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“bullshit receptivity” is a thing – argues a study of ‘Fake News’

“bullshit receptivity” is a thing

When it comes to the academic study of fake news, “bullshit receptivity” is a thing

Plus: The importance (or not) of identifying news sources, big companies go rumor-hunting, and how easy it is to plant a fake poll.

The growing stream of reporting on and data about fake news, misinformation, partisan content, and news literacy is hard to keep up with. This weekly roundup offers the highlights of what you might have missed.

“The cognitive psychological profile of individuals who fall prey to fake news.” Two Yale professors — Gordon Pennycook, a psychology professor, and David G. Rand, an economics professor — have a paper called “Who falls for fake news? The roles of analytic thinking, motivated reasoning, political ideology, and bullshit receptivity.

(Pennycook has studied the concept of bullshit receptivity for a while. From 2015: “Bullshit is a consequential aspect of the human condition. Indeed, with the rise of communication technology, people are likely encountering more bullshit in their everyday lives than ever before.”)

One of the new paper’s findings: motivated reasoning — “the unconscious tendency of individuals to fit their processing of information to conclusions that suit some end or goal” — doesn’t seem to play as much of a role as some think:

“Participants were actually better able to discern real from fake news among stories that were consistent with their political ideology (although, as discussed below, this was only true for participants who preferred Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump). Moreover, analytic thinking was not associated with increased acceptance of politically concordant fake news. In fact, the precise opposite pattern of results was observed: In parallel with research on pseudo-profound bullshit (Pennycook et al., 2015), analytic thinking was associated with the rejection of or disbelief in even politically concordant fake news articles. Thus, the evidence indicates that people fall for fake news because they fail to think; not because they think in a motivated or identity-protective way”

They found that “the overall capacity to discern real from fake news was lower among those with a preference for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton,” adding, “The present results indicate that there is, in fact, a political asymmetry when it comes to the capacity to discern the truth in news media.”

Also:

“Analytic thinking made Clinton supporters believe fake news less, but made Trump supporters believe real news more. This is an informative difference when considering the impact of political ideology on belief in fake and real news. It appears that there is meaningful variability in how Americans on the right of the political spectrum approach news headlines from verified sources…Factors that undermine the legitimate news media may particularly exacerbate the problem of fake news among Trump supporters”

They suggest that, rather than fact checks, “a more promising approach to improve media literacy among Republicans may be to increase trust in legitimate news sources,” though more research is required.

For another look at fake news through the lens of psychology, see this Washington Post article from December.

Not just fake news — fake polls, too! FiveThirtyEight’s Harry Enten writes about how “the line between legitimate and illegitimate pollsters is blurring,” especially as more polls move online.

“Now putting out a “poll” is easy and relatively cheap. It costs just $60, for example, to ask one question to 400 respondents in New York state via Google Surveys. That opens the door for many people to field surveys who wouldn’t have been able to afford it in years past. This can certainly be a good thing: More pollsters means more data and more innovation. But that also means that we now have to ask ourselves not just whether a survey is real or fake, but also whether the person designing the survey knows what they are doing. You can think of it as a two-dimensional plane”

He also wrote a list of tips on how to avoid falling for a fake poll.

The second of those tips, by the way, is to check who conducted the poll. That ties back into something discussed in the “bullshit receptivity” Yale paper above: The researchers tested whether the indication/display of an article’s source on Facebook affected people’s judgment. They found that it didn’t: “Removing the sources from news articles had no effect whatsoever on perceptions of accuracy or social media sharing.”

“It is unclear whether this is the consequence of the format of news articles on Facebook (i.e., it may be that the source is not noticeable enough to have an impact) or if people tend to disregard the source when making judgments about news headlines. Regardless, this represents a pragmatic problem for social media platforms and more work is required to develop ways to increase the influence
of source information since it conveys relevant signals about accuracy and editorial norms”

In fact, Facebook took steps this week to surface publisher logos alongside news articles: “We want to make it easier for publishers to extend their brand identity on Facebook,” wrote product manager Andrew Anker, “to enhance people’s awareness of the source of content they see on Facebook, so they can better decide what to read and share.”

“[Farmers] are sitting in combines and planters and listening to podcasts.” Fake news about companies, spread on social media, is increasingly a problem for brands like Starbucks, Costco, and uh, Monsanto, writes Hannah Kuchler in the Financial Times.

[Platforms like Facebook and Twitter] have not created special avenues for companies to report fake news before it potentially affects a share price or sales.

PR and crisis management teams are relying on other services: Storyful now has an arm that provides business intelligence on what is being said on social media, and PR firm Weber Shandwick is marketing crisis simulation software called Firebell to prepare companies for being caught in a social media firestorm, whether it is a fake story or a presidential tweet.

Monsanto says it has tried to battle rumors about, say, its GMO products by switching “its focus from engaging with farmers and investors to looking at the broader internet.”

Does Monsanto Control The World’s Food Supply?

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Sebastian Gorka Ousted From the White House

King of Fake News - Sebastian Gorka Ousted from the White House

King of Fake News – Sebastian Gorka Ousted from the White House

The Guaridan | Controversial Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka out of White House job

Officials say the fringe figure and former Bretibart writer did not resign, amid reports that new chief of staff John Kelly forced Gorka out

  • Sebastian Gorka, a fringe rightwing figure with questionable foreign policy and security credentials, is no longer working for the Trump administration, a White House official said on Friday.
  • The official said Gorka did not resign but would not elaborate on the circumstances of his departure. The New York Times reported that the president’s new chief of staff, John Kelly, had made clear that he no longer wanted Gorka in the White House, and forced him out.
  • Gorka, the deputy assistant to the president, advised Donald Trump on national security but his responsibilities were vague. He frequently appeared as a surrogate for Trump on cable news, where he appeared to enjoy stirring controversy during his months-long tenure.
    The Guardian has reported that Gorka, who is a naturalized US citizen born in London to Hungarian parents, has past ties to far-right groups in Hungary. Gorka denied having been a part of the group.
  • He has drawn fierce criticism for his views on Islam. He was a vocal proponent of Trump’s attempt to temporarily ban travel from six Muslim-majority countries. When a bomb exploded at a Mosque in outside of Minneapolis, Gorka defended Trump’s silence on the attack by suggesting that it could have been a “fake hate crime”.
  • Liberals and progressives have long decried Gorka’s presence in the White House. In the wake of the deadly violence during a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, civil rights groups called on the president to fire Gorka and Steve Bannon, who served as the president’s former chief of staff until he was removed from his role last week.

CNN | Sebastian Gorka RESIGNS from Trump White House

BuzzFeed | Trump Adviser Sebastian Gorka Exits The White House

The controversial Trump aide is latest high-profile administration departure. How and why he’s out at the White House, though, is still developing

  • Gorka, a deputy assistant to the president, is known for his focus on Islamic terrorism and as a frequent presence on cable news. He previously worked as an international news editor at the right-wing outlet Breitbart, under the leadership of Steve Bannon — the one time chief strategist to President Trump who has since returned to Breitbart.
  • Amid a series of breaking news stories on Friday night, Gorka’s exit from the White House was first reported as a resignation by The Federalist, which a source confirmed to BuzzFeed News.
  • A White House official, however, disputed that account and suggested that he had been pushed out. “Sebastian Gorka did not resign, but I can confirm he no longer works at the White House,” the official said in a statement to reporters.
  • The White House statement is unusual. A Republican source close to the White House noted in an email to BuzzFeed News, “First time I have ever seen surrogate operations send out something like this.”
  • A source with knowledge of the situation said Gorka was planning to resign on Monday, his first day back from vacation, during a planned meeting with White House chief of staff Gen. John Kelly, but the letter leaked before the meeting could take place.
  • Regardless, Gorka is the latest White House official to leave his post, after Bannon was ousted earlier this month by Trump’s chief of staff Gen. John Kelly, and following a series of departures this summer.
  • Gorka has been a source of controversy as long as he has been in the Trump administration. Earlier this year, there were reports that Gorka belonged to Historical Vitézi Rend, a far-right Hungarian group that had ties to the Nazi party and a complicated history. Gorka has denied he belonged to the group and denied holding anti-Semitic beliefs.
  • More recently, after a bomb exploded at a Mosque in rural Minneapolis, Gorka said he was not convinced the attack was not “a fake hate crime.”

GORKA in ACTION: Donald Trump aide Sebastian Gorka accuses BBC of ‘fake news’- BBC Newsnight

Business Insider | Sebastian Gorka is out at the White House

  • Sebastian Gorka is out at the White House, a Trump administration official confirmed on Friday night.
  • Earlier reports indicated that Gorka resigned, but a White House official said in a statement obtained by Business Insider that Gorka did not resign, but confirmed that he no longer works at the White House.
  • The former Breitbart staffer and Steve Bannon ally served as a deputy assistant to President Donald Trump.
  • His departure comes one week after Bannon left the administration to return to Breitbart, and follows a spate of firings and resignations at the White House.
  • In his departing letter, first published on a pro-Trump website, Gorka told Trump he could better serve the president’s “America First” agenda from the outside.
  • Gorka was aligned with a once-ascendant nationalist arm of the Trump administration, occupied most prominently by Bannon and senior policy adviser Stephen Miller. Bannon’s departure was seen as a significant blow to other nationalist, far-right figures in the White House and Gorka implied as much in his letter, saying it was clear to him that “forces that do not support the MAGA promise are – for now – ascendant within the White House.”
  • Gorka, along with Bannon and Miller, were considered polar opposites to the establishment wing of the Trump administration, which is largely guided by national security adviser H.R. McMaster and chief of staff John Kelly. McMaster in particular has been a frequent target of Trump’s supporters on the far-right, who have accused him of trying to steer Trump away from some of his populist leanings.
  • “Regrettably, outside of yourself,” Gorka said in his letter, first published by “the individuals who most embodied and represented the policies that will ‘Make America Great Again,’ have been internally countered, systematically removed, or undermined in recent months.”

 

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WORLD ECONOMIC UPDATE | INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND | 24 July, 2017

WORLD ECONOMIC UPDATE | INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND | 24 July, 2017

WORLD ECONOMIC UPDATE | IMF Predicts global output to grow by 3.5% in 2017 and 3.6% in 2018. Why does nobody ever question how long we can continue to ‘expand’ with finite resources?

The pickup in global growth anticipated in the April World Economic Outlook remains on track, with global output projected to grow by 3.5 percent in 2017 and 3.6 percent in 2018

The unchanged global growth projections mask somewhat different contributions at the country level. U.S. growth projections are lower than in April, primarily reflecting the assumption that fiscal policy will be less expansionary going forward than previously anticipated. Growth has been revised up for Japan and especially the euro area, where positive surprises to activity in late 2016 and early 2017 point to solid momentum. China’s growth projections have also been revised up, reflecting a strong first quarter of 2017 and expectations of continued fiscal support. Inflation in advanced economies remains subdued and generally below targets; it has also been declining in several emerging economies, such as Brazil, India, and Russia.

While risks around the global growth forecast appear broadly balanced in the near term, they remain skewed to the downside over the medium term.

On the upside, the cyclical rebound could be stronger and more sustained in Europe, where political risk has diminished. On the downside, rich market valuations and very low volatility in an environment of high policy uncertainty raise the likelihood of a market correction, which could dampen growth and confidence. The more supportive policy tilt in China, especially strong credit growth, comes with rising downside risks to medium-term growth. Monetary policy normalization in some advanced economies, notably the United States, could trigger a faster-than-anticipated tightening in global financial conditions. And other risks discussed in the April 2017 WEO, including a turn toward inward-looking policies and geopolitical risks, remain salient

Projected global growth rates for 2017–18, though higher than the 3.2 percent estimated for 2016, are below pre-crisis averages, especially for most advanced economies and for commodity-exporting emerging and developing economies.

Among the former, many face excess capacity as well as headwinds to potential growth from aging populations, weak investment, and slowly advancing productivity. In view of weak core inflation and muted wage pressures, policy settings should remain consistent with lifting inflation expectations in line with targets, closing output gaps, and—where appropriate—external rebalancing. Reforms to boost potential output are of the essence, and slow aggregate output growth makes it even more important that gains are shared widely across the income distribution. Financial stability risks need close monitoring in many emerging economies. Commodity exporters should continue adjusting to lower revenues, while diversifying their sources of growth over time

World Economic and Financial Surveys | World Economic Outlook Database

The Global Economy Maintains Momentum

·       The cyclical recovery continues. Growth outturns in the first quarter of 2017 were higher than the April WEO forecasts in large emerging and developing economies such as Brazil, China, and Mexico, and in several advanced economies including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. High-frequency indicators for the second quarter provide signs of continued strengthening of global activity. Specifically, growth in global trade and industrial production remained well above 2015–16 rates despite retreating from the very strong pace registered in late 2016 and early 2017. Purchasing managers’ indices (PMIs) signal sustained strength ahead in manufacturing and services.

