Many of you remember when my son Calvin was a very little boy, how singularly obsessed with trains he was. Not just the super-creepy cartoon trains with the blank faces, forever reinforcing strangely communist values, and laboring under the very real threat of being sent to the “smelter’s yard” to be scrapped (what a messed up show!), but real trains as well. They really had his heart for a while. If we were at the zoo, looking at some exotic species of animal and a freight train happened by on the tracks that border Potter Park, he’d immediately take his eyes off the animal and become transfixed by the train.
We also loved Nineteenth Century steam engines and took every opportunity to examine and ride on them, at Greenfield Village and Crossroads Village and elsewhere. That’s right; I said “we.” You see, Calvin got me really interested in trains and then he just walked away from them a couple years ago, moving on to Pokemon and other stuff. Now when we go to a train show or stop to have a look at an antique caboose, I get the impression that it’s Calvin who’s humoring me, which is kind of a funny turn of events.
At the end of the day, I think what I love about trains is just their raw power. Especially considering that the most impressive, hulking, and (yeah, I’ll say it) beautiful engines were powered by coal or wood, heating water to a boil! Somehow the same thing we do on the stove every day to make tea or macaroni and cheese can pull more than a hundred cars, plus their freight, weighing upwards of 60,000 pounds!
Since I’m a preacher, my mind starts involuntarily crafting sermon illustrations whenever I think about this stuff, and there are innumerable possible illustrations to be had here: inspiring stuff about making it up the next hill, spiritual stuff playing on the tie between the Spirit and steam (i.e. in Greek and Hebrew, the word for Spirit also means “wind” or “breath”), or wisdom about knowing your own load limit, etc.
But the most powerful illustration I’ve ever heard about trains is kind of a dark one; it’s the story of what is probably the worst train-related tragedy ever. It happened in the El Toro Tunnel in Leon, Spain, on January 3,1944. The details are disputed because of a media blackout at the time, but sources say over five hundred people died.
The train was one of those long passenger trains with an engine on both ends. On this particular day, when the train went into the El Toro Tunnel, the engine on the front stalled. The crew attempted to fix the engine, but after a while it was clear to the engineer in back that they were going nowhere. Since sitting there in a tunnel was incredibly dangerous, the engineer on the back engine started up his engine to back the train out. But, at almost that precise moment, the front engineer managed to get the front engine started again and attempted to continue the journey.
Neither engineer had any way of communicating with the other, and (since it often took a rather big initial boost to get all those cars moving), they each thought they simply needed more power. They continued to pull in both directions for several minutes, going nowhere, but creating an awful lot of deadly carbon monoxide. Hundreds of passengers on the train in the tunnel died of carbon monoxide poisoning because the train could not make up its mind which way to go.
Since turning an entire train around on a single track is a logistical nightmare, those two-engine trains seemed like a brilliant idea. However, the people in that tunnel died because the train had one too many engineers. All that raw power was no use because it was pulling in opposite directions, creating a lot of heat and a lot of smoke, but no forward movement.
Many of us struggle as to which way to go with our lives—whether to come to Jesus or to remain in our sin. It’s becoming a more and more common thing to hear people describe how cleverly they’ve worked things out so that they can have both Jesus and their sin. In their minds, the two engineers actually have a great means of communication and are on the same page. But that’s nonsense. At the end of the day, just like a train pulling in two directions is not going to get to its destination, and can have potentially deadly results, so a person who tries to serve two masters will, in the best-case scenario, find herself or himself stuck, going nowhere.
God began the Ten Commandments with a reminder that he is a jealous God (Exodus 20:3). Jesus Himself warned us against trying to live a double life, saying, “No one can serve two masters” (Matt. 6:24). At the end of the day, we will love one and hate the other.
Take a moment today to assess the direction of your life. Not only which track you are on, but whether there is another master vying for your allegiance—a second locomotive pulling back away from your destination. If so, ask God to help you unhitch that engine and send it to the dreaded smelter’s yard.
Soli Deo Gloria,
(Every month, we share something you may not know about)
For the next several months, we will be highlighting folks right here at Judson who serve the Lord in so many ways.
Jerre Ward By Noel Harshman
Jerre Ward has been an essential fixture at Judson since 1980 when she and her husband Chuck began attending Judson. The Wards were drawn to Judson because they knew and loved Dr. Charles Jones who was then the pastor here.
Jerre was saved when she was 13 years old and living in Tennessee and was baptized in a river. She said, “I love the Lord and feel his presence in every day of my life.”
In her work and in her ministry at Judson, she has shown that love in practical ways. While her husband was alive, both Jerre and Chuck served at Judson in many capacities. Jerre recalls, “As a trustee, Chuck painted everything that didn’t move”.
Jerre’s ministry at Judson has included serving as moderator, treasurer, assistant financial secretary, memorial coordinator, insurance coordinator, grant writer for the Love Clothing Center, chair of women’s circles, and chair of various remodeling committees. She said her favorite job was serving as Pastor Tom Bayes organizational administrator. She kept things organized and running so he could spend his time in more effective ministry. Being a most organized person and having the ability to make other’s lives easier with this skill was a part of her mission.
Jerre is blessed with two daughters, three grandsons and four great grandsons.
Immediate Prayer Needs
Mike Granger – Jeannie Granger-Bullion’s son; suffering from COPD and depression; please pray for comfort and encouragement
Family of Dolores Lewis – Barb Fickies’s daughter; passed away last week; memorial service November 16 @ 10:00 am
Margaret Power –pray for swift healing without complications after a fall
Mimi Russell – pray that the Lord will speed healing after a recent fall
Richard Saxman – pray for continued recovery and relief from pain after knee replacement surgery
Mike Sober – Brandon Sober’s dad; tests show he has an enlarged heart
Ongoing Prayer Needs
Rosemary Bullion Jeanne Granger-Bullion
Randy Butts Elizabeth Hamlet (Penny’s daughter)
Norma Chandler Brent Robison (Velma Jo Pretty’s son)
Sean Douglas Rick Slaght (Marge Brook’s son)
Marie Ferguson Mark Thode
Joyce Getts (Lisa Larson’s mom)
"LORD my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me." Psalms 30:2
-Immediate prayer requests will be on the list for 4 weeks unless an extension is requested. After 4 weeks, they may be moved to the ongoing list for 8 weeks unless an extension is requested. Please note: due to privacy concerns and HIPPA regulations, there must be permission for sharing.
Mission of the Month – Our Mission focus for the month of November is Operation Christmas Child. This mission provides shoeboxes filled with small toys, hygiene items, and school supplies as a means of reaching out to children around the world with the good news of Jesus Christ. There is a collection box in the foyer for donated items. All shoeboxes and donated items are due by November 17, when the shoeboxes will be packed for shipping. Donations to cover the $9 per box shipping costs are also welcome!
Are you interested in missions? – Want to help plan Judson’s missions calendar for 2020? Meet in the library directly after church on November 10th for a 30-minute meeting as we look ahead to the new year. Everyone welcome!
New Church Directory –Dave Marvin will be taking professional-quality photos of our congregation for a new church directory, and everyone will be given an electronic copy of their portrait at no charge. The dates of the photo shoots are November 14, November 16, and November 17. If you have not already signed up for a time slot to have your picture taken, please call the church office at 882-5961 to make an appointment
Love Clothing Center Laundry Room – A new washer and dryer has been installed in the Judson Love Clothing Center, established in 1989 by Mrs. Bea Mott and Rev. Tom Bayes. The laundry area was made possible with memorial funds of Beverly Staggemier and Dorothy Gascho, first co-directors in 1989, and Ruth Howe, a long-time loyal worker and supporter of the Center. What a blessing this new laundry room will be for Love Clothing Center volunteers.
Matthew 25 Grant – Judson has been given a grant for the Love Clothing Center in the amount of $3,500 to purchase new clothing. Thanks be to God for the support Judson has been blessed with.
Plan now for the Christmas Dinner –There will be a church-wide Christmas dinner on Friday, December 13. Appetizers will be served at 6:00 pm, followed by dinner at 6:30. Tickets are $10 each (children are free). Ticket sales will begin on Sunday, November 17, and the LAST DAY to buy tickets will be December 8.
New Swahili group – We offer a big welcome to the new Swahili-speaking group that will be holding a service in the Heritage Room chapel on Sunday mornings at 10:30!
Ways to serve – If you are considering ways in which you can serve the Lord here at Judson, please think about joining the Deacons or Elder Board:
Deacons are charged with ministering to the members of Judson. This includes preparing and serving communion, planning and administering mission projects, and nurturing the sick, needy, and distressed.
Elders are charged with overseeing and coordinating the facilities, finances, educational programs, and ministry of the church.
After prayerful consideration, if you feel led to serve in either of these capacities, please see the pastor or one of the current deacons or elders.
Just a reminder that you can support Judson Baptist Church when you shop on Amazon by going to AmazonSmile at smile.amazon.com. You get the same selection of products, prices, and features, but when you shop on AmazonSmile the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to the charitable organization you select at no cost to you or to Judson.
Le boitier Phanteks Enthoo Luxe 2 devient l’Enthoo 719 mais pourquoi ? appeared first on GinjFo.
Tahun 2019 cepat banget ya rasanya, kok moro-moro sudah akhir tahun. Kayaknya baru beberapa bulan lalu ke Malta, lah kok ternyata hampir setahun lalu. Daripada foto-foto liburan ke Malta tersimpan manis di laptop, saya ceritakan saja di blog beberapa tempat yang kami kunjungi selama di sana. Meskipun Malta tidak terlalu besar, tapi banyak sekali tempat […]
One of my favorite events to attend each year is the annual celebration of food and education that is the Malta Food Fest! This fun event takes place at the TEC SMART Facility in the Luther Forest Technology Campus and benefits the Ballston Spa Partnership for Innovation in Education Fund. This year, the event is
Kuten Stephen King-filmatisoinnit, myös Clive Barkerin tarinoihin pohjautuvat elokuvat heittelehtivät laadultaan melkoisesti. Rawhead Rex kuuluu valitettavasti siihen heikompaan puoliskoon, vaikka premissi onkin lupaava. Farmari kaivelee peltoaan ja erehtyy vapauttamaan sinne haudatun muinaisen demonin, joka ryhtyy välittömästi levittämään kaaosta irlantilaisella maaseudulla. Samaan aikaan historianörtti tutkii ja valokuvaa vanhoja kirkkoja ja päätyy ratkaisevaksi tekijäksi taistelussa vihamielistä otusta vastaan. Seuraa lukuisia tappokohtauksia ja yleistä sekoilua, mutta monsterileffaksi Rawhead Rex on mielestäni aika vaisu tapaus. Surmatyöt ovat kesyjä, vaikka niistä jääkin veriset jäljet ja kookasta apinaa muistuttava monsteri herättää enemmän hilpeyttä kuin kauhua.
