chaffetz, the chief cheerleader/go to person on the issue
In the past, The United States government has taken comfort in the position that North Korea did not possess a significant nuclear weapons program, however it is no longer the case that North Korea does not possess nuclear weapons.  Upon taking office, the Obama administrati …
          Americans detained in North Korea call for US help   
Why isn't the U.S. government doing more to get them out? I think we know the answer:North Korea gave foreign media access on Monday to three detained Americans who said they have been able to contact their families and — watched by officials as they spoke — called for Washin …
          Wildlife Biologist II – Baffin - GOVERNMENT OF NUNAVUT - Pond Inlet, NU   
The ability to supervise staff, as well as experience in analysis of wildlife samples, developing and implementing protocols for sample collection, processing,... $97,734 a year
From Indeed - Fri, 17 Mar 2017 19:01:25 GMT - View all Pond Inlet, NU jobs
          Pay members of Congress for their performance — or lack thereof   
Feeding at the government trough breeds dependency and laziness, according to conservatives. So let’s introduce pay for performance in Congress, tieing their paychecks to the health of the citizens they serve.
          Why is Mr. Children still so popular after almost 20 years?   

1: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 19:02:56.25 0 ID:


It's all about how good the melody of their songs are, right?
There are those who are saying that they're just ripping off Elvis Costello's style, but those people are just jealous.

4: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 19:05:18.47 P ID:
It can be compared to the Liberal Democratic Party's long-term government
6: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 19:05:49.83 i ID:
Yeah, these guys are even popular with the teens now who weren't even born when these guys made their debut.
8: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 19:06:23.53 0 ID:
I get the feeling that Sakurai alone is enough...
10: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 19:07:58.15 0 ID:
What's their biggest hit?
23: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 19:18:28.96 0 ID:
11: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 19:09:32.73 0 ID:
They have so many hits, you can't decide on which one to make as their banner song.
13: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 19:10:37.85 0 ID:
Recently though, I feel that their nice melodies are wasted since they seem to be overdoing their lyrics.
17: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 19:12:40.80 0 ID:
I don't know if you can call their music enka or folk, but I think the Japanese are used to this kind of stuff. I honestly think they're boring, though.
19: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 19:13:07.14 O ID:
Their banner song is this one titled REM. I felt like "Mr. Children's finished" after hearing this one.

34: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 19:27:44.45 i ID:
REM is good. It's been a while since they had songs like that so I'm happy with it.

26: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 19:20:54.12 0 ID:
They were on the decline at one point, but Sakurai's cerebellum blockage felt like it led to their comeback.
28: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 19:21:38.08 0 ID:
I read somewhere that Sakurai's voice tickles one's maternal instinct
31: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 19:24:35.99 0 ID:
I feel that all they sing are ballads, and nothing is really attractive
32: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 19:24:37.23 0 ID:
Their arrangements are a bit overboard these days. It's like they're trying to cover up his deteriorated songwriting and voice with a ton of makeup.
35: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 19:28:04.49 0 ID:
Kimo-otas (kimoi= disgusting; ota=otakus) who feel like critics will always make noise on threads like these without fail LOL
40: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 19:30:50.49 0 ID:
It's amazing that people don't get sick of them. They must be doing well by changing their sound.
44: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 19:32:19.71 0 ID:
And even if you tell other people that you like some unknown band, they'd just look at you with a strange face. We just have this tendency to answer safely when asked who our favorite celebrities and singers are.
46: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 19:33:18.75 0 ID:
Prior to their major label debut, they were introduced as the Jun Sky Walker(s)' 'little brothers'. I think they were in the same agency back then.
47: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 19:33:46.43 0 ID:
I get the feeling that all their songs that came after HANABI have been duds.
48: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 19:35:59.75 0 ID:
No act from Japan that will surpass Mr. Children in terms of sales has emerged yet. I think though that there are a lot of bands who are trying to imitate them.
49: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 19:36:49.31 0 ID:
The drum parts feel good
51: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 19:37:24.56 0 ID:
It was a good memory of mine when I worked part-time as a security at Tokyo Dome and got to see their concert in full.
55: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 19:41:44.43 0 ID:
There are no other stadium bands like this in Japan. They're on the same level as Oasis.
62: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 19:54:15.50 0 ID:
They probably have a lot of money and get all the girls when they're selling so much like this. I bet the poor and the unpopular ones are all jealous of them.
63: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 19:56:53.68 0 ID:
Saying they sing like Costello, I think that was before 1996. I think their other phases are different.

65: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 19:58:48.52 0 ID:
俺の中では「tomorrow never knows」で終わってる
For me they stopped being good after "Tomorrow never knows". It feels like they have just been riding on that momentum ever since.
66: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 20:00:14.25 0 ID:

I like "Dakishimetai" the best. It was a song before their huge break, though. Hirosue also likes that song the best.

68: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 20:02:02.69 0 ID:
バンプ ラッド セカオワ あたりがミスチルの後継者だと思う
I think Bump of Chicken, Radwimps, and Sekai no owari are Mr. Children's successors.
71: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 20:07:00.26 0 ID:
Hey you... no way... I'd understand Kobukuro and Sukimaswitch though. And don't even think of mentioing that trash band flumpool.
70: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 20:04:10.64 0 ID:
tomorrow never knowsは萩原聖人主演の「若者のすべて」の主題歌
tommorow never knows was used as the main theme song for Masato Hagiwara's Wakamono no subete. This was also the drama that led to the nationwide KimuTako ultra boom. He still wasn't playing lead roles in serial dramas up to this point.
72: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 20:08:41.31 0 ID:
tomorrow never knowsがもう19年も前の曲か

So tomorrow never knows is already 19 years old. 
74: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 20:11:40.22 0 ID:
I'm still in my 20s and I honestly think that they were beasts for writing amazing songs like this at the same age as me.
78: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 20:17:34.72 P ID:
I honestly don't understand Sakurai-kun's lyrical sense, but I think his talent as a melody maker is an inborn talent. There's something about him that's similar to Disney and Nintendo.
79: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 20:18:19.65 0 ID:
It was pretty huge for Mr. Children to catch their break in the 90's during the CD bubble era, but Bump of Chicken is this great band that appeared in the era where CDs weren't flying off shelves like they used to. They didn't get too much exposure and have been around for 10 years as people have recognized them for their music.
82: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 20:21:11.46 0 ID:
You Bump fans are so disgusting. I really don't understand what's so good with them. Rad is better than them.
84: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 20:21:48.16 0 ID:
No one cares about what you like. Whatever you say has no value whatsoever. It's a fact that Sakurai-san accepts them.
89: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 20:25:31.42 0 ID:
I like both Bump and MisChil but they're different. I don't understand why their name was brought up on this thread.
93: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 20:27:32.52 0 ID:

It just means that Bump is the only band that can stand a chance against MisChil
96: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 20:29:07.55 0 ID:
They're not really going against, but they would be taking over Mr. Children's position in the next generation. The age difference is about 10 years apart anyway.
100: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 20:29:59.03 0 ID:
I thought Remioromen would go up to Bump's level, but they didn't meet the expectations.
104: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 20:31:24.43 0 ID:

A MisChil song I recently thought was good: "Imitation no Ki"

107: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 20:31:55.83 0 ID:
1994年 innocent world、Tomorrow never knows
1995年 シーソーゲーム See saw game
1996年 名もなき詩 Na mo naki uta
1998年 終わりなき旅 Owarinaki tabi
2000年 口笛 Kuchibue
2002年 youthful days
2003年 HERO
2004年 Sign
2006年 しるし Shirushi
2008年 HANABI
2010年 365日 365 nichi
117: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 20:35:18.17 0 ID:
MisChil always say that they don't stand a chance against Spitz's Kusano
118: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 20:36:09.80 0 ID:
Tamio says that he doesn't stand a chance against Sakurai-kun and Kusano-kun
121: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 20:36:50.90 0 ID:
MisChil has already reached the Southern All Star's level. They can already afford to take a few years off but they haven't.
124: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 20:38:04.95 0 ID:
The problem with MisChil is that all the members other then Sakurai are pretty low-level.
131: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 20:39:46.87 P ID:
Wait a sec, MisChil's drummer is doing a good job. Even the bassist ain't bad.
137: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 20:43:32.69 0 ID:

Yep, the bass and drums are actually pretty good, but Sakurai is just too overwhelming so people think they're bad. The guitar is bad though.
139: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 20:43:37.87 i ID:
I wonder why they only have pressed CDs and don't sell their music digitally
143: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 20:45:03.29 0 ID:
I remember them saying a few years back that "We want to succeed with CDs based on our music".
149: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 20:46:59.14 0 ID:
Well, the band members are living the life and earning so much because of Sakurai-san. One should definitely cherish his friends.
153: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 20:50:11.76 0 ID:
But Sakurai himself said many times that the other 3 members are also important. On the outside, they just say that Sakurai writes and composes but it's actually a collective effort from all of them
154: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 20:51:16.20 0 ID:
If that's true then all of their names should be credited. I feel it's only Sakurai who gets all the credit and earns so much more than the other members.
160: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 20:53:35.01 0 ID:
The song I like from them recently is HANABI. That's 5 years ago already, huh.
166: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 20:59:17.31 0 ID:
Sakurai is actually pretty handsome. I guess people who like someone like hyde won't get his appeal.
170: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 21:05:41.68 0 ID:
I can't sing the fast part well in "Na mo naki uta".
The part that goes "Nariyuki makase no..."
180: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 21:26:50.62 T ID:
But MisChil let their fans sing the songs for them while they only sing a little during concerts, right?
183: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 21:39:38.55 P ID:
定番はInnocent Worldでたまに口笛とか
They basically let the fans sing 1 song per concert. It's usually "Innocent World", then sometimes "Kuchibue".
184: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 21:51:05.46 0 ID:
I like all of those songs but they don't sing it for me
185: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 21:55:09.21 P ID:
まぁiinocent worldを最初から最後まで桜井のみなんてのは逆にレアになってるな
I don't think they let the fans sing the entire song, it's usually just the first verse or the second one, or the chorus. Well, it is pretty rare though that Sakurai sings "Innocent World" from start to finish.
188: 2013/05/31(金) 22:11:58.09 0 ID:
People in their early 30s are said to be the ones who are in the MisChil generation (it can also be called Hirosue generation), but "Anmari oboetenaiya" is my favorite song. It almost always brings me to tears whenever I listen to it.

213: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 23:13:44.68 0 ID:

I think Kobayashi's sense and Sakurai's charismatic appeal matched well. They'd just be some no-good youth pop band if it weren't for Kobayashi.
224: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 23:55:07.05 0 ID:
I think the song that cemented Mr. Children's status in the industry is "Na mo naki uta"
226: 名無し募集中。。。 2013/05/31(金) 23:56:33.65 0 ID:
I think it was those consecutive singles from "Crossroad" to "Innocent World"
I heard poorly rated @Morning_Joe speaks badly of me (don't watch anymore). Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 29, 2017

These morning tweets follow other tweets touting ones supporting policy actions by his administration and the GOP. Does he think anyone will pay attention to any of that when he's tweeting comments on a morning show's appearance and the show's ratings? It's as if he's taken a master a class on self-sabotage.

Isn't he supposed to be in the middle of trying to help a GOP repeal of Obamacare?

Remember when conservatives ridiculed Obama interview talking to GloZell, the woman who is mainly known for eating cereal while sitting in a bathub of milk or going on Between Two Ferns? Well, was any of that less respectful of the office of the presidency than such tweets? I have come to regard Trump's tweets as a verbal expression of his id. That is the level he operates at and we get a glimpse at what impulses control him through Twitter. All his advisers urging him to focus on policy and presenting an image of gravitas are the ego trying to mediate between those impulses and reality. They might win out for hours, even days sometimes, but the id is there ready to take over.

There used to be a time when Republicans claimed that character mattered in the presidency. Today...not so much.

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Canada thinks it can control the Internet.
The Supreme Court of Canada ruled against Google on Wednesday in a closely-watched intellectual property case over whether judges can apply their own country's laws to all of the Internet.

In a 7-2 decision, the court agreed a British Columbia judge had the power to issue an injunction forcing Google to scrub search results about pirated products not just in Canada, but everywhere else in the world too.

Those siding with Google, including civil liberties groups, had warned that allowing the injunction would harm free speech, setting a precedent to let any judge anywhere order a global ban on what appears on search engines. The Canadian Supreme Court, however, downplayed this objection and called Google's fears "theoretical."
Charles C. W. Cooke comments,
That amusing episode of The I.T. Crowd notwithstanding, “the Internet” is not a single black box somewhere in London, but a massively decentralized network of networks that, while conforming to a few agreed-upon technical specifications, gives new meaning to the word “diffuse.” Or, put another way, “the Internet” is a patchwork quilt of cables, satellites, switches, service providers, cell phones, desktops, laptops, web-servers, and protocols that, taken together, forms the sprawling web to which we are all so accustomed. The beauty of this arrangement is that anybody can participate. Want to be the next Facebook? To start with, at least, all you’ll need is a domain name, an internet connection, and a computer, and . . . that’s it. Though there are certain breakpoints (IP allocation, root DNS, etc.), there is no central permission structure that newcomers have to navigate. It’s open. It’s wild. It’s wonderful.

Now, this is not to say that censorship is impossible. It’s not. If a government wishes to block access to a particular site within the physical borders over which it has jurisdiction, it can do so. Likewise, websites and services that contradict local law can be legally removed, and, if it so wishes, a government can demand that any organization operating on a network within its borders must conform to its rules. What it can’t do, however, is export those judgments abroad.

Suppose that I, a permanent resident of the United States, were to host a website that contained speech that was banned in, say, Germany. Certainly, the German authorities could prevent Germans from seeing my site. And, if anyone chose to mirror my site on server inside Germany, they could shut that person down quite quickly. But they couldn’t have me shut down in America, and they couldn’t prevent people in other countries from accessing my site over the web. My server would be in America, connected to a network in America, subject to the law in America, and guaranteed the protections to which Americans are entitled. The German government, annoyed as it might be, would have to accept that....

And that, ultimately, is why the Canadian Court’s decision is so hilarious. I understand why people are worried about the idea — if taken seriously, it would give any less-free-than-America country an effective veto over the First Amendment. But they shouldn’t fret too much: The judges can say what they like, but their edict is simply unenforceable. If it wishes to do so, the government of Canada can prevail upon Google to abide by its rules within Canada. In addition, it can regulate the web in Canada to prevent access to sites it dislike. But it can’t force Google in America or France or Australia or Singapore to do a single goddamned thing. And thank goodness for that, eh?
I hope that he is correct, but we've seen the EU slapping a $2.7 billion fine on Google because the EU thinks it violates antitrust for Google to promote Google Shopping sites over other shopping sites. I'm not sure what there is about a FREE service like Google that the Europeans don't understand. Are European citizens actually hurt by Google giving them a free shopping search engine and then putting their items at the top? Would they prefer to pay for their search engines? Please, just keep your hands off Google. As more countries try and figure out ways to make money off of fining Google, they should consider the unintended consequences.
“The EU has effectively decided that some companies have become too big to innovate,” Robert Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a Washington-based think tank, said in a statement following the Google Shopping decision. “The EU’s actions have created a cloud of uncertainty that will make large tech companies overly cautious about making changes to the user experience and service offerings that would benefit consumers.”

Jonathan Tobin applies Occam's Razor
to explain why Obama didn't do more about Russia's attempts to interfere in our election last year.
But the real problem here is not so much Barack Obama’s failure to act as the most plausible reason for his inaction: Vladimir Putin’s capers didn’t impact the election results.
Despite the efforts by Democrats to blame Russia for Hillary Clinton's loss and their frustration that Obama didn't do more about it, there really is no evidence that the WikiLeaks revelations from John Podesta's emails had any effect on the course of the election.
But there’s a simpler, even more plausible explanation for Obama’s inaction: The president saw that the hacking was having almost no impact on the course of the campaign and thus wasn’t going to mess with the results. Far from the crime of the century, it was, at worst, a minor annoyance to Clinton that Obama obviously felt didn’t warrant a major dustup with Putin.

It’s true that Russia’s actions were outrageous and deserved a strong US response, both then and now. It can also be argued that the public had a right to know about it. But it was only after Clinton lost and she and her supporters began searching for excuses that Russia’s actions were considered an important factor in the outcome.

While Putin was way out of line, the impact of the WikiLeaks document dumps on Clinton’s candidacy was marginal at best.

The contents of the Democratic National Committee e-mails were embarrassing to Podesta and then-DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who wound up losing her job after proof of DNC collusion with Clinton against Bernie Sanders was produced. But there was almost nothing in those documents that related directly to Clinton, let alone being enough to influence voters.

Every WikiLeaks story was also almost immediately overshadowed by other, more damaging gaffes or revelations about Trump, such as his attack on a Gold Star family or the release of the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape. Nothing the Russians did matched the damage done by either of those Trump disasters.
Instead of looking for some external events or action, just admit that Hillary was a lousy candidate. That should actually be comforting to the Democrats. With such a compromised candidate whom so many Americans just never liked, they still won the popular vote and came really close to winning the states that put Trump over the top. If they can pick a better candidate in 2020, and can make an appeal for the voters they lost in the Rust Belt, chances are pretty strong that they'll win that year. They should be more concerned about forging a message that doesn't repel independents and those voters they lost in 2016. That's their real challenge and focusing all the time on Russia, Russia, Russia won't help them achieve that goal.

Good to know.
Tell your friendly environmentalist activist. But they're not really interested.
The benefits of fracking far outweigh its costs not only economically, but environmentally, a Stanford University geophysicist said Friday.

After teaching geophysics at Stanford for 30 years Mark Zoback took the helm of Stanford's new Natural Gas Initiative three years ago, he said, because of gas's environmental benefits.

"We did it because there were so many important and obvious environmental benefits to the utilization of natural gas," Zoback said. "So it’s somewhat ironic to be asked to argue for the notion that these benefits outweigh the environmental costs, when it’s the environmental benefits that got me into this business in the first place."

Zoback's remarks opened the annual debate at Stanford's Silicon Valley Energy Summit, and were swiftly challenged by representatives of the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Counci
Zoback argued that natural gas can replace coal and "dirty diesel" at significant scale throughout the world, supporting economic growth while slashing carbon emissions. (When burned, natural gas emits about half the CO2 that coal does).

The Senate has some really dumb rules. And the minority party can use them to slow everything down to a standstill. Chuck Schumer is taking advantage of every tool that the rules provide.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer used an upper chamber procedure Wednesday to block a national security briefing hosted by the Senate Judiciary Committee, irritating Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley.

The rule that Schumer had invoked, which he has been exercising the use of over the past two weeks, blocks Senate committee business from happening two hours after the Senate convenes session for the day. Schumer has consistently used the procedure as a way to delay business in Senate to make demands on Republicans on the health care bill.

The rarely-used tactic has cut short a committee hearing on free speech, stopped a hearing on Russian meddling in the U.S. elections and blocked a mark-up to advance bipartisan anti-human trafficking legislation....

Grassley had sent a joint letter with subcommittee judiciary chairman Lindsey Graham to the FBI Tuesday requesting all documents related to the FBI FISA surveillance requests on the Russia investigation.

“Today, the Judiciary Committee was set to hear from senior intelligence officials about highly sensitive intelligence gathering authorities that will soon require action from Congress. It’s disturbing and reckless for the Minority Leader to block the briefing. We’ve seen too many recent reminders of how unsafe the world is today. This is no time to play politics with our national security,” he said.
If they could use the nuclear option to get rid of a much more prominent rule concerning filibusters of Supreme Court nominees, why not use it to get rid of this stupid rule. If it's a "rarely-used tactic," no one except the angry members of the minority party will miss it.

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I had so much fun last night. I'm visiting my daughters in D.C. and we went to the Nats-Cubs game. I haven't seen a live baseball game in about 50 years since I was a kid and we'd go to the Cubs games. So I scheduled my trip to catch the game. After falling behind in the seventh inning, I thought it was pretty hopeless for the Cubs based on the way they've been playing this year. But they rallied in the ninth inning to go ahead on a triple by Jon Jay. It was so exciting and I could celebrate with all the other Cubs fans in the stadium including a cute little girl, about 10 years old, sitting with her family of Cubs fans in front of me who told her parents that John Jay had written five of the Federalist Papers. Exactly right and the Cubs' Jon Jay was a hero tonight. Go Federalists!

What a blast! And then as walked out of the stadium and came back on the Metro and hear all the Nationals fans complaining about the Nationals' bullpen. Eh, they're still doing well. I'm just hoping that the Cubs are recovering their mojo. At least their closer, Wade Davis, another historically relevant name on the Cubs roster

          Chris Christie Announces New Jersey Government Shutdown, Orders State Of Emergency   
Illinois, Maine, Connecticut: the end of the old fiscal year and the failure of numerous states to enter the new one with a budget, means that some of America's most populous states have seen their local governments grind to a halt overnight until some spending agreement is reached. Now we can ...
          Trump budget timeline mixes deadlines, uncertainty   
Trump's budget will set in motion a debate that holds the potential for gridlock and maybe a government shutdown. Here are some key dates in the federal budget process
          WEB EXTRA: Governor Christie Addresses Government Shutdown   
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie updated reporters Saturday with the latest on the state's budget impasse and the shutdown of the government.
          Sinn Fein’s Gerry Adams not expecting powersharing deal on Monday   
A series of deadlines have been missed to restore multi-party devolved government in Northern Ireland.
          Eight universities to receive uninterrupted power   
The Rural Electrification Agency has signed a memorandum of understanding with eight federal universities and one teaching hospital for the first phase of the federal government's Energizing Educa ...
          Ministry steps up efforts to curb honorary degree misuse   
The government is stepping up its efforts to prevent another avenue from being misused to gain titles and academic qualifications - honorary doctorates, writes Yuen Meikeng for ...
          World-class universities plan has caste action flaw   
The Indian government's plan to elevate 20 of the country's top universities to 'world-class institutions' has run afoul of the country's existing affirmative action policy, under which half of hi ...
          Government seizes control of private teaching hospital   
The government has approved a proposal made by the higher education and health ministers to take over a private medical teaching hospital affiliated to the South Asian Institute of Technology and ...
          Talks Between UK Conservatives And Northern Ireland's DUP Restart   
Talks between Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party and Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservatives on supporting the British leader's minority government have restarted on Wednesday. May and DUP leader Arlene Foster held more than an hour of talks on Tuesday. Foster said an agreement ...
          Wildlife Biologist II – Baffin - GOVERNMENT OF NUNAVUT - Pond Inlet, NU   
Equivalencies that consist of an acceptable combination of education, experience, knowledge, skills and abilities will be considered.... $97,734 a year
From Indeed - Fri, 17 Mar 2017 19:01:25 GMT - View all Pond Inlet, NU jobs
          Emerging Markets: What has Changed   
(from my colleague Dr. Win Thin)

  • Chinese President Xi visited Hong Kong for the first time.
  • The US has proposed $1.3 bln of arms sales to Taiwan.
  • The Egyptian government raised fuel and cooking gas prices. significantly as part of the IMF program.
  • South Africa’s parliament has scheduled the no confidence vote on President Zuma.
  • Brazil’s central bank lowered its inflation target.
  • Brazil after President Temer was charged with corruption.

In the EM equity space as measured by MSCI, Brazil (+2.9%), Russia (+1.5%), and Turkey (+0.9%) have outperformed this week, while Czech Republic (-3.0%), Hungary (-1.2%), and Chile (-0.9%) have underperformed.  To put this in better context, MSCI EM fell -0.1% this week while MSCI DM fell -0.3%.

In the EM local currency bond space, Brazil (10-year yield -13 bp), Colombia (-6 bp), and China (-5 bp) have outperformed this week, while South Africa (10-year yield +27 bp), Philippines (+17 bp), and Hungary (+17 bp) have underperformed.  To put this in better context, the 10-year UST yield rose 14 bp to 2.28%. 

In the EM FX space, ILS (+1.3% vs. USD), BRL (+1.0% vs. USD), and SGD (up 0.8% vs. USD) have outperformed this week, while ARS (-2.5% vs. USD), ZAR (-1.4% vs. USD), and COP (-1.0% vs. USD) have underperformed. 

Chinese President Xi visited Hong Kong for the first time.  The visit commemorates the 20th anniversary of the Hong Kong handover. Xi stressed that the “one country, two systems” framework remains successful.  USD/HKD traded at its highest level since January 2016.

