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When is the best time to book vacation flights?

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Radio stations are far from lining up for Christmas playlists, but it’s time to start thinking about booking holiday flights. Travelers who shop months earlier tend to have an advantage over those who wait – less competition.

“Airfares are tied to supply and demand, and prices are always cheaper when there are more seats available,” said Mark Crossey, US travel expert for booking platform Skyscanner, in an email.

And as the seats fill up, the prices go up.

“It’s the same way you want to buy your winter coats in the summer,” said Scott Keyes, founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights. “Ditto with those winter holiday flights for Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Years.”

Does that mean you should book this minute? Not enough. We spoke to industry experts to share best practices for booking budget-conscious vacation travel.

September is the sweet spot

Looking at data from Google Flights, airfares tend to drop about three months before the holidays, Google spokesman Craig Ewer said. This means that for late December travel, “the second half of September was a good time to review your options and set up price tracking alerts,” Ewer said in an email.

Priceline data leads to a similar conclusion. According to CEO Brett Keller, the closer you get to the holiday season (but not too close), average prices for domestic flights and hotels tend to drop. In previous years, air fares were cheapest in September and October. Keller therefore recommends that buyers book their holiday trips in the fall.

The best travel credit card for every type of traveler

Hayley Berg, chief economist at travel booking app Hopper, says traveler demand is waning after the peak holiday months of May, June and July. In October and November, when people shift their focus from summer vacations to winter plans, vacation travel prices will come back along with demand.

Moral of the story: Prices should drop in the fall, but go too far out of season and “it’s almost certain that fares are going to get more expensive for this winter vacation rather than cheaper,” said Keyes.

Last minute exceptions

If you can be very flexible with your travel plans, it may be possible to find a last minute deal on airfare for the holidays. “You must be lucky,” Keyes said.

Ewer says technically the cheapest winter holiday fares Google Flights has seen in the past were available right after Thanksgiving. However, “they’re not dramatically lower than what you’d see in October or November,” Ewer said, “and you’ll probably want to plan further in advance, as prices can vary depending on the route you’re taking. “.

New airline refund rules could be coming. Here’s what that would mean for you.

Chris Hutchins, travel expert and host of the “All the Hacks” podcast, says you can improve your chances of getting a deal if you pay with points or miles. Even when spot prices for last-minute fares skyrocket, Hutchins says most airlines “often drop to very low amounts when you’re paying with miles.”

Hutchins says that’s because airlines know that business travelers and wealthier (or desperate) customers will pay directly for high fares. But if they need to fill the plane, agreements with miles can emerge.

“On most mainstream airlines — United, Delta, American — I’ve found a lot of great deals over the past five to seven days,” Hutchins said.

How does this year compare to past holiday trips?

Naturally, demand for airfare during major federal holidays is higher, so you can expect to pay more for flights than during quieter times of the year. While Keyes says deals have popped up for Christmas and New Years travel, it could still cost you more this year.

“Then again, pretty much everything we buy is more expensive now than it was a few years ago,” Sara Rathner, travel expert at NerdWallet, told The Washington Post in an email.

Berg says overall holiday ticket prices are expected to be above 2019 levels. Currently, the average domestic airfare around Christmas is $462 per return ticket, up 25% from this period in 2019 and by 11% compared to 2018. For international flights, prices increased by 16% compared to 2019 and by 7%. higher than 2018.

“We can be almost certain that vacation travel demand in 2022 will exceed that of 2019,” Clem Bason, chief travel officer of travel and e-commerce company Snapcommerce, said in an email. “There are many factors that all point to higher prices, bumpy travel and more moving bodies.”

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Your best bet for finding a decent plane ticket for the holidays is to let your computer do it for you.

Start tracking prices for your desired routes by setting price alerts. These will show you when prices are falling and rising, and analyze whether prices are high, low or standard.

Remember that ticket prices can change up to 130 times before the flight takes off, so just because they go up one day doesn’t mean they won’t go down again.

For example, airlines may add flights to meet demand for busy routes. “As they do, the prices will change,” Crossey said. A price alert would catch the change.

How do you actually get those $49 flights? There is always a catch in airline sales.

Be creative with the routes you follow. Crossey says the best deals are often found by using different airlines for outbound and inbound flights, or co-opting departure and return to different airports (like taking off from JFK and returning to LGA).

Once you see a great fare, especially if it’s on an airline with no change fees that you know you’ll be flying again, “you can book an attractive flight now and continue shopping for a lower price”, Rathner said.

If you find something cheaper, you can void your original ticket for a flight voucher to use later. Or you can simply book with points. Hutchins says that in many cases, if you cancel a flight booked with miles, you’ll just get them back.

But be warned, “different airlines have different rules, so before trying this, make sure your reservation would be eligible for a change,” Rathner said.

10 Most Powerful Characters, Ranked


King of Fighters XV was a big hit for SNK. The series has always floundered in the United States in the past, which is the biggest market for fighting games. However, maybe because of things like Terry in Smash Bros.It seems that king of fighters is finally prospering in the United States. It was thanks to this that SNK was able to announce the sequel to long-dead series like Fatal Fury.

Sure, king of fighters‘success on the inside entirely through external forces. It has one of the best casts in any fighting game, partly because it’s made up of several other game series. There are some really powerful characters in the library. Some of them are strong in the game, some are strong in the story, but they are all some of the most underrated in the game.


ten Mai Shiranui

Mai Shiranui is one of SNK’s most popular characters. Technically speaking, she is not KOFbut in fact the previous series, Fatal Fury. Shiranui is a ninja who trained alongside Terry’s brother and developed a crush on him. She actually wasn’t that big on the show, but king of fighters gives him a bigger role as the leader of his own team.

RELATED: Which Fighting Game Character Are You, Based On Your Zodiac Sign?

Mai is a Shiranui style kunoichi. As a result, she is skilled in assassination as well as many fire-based attacks. Her jumping ability is usually incredibly strong and she also has projectiles. This makes her a powerful character for newcomers.

9 Kyo Kusanagi

Kyo Kusanagi was created as the new main protagonist of king of fighters. He led a team of fighters called Team Japan and although his teammates have been more or less important over the years, Kyo has always been important. Even after passing the torch to other fighters, he’s still important.

This is due to its natural pyrokinetic power. The ability to control flame was passed down through the Kusanagi line. Originally, Kyo doesn’t care about his fate, but after training, he’s become a powerhouse. He forms one of the “Three Sacred Treasures” group, meant to fight against the evil gods, so he must be tough.

8 Leona

Leona is a member of the Ikari Warriors team. She appeared later king of fighters game than the rest of the team, but became a staple in the series due to his unique role in the story. She was from a tribe dedicated to the evil god, Orochi. Her adoptive father saved her from them and watches over her because of her Orochi blood.

This Orochi blood can cause Leona to enter a dangerous state in which she becomes manic and destructive, indiscriminately attacking everything around her. To control this power within her, she underwent strict military discipline training. However, her hair still turns red when she uses her Orochi power.

seven Shermie

Shermie is a member of an evil cult dedicated to the resurrection of the evil god Orochi. She is also in a group with the other two members of her team, Chris and Yashiro. All three are equally powerful, but Shermie is the most common and popular of the three.

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She’s a good fit for any team composition as a Grappler and unique among Grappler-type characters, as she’s actually quite fast and able to dodge most attacks. However, she struggles with defensive options and projectiles.

6 ash purple

Ash Crimson was the series’ third protagonist. He was supposed to be an “evil hero”, unlike the other previous leads. He also contributed to the cinematic history of these fighting games becoming quite convoluted. Ash was actually the reincarnation of a time-based proto-god called Saiki.

At least, maybe, because a lot of the details about Ash were unclear. However, what is clear is that he was raised with the Blanctorche family and tries to free them from their fate of fighting the Orochi bloodline. To do this, he absorbs the powers of many other KOF characters, including Saiki. This makes him incredibly powerful for a time, but he actually uses this power to erase himself and foil Saiki’s plans.

5 Terry Bogard

Before king of fighters, there was a similar game called Fatal Fury. It was a take on street fighter 2 developped by street fighter 1and a personal story of revenge starring a certain Terry Bogard. Terry would continue to appear in king of fightersand even though he wasn’t the protagonist, he was still one of its biggest faces.

Terry is a master of the Tung Fue Rue style of martial arts. However, he doesn’t fight with one style, but a mix of boxing, karate, kickboxing and more. This makes him one of the most complete characters in the game, with tons of options and different combos. He can also harness energy for devastating attacks, like the indomitable Buster Wolf.

4 Iori Yagami

Iori Yagami was designed to be Kyo Kusanagi’s rival. He was a musician with flame powers similar to Kyo’s and debuted in a team with other rival characters. However, he ended up eclipsing the other rivals and Kyo in popularity.

RELATED: 10 Best Fighting Games From The 1990s

He is a loud and violent man with an iconic laugh and also one of the Three Sacred Treasures meant to defeat the god Orochi. However, Iori also has Orochi blood, just like Leona. This can cause him to enter a dangerous berserker state, just like her. His flames are hard to dodge and his attacks hit a wide range, making him one of the strongest in both gameplay and lore.

3 Crohn’s

Akira is one of the best sci-fi anime and manga in the world. The characters have become some of the most influential in Japanese media. In the case of King of Fighters 2001 character, K9999, perhaps too influential. The character looked a lot like the famous villain Tetsuo Shima and even shared a lot of his powers and his Japanese voice actor.

This resulted in the character being put away (perhaps for legal reasons) until a redesign in KOF15. The newly renamed Krohnen is Kyo Kusanagi’s 9999th clone and has been revamped to have tons of extra powers. This makes him one of the strongest characters, with an excellent set of projectiles and defensive tools. One of his specials even recreates Tetsuo’s iconic flesh form.

2 Rugal Bernstein

Rugal Bernstein is the original boss of king of fighters who started the tradition known as SNK bosses. He was an unfairly difficult boss who read player inputs to find out their moves before they even did. Other tough bosses would follow in his footsteps, but they don’t have Rugal’s legacy.

He was a German arms dealer who liked to collect strong fighters as literal trophies. His stage backgrounds usually had references to other fighting games in the background, and he used other characters’ moves in his moveset. It was recently added to KOFXV, but players were disappointed by its ease. He may have lost some of the Orochi power that made his previous fights so difficult.

1 Orochi

Orochi is unquestionably the strongest character in the king of fighters cannon. He is the dark god of his own cult and was created by Earth itself to rid it of humanity. He is more than capable of doing the job with his planetary power levels. He only appeared a few times in the KOF series, but each time was a special occasion for sure.

Shermie, Iori, Leona, and Rugal all had fractions of his incredible power, and he’s got the real deal. In his only playable appearance, he was revived incorrectly, allowing him to be defeated, but it was still an uphill battle. He’s also a Rugal-style SNK boss, with lots of unavoidable attacks and cheap AI. After a tough battle, Kyo and Iori managed to kill him. However, he returned and granted Shermie, Chris, and Yashiro new forms which became the final DLC of king of fighters 15.

NEXT: 10 Hidden Details Redditors Found In Fighting Games

Federal Land and Nomura to build ‘smart’ Japanese townships


Real estate giant Federal Land Inc. was originally a hobby of the late business tycoon and founder of the Metrobank Group, George SK Ty.

Five decades later, the builder is betting its future on a sprawling partnership with Nomura Real Estate (NRE) Development Co. Ltd., one of Japan’s leading developers, to bring Japanese technology and aesthetics to the Philippine real estate market.

The two real estate powerhouses have teamed up to form Federal Land NRE Global Inc. (FNG), the vehicle that would develop a series of townships across the country, including a 100-hectare Japanese “smart city” in Cavite and a land-use project. mixed. along Manila Bay.

Federal Land President Alfred Ty said on Tuesday that investments could reach around $2 billion in less than a decade.

Other local developers have expanded into townships, which generally refer to planned communities offering a mix of residential, commercial and office projects, but Ty said FNG will go beyond that model.

“FNG envisions offering more than mixed-use townships in which to live, work and play,” he said. “We also plan to combine logistics, institutional and industrial developments in our portfolio.”

“FNG is a marriage that speaks of shared values, shared aspirations and complementary areas of expertise,” added Ty.

Federal Land, part of the Ty family’s GT Capital Holdings conglomerate, provided 250 hectares of land to FNG. Nomura had previously invested $324 million in the company for a 34% stake.

The first four township projects will be located along Manila Bay, Mandaluyong City, Cavite and Cebu.

Tuesday’s event brought together senior executives from Nomura Real Estate, led by Chairman Eiji Kutsukake and Managing Director Yusuke Hirano, who said FNG marked the Japanese company’s biggest overseas investment.

For his part, Kutsukake said the company is in line with Nomura’s 2030 plan to create growth engines outside of Japan.

“We have expanded our business to the Philippines because it is one of the most important markets for us,” he said on Tuesday.

FNG follows an earlier combination between Federal Land and Nomura for The Seasons residences in Bonifacio Global City.

The partnership included Japanese company Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd., paving the way for the first Mitsukoshi mall in the Philippines.

“FNG is not just a special purpose company on a project-by-project basis, but a going concern for long-term business in the Philippines,” Kutsukake said. INQ

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7 Tasks Every Leader Must Master


Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur the contributors are theirs.

Leading and managing people is a learned skill. If you’re looking to become a better leader and build a high-performing organization, master these seven tasks below:

1. Assess and monitor team climate

Climate concerns the shared beliefs and perceptions of groups regarding the attitudes that characterize the group. Within an organization, climate is a bottom-up concept and the responsibility of front-line leaders. The climate can change quickly, depending on the actions of frontline leaders.

The climate is different from the culture. The culture of an organization is defined by the shared assumptions, values ​​and beliefs that govern how people behave in the organization. Culture is a top-down concept and the responsibility of senior leaders. An organization’s culture can only evolve slowly over time.

Morale is critical in both climate and culture. Team morale determines their confidence, will and discipline to succeed, especially in the face of challenges and adversity.

If front-line leaders aren’t doing their job, it’s possible to have a bad team climate in a great organizational culture. Of course, the opposite can also be true. It is certainly possible to have a positive team climate in a not-so-good culture.

Related: Benefits of a Positive Work Environment

2. Win and build trust

When leaders gain the trust of their people, it helps to create a favorable climate. People are naturally skeptical of their leaders. It takes time for leaders to gain trust.

When people trust their leaders, they are more willing to accept the influence of those leaders. Leaders who extend trust are more likely to be trustworthy.

Leaders gain trust when they are willing to be authentic and vulnerable. Authenticity is about being transparent and not pretending to be someone you’re not. Authenticity means showing up as yourself and being willing to connect with others as you are. Authentic leaders appreciate the diversity of ideas and experiences of their people, and they can have an open and honest dialogue with them. Vulnerability is susceptibility to new experiences, thoughts, changes, and uncertainties. Leaders must accept risk by venting their imperfections, admitting their faults, and discussing the unknowns with their team.

Being authentic makes a person vulnerable. Being vulnerable is a strength that requires courage.

3. Treat people with respect and ensure a respectful workplace

Respect is the admiration between people for their ideas and what they think is important. People who feel respected at work are more engaged and productive. Respect is in the eye of the beholder.

Leaders treat people with respect by encouraging them to “open up” and valuing their opinions. Leaders who effectively use active listening in their communication value respect as an essential part of collaboration. Active listening is listening carefully to someone without preemptively judging and without asking intelligent questions to gain the best possible understanding.

Leaders treat people with respect by embracing diversity and being inclusive. Diversity is about recognizing and respecting individual differences and similarities as well as the unique contribution each employee can make. Being inclusive ensures that people have equal opportunities for involvement and empowerment. Inclusiveness highlights unique perspectives and ideas to bring into the workplace to build the culture of the organization.

Treating people with respect means treating them fairly and consistently. Leaders show respect by recognizing people for their hard work.

Related: 5 Ways to Be a Leader Your Employees Will Respect

4. Uphold accountability and fairness

A workplace without accountability is unruly and chaotic. When applying accountability, leaders must be firm, fair, and consistent.

Leaders must be clear about their acceptable standards of conduct, performance and learning in the workplace. Leaders owe it to those who do things right to hold non-performers accountable. Of course, leaders must also hold themselves accountable to established standards. Leaders model accountability by showing their people “what the law looks like”.

Holding people accountable doesn’t always mean punishment. In most cases, enforcing accountability means correcting behaviors. This means making sure people learn from their mistakes and live up to established standards.

Encourage people to have fun at work

We spend more time at work than with our families. Jobs shouldn’t be miserable and fun doesn’t always have to be a party.

Having fun helps people relax and take a mental break from their challenges. People often use humor as a personal coping mechanism against stress, and laughter can help relieve anxiety and fear. Having fun opens dialogue and strengthens cohesion within the team.

Having a sense of humor in the face of common challenges allows you to bond with others facing the same challenges. Humor, especially from leaders, is a powerful tool.

Related: 5 Strategies to Create a Fun and Productive Work Culture

6. Show great character

A leader’s character will make or destroy his reputation. People won’t give 100% of their efforts to leaders who lack character. A leader’s character is built by gaining the trust and respect of his team. When leaders demonstrate the following traits to their teams, it makes people more resilient:

  • Moral Courage: Acting for moral reasons, despite the risk

  • Honesty: Show authentic principles, intentions and actions

  • Humility: Having a modest opinion or assessment of one’s own importance

  • Empathy: The vicarious experience of another’s feelings, thoughts, or attitudes

Demonstrating moral courage and honesty inspires trust. Showing humility and empathy shows respect.

7. Manage and share expectations

Expectations are assumptions, beliefs, and ideas for actions and outcomes. Managing expectations mentally prepares people for the obstacles and challenges of coping with stress. Plans rarely go as planned, so leaders need to understand the associated risks and be with the team in the face of challenges.

Leaders should ask themselves and their teams the following types of questions:

  • What is the worst case scenario we can expect?

  • How do we prepare and adapt to this?

  • What else could go wrong?

  • What is our plan B?

Managing expectations of what the team may face keeps them informed, focused on their goal, and creates a more cohesive and resilient organization.

The latest Bay Area sensation is hushed Japanese jazz bars


The main thing you notice when sitting at Bar Shiru is that it’s quiet.

It’s not that the Oakland bar is quiet — music is playing, people are talking and cocktails are shaking. But there’s an unusually quiet tone to the open room, which has high ceilings, walls lined with soft wood screens, and large windows looking out over Telegraph Avenue. You can really hear things here. Instead of the vague, diffuse din that pollutes the air in most bars, at Bar Shiru the atmosphere swells with rich, angular jazz. You can hear it the same way from any seat in the house.

Bar Shiru is a hi-fi bar – also known as a listening bar, recording bar or jazz bar kiss, as it is called in Japan, the country of origin of the genre. What mainly defines these bars is their focus on music, usually vinyl records, usually jazz, usually played on a high quality, usually vintage sound system.

Again, a lot of bars play records. What really sets a hi-fi bar like Bar Shiru apart from, say, the rowdy Café Van Kleef next door, is the contemplative, even calm, environment it cultivates. “Reverence for the act of intentional listening,” is how Daniel Gahr, who co-owns the bar with his wife, Shirin Raza, describes it. One page of the menu booklet even asks customers to keep their voices low and refrain from using phones, laptops or flash photography.

Drinks are lined up at Bar Shiru in Oakland, one of a recent cluster of Bay Area hi-fi bars. The concept of playing vinyl jazz records on high fidelity audio systems in bars originated in Japan.

Amaya Edwards / Special for The Chronicle

Given that listening bars have declined in Japan in recent years, the sudden boom in hi-fi bars here — and in other parts of the United States — is notable. Their appeal may have something to do with the growth in vinyl record sales over the past decade. Or perhaps they successfully tap into our nostalgia for early music and mid-century design aesthetics.

Or maybe it has something to do with this particular moment in time as we struggle to emerge from the pandemic and break free from the habits it spawned while we were confined at home. Selling an experience you can’t get at home, hi-fi bars offer an escape. You can make yourself a cocktail in your kitchen, of course. But you probably don’t have a sound system like this, which costs tens (or hundreds) of thousands of dollars. You certainly don’t have such an extensive record collection. And the harmonious quality of hi-fi bar sound systems provides a smooth return to the noise of crowded public spaces, which may seem chaotic to some of us after a few years away.

Above all, these barbells offer the sublime feeling of submitting to another person’s playlist. “Nowadays everyone is their own DJ, their own curator, and I think that can be exhausting for people,” Gahr said. “When I go out, I want to be an open listener, just to be open to the experience that’s being created for me.”

Daniel Gahr, co-owner of Bar Shiru, is changing the vinyl selection at his Oakland bar.

Daniel Gahr, co-owner of Bar Shiru, is changing the vinyl selection at his Oakland bar.

Amaya Edwards / Special for The Chronicle

The golden age of the barbell was in post-war Japan, and it settled on an American export: jazz. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, tiny bars and cafes opened up in cities like Tokyo and Kyoto, offering huge collections of records from popular artists of the time like Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Few people had comparable record collections at home, so they flocked to the kiss to listen to for hours. The music was the draw; the drinks were an afterthought.

As the popularity of jazz waned over the following decades and music became easier to obtain and play at home, the need for these bars and their record collections diminished. But there remains a committed core of kiss in Japan, which has inspired many new Bay Area record bar owners. For Marc Zimmerman, who opens Yokai, it was the Bar Flat in Tokyo. For Gahr and Raza, it was a place called Bar Martha.

“It left an indelible mark on our minds,” Gahr said of their 2015 visit to Bar Martha. The selection of 50s jazz records and the warmth of the sound quality from the hi-fi system were incredible, he said, an antidote to the headphones and highly compressed digital files that have become our standard listening experience. in the age of streaming.

Back in Oakland, they ditched their tech jobs — hers at Pandora, hers at YouTube, both roles in which they created “digital experiences,” Gahr said — in favor of something much more analog. . They’ve invested in a system that features several components from McIntosh, considered the benchmark for analog hi-fi gear, whose sleek black boxes are lit by sky-blue decibel displays. (The McIntosh system “looks like a sculpture,” said Fantastic owner Robbie Wilson.)

The Green Eyes cocktail at Bar Shiru in Oakland, a hi-fi bar that plays jazz records.

The Green Eyes cocktail at Bar Shiru in Oakland, a hi-fi bar that plays jazz records.

Amaya Edwards / Special for The Chronicle

Compared to the cozy and dark Japanese archetypes, Bar Shiru is huge and airy. The playlist is mostly jazz, but Gahr takes a broad view of the genre — Afrobeat, sample-based hip-hop, highlife, and soul are all in the mix. This is not a jukebox: bar staff don’t take requests. (Gahr, the music director, is proud of his curatorial abilities.)

Raza and Gahr, neither of whom are Japanese, are clear on one point: It’s a hi-fi bar, but “we definitely don’t consider it a Japanese bar,” Gahr said. Although they make several highballs, whiskeys and the like – a popular drink in Japan – most (and in fact, the best) cocktails have no recognizable Japanese influence. A spicy pepper bush gives a bright, grassy sheen to the Sidewinder, with yellow Chartreuse and Tequila; the Velvet Mood tastes like a floral, herbaceous riff on an Aviation cocktail, blending the classic recipe’s lavender syrup with crème de violette. (My favorite of the highballs, for what it’s worth, was the one made with Iwai 45 earthy whiskey.)

Like Bar Shiru, new and future hi-fi bars in the Bay Area take more or less liberties with the Japanese model. At Fantastique, which has a McIntosh sound system that Wilson says costs more than $150,000, diners in the restaurant hear the same playlist as drinkers in the more intimate Green Room, but from special speakers located on shelves in the cozy living room mean that visitors there hear the music more intensely. Only three employees, including Wilson, are allowed to choose recordings; Occasionally they’ll play a song or two from an iPad while picking up a new record, but he said 85% of what’s played is from vinyl. Rather than playing full albums, Le Fantastique tends to only play one or two songs from a record before changing it. Jazz is not a beacon: you are more likely to hear Fleetwood Mac, Heart or The Police than Chet Baker.

Bar Shiru in Oakland, where customers are asked not to speak too loudly or use their cellphones so they can listen to music.

Bar Shiru in Oakland, where customers are asked not to speak too loudly or use their cellphones so they can listen to music.

Amaya Edwards / Special for The Chronicle

Upon opening, Harlan Records will similarly deviate from the traditional record bar playbook. The bar will adopt a “mid-century” aesthetic in its furniture and music, said partner Katya Skye, playing blues and rock from the 1950s and 1960s. For drinking, the bar plans to serve riffs on popular cocktails of that time like Moscow mules and mojitos.

Yokai, which is set to open early next year, will carry recognizable Japanese influences, with dishes cooked on a Binchotan charcoal grill and an extensive selection of Japanese whiskey. But unlike Tokyo’s hi-fi haunts, which rarely serve food, Yokai will be “a restaurant first, with a hi-fi aesthetic,” said Zimmerman, the owner. To achieve this aesthetic, Zimmerman plans to purchase an audio system that will likely involve McIntosh tube amplifiers, projecting the total cost between $10,000 and $15,000.

Regardless of its idiosyncrasies, each soundbar offers an experience that seems increasingly rare these days. Unless it’s live, music in bars is almost always in the background. (The soon-to-be-closed Club Deluxe in San Francisco is a notable exception.) Even at DJ-hosted events, other activities vie for our attention: dancing, flirting, talking—more often, shouting—with friends. It may seem shocking at first to go to a bar where the menu urges you to lower your voice and put your phone away. Some of us have become uncomfortable with so much silence.

But maybe that’s why hi-fi bars are finding a receptive audience here right now: As unfamiliar as this tranquility may seem, deep down we know we need it. We know we need to take a deep breath, stop trying to think of the right thing to say. To simply listen.

Esther Mobley is the principal wine critic for the San Francisco Chronicle. E-mail: [email protected]

‘We’re so behind’: Japan bemoans lack of progress on same-sex marriage | LGBTQ+ rights


Bnearly a year has passed since the Tokyo Olympics were promoted as a celebration of diversity. In June, the Japanese capital became the latest city to recognize same-sex partnerships, and recent upper house elections featured a record four candidates from the LGBT community.

Yet official Japanese resistance to same-sex unions is fiercer than ever.

It is the only G7 country to deny LGBT couples the right to marry, three years after Taiwan became the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage.

While opinion polls show that more than 60% of the public support same-sex marriage, critics say the opposition within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the dominant force in post-Secondary politics. country’s war, condemns homosexual couples to a life of second-class citizens.

Lenna Kawazu changed her understanding of marriage last year when she had to undergo surgery, with no guarantee that her partner, *Yoshiko, would be able to visit her. “I always thought everyone should have the right to marry, but I didn’t believe in the institution of marriage,” she said. “But when I was sick, I realized that marriage is not just about love and commitment, it’s also about being protected and having rights.”

Kawazu and Yoshiko lived together for most of the 15 years they were together, but experienced a “nightmare” when they applied for a mortgage.

“Our joint income met all the requirements, but because we weren’t married or engaged, banks and other potential lenders weren’t interested,” Kawazu said. “We finally got a loan, but it would have been so much easier if we had been married.”

Homosexuality as a “disorder”

It’s been 15 years since Kanako Otsuji became Japan’s first openly gay politician, but just this week LGBT activists launched a petition opposing a pamphlet, distributed at a meeting of LDP lawmakers, which described the homosexuality as an “acquired psychological disorder”.

The party is beholden to religious and other support groups that not only oppose same-sex marriage but portray homosexuality as a “disorder”, said Shinya Yamagata, who belongs to a group of plaintiffs challenging the constitutionality of the Japanese ban on same-sex marriage.

“The attitude is that being gay is a disease or an addiction,” he said. “There is a lot of talk about equality…it’s those who hold the political power who are the problem.

“The LDP is influenced by religious and other conservative groups and says it is the party of family values, even though most Japanese people support same-sex marriage. I am not optimistic that they will change their position until these influences have diminished, and it will take a long time.

The campaign for marriage equality received a boost in March last year when the Sapporo District Court sided with the plaintiffs’ claim that by not allowing couples to same sex to “enjoy even part of the legal effects deriving from marriage”, the current provisions violate article 14 of the post-war constitution, which stipulates the equality of all before the law.

Plaintiffs’ lawyers and supporters celebrate after the Sapporo District Court ruled on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage rights. Photo: Kyodo/Reuters

Earlier this year, however, the Osaka District Court took the opposite view, ruling that the same-sex marriage ban was constitutional and that LGBT rights could be protected by other laws.

Yamagata believes the next ruling, handed down in November by the Tokyo District Court, will be symbolically significant. “The court will have to go along with one of the previous rulings or the other,” he said.

Gay sex has been legal in Japan since 1880, but members of the LGBT community remain largely invisible outside of the entertainment world. Many have not yet come out, even to their families.

Among them, Yoshiko, who has not spoken openly about her sexuality to her parents, nor to her colleagues at a large Tokyo company.

“I come from a rural area and my parents are getting old… I don’t think they would understand,” she said. “And no one at my workplace came out, even though it employs a lot of people.

“If same-sex marriage were legalized, it could encourage more people to come out, because it would mean that they have been accepted by the law. But I would need a lot of courage to get out.

While some LDP members support more rights for LGBT people, much of the party is stuck in the dark ages, Yamagata said. When he was prime minister, Shinzo Abe said the constitution, which defines marriage as being based on the mutual consent of both sexes, “does not contemplate same-sex marriage”. Current Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has said he opposes marriage equality, a stance that delighted his party’s conservatives when he successfully ran for president last year .

“When you experience this kind of bias, it can have a terrible effect on people’s mental health,” Yamagata said. “When powerful people in society believe you have some sort of disease or disorder, it’s hard to feel good about yourself and be optimistic about the future.”

Kawazu, who has spoken out to his family and colleagues, doubts that the current generation of senior LDP politicians will even consider granting the same rights they enjoy to members of the LGBT community.

“All major parties need to put this on the table, but same-sex marriage is still not seen as a big issue in Japan,” she said. “That has to change if Japan wants to catch up with other countries. We are so far behind.

*Yoshiko’s name has been changed at her request.

How the Claremont Institute became a nerve center of the American right


Some of the sharpest critiques of Claremont’s recent prominence have come from scholars with similar backgrounds. “I think there’s a story here about the insularity of the conservative world,” says Laura Field, a political philosopher and scholar-in-residence at American University, who has published several scathing reviews of Claremont over the past year. in The Bulwark, a publication launched by the “Never Trump” conservatives. Claremont has been “pretty much unchallenged by the wider academic world,” Field told me, because many academics, liberals but also other conservatives, tend to view political engagement in general, and ideas and the public manners of Claremont in particular, below them. By contrast, Claremont scholars “understand the power of a certain type of approach to politics that is sensational,” she said. Field told me about a recent exception, a small roundtable in July in Washington that Kesler attended. Kesler defended the rise of populism as “pro-constitutional”, and so, he said, “even if it takes an angry form in many cases”, it was difficult to “condemn it simply as an eruption of ‘democratic irrationalism’. Bryan Garsten, a political scientist at Yale, replied that it was very generous to interpret current populism as “flashing in favor of an older understanding of constitutionalism”, but even if this was partly true, he wondered whether populism could “expect to generate a new appreciation of constitutionalism” or whether it would not “do the exact opposite”. It is, says Garsten, “a dangerous game of trying to ride the tiger.”

Nonetheless, Claremont’s recent successes have enabled effective fundraising. Klingenstein, the chairman of Claremont, who runs an investment firm in New York, was as recently as 2019 Claremont’s biggest donor, providing $2.5 million, roughly half of its budget. at the time. Claremont’s budget is now around $9 million, and Klingenstein no longer provides the majority of the funding. “They’re less and less dependent on me, and that’s a good thing,” Klingenstein said. (On Steve Bannon’s “War Room” podcast on July 15, he noted that the budget continues to grow.) Other major recent donors, according to documents obtained by Rolling Stone, include the Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation and the Bradley Foundation, two of the largest conservative family foundations in the country.

Many Claremont scholars still support Trump, but have also cultivated relationships with other figures of potential future significance, particularly Ron DeSantis, perhaps envisioning a day when Trumpist conservatives find a more reliable and effective leader. Arnn, the president of Hillsdale College, which has many Claremont graduates on its faculty and a strong presence in Washington, hosted an event with DeSantis last February at which he called DeSantis “one of the most important who live”. According to the Tampa Bay Times, Hillsdale aided DeSantis in his efforts to reshape Florida’s education system, participating in textbook reviews and reform of state civics standards. But the Claremonters aren’t quite ready to reject Trump. “Trump is loved by a lot of Americans,” Kesler told me, “and you’re not going to be able to put him away and keep the party going, keep the movement going and win.” He said the future was “probably with Trumpism, some version of Trump and his agenda, but not necessarily with Trump himself. And that’s because I don’t know if he could win. The argument in 2016 was, “We’re taking a chance on this guy, we’re taking a flyer,” Kesler said. “And I just don’t think they’re ready to take a second flyer.”

Harry Jaffa used to ask what American conservatism kept. The answer was usually ideological – American conservatism was not about preserving a social structure, as in ancient European societies, but rather the American idea, a set of principles laid down in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. What seems unstable in Claremont is “the hazy question of whether a republic is too far off to be kept,” William Voegeli, the editor, wrote in the spring issue. “Which would be the bigger mistake – to continue to fight to preserve a republic which proves irrecoverable or to give up defending one whose vigor could still be restored?” Voegeli, 67, sides with the “central conservative impulse”, which is that “because things of value are easy to break but hard to replace, every effort should be made to keep them as long as they can be.” But he acknowledges that some of his younger colleagues seem ready to “abandon conservatism for counter-revolution” in order to “restore the founding principles of America”. Kesler was optimistic. “We need some sort of revival of the spirit of constitutionalism, which then has to be fought, through laws and trials and all the normal day-to-day concessions of politics,” he said. “That’s what I’m in favor of. And it’s going in the right direction. »

Tom Merrill of American University has also studied Jaffa’s work and thinks there is much in his teachings to appeal to both liberals and conservatives. “I think the country is so divided right now that if you had a Republican candidate saying, ‘You know, we got it wrong in a lot of ways, but we’re pretty good for the most part,’ I think there’s would have a great middle way, and that would defuse some of that anger.The American right right now, Merrill argued, needed guidance and leadership that couldn’t come from the mainstream establishment, that voters had rejected. “There’s a movement out there that’s not the Republican Party, that needs people to speak up and shape the message,” he said. the movement’s conservatives were blocking far-right anti-democratic and anti-American elements. Claremont could have filled that role, he argued, but “the central challenge facing the right is: can anyone take these themes and articulate them in an adult way?”

Some in Claremont have expressed a desire to work with the Liberals, but their strategy seems to suggest otherwise. When I asked Williams what Claremont’s ideal future would look like, he cited the deconstruction of the administrative state. He told me recently that the June Supreme Court decision binding the EPA is “a step in the right direction” and that he would like to see “Congress get back to the act of lawmaking” instead of delegating the rule-making to bureaucracy, a “long, complicated process involving lawmakers learning rules they haven’t used in 30 years. Caution, he added, dictates that change must be incremental “Although I can anticipate your next question, which is, you talk like counter-revolutionaries,” Williams said. “One of the purposes of the more polemical stuff is to wake up our fellow conservatives.”

US, Australia and Japan call on China to immediately halt military drills


The United States, Australia and Japan on Saturday condemned China’s ballistic missile launch and urged China to immediately halt military drills. Tensions in the Taiwan Strait quickly escalated with the trip of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan. China has stepped up its military activities and even crossed the median line.

Several Chinese planes and ships were detected around the Taiwan Strait today, simulating an attack on its main island. Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said its armed forces responded to such a situation accordingly with surveillance systems, CAP aircraft, warships and missile systems.

On Friday, Taiwan’s defense ministry said 68 Chinese military aircraft and 13 warships crossed the median line to take part in drills. “US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong and Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa met in Phnom Penh on the sidelines of the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting “, said the US State Department in a statement.

The Secretary and the Foreign Ministers of the three countries expressed their commitment to deepening the trilateral partnership between Australia, Japan and the United States to advance a free and open Indo-Pacific region. “They condemned the launch of ballistic missiles by the PRC, five of which the Japanese government says have landed in its exclusive economic zones, increasing tension and destabilizing the region. The secretary and foreign ministers urged the PRC to immediately cease military exercises,” the state said. says the department.

The U.S. Secretary and the Foreign Ministers also emphasized that this partnership is built on an unshakeable foundation of shared interests and values, including a commitment to freedom, the rule of law, human rights , sovereignty and territorial integrity, peaceful settlement of disputes. They reaffirmed their determination to support the centrality of ASEAN and the importance of Pacific island countries as partners in the region.

They reaffirmed their commitment to maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. They appreciated ASEAN’s statement on the importance of de-escalating tensions in the Taiwan Strait. The three parties share the region’s desire for diplomacy to avoid the risk of miscalculation. The U.S. Secretary and Foreign Ministers have expressed concern over recent actions by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) that seriously affect international peace and stability, including the use of large-scale military exercises.

They also stressed that there was no change in the respective one-China policies, if any, and the basic positions on Taiwan of Australia, Japan or the United States. (ANI)

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)



Tom Coffman

Tom Coffmann. (Photos courtesy of Tom Coffman)

Writer’s Note: With the help of many people, including the sons and daughter of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, I spent 10 years researching and writing “Inclusion”. The goal was to better understand how Hawai’i prepared for World War II and how the crisis of the war was handled. Why, despite intense pressure from Washington, was there no mass evacuation of the Japanese community, unlike the mass internment on the West Coast? I researched the cooperative and often heroic wartime effort that facilitated postwar political revolution, statehood, the development of an inclusive society, and Hawaii’s contribution to the country. To mark the publication of the book, I had the honor of addressing the recent 442nd RCT Annual Dinner. Here is the speech given that evening. Mahalo everyone. —Tom Coffman

I had no intention of writing about “inclusion” as a concept. On the contrary, I was guided by the conviction that the legacy of the 100th/442nd was in fact more important than had been said. I have investigated many sides of this story, from the perspective of Hawai’i, the West Coast, and Washington DC; and also pre-war, war and post-war. I concluded that the ultimate legacy of the 100th/442nd was its contribution to building an inclusive Hawaii and an inclusive America. The legacy of the 100th/442nd is not the Japanese-American story per se. This is American history. What began as a great military force has become a great moral force.

In Hawai’i, the essential question of inclusion versus exclusion was constantly at work. Under the rule of a white-based oligarchy and the Big Five Societies, was Hawai’i to be a hierarchical, segregated backwater or was it to be a multiracial democracy? This issue was compounded by a growing crisis in the 1920s and 1930s resulting from friction between Japan and the United States. Army Intelligence, Naval Intelligence and then the FBI have all conducted investigations of the Japanese community. You can imagine the tremors of apprehension this transmitted to the immigrant generation.

Meanwhile, the evolution of the Nisei generation has unwittingly acted as a sort of counter-voice, an inclusive force. The Nisei population exploded during this period. Half of the entire public school body was Nisei. Young people met across ethnic lines, not only at schools such as the famous McKinley High School, but also at the University of Hawai’i, the YMCA, progressive churches, a pan-pacific movement, the ROTC, the National Guard and, in the last year before the war, as conscripts in the US Army.


On the cover of my book are three of the heroes of what was called the Council for Racial Unity. Hung Wai Ching was originally a YMCA youth worker; Shigeo Yoshida was a teacher and later a school principal; Charles Hemenway was a near-life member of the UH Board of Trustees, a mentor and friend to all. They led a network of people to convince American officials that the people of Hawaii would be loyal in the event of war with Japan. They shed light on the choice of inclusion versus exclusion. They determined that if war broke out, they needed to minimize victimization of the Japanese ancestry community by maximizing the participation of all groups in the war effort, including the Japanese. Simply put, “Make friends before you need them”.

When Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, people across mainland America panicked. Fed by an irresponsible press, they believed the great lie of their time, that through espionage and sabotage, people of Japanese descent in Hawai’i were responsible for Japan’s military success at Pearl Harbor. I devote a long chapter to the history of this phenomenon of sabotage, the scapegoat of an imaginary enemy within. One of my archival findings was that Hawaii’s Congressman Sam King was desperately trying to persuade Washington that there had been no sabotage. His campaign was supported by numerous investigative affidavits to Congress, including that of a young police captain, John A. Burns.

With this in mind, the mass internment of Japanese in the West Coast states has become even more heinous than I previously thought. The reason for this was that by the time people were actually arrested, decision makers at the highest level had realized that there had been no sabotage in Hawai’i and that there was no justification for it. internment. Nevertheless, neither the president nor his entourage had the moral courage to stop the forced evacuation.

