Is Nuclear Peace with North Korea Possible? SHARE RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR The recently released UN Commission of Inquiry (COI) reportinto North Korean human rights has reinforced the sense that addressing thesystemic abuses perpetrated by the regime in Pyongyang has never been a moreurgent task. At the same time, hints of a fourth nuclear test amid aprotracted period of regional tension imply that the current status quo ofinternational sanctions and condemnation is unlikely to change for theforeseeable future. North Korea certainly appears to perplex the geopoliticalplayers of Northeast Asia. Even more so in South Korea, where advocates ofPresident Park Geun Hye’s principled stance and backers of variations ofengagement continue to publicly lock horns over the most effective way toinduce change in the North. Since March 1974, the NZ-DPRK society has taken a differentapproach, openly engaging and exchanging with the North via a number of small-scaleprojects. These range from a friendship school in Pyongyang to a cooperativestudy of migratory birds. Its leaders hope that awareness and understandingwill grow out of the process. As other organizations engaging the North Korean regime haveundoubtedly been asked, is any engagement good engagement? For some, the Westdoes not have a glowing record on human rights and should not comment onothers. For many, however, a relativistic approach falls spectacularly flat inthe face of damning evidence of extraordinary human rights abuses.For better or worse, as one of only a handful oforganizations on amicable terms with North, the organization possesses insightinto a society insufficiently understood by the outside world. Daily NK satdown with Chairman Don Borrie and Secretary Peter Wilson to hear their views onunification, the nuclear threat and building trust with the North. Could you brieflyexplain the origins of the NZ-DPRK Society?Don Borrie (DB): I wanted to form a society after beinginvolved in the Peace Movement during the Vietnam War. I had come to realizeNew Zealanders knew nothing about Korea, just as they knew nothing about Vietnam.Shortly after I became the General Secretary of the Student Christian Movement,I was contacted out of the blue by the [South] Korean Students’ Association. The Korean Student Christian Federation in Seoul were beingpersecuted by their government for supporting the traditional farmers when thegovernment was seeking to amalgamate farm ownership and squeeze the littlefarmers out. They were accused of being communist, subverting South Korea andsupporting the North Koreans. As I discovered later they had had next to nocontact with North Koreans, but were nevertheless accused of beingcollaborators and were put in prison. We then developed support actions ontheir behalf from here in New Zealand. During my time as secretary I formed a relationship withGerman economist Wolf Rosenberg to collaborate and form a friendship society justas socialist countries used to do as part of their foreign policy outreach. We formed the society with the idea that itwasn’t going to be mass movement, but would be made up of volunteers who wouldconcentrate on the DPRK, as we felt the DPRK voice was not being heard. New Zealand in the 1970s saw deep-seated intellectualbattles in the world of the left between the Maoists and the Trotskyites. TheNorth Koreans, however, claimed to be an ally of both and sought to walk amiddle path. We accepted this as we weredetermined to portray a position true to the DPRK. In doing so we walked a tightrope between thetwo planks of international socialism, while at the same time appreciating the traditionsof the ancient Korean civilization. We have not been overly influenced by the [NorthKorean] administration. But I think that we have been not as critical of them asmany in the West who are instinctively hostile. So the society’s foundingphilosophy was one very much embedded in the politics of the time?DB: When we founded the society America was still engaged inVietnam, which led to their defeat. They have since been working to reasserttheir control. But from the DPRK’s point of view they had never wanted to breakwith the Americans in any fundamental way until they had to cope with theiraggression that culminated in the Korean War. There were more casualties per capita in that war than in World War II.The DPRK have been mixed in their attitude toward the Americans ever since. Is the North Koreangovernment open to anyone who shows an interest?DB: To my surprise they have been open to right-wingAmericans. For example, in the mid-1990s I took a group of Polynesian dancersto the April Festival in Pyongyang and Billy Graham was also there with a groupof musicians. They used to welcome most outsiders who expressed aninterest in their society. They havesince learned that people come into the country with a variety of motivations,ranging from hostility to genuine interest in them as a people. Journalistshave borne the brunt of this, and are now seen as untrustworthy. While they are not adverse to journalists,they’re certainly very reluctant. How do you reconcileyour approach with the known atrocities carried out by the regime?DB: International relationships are multifaceted and I don’tthink New Zealanders can take a position of being “pure.” For instance, NewZealand rates with the America in having one of the highest incarceration ratesof indigenous peoples in the world. We are conducting our own racist policies.However, it’s true that DPRK doesn’t have our libertarian traditions and there areelements in both North and South Korea that are, in my view, quite cruel to peoplewho don’t toe the line.Peter Wilson (PW): Prison camp numbers have actually beendropping since the early 1990s. While these things exist, we have to rememberthat China has announced it will be closing its last work camp by the end ofthe year. This would not be the case if Nixon and Kissinger had never gone toChina, and the rest of the world kept them isolated. Just criticizing a countrydoes nothing to help the situation. There will be change if you bring them intothe fold, create dialogue and establish trading relationships, which issomething the North wants. You’re suggesting thefull removal of sanctions?PW: Yes. They shouldn’t be there in the first place.DB: Sanctions are the first staging post of a war, and weare still at war with the DPRK. We have not taken the initiative to change theArmistice Agreement to a Peace Treaty, and we have politicized our developmentpolicy in relation to the DPRK. It’s gone from a humanitarian tool to a weapondesigned to destabilize the regime. The economic sanctions have to go. We need to allow theKoreans to benefit from what we can offer but at the same time we have to beprepared to become an honest nation that admits our own faults, weaknesses andfears. It is not for us to assume thatour form of society is the world’s best. There is no society which is theworld’s best. If we