Toivoton elokuva ei sentään ole ja kasarimeininkiä arvostaville se tarjoaa muutaman hienon kohtauksen. Karvainen demoni esimerkiksi palkitsee apurinaan toimivan pappismiehen kusemalla tämän päälle öisellä hautausmaalla ja pappi on tietenkin onnesta soikeana, tai siis märkänä. Yhdet täysin randomit tissitkin nähdään, kun hirviö raahaa uhrinsa ulos asuntovaunusta, jolloin tämän kolttu repeää taktisesta kohdasta. Ei kasaria ilman tissejä! Muitakin satunnaisia kohokohtia löytyy, mutta lopulta elokuva ei ole tarpeeksi hurja tai jännittävä, jotta olisin innostunut siitä kummoisesti. Uskallan silti suositella elokuvaa wanhan roskan ystäville.
Brawl in Cell Block 99
Tästä olin kuullut paljon hyvää ja nyt sain viimein katsotuksi. Kyseessä on brutaali ja synkkä vankilatrilleri, jonka pääosassa nähdään lähinnä komediarooleistaan tunnettu Vince Vaughn. Pitkä ja kookas mies on kuitenkin täysin uskottava kovanaamaisena tappelupukarina, joka puhuu vähän mutta lyö sitäkin enemmän. Hänen roolihahmonsa on tavallinen duunarimies, joka työnsä menetettyään sekaantuu huumebisneksiin huonolla menestyksellä. Tästä seuraa vankilareissu, joka vie pahaan paikkaan ja sitten vielä pahempaan, eikä armottomalta väkivallalta voida välttyä. Elokuva ei ole erityisen toiminnallinen, vaan enemmänkin hidastempoinen ja tunnelmaan panostava draama, mutta silloin kun ihmisiä mätetään, niin se saatana tuntuu. Tällaista lähestymistapaa arvostan suuresti.
Pohjimmiltaan elokuva kertoo tutun tarinan miehestä, joka yrittää vain pärjätä elämässä, mutta joutuu olosuhteiden pakosta murtamaan luita ja murskaamaan naamoja. Usein näihin tarinoihin liittyy kosto (kuten vaikka uudessa Rambossa), jonka toteuttaminen on aina vapaaehtoista, mutta tällä kertaa päähenkilö pusketaan aidosti niin ahtaalle, ettei rauhanomaisia keinoja selviytymiseen juuri ole. Häntä on helppo kannustaa ja sen takia elokuvan lopetuskin tuntuu mukavan tylyltä.
Director Tim Miller’s Terminator: Dark Fate marks a fitting conclusion (hopefully) to the 35-year-old franchise.
This time around, an enhanced human (Mackenzie Davis) is sent back from the future to protect a young Hispanic woman (Natalia Reyes), who is being marked for assassination by a new liquid terminator (Diego Boneta) because of whom she will become as a force for humankind.
The script by David S. Goyer from the story group including him, James Cameron, Charles H. Eglee and Josh Friedman, is first rate, bringing in the original terminator Arnold Shwarzenegger and the original would-be victim Linda Hamilton.
Terminator: Dark Fate is a cut above the subsequent Terminator films.I give it a 3.9 out of 5.
Odavlennufirma Ryanair pakub hetkel hea hinnaga lennupileteid otselendudele Tallinnast Maltale. Edasi-tagasi lennupiletid hooajavälisel ajal Tallinnast on saadaval alates 57€ eest ning hea hinnaga lennupileteid leiab novembri lõpust kuni märtsini. Lennud toimuvad 1x nädalas neljapäeviti. Varakult ette broneerides leiab Maltal ka hea hinnaga hotellipakkumisi. Lennupiletiteni jõudmiseks kliki allolevatel lennukuupäevadel või kontrolli endale sobivaid läbi Momondo.ee NB! Soodsa hinnaga lennupiletite arv on iga lennu kohta piiratud.
Kui otsid soodsa hinnaga öömaja, siis soovitame parima ülevaate ja hinna saamiseks kasutada hotellihindade võrdlusportaali HotelsCombined.ee
Tallinn-Malta-Tallinn alates 38€
Lennupiletiteni jõudmiseks kliki allolevatel lennukuupäevadel või kontrolli endale sobivaid läbi Momondo.ee
Kolmapäeval osaleb majandus- ja taristuminister Kadri Simson Brüsselis Euroopa Liidu energeetikaministrite kohtumisel, kus peateema on kasvuhoonegaaside vähendamine.
Minister Simsoni sõnul on üleminek madala CO2 heitega majandusele lähimate kümnendite suurimaid väljakutseid maailmas. „Eesti on võtnud pikaajaliseks eesmärgiks vähendada kasvuhoonegaaside heitkoguseid 2050. aastaks 80 protsendi võrra. Kuid samas tuleb silmas pidada, et eesmärk tuleb täita kulutõhusalt, kahjustamata meie majanduse konkurentsivõimet ja energia varustuskindlust,“ ütles ta.
Simson rõhutas ka piiriülese koostöö tähtsust. „Läänemere äärsetel maadel on väga suur taastuvenergia potentsiaal ja tehes omavahel koostööd vajaliku taristu ning taastuvenergiaprojektide arendamisel saame jagada nii kulusid kui ka rajada efektiivsema süsteemi,“ rääkis minister.
Lisaks kohtub minister Brüsselis Malta, Luksemburgi kolleegidega ja Euroopa Komisjoni energeetikavolinik Arias Cañetega.
Majandus- ja taristuminister Kadri Simson ütles Euroopa Parlamendi komisjonide ees esinedes, et ühtse siseturu arenguks soovib Eesti eesistujana anda välja määruse, mis takistaks põhjendamatut geoblokeeringut ning teisi diskrimineerimise vorme.
Minister Simson märkis ka, et võrreldes muu maailmaga on Euroopa Liidu üldine konkurentsivõime üks suuremaid väljakutseid ning selle tõstmiseks on vaja täielikult ära kasutada ühtse turu potentsiaal teenuste valdkonnas.
Tema sõnul on teenuste piiriülese osutamise elavdamisel positiivne mõju majandusele tervikuna.
„See toetab ettevõtete loomist ja laienemist, töökohtade teket, annab tarbijatele rohkem valikuvõimalusi ja tähendab neile soodsamaid hindu,“ selgitas minister.
Tuginedes Malta eesistumise ajal tehtud tööle teenuste nõuete vallas, jätkab Eesti kolmepoolseid läbirääkimisi, et leppida kokku teenuste e-kaardi kehtestamise üldises lähenemisviis.
Energeetika teemadel rõhutas minister Simson ühtse, toimiva ja avatud turu olulisust, heade riikide vaheliste ühenduste olemasolu ja taastuvenergia osakaalu suurendamise vajadust.
„Jätkame puhta energia paketi ettepanekute menetlemist, pöörates erilist tähelepanu elektrituru väljaarendamisele,“ lausus Simson.
Eestil on kavas välja pakkuda energiasektori digitaliseerimiseks avaliku ja erasektori koostöö deklaratsioon.
Majandus- ja taristuminister Kadri Simson osales eile ja täna Euroopa Parlamendi transpordi- ja turismikomisjoni, tööstuse, teadusuuringute ja energeetikakomisjoni ning siseturu ja tarbijakaitse komisjoni kuulamistel ning kohtus Euroopa Transporditööliste Föderatsiooni ja 12 tööstusliidu juhiga.
Majandus- ja taristuminister Kadri Simson osales täna Maltal Euroopa Liidu konkurentsivõime ministrite kohtumisel, kus arutleti idu- ja kasvufirmadele soodsa tegevuskeskkonna loomise teemal.
Ministrid arutlesid koos ettevõtjatega, kuidas soodustada innovatsiooni edendavate, konkurentsivõimet suurendavate ning kiiresti arenevate ettevõtete teket Euroopa Liidus, mis tugevdaks liidu positsiooni globaalsel turul.
Ühe võimalusena saavad väikesed ja keskmised teadus-arendustegevusega tegelevad ettevõtted arengu rahastamiseks kasutada InnoFin garantiiskeemi, mille on algatanud Euroopa Komisjon ja Euroopa Investeerimispank.
InnovFin garantii tagab kuni 50 protsenti laenust ja garantii riskitasu on 0,5 protsenti. Tagatavad laenud võivad olla vahemikus 25 000 – 7,5 miljonit eurot ning tagasimakse periood on kuni 10 aastat. Garantiid saavad taotleda ettevõtted, kes on kiires kasvufaasis, panustanud palju teadus- ja arendustegevusse või kaitsnud viimase kahe aasta jooksul patendi või kasuliku mudeli.
Euroopa Investeerimispanga Innovatsiooni ja konkurentsivõime direktor Gunnar Muent esitles ministritele edulugu InnoFini kasust ettevõtetele, mis põhines Eesti energiasalvesteid tootval ettevõttel Skeleton Technologies.
Eestis on InnovFin skeemiga liitunud laenuandjana LHV, kes rakendab seda alates märtsist 2015.
Täna algas Roomas Euroopa digipäev, mille eesmärk on edendada koostööd Euroopa Liidu liikmesriikide vahel, et valmistada Euroopa ühiskond ja tööstus paremini ette digitaalses siirdes peituvate võimaluste kasutamiseks.
„Isejuhtivate autodega tulevik on juba kohal. Sealjuures autod ei pea suhtlema üksnes omavahel või teenusepakkujaga, vaid ka valitsustega. Andmevahetus peab toimuma sujuvalt ning kaitstult üle riigipiiride. Isejuhtivate sõidukite tulemine meie teedele on taas üks lisaelement, miks on digitaalset ühisturgu riikidevahelise suhtluse reguleerimiseks tarvis kiiremas korras,“ ütles Majandus- ja Kommunikatsiooni majandusarengu asekantsler Viljar Lubi täna Roomas alanud Euroopa digipäeval. „Täna on Euroopa digipäeva fookuses just andmete vaba liikumine ning Eesti on digitaalse Euroopa seadnud ka üheks oma eesistumise prioriteetidest. Eesti eesistumise jooksul leiab aset arvukalt digiteemalisi sündmusi, mille seas toimub ka Digitaalse Transpordi konverents selle aasta novembris. Peame vabanema andmete asukohapõhistest piirangutest, jõudma ühisele arusaamisele andmete omandiõiguse küsimuses ning tagama andmete usaldusväärse vahetamise ja hoidmise,“ lisas Lubi.
Euroopa digipäeva raames kirjutas Eesti üheskoos Norra, Šveitsi ja Euroopa 27 liikmesriigiga alla ühiste kavatsuste protokollile intensiivistada koostööd isesõitva transpordi testimiseks piirialadel. Eesti esindajana allakirjutanud Lubi sõnul on ühiste kavatsuste protokolli eesmärk ühtlustada andmetele juurdepääsu, vastutuse ja ühenduvuse normid. „Riikidevaheliste ühiste mängureeglite seadmine annab võimaluse minna jõudsalt edasi Euroopa andmepõhise majanduse elluviimisel,“ selgitas Lubi. Ühiste kavatsuste protokoll on liikmesriikide esimene ühendatud ja automatiseeritud liikuvuse alase piiriülese koostöö algatus ning Komisjon toetab seda tegevust konkreetsete meetmetega piiriüleste ühenduste loomiseks.