The US has proposed $1.3 bln of arms sales to Taiwan.  The package would reportedly contain early warning radar, anti-radar missiles, and naval torpedoes.  It was approved by the Defense Department and will move forward unless Congress blocks it within 30 days.  Of course, Chinese officials objected.

The Egyptian government raised fuel and cooking gas prices significantly as part of the IMF program.  Prime Minister Ismail said inflation (29.7% y/y in May) was likely to accelerate 4-5 percentage points as a result of the price hikes.  After a 300 bp hike in conjunction with the EGP float, the central bank remained on hold until it hiked 200 bp more to 16.75% in May.  

South Africa’s parliament has scheduled the no confidence vote on President Zuma.  After several delays, the vote will be held on August 3.  Parliament added that it has not yet decided on whether the vote will be done via secret ballot.

Brazil’s central bank lowered its inflation target.  The central bank will now target inflation at 4.25% in 2019 and 4.0% percent in 2020, down from the 4.5% target that has been in place since 2005.  The tolerance band was kept at +/- 1.5 percentage points, which came into effect this year.  
Politics is taking center stage again in Brazil after President Temer was charged with corruption.  This is connected to the recent secret recordings of an alleged conversation between Temer and Joesley Batista.  The charges now need to be approved by two thirds of the lower house in order to proceed.  Even if he survives the vote, the reform agenda will be delayed, if not derailed.   


          Resource: Effective Emergency Management: Making Improvements for Communities and People with Disabilities   
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          Chinese Leader Warns Hong Kong Not To Buck Beijing's Authority   
On the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to China after more than 150 years of British rule, Chinese leader Xi Jinping has warned residents of the territory not to cross a "red line" by challenging Beijing's authority. It was the first visit by Xi to Hong Kong since he became the leader of China in 2013. He spoke at a swearing-in ceremony for Carrie Lam, who becomes the new "chief executive" of the territory. "Any attempt to endanger China's sovereignty and security, challenge the power of the central government... or use Hong Kong to carry out infiltration and sabotage activities against the mainland is an act that crosses the red line and is absolutely impermissible," Xi was quoted by The South China Morning Post as saying. July 1 marks the anniversary of the 1997 handover of Hong Kong by Britain. Each year on the date, pro-democracy activists hold a demonstration to protest what they see as Beijing's crackdown on civil liberties in the territory. This year, activists were
          States Miss Budget Deadline, Go Into Full Or Partial Shutdown Mode   
Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET New Jersey, Maine and Illinois are all facing at least partial government shutdowns after their legislatures failed to pass budgets. Washington and Alaska managed eleventh-hour deals to avoid a similar fate. Connecticut failed to pass a budget, but the state's governor stepped in with an emergency spending order. The new fiscal year for these and 40 other states begins today. New Jersey The state is under the second shutdown in its history after the Legislature, controlled by Democrats, failed to reach an agreement by a midnight Friday deadline. The showdown was prompted partly by a rift between Gov. Chris Christie and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto. The Associated Press writes: "Christie and Senate President Steve Sweeney agree on legislation to make over Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, including allowing the state insurance commissioner to determine a range for the company's surplus that if exceeded must be put to use benefiting the public and policyholders.
          Feds Consider Removing Manatees From ‘Endangered’ List   
The public will get to have their say as the federal government considers dropping manatees from the endangered species list.
          India launches tax revolution amid business doubts   

India launches tax revolution amid business doubtsIndia on Saturday launched its biggest ever fiscal reform with the government promising that a new nationwide tax would make the economy stronger and less corrupt, but businesses are nervous about the revolution. The new goods and services tax (GST) replaces more than a dozen levies imposed nationally and by the 29 states. Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a special midnight session of parliament to launch GST which he called "a good and simple tax".

          A trading startup tackling a key problem in the world's most important market has raised $10 million   

Susan Estes OpenDoorA new trading platform focused on hard-to-trade segments of one of the most important markets has raised $10 million from private investors.

OpenDoor Securities will use the funds to improve its connectivity to current customers, according to a statement.

The platform is auction based and is what's called an all-to-all marketplace for off-the-run Treasurys and Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS). In plain English, that means the platform hosts auctions for instruments at a particular time. 

The startup is trying to tackle challenging trading conditions in what is arguably the world's most important market.  The US government bond market makes up around 30% of the fixed-income market, according to the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association and American Bankers Association. In a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission last year, they said the Treasury market is  "the most important global benchmark for pricing and hedging spread asset classes and is a key transmission mechanism for US monetary policy."

However, liquidity in the Treasurys market is divided between on-the-run Treasurys, or the most recently issued bonds and therefore the most liquid, and off-the-run bonds. Off-the-run bonds represent 98% of the total outstanding issuance in the US Treasury market, according to OpenDoor, but account for less than a third of average daily trading volume. 

The platform launched April 25, and the firm has seen more than $60 billion in orders placed since then. The firm has matched "multiple billions in US off-the-run Treasuries and TIPS orders with seamless settlement," OpenDoor said in a statement. 

Join the conversation about this story »

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          Canadians celebrated the nation's 150th anniversary with fireworks and poutine — here are the photos   

justin trudeau

It's Canada's birthday!

July 1, also known as Canada Day, marks the 150th anniversary of the confederation. An estimated half a million people are expected to attend celebrations in the capital Ottawa, where the government spent approximately half a billion Canadian dollars (US $386 million) on the festivities.

See how Canadians and a couple of royal visitors celebrated.

SEE ALSO: How to move to Canada and become a Canadian citizen

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau kicked off the festivities in a visit with Prince Charles, whose mother, the Queen, remains Canada's head of state 150 years after its independence.

Prince Charles and his wife Camilla spent the last several days visiting museums, monuments, and even startups in Canada. July 1 marks the end of their royal tour.

The Duchess of Cornwall greeted onlookers outside the Canadian Museum of History.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

          How to move to Canada and become a Canadian citizen   

justin trudeau

July 1 is Canada Day, a federal holiday celebrating the unification of Canada's three colonies 150 years ago.

For many people, it may also be a reminder that Canada is a land where healthcare is free, people are friendly, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau explains quantum computing just for laughs.

If all that has Canadian citizenship looking pretty tempting, you'll first need to go through several steps, like living in the country for at least six years, staying on your best behavior, and knowing a thing or two about the country you'll soon call home.

For those who actually want to head up north, here's how you move to Canada.

SEE ALSO: How to move to Sweden and live in the future

Preface: Make sure you're not already a Canadian citizen.

Before you go through the hassle of applying for citizenship, take a short quiz to see if you may already be Canadian.

The government outlines several caveats for being a citizen even if you weren't born there, many of which depend on your parents' citizenship. Maybe you secretly inherited their status at some point along the way.

Be at least 18 years old.

If you're not a legal adult, you've got an uphill climb ahead of you.

Minors need their parent or legal guardian to fill out the application for them; they need to be permanent residents in Canada (more on that later); and the parent must either be a citizen or applying to become one at the same time.

Or enter the pool for skilled immigrants.

Canada has a fast-track system for immigration called Express Entry. It's how skilled workers transition into a role in the country.

All applicants into Express Entry are given specific scores based on their specific talents and job prospects and then ranked with other applicants. Those at the top of the rankings are invited to become permanent residents.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

          News Briefing for Tuesday, May 5   
HEALTHCARE: Obamacare exchanges are not cheap to build or run “In its next Obamacare-related decision, the Supreme Court will decide whether employers in states that chose not to establish their own Obamacare exchanges can be forced to pay penalties for not offering insurance the government deems acceptable. The case is somewhat complicated and based on […]
          News Briefing for Monday, April 13   
TEA PARTY PATRIOTS: Fiorina, Tea Party loyalists have much in common “Carly Fiorina told the Tea Party Patriots Sunday that she too wants smaller, more responsive government, as she spoke and took questions from callers. The grassroots conservative group has been hosting government officials and potential presidential candidates in its teleconferences. Fiorina, a former corporate […]
          News Briefing for Wednesday, April 1, 2015   
HEALTHCARE: CALPERS COULD OWE OBAMACARE $770 MILLION IN “CADILLAC TAX’ “California government entities and their unions are panicking because Obamacare’s punitive 40% “Cadillac Tax” beginning in 2018 will directly hit the low-deductible and broad-provider network type of “platinum” healthcare coverage that public employees have enjoyed under the California Public Employee Retirement System (CalPERS). With the […]
          Whole Foods Founder John Mackey On Fascism and 'Conscious Capitalism'   
UPDATE at 12:35 p.m., ET, Jan. 17: Many of you wrote in to tell us you were taken aback by Whole Foods top executive John Mackey characterizing the health law as fascism in an NPR interview, and apparently, he's feeling a little sheepish. About three minutes into his otherwise amiable chat with CBS This Morning hosts on on Thursday, Mackey walked back his comments in response to a direct question from Norah O'Donnell: "Well, I think that was a bad choice of words on my part ... that word has an association with of course dictatorships in the 20th century like Germany and Spain, and Italy. What I know is that we no longer have free enterprise capitalism in health care, it's not a system any longer where people are able to innovate, it's not based on voluntary exchange. The government is directing it. So we need a new word for it. I don't know what they right word is," Mackey says. Part 1 of his interview with Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep is linked above, and you can hear him discuss
          News Briefing for Wednesday, March 25   
HEALTHCARE: How many will have to pay back Obamacare subsidies? “More Americans will owe the government money for their Obamacare subsidy than won’t, says a new analysis. A big upcoming Tax Day question is how many Americans with government-subsidized health insurance will find that they collected more in subsidies than they’re qualified for and have […]
          Fears grow for reciprocal rights of EU citizens and Britons abroad   
On eve of Brexit talks, Brussels officials suspect that Theresa May’s ‘generous offer’ will fall short

Theresa May’s promised “generous offer” on EU citizens’ rights at the start of the Brexit talks this week will fall short of protection of the status quo, meaning a difficult start to the negotiations, officials in Brussels fear.

The British government is yet to provide any documents relating to its proposal regarding the 3.1 million EU citizens living in the UK, but initial talks between the two sides have prompted concerns that Britain will make an underwhelming opening bid. Senior EU sources said the result would be a slow start to the already delayed negotiations.

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          Wildlife Biologist II – Baffin - GOVERNMENT OF NUNAVUT - Pond Inlet, NU   
Equivalencies that consist of an acceptable combination of education, experience, knowledge, skills and abilities will be considered.... $97,734 a year
From Indeed - Fri, 17 Mar 2017 19:01:25 GMT - View all Pond Inlet, NU jobs
          Broad Swath of S. Africans Meets on Nation's Future    

THE broadest spectrum of parties ever to come together for political talks in South Africa gathers here today to plan a resumption of negotiations on the country's transition to democracy.

Ten months after multiparty talks broke down, the groups are returning to the table with a new sense of urgency. Three months of bilateral talks between the ruling National Party and the African National Congress (ANC) have cleared the way for a resumption of full negotiations.

"They're back at the table at last and this time there are more of them and the chemistry is looking good," says a Western diplomat monitoring the negotiation process.

Today's meeting, which will set a date for the resumption of full-blown multiparty talks, for the first time will include white right-wing parties and radical black rivals to the left of the ANC.

Participants are expected to include 23 delegations from 21 political groups - four more than the 19 delegations that attended the Convention for a Democratic South Africa, which deadlocked last May after five months of deliberations. Wide spectrum of parties

Among the attendees will be the militant Pan-Africanist Congress (PAC), which failed to reach agreement with the government in talks this week about the suspension of the armed struggle being waged by its radical military wing, the Azanian Peoples Liberation Army.

The right-wing Afrikaner Volks Unie, which broke away from the more hard-line Conservative Party last year, will take part in a six-party committee chairing the meeting. This marks the first direct involvement of a right-wing party in steering multiparty talks.

There is also cautious optimism that Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi, leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), is preparing to put his full weight behind multiparty talks.

Today's meeting will be attended by chief negotiators rather than political leaders. A delegation from the semi-autonomous KwaZulu homeland could provide the mechanism for the Zulu king, Goodwill Zwelithini, to attend the next round of talks.

There is still disagreement over the boundaries, powers, and functions of South Africa's regions and whether they should be bound in a federation or a looser arrangement. But consensus is growing among the parties that the new constitution will need to provide for a high degree of autonomy for regional governments to prevent secessions that could fragment the country.

In the past three months, the ANC has made major concessions in the direction of a federal-type system and ANC leader Nelson Mandela has gone out of his way to recognize the principle of self-determination in talks with white right-wing leaders.

Multiparty talks, which could be held this month, must reach agreement on the powers and functions of a Transitional Executive Committee (TEC), an independent Electoral Commission, and an independent Media Commission that will have the task of leveling the political playing field.

The TEC, a multiracial super-advisory body, will function with sub-councils that will establish multiparty management of the security forces during the run-up to the elections. The three commissions should be established by June, by which time the multiparty forum is expected to have agreed on an election date.

"I think by the time we get to July it will be all systems go for the election," says ANC Electoral Commission head Popo Molefe.

The talks take place in the wake of the March 2 massacre of six school pupils in the violence-racked hills around Pietermaritzburg, which has served as a grim reminder of the bitter war still raging between supporters of the ANC and the IFP in that province.

The killing of the pupils has evoked national outrage across the political spectrum and Law and Order Minister Hernus Kriel has offered an $80,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible.

Nobel peace laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu visited the bereaved community with other church leaders yesterday in a bid to calm political passions and prevent revenge killings.

Figures published Wednesday by the Human Rights Commission, a civil rights group that monitors political violence, indicate that deaths this year from political violence have dropped to levels well below the 300-a-month average for 1992. Coalition government

Today's talks will take place against the backdrop of an understanding reached last month between the government and the ANC that the drafting of a democratic constitution after the first democratic ballot will be followed by a period of coalition rule lasting up to five years.

The coalition government will include all parties that win at least 5 percent of the vote. According to recent polls this is sure to include the ANC and the National Party and is likely to include the PAC, the IFP, and possibly the right-wing Conservative Party.

"One could say that the real challenge of the ballot will be about whether South Africa can hold a peaceful election rather than who will win the election," says Larry Garber, an official of the National Democratic Institute in Washington, which helps run a South African voter education program.

The major challenge prior to the election will be to educate an estimated electorate of 21 million - about 16 million of whom are blacks who have never voted before - in the basics of democracy and electoral procedures.

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          Philippines' poverty decreasing according to government report   

Poverty in the Philippines has declined by nearly five percentage points in the last six years, amid improved incomes and higher employment, a government report showed Thursday.

          Manufacturing Project Engineer I   
, procedures, regarding to government and regulatory agencies regulations (e.g. EEO, ADA, ISO, QSR). Ensures timely response...
          Forest fire in Spain extinguished   

Madrid, July 2 (IANS) The wildfire that began on Wednesday evening in the Sierra Calderona natural park between the cities of Valencia and Castellon on the east coast of Spain was finally extinguished in the early hours of Saturday morning, Valencia regional government said.

Over 600 people worked through Friday night to bring the fire under control after it destroyed 1,200 hectares in the area famous for its forests of cork trees, Xinhua news agency reported.

A total of 27 helicopters and aircraft helped with firefighting duties.

Jose Maria Angel, General Director of Emergencies in the Valencia region, thanked those responsible for combating the fire, while Government delegate Juan Carlos Moragues explained that although the cause of the blaze was still being investigated, there had been an electrical storm in the area early in the week.

He said heat from a lightning strike had probably built up in a tree, which had later combusted under a combination of favourable weather conditions, including high temperatures, low humidity and high winds.

This is the second major fire in Spain in just over a week following a destructive blaze which burned over 8,000 hectares in and around the Donana National Park in the country's southwest region.



          Can't accept apology from Delhi Golf Club, says victim   

Shillong, July 2 (IANS) Tailin Lyngdoh, the tribal Khasi woman, who was subjected to discrimination at the Delhi Golf Club for wearing her traditional dress, on Saturday said that the she cannot reconcile with those who broke her heart.

"I will never accept any apology as I was deeply hurt by the manner in which I was insulted and discriminated against. I would also never set foot in the Club ever again," Lyngdoh told journalists.

"If you try and fix a broken glass, you won't be able to hide the cracks of the glass. Therefore, it will be difficult for me to accept any apology from them now," she stated.

On June 25, Lyngdoh, a governess, had gone to the Club, along with her employer Nivedita Barthakur, after they were invited for lunch by a Club member.

Some 15-20 minutes into the lunch, two Club officials asked Lyngdoh to leave the table and the Club, saying her dress was a "maid's uniform" and also allegedly hurled racial abuses.

Lyngdoh, who finally reached Shillong, the state capital of Meghalaya, Saturday afternoon, met and shared with the members of Meghalaya State Women's Commission and women's rights activists on the unfortunate incident at the elitist golf club for wearing a Jainsem.

"I felt hurt and insulted when I was discriminated against at the Club, which is in my own homeland. I have been to many clubs and restaurants abroad but no has ever insulted me," Lyngdoh, who with her employer Nivedita Barthakur, said.

"I want the Meghalaya government and civil society groups and my fellow tribesmen to come forward in taking up the incident which happened at the Club, so that no such discrimination is meted out to anyone in the future," she said.

Meanwhile, Barthakur appealed to the people across the northeastern states to come out in support of Lyngdoh.

"This is not the first time that such an incident has happened. These things keep happening. Therefore, I am appealing to the people of the Northeast to stand up together.

"Here is a lady who was humiliated for her profession, for the way she looks and for the way she dressed. Let us not just make it into Tailin's voice alone. It should be the voice of everyone. Enough is enough," Barthakur said.

On her meeting with the women's commission Chairperson, she said: "I am convinced that they are with us and will take proactive action. We are going back with hope."

Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, who had raised the issue with Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, said such discrimination needs to be condemned by one and all.

He had also urged the central government to direct Delhi Police to file a suo motu case against the Delhi Golf Club for the racial abuse.

"All legal options available as per the Scheduled Tribe Prevention of Atrocities Act 1989 and more will be taken advantage of, so that such behaviour is not repeated," Sangma said.

The Meghalaya State Women's Commission, which held a meeting with prominent women's organisations, has unanimously condemned the "despicable act of discrimination and racism" and lack of grace on the part of the management of the Club.

"The comments made by the management on the attire of Lyngdoh has gravely insulted and hurt the sentiments of Khasis (a tribal community in Meghalaya). Further, the comments made violated the social and cultural rights of Lyngdoh," commission's Chairperson, Theilin Phanbuh said.

In a Khasi society which is egalitarian, all Khasi women would wear the Jainsem, which was the traditional attire of the Khasis and the same was worn by the Khasis in India and abroad, she said.

"It (Jainsem) represents the identity of a woman who wears it every day and it is the most modest, dignified, graceful, versatile and elegant attire. India is a land of unity in the midst of diversity and as such, it is unfortunate that the management of the Club cannot make a distinction between a traditional Indian attire and that of a neighboring country," Phanbuh said.

The Jainsem has been showcased in many fashion shows, including the Lakme Fashion Week as well as the London Fashion Week, World Intellectual Property Organisation and many others.

"It is unfortunate that the world is aware and appreciates the Jainsem whereas our Indian brethren are ignorant of the same," Phanbuh said.



          Vigilante violence backed by supposed enforcers of law: Sonia   

New Delhi, July 2 (IANS) Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Saturday hit out at the government, saying it was seeking to create an India completely at odds with the one that saw the light of Independence and added that "a culture of vigilante violence is actively being supported by those who are supposed to enforce the law".

She also said the idea of India had been thrown fundamentally into question by rising intolerance and malevolent forces who tell people "what they cannot eat, who they cannot love, what they cannot say".

Gandhi also said that "domestic misrule was as great a challenge for our country".

Launching the commemorative publication of National Herald, she further attacked the government, saying: "Though their language is modern, they seek to take India backward, to further their narrow sectarian vision."

"It is one of the ironies of our present times that the soaring reach of their (freedom fighters) work is now sought to be either obliterated or in some cases appropriated by individuals and groups who are in direct opposition to their beliefs and principles," she said.

"Those who stood aside when history was painfully made by sacrifice and struggle, those who had little faith in the Constitution adopted by our country, are now seeking to create an India completely at odds with the one that saw the light of Independence. Let us not forget that they made no sacrifices to shape India's destiny," she added.

Gandhi also said: "Their modern jargon conceals pre-modern beliefs, concepts that are at odds with progressive and inclusive thought, with contemporary knowledge and with a vision for the future. It is our duty to pull away the hypocrisy and reveal the reality lurking beneath."

"This is being encouraged by a culture of vigilante violence actively supported by those who are supposed to enforce the law. Such examples assault our consciousness almost daily," she added.

Gandhi also said: "India has reached a crossroads marked by increasing threats of authoritarianism and bigotry. Where we choose to stand today is where our country will head tomorrow.

"We are in a war of ideas. We wage this war to preserve our ideals, which have built India up as a model of democracy, diversity and co-existence. When these ideals are threatened, India itself is in danger. And if we do not raise our voices, if we do not speak up, our silence will be taken as consent," she said.

Gandhi said: "We have daunting enough battles to fight - against injustice, against poverty, against prejudice, against patriarchy, against malnutrition, against illiteracy, against communalism - but we must also prevail in this greater war for the soul of our nation."

"Ours is a mission to preserve the credibility and sanctity of our institutions in their democratic design. The domestic misrule is as great a challenge for our country.

"At a time when the inclusive conception of our nation is under attack, and the press is pressured or in some willing cases to obey and applaud rather than to question, speaking truth to power is the imperative of our age," Gandhi said.

"Let us work together to safeguard an India in which each person's voice can be raised and heard, most of all the voices of those who question and disagree," she added.



          Second phase of 'Grown In Australia, Made In India' initiative announced   

Gandhinagar, July 1 (IANS) The Woolmark Company announced the second phase of its successful "Grown In Australia, Made In India" initiative during the Textiles India 2017.

The key campaign will continue to highlight the farm-to-fashion journey of Merino wool, growing in Australia before being transformed into unique fashion pieces in India, and champion both the woolgrowers of Australia and the handloom sector of India.

"The campaign aims to further connect brands, manufacturers and the government of India, present across the wool supply chain and this year will also allow consumers to join the journey," said a statement.

Chris Elstoft, Australian Deputy Commissioner; Aditi Rout, Trade Advisor-Wool from the Ministry of Textiles; Peta Slack Smith, General Manager, Australian Wool Innovation for Corporate Affairs and International Market Access; Arti Gudal, The Woolmark Company Country Manager India; and Shravan Reddy, Wool Ambassador in India, also spoke about using wool driving exports in the domestic market and encouraged this initiative with their support.

"The second year of the Grown In Australia, Made In India highlights the journey of Merino wool from grassroots to a global level, and is aimed towards driving wool consumption along with manufacturing in India," said Arti Gudal.

"The campaign will be a four-month-long project, starting from September and ending in December. Through this initiative, we will bring to light the different stakeholders of our journey -- the Kullu weavers of Himachal Pradesh, the wool shawl and knitwear industry and our collaboration with commercial brands who have endorsed Merino wool in India.

"We are proud to work with the government of India and support the local handloom and textile traditions, especially in wool. Their support has helped sustain India's rich traditions while creating positive employment avenues," she added.

Peta Slack-Smith said: "It is great to see the Grown In Australia, Made In India campaign receive support from the government of India."

"As Australia and India work in tandem and promote the handloom industry. Furthermore, involving the consumers during this phase will spread awareness about Merino wool's endless potential as a trans-seasonal and natural fibre," said Smith.



          Heavy rains trigger flood-like situation in Manipur   

Imphal, July 1 (IANS) Incessant rainfall has triggered a flood-like situation in Manipur, with all major rivers in the state flowing above the danger mark, officials said on Saturday.

Vast paddy fields and villages are inundated by the waters overflowing from the swollen rivers. Some portions of Imphal are also flooded. Several low-lying areas and roads in the city and adjacent areas are also flooded.

Nambul river is overflowing at several places. Vast paddy fields and residential areas in Heibongpokpi in Imphal West district are flooded, causing difficulties to people.

Lepao Haokip, the Irrigation and Flood Control Minister, said the officials are working round the clock to tackle the situation.

There are emergency telephone helplines through which people can seek help from the department. However, no relief camp has yet been opened in these areas.

Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh said: "Officials had been instructed to open the gates at the Ithai barrage, so that there is no overflowing of the rivers. The government is also planning to dredge the swallow rivers."

Drivers plying along the mountain highways fear that the torrential rains may trigger landslides blocking vehicular movements.