find a way to communicate and exchange our ideas, skillsand talents, we can live in peace.Assuming thesanctions stay, how can the international community best serve the North Koreanpeople?DB: We must get off their backs. We’ve got to change [NewZealand’s] policy from being one dominated by the United States, which ischaracterized by the lynchpin of fear. TheAmericans are motivated by fear – fear of the enemy. The enemy is assumed to bethe people that America doesn’t agree with. We must wake up to the reality thatthere are other civilizations that we must live with, and learn to appreciatethem. We must also be rid of the pervasive propaganda with respect to ourenemies and open up our relationships to establish friendship and trust.How have you managedto build trust with the North?DB: I think that our small group has forged significantrelationships with the North Koreans and I think they really appreciate ourstickabiltiy. I’ve spent most of my adult life working on this question, and ina sense have come to be recognized as someone who is prepared to standalongside people who are strange and not walk away. PW: There is currently a level of trust at the civil societylevel, but not at the governmental level as the New Zealand government at leastis perceived to be too close to Washington. They are not seen as taking anindependent line. Do you get any senseof how the North Koreans perceive the Park Geun Hye administration?DB: It seems the relationship between North and South variesfrom verbal denunciations of the other in very lurid terms, to periodicexchanges of military might. But underneath all this I think there are avariety of conversations going on that we are not party to.PW: We get little glimpses of this. We hear the Ministry ofUnification saying, “If our cousins to the North are prepared to do X then wewould be prepared to do it.” These are symbolic things, like hiking and cyclingtours. You could say this is separate from politics but it’s all part of thebigger picture. The oceans are made up of many little drops. How did you rate thesunshine policy?DB: I was skeptical initially but I did feel a window hadbeen opened at the presidential level. That the DPRK leadership was open todialogue was a revelation to the skeptical West. It is a tragedy that themomentum generated on that dialogue was cut short. I put this down to theAmericans who became perturbed over the possibility of a Korean rapprochement thatwasn’t conducted by them. The Americans in my view are using South Korea – notfor the sake of the South Koreans but for the sake of themselves.How do you respond to those in the South that embrace the U.S. military presence?DB: We can see that aspects of the South Korean culture havebeen mesmerized by the West, and there has been an uncritical acceptance of theconcept of the accumulation of wealth as a central feature of development. Oneof the deepest anxieties of the North and one of their motivations for hangingon to their own values and systems is the danger that westernization will leadto a loss of “Koreanness.” They areproud of their identity and history. However, their homogeneity probably has to adapt to therealities of global diversity. When a North Korean delegation visited NewZealand in 2012 they were surprised and troubled by our cultural diversity, andwere in disbelief that we could live together. Their attitude is that Korea isfor Koreans. It’s almost a feeling of anxiety and anger that their cousins inthe South have become so enmeshed in the ways of the West. I don’t think,however, that the West doesn’t have anything to offer. South Korea should adopta more independent policy and pursue economic and political social contactswith their neighbors. What form ofunification do you support?DB: Kim Il Sung talked of unification happening in stages,which is probably realistic. He talked of the returning to the common identity,and a reunification of the two nations under the state of Koryo. He acceptedthere were fundamental differences in the two Koreas’ economic systems and hedidn’t believe change could be forced. The development of a relevant Koreansystem of economic activity was always going to take a generation or two, butit’s supposed to be gradual. In a deeper sense it’s about the coming togetherof the two societies. But at the same time not destroying the integrity thatthe [North] had fought for in standing up to the Americans. PW: Unification is really something for the Korean people todecide. It can’t happen while there is still an Armistice Agreement in place ofa peace mechanism. The agreement was foisted on the peninsula by external actors.Thus we could argue that it’s really the international community’s responsibilityto work to end this state of war – whether that is through a peace treaty or apeace mechanism or something else. Then the decision to unify should be left tothe Koreans themselves. What has stopped aPeace Treaty going forward?PW: Apathy, and that others are scared of the United States.Nobody is prepared to stand up to them as they are beholden to things liketrade. The Americans want to keep their troops in Asia, close to China. Thecurrent situation is one of benign neglect. Obama talks of “strategic patience”but that’s just ignoring the problem. What’s your take onthe North Korean nuclear issue?DB: [New Zealand] is currently following a dangerous line inallowing its policy to be formed alongside the United States vis-a-vis theDPRK, because the DPRK are now in a position where they face being eliminatedby nuclear weapons. We must remove this fear. They are convinced they have toplay the US at their own game, that they are only a little power, and that theycan only take symbolic action. Thus they have elected to engage in nuclearthreats. I’m deeply disturbed by this but I can see it from their point ofview; if they hadn’t developed some way to retaliate then they could have gonethe way of Iraq.PW: Last year there were reports in the Chinese and SouthKorean media that North Korea had diverted more than 250,000 of their militaryinto building infrastructure. When I was there in July I asked a senior DPRK officialabout this and he said, “Yes, now that we have a basic nuclear deterrent, wecan afford to relax a bit and put our labor to more constructive uses.” What next for thesociety?PW: We will continue to engage in low-key contacts. This leads to better understanding on allsides which is what we are really all about. DB: We are engaged in a variety of things to bring together smallgroups of New Zealand society with small groups of Korean society. In this waywe can develop friendships and build trust with each other. Antipodean Group Pushing Engagement Line Tracking the “unidentified yellow substance” being dried out near the Yongbyon Nuclear Center Analysis & Opinion Daily NKQuestions or comments about this article? Contact us at [email protected] Analysis & Opinion Analysis & Opinion Analysis & Opinion By Daily NK – 2014.05.06 7:50am Facebook Twitter Pence Cartoon: “KOR-US Karaoke”