Euroopa digipäev toimub Rooma lepingute allkirjastamise 60. aastapäeva pidustuste raames ja selle käigus pööratakse peamine tähelepanu Euroopa digitaalsele tulevikule. Digitaalsed tehnoloogiad, tooted ja teenused parandavad inimeste elu, kujundavad ümber seniseid töömeetodeid ja hoogustavad majanduskasvu. Sündmust juhivad Euroopa Komisjon eesotsas asepresident Andrus Ansipiga ja Itaalia Vabariik koostöös Malta Euroopa Liidu Eesistumisega.
Majandus- ja taristuminister Kadri Simson osales täna Euroopa Liidu transpordiministrite nõukogul, kus peamised teemad olid lennuohutus, reisilaevade ohutuseeskirjade ja -nõuete muutmine, laevareisijate ja kaubalaevade registreerimise lihtsustamine ning liinilaevade ohutuse tagamine.
Lennuohutusameti ümberkorraldamise küsimuses ütles minister Simson, et võimalus jagada eksperte Euroopa riikide vahel on kasulik väiksematele riikidele nagu Eesti. „See aitab meil kokku hoida kulusid ja palgata vajaduse korral paremaid lennuohutuse eksperte,“ lisas ta.
Laevareisijate direktiivi arutelul toetas Eesti nii transpordis üldiselt kui merenduses digitaalsete lahenduste suuremat kasutuselevõttu. „Eesti, kel on kõrgelt arenenud IT-teenused, näeb suurt potentsiaali merenduse digitaliseerimises,“ lausus Simson.
Lisaks arutasid ministrid olukorda maanteeveoturul, kus Eesti toetab turu edasist liberaliseerimist ja siseturu avamist kabotaažvedudele kõigis liikmesriikides, et tagada teenuste ja kaupade vaba liikumine.
Lisaks kohtus minister Simson Brüsselis Malta, Suurbritannia, Soome ja Austria ministrite, Euroopa Liberaalide ja Demokraatide (ALDE) esindajate ning Euroopa Liidu transpordivolinik Violeta Bulciga, kellega ta arutas Eesti eesistumise prioriteete transpordiküsimustes.
Ettevõtlus- ja tehnoloogiaminister Urve Palo osaleb reedel Brüsselis Euroopa Liidu telekommunikatsiooniministrite nõukogul, kus peamised teemad on mobiilside rändluse hulgihinnad, postipakkide piiriülene liikumine ja 5G mobiiliühenduse arendamine.
„Eesti jaoks on oluline rõhutada peamiselt kahte asja: EL peab liikuma ühtse digitaalse turu poole ja uued tehnoloogiad, nagu näiteks 5G mobiiliühendus, tuleb võimalikult kiiresti kasutusele võtta,“ ütles Palo.
Postipakkide piiriülesel kättetoimetamisel toetab Eesti lähenemist, et muuta teenuse osutaja hindu läbipaistvamaks. „Sellest võidavad eelkõige väiksemad e-poed ja tarbijad ning ühest riigist teise liikuvate kaupade hind odavneb,“ lisas Palo.
Minister osaleb enne nõukogu toimuval samameelsete liikmesriikide hommikusöögil, kus arutatakse andmete vaba liikumisega seonduvaid küsimusi. „Ilma andmete vaba liikumiseta Euroopa Liidus ei saa olla ühtset digitaalset turgu," selgitas minister.
Lisaks kohtub ettevõtlus- ja infotehnoloogiaminister Austria, Malta, Suurbritannia, Hispaania ja Prantsusmaa ministritega ning Euroopa Komisjoni digivoliniku Andrus Ansipiga.
Majandus- ja taristuminister Kristen Michal allkirjastas käskkirja, millega pikendas viie aasta võrra (kuni 1. maini 2021) Eesti Hotellide ja Restoranide Liidu (EHRL) õigust anda hotellidele ja motellidele järke ehk tärne.
„Tärnisüsteem on aluseks Eesti majutusteenuse heale tasemele ja korrastatud arengule ning seepärast planeerime senisest enam nii teenusepakkujate kui ka tarbijate teadlikkuse tõstmist järgusüsteemi olulisusest kui tunnustatud kvaliteedimärgist,“ ütles EHRL-i juhatuse esimees Verni Loodmaa. Ta lisas, et
EHRL-i missiooniks on Hotelstars Union’i süsteemi ajaga kaasa käimine ja paindlikkus innovaatiliste lahenduste aktsepteerimisel ning hotelli teenuse arendamine uutele segmentidele.
EHRL rakendab Eestis rahvusvahelist järgusüsteemi Hotelstars Union, mis võimaldab Eesti hotelle ja motelle paremini Euroopa omadega võrrelda ning tagab turistile kindluse majutusasutuse kvaliteedis. Hotellil on võimalik taotleda kuni viis tärni ja motellil kuni kolm tärni. Järgu taotlemine on majutusasutustele vabatahtlik.
Hotelstars Union´i järgunõuded koosnevad miinimum- ja valiknõuetest. Järgu saamiseks tuleb täita kõik miinimumnõuded ning valikuliste nõuete hulgast on tarvis juurde koguda kindel arv punkte. Kõigil majutusasutustel on võimalik saada ka kõrgem (Superior) tase. Praegu on Eestis 25 järguhotelli, neist kuuel on viis, üheksal neli ja kümnel kolm tärni.
Euroopa Hotellide ja Restoranide Liitude Assotsiatsiooni (HOTREC) eestvedamisel välja töötatud Hotelstars Union´i järgusüsteem on lisaks Eestile kasutusel Šveitsis, Austrias, Saksamaal, Ungaris, Tšehhis, Hollandis, Rootsis, Lätis, Leedus, Luksemburgis, Maltas, Belgias, Taanis, Kreekas ja Liechtensteini Vürstiriigis. Euroopa ühtse järgusüsteemi järgi on neis riikides klassifitseeritud üle 22 000 hotelli.
EHRL tegutseb järgu andjana alates 2006. aasta maist.
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Mitmed Euroopa Liidu liikmesriigid, sealhulgas Eesti, esitasid ühispöördumise ametisse asuvale Euroopa Komisjonile Euroopa Liidu ühisturu edasiarendamise ettepanekutega.
Allakirjutanud riikide hinnangul tuleb ühisturu tegelikuks, „piirideta“ toimimiseks eemaldada veel olemasolevad tõkked teenuste vabalt liikumiselt, teha võimalikuks digitaalne asjaajamine sõltumata asukohast ning tugevdada ühisturu edasiarendamise juhtimist Euroopa Komisjonis.
„Vastavalt Euroopa Komisjoni hinnangutele on teiste riikide ettevõtjate juurdepääs Eesti teenuste turule keskmisest parem, samuti on Eestis ELi keskmisest tasemest parem seis digitaalses asjaajamises. Seega oleme arusaadavalt huvitatud, et sama heal tasemel juurdepääs ja digitaalne asjaajamine ootaks Eesti ettevõtjaid ees teistes liikmesriikides,“ ütles majandus- ja taristuminister Urve Palo.
Teenuste ühise turu realiseerimiseks on vaja liikmesriikides teenuste osutamisega seotud erinõudeid vähendada või riikide vahel ühtlustada. Lisaks jäikadele kutsekvalifikatsiooninõuetele pärsivad teenuste osutamist teises liikmesriigis sageli ka piirangud teenuseosutajate arvule, nõuded ettevõtte juriidilisele vormile või osaluste jaotusele. Ehitussektoris on turule sisenemisel sageli takistuseks pikalevenivad loaandmise protseduurid ja piirangud tegevuse reklaamile.
ELi õigusaktid peavad hakkama arvestama kaupade ja teenuste „kokkusulamisega“ ehk tendentsiga, et kauba tootmisega koos pakutakse arvukalt teenuseid - transport, komplekteerimine, hooldus, finantseerimine jne – ning seetõttu pole enam võimalik kaupu ja teenuseid õiguslikult eraldiseisvalt käsitleda ja üksteisest sõltumatutele regulatsioonidele allutada.
Selleks, et ELi ühisturul tegutsemisel saaks kasutada aega kokkuhoidvaid ja tootlikkust suurendavaid digitaalseid kanaleid, peavad Euroopa Komisjoni õigusaktid olema „vaikimisi digitaalsed“ ehk võtma arvesse digitaalsete lahenduste kasutamist igapäevases äris ja asjaajamises. Vajalik on piisava digitaalse infrastruktuuri ja sideteenuste olemasolu mõistliku hinnaga, sh tuleb jätkuvalt vähendada ülemäära kõrgeid tasusid, mis täna võivad kaasneda kõne- või andmesideteenuste kasutamisega teises EL liikmesriigis.
Digituru arengule aitab kaasa EL-s kasutatavate standardite loomine, näiteks e-arvete ja digitaalse raamatupidamise standardid. Eesti jaoks on oluline, et standardiloomes eelistataks kõrge küberturvalisuse tasemega alternatiive.
Euroopa Komisjoni kutsutakse ka üles otsima lahendusi olukorrale, kus väiksemate ja keskustest kaugemal asuvate riikide tarbijatel pole sageli võimalik teatud kaupu või teenuseid e-poest osta, kuna tarnevõrgustik nendeni ei ulatu.
Pöördumine anti eile üle Euroopa Komisjoni peasekretär Catherine Day’le. „Ühisturumeelsed“ riigid on Tšehhi, Rootsi, Läti, Taani, Saksamaa, Malta, Holland, Suurbritannia, Rumeenia, Leedu, Eesti, Iirimaa, Soome, Poola, Sloveenia, Slovakkia.