          No apprehension about lynchings after Modi's rebuke: Amit Shah   

Panaji, July 1 (IANS) Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah on Saturday said after Prime Minister Narendra Modi publicly criticised mob violence, there was no apprehension about lynchings in the country.

Shah also said criticism of the central government led by PM Modi was unfair vis-a-vis the issue of lynchings and also questioned why journalists were being caught in the flow.

"There is no (apprehension anywhere in the country," Shah said, when asked if apprehension about public lynchings had been quelled by Modi's recent public statement criticising such incidents.

Shah suggested that there was an orchestrated effort to wrongly blame the Modi-led government on the lynching issue.

"I do not want to undermine lynching incidents, by presenting a comparison. In 2011, 2012, 2013, there were more lynchings in each year than in these three years (of National Democratic Alliance rule). But the question was not asked then. How are questions being asked now?" he said.

"Mohammad Akhlaq died in Uttar Pradesh, when the Samajwadi Party was in power. It was their responsibility and yet there is a protest against Modi government," Shah added.

"What is this fashion? I can understand about the citizens but why are journalists getting caught in such a flow," the BJP President said.



          65 MoUs signed on Day 2 of Textiles India 2017   

Gandhinagar, July 1 (IANS) The Ministry of Textiles on Saturday signed as many as 65 MoUs in the textile sector on the second day of the first of its kind mega exhibition Textiles India 2017.

"The MoUs were signed between various domestic and international organisations from the industry and government," an official said.

The MoUs were signed in presence of Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani and Minister of State, Textiles, Ajay Tamta.

The MoUs signed relate to exchange of information and documentation, research and development, commercialisation of handloom products and silk production, cooperation in geo-textiles, skill development and supply of cotton and trade promotion with overseas partners.

"In two days, we have signed 65 MoUs. We are hoping a large scale of investment. Here is a government which is here for redressal of your grievances. The government is also willing to listen the problems you face," Irani told a investors meet here after signing the MoUs.

She said that among 65 signed MoUs, three were signed with Australia, Bangladesh and China.

Irani said that the current age is a golden era for development of textiles industry.



          Manesar land deal: CBI lens on three IAS officers' assets   

New Delhi, July 1 (IANS) The CBI has sought the property records of three IAS officers in its ongoing probe in the 400-acre land deal in Gurugram's Manesar.

Former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda is also facing the CBI heat in the Manesar land scam case, which allegedly took place when he was at the state's helm.

The investigating agency broadened its probe against the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers, whose names are withheld, to dig out information if real estate players were favoured in the Manesar land deal release case, an official said on Saturday.

The CBI is taking the step following the inputs of Enforcement Directorate (ED), whose officials had conducted multiple raids at premises of several serving and retired officers in June after registering a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in the same matter.

Informed sources said that the agency has also written a letter to Haryana Chief Secretary Depinder Singh Dhesi seeking property details of these IAS officers.

The agency has also sought a set of documents from the industries department pertaining to the release of the land.

"The CBI is seeking to find out whether there was a quid pro quo. Two officials, who held key positions during the Congress rule had entered real estate deals with a realtor, Aditya Buildwell Pvt Ltd, who was granted colonisation licences after the land was released from acquisition," a CBI officer said.

The CBI had in 2015 registered a case against the builders and Haryana officials for their alleged role in the fraudulent purchase of 400 acres land worth Rs 1,600 crore (as per then market rates) from gullible farmers of Manesar in Gurugram district for a mere Rs 100 crore.

The land was allegedly purchased showing the threat of acquisition by the state government during August 27, 2004 to August 24, 2007.

The Haryana government had initially issued a notification under the Land Acquisition Act for acquisition of land measuring about 912 acres for setting up an industrial model township in Manesar, Naurangpur and Lakhnoula villages.

The land was later grabbed from the owners by private builders at meagre rates, the CBI had said after registration of the case.

In May, the CBI had also questioned Hooda for over nine hours in connection with the case.



          Area Governments Launch River Safety Campaign   
Area governments are asking the public to stay away from the Truckee River unless you are experienced in dealing with fast-moving water, or you are accompanied by somebody who is, such as a professional rafting [...] The post Area Governments Launch River Safety Campaign appeared first on This is Reno.

This is only a summary. Visit the site to read more.

          How Online Job Market and Freelancing Can Make Bangladesh a Middle-earning Country   

The recent outrage in online job market and freelancing and most of all outsourcing industry has turned into a revolution. It seems like it is not taking a step back. This revolution that is going on within the young community, for IT freelancing and outsourcing, shows us new prospects to grow the economy of Bangladesh. In recent years, freelancing alone brought more than $20 million into Bangladesh and the amount is growing day by day.

Silent Revolution in Bangladesh

It might make you wonder, how did this happen? It was a revolution that was not instigated by the government for long years. Rather, it happened silently. But, due to recent government’s pledge to put “e” to all activities, things have been fastened in a large scale.

Why did this happen? If we observe the situation in Khulna, then you’ll see that many industries closed down, due to corruption and inability to sustain. The older generation in Khulna is not that well off due to this fact. The younger generation is more educated by the mass, as the older generation envisioned that education will be their only asset in future. The surrounding industry failed to employ them properly. But, they did not sit idle. They had to come up with something that would not make them leave Khulna. So, steadily the revolution unveiled.

But, there are still many problems that haunt Bangladeshi freelancers and outsourcing partners. If they are provided the opportunity, the freelancing and outsourcing revolution will take several steps ahead. But, to provide this opportunity, government has always been very conservative. Just take an example of SEA-ME-WE fiber optic cable connection. It was denied twice by late governments on the fear of national data privacy. But, it was realized that, it was really a very conservative decision we ever made. Currently, the internet infrastructure is stronger than before. But, ability to access premium online service still has some way to go. And this is actually not that long.


Outsourcing is a $3.4 Trillion industry and we are not even taking even 1% of it. Our neighbor India is taking major share of these outsourcing opportunities. The situation we have here in Bangladesh was created 10 years ago in India. So, it is obvious that we still are a decade backward, in terms of India. But, that does not mean we have to stay a decade back. We have the know-how and the skilled forces that can take us a generation ahead, if we can give them the opportunity. Otherwise, with countries like Vietnam and Philippines that are directly competing with us, will gain better momentum than us. But, imagine if we could take just 1%, it could be way more than what we earn through Garments Industry and remittance from non-resident citizens.

Bringing Women in

If you look at our societal norm, you’ll find that we have not yet grown into a liberal society, even after many changes. The average poor and middle class society aka the major portion of our population is still very conservative. We still have gender-based separate sitting arrangement in bus. Most women in poor societies and some women in middle class societies are still not allowed to roam freely in society. 

Women are the first gender that gets the priority for education dropout. Those who make it, also dropout from career, when they have their first, if not, second child. No one can say that, this change in career as good or bad. Because, raring child and taking care of the family by women has been a century (if not millennia)  long tradition. Even in advanced countries, women cannot avoid this phenomenon. So, ultimate center of concentration of a woman becomes her home.

But, they are the weaker half (48%) of our population. I mean, weaker by the number not by merit or skill. If you can not engage this portion of the population in earning, then there is no way a nation can grow. But, accepting our norm of the society, how can we generate jobs for them without making them leave home? 

I think you all know the answer.

Bringing Senior Citizens in

Again another portion is the senior citizens who become dependent on the earning member in the next generation. Because, they are not suitable to do any physical work. So, they jump out of the earning member population and usually never come back. But, how can we make them earning member without having to make them do physical work? 

I think you all know the answer.

Bringing the Handicapped in

Sometimes we think that the handicapped are the weakest portion of the population. But, we should remember that they are not 100% handicapped. I have seen many handicapped people showcasing extreme knowledge, talent, and skills. But, they are not capable of doing regular jobs. Accepting their handicap situation, how can we bring them into the money earning demography? 

I think you all know the answer.

Bringing All of Them in

When we are talking about Online Job Market, Freelancing and Outsourcing, we are mostly talking about the youths. Yes, they are our future. But, think how far we can go with freelancing and outsourcing, if we can involve all the unemployed population in Bangladesh. i.e.

  1. The Unemployed Youths
  2. Women (Homebound, Conservative, Mothers, etc)
  3. Senior Citizens and
  4. Handicapped people.

The Dream to be a Medium Earning Country

So, to live the dream as a medium earning country, Bangladesh government should try it’s best to make this industry grow as fast as it can. One of the major barriers to the Freelancing and Outsourcing industry is the online and international payment system. Currently, Payza has been introduced, but Paypal and other sorts of online and international payments are still not possible. Bangladesh Bank here has been playing a conservative role for long time. But, things are progressing and we might see them available in near future. 

Yes, there are defaulters, corrupter  and money launderers. But, for these filthy people, the vast opportunity for the whole population cannot wait. The Government’s job is policing, not making vast opportunity slip out of the hands of the citizens.

          North Dakota Economic Development Foundation Announces New Board Members   
Commerce Commissioner Jay Schuler announced five new members of the North Dakota Economic Development Foundation board today, Perry Miller, a business leader from Wahpeton; Tommy Kenville, founder of Tglobal Inc.; Gene Veeder, McKenzie County Commissioner; Jared Melville, former Vice President for the North Dakota Student Association; and .
“This group of individuals brings a wealth of experience and understanding of the business community and will be a great addition to our board.” Schuler said. “I am confident our new members will provide private-sector guidance, helping us to create strategic plans to strengthen and broaden North Dakota’s economic development."
Miller, a native of Wahpeton, works with the purchase, renovation and management of apartments, hotels and other commercial properties. Miller has served as a township supervisor and Richland County commissioner and is a current member of the Wahpeton City Council. In addition, he is a board member for the Wahpeton Community Development Corporation, Richland-Wilkin United Way, Wahpeton Recreation Committee and ND Farmers Union Policy Committee.
Kenville of Grand Forks, is the founder and president of Tglobal Inc. He is also a consultant with Center for Innovation as Rainmaker and VP of Development. Kenville established T-Kort LLC and founded Unmanned Applications Institute International. He serves as Managing Member for University Hotel Development LLC and chairs the Valley Angels investment fund.
Veeder of Watford City, is a county commissioner and served as the Executive Director of McKenzie County Job Development Authority and Tourism Bureau. Veeder serves as President of the Theodore Roosevelt Expressway and is on the board of directors for McKenzie County Water Resource District and the Western Area Water Supply. He has been recognized as the Governor’s Choice Economic Developer of the Year and for Outstanding Achievement in County Government from the North Dakota Association of Counties.
Melville, a native of Fargo, is the former Vice President of Governmental Relations for the North Dakota Student Association. A third-year student studying Business Administration and Political Science at North Dakota State University, Melville now serves as the Chief Justice of the NDSU Student Government’s Student Court. Melville has received awards on the regional and national level for competing in collegiate forensics as the President of the NDSU Lincoln Speech & Debate Society.
Batcheller of Fargo, is the Chairman and CEO of Appareo Systems LLC. He has been involved in the startup of six successful companies and has served as director of technology growth at Deere & Co. Batcheller has served on the boards of Xata Corporation, MeritCare (now Sanford Health), and the Fargo-Cass County Economic Development Corporation. He is a past president of the NDSU Alumni Association Board of Directors, and is currently serving on the boards of the NDSU Research and Technology Park and Amity Technology LLC.
The North Dakota Economic Development Foundation is a private foundation established by the Legislature in 2001 to provide private-sector guidance and oversight of the state's economic development efforts. The Foundation board helps create strategic plans to strengthen and broaden North Dakota’s economic development.
The Foundation establishes and maintains a strategic plan for economic development managed by business leaders from all corners of the state. The board meets quarterly to monitor progress toward economic development goals, to discuss major business and economic issues, and to offer suggestions for improving North Dakota's business climate. Each member of the board serves a two-year term.
The North Dakota Department of Commerce works to improve the quality of life for North Dakota citizens by leading efforts to attract, retain and expand wealth. Commerce serves businesses and communities statewide through committed people and partners who offer valuable programs and dynamic services.
For more North Dakota news and information go to

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          Economic Output in North Dakota from Oil & Gas Remains Strong   
By The Dakota Dispatch
The petroleum industry’s economic contributions remained strong in 2015 despite struggling commodity prices, according to the preliminary findings of a Economic Effects of Petroleum Industry being conducted by the North Dakota State University’s Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics. The oil and gas industry contributed $34.25 billion dollars into North Dakota’s economy in 2015. The figure is the second highest contribution since 2005 when the first study was released and was even higher than in 2011 when oil averaged above $87 per barrel.

“This study helps confirm that the petroleum industry remains one of the largest basic-sector industries in North Dakota in both good years and bad,” said Dean Bangsund, co-author of the study and research scientist for the department at NDSU. “Although the retraction in the markets caused undue hardships on the industry throughout 2015 and on into 2016, the benefits to individuals, the state and local governments, retailers and all other economic sectors continued to be strong, which has since reinforced the industry as a mainstay in North Dakota’s economy. This is especially true as oil production, versus oil field development, is increasing in relative economic importance.”

Because the industry relies on hundreds of contractors and subcontractors, the economic contributions extend beyond the mining and extraction industries. According to the study, retail trade once again saw the largest impact, taking in $8.85 billion of the $34.25 billion. Households, or personal income, saw the second-largest impact at $7.54 billion, and state and local governments rounded out the top three with $4.1 billion in royalties, taxes and other revenues from the oil and gas industry. More than six other industries in North Dakota also benefitted from oil and gas development.

“The industry has proven itself to be resilient in the face of downturns in the market,” said Ron Ness, president of the NDPC. “Through continued innovation and development, the industry is able to do more with less and have proven that they can weather these downturns and come out even stronger.”

Economic Output in North Dakota from Oil & Gas Remains Strong - The Dakota Dispatch

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          North Dakota's Oil Boom Fuels Economic Growth   

This isn't your father's Fargo any more.

That a state so sparsely populated and geographically remote stands among the top-five nationally in a broad measure of economic, educational, health and other metrics speaks volumes about an economic boom that North Dakota has experienced during the past decade.

Indeed it is the state's economic growth – No. 1 in the Best States rankings – that helped propel it to No. 2 in the overall measure of state economies.

With among the lowest unemployment in the nation and highest labor force participation, North Dakota also ranks highly in the roads, energy infrastructure – and even internet service – that it provides for just over three-quarters of a million residents. Its highly ranked higher education, with among the nation's most affordable tuition, has helped the citizenry reach a high level of attainment of college degrees. All measures considered, the state ranks No. 4 overall.

While 90 percent of North Dakota's land still is devoted to farming – with one-fifth of the population employed in agriculture that produces most of the nation's canola and flaxseed and ranks No. 1 in dry navy and pinto beans – it's what lies beneath the surface of this Canadian border state's wide open land that explains much of the recent growth of a domain that as recently as 2010 counted fewer residents than it had during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

It's oil and natural gas – and the technology for extracting it – that have both boosted the state's economy and also added a new dimension of social controversy surrounding pipelines that the industry is attempting to push through the state. Yet the state also is counting gains in manufacturing and high-tech ventures that have helped diversify the economy as oil has occupied a growing share of it.

"Energy and ag have always been very strong in our state, and the oil boom has moved us forward, but we've also worked to diversify," says Sandy McMerty, co-deputy commissioner for the North Dakota Department of Commerce. 

Recently elected North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum attributes the state's business sense to a long line of governors who came from the business world – in his case, the software industry. And he points to developments that hold promise for the future: A plant manufacturing the blades for 225-foot tall wind turbines employing 1,000 people, unmanned aerial aircraft mapping agriculture lands to amass mammoth data for improvement of crops, Microsoft "tapping in" to the state's well-educated workforce as the state attracts more young people.

"Our infrastructure is in great shape,'' the governor says – indeed, it ranks No. 6 in the Best States analysis. "The economic surpluses that we've had at the state level have allowed us to invest in infrastructure."

The Bakken Formation of oil and natural gas, among the largest contiguous deposits in the U.S., once was deemed infeasible for production. That was before hydraulic fracturing – an injection of water and chemicals into the black shale, siltstone and sandstone holding the oil, a process known as "fracking."

Before the oil boom, as recently as 2004, oil and gas production accounted for just 2 percent of the state's economy. By 2014, it accounted for almost 16 percent. And, while declining world prices for oil in recent years have dampened some of the Bakken boom's luster – and placed pressure on the small state's annual budget, forcing cuts in its esteemed public universities – overall oil production has held up for the most part.

There are fewer drilling rigs at work, but overall production slid to 1.17 million barrels per day in November from a peak of 1.23 million in December 2014 as drillers have pared operational costs. Drillers are employing new techniques that enable them to drill two miles down and then two miles horizontally, the governor notes, with the precision of someone picking the lock on a house.

"We've been a little bit down in production based on pricing,'' says McMerty, who is fluent in the daily price per barrel. "But energy companies are not short-term investment companies for the most part. They can ride out the lower prices."

The state's overall economic output more than doubled in 11 years, according to a Bureau of Economic Analysis report. The state's gross domestic product in 2013 reached a record $49.8 billion, up from $24.7 billion in 2002. In 2002, the state had the second smallest economy, ahead of only Vermont's. Still, some question the long-term sustainability of an economy hinging on a volatile industry.

"North Dakota has always been a boom and bust state – there hasn't been a time of expansion that wasn't followed by contraction," says Bill Caraher, associate professor of history at the University of North Dakota. "By and large, in terms of the billions and billions of dollars that have flowed into North Dakota's economy, very little has gone into producing the kinds of things that are sustainable long-term economic engines.''

In the state's bid for economic diversification, Northrop Grumman, John Deere and Bobcat are among the manufacturers that have added facilities and jobs – Northrop hoping to employ 100 people in Grand Forks. Caterpillar Remanufacturing recently chose between South Korea and North Dakota for a facility, and chose Fargo. And Grand Forks, inundated by the devastating Red River Flood of 1997, has rebounded 20 years later bigger and better, Caraher notes.

The state also boasts of the second largest campus for the software giant Microsoft outside of Washington state – in Fargo.

More than 80,000 jobs were created in North Dakota from 2011 from 2015, the data behind the Best States rankings show. And this state whose population had long hovered at Depression levels saw its populace grow from 674,000 in 2010 to 758,000 in 2016. Among all 50 states small and large, North Dakota ranked No 1 in the Best States ranking of net migration of people into the state. "Last check, we had 12,000 open positions across the state,'' McMerty says. "We're at a place where we really need that out-of-state population to come in."

The state's unemployment rate ranked No. 3 among all states in the Best States analysis, and running at 3 percent in December it remained the sixth-lowest and well below the national average.

All of this contributed to North Dakota's high ranking in the opportunity it offers citizens – ranking No. 7 nationally, with among the nation's lowest poverty rates, higher median household incomes and most affordable housing.

The state's oil development also has created its own issues. These include the challenges of housing oilfield workers in what have become known as "man camps." And a planned Dakota Access pipeline has generated strong public protest, particularly among the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe objecting to its construction near its reservation.

The tribe celebrated late last year when the Army Corps of Engineers announced it would seek alternative routes for the $3.7 billion pipeline. Then a new president signed an order directing the Corps to "review and approve" the pipeline "in an expedited manner." Allies of the tribe, including Earthjustice, contend that review already has identified problems with the pipeline, and this may end up in court.

The quality of the state's health care – No. 10 in the rankings – is borne out in some of the measures of public health taken into account in Best States.

This includes low mortality and infant mortality rates, 12th and 14th best respectively. One of the offshoots of this is a figure that's not counted in these rankings but measured by the U.S. Census: The nation's highest ratio of people 100 years old and older – with three centenarians for every 10,000 residents, double the national average.

The governor tells the story of a 100-year-old North Dakotan driver who was stopped running a stop sign on the way to his older sisters' place. "The police officer asked, 'Didn't you see the sign?' The man said, 'Sure I saw the sign. I didn't see you.""

The state's governmental services ranked No. 7 in the Best States assessment.

This included well-balanced state accounts – ranking No. 1 in financial health, No. 3 in its operating ratio of income and expenses, No. 6 in the digitalization of state information and No. 11 in the long-term funding of its pension system.

As a measure of that fiscal responsibility, when the state recently lost a sizable share of projected revenue for a two-year budget cycle amid a slowdown in oil drilling, the governor ordered budget cuts and drew $497 million from reserves to close a $1-billion shortfall in a $14-billion budget. Yet with cuts, come pain.

Assessing the cuts at the University of North Dakota – a system ranking No. 6 nationwide – Caraher notes: "People who keep hoping that the boom-bust economies can be leveraged into sustainable growth, these are the kinds of things that give people pause… Universities are one of the major leaders of innovation."

Yet in a world in which everyone holds a miniature "super-computer'' in their hands in their smart phones, the governor suggests, access to learning transcends the traditional boundaries of school buildings, and this too is a question of technology which the state must explore as it seeks to improve education.

Click here to view the full report.



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          Burgum Appoints Entrepreneur Jay Schuler to Lead North Dakota Department of Commerce   
ND Governor's Office
BISMARCK – Gov. Doug Burgum on Friday appointed GIANT Sunflower Seeds co-founder Jay Schuler to lead the North Dakota Department of Commerce, citing Schuler’s successful track record as a job creator and entrepreneur for more than 40 years.
“Jay Schuler’s impressive background of incubating and launching 15 startup companies spanning five continents and deep understanding of value-added agriculture will be highly valuable as we seek to diversify North Dakota’s economy and reinvent state government,” Burgum said.
Schuler will assume his new role as commerce commissioner on Feb. 27.
As commissioner, one of his top priorities will be to advance the governor’s Main Street Initiative, focusing on a skilled workforce, smart, efficient infrastructure and healthy, vibrant communities. Schuler will oversee the department’s four divisions – Economic Development, Workforce Development, Community Services and Tourism – and continue its work to improve the quality of life for North Dakota citizens by leading efforts to attract, retain and expand wealth.
“As someone who has spent his entire career launching and growing businesses, I’m excited to join a cabinet led by a successful entrepreneur in Gov. Burgum,” Schuler said. “We share the view that in order for our urban and rural communities to prosper, we must create a regulatory environment and support network that encourages startups to form and thrive, while ensuring our existing businesses have the tools and workforce they need to flourish and innovate.”
A native of Wahpeton, N.D., and neighboring Breckenridge, Minn., Schuler started his first company in college. He is a founding investor in both GIANT Sunflower Seeds, the largest sunflower confection retailer in the Upper Midwest, and Richland IFC, a dominant supplier of organic blue corn. Schuler also is an original investor in Ag America Network, which is carried by more than 30 radio stations in North Dakota and South Dakota.
Recognized as a teacher and mentor to new businesses, Schuler was selected to be the first Lynn Holaday Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the University of North Dakota Center for Innovation in November 2012. Schuler has a bachelor’s degree in agriculture economics from North Dakota State University, and he received the John Lee Coulter Award from the NDSU Agribusiness Club in 2003.
“Jay knows first-hand what it takes to grow a startup business into a nationally recognized brand,” Burgum said. “His commitment to entrepreneurial education and breadth of experience as a business owner, farmer and investor make him the right person to steer the Department of Commerce through a rapidly changing world.”
Schuler succeeds former Commerce Commissioner Alan Anderson, who retired Dec. 31.


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          Commerce Awards Grant to North Dakota State College of Science for Workforce Training Program   
By ND Commerce
The North Dakota Department of Commerce announced a $183,653 workforce enhancement grant for North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS). The grant will support NDSCS’s Advanced Metrology Training Initiative. Metrology is the scientific study of measurement.

The grant will provide funding to NDSCS to purchase a variety of precision measurement instruments and incorporate national certifications into program curriculum.