Rick Bright, MD, the former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), said he was pushed out of his position earlier this week because he insisted government investment in COVID-19 research should go to safe and scientifically vetted solutions, and not unproven drugs, especially the antimalarials championed by President Donald Trump.Bright, via his lawyer, issued a statement on his demotion late yesterday evening.”Specifically, and contrary to misguided directives, I limited the broad use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, prompted by the Administration as a panacea, but which clearly lack scientific merit,” Bright said. “I rightly resisted efforts to provide an unproven drug on demand to the American public.”Yesterday during the White House coronavirus task force briefing, Trump said he did not know who Bright was.Also during the briefing yesterday, Trump said he did not agree with Georgia Governor Brian Kemp’s decision to reopen his state this week.”I told the governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, that I disagree strongly with his decision to open certain facilities,” Trump said. “He must do what he thinks is right. I want him to do what he thinks is right, but I disagree with him on what he is doing.”In other White House news, yesterday Reuters reported that Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar put in charge of the HHS coronavirus response a Texas businessman named Brian Harrison who had no public health training, and whose main work experience has been running a labradoodle breeding operation.Harrison was tapped to run the day-to-day HHS operations in relation to COVID-19 in late January.As of today, the United States has 856,209 COVID-19 cases and 47,272 deaths, according to a tracker maintained by USA Today.Modeling, testing suggest virus widespreadNew modeling from Northeastern University suggests that by the time New York City recorded its first confirmed COVID-19 case on Mar 1, as many as 10,000 city residents could have already contracted the virus. Other major cities, including Boston, Seattle, Chicago, and San Francisco likely had thousands of cases as well, with transmission spreading through the community throughout February.Though the modeling is only an estimate, the researchers said their work suggests the virus was spreading silently for weeks before any patient in the US was being tested. According to a story in the New York Times, the model is based on simulating the movements of people based on where they fly, how they move around, when they go to school, and other data.The model also suggests US cases were likely more connected to COVID-19 outbreaks in Europe, rather than Asia.Also today, a new study based on antibody sampling shows as many as 13.9% of New Yorkers have been infected with COVID-19. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the study results today in his briefing from Albany. The percentage correlates to 2.7 million infections across the state.New York has the most COVID-19 cases of any state in the nation, with 263,460 cases including 15,740 deaths.4.4 million more unemployed as CARES Act funds labsAnother 4.4 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, bringing the total number of Americans who have filed such claims since March to 26.5 million. That number represents just over 16% of the US labor force.Today HHS announced $631 million from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020 will go to 64 jurisdictions through the existing Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Prevention and Control of Emerging Infectious Diseases (ELC) cooperative agreement. The money will be used to help states reopen their local economies.”This new funding secured from Congress by President Trump will help public health departments across America continue to battle COVID-19 and expand their capacity for testing, contact tracing, and containment,” said Azar in a press statement. “As we look toward re-opening the economy, the work of these dedicated public health officials is only going to get more important, and the Trump Administration and CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] will be working right alongside them to assist.”The money will be used to train and hire personnel to conduct aggressive contact tracing, surveillance, and testing.Governor announces new testing initiativeYesterday Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced the most aggressive plan to test citizens widely for the coronavirus in what he is calling the “Minnesota moonshot,” a $36 million partnership between the state, the Mayo Clinic, and the University of Minnesota.Under the plan, as many as 20,000 state residents could be tested for the virus each day, meaning Minnesota would be testing the most people per capita in the country.
An English claimant injured in a crash in Germany has failed in a bid to have her compensation case heard in England and Wales. Gaynor Winrow, who had lived in Germany for eight years after her husband was posted there by the army, suffered depression, and injuries to her back and leg following the crash in 2009.She issued proceedings in England against an insurer domiciled in England, Ageas Insurance.The issue of whether German or English law applied to the assessment of damages turned on the interpretation of European law known as Rome II.This states that the jurisdiction should be determined on the basis of where the damage occurs, regardless of the country or countries in which the indirect consequences could occur. The claimant relied on an ‘escape clause’ to allow a departure from the rule.At a one-day hearing in July at the High Court, Winrow, represented by Slater & Gordon, argued her case had close enough links to England to invoke the escape clause. The family planned to return to England in 2012 and they lived on a British Army base during the posting in Germany.She was also employed by Service Children’s Education – a UK government agency.But the defendants, represented by Weightmans, argued that Rome II focuses on ‘habitual residence rather than nationality’.The fact that the claimant now lives in England and is suffering continuing loss here was not, they said, sufficient evidence to show that the tort is more closely connected with England than Germany.In her judgment, The Honourable Mrs Justice Slade said there were a number of factors weighing against the displacement of German law, namely the location of the accident and the fact the claimant had lived there for eight years and continued to live there for 18 months after the accident.She said Rome II required a ‘high hurdle’ to be cleared.‘The court must be satisfied that the tort is manifestly more closely connected with English law than German law,’ she said.‘Taking into account all the circumstances, the relevant factors do not indicate a manifestly closer connection of the tort with England than with Germany.’