Veebruaris pöördusid ekspordi ja impordi mahud eelmise aasta sama kuuga võrreldes kergesse langusse, mis oli põhjustatud eelkõige kaubavahetuse vähenemisest mineraalsete kütustega kolmandiku võrra. Statistikaameti andmetel kahanes eksport aastaga kaks protsenti ja import kolm protsenti. Selle aasta jaanuariga võrreldes oli langus märgatavalt suurem, vastavalt viisteist ja seitse protsenti, kuid selle taga olid paljuski eelmisel kuul toimunud ühekordsed tehingud laevadega.Kütuste ekspordi olulise languse taga oli naftasaaduste mahu vähenemine, samas näitas elektri müük välisturgudele jätkuvalt kasvu. Olulisematest kaubagruppidest mõjutasid veel ekspordi vähenemist mullusega võrreldes metallid ja metalltooted, mille väljavedu kahanes ligi viiendiku võrra. Selles grupis olid suuremad kukkujad mustmetallide jäätmed ja teras. Samal ajal suurima osatähtsusega masinate ja seadmete eksport kasvas aastaga neli protsenti, ent kasvutempo aeglustus jaanuariga võrreldes mõnevõrra. Positiivse poolepealt võib veel välja tuua keemia ja taimsete toodete ligi veerandisuurust ekspordi kasvu ning puidu ja puittoodete peaaegu viiendiku võrra suuremat väljavedu aasta varasemaga võrreldes.Eesti import on väga sõltuv ekspordinõudlusest välisturgudel, mistõttu impordis toimusid veebruaris sarnased muutused ekspordiga. Kiiremad langejad olid kütused ja metallid. Paljude teiste kaubagruppide, nagu masinate ja seadmete, keemiatoodete, toidukaupade ja jookide sissevedu oli tugeva kasvuga.Kaubavahetuse bilansi puudujääk tõusis veebruaris 105 miljoni euroni, olles kuus korda kõrgem eelnevast kuust, ent aastataguse perioodiga võrreldes oluliselt ei muutunud. Väliskaubanduse defitsiiti kasvatasid kuises võrdluses enam transpordivahendid, mineraalsed kütused ja keemiatooted.Märtsis võib prognooside kohaselt oodata ekspordi ja impordi mahtude suurenemist, samas eelmise aasta võrdlusbaas on juba märgatavalt kõrgem kui eelnevatel kuudel. Eesti Konjunktuuriinstituudi märtsi uuringus osalenud tööstusettevõtete eksporttellimuste saldo negatiivsus oli mõnevõrra vähenenud. See tulenes üle tavapärase taseme tellimustega ettevõtete osatähtsuse tõusust kolme protsendipunkti võrra 15 protsendini. Samal ajal tavalist tellimuste mahtu prognoosivate ettevõtete osatähtsus langes 54 protsendile, mis oli neli protsendipunkti vähem kui eelneval kuul. Tellimuste kahanemisest teatasid 31 protsenti vastanutest.Märtsis langes kuuga nii Euroopa Liidus tervikuna kui ka Eestis majandususaldusindeks veidi, vastavalt 0,6 punkti 91,4-ni ja 0,7 punkti 102,4 punktini. Majandususaldus oli üle ajaloolise keskmise jätkuvalt Balti riikides Lätis 105,2 (-0,9) ja Leedus 103,9 (+0,9) ning Saksamaal 100,4 (-1,6) ja Maltal 103,1. Ka meie olulisemate kaubanduspartnerite Rootsi ja Soome majandususaldusindeksid olid kõrgemad EL-i keskmisest, tõustes kuuga vastavalt 1,1 punkti 99,8-ni ja 0,5 punkti 94,3-ni.
Salve a tutti,
vorrei sottoporvi questo problema:
io avevo 2 gestori 1 eutelia per telefonate e 2 telecom per adsl, ora ho dato disdetta a eutelia con richiesta di rilascio cps, ma da quando la cps è stata risciata non riesco più a telefonare all'estero (UK,Polonia,Malta,Marocco etc), il 191 mi ha detto che non c'è nessun blocco, anche a seguito verivica nella centrale e che cercherà di risolverlo il prima possibile.
Se qualcuno di voi ne sa qualche cosa, vi ringrazio anticipatamente.
AWC > Make-up, Hair, & Fashion > BB Cream Mini-Series Part 1: Olay Fresh Effects Hello loves! Mid-June I announced my BB Cream Mini-Series. I decided to do this because I was on the hunt for a good BB Cream. I'm not a huge fan of foundation and wanted something that would simply even out my skin tone and give me a very light coverage. I unfortunately had a lot going on in my personal life and had to put the series on hold. However, I am finally ready to share the first part of the series with you.
In the intro I said that the first BB Cream I was going to try was by Revlon. When I bought it at the store I used my hand to match my skin-tone to the shade. When I got home and tried it out it was so wrong for me! It made me look ghostly. I didn't like the way the formula felt on my skin and I didn't like the way it smelled. So I decided not to buy the correct shade and move forward with it.
Right after I made that decision I received my Sunkissed Voxbox from Influenster and it had a BB Cream in it! It was like the BB Cream gods were taking pity on me! The BB Cream I received in the Voxbox is Fresh Effects by Olay. This BB Cream boasts having a one in all solution for perfect skin. They are:
Refreshes skin instantly
Brightens for a radiant glow
Evens tone with a splash of sheer color
Hydrates for 24 hours
Smoothes for softer feeling skin
Protects against UV damage with SPF 15
Thank you BB Cream gods!
I have mixed feelings about this BB Cream. It feels light on my skin which is exactly what I was looking for. I love the smell. It's so light and fresh. I think it does a good job moisturizing and hydrating my skin. After using it my skin doesn't feel dry. It also doesn't feel oily either. My biggest issue with it is that I can't really tell a difference on my skin. I've taken several before and after pictures to try to show the difference and I just don't see it. I feel like it's enough to brighten up my skin and make me look awake, but that's about it.
Another big disappointment about this cream is that it only comes in two shades. The first time I went to use it and I noticed the color I instantly thought, "There is no way this is going to blend into my skin." The color is so off I thought I had another product to add to a giveaway. Then I went on Influenster to read some reviews about and and I saw a woman with a darker complexion than mine who said that she used it and she loved it. She posted a picture of herself with it on and I couldn't even tell. So I decided to give it a try myself.
The verdict:This is a good product to use as a moisturizer and to brighten your skin on days you feel like being makeup free. It's not a good product to use if you are trying to cover blemishes or red spots.
The OES permits us to determine the number of jobs, or other data, at the intersection of an occupational group(s) and the industry(ies). The Create Customized Tables permits us one plural, either more than one occupation in an industry or more than one industry for an occupation. We can do not have to use the customized table for this occupation because the relevant industries are listed on the OES page for counter and rental clerks.
Automobile equipment rental and leasing is NAICS 532100. Rental and leasing services covers NAICS 532200, 532300, and 532400. Resorting to the Create Customized Tables permits us to verify that insight:
Occupation: Counter and Rental Clerks(SOC code 412021) Period: May 2018
Rental and Leasing Services (5322, 5323, and 5324 only)(5320A1)
Automotive Equipment Rental and Leasing(532100)
Footnotes: (1) Estimates for detailed occupations do not sum to the totals because the totals include occupations not shown separately. Estimates do not include self-employed workers.
SOC code: Standard Occupational Classification code -- see http://www.bls.gov/soc/home.htm
Data extracted on November 06, 2019
This data confirms that NAICS 532000 is the combination of NAICS 532100 and 5320A1. NAICS 5320A1 is comprised of NAICS 532200, 532300, and 532400.
Assuming JBP's eight counter and rental clerk occupations in NAICS 5320A1 industry groups and using JBP's equal distribution methodology at that intersection, the result if 5,568 jobs.
EP Data Breakdown
The EP Tables provide a list of industries within each occupational group. The table for counter and rental clerks provides those industries. Extracting the total employment line and the rental and leasing services lines, we find:
41-2021 Counter and rental clerks Employment by industry, occupation, and percent distribution, 2018 and projected 2028.
Employment in thousands. Industries with fewer than 50 jobs, confidential data, or poor-quality data are not displayed.
Just 137 of the almost 15,000 adopted people and natural mothers people on the ... Preference Register (NACPR), run by the Adoption Authority of Ireland (AAI), was ... A lot of those people might find it very difficult to register again.
1 - How did your first book change your life? How does your most recent work compare to your previous? How does it feel different?
I wish I could go back in time and ask myself this question while I was writing and revising Snail Poems, part of which were written more than five years ago. What did I think I was doing? Was there a conceptual framework? I knew what I needed, at least: a writing project that I could pursue outside of the graduate student classrooms of UC Davis. The first reading of what became Snail Poems occurred at Woolsey Heights, a Occupy-inflected house reading series in Berkeley. It was a packed house. People were there for that night’s main event: a reading by Kevin Killian, who had invited me to read with him. I remember Brent Cunningham and Juliana Spahr in attendance, two writers I adored. Seeing them there, I had to leave the crowded room before the reading; I almost puked in the bushes out front, my nerves were so exclamatory. After I was done, and Kevin had finished reciting his gorgeous essay “Activism, Gay Poetry, and AIDS in the 1980s,” Amy Berkowitzcame up to me and asked if she might publish some of the poems as a chap (as a “chap”?) for her DIY press, Mondo Bummer. It was the magic of Kevin that made my entrance into poetry-land so consequential, but it was snails, too.
2 - How did you come to poetry first, as opposed to, say, fiction or non-fiction?
I didn’t much care about or for poetry until I read Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl” in a survey class late in my undergraduate education. (This was years before I started writing anything.)I knew “Howl” craved emobodiment, and I gave the poem mine by reading it aloud, unprompted. Did this poet just write about motorcyclists getting fucked and screaming with joy? Because I was studying at UC Davis, I moved to what was at hand: the poetry of Gary Snyder. No motorcyclists there, however, but I kept looking for them. In my last quarter, I took an “advanced poetry workshop” with Joshua Clover, who asked us to pick one poet in Claudia Rankine and Lisa Sewell’s American Poets in the 21st Century to devote ourselves to. Having read “Gentle Now, Don’t Add to Heartache,” I picked Juliana Spahr. I probably wrote an awful paper about her work that quarter (sorry!) because I was graduating that quarter and was working two or three jobs, but it was a decisive turn for my writing.
3 - How long does it take to start any particular writing project? Does your writing initially come quickly, or is it a slow process? Do first drafts appear looking close to their final shape, or does your work come out of copious notes?
It turns out that it takes me several years to write my books. Even though it’s a shorter book, Snail Poems took maybe five years (in addition to the lived experiences that I drew on and that prompted the book in the first place). I’m currently working on three other manuscripts: two books of poems and a novel/memoir. So it’s slow — I guess? I see that some people are able t produce a book every year or two, and that’s just not my pace. Maybe that means my work isn’t especially timely, but that’s snails for you. There’s an argument to be made for anachronism. One of the reasons to read writers who are further along in their careers is to see how they adapt their style to conditions — whether lexical or political — that did not exist when they were inventing or refining that style.
4 - Where does a poem usually begin for you? Are you an author of short pieces that end up combining into a larger project, or are you working on a "book" from the very beginning?
Usually, a poem begins with language. Even when I’m doing more conceptual or procedural work, where else to begin but with language? I mean only that some line will occur to me, and it’s my pleasure (someone else might suggest “duty”), as a poet, to pursue where that line might go. As a student and a lover of books, I think in terms of “books.” But thinking in terms of books doesn’t help me write, and the question of whether or not this is a book (which seems like a question of quality, ultimately — is this good enough to be in book?) certainly doesn’t help at the very beginning, when there are still so many unknowns (e.g. will I care about this project next week? will someone else publish a book in this vein, freeing me from the obligation of doing so?).
5 - Are public readings part of or counter to your creative process? Are you the sort of writer who enjoys doing readings?