·       Commodities and inflation. Oil prices have receded, reflecting strong inventory levels in the United States and a pickup in supply. Headline inflation also generally softened as the impact of the commodity price rebound of the second half of 2016 faded, and remains at levels well below central bank targets in most advanced economies. Core inflation has remained broadly stable. It has largely been stable in emerging economies as well, with a few, such as Brazil and Russia, witnessing strong declines.

·       Bond and equity markets. Long-term bond yields in advanced economies, which had declined since March, rebounded in late June and early July. The U.S. Federal Reserve raised short-term interest rates in June, but markets still expect a very gradual path of U.S. monetary policy normalization. Bond spreads over Germany have compressed sharply in France, Italy, and Spain on reduced electoral uncertainty and firming signs of recovery. Equity prices in advanced economies remain strong, signaling continued market optimism regarding corporate earnings. Markets are also optimistic about emerging market prospects as reflected in strengthening equity markets and some further compression of interest rate spreads. Oil exporters provide an exception to this pattern, in light of the marked weakening of oil prices since March.

·       Exchange rates and capital flows. As of end-June, the U.S. dollar has depreciated by around 3½ percent in real effective terms since March, while the euro has strengthened by a similar amount on increased confidence in the euro area recovery and a decline in political risk. Over the same period, exchange rate changes across emerging market currencies have been relatively modest, with some strengthening of the Mexican peso on tighter monetary policy and reduced concerns about U.S. trade frictions, and a depreciation of the Brazilian real on renewed political uncertainty. Capital flows to emerging economies have been resilient in the first few months of 2017, with a notable pickup in non-resident portfolio inflows.

Global Growth Forecast to Pick up in 2017 and 2018

Global growth for 2016 is now estimated at 3.2 percent, slightly stronger than the April 2017 forecast, primarily reflecting much higher growth in Iran and stronger activity in India following national accounts revisions. Economic activity in both advanced economies and emerging and developing economies is forecast to accelerate in 2017, to 2 percent and 4.6 percent respectively, with global growth projected to be 3.5 percent, unchanged from the April forecast. The growth forecast for 2018 is 1.9 percent for advanced economies, 0.1 percentage point below the April 2017 WEO, and 4.8 percent for emerging and developing economies, the same as in the spring. The 2018 global growth forecast is unchanged at 3.6 percent. The revisions reflect primarily the macroeconomic implications of changes in policy assumptions for the world’s two largest economies, the United States and China, as discussed below.

Advanced economies

·       The growth forecast in the United States has been revised down from 2.3 percent to 2.1 percent in 2017 and from 2.5 percent to 2.1 percent in 2018. While the markdown in the 2017 forecast reflects in part the weak growth outturn in the first quarter of the year, the major factor behind the growth revision, especially for 2018, is the assumption that fiscal policy will be less expansionary than previously assumed, given the uncertainty about the timing and nature of U.S. fiscal policy changes. Market expectations of fiscal stimulus have also receded.

·       The growth forecast has also been revised down for the United Kingdom for 2017 on weaker-than-expected activity in the first quarter.

·       By contrast, growth projections for 2017 have been revised up for many euro area countries, including France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, where growth for the first quarter of 2017 was generally above expectations. This, together with positive growth revisions for the last quarter of 2016 and high-frequency indicators for the second quarter of 2017, indicate stronger momentum in domestic demand than previously anticipated.

·       The growth forecast for 2017 was also revised up for Canada, where buoyant domestic demand boosted first-quarter growth to 3.7 percent and indicators suggest resilient second-quarter activity, and marginally for Japan, where private consumption, investment, and exports supported first-quarter growth.

Emerging and developing economies

·       Emerging and developing economies are projected to see a sustained pickup in activity, with growth rising from 4.3 percent in 2016 to 4.6 percent in 2017 and 4.8 percent in 2018. These forecasts reflect upward revisions, relative to April, of 0.2 percentage point for 2016, and 0.1 percentage point for 2017. As in the most recent WEO forecast vintages, growth is primarily driven by commodity importers, but its pickup reflects to an important extent gradually improving conditions in large commodity exporters that experienced recessions in 2015–16, in many cases caused or exacerbated by declining commodity prices.

·       China’s growth is expected to remain at 6.7 percent in 2017, the same level as in 2016, and to decline only modestly in 2018 to 6.4 percent. The forecast for 2017 was revised up by 0.1 percentage point, reflecting the stronger than expected outturn in the first quarter of the year underpinned by previous policy easing and supply-side reforms (including efforts to reduce excess capacity in the industrial sector). For 2018, the upward revision of 0.2 percentage point mainly reflects an expectation that the authorities will delay the needed fiscal adjustment (especially by maintaining high public investment) to meet their target of doubling 2010 real GDP by 2020. Delay comes at the cost of further large increases in debt, however, so downside risks around this baseline have also increased.

·       Growth in India is forecast to pick up further in 2017 and 2018, in line with the April 2017 forecast. While activity slowed following the currency exchange initiative, growth for 2016––at 7.1 percent––was higher than anticipated due to strong government spending and data revisions that show stronger momentum in the first part of the year. With a pickup in global trade and strengthening domestic demand, growth in the ASEAN-5 economies is projected to remain robust at around 5 percent, with generally strong first quarter outturns leading to a slight upward revision for 2017 relative to the April WEO.

·       In Emerging and Developing Europe, growth is projected to pick up in 2017, primarily driven by a higher growth forecast for Turkey, where exports recovered strongly in the last quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017 following four quarters of moderate contraction, and external demand is projected to be stronger with improved prospects for euro area trading partners. The Russian economy is projected to recover gradually in 2017 and 2018, in line with the April forecast.

·       After contracting in 2016, economic activity in Latin America is projected to recover gradually in 2017–18 as a few countries––including Argentina and Brazil—exit their recessions. In comparison to the April 2017 WEO, Brazil’s growth forecast for 2017 is now higher in light of the strong first quarter, but ongoing weakness in domestic demand and an increase in political and policy uncertainty will be reflected in a more subdued pace of recovery, and hence in lower projected growth in 2018. Mexico’s growth forecast for 2017 is revised up from 1.7 to 1.9 percent on the back of strong activity in the first quarter of the year, with an unchanged forecast for 2018. Revisions for the rest of the region are mostly to the downside, including a further deterioration of conditions in Venezuela.

·       Growth in the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan region is projected to slow considerably in 2017, reflecting primarily a slowdown in activity in oil exporters, before recovering in 2018. The 2017–18 forecast is broadly unchanged relative to the April 2017 WEO, but the growth outcome in 2016 is estimated to have been considerably stronger in light of higher growth in Iran. The recent decline in oil prices, if sustained, could weigh further on the outlook for the region’s oil exporters.

·       In Sub-Saharan Africa, the outlook remains challenging. Growth is projected to rise in 2017 and 2018, but will barely return to positive territory in per capita terms this year for the region as a whole—and would remain negative for about a third of the countries in the region. The slight upward revision to 2017 growth relative to the April 2017 WEO forecast reflects a modest upgrading of growth prospects for South Africa, which is experiencing a bumper crop due to better rainfall and an increase in mining output prompted by a moderate rebound in commodity prices. However, the outlook for South Africa remains difficult, with elevated political uncertainty and weak consumer and business confidence, and the country’s growth forecast was consequently marked down for 2018.

Risks

·       Short-term risks are broadly balanced, but medium-term risks are still skewed to the downside. Risks to the U.S. forecast are two sided: the implementation of a fiscal stimulus (such as revenue-reducing tax reform) could drive U.S. demand and output growth above the baseline forecast, while implementation of the expenditure-based consolidation proposed in the Administration’s budget would drive them lower. On the upside, the pickup in activity in the euro area, with buoyant market sentiment and reduced political risks, could be stronger and more durable than currently projected. On the downside, protracted policy uncertainty or other shocks could trigger a correction in rich market valuations, especially for equities, and an increase in volatility from current very low levels. In turn, this could dent spending and confidence more generally, especially in countries with high financial vulnerabilities. Lower commodity prices would further exacerbate macroeconomic strains and complicate adjustment needs in many commodity exporters. Other downside risks threatening the strength and durability of the recovery include:

o   A more protracted period of policy uncertainty. Despite a decline in election-related risks, policy uncertainty remains at a high level and could well rise further, reflecting—for example—difficult-to-predict U.S. regulatory and fiscal policies, negotiations of post-Brexit arrangements, or geopolitical risks. This could harm confidence, deter private investment, and weaken growth.

o   Financial tensions. In China, failure to continue the recent focus on addressing financial sector risks and curb excessive credit growth (mainly through tighter macroprudential policy settings) could result in an abrupt growth slowdown, with adverse spill-overs to other countries through trade, commodity price, and confidence channels. A faster-than-expected monetary policy normalization in the United States could tighten global financial conditions and trigger reversals in capital flows to emerging economies, along with U.S. dollar appreciation, straining emerging economies with large leverage, U.S. dollar pegs, or balance sheet mismatches. At the same time, to the extent that such monetary policy tightening reflects a stronger U.S. outlook, U.S. trading partners would benefit from positive demand spill-overs. In some euro area countries, weak bank balance sheets and an unfavourable profitability outlook could interact with higher political risks to reignite financial stability concerns, and a rise in long-term interest rates would worsen public debt dynamics. Finally, a broad rollback of the strengthening of financial regulation and oversight achieved since the crisis—both nationally and internationally—could lower capital and liquidity buffers or weaken supervisory effectiveness, with negative repercussions for global financial stability.

o   Inward-looking policies. Over the longer term, failure to lift potential growth and make growth more inclusive could fuel protectionism and hinder market-friendly reforms. The results could include disrupted global supply chains, lower global productivity, and less affordable tradable consumer goods, which harm low-income households disproportionately.

o   Noneconomic factors. Rising geopolitical tensions, domestic political discord, and shocks arising from weak governance and corruption can all weigh on economic activity.

These risks are interconnected and can be mutually reinforcing. For example, an inward turn in policies could be associated with increased geopolitical tensions as well as with rising global risk aversion; noneconomic shocks can weigh directly on economic activity as well as harm confidence and market sentiment; and a faster-than-anticipated tightening of global financial conditions or a shift toward protectionism in advanced economies could reignite capital outflow pressures from emerging markets.

Policies

Policy choices will therefore be crucial in shaping the outlook and reducing risks.

·       Strengthening the momentum. With countries at present facing divergent cyclical conditions, differing stances of monetary and fiscal policy remain appropriate. In advanced economies where demand is still lacking and inflation too low, monetary and (where feasible) fiscal support should continue; elsewhere monetary policy should normalize gradually, in line with economic developments, and fiscal policy should focus on supporting reforms aimed at expanding the economy’s supply potential. Countries in need of fiscal consolidation should do so with growth-friendly measures. Emerging market economies should continue to allow exchange rates to buffer shocks, wherever possible.

·       Making growth resilient and balanced. Efforts to accelerate private sector balance sheet repair and ensure sustainability of public debt are critical foundations for a resilient recovery. So are efforts from surplus and deficit countries alike to reduce excess current account imbalances.

·       Sustaining high and inclusive growth in the long term. This goal calls for well-sequenced and tailored structural reforms to boost productivity and investment, measures to narrow gender labour force participation gaps, and active support for those hurt by shifts in technology or trade.

·       Enhancing resilience in low-income countries. Among low-income developing countries, commodity exporters generally need sizable adjustment to correct macroeconomic imbalances, a challenge that would be exacerbated for fuel exporters by a persistent decline in oil prices. Policy priorities for diversified low-income developing countries vary, given the diversity of country circumstances, but an overarching goal for these economies should be to enhance resilience against potential future shocks by strengthening fiscal positions and foreign reserves holdings while growth is strong.

·       Working toward shared prosperity. A well-functioning multilateral framework for international economic relations is another key ingredient of strong, sustainable, balanced, and inclusive growth. Pursuit of zero-sum policies can only end by hurting all countries, as history shows. Because national policies inevitably interact and create spill-overs across countries, the world economy works far better for all when policymakers engage in regular dialogue and work within agreed mechanisms to resolve disagreements. A rule-based and open world trading system is especially vital for global prosperity, but it must be supported by domestic policies to facilitate adjustment, not only to trade but to rapid technological change.