Cyril Felrod Telesforo (center) of Iloilo receives a plaque after winning as overall champion in Under 16 boys of the 2018 National Age Group Chess Championships at the Capiz Gymnasium in Roxas City. IPCA ILONGGO players dominated the 2018 National Age Group Chess Championships from May 5 to 12 at the Capiz Gymnasium in Roxas City.Cyril Felrod Telesforo of the Iloilo Provincial Chess Association (IPCA) claimed the overall championship in Under 16 boys while Queen Rose Pamplona of Passi City topped the Under 12 girls.Checy Aliena Telesforo (IPCA) placed second in Under 14 girls while finishing first runners-up were Fiona Geeweneth Guirhem (IPCA) in Under 18 girls and Ruslan Pamplona of Passi City in Under 8 boys.Settling for second runner-up finishes were IPCA players Vaughn Robert Oberio in Under 8 boys and Muellene Ymber Leving Babao in Under 10 girls. Reynald Tejero, also of Iloilo, failed to land on the top three of Under 16 boys.The top three finishers in each category earn a slot in the 2018 ASEAN Chess Age Group Championship, which will be held from June 18 to 28 in Davao City./PN
BEATRICE, Neb. (March 13) – More than 180 drivers are already pre-entered for Spring Nationals, which starts tonight (Friday) at Beatrice Speedway. IMCA Xtreme Motor Sports Modifieds race for $2,000 to win this evening and on Saturday, March 14. Berths on the ballot for the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational are also at stake.IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars and Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods race for $500 to win and IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks for $400 to win each night. Mach-1 Sport Compacts run for $200 to win on Saturday.Modified pre-entries are now in hand from Jacob Adler, Holyoke, Colo.; Chad Andersen, Fort Calhoun; Eddie Belec, Lakewood, Colo.; Josh Blumer, Marysville, Kan.; Bland Bohannon, Williston, N.D.; Matt Bonine, Onawa, Iowa; Corey Burch, Junction, City, Kan.; Clayton Christensen, Spencer, Iowa; Shane DeMey, Denison, Iowa; Mike Densberger, Lincoln; Patrick Donavon, Sterling; Cole Ferguson, Dexter, Iowa; Josh Gilman, Earlham, Iowa; Jordan Grabouski, Beatrice; Michael Greseth, Harwood, N.D.; Travis Hagen, Williston, N.D.; Travis Hatcher, Honey Creek, Iowa; Bill Heinkel II, Perry, Iowa; Jeff Hunter, Henderson, Colo.; Andy Johnson, Highmore, S.D.; Aaron Krohn, Slayton, Minn.; Jeffrey Larson, Lakefield, Minn.; Ronn Lauritzen, Jesup, Iowa; Jeremy Leiting, Valparaiso, Neb.; Erik Mahlik, Green Bay, Wis.; Les McLenehan, Estevan, Sask.; Justin Medler, Minot, N.D.; Brian Mullen, Seymour, Wis.; Kyle Oberding, Seneca, Kan.; Aaron Pella, Lincoln; Mike Petersilie, Hoisington, Kan.; Jesse Richter, West Bend, Kan.; Anthony Roth, Columbus; Johnny Saathoff, Beatrice; Jason Schneiders, Sioux City, Iowa; Keagan Scott, Odebolt, Iowa; Dave Shipley, Argusville, N.D.; Dustin Smits, Friesland, Wis.; Chad Ten Napel, Sioux City, Iowa; Mike Van Genderen, Newton, Iowa; Rob VanMil, Barnesville, Minn.; Billy Vogel, West Fargo, N.D.; Luke Wanninger, Minburn, Iowa; Daniel Woodle, Pierson, Iowa; Jordan Zillmer, Cleveland, N.D.; and Bob Zoubek, Dorchester. Northern SportMod drivers pre-registered are Jason Andrews, Estherville, Iowa; Kirk Beatty, Sioux City, Iowa; Derek Benes, Crete; Dusty Blake, Belvidere; Lance Borgman, Beatrice; Todd Boulware, Jefferson, S.D.; Austin Carter, Jamestown, Kan.; Benjamin Chukuske, Sherburn, Minn.; Nathan Chukuske, Sherburn, Minn.; Brandon Clough, Wallace; Shawn Cooney, Des Moines, Iowa; Brenden Damon, Great Bend, Kan.; Jayme Duinink, Pella, Iowa; Tyler Frye, Belvidere, Kan.; Ryan Gilland, Beatrice; Joey Haase, Norfolk; Matt Haase, Norfolk; Colby Heishman, Brooklyn, Iowa; Lee Horky, Fairbury; Brian Konze, LeMars, Iowa; Jake Krone, Beloit, Kan.; Jeremiah LaDue, Trenton, N.D.; Benji Legg, Beatrice; Mary Lenz, Elmwood; Johnathan Logue, Boone, Iowa; Matt Looft, Swea City, Iowa; Dusty Masolini, Cedarburg, Wis.; Cameron