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President Obama Signs a New Executive Order to Protect LGBT Workers

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"Many of you have worked for a long time to see this day coming."

Those were President Obama's words to the audience in the East Room of the White House this morning, before he signed an Executive Order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

At the signing, the President explained how, because of their "passionate advocacy and the irrefutable rightness of [their] cause, our government — government of the people, by the people, and for the people — will become just a little bit fairer."

read more

President Obama Signs a New Executive Order to Protect LGBT Workers

21-lug-14

Watch on YouTube

"Many of you have worked for a long time to see this day coming."

Those were President Obama's words to the audience in the East Room of the White House this morning, before he signed an Executive Order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

At the signing, the President explained how, because of their "passionate advocacy and the irrefutable rightness of [their] cause, our government — government of the people, by the people, and for the people — will become just a little bit fairer."

read more

Office of the Vice President Announces Staff Changes

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Washington, DC – The Office of the Vice President announced today that Melanie Kaye, Director of Communications to Dr. Jill Biden departed the White House.  Kaye is succeeded by James M. Gleeson, who most recently worked in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

“It has been a pleasure to have Melanie serve as my Director of Communications,” said Dr. Jill Biden.  “Her incredible dedication and remarkable skills have helped us bolster our Joining Forces initiative for our country’s military families, honor teachers and bring attention to the importance of education for our children and country’s future, improve access to quality health care, and promote the empowerment of women and girls.  I am so grateful for Melanie’s invaluable advice over the past three years as well as her kindness and integrity.  Joe and I wish her all the best.”

James Gleeson comes to the White House from the U.S. House of Representatives where he served as Communications Director to Congressman Xavier Becerra (CA-34), Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.  From passage of the Affordable Care Act and efforts to find budget solutions during the Simpson-Bowles Commission and the Super Committee, to the pursuit of commonsense immigration reform and economic policies to grow the economy and strengthen the middle class, James helped coordinate House Democrats’ communications strategy and messaging efforts since 2009.

Before moving to D.C., James was an Account Manager for a political consulting firm in Denver, Colorado.  Prior to that, he served in the Colorado State House as a Legislative Aide to then-Majority Caucus Leader Michael Cerbo, and as a Policy Strategist for the Autism Society of Colorado.

James attended Arapahoe Community College in Littleton, Colorado and earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Colorado, Boulder.  He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland with his wife Kelly Berens Gleeson. 

Office of the Vice President Announces Staff Changes

21-lug-14

Washington, DC – The Office of the Vice President announced today that Melanie Kaye, Director of Communications to Dr. Jill Biden departed the White House.  Kaye is succeeded by James M. Gleeson, who most recently worked in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

“It has been a pleasure to have Melanie serve as my Director of Communications,” said Dr. Jill Biden.  “Her incredible dedication and remarkable skills have helped us bolster our Joining Forces initiative for our country’s military families, honor teachers and bring attention to the importance of education for our children and country’s future, improve access to quality health care, and promote the empowerment of women and girls.  I am so grateful for Melanie’s invaluable advice over the past three years as well as her kindness and integrity.  Joe and I wish her all the best.”

James Gleeson comes to the White House from the U.S. House of Representatives where he served as Communications Director to Congressman Xavier Becerra (CA-34), Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.  From passage of the Affordable Care Act and efforts to find budget solutions during the Simpson-Bowles Commission and the Super Committee, to the pursuit of commonsense immigration reform and economic policies to grow the economy and strengthen the middle class, James helped coordinate House Democrats’ communications strategy and messaging efforts since 2009.

Before moving to D.C., James was an Account Manager for a political consulting firm in Denver, Colorado.  Prior to that, he served in the Colorado State House as a Legislative Aide to then-Majority Caucus Leader Michael Cerbo, and as a Policy Strategist for the Autism Society of Colorado.

James attended Arapahoe Community College in Littleton, Colorado and earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Colorado, Boulder.  He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland with his wife Kelly Berens Gleeson. 

Muere lapidada una mujer tras ser acusada de adulterio en Siria

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Un mujer fue lapidada el pasado viernes en el norte de Siria por el grupo radical Estado Islámico (IS), que la halló culpable de “adulterio”, en la primera condena de este tipo emitida por los yihadistas en ese país, informó el Observatorio Sirio de Derechos Humanos.