·       Cooperating to ensure even-handedness. At the same time, the international community should continue to adapt the multilateral system to the changing global economy. Active dialogue and cooperation will help to improve and modernize the rules, while addressing valid country concerns. This process will ensure continued mutual benefits and even-handedness. Together with strong domestic policies, it will also help avoid a broad withdrawal from multilateralism, either through widespread protectionism or a competitive race to the bottom in financial and regulatory oversight, which would leave all countries worse off

 

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NEWS FROM THE LEFT: The Guardian – July 20, 2017

NEWS FROM THE LEFT: The Guardian – July 20, 2017 BBC Pay Backlash | Trump Jr Russian Meeting |

NEWS FROM THE LEFT | BBC Pay Backlash | Trump Jr Russian Meeting | Violations against Children in Yemen | Poland may be stripped of EU voting rights | Plastics Pollution Disaster

BBC facing backlash from female stars after gender pay gap revealed

·        The BBC has released a comprehensive list containing the salaries of all journalists, presenters and actors who earn £150,000 or more.

·        Before the disclosure and any possible backlash, the director general, Tony Hall, told staff in an internal briefing that the overall amount the corporation pays its on-air talent fell from £198m a year to £194m over the past 12 months

Who

Dept

Role

Gender

Pay in Thousands

Chris Evans

Multi-genre

Presenter

Male

 2,250

Gary Lineker

Sport

Presenter

Male

 1,790

Graham Norton

Multi-genre

Presenter

Male

 900

Jeremy Vine

Multi-genre

Presenter

Male

 750

John Humphrys

Multi-genre

Presenter

Male

 650

Huw Edwards

Multi-genre

Presenter

Male

 600

Steve Wright

Radio

Presenter

Male

 550

Matt Baker

Multi-genre

Commentator

Male

 500

Claudia Winkleman

Multi-genre

Presenter

Female

 500

Nicky Campbell

Radio

Presenter

Male

 450

Alan Shearer

Sport

Presenter

Male

 450

Andrew Marr

Multi-genre

Presenter

Male

 450

Stephen Nolan

Multi-genre

Presenter

Male

 450

Alex Jones

TV non-scripted

Presenter

Female

 450

Vanessa Feltz

Radio

Presenter

Female

 400

Nicholas Grimshaw

Radio

Presenter

Male

 400

Simon Mayo

Radio

Presenter

Male

 400

Fiona Bruce

Multi-genre

Presenter

Female

 400

Derek Thompson

TV Scripted

Actor

Male

 400

Tess Daly

TV non-scripted

Presenter

Female

 400

Eddie Mair

News & current affairs

Presenter

Male

 350

Lauren Laverne

Radio

Presenter

Female

 350

Sue Barker

Sport

Presenter

Female

 350

Nick Knowles

TV non-scripted

Presenter

Male

 350

George Alagiah

News & current affairs

Presenter

Male

 300

Nicholas Robinson

News & current affairs

Presenter

Male

 300

Ken Bruce

Radio

Presenter

Male

 300

Scott Mills

Radio

Presenter

Male

 300

Trevor Nelson

Radio

Presenter

Male

 300

Jason Mohammad

Sport

Presenter

Male

 300

Zoe Ball

Multi-genre

Presenter

Female

 300

Brian Cox

Multi-genre

Presenter

Male

 300

Evan Davis

Multi-genre

Presenter

Male

 300

Amanda Mealing

TV Scripted

Actor

Female

 300

Victoria Derbyshire

News & current affairs

Presenter

Female

 250

Mishal Husain

News & current affairs

Presenter

Female

 250

Martha Kearney

News & current affairs

Presenter

Female

 250

Laura Kuenssberg

News & current affairs

Correspondent

Female

 250

Andrew Neil

News & current affairs

Presenter

Male

 250

Jonathan Sopel

News & current affairs

Correspondent

Male

 250

Mark Radcliffe

Radio

Presenter

Male

 250

John Inverdale

Sport

Presenter

Male

 250

Gabby Logan

Sport

Presenter

Female

 250

Mark Chapman

Multi-genre

Presenter

Male

 250

Jools Holland

Multi-genre

Presenter

Male

 250

Dan Walker

Multi-genre

Presenter

Male

 250

Peter Capaldi

TV Scripted

Actor

Male

 250

Danny Dyer

TV Scripted

Actor

Male

 250

Emilia Fox

TV Scripted

Actor

Female

 250

David Jason

TV Scripted

Actor

Male

 250

Rosie Marcel

TV Scripted

Actor

Female

 250

Adam Woodyatt

TV Scripted

Actor

Male

 250

Gary Barlow

TV non-scripted

Contributor

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Donald Trump Jr and Paul Manafort to testify before Congress about Russia

·        Donald Trump Jr, along with the former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, are scheduled to testify publicly before Congress on 26 July

·        In a hearing entitled Oversight of the Foreign Agents Registration Act and Attempts to Influence US Elections: Lessons Learned from Current and Prior Administrations, the president’s eldest son and his former top campaign aide will appear before the Senate judiciary committee as further scrutiny mounts of the Trump campaign’s connections to Russia

·        A spokesman for Manafort told the Guardian: “We just received the letter and we’re reviewing it. We have nothing else to add.” A spokesman for Trump Jr did not immediately respond to a request for comment

·        Their testimony comes less than two weeks after it was revealed that the two, along with Jared Kushner, a top White House aide and Trump’s son-in-law, met with a Kremlin-linked lawyer in 2016 who offered Trump Jr negative information about Hillary Clinton. Kushner is expected to testify in a closed session before the Senate intelligence committee on 24 July

Trials of Donald Jr turn Russia scandal into another Trump family affair – Analysis (Observer)

·        Just before 4pm, several figures passed through the shiny marble atrium of Trump Tower and took the elevator up to the office of Donald Trump Jr on the 25th floor, one below that of his father. Among them was Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer, and Rinat Akhmetshin, a Russian American lobbyist and former Soviet military officer

·        What passed between them remains a matter of uncertain recollections and international intrigue. The meeting was kept secret for more than a year. When news of it first emerged last Saturday, the world was provided with the first public evidence that Trump campaign officials met with Russians in an attempt to swing the election – the political crime of the century. A steady drip of damning details followed

·        It also showed that a scandal frequently compared to Watergate goes right to the heart of the Trump family business. The president’s oldest son had handed investigators and journalists the much sought-after smoking gun. The president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, also attended the meeting and failed to declare it. The president’s daughter, Ivanka, faces continued scrutiny over her own role in the White House

Thatcher considered SAS-style raid in Kuwait to get food to diplomats

·        Margaret Thatcher considered an SAS-style raid to resupply Britain’s besieged embassy in Iraqi-occupied Kuwait, which was running out of water, food and fuel in the run-up to the Gulf war in September 1990, newly released Downing Street papers reveal.

·        After his shock invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, Saddam Hussein had given the diplomats three weeks to transfer their operations to Baghdad but the British along with other embassies refused to leave

·        Percy Cradock, Thatcher’s veteran foreign affairs adviser, was asked to investigate the possibility of using military special forces to resupply the embassy, where four remaining diplomats including the ambassador were living behind 3-4-metre (10-12ft) high walls topped with barbed wire

Lack of trust in health department could derail blood contamination inquiry

·        Theresa May’s inquiry into the contaminated blood scandal appears to be faltering, after key campaign groups said they would boycott an initial meeting because they lack faith in the Department of Health

·        At least 10 leading campaign groups and the Haemophilia Society are all refusing to attend a meeting on Thursday to consult them about the establishment of the inquiry, because they do not want the department implicated in the scandal to oversee the process

·        The threat to the inquiry comes only a week after May ordered a full investigation into how contaminated blood transfusions infected thousands of people with hepatitis C and HIV

Theresa May says ‘there is no such thing as an unsackable minister’

·        Theresa May has warned cabinet colleagues that no minister is “unsackable” in her most direct criticism yet of leaks from the cabinet room.

·        The prime minister said the current team of cabinet ministers was safe “for the moment” but that she was prepared to sack persistent leakers. Her comments came after members of the backbench Conservative 1922 Committee told the prime minister she had their backing to sack loose-lipped ministers.

·        “There’s no such thing as an unsackable minister,” May told LBC’s Iain Dale. “But at the moment the team is together and we are getting on with the job of delivering what we believe the British people want us to do.”

Scotland and Wales formally call for funding boost after DUP deal

·        The Scottish and Welsh governments have joined forces to launch a formal dispute process over Theresa May’s deal with the Democratic Unionist party.

·        Following last month’s general election, the prime minister agreed to give £1bn of additional funding to Northern Ireland in return for support from the DUP for her minority government.

·        The devolved administrations in Edinburgh and Cardiff argue that Barnett formula rules, which calculate how much money should be distributed to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, mean they are entitled to an extra £2.9bn and £1.67bn respectively as a result of the deal

·        Derek Mackay and Mark Drakeford, the finance secretaries of Scotland and Wales, have written to the Treasury to invoke a formal dispute resolution process through the joint ministerial committee

UN warned not to whitewash ‘grave violations against children’ in Yemen

·        Charities have urged the UN to name and shame the Saudi-led coalition over child rights violations in Yemen after research showed more than 120 children were killed or maimed in airstrikes by the alliance last year

·        A briefing by Save the Children and Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict said the coalition committed “grave violations against children” in a series of 23 attacks in 2016. In each case, the alliance bombed hospitals or schools, or killed or injured children

·        Campaigners want the UN to highlight the actions of the Saudi-led coalition in its annual report on child rights violations in conflict, expected to be released next month. The report will include a blacklist of states and groups that have committed violations such as killing or maiming children, recruiting children, abduction, sexual violence, or attacking schools or hospitals

Suspected Isis fighter seized in Mosul may be missing German girl, 16

·        German authorities are investigating whether a suspected Islamic State fighter seized by Iraqi forces in the war-torn city of Mosul is a 16-year-old German schoolgirl who disappeared from her parents’ home in Saxony a year ago after apparently being groomed by jihadist groups online

·        The parents of Linda Wenzel have been searching in vain for their daughter since she vanished from her home in the village of Pulsnitz on 1 July last year after converting to Islam in secret

·        Video footage which appeared over the weekend seems to match images of Linda. Pictures show an exhausted, dust-covered girl who was arrested by Iraqi forces as part of a group of 20 female Isis supporters from Russia, Turkey, Canada, Libya and Syria who had barricaded themselves with guns and explosives in a tunnel underneath the ruins of Mosul’s Old City

·        An Iraqi commander in Mosul confirmed to the Guardian that all the arrested women had since been transferred to Baghdad

Poland may be stripped of EU voting rights over judicial independence

·        The EU is on the brink of taking the nuclear option of stripping Poland of its voting rights in Brussels in response to plans by its rightwing government to “abolish” the independence of the country’s judiciary

·        Frans Timmermans, the first vice-president of the European commission, accused Warsaw of seeking to put judges under full political control as he warned that the EU was “very close” to triggering article 7, a never-before-used sanction in the treaties that allows a member state’s voting rights in the council of ministers to be suspended

·        Poland’s ruling rightwing Law and Justice party (PiS) has been in almost constant conflict with the European commission since it was elected. In recent weeks the Polish government has proposed a series of reforms that would give ministers power over the appointment of judges and members of the country’s supreme court

·        The first step in the EU triggering article 7 is an assessment of whether there has been a breach of fundamental rights, which could be launched as early as next week on the recommendation of the commission. “What we decide next week depends on developments also this week,” Timmermans said, as he called for fresh dialogue with Warsaw

Plastic pollution risks ‘near permanent contamination of natural environment’

·       Humans have produced 8.3bn tonnes of plastic since the 1950s with the majority ending up in landfill or polluting the world’s continents and oceans, according to a new report

·        The first global analysis of all mass–produced plastics has found that it has outstripped most other man-made materials, threatening a “near permanent contamination of the natural environment”

·        The study by US academics found that the total amount of plastic produced – equivalent in weight to one billion elephants – will last for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years. And with production expected to accelerate over the coming decades, campaigners warn it is creating an environmental crisis comparable to climate change

·        “We are increasingly smothering ecosystems in plastic and I am very worried that there may be all kinds of unintended, adverse consequences that we will only find out about once it is too late,” said Roland Geyer, from the University of California and Santa Barbara, who led the project

·        In 1950, when plastic was first mass produced, the report found 2m tonnes was manufactured. That figure has risen to 8.3bn in 2017 and is projected to reach 34bn by 2050

Shares in Asia head for 10-year high on back of US profit surge

·        Shares in Asia have reached their highest point for nearly 10 years bolstered by a surge in stock markets around the world on the back of strong US corporate earnings.