“This training initiative significantly advances our ability to educate students in quality control,” said Barbara Bang, NDSCS Technologies and Services Division Dean. “They will now receive certifications in manual and highly advanced automated measuring processes.”
The following programs at NDSCS will use the equipment in their curriculums:
  • Precision Machining Technology
  • Welding Technology
  • Robotics, Automation and Mechatronics Technology
  • Diesel Technology
  • Powersports Technology
  • Caterpillar Dealer Service Technician
  • Automotive Technology 
Workforce enhancement grants enable two-year colleges to apply for funds to create or enhance training programs that address workforce needs of North Dakota’s private-sector employers. Projects require a dollar-for-dollar match of state to private funds.
“Workforce enhancement grants help to increase the capacity of our higher education institutions, like NDSCS, to provide a consistent stream of qualified workers,” said Wayde Sick, workforce development director at the North Dakota Department of Commerce. “The partnership of industry, education, and state and local governments is needed to meet the developing workforce needs of North Dakota.”
Grant funding may be used for curriculum development, equipment, recruitment, and training and certifying instructors. Funds may not be used to supplant funding for current operations.
The Workforce Enhancement Council reviews all proposals and provides funding recommendations to the commissioner of the North Dakota Department of Commerce. The council consists of the private-sector membership of the North Dakota Workforce Development Council, the state director of the Department of Career & Technical Education, and the division director of the Workforce Development Division of the North Dakota Department of Commerce, who serves as the chair.
The North Dakota Department of Commerce works to improve the quality of life for North Dakota citizens by leading efforts to attract, retain and expand wealth. Commerce serves businesses and communities statewide through committed people and partners who offer valuable programs and dynamic services.
For more North Dakota news and information go to

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          Commerce Awards Grant for Williston State College Workforce Training Program   
By ND Commerce
The North Dakota Department of Commerce announced workforce enhancement grants for Williston State College (WSC) totaling $230,000. Workforce enhancement grants enable two-year colleges to apply for funds to help create or enhance training programs that address workforce needs of North Dakota’s private-sector employers. Projects require a dollar-for-dollar match of all state money with private funds. 

WSC received this grant to develop a “Safe P” training program and a “Well Sharp” training program. The Safe P training includes safety training for lease operators and pumpers to include dump, back pressure and stuffing box processes. The Well Sharp training will train employees at a drilling site on how to recognize, prevent and address well blow-out situations. WSC secured matching funds totaling $230,763 for the programs.  

“Companies continue to train current and future employees for high-demand positions for their industry,” Deanette Piesik, CEO of TrainND, a division of Williston State College. “Both programs allow individuals to upgrade their skills and knowledge to maintain well sites.” 

Grant funding may be used for curriculum development, equipment, recruiting participants, and training and certifying instructors. Funds may not be used to supplant funding for current operations. 

“The workforce enhancement grants help increase the capacity of our higher education institutions like WSC to provide a consistent stream of qualified workers educated right here in North Dakota,” said Wayde Sick, Workforce Development Director at the North Dakota Department of Commerce. “The partnership of industry, education, and state and local governments is needed to meet the developing workforce needs of North Dakota.” 

The Workforce Enhancement Council reviews all proposals and provides funding recommendations to the commissioner of the North Dakota Department of Commerce. The council consists of the private-sector membership of the North Dakota Workforce Development Council, the state director of the Department of Career & Technical Education, and the division director of the Workforce Development Division of the North Dakota Department of Commerce, who serves as the chair. 

The North Dakota Department of Commerce works to improve the quality of life for North Dakota citizens by leading efforts to attract, retain and expand wealth. Commerce serves businesses and communities statewide through committed people and partners who offer valuable programs and dynamic services. 

For more North Dakota news and information go to

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          North Dakota Names in Nation for Fifth Consecutive Year   
North Dakota NAMED BEST RUN STATE in nation for Fifth consecutive year
 BISMARCK, ND – North Dakota was credited with being the best run state in the nation for a fifth consecutive year, according to a 24/7 Wall St. study released today. The study looks at data on financial health, standard of living and government services by the state to determine how well each state is managed.
            “North Dakota continues to showcase that offers a business-friendly environment by creating growth and enhancing the quality of life for our citizens,” Commerce Commissioner Al Anderson said. “Being recognized for the fifth consecutive year by 24/7 Wall St. only goes to support that North Dakota is a great place for businesses and career seekers alike.”
 The top five best run states were: North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Utah. The study determines how well states are run by looking at fiscal management, taxes, exports, and GDP growth by sectors, as well as, quality of life components such as poverty, income, unemployment, high school graduation, crime and foreclosure rates.
 The study states: “… rich oil resources continue to stimulate the state’s economy. The unemployment rate remains lower than in any other state, and the median home value in North Dakota surged by 40.7% over the past five years, the largest increase of any state.”
            The full report is available at:

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          North Dakota Named Best Run State in Nation for Fifth Consecutive Year   
 BISMARCK, ND – North Dakota was credited with being the best run state in the nation for a fifth consecutive year, according to a 24/7 Wall St. study released today. The study looks at data on financial health, standard of living and government services by the state to determine how well each state is managed.

            “North Dakota continues to showcase that offers a business-friendly environment by creating growth and enhancing the quality of life for our citizens,” Commerce Commissioner Al Anderson said. “Being recognized for the fifth consecutive year by 24/7 Wall St. only goes to support that North Dakota is a great place for businesses and career seekers alike.”

The top five best run states were: North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Utah. The study determines how well states are run by looking at fiscal management, taxes, exports, and GDP growth by sectors, as well as, quality of life components such as poverty, income, unemployment, high school graduation, crime and foreclosure rates.
The study states: “… rich oil resources continue to stimulate the state’s economy. The unemployment rate remains lower than in any other state, and the median home value in North Dakota surged by 40.7% over the past five years, the largest increase of any state.”
            The full report is available at:

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          North Dakota Department of Commerce Selected as Best Place to Work in North Dakota   
By ND Commerce has selected the North Dakota Department of Commerce as the “Best Place to Work” in North Dakota. The list and tip building site named the best places to work in every state, based on data from Fortune, Forbes, and Glassdoor. 

“To be selected nationally as a best company is a great honor,” Commerce Commissioner Al Anderson said. “We find reasons to have fun and laugh together while meeting deadlines, accomplishing goals and gaining results. We strive each and every day to make Commerce a better place to work. This award helps continue to be an employer of choice in North Dakota.” credits Commerce for having a workplace so committed to culture that it produces a “Culture Book,” which gives staff an inside look at perks like wellness programs, wellness activities, and engagement-centered employee events. 

“We don’t use excuses about “working for the government” that stop us from striving to be the best,” Brianna Ludwig, Marketing Manager and Culture Club Chairperson for the North Dakota Department of Commerce said. “We’re innovative in our problem solving, we’re diligent in how we spend our resources, and we’ve found ways to provide a fun working environment for employees. From coffee with the Commissioner, costume contests, elaborately themed pot lucks and competitive fitness logs to transparency, teamwork and a unique goals system – Commerce offers the complete package for employees.” 

The North Dakota Department of Commerce works to improve the quality of life for North Dakota citizens by leading efforts to attract, retain and expand wealth. Commerce serves businesses and communities statewide through committed people and partners who offer valuable programs and dynamic services.
For more North Dakota news and information go to

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          Commerce Awards Grant to North Dakota State College of Science for Workforce Training Program   
By ND Commerce
BISMARCK, N.D. – The North Dakota Department of Commerce announced a $400,000 workforce enhancement grant for North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS). The grant will support NDSCS’s Building Control Systems Training Initiative.

The grant will update the equipment for the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) technology program. It will provide more simulated and hands-on learning experiences for students in both commercial and residential HVAC.

“This training initiative is made possible through a partnership with Trane, a nationally recognized leader in HVAC equipment,” Barbara Bang, NDSCS Dean of technologies and services division said. “This state-of-the-art lab will be unique for a large region of the country.  Additionally, our students will have the opportunity to earn nationally recognized industry credentials through the National Coalition of Certification Centers.” 

Workforce enhancement grants enable two-year colleges to apply for funds to create or enhance training programs that address workforce needs of North Dakota’s private-sector employers. Projects require a dollar-for-dollar match of state to private funds.

“Workforce enhancement grants help to increase the capacity of our higher education institutions, like NDSCS, to provide a consistent stream of qualified workers,” said Wayde Sick, workforce development director at the North Dakota Department of Commerce. “The partnership of industry, education, and state and local governments is needed to meet the developing workforce needs of North Dakota.”

Grant funding may be used for curriculum development, equipment, recruitment, and training and certifying instructors. Funds may not be used to supplant funding for current operations. 

The Workforce Enhancement Council reviews all proposals and provides funding recommendations to the commissioner of the North Dakota Department of Commerce. The council consists of the private-sector membership of the North Dakota Workforce Development Council, the state director of the Department of Career & Technical Education, and the division director of the Workforce Development Division of the North Dakota Department of Commerce, who serves as the chair.

The North Dakota Department of Commerce works to improve the quality of life for North Dakota citizens by leading efforts to attract, retain and expand wealth. Commerce serves businesses and communities statewide through committed people and partners who offer valuable programs and dynamic services. 
For more North Dakota news and information subscribe to the Commerce News RSS Feed or go to

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          Commerce Awards Grant for Bismarck State College Workforce Training Program   
By: ND Commerce
BISMARCK, N.D. – The North Dakota Department of Commerce announced two workforce enhancement grants for Bismarck State College (BSC) totaling $328,376. Workforce enhancement grants enable two-year colleges to apply for funds to create or enhance training programs that address workforce needs of North Dakota’s private-sector employers. Projects require a dollar-for-dollar match of all state money with private funds. 

“We are grateful for these grants and also for the generosity of our industry partners who provide the dollar for dollar match,” BSC President Larry C. Skogen said. “Private-public partnerships like this allow us to do even more to ensure that our students succeed and North Dakota industry grows.” 

 The first grant in the amount of $314,300 will be used for BSC’s energy industry programs. The grant will provide equipment upgrades for the power plant technology, process plant technology, energy services and renewable technician and mechanical maintenance programs. It will also update the non-credit welding program.

The second grant in the amount of $14,076 will be used for BSC’s precision agriculture program and update the technology of the program to meet the needs of the agriculture industry.

“Workforce enhancement grants help to increase the capacity of our higher education institutions like BSC to provide a consistent stream of qualified workers,” said Wayde Sick, workforce development director at the North Dakota Department of Commerce. “The partnership of industry, education, and state and local governments is needed to meet the developing workforce needs of North Dakota.”

Grant funding may be used for curriculum development, equipment, recruitment participants, and training and certifying instructors. Funds may not be used to supplant funding for current operations. 

The Workforce Enhancement Council reviews all proposals and provides funding recommendations to the commissioner of the North Dakota Department of Commerce. The council consists of the private-sector membership of the North Dakota Workforce Development Council, the state director of the Department of Career & Technical Education, and the division director of the Workforce Development Division of the North Dakota Department of Commerce, who serves as the chair.

The North Dakota Department of Commerce works to improve the quality of life for North Dakota citizens by leading efforts to attract, retain and expand wealth. Commerce serves businesses and communities statewide through committed people and partners who offer valuable programs and dynamic services. 

For more North Dakota news and information subscribe to the Commerce News RSS Feed or go to

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          North Dakota Drone Effort Lauded at White House Workshop   
Accomplishments made with unmanned aircraft systems in North Dakota were recognized recently during a workshop hosted on the White House campus.

The “Workshop on Drones and the Future of Aviation” assembled leaders from areas of industry, academia and government to outline the future of integrating unmanned aircraft, also known as drones, into the national airspace and discuss necessary policies to ensure that happens, according to a news release.

“Recognizing the fact that North Dakota as a test site is helping to pave the way for regulations really solidifies the reason why it was important that we were there,” said Nicholas Flom, director of safety for the Northern Plains UAS Test Site, who attended the workshop.

The North Dakota test site is one of six designated by the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct research into drones’ airspace integration.

The test site received recognition for requesting permission to fly drones beyond the line of visual sight at the Grand Sky business park on Grand Forks Air Force Base.

The test site is seeking to fly the aircraft up to 29,000 feet above ground without the use of a chase planes. These planes are tasked with tailing a drone during flights beyond the sight of the drone’s pilot, which is otherwise prohibited.

Another effort highlighted was the test site’s success in securing a block of spectrum from the Federal Communications Commission for transmitting commands and data during drone flights. Accessing spectrum an increasingly challenging feat nationwide, Flom said.

“Spectrum is not readily available throughout the country,” he said. “One of the things they were discussing was airspace might be a challenge to get, but what we’re finding is dedicated spectrum is even more difficult.”

Spectrum will play a large role in beyond-line-of-sight commercial drone flights, which could utilize secure transmission bands for their control systems.

Flying beyond the line of visual sight — along with accompanying sense and avoid technology — is considered by many in the industry as the next significant step needed to fully integrate commercial drones into the national airspace.

“Safely integrating drones into our airspace is one of the FAA’s top priorities, and we’re determined to get it right,” Michael Huerta, administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, told the workshop crowd. “It’s essential for our economy and our role as a global aviation leader.”

Also speaking were representatives from the U.S. Department of the Interior, Intel, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Edison Electric Institute.

The Edison Electric Institute, which represents all U.S. investor-owned electric companies, highlighted its work with Sharper Shape, an aerial inspection company with a research office in North Dakota.

Sharper Shape and EEI announced a partnership in March that will work to develop capabilities for beyond-line-of-sight flights for electrical companies to use to inspect infrastructure. Part of that will include seeking approval to bring a beyond-line-of-sight demonstration to the FAA.

“That was a great plug for a North Dakota company doing great things,” Flom said.

The workshop was co-host by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International Foundation.

North Dakota Drone Effort Lauded at White House Workshop - The Bismarck Tribune

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          North Dakota Ranks Near top in State Competitiveness   
By ND Commerce
For the fifth consecutive year North Dakota has earned the nation’s second best ranking in business climate competitiveness, according to the 2015 edition of the Beacon Hill Institute’s (BHI) annual State Competitiveness report.
“North Dakota’s pro-business environment and our entrepreneurs continue to give the state a competitive advantage,” Commerce Commissioner Al Anderson said. “Business incubation is also central to economic development. State leaders and legislators have placed an emphasis on improving the state’s business climate. This study reflects the ongoing success of their efforts.”
North Dakota achieved 20 top-ten national rankings including first in infrastructure investment, access to high-speed bandwidth, educational attainment and electricity prices. The greatest improvement over the previous year was in the area of business incubation, where North Dakota rose from 13th to 6th.  The business incubation subindex measures a state’s ability to mobilize financing for investment and rate of business births, a key factor in business competitiveness. North Dakota also placed sixth in human resources factors such as a high level of labor force participation, availability of skilled labor and a widespread commitment to education, training and health care.
The BHI competitive index is based on a set of 43 indicators divided into eight subindexes—government and fiscal policy, security, infrastructure, human resources, technology, business incubation, openness and environmental policy.  The overall index is an average of the eight subindexes. 
The top five performing states are (in rank order):  Massachusetts, North Dakota, South Dakota, New Hampshire and Iowa. Published by The Beacon Hill Institute at Boston's Suffolk University since 2001, the report has drawn the growing attention of policymakers, economist and public officials across the nation seeking to identify strengths and weaknesses in economic performance.  

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          Internship Opportunities Take Flight as North Dakota Drone Industry Expands   
By Grand Forks Herald
The offices of Grand Forks unmanned aircraft systems firms are getting more crowded as interns begin to settle in and start carving out their roles in the ever-evolving industry.

Internship opportunities in the field vary from positions requiring students to be behind the controls of aircraft to placing them at the keyboard of a computer, a reflection of the wide variety of jobs employers are looking to fill.

"We've worked through some programs at the state to make sure that we're doing everything we can to make these students into highly skilled employees and help the North Dakota economy by creating new jobs and wealth," said Matt Dunlevy, president and CEO of SkySkopes.

The 10 positions at SkySkopes, which conducts aerial inspections of infrastructure, and others being filled at area companies are a testament to the fast-paced growth of the industry, which allows relatively young firms to support several interns.

Confidence in the sector has been growing steadily in recent months, with another shot in the arm delivered when the Federal Aviation Administration revealed its finalized regulations for unmanned aircraft weighing less than 55 pounds used for commercial and governmental purposes.

When the rules go live in August, many in the unmanned industry predict an economic boon. Anticipation and investment in unmanned technology prior to the regulations' release also helped boost business locally, paving the way for internship positions as well.

The uptick in business means three summer interns for Field of View, a Grand Forks business specializing in creating sensors and software for mapping and modeling data collected by unmanned aircraft.

"We've really had to strategically manage our growth because if we would have hired this many people two or three years ago, I'm not sure we would have had the business to support them," CEO David Dvorak said.

Collaborative education

Both Field of View and SkySkopes are striving to provide their students with real-world experiences that will complement their education and be attractive to future employers.

And much like the unmanned industry in Grand Forks, these interns are collaborating with peers at other companies.

On Wednesday, the SkySkopes group met up with Field of View just south of Grand Forks for a test flight.

Interns with SkySkopes are recruited from UND's Unmanned Aircraft Systems Program, and each student is provided with training on how to fly an aircraft and retrieve and store data, along with learning the ropes of running a business and filing paperwork with the FAA.

The background of Field of View's interns aren't rooted in the university's UAS program but are varied and include electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and geography majors.

"I definitely didn't think I would land anything like this," said Jacob Nordberg, a UND senior studying geography. "I thought I was kind of thinking I was going to go with urban planning or something like that, but I've taken some image processing courses at UND, and it definitely relates really well to what I'm doing here. I think it's been an invaluable experience."

At the company's Grand Forks office, Nordberg and fellow interns Jack Heichel and Alex Heyd work on a variety of projects ranging from testing cameras to crunching and mapping data to using the data to build 3-D models of objects. Working with them is Francisco Madera, who started as Field of View's first intern in February but has since moved into a full-time position.

During Wednesday's flight, the two company teams worked together to collect sample data the Field of View crew will use on the job. The field test provided an opportunity for SkySkopes' group to gain more experience in flight operations.

"We really want to put them through the internship program because we're trying to make the most highly educated and safest UAS pilots in North Dakota and ultimately in the nation," Dunlevy said.

SkySkopes' ultimate goal is to create 50 jobs in five years through the program, Dunlevy added.

Internship Opportunities Take Flight as North Dakota Drone Industry Expands - Grand Forks Herald

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          Experts: Mexico opposition party targeted by spyware   
MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Mexico&apos;s scandal of high-tech spying against journalists and human rights defenders widened Thursday, with experts confirming that leading members of a main opposition party were also targeted by Israeli-made spyware sold exclusively to governments....
          Lt. Gov: 'Future's Incredible Bright' for ComDel   
By Wahpeton Daily News
A 24,000-square-foot expansion to ComDel Innovation’s Wahpeton manufacturing plant at 2100 15th St. N. was dedicated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday, June 14. Coming after ComDel’s annual stockholders meeting, the event included not only leaders such as North Dakota Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley, but third-shift employees who stayed to observe it.

Jim Albrecht, company president, commented that since its 2007 founding, ComDel has been blessed with business opportunities. Because of this, their customer base and market share has grown.

“It’s pretty cool to see the commitment and dedication of this team, and the results that have come from that,” he said. “If you look at what that means to our customer base, it means that we continue to bring business back here and we continue to grow as a company.”

Wrigley, a fourth-generation North Dakotan, said the “future’s incredibly bright” for ComDel.

“You’ve done a great job of cultivating that customer base, so that your products have some place to go and a strong demand out there no matter what one particular sector’s doing,” he continued.

In his work with the North Dakota Trade Office, Wrigley is constantly asked about the state’s advancements in unmanned aircraft systems. Unmanned aircraft systems do not feature pilots and are being integrated incrementally into America’s airspace, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

“Private sector innovators are pairing in private-public partnerships with the government, and we’re doing things that are advancing this industry in important ways. It’s the fastest growing component of aviation. ... And it adds further diversification to our economy and more opportunity for the young people coming through and people looking for more diverse jobs. ... I think it taps into our pioneer spirit,” Wrigley said.

Wrigley urged those present to not believe what they’ve been told by television.

“Here we are today, with one of the strongest economies in all of America, one of the fastest-growing economies in America in many, many years,” Wrigley continued. Wages going up ... our population in North Dakota is higher than it’s ever been and in the last year, it’s growing more rapidly than anywhere in America because of opportunity in our state. A lot of opportunities present themselves and then there are things like this. This is an incredible endeavor and everything that you’re all doing makes it possible, makes it productive and makes it grow.”

After Wrigley, Wahpeton Mayor Meryl Hansey, Breckenridge Mayor Cliff Barth, Randy Pope, president of the Wahpeton Community Development Corporation and Dale Peppel, who managed the ComDel site when it was a 3M plant, all spoke.

“Growth is not given, it’s something that you have to earn,” Hansey said.

Prior to and following the ribbon-cutting, guests viewed displays of products produced by ComDel.

The expansion gives ComDel an additional 10 percent in footage, The Daily News reported in December 2015.

Lt. Gov: 'Future's Incredible Bright' for ComDel - Wahpeton Daily News

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          North Dakota Development Fund Adds Board Members   
By ND Commerce
Commerce Commissioner Alan Anderson announced two new members for the North Dakota Development Fund board today, Pat Murphy with Murphy Motors in Williston and Scott Davis with the North Dakota Indian Affairs Commission. 

Murphy, a native of Minot, has been a Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, and GMC Truck Dealer in Williston since 1987.  Murphy was recognized nationally by winning the TIME Magazine Quality Dealer Award in 2011. He is a past President of the North Dakota Automobile Dealers Association and served on the General Motors Dealer Advisory Board for three years. Murphy also served on the Advisory Board for XM Satellite Radio and Onstar. 

Davis was appointed executive director of the North Dakota Indian Affairs Commission in April 2009 by Gov. John Hoeven. He serves at a cabinet level between North Dakota's state and tribal governments to address issues regarding education systems, court systems, economic development, social services, gaming, oil-energy, law enforcement, transportation, healthcare systems, veterans and youth. Prior to his appointment, Davis served in a number of capacities at United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck, including Development Officer, Wellness Activities Coordinator, Facilitator and Adjunct Instructor. 

“Pat and Scott bring a wealth of experience and understanding of the business community and will be a great addition to our board,” Anderson said. 

The North Dakota Development Fund was created in 1991 as an economic development tool. It provides flexible gap financing through debt and equity investments for new or expanding North Dakota primary sector businesses. Primary sector businesses create new wealth and are typically manufacturers, food processors and exported service companies. 

The North Dakota Department of Commerce works to improve the quality of life for North Dakota citizens by leading efforts to attract, retain and expand wealth. Commerce serves businesses and communities statewide through committed people and partners who offer valuable programs and dynamic services. 

For more North Dakota news and information go to

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          A Drone for Loan? North Dakota Agency Eager to Help    
By ABC News
A drone for loan? One of the first law enforcement agencies to use unmanned aircraft as eyes in the sky says it's ready to ship its technology anywhere in the country to help police who need it.

The Federal Aviation Administration earlier this month authorized the Northeast Region Unmanned Aircraft System unit in Grand Forks to fly anywhere in the country. It is one of only a handful of law enforcement groups with the capability of responding to incidents like natural disasters, crime scenes or search-and-rescue missions.

Alan Frazier, the chief pilot and architect of the unmanned aircraft program for the Grand Forks unit, said the agency's pilots and sensor operators are able and willing to hop on a plane with its drone in a suitcase.

"If there was a major disaster or a multi-day search for dangerous suspects like that, my guess is that the sheriff would approve that," Frazier said.

Ben Miller, a board member of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International and founder of the drone program for the Mesa County Sheriff's Department in Colorado, said the Grand Forks pilots would be at the top of the list when help is needed elsewhere. The county is also home to one of six drone test sites in the U.S. and the nation's first unmanned aircraft tech park.

"I think I can very confidently say that Grand Forks and Mesa counties lead the country in the use of UAVs in law enforcement," Miller said. "Grand Forks has done some fantastic things. I know those guys. I've trained those guys."

Grand Forks also is unique, Miller said, because the group has four pilots who have their commercial licenses. That allows them to fly drones at night and operate in airspace that is restricted to non-rated pilots, such as the vicinity of airports. Grand Forks is one of two state agencies in the country approved to fly drones at night, along with Montgomery County in Texas.

Frazier said his group also makes numerous appearances at training seminars and conferences throughout the country and the FAA authorization permits them to give practical demonstrations.

"That's important, because if we can't get the information out to agencies that might want to use the technology, they're really not going to avail themselves of that opportunity," Frazier said.

The FAA website lists 74 government agencies that are authorized to fly nationwide. That includes 17 state law enforcement departments in a dozen states: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Oregon, Texas, Maryland, Ohio, Texas, Washington and North Dakota.

The Grand Forks crew previously had the OK to fly within 17 North Dakota counties in eastern North Dakota and one Minnesota county. Since 2013 the group has responded to 27 calls for service, including the collection of evidence for four homicides. It has helped police look for numerous victims and suspects, including the search for a missing hunter whose body was found in nearby Walsh County.

"It is a very multi-faceted tool that we have at our disposal," Grand Forks Sheriff's Lt. B.J. Maxson said. "It is just absolutely incredible to see the aircraft go."

Frazier said it's too early to tell whether the Grand Forks unit will be called on more for training or the real thing.

"We'll have to take a wait and see attitude on that," he said.