Readings were very helpful to the process of writing Snail Poems, which sought a perhaps ridiculous intimacy with those little creatures, snails. I’m 6’3” (6’4”?), and it’s something to see a tall guy address a tiny thing with compassion, interest, reverence, and whatever else these poems might offer. I’ve learned a lot from other poets’ readings — NourebeSe Philips, Brandon Brown, Lucas De Lima, among them — so maybe someone will learn something about my poems by hearing me read them as well. But also: Lauren Levin and I went on tour with our first books a couple days following the 2016 election. Reading our books at that time was its own experience, related to but distinct from our books circulating in the world as such. Lauren read parts of their book The Braid and pronounced the aftertaste of Reagan’s legacy as it exists in our mouths today (foul!). Often there were tears, quickening heartbeats, red faces during these readings. I didn’t enjoy these readings, but these reactions — as a index of what is possible for poetry — became part of the stakes of writing. I think about those nights when I sit down to do my poems, yes.
6 - Do you have any theoretical concerns behind your writing? What kinds of questions are you trying to answer with your work? What do you even think the current questions are?
Thank you for this very modest question. Oh my. Well, one of the questions I have for my own practice is what to do with the tension between the local and the not-local. What is the “not-local,” for example? Being a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, I think about the tension between Oakland and SF, between Oakland and Berkeley, between the Oakland I experience and the Oakland I do not. Also, how has the internet made local concerns more or less important? How do current debates about poetry get reflected or manifested within local contexts? How does the local show up in my work and the work of my peers? The Bay Area has a long history of resplendent and/or avant-garde and/or socially-engaged writing. As the resources that supported the poets and poetry within those traditions change, how will it change how we relate to our writing and one another and the political horizons of our work? I have lamented, that with the closure of Oakland’s small press Timeless Infinite Light, the Bay Area no longer has a queer press. Presses that will publish queer writers, sure, but...
7 – What do you see the current role of the writer being in larger culture? Does s/he even have one? What do you think the role of the writer should be?
The medium of poetry is language. Poets use language as a tool. This tool can do many things. It does many things imperfectly. Language is one of the tools we have. Language is a tool we have. It is a tool we have had to have. Are there limits to what we can do with it? Does it matter that our enemies also use this tool? What is the price of language?
8 - Do you find the process of working with an outside editor difficult or essential (or both)?
For Snail Poems, I was lucky to work with fellow poets on revisions for the book, the editors of Krupskaya: Brandon Brown, Jocelyn Saidenberg, and Stephanie Young. We had some amazing conversations in the process of getting the book to print. I don’t remember any difficulties. The manuscript didn’t change all that much in the process of getting it to print. But transforming Snail Poems as a product of my singular endeavor to one of collaboration and mutual support — that was quite exciting and changed how I related to the book.
9 - What is the best piece of advice you've heard (not necessarily given to you directly)?
Revise while the poem is still fresh and the ink is still wet. I’m not a great editor of my own work once it’s been settled on the page for a while, so this one has been helpful for me.
10 - How easy has it been for you to move between genres (poetry to critical prose)? What do you see as the appeal?
It’s not always easy, but it’s necessary. As a graduate student who also writes poems (once a Master’s student, now a Ph.D. candidate), what choice does one have? I keep changing my approach to creative writing — and readers can see this across the different sections of Snail Poems — in part because of the difficulty involved. It’s attractive to me. I don’t think the different forms are necessarily this accumulating display of mastery so much as different turns of a kaleidoscope, magnifying and distorting different elements within the matrix of whatever I’m working on.
11 - What kind of writing routine do you tend to keep, or do you even have one? How does a typical day (for you) begin?
12 - When your writing gets stalled, where do you turn or return for (for lack of a better word) inspiration?
I just keep reading and reading. I’ve got a hunger for finding new poets with deep catalogues. I don’t really get “writer’s block,” but that’s partially because I think the writing has to come with a genuine sense of urgency. By working on a few different writing projects at the same time, there’s almost always something I can turn to, given that I have the time to do so. I’ll also add that my most fledgling poetry project uses a voice and a form that I can turn to without much fuss. The casual voice, long lines, and more direct talk about my life afford me enough constraint and enough liberty to turn to that mode easily.
14 - David W. McFadden once said that books come from books, but are there any other forms that influence your work, whether nature, music, science or visual art?
Pop music, totally. I like to listen to one pop song for hours at a time and trance out a bit. Today I’ve been listening to Robyn’s “Honey.”
15 - What other writers or writings are important for your work, or simply your life outside of your work?
The work of my peers and my heroes. Not surprisingly, the work of New Narrative writers has been a great inspiration to me. Someone once said that Snail Poemsis a kind of New Narrative book, which tickled me. I didn’t know much about New Narrative when I wrote it, other than Kevin Killian is very generous, Dodie Bellamy is a great writer, and Robert Glück looks hot in these author photos. In general, as with pop music, I gravitate to the work of women and people who don’t identify as men. Maybe it has something to do with being gay. Maybe it has something to do with my family life. I also point to an interest in my “peers,” because, as I said, I’m interested in how other folks are reflecting on the conditions of the Bay Area in their writing.
Visually, the poems of The Odyssey performs an inversion of the cosmos, in which pinpoints of light disobey the dark veil of space. The poems become dark constellations of words suspended in a void of light, cryptic maps that guide the eye through celestial labyrinths conceived by the all-too-human impulse to seek patterns in chaos. In print, the typewritten text of the NASA source document, legible but slightly decayed due to the state of the documents at the time of their digitization, showcases the odd distressed or cracked letter. These weary glyphs call to mind the concrete poetry of derek beaulieu, who fashions textual sculptures out of scraps of letraset. Conceptually, the text performs elegiac calls to Apollo, the god of poetry, and Luna, the goddess of the Moon, who dwell in the empty spaces of the page. These poems portray Apollo and Luna as allied alien deities who consume interstellar conquerors whose voyages favour dominance over discovery. The book likens the experience of the reader of erasure to that of an astronaut, exploring a void whose minimal matter must be clung to for survival. The eye, as it migrates from letter to letter, must rely on the vectors established by the positioning of the letters, a navigation of space that the poems themselves acknowledge and comment upon. As the days of the Apollo 11 mission progress, the poems comment upon encounters with unearthly beings, conspiracies surrounding the original footage of the mission, and the sublime and humbling experience of exploring a cosmos that our human bodies struggle to grapple with despite extensive technological assistance. (“”SPACECRAFT,” from “SPACE ADMINISTRATION”)
The third in a trilogy (or perhaps ongoing exploration) of works that explore space travel via language poetry, is London, Ontario poet, editor and publisher Ken Hunt’s erasure project The Odyssey(Toronto ON: Book*hug, 2019), following on the heels of Space Administration (2014) and The Lost Cosmonauts (Book*hug, 2018) [see my review of such here]. Given his next title (announced some time ago) is The Manhattan Project (Calgary AB: University of Calgary Press, 2020), I am curious to see how that project connects to this current work; potentially through the composition of works that each explore and engage archival materials around scientific projects and advancements large enough that they became cultural touchstones: the moon landing, the ‘space race,’ and the development of the nuclear bomb that punctuated the end of the Second World War. As Hunt suggested as part of his 2018 interview at Touch the Donkey, he has been composing poems that connect to “my continuing interest in writing poetry that responds to the sciences. I suppose the poems (or rather Project Blue Book as a whole) are similar to my forthcoming manuscripts (The Lost Cosmonauts, The Odyssey, and The Manhattan Project), in that each book represents a link in a kind of chain of texts that I’m in the process of producing. In addition to pursuing a PhD thesis that investigates examples of related works of poetry from the latter half of the 20th century to the present, I find myself compelled to add my own works to the canon as well, in order to address subjects that haven’t yet received the level of poetic attention that I think their continuing sociocultural impact warrants.”
As Hunt writes, The Odyssey “performs an inversion of the cosmos,” but his constellations exist as a stunning array of lyric threads spread out across these white pages, writing: “listen // to // The temperature // drop //// a second // of // air // in // an orange dot [.]” As Homer’s Odyssey is a sequel to the Iliad, during which Odysseus seeks a way back home (after angering the god Poseidon), Hunt’s The Odyssey explores multiple designations of space, from physical space, emotional space and the space across the page through the erasure of the Apollo 11 transcripts. Removing details and technical language, Hunt pinpoints and highlights a sense of meditative solitude through any exploration beyond earth’s atmosphere, as well as the possibility of how writing can’t help but create something tangible within that impossibly-large emptiness. Through salvage, Hunt has both discovered and invented a calligraphy of the solitude of Apollo 11’s exploration, and the sheer magnitude of that same space. As he writes: “to reach the earth // we // read ////between // coordinates // ina // crater [.]” Through Hunt, the crew of the Apollo 11 not only explore, but seek their finally way home.
Macallan Double Cask 12 años Xmas Edition es una edición limitada muy exclusiva lanzada para las navidades de 2019
Uno de los seis pilares de Macallan ha inspirado este diseño distintivo de esta caja de regalo edición especial. Estos pilares son los únicos cimientos que se combinan para crear la reconcida calidad de The Macallan.
Macallan Double Cask tiene una única combinación de doble maduración en dos barricas: Barricas de Roble Europeo y Barricas de Roble Americano que han contenido Jerez Esta doble combinación consigue single malt de una extraordinaria suavidad y delicadeza.
Escondido entre colinas cubiertas de frondosos árboles y traslapado por las aguas del Ringorm Burn que descienden hasta unirse con el rio Spey, se levanta una gran casa señorial antigua, la casa Easter Elchies, la casa de "The Macallan"
La casa Easter Elchies (fechada en 1700), ha estado mas de 300 años a las orillas del rio Spey como un símbolo de la fortaleza escocesa, un monumento perdurable en el tiempo. La casa es la misma que aparece en el estuche que protege la botella de Macallan.
Registrada legalmente en 1824 con una tradición que se remonta a muchas generaciones anteriores a esta fecha, Macallan es conocido como el Whisky de Malta escocés mas apreciado.
El secreto de este Single Malt Legendario se remonta a tiempos inmemoriables, The Macallan ha sido destilado por artesanos de la misma forma, en pequeños alambiques de cobre hechos a mano mientras y después envejecidos en barricas de roble de Jerez. En Macallan esta tradición se mantiene, en otras destilerías todas estas constumbres hace tiempo que se perdieron. El resultado de esta elaboración puede comprobarse en el suntuoso color de "The Macallan", por su olfato, por su entereza.
Descrito por Paul Pacult, el internacionalmente renombrado escritor de whiskies, en su libro "Kindred Spirits" como: "simplemente el mejor single malt de 12 años que existe", The Macallan no para de recibir elogios y reconomientos. El secreto de Macallan reside en la persistente utilización de métodos e ingredientes tradicionales. El uso continuado de la fina cebada "Golden Promise" y la insistencia en el uso de finas barricas de roble son dos de los requisitos para la perfección.