In Hawai’i, meetings to calm people down, educate them, and engage them in the war effort multiplied by the hundreds, in every nook and cranny, in every ethnic group on every island. The balance has tipped. What started as a massive disaster has become a massive mobilization in Hawai’i. Instead of being victims of history, the people of Hawai’i have become authors of history. To be sure, there have been many injustices – insults and abuse, the denial of constitutional due process under martial law, and the wanton internment of one to two percent of the population of Japanese descent, including some were US citizens. I think the best explanation was that inclusive community attitudes and practices prevailed in the absence of good government. Despite the mood swings, inclusiveness has allowed most people to more or less stick together and move in one direction.

The main impetus for Nisei service in the military came first from the Nisei themselves and more generally from the Hawai’i community. It was the Hawaiian Army command that got to know the Nisei and pushed a reluctant Washington to form combat units. When history was on the line, it was primarily Hawaii’s young men who filled the ranks crucially — not the mainland.

The Allied army was made up of millions of soldiers of many nationalities and ethnicities, from the Free French to the Italian partisans, from Ghurka warriors to the Jews of Palestine. Where you would expect the soldiers of Hawai’i to have all but disappeared, they have risen to the top.

The phrase “most decorated” meant that they suffered the highest casualty rates. “The purplest hearts for a unit of its size” meant they were the most injured and killed, prompting discussion about whether they were sometimes treated like cannon fodder. In fact, they engaged in some battles recklessly with no regard for life, but the fact is that the 100th/442nd was thrown into the most difficult situations by commanders desperate for highly motivated troops. They were cited first by General Mark Clark, then General Eisenhower, the Undersecretary and Secretary of War, and many others as the best American soldiers in Europe.

Immediately, the 100th/442nd became the post-war exhibition to heal the national wound of internment. President Truman told them on their return, “You fought not only the enemy, but you fought prejudice, and you won. Keep up this fight, and we’ll keep winning – for this great Republic to stand for exactly what the Constitution says it stands for: the welfare of all the people at all times. The first battle was over, the second was beginning, and the President called on the 100th/442nd to build on their record in the name of true democracy. As a shorthand for the 100th/442nd’s early post-war legacy, I think most important is how it inspired the desegregation of the United States Armed Forces by President Truman’s executive order.

The process of change began in Hawai’i in the repeated brainstorming of a more just and democratic future. These had begun in Federal Guard units, military training camps and the Varsity Victory Volunteers. They had resulted in a flow of communication between the battlefront and the home front about what the young soldiers hoped to emerge from the war. Hung Wai Ching carried one of these letters in his breast pocket wherever he went. Hemenway was a key correspondent who consistently championed the vision of a truly democratic Hawai’i. When I interviewed Governor Burns about his extensive work on World War II, the battlefield letters stood out strongly in his memory.

In short, the Democratic revolution of the 1954 territorial elections ended a half-century of oligarchic polity, and the passage of the state in 1959 ended Hawaii’s second-class status in America.

The benefits of Hawaii’s inclusion as a state spread throughout the country. We think too much about what we receive from the federal government and too little about what we have given. Hawaiian delegations led by Senator Daniel Inouye, Senator Spark Matsunaga and Representative Patsy Mink played a pivotal role in reshaping American democracy through the United States Civil Rights Act of 1964, the voting rights, a colorblind immigration law, equal access to student sports, and the Apology and Redress Act of 1988, to name the most obvious. Hawaii is a small place in the big world, but what people have done here is not nothing.

Again, thank you and aloha.

“Inclusion” by Tom Coffman is available from Native Books, an independent bookseller located in Honolulu’s Chinatown at 1164 Nu’uanu Ave. You can also buy online at nativebookshawaii.org. Other bookstores that sell “Inclusion” are Na Mea Hawai’i, Ward Village, 1200 Ala Moana Blvd., Ste. 270.; Da Shop at Kaimukï, 3565 Harding Ave.; Bookends in Kailua, 600 Kailua Rd., Ste. 126; Basically Books in Hilo, 334 Kilauea Ave.; Friends of Maui Library, E. Camp 5 Rd.; and also available for borrowing from public libraries.

Chess Olympiad Diary: From Pioneers to Party Misfortunes, The Truth About Mamallapuram Action


For a non-Olympic sport like chess, the Olympiad is the most sought-after event among its followers. In keeping with its ever-growing status – the number of participating nations reached a record 187 – the opening ceremony of the 44th Chess Olympiad at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai was truly groundbreaking.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin and several celebrities including actor Rajnikanth attended the event which was conceptualized by director Vignesh Shivan. A few segments of the evening were simply breathtaking and the show showcased the richness of Tamil culture and heritage, with choreography by Shaimak Davar and voice actor Kamal Haasan. Also, the 3D mapping was truly world class.

Social media posts indicated that the impact of the over-the-top extravagance was felt beyond the world of chess. Never before in the previous 43 editions of the Olympiad has the opening ceremony been experienced in this way. Appreciation poured in not only from those in the stands, but also from those who watched it in the digital space.

Special topics

With more than 700 approved dishes on the menus of hotels welcoming chess players, officials and delegates, each establishment tries to highlight the theme of the checkerboard, the king, the queen and the knights. At Four Points by Sheraton, where the event is taking place, the chefs have spared no effort to play the chess card. Most often, the desserts on offer sport the “chess look”…

Randa Seder

Randa Seder | Photo credit: AFP

Randa Seder — the most wanted…

Meet Randa Seder, the eight-year-old girl from Palestine. Be it an avid chess spectator, co-participant, or Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, Randa’s magic spared no one. Vice-champion of her national championship, Randa’s accession to the Olympiad is indeed very special. Although several countries have players younger than Randa, none have joined their national team for this premier competition. Palestine makes its Women’s Olympiad debut and Randa is looked after by her senior teammates. With the kind of attention Randa continues to get from the chess world, his teammates believe it could help the sport thrive in war-torn Palestine.

Vice squad

It can be said that chess is one of the very few sporting disciplines that can be called gender neutral. Female players can compete with males in the “Open”, in addition to having a separate female section. But when it comes to Bermuda Day – the Olympics’ most anticipated fun event, dress code guidelines for women have raised many eyebrows.

It reads…

3.d. Beach briefs, profanity and nude or semi-nude images printed on torn shirts, pants or jeans, holes, visible unclean clothing, sunglasses, sports caps. Revealing clothing, clothing such as denim shorts, cropped shorts, cut off shorts, athletic shorts, crop tops, tank tops and clothing made of transparent materials or clothing that exposes areas of the body that are usually covered where the event is taking place .

As if to redeem themselves, the organizers made it a paying event for the “Kings” and FREE for the “Queens”.

A justification ?

DVIDS – News – CSG 7 sailor recognized for work with U.S./Japan submarine forces


YOKOSUKA, Japan – Lt. Adam Drake, Current Operations Officer (COPS), Commander Submarine Group (CSG) 7/Commander Task Force (CTF) 74 received the Defense Cooperation Award – Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) third class during a ceremony held at JMSDF’s Funakoshi Fleet Headquarters in Yokosuka, Japan on July 11, 2022.

The son of a chief information systems technician stationed in Yokosuka, Drake was born at US Naval Hospital Yokosuka and raised in the Negishi Heights area of ​​Yokohama, Japan. Drake grew up in a bilingual family, speaking Japanese and English.

CTF 74’s close cooperation with the JMSDF submarine force, to include a permanent JMSDF liaison officer working on the staff, made Drake’s ability to speak the local language a huge advantage and asset. for both navies.

“I am truly honored to have received the Defense Cooperation Award – Third Class from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force,” Drake said. “The JMSDF is an incredible ally and together we have accomplished so much – from conducting successful training exercises to significantly increasing bilateral interoperability and executing real-world operations ensuring that Maritime lines of communication remain open against the threat while simultaneously supporting INDOPACOM theater objectives.

Vice Admiral TAWARA Tateki, Commander, Fleet Submarine Force, JMSDF, personally presented the award to Drake.

“Lieutenant. Drake has greatly supported the JMSDF by providing valuable insights and asset coordination,” TAWARA said. “His support as a professional military interpreter during discussions on the flags of major bilateral exercises, such as KEEN EDGE 22, has helped improve interoperability between the two naval services.”

Although his tour at CSG 7 has now ended, Drake will still be based in Japan. After completing his Department Head class from Surface Warfare Officers School (SWOS) in Newport, Rhode Island, he will join the crew of the amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay (LPD 20), deployed to the before in Sasebo, Japan.

“My time at CSG 7/CTF 74 has been incredibly empowering and very rewarding,” said Drake. “I was surrounded by winning warriors at every level. Everyone at CSG 7/CTF 74 gave their best every day. It was great to see the men and women of active duty sailors, reserve sailors and civilians all having a positive impact in the defense of freedom and democracy and supporting both national military strategy and the national security strategy in the face of strategic competition.

Submarine Group 7 is responsible for coordinating a diverse fleet of submarines, surface ships, and aircraft deployed in the Western Pacific and the Middle East; two forward-deployed submarine tenders and five Guam-based attack submarines; Submarine Squadron 21 in Bahrain; five ocean surveillance vessels when tasked with anti-submarine warfare operations in theater and two oceanographic survey vessels. Under CSG 7 are two task forces: CTF 74 and CTF 54, which provide theater anti-submarine warfare support from the Red Sea to the International Dateline.

For more information on the Commander of Submarine Group 7, visit www.csp.navy.mil/csg7/.

Date taken: 07.11.2022
Date posted: 08.04.2022 21:58
Story ID: 426570

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China sends fighter jets and bombers around Taiwan


Chinese official says G7 ‘played dumb’ ahead of Pelosi visit

China’s Foreign Ministry slammed the G7 leaders for their statement condemning China’s actions in the Taiwan Strait, calling them “imperialistic”.

Deputy Foreign Minister and Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying said the G7 countries were still living in the era of the Eight-Power Allied Forces more than 120 years ago.

“But this is no longer a world where imperialist powers could trample the Chinese people and China could be humiliated and bullied like over 100 years ago,” she tweeted. “It’s time for the G7 to wake up from its imperial dream.”

She said Chinese tensions with Taiwan were caused by the recent visit of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, “in defiance of China’s strong opposition and serious representations.”

China said the trip violated the one-China policy, undermined China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Hua reiterated China’s “firm opposition to separatism aimed at ‘Taiwan independence’ and foreign interference.”

“If the United States continues down the wrong path, then any consequences that ensue will be borne by the United States,” she said. “And don’t say we didn’t tell them in advance. The United States made a malicious provocation first, and China was forced to act in self-defense.”

China has promised to take “strong and resolute” countermeasures in response to such a “blatant provocation”.

Hua said the G7 should urge the United States not to make “such a dangerous, reckless and irresponsible provocation against China”.

“But before Pelosi’s visit, they played dumb,” she said.

She added that the US-led G7 “personifies aggression and coercion”.

“If someone is to be charged with aggression and coercion, the G7 countries deserve it more than anyone,” Hua said.

G7 leaders issued a statement condemning China for its recent actions against Taiwan, including “live-fire exercises and economic coercion”.

“The G7 should not forget that it is unable to represent the global community,” Hua said. “Their views represent only a tiny fraction of the world of nations. As the Singaporean scholar Kishore Mahbubani rightly wrote, the G7…is globally dictatorial.”

FX’s Shogun TV Series Just Got a Promising Update


Officially commissioned by FX in 2018, the network’s limited-edition adaptation of Shogun finally has a promising update. It’s been two years since the show’s last big news and now FX boss John Landgraf has revealed production officially wrapped on the show recently and that the show finally has a premiere window. “We have wrapped up physical production on the limited series Shogun in June, which was by far our biggest and most ambitious production ever,” Landgraf confirmed to TCA (H/T Deadline). “We still have a long post-production process ahead of us, but the show looks fantastic and will debut later next year.”

FX’s official description for the series reads: “Shōgun, set in feudal Japan, traces the collision of two ambitious men from different worlds and a mysterious samurai. John Blackthorne, a risk-taking English pilot, ends up shipwrecked in Japan, a land whose unknown culture will eventually redefine him. Lord Toranaga, a shrewd and powerful daimyo, is at odds with his own dangerous political rivals. And Lady Mariko, a woman of invaluable skill but dishonorable family ties , must prove his worth and allegiance.”

Justin Marks and Rachel Kondo are the creators of the series, based on James Clavell’s bestselling novel, with Kondo serving as showrunner. Legendary television producer Tim Van Patten on board also serves as the series’ executive producer. Director Jonathan van Tulleken helmed the first two episodes of the series.

Anna Sawai (Pachinko) stars as “Lady Mariko,” rounding out the trio of leads that also includes Hiroyuki Sanada (The Wolverine, Mortal Kombat) and Cosmo Jarvis (Peaky Blinders). They are joined by a cast that also includes Tadanobu Asano, Fumi Nikaido, Tokuma Nishioka, Takehiro Hira, Ako, Shinnosuke Abe, Yasunari Takeshima, Hiroto Kanai, Toshi Toda, Hiro Kanagawa, Nestor Carbonell, Yuki Kura, Tommy Bastow, Moeka Hoshi, Yoriko Doguchi and Yuka Kouri.

“The story of Shogun has captivated audiences since James Clavell first published his epic novel over 40 years ago,” Landgraf said in a statement when the series was announced. “The themes of a stranger encountering a new culture are as relevant now as they were then. We are honored to bring the series to viewers today.”

Shogun, the novel, was published in 1975 and became a major bestseller with over 30 million copies sold worldwide. This sparked great Western interest in Japanese culture. The original Shogun miniseries event premiered in September 1980 for five nights on NBC. Building on the earlier success of Roots, Shogun helped establish the miniseries as an ambitious new television genre.

Check back here for more updates on the series as we learn them.

Do you want a gun license? NY plans to review your social media accounts


New York’s recently overhauled process for screening gun license applicants contains a controversial twist: Social media accounts will soon become fodder for investigators as they examine an applicant’s bona fides.

After the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a key feature of the state’s licensing process earlier this year, New York lawmakers rushed to tighten licensing requirements and restrict where residents can carry firearms. These and other mandates were included in a sprawling firearms legislative package, which was passed in early July and is due to come into force on September 1.

But the social media requirement in particular is generating a lot of outside scrutiny and skepticism. Depending on how it’s implemented, legal experts say it could lead to confusion and, almost certainly, further litigation.

“It’s just another debacle,” said Peter Tilem, a Westchester-based Second Amendment lawyer. “New York seemed to place a premium on being first and not necessarily succeeding.”

The Supreme Court’s June decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen established that the state’s high bar for obtaining a concealed carry license violated the US Constitution. Although it struck down the elusive ‘just cause’ standard – which required a claimant to provide specific reasoning for carrying a firearm – the High Court left almost every other aspect of the broad trial process in place. obtaining a permit from New York.

After:Landmark Supreme Court gun ruling prompts race to test limits of Second Amendment

New gun lawsNY Passes Action on Guns and Abortion in Response to Supreme Court Rulings

How will NY review social media accounts?

FILE - This image combination shows logos for leftist companies, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.

Applicants will soon have to disclose to licensing officials “a list of former and current social media accounts”, going back three years. This information will be used to determine the “good character” of the applicant, a prerequisite for obtaining a firearms license.

That New York requires gun license applicants to be of “good character” is nothing new.

The morality requirement has been part of New York’s licensing process for more than a century. And some states with licensing regimes that were implicitly blessed by the Supreme Court’s decision contain similar “appropriate person” requirements.

“The purpose of these requirements is to widen the net a little bit and capture behavior that is not criminal but could raise concerns that that person has a concealed carry permit,” explained Andrew Willinger, executive director of the Duke Center for Firearms. Right. “There are already group prohibitions on gun ownership at the state and federal level.”

But now that New York’s “proper cause” standard has been eliminated from law, experts are wondering how and if the language of moral character will gain new prominence, and what role social media posts should play in that. assessment, if applicable.

Willinger notes that the law’s durability will depend on how it is applied in practice, adding that “there are likely to be challenges more generally, with people saying the good character requirement is basically used in the same way than good cause.”

What are the potential downsides?

FILE - Illegally owned firearms seized by authorities are displayed during a news conference on October 9, 2018 in Los Angeles.

Using social media feeds to vet candidates in this way, beyond the character references that many candidates already provide, presents a unique challenge for officials who may not understand the vernacular of social media. or who will have to assess flows consistently and objectively.

Social media usage varies widely across platforms, with some users maintaining accounts for business purposes and others preferring anonymous accounts in order to troll, spam and harass.

“Social media can be a kind of window into people’s interests,” observes Clare Norins, director of the First Amendment Clinic at the University of Georgia School of Law. “I certainly understand the desire to build some due diligence into the law, to look and see if there are any red flags.”

But without clear guidance on how streams should be assessed, Norins said it could allow officials to exercise unfettered discretion and, potentially, “open the door to viewpoint discrimination.”

“If a government official doesn’t personally agree with what you have in your account, or doesn’t like it for any reason related to their own biases, they can potentially use it against you,” a she explained.

Many questions remain unanswered about the level of invasiveness that will come with this new review, including how officials will access private streams and whether the First Amendment protection of anonymity will extend to applicants with anonymous accounts.

After the reforms were passed, the New York State Association of County Clerks wrote to Governor Kathy Hochul, warning her that “the process as it now stands will be riddled with complex, confusing, and redundant compliance hurdles,” according to Spectrum News.

New York City has issued rules clarifying how licensing officers must assess a person’s moral character, including references to their criminal history, driving record and certain outstanding debts. But those rules don’t apply statewide, and the injection of entirely new media promises to complicate that process.

The USA Today Network New York sought guidance from the governor’s office on how to interpret the recently enacted changes, but did not receive a final response.

Until then, county-level officials charged with investigating license applicants will make their own decisions, based on their own judgment, about the appropriateness of the online discourse.

News of the proposal was met with fierce resistance from subscribers to /r/NYguns, a popular Reddit forum for Second Amendment enthusiasts in New York City. Although it may be against the law, one user’s strategy illustrated a seemingly inevitable conflict in the future: “Tell them you don’t have a social network and let them try to to find.”

Gary Snyder joins the greats


One of the most influential figures of the San Francisco Renaissance, Gary Snyder, has entered the Library of America, a series that shows the breadth and diversity of our canon with one ambitious new volume after another, even though unfortunately its publishers do not always do so. put merit first.

In the case of the new inductee, the quality of the work prevents any struggle over whether he deserves such an accolade. Like his friend and traveling companion Jack Kerouac, whom he survived for well over half a century, Snyder is deeply interested in bliss, revelry, transcendence, Dionysian extremes and beauty as it manifests itself in literature and in the world. Like Kerouac always, he rejects the current tendency to relegate to the hole of the memory all that belongs to the past and which does not correspond to all the sensitivities of today.

Like Kenneth Rexroth, considered by some to be the catalyst for the West Coast’s literary revival, Snyder’s inner compass led him to the Far East and to the city we know today as Kyoto, formerly Heian Kyo, which was the capital of a flourishing culture. and nation for over a thousand years. Here is a West Coast poet who cannot ignore the call of Japan. During the heyday of Snyder’s spiritual house, writing verse was as common as breathing.

The world and us
The Collected Poems of Gary Snyder (Library of America).

Although never overtly political, a few of these poems show concern for an environment that we humans have not dealt with admirably. But ecology is part of a larger vision uniting personal and social imperatives in a unique way.

Snyder’s ecological concerns come to the fore as he insists that people can do better, must do better, not just in their habits and consumption patterns, but in their thoughts and deeds as members. of a diet. In “Hills of Home,” you’ll find one of the darkest and most ironic tales of the Bay Area ever put to paper. Although known the world over for its beauty and easy living, San Francisco enjoys a rather different distinction in this poem. Snyder admits the opulence of the place, “bonewhite in blue sea bay”, while naming as its main features “two large prisons”, Alcatraz and San Quentin, and “an oil refinery”, with many sailboats all around and jagged rocks where you can sit and have your lunch amidst the breeze.

The poem gives new meaning to damnation with light praise. We’re throwing people into the slammer at a breakneck pace and killing jails and oil even as we defile and ruin the beauty of the world. But the construction of the poem is too clever, the imagery too indelible, for it to sound moralizing.

One of the Kyoto period works, “Bomb Test”, opens with a haunting image: “Fish float on their bellies, for real – / Uranium in the white / of their eyes.” These fish were minding their business, at an ocean level so deep beneath the waves that all you see around you is darkness, when “the silver snow of something strange / shimmered / from the cirrus clouds to the mountains submarines”.

Leave it to humans to disturb the beauty and harmony of the world for their gross and selfish purposes. As yet another figure associated with San Francisco’s Renaissance, Kenneth Patchen, put it in “Continuation of the Landscape,” “only man / Would change his distance from this beautiful center.”

Yes, he may be environmentalist and in that sense progressive. But in Gary Snyder, we have a designer who eschews the banalities and trivialities of partisan politics, while suggesting a sky-blue pastoral reality where extremes meet, or where those with totally different values ​​might actually find common ground. Along with his concern for the natural world, Snyder brings, again and again, an ethic of personal responsibility.

What have you become?

You are bound to wonder why, in so many of his poems, people who consume huge volumes of alcohol and tobacco don’t seem to be having a good time. In fact, their level of happiness may seem inversely proportional to their indulgence in these pleasure-identified chemicals. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that Snyder’s subjects, whether they reside in California or Japan, cannot fail to notice the beauty of the landscapes around them and feel all the more how deeply their moral nature is. out of place in the midst of such splendor and grace, like a heap of trash in a field of daisies.

Sometimes it’s the circumstances of their party that make it impossible to feel good about what they’re doing. In the poem “April”, Snyder describes his experience sleeping with a lover on a grassy slope. It turns out that she is pregnant for the third time. He speaks directly to this lover, having obtained “your husband’s blessing on our brief doomed love.” All the wine, the sun and the sex do not make happy the two runaways or others to whom the poem alludes, but maintain a Puritan guilt if largely inarticulate, the indelible impression of which shines through in a final image: “The sun burns the / Writhing snakebone / From your back.

In another poem, “Makings,” Snyder recalls growing up watching his father’s friends rolling cigarettes, a habit he picked up on himself, but not under the rosiest of circumstances. His father lived in a big house, but Snyder describes himself as the black sheep of the family, a slacker with questionable ethics who didn’t come to enjoy the post-war prosperity of others and now lives in a hut. Rolling cigarettes in your cabin, like your father’s friends used to do, is progress and a good life for you.

nature does not respect you

In “Map”, Snyder invites the reader to imagine a farm in the middle of a lush valley teeming with pastures where cows, deer, hawks, crows, wrens and frogs abound, and the farm dwellers are significantly less well-adjusted than these other inhabitants. The stock market is in the doldrums and it is difficult to sell corn. The world around them doesn’t care, because they are just visitors blissfully unaware of the brevity of their stay. The poem concludes: “The woods have time. / The farmer has heirs.

The natural world is everywhere in this work, and it is not uncommon for the reader to feel that we are simply unworthy of it and that it does not and should not give us esteem. Not only are we ecologically clumsy, but we fall short of any ideal of virtue in our daily behavior and our treatment of others.

One of Snyder’s heroes is Alan Watts, whose quintessential work This Is It argues for recognizing the urgency of the moment and the truth of the trope that life is not something that will happen later when all your plans come to fruition, it’s here, it’s now, for a fleeting moment. That’s it. “For Alan Watts” is a written tribute to the guru’s death in 1973. It would be easy to interpret Watts’ teachings as a call for hedonism and decadence, but Snyder urges people to rise to their best their personal and social abilities and thus achieve a more mature life. reading this ethos.

The Far East hypnotizes

For all the liveliness of its evocations of the Bay Area and the Midwest, it is Kyoto that inspires the most eloquent passages in the thousand pages of this volume. In the Kyoto plays, in particular, the unity of the poet’s pleas for ecological and personal rectitude is evident. Snyder doesn’t need epic length to say what he has to say. Some of the poems are as concise as anything by Dickinson or Frost.

“Housekeeping in Kyoto” is just eight lines about Snyder’s decision to throw away a red washcloth he found one day in 1956 while camping with Kerouac, shortly before he left for Asia. . The cloth languished in man’s excavations in Kyoto and, he tells us, has faded to a grayish-pink hue from its incessant use to clean smoky pots. In a few lines, he says a lot about a way of life and the habits of complacency he indulges in without regard for the wear and tear they inflict. He traveled thousands of miles to a place of splendor and grace, and lived in a way hardly befitting his environment or certain standards of discipline and righteousness.

“I See Old Friend Dan Ellsberg on TV in a Mountain Village in Japan” is an account of the Vietnamese-era activist observing him standing at a spot amid the rice paddies of the Yura Valley in Kyoto Prefecture and speak to the camera as owls screech from their nocturnal roosts. Snyder likes Ellsberg’s message, which is that the world should disarm and that Japan should maintain its post-war neutrality and not get into the great power conflicts that nearly ended the world and could still do so. . The reader senses that, for Snyder, the appeal of what Ellsberg has to say here goes a little deeper. Snyder wants Japan to retain its cultural idiosyncrasy and perhaps even return to the splendor that Western encroachments over the years have helped to bury.

But today’s Japan has come a long way since the heyday of Heian Kyo, thanks in part to Western junk food culture but also to Japanese choices. The personal failures Snyder alludes to are not the exclusive domain of Westerners, he subtly suggests. Rather, they may be universal, or at least cross-cultural, traits of the fallen world in which we live. “Seeing the Ox” is an equally laconic poem from Kyoto with a slightly misleading title, as it is the ox, standing outside the Daitoku temple, that watches.

Snyder describes a drooling, sad creature watching the children playing near the temple “with rolling eyes” as it lingers over a pile of its own excrement. They behave like a bunch of dumb western tourists. The poem raises more questions than it answers, leaving the reader to speculate on the emotional intelligence of a putatively inarticulate creature who may not respond well to frivolity, not to say impudence. , exuberant children outside a monument that once housed a sacred place. place in Heian Kyo culture.

advice on what to expect and how to prepare


The Guideline for Good Clinical Practice – an international ethical and scientific quality standard covering aspects of the design, execution and reporting of clinical trials – has not been revised since November 2016. Considering all the changes that the field of drug development has seen in almost every corner of the ensuing six years, it might be time for an update.

Many operations struggle to understand and implement these standards. To learn more, Outsourcing-Pharma spoke with Sonia Araujo, Head of Product Management for LifeSphere Clinical at ArisGlobal.

OSP: Could you please share some of the ways the drug development industry’s understanding of the balance between advancing treatments and protecting patient safety has evolved over the years. year ?

SA: For pharmaceutical companies, being first to market with a new drug has long-term financial benefits and increased market share. Therefore, any delay in conducting their clinical trials and obtaining their marketing authorization may negate this potential benefit.

For patients, any delay in bringing medicines and treatments to market can affect both their economic prospects and their health; maybe the difference between life and death for some people. As citizens, we have all seen in the media when clinical trials have gone wrong, or even when a drug on the market has had significant adverse effects in the general population. Advancements in technology mean that we are all more “in the know”. We understand our health data, we expect a certain level of patient care, and we want faster results.

And then there was COVID-19! The pandemic and the need for vaccines and drugs in record time has proven (in my eyes) that this industry can move faster while maintaining rigorous safety controls.

OSP: How have regulatory agencies such as the FDA and EMA kept pace: did they serve as a leading voice/resource, did they fall behind a bit, or a mixture of both?

Sonia Araujo, Head of Product Management for LifeSphere Clinical, ArisGlobal

SA: The complexity of clinical trials has increased dramatically over the past 20 years. According to Ken Getz and Rafael Campo​, the number of procedures per patient over the 2011-2015 period jumped between 53% and 70% (depending on the study phase) compared to the 2001-2005 period; and the number of patient visits increased by 25-29%. That’s a lot of data to manage, for sponsors and their CROs, as well as regulatory agencies.

We all sometimes have issues with regulators, but overall I think they have maintained a good balance between patient safety and getting medicines to market faster. Embrace regulators’ move towards risk-based approaches – it really helps sponsors and CROs focus on the things that matter.

Another example is the new European Union (EU) regulation on clinical trials which came into force earlier this year. Yes, I know, several years later than the original plan. But now that it’s out, there are several things that should speed up clinical trials and ultimately have a positive impact on patients.

For example, prior to the regulation, sponsors conducting trials in multiple EU member states had to submit clinical trial applications separately to national competent authorities and ethics committees in each country, in order to obtain approval. regulations for their trial. Now sponsors only need to submit a single application to conduct a trial in multiple EU countries.

OSP: How have technology tools like CTMS helped?

SA: A modern clinical trial management system (CTMS) helps clinical operations teams accelerate timelines through better planning, stay organized, and reduce complexity. A CTMS facilitates better cross-functional collaboration between clinical operations, data management, and other teams to identify critical risks affecting trial quality or patient safety. Clinical teams can uncover hidden study risks with industry-standard questions and score study risks based on likelihood, impact, and detectability. As a result, a more airtight risk plan strengthens a clinical study report and ultimately increases study success.

OSP: What other technological advances have helped to design and run more efficient and safer trials?

SA: Trial master files (TMFs) play a crucial role in the success of clinical trials, and the evolution of electronic TMFs only improves the process. eTMF systems provide the automated tools and capabilities needed for the most efficient clinical operations by aligning clinical documentation with regulations and study protocols into a single source of truth.

An eTMF system also streamlines TMF inspections to handle complex audits quickly and efficiently. Maintaining compliance with built-in workflows and dashboards enables easy reconstruction of trials. And let’s not forget the sites and their equivalent investigator site file (ISF). When the site’s eISF is integrated with the sponsor’s eTMF, compliance compliance and efficiencies multiply for both stakeholders. It’s also an example where technology can support stronger relationships between sponsors, CROs and venues.

OSP: Could you please tell us about the GCP guidelines? How have they supported the design and execution of clinical trials in the past, and what is covered in the reviews this time around?

SA: GCP standards help organizations control quality while developing cutting-edge medicines. The ICH plans to publish a revision of the GCP guidelines in August 2023 – the ICH E6 (R3) guideline. As before, the guideline will describe the responsibilities and expectations of all stakeholders in the conduct of clinical trials.

The review focuses on two goals – ensuring patient safety and maintaining data integrity – recognizing the increased diversity of trial designs and data sources. Various sources of data – such as trials using master protocols, adaptive clinical trials and decentralized clinical trials – continue to grow in number. Health authorities fear that this diversity of data could introduce new risks. ICH wants to ensure that these risks do not outweigh the benefits of new drugs and medical devices.

OSP: Please talk about some of the barriers that small operations face in this area.

(Andrew Brookes/iStock via Getty Images Plus)

SA: Smaller life science organizations sometimes struggle to meet GCP guidelines due to limited resources, time constraints, and budget issues. For example, it is common for staff in small organizations to wear many hats and sometimes without the collective knowledge base present in large pharmaceutical companies. Often multiple spreadsheets and documents are used to monitor milestones and manage risk to reduce costs.

Other common obstacles include an immature data infrastructure and the fear that operationalizing a digital strategy could hamper productivity and negatively impact their level of competitiveness. Hiring CROs and ISVs who know best business practices can help small organizations overcome these hurdles.

OSP: What about useful technologies? Are they increasingly accessible to smaller or more inaccessible operations?

SA: Today’s technologies such as CTMS, eTMF and EDC systems help organizations of all sizes achieve their goals and stay compliant. They contribute to risk management, cost reduction, efficient conduct and safety of clinical studies. We have seen an increase in the number of software vendors for these solutions, which has made the technology available to more organizations, more targeted to the needs of different organizations, and at different price points.

Clearly, if organizations want to make progress in the life sciences industry, they cannot afford to stay disconnected throughout the process. A key consideration for small organizations would be to find a solution that is scalable and can grow with their changing needs.

OSP: How can a company like ArisGlobal help operations of different sizes succeed and compete with the bigger ones?

SA: Small and medium-sized farms feel the pressure when they bring their first therapies to market. With deadlines fast approaching, an organization’s success and momentum depends on its preparation. By using our LifeSphere platform, a company is rooting itself in a technology partner who will grow with it and support it through every crucial stage of research and development. LifeSphere streamlines countless data sources, improves the efficiency of distributed teams, and ensures compliance with global regulatory agencies.

OSP: Do you have anything to add?

SA: To quote the ICH, “Clinical trials must be conducted in accordance with ethical principles which have their origins in the Declaration of Helsinki and which are consistent with good clinical practice (GCP) and applicable regulatory requirements”. Nowadays, much more data is gathered during clinical trials, which guarantees better results but poses problems for sponsors, CROs, sites and regulators.

Despite this, patient safety remains paramount! Our industry has powerful technology to partner with to ensure that clinical trials are expedited by reducing risk, while remaining compliant with guidelines and regulations such as the upcoming ICH E6 (R3) guideline. CROs play a vital role in this commitment, ensuring that our industry thrives for the benefit of all stakeholders.

Bullet Train: There’s a big problem with Brad Pitt’s new movie


Ah, High-speed train.

I am eager to High-speed train because Kotaro Isaka’s book of the same name (from which it’s adapted) is a pure banger, a delightfully twisted page-turner. One of its main characters is a ruthless assassin who obsessively (and knowingly) quotes Thomas the Chariot Engine, for God’s sake. It’s wonderfully distorted.

When I got to the first chapter of Lemon – Lemon is the character’s name – I was hooked. And there’s a lot more to love about it than that. The problem with the film, however, is evident even before its release next week. It’s just looks Wrong. I mean, where are the Japanese actors? In promos and trailers and everything. Why are they in the background?

I won’t talk about cultural appropriation here, because I’m afraid that term is being overused. Nor will I write a treatise on Hollywood’s still poor treatment of Asian actors, although I can. This isn’t me trying to be “woke” – a word I don’t like because it’s a ridiculous, overexposed term mostly used as a stick by talkative culture warriors on the right. Or “PC”, its ancestor. In fact, the cast is actually admirably diverse. Which is welcome.

It replaces Isaka’s Japanese team of assassins (although they’re not really a team) with an international cast. But come on. It’s a story about a Japanese cultural icon, a bullet train – a well-made bullet train, years before the UK started spending money on something that won’t be probably not as good. That it pushes Japanese characters into the background, at least as far as promotional material goes, is shocking. It’s just. It looks wrong.

I get Brad Pitt’s involvement. It’s devilishly hard to crack a movie that doesn’t involve superheroes or come from some other pre-existing blockbuster property – like Superior gun‘s suite, for example – right now. If you’re starting something new, it’s a lot easier if you have an A-list name with a nine-figure hit streak front and center.

But surely the writers could have achieved this without forcing the Japanese characters to sit in the back row? Audiences have been very receptive to Japanese cultural exports, especially cartoons. Demon Slayer: Mugen Train racked up half a billion dollars in worldwide ticket sales for a trippy and at times downright bizarre film, while still managing to retain an emotional core. And, at least in this country, he had to overcome a 15 certificate.

The marvelous drive my car was more of a critical (and arthouse) success, as opposed to a bona fide international hit, perhaps unsurprisingly given its three-hour runtime and Chekhov’s obsession. But it was a success, in those terms, and it won Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Director at the Oscars before winning the inevitable Best International Feature to add to its bulging trophy cabinet.

So don’t tell me that Japanese properties won’t sell to an international audience unless they are internationalized first. They can. And do. It’s not just South Korea, with its Parasite and squid game, which is capable of producing global hits. It’s perhaps my long-standing appreciation of Japan’s rich cinematic tradition and its other cultural exports that makes me feel uneasy about this film – which is set in Japan, but seems to want to distance itself from the country at the same time.

Audiences high on Netflix, with its deep well of high-quality foreign-language content, are far more open-minded than Hollywood gives them credit for. They are, I think, able to see the problem. They’re not as dumb as movie directors like to think. I should point out that Isaka himself spoke in favor of the film – something worth noting. This will of course sell him a lot of books and introduce his work to a global audience (a good thing). But there are plenty of authors in a similar position who have seen adaptations of their work and cried foul.

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In other words: imagine a Robin Hood movie that attempts to excise Nottingham, and with only the roles of Alan-a-Dale and Friar Tuck reserved for British actors. Think how it would be with right-wing tabloids.

Want to see how bad it can get with an ill-chosen Robin? Check out Kevin Costner’s turn in green, if you can bear to constantly hear bloody Brian Adams singing “Everything I Do” throughout the movie. You might be better off watching it with the volume down, except during the Alan Rickman scenes (he steals the movie as the Sheriff of Nottingham).

Look, I will see High-speed train. I love the book, and popcorn action movies can be a real tonic if done right. This one doesn’t have to be equal John Wick (and it probably won’t). It should only be a little better than The gray man to make the trip worth it.

But Hollywood can and should do better with its casting choices. And yes, I will say it: there seems to be a blind spot when it comes to Asian actors in general – and that needs to be fixed.

Maui Baker Wins 3 Months of Free Rental Space at Queen Ka’ahumanu Center


July 31, 2022, 3:10 p.m. HST

Four made-in-Hawai’i brands — Happie Happie Joie Joie, Maui Glass Shapers, Edana Joy Crochet and Maui Slime Co. — took center stage at the Queen Kaʻahumanu Center on Saturday to compete for free rental space for three months. during the 2nd Annual Start With A Cart competition.

The winner was Jocelyn Kanaele of Happie Happie Joie Joie, a baker from the Hali’imaile General Store. She won the most votes from the public and the highest scores from a jury.

Happie Happie Joie Joie is a company that makes artisanal pastries.

“This competition gives our buyers a voice in the products they want to see and truly embodies QKC’s core values ​​of community, culture and commerce,” said Kauwela Bisquera, General Manager of Queen Ka’ ahumanu Center.

Mise Kimono, a Japanese-inspired fashion company, won the inaugural Start with a Cart last year. The company opened its cart in the fall of 2021 and moved to a physical location next to Jeans Warehouse Kids in March 2022.


“It’s amazing how many small local businesses are thriving here and want to open in QKC,” said Shannon Loo, founder of Mise Kimono and judging panel for this year’s competition. “People come back, people shop, families come together. It’s a wonderful feeling to be part of a mall that guides it to the local community.


The contest is sponsored by the Queen Ka’ahumanu Center, the Maui County Office of Economic Development and the HawaiiUSA Federal Credit Union.

Cartoon Network and FOX Kids Latin America helped make me who I am



I grew up in the Dominican Republic, where Cartoon Network was a whole different beast: it introduced me to anime and had Boomerang cartoons playing throughout. Without forgetting my other right arm: FOX Kids, which later became Jetix. There, most anime channels showed as much anime as Western-style animation. It was a big culture shock when I came to live in the United States, and only Toonami supported me. However, is one day a week already enough? Luckily, we now have streaming…

Image: Screenshots

Cartoon Network was a few years behind when it came to filler cartoons there, and I grew up watching cartoons that my dad told me he watched as a kid too, like some of my favourites : Tom and Jerry and Bugs Bunny/Looney Tunes (the very old ones which were mostly happy melodies and seemed to have an eternal tint of blue), The Banana Split, Falling, Whacky Races, The Jetsons, The Flintstones, Scooby-Doo…but we also got the most recent desires they were kids in. I used to love them so much and I still sing for the A puppy named Scooby-Doo theme song as well as Banana Splits.

I have very fond memories of Cartoon Network growing up; and I will always feel like the Hanna-Barbera and Tex Avery shows are a very strong bond with my dad. Books and cartoons are things we tend to talk about a lot, even when he makes fun of me for still watching them… However, the joke is on him since he keeps comparing things and people to all these cartoons. I hate to break it to you, Dad, but you’re as big a nerd as I am. Cartoon Network will always be my favorite channel after introducing me to other favorites growing up, like the Cartoon Cartoon segments, Dexter’s Lab, The Powerpuff Girls, Two Stupid Dogs, Swatcats, Cow and Chicken, Johnny Bravo, I am Weasel, Beetlejuice, Freakazoid!, Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi, Space Ghost Coast to Coast.

I still can’t get used to the fact that Cartoon Network over there would show cartoons all day and night, every day, not just during Toonami. It was one of the hardest things for me to get used to when I moved here: hardly any channels showed anime! I don’t think I’ll ever get used to how rights work. Cartoon Network presented me with some gems: my favorite forever Sakura card sensor (or as I knew it at the time, “Sakura Card Captor”), Yui Concealer (another one that I loved), Pokémon, InuYasha, Hamtaro, Samurai X, Super Doll Licca Chan, Nadja of tomorrow. Later it also showed other shows I liked like Saint Seiya, Ranma 1/2, Naruto, and dragonball (including Z and GT).

Then we also had another channel that gave me immense pleasure with their selection of shows, FOX Kids/Jetix. This channel introduced me to others on my top list including Digimon, Shinzo, Shaman King, Shin Chan, Mon Colle Knights, Cyber ​​Team in Akihabara, Tonde Buurin, Angela Anaconda, Monster Rancher, Dinozaurs, Patlabor the Mobile Police, Flint: the Time Detective, Medabots, Beyblade.