A Drone for Loan? North Dakota Agency Eager to Help - ABC News

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          Dalrymple Highlights State's Economic Strength, Opportunities   
By ND Governor's Office
Gov. Jack Dalrymple kicked off the first annual Demographics Conference in Bismarck today by highlighting North Dakota’s economic strength and how the state’s diversified economy is helping to weather fluctuations in the energy and agriculture industries.
The focus of the conference was to help participants understand important socio-economic and demographic trends in North Dakota and how those trends impact citizens, businesses and communities. The inaugural event was a collaborative effort between the North Dakota Department of Commerce, the North Dakota Compass at North Dakota State University and the University of North Dakota Department of Economics, and was held at the
National Energy Center of Excellence on the Bismarck State College campus.
“For more than a decade, we have worked hard and strategically to diversify our economy and expand our target industries and those efforts have produced real results with increased economic production, job growth and rising wages,” said Dalrymple. “Despite a downturn in commodity prices impacting the state’s two leading industries, our diversified economic base is strong and growing, with many exciting advancements occurring in the technology, manufacturing and aviation sectors. Our economy is strong and North Dakota continues to be a great place to do business.”
During his remarks, Dalrymple stated that North Dakota’s continued economic growth stems from nearly every business sector across the state and that no single industry tells the whole story of North Dakota’s progress. He highlighted the state’s economic strength relative to production growth, unemployment, job openings and per capita personal income.
  • The state’s Gross Domestic Product through 3rd quarter 2015 is still performing well above the 2012-2013 levels.
  • North Dakota continues to have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation at just 2.9 percent for February 2016.
  • As of March 2016, North Dakota has more than 15,000 job openings across the state.
  • North Dakota has one of the fastest growing populations in the nation. Up until 2008, North Dakota was losing population. In 2013 alone, more than 18,000 new residents moved to the state. Between 2010 and 2014, North Dakota’s overall population increased 9.9 percent.
  • North Dakota continues to be one of only a few states whose populations are getting younger, with 9.6 percent of residents between the age of 20 and 24 compared to 7.1 percent nationally.
  • Since the fourth quarter of 2007, North Dakota’s personal income has led the nation in growth at an annual rate of 5.1 percent. In 2015, even with the economic slowdown, the state still ranked in the top 10 for per capita personal income at number 9 in the nation. 
The Governor also highlighted some of the advancements and opportunities emerging from North Dakota’s target industries and cited examples of businesses throughout the state that are reporting job and revenue growth.
  • North Dakota is well positioned in the energy industry as Bakken Shale is shown as the best cost value oil in the U.S. oil plays. Efficiencies in the industry are lowering the break-even point for companies to make a profit.
  • The state’s technology-based business sector is growing and diversifying, and leading the nation in innovative advances. The state’s technology industry payroll has grown to more than $1 billion a year, providing an average wage of $79,500. Companies like Microsoft and Amazon have long called North Dakota home. They, together with other high-tech companies like NISC, Intelligent Insites and Appareo, have shown growth in the state and continue to expand.
  • North Dakota is home to a growing cluster of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) research, business and military interests. Partnerships among private businesses, universities and state government strengthen North Dakota’s position as a leader in UAS. The state is one of six Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) UAS test sites conducting research to determine how to best integrate UAS into the national airspace. The FAA certified the Northern Plains UAS Test Site as the first site ready for operations in April 2014. Northrop Grumman and General Atomics — world leaders in aviation and aerospace — are investing millions in North Dakota.
  • Manufacturers in North Dakota account for 5.8 percent of the total output in the state and employ 5.6 percent of the workforce. Total output from manufacturing was $3.25 billion in 2014. In addition, there were 25,900 manufacturing employees in North Dakota in 2015, with an average annual compensation of $55,754.

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          ND Leaders Visit Israel for Trade Mission, Meet with Major Unmanned Aircraft Manufacturer   
By Grand Forks Herald
North Dakota leaders flew to the Middle East last week for a trade mission that included the discussion of a large-scale research project involving unmanned aircraft.

Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley and Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, accompanied by 22 others, flew to Israel and Egypt to strengthen relationships with government and business leaders located there in several industries, including unmanned aircraft systems.

Last week's trip marks the first North Dakota trade mission to Israel and the second to Egypt.

Wrigley and university representatives met with Elbit Systems, an Israeli unmanned aircraft manufacturer that is partnering with UND and North Dakota State University to fly a large-scale research project this summer near Hillsboro, N.D.

The company's Hermes 450 aircraft will be used to collect agricultural data on chemically resistant weeds, crop stands, nutrient deficiencies and other topics. The 20-foot gas-powered aircraft can fly for up to 20 hours, much longer than smaller electrical devices used in agricultural research.

"A large-scale UAS operation allows more agricultural data to be collected faster and at altitudes up to 8,000 feet," Wrigley said in a statement. "We're making important strides in the UAS and precision ag sectors in North Dakota, as well as supplying data to the Federal Aviation Administration in an effort to allow commercial UAS to operate simultaneously with manned aircraft in the future."

As the FAA requires all unmanned aircraft flights to be within the line of sight of an observer, a chase plane will be used to keep an eye on the Hermes from the air.

The eight-week project will be overseen by staff from NDSU and the Northern Plains UAS Test Site, which is headquartered at UND.

In addition to Elbit's aircraft, a smaller device will be flown to allow researchers to compare images collected by both systems, NDSU Ag Machine Systems Specialist John Nowatzki told the Herald last month.

Elbit received a $357,546 grant from the North Dakota Department of Commerce's Research ND grant program for the project. With the required match from the company, the total funding for the project comes to $715,092.

The Research ND program has distributed $2.9 million in grant funding to UAS-related research projects since its inception in 2013.

ND Leaders Visit Israel for Trade Mission, Meet with Major Unmanned Aircraft Manufacturer - Grand Forks Herald

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          Jindal Addresses Bayou Corne's Sinkhole Problem   
Gov. Bobby Jindal and other state and local officials met with Texas Brine representatives on March 13. The company responsible for a giant sinkhole in Assumption Parish is sending appraisers to some evacuated homes in Bayou Corne on Monday. The Governor said company officials will also meet with the State Attorney General’s office on Monday. He said Texas Brine owes state and local governments 4 million dollars, combined, for costs incurred dealing with the disaster. Jindal has been criticized for a seeming lack of attention to residents’ plight. At a press conference last week, he dodged questions regarding the seven-month-old sinkhole and has yet to visit the site, even though he says he will next week. He frowned on how long it’s taken Texas Brine to compensate homeowners. “There was a saying during a previous incident, a local leader said, ‘When they said help was coming tomorrow, it just meant that help wasn’t coming today,’ – we kept hearing settlements and buyouts were coming,
          North Dakota Named Best Run State in Nation for Fourth Consecutive Year   
By 24/7 Wall St.
BISMARCK, ND – North Dakota was credited with being the best run state in the nation for a fourth consecutive year, according to a 24/7 Wall St. study released today. The study looks at data on financial health, standard of living and government services by the state to determine how well each state is managed.
“North Dakota continues to build an environment that supports business growth and creates quality of life for our citizens,” Commerce Commissioner Al Anderson said. “Being recognized for the fourth consecutive year by 24/7 Wall St. only goes to support that North Dakota is a great place for businesses and career seekers alike.”

The top five best run states were: North Dakota, Wyoming, Iowa, Nebraska and Minnesota. The study determines how well states are run by looking at fiscal management, taxes, exports, and GDP growth by sectors, as well as, quality of life components such as poverty, income, unemployment, high school graduation, crime and foreclosure rates.
The study states: “with its nation-leading 2.8% unemployment rate, (North Dakota) has attracted large numbers of workers seeking high-paying jobs. Net migration over five years through 2014 accounts for 6.6% of North Dakota’s current population, the largest share of any state. The remarkable population growth is a testament to the state’s economic strength over the past several years.”

The full report is available at:

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          Dalrymple, General Atomics Officials Break Ground on Grand Sky UAS Training Academy    
By ND Governor's Office
Gov. Jack Dalrymple today joined General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. CEO Linden Blue to break ground on the aviation company’s unmanned aerial systems (UAS) training academy at Grand Sky, the nation’s first operations-ready UAS business and aviation park. 
“General Atomics’ business presence at Grand Sky is a testament to the great work underway to build on North Dakota’s position as the premier destination for UAS research, development and commercialization,” Dalrymple said. “Linden and his leadership team recognize the many opportunities and advantages that North Dakota offers the growing UAS industry and we very much appreciate their investments in North Dakota.”
General Atomics is a global leader in the development of unmanned aircraft, including the Predator and Reaper series which are widely used by the U.S. Air Force.  The company is building a 19,400-square-foot hangar with adjacent offices to expand its capacity to provide state-of-the-art flight instruction for aircrews that operate its unmanned aircraft, including Air Force personnel, General Atomics pilots and international customers. Construction on the UAS training academy is expected to be completed next summer.
“North Dakota was selected as the site for our new training academy not only because it offers uncongested skies and an optimal test range, but also strong support for the continued development of unmanned aircraft capabilities from local, state, and federal government representatives,” General Atomics Aeronautical CEO Linden Blue said. “This investment in the State of North Dakota will establish North Dakota as the center of excellence for remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) training operations, and airspace integration testing and grow the number of high-tech jobs associated with these activities.” 
General Atomics’ UAS training academy will require a full-time staff of flight instructors, pilots, sensor operators, maintenance personnel, and administrators. About 25 General Atomics’ employees will staff the academy during its first year of operations.
Dalrymple last met with General Atomics officials in Washington, D.C. in September to discuss the company’s plans for Grand Sky and to offer the state’s continued assistance in developing its Grand Sky UAS training academy.
General Atomics is the second global aviation company to become a Grand Sky tenant.  Last month, Northrop Grumman broke ground on a Grand Sky facility that will support its UAS operations.
Dalrymple has led the state’s efforts to develop Grand Sky, to establish the Northern Plains UAS Test Site and to position North Dakota as the premier destination for UAS manufacturing, research and development.
In all, the state has invested more than $34 million to secure and develop one of only six national UAS test sites, to develop Grand Sky, and to support UAS research and innovation in North Dakota. The state has committed about $13 million for infrastructure projects essential to Grand Sky’s development.
Those joining Dalrymple and Blue for General Atomics’ groundbreaking included U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, Congressman Kevin Cramer, Col. Rodney Lewis, commander of the 319 Air Base Wing, Grand Forks Air Force Base and North Dakota Commerce Commissioner Al Anderson.

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          Incentive for Advanced Manufacturing: Out of Step with the Times   
By Area Development
In any industry, constant change is a fact of life. Nowhere has that been truer than in manufacturing, where automation and other process improvements have drastically reduced the number of workers needed to achieve a given level of productivity. Large manufacturing plants, which might have once employed 500 or more workers, may now function with 100, 75, or fewer highly skilled employees. 

Have state governments that use tax breaks and other inducements to attract industrial projects updated their incentives to reflect these changing times? Conversations with site selection consultants and state officials paint a varied picture. 

A Decline in Number of Jobs Per Project
While “high-labor content projects are still coming to the U.S., there is an advanced manufacturing meta-trend: replacing man-hours with kilowatt-hours,” says Darin Buelow, a principal with Deloitte Consulting. “Machines are doing more work, and the average number of jobs per project has been going down for some time.” 

One example of the modern metrics: Monogram Food Solutions, a major manufacturer of meat snacks, is expanding its business into the city of Schulenburg, Texas. The new plant will only employ 30 workers, but involves a total capital investment of nearly $3 million. The city of Schulenburg was awarded $750,000 from the Texas Capital Fund (TCF) to finance infrastructure upgrades to support the new facility. 

Buelow says he has long contended that state incentives “have not kept pace with the times; for example, tax incentives that don’t kick in until 300 jobs have been created. If you’ve got $100 million capital investment but only create 100 jobs, you don’t qualify. Some states see proposals for (projects creating) 100 or 150 jobs all day long, but can’t use that program.” 

Buelow believes there should be a more flexible posture when it comes to manufacturing. “Incentives need to be more accessible by advanced manufacturers,” he explains. 

Jeff Forsythe, a principal with Greenville, S.C.-based McCallum Sweeney Consulting, notes that different locations often have different priorities when using incentives such as tax breaks. “Some locations…where unemployment is a major concern…are more in interested in jobs. More urban areas that have full employment — less than 4 percent unemployed — are just trying to enhance the tax base and don’t mind highly automated facilities that involve high capital investment.” 

Although they employ relatively few people, large industrial projects (especially data centers) that are capital-intensive and consume large amounts of electricity can often qualify for additional incentives offered by utilities — particularly in the southeastern U.S., Forsythe says. In addition to rate reductions, some utilities are also putting cash in land and infrastructure to incentivize projects. 

Ironically, Buelow notes, state incentives often seem to “be countercyclical to the broader economic cycle. When we’re in a recession, projects dry up and more states are wondering ‘What’s wrong with us? Why aren’t we seeing more activity? We need to retool.’” On the other hand, he says, “When the economy is rocking and rolling, legislatures seem to be inclined to remove available incentives. They may think, ‘Times are good, companies are talking to us; we don’t need some of these things.’ So, we seem to go back and forth between extremes.” 

Getting More Creative
Economic development competition among states has intensified over the years, and many companies that tap into incentives have been doing so for decades. As a result, states are being asked to get more creative, and think about other ways to help businesses, beyond tax breaks, cash grants, and low-interest loans. 

“There is this ‘frontier of creativity.’ Some states are quite adept at offering different modes of assistance, some that are a little nontraditional,” Buelow says. Often, these creative ideas don’t cost taxpayers — so-called “soft assistance,” Buelow explains, such as adding a job-creating newcomer to state bid lists. 

Buelow also sees more states offering custom training tailored to the specific needs of a company “rather than offering something on shelf that has to be delivered by the state training authority.” While some states that formerly lagged behind have developed “best in breed” training programs, such as Georgia’s Quick Start program and Louisiana FastStart, others have been reluctant to do that, Buelow says. One useful strategy is allowing state economic development funds to be used “to pay workers’ salaries, while they are being trained. Companies want flexibility, customization, and fungibility,” he notes. 

Josh Bays, a principal with the Dallas-based Site Selection Group, agrees that not all states have kept pace with changing industrial times. “Historically, economic incentives have rewarded job creation more than capital investment. Intuitively, you would think that those states and communities that want to be more aggressive would start rewarding capital investment more than they have in the past. But a lot of state-level incentives are still based more on job creation.” 

One state that has updated its programs is North Dakota. To stay competitive, and help its resident companies stay competitive, in 2013 the state created an “automation credit,” according to Laura Willard, a project manager for the North Dakota Department of Commerce’s Economic Development and Finance division. The credit, designated for the tax years 2013 through 2015, provides an income tax credit equal to 20 percent of the cost of automation equipment. The state is in the process of evaluating “all of our tax incentives,” Willard notes. 

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Incentives Programs
Several years ago, The Pew Charitable Trusts developed a “business incentives initiative” to help states identify and share best practices for collecting, managing, and analyzing data on economic development incentives. Pew funded research to evaluate the effectiveness of states’ economic development initiatives. Pew concluded “lawmakers often approve or continue incentives without knowing their potential cost or whether they are working,” and cited a “knowledge gap.” 

According to Pew, from 2012 to 2014, 10 states and the District of Columbia passed laws that will require regular evaluation of tax incentives or will improve existing evaluation processes. Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas enacted laws requiring regular evaluation of tax incentives in 2015. 

Jason Hickey, president of Hickey & Associates, LLC, says that although jobs are “still the critical factor” in most states, some have allowed capital investment to be the qualifying inducement to capture incentives, citing Alabama as one example. Earlier this year, the state of Alabama adopted a new incentives platform that, for the first time, included an incentive specifically tied to job creation. However, the job-creation target to qualify for incentives is relatively low — 50 jobs. In order to stimulate investment in rural areas, Alabama has lowered the number to 25 jobs for projects in counties with populations below 25,000, according to Alabama’s Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield. 

Hickey says companies often sign up for incentives that have very little value to them — such as incentives based on tax revenue levels “they would never be able to achieve. It’s not up to the state to decide what is valuable; it’s up to the company,” he notes. Almost half of all incentives available are never realized by companies because they don’t meet the requirements. For companies that accept incentives, it’s also important to have an “aftercare process in place so they can make sure they live up to the expectations they agreed to,” Hickey says. 

Bays says companies sometimes fail to consider key “operational factors. Incentives are awarded for finite periods of time — most often between one and 10 years. Most companies have plans to be operational in a location much longer than that.” And, it’s still the case that economic incentives rank lower on location-decision lists than workforce considerations, regulatory hurdles, and infrastructure factors. 

Bays sees a trend of states becoming “more stringent on the compliance side. They’re requiring a more lengthy compliance process and more stringent clawback policies, making sure they are holding companies accountable.” On a final note, he advises companies to “make sure you really understand what portion of an incentive package is actually useable by your company, and also carefully evaluate compliance requirements.”

Incentives for Advanced Manufacturing: Out of Step with the Times - Area Development

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          Dalrymple Calls for Comprehensive National Energy Policy   
By ND Governor's Office
Speaking today at the Great Plains & Empower ND Energy Conference, Gov. Jack Dalrymple said the nation should follow North Dakota’s lead in developing a truly “all-of-the-above” energy policy that empowers industry to produce diverse and affordable energy supplies, advance energy independence and create jobs.
“At a time of growing demand for affordable and reliable energy, we need a national energy policy that truly supports the development of all of our energy resources,” Dalrymple said. “North Dakota is a great example of what can be accomplished when we support the responsible development of our oil and gas resources; when we recognize the important role of coal-fired power generation while reducing emissions; and when we continue to increase production of renewable resources.”
North Dakota can also become a national leader in value-added energy, Dalrymple said. The Governor encouraged energy representatives attending the conference to continue developing projects that reduce flaring, add value to the state’s abundant supplies of natural gas and create jobs.
North Dakota has developed a comprehensive energy policy that acknowledges the need for a diverse power supply, and empowers all energy sectors to work together in the interests of meeting the growing demand for affordable energy.  Dalrymple said North Dakota’s energy policy, developed through EmPower ND, has helped the state achieve major advancements in energy production, including:
  • North Dakota has become the nation’s second-largest oil producer and remains among the nation’s most cost-efficient shale oil plays.
  • North Dakota continues to increase its electric generation from non-carbon sources. Today, about 25 percent of North Dakota's total electric generation comes from wind and hydroelectric power.
  • North Dakota is one of just a handful of states meeting all ambient air quality standards established by the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Total carbon emissions in North Dakota have dropped 11 percent below 2005 levels, despite the Bakken oil boom.
The Governor said that the Obama Administration refuses to honor states’ rights and continues on a path that threatens the nation’s ability to produce affordable energy and enhance its energy security.  Dalrymple cited the EPA’s “Clean Power Plan” and proposed “Waters of the United States” rule as examples of government overreach that will impede responsible energy development and drive up consumers’ energy costs.           
Dalrymple, Sen. John Hoeven, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and Rep. Kevin Cramer hosted the annual Great Plains & Empower ND Energy Conference which was held at Bismarck State College’s National Center of Excellence. The daylong conference included a panel discussion with Dalrymple and the state’s congressional delegation as well as presentations by leading energy researchers and developers. Speakers included Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Tony Clark, and Marianne Kah, chief economist at ConocoPhillips.

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          Lt. Governor Wrigley Outlines the State of the UAS Industry in North Dakota at Annual Summit   
By ND Governor's Office
Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley today kicked off the 2015 UAS Summit and Expo in Grand Forks, welcoming leaders in aviation, business, and military to the 9th annual, three-day event. The summit will showcase the evolution of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) while updating attendees on the current state of the commercial unmanned aerial systems (UAS) industry.
“We are at the center of technological advancement in the unmanned aerial systems industry,” Wrigley said. “The stakeholders in North Dakota remain committed to creating an environment where private enterprise, public and private research organizations, and educational institutions can aggressively pursue new and exciting opportunities in the unmanned aerial systems industry.”
This year, the UAS Summit and Expo aims to combine the perspective of regional UAS personnel with the regulatory insight of national UAV entities, offering attendees a glimpse into the commercial realities and major economic opportunities present in North Dakota.
Since 2013, under Dalrymple’s leadership, North Dakota has invested more than $30 million to establish a national UAS test site, to establish the Grand Sky UAS business and aviation park, and to advance North Dakota’s position as a hub for the nation’s growing UAS industry.
Dalrymple established the Northern Plains Unmanned Aerial Systems Authority in May 2013.  The six-member authority, chaired by Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley, is charged with overseeing the operations of North Dakota’s UAS test site, including the development of public safety protocols, privacy safeguards, and UAS research and development opportunities. The authority has worked to develop a national UAS test proposal, to earn a test site designation, and to develop a test site operation that meets Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification.
The FAA selected North Dakota to operate one of only six national UAS test sites in December 2013, citing that North Dakota had a strong proposal, a stellar national standing in aviation and aerospace sciences, and university research and development capabilities, along with a diverse climate and open airspace. The Northern Plains UAS Test Site was also the nation’s first to be FAA certified in April 2014 as ready to begin the work of integrating UAS into the national airspace.
In February 2015, the U.S. Air Force and Grand Forks County officials signed an enhanced use lease agreement, paving the way for the development of the Grand Sky UAS Business and Technology Park. Northrop Grumman Corporation became Grand Sky’s anchor tenant in April 2015. Grand Sky is the first commercial UAS business and aviation park in the U.S. The park is under construction and will provide state-of-the-art facilities for UAS development, testing and training, sensor technology development and data analysis, and management. It capitalizes on the expertise of regional academic institutions such as the University of North Dakota’s UAS Center of Excellence and Northland Community & Technical College’s UAS Maintenance Technician Program. Grand Sky’s facilities are expected to grow to over 1.2 million square feet and accommodate companies, educational institutions, government contractors, and public agencies involved in the UAS sectors.
Also in 2015, North Dakota celebrated landing its first UAS manufacturing venture when Wahpeton-based ComDel Innovation and Altavian began manufacturing UAS and UAS components at ComDel’s plant in Wahpeton.
The FAA recently approved expanded operations of the Northern Plains UAS Test Site to include night flight testing capabilities throughout the state of North Dakota. This authorization, granted under the FAA’s Certification of Authorization (COA) process, allows the industry more efficient access to airspace for collaborative research. The FAA was able to approve this COA application based on maturity and the demonstrated safety and operational processes used by the Northern Plains UAS Test Site.

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          Exxon Mobil Donates $5 Million to North Dakota Housing Fund   
By Reuters
A subsidiary of Exxon Mobil Corp donated $5 million on Monday to a North Dakota government housing fund that subsidizes construction of low-cost apartments for teachers and emergency personnel in the state's oil patch.

XTO Energy will receive a 100 percent tax write-off for its donation to the North Dakota Housing Incentive Fund, which will be used to construct more than 75 apartment units in Kildeer, Watford City and Williston, towns at the center of the state's oil hub.

North Dakota has had a hard time attracting teachers, police officers and firefighters into such towns due to the high cost of housing. The fund seeks to help alleviate that.

"These are the communities our employees live in and we want to respect those communities," Tim McIlwain, XTO's head of operations, told a news conference.

The donation was the largest since the fund was established in 2011, eclipsing the $3 million Marathon Oil Corp donated in 2012.

The fund can accept up to $30 million in donations each year, according to a law passed by the state legislature. The fund, in turn, uses the money to subsidize apartment construction. The apartments must be rented at income-adjusted levels for 15 years.

While housing prices across North Dakota's oil patch have come down recently, they still far eclipse prices before the state's oil boom began in 2008. Prices have slid recently as the region's economy has stabilized. A more-than 50 percent drop in oil prices in the past year has also taken some of the premium off housing.

A typical one-bedroom apartment in Williston runs about $1,700 per month, but at a facility built with money from the housing incentive fund the cost for a similar apartment costs about $800 per month.

"This housing fund is a key component of keeping things moving the way they should be moving in a fast-growing economy," Governor Jack Dalrymple, a Republican, said at the press conference.

Exxon Mobil is the only oil company to have donated to the fund since January, state officials said.

Exxon Mobil Donates $5 Million to North Dakota Housing Fund - Reuters

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          Metro Rail MD gets extension for one more year   
The Telangana government has given extension to the Managing Director of Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited N.V.S. Reddy for a further period of one year from June 30. The orders issued by the Secretary, M...
          Dalrymple Presents $5.6 Million for UAS Park as Construction Start Looms   
By Grand Forks Herald
With a memo line reading "Grand Sky UAS Park," Gov. Jack Dalrymple presented a check Monday for $5.6 million to Grand Forks County.