Tasavallan presidentti Sauli Niinistön viranhoitoon sisältyy kekkoslovakian aikainen velvoite nimittää Kelan pääjohtaja. Valitettavasti kekkoslovakialainen tunnelma ei pääjohtajan nimityksen tapauksessa rajoitu Niinistöön. Kansaneläkelaitos on eduskunnan alainen virasto, jonka valtuustossa istuu kansanedustajia vasemmalta keskustan kautta oikealle ja vähän oikeammalle. Ennen presidentin leimaa, tulevan pääjohtajan henkilöstä päättää Kelan valtuusto moniportaisen karsinnan ja testauksen päätteeksi. Parhaillaan johtajan valinta on Kelassa […]
Информационный сайт «Пенза СМИ» посвятил статью «Родословной таблице потомков братьев Алексея и Никифора Трифоновых», изготовленной в единственном экземпляре в 1985 году одним из представителей этого рода Михаилом Гесселевичем Левиным. «Родословная таблица» хранится в фондах Государственного музея-усадьбы В. Г. Белинского; знаменитый литературный критик, скончавшийся в 1848 году в роковом для литераторов возрасте 37 лет, является, безусловно, её ключевой фигурой.
Никифор Трифонов сын, бесфамильный дед великого критика, жил в селе Белынь Нижнеломовского уезда Пензенской губернии – вотчине рязанского монастыря Аграфенина пустынь. Согласно Википедии, Никифор и его старший брат Алексей Трифонов были священниками, но в материале «Пензы СМИ» использовано более обтекаемое выражение – «они вместе служили в причте Белынской церкви». Сын Алексея Трифоновича Пётр был в той же церкви дьяконом, в 1805 году «за смертоубийственное дело» сослан в Сибирь и там умер; брат Петра Иван постригся в монахи Троице-Сканова монастыря. Сын Никифора Трифоновича Григорий учился в Тамбовской духовной семинарии, где ему присвоили фамилию «Белынский», но он бросил духовное поприще и в 1804 году поступил в Санкт-Петербургскую медико-хирургическую академию. Был выпущен военным лекарем, однако по болезни вскоре уволен со службы и стал уездным врачом в городе Чембаре Пензенской губернии; здесь он дослужился до чина коллежского асессора, дававшего право на потомственное дворянство. Его жена Мария Ивановна была дочерью шкипера. Виссарион Григорьевич, старший из их пяти детей, во время учебы в Московском университете изменил фамилию на «Белинский».
У самого Виссариона детей было трое, но двое из них умерли во младенчестве. Потомки его дочери Ольги Виссарионовны, вышедшей замуж за грека, помощника прокурора Георгия Бенсиса, живут сейчас во Франции и в Греции.
"Tutto è avvenuto mentre Trump e Farage parlavano in diretta di sanità pubblica britannica, subito dopo l'endorsement del presidente Usa a un'alleanza di Farage con il premier britannico Boris Johnson alle prossime elezioni in Regno Unito il 12 dicembre ("sareste una coppia perfetta per completare la Brexit"), affinché il leader Labour Jeremy Corbyn non vada a Downing Street ("finireste molto male con lui"). …A un certo punto Trump, mentre prova a tranquillizzare i britannici sulle future relazioni commerciali Usa-Uk dopo la Brexit, dice: "Noi non vogliamo avere niente a che fare con la vostra sanità pubblica. Parliamo soltanto di commercio, che nel vostro caso, se faceste un accordo con noi, sarebbe quattro-cinque volte più grande di adesso, e la vostra economia ne gioverebbe moltissimo. Ma oggi voi siete bloccati dall'Unione Europea, come altri Paesi nell'Ue. Anche l'Italia e altri Paesi starebbero molto meglio senza l'Unione Europea". Trump cita espressamente soltanto l'Italia, oltre al Regno Unito. "Ma se questi Paesi vogliono rimanere in Ue, ok", ha aggiunto Trump. "Ma sappiate che in Europa governano persone con le quali è molto difficile negoziare, mentre con me sarebbe tutto più facile: faremmo subito un accordo commerciale con voi".
2. Questo “spunto”, indiretto e piuttosto incline a far galoppare la fantasia, consente però di fare alcuni approfondimenti.
Ma che privilegio commerciale sarebbe ragionevolmente concedibile (tranne la “eccettuazione”, - singulatim per l’Italia rispetto al resto dell’Ue -, da un inasprimento tariffario riequilibratore degli USA, sempre all’ordine del giorno)?
Mica il Presidente Trump – e neppure qualsiasi altra Amministrazione USA, di qualunque colore -, può volere un'agevolazione, cioè un'accentuazione, del loro deficit commerciale attuale...semmai, ragionevolmente il contrario. Ed infatti:
“Nel 2018 gli Stati Uniti si posizionano al terzo posto tra i principali partner commerciali dell'Italia, con una quota sull'interscambio complessivo del 9,2% (dopo Germania e Francia) e settimo fornitore con una quota del 3,8%. (Fonte: Ministero dello Sviluppo Economico). Nel 2018 l'Italia ha esportato negli USA 42,3 miliardi di Euro registrando un aumento del +5% rispetto allo stesso periodo del 2017. Il saldo commerciale si conferma positivo per l'Italia attestandosi a 26,4 miliardi di Euro, in aumento rispetto ai 25,3 miliardi di Euro del 2017. Gli Stati Uniti sono il terzo mercato di esportazione per l'Italia, con una quota del 9,2% sul nostro export. Tra i Paesi dell'UE, L'Italia si conferma quindi il quarto fornitore degli USA dopo Germania, Regno Unito e Francia”.
3. Quello che, semmai, può rientrare nella convenienza degli Stati Uniti è l’ottenimento di condizioni istituzionali (“riforme strutturali”) per investire finanziariamente da noi: naturalmente attendendosi un’adeguata redditività, sia sui settori industriali-manifatturieri, sia con riguardo ad un mercato immobiliare che, sempre più soffocato nei valori, risulta ormai essere pervenuto a un calo di prezzi che è obiettivamente appetibile rispetto a molti altri paesi europei; paesi specialmente dell’eurozona, che vedono, al contrario, un asset bubble sia azionaria che immobiliare (per non parlare dell'overpricing dei bund...).
Sui prezzi immobiliari italiani, al contrario, si può vedere, da questo sito Usa, l'effetto sui prezzi, - e sul patrimonio degli italiani, nonché sulle garanzie dei crediti bancari,- della "cura Monti" (la discesa nel 2019 continua...):
4. Quest'ultimo aspetto, delle proiezioni concrete e delle modalità di rafforzamento della convenienza Usaa creare un ponte privilegiato con l’Italia, rimane sullo sfondo, date le condizioni in cui si è espresso il Presidente Trump.
Nondimeno, una logica abbastanza stringente, consegue dalle sue parole e dal contesto di politiche commerciali e valutarie che gli Usa si trovano a dover intraprendere con decisione.
Dando per buono lo scenario(lo abbiamo visto qui: spostamento dei capitali Usa su assetdell’eurozona, con propensione particolare per l’Italia, data la sua condizione di paese patrimonializzato ma “sottoprezzato” a livelli che lo differenziano dal resto dei paesi “core” dell’eurozona), questo ha delle conseguenze di portata oggi scarsamente immaginata; seppure altamente immaginabile.
E rappresenta una opportunità forse epocale.
La linea di correzione, economico-industriale, commerciale e valutaria propizia agli Stati Uniti (qui, p.1), potrebbe infatti agevolare la soluzione di molti nostri problemi, ormai incancreniti dentro il regime soffocante dell’eurozona a trazione tedesca.
4.1. L’appetibilità (specialmente ai prezzi attuali) di assets italiani da parte dei capitali Usa, ha bisogno, come strategia di medio-lungo periodo, di limitare il rischio di cambio. E ciò potrebbe preludere ad un aggancio di cambio concordato con il dollaro.
I capitali Usa investirebbero senza rischio valutario e noi potremmo uscire dall’eurozona con una presumibile adeguata protezione (e convenienza) da parte delle “mani forti” americane, a non subire svalutazioni speculative di ritorsione a fronte del recupero della sovranità monetaria. Per quanto soggetta a un peg che, date le condizioni concordate che si potrebbero spuntare, non risulta oggi così impraticabile e, nel periodo, insostenibile. Basti considerare anche solo i più recenti rispettivi andamenti dell’inflazione
E quella italiana:
4.2. E tutto sommato, questa sostenibilità trova anche un riflesso di lungo periodo, se si considera quanto accaduto a partire dall’entrata a regime dell’euro:
Notare come l’inflazione italiana, a partire dagli effetti “ristrutturanti”(e quindi non semplicemente congiunturali) della cura Monti-Letta, cioè dalla seconda parte del 2013, sia costantemente più bassa di quella Usa. Essendosi, notoriamente, anche “riassorbito” l’effetto reflazionista parziale tentato con la “fiammata” del QE. Nel settembre 2019, il dato italiano scende, su base annuale, addirittura allo 0,2% (ultimo bollettino Eurostat), indicando che, al di fuori di interventi “unconventional” della BCE, il tasso di inflazione italiano si configura come strutturalmente più basso che negli Usa.
5. Certo, questa strategia, sicuramente piena di rischi per il nostro modello di specializzazione economica nonché costituzionale (ma esiste ancora?), è una versione (temperata) dell'irlandesizzazione: la quale si porta dietro, in teoria, il peso dell’agenda FMI. Ma anche questa agenda deve "tecnicamente" scontare, allo stato istituzionale delle cose, l’appartenenza italiana all’eurozona e presenterebbe dei margini di ricalibratura in un nuovo scenario istituzionale.
La suggestiva soluzione che potrebbe derivarsi dalle parole di Trump, però, ci darebbe una prospettiva molto più sostenibile dell'applicazione "pura" delle soluzioni FMI.
Irlandesizzazione, sì…ma con un vantaggio peculiare: l’aggancio al dollaro, previa uscita dall’eurozona, e probabilmente con uno sganciamento dall’Ue (negoziabile in un quadro geopolitico molto più “solido”), ci sottrarrebbe al complesso delle sue ingombranti regole, modellate sulla convenienza del mercantilismo tedesco, - tra l’altro, particolarmente impenetrabile all’investimento estero.
Nella sua evoluzione logica, questo possibile assetto, implica inoltre anche un aggancio alla tendenza svalutativa di medio-lungo periodo degli stessi Usa. Il che sarebbe doppiamente risolutivo: non solo renderebbe irrilevante un nostro riallineamento rispetto all’euro-marco in termini di importazioni di petrolio e materie prime in generale, ma stabilizzerebbe nel tempo un nostro recupero della competitività di prezzo, rilanciando implicitamente, ma necessariamente, la nostra vocazione manifatturiera.
Solo che, in questa forma (geo-politicamente “clamorosa”), esigerebbe una classe dirigente italiana che abbia visione e guts...e siamo alle solite.