Most of these shows, especially Card sensors and Digimon, shaped me who I am as an adult. Not only did I acquire my love for art and animation and also for the magical aesthetic that I love, but I think it helped me learn more about life, friendship and management of anxiety and depression. Just like the Harry Potter books were also my escape from the real world and magical places where I could be myself without fear of judgment. These are also the grounds where I have met incredible people and made great friendships. Thanks to them growing up and even now, I never really felt alone, even when I was. During times of trial these have been my comfort.

Posted in: Cartoon Network, Television | Tagged: animation, anime, cartoon network, cartoons, FOX Kids, tv

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There’s a Big Problem With Brad Pitt’s ‘Bullet Train’ Movie

Ah, High-speed train.

I am eager to High-speed train because Kōtarō Isaka’s book of that name (from which it is adapted) is a straight banger, a deliciously twisted page-turner. One of its main characters is a ruthless assassin who obsessively (and knowingly) quotes Thomas the Tank Engine, for God’s sake. It’s wonderfully distorted.

When I got to the first chapter of Lemon – Lemon is the character’s name – I was hooked. And there’s a lot more to love about it than that. The problem with the film, however, is apparent even before its release next week. It’s just looks Wrong. I mean, where are the Japanese actors? In promos and trailers and everything. Why are they in the background?

I won’t talk about cultural appropriation here because I’m afraid that term is being overused. Nor will I write a treatise on Hollywood’s still poor treatment of Asian actors, although I can. This isn’t me trying to be “woke” – a word I don’t like because it’s a ridiculous, overexposed term mostly used as a stick by talkative culture warriors on the right. Or “PC” is a precursor. In fact, the cast is, in fact, admirably diverse. Which is welcome.

It replaces Isaka’s Japanese team of assassins (although they’re not really a team) with an international cast. But come on. It’s a story set on a Japanese cultural icon, a bullet train – a bullet train done right years before the UK started spending money on something that probably won’t not as good. The fact that this pushes the Japanese characters into the background, at least as far as all the promotional material goes, is shocking. It’s just. It just looks fake.

I get Brad Pitt’s involvement. It’s devilishly hard to crack a movie that doesn’t feature superheroes or come from some other pre-existing blockbuster property – like Superior gun‘s suite, for example – right now. If you’re starting something new, it’s a lot easier if you have an A-list name with a nine-figure hit streak front and center.

But surely the writers could have achieved this without having the Japanese characters sit so obviously in the back row? Audiences have been very receptive to the country’s cultural exports, especially cartoons. Demon Slayer: Mugen Train racked up half a billion dollars in worldwide ticket sales for a trippy and at times downright bizarre film, while still managing to retain an emotional core. And, at least in this country, he had to overcome a 15 certificate.

The marvelous drive my car was more of a critical and house art hit, as opposed to a bona fide international hit (perhaps unsurprisingly given its three-hour runtime and Chekhov obsession). But it was on those terms, and it won Best Picture, Adapted Screenplay and Director’s Nods at the Oscars before winning the inevitable “Best International Feature” to add to its bulging trophy cabinet.

So don’t tell me that Japanese properties won’t sell to an international audience unless they are internationalized first. They can. And do. It’s not just South Korea, with its Parasite and his squid game, which is capable of producing global hits. Maybe it’s just my long appreciation of Japan’s rich cinematic tradition and other cultural exports that bother me about this movie, which is set in Japan while taking Japan out.

But the audience, raised on Netflix, with its high-quality foreign-language content, is far more open-minded than Hollywood gives it credit for. They are, I think, able to see the problem. They’re not as dumb as movie directors like to think. I have to point out that Isaka came out in favor of the movie, which is worth noting. This will of course sell him a lot of books and introduce his work to a global audience (a good thing). But there are plenty of authors in a similar position who have seen adaptations of their work and cried foul.

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But put it this way: imagine a Robin Hood movie trying to excise Nottingham, and with only Alan-a-Dale and Friar Tuck reserved for British actors. Think how it would be with right-wing tabloids.

Want to see how badly it can go with an ill-chosen Robin? Check out Kevin Costner’s turn in green, if you can bear to constantly hear bloody Brian Adams singing “Everything I Do” throughout the film. But you might be better off watching it with the volume down, except during the Alan Rickman scenes (he steals the movie as the Sheriff of Nottingham).

Look, I will see High-speed train. I love the book and popcorn action movies can be a real tonic if done right. This one doesn’t have to be equal John Wick (and it probably won’t). It should only be a little better than The gray man to make the trip worth it.

But Hollywood can and should do better with its casting choices. And yes, I will say it. He seems to have a blind spot when it comes to Asian actors in general – and that needs to be fixed.

Brazilian vegan meat giant takes over 4 Los Angeles restaurants for 4 weeks

Brazilian plant-based food tech company Future Farm is launching a series of restaurant buyouts in Los Angeles to put more plant-based meat on menus. The brand is teaming up with Italian grocery store Ggiata, pizzeria Prince Street Pizza, baseball-themed cafe Cofax and burger restaurant Golden State to curate plant-based dishes that will be available until August 21 .

At Ggiata, Future Farm’s vegan meatballs are featured in the Future Farm Meatball Parm vegan sub, which also comes with Kite Hill vegan ricotta cheese, basil pesto and pomodoro sauce. “Expanding our plant-based offerings is a priority for us as we grow our business. We discovered Future Farms a few months ago through our friend [Kate Burr] and were so impressed with their product,” Ggiata posted on Instagram. “Their commitment to using non-GMO ingredients and adopting sustainable practices made them the perfect partner.

At Prince Street Pizza, the brand’s vegan meatballs are featured on the Future Farm Vegan Supreme Pizza, which is topped with vegan cheese, Italian chiles, onions, bell peppers, mushrooms and a drizzle of olive oil. Starting next week, Cofax will offer Future Farm’s Breakfast Chorizo ​​Burrito, and Golden State will sell Future Farm’s Burger Spicy Smash.

Jake Ahles

Founded by Brazilian entrepreneur Marcos Leta and his business partner Alfredo Strechinsky in 2019, Future Farm aims to become a global leader in food technology, delivering innovative, high-end and competitive products that fuel the booming vegan meat industry. growth. The brand’s partnerships with restaurants in LA are the first in a series of restaurant buyouts across the country, with partnerships in New York taking place in the fall.

“Future Farm is about eating what you love, differently. Whether it’s a meat-lover’s pizza – hold the meat – or a vegan meatball sub, we want to change the the way the world eats by encouraging people to eat more plants,” Clare Perez, Marketing Director of Future Farm, North America, told VegNews. “We’re partnering with four amazing restaurants in Los Angeles because of our shared values: we like to have fun, we like to eat and we always have our finger on the pulse of the next big thing. We will be rolling out even more partnerships and events across the country in the months ahead.

Future Farm expands to the United States

Ultimately, Future Farm aims to make animal meat obsolete by creating products that are as close to animal protein as possible to encourage people to make simple changes to sustainable plant-based foods to save the planet. In the three years since its launch, Future Farm has expanded product availability to 30 countries and counting.

Last year, before a $58 million Series C investment increase, the brand became available in the United States through online retailers GTFO It’s Vegan, Vejii and Hungry Harvest and began working with the distributor Superior Foods International to bring its flagship product, the Future Burger, followed by its Future Meatball, Future Sausage and Future Beef, to U.S. supermarkets nationwide at competitive prices. Future Farms’ products are made from non-GMO plant-based ingredients, including its “3-Plant Protein” consisting of pea protein, soy protein and chickpea flour. The brand also plans to expand into the plant-based beverage and dairy product segments with a focus on the European and American markets.


Future Farm

The four LA restaurants are the latest step in Future Farm’s restaurant expansion into the United States. Earlier this year, Future Farm made its U.S. catering debut at San Francisco’s Chase Center sports arena, home to six-time NBA champion Golden State Warriors, where its products are offered in vegan and vegetarian dishes at The Green House, including a Future Ferme Smash Burger. The brand is also considered the official plant-based meat of the Golden State Warriors and Chase Center, where there are a growing number of vegan foods available, such as a vegan brownie batter milkshake, crispy tofu wok sweet, vegan lumpia and vegetable sausage. In addition to the Smash Burger, Chase Center offers the Future Farm Meatball Sub throughout the arena.

“To change the way the world eats, making slaughterhouses and animal protein products obsolete, we will continue to bring consumers into the category with quality, variety and flavor, and deliver joy and gluttony to the plant-based food experience,” Leta said in a statement.

For the latest vegan news, read:
A cultured seafood start-up takes on the world’s most popular farmed fish
Tony Hawk’s Favorite Vegan Donut Maker Raises $9 Million
Members of Congress push for meatless meals at all federal facilities

Happy Birthday VegNews! To celebrate, we’re having a mega subscription sale, with amazing vegan prizes.


Audubon chapter in Seattle will change name, reprimanding slaver



One of the largest chapters in the National Audubon Society network changes its name to set itself apart from John James Audubon, the famed naturalist who was also a slaveholder and outspoken critic of those who sought to free African Americans from bondage .

In a virtual meeting with members on Tuesday, Seattle Audubon leaders described the action as a bold move to be among the first to change its name to promote “anti-racism,” diversity and inclusion — and perhaps set an example for the 117-plus-450 chapters of the old society to follow. The chapter’s resolution to make the change was approved a few weeks ago by a 9-0 vote.

In a statement, Claire Catania, executive director of the Seattle chapter, said: “The shameful legacy of the real John James Audubon, not the mythologized version, is contrary to the mission of this organization and its values.”

The move is part of a tally by ornithology, birding, and the broader U.S. conservation movement to address historical racism in its organizations and practices. Seattle Audubon said it would probably take six months to come up with a new name.

In recent months, conservation groups such as Audubon, Sierra Club, Union of Concerned Scientists and Environmental Defense Fund have attacked national parks and monuments made up of land stolen from natives and honorary bird names given to men who were Indian grave robbers, slavers and racists who in some cases compared black people to orangutans.

Audubon, an accomplished illustrator of American birds, stands out as one of the most recognized names in conservation. He had been dead for about 45 years when in 1896, two Massachusetts women named a society that began to protect endangered egrets in his honor, oblivious to his more troubling past. Now, the organizations he spawned hang over his entire history.

Both the Seattle organization and the national group have been planning to change their names for more than a year. Last year, Elizabeth Gray, then acting chief executive of the National Audubon Society, said she was “deeply troubled” by Audubon’s racist actions but the group had a lot to unpack when it came to to know what to do about it.

The company is still unpacking. “The National Audubon Society is still exploring John James Audubon and has not yet made a decision regarding our name,” Gray said in a statement Wednesday.

Gray acknowledged Seattle Audubon’s actions, describing the chapter as an independent organization whose work “we respect…because…they represent themselves to the community they serve.”

But Seattle Audubon isn’t alone, said Glenn Nelson, the chapter’s community director. When its board drafted a resolution to change its name in the interest of diversity and inclusion in its ranks and throughout conservation, three other chapters in Wisconsin, New York and San Francisco have signed.

Another group, the Audubon Naturalist Society at Chevy Chase, is expected to complete its name change process in October. Its executive director, Lisa Alexander, said last year that the company had been considering a name change since 2010. In 2020, the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer propelled the issue to the top of the group’s agenda.

The January 6, 2021 riot on Capitol Hill made change an even bigger priority. “Did it speed up the conversation?” said Alexander. “You bet.”

Although Seattle Audubon’s resolution was unanimously approved, it comes at a price, according to some of its leaders. After the resolution was announced, a board member resigned and requested that his biography be removed from the website. The official remains anonymous.

As the national organization considers a name change, it must consider the potential return of chapters in Texas, Louisiana, Georgia and California, where conservative members and donors are likely to be hostile to Seattle Audubon’s rationale for change.

Even in liberal Seattle, there was resistance during this week’s virtual call. While most members welcomed the move, saying they were proud to be part of an organization taking such a bold step, a few strongly opposed it.

“Do you have any empirical evidence that… keeping the Audubon name does harm society significantly? Are people of color boycotting us? a member wrote in the chat.

Other than Glenn, who is Japanese American, there were no people of color on the call. It was basically white people talking to other white people, Glenn said.

“I am concerned about the dropping of the Audubon name because historical figures should not be held to today’s standards,” another person wrote. “I think it’s tragic for the natural world.”

Audubon was a shameless slaver. When Britain emancipated the slaves of the West Indies, he wrote to his wife in 1834 that the government “had acted recklessly and too hastily”, wrote Gregory Nobles in Audubon Magazine. It was not out of place for a man who, 15 years earlier, “took two slaves with him down the Mississippi to New Orleans on a skiff, and when he got there he put the boat and the men up for sale”.

Nine slaves worked for the Audubons in Henderson, Ky. When he needed money, he sold them.

Audubon was condemned in his time by the movement of abolitionists who worked to free slaves. In return, he sent abolitionists “on both sides of the Atlantic”, wrote Gordon.

Beyond Audubon, racism and colonialism are in the DNA of conservation. Everything, including mountains and types of grass and parks, have had offensive and racist names that cannot be repeated.

In the records of the American Ornithological Society, Wallace’s Owl and five other birds honor Alfred Russel Wallace, a British naturalist who helped Charles Darwin devise the theory of evolution.

Wallace used the n-word frequently in his writings, notably when referring to a “little brown hairy baby” he boasted of caring for after he shot and killed his mother in 1855. He was talking about an orang- utan.

Mount Rushmore was carved into the native land that the tribes continue to claim. At least six native tribes existed in what is now Yellowstone National Park. Everglades National Park was once the domain of the Seminoles, who were forcibly removed.

“The assumption when you say you’re going to remove the name,” Nelson said, “is that you’re trying to undo Audubon. We’re not trying to completely undo John James Audubon. Most of his art… was important at that time and continues to resonate.

“We’re just saying the things he’s done in his life don’t reflect our values ​​and don’t align with our vision of what the present is and what the future should be.”

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Akira Kurosawa’s 11 Best Movies, Ranked


To be the greatest film ever made by Akira Kurosawa is also to be one of the greatest films ever made. Such words may seem like hollow hyperbole, but in the case of “Ikiru”, it is appropriate. Released in 1952, “Ikiru” follows Mr. Watanabe (Takashi Shimura), an older man with few meaningful connections in his life. From the start, “Ikiru” emotionally ensnares the viewer by depicting Watanabe’s life as relatable. Obligations and responsibilities come first as all the little nuances of life are drowned out by the noise of these commitments.

Watanabe’s stagnant life is thrown into chaos when he learns he has stomach cancer and will die in a year. From there, “Ikiru” uses its relatable setup as a springboard for a fascinating exploration of what defines a fulfilling life. Kurosawa maintains a sense of realism by refusing to shy away from the brutal aspects of existence. Knowing all of life’s sorrows makes the small victories and poignant moments in history all the more impactful. Meanwhile, Shimura, always a welcome presence in Kurosawa’s work, delivers the performance of his career as “Ikiru’s” protagonist. One haunting look from this man can crush your heart and transmit decades of angst. “Ikiru” even stands out in Kurosawa’s stacked filmography.

ET says ethical veganism is not a protected belief when it involves breaking the law

Makbool Javaid, partner – Simons Muirhead & Burton

July 18, 2022

In Ms S Free Miles v The Royal Veterinary College, Shakira Free Miles is a veterinary nurse. She believes that animal life has innate value and that humans should not eat, wear, sport, experiment with or benefit from animals and that humans have a moral obligation to take positive action to prevent or reduce animal suffering. She testified that this included trespassing on private property to expose animal suffering and removal of suffering animals. She said she supported disobeying unjust laws if it was done to expose animal suffering. She calls this belief “ethical veganism.”

Ms Free Miles worked at the Royal Veterinary College. The Police Counter-Terrorism Unit opened an investigation into Ms Free Miles’ activities (and she was subsequently charged and was due to stand trial at the time of the Employment Court hearing). It is believed she had broken into and rescued animals, at least one animal which had been cared for by colleagues and kept by Ms Free Miles in the accommodation provided to her by RVC and where no animals were allowed.

RVC undertook its own investigation into whether it had damaged RVC’s reputation, among other things. Police shared various social media accounts and posts, including a LinkedIn account that identified her as an RVC employee, as well as animals being treated at the hospital where she worked without proper consents. One post was headlined “We have a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”

A disciplinary hearing was held in her absence, Ms Free Miles having once postponed and being told it could take place if she did not show up. Four of the allegations were confirmed with three found to be gross misconduct and she was summarily fired.

She then seized the labor court for unfair dismissal, direct and indirect discrimination for philosophical conviction and breach of contract.

Dismissing his claims, Labor Judge Harjit Grewal concluded: ‘[Her] belief that she was morally obligated to take positive action to prevent or reduce animal suffering, which included animal trespassing and removal and its manifestation was not a philosophical belief.

The Legacy of Internment and Ethnic Cleansing – OpEd – Eurasia Review


Last night I watched a fascinating documentary on PBS, Manzanar, Diverted: When Water Becomes Dust. We all know or think we know Manzanar. It was the “flagship” incarceration camp for Japanese Americans interned during World War II (there were others in Arizona and Idaho). World War II internment decreed by Pres. Rooselvelt, was the third worst travesty of human rights in Republican history (slavery and the Native American genocide being the others). Manzanar was such a scourge that he became a supreme symbol of injustice in our nation’s history.

This documentary expands our view of the camp and its place in a larger story of ethnic cleansing and genocide. While Japanese citizens were rounded up from their homes across California and forcibly deported to what were, in effect, “benign” concentration camps, there was a much longer and equally troubling injustice around Manzanar.

Namely, the Native American Paiute and Shoshone tribes lived in the Owens Valley and around its defining geographic feature, Lake Owens. The lake was a huge salty sea, which captured all the water that flowed from the eastern Sierras to the valley below. For 3,000 years the tribes have fished, hunted and farmed in the fertile soil and abundant water resources available.

But in the 1860s, conflicts and troubles arose between the natives and the white settlers:

[The] The discovery of gold and silver in the Sierra Nevada and Inyo Mountains attracted a flood of prospectors. Ranchers and farmers followed, often using Paiute’s irrigation systems and grasslands. A harsh winter and scarce food in 1861-1862 forced the Paiute and settlers into open conflict. The army intervened and in 1863 forcibly moved 1,000 Paiute to Fort Tejon in the mountains south of Bakersfield.

The entire national history of Indigenous-White relations has involved conflict over land and its wealth. Whether the land had gold, silver, water, or other resources, once the white men arrived, they took it. If the native inhabitants resented or resisted, they were expelled either by violence, trickery or outright theft. To cite just one example, nearly 1,000 tribal members met with US Army officers and agreed to end hostilities in 1863. The army then forced them to march 200 miles south to Fort Tejon . Some died on the way and others escaped and returned to their ancestral home. Once they were thrown there, they received little to support themselves. The food offered was little more than starvation rations.

In the case of the Paiute tribe and Japanese Americans, they were seen as a danger and a threat to white people. In the case of the Paiute, the military’s response to Native American raids on the settlers was either to kill them or to evict them. Japanese Americans, on the other hand, put up no such resistance. So they were treated a little better. Their internment only lasted three years. As the Paiute continue their battles with the government to this day.

Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink

In 1913, a new calamity befell the tribes. Los Angeles, to the south, had become a booming metropolis. With its mild climate and fertile farmland, it has become a beacon for Eastern and Midwestern Americans. The population has grown by leaps and bounds. The city fathers/power brokers determined that the only resource missing from the growth they envisioned was water. There just weren’t enough.

For this, they looked north at the Owens Valley and its lake, which encompassed more than 100 square miles of pure mountain runoff. Los Angeles water engineers, led by the infamous William Mulholland immortalized in Roman Polanski’s Chinatown, coveted the resource and devised a method to divert it to Los Angeles, 200 miles to the south. The city’s water engineer led the effort to build the California Aqueduct, which stole water from the valley and shipped it to the City of Angels.

Mulholland handled the engineering and left the matter of securing water rights to power brokers, land agents, and city attorneys. By legal means if possible and by subterfuge if necessary, they secretly buy back the water rights held by all the farmers of the Valley. Most of them left after they no longer had access to the water necessary for their agricultural activities.

But the tribes posed a more difficult obstacle. As indigenous inhabitants, they not only lived in the valley for thousands of years, but they had a primary right to the water that had sustained them throughout that time. Eventually, some members of the tribe agreed to a population transfer, which offered them land to resettle within the city limits of Los Angeles. In exchange for the land, the tribes gave up most of their water rights in the valley. Thus, the infamous Department of Water and Energy took control of the Owens Valley water, enabling the creation of the sprawling urban monster that Los Angeles eventually became.

Intersectionality: Japanese internment and Native American expulsion

By linking the Japanese internment at Manzanar to the displacement of Native Americans, the PBS documentary offered a whole new perspective on these phenomena. California and the United States trampled on the rights of the two internees and indigenous peoples. For the former, the injustice lasted three years. For the latter, it dates back to the 1860s, when Native Americans were first ethnically cleansed from the valley.

The two groups have come together over the past decade, both to preserve the Manzanar National Monument that the federal government dedicated; and to defend the rights of the remaining native residents of the valley. Together they lobbied the DWP to return some of the water diverted to the lake, although quantities are limited (the dry lake bed remains the biggest source of dust pollution in the country ). It is moving to see the 2019 Manzanar ceremony in which dozens of survivors returned, joined by Native Americans and even Muslim Americans wearing the hijab. It’s a dramatic example of the power of intersectionality.

Slavery and Ethnic Cleansing – “The American as Apple Pie”

State-sponsored crimes in the Owens Valley are not one-time events. You could even say, with H. Rap ​​Brown, that ethnic cleansing is as American as apple pie. American plantation owners were instrumental in the African slave trade, in which victims were taken from their homes and forcibly transported across the sea to work as slaves. Later, when the abolitionist movement began, many liberal white Americans believed that the best way to deal with the “race problem” was to ship freed slaves. return to Africa because they could not be integrated into civilized society. This would have resulted in another displacement from America. Ironically, the main driving force behind this project was the American Colonization Company. By its very name, it declared that the freed slaves would themselves be part of a new colonization effort to bring enlightenment and civilization to African “natives” via this new state, Liberia.

Throughout human history, tribes have slaughtered, expelled or, in less traumatic cases, mingled with rivals. There have been huge migrations of populations around the world due to economic or climate-related upheavals. Many of these disturbances also resulted from invasions, conquests and plunder. We are a (human) race prone to mass violence and genocide.

In the 19th century, Europeans excelled in this type of rape and plunder of the resources and human capital of their colonies. In the Congo alone, King Leopold of Belgium was responsible for the death by disease and murder of 4 million indigenous inhabitants. In Latin America, Spain devastated the natives with European diseases and worked the rest to death extracting gold and silver, which were sent back to the mother country.

European colonialism offered the Zionists a model of ethnic cleansing

Which brings us to Israel-Palestine: Herzl and the early Zionists saw their business in a very similar way. They saw themselves as Europeans bringing the values ​​of Western civilization to the “natives”, the native Arabs of Palestine. They adopted the colonial attitude of the “uprising” which persuaded them of the merits of their cause. But when the going gets tough, when the Arabs stand in the way of progress, they will later be shunned in the same way as the Californian tribes.

As early as 1937, if not before, Ben Gurion wrote in a letter to his son that the Palestinians would be swept away by the Zionist enterprise. Yes, there were other passages in which he softened his rhetoric slightly. But the message remained clear: Zionism demanded a Jewish state with a Jewish majority. To achieve this, there was a two-pronged strategy: bringing Jewish immigrants as pioneers into the Zionist state to populate it with Jews; and the suppression of the Arab population.

In 1948, Ben Gurion took advantage of the war he provoked to set up a vast campaign of ethnic cleansing, the Nakba. As a result, almost a million indigenous Arabs were forcibly expelled from their homeland. Only 250,000 remained after the 1948 war. Those expelled were barred from returning, on pain of death. This is how he implemented his earlier vision of maintaining a Jewish majority. To this day, Palestinian refugees and their descendants languish in camps spread across the Middle East. Nor have they assimilated into their host countries. They remain stateless after their homeland deprived them of their identity.

Like the Paiute in the 1880s, Palestinians fled and resettled in many neighboring Arab states (mainly Jordan, Syria and Lebanon). The camps are reminiscent of the reservations in which Native Americans were confined during the westward expansion. and white colony. But unlike the experience of Native Americans, who enjoy special status, rights and obligations from the federal government, Israel has adamantly refused any obligation to those it expelled. He even refuses to recognize that they are refugees. Nor did he attempt to normalize relations with the remaining Palestinians. Thus the Nakba remains, like slavery for America, the Original Sin of the State of Israel. A spot and a stain on his nationality. One that cannot be redeemed without Israel’s recognition and repentance for the great affront it has committed against the dignity of the native Palestinian inhabitants of this land.

This article was published on Tikun Olam

It’s all coming to HBO Max in August 2022


July is winding down quickly, which means a new slate of shows is on its way to HBO Max. After storing his library full of titles including everything from Bob’s Burgers movie information at Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin In July 2022, HBO Max is gearing up to roll out a slate of new content, with the streamer officially revealing its full slate of titles coming in August 2022.

August will prove to be quite a big month for the streamer as he sees season 2 returns from fan favorites like Industry and Sweetness of life: Los Angeles. August will also be marked by the launch of the first sports reality TV series, Training camp with the Detroit Lionsas well as a host of A24 films, including Amy, Bedroomand Ex-Machina. However, the biggest draw will be Dragon Housethe long awaited game of thrones spin-off based on George RR Martin Fire & Blood. To prepare fans for the show’s debut, the eight seasons of game of thrones will be available to stream on HBO Max in 4K Ultra HD, HDR 10, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos on the ad-free plan and supported devices.

To view all incoming titles, as well as existing titles in the HBO Max library, you will need an HBO Max subscription. The streamer offers two subscription tiers. The first tier, which costs $9.99 per month, is an ad-supported subscription. The second tier is ad-free and costs $14.99 per month. Keep scrolling to see everything coming to HBO Max in August 2022.

1st of August

1st of August :
A glimpse into the mind of Charlie Swan III, 2013 (HBO)
A year of the most violent, 2015 (HBO)
Amy2015 (HBO)
barely deadly2015 (HBO)
Beautiful, 2013 (HBO)
Biker Boyz, 2003 (HBO)
Switch off1981 (HBO)
blue velvet1986 (HBO)
Bug2007 (HBO)
Cadillac Man1990 (HBO)
charlie’s angels2000
Charlie’s Angels: full throttle2003
Chasing Grandpa2003 (HBO)
Children of a lesser God1986 (HBO)
chocolate city2015 (HBO)
Colors1988 (HBO)
Damien Omen II1978 (HBO)
dark places2015 (HBO)
days of being wild1990
DC presents a short film: Constantine – The house of mystery2022
Enemy2014 (HBO)
Everything you always wanted to know about sex but were afraid to ask 1972 (HBO)
ex machina, 2015 (HBO)
Fantastic trip1966 (HBO)
Struggle2009 (HBO)
From hell2001 (HBO)
Garfield2004 (HBO)
Garfield: a tail of two kittens2006 (HBO) Extended Version
gas lamp1944
Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, 1999
Ginger & Rose, 2012 (HBO)
How to Lose Friends and Alienate People2008 (HBO)
How to talk to girls at parties2017 (HBO)
IndustrySeason 2 premiere (HBO)
Invasion of the Body Thieves1978 (HBO)
Jeff, who lives at home, 2011 (HBO)
Delays2014 (HBO)
End of August, beginning of September, 1998
Lean on Pete, 2017 (HBO)
Life after Beth2014 (HBO)
Lions for lambs, 2007 (HBO)
little men, 2016 (HBO)
Little woman, 1994
Locke, 2013 (HBO)
Love & Basketball2000
man of the year, 2006 (HBO)
miles ahead2016
Mississippi grind2015 (HBO)
Mojave2015 (HBO)
My Fat Greek Wedding 2, 2016 (HBO)
Mystical Pizza1988 (HBO)
Objective, Burma![1945
Obvious child2014 (HBO)
Original Cast Album: Company1970
out of the past1947
Remember2016 (HBO)
Revenge of the Green Dragons2014 (HBO)
slow west2015 (HBO)
old scoundrel2014 (HBO)
Source code2011
Stardust2007 (HBO)
teen titans goSeason 7C
Adderall’s logs, 2016 (HBO)
The blood of a poet, 1932
The Captive, 2014 (HBO)
The Devil’s Backbone2001
The end of the tour2015 (HBO)
Blame it on our stars2014 (HBO)
The Field Guide to Evil, 2018 (HBO)
The great Escape1963 (HBO)
The last word2017 (HBO)
Notebook, 2004
The one2001 (HBO)
Ownership2012 (HBO) Extended Version
the rover2014 (HBO)
The spectacular now2013 (HBO)
The Spiderwick Chronicles2008 (HBO)
The Testament of Orpheus1960
The carrier fills up2015 (HBO)
Stunned2012 (HBO)
Transcendence, 2014 (HBO)
Problems with the curve, 2012 (HBO)
Defense2014 (HBO)
Under the skin, 2014 (HBO)
Whiplash, 2014

Previous Next

August 3 – August 5

August 3:

August 4:
Sweetness of life: Los AngelesMax Original Season 2 Premiere

5 August :
Belfast2021 (HBO)
Jesus Sepulveda: Mr. Tough Life, First Comedy Special (HBO)

Previous Next

August 7 – August 13

August 7:
Smiling friends go to Brazil, Special

August 9:
Hard knocks: Training camp with the Detroit LionsSeason 17 premiere (HBO)

August 13:
PrincessOriginal Documentary Premiere (HBO)

Previous Next

August 21 – August 26

21st of August :
American sniper2014
Dragon HouseSeries premiere (HBO)

August 24:
Katrina BabiesOriginal Documentary Premiere (HBO)

August 25:
House of HoMax Original Season 2 Premiere
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug2013 (HBO) Extended Version

August 26:
Victor and ValentinoSeason 3C
Wolf2021 (HBO)

Previous Next

What’s leaving HBO Max in August. 2022?

August 2nd :
300: Birth of an Empire2014

August 3:
Aldnoah.Zero (dubbed), 2014
Mob Psycho 100 (dubbed), 2019
Puella Magi Madoka Magica2012
The promised never-never land (dubbed), 2019

August 4:
Top of the line, Season 26

August 6:
Hard Knocks: Dallas Cowboys2021 (HBO)

August 12:
For a good time on the phone…2012 (HBO) Extended Version

August 17:
Top of the lineSeason 27

August 26:

August 27:
profugos2012 (HBO)

Previous Next

What’s leaving HBO Max in August. 2022? (continued)

August 31 :
17 again2009
2 days in New York2012 (HBO)
42nd street1933
A Cinderella story2004
A Cinderella Story: If the Shoe Fits2016
A Cinderella Story: Once Upon a Song2011
A mighty wind2003 (HBO)
Admission2013 (HBO)
Adventureland2009 (HBO)
Aerial heads1994 (HBO)
Alan Partridge, 2014 (HBO)
Alex and Emma, 2003 (HBO)
Alex Cross2012
America lovers, 2001
Another one A Cinderella story2008
Army of one, 2016 (HBO)
batman begins2005
beetle juice, 1988
be flynn, 2012 (HBO)
Best of Show, 2000 (HBO)
Beyond the black rainbow, 2011 (HBO)
Birth, 2004 (HBO)
Blade II2002
Blade Trinity2004
Bolero, 1984 (HBO)
Spread news, 1987 (HBO)
Bronson2009 (HBO)
charlie’s angels2000
Charlie’s Angels: full throttle2003
city ​​of god2003 (HBO)
Cloverfield2008 (HBO)
cold mountain, 2003
Danny Collins, 2015 (HBO)
Daphne & Velma2018
The deep blue sea1999
Challenge2008 (HBO)
Dennis threatens her1993
dog afternoon1975
Dolphin Tale, 2011
Dolphin Tale 2, 2014
In a dark hallway, 2018 (HBO)
Unspeakable Dracula, 2014 (HBO)
Dumb and dumb, 1994
The Cantante, 2007 (HBO)
Escobar: Paradise Lost2015 (HBO)
Fandango on the Wall, 2020 (HBO)
Fay Grim, 2007 (HBO)
Final destination, 2000
Final Destination 22003
Final destination 3, 2006
Final Destination 52011
Finding Neverland2004 (HBO)
Fool’s Gold2008
For girls of color2010 (HBO)
For your consideration2006 (HBO)
Save Willy1993
Free Willy: Escape Pirate’s Cove2010
Friends with children2012 (HBO)
From dusk to dawn1996
Fun size2012 (HBO)
gangster squad2013 (HBO)
Get Carter, 1971
be played2006 (HBO)
Gran Torino2008
grumpy old men1993
gun shy, 2017 (HBO)
hairspray, 1988
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, 2002
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 12010
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 22011
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 2005
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince2009
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix2007
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, 2004
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, 2001
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: Magical Movie Mode, 2001
Horrible bosses2011
how to cope, 2003 (HBO)
Huracan (aka hurricane)2019 (HBO)
I give it a year, 2013 (HBO)
I spy2002
Impostor, 2002 (HBO)
Just Married, 2003 (HBO)
Kajillionaire2020 (HBO)
King Kong2005 (HBO) Extended Version
Kong: Skull Island2017
La Musiquita Por Dentro2019 (HBO)
Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace1996 (HBO)
lean on me, 1989
Leap year2010 (HBO)
Like crazy, 2011 (HBO)
Los Cronocrimenes (aka Timecrimes)2008 (HBO)
lost in space1998
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, 1983
my dog ​​is jumping2000
The mystical river, 2003
Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase2019
Nanny McPhee, 2006 (HBO)
National Lampoon’s European Vacation1985
National Lampoon’s Holiday1983
Not easily broken2009
Oversight2013 (HBO)
Ocean’s Eleven2001
Ocean’s Thirteen2007
Ocean’s Twelve2004
page one2011 (HBO)
pale horseman, 1985
Pariah2011 (HBO)
Paulie1998 (HBO)
point break, 1991
Prime2005 (HBO)
Project X, 2012
Quigley Down Under, 1990 (HBO)
rabbit hole2010 (HBO)
Red Dragon2002 (HBO)
Sonja Red1985
Ringo and his golden pistol, 1966
Romeo must die, 2000
Roots (Miniseries), 1977
Looking for a friend for the end of the world2012 (HBO)
Serendipity, 2001
Sin Cielo2018 (HBO)
Son of Kong1933
space jam1996
Starship Troopers1997
Starship Troopers 2: Federation Heroes2004
super fly, 1972
Taken 2, 2012 (HBO) Extended Version
Tales from The Darkside: The Movie, 1990 (HBO)
Tea for two1950
The Incredible Panda Adventure1995
The bully ant2006
The big sleep1946
Madison County Bridges1995
The Brothers Grimm2005 (HBO)
The dark crystal1982
The black Knight2008
Ballast, 2013 (HBO)
extra man, 2010 (HBO)
The final destination2009
The first Monday in May2016 (HBO)
The fugitive1993
The gay divorcee1934
The goodbye girl1977
The Loft, 2015 (HBO)
The man who wanted to be king1975
The mask1994
Outlaw Josey Wales1976
The brief pelican, 1993
The Raid 22014
The reader2008 (HBO)
The wild river1994 (HBO)
The city2010
This must be the place2012
tickled2016 (HBO)
Tom & Jerry: The Movie1993
Transformers2007 (HBO)
Carrier 22005 (HBO)
The high-flying adventures of Tweety, 2000
Two weeks notice2002
Underworld: Awakening2012
Underworld Rise of the Lycans2009
Undisputed2002 (HBO)
Unforgiven, 1992
Universal Soldier: Reckoning Day2012
Valentine’s day2010
vanilla sky, 2001 (HBO)
View from the top2003 (HBO)
Wall Street1987 (HBO)
We are Marshall2006
What women Want2000 (HBO)
young man with the horn, 1949


Abortion’s New Battleground – The New York Times

With the annulment of Roe v. Wade, many of the most intense battles over abortion access will involve sending pills to Republican-run states.

Some pregnant women from these states will travel to states where abortion remains legal. But commuting can be expensive and time-consuming, making it especially difficult for low-income workers.

That’s why both sides of the abortion issue are now gearing up for a protracted fight over so-called medical abortion – and specifically over whether women who live in red states will be able to ordering abortion pills through the mail, even though it’s illegal. Abortion rights advocates hope to protect courier services from legal challenges and try to spread the message that medical abortion is both safe and effective. Abortion opponents are considering how to prevent the mail from becoming a loophole that undermines their newly created bans.

Today’s bulletin looks at three different areas where this problem is likely to play out.

In 2018, Dr. Rebecca Gomperts, a Dutch doctor, founded a group called Aid Access to help women in countries where abortion is illegal order pills by post. With many US states now banning abortion, Aid Access has new relevance in the US: after Texas enacted a tough abortion law last year, for example, Aid Access has seen a wave of requests from Texas.

To receive pills, women contact a European doctor through the Aid Access website. Then a the doctor will often fill the prescription using a pharmacy in India, which will send the pills by post. They usually arrive in one to three weeks and can be taken safely up to the 12th week of pregnancy.

Ordering the pills through Aid Access costs around $110, with discounts available for poorer women.

Gomperts told us she believes Aid Access is not in legal danger because it follows the laws in Austria, where it is based. “I practice in accordance with the law and all medical ethics guidelines,” she said.

Pro-choice and pro-life advocates agree that cracking down on the sending of abortion pills is difficult. “It’s a difficult issue,” said James Bopp, lead advocate for the National Right to Life Committee. Elisabeth Smith of the Center for Reproductive Rights said, “Even the federal government has no enforcement power against an entity that is entirely outside the United States”

But Smith added that the situation could be different for women who take the pills: they could be in legal danger in some states. Texas, for example, requires a woman seeking an abortion to visit a clinic twice, in part to restrict the use of the pill. A woman who took abortion pills in Texas would violate that law, and Smith and other experts believe prosecutors could bring such a case, especially in the rare cases where women have had complications requiring medical attention. doctor.

One question is how law enforcement officials will try to stop the delivery of pills in the majority of cases. Pharmacies, of course, do not label their packages as containing abortion pills.

(For the Aid Access story: Gomperts has been trying to make abortion accessible for more than two decades, and Emily Bazelon featured her in The Times Magazine in 2014.)

Some foreign pharmacies also ship abortion pills even without a doctor’s prescription. They usually sell generic versions of the drugs mifepristone and misoprostol which were produced in India.

Plan C, a group that helps women seeking to obtain pills by mail, has published lists of pharmacies whose pills the group considers reliable. “We had them analyzed in the lab and they were the real thing,” Plan C co-founder Elisa Wells told us. The pills typically cost between $200 and $500.

Take a Taking medication without the help of a nurse or doctor is obviously not an ideal situation, but some women may decide that they have no other choice. Plan C also publishes medical and legal information about the pills, and a group called M+A operates a hotline for questions about self-directed abortions or miscarriages.

As with pills obtained through Aid Access, women in some states may face legal risks using an overseas pharmacy. Three states — Oklahoma, Nevada and South Carolina — have laws against self-directed abortion, Wells noted.

A third option is to get a mailbox in a state where abortion is legal and work online with a health care provider in that state. The supplier can send the pills to the mailbox, and the company that manages the mailbox can then deliver them to a woman’s home in a state where abortion is prohibited.

This process involves several steps. Still, Wells said, it’s one of the cheapest and most convenient options for many women. It also involves some of the same legal vulnerabilities as the other options here.

Bopp, the anti-abortion lawyer, said he hopes the federal government will eventually find ways to crack down on the shipping of abortion pills from state to state. But that won’t happen while President Biden is in power, he added.

(This Times Opinion video explains how a Texas woman used the letterbox approach. It meant she didn’t have to take time off work and could induce abortion in the privacy of his home.)

More than half of legal abortions in the United States are already performed using pills, up from virtually none in 2000. This proportion will almost certainly continue to rise, and a significant number of illegal abortions using pills also seem likely in Republican-led states. Increasingly, the future of abortion – and the political struggle around it – will revolve around medical abortion.

Related stories: Kansas will vote on abortion next week. And in some states where abortion remains legal, wait times have recently increased, due to women coming from states where it is now illegal.

NASCAR drama: Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch finished first and second in yesterday’s race – until their cars failed inspection afterwards. Hamlin is the first Cup Series driver to be robbed of a win in the modern era.

Ortiz enters Hall: Red Sox legend David Ortiz was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame yesterday, the most notable member of a class of seven men. Steve Buckley maintains that he is already something more: the face of the famous franchise.

Real Chicago Dog is an all-beef frankfurter in a poppyseed bun with yellow mustard, sweet pickle relish, chopped white onion, sliced ​​tomato, pickle spear with dill, pickled sport peppers and celery salt. “A source of civic pride, the Chicago-style hot dog is a bond for many people’s relationship with a city they love,” writes Eric Kim.