Meyer, Pierce; Nick Meyer, Whittemore, Iowa; Taylor Musselman, Norwalk, Iowa; Jeremy Noonan, Lincoln; Trevor Noonan, Lincoln; Gunnar Pike, South Bend; Kyle Prauner, Norfolk; Jerid Ratzke, Williams, Iowa; Darin Roepke, LeMars, Iowa; Rick Rohr, Pickrell; Gary Saathoff, Beatrice; Jared Sasser, Cuba, Kan.; Joe Schidler, Lincoln; Arie Schouten, Blair; Ben Schultze, Algona, Iowa; Delbert Smith, Wichita, Kan.; Brandon Spanjer, Beatrice; James Stewart, Aparahoe; Andrew Whitmore, Beatrice; and Sam Wieben, Dysart, Iowa. Stock Car pre-entries have been received from Chris Adams, McIntire, Iowa; Andrew Altenburg, Truman, Minn.; Brent Alverson, Oskaloosa, Kan.; Lance Borgman, Beatrice; Randy Brands, Boyden, Iowa; Brandon Conkwright, Wamego, Kan.; Jon Courchaine, Pound, Wis.; Kyle Frederick, Oconto Falls, Wis.; Ryan Fullenkamp, Bloomfield, Iowa; Gary Goudy Jr., Sloughton, Sask.; Derek Green, Granada, Minn.; Geoff Jermark, Beloit, Kan.; Andrew Knode, Adel, Iowa; Brendon LaBatte, Weyburn, Sask.; Dustin Larson, Worthington, Minn.; Jim Larson, Rushmore, Minn.; Michael McClure, Bloomfield, Iowa; Lloyd Meeske, Champion; Damon Murty, Chelsea, Iowa; Chris Palsrok, Sibley, Iowa; Tyler Phelps, Beatrice; Chris Pruitt, Stuart, Iowa; Jason Purvis, Boone, Iowa; Eric Rempel, Palmyra; Dustin Schmidt, Fairbury; Jay Schmidt, Tama, Iowa; Trevor Schmidt, Hays, Kan.; Jason See, Albia, Iowa; Leon Sidney, Sioux City, Iowa; Bob Staiert, Carroll, Iowa; Shane Stutzman, Milford; Kurt Trusty, Wallace; Kyle Vanover, Beatrice; Leif Weyer, Centralia, Kan.; Casey Woken, Norton, Kan.; and Elijah Zevenbergen, Ocheyedan, Iowa.Early entries for the Hobby Stocks are from Zach Ankrum, Sioux City, Iowa; Adam Armstrong, Beatrice; Roy Armstrong, Beatrice; Drew Barglof, Sioux Rapids, Iowa; Shelby Barnard, Beatrice; Bill Bonnett, Knoxville, Iowa; Justin Busboom, Lincoln; Tyler Davis, Fairbury; Cody Dignan, Burlington, N.D.; Neil Forsberg, Slayton, Minn.; Rusty Gyles, St. Charles, Iowa; James Hadorn, Beatrice; Matt Hanson, Slayton, Minn.; Jacob Harms, Beatrice; Taylor Huss, Fairbury; Derek Husted, Sioux City, Iowa; Bryant Johnson, Graettinger, Iowa; Chris Klein, Wilber; Austin Luellen, Minburn, Iowa; Mike McAtee, Beatrice; Marvin Penry, Council Bluffs, Iowa; Jeremy Purdy, Bedford; Josh Reynolds, Greenfield, Iowa; Dalton Ronnenbaum, Onaga, Kan.; Jayde Saathoff, Beatrice; Malik Sampson, Worthington, Minn.; Shay Simoneau, Damer, Kan.; Shawn Slezak, Milligan; Tyrel Smith, Goodland, Kan.; Jamie Songer, Ankeny, Iowa; Brendon Stigge, Fairbury; Jesse VanLaningham, Beatrice; and Jeremy Wegner, Graettinger, Iowa.Sport Compact drivers confirmed for Beatrice are Alex Bratt, Beatrice; Joe Bunkofske, Armstrong, Iowa; Nate Coopman, Mankato, Minn.; Larry Cronin, Lincoln; Jay DeVries, Spencer, Iowa; Kaytee Devries, Spencer Iowa; Brooke Fluckiger, Columbus; John Gill, Marshalltown, Iowa; Joelle Gustin, Onawa, Iowa; Drew Johnson, Sioux City, Iowa; Cole Krichau, Lincoln; Ramsey Meyer, Pierce; A.J. Myott, Spencer, Iowa; Michelle Nicholson, Omaha; Neal Reynolds, Onawa, Iowa; Dillon Richards, Beatrice; Elmer Rolfes, Merrill, Iowa; Lisa Rolfes, Merrill, Iowa; Sly Shively, Beatrice; and Todd Tacheny, Mankato, Minn. Modified pre-tech starts at noon and pit gates open at 4:30 p.m. this afternoon, with hot laps at 6 p.m. and racing at 7 p.m. On Saturday, gates open at 2:30 p.m., hot laps are at 5 p.m. and racing is at 6 p.m.Pit passes are $25 each night. Grandstand admission is $14 for adults and $5 for kids 10 and under. IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing National, regional and Allstar Performance State points will be given each night for the Modifieds, Stock Cars and Hobby Stocks. National and state points will be awarded to Northern SportMod and Sport Compact competitors. RACEceivers are required in all divisions and both Spring Nationals programs will be broadcast live on Speed Shift TV. The track website is www.beatricespeedway.com.