·        As investors awaited the European Central Bank meeting for clues on its policy outlooks, the MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.15%, hovering near its highest level since December 2007

·        In Japan, the Nikkei gained 0.1% to climb closer to a two year high. Australian stocks rose 0.3% and South Korea’s Kospi advanced 0.15%. Hong Kong was up 0.3% while the Shanghai Composite was up 0.2%.

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BBC caught in gender pay gap storm as salaries of stars earning more than £150,000 are revealed

BBC caught in gender pay gap storm as salaries of stars earning more than £150,000 are revealed

BBC caught in gender pay gap storm as salaries of stars earning more than £150,000 are revealed as it has emerged that the top paid male star raked in more than four times the salary of the highest earning woman. Overall, around two thirds of the 96 top earners were men, sparking the gender pay gap row

The BBC annual report and accounts for 2016/17 also showed the overall wage and salary bill at the Corporation rising above £1 billion, with a blackhole in its pension scheme of similar size. The figures were revealed as the BBC was forced by the Government to publish the salaries of all of its top talent paid at least £150,000, which is more than the Prime Minister

  • Chris Evans was paid between £2.2 million and £2.249,999 during 2016/17 for his work for the Corporation which included Top Gear and Radio 2
  • The bumper sum far exceeded the £450,000 to £499,999 for Claudia Winkleman, of Strictly Come Dancing, who also works on radio
  • Six other men also received pay above Ms Winkleman’s included Match of Today presenter Gary Lineker on between £1.75 million and £1,799,999 million and chat show host and radio presenter Graham Norton on £850,000 to £899,999
  • Among the other “multi-genre” BBC presenters on large salaries were Jeremy Vine, of radio quiz show Eggheads on £700,000 to £749,999, BBC Radio 4 Today programme presenter and Mastermind host John Humphrys on £600,000 to £649,999, BBC News anchor Huw Edwards on £550,000 to £599,999, and Radio 2’s Steve Wright on £500,000 to £549,999
  • Among the judges on Strictly Come Dancing, Darcey Bussell was on between £150,000 and £199,999, while Len Goodman received between £200,000 and £249,999, as did Bruno Tonioli, while Craig Horwood had the same pay as Bussell
  • On the Today programme, Mishal Husain was on between £200,000 and £249,999, compared to Nick Robinson on £250,000 to £299,999, though Justin Webb was on £150,000 to £199,999
  • PM programme presenter Eddie Mair was on between £300,000 and £349,999, while little known Five Live and Northern Irish broadcaster Stephen Nolan is in the same £50,000 pay bracket as Andrew Marr on £400,000 to £449,999
  • Match of Today pundit Alan Shearer received £400,000 to £449,999, while Gabby Logan got £200,000 to £249,999
  • Tennis legend John McEnroe, a presenter and commentator on the BBC’s Wimbledon team, was paid £150,000 to £199,999 but Martina Navratilova did not make the list.
  • BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg was paid £200,000 to £249,999, Victoria Derbyshire who hosts her own morning show got £200,000 to £249,999. while Radio 5 Live’s Nicky Campbell’s received £400,000 to £449,999
  • Among the main BBC news presenters, Fiona Bruce, also host of Antiques Roadshow, was on £350,000 to £399,999, and Sophie Raworth £150,000 and £199,999
  • Question of Sport host Sue Barker’s salary was £300,000 to £349,999, while Clare Balding got £150,000 to £199,999.
  • Bake-off’s Mel Giedroyc was on the list, being paid £150,000 to £199,999

Shadow culture secretary Tom Watson said: “It’s wrong that only a third of the BBC’s highest paid stars are women.” Lord Hall, who himself earns between £450,000 and £499,999, fears that being forced to publish the list could lead to salary “inflation” and BBC talent being poached by other broadcasters. The details were expected to lead to jealous BBC staff demanding pay rises once they see how much some colleagues are being paid.

Lord Hall stressed; “We always try to pay people at a discount to the market. It’s why the bill for top talent is down by 10 per cent year on year – down by a quarter over the last five years. “And the amount we pay the very highest earners has dropped by 40 per cent over the same period. “We’re not afraid to walk away if money becomes an issue.”

A spokesman for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, said: “We welcome the fact the BBC have published their talent pay for those above £150,000. “This only happened due to this Government’s transparency drive and agreement reached through the BBC Charter Process. We expect the BBC to always ensure pay restraint and value for money”

 

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Fake News: The Facts | IQSquared Discussion | Published 10th July, 2017

Fake News: The Facts | IQSquared Discussion | Published 10th July, 2017

Fake News: The Facts | IQSquared Discussion | Published 10th July, 2017

There are lies, damn lies, and then there’s fake news. Manipulating the facts for political gain is as old as politics itself, but due to the rise of social media and search engine algorithms false stories can now spread like wildfire. In the run-up to the US presidential election, more people on Facebook engaged with fake news than they did with fact-checked media outlets. And according to a study by Stanford University, fabricated news items favouring Donald Trump were shared 30 million times during the campaign. In the recent French elections, a quarter of the political stories shared on Twitter were based on deliberate misinformation. Fake news was even broadcast live on television during the second-round debate, when Marine Le Pen alluded to a false online story that her rival Emmanuel Macron had an offshore bank account in the Bahamas.

Welcome to the world of ‘alternative facts’, where conspiracy theories, false claims and dodgy statistics proliferate. This phenomenon doesn’t just undermine the work of the mainstream media: it may have devastating consequences for democracy itself. Our system depends on citizens making electoral decisions based on facts. What happens when people don’t know what to believe? Fake news – often linked to Russian interests – has become an increasingly effective instrument of propaganda to create chaos and weaken the public’s trust in democratic institutions.

Can anything be done to combat the new post-truth politics? Tech giants such as Google, Facebook and Twitter are hosting, propagating and monetising ‘clickbait’ stories. Will they eventually come to acknowledge that they are no longer neutral platforms directing traffic to news sites and admit that they are media organisations with all the responsibilities that implies?

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EU Court of Human Rights Upholds Belgium’s Ban on Full Niqab

Ban on Full Niqab

EU Court of Human Rights Upholds Belgium’s Ban on Full Niqab

  • The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg upheld Belgium’s ban on the Islamic full-face veil on Tuesday (July 11), rejecting a legal challenge by two Muslim women wearing the niqab.
  • Belgium banned face veils in 2011 on security grounds, to allow police to identify people. Some also argued the niqab and burqa were symbols of the oppression of women, and the lower house of parliament passed the law almost unanimously
  • The court found that the 2011 Belgian law banning clothing that partly or totally covers the face was not discriminatory and did not violate the right to respect for private and family life, nor freedom of religion. The ECHR had already upheld France’s ban on full-face veils in 2014

 

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IQSquared Debate | Europe on the Edge – 10th July, 2017

Fake News: The Facts | IQSquared Discussion | Published 10th July, 2017
IQSquared Debate | Europe on the Edge | Published on 10 Jul 2017

What’s happening to Europe? The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 was seen as a triumph for liberal democracy. True, the ‘end of history’ narrative didn’t play out across the world as many predicted. But in Europe political liberalism seemed unshakable, supported as it was by international business and transnational organisations such as the EU and NATO

But now Europe stands at a precarious moment. Anti-establishment and anti-EU political parties are on the rise. Brexit and the presidency of Donald Trump add to the uncertainty. And while Marine Le Pen didn’t sweep to victory in the recent French presidential election, the new president Emmanuel Macron faces an uphill battle to fix the French economy and reform the EU’s institutions. If he fails, Le Pen could be well set to win the presidency in 2022.

How can we account for this surge of support for far-right and populist parties in Europe? Conventional wisdom has it that it is only in times of economic hardship and high unemployment that these groups begin to gain ground. That may be true of France, which took a serious knocking in the 2008 crash and has a high rate of joblessness. But the Dutch sit comfortably high in all the OECD rankings for income levels, employment and life satisfaction. And look at Poland, a country initially seen by the west as a post-communist success story. Although it has been largely unaffected by the Eurozone crisis and has no immigration as such, a xenophobic, authoritarian government is now in charge.

In this major Intelligence Squared event, we brought together a star panel to explore the reasons behind the rise of populism in Europe and to discuss where the continent is heading next. Is far-right politics the new normal? How will the continent deal with the effects of continuing large-scale immigration and its entrenched economic woes?

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NEWS FROM THE RIGHT | Infowars | July 11, 2017

NEWS FROM THE RIGHT | Infowars | July 11, 2017

NEWS FROM THE RIGHT | Infowars | July 11, 2017

EVERYBODY IS FORGETTING THAT CLINTON ALLIES DID THE SAME THING AS DON JR

  • Many journalists reacted breathlessly to a New York Times report on Sunday revealing that President Trump’s oldest son, Donald Trump Jr., met with a Russian lawyer who indicated she had damaging information about Hillary Clinton.
  • Trump critics claimed that the NYT report supported the theory that members of the Trump campaign were somehow involved in the Russian government’s hacking of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta and the Democratic National Committee.
  • But Trump Jr., Kushner and Manafort’s lone meeting with the Russian lawyer pales when compared to the coordination between Clinton allies and Ukrainian government officials who hoped to see Clinton win the 2016 election

TRUMP TO VISIT UK IN ‘EARLY 2018’ AFTER RUMORS OF CANCELLATION

  • Downing Street and the White House are said to be looking for the US president to make an official state visit to Britain early in 2018, according to reports from the BBC.
  • It was thought plans for Trump’s visit had been shelved after no mention of it was made during the Queen’s Speech last month. The speech opened an extended two-year parliamentary session, sparking suggestions that Trump would not be landing in the UK any time before 2019.
  • “An invitation has been extended and accepted,” a No. 10 spokesman said.
  • It had been reported that the president would make a snap official visit to the UK as soon as this week, while en-route to attend Bastille Day celebrations on July 14

EU PRESIDENT: MILLIONS MORE MIGRANTS COULD COME TO EUROPE WITHIN 5 YEARS

  • Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament, has said Europe is underestimating the scale of the migrant crisis, and that we could face migration of ‘biblical proportions’ if the problem isn’t dealt with properly now
  • Speaking to the Il Messagero newspaper, Tajani said: “If we don’t confront this soon, we will find ourselves with millions of people on our doorstep within five years.
  • Italy is really feeling the pressure at the moment and has threatened to close its ports to NGOs bringing migrants into the country, unless the EU does more to help. Even the Mayor of Rome has said the city cannot take any more migrants and has called for a halt on any more migration into the historic city.
  • With Europe struggling to cope with the tens of thousands of migrants that are arriving every week, we’re not very hopeful that our so-called leaders will do anything to stop these economic migrants

RACIST? MACRON SAYS AFRICAN WOMEN HAVING TOO MANY BABIES

  • French President Emmanuel Macron is under fire from irate leftists after he gave a speech at the G20 in which he identified Africa’s overpopulation as being the source of the country’s “civilizational” problems.
  • “The challenge of Africa is completely different, it is much deeper. It is civilizational today,” said Macron, adding, “One of the essential challenges of Africa….one of the countries that has seven or eight children born to each woman, you can choose to spend thousands of euros, but you will stabilize nothing.”
  • Leftists reacted to the speech by accusing Macron of engaging in racism. “A repugnant speech….this is appalling,” tweeted Joe Prince, accusing Macron of suggesting Africa was “dumb & uncivilized” after France had exploited the country “to amass wealth” during its colonial days and that Macron “blaming someones civilization for their woes is racist.”
  • Others disagreed, pointing out that Macron had identified the legitimate problem of overpopulation in African countries. Africa’s population explosion, which shows no signs of coming under control, will also exacerbate the migrant crisis in the long run.
  • Despite this, Macron has been a vehement supporter of importing “refugees,” the vast majority of whom are economic migrants arriving from countries not at war. Back in January, Macron praised Angela Merkel for her refugee policy which has seen well over a million migrants enter the country since 2015

ISRAEL ATTACKS SOROS FOR FUELING MASS UNREST BEHIND CURTAIN

  • Israel says globalist billionaire George Soros continuously undermines democratically-elected governments. Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs took the opportunity to criticize Soros when it spoke out against the vandalism of anti-Soros posters in Hungary which were defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti.
  • “Israel deplores any expression of anti-Semitism in any country and stands with Jewish communities everywhere in confronting this hatred,” stated Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon. “In no way was the statement meant to delegitimize criticism of George Soros, who continuously undermines Israel’s democratically elected governments by funding organizations that defame the Jewish state and seek to deny it the right to defend itself.”
  • Anti-Soros billboards are popping up all across Hungary, which show a smiling Soros with the text “Let’s not allow Soros to have the last laugh.”