What sets these dogs apart?

The number of fillings plays a role. But perhaps the biggest difference is the absence of one ingredient: ketchup. “We don’t turn anyone away who wants ketchup on their hot dog,” Redhot Ranch owner Jeff Greenfield told The Times. “But generally we try to limit it to kids 12 and under.”

VATA (2022) by Takeshi Kamei


Every five to seven years, the Malagasy people of Madagascar participate in a ritual called Famidihana, or “the turning of the bones”, which involves removing deceased relatives from their respective family crypts and replacing their shrouds – usually a lamba – with cool ones just before dawn. Once the deceased has been given a makeover, lavish parties filled with dancing, drinking and eating are held in their honor and usually last until late afternoon.

And just before sunset, the remains of the deceased are taken back to the family crypts, usually in a different position than they were in before, to “put them at ease” until the next Famidihana ritual. (source: travellersworldwide.com). Takeshi Kamei, during his previous movie, “Guitar Madagascar” witnessed the custom and the whole concept of bone carriers, and decided to make a movie based on them.

The story begins in a small village in southeastern Madagascar, where an elder gathers a group of men and tells them that it is time to bring the remains of Nirina, a young girl who died to another place where she was. went to work. the village. Tantely, her older brother, and three others begin their journey across the island, but when they return, things take a very strange turn.

Takeshi Kamei’s film has a unique style, which incorporates elements of documentary, fiction, road movie and lots of music, while possibly adding an intense ritualistic aspect. As usual in road movies, the approach is episodic, with the smoking peddler, the butchering of an animal, and what follows the appearance of the three hooded men being some of the events around which the film revolves. story. At the same time, the presentation of the country and its culture and customs is just as intense, essentially giving the film a folksy hypostasis that works quite well for the narrative. This element benefits the most from the excellent cinematography, which captures a number of unique locations with artistry and gusto, with the long shots sometimes breathtaking, as much as the night scenes.

At the same time, this approach also results in a film that at times feels a lot like a National Geographic documentary, in its meaningful “tourist guide” aspect, to the point that it becomes a bit dull and hard to follow somehow. Kamei, however, realizes this fact just when he is about to become a real nuisance, and changes the style to intensely ritualistic, with the appearance of the three hooded men and the events that follow during the night, including the music, the appearance of ghosts and other beings that are not from reality, being the highlight of the whole film. The cinematography also finds its peak in these segments, as much as the editing, in a sequence that is quite impressive.

“VATA” is not an easy movie to watch, and a talent for the particular style of music, which is actually heard everywhere, and for the travel style of movies is a necessity here. However, the cinematography, the presentation of this rather unfamiliar custom, and the final segment make up for it significantly, making the film one worth watching.

Unification Church’s ties to lawmakers emerge as major political issue


The Unification Church’s ties to Japanese lawmakers have become a major political issue ahead of a special session of parliament in the fall, following the assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the parties of opposition seeking to probe these links, including within their own ranks.

Abe’s attacker said he resented the religious group because his mother’s large donations to him had ruined his family, and he believed Abe was connected to the group, according to investigative sources.

The veteran lawmaker had sent a video message to a related group rally held in September, and the suspect said he watched it on the internet, the sources said.

File photo taken in November 2006 shows Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (right) waving to crowds in the streets of Tokyo’s Shibuya, during his first term as prime minister. Abe was accompanied by his close assistant Yoshiyuki Inoue (L). (Kyodo)

The assassination of Japan’s longest-serving prime minister has shed new light on the church’s involvement in politics, decades after the group founded by a staunch anti-Communist widely known for mass weddings attracted attention to its so-called spiritual sales, in which people were persuaded to buy jars and other items at exorbitant prices.

Sun Myung Moon, the founder of the Unification Church, also founded the International Federation for the Victory over Communism, a political group, in Japan in 1968.

Many Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers are said to have ties to the church. It remains to be seen, however, what the ruling party intends to do about it.

Some LDP lawmakers have begun disclosing their ties to the church, officially known as the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification.

A flower stand is pictured near the scene of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s assassination in Nara July 14, 2022. Abe was shot dead on July 8 during an election campaign speech. (Kyōdo) == Kyōdo

Yoshiyuki Inoue, an LDP upper house lawmaker who was just elected this month, said he was an informal church member, but not a religious follower. Inoue was Abe’s political affairs secretary during his first term as prime minister from 2006 to 2007.

In a statement to Kyodo News, Inoue said he became an informal member because the group endorsed its legislative policies. He denied receiving or making donations, or paying membership fees, or being asked to do so.

Photo taken on June 2, 2022 shows Yoshiyuki Inoue, a member of the Upper House of the Liberal Democratic Party. (Kyodo)

Education Minister Shinsuke Suematsu, also a member of the LDP House of Councillors, admitted on Friday that two people from the church bought tickets for his fundraising parties between 2020 and 2021. He denied doing so. favors at church or getting help during election campaigns.

The opposition has begun efforts to investigate the extent of ties between the church and lawmakers.

The Japan Innovation Party plans to ask its lawmakers if they are connected and to disclose its findings, following reports that one of its lawmakers had ties to the church.

The People’s Democratic Party says it may need to take action if problems are discovered internally. Its leader, Yuichiro Tamaki, acknowledged receiving a donation from a former president of Sekai Nippo, a publication known to have close ties to the Unification Church.

The Japanese Communist Party on Thursday held the first meeting of a team of investigators set up to investigate lawmakers’ ties to the church. Akira Koike, head of its secretariat, pledged to pursue the case in parliament to find out cases of “collusion”.

The main opposition party, the Democratic Constitutional Party of Japan, will mainly look at possible damage caused by the group and its activities.

Followers of the Unification Church have been arrested in Japan and given court orders in connection with money illegally obtained from people through the use of threats, including the invocation of “ancestral karma”.

The National Lawyers Against Spiritual Sales Network (Japan) was established in 1987 to help victims of spiritual sales. According to lawyers, these sales typically involve Unification Church followers who randomly approach people on the street and offer free divinations without identifying themselves as members of the Church. Later, they urge their targets to purchase expensive items, often sigils, to “get rid of bad karma” created by their ancestors.

The mother of Tetsuya Yamagami, accused of murdering Abe, has donated 100 million yen ($735,000) to the church. She said she made donations “to lift the spirits of family members,” according to Yamagami’s uncle.

It is unclear whether the PLD will follow opposition parties and launch an internal investigation into links with the religious group, often identified as a “sect” in the United States and Europe.

‘We have to behave,’ Hakubun Shimomura, acting co-chairman of Abe’s party faction and former chairman of the LDP’s Policy Research Council, told reporters of the party’s ties to the church. .

Former defense minister Tomomi Inada, a member of the LDP’s lower house, said she made remarks at a rally by a church-linked group in 2009, but denied receiving support from the church over disagreements with it over the rights of sexual minorities.

Japan’s Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Shinsuke Suematsu arrives at the Prime Minister’s Office in Tokyo on October 4, 2021, ahead of his attestation ceremony at the Imperial Palace. (Kyōdo) == Kyōdo

Iwate Governor Takuya Tasso recently criticized the LDP, saying the party and its lawmakers received support in the elections from groups linked to the church.

“A specific religious group and its related groups have collected outrageous amounts of donations and are affecting election results and government policies,” Tasso, himself a former House of Representatives lawmaker, told a news conference. the 15th of July.

There are similarities between the proposals made by the anti-communist group launched by Moon and the political philosophy of Abe and other conservative LDP members. Both have pushed for the revision of the Constitution and the strengthening of Japan’s defense capabilities, and both oppose the legalization of same-sex marriage.

In the video message to the Universal Peace Federation, a non-governmental group founded in New York in 2005 by Moon and his wife, Hak Ja Han Moon, the church’s current leader, Abe expressed his “respect” for Han Moon’s efforts toward peaceful unification. of the Korean Peninsula.

The slain former leader also said, “Beware of movements that develop skewed values ​​as social revolutionary movements,” likely referring to movements to legalize same-sex marriage.

When asked if the church had made political donations to the LDP, Tomihiro Tanaka, head of the church’s Japanese branch, told reporters on July 11 that “no money was transferred from the LDP to that entity, or from that entity to the LDP”.

Related coverage:

Abe shooter will undergo mental competency test before being charged

Abe striker tried to draw attention to church: analysts

Unification Church founder was close to Abe’s grandfather: former president

Keanu Reeves is back in your first look at samurai-inspired John Wick 4


Everyone’s favorite grizzled and invincible hero is back.

The first photo from Keanu Reeves’ long-awaited fourth installment in the John Wick series has been released. In it, the not-so-retired hitman appears against a blurred background of candles, his head bowed. Is he in church, praying to the heavens for forgiveness for all the blood he has shed? Or the blood he has on at shed?

Little is known to date about Wick jeans 4, but we imagine things will only get worse for Wick, whose life has been in a tailspin since a group of thugs stole his car and killed his dog at the start of the original film. It was this mischief that brought him out of retirement and eventually led to him becoming “excommunicated” from the assassin order and their refuge, the New York Continental Hotel, where violence is prohibited.

At the end of John Wick: Chapter 3 – ParabellumWick made a deal with fellow assassin The Bowery King (played by his ex-Matrix buddy Laurence Fishbourne) to take down the High Table, basically the Illuminati of the assassin world. So John Wick 4 will likely see this plan implemented.

The other detail we have about the film comes from a little slip from actor Shamier Anderson, who called the film a John Wick: Chapter 4 – Hagakure, which is presumably its full, as yet unreleased title. In Japanese, Hagakure refers to The Samurai Book – a practical and spiritual guide for a warrior, dating back to the 1600s.

Now, we’ve seen just about every type of action under the sun already in this series. Hell, we saw Wick kill a man with a book. But a whole movie of Reeves cutting him with a samurai sword? Were very in it.

How often are lab tests done on dogs?

Federal authorities are moving 4,000 beagles from a breeding and research facility in Virginia after discovering many of them were neglected or in poor health, The New York Times reports.

The news, which broke last week, has sparked interest from dog lovers across the country, some of whom have volunteered to adopt one or more of the rescued animals.

It has also raised questions about how often dogs are used in animal testing and the institutional failures that led to 4,000 beagles living in such poor conditions.

Clinical research using dogs is much more common than you might think, says John Basl, associate professor of philosophy at Northeastern, though laws are in place to help prevent unnecessary suffering. But even when these regulations are followed, there remains a moral dilemma over whether animals should be used in this way and whether dogs should be treated differently.

John Basl, assistant professor of philosophy poses for a portrait at Northeastern University. Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

The US Department of Agriculture’s report on the Envigo breeding and research facility in Cumberland, Virginia, revealed appalling mistreatment and blatant disregard for animal welfare. Among their findings, officials reported that injured beagles were being euthanized instead of being treated, and many were neglected and in poor health, reports The New York Times. Now the 4,000 beagles are up for adoption.

They represent only a fraction of the number of dogs bred and used for research purposes in the United States. Dogs are “a controversial but widely used animal for animal experimentation,” says Basl. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 58,511 dogs were used in USDA-registered research in 2019, and 16,013 of those dogs likely experienced pain as part of the research.

Of the dogs used for animal testing, beagles are preferred because they are small and docile. Also, says Basl, if previous research has been done on beagles, a similar new study will likely use them as well. “One of the reasons for picking a particular species is that we have a history of data on that species, so we can make sure new data is up to date with old data,” he says.

Yet the number of beagles used in animal research pales in comparison to the number of rodents in laboratories. Mice and rats are by far the most commonly used laboratory animals – a disputed study found that more than 100 million mice and rats are used in clinical testing and they make up over 99% of animals in laboratory – but according to Basl, all clinical trials must be done on more than one animal, and one of the animals cannot be a rodent. Rabbits are not rodents, so they are used for this purpose, as are dogs, cats, and non-human primates.

That these animals come from a breeding facility like the one in Virginia is no surprise, Basl says. Sometimes institutions that perform animal testing breed their own animals. “But often that work is outsourced,” he says.

Laws governing the treatment of these animals have been in place for over half a century. In 1965, U.S. Representative Joseph Resnick introduced the Laboratory Animal Welfare Bill, a precursor to the Animal Welfare Act (Resnick’s bill was in response to reports that which family dogs were stolen and used for animal testing). In 1966, the Animal Welfare Act was passed, becoming “the only federal law in the United States that regulates the treatment of animals in research, teaching, testing, exhibition, transportation, and by dealers” , according to the USDA, one of the agencies. responsible for enforcing the law.

In 1985, an amendment to the AWA added another layer of protection for laboratory animals. According to the Animal Legal Defense Fund, any institution — including universities like Northeastern — that experiments on animals must establish an institutional animal care and use committee, which must include a veterinarian and someone from outside the institution. to regulate animal testing. According to Basl, for a researcher to use an animal for testing purposes, they must justify the need to use animals to the IACUC and follow the guidelines.

This prevents researchers from harming animals unless necessary to achieve research goals, he says, and also requires them to house social animals together unless the experiment specifically requires them to be. isolated.

However, “there are IACUCs that aren’t doing their job,” Basl says. In the case of Virginia, conditions at Envigo prompted lawmakers to introduce five animal welfare “beagle bills” and pressure the USDA to investigate violations of the AWA in the state. ‘establishment. The establishment will close and all dogs will be removed.

Even if the laws had been followed, should the dogs have been there in the first place? This is one of the moral dilemmas that Basl faces in his research.

For Basl, an important factor when considering the relative morality of animal testing is their mental capacity, which determines “how much you can harm a being,” he says. Rabbits, for example, generally have a narrower range of mental abilities than humans; they cannot reflect on past traumas and lack the ability to think far into the past or into the future.

“It can be the source of both great pleasure and significant pain,” he says. Additionally, “different species vary in this ability, and we don’t always know how much, and often, as humans, we underestimate the abilities of animals.”

Mental capacity is the main reason for the rarity of chimpanzees in animal testing, Basl says. “Because of the abilities that chimpanzees have, because they look so much like us, it’s much harder to justify their use, so they’re used less frequently,” he says.

Cultural factors can also influence what is considered acceptable when it comes to testing. The value placed on dogs in the United States, for example, makes it less pleasant to test on them than on rodents. At the same time, our relationship with dogs can mean that they suffer more than other laboratory animals. “Domestication has changed the profile of their abilities,” says Basl. Dogs are uniquely sociable and capable of relating to humans that differ from many other animals, he says, and this can make them susceptible to different forms of suffering.

Despite the relative nature of suffering between species, Basl says, “most mammals suffer from the kind of things that are done to them that would harm us,” and he tends to think that mammals are about equally capable to suffer.

This suffering may be harder to justify knowing that the success rate of clinical trials on animals is quite low: Basl says that only a small fraction of clinical trials using animals produce drugs that are beneficial to humans.

“Most animal studies don’t report direct benefits,” Basl says. However, the law states that clinical trials must be done on animals before moving on to humans, and, for drugs that pass trials, “the payoff can be enormous, although the same benefits can be achieved without testing on human beings.” animals and while avoiding harm to humans remains an open question.

For media inquiriesplease contact Marirose Sartoretto at [email protected] or 617-373-5718.

ESPYS 2022: Katie Ledecky and Shohei Ohtani win top prizes; Vitali Klitschko receives the Arthur Ashe Prize for his courage

How Japan’s Shinzo Abe Changed America’s View of Asia and China


Seoul, South Korea

For many in the Asia-Pacific, Shinzo Abe was prophetic in recognizing the challenge a rising China posed to the US-led system of political and military alliances.

And Japan’s former prime minister – killed by an assassin’s bullet on July 8 – arguably did more than any of his Western contemporaries to meet that challenge.

Abe, who served two separate terms and was Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, will be remembered by many as the leader who finally lifted the country from the shadows of World War II.

He predicted that the rapid growth of China’s People’s Liberation Army – fueled by one of the fastest growing economies in the world – would upset the regional balance of power, and argued that Japan should, to Following this change, rethink its post-war, pacifist Constitution imposed by the United States.

In 2014, Abe’s government reinterpreted this constitution to allow the Japanese military to theoretically fight overseas. And he gave her the tools to do it, buying stealth fighters and building the first Japanese aircraft carriers since World War II to accommodate them.

But perhaps his greatest contribution to the defense of his country – and for many, to the security of the wider Asian region – lies not in military equipment, but in language; in his invention of the simple phrase: “a free and open Indo-Pacific”.

With those few words, Abe transformed the way many foreign policymakers talk about – and think about – Asia.

Today, to the chagrin of Chinese leaders, this phrase is everywhere. It is used as a mantra by the US military and is the vocabulary of choice for any aspiring Western diplomat.

So it may be hard to remember that before Abe, few people in these circles were talking about the “Indo-Pacific”.

Prior to 2007, Washington’s preference was to conceptualize Asia as that large part of the globe stretching from Australia to China to the United States – and to call it “Asia-Pacific”.

This concept had China at its center – anathema to Abe who, like many Japanese, feared that Beijing’s growing influence would mean his country could be bullied by a much larger neighbor.

Abe’s goal was to encourage the world to see Asia through a much broader lens – that of the “Indo-Pacific”, a concept spanning both the Indian and Pacific oceans he has first promoted in a 2007 speech to the Indian Parliament titled “Confluence of the Two Seas. »

This redesign of Asia’s borders did two things. First, it shifted the geographic focus to Southeast Asia and the South China Sea – conveniently focusing minds on a region of the world where Beijing has territorial disputes with a range of nations.

Second, and perhaps more importantly, it highlighted the only country in the world that could outweigh China by sheer size: India.

Abe recognized “the importance of India as a democratic balance for future Chinese hegemony” and “began to systematically court Indian leaders for mentorship,” wrote John Hemmings, of the East-West Center at Washington, in a 2020 assessment of Abe that coincided with the end of his second term as prime minister.

“Including a democratic India in Asia’s future was not just good geopolitics, it was good geoeconomics, because India’s population and democratic system balanced the equally large population and authoritarian system. from China.

Abe became a driving force behind the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or Quad, which brought India into a partnership with Japan, the United States and Australia that was launched the same year as his speech “Confluence of the two seas”.

The partnership has its roots in relief efforts for the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, but gained an “ideological component” in a 2006 campaign speech by Abe, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies. . It was then reborn in 2007 as a strategic forum with semi-regular summits, information exchanges and, above all, joint military exercises which were pushed back by China.

Months later, Abe outlined his vision for a “wider Asia…a huge network” spanning countries that share “core values” such as freedom and democracy, and common strategic interests.

This description seemed to leave little room for China, which has since felt threatened by the Quad, and whose Foreign Minister Wang Yi has openly accused the United States of trying to encircle China with an “Indo-Nato peaceful”.

Shinzo Abe meets Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the banks of the Ganges in Varanasi in December 2015.

When, for a moment, it appeared hostility from China could sabotage the Quad, which collapsed in 2008 following threats of economic retaliation from Beijing, Abe again played his hand.

According to Japan’s foreign ministry, Abe first outlined his vision for a “free and open Indo-Pacific” during a keynote speech in Kenya in 2016.

Its vision rested on three pillars: the promotion and establishment of the rule of law, freedom of navigation and free trade; the pursuit of economic prosperity; and a commitment to peace and stability.

The term acted “as a foil to the increasingly China-centric view of Asia’s future, while promoting openness and values ​​to attract regional hedgers,” said Hemmings, of the East -West Center.

The year after Abe’s speech in Kenya, the Quad was reborn – and the Trump administration unveiled its own concept of a “free and open Indo-Pacific”.

By the time of Abe’s death, the Quad had grown considerably. Over the past two years, the four countries have held two joint naval exercises, organized around the mantra of promoting a “free and open Indo-Pacific”.

Writing after Abe’s death, Robert Ward, Japan’s president of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, noted how Abe had restructured his country’s foreign policy, “motivated by his early recognition of the threat to Japan and the ‘regional order of China’s rapid rise’.

As such, Ward wrote, it was “difficult to overstate the transformational significance of his legacy, both inside and outside of Japan”.

The extent of Abe’s influence is evident from the tributes that followed his death.

Among the statesmen who paid their respects was Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi – who has called Abe a “dear friend” since meeting him in 2007, and declared last Saturday a day of national mourning in India for the former Japanese leader.

Tributes from the United States, China’s biggest rival and Japan’s biggest military ally, are also telling.

Under Abe, U.S.-Japan ties had reached a “new level,” said Tobias Harris, senior Asia fellow at the Center for American Progress, and that was reflected in the president’s order. Joe Biden that the American flags be lowered. in every public building across the country and in every federal facility around the world.

This was also reflected in the official White House tribute. Abe was “a staunch friend of the United States,” the White House said. “He has worked with U.S. presidents from both parties to deepen the alliance between our nations and advance a shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

Joe Biden meets Shinzo Abe in New York in 2014.

There is still this line, “a free and open Indo-Pacific”.

The phrase has become ubiquitous in U.S. military policy and pronouncements, while in 2018 the Pentagon’s Pacific Command headquarters in Hawaii changed its name to Indo-Pacific Command to recognize “the growing connectivity between the Indian and Pacific Oceans as America focuses on the West”.

In a speech titled “A Free and Open Indo-Pacific” in Indonesia last December, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington would “work with our allies and partners to uphold the rules-based order we have built together over decades to ensure the region remains open and accessible.

Then, at the Shangri La Dialogue in Singapore last month, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin used the term “rules-based order” or its variants eight times.

Japanese Prime Minister Kishida used the term 19 times to explain Japan’s promotion of a “free and open Indo-Pacific” vision that had “won broad support within the international community”.

This “broad support” is perhaps Abe’s most enduring legacy. A tribute, in its own way, to the vision Abe had alluded to eight years earlier in his own speech at the Shangri La Dialogue.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivers a speech titled

Telling his audience that Tokyo was ready to take the lead in making the region prosperous for all, Abe had called on all countries to respect international law so that future generations could “share this bounty”.

“If you imagine how vast the Pacific and Indian oceans are, our potential is just like the oceans,” Abe said. “Unlimited, right?”

Check out some of the best movies originally rated NC 17


Netflix is ​​set to release its first NC 17 produced movie, Blond. This The NC 17 movie on Netflix is ​​a Marilyn Monroe biopic with Ana de Armas as the titular wife. Usually that would mean box office poison, but in the age of streaming, it’s not quite as bad, but still headline-worthy. One wonders if this was a case of positive/negative publicity for Netflix.

What is an NC 17 rating? CN 17 is the the most restrictive note that the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) may highlight. Established in 1990 with Henry and June (more on that later), NC 17 means no one 17 or younger is allowed in the movie.

The MPAA rating has raised eyebrows for Netflix management, and some fans were miffed that director Andrew Dominik deigned to defend the film.

Same energy as "If you don’t like my movie, it’s because you don’t understand it"

—Jamie (@JamJamGaGa) February 11, 2022

Based on the highly fictionalized novel of the same name by Joyce Carol Oates, Blond will likely show some sexual content, though it’s hard to imagine the film being as gratuitous and blood-soaked as shows like game of thrones. Also consider that Netflix didn’t ask the director to remove any content to appeal for a lower rating, as many of the studio’s predecessors asked filmmakers to do.

For edgy movie fans, the rating may be encouraging. Some of the best films of the past 50 years, including Casino and South Park: bigger, longer and uncut originally earned the NC 17 designation. Although critically acclaimed, some films rated NC 17 remain adults-only. A few of these films only make a few cuts which allowed the films to be screened in R-rated theaters. Of course, an NC 17 label is no guarantee of quality, but the following eight films have gained critical reputation for their raw and (almost) unrestricted content despite their original restrictive ratings.

Since the MPAA began giving ratings in 1968, there has been little rhyme or reason to distinguish between what constitutes the difference between R and NC 17. Although arbitrary measurement means less in the age of streaming, major theaters will still not screen NC 17 films, although cultural norms have become much more liberal over the past 50 years. It is understandable to skip some movies because of the content. Movie ratings, however, give little clue as to whether this content is free.

Editors’ Recommendations

Financial regulator’s ‘frightening’ failure to define ethical investments


It is time for the Autorité des marchés financiers to do its duty to protect Kiwisaver investors

Opinion: The failure of the Financial Markets Authority to outline ethical standards for KiwiSaver funds should be of major concern to all New Zealanders concerned about their own safety and the safety of our country. Currently, the vast majority of KiwiSaver funds that claim to be ethical have invested in banks that provided $3.8 trillion to the fossil fuel industry between 2016 and 2020.

The authority says it cannot prevent these funds from misleading potential investors because it cannot define what is ethical. This is frightening in a world where the UN Secretary General has warned that due to greenhouse gas emissions the world is on the fast track to disaster.

There are a number of terms for ethical investing – socially responsible investing, environmentally responsible investing, responsible investing, ESG (environmental, social and governance) investing, sustainable investing – but confusion reigns over them. According to the Reporting Exchange, there were over 1,700 ESG-related guidelines globally in 2019.

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently acted against misleading ESG claims. She penalized BNY Mellon Investment Adviser, Inc. for misrepresentations and omissions regarding ESG considerations.

The law on the Financial Markets Authority stipulates that financial products and services require “fair trade” and includes the prohibition of misleading or misleading behavior. But when it comes to ethical investing, the authority says that values ​​are subjective and constantly changing and therefore cannot define what an ethical investment is.

Yet New Zealanders are currently appalled by the atrocities in Ukraine where murder, rape, torture and other war crimes are being committed. The authority is unable to say whether these are wrong, or whether human rights violations, bribery and corruption are unethical or not.

It is unable to condemn slavery or animal abuse, the poisoning of rivers, waterways and seas, air pollution and environmental degradation in general.

Yet in an unpublished survey we conducted last year, 20 of the funds had invested in at least one of the 60 banks (directly or indirectly) that invested a total of $3.8 trillion in fossil fuels from 2016 to 2020.

Authority’s assertion that values ​​are subjective and constantly changing confuses values ​​with preferences. The choice of societal values ​​is not based on personal choices that change like a whim of fashion.

Ethical principles and rules are based on the establishment of standards of behavior aimed at ensuring the safety of citizens and have often been established over a long period of time. Environmental protection is a long-standing principle among Aboriginal peoples. Any consultation with Maori would have informed authority of the Maori values ​​of mana oritetanga (equality, fairness) and kaitiakitanga (guardianship, stewardship, care) to describe the ethical relationships between them and the Earth.

Human rights don’t change like the color of our socks. New Zealand strongly supports the establishment of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and establishes the Commission on Human Rights.

In New Zealand, the moral realm includes many aspects of human-animal and human-environment relationships. For example, there is a wildlife law regulating behavior towards animals, birds and aquatic life. On the Department of Conservation’s website is a list of international and multinational conventions and agreements to which New Zealand is a party, and these are part of our moral domain.

A Simplicity Fund case study that assessed the validity of Simplicity’s claims to be an ethical fund goes into more detail about the dimensions of our responsibilities to each other and to the non-human world.

Our values ​​will, I hope, continue to evolve. These principles form the basis of codes of conduct that apply to specific industry behavior (eg Forest Stewardship Council certification and animal welfare codes).

Change usually occurs after rigorous and lengthy public debate. When a society examines them, it does not mean that the authority cannot act on well-established values ​​and codes. Evolution is usually based on extending existing norms (eg, women’s rights, animal rights, extending responsibilities to our environment) rather than rewriting the whole thing.

An investment fund’s statements about its values ​​in its codes of conduct, values ​​statements or principles or equivalent should be sufficiently explicit to allow a potential investor to be fully informed of how the fund will cover this moral area. to care for people and the planet. Investments that do not meet these standards should be excluded or committed by the fund to persuade a change in their behavior. Complete and transparent reports must be established.

Wise Response – a broad coalition of scientists, engineers, lawyers, artists and sportspeople urging New Zealand to confront questions about our future well-being – has filed complaints with the financial markets.

One example is AMP Wealth Management New Zealand which, through its Balanced Fund No. 2, has invested in 20 of the 60 largest banks to finance fossil fuels in the five years following the Paris Agreement. The broken promises of Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan and Standard Chartered regarding their US$1 billion loan to coal miner Adani for its Australian coal mine are concerning. These banks are invested by AMP Wealth Management NZ.

Another example is Generate, which relies on a vague ESG framework in its ethical values ​​and relies on foreign funds for its application. Using these funds, he invests in the pulp and paper company APP, which has been boycotted by most major brands because it is linked to 30 years of deforestation, forest and peat fires and the destruction of the environment. wildlife habitat in the 2 million hectares of land under its control in Indonesia.

The authority did nothing about these complaints. It is time for him to start fulfilling his obligations.

Against a backdrop of world events, Tim Okamura’s bold portraits exude powerful energy


#acrylic painting #oil painting #painting #portraits #Tim Okamura

July 19, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Fire Fighter” (2021), oil on canvas, 60 x 76 inches

Marked with visible brushstrokes and drips of paint, Tim Okamura’s (previously) portraits blend realistic depictions of his subjects with the fervent and unbridled qualities of street art. The Japanese-Canadian artist, who recently moved his studio from Brooklyn to Queens, centers his practice on storytelling and emphasizing the distinctive energies of those he paints.

Much of Okamura’s portraiture develops serially, whether as health heroes collection devoted to nurses and doctors working tirelessly throughout the pandemic or to the dominant figures of the Women Warriors— many of these works will be featured in a solo exhibition in September 2023 at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center in Pittsburgh. Rendered primarily in oil with the occasional addition of acrylic or spray paint, the pieces capture the raw nature of Okamura’s process and the distinctive, powerful presence of his subjects.

If you’re in Los Angeles, visit the Academy Museum to see the artist’s portrait of the late writer Toni Morrison. Otherwise, find more of his paintings on his site and Instagram, and browse limited-edition prints in his shop.

Toni Morrison circa 1993

“Nurse Tracy” (2021), oil on linen, 40 x 60 inches

“Blood, Sweat, and Tears (Portrait of the Artist Marc Andre)” (2022), oil on linen, 32 x 26 inches

“Rites of Spring” (2021), oil on canvas, 64 x 64 inches

“Rich Medina” (2022), oil on wood panel, 24 x 24 inches

“Brightness” (2022), oil and acrylic on canvas, 60 x 60 inches

#acrylic painting #oil painting #painting #portraits #Tim Okamura

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Xanthine oxidoreductase activity correlates with fatty liver disease


Study design and participants.

This cross-sectional analysis was performed as part of the Hyogo Sleep Cardio-Autonomic Atherosclerosis (HSCAA) study47.48. The HSCAA study is a single-center cohort study that aims to investigate the interrelationships between sleep disorders, autonomic neuropathy, metabolic diseases and atherosclerotic diseases47.48. The HSCAA study included patients aged 20 years and older with one or more cardiovascular risk factors (obesity, smoking, history of cardiovascular events, hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease) and treated at Hyogo College of MedicalHospital.

Since we started XOR measurements from 2018 for subjects who were enrolled or followed in the HSCAA study, this cross-sectional study included 310 patients, from January 2018 to July 2021, who consented to abdominal CT examinations. In the end, 223 patients were analyzed in the present study after excluding 87 with alcoholic habits (> 30 g/day for men and > 20 g/day for women), autoimmune hepatitis, viral hepatitis or under treatment with XOR inhibitors.

The HSCAA study was approved by the Hyogo College of Medicine Hospital Ethics Committee (Approval #2351). Written informed consent was obtained from all subjects and the study was conducted in full compliance with the Declaration of Helsinki. This study protocol has been approved by the Ethics Committee of Hyogo College of Medicine Hospital (Approval No. 3601) and performed with an opt-out option, as explained in the instructions posted on the website of the hospital. All methods in our study were performed in accordance with current guidelines and regulations.

Visceral fat area and subcutaneous fat area

Computed tomography was performed with SIEMENS SOMATOM Definition AS+ or SOMATOM Definition H (Siemens Healthcare GmbH, Erlangen, Germany) with 10 mm sections. We assessed visceral fat area (VFA), subcutaneous fat area (SFA), and waist circumference using Ziostation 2 (AMIN Ltd., Tokyo, Japan). AC was measured at the umbilical height.

Hepatic steatosis and hepatic fibrosis

L/S ratio and HSI were used to assess hepatic steatosis. Hepatic and splenic attenuation values ​​were measured on non-contrast CT scans using four region of interest (ROI) circular cursors in the liver and two in the spleen. In the liver, four ROIs were located in each of the right and left lobes. All measurements were obtained manually in regions of uniform parenchymal attenuation, taking care to avoid vessels, artifacts, and other areas that might have falsely increased or decreased measurements. The calculation of the L/S ratio was as follows: L/S ratio = (Average liver attenuation value) / (Average spleen attenuation value)9,10,11,12. HSI was calculated from ALT, AST, BMI, gender and presence of diabetes mellitus13.

In addition, the NAFLD fibrosis score (NFS) and fibrosis index-4 (FIB-4) were calculated to predict the progression of liver fibrosis in patients with an L/S ratio 1,29,30,31,32. NFS was calculated from age, BMI, AST, ALT, presence of glucose intolerance, platelet count and albumin31.32. It has been reported that by applying the high threshold score (NFS > 0.676), the presence of advanced fibrosis can be diagnosed with high accuracy.31.32. The FIB-4 index was calculated from age, AST, ALT and platelet count. It has been reported that its threshold value 2.67 can predict liver fibrosis30.

XOR plasma activity measurement

The protocol for assaying XOR activity in humans has been reported previously26,27,28. Briefly, 100 μL of plasma samples (purified by Sephadex G25 resin) were mixed with a Tris buffer (pH 8.5) containing [13C2,15N2] xanthine as substrate, NAD+, and [13C3,15N3] AU as internal standard. The mixtures were incubated at 37°C for 90 min, mixed with 500 µL of methanol and centrifuged at 2000×g for 15 min at 4°C. The supernatants were transferred to new tubes and dried using a centrifugal evaporator. The residues were reconstituted with 150 μL of distilled water, filtered through an ultrafiltration membrane and measured by LC/TQMS. LC/TQMS included a Nano Space SI-2 LC system (Shiseido Co., Ltd., Tokyo, Japan) and a TSQ Triple Quadrupole LC-MS system (ThermoFisher Scientific GmbH, Bremen, Germany) equipped with an ESI interface. Calibration standard samples of [13C2,15N2] AUs were also measured and production quantities were quantified from the calibration curve. XOR activities were expressed in pmol/mL/h26,27,28.

Other settings

At the same time as the CT scan, blood samples were taken for AST, ALT, UA, fasting glucose, immunoreactive insulin, total cholesterol (T-Chol), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-Chol), and TG . Additionally, serum UA levels were measured using the uricase/peroxidase technique with an automatic analyzer (Pureauto S UA Sekisui Medical, Ltd., Tokyo, Japan). Height, weight and blood pressure were also measured.

Type 2 diabetes was diagnosed based on results showing fasting blood glucose ≥ 126 mg/dL, causal blood glucose ≥ 200 mg/dL, or 2-hour blood glucose ≥ 200 mg/dL in a tolerance test oral glucose 75 g, or therapy for diabetes49. Hypertension was defined as systolic blood pressure ≥ 140 mmHg, diastolic blood pressure ≥ 90 mmHg, or taking medication for hypertension. We defined dyslipidemia as the presence of LDL-C ≥ 140 mg/dL, HDL-C ≤ 40 mg/dL, TG levels ≥ 150 mg/dL, or taking treatment for dyslipidemia.

statistical analyzes

Results were presented as the median (interquartile range), unless otherwise specified. We used the Jonckheere-Terpstra test to compare the trend of data between three or more groups. The Cochran-Armitage test was used for the ratio trend between three or more groups.

Hepatic steatosis was classified as follows: with hepatic steatosis (L/S ratio 11.12without hepatic steatosis (L/S ratio > 1.296) and intermediate (L/S ratio = 1.1–1.296)11. In model 1, an ordinal logistic regression analysis was performed with the L/S ratio as the objective variable and serum UA levels, plasma XOR activity and HOMA-R as explanatory variables. In model 2, BMI was added as an explanatory variable. In model 3, we used an ordinal logistic regression analysis and the L/S ratio was used as objective variable; AU, XOR activity and HOMA-R were used as explanatory variables, adjusted for age, gender and components of the Japanese diagnostic criteria for metabolic syndrome (AC, blood pressure, plasma glucose, HDL and TG ).

HSIs of >36.0, 13. Then, an ordinal logistic regression analysis was performed with HSI as objective variables and UA, XOR and HOMA-R as explanatory variables.

Statistical analyzes were performed using BellCurve version 2.15 software (Social Survey Research Information Co., Ltd., Tokyo, Japan), with P

Why Assassin’s Creed Fans Want a Japanese Game So Much


With the following entry in the Assassin’s Creed The series seems likely to be released in 2022, there are so many theories about where developer Ubisoft will go next. The franchise never seems to stay in one place too long, and rumors swirl about its destination, from the storied city of Baghdad to the largely untapped regions of East Asia. The latter is something fans have been wanting for a while, as Japan’s rich history and culture make it ripe for further exploration.


Ubisoft has already done wonders by bringing Assassin’s Creed players to the sandswept landscape of Ptolemaic Egypt and the harsh, unforgiving fields of medieval England, and there’s every reason to assume it could make for a stellar experience on the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Shikoku or Okinawa . Japan has so much to offer to both the gaming medium and the Assassin’s Creed franchise itself, and fans are salivating at the thought of finally getting the Japanese game they’ve wanted for years.

RELATED: Assassin’s Creed fans should be especially excited about the upcoming PS Plus update

Outstanding Ubisoft Settings

Any Assassin’s Creed the title is only as good as the frame it creates. While characters like Ezio and Kassandra are memorable thanks to their performances, writing, and character models and the combat hones in on each new release, today it’s often the open world that first captures the imagination. attention of players. Ancient Greece from Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is truly magnificent, and while Japan offers wildly different architecture and landmasses, it’s not a stretch to assume that if any franchise can do Japan justice, it’s Assassin’s Creed.

Crafting a precise yet engaging open world in the vast and diverse country of Japan would put the company’s strengths to work, as Ubisoft has proven it can forge a landscape that’s as fun to explore as it is to watch. The hustle and bustle of medieval Kyoto is radically different from the quiet rural areas of Okinawa Prefecture, and Assassin’s Creed is in a prime position to bring both to a AAA video game should Ubisoft ultimately decide to do so. Fans want a game set in Japan in the franchise, as the company has shown it’s more than capable of pulling it off, while handling the setting with the grace and respect it deserves.

Ghost of Tsushima came first

Sucker Punch’s history with the Infamous meant he was familiar with the open-world format when he took his talents to the previously unknown island of Tsushima for his 2020 project. The result of his hard work was a game that felt like a swan song for its native PlayStation 4, and one of its best exclusives yet. Ghost of Tsushima featured a stunning, historically accurate setting and gripping story set during the Mongol invasion of the island in 1274, and Sucker Punch was highly praised for his efforts to recreate the island while implementing a fully fictitious with relative ease.

Its critical and commercial reception was more than deserved, but for many it raised questions about how Assassin’s Creed would handle the setting. Ghost of Tsushima and Assassin’s Creed have a lot of similarities like open level design, stealth/action gameplay loop, and loot-based upgrades, so players drew clear comparisons between the two. Sucker Punch has a decorated resume, but it’s easy to theorize how a developer with more experience converting historical settings into fictional games would have improved on what Ghost of Tsushima had to offer. Should Assassin’s Creed finally taking on his huge name in Japan, that question might finally be answered, and fans are right to have him at the top of their gaming desires.

RELATED: Comparison of the four classes of Ghost of Tsushima: Legends

Japan has been rumored for years

Some Rumors around Assassin’s Creed The franchise may have been proven, but the one that consistently eludes gamers is the seemingly annual rumor that it’s finally taking the hint and hosting a game in feudal Japan. The franchise has spanned the globe, from colonial America to the 18th century Caribbean, and covered many time periods from 400 BC to Victorian London just after the Industrial Revolution. Since 2015, Japan has been the subject of rumors Assassin’s Creed and nothing worked.

It only created anticipation and eagerness for the set to finally make an appearance in Assassin’s Creedso giving up the country would be a huge disappointment for many. Ghost of Tsushima was a compelling look at what a Assassin’s Creed-like a game set in an East Asian location might look like, and it’s a telling answer that a developer at Sucker Punch was glad that Assassin’s Creed did not go to Japan. The competition was reportedly fierce, so this false rumor was a relief for Sucker Punch, but less so for fans of Ubisoft’s beloved property.

The Samurai Fits Assassin’s Creed Bill

Japan’s history, diverse peoples, important places and impressive culture is something that Assassin’s Creed could exploit gameplay-wise. The samurai and shoguns of medieval Japan were fierce warriors and balanced their time by training in combat and learning other Japanese arts like calligraphy and flower arranging. The multifaceted nature of the samurai is not always shown in depth in the media, and Assassin’s Creed would do well to shine a light on everything the samurai really did.