14 May 2015About 20 emerging South African filmmakers are at the 68th Annual Cannes International Film Festival in France, where they are showcasing their expertise – and potentially selling their projects to various buyers.The filmmakers, led by Deputy Trade and Industry Minister Mzwandile Masina, are also promoting South Africa’s attractiveness as a film destination that meets international standards. They will present their projects at the annual film fair, which takes place in the coastal city of Cannes. It began yesterday and ends on 24 May.Masina said the participation of local filmmakers was part of his department’s strategy to create access to local film and video products, promote an increase in the volume of film production, and provide exposure for the emerging filmmakers to the international film and production markets, distributors, funders and producers. The intention is to transform and grow the South African film industry.“Through promoting South Africa as an international destination to attract further international productions and in encouraging the generation of local content production, the country will continue to enjoy the benefits of a vibrant and growing film industry,” he said, encouraging international production houses to use the country as a location for films.South Africa had signed a co-production treaty with France, Masina said yesterday. “This agreement serves as a driver from which France can contribute to the expansion of the film, television, video production and distribution industries of both countries.”The treaty also served to enhance the development of cultural and economic exchanges. While in Cannes, Masina will hold meetings with Lions Gate, an American film studio, and Axiom, a British production, distribution and sales company. He will also meet international producers from various countries.“The 20 filmmakers were funded by the Department of Trade and Industry. They will participate in a producers’ network and workshop sessions,” said spokesperson Sidwell Medupe.The film and television industry has been identified as a priority sector in the Industrial Policy Action Plan because of its ability to promote increased investment, job creation and skills transfer. “This sector is an important generator of foreign earnings for the country. It contributed approximately R3.5-billion into the economy last year and created more than 25 000 jobs,” Masina said.The Cannes International Film Festival is an annual film conference where new films of all genres, including documentaries, from around the world are previewed.Source: SAnews.gov
The issues of intimate partner violence (IPV) and domestic violence in the workplace continue to make news. First, tragic events are still occurring, like last month when an employee of Ingles Market in Covington, GA, was shot by her estranged husband in the store’s deli section. Also, states continue to pass laws to compel employers to protect workers against such acts. For example, a new law went into effect July 1 in California. Employers with 25 or more employees must now provide new employees with a written notice about the rights of victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking to take protected time off for medical treatment or legal proceedings.It’s natural that nearly all discussions about IPV at work have a similar focus on victims. But what about when a store employee isn’t a victim of IPV—but a perpetrator?[text_ad use_post=’125303′]- Sponsor – The Flip Side of Domestic Violence in the WorkplaceAlthough the collision of IPV and the workplace is drawing more scrutiny these days, a gap remains in fully understanding the impact the issue has on employers, including retail organizations.Harm to the victim’s employer is the subject of frequent study. Research has shown that when organizations have employees who are victims of IPV, the organization suffers negative consequences in the form of low employee morale, lost workdays, increased tardiness, higher medical costs, costs from hiring temporary employees or paying overtime to make up for absent workers, and job abandonment. There has been scant investigation, however, into the impact on employers by employee perpetrators of intimate partner abuse.There are several questions at issue, including:What is the impact of an employee’s IPV behavior on the perpetrator’s workplace?How do employers typically respond when they become aware of an employee’s abusive domestic behavior?Are there indications that employers would benefit by responding differently?Recently, a novel study helped to provide insight on these questions. The Vermont Council on Domestic Violence partnered with the University of Vermont to study the effect of domestic violence on employers. In Vermont, some men who are involved in abusive domestic relationships are eligible to enroll in Batterer Intervention Programming (BIP). Researchers completed interviews with 193 BIP participants.The study discovered that among these offenders of domestic violence in the workplace:31 percent took time off work to be abusive to an intimate partner or deal with the aftermath of an abusive incident.53 percent acknowledged that their job performance was negatively affected during the time of their abuse.75 percent said they had a hard time concentrating while at work because of their abusive relationship.21 percent of respondents contacted their partner from work to threaten her. And 29 percent contacted her from work to say something to scare or intimidate her.25 percent left work or were late to work because they were doing something controlling or abusive to their partner. More than half of these men tried to cover up this type of absence from work.Workplace safety is also put at risk when an employee is abusing an intimate partner, according to the study, “How Does Domestic Violence Affect the Vermont Workplace? A survey of male offenders enrolled in batterer intervention programs in Vermont.” For example, respondents admitted to getting into verbal or physical fights with coworkers and breaking equipment or supplies because of their uncontrolled anger towards their partner.Implication: The data supports the existing economic argument for addressing domestic violence as a work issue. It shows that employers are harmed financially when an employee