 

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NEWS FROM THE LEFT | Al Jazeera | July 11, 2017

NEWS FROM THE LEFT | Al Jazeera | July 11, 2017

NEWS FROM THE LEFT | Al Jazeera | July 11, 2017

Rex Tillerson: Qatari position in Gulf row ‘reasonable’

  • US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters in Doha that the Qatari government had “reasonable” views in the month-old diplomatic crisis with four of its GCC Arab neighbours.
  • “I think Qatar has been quite clear in its positions, and I think those have been very reasonable,” Tillerson said after his arrival in Doha on Tuesday
  • Tillerson is holding talks with Qatar’s emir and foreign minister on the second leg of his four-day trip to the Gulf to help seek a resolution to the crisis

India suspends ban on trade of cattle for slaughter

  • India’s Supreme Court on Tuesday suspended a government ban on sale and purchase of cattle for slaughter.
  • The new law, which was announced in May by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s federal government, had placed a nationwide ban on the sale and purchase of cattle for slaughter at animal markets, allowing cattle trade only for ploughing and dairy production.
  • The officials had cited animal cruelty and unregulated animal trade as reasons behind the ban, while critics believed the ban to be “unconstitutional” as it endangered the livelihood of millions of Indians employed in the cattle-related industries
  • Muslims, who make up 14 percent of India’s 1.3 billion people, said the May government decree against the beef and leather industry employing millions of workers was aimed at marginalising them

Is Soviet-era punitive psychiatry making a return?

  • Human rights activists Robert van Voren, director of the Federation Global Initiative on Psychiatry (FGIP), and Halya Coynash from the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group highlight the “re-emergence of punitive psychiatry”, a practice widely used during the Soviet era
  • Their report published in April by the FGIP, an NGO that monitors human rights in psychiatry, documents more than 30 cases from 2012 until April 2017 in which human rights activists and journalists have been illegally detained in psychiatric institutions for up to 10 years
  • In Soviet times, mental health concepts were inextricable from political ideology. In the words of Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev: “A crime is a deviation from the generally recognised standards of behaviour, frequently caused by a mental disorder … We can now say, too, there are people who fight against Communism … but clearly the mental state of such people is not normal,”

UK court rejects bid to halt Saudi arms sales

  • London’s High Court has ruled that Britain’s multibillion-pound arms sales to its ally Saudi Arabia is lawful
  • The Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) had sought an order to block the export licences for British-made bombs, fighter jets and other munitions.
  • Campaigners argued they were being used by the Saudi-led Arab coalition in Yemen in violation of international humanitarian law.
  • But on Monday, the High Court dismissed “the claimant’s claim for judicial review is dismissed”, ruling there had been extensive political and military engagement with Saudi Arabia regarding the conduct of operations in Yemen and the Saudis had “sought positively to address concerns about international humanitarian law”

Palestinians hope UN ruling will improve life in Hebron

  • Decision to recognise Hebron’s Old City as a World Heritage Site has been welcomed by West Bank residents
  • Hebron’s Old City includes an ancient holy site that Muslims refer to as the Ibrahimi Mosque and Jews call the Tomb of the Patriarchs. Believed to be the burial place of Abraham, the site has a special significance both for Jews and for Muslims, who constructed the mosque in the 14th century
  • Hebron is the largest city in the occupied West Bank & home to more than 200,000 Palestinians. Its Old City is home to a few thousand Palestinians and also a few hundred religiously motivated Jewish settlers living under the protection of the Israeli military
  • The UNESCO ruling also placed Hebron’s Old City on the list of World Heritage Sites in danger, meaning that it will be eligible for extra funding and a UN team will be sent to evaluate it annually
  • Israel reacted furiously to the decision and announced it would cut $1m in funding to the UN that would be diverted to Israeli cultural projects in Hebron. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it “another delusional decision by UNESCO” and charged that by naming it a Palestinian heritage site, UNESCO had denied Jewish ties to the site

Amnesty International: All sides violated international law in Mosul

  • Amnesty International has said Iraqi forces and the coalition carried out a series of unlawful attacks in west Mosul, relying heavily on Improvised Rocket Assisted Munitions (IRAMs), explosive weapons with crude targeting capabilities that wreaked havoc in densely populated areas
  • “Even in attacks that seem to have struck their intended military target, the use of unsuitable weapons or failure to take other necessary precautions resulted in needless loss of civilian lives and in some cases appears to have constituted disproportionate attacks,” the report said.
  • Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi formally declared victory in Mosul on Monday, three years after the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group seized the city
  • The UN said on Monday there was no end in sight to Iraq’s humanitarian crisis. Of the more than 897,000 people displaced from Mosul, the UN said thousands of residents will probably not be able to return to the city because of “extensive damage caused during the conflict”

 

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NEWS BY AI – Global News Aggregated from 30,000 Worldwide News Sources

NEWS BY AI - Global News Gathered From over 30,000 Sources Worldwide

NEWS BY NUMBERS: Real News Gathered Using Artificial Intelligence – 11 July 2017

Trump’s Son Met With Russian Lawyer After Being Promised Damaging Information on Clinton

WHEN: Sun, July 9, 2017

WHERE: New York City, United States of America

CATEGORIES: Health→Addictions→Substance Abuse , Arts→Crafts→Woodcraft

ABOUT: Donald Trump Russia The New York Times President of the United States Hillary Rodham Clinton United States of America Lawyer Donald Trump Jr. Russian language Democratic Party (United States) White House Republican Party (United States)

ARTICLES: 1438 (844 English, 159 German, 134 Spanish, 9 Catalan, 65 Portuguese, 32 Italian, 71 French, 74 Russian, 14 Turkish, 15 Slovene, 21 Serbian)

The meeting — at Trump Tower on June 9, 2016, two weeks after Donald J. Trump clinched the Republican nomination — points to the central question in federal investigations of the Kremlin’s meddling in the presidential election: whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians. The accounts of the meeting represent the first public indication that at least some in the campaign were willing to accept Russian help. And while President Trump has been dogged by revelations of undisclosed (nytimes.com:443)

2,726

Tour de France: Fabio Aru conciliatory over ‘attack’ on Chris Froome

WHEN: Sun, July 9, 2017

WHERE: Chambéry, France

CATEGORIES: Sports→Motorsports→Motorcycle Racing , Sports→Cycling→Travel , Sports→Cycling→Racing

ABOUT: Tour de France Chris Froome Richie Porte France Geraint Thomas General classification in the Tour de France Fabio Aru Chambéry Warren Barguil Italy ColombiaDaniel Martin (cyclist)

ARTICLES: 550 (231 English, 82 German, 99 Spanish, 7 Catalan, 26 Portuguese, 22 Italian, 83 French)

  • Italian appeared to launch attack as race leader was changing bike * Aru and team-mate plan to put Froome under pressure in mountains Fabio Aru maintained a conciliatory line towards Chris Froome during the rest day in the Dordogne, seeking to play down any apparent differences with the Tour de France leader after Sunday’s dramatic mountain stage through the Jura, where the Italian – who lies second to the yellow jersey by just 18sec – had appeared to attack the race leader when he needed to (The Guardian)

10,943

Huge fire rips through London’s iconic Camden Market

WHEN: Mon, July 10, 2017

WHERE: London, United Kingdom

CATEGORIES: Business→Business Services→Fire and Security , Health→Public Health and Safety→Emergency Services , Business→Industrial Goods and Services→Industrial Supply

ABOUT: London, United Kingdom Firefighter Fire Conflagration London Borough of Camden, United Kingdom Camden Market London Fire Brigade Tourism Twitter Camden Lock MarketFirefighting apparatus United Kingdom

ARTICLES: 442 (152 English, 99 German, 42 Spanish, 19 Portuguese, 15 Italian, 61 French, 27 Russian, 20 Chinese, 7 Slovene)

Pictures from the scene show pillars of black smoke erupting from the tourist hotspot A HUGE blaze has ripped through London’s iconic Camden Market with 70 firefighters battling the flames. Pictures from the scene show pillars of black smoke erupting from the North London tourist hotspot as people reported seeing flames from miles around. Emergency services were called to the market just before midnight and have asked people to avoid the area. Firefighters have taped off part of Camden High (The Sun)

7,605

Thousands gather in Istanbul to protest against President Erdogan following ‘justice march’

WHEN: Sun, July 9, 2017

CATEGORIES: Sports→Motorsports→Auto Racing , Society→Issues→Crime and Justice , Arts→Music→Marching

ABOUT: Turkey Republican People’s Party (Turkey) Ankara, Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Constantinople, Turkey Coup d’état Justice Istanbul Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu Law Maltepe, IstanbulState of emergency

ARTICLES: 392 (130 English, 94 German, 44 Spanish, 14 Portuguese, 29 Italian, 45 French, 26 Turkish, 10 Slovene)

‘If only there was no need for this march and there was democracy, media freedoms, if civic society groups could freely express their opinions’ Hundreds of thousands of people joined a rally in Istanbul at the end of a 25-day “march for justice” against the government of the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The opposition Republican People’s Party leader, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, led the 280-mile walk from Ankara to Istanbul after his deputy leader was imprisoned in June. Mr Erdogan has (The Independent)

106

Tennis: Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller knocks Rafael Nadal out of Wimbledon

WHEN: Mon, July 10, 2017

CATEGORIES: Games→Video Games→Recreation , Arts→Literature→Drama , Shopping→Home and Garden→Plants

ABOUT: Rafael Nadal Gilles Müller Wimbledon, London, United Kingdom Spain Luxembourg The Championships, Wimbledon London, United Kingdom Roger Federer Novak Djokovic TennisGrand Slam (tennis) French Open

ARTICLES: 373 (154 English, 132 Spanish, 9 Portuguese, 24 Italian, 54 French)

Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller celebrates after winning the second set against Spain’s Rafael Nadal during their men’s singles fourth round match on the seventh day of the 2017 Wimbledon Championships AFP Tennis – Wimbledon – London, Britain – July 10, 2017 Spain’s Rafael Nadal during his fourth round match against Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller REUTERS Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller against Spain’s Rafael Nadal during their men’s singles fourth round match on the seventh day of the 2017 Wimbledon (Luxemburger Wort)

243

IOC to discuss double host decision for 2024, 2028

WHEN: Sun, July 9, 2017

WHERE: Los Angeles, United States of America

CATEGORIES: Sports→Disabled , Sports→Events , Sports→Events→Olympics

ABOUT: International Olympic Committee Paris, France Olympic Games Los Angeles, United States of America Lausanne, Switzerland Emmanuel Macron Thomas Bach 2024 Summer OlympicsLima, Peru Johann Sebastian Bach France President of France

ARTICLES: 329 (89 English, 62 German, 15 Spanish, 16 Portuguese, 137 French, 10 Russian)

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — Olympic chiefs will meet in Lausanne on Tuesday to discuss and likely rubberstamp the process to award the 2024 and 2028 Games simultaneously. Members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will hold an extraordinary session after presentations by the campaign teams for Los Angeles and Paris, battling for the right to succeed 2020 hosts Tokyo and stage the Games in seven years’ time. Last month IOC bosses backed a plan to award both the 2024 and 2028 Games (ABS-CBN News)

6,765

‘Its time to move forward with Russia’, says trump discussing talks with Putin

WHEN: Sun, July 9, 2017

WHERE: Amman, Jordan

ABOUT: Vladimir Putin Russia Donald Trump United States of America President of the United States Computer security Twitter Republican Party (United States) President of RussiaMoscow, Russia Germany Syria

ARTICLES: 322 (251 English, 25 Spanish, 46 French)

Washington: President Donald Trump appears to be backing away from the idea of working with Russia to create a “cyber security unit” to guard against election hacking. Trump tweeted on Sunday morning about discussing such a unit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Yet it’s Russia that US intelligence officials blame for meddling in last year’s election. Widespread ridicule greeted Trump’s tweet. Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina calls it “pretty close” to the dumbest idea (http://www.asianage.com/)

419

Irak anuncia la reconquista de Mosul sobre Estado Islámico tras ocho meses de combates

WHEN: Sun, July 9, 2017

WHERE: Mosul, Mesopotamia

ABOUT: Mosul, Mesopotamia Iraq State (polity) Islam Islamic terrorism Prime Minister of Iraq United States of America Terrorism Caliphate Syria Tigris Nineveh Province, Mesopotamia

ARTICLES: 278 (278 Spanish)