The state funds will allow construction crews to get in the ground as early as next week to begin building the estimated $25 million unmanned aircraft systems business park, which is touted as the first of its kind in the nation.     

"I think all of us in this room together are building a new industry in North Dakota," Dalrymple said. "It's not very often that you can stand there and say we're building a new industry. Maybe a new company or a nonprofit, but very seldom can we say we are creating an entirely new industry for our state and for our nation."

Of the amount allocated through the state Department of Commerce, $2.5 million depended on the park securing a tenant, which came in the form of a commitment from industry giant Northrop Grumman. The remaining $3.1 million was designated by the state Legislature for infrastructure improvements.

Grand Sky aims to provide space to tenants in various areas of the unmanned aircraft industry, from manufacturers to data analysts to flight trainers. The development consists of 217 acres of land adjacent to Grand Forks Air Force Base, which in turn will be developed to offer 1.2 million square feet of usable space for tenants.

"The state of North Dakota has made a huge investment in Grand Sky," said Tom Swoyer Jr., president of Grand Sky Development Co., the business managing the park's development.

Funding development
The park site, located just southwest the base, is rented from the U.S. Air Force by the county after officials signed a lease earlier this year.

The county in turn leases the land to Grand Sky Development Co.

Swoyer said most of the state money will be used for installing or upgrading infrastructure needed before the park's offices, hangars, data storage facilities and other buildings can be constructed.

The first project will be posting a fence around the site, which will establish a secure perimeter.

Normally, entities such as cities can recoup infrastructure installation costs through special assessments placed on the land, which are then passed on to property owners.

In this case, the land is owned by the federal government and is not taxable, which means Grand Sky can't use this method and makes state funding even more vital.

The state's commitment also helps attract tenants, according to Swoyer.

"Without this kind of money, we can't leverage the private investment that's coming," he said. "Without the state investment, it's very difficult to ... get the private companies to this kind of a project."

Continued growth
The funding to get construction underway at Grand Sky is another milestone for the UAS industry in the state.

North Dakota is one of six states awarded a UAS test site by the Federal Aviation Administration in December 2013.

The test site, known as the Northern Plains UAS Test Site and also headquartered in Grand Forks County, is tasked with researching the integration of unmanned aircraft into commercial airspace.

In total, Dalrymple said the state has spent more than $30 million on unmanned aircraft system ventures, including Grand Sky, the test site and other research and development initiatives around the state, including at UND.

Monday's check likely won't be the last cut by the state for Grand Sky.

"I'm happy to say to this is by no means the end of it," Dalrymple said of the state funding. "There is contingency funding established by our legislature—$4.4 million in additional funding—as Grand Sky continues to develop and land more tenants."

In total, about $12.5 million is included in the state's 2015-2017 budget for UAS initiatives.

Dalrymple Presents $5.6 Million for UAS Park as Construction Start Looms - Grand Forks Herald

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          Dalrymple Announces $5.6 Million in Additional State Funding for Grand Sky UAS Park   
By ND Governor's Office
Gov. Jack Dalrymple announced that Grand Forks County will receive $5.6 million in additional state funding to support the continued development of the Grand Sky Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Business and Aviation Park.
“I am pleased to announce that an additional $5.6 million in state funding is available for the continued development of Grand Sky, the nation’s first UAS business park,” Dalrymple said.  “North Dakota’s leadership in the growing UAS industry is attracting national attention and we remain committed to developing our expertise and assets into a national hub for UAS manufacturing, research and development.”
Of the $5.6 million in state funding, the state is providing $2.5 million following Grand Sky’s success in securing its first park tenant - global aerospace giant Northrop Grumman.  An additional $3.1 million in state funding is also available to upgrade a flight tarmac and other infrastructure that will support UAS testing and flight operations. The 2015 Legislature appropriated another $4.4 million contingent upon Grand Sky’s further development.
North Dakota has provided more than $30 million to advance UAS research and development and is collaborating with organizations statewide to build this emerging industry. Within its borders, North Dakota already has all the components needed to support UAS education, training, research and commercialization.
The Grand Sky UAS Business and Aviation Park, located on the grounds of the Grand Forks Air Force Base, is under construction and will provide state-of-the-art facilities for UAS development, testing and training, sensor technology development and data analysis and management. It capitalizes on the state’s UAS test site, the expertise of regional academic institutions such as the University of North Dakota's UAS Center of Excellence. Grand Sky’s facilities are expected to accommodate companies, educational institutions, government contractors and public agencies involved in the UAS sectors.
Dalrymple announced the state’s latest funding commitment for Grand Sky at the Grand Forks County Office Building.  Those joining Dalrymple included members of the Grand Forks County Commission, Grand Forks County Regional Economic Development President and CEO Klaus Thiessen, Grand Sky Development President Tom Swoyer and North Dakota Commerce Commissioner Al Anderson.
Officials with Grand Sky and the North Dakota Department of Commerce have actively recruited Northrop Grumman, General Atomics and other aviation companies to establish a UAS presence at Grand Sky and to utilize the nation’s first UAS test site. Sen. John Hoeven and Rep. Kevin Cramer are meeting with General Atomics executives in Grand Forks today.
Dalrymple has led the state’s efforts to establish a national UAS test site in North Dakota and to develop a national hub for UAS manufacturing, research and development. Working toward those goals, some of the state’s notable achievements include:
  • May 2013 - Dalrymple established the Northern Plains Unmanned Aerial Systems Authority.  The six-member authority, chaired by Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley, has worked ever since to develop a national UAS test proposal, to earn a test site designation and to develop a test site operation that meets FAA certification.  The authority is charged with overseeing the operations of North Dakota’s UAS test site, including the development of public safety protocols,  privacy safeguards and UAS research and development opportunities. Former 119th North Dakota Air National Guard Commander Col. Robert Becklund serves as director of the Northern Plains UAS Test Site. 
  • December 2013 - The Federal Aviation Administration selects North Dakota to operate one of only six national UAS test sites. The FAA cited North Dakota’s strong proposal, its national standing in aviation and aerospace sciences, university research and development capabilities as well as the state’s diverse climate and open airspace. 
  • April 2014 - North Dakota’s Northern Plains UAS Test Site was the nation’s first to be FAA certified as ready to begin the work of integrating unmanned aerial systems into the national airspace.  
  • February 2015 - The U.S. Air Force and Grand Forks County officials signed an enhanced use lease agreement, paving the way for the development of the Grand Sky UAS Business and Aviation Park. 
  • February 2015 - North Dakota lands its first UAS manufacturing venture when Wahpeton-based ComDel Innovation and Altavian begin manufacturing unmanned aerial systems and UAS components at ComDel’s plant in Wahpeton. 
  • April 2015 - Northrop Grumman Corporation becomes Grand Sky’s anchor tenant. 
  • Since 2013, North Dakota has invested more than $30 million to establish a national UAS test site, to establish Grand Sky and to advance North Dakota’s position as a hub for the nation’s growing UAS industry. 

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          Welsh Government*: VICE PRESIDENT   
Competitive: Welsh Government*: We are seeking to make an appointment to the Board of Trustees of The National Library of Wales. Cardiff, Cardiff (Caerdydd)
          CNBC Ranks North Dakota 6th Best State for Business   
By ND Commerce
North Dakota ranks #6 on the CNBC America's Top States for Business list. The CNBC ranking scores all 50 states on more than 60 measures of competitiveness, developed with input from a broad and diverse array of business and policy experts, official government sources, the CNBC Global CFO Council and the states themselves. 
“North Dakota's business climate has continued to gain a reputation for supporting emerging businesses, entrepreneurs and expansions,” Commerce Commissioner Al Anderson said “The state's growing manufacturing, technology-based businesses, agricultural and energy industries, enhanced with numerous incentives, are drawing some of the world's most recognized companies into the state. Combined with a legendary work ethic and a highly educated workforce, North Dakota has become a dynamic place to live, work and be in business.”
North Dakota ranked #1 in workforce and business friendliness. Minnesota took the top ranking in the study, followed by Texas and Utah.
The full report is available at
The North Dakota Department of Commerce works to improve the quality of life for North Dakota citizens by leading efforts to attract, retain and expand wealth. Commerce serves businesses and communities statewide through committed people and partners who offer valuable programs and dynamic services.
For more North Dakota news and information subscribe to the Commerce News RSS Feed or go to

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          There’s a New Silicon Valley of Drones, and it Isn’t in California   
By MW Market Watch
The “Silicon Valley of drones” is taking shape in a place you probably wouldn’t expect.

With the most open airspace in the country, vast tracts of farmland, infrastructure to test on and the nation’s first unmanned aircraft degree program, it makes sense that North Dakota would be the place for drone technology to spread its wings, and it’s now expanding at an unprecedented rate.

The U.S. has previously been circumspect about allowing companies to commercialize drones; murky rulings from the Federal Aviation Administration and the haphazard enforcement of laws have made it challenging for drone companies to operate in the U.S. — so challenging, in fact, that many operators, including Amazon Prime Air, have expressed an intention to leave the U.S. to work in other countries.

But it’s a different story in North Dakota.

This summer, the nation’s first unmanned airport, the Grand Sky Development Park, opens at the state’s Grand Forks Air Force Base. The project, which has 1.2 million square feet of hangar, office and data space, is being developed by Grand Sky Development Co. A runway will allow for traditional and vertical takeoffs by drones.

The airport is expected to generate about 3,000 jobs by its 2016 completion, including 1,000 permanent jobs on site, 1,000 jobs around the community and 1,000 jobs outside the state, said Tom Swoyer, the project’s developer. Pilots would be able to control drones launching at the site from anywhere in the world.

“It’s going to touch a lot of places,” Swoyer said. “A pilot could be in Southern California and pilot the plane launched from North Dakota.”

It’s an appealing proposition for companies like Northrop Grumman NOC, -0.62%  , which has signed on as the site’s anchor tenant but has its aerospace-systems headquarters in Redondo Beach, Calif.

North Dakota committed $5 million to help bring infrastructure to the site as part of its 2015-17 executive budget and another $7.5 million in grants for runway improvements. With the project expected to cost about $25 million in total, the balance will be covered by private investment, said Swoyer.

“This project evolved here in North Dakota with the right combination of political will and an economy that was growing,” Swoyer said. “It’s a state that is investing in the industry. It’s a community willing to raise their hands and say, ‘Let’s try something completely different.’ ”

A community ‘all focused on unmanned aviation’
In 2005, the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) considered closing the Air Force base.

“Our performance and safety record in fighter aircraft was unprecedented, but despite that our aircraft were getting old and weren’t going to get replaced,” said Robert Becklund, then commander of the North Dakota Air National Guard.

To avoid a drastic action by BRAC, the base made a bold move — replacing its KC-135 Stratotankers with drones.

“This was a dramatic change going from a single-seat manned fighter aircraft to unmanned aircraft,” Becklund said. “But it was the right thing to do for the nation.”

The base is now the site of the Global Hawk and MQ-1 Predator drone aircraft.

At about the same time, the University of North Dakota established a “center of excellence” for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), offering the nation’s first undergraduate degree program in unmanned aviation. Five students received degrees in 2011, the program’s first graduating class. Today, more than 100 students are enrolled, and the program is one of more than 30 similar degree programs at universities throughout the country.

“We have academia, our military, the Department of Homeland Security and industries in the region all focused on unmanned aviation,” Becklund said.

In 2014, North Dakota was one of six states allowed to develop a test site for commercial drone applications: the Northern Plains UAS Test Site in Grand Forks. The site is part of an FAA program looking toward the safe integration of unmanned aircraft into airspace.

North Dakota’s test site was the first to earn operational designation from the FAA and the first to fly under the agreement. The site covers more than half the state, boasting 45,000 square miles of authorized airspace — the largest such volume of any single state.

“If North Dakota hadn’t been selected as a test site, I would have questioned our country’s decision making,” said Becklund, who now serves as the executive director of the test site.

The state budget allocated $4.2 million in its 2015-17 budget for operating the test site. Of that, $1.2 million goes directly to drone companies in the form of a dollar-for-dollar matching program for those opting to partner with one of North Dakota’s research universities on a project. A related but separate program, Research North Dakota, provides up to $300,000 in matching funds for qualified firms.

But there’s a catch. For major companies to fly at the test site, they have to lease their unmanned aircraft to the site so that they can fly under public domain. That caveat is what may have driven companies like Amazon to explore drone-delivery testing outside of the U.S.

“There is no way these companies will lease their airplanes to us,” Becklund said. “It’s a proprietary machine. Any company developing their own aircraft will not lease that to anyone outside their company.”

That restriction has posed a major problem for test sites trying to attract corporate research.

“The FAA says they are here to support industry, but to [participate at a test site] companies have to lease their aircraft to us,” Becklund said.

Companies could get around the requirement by applying for an experimental certification, but that still restricts them to research — not commercial — applications.

A vibrant startup scene
Despite the challenges, other (often smaller) drone companies benefit from the test site.

Most of those companies are based in Fargo, a city that entrepreneurs say bursts with an energy that’s akin to that of the startup scene in San Francisco. But this scene is dominated by drone-based industries.

“We’re becoming a robust startup community,” said North Dakota’s lieutenant governor, Drew Wrigley. “They are the geek squad over in Fargo. You’ve got technical companies and young, energetic entrepreneurs.”

Appareo Systems builds flight-data recorders and ADS-B, a type of aircraft tracking system. Since 2001, that startup has worked on a project in partnership with NASA and the University of North Dakota to build, design and manufacture the ADS-B equipping the airplanes.

Another company, Packet Digital, combines high-speed power electronics with advancements in solar to double drone flight times. The ultimate goal is to provide drones with unlimited flight.

“Once you extend flight time, you open up the possibility of many more types of applications and uses for drones,” said Terri Zimmerman, Packet Digital’s CEO. Those applications could include agriculture, allowing farmers to fly drones over farmland to monitor their crops.

And as more drones fill the airspace, there’s a company working on technology that gives pilots situational awareness of other drones in the area. Botlink allows operators to control a drone from a tablet and detect other drones flying nearby.

The company was founded by Shawn Muehler. He’s the guy behind DroneFocus, a meet-up group in Fargo that grew to 50 members, including Becklund, local startups and public officials. “We’re bringing the government, the private sector, the commercial side together to cut through the red tape,” Muehler said. “It’s the only meet-up where we get every industry player in one room.” Lt. Gov. Wrigley has been known to attend.

Indicative of the group’s attitude, the whole thing is organized through That means anyone is welcome; you just click a button to join. When the group huddles, the gathering feels more like a block party than a rigid policy meeting with a strict agenda, according to attendees.

“We just have a different personality out here,” Muehler said. “It’s not about how we can beat our competitors. It’s how we can help each other out to propel this industry forward.”

North Dakota’s drone sector has already blown away industry predictions. The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) released an economic report in 2013 (before North Dakota was chosen as a test site) predicting the economic impact of drone integration in the U.S. The data were based on airspace activity at the time the report was created.

They forecast that between 2015 and 2017, California’s drone industry would have the largest economic impact in terms of dollars, and North Dakota’s would have the third lowest.

North Dakota’s Department of Commerce revised those predictions in 2013 based on the assumption that the state would become a test site. Its data showed that North Dakota would have the greatest percentage of drone-related jobs (relative to population) of any state.

“Obviously, California has a number of aerospace companies as well as companies that develop sensors, payloads, software and a variety of different products that fit within this industry,” said Paul Lucy, a director at the North Dakota Department of Commerce. “They underestimated the potential for companies to come here and do R&D work with our test site.”

Still, Becklund doesn’t believe North Dakota is a complete replacement for Silicon Valley, he said. There just aren’t enough people working in engineering and technology to fill jobs in a state that already has one of the nation’s lowest unemployment rates, he said. North Dakota’s unemployment rate in May was 3.1% versus the national average of 5.5%.

“But if those engineers who developed the technologies in Silicon Valley are looking for a place with a low cost of living, a highly educated workforce and a cooperative community — whether that’s the government or financially — probably this is the best place to do that,” he said.

But even if the jobs get filled, there’s still the issue of funding.

“We can’t get funding because the people in the state tend to be fiscally conservative,” Botlink’s Muehler said. His company received $500,000 in seed funding from local investors. But that’s a paltry figure if the state is going to compete with such venture-backed Silicon Valley drone startups as Airware, which has raised over $40 million in five funding rounds, or 3D Robotics, which has more than $100 million in venture capital.

“We’ve been searching for Series A on a local level because we want to keep the money in the state, so we’re looking for funding sources within North Dakota,” said Muehler.

But where these startups lack private capital, the state is trying to foot the bill. Since 2006, North Dakota has allocated $32.5 million in grant funding to companies interested in commercial drone development through 2017. In addition, the state’s Research North Dakota program offers $5 million biannually in grants from research and development to organizations and companies involved in UAS research through state universities.

Those business incentives have drawn companies from around the U.S. to the state. Florida-based drone manufacturer Altvavian announced in February a $3.2 million agreement to manufacture drones at a plant in North Dakota, the first official UAS manufacturing project in the state.

Wrigley said he sees his state as the Silicon Valley of drones. “People look to North Dakota and say they want to emulate this,” the lieutenant governor said. “We’re blessed with the natural conditions that make it easy to expand drone technology, industries that are keen to tie in UAS technology — and on top of that you have people passionate for aviation and emerging technologies. It’s a part of our pioneering culture.”

There’s a New Silicon Valley of Drones, and it Isn’t in California - MW Market Watch

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          Wrigley, ComDel Mark Completion of First Unmanned Aerial System Built in North Dakota    
By ND Governor's Office
Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley today joined employees at Wahpeton-based ComDel Innovation, Inc. to celebrate the completion of the first unmanned aircraft manufactured in North Dakota. 
“Hats off to the great employees at ComDel Innovation for successfully manufacturing the first North Dakota-made unmanned aerial system,” Wrigley said.  “ComDel’s success represents another milestone in our continuing work to grow North Dakota’s UAS industry and to become a national hub for UAS manufacturing, research and development.
“By working together in North Dakota, we have also established the nation’s first UAS business park as well as the nation’s first certified UAS test site,” Wrigley said.  “With every advancement we make, North Dakota becomes even better positioned to attract more UAS-related investment and jobs; to lead the nation’s quest for the safe integration of the technologies; and to further diversify our state economy.”
In February, Gov. Dalrymple joined executives from ComDel Innovation. and Florida-based Altavian in announcing the companies’ agreement to manufacture unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and UAS components at ComDel’s high-tech manufacturing plant in Wahpeton.
“We are excited to be working with Altavian and to play a role in moving North Dakota’s UAS industry forward,” ComDel Innovation President Jim Albrecht said. “At ComDel Innovation, our expertise in high-tech, high-precision manufacturing is a great fit for the UAS industry and we look forward to the opportunities ahead.”
Depending on sales, Albrecht estimates that an additional 10 to 20 employees may be added at ComDel to manufacture unmanned aerial systems at its Wahpeton plant.

ComDel Innovation is a precision manufacturer that integrates all aspects of product development. ComDel’s manufacturing services include precision component fabrication, molding, tooling and stamping dies, injection molding, metal stamping, assembly operations and metal finishing.
At ComDel Innovation Friday, Altavian founder and CEO John Perry presented the first North Dakota-made unmanned aerial system to Fargo Air Museum officials, a donation to mark the milestone.
Altavian COO Thomas Rambo said his company is in the process of hiring a few local employees to help manage the partnership.  Rambo said Altavian is also pursuing opportunities to partner with the Northern Plains FAA UAS Test Site.

Based in Gainesville, Fla., Altavian provides unmanned aerial systems and associated data collection services with applications in the fields of precision agriculture, infrastructure analysis, natural resource management and conservation for government, commercial and research-based customers.
Others who joined Wrigley today at ComDel Innovation included Albrecht, Perry, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, Wahpeton Mayor Meryl Hansey and North Dakota Commerce Commissioner Al Anderson.
Dalrymple has led the state’s efforts to establish a national UAS test site in North Dakota, to develop the Grand Sky UAS Business and Aviation Park, and to establish North Dakota as a national hub for UAS research and development.

In May 2013, Dalrymple formed the six-member Northern Plains Unmanned Aerial Systems Authority (NPUASA) which was successful in landing one of only six national UAS test site designations approved by the Federal Aviation Administration.  The NPUASA is chaired by Lt. Gov. Wrigley.
In April 2014, North Dakota’s Northern Plains UAS Test Site was the nation’s first to be FAA certified as ready to begin the work of integrating unmanned aerial systems into the national airspace.  The state has invested more than $20 million to establish a national UAS test site; to support the development of Grand Sky, a UAS and aviation park located at the Grand Forks Air Force Base and to advance UAS research and development.

Last month, aerospace giant Northrop Grumman signed a lease to become an anchor tenant at the Grand Sky UAS park located on the Grand Forks Air Force Base.

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          Hoeven Introduces Legislation to set Interim UAS Rules   
Grand Forks Herald
Senator John Hoeven, R-N.D., introduced legislation Tuesday to set temporary guidelines for operating small commercial unmanned aircraft systems while the Federal Aviation Administration develops more permanent rules for the new technology.ADVERTISEMENTHoeven introduced the Commercial UAS Modernization Act with Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., in an effort to speed up the development process for an industry some see becoming a major part of the North Dakota and national economy. The FAA largely bans commercial use of UAS, but companies can receive an exemption.

"The sooner we allow the broader use of this technology, the more quickly the U.S. will realize the many societal and economic benefits of UAS," said Brian Wynne, president and CEO of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, in a statement.

The bill would allow UAS operators to certify aircraft and pilots with six federally designated test sites, one of them being in North Dakota, Hoeven said. Operators would have to fly under proposed FAA rules for small commercial UAS, which limit flights to daylight hours, to within an operator's line of sight, and under an altitude of 500 feet.

Hoeven said it could be a couple of years before the FAA rules are finalized.

The bill is "an effort to expedite the process because we're falling behind other countries," Hoeven said in an interview with the Herald. "This uses the test sites to speed up the process so that our companies can move forward with developing unmanned aircraft."


The six FAA test sites were set up to research integrating unmanned aircraft safely into the national airspace. North Dakota was named one of the sites in late 2013.

AUVSI estimates that the UAS industry will create more than 100,000 new jobs within 10 years of airspace integration. Small UAS are expected to be used in a variety of industries, including agriculture and energy.

The FAA announced its proposed rules for small UAS in February, but some worry that the government is moving too slowly to regulate the industry.

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., joined Hoeven in writing a letter to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta last year in part to express concern about delays operators face in getting permission to fly.

"These delays force those manufacturers and operators who play by the rules to sit on the sidelines while they wait for approval while others chance fines and operate without any certification from the FAA, which raises serious concerns about public safety," Heitkamp, Hoeven, Booker and two other senators wrote in November.

Hoeven's and Booker's bill also creates a deputy FAA administrator responsible for the integration of UAS into the national airspace and "builds a reasonable framework for the registration and use of UAS," according to Hoeven's press release. It also requires operators to report crashes to the FAA.

The FAA doesn't comment on pending legislation, a spokeswoman said Tuesday evening.

"The Commercial UAS Modernization Act sets up clear and immediate rules of the road, helping to lay a foundation that will allow us to make cutting-edge progress in a rapidly emerging field," Booker said in a statement.

Hoeven Introduces Legislation to set Interim UAS Rules - Grand Forks Herald

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          Bank Campus Contingent Upon $125 Million Goal   
By The Bismarck Tribune
If North Dakota's state-owned bank can make $125 million this year, it will be allowed to build a $17 million financial services campus.

As part of the North Dakota Industrial Commission’s budget, the Bank of North Dakota received legislative approval to invest bank assets to expand its campus on Memorial Highway, said Eric Hardmeyer, president of BND.

In 2011, the bank purchased two connected parcels of land with the intention of creating the campus. The BND building already houses other financial service organizations, such as the U.S. Small Business Administration, the North Dakota Small Business Development Center and Service Corps of Retired Executives. An additional 40,000- to 50,000-square-foot building would allow the property to house other state economic development agencies, including the North Dakota Department of Commerce, the North Dakota Housing Finance Administration and the North Dakota Department of Financial Institutions, according to Hardmeyer.
BND had originally sought approval for the financial services campus in individual Senate legislation, SB 2282, which failed on the Senate floor. The campus was brought back later as an amendment to the Industrial Commission’s budget bill.