is a perpetrator of IPV, just as they are when employees are victims. Employers should also be aware that inaction in the face of having an employee who is abusive to an intimate partner may have unintended—and potentially deadly—consequences for the victim.Unfortunately, according BIP participants interviewed in Vermont, most coworkers and supervisors did nothing to intervene when they became aware that the worker was abusing an intimate partner. In 83 percent of cases when a batterer took time off from work due to their domestic violence offense, a supervisor knew about it. However, only 32 percent of supervisors made any mention to the employee about his domestic violence incident or addressed the issue in any way at all.Intervention would probably have helped, according to many abusers. Some 59 percent thought it would be helpful for supervisors to confront an employee whom they suspect of being abusive toward their intimate partner. Confronting the abuser includes offering counseling, resources, help and support, and warning about the consequences of domestic violence.More than 40 percent of batterers felt that workplace meetings emphasizing company policies on domestic violence, establishing a workplace culture against domestic violence, and the presence of a written employee safety policy would be “very effective measures that workplaces could take to prevent domestic violence.” Finally, 40 percent of abusers recommended that employers respond with disciplinary action when employees are found to be using work time and resources to abuse intimate partners. Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now
5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout Related Posts Rekoo (??), CEO: Yong LiuFounded in 2008, Rekoo is one of China’s leading social gaming developers with several domestic partners: RenRenWang, 51.com, Alibaba, Baidu and Sohu. Rekoo also has strategic overseas partnerships with Facebook, MIXI, Myspace and Cyworld. Rekoo’s most successful games are Sunshine Ranch and Animal Paradise.IsMole (????), CEO: Edwin ChenFounded in 2008, IsMole started off as a market-leading game developer for social networks, but quickly lost its competitive edge to others like 5 Minutes and Rekoo. IsMole’s is best known for its Xingfu Chufang (below) cooking social game that has been released in five different languages across seven countries on thirteen different SNS platforms. guest author 1 Kingnet Games (????), CEO: Yue WangFounded in 2008, Kingnet first released Tower of Babel in April 2009, and within three months had over 500,000 users. In July 2009 Kingnet received venture capital investment from KPCB China. In October 2009, Kingnet had over 2 million users on Facebook.Challenges Facing Social Game DevelopersSocial game development in China has entered a period of tremendous growth, but it has yet to fully mature. Companies compete fiercely with varying levels of experience and capital to create the next winning game. Two major challenges have arisen as a result of this environment.1. Lack of Innovation: There is an overall lack of diversity in gaming context. Copying is rampant amongst competitors – once a social game is proven successful, competitors begin producing their own versions. For example, there are numerous games that take place in farms such as 5 Minutes’ Happy Farm: Rekoo’s Sunshine Ranch, Kaixin001’s Kaixin Huayuan, and Zhiming Xingtong’s Happy Farmer.2. Lack of Continuous Improvement: There is a tendency for developers to stop investing in the game after it is on the SNS platform. In some cases this is due to lack of sufficient capital, while others stop because they’re trying to make multiple games to obtain a quick return on investment. This lack of continuous improvement creates short game lifecycles, as user experience ultimately suffers, and a short period of success finally leads to replacement by the next popular game.To win in this environment over the long-term, it is unavoidable that operational costs will continue to rise, as developers must continuously improve the quality and uniqueness of their games to fend off domestic competition and maintain their market share.This Is Only The BeginningDespite these challenges, there is tremendous growth potential in social gaming in China. The first years of growth in China’s social game development have served as a foundation. The next few years will see a convergence between social games and 3G mobile gaming. The social game user base that is predominantly comprised of students and young white-collar workers will continue to grow with even more older players joining the crowd.While Chinese companies will continue to face a competitive market at home, the best companies will develop unique winning strategies domestically and localize them to win success overseas. In a recent interview, 5 Minute’s CEO Shaofei Gao was quoted as saying: “China’s netizens are becoming more mature, they are gradually becoming more accustomed to paying for gaming, and social gaming market opportunities will definitely continue to increase in the future.” 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… It’s no longer a secret that China’s online gaming industry is booming, and growth is set to continue with companies such as Shanda Games, Netease and The9 leading the way. In 2009, China’s online gaming industry earned nearly $4 billion, growing 39.5% from 2008.Each day, millions of high school students trying to forget the pressures of college entrance exams and young adults discontent with their jobs flock to Internet cafes to play online role-playing games. They’re part of China’s 384 million netizens, and they sit in front of rows of computers in dimly lighted smoke-filled rooms for upwards of eight hours at a time, living in virtual worlds to escape the pressures of contemporary Chinese life.Guest author Joel Backaler writes The China Observer, an award-winning blog focused on Chinese technology trends and consumer culture. His writing has appeared in and he has been quoted by the Wall Street Journal China Journal, BusinessWeek, and Seeking Alpha. Joel is a Mandarin-speaking former Fulbright Fellow who has worked and lived in Taipei, Beijing and Singapore with Frontier Strategy Group. Follow Joel on Twitter.But beyond the Internet cafés, social games have