La lapidación tuvo lugar en …

Aprueban lectura obligatoria de la Biblia en las escuelas de Sao Paulo

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La Cámara municipal de Nueva Odessa, interior de Sao Paulo, aprobó una ley que exige la lectura de la Biblia en las escuelas públicas.

El proyecto de ley es de la autoría del concejal Vladimir Antonio da Fonseca (SDD), que es evangélico. A simple vista el proyecto parlamentario “no se opone …

Denuncian la grabación de un video pornográfico dentro de una iglesia en Austria

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Una denuncia anónima ha provocado que un sacerdote se indignara ya que una actriz de cine para adultos de 24 años usó el interior de la iglesia en Hoersching, Austria, para filmar un video pornográfico.

Las películas fueron rodadas en junio y terminaron en el Internet donde se destaca que las …

Recollections of the Private Life of Napoleon — Complete by Louis Constant Wairy

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Language: English

As Trinidad & Tobago’s Military Hunts Down a Killer, Some Wonder Who’s ‘Guarding the Guards’

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Members of the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force conduct an exercise on Chacachacare Island in conjunction with U.S. forces. (DoD photo by Army Capt. Daisy C. Bueno, courtesy the USASOC News Service's flickr page, used under a CC BY 2.0 license.)

Members of the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force conduct an exercise on Chacachacare Island in conjunction with U.S. forces. DoD photo by Army Capt. Daisy C. Bueno, courtesy the USASOC News Service's Flickr page. Used under a CC BY 2.0 license.

Nearly three years ago, Trinidad and Tobago's Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar declared a “limited” state of emergency, ostensibly in an effort to combat a surge in the crime rate. There was rampant debate at the time over whether this extreme step, which trampled upon civil rights — most notably those of young, poor, black males from disadvantaged communities – was an effective (or even legal) way to stem the tide of violence.

The state of emergency was lifted in December 2011, but the past few weeks have been a kind of déjà vu. After a soldier was shot dead in Laventille, an area widely regarded as a hotbed of gang warfare, the country's military, which complained of being under siege in these “hotspots”, launched a manhunt for the suspected killer. They have allegedly been going about their business without warrants or police assistance.

The acting commissioner of police has made his position clear: soldiers performing the duties of police officers is illegal and any military officers found to be flouting the law or physically abusing citizens will be arrested. But in a country where the citizenry's confidence in law enforcement is dwindling, many are questioning whether the prime minister's promise to “unleash the dogs of war” on criminals — essentially policing at any price — is helping to create a dangerous climate in which military dictatorships and police states can thrive.

Crime in Trinidad and Tobago has been on the increase over the past decade or more thanks to the rise of gun-toting gangs fueled by the illicit drug trade. Now, amidst allegations that the government has actually been sanctioning these criminal elements by putting them on the state's payroll, citizens are more skeptical than ever about crime and how it is being dealt with.

Wired868, one of the few local blogs keeping a constant eye on political issues, predicted even before the military raids came to light that “there is just one problem here; and it lies in the distribution of resources”:

In October 2013, National Security Minister Gary Griffth told the Trinidad Guardian that he had discovered ‘persons involved in criminal activity who had state contracts’ particularly in the Life Sport programme [an initiative of the country's Ministry of Sport, which was intended to give young people in disadvantaged communities access to sporting activities as an option to getting involved in crime]. If this is true, then there is a real possibility that the State is funding both sides of the ‘War’ it declared and this puts our Police Service in a very precarious situation [...]

We must review the extent to which our development agenda fosters criminality, thus, making criminals not an anomaly but an inevitability [...] accepting extra judicial killings in lieu of justice is not and cannot be the answer.

The post quoted statistics from the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service website to explain why crime management that happens outside the rule of law is counter-productive. The Caribbean country averages 25 extrajudicial killings per year for the last 15 years, but has already passed that number in 2014:

If in fact these extra judicial killings were removing those responsible for the scourge of crime shouldn’t a reduction in murders be a logical expectation? [...] Those who represent the law cannot feign ignorance to its diktats. One cannot expect to ignore the law to engage those who ignore the law.

We have buckled to acceptance not because we condone killing but precisely the opposite—because we do not. This is the contradiction. That is the double standard…That is why it will not work.

A post written by Mr. Live Wire, one of Wired868′s most prolific bloggers, addressed the behaviour of members of the country's armed forces, pointing out that the manhunt for Lance Corporal Kayode Thomas's killer allegedly went regional:

In Trinidad and Tobago, farce is wearing camouflage these days as soldiers have apparently taken control of Laventille in the search for the killer of Lance Corporal Kayode Thomas while also kicking in doors and kicking down residents as far as Toco without warrants or any legal authority.