Samurai were, however, primarily soldiers who lived by a strong code of honor, and their fighting ability lends itself beautifully to the video game medium. Over the centuries they existed, they were a known presence in a range of periods in Japan, from the Sengoku period to the Satsuma Rebellion, all of which could be explored in an eventual Assassin’s Creed Game. The idea of ​​having a samurai protagonist for the next in the series is surely an enticing thought, and it’s one that’s been around for far too long.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is available on PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.

MORE: Assassin’s Creed Valhalla – The Differences Between Eivor and “Male Eivor”

Photoshop alert! China presents a “removable” ski jump ramp for its Type 075 LHD – can it be real?

A recent photo on social media showing China’s Type 075 Helicopter Landing Dock (LHD) having a long, curved ski jump has observers scratching their heads. The photo shows the LHD at a harbor wharf/jetty with a People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) officer standing on it and appearing to speak in front of a television news crew.

A second photo in the same tweet shows a hand-drawn illustration of how a ski jump would fit.

The curved ski jump section is shown simply attached to the front edge of the cockpit with large screws. While not impossible, the biggest marker that the image could be faked is the lack of screw holes under the flight deck to accommodate the screws.

And in what’s the biggest dead giveaway, there are two big screws under the ski jump that look too crude and too amateurish to have attached to them – clearly photoshopped!

The Type 075 LHD with the ski jump with suspicious screws that indicate it might be fake

False, true or Chinese disinformation?

From a purely military and strategic point of view, the imagined scenario requiring such a capability on the LHD – intended exclusively for amphibious operations and humanitarian disaster assistance (HADR) – means that China would lose its four carriers. aircraft and would need a platform for fighters like the J-15 and the underdeveloped J-35 to get off the ground.

This is a remote possibility given that it can only happen in a full-fledged clash between the United States and China in the Western Pacific and the war drags on at such a level. that China is losing a large part of its navy.

The Russian-Ukrainian war certainly shattered two important conventional pearls of wisdom. First, large-scale wars are not impossible, given the fear of an escalation that could devastate all participants. Second, even if they did break out, it would be short and brutal, with all parties involved tacitly disengaging and reaching a compromise to prevent another conflagration.

The illustration shows how the ski jump could be installed on the cockpit.

However, this applies when the war is between two great powers, such as the United States and Russia, the United States and China or Russia, and a military bloc such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO ).

All participants have large armies with equally massive air forces and nuclear weapons. Ukraine has neither, with the West simply backing it up with military aid. Moreover, the political-strategic-social dynamic between Russia and Ukraine is different.

There is a kinship of shared languages, culture, history and tradition, with enormous sympathy and a desire to have normal links between the citizens of the countries.

Finally, if the goal is to have a backup for lost aircraft carriers, it would mean that the United States has successfully broken through China’s formidable first line of defense – its anti-access/denial missiles. zone, intended to prevent the American navy flotilla at bay, without ever allowing to approach the Chinese coasts.

Cryptic Teaser of Next-Generation F-35 Stealth Jets with Flying Wing Drones and Air-Launched Kamikaze Drones Launched by Lockheed Martin – Watch

US Navy admirals have admitted their handicap to the radically unorthodox DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM).

If the US Navy had even sunk the Chinese aircraft carriers, it would not stop there, but would go to China’s ports and shipbuilding facilities. The PLAN would have no port to dock and upgrade the ship with ski jumping, a tedious process possibly requiring days that cannot be done inland.

The best explanation for the creation of such an image could therefore be a classic Chinese disinformation tactic, often intended to confuse observers and opponents. China’s cyber warriors and civilian strategic planners are well integrated into the country’s politico-military apparatus and often undertake such activities at the behest of the state.

A Type 075 LHD during sea trials

The ship and its history

According to Naval News, the first Type 075 for the PLAN was launched in September 2019 and began sea trials in August 2020, while the second was launched in April 2020 and began sea trials in December 2020. This represents an impressive rate of one LHD launched every six months.

A total of eight LHDs would be on order for the PLAN. Currently, the same yard is also building the Type 054 A/P frigates for the Pakistani Navy and, it seems, a Type 071E LPD for Thailand.

While the Type 075 looks slightly smaller than the US Navy LHA, it is larger than its French or Spanish/Australian LHD equivalents. It is quite close in size to the future Italian Trieste LHD.

The largest LHDs in the world remain the Japanese Izumo-class ships, sometimes considered mini-aircraft carriers. Military analysts expect the Type 075 to play a vital role in possible operations on the island of Taiwan and islands and reefs in the South China Sea; the LHD will have other missions.

Soaring dollar begins to help Fed fight inflation



The Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes have propelled the US dollar to its highest level in decades, giving American tourists bargains in Europe and Asia, putting goods imported at home on sale and squeezing the economies of several US trading partners.

The dollar hit multi-decade highs this week against major currencies, including the euro and the Japanese yen, and it is almost certain to head even higher. As consumer prices rose 9.1% over the past year – the fastest pace since 1981 – the Fed signaled that further rate hikes are coming, starting July 27.

The strength of the greenback is proof that the Fed’s anti-inflationary campaign is starting to gain traction, even as prices continue to climb overall. But it’s a different story overseas, where currency weakness in Europe and the UK – the flip side of the strong dollar – is making the fight against inflation even more difficult.

As years of low inflation and low interest rates have given way to a more volatile era, currencies are trading in a wider arc. In particular, the war in Ukraine, which has disrupted world food and fuel markets, has dealt harder blows to Europe and many developing countries than to the United States, which explains the current shine of the dollar.

“The dollar, euro, yen and yuan have been in relatively small ranges for a very long time. This is the first time in decades that everyone is down against the dollar,” said Adam Posen , President of the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

The stronger dollar is straining the budgets of countries that rely heavily on oil imports, which are priced in dollars, such as India, South Korea and Thailand. Several developing countries that need financial injections to cover the payment of their debt, such as Ecuador and Tunisia, are also suffering from the rise in the American currency.

The outperformance of the dollar – up 13% this year in the DXY index – reflects the strength of the American recovery from the pandemic, which has been faster than in Europe or Japan. And it shows that Federal Reserve officials, after misreading price signals for most of last year, lately adjusted faster than their Frankfurt and Tokyo counterparts.

Fed interest rate hikes could mark the start of a tough new economic climate

This year, the Fed has hiked rates twice by a total of 75 basis points and is expected to adopt at least three more quarter points at its next meeting later this month. The European Central Bank is expected to raise rates for the first time in 11 years at its July 21 meeting, then only by a quarter of a percentage point. The European key rate should remain in negative territory until September even if inflation reached 8.6% in June.

In Japan, where inflation has long been subdued, the Bank of Japan opted last month to keep its main policy rate at negative 0.1%.

“Central banks have been caught off guard by the surge in inflation and are now reacting at different speeds,” said Marc Chandler, managing director of Bannockburn Global Forex. “The United States is carrying out its most aggressive tightening since 1980, while the Europeans and the Japanese have not budged.”

However, the appreciation of the dollar is not good news for the United States.

American products are becoming more expensive for overseas customers, whose currencies are losing value against the dollar. This hurts big exporters like Boeing, the world’s largest commercial aircraft maker. And giant US corporations are seeing their overseas earnings shrink when converted to dollars, further eroding support for falling stock values.

Last month, Microsoft lowered its guidance for the current quarter, saying the strong dollar would cut its expected earnings by about $250 million.

In April, the software giant was among the first major companies to warn of the strength of the dollar. Executives told investors that the rising dollar in the first three months of the year cost it about $225 million in profits.

In general, US companies derive about 30% of their total revenue from overseas operations, according to Morgan Stanley. Revenues hit by the rising dollar of U.S.-based multinationals could cause them to cut spending in other areas, contributing to the economic slowdown the Fed is trying to engineer.

Some central banks are trying to keep pace with the Fed. On Wednesday, the Bank of Canada surprised markets by raising its key rate by one percentage point to 2.5%, and signaled plans for further increases. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand has also fixed its key rate at the same level, the highest for more than six years. The moves came a day after South Korea’s central bank raised rates by half a percentage point, its biggest move since 1999.

The financial fallout is particularly difficult for European decision-makers. The weaker euro worsens inflation by increasing the cost of goods imported from elsewhere.

Any benefit German exports derive from the weaker currency is being overwhelmed by rising energy costs due to the loss of cheap Russian supplies.

Germany reported its first trade deficit in 30 years this month as Russian limits on natural gas shipments to Europe, sparked by the diplomatic showdown over Ukraine, made German products more expensive and China’s economic slowdown has reduced demand.

Elsewhere, the stress can be even more severe.

On Wednesday, the International Monetary Fund said it had reached a staff-level agreement with Pakistan on a $1.2 billion bailout to help the government deal with a dire economic situation, but which , in return, demand that officials cut energy subsidies – even if inflation runs at 20%.

The global lending agency is also negotiating with other debt-ridden countries like Tunisia, where economic turmoil could turn into social unrest.

According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the group of 38 developed countries in Paris, the dollar is now the most overvalued in 30 years.

The currency’s performance defies concerns expressed earlier this year that the Biden administration’s aggressive use of financial sanctions to punish Russia for invading Ukraine would encourage other countries to reduce their dependence on the dollar.

Instead, the dollar remains by far the most widely held global currency, accounting for nearly 59% of total central bank reserves, according to the International Monetary Fund.

The surge in the dollar in recent months has also contributed to the fall in the prices of imported goods.

On Friday, the Labor Department said the price of imports, excluding fuel, fell 0.5% in June, the second consecutive monthly decline. Over the past year, non-fuel import prices have increased by 4.6%, about half of the overall increase in consumer prices.

“The strong dollar is helping to dampen inflationary pressures,” said Rhea Thomas, senior economist at Wilmington Trust.

Warehouses in the United States and China show that the global economy is struggling to adapt

Past episodes of major monetary misalignments have triggered outbreaks of protectionism in the United States, as blue-collar workers have rebelled against the loss of jobs to foreign competition or against central bank intervention to reset the dollar, euro or yen value.

At a 1985 meeting at the Plaza Hotel in New York, the United States, Japan, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom agreed to coordinate measures to weaken the dollar in order to make commodities Americans more competitive in world markets.

When the euro was struggling to establish itself in 2000, the central banks of the United States, Europe and Japan agreed to intervene to boost the value of the new currency after it lost almost a third of its original value.

This time, no such intervention is likely. On Tuesday, after meeting with senior Japanese officials, Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen brushed aside talk of joint action.

“Our view is that countries like Japan, the United States, [Group of 7 nations]should have market-determined exchange rates, and only in rare and exceptional circumstances is intervention warranted,” Yellen said, adding that she had not discussed such plans with the government. Japanese.

Central banks are more focused on ensuring those who need dollars can get them rather than worrying about how much they will cost, Bannockburn Global Forex’s Chandler said.

The Fed has standing agreements to exchange dollars for foreign currencies with its counterparts in Canada, the United Kingdom, Europe, Japan and Switzerland. At the start of the pandemic in March 2020, the Fed extended these arrangements to nine other central banks, including those of Brazil, Mexico and South Korea, to ensure that markets could function normally despite the sudden shutdown of the economic activity.

“Dollar policy has really changed since the 1980s and 1990s, when there was active intervention,” said economist Steven Kamin, former director of the Fed’s international finance division. “Central banks recognize that what really moves currencies is these substantial economic forces.”

Jeff Stein in Bali, Indonesia, contributed to this report

Wine, steak and Mark Few tales: As the NBA Zags table grows, a summer gathering in Vegas keeps them all connected


LAS VEGAS — From tall to towering to Chet Holmgren, a dozen professional basketball players emerged from a private dining room at Bavette’s Steakhouse & Bar on July 8.

As restaurant patrons watched the band, one patron decided to gather more information.

“When we were going out,” Holmgren said, “someone actually asked if we were one of the teams playing here.”

Holmgren, who became Gonzaga’s latest gift to the NBA when he was selected No. 2 overall by the Oklahoma City Thunder, couldn’t help but smile as he shared the story last Tuesday from a training gymnasium on the UNLV campus.

“I wish I could have said yes because it would have been a (great) team,” Holmgren said.

The Las Vegas Summer League extravaganza is as much a high point for established NBA players as it is a showcase for up-and-coming players trying to plant their name on 15-player rosters. As Mark Few’s Spokane program continues to pour players into the NBA — 10 of Gonzaga’s 29 draft picks have come in the past six years — the Vegas event has also turned into something of a Zags summit.

In 2015, the now-annual Vegas dinner sponsored by Jared Hertz, Gonzaga’s senior associate athletic director for major gifts, was a modest affair consisting of just him, sports benefactors Pat and Sandy Volkar, and former Bulldogs guard Kevin Pangos, then playing for Dallas’ summer league team. Seven years later, it’s morphing into a high-profile gala, featuring NBA All-Stars, millionaires and global basketball icons – all connected by their experiences at the small Catholic school in Spokane.

“Last year we had six guys, then this year it all just blew up,” said Hertz, who books a private room to fend off autograph-goers and photo-hunters. “So they can be themselves and let their hair down.”

Gonzaga students camp outside in freezing conditions to get tickets to home basketball games, so imagine the effort they’d go to to get themselves on a guest list that includes Holmgren, Andrew Nembhard, Jalen Suggs, Corey Kispert, Joel Ayayi, Filip Petrusev, Rui Hachimura, Killian Tillie, Domantas Sabonis, Zach Collins and Kelly Olynyk.

Of Gonzaga’s active NBA players, Brandon Clarke was the only one not in attendance on July 8. Former Bulldogs guard Jeremy Jones, walking guard Rem Bakamus and assistant coach Roger Powell were also invited. Former Gonzaga point guard Josh Perkins stepped in at one point.

“It’s great to reunite with the guys and be together,” Sabonis said. “I’m just catching up on the good old days. It was me Kelly, Zach, Rui. Now it’s a whole bunch of guys, so that’s pretty cool.

A group photo shared later that night by Powell depicting 10 of the 11 NBA Zags in attendance — all but Nembhard, who left early due to summer league obligations with the Pacers — made the rounds on Twitter, rallying 235 retweets and more than 1,700 likes. The image, featuring seven first-round draft picks, five All-Americans, three of the last four West Coast Conference Players of the Year and three of the last five WCC Tournament MVPs, not only highlights the Gonzaga culture, but also what the Bulldogs did. from a player development perspective through a gradual rise to the top of college basketball. Maybe the photo helps Few’s staff start a recruiting battle down the road.

“It shows how strong the culture is, and you’re sitting there hanging out with them, these guys sharing stories about Coach Few and stories about just being in Spokane,” Powell said on July 9 before to watch Holmgren’s Vegas. summer league debut at the Thomas & Mack Center. “It’s cool and it’s unique because the coach has been there for so long. It’s years of guys and years of history of guys.

Few, the conductor of the Gonzaga dynasty for more than two decades, was not present, but he is often the center of conversation.

“Lots of hoops stuff for sure, lots of stories, lots of Coach Few and Tommy (Lloyd) stories and things like that,” Bakamus said. “All those little things that make Gonzaga great. So yeah, we all share our own little stories.

Players tend to practice an old Vegas proverb when it comes to the stories shared and state secrets passed on at the annual gathering. What happens there stays there.

“Not everything is PG-13,” Ayayi assured.

“I don’t know if there are any appropriate (stories) that we shared last night,” Bakamus added.

In some ways, however, dinner conversations have evolved as those who hold them begin to enter full adulthood. Olynyk, 31 and de facto grandfather of the NBA’s active Zags, is getting married in Hayden Lake on Sunday. Sabonis shared photos of his 5-month-old son, born nearly a month after a blockbuster NBA move sent the All-Star big man to Sacramento. Ayayi and his wife have a baby on the way this summer.

“It’s doping. We really appreciate everyone coming together,” Ayayi said. “Every time someone walks into the room, everyone starts smiling. That’s a lot of greetings. That’s what it’s all about, Gonzaga culture at its best right now.

Dinner was an open menu at the Chicago-style steakhouse located at the Park MGM hotel. The appetizers were supposed to be a big hit, but apart from the French, Ayayi and Tillie, no one was brave enough to taste the pâté. Much to Hertz’s delight, the oysters remained largely intact. “So I just cleaned that up,” he said.

For a party of 17, appetizers and main courses can easily drive the bill into four figures, but Hertz was lucky enough to get some help with the wine this year. Several testimonials confirm that the biggest hit of this particular Zags dinner was the yet-unreleased signature wine of Hachimura, a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon blend under the Japanese star’s “Black Samurai” label.

Sabonis offered the first mention: “Oh, that’s great, that’s great. He did a good job. I have to give him credit. It’s pretty good. Make sure you buy it.

“I’ll let (Hachimura) elaborate on that, but he has something good coming up,” Ayayi said. “Everyone at the table was really happy about it.”

“(It was) probably the highlight of the meal,” Bakamus added.

“I had a little drink,” Nembhard said. “It was good. Excellent, elegance, for sure.

“Rui was so excited to share his wine and it was adorable. It was actually really good,” Hertz said. “He spared no expense. It was really good and it hasn’t been released yet, so it was his opportunity to share that with his teammates and he was really crazy about it.

Since leaving Gonzaga after his second season, Petrusev hasn’t spent much time on American soil, moving to Mega Soccerbet in Serbia before being drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers, who hid the former big man of the Bulldogs abroad last season with Anadolu Efes of the Turkish Super League. He has stayed in touch with former college teammates, but face-to-face interactions have been rare since Petrusev left Spokane.

“It was really cool. I keep in touch with a lot of these guys, but it was also good to see guys from years ago like Domas, Kelly,” Petrusev said. I have not played. Just to see them, talk to them. It was pretty cool.

Another dinner photo showed Holmgren, who had yet to register an official NBA minute, sitting next to Olynyk, 13,408 minutes into his own career, across the table. A great lottery pick from Gonzaga who should carve out a long and successful NBA career by taking advice from another who is acutely aware of what something like this takes.

“You can kind of see them already starting to have some interesting conversations with Chet,” Powell said. “It was special to take it all.”

Nembhard finished a team dinner with the Pacers, who had played earlier in the night, before heading to Park MGM to snack on bread and hang out with former college teammates and other ex-Zags that he had met through their shared connection with the Spokane school.

“A lot of old faces that kind of gave me a lot of advice growing up,” Nembhard said. “So it was just fun seeing these guys, getting together, having fun that night.”

The dinner is designed for NBA Zags, but as that contingent continues to swell year after year, Hertz thinks it could turn into a full-fledged Gonzaga reunion. Jones, who just won a league championship playing professionally in Japan, was in town to reconnect with old friends and teammates. Bakamus, now director of player development for former GU Lloyd assistant in Arizona, came to his first summer league to catch a glimpse of former Baylor and Arizona players he coached.

“Rem is crafty,” Hertz said, “and he’s the great connector, just like with Jeremy. They were great teammates, so they’re great connectors.

“So a guy like Domas who’s never been here before, he might not know Chet and he might not know Killian, but he knows Rem. So Rem says, ‘Yeah, we’re going to dinner’ , Domas does not hesitate.

It just shows the great job the coaching staff is doing there and the development with all the former players as well,” Suggs said. “You know, it helped recruit me there and I helped recruit Chet. It all goes with the culture that Gonzaga comes with.

Gonzaga’s NBA contingent may outgrow Bavette’s private backroom. A much-too-soon NBA mock draft released by The Athletic features three players from Gonzaga’s 2022-23 roster – Julian Strawther, Drew Timme and Malachi Smith – and it’s possible that one or two more league invites will be added. summer be. By 2030, Hertz could lease full ballrooms.

“We’re going to keep going,” Powell said. “We have young guys coming in and we’re going to keep developing the guys and hopefully we can keep that bond going. And these guys do it organically. It’s not forced. Just like the coach (little). It’s really cool.”

With full stomachs, empty Black Samurai bottles and dozens of stories spilled, the group left the Vegas steakhouse’s private dining room shortly after 9 p.m.

With three to four summer championship games left to play, Holmgren, Nembhard, Ayayi and Petrusev retired to team hotels, but a larger group of NBA Zags took the next step. , and maybe a few more after that.

“Some of the other guys extended the night,” Hertz said. “It’s never happened before because usually they’re all business because they’re all playing.

“So there are probably good stories that happened long after the other guys left.”

Confidential stories, of course. Might be a good icebreaker for next year’s dinner.

For Joe Biden, the price of maintaining a rules-based world order seems to be shaking hands with killers and bullies

So this is what the rules-based world order looks like: US President Joe Biden sitting with a Saudi leader with blood on his hands.

US intelligence says Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. His body was reportedly cut into pieces and cremated.

How does Biden strike up a conversation after this?

Then there is the long-suspected Saudi involvement in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks that targeted New York’s Twin Towers and the Pentagon, killing 3,000 people.

Osama bin Laden, who plotted the attacks, was a Saudi. Of the 19 terrorists who carried out the attacks, 15 were Saudi citizens. An FBI report linked a Saudi diplomat to the attackers.

Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed and dismembered by a team of MBS-linked operatives in 2018.(Reuters: Osman Orsal)

Families of victims of the September 11 attacks have criticized Biden’s visit to the country.

Saudi Arabia is an abhorrent authoritarian state that locks people up without trial, carries out public executions and oppresses women, even though they are now allowed to drive cars.

On human rights, China ranks higher than Saudi Arabia, according to Freedom House.

Biden himself has said he wants to make Saudi Arabia a pariah state. Now, however, he says it’s in America’s interest to meet the man known as MBS. Biden knows there are few virtuous choices in the Middle East, just increasingly morally burdensome ones.

Biden moves cautiously in the Middle East

With rising inflation and rising oil prices, Biden needs Saudi Arabia to pump more oil.

He also needs Saudi Arabia to offset Iran’s influence in the region and counter the growing influence of China and Russia in the Middle East.

Biden wants to build on the closer clandestine ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has tacitly allowed the normalization of relations between the UAE and Israel, even as Riyadh itself halts short of Israel’s formal recognition.

It stems from a shared hostility and threat from Iran.

Biden treads cautiously in the Middle East, a region in turmoil that offers a glimpse of what has been called a “post-American world.”

Mohammed bin Salman seated in an ornate chair.
US intelligence says Mohammed bin Salman approved of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.(Reuters: Bandar Algaloud/Saudi Royal Court)

It looks like a Hobbesian war of all against all. The end of the Ottoman Empire after the Second World War, the birth of a new Middle East was marked by weak or despotic governments; ethnic, tribal and sectarian rivalries.

Even periods of stability have not been periods of peace.

The United States contributed to the instability. Its 2003 invasion of Iraq made a bad situation worse. A ruthless dictator, Saddam Hussein, was overthrown, but upheaval and violence followed. The Islamic State has taken root.

As international affairs analyst F. Gregory Gause wrote in a recent edition of Foreign Affairs: “Iraq was a weak state when the United States invaded. But it became a failed state after the invasion.

Gause recounts a region in freefall.

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Joe Biden’s Middle East Tour

When regional crises become global

The invasion of Iraq and the 2010 Arab Spring uprisings that toppled rulers in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya sparked a contagion of chaos that spilled over into civil war in Syria and a war in power of attorney between Saudi Arabia and Iran in Yemen which the United Nations has called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. crisis.

With so many states in conflict, says Gause, regional crises become global.

Russia seized it to strengthen its power. The flood of refugees fleeing the region to Europe has disrupted politics across the continent, giving rise to anti-immigration populism.

The United States, which has drained the blood and treasures of the region, may have sought to withdraw and end the war on terror, but, as a world leader, there is no no way out.

Now, says Gause, a sanitized America must trade its hopes for regional stability for vested interests.

So Biden must bet on another despot: Mohammed bin Salman. Not only is MBS implicated in the murder, but as terrorism and Middle East journalist Graeme Wood wrote in The Atlantic magazine, bin Salman has “created a climate of fear unprecedented in Saudi Arabian history. “.

Yet, improbably, this is what a reformer looks like. As Wood points out, Mohammed bin Salman opened up the country socially and culturally and “reduced the role of reactionary clergy and virtually abolished the religious police.”

Wood met bin Salman, who rarely speaks to the media. Asked about Jamal Khashoggi, Wood quotes the Saudi leader as saying that if he wanted to kill someone, “Khashoggi wouldn’t even be among the first 1,000 people on the list.”

MBS told Wood he wanted to strengthen ties with America and that Biden needed to think about what was in America’s best interests. If he doesn’t see Saudi Arabia’s potential, bin Salman warned, China will.

Everywhere Joe Biden turns, China looms

As the US president headed for the Middle East, America sought to woo Pacific island leaders away from Beijing.

Growing influence was at the center of this week’s Pacific Islands Forum. Australia and the United States now recognize that they must make up lost ground.

The Pacific is at the forefront of the struggle for global power in the 21st century.

Again we hear the mantra of respect for the rule-based order. But do we stop to think what it is?

Where does the rule-based order come from? Who writes the rules?

It is not a 20th century invention, but has its roots in post-Napoleonic Europe. Then the European states joined Russia in claiming victory over France and, as historian Glenda Sluga points out in her book, The Invention of the International Order, “They invented a new culture of international diplomacy”.

It was a Western idea and favorable to Christian states. The international order has always been about choosing who is in and who is out.

Since the 18th century, says Sluga, “the promise of modernity … has only raised its voice for some”.

Sluga says the invention of a European-dominated international order is “a story of forgetting…an Ottoman Empire with equal legal status”.

Rules were made – and broken

In the 20th century, a new order emerged from the two world wars. It was built first around the League of Nations and later the United Nations governed by covenants and treaties.

It is led by institutions like the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Health Organization, the World Trade Organization, the International Criminal Court.

It is based on the universal ideas of human rights, national sovereignty and respect for the rule of law.

But as historian Simon Reid-Henry points out, it is less universal than an “Atlantic-dominated order.”

For Joe Biden, the price of maintaining a “rules-based world order” is shaking hands with killers and bullies.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

It is often described as a rules-based liberal order but, as Reid-Henry puts it, it was “more about order than liberalism; it was about consolidating political authority in the name of freedom” .

Reid-Henry argues that architects of post-war order increasingly argued for the use of “political violence” to defend order.

Rules have been made and broken by the great powers. For centuries, the great powers have claimed exceptionalism; the United States, as a world leader, has, when it suited them, outlawed.

Corruption and hypocrisy are embedded in the order. What place for morality? Morality often loses to realpolitik and, as political scientist Joseph Nye has said, foreign policy always involves trade-offs and choices.

Nye says good moral reasoning requires “weighing and balancing the intentions, means, and consequences of decisions.”

From the Middle East to the Pacific, the world order is contested. Russia is waging war on Ukraine. There is the threat of war with China.

For Joe Biden, the price of maintaining a “rules-based world order” is shaking hands with killers and bullies.

Stan Grant is ABC’s international business analyst and presents China Tonight Monday at 9:35 p.m. on ABC TV and Tuesday at 8 p.m. on ABC News Channel, and co-anchor of Q+A Thursday at 8:30 p.m.

Why I Decided to Try the “Love Bomb” Technique on Vacation With My Youngest Son

For all modern makers, much of the old school charm has been retained, including the traditional fondue restaurant, Zollstube. With its cozy interior and friendly waitresses dressed in dirndls, it felt like stepping into the hatched illustrations of a children’s storybook. Dash was so excited to eat a bubbling lagoon of cheese that he scraped the pot all the way to the iron.

As bedtime approached and we sat in our vast princess-and-pea bed – writing our travel diaries while David Bowie’s Starman played on my phone – it was as if we were flying on a magic carpet of undigested cheese and adrenaline.

The next morning, the sky was cerulean blue and the sunlight was sparkling on the mountains, making it just as incredibly picturesque as the scene on a Caran D’Ache pencil box. Dash and I had the garden pool, with its panoramic view of the snow-capped mountains, all to ourselves – and after all the Covid restrictions we had endured (pools closed; swimming lessons cancelled), the feeling of release was palpable. .

Later in the week, I was lucky enough to get an appointment for a Haki Flow massage at dawn – but nothing beats the experience of the indoor/outdoor pool at the Tamina Therme spa, where Dash and I discovered the deep joy of swinging like Japanese snow. monkeys in the thermal water, the steam evaporating in the cool mountain air.

You can tell a lot about a hotel when traveling alone with a child. We felt entirely safe and comfortable wandering the vast, gleaming halls in our robes and slippers — like two Jedi warriors clad in towels — while other guests passed by without batting an eyelid.

In fact, it was the hotel staff who suggested that we might like to enjoy the beautiful surrounding Sarganserland countryside with a goat trek one afternoon.

14 things to watch next week: Dakota Johnson’s ‘Persuasion’, ‘cheating’ lovers and the real ‘American pie’


Wondering what to watch next week? Here’s the scoop on what you’ll want to watch as you head into the weekend of July 15 on network and cable TV, streaming and on-demand. Whatever your platform—HBO, Showtime, Acorn, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu—we’ve got you covered What to watch. Plus, find out what’s new on Blu-ray and DVD, and hot new movies coming out next week. Let’s go look!

FRIDAY July 15

dakota johnson
opening lines of this period drama, based on a Jane Austen novel, as a nonconformist woman with modern sensibilities, forced to confront her past when a dashing young man – the one “who got away” – re-enters her life. With Cosmo Jarvis, Richard E. Grant and Henry Golding (Netflix).

Forever Summer: The Hamptons
A new reality TV series – billed as a “coming of age docusoap” – follows a group of college students who descend for the summer in the “townies” of this famous resort community (Prime Video).

Christmas Campfire

The romance heats up for Peyton (Tori Anderson) and her friends when her parents decide to have a big vacation-themed reunion before selling their family summer camp (8 p.m., Hallmark Channel).

Planet Shark
Discover the ancient secrets of one of the most successful hunters to ever inhabit the planet in this three-episode series about sharks, which inhabit every corner of Earth’s seas and have diversified among some 500 species (8 p.m. , National Geographic).

SUNDAY July 17

Lunar Haven
The suspense-thriller series is set in a utopian colony on the moon that may hold the keys to preserving life on increasingly perilous Earth. Featuring Dominique Monaghan, Joe Manganiello and Emma McDonald (AMC+).

Eight-part docuseries explores the mighty Roman Empire through the lens of those who fought, died and stirred up evil sensations in the infamous arena (9 p.m., History Channel).

MONDAY July 18
Caught in the act: Unfaithful

Suspicious lovers catch their cheating partners in the act, with help from the host Roman Tami (basketball wives, The real world), in this new series on romantic relationships (9 p.m., VH1).

The captain
Sports docuseries about the New York Yankees superstar Derek Jeterwho helped turn a struggling franchise team into a legendary dynasty (ESPN).

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The Great American Muslim Road Trip

Driving the final leg of legendary Route 66, a Muslim American couple encounter setbacks and surprises in this eye-opening travel documentary (10 p.m., PBS).

The day the music died
Documentary explores the musical phenomena of Don McCleanThe cryptic ‘American Pie’ hit, which continues to be a vital thread in the fabric of pop culture some five decades after hitting the charts (Paramount+)


The blackish spinoff returns for a fifth season, following the signing of Junior (Marcus Scribner) at a California university (10 p.m., Freeform).

The 2022 ESPYs presented by Capital One
Author, athlete, and retired Army Command Sergeant Major Gretchen Evans will be honored with Pat Tilman Service Award, given to individuals with athletic ties who have served others in a way that echoes the legacy of Tillman, the former NFL star and US Army Ranger (8 p.m., ABC).

American Horror Stories

The new season of this success american horror story spinoff continues its weekly anthology format with different scary stories in each episode (Hulu).

The latest movie stars
New doc made by Ethan Hawke—and produced by Martin Scorsese— explores the life and career of the superstar actor Paul Newman and his actress wife Joanne Woodward (HBO Max).


In Bob’s Burgers movie information (Disney Home Entertainment), the Belcher family from Fox TV’s long-running animated sitcom find themselves in the middle of a murder mystery.

Reece Witherspoon
is one of the executive producers of Where the Crawdads singbased on the novel by Delia Owensfeaturing Daisy EdgarJones (she was “Brenda” in the miniseries Under the sky banner) as a woman with roots in the Deep South who becomes a murder suspect.

Adorable dog with a dream sets off to become a samurai in Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hankan animated adventure with the voices of michelle yeo, Samuel L. Jackson, Mel Brooks, Ricky Gervais, Michael Cera and Djimon Hounsou.

In dramatic comedy Mrs. Harris goes to Parisa widowed maid (Leslie Manville) in the 1950s, London fell madly in love with a Dior haute couture dress and set out to get one in Paris.

Princess Mononoke: the masterpiece that shook the United States


When Princess Mononoke was first released in Japan on July 12, 1997, 25 years ago this week, it represented something of a departure for master animator and director Hayao Miyazaki. By the late ’80s, Miyazaki had built his reputation (with the success of Studio Ghibli, which he founded with fellow director Isao Takahata) on films like Kiki’s Delivery Service and My Neighbor Totoro; formally ambitious works, thematically rich, but generally assertive in tone and family in nature. But something changed in the ’90s. First, it began to bristle at the popular idea that Studio Ghibli only makes soft films about the grandeur of nature. “I’m starting to hear Ghibli referred to as ‘sweet’ or ‘healer,'” he grumbles in Princess Mononoke: How the Film Was Conceived, a six-hour documentary about the film’s production, “and I crave to destroy it.” Yet even more significant was his growing desperation at a world he had increasingly come to believe was cursed.

“He was once what he called a left-wing sympathizer, a supporter of people power,” says Shiro Yoshioka, professor of Japanese studies at Newcastle University. But for obvious reasons [the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the escalation in ethnic conflicts across Europe]his political convictions were totally shaken in the early 1990s.”

Japan itself was also going through something of an existential crisis. The country’s bubble period, an economic boom in the late 1980s, burst in 1992, locking Japan into a seemingly endless recession. Three years later, in 1995, the country was hit by the Kobe earthquake, the worst earthquake to hit Japan since 1922. It killed 6,000 people and destroyed the homes of tens of thousands of others. Only two months later, a terrorist sect called Aum Shinrikyo launched a sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway, killing 13 people and injuring thousands. Miyazaki, who was sickened by the materialism of the bubble period, now lived in a country traumatized and confused – both by his relationship with nature and by a creeping sense of spiritual emptiness.

“He started thinking,” Yoshioka said, “maybe I shouldn’t do this fun, light-hearted thing for kids. Maybe I should do something substantial.”

A new anger

Set in the 14th century, the Muromachi period of Japan, Princess Mononoke tells the story of Ashitaka, a young prince cursed with hatred of a dying boar god, who has been corrupted by an iron ball lodged in his body. . “Hear me loathsome humans,” said the boar, “you will know my agony and my hatred.” To seek a cure for his curse, Ashitaka travels across the land, hoping to find the Shishigami, a deer-like forest spirit with the power to bring life and death.

Along the way, Ashitaka discovers an unbalanced world. The Tatara Ironworks community, led by the enigmatic Lady Eboshi, ravages the nearby forest in search of resources, angering the fierce wolf god Moro and his wild human daughter San (the titular Mononoke, which roughly translates to spectrum or spectrum). Caught in the middle is Ashitaka, who must figure out how to navigate this difficult world with “clear eyes”. “I’ve always liked it [phrase]“says Gaiman. “Not clouded by evil. Not darkened by fear, not darkened by hate. You just have to see what’s actually there.

Compared to Miyazaki’s earlier work, it’s a dark and angry film, full of strange spectacle and startlingly violent scenes. The hands are cut off. The heads are cut off. Blood spurts from both humans and animals. “I believe that violence and aggression are essential parts of us as human beings,” Miyazaki said. told journalist Roger Ebert. “The problem we face as human beings is how do we control that impulse. I know little children can watch this movie, but I intentionally chose not to protect them from the violence that lies within the Human being.” Indeed, the cursed boar god, whose anger spurted out of him like a nest of oily worms, was inspired by Miyazaki’s own struggle to control his rage.

Hayao Miyazaki is a self-confessed bundle of contradictions. Read his writings, listen to his interviews, watch him speak, and he portrays an artist caught between idealism and nihilism, optimism and despair. He is the pacifist fascinated by war planes; the demanding boss who despises authority but who, as manager, exercises it without mercy; the father who believed passionately in the spirit of children but was hardly at home to raise his; the staunch environmentalist who struggles to live an ecologically ethical life. “When I see tuna being carried on a line, I think ‘wow, humans are terrible,'” he once told Japanese author Tetsuo Yamaori in 2002, in an interview republished in the anthology from Miyazaki Turning Point’s 2014 essay, “but when someone offers me tuna sashimi, of course I eat it and it’s delicious.”

Supreme Court letting states mandate morality will end badly


The Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs vs. Jackson Womens Organization of health reversed Roe vs. Wade, opening the door for states to impose a conservative Christian moral agenda on people who do not share such beliefs. We have been here before.

A case dating back more than a century, in which the court favored the imposition of a particular moral agenda, points to a disastrous path ahead – with new discriminatory laws that trample on rights and freedoms.

At the turn of the 20th century, the United States experienced a revolution in manners and customs. Concentrated areas of night clubs, saloons, gambling halls, brothels, dance halls, bars, cheap hotels, and opium dens arose in the country’s booming cities. Their visibility — amplified by an increasingly sensationalist press — is causing moral panic, especially among those who fear a rejection of religion and good morals.

Prostitution was a particular concern. Most white Americans subscribed to the idea that white women were inherently sexually chaste. In contrast, they viewed recent immigrants, African Americans, and other people of color as inferior, making women more likely to enter prostitution. Given these beliefs, the increased visibility of American-born white women in urban prostitution in the early 20th century created an urgent moral panic among white Americans.

Since they believed in the inherent purity and sexual passivity of white women, they saw only one explanation for this behavior: innocent young women had been lured by the lies of malefactors (often portrayed in the press and political rhetoric as immigrants), then victimized by brute force to become sex slaves for hire. This panic of white slaves reached its climax between 1908 and 1913.

Rep. James Robert Mann (R-Ill.) championed paternalistic government protection of white American womanhood as a solution. In 1910, Congress passed the White-Slave Traffic Act, better known as the Mann Act, in recognition of its sponsor. The Mann Act made it a crime for “any person” to “knowingly convey…in interstate or foreign commerce…any woman or girl for the purpose of prostitution or debauchery, or for any other immoral purpose.”

Even congressional opponents of the Mann Act have not opposed police morality efforts, nor have they questioned the scope of the problem. Instead, they denied that the federal government has the constitutional authority to pass such a law and preferred to let the states act. Southern officials — aware of the risks of Jim Crow segregation if the federal government grew too powerful — accused the law of violating states’ rights by giving the federal government unlimited power to “regulate the morals and health of a sovereign state”.

Despite the fear campaigns, the police never uncovered the International White Slave Syndicate which Mann and others say was flourishing. Instead, the Mann Act became a tool to persecute men who flouted societal norms, like African-American heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson, who eventually served time for dating a white prostitute.

One of the Mann’s Act’s most famous early prosecutions exposed the law’s staggering ramifications. Maury I. Diggs and Farley Drew Caminetti were married dads who dated single women Marsha Warrington and Lola Norris. All four were from prominent Sacramento families, and for months the public antics of the two illicit couples shocked the California capital. They headed to Reno hoping to let the gossip die down. But instead, police jailed Diggs and Caminetti on various charges, including violating the Mann Act. Their real crime, however, was having affairs.

Mann himself saw the case as a test not only for his legislation, but also for the very soul of the nation. Prosecutors and the press too. The case made national headlines.

Diggs was first tried before an all-male jury – although California granted women the right to vote in 1911, their right to jury service was not officially enacted until 1917. When the defense began to argue that the two young women were voluntarily going to Reno, Judge William Van Fleet intervened to say that the motives and character of Warrington and Norris had no bearing on the case. The women’s consent and wishes were irrelevant.

The jury found Diggs guilty of transporting Warrington and Norris to Reno for immoral purposes.

During jury selection for Caminetti’s trial, Van Fleet again clarified that the White-Slave Traffic Act was designed to criminalize immoral behavior: “There is no personal freedom to commit a crime, and more the sooner people see this fact, the better. will be for society. Caminetti was also found guilty.

Then, as now, many were convinced that the justice system could remedy what they saw as a society gone morally insane. Others, including Warrington, saw a gross violation of individual liberty, bodily autonomy, and women’s right to sexual agency. After Diggs’ wife divorced, Warrington and Diggs married in 1915 (a union that lasted until Diggs’ death in 1953). The ‘Mann Act-protected’ woman proclaimed the lawsuit broke them ‘in fortune and reputation, in family, in spirit’. She clearly stated that her husband had been “punished for a crime he did not commit. He is not now, and he never was, a white slaver. We were adults and we went there for non-immoral reasons. There was no constraint. His protests went unheeded because the convictions served a much larger agenda.