El primer ministro iraquí, Haidar al Abadi, llega a la ciudad y felicita a los combatientes y al pueblo iraquí por la “gran victoria lograda” ante los yihadistas El primer ministro de Irak, Haidar al Abadi, ha llegado este domingo hoy a la ciudad “liberada” de Mosul y ha felicitado a los combatientes y al pueblo iraquí por la “gran victoria lograda” ante los yihadistas del grupo Estado Islámico (EI). Según ha indicado la oficina de información del jefe de Gobierno en un tuit de su cuenta (LaVanguardia)

4,983

Terrorists Attack Amarnath Pilgrims In J&K’s Anantnag, At Least Seven Killed, 12 Hurt

WHEN: Mon, July 10, 2017

WHERE: Amarnath Temple, India

CATEGORIES: Society→Issues→Warfare and Conflict , Society→Issues→Terrorism

ABOUT: Amarnath Temple, India Jammu and Kashmir, India Kashmir Jammu Yatra Anantnag district Terrorism Anantnag, India Gujarat, India Srinagar, India New Delhi, IndiaMehbooba Mufti

ARTICLES: 247 (247 English)

At least seven Amarnath pilgrims were killed and twelve others were injured in a terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag district. According to initial reports, a group of pilgrims were travelling in a bus when the incident took place. The group of pilgrims came from Gujarat and stopped for some time mid way. “A group of heavily armed terrorists today attacked police parties in Batengoo and Khanabal area of the district (Anantnag). Unfortunately, a pilgrim bus was caught in the crossfire (indiatimes.com)

1

Mit Einsatzfreude zum Erfolg

WHEN: Mon, July 10, 2017

ABOUT: Payment Direct debit Elektronische Zeitung Mobile app Euro Invoice Subscription business model Web page Electronic journal Braunschweig, Germany Wolfsburg, GermanyBerlin, Germany

ARTICLES: 247 (247 German)

Meine Die Grundschüler des 1 und 2. Jahrgangs treten zu sportlichen Wettbewerben an. Im Anschluss erhielten alle eine Anerkennung. Das diesjährige Sport-Spiele-Fest des 1. und 2. Jahrgangs der Grundschule Am Zellberg mit guter Stimmung trotz des durchwachsenen Wetters statt.Die Schülerinnen und Schüler waren hoch motiviert. An jeder Station erhielten sie für ihre sportliche Leistung einen Buchstaben genannt. Daraus konnte dann… Einloggen und Weiterlesen Neu hier? Wenn Sie diesen Inhalt (braunschweiger-zeitung.de)

456

Austria bars Turkish economy minister over rally plans

WHEN: Sun, July 9, 2017

WHERE: Ankara, Turkey

CATEGORIES: Society→Religion and Spirituality→Christianity , Sports→Motorsports→Auto Racing , Society→Issues→Human Rights and Liberties

ABOUT: Austria Turkey Nihat Zeybekci Minister (government) Vienna, Austria Netherlands Coup d’état Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Sebastian Kurz Germany Turkish language European Union

ARTICLES: 227 (42 English, 72 German, 13 Spanish, 10 Portuguese, 20 French, 32 Russian, 31 Turkish, 7 Slovene)

Austria had barred Turkish Economy minister Nihat Zeybekci from entering the country to attend a rally Austria said Monday it had barred Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci from entering the country to attend a rally marking the anniversary of last year’s failed coup attempt in Turkey. “He has been barred because his visit was not planned as part of a bilateral exchange, but was about his public appearance at an event marking the coup attempt,” foreign ministry spokesman Thomas Schnoell (Mail Online)

740

Marimar Blanco denuncia el “silencio cómplice” de Carmena frente a ETA

WHEN: Sun, July 9, 2017

WHERE: Ermua, Spain

ABOUT: Miguel Ángel Blanco ETA People’s Party (Spain) Terrorism Ermua, Spain Councillor Kidnapping Spain Madrid, Spain Espíritu de Ermua Basque Country (autonomous community), SpainMariano Rajoy

ARTICLES: 218 (218 Spanish)

Marimar Blanco ha criticado hoy que el Ayuntamiento de Madrid no haya querido homenajear a su hermano Miguel Ángel Blanco, asesinado por ETA hace veinte años, un gesto que, ha dicho, acompaña las palabras de Podemos en el País Vasco y a su silencio “cómplice” con quienes apoyan a la banda terrorista. En declaraciones en la puerta de la sede nacional del PP, tras el homenaje a su hermano en el que ha participado la cúpula del partido encabezada por su presidente, Mariano Rajoy, la diputada (larazon.es)

20

UN lauds US-Russian truce in Syria, but warns on partition risk

WHEN: Mon, July 10, 2017

WHERE: Geneva, Switzerland

CATEGORIES: Society→Government→Finance , Business→Financial Services→Banking Services , Society→History→By Time Period

ABOUT: Syria United Nations Geneva, Switzerland Ceasefire Russia United States of America Staffan de Mistura Jordan Bashar al-Assad Syrian civil war Turkey Iran

ARTICLES: 213 (102 English, 46 German, 19 Spanish, 5 Portuguese, 35 French, 6 Russian)

By Tom Miles and Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA, July 10 (Reuters) – Agreements to de-escalate the fighting in Syria could simplify the conflict and help to stabilise the country, but such accords must be an interim measure and avoid partition, U.N. envoy Staffan de Mistura told a news conference on Monday. Speaking at the start of five days of peace talks in Geneva, de Mistura said discussions were being held in Amman to monitor implementation of a ceasefire for southwest Syria brokered by the (Mail Online)

The Latest: Sheriff: 12 bodies found in Marine plane crash

WHEN: Mon, July 10, 2017

WHERE: Itta Bena, Mississippi, United States of America

CATEGORIES: Society→Issues→Transportation , Reference→Education→Colleges and Universities , Society→Military→Aviation

ABOUT: Mississippi, United States of America United States Marine Corps Leflore County, Mississippi, United States of America Lockheed Martin KC-130 Lockheed C-130 Hercules United States of AmericaSoybean Jackson, Mississippi, United States of America Fixed-wing aircraft Sarah Burns Itta Bena, Mississippi, United States of America Mississippi Delta

ARTICLES: 200 (121 English, 16 German, 12 Spanish, 24 French, 27 Russian)

ITTA BENA, Miss. (AP) – The Latest on a military plane crash in Mississippi (all times local): 9:30 p.m. Officials have found 12 bodies from a Marine Corps plane that crashed in rural Mississippi. In this photo provided by Jimmy Taylor, smoke and flames come from the wreckage of a military transport airplane crashed in a field near Itta Bena, Miss., on the western edge of Leflore County, Monday, July 10, 2017, killing several. (Jimmy Taylor via AP) Leflore (le-FLOR’) County Sheriff Ricky (Mail Online)

1,038

Improve the Brexit offer to EU citizens, or we’ll veto the deal | Guy Verhofstadt

WHEN: Mon, July 10, 2017

WHERE: London, United Kingdom

CATEGORIES: Society→Government , Society→Government→Multilateral , Society→Issues→Human Rights and Liberties

ABOUT: United Kingdom European Union Citizenship of the European Union European Parliament United Kingdom withdrawal from the European Union Theresa May Guy Verhofstadt CitizenshipLondon, United Kingdom Michel Barnier Member of the European Parliament Veto

ARTICLES: 192 (95 English, 29 German, 11 Spanish, 9 Portuguese, 10 Italian, 12 French, 26 Russian)

The British proposal treats EU citizens in the UK less favourably than even the Vote Leave manifesto did. In the European parliament, we can’t accept this * Guy Verhofstadt is lead Brexit negotiator for the European parliament In the European parliament we accept that the Brexit decision was a democratic choice, but we were never convinced Brexit would be a positive development economically: certainly not for the standing of Europe and the UK in the world and, most importantly, not for (The Guardian)

14

Aaron Judge smashes hit way to Home Run Derby title

WHEN: Mon, July 10, 2017

WHERE: Miami, United States of America

CATEGORIES: Business→Construction and Maintenance→Residential Housing , Shopping→Sports→Baseball , Sports→Skating→Roller Skating

ABOUT: Home Run Derby (Major League Baseball) Home run New York Yankees Major League Baseball All-Star Game Giancarlo Stanton Marlins Park Miami Marlins Miami, United States of AmericaMiguel Sanó Los Angeles Dodgers Major League Baseball Baseball

ARTICLES: 179 (179 English)

MIAMI (AP) – Aaron Judge dominated the All-Star Home Run Derby in the same manner he has smashed his way through his rookie season. The larger-than-life New York Yankees slugger beat Minnesota’s Miguel Sano 11-10 with two minutes to spare in the final Monday night, reaching 513 feet and displaying remarkable power to all fields. Judge, 6-foot-7 and 282 pounds, sprayed balls off the glass behind left field that supports the Marlins Park retractable roof, hit one over the Red Grooms home run (Mail Online)

7,821

Vatican outlaws use of gluten free bread for Holy Communion

WHEN: Sun, July 9, 2017

WHERE: Sacramento, California, United States of America

CATEGORIES: Shopping→Food→Special Diets , Shopping→Food→Beverages , Home→Cooking→Baking and Confections

ABOUT: Bread Eucharist Gluten Wine Sacramental bread Bishop Wheat Vatican City Cardinal (Catholicism) Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments Holy SeeMass (liturgy)

ARTICLES: 176 (52 English, 26 German, 35 Spanish, 5 Catalan, 14 Portuguese, 9 Italian, 28 French, 7 Russian)

The Roman Catholic Church has outlawed the use of gluten-free bread for Holy Communion. However the Vatican has decreed that it can still be made from genetically modified organisms, the BBC reported. The ruling was announced in a letter to bishops by Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments. He has said the bread can be low-gluten, but the wheat must contain enough protein for it to be made without additives. “Until recently it was certain (The Telegraph)

61

Wimbledon 2017: Andy Murray & Johanna Konta target quarter-finals

WHEN: Sun, July 9, 2017

WHERE: London, United Kingdom

CATEGORIES: Sports→Tennis→Players , Society→People→Generations and Age Groups , Shopping→Home and Garden→Plants

ABOUT: The Championships, Wimbledon Roger Federer Rafael Nadal Novak Djokovic Andy Murray Grand Slam (tennis) Grigor Dimitrov Adrian Mannarino Gilles MüllerAll England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club London, United Kingdom France

ARTICLES: 175 (175 English)

Andy Murray and Johanna Konta will try to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals as the men’s and women’s fourth-round singles matches are played on Monday. The pair will attempt to give Britain a man and woman in the last eight for the first time since 1973. Sixth seed Konta plays France’s 21st seed Caroline Garcia in the opening match on court one at 13:00 BST. Defending champion Murray plays Frenchman Benoit Paire on Centre Court at about 15:00. A packed schedule includes eight men’s and (BBC News)

1,723

Bear that ‘crunched’ teen’s head is killed

WHEN: Sun, July 9, 2017

WHERE: Denver, United States of America

CATEGORIES: Recreation→Outdoors→Hunting , Shopping→Crafts→Soft Toys , Business→Industrial Goods and Services→Bearings

ABOUT: Bear Colorado, United States of America American black bear Animal Glacier View Ranch Sleeping bag Camping Denver, United States of America Skull Survival skills KMGH-TVColorado Parks and Wildlife

ARTICLES: 173 (127 English, 17 German, 22 Spanish, 7 Portuguese)

The boy, identified only as a 19-year-old named Dylan, was sleeping outside Glacier View Ranch, about 50 miles northwest of Denver, when he woke up with his head in the bear’s jaws. He told how the “crunching sound” woke him up and that the bear was trying to drag him out of his sleeping bag. The attack happened at about 4am on Sunday. Jennifer Churchill, who works for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, said the bear was trapped at the ranch around 4.30am Monday. She said Dylan had seen the (Sky News)

423

France may close up to 17 nuclear reactors by 2025

WHEN: Mon, July 10, 2017

CATEGORIES: Society→Issues→Environment , Science→Technology→Energy , Society→Issues→Warfare and Conflict

ABOUT: Nuclear reactor Nicolas Hulot France Electricity generation Energy transition Ecology RTL (French radio) Energy Atom Nuclear power Nucléaire Electricity

ARTICLES: 169 (25 English, 35 German, 26 Spanish, 6 Portuguese, 77 French)

A big shift for a country that has long relied on atomic power. The announcement was made by the country’s environment minister. Speaking on RTL radio, Nicholas Hulot said he would stick with a goal set, but not achieved, by the previous government. That being to cut nuclear’s share of French electricity needs from 75 percent to 50%. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH MINISTER OF ECOLOGICAL AND SOCIAL TRANSITION, NICOLAS HULOT, SAYING: “Everyone can understand that to reach this, we will close a (Reuters)