6. Tra l'altro, considerata la (incredibile) ostinazione francese a competere coi tedeschi, e quindi a giocarsi la partita politico-continentale privilegiando il sogno dell’unione monetaria coi tedeschi, una soluzione del genere ribalterebbe, entro pochi anni, il senso dell'attuale fusione FCA-Peugeot. Che Mario Giordano, allo stato, vede così
Ma non sarei così drasticamente pessimista (fattori politici interni a parte...naturalmente).
Anzitutto, già ora, gli stabilimenti italiani godono di minor sindacalizzazione e tendenza a scioperare, nonché di livelli salariali nettamente più bassi di quelli francesi;la differenza media del costo del lavoro lordo, tra Francia e Italia, è attualmente di circa il 26%:
How much money does a person working in Factory and Manufacturing make in France?
3,970 EUR per month
Average Monthly Salary
A person working in Factory and Manufacturing in France typically earns around 3,970 EUR per month.
Assembly Line Worker
Assistance Maintenance Manager
Assistant Shipping Manager
7. Una tendenza svalutativa prolungata, (legata ad una nostra divisa agganciata al dollaro) ci renderebbe addirittura un conveniente hubdi delocalizzazione della produzione francese.
E persino la governance potrebbe essere rimessa in discussione; non secondariamente dal potenziale subentrare di fondi USA nell'azionariato del nuovo gruppo. Sarebbe un investimento con ottime prospettive e con ricadute favorevoli pure sugli USA-Chrisler, considerando il ruolo fondamentale dei brand e degli stabilimenti statunitensi in CFA e l’interesse Usa a non subire policies di ridimensionamento occupazionale.
Certo i francesi opporrebbero golden-share/power (disponendo lo Stato di una quota del 6% nel gruppo ora costituito); ma avrebbero una "gatta da pelare", in termini di ritorsioni commerciali (sulla gran parte delle loro fondamentali esportazioni verso gli Usa) troppo grossa pure per una figura ambiziosa come Macron.
E questa è solo una esemplificazione delle “proiezioni”, economico-industriali, di questa soluzione…valutaria e finanziaria a epicentro Usa.
KOOVEE löysi tehoja laajalta rintamalta peräti seitsemän eri pelaajan onnistuttua maalinteossa ottelussa Peliittoja vastaan. Illan tehomieheksi nousi pisteet 1+2 iskenyt Jimi Kuronen. Lopputulos Tampereella 7-1.
The front: The photographer caught Peters in a happy moment at spring training.
The back: Peters pinch-hit for Mark Wagner and struck out against Ron Guidry in his major league debut.
The player: 1980 was Peters’s best season as a major leaguer. He missed the entire 1982 season with nerve damage in his elbow, and played sparingly for the A’s in 1983 and again briefly in 1986. Overall, in 307 major league games, he hit .277 with 2 HR, 80 RBI and 20 SB.
The man: Peters has coached at both the professional and youth levels. More recently he had a computer-repair business in Arizona.
My collection: I have eight of his cards, from 1981 to 1984. I would be interested in trading for 1986 Mother’s Cookies #24.
Historical Fiction Virtual Blog Tours Presents…
The Highlander’s Christmas Bride
By Vanessa Kelly
In bestselling author Vanessa Kelly’s irresistible Clan Kendrick series, Christmas in the Highlands means family, celebration—and for one brother, the beginning of a passionate adventure . . .
Being thrown over by the man she expected to marry was humiliating enough. Now that Donella Haddon, grandniece of the Earl of Riddick, has also proven a failure as a nun, she has no choice but to return to her family’s estate. The brawny Highlander sent to escort her is brash, handsome, and the only thing standing between Donella and a gang of would-be kidnappers. But the scandal in her past can’t be so easily outrun . . .
Wealthy widower Logan Kendrick was expecting to meet a plain, pious spinster—not a gorgeous, sharp-tongued lass who can hold her own in any ambush. Though she’s known as the Flower of Clan Graham, Donella is no shrinking violet. In fact, she might be the perfect woman to bring happiness back to his lonely little son’s life, just in time for Christmas. But first he must protect her from ugly gossip and a mysterious threat—and convince her that their wild, unexpected desire is heaven sent.
During the Blog Tour, we are giving away signed copies of THE HIGHLANDER’S PRINCESS BRIDE and THE HIGHLANDER WHO PROTECTED ME + a $20 Amazon gift card! You can enter the Giveaway HERE!
• Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on November 12th. You must be 18 or older to enter. • Paperback giveaway is open internationally. • Only one entry per household. • All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. • The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.
Vanessa Kelly is a USA Today Bestselling, award-winning author who was named by Booklist, the review journal of the American Library Association, as one of the “New Stars of Historical Romance.” Her Regency-set historical romances have been nominated in a number of contests, and she has won multiple awards, including the prestigious Maggie Medallion for Best Historical Romance. Her books have been published in nine languages.
Vanessa’s latest book, The Highlander Who Protected Me, was a USA Today, Barnes & Noble, and BookScan bestseller. Her Renegade Royals Series was a national bestseller, as was The Improper Princesses Series. My Fair Princess was named a Goodreads Romance of the Month and is a USA Today and BookScan bestseller. The Highlander’s Princess Bride, book 3 in the series, was a Barnes and Noble top 50 bestseller.
When she’s not dreaming of plots for her next Regency novel, Vanessa is writing USA Today Bestselling books with her husband, under the pen name of V.K. Sykes.
Owain Glyndŵr was the last native-born Prince of Wales, and died some time around 1415. I write Regency Romances, so how can a Welsh freedom fighter have inspired a light-hearted romance?
The man first crossed my path, in a manner of speaking, when I was studying for my English Literature O level (for non-Brits, or Brits a good deal younger than me, O levels were formal qualifications taken at the age of 16). We had to study at least one Shakespeare play, and ours was Henry IV Part 1. In that play, much is made of the rivalry between 3 men of similar age – Prince Hal (later to become Henry V), Hotspur (Sir Henry Percy) and Owen Glendower (the anglicised spelling of Glyndŵr’s name). In the play, Glyndŵr is presented as a magician who can control the weather – having experienced some bad weather in Wales, I can understand why the English may have thought this!
The real man
Corwen’s statue of Owain Glyndŵr / Ian West.
In reality, Glyndŵr was a descendent of the Princes of Powys. He instigated a Welsh Revolt against Henry IV; there are differing explanations of the initial cause of this rebellion. Over a period of several years he gradually took control of Wales, and in 1404 he called his first parliament at Machynlleth and had himself crowned Prince of Wales. Then Prince Henry changed the English strategy from military expeditions into Wales to economic blockade, and this gradually succeeded. His last successful raid was in 1412.
Glyndŵr’s Parliament House in Machynlleth, pictured in 1814.
He was never seen again by his enemies after that. He was never captured or betrayed, in spite of rewards being offered by the English. His final fate and grave are unknown, although there are various theories about how he spent his last days.
A story is born
Today, Glyndŵr is recognised as a national hero, and this is where I come back into the story. One of my hobbies is doing long distance walks with my partner and a friend. There is a 9 day walk across Wales called the Glyndŵr Way, linking some places associated with him. At one point, huddling in a wood in the cold and wet to eat a bit of lunch, we found a historical notice board explaining that a Welsh army had seen off English forces here, assisted by the weather. It seemed most appropriate.
It was on that same holiday, when my thoughts were wandering as they do at such times, that I contemplated mentions of Wales in historical romances. In one of Georgette Heyer’s novels (Faro’s Daughter), a secondary character is sent off to an aunt in Wales to keep her out of the clutches of the unpleasant suitor her father has lined up for her. The implication is that the aunt is a force to be reckoned with. In other tales, heroines are threatened with being sent to their aunt in Wales as a punishment for misdeeds (refusing offers of marriage, or wanting to accept the wrong ones).
Then I started to wonder, what if the aunt in Wales was not quite what anyone expected? And so a story was born. I also love the Welsh countryside, and leapt at the chance to describe some of it as part of my story. Glyndŵr gets a very short mention!
Autumnal scenery in mid Wales.
An Embroidered Spoon
By Jayne Davis
After refusing every offer of marriage that comes her way, Isolde Farrington is packed off to a spinster aunt in Wales until she comes to her senses.
Rhys Williams, there on business, is turning over his uncle’s choice of bride for him, and the last thing he needs is to fall for an impertinent miss like Izzy – who takes Rhys for a yokel.
Izzy’s new surroundings make her look at life, and Rhys, afresh. But when her father, Lord Bedley, discovers that the situation in Wales is not what he thought, and that Rhys is in trade, a gulf opens for a pair who’ve come to love each other.
Jayne Davis writes historical romances set in the late Georgian/Regency era, published as both ebooks and paperbacks.
She was hooked on Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer as a teenager, and longed to write similar novels herself. Real life intervened, and she had several careers, including as a non-fiction author under another name. That wasn't quite the writing career she had in mind...
Finally, she got around to polishing up stories written for her own amusement in long winter evenings, and became the kind of author she’d dreamed of in her teens. She is now working on the first few books in the Marstone Series, set in the late Georgian/early Regency period, but keeps getting distracted by other story ideas.
Hi Mary Anne, and thank you so much for hosting me on your blog today, ahead of the launch of The Raided Heart, released on 15th November, but available on pre-order now, here.
First, let me tempt you in with the blurb…
Meg Mathers, the headstrong youngest sibling of a reiving family on the English-Scottish border, is determined to remain at her childhood home, caring for the land and village she’s grown up with. When an accident brings her a broken ankle and six weeks in the resentful company of ambitious and angry young reiver Will Hetherington, attraction starts to build. Both begin to realise they might have met their match, and the love of their lives, but 15th century border living is not that simple, as Meg soon finds herself betrothed to the weakling son of a tyrannical neighbour, Alexander Gray. When tragedy strikes, can Meg and Will find their way back to each other, and can Will finally take his own personal revenge on Gray?
The Raided Heart is the first of "The Historic Hearts", a collection of historical romantic adventures set in Scotland and the North of England.
I know all published books are special to their authors, but for me, I would have to confess to having ‘joint favourites’! Although Kindred Spirits: Tower of London was the first book I was lucky enough to have accepted and published, The Raided Heartis the first novel I ever wrote, back when I was 13, inspired by the stunning Carnasserie Castle, not far from Oban.
It’s gone through some major changes since that first draft, not least a shift in the setting from 1530s Scotland to 1470s Northumberland, and the world of the border reivers. The reivers, for those who aren’t familiar with their history, were groups of families who lived along the England-Scotland border, and infamous for their raids into enemy territory, stealing livestock, kidnapping and thieving for a living. They were a hardy bunch, but full of character (and characters), and as I was living in Northumberland when I wrote the latest draft of the book, I decided it would be great to bring the two elements together. Will and Meg haven’t changed much since their first incarnation, but the world around them certainly has.