According to the Sacramento Bee, the punishment of men “will be a magnificent thing for the moral atmosphere of California. She will put the fear of the law, if not of God, in the hearts of the poor who make the seduction of young girls their main pastime. The Bee concluded that each state should enact intrastate versions of the Mann Act, which could be used to declare all-out war against lax morality.

In 1916, the Supreme Court heard the appeals of Diggs and Caminetti. Their attorney, former Sen. Joseph W. Bailey (D-Tex.) railed, “Our humanity revolts at the idea of ​​punishing moral failure as a crime, and no law that does so can be properly enforced.

The court ruled, however, that since the wording of the law included “any other immoral purpose,” the Diggs and Caminetti verdicts should stand. While the majority asserted that Congress could not legislate morality within individual states, they also clarified that Congress could making any extramarital sex that involves crossing state borders illegal. In dissent, Justice Joseph McKenna shared the concern that the words “any other immoral purpose” formed such a broad expression that it covered “any form of vice, any form of conduct contrary to good order”.

The decision brought relief to Americans who had been disturbed by a changing society that challenged traditional conceptions of gender and family. They saw the case (and the Mann Act) as bulwarks against new ideas about acceptable behavior between men and women, and in particular white women’s right to sexual agency.

As legal scholar Lawrence Friedman notes, the Mann Act allowed “busy people, resentful people, outraged husbands, wives, parents, and others” to allege violations of the law in a discriminatory way that ruined lives. The FBI opened nearly 50,000 investigations between 1921 and 1936 alone. Some convictions, such as those in the Caminetti-Diggs case, involved consensual extramarital sex. African-American men who pursued women outside of their race were targeted, including actor Rex Ingram (1949) and musician Chuck Berry (1962). The law has also proven to be an extremely effective means of punishing famous white men for their center-left politics or disregard for social norms. Authorities filed Mann Act charges against sociologist William I. Thomas (1918), architect Frank Lloyd Wright (1926), British poet George Baker (1940), and film legend Charlie Chaplin (1944).

This abuse of the law only changed when amendments to the Mann Act in 1978 and 1986 transformed it into an important tool in the fight against sex trafficking.

As the history of the Mann Act shows, the Dobbs This decision opens the door for lawmakers to pass laws that, far from protecting morality, will instead trample on women’s sexual agency and create and perpetuate new injustices.

Co-Optimus – News – Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate Definitive Edition travels through time to arrive on Steam

In 2018, Koei Tecmo and Omega Force released Orochi Warriors 4 on consoles and PC, and it was fine. Orochi Warriors 3, however, never got a PC release – until now. 10 years after the first console versions, Steam now has Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate Definitive Edition. This new edition bundles the hack-and-slash epic with almost all of its DLC to create a truly grand and definitive adventure – complete with split-screen co-op.

Orochi Warriors 3 is a crossover game featuring characters from both Dynasty Warriors and samurai warriors series. During the Three Kingdoms period of China and the feudal era of Japan, a gigantic seven-headed hydra called Orochi begins to attack human settlements spread across both nations. Humanity has no chance of stopping Orochi and his demon army alone, so Princess Kaguya, a figure in Japanese folklore, offers to help. Kaguya sends the surviving heroes back in time to save their previously fallen comrades and amass a force large enough to stand up to the Orochi.

For more on the game’s general systems and mechanics, check out our Orochi Warriors 3 cooperative examination.

The Steam version of Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate Definitive Edition Features:

  • 145 playable characters, including guests from Dead or alive and SoulCalibur
  • New episodes and sub-scenarios that weren’t in the original Orochi Warriors 3
  • Several modes in addition to the story: Gauntlet mode, Duel mode and Musou battlegrounds
  • Huge arsenal of downloadable content: With scenarios, outfits, weapons and more that have been released for other platforms, over 500 items are included.
  • Mouse and keyboard support
  • A wide range of graphics settings

The only thing missing from this version is online co-op. Luckily, 2-player split-screen co-op is still supported. We assume that levels must first be cleared in single player mode before becoming playable in co-op. We hope we can test it soon and report back.

Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate Definitive Edition costs $39.99 on Steam. The non-definitive editions of Orochi Warriors 3 Ultimate are also available for $59.99 (!) on Xbox and PlayStation. It may be time to lower the prices, Koei Tecmo.

How Global Fund Investor Victoria McIvor Landed Her First Venture Capital Job

  • Victoria McIvor is currently an investor in European climate tech venture capital firm World Fund.
  • Before landing her first VC job, at energy-focused company SET Ventures, she worked in nuclear decommissioning.
  • McIvor said new investors should be genuine, practical and not underestimate operating experience.

Victoria McIvor has had an unconventional route in the venture capital world.

The University of Glasgow graduate was working in nuclear decommissioning when she got her first taste of entrepreneurship. Today, she invests in early-stage energy and mobility startups at European Climate Tech VC, World Fund.

While studying physics and math in college, McIvor, 30, turned his attention to renewable and nuclear energy, and later secured a place in a nuclear graduate program. The program focused on corporate social responsibility and required graduates to launch a startup to meet the challenges of small business and work with the community.

With a team of 11 volunteers, McIvor started a business selling herb kits from different parts of the world. Profits were donated to conservation charities in the kits’ respective countries. “It was awesome,” she told Insider.

Upon completion of the program, McIvor joined UK nuclear decommissioning company Magnox, where she was responsible for radiation and contamination compliance at nuclear sites across the UK.

Having originally been drawn to the potential of nuclear in the future energy mix, McIvor felt it didn’t have the level of impact it wanted to have, she said. Keen to travel, she secured a place on the Daiwa Scholarship, where UK graduates travel to Japan to learn the language, experience homestay and take part in an internship.

McIvor intended to work in Fukushima during the six-month internship, but encountered challenges, concluding that no available role would be a good fit. “Maybe as a foreign woman in energy as a whole, with poor Japanese people, it was very difficult to be able to demonstrate her worth,” she said. “I quickly realized that my strengths were in communication, management, networking and the balance between the technical side and problem solving. My ability to do this was severely limited by all of these factors combined.”

“I saw no way to reconcile my new entrepreneurial interest with nuclear decommissioning,” McIvor added.

Fall in VC

Exploring his options, McIvor networked his way to the founder of energy startup Trende, a spin-out from the venture capital arm of Japanese utility company Tepco. He was impressed with her ability to put himself forward, having just moved to Japan, she recalls. It showed she can take initiative and network, she said.

McIvor joined Trende, where she wore many hats to help the company grow. Its founder was also setting up a venture capital fund for emerging markets, which she supported.

When the Daiwa fellowship ended, McIvor was looking for another job at a Japanese startup when an investor in the UK recommended a venture capital fund. “In all honesty, I fell into VC,” she said. “I was surprised to be offered the job.


while hiking through Japan.”

The job was at Amsterdam-based SET Ventures, an energy-focused VC. She spent two and a half years there as an analyst, drawing on the knowledge she gained working in the energy sector.

Now, McIvor specializes in energy and mobility as an associate at The World Fund, a climate tech fund backed by tree-planting search engine Ecosia.

Here are his 3 key points for landing a job in venture capital.

Pope Francis and war, ideas and realities


“I think it’s time to rethink the concept of ‘just war’. A war can be just, there is the right to defend oneself. But we need to rethink how this concept is used today. I said that the use and possession of nuclear weapons is immoral. Resolving conflicts through war means saying no to verbal reasoning, to being constructive. Verbal reasoning is very important. Now I am referring to our daily behavior. When you talk to some people, they cut you off before you’re done. We don’t know how to listen to each other. We don’t let people finish what they say. We must listen. Receive what they have to say. We declare war in advance, that is to say, we stop talking. War is essentially a lack of dialogue.

Pope Francis, Interview with Télam, June 20, 2022

In this remark in a recent maintenance, Pope Francis has provided much-needed clarification on his views on defensive warfare, which have sparked controversy in light of the ongoing Russian spoliation of Ukraine. I wrote a few years ago about being ‘pacifist’ versus being ‘anti-war’, the latter being the somewhat less absolute position I had; my colleague Dan Amiri wrote recently claiming that Pope Francis is a pacifist in the most absolute sense. This elaboration of Francis’ position comes close to pacifism, but does not quite get there; clarity on self-defense is appreciated in the context of what is happening in Ukraine, but the tone still indicates a refusal to erect the Holy See as a “Western power” among many others currently baptizing the effort of Ukrainian war.

The Pope’s position certainly made me a little uncomfortable. I agree with him on his fundamental points regarding the role of arms dealers and cowardly politicians who send others to die for them in modern warfare. Yet I am torn by the specific cases he talks about, including the Russian-Ukrainian war and the world wars. These conflicts seem to me morally quite clear as to what is at stake. I find it hard to accept that there were no evil forces in these wars that had to be faced directly. I suppose Pope Francis could say that, for example, the Second World War was a war that had to be fought, but that we also have to ask, so to speak, whose fault is it? By definition, dialogue has failed the moment a war begins. The failure of dialogue is itself a moral evil for which specific people or institutions presumably have some degree of culpability, or at least responsibility.

It is this situation in which Pope Francis says that “defending oneself” is justified. ‘Defending’ can of course mean many things, from a village banding together to expel thugs like in a western or a samurai movie to the liberal theories of collective security that are driving the current response. of NATO to Putin’s aggression. . In principle, the spectrum and the dimming lines on this spectrum between these two situations are quite clear. In real life, however, this image blurs almost immediately. Poland and Slovakia send almost all of their military arsenals to Kyiv where Joe Biden and Boris Johnson leading the charge for massive punitive sanctions against Russia serve the same international cause as Ukrainian farmers, office workers, pensioners — and, yes, the oligarchs — defending their hometowns from thermobaric bombardment and war rape. This makes any moral criticism from the “high” end of the spectrum difficult to interpret separately from a stench of throwing these people to the wolves.

For this reason, I respect the fact that the Ukrainians feel that the Pope has not been supportive enough and, to be honest, I think their argument deserves consideration. My strongly anti-Russian stance in current geopolitics is not despite but due to my love for Russian art and culture. My more than superficial familiarity with Russia allows me to see how deeply rooted violently autocratic rule over a demoralized body politic is in Russian history, and how terribly damaging it has been for Russia and neighboring countries. Personally, I would certainly not have advised to integrate NATO into it as François did another recent interview. (Even so, hostility to NATO coming from someone in South America must be understood in the context of this part of the world’s troubled history.)

That said, however, I think Pope Francis has now provided an answer to the objective moral question his approach to just war raised. One might still think it’s a strange thing for Francis of all popes to take a position unusually based on “ideas.” “Realities are more important than ideas”, even if ideas count too. Ukraine is a country about which Pope Francis seems to have most of the good ideas, but where many wonder if he fully understands the realities.

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Nathan Turowsky is originally from New England and now lives in upstate New York. A lifelong fascination with religious rituals led him first to the Episcopal Church and then to the Catholic Church. An alumnus of the Boston University School of Theology and one of the few Catholic alumni of this primarily Wesleyan institution, he is single and works in the nonprofit sector. He writes to silicate siesta.

Pope Francis and war, ideas and realities

Youth gangs fueled by drug use, expert says

Sam Ath therefore stood up quickly in his light blue uniform after hearing his name called by the judge of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court of Appeal at the end of June. He had already been sentenced recently in Takeo and this was his appeal hearing, in a desperate attempt to get a new trial for drug possession or a rehearing for a lighter sentence.

At only 27 years old, Sam Ath had already served a prison sentence before. The first time, he was imprisoned for seven years in Takeo province in 2015 for aggravated intentional violence resulting in the death of the victim.

In response to questions from the judge, Sam Ath explained that in early 2014, when he was just 20 years old, he argued with another young man and hit him in the neck with a wooden pole. wood, intending to harm him – but not to kill him.

A day later, he was arrested and taken to the Takeo Detention Center and was eventually sentenced by the Takeo Provincial Court to seven years in prison. The result could have been much worse for him.

However, after serving his sentence in mid-2021, Sam Ath was released – but he was only free for three months before being arrested again, this time for possession of three small packs of methamphetamines.

The Takeo court sentenced him to an additional three years in prison.

Unlike other more fortunate appellants that day, Sam Ath’s conviction and sentence was upheld by the Court of Appeal and he was ordered to complete the remainder of his prison term in Takeo Province less the time he had already spent in detention since his arrest last year.

“I regret my actions and I will stop committing crimes and causing problems in society. When I finish my three years, I want to be a good person and live in society like a normal citizen,” said Sam Ath in the courtroom at the end of his appeal hearing.

Yong Kim Eng, president of the NGO People’s Center for Development and Peace, told the Post that problems with youth gangs have been happening in Cambodia for a long time – sometimes more and sometimes less. However, he observed that all of these juvenile delinquency problems occur for identifiable reasons.

The first problem, according to Kim Eng, is the sale and use of illicit drugs.

“When they use drugs, violence is always the result. And when they sell drugs, they form gangs to organize their drug dealing activities,” he said.

Kim Eng said the second problem relates to materialism in society and the wealth gap between rich and poor. Poor young people see selling drugs as a way to get rich or at least earn some money. They also form gangs in order to compete with others and this follows the psychology of power-seeking behavior of those with little power in the grand scheme of society.

“I have also observed online social behavior where hostility and abusive language have become the norm for regular Internet users and also among some politicians and well-known people and this seems to teach young people to adapt to using abusive language and violence in other forms.

“These gangs are essentially destructive but ultimately ineffective attempts by those who are weak to seize power and become strong and respected in society,” he said.

According to Kim Eng, once they are together in a group, they sometimes feel powerful enough to use violence to challenge other groups and compete with each other.

He observed that at the grassroots level, the social problems caused by gangsters were also linked to a lack of communication between parents and schools with local authorities about what is happening with their children and in their communities.

“Sometimes the police only see the problems caused by young people in gangs and do not provide any solutions, while schools provide education in the classroom but do not provide sufficient moral education to the young people in their care.

“Parents are often busy making a living while their children become drug addicts or join gangs. Once that happens, what exactly is all the money they’ve earned for? How will this one day lead to happiness? asked Kim Eng.

He also highlighted shortcomings in the Cambodian criminal justice and systems. He said prisoners in some countries receive an education and are rehabilitated while in prison, so that they can become productive citizens when they are reintegrated into society.

“In Cambodia, prison is just a punishment for criminals and little or no action is taken to educate them and change their mindset or character.

“Young gang members who are first offenders are put in cells with older robbers, robbers or murderers and it seems they are just sent there to learn from those inmates like apprentice criminals or trainees. Sometimes those who have already been in jail once or twice are even more vicious than before,” he noted.

Kim Eng also criticized the prison authorities, saying that the prison authorities need to monitor the recidivism rate, that is, the number of people who have been released and the number of them who then return to prison.

“In particular, those who are first offenders for non-violent offenses, such as thieves who are sent to prison. Do they come back a second time or not? There is a United Nations convention that provides guidelines for the separation of prisoners.

“For example, an 18-year-old who has committed a minor offense should be held in a separate part of the prison from hardened criminals who have killed people. It can help because a person who has been imprisoned once or twice – if they are still committing the same crimes – it is sometimes because during their imprisonment they have only learned more criminality from other inmates.

“At the moment in Cambodia, such an offender does not have much opportunity to learn positive things in prison. I don’t know exactly what educational programs are available in the prisons here, but I can tell you that we probably need more,” he said.

However, the spokesman for the General Department of Prisons (GDP), Nouth Savna, refuted Kim Eng’s opinion. He told The Post that the vocational training of previously sentenced inmates has given them skills such as electrical repairs, air conditioning maintenance and repair, motorcycle repair, car painting, sculpture and market gardening techniques.

Savna said there are currently a total of 38,000 inmates held in prisons and correctional centers, 54% of whom are incarcerated for drug-related offences. He said that out of 100 inmates, there are about 15 who will usually reoffend.

“We are trying to change them. One of the definitions of the word education is ‘having an enriching experience’, and that is the main goal of the PDG,” he said.

Game of Thrones, throwing game / IJF.org

For a while we convinced ourselves that we were watching the Game of Thrones series. When we looked elsewhere a bit preferred the dust.

The first was the Belgian Toma Nikiforov. Immediately afterwards, Israeli Peter Paltchik said goodbye. Azerbaijan’s Elmar Gasimov decided it wasn’t his war and went out the back door in the second round. Ok you will say his rival was the Spaniard Nikoloz Sherazadishvili and he deservedly won and you are not mistaken but Gasimov is like a thorn in the side with years of experience in the same category and would have could go further. Georgian Onise Saneblidze was also defeated. There were few kingdoms left to conquer and two warriors superior to the others. On one side the Georgian Varlam Liparteliani and on the other the Japanese Iida Kentaro.

Liparteliani has scars, memorable fights, titles and painful defeats. He is the eternal silver medalist on big occasions, an exceptional judoka and an even better person. He is, on the other hand, the only Georgian who works in the field and who has a devastating armbar within osae-komi. This is how he reaches the final as a new version of Liparteliani because he looks rejuvenated and with a more polished judo, if that’s possible. He eliminated the Dane Mathias Madsen, author of a sensational tournament, in the semi-finals with victories over Paltchik and the Swiss Daniel Eich.

For his part, Kentaro very quickly announced the trend with dazzling victories against the Maltese Isaac Bezzina and the Kazakh Aibek Serikbayev. The Japanese must then increase the rate of fire against Saneblidze, but his work of art arrives in the semi-final against Sherazadishvili, whom he pulverizes in 16 seconds. The final between Liparteliani and Kentaro made sense for what each had shown up to that point.

Kentaro offered uchi-mata. Liparteliani reacted with his special move, kanstetsu-waza followed by osae-komi but the Japanese managed to get clear. Liparteliani pushed all the way but the Japanese held on for a seventh gold medal for Japan.


Eich and Sherazishvili wanted bronze. Both were trying to get a good grip. The Swiss was very uncomfortable for the Spaniard, very clever, tactically speaking. In the golden score, Sherazishvili performed a feint to suggest the makikomi but followed it up with a sweep. It was a brilliant bronze by ippon for the Spaniard.

Zsombor Plant

The young Zsombor Veg ended a magnificent day for him. After eliminating the Belgian Nikiforov, he manages to get into the fight for bronze and wins his first Grand Slam medal thanks to a masterpiece of uchi-mata which triggered delirium in the stands.

Medals, checks and mascots were presented by Mr. Mustapha Berraf, IOC member and President of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa and Mr. Lajos Berkó, Chief of Staff of the State Secretariat for Sports at the Ministry of Defense of Hungary.

Sumo Nagoya Basho 2022 live and how to watch the wrestling online from outside Japan

Sumo Nagoya Basho 2022 – the fourth of Japan’s six annual sumo tournaments – will kick off on Sunday, July 10 at Dolphins Arena (Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium). Wrestlers to watch include two-time champion Takakeisho (163kg), crafty Wakatakakage (131kg) and seven-time champion Terunofuji (181kg). Want to watch sumo for free? Read on to find out how to watch a Nagoya Basho 2022 live stream from anywhere in the world.

Sumo is Japan’s national sport (only baseball is more popular). The Grand Tournament only takes place six times a year and is the pinnacle of sumo wrestling, so it’s a great place to see top division (makuuchi) stars. Matches take place throughout the day with the most anticipated clashes recorded for the evenings. There are no weight divisions, so wrestlers can take on much heavier opponents. Tickets can be expensive and sell out quickly, so it’s much more convenient to watch sumo online.

According to NHK commentator Morita Hiroshi, the rules are simple. A rikishi (wrestler) wins a fight by forcing his opponent out of the ring or by having him touch the ground with any part of the body except the soles of the feet, using a technique such as throwing. Why hairstyles? Well, the Samurai bun is considered “untouchable” in Japanese culture. But just to make sure there’s no panky, a rule exists to prohibit sumo wrestlers from pulling the top knot.

Ready for the July Grand Sumo Tournament? Make sure you know how to watch a Sumo Nagoya Basho 2022 live stream from where you are.

Watch a free live stream of the Sumo Nagoya Basho 2022

Logo of the international television channel NHK World-Japan

(Image credit: NHK)

NHK World-Japan provides free live coverage of all six Grand Sumo tournaments – online and on TV.

Cord cutters can watch for free on the NHK World-Japan website (opens in a new tab) and app. NHK World-Japan is available in most territories including UK, US, Australia, Russia and India.

However, if you are traveling outside of these territories and find yourself geo-blocked, you can use a VPN to watch a Sumo Nagoya Basho 2022 live stream (opens in a new tab) on NHK World-Japan wherever you are. All the details later.

Watch a Sumo Nagoya Basho 2022 Live Stream from Abroad Using a VPN

Even if you have subscribed to the relevant Sumo Nagoya Basho 2022 Rightsholders, you may not be able to access it when you are outside your own country. The service can know your location based on your IP address and automatically block your access. Otherwise, no problem. Look away. If that happens, then a VPN is the answer.

A virtual private network (VPN) helps you get around this obstacle. VPNs are simple to use and create a private connection between your device and the internet. All information exchanged is fully encrypted.

There are many VPN providers out there, some more reliable and secure than others. Generally, we suggest a paid service such as ExpressVPN (opens in a new tab) which offers a 100% risk-free money back guarantee. If you are not satisfied with the service at any time during the first 30 days, you can cancel without any penalty.

How to Use a VPN for Sumo Nagoya Basho 2022

Using a VPN to watch Sumo Nagoya Basho 2022 is incredibly simple.

1. Install the VPN of your choice. ExpressVPN (opens in a new tab) is the one we recommend.

2. Open the VPN app and choose the location of the service you want to access. For wrestling choose ‘UK’ or ‘US’ for NHK World-Japan.

3. Next, head to NHK World-Japan (opens in a new tab) on your browser or device and enjoy Sumo Nagoya Basho 2022 Free Live Stream.

If for some reason you can’t get it to work, remember you have a 30 day money back guarantee with ExpressVPN (opens in a new tab). You can also try NordVPN (opens in a new tab)which also comes with a 30 day money back guarantee, and Surfshark (opens in a new tab) which offers round-the-clock assistance.

2022 Grand Sumo Tournament Schedule

1. Hatsu basho – Tokyo

Ryōgoku Kokugikan, Tokyo, January 9 – January 23

2. Haru basho – Osaka

Edion Arena (Prefectural Gymnasium) Osaka, March 13 – March 27

3. Natsu basho – Tokyo

Ryōgoku Kokugikan, Tokyo, May 8 – May 22

4. Nagoya Basho – Nagoya

Dolphins Arena (Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium) Nagoya, July 10 – July 24

5. Aki basho – Tokyo

Ryōgoku Kokugikan, Tokyo, September 11 – September 25

6. Kyushu basho – Fukuoka

Fukuoka Kokusai Center, Fukuoka, November 13 – November 27

  • Browse today best tv deals to pack a cheap 4K, OLED or QLED TV

Lucky Starmer can reap the rewards of the Tory leadership race

The writer is a political strategist and former adviser to Tony Blair and Julia Gillard

Labor leader Keir Starmer has that essential but underrated political quality: luck. A year ago, with his leadership hanging by a thread, he narrowly won the Batley and Spen by-election. Late last year, when partygate was seen by most observers as a ‘Westminster bubble’ story, he decided to tackle the issue head-on, ultimately leading to the reversal of Boris Johnson by the Conservative parliamentary party last week. And ending a tumultuous week when politics focused on behavior below ethical standards, Starmer was cleared of any breaches of Covid-19 rules by Durham Police.

The cruel irony of the opposition means that Starmer’s successful role in dethroning Johnson leaves Labor little bandwidth this summer. Instead, politics will be dominated by the Conservative leadership election. At a time when the UK faces multiple challenges – the cost of living, NHS waiting lists and a housing crisis – the focus will be on the next Prime Minister, not the Starmer’s policies.

But the next two months offer a crucial opportunity to create the dividing lines on which the next elections will be held. Indeed, he began this process with his speech last week, promising that under Labor “Britain will not return to the EU. We will not join the single market. We will not join a customs union”. It was badly needed, and an example of Sir Lynton Crosby’s mantra of ‘getting the barnacles off the boat’ – removing the distracting negatives before making the positive case. But it was also a good time for Starmer, as the debate over how to make Brexit work will be a prime battleground for Tory leadership candidates.

Now Starmer must clarify Labour’s position on the remaining issues that will frame the Tory race. Already, the various leadership candidates – declared and undeclared – make it clear that tax cuts will be essential. Rachel Reeves’ mantra that the UK is high tax because its “growth is low” puts Labor in a strong position. Labor must insist that we have reached the limits of the tax burden on working people, either through National Insurance or the usurious interest rates charged for student debt. Second, we must stop underfunding public services when the costs are visible everywhere – from the loss of teaching assistants in primary schools to staff shortages in hospitals and backlogs in the courts. Third, that the answer is economic growth, not tax cuts funded by spending cuts.

Labour’s plan is for green growth – £28billion a year to be invested in the ‘reindustrialisation’ of the economy through decarbonisation. This would serve two purposes: Starmer and Reeves can campaign nationwide asking how Burnley, Mansfield or Shotts would use this investment; and it will expose Conservative leadership candidates who suggest bonfires the UK’s existing commitments to climate change.

The leadership race will awaken the Conservatives’ eternal dream of deregulation and letting the market crash. Once again, this is an opportunity for Labor to define itself. Against the fantasy of pushing housing construction into the private sector by reducing planning protections, Starmer is expected to oppose a program to build one million public housing units, similar to post-war New Towns. Green houses that generate blue-collar jobs with a large share for co-ownership would once again democratize real estate heritage. Likewise, Labor should not be on the picket line; but instead he is expected to push for more rights for workers while Tory hopefuls stage a Dutch auction on labor standards.

Finally, Starmer must take these ideas on tour. In just two years he has done what took his predecessor Neil Kinnock eight years – to make Labor competitive and eligible. Now he has to seal the deal. The best way to connect with voters is to meet with them and remind them that you are on their side with forward-looking policies. Keir Starmer had a good week; now it must be a good summer.

Best Anime Knights

Knights are very popular characters in anime who shine alongside or even as the main character of a series. The swords, shields, and spears in the hands of these characters cross the battlefields with grace and honor and leave fans in awe of their skill.

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Medieval fantasy anime has seen a significant increase in releases over the past few years, and an abundance of new knights have appeared in fan-favorite series such as Sword Art Online and Seven Mortal sins. Some of these characters have become iconic as fan favorites on the show and key story elements. Here are some of the most iconic knights in anime.

9 Parn – Lodoss War Recording

Recording of the Lodoss War is a classic anime story that became popular in the late 90s. The story follows a group of adventurers who must battle an evil power to protect the land of Lodoss before it is swallowed up by chaos. Parn is the leader and knight of the party, the sole responsibility for leading his friends to victory rests on his shoulders.

Parn is the child of a famous disgraced knight, which prompted him to become one himself to redeem his surname; Parn is a very compassionate person who believes in being on the right side of things and isn’t afraid to speak his mind. Additionally, Parn is an expert fighter, having gained insurmountable experience in several land wars that have earned him some respect.

8 Skull Knight – Berserk

Skull Knight is the constant immortal enemy of the Hand of God in the Berserk universe; not much is known of his backstory, only that he is a victim of the Eclipse who survived and dedicated his life to destroying the members of the Hand of God.

Skull Knight is also the savior of Guts and Casca, rescuing them from the demonic realm of God Hand during the last eclipse and treating Guts as a makeshift successor to his cause. Skull Knight imparted his knowledge of God’s Hand to Guts and aids him in battle when needed. Skull Knight is an extremely powerful enemy capable of transporting different dimensions and even fighting on equal terms with Zod.

seven Claire–Claymore

Claymore is another classic anime that paved the way for visceral and bloody series like Goblin Slayer and The attack of the Titans. The series is set in a world where an organization of half-demon warriors engages in battle against demonic enemies called Youma.

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Clare is the main protagonist of the series and stands out as a powerful warrior and devoted comrade. Clare, on the surface, is a cold and efficient demon slayer, or “Youma”; however, below the surface, she is as human as the people she saves every day. Clare’s journey to end the demonic menace takes turns she doesn’t expect, and her growth is substantial among most anime characters to date.

6 Suzaku Kururugi – Code Geass

Suzaku commands a lot of respect as the character who rose from nothing to become one of the most valiant knights in the Code Geass universe. Born into a world where Japanese ancestry is discriminated against, Suzaku faces a giant wall to prove that he and the Japanese people are admirable human beings.

Along the way, Suzaku got lost after getting everything he wanted, which made for one of the more interesting character developments. Suzaku remained true to the oaths he took as a knight even though he was constantly scrutinized and became known as the White Grim Reaper on the battlefield. Suzaku is a noble and willful fighter who will stop at nothing to punish those who seek to sow chaos.

5 Bow – Skeleton Knight in Another World

Arc is the latest edition of Knights in Anime. the new anime isekai Skeleton knight in another world features Arc as an armored warrior who wields powerful magic and a long sword that splits trees in half. Beneath the armor, Arc is a NEET who was transported to another world after falling asleep while playing his favorite game.

Arc adopted the persona of a chivalrous knight but portrayed the trope well, having saved countless lives on day one and earning the respect of everyone who met him. Arc can use powerful magic spells like Teleport and Wyvern Slash that eliminate opponents in the blink of an eye; this, along with his incredibly powerful attributes, makes him an iconic knight who stands out among the crowd.

4 Arthur Boyle – Fire Force

Arthur Boyle is the self-proclaimed King of Knights in the fire force animated; he is a member of the Eight Team of the Special Fire Company along with Shinra. Arthur is a very strange individual to his peers, looking like a teenager with what is called Chunibyo, the victim of grandiose delusions that he believes to be real.

His fantasies led him to adopt the persona of a knight of old who must put an end to the infernal threat that afflicts the world. Arthur wields a thermal sword which he uses in combination with his third generation pyrokinetic abilities; Arthur is skilled enough to go one-on-one with Shinra at his best and not get overwhelmed.

3 Saber – Fate/Stay Night

Fate/Stay Night is filled with powerful characters, but none are as noble or dedicated a warrior as Saber. From her first appearance after a benign summoning by Emiya, Saber portrayed an elegance and confidence that elevated her above the series’ ordinary minions.

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In the story, Saber was the former High King, Arthur, who led the Knights of the Round Table and is arguably the greatest knight in existence. Saber uses the legendary sword Excalibur to battle her rival minions and protect the mages in her charge. Saber often walked the battlefield against impossible odds and emerged triumphant; her sense of justice and strength will make her one of the most iconic knights in anime.

2 Ezra Scarlet – Fairy Tail

Ezra Scarlet is a handsome and strong knight and a prominent member of the Fairy Tail guild, even serving as a master on one occasion. Scarlet is immensely powerful, gaining great strength while traveling on Team Natsu, earning all reputation. Although somewhat stern and off-putting to her pears, Scarlet commands great respect for her accomplishments as a warrior and her devotion to her comrades.

Scarlet uses special magical abilities that make her a force to be reckoned with in a fight; one of these abilities is called Re-equip Knight. The ability to re-equip Scarlet’s Knight allows her to instantly swap weapons and armor to always match the challenge she faces; this alone makes her incredibly difficult to fight and ensures she always has the edge in battle.

1 Asta – Black Clover

black clover achieved global levels of success upon release; Asta is the main character of the series and is one of the high-ranking members of the Black Bulls magic knight team. Asta is a powerful knight and can more than hold his own in a fight; however, it is Asta’s personality that elevates him above the rest.

Asta is known for his strong and charismatic personality; Asta has no problem speaking his mind or expressing his feelings to his friends or even complete strangers. Using his special anti-magic abilities, Asta is able to fight alongside his comrades and his rival, Yuno.

MORE: Anime’s Most Iconic Bounty Hunters

Secretary Blinken’s Trilateral Meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi and ROK Foreign Minister Park

The following is attributable to spokesperson Ned Price:

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken met with Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa and Republic of Korea Foreign Minister Park Jin today in Bali, Indonesia. Building on the President’s June 29 trilateral meeting with President Yoon Suk Yeol of the Republic of Korea and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan, Secretary Blinken and Foreign Ministers discussed efforts to strengthen cooperation in the Indo-Pacific and around the world in support of our common values ​​and our desire for regional peace, stability and prosperity. They shared their views on the challenges posed by the People’s Republic of China. They also discussed Russia’s brutal war of aggression against Ukraine and global efforts to support the Ukrainian people.

The secretary and foreign ministers condemned the illegal ballistic missile launches by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and discussed how to expand trilateral security cooperation. The Secretary reiterated the United States’ commitment to completing the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and immediately resolving the abduction issue.

Secretary and Foreign Minister Park reiterated his condolences to Foreign Minister Hayashi on the passing of former Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo.

Mori Ōgai: the polymath intellectual who marked literary history

Mori Ōgai created new possibilities for Japanese literature with his fiction, translations, and other writings, while rising to the highest level in his profession as a military surgeon. The year 2022 marks the 100th anniversary of his disappearance.

A broad education

Mori Ōgai was one of the great Japanese literary figures of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, known for works such as “Maihime” (trans. by Richard Bowring as “The Dancing Girl”). The year 2022 marks the centenary of his death. In addition to being a writer, in an eventful life he was a military surgeon and a bureaucrat.

In 1862, Ōgai was born as Mori Rintarō in Tsuwano Domain (now Shimane Prefecture). He was the son of the doctor of the domain, called to become a doctor in his turn, and he received from an early age a special education. This included Confucianism, which he began studying at age five, before entering the estate academy at age seven to learn the Four Books and Five Classics. He also studied Western knowledge, learning some of the basics of Dutch medicine from his father Shizuo and learning the Dutch language.

In 1872 he traveled with his father to Tokyo and the rest of the family soon followed. The main focus of Western medical studies had shifted from Dutch medicine to German medicine, so Ōgai began learning German at a private school and entered the University District’s first medical school at the age of 11 years old. This was renamed Tokyo Medical School the following year, and became the University of Tokyo Medical School in 1877. The university’s medical education was taught in German by German professors, but Ōgai also learned Chinese poetry and prose outside of college, read Chinese medical classics, and studied waka poetry with a kokugaku (national apprenticeship) teacher. Thus, Ōgai youth is dominated by education in Japanese, Chinese, and Western traditions, and the acquisition of a number of languages.

German connections

In 1881, before graduation, Ōgai wanted to study abroad. However, a series of incidents, including the destruction of his lecture notes by fire, resulted in a disappointing performance on the leaving exams, and he was not selected via the Ministry of Education test. Education for those who wish to pursue government-funded studies abroad. After some hesitation about his future, he enlisted in the army and became a military surgeon at 19. Three years later, in 1884, he realized his wish when the army sent him to study in Germany.

During his four-year stay in the country, Ōgai performed his primary duties of hygiene research and system investigations, while finding time for a voracious consumption of European art and culture. via intensive reading of German literature and philosophy and visits to theaters and art galleries. Even after returning to Japan with masses of books, he continued to have the latest publications delivered from Germany, as well as newspapers and magazines, so that he could keep up with the vanguard of European culture. His time abroad allowed him to keep one foot in both Japan and Europe, and he developed a comparative outlook, like the “two-legged student” mentioned in his “Teiken sensei” skit. He actively applied it in his subsequent creative and social activities.

The Mori Ōgai Memorial Center in Berlin, with a drawing based on “Ōgai” (鷗外) written in brush and ink. The location is the same as where Ōgai first stayed in Berlin as a student. (© Jiji)

Back in Japan, Ōgai worked as a military surgeon and made his literary debut by co-writing Omokage (Vestiges), an 1889 volume of translated poems. “The Dancing Girl” followed in 1890, along with many other original and translated works. He also self-published the magazine Shigarami-zōshi, including his own critical writings in which he deploys his knowledge of German literature and aesthetics in literary skirmishes. Through these combative and instructive activities, he became a guiding force at the dawn of modern Japanese literature.

Ōgai also invigorated the literary world through his translations. His version of the poem “Mignon” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe appeared in Omokagewhile other translated works included Hans Christian Andersen’s novel The improviser and Goethe’s drama Faust. These had an immense influence on later poets and authors in Japan.

“The Dancing Girl”, the major work of his first period, has as its protagonist Ōta Toyotarō, an elite Japanese bureaucrat sent to Germany. Life in Berlin opens his eyes to the possibility of living as a free individual, and he falls in love with a poor dancer named Elise. However, this affair is an obstacle to his future career in Japan, and after some dismay, he abandons his pregnant lover and returns home. This story of cross-cultural encounters and conflict is written as a Chinese-style hybrid kanbunclassical Japanese and the style adopted for translations of European literature.

A handwritten manuscript by Mori Ōgai of
A handwritten manuscript by Mori Ōgai of ‘The Dancing Girl’ made headlines when it was offered for sale at a book fair in 2015. (© Jiji)

The year after his return to Japan from Europe, Ōgai launched new magazines on hygiene and medicine, intended to lay the foundation for the development of modern medical techniques in the country. Just as in the literary realm, he showed a pugnacious touch as he sought to educate. In 1897 he co-wrote Eisei Shin Pen (A New Volume on Hygiene) with Koike Masanao, which was the first hygiene textbook written by Japanese authors.

A turn to history

As a military surgeon, Ōgai paved the way to leadership as a high-ranking official. He went with the army to the Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895) and the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905). Between these conflicts, he was appointed chief medical officer of the twelfth division at Kokura in northern Kyūshū from 1899 to 1902. Ōgai saw this as a demotion and was not happy to be based in the city. Imagining that the military’s top brass disapproved of his dual role as army surgeon and author, he curbed his literary pursuits at Kokura. Instead, he mastered French through lessons with a locally-based French priest, and studied Zen and yuishiki (consciousness only) with a Zen priest. It was a period of gaining knowledge and developing mental readiness to move forward in life.

In 1902, Ōgai returned to Tokyo at the age of 40 as chief medical officer of the first division. Five years later, he was promoted to the post of surgeon general and became head of the medical division of the Ministry of the Army. No longer having to worry about the opinions of his superior, and despite his considerable duties, Ōgai published many new works. These included the 1909 novel Uita sekusuarisu (trans. by Kazuji Ninomiya & Sanford Goldstein as Sex life), in which the protagonist looks back on his sexual experiences and reflects on sexual desire, banned from publication. His 1910 story “Chinmoku no tō” (Tower of Silence) criticizes the government’s tightened control of academic and literary discussion after the incident of high treason that year, an alleged plot to assassinate the emperor. Around this time, Ōgai also wrote a number of works of fiction, including astute critiques of contemporary society.

Emperor Meiji died in 1912, having ruled Japan for over 40 years. General Nogi Maresuke’s subsequent ritual suicide shocked the nation. Ōgai was among those stunned by the death of one of the nation’s top military commanders, and in the same year he wrote the historical story “Okitsu Yagoemon no isho” (trans. by Richard Bowring as “The Last will of Okitsu Yagoemon”), based on the actual ritual suicide of a samurai in the early Edo period (1603-1868). It was the first of several historical stories based on real material, including works found in today’s Japanese textbooks as “Saigo no ikku” (trans. by David Dilworth and J. Thomas Rimer as “The Last Phrase”) and “Takasebune” (trans. by Edmund R. Skrzypczak as “The Boat on the Takase River”).

Mori Ōgai (right) in military uniform, with a favorite horse.  Photograph taken in 1912. (Courtesy of Mori Ōgai Memorial Museum in Bunkyō, Tokyo)
Mori Ōgai (right) in military uniform, with a favorite horse. Photograph taken in 1912. (Courtesy of Mori Ōgai Memorial Museum in Bunkyō, Tokyo)

In 1916, Ōgai retired from the army at the age of 54. At this time, his interest in historical exploration intensified, and he studied the lives and achievements of late Edo period scholars. His critical biographies of figures like Shibue Chūsai and Hōjō Katei blended historical research with fiction in an unprecedented style. Both men were academics, doctors and government officials, who also became involved in literature and the arts. That is, Ōgai wrote about men of an earlier generation with lives that resembled his own.

Ōgai became a bureaucrat in the Imperial Household Ministry in 1917, working as head of both the Imperial Household Museum in Tokyo and the Bureau of Books and Maps. Emperor Taishō suffers from health problems and the ministry sees the need to prepare for the next imperial succession. Ōgai is dedicated to historical research, believing that the era name should be based on a solid academic foundation. After having completed in 1921 a work centered on his study of the posthumous names of historical emperors, he began to ask himself the question of the name of the time, but his health deteriorated and he left it unfinished. On July 9, 1922, Ōgai died of kidney atrophy and tuberculosis at the age of 60.

family man

Mori Ōgai was a towering thinker in a number of areas. He mastered the learning of Japanese, Chinese and Western languages ​​and pursued studies in his specialty of medicine, as well as in other fields such as aesthetics and historical research. He was also active as a military doctor and bureaucrat. In literature, he dabbled in genres such as fiction, criticism, drama, free verse, tanka, haiku and kanshi (Chinese poetry), leaving many sophisticated and intellectually provocative works to posterity.