Hardmeyer said, even thought the campus required no general funds, it was defeated in the Senate at a time when the leadership was ruling out all construction projects. He said that philosophy changed at crossover, making lawmakers more amenable to the idea.

Hardmeyer said BND will likely meet the $125 million contingency set by the Legislature. He said 2014 marked the banks 11th year of record profits. It made $111 million, up significantly from the previous year’s profits of $94 million.

The campus will not be using any general fund money, Hardmeyer said. He said he is not sure why the Legislature chose to add the profits contingency except that lawmakers may have been looking for a trigger point before moving forward.

From the bank’s perspective, the campus is an investment, much like a bond, Hardmeyer said. It plans to charge about $16 per square foot in rent. The rent would lead to a 2.5 percent return on investment.
Hardmeyer said the lease rate is competitive with market rate and state agencies would be paying their lease money back to another state-operated institution rather than the private sector.

Hardmeyer said the campus would create a one-stop shop for economic development, making the government more efficient and making it convenient for businesses getting started in the state.

If the contingency is met, the bank will start planning and aims to begin construction in 2016.

Bank Campus Contingent Upon $125 Million Goal - The Bismarck Tribune

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          GHMC to complete house construction, repair nalas   
Civic Commissioner holds meeting with other government departments
           2015 Governor’s Travel and Tourism Awards Announced   
By ND Commerce Tourism Division
Six Governor’s Travel and Tourism Awards recognizing outstanding leaders in North Dakota’s tourism industry were presented today as part of the 2015 North Dakota Travel and Tourism Conference in Minot. The awards were presented by North Dakota Department of Commerce Commissioner Al Anderson.

“North Dakota’s tourism industry is making significant contributions to our communities and state, and plays an integral role in the growth and strength of our economy,” said Gov. Jack Dalrymple. “These tourism professionals are being honored for their dedication, innovation and leadership, and exemplify the outstanding work occurring across the state to advance our tourism opportunities and successes. They are on the front lines as ambassadors for North Dakota and we are proud to honor and thank them, as well as all of our tourism partners, for their service to the industry and to our state.”

Tiffany Irving, Front-line Tourism Employee. Front Office Manager for Staybridge Suites Fargo and the Intercontinental Hotels Group 2014 “Best of the Best” Guest Service Representative, Tiffany Irving has worked to personify customer service. With glowing reviews from hotel guests after helping with reservations, billing, and other general issues, Tiffany has also earned respect from her industry peers.  Her training methods and enthusiastic attitude have helped fellow employees improve their job performance, ultimately improving Staybridge Suites Fargo’s guest survey scores. In part due to the superior service standards Tiffany oversees, the hotel earned the company’s 2014 Quality Excellence Award.

Fred Flood, Behind the Scenes Tourism Employee. As a staff member at Staybridge Suites in Fargo since 2012, Fred Flood has worked his way up from housekeeper to assisting the hotel’s chief engineer. Although fellow staff members describe him as a “jack of all trades,” handling everything from driving the shuttle, taking care of maintenance, guest luggage, housekeeping, and gardening, Fred’s top priority is ensuring he makes a difference in the experience of each guest. He believes in continually creating value for others and building relationships with Staybridge guests and co-workers.

Terry Harzinski, Travel and Tourism Industry Leader. Terry Harzinski was instrumental in establishing the Bismarck-Mandan Convention and Visitors Bureau and has worked to serve the community since 1986. He retired from his position as CEO of the CVB in 2015. His passion and dedication helped attract several national and international events to Bismarck-Mandan and in the process promoted the entire state of North Dakota. Some of the events Terry helped attract include the 1989 Women’s International Bowling Congress drawing roughly 50,000 people; the 1991 National High School Athletic Coaches Association national convention, the WBCCI Airstream Rally in 1993 and in 2000; the World Horseshoe Tournament in 2000, the World Curling Championship in 2002, and the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in 2012 and 2014. Terry truly helped the Bismarck-Mandan area become a destination for both business and leisure travel, conferences and conventions.

Unglued Craft Fest, Event of the Year. This two-day event at the Plains Art Museum in Fargo attracted 5,000 attendees to view a curated selection of the region’s top makers, crafters and artists. More than 80 vendors sold their wares against a backdrop of live local music, artisan food and local coffee roasters. Unglued inspired the community to get creative through free workshops and project offerings, the make-and-take craft lounge and an indoor chalk fest by the Art Partnership. The event was started in 2011 by a small group of friends who did sewing and other creative projects in the evenings and has proven profitable to participating artists and vendors.

Williston Area Recreation Center, Tourism Attraction of the Year. Since this state-of-the-art facility opened one year ago in March 2014, it has hosted more than 330,000 guests. While Williston resident members have been active users of the ARC, more than 78,000 non-members have also used the facility through day passes and special events. The ARC has enhanced the Williston community’s ability to provide year-round recreational activities including swim meets, basketball tournaments, community fundraising events, training sessions, and even wedding receptions. The ARC will continue to grow its offerings by hosting volleyball tournaments and track meets in 2015.  While the facility has received a lot of local attention, it has also earned broader attention being featured in print, radio, video and social media stories including in the National Recreation Parks Association magazine and website. The ARC has also earned North Dakota Recreation and Parks Association Golden Egg Award, the Williston Economic Development Award as Project of the Year, and the North Dakota Ready-Mix and Concrete Products Association Gold Award for Government Projects. 
North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department, Tourism Organization of the Year. Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2015, the North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department has grown to include 13 state parks and 10 recreation areas, hosting millions of visitors each year. From marinas, beaches, campsites and corrals, to hiking trails, scenic overlooks and interpretive centers, North Dakota’s parks and recreation sites are available for all and encourage an appreciation for the great outdoors. They also play an important role in the economy and recreation opportunities of nearby communities. While its responsibilities have expanded since 1965, the department continues to remain focused on conserving nature, preserving history and providing outdoor recreational activities to residents and visitors alike. Visitors often cite the cleanliness and appearance of the parks as first rate and praise the staff for their efforts, friendliness and helpfulness.
“We are proud to have such great individuals and partners across the state representing the travel industry,” said Sara Otte Coleman, director of North Dakota Tourism. “The personalized service and unique opportunities they provide are truly what sets our state apart. They are what makes North Dakota Legendary.”

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          North Dakota Signs Bill Providing Tax Incentives for Data Center   
By ND Commerce
North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple recently signed into law House Bill 1089, establishing tax incentives for data centers. The bill provides a sales and use tax exemption on computer software, hardware, servers, routers, cooling systems, backup power systems, raised flooring and other equipment necessary for the maintenance and operation of qualified data center.
To qualify for the incentive, a data center must have newly constructed or substantially refurbished facility consisting of a minimum of 16,000 square feet. 
“This new law will help drive investment to North Dakota by allowing the state to compete with other Midwest states which have passed similar legislation,” North Dakota Economic Development & Finance Division project manager Laura Willard said. “The state has specifically designed its business and investment programs to deliver quicker, quality service along with more capital during a company's start-up, expansion or relocation.”

Business incentives, government accessibility, and workforce performance, combined with North Dakota's favorable position as one of the lowest cost states for operating a business, are driving top companies to establish operations in North Dakota.

“North Dakota is strategically positioned with financial packages and tax incentives to assist new and expanding businesses to enhance profitability,” Willard said.

The North Dakota Department of Commerce works to improve the quality of life for North Dakota citizens by leading efforts to attract, retain and expand wealth. Commerce serves businesses and communities statewide through committed people and partners who offer valuable programs and dynamic services.
For more North Dakota news and information subscribe to the Commerce News RSS Feed or go to

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          Commerce Awards Grant for Williston State College Workforce   
By ND Commerce
The North Dakota Department of Commerce announced a workforce enhancement grants for Williston State College (WSC) totaling $300,000. Workforce enhancement grants enable two-year colleges to apply for funds to help create or enhance training programs that address workforce needs of North Dakota’s private-sector employers. Projects require a dollar-for-dollar match of all state money with private funds.
WSC received this grant to provide program enhancements and equipment funding for their oil field training and yard equipment training programs. Oasis Petroleum donated equipment to support the gas training programs.
“Oasis Petroleum has actively partnered with TrainND over the past three years," Richard Robuck, Oasis Petroleum, VP - Finance & Treasurer said.
“Thanks to industry leaders like Oasis and the investment by the Department of Commerce, over 350 oil related industry partners are supported in a challenging economy at a critical time in the industry,” Williston State College President Raymond Nadolny said.
Grant funding may be used for curriculum development, equipment, recruiting participants, and training and certifying instructors. Funds may not be used to supplant funding for current operations.
“The workforce enhancement grants help increase the capacity of our higher education institutions like WSC to provide a consistent stream of qualified workers educated right here in North Dakota,” said Wayde Sick, Workforce Development Director at the North Dakota Department of Commerce. “The partnership of industry, education, and state and local governments is needed to meet the developing workforce needs of North Dakota.”
The Workforce Enhancement Council reviews all proposals and provides funding recommendations to the commissioner of the North Dakota Department of Commerce. The council consists of the private-sector membership of the North Dakota Workforce Development Council, the state director of the Department of Career & Technical Education, and the division director of the Workforce Development Division of the North Dakota Department of Commerce, who serves as the chair.
The North Dakota Department of Commerce works to improve the quality of life for North Dakota citizens by leading efforts to attract, retain and expand wealth. Commerce serves businesses and communities statewide through committed people and partners who offer valuable programs and dynamic services.
For more North Dakota news and information subscribe to the Commerce News RSS Feed or go to

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          Roar of Bombers Replaced by Drone Buzz in North Dakota   
By ABC News
The roar of mammoth Air Force bombers and tanker planes has long been silenced at the Grand Forks Air Force Base, but backers of the nation's first unmanned aircraft business park say the drones are creating a buzz.

Construction on the Grand Sky grounds won't likely begin until May, but national and international companies are jockeying for position in the 1.2 million-square-foot park that sits near the former alert pad where bombers and tankers were poised for takeoff on a moment's notice.

North Dakota is one six sites around the country testing unmanned aircraft, for which some Americans have lingering concerns about privacy and safety. The new park's tenants are likely to be researching and developing drones for a host of applications — farming, law enforcement, energy, infrastructure management, public safety, coastal security, military training, search and rescue and disaster response.

Defense technology giant Northrop Grumman, based in Falls Church, Virginia, has already signed a letter of intent to anchor the park and more big names are likely to follow suit, Grand Sky Development President Tom Swoyer said. He added he met with representatives from two prospective companies last week, including a "household name in the unmanned system industry" that he would not identify.

"Companies in the industry are starting to take notice," Swoyer said. "We're getting a lot of input."

One company looking to get into the ground floor of Grand Sky is Smart C2, a fledgling software business that picked North Dakota for its home base because of the state's commitment to unmanned aircraft. Stuart Rudolph, company president and CEO, said the park will have all the key players in one space.

"Grand Sky is going to be the melting pot," Rudolph said. He noted other favorable factors, such as access to talent at the base, University of North Dakota aerospace school and a nearby technical school; government support; private equity financing and lots of airspace.

The possibility of competitors locating under the same roof also is a good thing, Rudolph said.

"This is too young of an industry to worry about your competition," he said. "We're investing in North Dakota because we think this is where the right people are going to come together to solve the problems of the United States."

Not everyone is as optimistic about the future of drones. An Associated Press poll conducted in December showed that 33 percent of Americans oppose using drones to monitor or spray crops, while another third support it. Only 27 percent favor using drones for aerial photography.

Even so, the park is expected to bring thousands of jobs to this part of northeastern North Dakota, a boon given that that the number of airmen at the Grand Forks base has dropped since its mission was changed to unmanned aircraft.

The base had housed heavy bombing operations for more than 30 years and refueling tankers for 50 years. The last B-1B Lancer departed the facility in 1994, and the final tankers left in 2010. Since 2006, the number of airmen at base has decreased from 2,450 to about 1,300, while the number of base employees has declined from more than 3,000 to about 1,000.

Swoyer estimates that up to about 3,000 workers could be hired overall — 500 to 1,000 people on campus, the same amount by companies that support the park and another 500 to 1,000 who visit for training or research and development.

The facility will have space for hangars, offices, shops, laboratories and data centers. It's also the first commercial park where manned and unmanned aircraft can take off from the same place, Swoyer said.

"Hopefully we will start hearing the roar of unmanned jet engines coming into the Grand Forks Air Force Base," he said. "Only they will be turning right at the end of the runway (toward Grand Sky) rather than left (toward the base)."


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          Dalrymple, Secretary Foxx Discuss Ongoing Work to Improve Rail and Pipeline Safety   
By ND Governor's Office
Gov. Jack Dalrymple spoke again with U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to update the secretary on the state’s ongoing work to enhance rail safety and pipeline integrity in North Dakota.  Dalrymple also urged Foxx to adopt new federal tank car standards as soon as possible, and to enhance rail and pipeline safety programs administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT).
“Secretary Foxx and I agree that there is no single solution to improving the safety of rail transportation,” Dalrymple said. “We have taken significant steps in North Dakota to improve rail safety, including the adoption of new oil conditioning standards to reduce the vapor pressure of crude oil before shipment.  I also shared with Secretary Foxx the good progress being made on new oil pipelines and on other state initiatives for rail safety and pipeline integrity.”
Pipelines Critical to Safe Crude Oil Transportation
Dalrymple stressed to Foxx the importance of developing greater interstate pipeline capacity for the shipment of crude oil, and he briefed the secretary on three important projects currently underway:
  • Expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2017, Enbridge’s Sandpiper Pipeline will have the capacity to transport 225,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil from western North Dakota to an existing terminal in Superior, Wis. From there, the oil can be transported to refineries in the Midwest and along the East Coast.
  • Energy Transfer Partners is developing the Dakota Access Pipeline, which will be capable of transporting 450,000 bpd of crude oil to a terminal in Illinois that also serves Gulf Coast markets. The Dakota Access Pipeline is expected to be completed in late 2016.
  • TransCanada’s planned Upland Pipeline will have the capacity to ship 220,000 bpd of Bakken crude oil to East Coast refineries.  TransCanada expects to complete the pipeline project in 2018.
With a total capacity to ship 895,000 bpd, these three pipeline projects would significantly reduce daily rail shipments of crude oil from the Bakken Shale Formation. Currently, about 600,000 barrels of Bakken crude oil is shipped daily by rail.  Dalrymple emphasized that pipelines offer the safest mode of crude oil transportation, and said government officials at all levels should make pipeline development a top priority.
Dalrymple Presses for New Tank Car Standards
While speaking with Foxx today, Dalrymple urged the secretary to issue as soon as possible new standards for next-generation tank cars and new regulations for phasing out or retrofitting older tank cars.
New standards for tank cars should prioritize the installation of high-capacity relief valves to enhance the release of vapor pressures when excessive heat is present.  Legacy tank cars that can be retrofitted should also be equipped with the improved relief valves, Dalrymple said.
The USDOT originally planned to issue new tank car standards and regulations for the phase out of older tank cars in March. The new standards and phase-out requirements are now expected to be issued in May.
Proposed State-Run Rail Safety and Pipeline Integrity Programs
Dalrymple and the Public Service Commission have proposed establishing a state-run railroad safety program as well as a pipeline integrity program that would complement federal oversight in North Dakota. 
The proposal calls for about $1.4 million in state funding for three positions to enhance railroad track inspections in North Dakota and another three positions for stepped-up inspections of pipelines that transport crude oil and other liquids to market.
State-Mandated Oil Conditioning
On Dec. 9, the Industrial Commission unanimously approved an order that requires all oil producers in North Dakota to install and utilize oil-conditioning equipment to significantly reduce the volatility of Bakken crude oil.  The oil conditioning order includes strict parameters for temperatures and pressures under which the equipment must operate to ensure that light hydrocarbons are removed before oil is shipped to market. The order brings every barrel of North Dakota crude oil within a set standard, requiring oil be stabilized so that its vapor pressure is no greater than 13.7 pounds per square inch (psi) before shipment.
North Dakota’s vapor pressure standard for oil is more stringent than the national standard developed by the American National Standards Institute and the American
Petroleum Institute, which established that crude oil is stable at a vapor pressure of 14.7 psi. 
The Industrial Commission’s order requires that oil producers install and utilize conditioning equipment by April 1. The Industrial Commission approved the oil-condition order after holding a public hearing and providing for an extended public comment period.
Dalrymple also urged Foxx to provide funding for the second phase of a U.S. Department of Energy study on oil volatility.

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          Commerce Awards Grant to North Dakota State College of Science for Workforce Training Program   
By ND Commerce
The North Dakota Department of Commerce announced a $265,328 workforce enhancement grant for North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS). The grant will support NDSCS’s efforts to train students in their Robotic Welding Technician Training Initiative.

The grant will expand NDSCS’s ability to offer robotic welding training to students and incumbent workers. It also allows for the possibility for NDSCS to become an American Welding Society (AWS) Approved Testing Center for Certified Robotics Arc Welding.  Currently, there are six AWS Approved Testing Centers in the United States. This project will impact 100 students on an annual basis.
“We are excited to receive another Workforce Enhancement Grant as these grants encourage public and private partnerships that assist us in providing a world class educational environment at NDSCS.” Dr. John Richman, president of NDSCS said.
Workforce enhancement grants enable two-year colleges to apply for funds to help create or enhance training programs that address workforce needs of North Dakota’s private-sector employers. Projects require a dollar-for-dollar match of all state money with private funds.
“The workforce enhancement grants help increase the capacity of our higher education institutions like NDSCS to provide a consistent stream of qualified workers educated right here in North Dakota,” said Wayde Sick, Workforce Development Director at the North Dakota Department of Commerce. “The partnership of industry, education, and state and local governments is needed to meet the developing workforce needs of North Dakota.”
Grant funding may be used for curriculum development, equipment, recruiting participants, and training and certifying instructors. Funds may not be used to supplant funding for current operations.
The Workforce Enhancement Council reviews all proposals and provides funding recommendations to the commissioner of the North Dakota Department of Commerce. The council consists of the private-sector membership of the North Dakota Workforce Development Council, the state director of the Department of Career & Technical Education, and the division director of the Workforce Development Division of the North Dakota Department of Commerce, who serves as the chair.

The North Dakota Department of Commerce works to improve the quality of life for North Dakota citizens by leading efforts to attract, retain and expand wealth. Commerce serves businesses and communities statewide through committed people and partners who offer valuable programs and dynamic services.

For more North Dakota news and information subscribe to the Commerce News RSS Feed or go to

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          Commerce Awards Grant for Bismarck State College Workforce Training Program   
The North Dakota Department of Commerce announced a workforce enhancement grants for Bismarck State College (BSC) totaling $406,129. Workforce enhancement grants enable two-year colleges to apply for funds to help create or enhance training programs that address workforce needs of North Dakota’s private-sector employers. Projects require a dollar-for-dollar match of all state money with private funds.
“The Department of Commerce workforce enhancement grants are a great example of industry and education collaborating to provide a high quality educational experience for our students,” Bismarck State College Interim President Dave Clark said. “BSC will utilize the funds to enhance curriculum through simulation and hands-on equipment.” 
BSC received this grant to provide program enhancements and equipment funding for the following programs; welding, renewable generation, mechanical maintenance, power plant technology and the lineworker program. The grant will impact a total of 124 students on an annual basis.
“The workforce enhancement grants help increase the capacity of our higher education institutions like BSC to provide a consistent stream of qualified workers educated right here in North Dakota,” said Wayde Sick, Workforce Development Director at the North Dakota Department of Commerce. “The partnership of industry, education, and state and local governments is needed to meet the developing workforce needs of North Dakota.”
Grant funding may be used for curriculum development, equipment, recruiting participants, and training and certifying instructors. Funds may not be used to supplant funding for current operations.
The Workforce Enhancement Council reviews all proposals and provides funding recommendations to the commissioner of the North Dakota Department of Commerce. The council consists of the private-sector membership of the North Dakota Workforce Development Council, the state director of the Department of Career & Technical Education, and the division director of the Workforce Development Division of the North Dakota Department of Commerce, who serves as the chair.
The North Dakota Department of Commerce works to improve the quality of life for North Dakota citizens by leading efforts to attract, retain and expand wealth. Commerce serves businesses and communities statewide through committed people and partners who offer valuable programs and dynamic services.
For more North Dakota news and information subscribe to the Commerce News RSS Feed or go to

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          North Dakota Lands Its First UAS Manufacturing Venture   
by ND Governor
0IMG_4928.JPGGov. Jack Dalrymple today joined executives from ComDel Innovation, Inc. and Altavian in announcing the companies’ agreement to manufacture unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and UAS components at ComDel’s high-tech manufacturing plant in Wahpeton.
“This partnership represents another important step in our ongoing work to grow North Dakota’s UAS industry and to become a national hub for UAS manufacturing, research and development,” Dalrymple said. “The UAS industry holds great promise with boundless opportunities for future applications.  As one of only six national test sites, North Dakota is well positioned to attract UAS-related investment and jobs, to lead the nation’s quest for the safe integration of the technologies and to further diversify our state economy in the process.”
Dalrymple and ComDel Innovation President Jim Albrecht announced ComDel’s UAS partnership with Florida-based Altavian during a news conference today at the state Capitol in Bismarck. They were joined by Thomas Rambo, COO of Altavian. Based in Gainesville, Fla., Altavian provides unmanned aerial systems and associated data collection services with applications in the fields of precision agriculture, infrastructure analysis, natural resource management and conservation for government, commercial and research-based customers.

“We are excited to be working with Altavian and doing our part to help round out North Dakota’s offerings to the UAS industry,” Albrecht said. “We look forward to moving the relationship forward and seeing what is in store for UAS technology in North Dakota.”

Depending on sales, Albrecht estimates an additional 10 to 20 employees may be added to work on this project during the next two years.  Altavian plans to hire a few employees from the local community to help manage the partnership.

ComDel Innovation is a precision manufacturer that integrates all aspects of product development. ComDel’s manufacturing services include precision component fabrication, molding, tooling and stamping dies, injection molding, metal stamping, assembly operations and metal finishing.
“North Dakota is presenting Altavian with the opportunity to grow in a number of ways including an opportunity to refine and scale our manufacturing process, to engage the universities and corporations with research and development and to expand our market presence,” Rambo said.  “The opportunity to partner with Research North Dakota and the Northern Plains FAA UAS Test Site will strengthen the UAS industry in the state. Altavian is fully committed to thrive in North Dakota. The first aircraft coming off the line at ComDel are slated to remain in North Dakota at research institutions and North Dakota based companies.”

Gov. Dalrymple led the state’s efforts to establish a national UAS test site in North Dakota and to establish North Dakota as a national hub for UAS research and development.
n May 2013, Dalrymple formed the six-member Northern Plains Unmanned Aerial Systems Authority (NPUASA) which was successful in landing one of only six national UAS test site designations approved by the Federal Aviation Administration.  The NPUASA is chaired by Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley.
In April 2014, North Dakota’s Northern Plains UAS Test Site was the nation’s first to be FAA certified as ready to begin the work of integrating unmanned aerial systems into the national airspace.  The state has invested more than $20 million to establish a national UAS test site; to support the development of Grand Sky, a UAS and aviation park located at the Grand Forks Air Force Base and to advance UAS research and development.

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          North Dakota Hosted 24 Million Visitors in 2013   
By ND Commerce

ND Tourism announced research results including $3.6 billion in visitor spending and unveiled the 2015 travel guides, hunting and fishing guide, and state map.

Governor Jack Dalrymple and North Dakota Tourism Division Director Sara Otte Coleman today announced the state’s visitor numbers from 2013. A total of 24 million people visited North Dakota in 2013, spending $3.6 billion in-state in the process. The information was gathered by IHS as part of the Tourism Satellite Account (TSA), which is the international standard for measuring the contribution of tourism to an economy.

“North Dakota is truly a legendary place with a rich history, beautiful scenery and a variety of things to experience,” Dalrymple said. “We are pleased to have welcomed 24 million visitors to our state in 2013, and look forward to bringing more people here each year. North Dakota is increasingly becoming a destination state and we welcome the opportunity to show off all we have to offer.”

Visitation saw a 22 percent increase between 2011 and 2013, with tourism-related expenditures increasing 19 percent over the same time period. In fact, tourism to North Dakota grew so much over the last decade that domestic leisure travel alone in 2013 was equal to the state’s total visitation numbers in 2008. This includes day-trips, overnight vacations and those visiting friends and relatives. In fact, the North Dakota State Fair, State Parks and the Fargodome all boasted record attendance in 2013.