On Wednesday, the Trinidad Guardian alleged that ‘men in camouflage worn by T&T military’ snatched Duane Skeete—whose brother is wanted for ‘questioning in relation to Thomas’ murder—in Grenada on Wednesday with the assistance of Grenadian soldiers. Relatives have not heard from Skeete since.

Surely a coordinated arrest on foreign soil could not have occurred without the blessing of Chief of Defence Staff, Major Kenrick Maharaj. Did National Security Minister Gary Griffith or Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, the head of the National Security Council, approve this?

Was Skeete removed from Grenada in a military helicopter? Does Teteron [headquarters of the Trinidad and Tobago Regiment] have its own Guantanamo wing?

In short, Trinidad and Tobago appears to be under martial law.

The government has, thus far, not issued a definitive statement about the goings-on, but with the precedent set by 2011′s state of emergency and the nation's security forces appearing to ignore proper procedure, many are wondering, in the words of a calypso by King Austin, “who's going to guard the guards”?

Written by Janine Mendes-Franco
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Consultabile il numero di giugno-luglio di Ritagli

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È uscito il numero di giugno-luglio di Ritagli, la rassegna stampa bimestrale di cultura che prende in considerazione periodici, cataloghi, pubblicazioni, siti internet. In ogni numero vengono individuate aree tematiche di carattere culturale, storico, scientifico, artistico e letterario, e proposti approfondimenti, ricostruzioni storiche, letture critiche, analisi. Nel nuovo numero, sono presenti le seguenti sezioni: Il cattolicesimo tra storia, cultura e politica; L’ecosistema della comunicazione pubblica e i social network; Verso nuove forme di governo del territorio; Scienza e ambiente; Letteratura e scienza; La cultura in carcere; Uno sguardo tra le mostre.
La rassegna è consultabile alla voce “Periodici”.

Tratto da: camera.it

The President Gives an Update on the Situation in Ukraine

21-lug-14

Watch on YouTube

This morning, President Obama made a statement on the current situation in Ukraine, in the wake of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 being shot down last week over territory controlled by Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine.

Following his press statement on Friday, the President restated today that "our immediate focus is on recovering those who were lost, investigating exactly what happened, and putting forward the facts. We have to make sure that the truth is out and that accountability exists."

He also noted that international investigators are already on the ground, prepared and organized to conduct "the kinds of protocols and scouring and collecting of evidence that should follow any international incident like this." President Obama then called on Russia — and President Vladimir Putin in particular — to "insist that the separatists stop tampering with the evidence, [and] grant investigators who are already on the ground immediate, full, and unimpeded access to the crash site."

At the beginning of his statement, the President also took a moment to address the situation in Gaza. He reiterated that Israel has a right to defend itself against rocket and tunnel attacks from Hamas, but that we also have "serious concerns about the rising number of Palestinian civilian deaths and the loss of Israeli lives."

"That is why it now has to be our focus, and the focus of the international community," he said, "to bring about a ceasefire that ends the fighting and that can stop the deaths of innocent civilians — both in Gaza and in Israel."

read more

The President Gives an Update on the Situation in Ukraine

21-lug-14

Watch on YouTube

This morning, President Obama made a statement on the current situation in Ukraine, in the wake of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 being shot down last week over territory controlled by Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine.

Following his press statement on Friday, the President restated today that "our immediate focus is on recovering those who were lost, investigating exactly what happened, and putting forward the facts. We have to make sure that the truth is out and that accountability exists."

He also noted that international investigators are already on the ground, prepared and organized to conduct "the kinds of protocols and scouring and collecting of evidence that should follow any international incident like this." President Obama then called on Russia — and President Vladimir Putin in particular — to "insist that the separatists stop tampering with the evidence, [and] grant investigators who are already on the ground immediate, full, and unimpeded access to the crash site."

At the beginning of his statement, the President also took a moment to address the situation in Gaza. He reiterated that Israel has a right to defend itself against rocket and tunnel attacks from Hamas, but that we also have "serious concerns about the rising number of Palestinian civilian deaths and the loss of Israeli lives."

"That is why it now has to be our focus, and the focus of the international community," he said, "to bring about a ceasefire that ends the fighting and that can stop the deaths of innocent civilians — both in Gaza and in Israel."

read more