At home, Ōgai was apparently a doting father. He had four children who survived to adulthood with his two wives Toshiko – whom he divorced after a year – and Shige. After his death, all of his children became authors and wrote of their fond memories of him. A vivid image of Ōgai as a dad appears in works like his eldest daughter Mori Mari’s 1957 essay “Chichi no bōshi” (My Father’s Hat) and the 1936 essay “Bannen no chichi” ( My father in his later years) from his second daughter Kobori Annu.

(Originally written in Japanese. Banner image: Photo portrait of Mori Ōgai, taken in 1912. Courtesy of Mori Ōgai Memorial Museum in Bunkyō, Tokyo.)

The Role of AI Ethics in Network Surveillance

According to the Pew Research Center, 68% of technology innovators, developers and business leaders expect ethical principles focused on the public good to continue to be ignored in most AI systems until in 2030.

As AI works to match human capabilities, a major concern is that it could potentially overwhelm our ability to control it within an ethical framework. As a result, there is a growing movement to create ethical guidelines for AI systems. But to enforce the ethics of AI, the industry must first define those ethics.

Different people and organizations have attempted to create ethical codes for AI over the years. For example, in 2016 the EU adopted the GDPR, which laid the foundation for a model on how to apply ethics related to intangible tools that impact human behavior. This has forced companies to consider the ethics of using and storing personal information, a crucial first step when it comes to AI.

Yet today, there is no widely accepted ethical framework for AI, nor a way to enforce it. Obviously, ethical AI is a big topic, so in this article, I’d like to narrow it down and look at it through the lens of network monitoring technologies.

See also: Top AI software

AI and network monitoring

AI has many potential benefits when applied to network monitoring and performance. While many staff fear being replaced by AI, in the networking space, the growth of AI actually signals improvement, not displacement.

In fact, AI in IT surveillance environments can streamline complex networks, automate specific tasks, and help increase the efficiency of detecting and resolving threats, to name a few areas. It can also simplify IT’s role in monitoring and help find the root cause of issues faster.

Let’s look at some specific examples of AI in network monitoring, so that we can better understand the key ethical issues later.

  • Anomaly detection uses AI/ML to understand normal versus abnormal behavior (to establish baselines) on a network. It is used to create models of what typical traffic looks like tailored to specific locations, users, and time aspects. These models can be very detailed, down to the specific application. They allow organizations to understand patterns by extracting application functionality from a network perspective.
  • Predictive analytics leverages data with AI/ML to predict potential issues that may arise on a network in the future. Like anomaly detection, it also uses data analysis to learn about historical patterns and events, and finds and learns patterns that may be causing problems.
  • Automating also uses AI/ML to determine what could be the root cause of a network problem and fix it automatically. ML techniques such as decision trees or more sophisticated techniques can create learned processes for diagnosing problems rather than creating rule-based manual systems that can be error-prone and difficult to maintain.

See also: Data Analysis Trends

Networking and ethical issues related to AI

While AI can provide a new level of visibility and problem solving when applied to network monitoring, there are also ethical considerations or questions that the industry should consider or ask. There is a lot of debate around ethical AI, but most agree that AI ethics is a system of moral principles and techniques intended to inform the development and responsible use of technologies. of AI.

But what does this mean in the network monitoring space? I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I do have some key questions that we should all ask ourselves and work together to answer.

  • Is the data used in accordance with applicable privacy and protection regulations, be it GDPR in the EU or other regulations? Network Data may contain personal, behavioral and trending information. It’s important to make sure it meets regulations, especially as AI/ML systems ingest more data.
  • Does the data have potential for bias when features are extracted and used to train models? As models are developed, humans bias detections based on patterns that can be correlated to gender, race, ethnicity, etc. This is more pronounced with social data, but users generating network traffic may have patterns specific to a cohort group. While this does not create social bias, it could create patterns that may not work universally as intended.
  • Are the actions recommended or taken based on the analysis and the potential implications? As observed with self-driving cars, there are always “corner” cases or unseen scenarios that AI systems may not have been trained on. Exploration of all possible outcomes, even if not supported by data, should be considered and justified.

It is important to note that the industry is not completely starting at square one, but it is only in its infancy for AI standards. Today, there are IT initiatives designed to help create and shape ethical AI. These include at a general level the GDPR, which does not deal directly with the ethics of AI, but it does deal with data protection and privacy, which has implications for the use of that data. for AI.

There is also a proposed EU AI law that will specifically address rules around the development and use of AI-based products. But most of the time, AI ethics are left to tech developers at this point – something that needs to change in the future.

As AI innovation continues, having safeguards and standards in place will be essential. Unchecked AI is universally seen as a recipe for disaster.

But AI produced and implemented with ethical guidelines has incredible potential in the network monitoring space to save NetOps teams a lot of time and resources when it comes to collecting, analyzing, to design and secure networks.

See also: What is data visualization?

About the Author:

John Smith, CTO and co-founder of LiveAction

Japanese artist recreates Street Fighter 2’s iconic VS screen with old Street Fighter 6 designs from Ryu, Guile, and Chun-Li

And there’s a lot more where it came from

Even more than 30 years after its initial release, nearly every aspect of Street Fighter 2 remains unforgettable and part of fighting game culture.

japanese artist Kuronecosan is a huge fan of the series and recently decided to recreate Street Fighter 2’s iconic VS screen using the much older and wiser redesigns of Ryu, Guile and Chun-Li from Street Fighter 6 – along with others great works capturing the spirit of world warriors.

Although Kuroneco has kept its updated VS. colorless screen, their cross-hatched lineart more than makes up for the amount of depth and detail it gives to fighters who’ve been around the block a few times.

Ryu looks rather worn and rugged while Chun-Li is more mature and refined, but Kuroneco still gave them their old SF2 poses, which admittedly looks a little funny on Ryu now.

When the talented artist chooses to include color, he goes out of his way and makes things pop like Rose with all the different shades of blue and purple detailed in her hair.

You can check out a small gallery of Kuroneco’s recent Street Fighter-themed works below, including the VS. screen portraits, and there’s plenty more awesome fighting game art to be found on their Twitter.

Kuroneco Street Fighter VS screen image #1

Kuroneco Street Fighter VS screen image #2

Kuroneco Street Fighter VS screenshot #3

Kuroneco Street Fighter VS screenshot #4

Kuroneco Street Fighter VS screenshot #5

Kuroneco Street Fighter VS screen image #6

Click on images for larger versions

Japan’s awareness of NATO pays off – The Diplomat

L to R: Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol pose for photos during a meeting in Madrid, Spain, on June 29, 2022.

Credit: Office of the Prime Minister of Japan

On June 29, Kishida Fumio became the first Japanese Prime Minister to attend a NATO summit. At the summit in Madrid, Spain, Kishida called for a significant improvement in Japan’s ties with NATO. He suggested several concrete steps to this end, including upgrading the 2014 Japan-NATO Individual Partnership and Cooperation Program, dispatching officials from the Japan Self-Defense Forces to NATO Headquarters, the presence of Japanese and NATO observers at each other’s exercises, arranging a visit to Japan by NATO. Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, and regularly inviting Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea – collectively referred to by NATO as its “Asia-Pacific Partners” – to NATO summits.

Kishida stressed throughout the summit that the security of Europe and the Indo-Pacific were “inseparable”. While of course Kishida is interested in what Europe can do for Japan, this language begs the question, what can Japan do for Europe? In preparation for this argument, which he also referenced during the Shangri-La dialogue, Kishida imposed additional sanctions on Russia on June 26, including a ban on gold imports from Russia; prohibit the provision of services to Russia in the areas of accounting, trusts, consulting and others; freezing the assets of about 70 people and organizations in Russia; and extending the export ban to organizations linked to the Russian military.

Kishida also makes it clear that while Japan may not be in a position to help NATO members militarily, Japan does not just ask others for help, but is ready to do more for his own defense. Reiterating many themes and promises from his Shangri-La dialogue, Kishida promised NATO:

In response to the current international situation, Japan will develop a new national security strategy by the end of 2022. In addition, we will fundamentally strengthen our defense capabilities within five years, and I am determined to achieve an appropriate increase in our defense spending to support such reinforcement. We will strengthen our security cooperation with like-minded countries and our partners while raising the Japan-US alliance to new heights.

It seems that Kishida’s rhetoric and willingness to impose sanctions on Russia was well received by NATO leaders. For the first time ever, NATO’s Strategic Concept, a document that will guide NATO for the next decade, mentions China. The document stated that “China’s stated ambitions and coercive policies challenge [NATO members’] interests, security and values. It lists many areas of concern, including China’s non-transparent conventional and nuclear military buildup, “malicious hybrid and cyber operations”, “confrontational rhetoric and disinformation”, attempts “to control technology and industrial sectors”. keys, critical infrastructure and strategic materials”. and supply chains”, “[creating] strategic dependencies”, “[striving] overturning the rules-based international order, including in the space, cyber and maritime domains,” and “deepening the strategic partnership” with Russia.

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The Madrid Summit Declaration also states: “We face systemic competition from those, including the People’s Republic of China, who challenge our interests, our security and our values ​​and seek to undermine the international order founded on rules.

Given these deliverables, Kishida was able to claim success when he told reporters in Madrid: “I confirmed the realization that the security of Europe and the Indo-Pacific are inseparable, and that any change of the status quo by force will not be tolerated under any circumstances. Region.”

On the sidelines of the NATO summit, Kishida also held a trilateral meeting with US President Joe Biden and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, during which the leaders discussed the threat from North Korea and the United States. States reiterated their commitment to the defense of Japan and the South. Korea. It was the first face-to-face meeting between the leaders of these three countries in about five years. Kishida also held a quadrilateral meeting with Yoon, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

The NATO summit was the first time Kishida and Yoon, inaugurated on May 10, have met in person. Tensions between South Korea and Japan are running high, following former President Moon Jae-in’s decision to end an agreement with Japan settling the “comfort women” dispute. Subsequent rulings by South Korean courts holding Japanese companies liable for forced labor during World War II also sparked an outcry in Tokyo, followed by Japan’s decision to impose trade restrictions on South Korea.

The new Yoon administration, however, has made clear its desire to normalize the relationship. Although there were talks of holding a bilateral meeting between Kishida and Yoon on the sidelines of the NATO summit, these were dropped due to concerns over the reaction of Japanese conservatives to the elections for the upper house are approaching. However, there is a momentum of real improvement in Japan-South Korea relations following the July 10 upper house elections in Japan.

Foiling for Fun and Exercise in Maine

I saw the video and it looks really fun.

The man in the ‘foiling’ video, actually his name is Box from. You get on the board and pump yourself up and down. This is just one of dozens of forms of foiling.

Foiling is the act of driving a hydrofoil across a body of water. However, the pilot does not physically touch the hydrofoil while flying it. The hydrofoil is attached to a board that hovers above the water which the rider uses as a platform to control the foil during its “flight”.

The man is Pierre Lataille. He started hydrofoiling about 20 years ago. And has been very passionate ever since.

I’m 60 now and hope to be doing this for at least another 20 years. The beauty of this is that you can do it anywhere there is water.

His favorite is wing foiling. Maybe you have seen it. On the Penobscot River. Penobscot Bay. Blue Hill Bay. Wherever there is water. Ocean, lake, river, whatever. Use the wind to move while holding a wing.

Peter loves foiling so much that he made his own boards in his garage workshop at home.

Windfoiling is not very physically demanding. You can do this for hours and hours, it requires very little power, and it’s awesome.

He estimates that in the entire state of Maine there are less than a hundred “foilers”. It grows across the country and thrives on the coasts, but Maine is slower to spread. But Peter’s guess is that more and more people are getting into the sport and he thinks it will continue to grow. And with all ages. Children up to 80 years old.

Peter is a perfusionist. He’s someone who runs a heart machine for open-heart surgery. Surgeons must shut down the heart and lungs to perform the operation, and the perfusionist operates the equipment to keep the heart and lungs alive.

So foiling seems like a good escape from this in-demand profession. Excellent therapy 2 or 3 days a week for hours at a time. With speeds of 10-20 mph on average, you can go a long way in a few hours.

WATCH: 50 images of winning moments in sports history

Sometimes pictures are the best way to honor the characters we’ve lost. When tragedy quickly reminds us that sport is far from the most important thing in life, we can always recall the moment of victory of an athlete who seemed larger than life, remaining grateful for his sacrifice on the ground and bringing joy to millions of people.

Read on to explore the full collection of 50 images compiled by Stacker featuring various iconic moments of victory in sports history. Covering the achievements of a multitude of sports, these images depict stunning personal achievements, team championships and athletic perseverance.

Two paradoxes in Chinese censorship

Li Jiaqi (left) was a victim of censorship | Image: Taobao Live

OPINION: How do you step on a political mine selling a cake?

The answer is simple: give the four-wheel Oreo cake and a wafer pipe, and show the tank-shaped cake to millions of followers around June 4, the anniversary of the 1989 Tian’anmen Square crackdown.

This is what happened to Li Jiaqi, China’s most popular live streaming seller. Boasting over 60 million followers, Li set an impressive sales record of 10.65 billion yuan ($1.59 billion) in one day.

On the evening of June 3, shortly after Li made a joke about the tank cake his assistant presented to the camera, the live broadcast came to an abrupt end, leaving millions of his followers wondering why. . Li later posted that he was having “technical difficulties”, but it doesn’t take much Chinese wisdom to decipher the coded language. Many asked on Weibo (the Chinese equivalent of Twitter) “what happened to Li Jiaqi?”

Li’s unwitting young followers would soon discover that their talkative curiosity was unwelcome. China’s Gen Z – including Li who was born in 1992 – is often genuinely unaware of the political sensibility around June 4, because in their minds, nothing in particular ever happened on this day 33 years ago. After vaguely learning why the tanks were a sensitive topic from the coded chat, some Weibo users expressed shock while others came to the government’s defense. One user posted: “Our upright country never wants to hide anything! Always trust our country! Another said, “If Li Jiaqi’s ban has to do with 6.4, he’s not wronged…how lucky our country resisted the color revolution, unlike the Soviet Union.”

As a reward for their patriotism, their Weibo accounts were quickly canceled.

To their surprise, when it comes to the Tiananmen crackdown and many other political issues, the state even forbids patriotic support. The existence of support implies the existence of doubt, criticism, even condemnation. The big brother wants something much better: ignorance.

Compared to its authoritarian neighbours, China’s censorship system has been exceptionally successful in maintaining ignorance. Vietnam established an army of 10,000 online censors in 2017 to combat anti-government “misconceptions”, but it remains one of the biggest markets for Facebook, Twitter and Google – meaning “erroneous opinions” are at least accessible. Thanks to the Great Firewall, an increasingly subdued news media, and systematic ideological education from childhood, young people in China know what they are supposed to know, such as the universally accepted truth that Evil United States is the world’s number one troublemaker. In the meantime, many remain blissfully unaware of what they are not expected to know.

But whoever really doesn’t know what he is “not supposed to know”, also doesn’t know where he should tiptoe and keep quiet. For everyday people who accidentally cross one of these invisible lines, penalties such as post deletion and account cancellation can be inconvenient. But for celebrities and corporations, this is a real and serious business risk. Li is not the first victim of misinformed tank references. In 2017, successful bike-sharing company Bluegogo, once valued at US$140 million with more than 20 million users, went bankrupt after launching a marketing campaign calling on its users to ride bikes with logos. tank on June 3 and 4 to participate in the draw. .

How should companies and celebrities manage such risk? The paradoxical lesson is that they must “perfectly know” what they are “not supposed to know”, if they are to be absolutely safe from the ruthless repression of censorship.

Li Jiaqi’s so-called paradox does not end there. Censorship aims to suppress knowledge and discussion. But silencing influencers such as Li Jiaqi only encourages innocent investigations into the mysterious “technical difficulties”, turning a high-profile exercise in censorship into a mass educational event. Censors end up arousing curiosity and spreading the very knowledge they seek to suppress.

It should be noted that globally, the Chinese do not oppose strict censorship. According to the 2017-2022 World Values ​​Survey, 92.7% of Chinese respondents choose safety over freedom, and 60.6% think the government should “definitely” or “probably” monitor all emails and any other information exchanged over the Internet. The underlying rationales for censorship have become widely accepted: social stability is fragile, people’s minds are easily corrupted, “positive energy” is preferable to information that is too much and openly critical of the government, and foreign media coverage is guided by a subversive agenda. Censorship therefore serves the public interest and is a core responsibility in the Chinese government’s job description.

Yet, in another paradoxical way, strong support for censorship, when mixed with a dose of paranoia and nationalism, can end up undermining state legitimacy. This May, for example, saw a public outcry in China over illustrations in textbooks from a major public publisher, People’s Education Press. The outcry started when people wondered if some textbook illustrations were too ugly and sexually suggestive, but it quickly turned into a witch hunt.

Some self-proclaimed citizen censors complain that English textbooks glorify Westerners and inculcate Western values; others wonder why the People’s Education Press spares so much effort to sell Japanese textbooks on Tiktok; still others express serious concern about whether classical paintings with nudity could corrupt children and adolescents. Do the censors live up to our expectations? Are we and our children in good hands? Are we enemies to each other? The witch hunters quickly concluded, a few questions later, that the public education system is ideologically infiltrated by the West.

Authoritarianism is never comfortable with questions, even innocent and well-meaning questions. An inquisitive mind will invariably find it riddled with paradoxes: dangerous knowledge is needed to maintain safe ignorance, suppressors of information become broadcasters, censors are both the incenseand the success of censorship, clouded by its own shadows, can have flavors of incompetence and failure.

– Asia Media Center

Another good day for an Amazon Prime day



Another good day for a Amazon Prime Day. Members of Amazon Prime are in for a real treat as Prime members get even more free games on July 12 and 13.

Too good to be true

During Prime Day, Prime members can claim over 30 free games, including Mass Effect Legendary Edition — which includes the award-winning Mass Effect trilogy — GRID Legends, Need for Speed ​​Heat, Star Wars Jedi Knight — Jedi Academy and more highlighted below.

GRID legends: Bring instant thrills and iconic racing moments in the world’s most incredible cars, with action and drama everywhere you look. Create and dominate dream racing events, compete in live races, experience a dramatic virtual production story, and enjoy the thrill of spectacular racing.

Mass Effect Legendary Edition: Relive the epic saga and prepare for an unforgettable adventure in the highly acclaimed trilogy. Mass Effect Legendary Edition includes core single-player content and over 40 DLCs from Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3 games, including weapons, armor and promo packs, remastered and optimized for 4K Ultra-HD.

Need heat fast: Hustle by day and risk it all by night in Need for Speed ​​Heat, an adrenaline-pumping street racer where the lines of the law blur as the sun begins to set. By day, Palm City hosts the Speedhunter Showdown, a sanctioned competition where you earn bank to customize and upgrade your high-performance cars. At night, increase the intensity of illicit street racing that builds your reputation, giving you access to bigger races and better games. But stay ready – the cops are waiting and not all are playing fair.

Star Wars Jedi Knight — Jedi Academy: Forge your weapon and follow the path of the Jedi in the fourth and final installment in the highly acclaimed Jedi Knight series. Take on the role of a new student eager to learn the ways of the Force from Jedi Master Luke Skywalker. Interact with famous Star Wars characters in many classic Star Wars locations as you face the ultimate choice: fight for good and freedom on the side of light, or follow the path of power and evil to the side obscure.

Star Wars Jedi Knight II—Jedi Outcast: A first and third person shooter where the legacy of Star Wars Dark Forces and Star Wars Jedi Knight lives on in the intense action of Jedi Outcast. Play as Kyle Katarn, agent of the New Republic, use your lightsaber and the full might of the Force to fight a new evil plaguing the galaxy.

Star Wars Republic Commando: In this critically acclaimed tactical first-person shooter, chaos has erupted across the galaxy. As the leader of an elite squad of Republic Commandos, your mission is to infiltrate, dominate, and ultimately annihilate the enemy. Your team will follow your orders and lead, working as a team – instinctively, intelligently, instantly. You are their leader. They are your weapon.

Not only are these amazing games on the list, but you can also enjoy over 25 indie games from June 21 to July 13.

10 seconds Ninja X
8Doors: Arum’s Adventure in the Afterlife
Add adventures
Bang Bang Racing
Clouds & Sheep 2
squared death
Fatal Fury Special
Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams
gone viral
Manuel Samuel
Metal Slug 2
Metal Unit
Pumped BMX Pro
Puzzle of the Year — Pack of 10
Rain World
Road Trip — Pack of 3
Samurai Shodown II
Series Cleaner
The Raven’s Eye
The Dark Side Detective
The Darkside Detective: Groping in the Dark
The King of Fighters 2000
The King of Fighters 2002
The Metronomicon: kill the dance floor

Thumb culture

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NOTICE | Maria Goyayi and Paul Kariuki: The Role of the Public Service Commission in Political Accountability

The The Civil Service Commission plays a central role in promoting political accountability, but it needs some tweaking to ensure it plays that role, writes Maria Goyayi and Paul Kariuki.

One of the notable governance changes brought about by the South African Democratic Constitution is the provision for the establishment of an oversight body for the civil service and administration.

The Public Service Commission (PSC) is established in Chapter 10, Section 196 of the 1996 Constitution as an independent institution focusing specifically on public service and public administration.

The importance specified in Chapter 10 of the Constitution illustrates the importance of the PSC as an institution supporting democracy and also overseeing the civil service and administration.

Its sole mission is to promote democratic values ​​and the principles of public administration enshrined in the Constitution in the public service.

The commission achieves this through investigation, monitoring, evaluation, communication and reporting on public administration, including organization, administration and personnel practices in the public service.

READ ALSO | Dr Jean Redpath: Accountability for state capture – progress under an evolving NPA

The PSC is then expected to propose measures that ensure effective and efficient performance in the public service; provide guidelines to ensure that personnel procedures related to recruitment, promotions, transfers and dismissals are consistent with constitutional values ​​and principles.

In addition, the PSC is responsible for reporting to the relevant executive authority and legislature on its own activities and functions; and the degree of compliance with constitutional values ​​and principles, either on its own initiative or through the receipt, analysis and reporting of complaints.

The commission also investigates grievances of public service employees, acts or omissions of civil servants and makes recommendations on the appropriate course of action.

In addition, it is responsible for monitoring and investigating compliance with applicable procedures in the public service; and advise national and provincial state bodies on matters relating to personnel practices in the public service, such as recruitment, appointments, promotions, dismissals, transfers and other aspects of employees’ careers in the public service.

power to invoke

In carrying out these functions, the PSC has the mandate to call someone to testify in the context of an investigation. The PSC Act 1997, in Section 10 read with Section 11 together with Section 196(3) of the Constitution, confers the power to conduct an inquiry into any matter authorized by the Constitution and, for this purpose , gives the mandate to summon anyone for an investigation.

Failure to comply with the summons, the provisions of which are contained in section 10(4)(a) and (c) of the PSC Act 1997, shall be deemed to be an offense punishable, on conviction, with imprisonment or a fine.

Accountability in general reflects accountability, responsibility and obligation for one’s actions or lack thereof. Accountability in terms of governance is thus based on four pillars:

1. Responsibility: a duty linked to the course of action.

2. Responsibility: being called to account.

3. Reliability: A trait of being trustworthy and trustworthy.

4. Liability: being legally bound to a debt or obligation.

Political accountability refers to the accountability of government, officials, and politicians to the public and legislative bodies such as Congress or Parliament.

Therefore, political accountability represents the vertical downward variation of external accountability. In light of the stipulated functions and powers to ‘promote’, ‘investigate’, ‘recommend’ and, in some cases, ‘punish’, the PSC has a key role to play in promoting political accountability in South Africa.

For example, Article 196(5) of the Constitution requires that the PSC be accountable to the National Assembly in terms of constitutional provisions. Therefore, under section 196(6)(a), the PSC is therefore required to report at least annually on its activities and performance, including any findings, guidance and advice it has formulated as well as an assessment of the extent to which the values ​​and principles set out in section 195 are respected in the public service.

Overall, the PSC fulfills its accountability well through the many reports presented and published on its activities and performance. This reinforces the political accountability of the civil service to the National Assembly and the general public.

Is behind

Despite the articulation of a number of functions focused on political accountability, the PSC still lags behind in this area.

For example, when it comes to reporting and accountability, the main challenge of the CPS is its lack of authority to enforce its recommendations, but instead relies on other bodies like the police and Parliament to carry out its recommendations.

Similarly, the PSC reporting provisions do not contain provisions on mechanisms for implementing recommendations. It is very difficult to report to Parliament on the real impact it has on the promotion of constitutional values, principles of public service administration and other aspects of its mandate.

Generally, the CSP plays an advisory role which consists of expressing an opinion and providing general advice on the improvement of public administration or service delivery without any obligation on the recipient to monitor or perform the advice provided.

READ ALSO | Yanga Malotana: Moral regeneration is necessary to protect women, democracy and the Earth

In the event of directives, the PSC proposes directives concerning personnel procedures relating to recruitment, transfers, promotions and dismissals.

The guidelines are intended to provide guidance on the implementation of direction to promote sound public administration. Consequently, major complaints accumulate year after year on public service delivery, public administration with allegations of blatant corruption.

A series of serious corruption allegations against senior government officials and public office holders are increasing year after year, such as state capture.

State capture while an important step in promoting transparency and accountability in public administration and the civil service, it sheds more light on a long process and the limited powers of the SPC.

Additionally, the poor delivery of public services has been linked to a number of public vices and declining social cohesion among South Africans themselves and also with outsiders.

The poor state of public services provided has been widely associated with the eruption of chronic xenophobic attacks against other African nationals residing in South Africa.

Pivotal role

The PSC plays a central role in promoting political accountability, but it needs some tweaking to ensure it plays this role.

To salvage the situation, the PSC as a whole, especially in terms of functions and powers, needs to be overhauled to ensure streamlined strategies that ensure accountability in public administration and public service.

To begin with, the PSC needs to ensure that it builds relationships with other stakeholders within government and other non-state actors like NGOs and faith-based organizations. These relationships, among others, should aim to promote social cohesion and the restoration of good moral values ​​within society.

Likewise, the PSC should define clear expectations of the public administration and the public service in general which should be communicated to all relevant stakeholders. It and relevant stakeholders must work together to meet these expectations.

As the PSC needs to work collaboratively with other stakeholders, it needs to own the process and provide tools for successful implementation of various plans and programs aimed at improving political accountability in the country.

To facilitate the ownership of the PSC, its powers should be revised so that it is possible to apply certain critical recommendations to the public administration bodies concerned.

Finally, the PSC must provide continuous feedback on the performance of its functions and on the general status of the public administration and the civil service in accordance with constitutional values ​​and principles.

The current practice of only providing feedback in terms of reporting to the National Assembly once a year has proven ineffective.

Annual reporting practices are rather ineffective, especially when considering the introduction of interventions to immediately address challenges in public administration and public service before the outbreak of destructive strikes and xenophobic attacks.

– Dr. Maria Lauda Goyayi is an academician and researcher. Dr. Paul Kariuki is the Executive Director of the Democracy Development Program. They wrote in a personal capacity.

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BASKETBALL | Japan men’s team defeats Taiwan in FIBA ​​Basketball World Cup Qualifiers

Japan Racing Association

After losing by 46 points to Australia two days earlier, Japan’s men’s national basketball team rebounded with an 89-49 win over Taiwan in an Asian World Cup qualifier FIBA 2023 on Sunday July 3.

Japan trailed 11-7 after Taiwan’s Wei Chieh Tang hit a jumper with 5:38 left in the first quarter against their Group B opponent at John Cain Arena in Melbourne. After that, Japan went on a game-changing 18-3 run to close the quarter, taking a 25-14 lead.

Guard Keisei Tominaga, who begins his junior season at the University of Nebraska in the fall semester, sparked Japan with 15 of his team-best 17 points during the opening period. Tominaga sank three 3-pointers in the first quarter.

Japan led 42-27 at halftime.

“It was two long days after the game against Australia,” Japanese coach Tom Hovasse told reporters at a post-match press conference, “and with such a young team, I think we we’ve prepared well, and I was really hoping that we could show the fans in Japan what we can do, and today I think we’ve done that.

Read the full story here on the JAPAN Forward sports website. SportsLook.

Author: Ed Odeven

Follow Ed on JAPAN Forward’s [Japan Sports Notebook] here on Sunday, in [Odds and Evens] here during the week, and Twitter @ed_odevenand find it on the JAPAN Forward sports website, SportsLook.

Originally named in honor of Charles Lindbergh, the airport plays down the connection with the Nazi sympathizer.

A quiet moment at San Diego International Airport (Photo: Ben Dishman)

Chapter 27, Exit 17A (Hawthorn Street): San Diego International Airport

Turn left from the Hawthorn Street exit and follow it to Harbor Drive. Turn right and the airport will be ahead at 3225 N. Harbor Drive.

There was a time when San Diego International Airport was known to all as Lindbergh Field, named after aviator Charles Lindbergh, who spent a lot of time in town supervising the construction of his plane, “The Spirit of St. Louis”, by Ryan Aircraft. After the job was done, Lindbergh made several stops across the country on the way in New York, including St. Louis. It was there that the donors who had financed his plane lived. Then, on May 21, 1927, Lindbergh, the 25-year-old pilot, made the first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean, becoming an international celebrity. If he had simply retired on his laurels at that point in his life, the name “Lindbergh Field” could still be inscribed today at the entrance to the airport.

However, Lindbergh fell in love with “eugenics”, the pseudo-science which postulated that the human race could be improved by eliminating defective people, whether mentally, physically or racially. He and Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler developed a society of mutual admiration, with Hitler bestowing honor on Lindbergh, who then spread information that the German war machine was far superior to that of any other nation. In the build-up to World War II, Lindbergh, as part of the organization “America First”, supported the idea of ​​a peace pact with the Nazis, blaming the Jews for stirring up opposition to the pact proposed peace. After the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and Germany declared war on the United States, Lindbergh, ready to fight an Asian enemy, flew fighter escort missions against the Japanese in the Pacific theater of the war.

Any airport wanting to be a real one international the airport would like to put as much distance as possible between him and Lindbergh’s racist diatribes. Recently, Candace Fleming published the well-researched biography, The rise and fall of Charles Lindbergh, in which she drew heavily on Lindbergh’s writings and speeches. Arguing unsuccessfully for the United States to stay out of World War II, Lindbergh said Germany was protecting itself against “the real enemies of the West”, whom he described as the “Asian hordes” of Russians, Chinese and Japanese. Although early in his career he was financially supported by Jewish philanthropist Harry Guggenheim, who even provided a lavish estate for Lindbergh’s family, the aviator was no friend to Jews either. “The Jewish races… for reasons that are not American, want to involve us in this war,” he said during an America First speech in Des Moines, Iowa, on September 11, 1941. they think it is in their own interest, but we also have to take care of ours. We cannot allow the natural passions and prejudices of other peoples to lead our country to destruction.

Historian Fleming commented: “Other peoples? Charles said that the Jews living in this country were not Americans, but others-a group living in the United States with no allegiance to the nation.

Paul Granlund’s conception of Charles Lindbergh as a boy and a man (Photo by Port of San Diego)

While San Diego Airport was governed by the San Diego Unified Port District, several art projects glorifying the aviator were installed. One was a 40-foot mural by John and Jeanne Whalen depicting Lindbergh holding a model of “The Spirit of St. Louis”. Installed in 1997 on the side of the commuter terminal, it was removed in 2012 and then sold to commercial interests in Ramona, California, where it was mounted on the side of a building. Another was a sculpture by Paul T. Granlund depicting Lindbergh as a boy and man who stood in front of Terminal 2 before a major construction project. Originally donated to the Port of San Diego by Teledyne Ryan Aeronautical, who had built “The Spirit of St. Louis”, it was recommended for disposal in 2020 by the Airport Authority’s Arts Advisory Board. A 1997 bust of Lindbergh by Paul Fjelde has also been slated for sale or donation. Eventually the sculptures were sent to the San Diego Aur & Space Museum

In 2003, the new San Diego Airport Authority took over from the Port District as airport governor. Its board of directors voted to rename the airport San Diego International Airport, reflecting San Diego’s ambitions to become a destination for other nations. A service road retained the name “Lindbergh Field Way”.

Sandra Armijo of the Airport Records and Information Management Office told me that since the name was changed, “We have worked diligently to educate the public about the name change, and while we see the name “Lindbergh Field” occasionally over time it has become less common…While most of our stakeholders and audiences now use the correct name, we continue to work with the media and community to make them aware of the change.You might be interested to know that it is the daily responsibility of one of the Public Information Officers to monitor news stories for the name “Lindbergh Field” and to personally contact every reporter who uses the incorrect name.

In its 2020 recommendation to eliminate Granlund’s “Charles Lindberg: The Boy, The Man” sculpture from the airport’s collection, the Art Advisory Committee said: “It cannot be said that the airport authority and the community it serves adopt all principles and beliefs Lindbergh has subscribed to and are therefore inconsistent with our community values. Further, “given the official name change of the Airport Authority from Lindbergh Field to San Diego International Airport in 2003, and the lack of a close connection between Charles Lindbergh as an individual and the San Diego area Diego, the airport is not a suitable site for work.”

Administrators of San Diego International Airport knew that the “undoing” of Charles Lindbergh’s legacy would spark resentment among aviation enthusiasts who believe his place in history should be preserved, regardless of his political and racial opinions. The San Diego Unified School District, on the other hand, was less circumspect about Lindbergh’s dishonor. He voted in 2021 to rename an elementary school co-named for Charles Lindbergh and Albert Schweitzer. The replacement name was Clairemont Canyons Academy.

If so, one wonders why a service road to the airport has retained the name “Lindbergh Field Way”.


Next Sunday July 10, 2022: Exit 17B (Sassafras Street): Port of San Diego

This story is copyright (c) 2022 by Donald H. Harrison, Editor Emeritus of San Diego Jewish World. This is an updated serialization of his book Schlepping and Schmoozing along Interstate 5, Volume 1, available on Amazon. Harrison can be contacted via [email protected]

The outgoing president of the Catholic University emphasizes “The virtues”

NEW YORK — When John Garvey arrived at the Catholic University of America 12 years ago and needed a theme for his inaugural address as university president, he chose “intellect and virtue”, assuming that the work of a Catholic university was more than teaching a course. It was also about forming students into “good Catholics and good citizens during their stay”.

Virtue doubled as his inaugural year’s theme (something the public affairs office told him he needed), and it stuck. He continued to talk about virtues throughout his tenure, and for the past six or seven years he even taught an undergraduate course on the subject.

Now that his term at the AUC is coming to an end, Garvey has published a new book, Virtues, which he likens to a farewell statement that sums up the past 12 years at the AUC and nearly four decades in higher education. Talk with Node about the book and the theme, he said that he chose the virtues because he liked them as a way of thinking about the moral life of young people.

“Virtues are actually a set of principles, guidelines, or examples of what we consider a good way to live and the book is an argument for why those are good things,” Garvey said. “Why is generosity something we should admire and emulate, or why is charity the greatest of all virtues? You can’t make logical arguments about it. You can only discuss it by pointing to examples and saying, “See? Wouldn’t you like to be like that? »

“It’s a different kind of education, but I think that’s the discussion we want to have with young people,” he continued. “We want to point them in a particular direction and show them why it’s something they should hope to emulate or achieve in their own lives.”

Each chapter of the 190-page book is a different set of virtues:

  1. Theological virtues: faith, hope, charity
  2. The Cardinal Virtues: Prudence, Justice, Courage, Temperance
  3. The small virtues: youth, humility, honesty, docility, silence, modesty, studious, diligence
  4. Middle Ages: Truth, Patience, Generosity, Gentleness, Constancy, Hospitality
  5. Old age: Repentance, Gratitude, Mercy, Magnanimity, Gentleness, Benevolence
  6. The virtues of the Crown: Wisdom, Peace, Joy

Without hesitation, Garvey explains that charity is the most important virtue “because the central fact of Christian belief is that God is love and that God created us out of love and Jesus redeemed us from our feelings out of love for us. and that is how Christians should behave.

One of the themes of the book is the need for universities to integrate the teaching of virtues into the curriculum. He argues in the introduction to the book that the intellectual life depends on the moral life, going so far as to say, “Without virtue it is difficult to see what the purpose of the university is.

“Undergraduates who start college as teenagers graduate four years later with adult responsibilities,” Garvey writes. “A marketing major could soon become a mother. A philosophy student will have the responsibilities of a citizen…Universities also have an obligation to prepare students for these roles.

When asked if universities fulfilled this obligation, Garvey first reflected on university culture when he began his career in the mid-1990s. He said the prevailing theory of the time that he observed in talking to other professors was the belief that college is a way of inviting people to look at a number of possible paths and choose one, but not necessarily to steer them in any particular direction.

Garvey said he’s seen this change over the years, and now he said he believes more people are open to the idea that “part of the business of higher education is to train people in certain ways”, and his argument is that the best way to train people is through the virtues. Garvey, however, also acknowledged that universities could better execute moral education, citing the culture of closure that exists.

“Getting people to question if there are actually good ways to behave is the right thing to do,” Garvey said. “Making them think that way is not a good way to educate them.”

The other purpose of the book is for students. Garvey and his wife Jeanne live on campus, as do the undergraduates, and have enjoyed meals and activities with them over the years. He said it made them feel like “parents or grandparents”, in that they care about both the students’ academics and the kind of people they become during their four years on the job. campus.

“You grow so much while you’re here and being a part of that has been a great privilege for us,” Garvey said. “And this book, Virtues, it is advice for them in this phase of their life.

Follow John Lavenburg on Twitter: @johnlavenburg

How Russia’s invasion of Ukraine revitalized the world’s largest military alliance

And even old Western alliances have been restored. As US President Joe Biden said following the decision to welcome two new nations into the fold in Madrid on Wednesday, Putin’s war on Ukraine has only made NATO stronger.

“He tried to weaken us, expected our resolve to fracture, but he got exactly what he didn’t want,” Biden said. “He wanted the ‘Finlandization’ of NATO. It has obtained the “NATO-ization” of Finland.

The new confrontation with Russia has revitalized the alliance – founded to counter the Cold War threat from the Soviet Union – bringing with it two potential new Nordic members, Finland and Sweden, and more boots on the pitch.

In a sign of its clear commitment to Europe after Trump’s isolationist years, the United States has sent more than 40,000 additional troops, while Britain and other NATO members have deployed additional troops to the eastern flank of the alliance in the countries bordering Russia.

The alliance now wants to increase its forces available on high alert to over 300,000 troops to truly fortify the border with Russia and fully defend Allied territory.

Germany, Europe’s largest economy, has finally agreed to meet NATO’s defense spending target of 2% of GDP. It is also investing 100 billion euros ($152 billion) in rearmament – a promise that once would have shaken Europe.

And even Turkey, despite its more recent growing ties with Russia, has sided with NATO.

By contrast, other international bodies such as the United Nations – where Russia is a permanent member of the Security Council and exercises veto power – have been rendered useless.

“At this summit, we have brought together our alliances to address both the direct threats Russia poses to Europe and the systemic challenges China poses to a rules-based global order,” Biden said. .


“I don’t know how it’s going to end, but it won’t end with Russia winning over Ukraine. Ukraine has already dealt a severe blow to Russia.

Preparing allies for a long conflict in Ukraine despite talks in March of a possible victory, he added: “We will support Ukraine for as long as it takes.”

Two years ago, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the former Norwegian prime minister, was sacked by many members of the alliance when he warned it should turn its attention to threats more distant. He suggested that NATO should seek to “reduce” activities outside members’ borders and “intensify” their internal defensive resilience to better withstand external threats.

“China is getting closer to us… We see them in the Arctic. We see them in cyberspace. We see them investing heavily in critical infrastructure in our countries,” he said at the time.

“And of course they have more and more high-range weapons that can reach all NATO allied countries. They are building very many long-range intercontinental missile silos.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol during the “family photo” of the Asia-Pacific partners at the NATO Leaders’ Summit in Madrid.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

The past week has shown that despite the war in Ukraine, the West has not lost sight of the threat from Beijing. And NATO is now looking away from its geographical moorings to recognize that borders are no longer the same as they once were.

That’s why Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was invited, along with his counterparts from Japan, South Korea and New Zealand – now known as the ‘Asia Pacific Four’ – who said their nations were “not far removed from the challenges” facing Europe. .

Just six weeks after his election and with foreign affairs never at the forefront of his responsibilities, Albanese had to make a rapid transition to becoming a player on the world stage.

Addressing a meeting with his regional counterparts in a hotel conference room on the outskirts of Madrid on Wednesday, Albanese said events in Europe had “real and significant implications” for their own Indo region. -Pacific, just like events in the Indo-Pacific. -The Pacific has affected Europe.

Ultimately, this is the code for the Chinese Community Party’s increasingly assertive actions across the region.