585

Cardinal George Pell returns to Australia to face historical sex abuse charges

WHEN: Sun, July 9, 2017

WHERE: Sydney, Australia (continent)

CATEGORIES: Society→Issues→Violence and Abuse , Society→Support Groups , Society→Support Groups→Sexual Abuse

ABOUT: Australia, Australia (continent) Cardinal (Catholicism) George Pell Sydney, Australia (continent) Holy See Melbourne, Australia (continent) Catholic Church Pope Francis Sexual abuseSingapore Clergy Rome, Italy

ARTICLES: 169 (122 English, 10 German, 6 Spanish, 13 Portuguese, 18 French)

Cardinal George Pell, Australia’s highest ranking Catholic, has returned to Australia after being charged with historical sex offences. The 76-year-old landed at Sydney Airport early on Monday morning after flying in from the Vatican via Singapore. His return comes about two weeks after Victoria Police confirmed he had been charged on summons relating to multiple historical sexual abuse allegations. He is due to face Melbourne Magistrates Court on July 26 for a filing hearing. Victoria’s (The Sydney Morning Herald)

68

Tillerson heads to Kuwait to help resolve GCC crisis

WHEN: Mon, July 10, 2017

WHERE: Doha, Qatar

CATEGORIES: Society→Law→Services , Society→Issues→Warfare and Conflict

ABOUT: Qatar Saudi Arabia Kuwait United Arab Emirates Bahrain Doha, Qatar Egypt United States of America Terrorism Persian Gulf Iran Turkey

ARTICLES: 168 (54 English, 16 German, 38 Spanish, 12 Portuguese, 15 French, 33 Turkish)

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s trip marks a new level of involvement in US efforts to help end the Gulf dispute. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is expected to arrive in Kuwait on Monday to help seek a resolution to the crisis between Qatar and four Arab states. Tillerson will “meet with senior Kuwait officials to discuss the ongoing efforts to resolve the Gulf dispute”, the state department said in a statement. His presence in the region leaves open the possibility that he may try (aljazeera.com)

42

Microsoft launches new email marketing and invoicing tools for…

WHEN: Mon, July 10, 2017

WHERE: Hanover, Germany

CATEGORIES: Computers→Software→Shareware , Computers→Software→Operating Systems , Computers→Software→Groupware

ABOUT: Microsoft Microsoft Windows Windows 10 Cloud computing Business Software Office 365 Operating system Windows Azure Application software Personal computer Dell

ARTICLES: 150 (85 English, 35 German, 7 Portuguese, 12 French, 11 Chinese)

In the shadow of its Inspire partner conference, Microsoft today also launched three new tools for small businesses in preview: Microsoft Connection, Microsoft Listings and Microsoft Invoicing. These join the company’s existing stable of small business tools like Microsoft Bookings and the Outlook Customer Manager. Microsoft Connection allows its users to create Mailchimp-like email marketing campaigns. The new service, which is available on the web, Android and iOS, will offer the usual (TechCrunch)

22

Colombia: Security Council authorizes UN mission to monitor reintegration of FARC-EP

WHEN: Mon, July 10, 2017

WHERE: Havana, Cuba

CATEGORIES: Society→Religion and Spirituality→Christianity , Society→Government→Multilateral , Society→Issues→Peace

ABOUT: Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia Colombia United Nations United Nations Security Council Peace Guerrilla warfare United Kingdom Juan Manuel Santos AmnestyAntónio Guterres War Holguín, Cuba

ARTICLES: 147 (25 English, 102 Spanish, 20 Portuguese)

10 July 2017 – The Security Council today decided to establish a new United Nations political mission in Colombia that will succeed the current one and will shift from monitoring the disarmament of former combatants to verification of the their political, economic and social reintegration. According to a unanimously adopted resolution, the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia will, on 26 September 2017, replace the current mission, which is responsible for monitoring and verifying (United Nations News Service)

Coffee cuts risk of dying from stroke and heart disease, study suggests

WHEN: Mon, July 10, 2017

WHERE: London, United Kingdom

CATEGORIES: Shopping→Food→Beverages , Business→Food and Related Products→Beverages , Health→Specific Substances

ABOUT: Coffee Cancer United States of America Disease Drink Annals of Internal Medicine Caffeine International Agency for Research on Cancer Health Death Europe Circulatory system

ARTICLES: 143 (72 English, 37 German, 15 Spanish, 13 Portuguese, 6 French)

Coffee a day keeps the doctor away? Perhaps, but benefits may be down to lifestyles rather than the brew itself, researchers say People who drink coffee have a lower risk of dying from a host of causes, including heart disease, stroke and liver disease, research suggests – but experts say it’s unclear whether the health boost is down to the brew itself. The connection, revealed in two large studies, was found to hold regardless of whether the coffee was caffeinated or not, with the effect (The Guardian)

 

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Recruiters – are you ready for GDPR? Bitter Pill to Swallow but you have to!

GDPR

The EU General Data Protection Regulation 2018 (GDPR) will apply in 10 months’ time, from 25 May 2018.

The GDPR will significantly change and update the data protection regime in the UK. Given that recruiters deal with a raft of personal data on a daily basis they will need to understand and comply with the new regime, not least because there will be increased penalties for non-compliance.

Items of special interest:

  • the maximum level of fines will increase to up to €20 million or 4% of global turnover;
  • claims for compensation will become significantly easier;
  • regulators will be able to require companies to cease processing of personal data which is in breach of GDPR; and
  • the Information Commissioner’s Office will need to be notified within 72 hours of data breaches.

In addition, as non-compliance can have both a financial and reputational impact, adherence with GDPR will play a key role in the success (and valuation) of businesses in this sector.

Companies should act now to ensure that they are not at risk of breaching their obligations next year.

Here are the top five areas of impact which GDPR is likely to have on recruitment sector businesses.

1.  Legal basis for processing and consent

The GDPR changes the current legal bases which are used to justify collecting and processing personal data, and requires additional transparency in informing individuals about when (and why) their data is collected, processed and transferred.

Traditionally, recruitment sector businesses have relied on an individual’s consent to justify the processing of their data. However, under the GDPR, there are stricter requirements for consent – it must be clearly distinguishable from other matters, in an intelligible and easily accessible form and must be capable of being withdrawn.  Separate consent must be sought for separate processing activities (such as, for example, when a candidate has put his or her details forward for one vacancy and these are then used for an unrelated purpose).

Consequently, relying on consent alone is likely to become problematic and, in the future, you may need to rely on some of the other grounds for processing that exist. We can help you to examine the current basis for your data processing and assess whether this will still be valid under GDPR.  We expect that most businesses will need to revisit and revise their current data collection and handling processes in order to comply with the new obligations.  For example, some recruiters may need to ask existing candidates to re-register and remove any candidate who has not consented.  Recruiters may also need to give candidates additional clarity about how they collect and use their personal data.

2.  Data sharing

Under the GDPR, the relationship between parties who share data between themselves will become much more heavily regulated.  If you share personal data with third parties (such as RPO companies, umbrella companies or payroll companies) then you must have a GDPR-compliant data sharing agreement in place. Policy on using data from job boards will, in particular, need to be reviewed carefully.

Consequently, you should review, and possibly amend, your contractual relationships with all those with whom you share data to ensure that they meet these new requirements. This will no doubt become part of a debate generally about “candidate ownership” and will take time to resolve, so you will need to start the discussions well before May 2018, which we can help you with.

3.   Data processing

If you currently act as a data processor (e.g. if you collect and process an individual’s personal data on behalf of another company, such as part of a RPO or payroll arrangement), the GDPR will implement more significant change. Under current data protection legislation, you have few direct obligations.  However, under the GDPR, you will have direct responsibility for your own compliance with the GDPR, with the potential sanctions and other consequences of non-compliance set out above. Key client contracts will need to be reviewed in this respect.

4.    Rights of individuals

The GDPR builds on existing rights of individuals (such as the right to object to the processing of data for profiling) and contains numerous new rights.  Individuals will have wider rights of access and information and any inaccuracies must be rectified without undue delay.

There is a new right to have personal data erased where the data is no longer required, where consent is withdrawn or if the processing is unlawful.  This accompanies a similar right to restrict processing where the accuracy of the data is contested (which might be the case where a contract worker disputes client feedback about attendance or quality issues) or the processing is unlawful.  Lastly there is a new right of data portability which allows individuals to move their data to another controller (or recruiter) in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.

This “portability” right is likely to cause many headaches for unprepared recruiters. Will it be used to facilitate free migration of your contractors to a new supplier? Will you need to tighten up your other restrictions? Whatever the case, you will need to consider implementing internal processes now in order to ensure that you can comply with these new rights of individuals once the GDPR comes into force and you may need to start including relevant additional protections in client contracts to limit free migration.  Free migration can significantly reduce the value of your key client contracts, and in turn, your business.

5.    Security

Under the GDPR you will have a duty to implement measures to ensure a level of security which is “appropriate to the risk“.  Appropriate measures may include:

  • pseudonymisation and encryption of personal data;
  • the ability to ensure on-going confidentiality, integrity, availability and resilience of data processing systems;
  • the ability to restore data in a timely manner in the event of an incident; and
  • a process for regularly testing, assessing and evaluating the effectiveness of security measures.

This means that you may need to change your internal processes now in order to comply with the GDPR. If you are looking now at developing or buying in new CRM/ATS software to be in place after May 2018, then you will be wasting money if you do not future-proof for the GDPR.

You should also ensure that you have clear and robust social media policies in place to make it clear what your recruitment consultants can and cannot do with client and candidate data. Failure to do so could leave you vulnerable to breach “by the back door“.

 

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European Parliament is Useless

European Parliament is Ridiculous says EU Commission President

European Parliament is Useless, says Juncker

The head of the EU’s executive body has described the European parliament as ridiculous after only a few dozen MEPs turned up to a debate

“I would like to welcome those that have actually taken the trouble to turn out this morning, but the fact that there’s about 30 members of parliament present in this debate only really illustrates the fact that parliament is not serious in this,” said an angry-looking President Juncker

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NEWS FROM THE Right: Daily Mail Headlines 2017-07-05

NEWS FROM THE Right: Daily Mail Headlines 2017-07-05

NEWS FROM THE Right: Daily Mail Headlines 2017-07-05

World reaches out to Charlie: After Trump vows to help desperately sick boy, the Pope’s hospital says it will take care of him

  • Charlie Gard was offered treatment at the Pope’s own hospital in Rome
  • British legal rulings have condemned the baby with rare condition to death
  • President Donald Trump said the US would be ‘delighted’ to help Charlie
  • Charlie has rare mitochondrial condition, known to have affected only 16 people

‘A gift for American bastards!’ Defiant Kim Jong-Un’s taunt after his first successful test of intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting Alaska – as US and South Korea respond with joint show of strength

  • United States and South Korea conducted a joint ballistic missile drill
  • South Korea says it was ‘intended as a strong warning against North Korean provocation’
  • Drill is in response to North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missile launch
  • The ‘landmark’ test of a Hwasong-14 missile was overseen by leader Kim Jong-Un
  • It was fired from a site in the North Phyongan province into the Sea of Japan
  • It is believed to have reached an altitude of 1741 miles and flew 580 miles
  • Kim Jong-Un reportedly called the missile ‘a gift’ to ‘American b*stards’ on the US Independence Day holiday
  • UN Secretary-General António Guterres strongly condemned the missile test
  • Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the U.S. will host an emergency meeting Wednesday with the United Nations Security Council

‘Leftover generation’ of career women are freezing their eggs ‘because they can’t find similarly successful men’

  • Highly educated women are ‘leftover’ amid a generation of ‘missing men’
  • Women are freezing their eggs as an insurance policy to beat their inner clock
  • Last year 30,015 more women aged 18 were accepted for university in the UK
  • Up until 2014, 3,676 women in Britain had opted to have their eggs frozen
  • Experts say women should consider partnering a man who is less educated

Austria sends in armoured vehicles and troops to stop migrants crossing the border from Italy

  • Planned controls to include the busy Alpine Brenner pass, defence ministry said
  • A move that Italy warned last year would break EU rules on free movement
  • Free movement has been jeopardised by the reimposition of controls at many crossings across the bloc since the surge in migrants seen in 2015/16
  • Italy has taken in more than 80,000 refugees and migrants so far this year

Rise of the sex robots? Scientists claim they’ll be common in a decade

  • Over the next ten years realistic sex androids will become more common
  • Machines are becoming increasingly sophisticated and will bring about a social and technological revolution in Britain, experts have predicted
  • Supporters of the use of sex robots say they could be useful for lonely people or those unable to form relationships