“While the major attention surrounding North Dakota’s economy is focused on energy and agriculture, tourism is an extremely valuable industry to our state’s bottom line,” Otte Coleman said. “The tourism division is pleased to continue elevating North Dakota in minds of travelers and to bring in additional tax revenue that supports industry growth.”

The $3.6 billion in tourism expenditures from 2013 resulted in $307 million in state and local government taxes paid by visitors. That is the equivalent to a resident tax savings of $1,011 per household or the equivalent of paying for the education of roughly 24,000 public school students.

The majority of expenditures, 55 percent, came from visitors from other U.S. states. International travelers made up 10 percent of the total, and in-state residents traveling to other parts of North Dakota accounted for 14 percent of spending.

All 53 of North Dakota’s counties also took in tourism revenue. The county with the highest revenue was Cass County at $537.36 million. Oliver County had the lowest at $2.08 million.

The majority of visitor expenditures were on food at just over $1 billion. That was followed by shopping at $805 million and accommodations at $544 million.

North Dakota Tourism commissions the study on TSA data every other year, which counts employment, sales and Gross Domestic Product, and allows (implicitly) for measurement of wages and taxes.

IHS is a leading business information services company based in Colorado, and provides North Dakota’s TSA information. IHS Travel and Tourism provides forecasting, research and economic impact analysis for a variety of private organizations, national tourism boards, as well as state and local tourism entities.

“The U.S. tourism industry has rebounded nicely since the Great Recession, but during that same time period, North Dakota tourism has grown by nearly 50 percent,” Shane Norton, director of economic impact analysis for IHS, said. “This explosive growth has been driven by a significant increase in visitation as well as per visitor spending, contributing to a significant rise in tourism related construction and investment.”

View North Dakota’s 2013 TSA report at

Today North Dakota Tourism also unveiled the 2015 Travel Guide, State Map, and Hunting and Fishing Guide. Each of these resources helps visitors and potential visitors to plan their Legendary experiences, whether they be outdoors, urban, cultural, historical or otherwise. Both guides and the map are available at

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          North Dakota Young Professionals Network Selects Department of Commerce as Best Place to Work   
By ND Commerce
The North Dakota Young Professionals Network (NDYP) has selected the North Dakota Department of Commerce as the 2014 “Best Place to Work.” The NDYP award reflects the creativity and innovation that businesses offer young professionals. 
“It’s a great honor to have been recognized by the North Dakota Young Professionals Network,” Commerce Commissioner Al Anderson said. “We find reasons to have fun and laugh together while meeting deadlines, accomplishing goals and gaining results. We strive each and every day to make Commerce a better place to work. This award helps position us as an employer of choice in North Dakota.” 
“We are very proud to present the North Dakota Department of Commerce with the Best Place to Work award for 2014. As a runner up for the award in 2013, it is clear that they have continued to be dedicated to a creative and fulfilling workplace for young professionals,” Laurie Morse-Dell, NDYP Coordinator said.
The NDYP ranking states: “One thing that sets Commerce apart from their competition is their concerted effort to make sure their organizational culture is fully embraced by each and every employee on a daily basis. They created the Commerce Culture Book to introduce new employees to the work hard, play hard mentality as well as to emphasize their core values of Focused, Accountable, Innovative, Teamwork, and High Trust.”
“We don’t use excuses about “working for the government” that stop us from striving to be the best,” Brianna Ludwig, Marketing Specialist and Culture Club Chairperson for the North Dakota Department of Commerce said. “We’re innovative in our problem solving, we’re diligent in how we spend our resources, and we’ve found ways to provide a fun working environment for employees. From coffee with the Commissioner, costume contests, elaborately themed pot lucks and competitive fitness logs to transparency, teamwork and a unique goals system – Commerce offers the complete package to young professionals.”
For more information about North Dakota Young Professionals please visit
The North Dakota Department of Commerce works to improve the quality of life for North Dakota citizens by leading efforts to attract, retain and expand wealth. Commerce serves businesses and communities statewide through committed people and partners who offer valuable programs and dynamic services.
For more North Dakota news and information subscribe to the Commerce News RSS Feed or go to

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          Reality Check: Job Growth In The Midwest   
By CBS Minnesota
The U.S. Government said Tuesday the nation’s economy grew at a whopping 5 percent annual rate last summer. That’s the fastest growth since 2003, including jobs coming back to the Midwest.

Nearly every state is gaining jobs, but the Labor Department reports Minnesota and Wisconsin are virtually tied in job creation.

Wisconsin posted 54,600 new jobs in the last year for a growth rate of 1.6 percent. Minnesota has almost as many: 54,200, or 1.5 percent.

That’s good, but not as good as our western neighbors. North Dakota is number one in the country. The oil and gas boom boosted jobs by 22,000.

That number is smaller because there are fewer workers in the state. But by percentage, North Dakota jobs grew a whopping 4.8 percent, according to analysis by Pew Charitable Trust’s Stateline blog.

Only two states actually lost jobs in the last year — Mississippi and Alaska — and the Midwest is doing as well or better than most regions of the country.

National unemployment is dropping fast, and is now at 5.8 percent. State unemployment is even lower. In the Midwest, November 2014, unemployment rates stand at:
  • Wisconsin: 5.2 percent
  • Iowa: 4.3 percent
  • Minnesota: 3.7 percent
  • South Dakota: 3.3 percent
  • North Dakota: 2.7 percent
The Labor Department says a dozen states added more than 50,000 jobs in the last year. Texas led the nation in job growth with 417,000 new jobs.

Reality Check: Job Growth In The Midwest - CBS Minnesota 

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          North Dakota Named Best Run State in Nation for Third Consecutive Year   
By ND Commerce
North Dakota was credited with being the best run state in the nation for a third consecutive year, according to a 24/7 Wall St. study released today. The study looks at data on financial health, standard of living and government services by the state to determine how well each state is managed.
“North Dakota has great qualities to offer businesses and workers,” Commerce Commissioner Al Anderson said. “State and local leaders have worked hard to build an environment that supports business growth and creates a good quality of life for our citizens. It’s great to see this hard work being recognized by 24/7 Wall St for the third consecutive year.”
The top five best run states were: North Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota. The study determines how well states are run by looking at fiscal management, taxes, exports, and GDP growth by sectors, as well as, quality of life components such as poverty, income, unemployment, high school graduation, crime and foreclosure rates.
The study states: “People have been flocking to North Dakota: more than 5% of the population in 2013 had migrated from another state or country since 2010. Last year, the state’s GDP rose by 9.7%, the most in the nation. Job growth has also been rapid. North Dakota’s 2.9% unemployment rate was the lowest in the nation last year.”

The full report is available at:

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          Hagen Selected for Department of Energy Health and Safety Committee   
By ND Commerce
Bruce Hagen, Weatherization Assistance Program Manager, was recently selected for the U.S. Department of Energy's Health and Safety Committee. Hagen, along with 9 other participants, will spend a year helping to develop new policy for the national weatherization program.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program provides grants to states, territories, and Indian tribes to improve the energy efficiency of the homes of low-income families. These governments, in turn, contract with local governments and nonprofit agencies to provide weatherization services to those in need using the latest technologies for home energy upgrades.
“Bruce is a valuable member of our team at Commerce and and I’m pleased to see him recognized with this selection,” Commerce Commissioner Alan Anderson said. “his experience and expertise in this important program will benefit programs across the country.”
Since the weatherization program began in 1976, DOE has helped improve the lives of more than 7 million families by reducing their energy bills.           

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          Shale Boom Helps North Dakota Bank Earn Returns Goldman Would Envy   
By Wall Street Journal
Displaying WSJ Harmeyer.jpgIt is more profitable than Goldman Sachs Group Inc., has a better credit rating than J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and hasn’t seen profit growth drop since 2003.

Meet Bank of North Dakota, the U.S.’s lone state-owned bank, which has one branch, no automated teller machines and not a single investment banker.

The reason for its success? As the sole repository of the state of North Dakota’s revenue, the bank has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the boom in Bakken shale-oil production from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. In fact, the bank played a crucial part in kick-starting the oil frenzy in the state in 2008 amid the financial crisis.

When other banks around the U.S. were curtailing lending and increasing reserves, Bank of North Dakota helped smaller banks in the state ride out the crisis by providing them with letters of credit, loan sales and bank stock. Since then, its total assets have more than doubled, to $6.9 billion last year from $2.8 billion in 2007. By contrast, assets of the much bigger Bank of America Corp. have grown much more slowly, to $2.1 trillion from $1.7 trillion in that period.

Much of that growth has been fueled by surging deposits of mineral-rights royalty payments and taxes stemming from North Dakota’s leap from the country’s sixth-largest oil producer to its second largest over the past five years. The bank taps those coffers to extend loans for new businesses, infrastructure such as hospitals and purchases of new homes, all of which have seen increased demand as oil workers flock to the state.

Set up in 1919 under a socialist-oriented government that represented farmers frustrated with out-of-state commodity and railroad owners, the bank treads a fine line between the private and public sectors in what today is a solidly Republican state. It traditionally extends credit, or invests directly, in areas other lenders shun, such as rural housing loans.

The bank’s mission is promoting economic development, not competing with private banks. “We’re a state agency and profit maximization isn’t what drives us,” President Eric Hardmeyer said. At the same time, he said “it’s important to me that we show a respectable bottom line” to taxpayers, noting that the bank historically has returned profits to the state’s coffers.

Its profit, which hit $94 million last year, has grown by double-digit percentages annually since 2010. Return on equity, a measure of profitability, is 18.56%, about 70% higher than those at Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan. To be sure, Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan are much larger institutions with more complex balance sheets.

North Dakotans can open a personal account at the bank’s only branch in downtown Bismarck, the state capital. But the bank offers few of the perks offered by traditional lenders and says retail banking accounts for just 2%-3% of its business. The bank’s focus is providing loans to students and extending credit to companies in North Dakota, often in partnership with smaller community banks.

Bank of North Dakota also acts as a clearinghouse for interbank transactions in the state by settling checks and distributing coins and currency. “We get compared to a little, mini Federal Reserve” on the prairie, said Mr. Hardmeyer, who has led the bank for nearly 14 years.

For years, Bank of North Dakota paid exactly $30 million annually back into the state’s general budgetary fund. But with North Dakota’s coffers flush with oil revenue, the legislature hasn’t requested the payments from the bank since 2010. Its loan book has expanded, but not fast enough to keep up with deposits and retained earnings.

It recently started offering mortgages to individuals in the most underserved corners of the state. But Mr. Hardmeyer dismisses any notion the bank could run into trouble with deadbeat borrowers. “We know our customers,” he said. “You’ve got to understand the conservative nature of this state. Nobody here is really interested in making subprime loans.”

Five years ago, Bank of North Dakota lent about 90% of its deposits, but that ratio shrank to around 60% in 2013.

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services last month reaffirmed its double-A-minus rating of the bank, whose deposits are guaranteed by the state of North Dakota. That is above the rating for both Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan and among U.S. financial institutions, second only to the Federal Home Loan Banks, rated double-A-plus.

Lawmakers in a few other states such as Colorado and Maryland have advanced proposals to emulate Bank of North Dakota and set up state-owned lenders in recent years, so far without success. “Last year was a peak in terms of introducing these bills,” said Mathew Street, deputy general counsel at the American Bankers Association. “However many bills have been introduced, none have passed since 1919,” he said.

North Dakota officials hesitate to tout the bank as a model. “We think it’s worked well for us, but only because we’re very careful about how we use it,” said North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple.

Not all of Bank of North Dakota’s initiatives have succeeded. One misfire in the early 2000s involved financing “Wooly Boys,” a film starring Peter Fonda and Kris Kristofferson. The movie, about a sheep rancher’s family, was a box-office flop. The bank, which had hoped to spark a tourism boom similar to that in South Dakota after the release of the Kevin Costner hit “Dances with Wolves,” wrote off the loss.

Shale Boom Helps North Dakota Bank Earn Returns Goldman Would Envy - The Wall Street Journal

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          Fracking Boom has Been a Jobs Boom for North Dakota   
By The Detroit Free Press
Ground zero for America's "shale revolution" in gas and oil production, North Dakota is also the reigning title-holder for lowest unemployment among the 50 states.

There were more unfilled jobs in September than job applications within the state, where oil field workers can make six-figure salaries and even the fast-food restaurants dangle hiring bonuses of $300 or more. The state has been recruiting specifically from Michigan for workers of all stripes and skill levels — hoping to entice entire families to relocate and grow roots.

North Dakota's official 2.8% jobless rate in August is essentially full employment, allowing just about anyone who wants a job to get one. At the same time, Michigan's rate of 7.4% was stuck above the 6.1% national average. (The national rate was 5.9% in September.)

North Dakota's roaring economy has been the envy of state governors and, for proponents of fracking, a shining success story for how an energy boom can produce a job boom, even for workers in professions that aren't directly related to extracting natural gas and oil.

Although Michigan's endowment of shale and oil is considerably smaller than North Dakota's, the state has ample natural gas deposits that can be tapped and many local governments are discovering that small-but-important amounts of money can be made by running mini-oil and gas wells. Early successes in wind energy production and investment could also promote massive investment in the state that could add 20,000 or more jobs a year, according to at least one study.

To be sure, this latest oil and gas rush in North Dakota has created its own set of problems, including pollution, skyrocketing housing costs in some towns and reports of rising crime and drug use. There are even reports of a shortage of single women for the inflowing horde of men.

A new documentary film on the darker side of the North Dakota boom, "The Overnighters," starts hitting theaters this weekend.

North Dakota is now producing over 1 million barrels of oil a day, compared to under 200,000 barrels a day five years ago.

That has been a boon for state government, which gets 11.5 cents for every $1 the oil industry makes and 11 cents of every $1 in the gas industry. The state has been running big budget surpluses and projects another surplus of over $600 million in its current fiscal year, according to the Associated Press.

Much of the state windfall has gone toward infrastructure spending, school trust funds, property tax relief and to local governments near the oil fields, according to the state's Senate majority leader.
Recruiting from Michigan

Michigan is one of seven states that North Dakota officials are targeting in their move-here-now advertising campaign, "Find the Good Life in North Dakota." The goal is to attract full families for long-term settlement — not simply more men on temporary work visits who fill up the "man camps," as accommodations in the oil and gas patch are often known.

"If Dad's a petroleum engineer, we've got a job for Mom and a job for their teenagers," Wally Goulet, chairman of the North Dakota Economic Development Foundation, said last week in a phone interview. "There's no problem with minimum wage here, because everybody seems to have to offer $12 or $14 or $15 for starting (pay)."

Energy booms have a history of enticing Michiganders to move. During the Texas oil boom of the 1970s and early 1980s, there were reports of a hot resale market in metro Detroit for Houston newspapers, which were full of help wanted ads at a time when the economy here was slow.

So many Michigan residents were moving to the Lonestar state that, according to the book — "The Reckoning" by the late historian David Halberstam — Texas officials speculated about the political leanings of the new "black-tag vote" in their state, a reference to the black Michigan license plates that were then standard issue.

There were nearly 26,000 reported job openings in North Dakota last month, with 65% of them located out of the state's 17 oil-producing counties. Cities and towns are experiencing a demand and/or shortage of workers in nearly every line of work, including carpentry, day care, truck driving, office work, vehicle and machine repair, and, especially, the service industry, according to Free Press interviews and a North Dakota jobs report.

"What we're finding is we need a lot of service jobs," Goulet said. "Not everybody is going to drive a truck in the oil fields."

There are still jobs to fill at the oil and gas fields across North Dakota's portion of the Bakken formation, especially for positions requiring advanced engineering degrees, but the earlier frenzy has purportedly calmed down.

"When the energy boom started a couple years ago, they really just were getting bodies," said Holly Sand, a public information officer at Job Service North Dakota. "Now they can be more selective on who they take for the jobs."

Fracking Boom has Been a Jobs Boon for North Dakota - The Detroit Free Press

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          North Dakota to Celebrate National Manufacturing Day October 3   
By ND Commerce
Communities in North Dakota will celebrate National Manufacturing Day October 3 by hosting tours of manufacturing companies and educational facilities. The event is designed to create a better understanding of and expand knowledge about manufacturing as a career choice, and to emphasize the industry’s value to North Dakota’s economy.
“Manufacturing is a vital part of North Dakota’s economic success,” Al Anderson, North Dakota Commerce Commissioner said. “Since 2003, North Dakota manufacturing exports grew 169 percent while the national average was a 70 percent increase.”
According to the National Association of Manufacturers, manufacturers in North Dakota account for nearly 8 percent of the total output in the state, employing 6 percent of the workforce. Manufacturing compensation is just over 37 percent higher than other nonfarm employers in the state.
“Manufacturing Day events in North Dakota are meant for anyone who is curious about modern manufacturing and who would like to know more about what happens in modern-day manufacturing facilities,” Randy Schwartz, center director and chief executive officer of the Dakota Manufacturing Extension Partnership said. “Students, parents, educators, media and civic leaders are encouraged to attend the events.”
Manufacturing Day Events in North Dakota:  
Dickinson (Public tours) - October 3 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
  • Steffes Corporation – Steffes began in the 1940’s as a small manufacturing operation and by 1985 had grown into a steel fabrication business making replacement snowmobile skis, hopper-bottom storage bins, furniture frames, and a variety of custom designed equipment.  They are known as a creative and innovative design company with great career growth opportunities. – Dress code: Business casual (be prepared for an on-site interview, if desired) and NO open toed shoes.    
Fargo (Private/Public Tours) - October 3 from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Private Tours
    • Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation is hosting 170 area high school students to tour the following facilities:
      • John Deere Electronic Solutions – John Deere Electronic Solutions leads the industry through innovative design, development, and manufacturing of custom, integrated electronics components.
      • Aggregate Industries – A leading player in the construction industry by producing and supplying a range of construction materials including aggregates, asphalt, ready-mixed concrete and blocks. 
      • Fargo Jet Center / Weather Modification – An award winning aircraft services company and a global atmospheric sciences company committed to continued advances in the fields of weather modification and atmospheric research.
      • Prinsco – Manufacturing and providing innovative water management solutions to increase agricultural production, ensure water quality and promote sustainable systems. Premiere products include a complete line of corrugated plastic pipe and accessories.
  • Public Tours - October 3 from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    • Trail King Industries – Building trailers to serve a wide variety of applications for markets as diverse as construction, agriculture, transportation, waste and recycling, and specialized hauling. Tours are for high school and college students from 8am to 3pm
Grand Forks (Public Tours) - October 3 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
  • Steffes Corporation – Steffes began in the 1940’s as a small manufacturing operation and by 1985 had grown into a steel fabrication business making replacement snowmobile skis, hopper-bottom storage bins, furniture frames, and a variety of custom designed equipment.  They are known as a creative and innovative design company with great career growth opportunities. – Dress code: Business casual (be prepared for an on-site interview, if desired) and NO open toed shoes.        
Jamestown (Public Tours) – October 3 from 9:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
  • UTC Aerospace Systems – One of the world’s largest suppliers of technologically advanced aerospace and defense products.  Tours are 30 minutes and run from 9:45am to 12:45pm. Please RSVP and be pre-screened before September 26th.  Email for details about the requirements and the dress code for the tours.   
Wahpeton (Private Tours) - October 22 from 9a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
The City of Wahpeton is hosting 203 area high school students to tour the following facilities:
  • Bobcat – A leading provider of compact equipment for global construction, rental, landscaping, agriculture, grounds maintenance, government, utility, industrial and mining markets. 
  • WCCO Belting – World’s largest manufacturer of agricultural rubber belting products: swather canvases, baler belts, tube conveyor belts, die-cut parts and a variety of rubber industrial belting products.    
  • ComDel Innovations – Contract manufacturer excelling in precision component fabrication, molding, tooling and stamping dies, injection molding, metal stamping, assembly operations and metal finishing, integrating all aspects of product development. 
  • Heartland Precision – Provides thread rolling and metal finishing as well as forming and precision machining services to a variety of industries and customers. 
  • North Dakota State College of Science – A 2-year state supported college offering over 80 academic options using hands-on learning and state-of-the-art equipment in partnership with industry leaders. They are providing tours of their educational facility and hosting the students for lunch. 
For more information visit
The North Dakota Department of Commerce works to improve the quality of life for North Dakota citizens by leading efforts to attract, retain and expand wealth. Commerce serves businesses and communities statewide through committed people and partners who offer valuable programs and dynamic services.
For more North Dakota news and information subscribe to the Commerce News RSS Feed or go to

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          Commerce Names Malo Division of Community Services Director   
By ND Commerce
The North Dakota Department of Commerce has hired Bonnie Malo as the Community Services Division Director.
Malo will oversee programs to provide technical assistance to local governments and state agencies in the areas of community planning and development, policy research and development and grant program implementation. Malo replaces past director Paul Govig, who retired earlier this year.
“Bonnie has served the state of North Dakota for over 25 years and most recently has filled the role of Interim Director for Community Services,” North Dakota Commerce Commissioner Alan Anderson said. “Her leadership and expertise with the many federal programs that are administered through Commerce will be a great asset to our continued success as a team.”

A native of Belcourt, ND, Malo previously served as Community Development Block Grant/Home Program manager in the Community Services Division. Malo earned her degree from Mayville State. Malo has been with the North Dakota Department of Commerce since its inception in 2000.
The North Dakota Department of Commerce works to improve the quality of life for North Dakota citizens by leading efforts to attract, retain and expand wealth. Commerce serves businesses and communities statewide through committed people and partners who offer valuable programs and dynamic services.
For more North Dakota news and information subscribe to the Commerce News RSS Feed or go to

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          Riege: Pheasant Hunting Dream in Harvey, N.D.   
By Austin Daily Herald
Have you stepped back in time? Or are you watching some movie that has come out of the 1950′s? The answers to your questions is summed up in two words; North Dakota.

Allow me to back up a bit and tell you how I found out about this paradise. A very good friend of mine, Jason Mitchell from Jason Mitchell Outdoors and resident of North Dakota called one day in the middle of the summer and said. “Bob you have got to get yourself out to Harvey, North Dakota.” The excitement in his voice told me that I should put down my ice tea and listen. “I’m telling you that it is like it use to be when we were kids growing up. You will see at least 300 pheasants in a day and you can’t believe it, but seriously the sky will turn black with birds.”

Now I have hunted pheasants in Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, South Dakota and even Nebraska for over forty years, and I have been on some good shoots, but really 300 pheasants a day? This guy has been out in the sun to long. So to sooth my friend I told him that I would see if I could fit it into my schedule for October. I figured that right after duck opener and just after the beginning of pheasant season would be a good time to get my Irish Setters on some real active birds. So, with a pause in my speech, I told Jason that I would give Nicki Weissman Job Development/ Economic Development Director and CVB Coordinator of Harvey, North Dakota a call.

I took the opportunity of the slow summer fishing season to sit down one evening and call out to Harvey, ND to talk to Nicki Weissman. What I heard on the other end of the line was remarkable. She told me that a number of goose, duck and pheasant hunters had visited Harvey last year and that their success ratio was outstanding. In our conversation, I asked; “Why is this area so good for waterfowl and upland game?” The answer from Nicki was a simple one word; “Habitat.”

Throughout the area around Harvey, North Dakota there are places that hold pheasants in huntible numbers. There are private lands with scattered potholes and sloughs or woody draws that provide good places to hunt. These prairie potholes provide an excellent sportsmen’s paradise with a plethora of ducks and geese.

Public lands, (Lonetree Wildlife Management Area 25,730 acres) whether game production areas or waterfowl production areas, which are managed by the state or federal government, are also excellent spots for hunters to look for a few roosters, sharp tailed grouse, or Hungarian partridge. In fact, a hunter would be hard pressed to hunt this entire WMA in a lifetime.

We met Nicki Weissman and Mike Jensen from North Dakota Department of Commerce at JW’s restaurant for breakfast. JW’s specializes in awesome omelets, and lunch specials that will keep you going all day long. More importantly, this is where many of the locals go and it is a good place for nonresidents to make contact with landowners and community members. This is where traditions are born. Traditions are something that Harvey, North Dakota has to offer especially when it comes to hunting in the fall. Harvey, North Dakota has hunting rooted in the traditional family methods and it is carried on from generation to generation.

We started our hunt in a narrow strip of Milo adjacent to a close-cropped alfalfa field. It didn’t look like it would hold a lot of birds, but in spots it looked a little thicker and maybe we would find some. We hadn’t gone twenty yards when Laddy struck his famous pose and as we approached the words, Rooster, Rooster rang through the