“Only by working together can partners deliver real choice…in the region and take concrete steps to promote peace, stability and prosperity for the Indo-Pacific,” the Australian leader said. .

Albanese drew a direct link to Russia’s “special relationship” with Beijing.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the invasion of Ukraine had “shaken the very foundations of the world order”.

Europe’s security and Indo-Pacific security, Kishida said, cannot be separated.

NATO’s new Strategic Concept warns that authoritarian regimes “challenge our interests, our values ​​and our democratic way of life”, interfere in democratic processes and test the resilience of nations.

He denounced both Russia and China for investing in sophisticated conventional and nuclear missile capabilities “with little transparency or adherence to international standards and commitments.”


The document also singled out China for its efforts to control key technologies, critical infrastructure and strategic materials.

“China is not our adversary, but we must be lucid about the serious challenges it poses,” Stoltenberg told the summit, referring to Beijing’s military forces, including nuclear weapons and “intimidation.” neighbors.

“We must continue to stand with our partners to preserve the rules-based international order. A global system based on norms and values. Instead of brutal violence.

Stating that “global challenges require global solutions”, Stoltenberg said NATO would strengthen cooperation with its Indo-Pacific partners, including on cyber defence, new technologies, maritime security, climate change and the fight against misinformation.

But for now, according to the strategy, Russia remains the “most direct threat” to the alliance.

This week the new head of Britain’s armed forces, Sir Patrick Sanders, warned against approaching the ‘1937 moment’, a reference to Western Europe’s failure to cope with the territorial expansion of the Nazi Germany in the years before World War II.

“At this summit, we have brought together our alliances to address both the direct threats Russia poses to Europe and the systemic challenges China poses to a rules-based global order.”

US President Joe Biden

“We are not at war, but we must act quickly so as not to be dragged into a war by failure to contain territorial expansion,” he said.

Sir Lawrence Freedman, Emeritus Professor of War Studies at King’s College London, says the only effect of the ‘brutal and criminal’ nature of the Russian invasion was to forge a ‘remarkable’ NATO unity over the need to support Ukraine in a war whose outcome cannot be predicted with confidence.

“The conflict is already causing great suffering and economic hardship, and could still lead to gas rationing, even if member states are not engaged in the fighting,” he said.


“So this is one of those pinnacle moments in international affairs on which all future security arrangements depend. The unity of the alliance may crumble but, for now, the commitment has been made to support Ukraine as it seeks to drive out the occupiers.

Freedman says NATO can’t just wait for Putin to walk off the stage or for Russia to withdraw its forces. He says he must provide Ukraine with a constant supply of new weapons and ammunition as well as financial support.

Yet Russia has warned that by providing this assistance, NATO allies risk the outbreak of nuclear war.

“Audiences need to be prepared with the candor needed for the long haul,” he says.

Cut through the noise of federal politics with news, opinion and expert analysis from Jacqueline Maley. Subscribers can sign up for our weekly Inside Politics newsletter here.

8 unique places to discover during your visit to the land of the rising sun

Japan is known for its cultural richness and heritage. The natural landscape, the beautiful cherry blossoms and the distinct cuisine are hardly missed. Kyoto, Tokyo, Osaka and Hakone are among the most popular destinations in Japan. While Japan’s rich culture and heritage is at its heart, it also offers many exclusive attractions and activities that can make a trip unforgettable. The island nation surely has some unique places you can visit while planning a trip to Japan.

  • Nishinomaru Garden: This beautiful garden is loaded with beautiful cherry blossoms during the blooming season. Located next to Osaka Castle, this garden soothes you with different varieties of flowers and a scenic view to enjoy.
  • Atomic Bomb Dome: Japan faced the devastating bombing of Hiroshima in 1945. The dome was just below the bomb, but interestingly it survived the blast. He is almost in the same state as he was just after the bombardment. The dome, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is frequently visited by tourists.
  • Pokémon Mega Center: This is the place for all Pokemon fanatics. Considered one of the biggest Pokemon stores, it has merchandise, toys, and other Pokemon goodies that a fan would want to have. The store is located on the 2nd floor of Sunshine City in Ikebukuro (Tokyo).
  • TeamLab without borders: TeamLab Borderless is a collection of artworks that create a world without borders. The art comes out of the rooms, interacts with the already existing works, and even intertwines with each other without borders. Visitors can witness futuristic and innovative installations that constitute a unique experience.
  • Samurai Museum: The museum organizes sessions that will allow you to experience the era of the samurai. It hosts programs such as sword performance, live samurai music shows, samurai calligraphy lessons, Japanese sword lectures, and photo shoots with the appropriate samurai attire.
  • Disney Sea Park: This is a unique Disney resort attraction as the marine park concept is not available everywhere. With fun rides and Disney movie-themed attractions like Finding Nemo and The Little Mermaid, it’s definitely worth a visit.
  • Sapporo Beer Museum: Opened in 1987, the museum introduces visitors to the history of beer. It also showcases beer making and one can enjoy the beer tasting option for a small fee. It turns out to be a unique experience for international visitors.
  • Shiroi Koibito Park: Located in Sapporo, Hokkaido, this gorgeous place is a chocolate amusement park. The place organizes several bakery/confectionery related activities for the enjoyment of tourists. One can visit the chocolate factory and the railway site, among other attractions.

Sturgeon takes the initiative for a new Scottish referendum

Nicola Sturgeon’s attempt to organize a new referendum on Scottish independence next October has put the future of the United Kingdom back at the center of political debate. The chances of a plebiscite happening on the prime minister’s schedule are slim; the UK government and the Supreme Court – where Sturgeon has sought a court ruling – are likely to block it. But his Scottish National Party could use such obstacles to fuel a narrative that the UK is no longer a willing partnership and create a simmering standoff with Westminster. If Boris Johnson’s Conservative government ignores these risks, it will jeopardize the future of one of the most successful political unions in history.

The Prime Minister’s tactic is politically astute. They renew the momentum around the question of independence, appeasing party activists. They allow Sturgeon to claim moral superiority and reassure moderate Scots, insisting that she is committed to organizing a legal referendum, not a “wildcat” ballot as Catalonia does so badly.

The Sturgeon plan is still a gamble. If granted, a referendum in less than 16 months would be very risky for his cause. Opposition parties have threatened to boycott him, depriving him of all legitimacy. Opinion polls suggest most Scots oppose another independence plebiscite before the end of 2023.

However, it is much more likely that the Supreme Court will rule that Scotland cannot legally hold an independence referendum without the approval of the British government, as it involves constitutional issues that fall within the jurisdiction of Westminster. Sturgeon has the good sense to exploit such a decision to fuel the feeling among Scots of being locked into a marriage with a careless partner who is on a divergent path. This sentiment was crystallized by the 2016 Brexit vote, which pulled Scotland out of the EU against its majority will – and is the SNP’s central argument for a new sovereignty vote.

The UK government is right to point out that the 2014 referendum in Scotland was billed as a once-in-a-generation event, and that a repeat would be a distraction from more pressing issues. Using the 2024 general election as a de facto independence poll, as Sturgeon says she will if a referendum is blocked, has no validity. But obstructionism is not a sustainable strategy. Rather, a proactive approach is needed.

One strand should be to defuse claims that Scotland is in any way ‘trapped’ by laying down ground rules on how it could leave the UK – the triggers and conditions for any future referendum – providing at least some clarity as, for example, in Northern Ireland.

The government must, in the meantime, win over the arguments in favor of maintaining the union, weaken support for a referendum and ensure a “no” to independence if ever there is one. This means challenging the SNP on the pitfalls of going it alone. Scotland is still dependent on a large tax transfer from the UK and, if it were to remain in the EU, it would now have to create a hard border with its biggest trading partner, England.

Above all, ministers must be seen to be governing, in style and substance, for the good of the whole of the UK, not just England – or the Tory-backed parts of England. They are expected to launch reforms to give Scots a greater voice in Westminster, such as converting the House of Lords into an elected senate of nations and regions.

However, much of what the Johnson administration has done to date goes in the opposite direction, from driving through the toughest Brexit possible to a style of government that relies on ‘corner’ issues to retain power. The 315-year-old union needs reform, but is worth fighting politically to preserve. This British government has yet to show that it has the will or the ability to fight this fight effectively.

Fairy Fencer F: Refrain Chord Shares New Trailer; Japan Collector’s Edition and pre-order bonuses revealed

Compile Heart has unveiled the new promotional trailer for its upcoming tactical RPG, Fairy Fencer F: Chordfeaturing multiple characters and highlighting previously iterated gameplay systems.

A Japanese Collector’s Edition has also been unveiled with pre-order bonuses, visible below:

You can see the latest trailer of Fairy Fencer F: Chord below:

Fairy Fencer F: Chord releases in Japan on September 15, 2022 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Nintendo Switch. We’ll be sure to keep you posted on any further announcements regarding this unexpected new entry and potential location news.

In Fairy Fencer F Refrain Chord, “song” is the key to the game, and Divas can use special skills to enhance allies within range. A new system called “Dramatic Resonance” is also introduced, in which the songs of allies and enemies overlap to create a kind of “mashup”, up to 6 songs at a time, thus allowing the player to experience a sense of unprecedented excitement as if watching the climactic scene of a TV anime.

This game news was previously teased under the newly branded Galapagos RPG Evolve.

Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force follows the story of a war between the vile god and the goddess. After the war, the power sealed by the two entities evolved into weapons known as Furies, warriors who wielded these weapons were known as Fencers. These fencers fought for power until one day a man named Fang rescued a girl named Tiara, who was also a fencer. Fang then finds himself playing a key role in the vile god’s ongoing war.

Discover our opinion.

Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force is currently available on PlayStation 4, PC and Nintendo Switch.

NOC and Japanese Chief of Staff meet to discuss maritime security


WASHINGTON (NNS) – Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday hosted Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Chief of Staff Adm. Ryo Sakai in Washington, DC, for an office visit, June 28.

The two leaders discussed maritime security and ongoing efforts to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific.

“The alliance between Japan and the United States is the cornerstone of peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific,” Gilday said. “Our bond with Japan has never been stronger. We share a common vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific, and together we will work tirelessly to ensure and maintain security and stability in one of the important regions of the world. Admiral Sakai’s visit provides an excellent opportunity to gain first-hand strategic knowledge of regional security issues as well as engage in productive discussions on how our navies can accelerate critical advances in interoperability.

“The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force will celebrate its 70th anniversary this year, and our history has always been with the United States Navy – protecting peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region,” Sakai said. “The importance of the U.S.-Japan alliance is growing day by day, and today Admiral Gilday and I confirmed our strong bond and our commitment to realizing our shared values ​​of peace and stability in the Indo region. -peaceful”.

The meeting was also an opportunity to discuss how Japan and the United States can increase preparedness, deter and counter malicious gray area activity in the Indo-Pacific, and focus on interoperability. and the interchangeability between the two forces.

The JMSDF and US naval forces regularly operate together around the world. This year, both navies have participated in exercises such as Noble Fusion, Sea Dragon, Resilient Shield and many other bilateral engagements.

It is the first opportunity for the two leaders to meet since Sakai became the JMSDF Chief of Staff in March 2022.

Book review: Children of Paradise, by Camilla Grudova

Camilla Grudova’s novel Children of Paradise is set in a cinema PIC: Andrew Zarivny/Getty Images/iStockphoto

I don’t know if it’s quite the thing to admit it, but I have a weakness for book mentions. So when a novel is flagged with dust jacket quotes from Nicola Barker, Deborah Levy and Sinead Gleeson, three writers I greatly admire, I’m more inclined to think it might deserve attention, even if I don’t I disagree with their opinion. On this occasion, I do not. Camilla Grudova’s Children Of Paradise is a remarkable and memorable achievement. Combining the gothic, the carnivalesque, the dreadful and the sublime in a relatively slender novel is indeed a considerable skill.

The principle is relatively simple. Holly – alias, young in a new town and country and unemployed – sees a sign that reads “We’re hiring” on the door of a movie theater. “The Paradise Cinema had a garish interior and a pervasive smell of sweet popcorn and mold,” the opening sentence reads. Its unique screen has plaster casts of “couples kissing, perhaps not quite human, with long pointed ears and horns, and stars like unrecognizable constellations on the ceiling. It also has a hatch in a functional sewer below them.The discerning reader, given the presence of this Stygian river, the distant stars – not to mention the name of the cinema – might expect there to be a heavy element of allegory in all of this.

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There is and there isn’t, because it’s also, realistically, a failing business and not even shabby chic. Sally, the beturbaned manager who says she was once a beauty queen, gives Holly a job as an usher. Then we get the rest of the cast, a compilation of cranks and eccentrics, who are variously picky, obsessive, idle, thieving, nostalgic and drugged, plus the elderly landlady with her own romantic history. Rather than just being a gallop through variously offbeat characters, the novel requires an alter engine. This happens when the owner dies and the family sells Paradise to a corporate giant. There is an enemy now, beyond the cast’s ability to self-sabotage.

Children of Paradise, by Camilla Grudova

One extremely noteworthy aspect is the depiction of professional life, both in the original half-haunted paradise and its commitment to “classic movies” as well as profitable blockbusters and in the latter part slick, heartless and micro- managed. Work is often not really part of the novels, with a few notable and important exceptions. Grudova imparts an almost rapid distaste for menial tasks: not just spilled popcorn, but syringes, stains, visceral descriptions of toilets and their many unsanitary purposes, theft and the like. When it turns into CCTV trained on staff not customers, pusillanimous demands and a new boss who looks like a CGI version of a human, it gets darker.

There’s a clever structural “necessary quirk” to the book, in that each chapter is preceded by a movie title, director, and release date. As a book set in a cinema, it will already appeal to those who love cinema, but it works as a device because the reader must guess the connection between the title and the action of the plot. Sometimes it’s obvious – The Seven Samurai of Kurosawa as we assemble the rest of the directors, or Aldritch’s Whatever Happened to Baby Jane as an introduction to the bewildered and demanding owner. Others are more oblique, and of course that helps if you’ve seen the movies. There are 22, I’ve seen 13. But getting a program wrapped up in such a clever and provocative novel doesn’t strike me as a bad thing (and there are plenty more movies referenced in the text).

The emotional keystone is how the cinema’s staff of “fundamentally unemployable freaks” develop an esprit de corps. Cinema is what unites them. It’s clever to balance the magic lantern of the screen, that veil to another reality, with Holly’s feeling that “she looked too boring to work in the movies”. The desire for glamour, a sense that the old is decidedly better than the mundane, is kind of a keynote. The gothic tone is supported by these lost individuals working in the dark, surrounded by the moving but non-living forms of dead actors and actresses, seeing everything in snatches except during illicit afterworks. If there’s a symbolic element to the novel, perhaps it’s that these low-paid, emotionally confused and insecure people could be in purgatory, or more ominously, limbo.

It’s difficult to convey the unique atmosphere of this novel because much of it is evoked by the juxtaposition and gradual drip of references. In addition to endorsements, it’s always worth checking out the author’s biography; here it opens “Camilla Grudova lives in Edinburgh where she works as a bailiff.” I really, really hope that a good percentage of Children Of Paradise is fiction and not report. I am not afraid.

Children of Paradise, by Camilla Grudova, Atlantic Books, £14.99

Are AI recruitment tools ethical and effective? The pros and cons of ATS.

Identifying the right talent remains a challenge for HR professionals and recruiters. Companies rely on artificial intelligence (AI) technology to perform tasks such as CV screening and interview scheduling. But are AI recruitment tools ethical and effective? Automated hiring practices have advantages and disadvantages.

AI-based technology and Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) have become indispensable tools for businesses around the world. According to Predictive Hire, 55% of recruiters have invested in AI recruiting. And most Fortune 500 companies are using AI technology to filter resumes before they get to hiring teams and recruiters.

In recent years, there have been concerns about the ethics and effectiveness of data analytics and AI-based recruiting tools. Companies that adopt applicant tracking systems run the risk of eliminating qualified candidates from the pool.

Additionally, there are growing concerns about the ethics of ATS: Is AI technology widening employment gaps between demographic groups?

How AI recruiting works

AI-powered recruiting software collects and filters hundreds of resumes. These are stored in a database accessible to recruiters. Depending on the system, HR professionals can manually review resumes, but recruiters typically skim through them and only take about six seconds per candidate. In a competitive market, those six seconds are crucial, but many systems don’t even allow it.

Recruiting software applies machine learning algorithms to complex recruiting data to optimize recruiting and make high-volume tasks more efficient.

Here’s a breakdown of how automated recruiting works:

  • Hundreds of applications are received, most of which are not qualified according to the requirements entered into the system.
  • Intelligent screening systems identify qualified candidates in minutes, scoring applicants based on keyword matching, algorithms and recruiting data.
  • Some recruiting tools can interact with candidates via automated messaging, answering questions about the position.
  • Recruiters instantly schedule interviews with candidates ATS deems qualified, using technology to organize and track interviewees.

Benefits for Applicant Tracking Systems

When organizations use AI-based technology and applicant tracking systems, they hope to find the perfect candidate for the vacancy while conserving resources.

AI tools can:

  • Help recruitment teams to process the maximum number of applications in a shorter time. Automated scheduling processes also save HR professionals time, increasing the chances of finding quality candidates.
  • Filter out candidates who don’t suit you. Sifting through hundreds of resumes has a higher error rate. Recruiters can lose focus over time, missing key details that can indicate a successful hire.
  • Help candidates experience a faster response time for HR teams, leading to higher acceptance rates.
  • Minimize operational costs. Since ATS can perform automated tasks, executives and business managers can focus on higher value work.

Ethical Concerns with Applicant Tracking Systems

The human component

The fundamental problem with automated processes is the lack of human intelligence; ATS cannot identify human potential or creativity. Instead, AI technology can filter out desirable talent that doesn’t structure their resume or application perfectly.

Diversity is the biggest concern when it comes to determining whether AI is effective and ethical. Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) are critical components of the workforce, and employers need to address hiring bias. For example, the ATS may weed out applicants who may not have access to the resources needed to build technologically perfect applications, leading to further ethical issues.

Among the many other setbacks caused by the pandemic, many women and marginalized groups have been left without work. While these demographics are improving, the job recovery remains uneven among marginalized communities.

Rushing to recover economically from the devastating losses caused by COVID-19, employers failed to consider the consequences of ATS and other automated hiring systems.

Machine learning algorithms often involve systematic biases, leading to unethical hiring practices:

  • In 2018, Amazon discovered that its AI software was demoting applications from women, excluding applicants from all-female colleges.
  • A 2018 study found that facial recognition technologies such as Face++ and Microsoft AI can analyze applicants’ emotions and personality characteristics. Black men, for example, were given more negative qualities than white men.
  • AI-based hiring processes raise privacy and protection concerns. By law, employers cannot inquire about physical disabilities, mental health, age, gender and marital status. However, this demographic information cannot inform hiring decisions. Yet automated systems can potentially access each candidate’s private information without their consent.

How to Limit AI Bias to Promote DE&I

New legal requirements

In 2021, the New York City Council voted to pass a bill requiring automated system audits. Candidates and employees will be informed about the use of automated assessment and assessment for hiring or promotion, among other requirements. Companies using ATS can follow New York’s lead in preparing for possible audits.


  • Identification of bias: The ATS is inherently “biased” against those deemed unqualified for the position. HR professionals must first identify performance gaps between groups, i.e. race, gender and other marginalized communities.
  • Assess Justifiable Bias: Observing eliminated applications does not address AI results. What are the root causes of observable differences in automated biases?
  • Mitigating biases: Documentation is essential in hiring strategies. Reports should include information about the company’s equity goals, disadvantages among demographic groups with ATS, identification of root causes, and information about targeted intervention.

The easiest way to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace, especially for companies that commit to using automated recruiting tools, is to use ATS to invite and stimulate diverse profiles.

Edit job postings to promote diverse talent and force tracking systems and applicants to remove photographs, names, and addresses from the pool to better focus on candidate talent and potential.

The New York City law will go into effect as early as January 2023. While companies can prepare for the event that similar regulations take place in their states, executive hiring can do more to ensure DE&I is a priority in the workplace.

Failure to monitor your company’s recruiting values ​​can result in a significant loss of time, money, and reputation. Assessing and auditing your hiring strategies is an opportunity to consider different AI tools that will streamline the process while remaining impartial and transparent.

Fair recruitment and promotion processes will foster trust and morale within the team, thereby enhancing employee retention.

Best Nintendo Switch Warriors Games – Every Switch Musou Game Ranked

Image: Nintendo Life

Updated with Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes. Remember, this is a dynamic, reader-rated list that automatically reorders based on each game’s rating in our database. Three Hopes is a new title, but after enjoying it a lot (as you can read in our opinion), we imagine that he will climb the ladder quite quickly as more and more people play and rate.

In order to rate any of the games in the list below out of 10, users logged in to Nintendo Life can simply press the “star” and give each game a personal rating. Enjoy!

The Warriors series may have taken its time getting off the ground in the West, but in recent years there has been an explosion of mainstream Musou, with more players than ever before discovering the delights of hacking hundreds of enemies at once, slicing your way around a map controlling crowds while capturing and holding forts, and generally commanding the playing field while inflicting colossal amounts of pain in wave after wave of grunts.

Hyrule Warriors
Image: Nintendo/Koei ​​Tecmo

Developer Omega Force gave birth to the Musou genre with the Warriors franchise – made up of not just the original Dynasty Warriors line (itself derived from Koei’s Romance of the Three Kingdoms) with its expansions Xtreme Legends and Empires, but also samurai warriors and Orochi Warriors (the latter being a Dynasty X Samurai crossover series), as well as the many ‘guest’ IPs who enjoyed the ‘crossover’ releases of Warriors and ushered in a new era of mainstream popularity for the genre. The One Piece: Pirate Warriors series, for example, a four entries at the time of writing (two on Switch), and on the Nintendo side we’ve seen two Zelda-based on Hyrule Warriors games and a brilliant Fire Emblem too. Not two!

We recently asked Nintendo Life users to rate the Warriors games they’ve played, and the ranking below is the result. Remember: this list is not fixed. Registered Nintendo Life users can always click on the stars below and rate games out of 10, and watch the leaderboard change in real time based on each game’s score in our games database – so even if you have missed the “vote” step, your scores will still count and can potentially influence the order below.

Besides Omega Force, other studios have also picked up the torch from Musou, and we’ve decided to add Marvelous’ Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star and Fate/Extella Link into the mix below; they may not be Warriors games developed by Omega Force – much like Persona 5 Strikers – but they’re both good examples of the Musou experience. Don’t you think they should be there? Just mentally remove them from the list and the command remains just as valid.

Alright, ready to go? Let the battle begin!

To note. We only included Musou games released in the West, so no Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada, Samurai Warriors 4 DX, Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires, Orochi Warriors 3 Ultimateor the Japanese Switch launch game Dragon Quest Heroes.

Dynasty Warriors 9: Empires (Switch)Dynasty Warriors 9: Empires (Switch)

Editor: Koei-Tecmo / Developer: Omega Strength

Release date: February 15, 2022 (UNITED STATES) / February 15, 2022 (UK/EU)

Dynasty Warriors 9: Empires is a bad Switch port of a disappointing entry in the long-running spin-off series. This is an extremely downgraded version of the game, with seriously revamped visuals that fail to put a stop to the constant frame rate issues during the heat of battle. With a lack of game modes, no multiplayer options, terrible AI, and cosmetic customization options gone at launch – Koei Tecmo opting to go the DLC route instead – it’s a really lackluster package, bargain. great deals with a premium price, and a Dynasty Warriors game you can feel comfortable enough to skip completely.

Touken Ranbu Warriors (Switch)Touken Ranbu Warriors (Switch)

Editor: Koei-Tecmo / Developer: Omega Strength

Release date: May 24, 2022 (UNITED STATES) / May 24, 2022 (UK/EU)

Touken Ranbu Warriors is a game best suited for players with little experience with the Dynasty Warriors series in general. If it’s intended to appeal primarily to fans of free-to-play games – with much lower expectations for action games – as a big part of Touken Danshi’s fan service, it’ll be a great addition to their collection. For players less versed in the world of Touken Ranbu, this is a much harder sell, offering a repetitive, rote gameplay loop that does little to quench your thirst for a gaming experience. more meaningful and scalable. This criticism could no doubt apply to everything Warriors games, sure, but where the biggest license-based games add to the formula, Touken Ranbu Warriors feels like distillation. In many ways and for some audiences, this is fine. The Dynasty Warriors machine produces a well-oiled, refined and polished product; the gaming equivalent of a Honda Civic. But even with a beloved product as reliable as this, there comes a time when it’s just time to adapt to the times.

Orochi Warriors 4 (Switch)Orochi Warriors 4 (Switch)

Editor: Koei-Tecmo / Developer: Omega Strength

Release date: October 16, 2018 (UNITED STATES) / October 19, 2018 (UK/EU)

It’s not for everyone, but Warriors Orochi 4’s countless hordes can be fun to wade through, despite the game feeling by the numbers in many ways. It’s simply Afterand while fans can forgive the bland presentation, we bet non-fans would have a much better time with the Zelda or Fire Emblem spin-offs – with the characters, settings and getup you know and like to help temper the monotony when you’re not quite “in the zone”.

Dynasty Warriors 8 Xtreme Legends Definitive Edition (Switch eShop)Dynasty Warriors 8 Xtreme Legends Definitive Edition (Switch eShop)

Editor: Koei-Tecmo / Developer: Koei-Tecmo

Release date: December 27, 2018 (UNITED STATES) / December 27, 2018 (UK/EU)

Although it might seem odd that in 2018 Omega Force chose to wear the then five-year-old Dynasty Warriors 8 more Dynasty Warriors 9, it was the right decision for Nintendo Switch owners. Not only was Dynasty Warriors 8 Xtreme Legends Definitive Edition the best version since Dynasty Warriors 5it’s come to the hybrid platform offering more stable performance than the versions that once graced the PS3 and Xbox 360. Even when its frame rate takes a hit when playing co-op, it’s a remarkably port sturdy with a obscene quantity of contents fresh out of the box.

Orochi Warriors 4 Ultimate (Switch)Orochi Warriors 4 Ultimate (Switch)

Editor: Koei-Tecmo / Developer: Omega Strength

Release date: February 14, 2020 (UNITED STATES) / February 14, 2020 (UK/EU)

Warriors Orochi 4 was a solid, albeit uninspired, Musou game, and this “Ultimate” edition fleshes things out with new characters and modes, significantly beefs up the story, and tweaks the core gameplay here and there. However, the additions that have been made sometimes seem like the least amount of effort. The new playable characters, while fun, are pretty much integrated without fanfare, the new weapons don’t even have unique skins, and Infinity Mode feels like a missed opportunity. Warriors Orochi 4 Ultimate is certainly an improvement over the vanilla version of the game – and absolutely the way to go if you’re keen but haven’t picked it up yet – but it’s also a rather disappointing little game that has quite a hefty price tag for loyal fans who want to upgrade from the base version.

Destiny/Extella Link (Switch)Destiny/Extella Link (Switch)

Editor: XSEED Games / Developer: Marvelous Inc.

Release date: March 19, 2019 (UNITED STATES) / March 22, 2019 (UK/EU)

The nature of the genre makes it quite difficult to make a Musou game Wrongbut it is also quite difficult to make one that is really right, providing an experience capable of rising above repetition and of relatively easy difficulty. Coming from Xseed and developer Marvelous (not Koei Tecmo and Omega Force), Fate/Extella Link manages to do just that, including all the trappings of a Musou release while sprinkling in a handful of fun, engaging, or creative changes. to the design and styling package to elevate this version a little above the competition (and certainly above its predecessor). If you’ve never been a fan of insane hack ‘n’ slash games, this is a great way to test whether this genre is for you. If you consider yourself a Musou nut, this is one of the best distillations of the concept we’ve ever seen.

Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star (Switch)Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star (Switch)

Editor: XSEED Games / Developer: Marvelous Inc.

Release date: July 25, 2017 (UNITED STATES) / July 21, 2017 (UK/EU)

A real treat for anime-action fans, Fate/EXTELLA is an adorably frenetic affair with a feeling all its own. Developer Marvelous has created engaging characters and an irresistible sense of style that draws you into its world, along with addictive, satisfying gameplay and excellent writing to keep things exciting throughout. It suffers from some common Musou-like ills, like minimal enemy variety and subpar AI, and it’s far from a technical showcase for the system, but if you’re looking for a slash-’em-up fun and fast – or to seriously complicate your relationship with one of Rome’s most infamous sons – Fate is a perfect choice.

Samurai Warriors 5 (Switch)Samurai Warriors 5 (Switch)

Editor: Koei-Tecmo / Developer: Koei-Tecmo

Release date: July 27, 2021 (UNITED STATES) / July 27, 2021 (UK/EU)

Samurai Warriors 5 takes the long-running franchise, gives it a wonderfully vibrant coat of paint, adds some great new combat mechanics, and fills its story mode with well-directed cutscenes, making for a sleek, stylish addition to the series that doesn’t sure to please fans and newcomers alike. Yes, it’s a bit of a fumble here and there – we don’t like its cranky system of leveling up your Dojo and your blacksmith, it sometimes limits your character choices in the campaign and this stripped down list will certainly annoy some – but Overall, what’s here is a nice addition to Switch’s lineup of Musou titles. It’s a fast and flashy hack and slash effort that looks and plays amazingly well and, more importantly, works almost flawlessly while doing it.

The best sci-fi movies on Prime Video


Although it’s not immediately obvious, you can find a wide range of excellent sci-fi movies on First video streaming shelves. Slide in absolute classics, from The Terminator to Invasion of the Body Snatchers, plus the hidden gems that more people need to watch. One of them is Coherencewidely regarded as the best hidden sci-fi gem.

Scroll down for our top picks for sci-fi movies on Prime Video, you can stream right now.

Screenshot 20th Century Studios/YouTube/CNET

Remember Dane DeHaan from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 starred in that found sci-fi sequence? He plays a friendless teenager who develops telekinetic abilities. What starts out as a way to have fun and prank ends up in an act that goes too far. With a twist of superhero origin story, Chronicle is a smart, documentary-style sci-fi taker.

The sci-fi actor who put director Neill Blomkamp on the map. The hybrid found-footage film takes you straight into the intense action of an alternate 1982, when an alien spacecraft appears over Johannesburg, Africa. A unique, exciting and slightly political classic.

Yes, it’s a prequel movie. Yes, it’s the fifth in the Alien franchise. Yes, it’s awe-inspiring and its plot doesn’t do justice to its stunning visuals. But Prometheus introduced us to the brilliantly creepy and unnerving android David, played by Michael Fassbender. Its plot may ultimately make no sense, but nothing takes away from the entertainment value of this sci-fi horror.

Amazon Studios

This low-budget indie film has surprisingly high production values, impressive performances and inventive camerawork to help tell the story of two teenagers in 1950s New Mexico. The resourceful duo track down potentially extraterrestrial origins of a mysterious audio frequency.


City of Lost Children (1995)

Before Amélie, Jean-Pierre Jeunet brought his flair and visual styling to fantastic science fiction (co-directed by Marc Caro). The City of Lost Children follows an evil scientist who kidnaps children, believing their dreams are the key to preventing aging.

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For those missing out on Black Mirror, this will go some way to filling that gap. Black Box follows a father who tries to put his life back together after a car accident. He agrees to an experimental procedure that takes him to the darkest recesses of his mind.

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For well-made, thoughtful sci-fi that makes sure it doesn’t let its meditations exceed entertainment value, Archive is a loud cry. Gavin Rothery’s UK film debut stars Theo James as a scientist working to make an AI as human as possible. His reasons are hidden, personal and sure to put a spanner in the works. Drawing comparisons to Ex Machina, Archive is assured storytelling with a clever focus on character.

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Coherence doesn’t need an avatar-sized budget to create a compelling story. The low-budget indie film follows friends at a dinner party who begin to notice bizarre happenings after a comet passes by. Even more unsettling due to its grounded setting, Coherence nails the case for a true indie gem.

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Intriguing premise? Check. Small budget? Check. Twist at the end? Check. This indie sci-fi mystery from Travis Milloy solidifies its place in Google’s search for “best indie sci-fi gems.” The complex story of Infinity Chamber centers on a man held in an automated detention center. He must fight superior technology to escape, an extremely tricky feat.


Beyond Two Infinite Minutes (2020)

How cool and intriguing is this title? Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes is a low-budget time travel comedy from Japanese filmmaker Junta Yamaguchi. The Crazy Premise: A cafe employee discovers that his television can show him what’s happening 2 minutes in the future. There’s obviously a lot more to it and the results are as creative and trippy as you’d expect under the constraints of indie cinema. A gem.

United Artists

Invasion of the Body Thieves (1978)

Remakes are rarely better than the original, but sometimes there is a notable exception. The 1978 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers builds on the already excellent sci-fi horror of 1956, telling the story of a health inspector and his colleague who realize that the people of San Francisco are slowly replaced by drone-like replicas. Creating an atmosphere of dread and paranoia, with Donald Sutherland in the lead, Invasion of the Body Snatchers has been hailed as one of the best science fiction films of all time.

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There’s not much to say about the first in the Terminator franchise. Seemingly born out of a fever dream, James Cameron’s story introduces us to a cyborg assassin sent from the future to kill Sarah Connor, whose unborn son is destined to save humanity from the robotic apocalypse.

Photo credit: Jan Thijs

Before Dune, Denis Villeneuve directed another huge sci-fi classic. Arrival stars Amy Adams as a linguist who suffered a personal tragedy in the past. When mysterious alien spacecraft fly overhead, she is recruited to come into contact with completely unexpected, life-changing results. Arrival is a complete package, with performances, cinematography and writing that are… out of this world.

Paramount Pictures

Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

The second Star Trek movie in the rebooted franchise features a terrific adventure with a memorable villain in Benedict Cumberbatch’s Khan. The USS Enterprise gang travels to the forbidden zone of space to save an endangered species. Although a bit dated – a gratuitous underwear scene and a change of ethnicity for Khan – Into Darkness is an exuberant journey.

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The Fifth Element isn’t for everyone, but if you’re in the mood for an unbridled space adventure, it’ll bring all the blue alien opera performances you could want. Follow Korben Dallas, a taxi driver who has set off in pursuit of a mysterious fifth element capable of defeating a cosmic evil force.

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Oh look, it’s another Roland Emmerich movie! This one follows Earth’s resistance troopers making one last stand against an alien attack, an event they log into the calendar for the 4th of July.

Buena Vista Pictures

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005)

Sci-fi comedy isn’t always a hit, and this Douglas Adams adaptation will either be weird in a good way, if you know the source material, or weird in an unfunny, confusing way. My 13 year old self loved it.

Amazon Prime Video

It’s hard to leave The Tomorrow War off this list, as it’s about Prime Video’s sci-fi big starring Chris Pratt. It follows a teacher who is drafted into a war with aliens – in the future. An easy to digest movie that you can watch while looking at your phone.

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The vivarium is interesting. It might frustrate a lot of viewers with its surreal aspects, but it’s still a compelling film. A young couple find themselves trapped in a labyrinthine suburban neighborhood of identical houses. As they attempt to escape, they find themselves caring for a mysterious baby.

Well Go USA/YouTube/CNET Screenshot

Emile Hirsch stars in this sci-fi horror about a father who keeps his 7-year-old daughter locked in their house all her life. Chloe inevitably seeks out the great outdoors, which leads to unexplainable events and a run-in with a government department. Impressive work with a father-daughter relationship at its heart.

Pope Francis against himself – POLITICO


Nothing else compared to the new pope’s obligation to deal with the anarchy infecting the priesthood and the hierarchy, and his 2019 declaration Vos Estis Lux Mundi (“You are the light of the world”), he was hailed by the church establishment for doing just that. But the decree’s fatal flaws in its response to covering up priestly abuse of children and others quickly became apparent: its new accountability structures required no public disclosure, required no reporting to civil authorities unless the civil law does not require it, and did not require any participation of the laity in the judgment of the crimes of priests and bishops. The most obvious (and protector of clerics) of Your Estis flaws is that it makes ecclesiastical self-surveillance compulsory: the bishops investigate their colleagues; the reporting of crimes committed by priests not to civil authorities, but to ecclesiastical offices long complicit; the Vatican alone determines the penalties. Who knows how many complicit prelates have been sanctioned in any way as part of this policy? Three years later, with Your Estis’ with the probationary period ending June 1, the Vatican has disclosed nothing about the bishops investigated, charged, or punished under its procedures. Rules of Omerta.

Pope Francis has denounced clericalism, the malignity that inflames it, but he has done nothing to uproot its sources in the sexually repressive all-male priesthood and the authoritarian system of ecclesiastical power to which this clerical culture is essential. And Francis has done nothing to address the misogyny that is at the heart of Catholic teaching on everything from birth control to reproductive biology to the purpose of marriage. Inhuman notions of sexuality, stemming from misinterpretations of the Adam and Eve story and reinforced by theologians like St. Augustine, serve to subjugate women. Such male supremacy is morally equivalent to white supremacy. Yet, by church officials and most Catholics, this remains undisputed.

Francis called the subject of women’s ordination a “closed door” and said a “No! resounding. to married priests. When, for example, the bishops of the Pan-Amazonian region voted overwhelmingly in 2019 to ask him to admit married deacons to the priesthood in order to overcome the severe shortage of priests in the region, Francis even refused to answer the question. request. That is to say, the bishops of the Amazon offered him a golden opportunity to take a step, however small, towards dismantling the toxic culture of clericalism – an opportunity from below, attacking a serious pastoral problem and advancing a diaconate, a subsidiary form of holy orders, which his immediate predecessors had already put forward as an instrument of change. Indeed, this approach could also have paved the way for the admission of women to the rank of ordinate. But Francis left intact the male and celibate priesthood, and with it the soul of clericalism – the pyramid of ecclesiastical power, the structure of abuse.

Here is the tragic irony: what the world needed most from Jorge Mario Bergoglio when he donned the legendary white cassock nine years ago was not his empathetic intervention in secular affairs, however urgent- them, but its firm progress in terms of reforms. in Catholic Church. Failing that, it reinforces within Catholicism the currents and the very values ​​to which it most opposes outside of it. Francis rebels against inequality, but inequality defines the being of the Church. He is the tribune of the poor, but by protecting the second-class status of women, he supports a global engine of poverty.

Alaska faith leaders applaud Senate passage of gun safety bill

By Matthew Schultz, Abram Goodstein and Heather Robertson Barbour

Updated: 1 One hour before Published: 1 One hour before

Hospitality is one of the strongest values ​​of a faith community. We all want meaningful community experiences in our places of worship. Unfortunately, the value of security often clashes with hospitality. Religious communities across the country are afraid. They are afraid to let violence enter the doors of their homes, places of worship and schools. In congregations, we respond to this fear by trying to be safer. But this is only an attempt. We close our entrances, install security cameras and hire guards. We sacrifice our welcome value for security. We do this because the amount of powerful firearms available to people with hate in their hearts is truly terrifying. We pray for our safety but we are tired of being afraid.

As believers, we consider thoughts and prayers to be very important parts of our lives. We pray with joy in gratitude, we pray solemnly in grief, and we pray for guidance on what actions we should take. Unfortunately, in the face of endemic armed violence, our national refrain of “thoughts and prayers” has excluded this essential aspect of action. It left us in a tragic cycle of murder, heartbreak, thoughts and prayers, and repetition. Through inaction, our country has chosen this as part of our common rhythm – even as our children are slaughtered.

But for the first time in three decades, our leaders have taken action. The bipartisan gun safety bill passed by the Senate is an important first step. It expands background check requirements for potential gun buyers under 21, establishes new penalties for those who illegally buy a gun for another person, and provides funding for expanded mental health programs and school safety. At the same time, it does not violate the Second Amendment rights of responsible gun owners, which is important to so many Alaskans. These are not extremist positions: they enjoy overwhelming support from American voters, and similar measures have been successful in other countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and the United States. Norway. If we choose not to adopt similar ones here, we choose instead to perpetuate the pattern of our children hiding in fear under their desks at school, and our religious communities worshiping in holy spaces that function as beleaguered fortresses. .

Laws like these are essential as we consider the safety of our religious communities. A life of faith is not only lived internally in one’s own hearts and souls, and it is not expressed only in individual interactions. It lives in the way we shape society as a whole. As Archbishop Desmond Tutu said, “There comes a time when we have to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they are falling. Our laws are an expression of our common sense of community ethics. Our laws are our societal decisions about what we can morally tolerate. This is clearly not a Republican or Democratic issue, it is a moral issue; it’s not a question of right and left, it’s a question of right and wrong.

We thank Senator Lisa Murkowski and other members of Congress for supporting this common sense bill to address gun violence; to protect our freedoms while protecting our children. Because thoughts and prayers are wonderful. We believe they are essential. But only – only — if they are accompanied by works of justice and righteousness. With this new legislation, our thoughts and prayers are finally followed by action.