emerged as a convenient alternative for students and workers alike to gain a sense of release and revitalize themselves before tackling the next assignment of the day in their everyday lives. They take breaks to tend to their garden on 5 Minutes’ Happy Farm (Kaixin Nongchang) farming game, or steal their friend’s car parking space on Kaixin001‘s Qiang Chewei. RenRenWang (formerly Xiaonei), Kaixin001 and Tencent’s QQ Xiaoyou are leading SNS portals, and are the go-to sites to access China’s most popular gaming applications.The widespread popularity of social games is not solely limited to white collar workers in their 20s – social gaming appeals to China’s youth, their middle-aged parents, and even elderly retirees looking to share a common hobby with relatives spread throughout the country. The social gaming landscape is developing at an extremely rapid pace, with competition growing increasingly fierce by the day.What Makes a ‘Winning’ Social Game in China?The most popular social games in China are simple to play and appeal to a broad audience. These winning games take place in easily recognizable environments such as kitchens, gardens and parking lots, and only require a few clicks of a mouse to have a shared social gaming experience with your friends.Happy Farm is the most popular Chinese social game to date. Created by Shanghai-based social game developer 5 Minutes, the game is quite similar to Zynga’s FarmVille. Players own a virtual farm where they plant fruits and vegetables. They purchase supplies like seeds, pesticide and fertilizer at a virtual market. While part of the game is about growing and protecting your own harvest, the real fun is sneaking into your friends’ farms to steal their vegetables. The game is easy to learn, taps into traditional Chinese farming culture and is extremely addictive – appealing to the young, the old and everyone in between.Which Social Game Developers in China You Should Know About?5 Minutes (???), CEO: Shaofei Gao5 Minutes was founded in 2006 by three college students. In November 2008 it released Happy Farm (below) and achieved immediate success, partnering with leading SNS portals, and receiving a one-time multi-million Chinese RMB payment from Tencent for full rights to the game on its QQZone platform. At the end of 2009, 5 Minutes received $3.5 million in venture capital funding from Draper Fisher Jurvetson. Tags:#gaming#web 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App
Two weeks after the launch of Facebook’s hybrid news feed, impressions per post dropped -25% while likes and comments are up +9% and +21%, respectively, according to data from an Edgerank study of 3500+ Facebook pages over the time period of 9/3-9/17 and 9/24-10/8. This data remains consistent with the first week’s numbers, which showed that impressions per post were down -33% while likes and comments went up +18% and +17%, respectively. Tags:#Facebook#web Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Related Posts alicia eler I check my Facebook multiple times a day, and I never did see that content in my news feed again even though a number of my Facebook friends had commented on it, liked it and shared it. This makes perfect sense, since you’re a lot less likely to like, share or comment on a story that you’ve already seen. Why are People Commenting and Liking More Now Than Before?When a user engages with content by commenting, liking or re-sharing, more people see the content. So if content is highly sharable and engaging, it will pop up in the news feed quickly, whereas un-engaging posts will not. Even if your content is highly sharable, most people will only see it once, says SearchEngineWatch. This is why the hybrid news feed sometimes shows “top news,” but most of the time just shows “recent stories.”As an experiment this week, I’ve been starting off my mornings by sharing a piece of highly sharable content that I see popping up a lot in my news feed. Here’s what surfaced today: A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit
The cricket agent Mazhar Majeed, who is at the centre of spot-fixing allegations, came up with a series of boasts to the undercover journalist who posed as an Indian businessman.Majeed also told journalist Mazhar Mahmood that he “very well” knew Hollywood actor Brad Pitt, Swiss tennis champion Roger Federer and was “good friends” with former England cricketers Mike Gatting, Phil Tufnell, Geoffrey Boycott, Pakistan ex-skipper Imran Khan and former Indian Premier League (IPL) commissioner Lalit Modi, among others, a court in London heard.He also claimed that he had several Pakistan players under his control, including Salman Butt, brothers Kamran and Umar Akmal, and Shoaib Malik and had access to other star cricketers like Chris Gayle, Brett Lee, Ricky Ponting, Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh, espncricinfo reported.Majeed’s bragging was heard in a recording while Mahmood was in the witness box at Southwark Crown Court in central London, on the fourth day of the trial of Pakistan cricketers Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif, who have been charged with conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments and conspiracy to cheat following the Lord’s Test in August. The two have denied the charges.The boasting raised smiles of disbelief in the court as Majeed was heard to claim he owned seven ice cream parlours – which he has Pakistan players to appear at for free – and bragged how he lived at different times in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Malaysia and Turkey as he studied religion and gave lectures.The court heard Majeed saying he was reluctant to work with former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi because “you have to kiss his arse every day”. He also boasted of turning down the chance of being part of the Oscar winning movie ‘Slumdog Millionaire’.advertisementMajeed said he worked closely with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and said he had a meeting with chairman Ijaz Butt about holding a domestic tournament.”I had a meeting with Ijaz Butt about doing a domestic tournament. What we were going to do was look at putting a sponsor with each region and do a Twenty20 league because Pakistani people are not getting any cricket to watch. They will come in droves.”