Criminals out of jail on probation ‘murder 76 people a year’: Offenders were also charged with more than 1,000 rapes and 134 kidnaps over a five year period

  • Criminals under official supervision have been charged with nearly 400 murders
  • Offenders on probation were charged with 382 murders between 2012 and 2016
  • Joanna Dennehy killed men while under the supervision of probation workers

Bill Gates warns that Germany’s open door policy to migrants will overwhelm Europe and urges leaders to ‘make it more difficult for Africans to reach the continent via current routes’

  • Bill Gates warned of ‘huge’ number of migrants waiting to come to Europe
  • He said generosity of European leaders will only encourage more to come
  • 61-year-old said Europe must make it more difficult for people to cross border
  • Instead he suggested spending more money on foreign aid to treat the problem

Manchester bomb attack victim, 14, returns home after five surgeries for shrapnel in 11 days but still misses her best friend who died in the blast

  • Freya Lewis was at the Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena in May
  • The 14-year-old was at the gig with her best friend, Nell Jones, who died at scene
  • Freya has now finally returned home after undergoing five operations in hospital

Patients forced to beg NHS to fund cataract or hip surgery: ‘Special requests’ for routine operations soar – but half are turned down

  • There’s been a surge in the number of special requests made by patients
  • In 2016/17 there were 73,900 requests but half were rejected for cost
  • Many of the treatments were previously routinely available on the NHS
  • But local health trusts are now rationing procedures to meet financial targets

 

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NEWS FROM THE LEFT: Guardian Headlines 2017-07-05

NEWS FROM THE LEFT: Guardian Headlines 2017-07-05

NEWS FROM THE LEFT: Guardian Headlines 2017-07-05

Poorest students will finish university with £57,000 debt, says IFS

The Institute of Fiscal Studies said the abolition of the last maintenance grants in 2015 had disproportionately affected the poorest, while students from the richest 30% of households would run up lower average borrowings of £43,000

“Universities are undoubtedly better off under the current system than they were before the 2012 reforms,” said Laura van der Erve, an author of the report. “However, their incentives have shifted towards providing low-cost subjects. This does not sit comfortably with the government’s intention to promote typically high-cost Stem (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects.”

North Korea missile test a ‘new threat to world’, says US amid show of military force

Kim Jong-un calls test a 4 July gift to ‘American bastards’ as US secretary of state urges action against North Koreans and regime

The US secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, confirmed North Korea had conducted its first test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and called for global action to counter an “escalation of the threat” posed by the regime

North Korea’s missile test: everything you need to know

Missile experts have examined data from the test to analyse whether North Korea’s claim of being able to reach ‘anywhere in the world’ is true

Report calls for public inquiry into Gulf funding of British extremism

Henry Jackson Society says Saudi Arabia is ‘undoubtedly at the top of the list’ of countries advancing terrorism in Britain and calls for the government to consider requiring UK religious institutions including mosques to be required to reveal sources of overseas funding.

The findings come as Theresa May faces pressure to publish the government’s own report into foreign funding of terrorism. The Home Office-led report was completed six months ago, and No 10 says ministers are still deciding whether to publish. MPs nervous of upsetting strategic relations in the Gulf have also decided not to publish a separate Foreign Office strategy paper on the region

French PM warns of more cuts to tackle country’s debt ‘volcano’

Edouard Philippe vows to end public spending ‘addiction’ and launch €50bn infrastructure investment programme by making a raft of public-spending cuts to stem France’s “intolerable” reliance on state borrowing, which he said had left the country dancing on a debt “volcano”.

Philippe said public debt totalled €2.1trillion, nearly the equivalent of a year’s economic output, which left the country vulnerable to speculation. He said the government aimed to bring France’s deficit within the EU limit of 3% of GDP this year

Zero-hours contracts affect young people’s health, study finds

Research found 25-year-olds on short-hours contracts more likely to report poor mental or physical health than other workers

The study, conducted by the UCL Institute of Education, found 25-year-olds employed on contracts that do not guarantee a minimum number of work hours were 41% less likely to report having good physical health compared with those with secure contracts

General public is losing faith in scandal-ridden sports, survey claims

A survey of 2,000 people in Britain found one third believe their “trust in the sport industry has declined in the last 12 months”. Results suggest fans in Britain have least confidence in football with 74% saying sports puts making money ahead of providing entertainment

The ‘golden visa’ deal: ‘We have in effect been selling off British citizenship to the rich’

The little-known immigration arrangement provided British residency in exchange for a £2m investment. Now a fraud case involving a Kazakh billionaire has shed light on how 3,000 wealthy people entered the country under the scheme – with no Home Office checks

Sun, sex and mugging off: is it wrong to be watching Love Island?

The reality TV show that sends buff young men and women into a Spanish villa to find love and have badly lit sex is a huge hit, with two million fans – including Liam Gallagher and Rebecca Adlington. So is it more than just trashy escapism?

 

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Washington Post Headlines – 2017-07-04

Washington Post Headlines - 2017-07-04

Washington Post Headlines – 2017-07-04

North Korea claims successful test of intercontinental ballistic missile
If the missile’s capabilities are confirmed, it would mark a major development in North Korea’s campaign to develop a nuclear-tipped weapon capable of hitting the mainland United States. As early details of the launch emerged, President Trump weighed in on Twitter to call out Kim Jong Un. He also appeared to call on China to do more to pressure North Korea’s leader

Top GOP senators say Trump administration isn’t doing enough in Afghanistan
John McCain, visiting Kabul with a bipartisan Senate delegation, called for more U.S. troops and more aggressive military action as well as pressure on Pakistan, saying the United States needs a “winning strategy.”

Appeals court says Trump EPA can’t suspend Obama-era emissions standards
The decision could set back the Trump administration’s broad legal strategy for rolling back regulations put into place during the Obama White House. It also underscores the extent to which activists are turning to the courts to block policy shifts.

Thomas Jefferson’s powerful last public letter reminds us what Independence Day is all about

  • The author of the Declaration of Independence was too sick to attend the 50th anniversary on July 4, 1826 but he celebrated what had been achieved
  • The worst July 4 that George Washington ever had — and how it led to a new nation
  • Perspective: Mary Katherine Goddard’s name appears on the Declaration of Independence. Why don’t we know this Founding Mother?

 

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New York Times Headlines – 2017-07-04

New York Times Headlines - 2017-07-04

New York Times Headlines – 2017-07-04

North Korea Claims It Tested Intercontinental Ballistic Missile

  • North Korea on Tuesday claimed a milestone in its efforts to build nuclear weapons that could reach the mainland United States.
  • U.S. and South Korean authorities were continuing to analyze the data. Experts said the missile could be capable of hitting Alaska

U.S. Has Few Good Options on Dealing With North Korea

  • President Trump’s warnings have bumped up against reality: U.S. policy has had little effect so far as Pyongyang built up its arsenal
  • Trump Warns China U.S. May Act Alone on North Korea

E.P.A. Bid to Roll Back Restrictions on Methane Is Blocked

  • The appeals court ruling, on a regulation to curb emissions from new oil and gas wells, signaled that President Trump’s plans to erase his predecessor’s environmental record may face obstacles

New Jersey Reaches Budget Deal and Ends State Shutdown

  • State beaches and parks will reopen for the July 4 holiday, after a three-day standoff over Gov. Chris Christie’s demand that the governor’s office be given more control over the state’s largest health insurer

Uber Is Dealt a Fresh Blow in European Legal Case

  • On London’s Streets, Black Cabs and Uber Fight for a Future

 

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CHEEKY QUESTION – Successful North Korean Missile Launch…Where’s the Footage?

Successful North Korean Missile Launch...Where's the Footage?

CHEEKY QUESTION – Successful North Korean Missile Launch…Where’s the Footage?

Typically when North Korea successfully launches a missile, the launch is broadcast repeatedly on the official North Korean TV station

Example of Successful North Korean Missile Launch 1

Example of Successful North Korean Missile Launch 2

Example of Successful North Korean Missile Launch 3

Notably News Agencies are using old footage regarding today’s launch? Note the words “File Footage” in top right-hand corner of this example from The Telegraph. Why?

Just asking…

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If you can’t stand the heat….

If you can't stand the heat in the Kitchen then hide in the fridge freezer!

If you can’t stand the heat in the kitchen…

Ruptly Husky Puppy Refuses to come out of the Fridge Freezer

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PRESS RELEASE: The BBC has published its Annual Plan for 2017 to 2018

PRESSPRESS RELEASE: The BBC has published its Annual Plan for 2017/18. RELEASE: The BBC

PRESS RELEASE: The BBC has published its Annual Plan for 2017/18. Under the Corporation’s new 11-year Charter the BBC has an obligation to publish its creative and work plans for the forthcoming year. The Annual Plan is a key document in the relationship between the BBC and Ofcom, and an essential part of accountability to licence fee payers.

As part of this publication the BBC is announcing its biggest investment in children’s services in a generation – an additional £34 million across the three years to 2019/20, over and above existing budgets. The document also contains further information on some of the BBC’s biggest content in 2017, including the major new pan BBC season Civilisations.

Speaking about the Annual Plan, Sir David Clementi, BBC Chairman, says: “This Annual Plan outlines how we will strengthen the core values of public service broadcasting for all audiences – first and foremost through the brilliant year of programmes and services that it describes. And it offers a framework against which the Board will be able to assess the performance of the BBC and monitor progress. We are united as a Board in implementing these plans with one voice.”

Tony Hall, BBC Director-General, says: “Our ambition to reinvent the BBC for a new generation is our biggest priority for next year. Every part of the BBC will need to contribute to meeting this challenge. In this plan we set out our creative vision and some of the strategic decisions we will need to take to help us achieve that goal.

“The new funding we’ve announced today for our Children’s services – the biggest investment for a generation – will help us ensure we can maintain our reputation for world-class programmes across our linear channels, but also increasingly offer a personalised online offering for our younger viewers. By keeping our focus on our audiences we’ll be best placed to meet the challenges ahead of us and will ensure the BBC of 2022 continues to serves the whole of the UK.”

The Annual Plan contains information on three areas.

  1. The plan contains information on content across the BBC services. Some of the key content highlights set out in the document include:
  • A year-long season of science and technology programming under the banner of Tomorrow’s World. Taking science out of the lab and into peoples’ homes we will use the biggest scientific partnership the BBC has ever convened to answer the big questions relevant to everyone.
  • Civilisations – a major season across television, radio and online telling the story of art from the dawn of human history to the present day, for the first time on a global scale. A landmark nine-part series on BBC Two will be accompanied by programming on BBC Four, BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 4.
  • Continuing to showcase Hull as the UK City of Culture 2017 over the coming months, with hundreds of hours of coverage of Hull 2017.
  • Other anniversaries commemorated this year across the BBC will include the 500th of Martin Luther’s sparking of the Protestant Reformation, the 100th of the Russian Revolution, and the 70th of the partition of India
  1. The BBC’s three-year strategy and work plan for 2017/18

Key announcements include:

  • An additional £34 million invested in BBC Children’s content across the three years to 2019/20, over and above existing budgets. This new investment will enable the BBC to reinvent how it serves its youngest audience in the years ahead. It will fund an enhanced online offer for children, with new forms of content and interactivity. The funding will mean that this can be delivered alongside the BBC’s children’s television channels, CBeebies and CBBC.
  • Data and journalism teams will strengthen the BBC’s capability for interrogation of data, facts and presentation. Reality Check will be expanded and will fact-check the most popular outliers on social media and refute claims if they are found to be false. Work is also continuing with Facebook on how we can be most effective at building trust and reducing the impact of ‘fake news’.
  • The BBC is determined to rise to the challenge of better reflecting and representing a changing UK. The biggest investment in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for decades has recently been announced and will be implemented over the next three years.
  • A key focus will be on personalisation. The BBC’s goal is to provide audiences with a better service if we know who they are and what they might be interested in. Audiences should be able to discover BBC content across all BBC services, powered by sophisticated, intelligent search.
  1. Each BBC service’s contribution to distinctiveness

This section covers the distinctiveness of the BBC in a more focused way, by showing how each service will contribute through a combination of Ofcom conditions, BBC commitments and creative plans. Full details of each service are available in the document; however in many cases the BBC has gone above and beyond the Ofcom conditions and set more stretching targets for itself. BBC commitments include:

  • BBC One will continue to broadcast a demonstrably broader range of genres in peak time than any comparable channel.
  • BBC One will continue to broadcast more news in peak time than any other comparable channel.
  • More than 95 percent of BBC Three long-form commissions will be made in the UK.
  • Radio 1 will play a more distinctive mix of music than comparable providers, with a daytime playlist which features a greater range of songs.

 

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