This is the first full-length novel I’ve published which doesn’t have the fall-back of ghosts of time-travel, and although I loved undertaking the research, it was certainly challenging, making sure there were no anachronisms creeping in. As well as inadvertent plagiarism! It’s fair to say that for 13 year old me, Robin Hood: Prince of Thievesand The Princess Bride were definitely strong reference points for inspiration, and during one key scene, I had to completely rewrite a sword-fight, having accidentally paraphrased perhaps one of the most famous sword-fight-based lines in cinema history…
After all this time in the making, it feels slightly terrifying to be letting it out ‘into the wild’, but I know it’s time to let it spread its wings, and I hope people enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. To tempt you in further though, here’s a snippet from the first chapter:
Long Ridge, Northumberland, October 1471
The dark still wasn’t moving.
Meg Mathers stood at the window of the family’s bastle, trying to pick out any hint of movement, friend or foe, against the blue-black of the night, but there was none to be found. It had been hours since the men had ridden out – it couldn’t be much longer now. Without looking down, she polished the pewter dish in her hand once again; she didn’t know how many times she had cleaned it already that night, but she couldn’t stop. Just as she knew that behind her, Hannah Carstairs and Lizzie Wilkinson would be equally lost in equally meaningless repetition.
Behind each dot of light in the cottages beyond the enclosure’s defensive wall, it would be the same. The women, the old, the young and the infirm, each finding their own way to pass the hours until fathers, husbands, brothers and sons were safely returned to them. None were aware of what they were doing; the cloth in Meg’s hand could rub away to nothing and the fact wouldn’t have registered. At least it felt productive.
As much as Meg hated seeing them go on each raid, it was a necessity this time. One more failed try, and the dreaded possibility of over-winter starvation might just become their reality. Meat was already running low.
She kept staring into the dark.
“Come on lad, we can make it!” Robert Mathers yelled at the top of his voice.
Will Hetherington was uncertain whether his leader was encouraging his horse, himself, or Will. It didn’t really matter; either way, they needed to speed up. In the muddle of hooves, equine and bovine, Will was no longer sure whether the horses he could hear were just from their own gang, or if they were being pursued by their victims. Seven fat cattle were certainly a prize worth chasing after, if the farm had noticed their theft.
He wanted to stop, to allow Robert to take stock, to check the hilltops which surrounded them for beacons, or the tiny dots of flaming peat cuts (the sure sign they were being pursued), to check whether they might be heading into a trap, but there was no time. Long Ridge was still miles away by his reckoning, and only then if they stayed on the right path – easier said than done in the race to safety from a raid, in the dead of night, and with just a hint of fear constantly at the back of your mind. He trusted the two brothers leading them, but mistakes could still happen. He was far too aware of that.
Will blinked away the memories which threatened to return. He had to focus, this was no time to wallow.
Jennifer C. Wilson is a marine biologist by training, who developed an equal passion for history and historical fiction whilst stalking Mary, Queen of Scots on childhood holidays (she has since moved on to Richard III). Enrolling on an adult education workshop on her return to the north-east of England for work reignited her pastime of creative writing, and she has been filling notebooks ever since.
In 2014, Jennifer won the Story Tyne short story competition, and has been working on a number of projects since, including co-hosting the North Tyneside Writers’ Circle. Her Kindred Spiritsnovels are published by Crooked Cat Books and her timeslip novella, The Last Plantagenet?, through Ocelot Press. The Raided Heart is the first in a new collection of historical romances.
She lives in North Tyneside, and is very proud of her approximately 2-inch view of the North Sea.
Lexington, Kentucky, 1859. After saving John Hunt Morgan from a puma attack, fifteen-year-old farm boy Will Crump joins Hunt’s militia, the Lexington Rifles. Morgan mentors Will and enrolls him in the local university, where he hopes to study law. As tensions rise between the North and South, Will is torn between his loyalty to Morgan and his love for his family. Will’s father, sisters, and sweetheart follow the Union, while Morgan and Will commit to the South. As part of Morgan’s band, Will participates in ambushes and unconventional warfare until his first real battle at Shiloh. He fights bravely, but increasingly questions what the war is accomplishing, and whether his devotion to honor has led him astray. And where is God in all this killing?
Will’s sister Albinia, friend of the Clay family, becomes increasingly aware of the plight of the slaves. When she finds Luther, a slave she knows, trying to escape, she must decide between her conscience, and her friends. She becomes involved in the Underground Railroad, helping slaves to freedom – but will it cost her love and her freedom?
Will’s other sister, Julia, is approaching spinster status and despairs of ever meeting a man who can give her more than life on a farm until she meets Hiram Johannsen, a son of immigrants who owns a steamship company. They marry and she makes a new life in the North. When Hiram answers the call to fight for the North, Julia runs the steamboat company in her husband’s absence and uses her boats to help Albinia ferry escaped slaves to freedom. Her business relations put her in the perfect position to spy for the North. When the Confederates capture her, will she survive?
Luther is one of the first slaves Albinia helps flee the South after his master cruelly abuses his mother and sister. He escapes with his family, and when war breaks out, he fights for the North as an auxiliary of the Third Ohio Cavalry, alongside Julia’s husband, Hiram, and against Morgan and Will. Luther has to confront the demons of his past, an abusive master, and a slave catcher that kills his little sister. Will the desire for revenge destroy him?
Throughout the war, Will is forced to examine and question everything he believes in—his faith in God, his love for his family, his loyalty to Morgan, and his worth as a human being.
Will and his family must somehow mend the torn fabric of relationships to find peace, and reach Across the Great Divide.
Praise for Across the Great Divide
“Ross’s gripping story follows a Kentucky family of modest means and the enslaved people they helped toward freedom. The depictions of slavery ring true, and the use of both historical and fictional characters fills out the probable feelings of people attaining liberty in the bloodiest of all our wars.”
Daniel C. Snell, Ph.D., emeritus professor, University of Oklahoma, and scholar of the history of slavery.
“Like a great roller coaster, Michael Ross’ debut novel goes up and down with personal crises and national conflict, but it also twists about unexpectedly from character to memorable character in a sprawling story of the Civil War. Will, an earnest young man whose faith and honor sometimes put him at odds with those he loves, is caught up in the struggles of a country grappling with its own destiny. The issues that compel and separate people in ‘neutral’ Kentucky as the war breaks out echo our own era. We, too, are caught in a great divide. If you love a good story pulled from history, and if you are person of faith, you will find it hard to put down “The Great Divide” until the last page.”
Daniel A. Brown, PhD, Author of “Embracing Grace,” Pastor, International Speaker.
He woke to shouting, followed by gunfire. All around him, men were hastily mounting up, leaving everything but weapons behind. It was still dark and raining hard.
“Federals! We’re under attack!”
Fear gave Will speed, and he quickly mounted. A minie ball whizzed through the tent where he had just been sleeping. Others in his company fell back to a stone fence, dismounted, and prepared to return fire. Will joined them.
Crouching behind the stones for cover, he loaded the Springfield, and fired just below the muzzle flashes of the Federals. Another company of Raiders on their right joined the fight, but there was no order. Will wondered how long it would be before the Federals surrounded them. A few brave ones decided to mount a running charge, but fell before a volley.
Suddenly Morgan rode up on his black mare and rallied the troops. Everyone took heart at seeing their commander. Morgan ordered them to hold their fire and let the Federals approach. After a minute or so of quiet, the Federals grew confident and surged forward. At about forty yards, Morgan ordered “Fire!” The Federals fell, and those still alive retreated. A few on horseback couldn’t stop, and rode in among the Raiders. The Raiders took these prisoners, including a parson and the colonel of the regiment.
“Please, sirs, let me return to my regiment,” pled the parson. “I must pray for them.”
Another of Will’s company spoke up, “The hell you say! Don’t Morgan’s men need prayin’ for just as much?”
During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a paperback copy of Across the Great Divide!
• Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on November 7th. You must be 18 or older to enter. • Paperback giveaway is open internationally. • Only one entry per household. • All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. • The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.
Michael Ross is a lover of history and great stories. He’s a retired software engineer turned author, with three children and five grandchildren, living in Newton, Kansas with his wife of thirty-eight years. He was born in Lubbock, Texas, and still loves Texas. The main character of “Across the Great Divide”, William Dorsey Crump, is one of the founders of Lubbock and Shallowater, Texas. Michael knew Will’s granddaughter when he was a child. He has written a scholarly article on Will Crump for the Texas Historical Society, published in the Handbook of Texas Online, and has sold short stories in the past. This is his first novel and the first in the Across the Great Divide series.
Michael attended Rice University as an undergraduate, and Portland State University for his graduate degree. He has degrees in computer science, software engineering, and German. In his spare time, Michael loves to go fishing, riding horses, and play with his grandchildren, who are currently all under six years old.
He sees many parallels between the time of the Civil War and our divided nation of today. Sanctuary cities, immigration, arguments around the holiday table, threats of secession – all are nothing new. Sometimes, to understand the present, you have to look at the past- and reach Across the Great Divide.
PN MP Robert Cutajar has hit out at Infrastructure Malta over an announcement that part of the Mellieha bypass will need to be redone, since the bypass was constructed in 2018, highlighting that the authority is taking people for a ride by only realising now that new underground pipes are needed.
Infrastructure Malta, on Facebook, wrote: "This week, our contractors are starting repairs of the Mellieha Bypass (Louis Wettinger Road). Parts of this road's surface, which was rebuilt in 2018, did not meet our quality standards and needs to be redone. After consulting the Mellieha Local Council, we are also installing a new underground pipeline to reinforce the road's storm water system with new catchments. Some lanes may be closed during works. Weather permitting, all repairs will be ready by next month. Thank you for your cooperation."
Commenting on the situation, Cutajar said that Infrastructure Malta continued to try and take people for a ride. "Today they are realising that they had to install new pipes... a year after they stole part of the bypass and spent €2 million to still have conducted defective works. Feel ashamed."
Asked what he referred to when saying that part of the bypass had been stolen, he said he was referring to a service road being constructed to service a private development. Cutajar said that this case is still pending before the Ombudsman. The Environment Commissioner within the Office of the Ombudsman had originally dismissed the case, however Cutajar asked that it be reconsidered and the Ombudsman accepted. The decision on the case is still pending, Cutajar explained.
The PN will not nominate another representative to replace Marthese Portelli on the Planning Authority Board, a spokesperson for the party told The Malta Independent.
The reason for this, the PN spokesperson said, was that "the PA has become an entity which does not respect the people. It is clear that the PA, like other institutions, has been taken over by forces and people who completely ignore the common good, work for personal interests and care only for their political conveniences, obligations and personal friendships. We are here facing a systematic institutional breakdown, and the PN shall not be part of it -this is a matter of principle, because people matter."
Last week, Portelli resigned from the board, from which members are paid a monthly fixed remuneration, making the argument that "there is a systemised institutional breakdown within the Planning Authority."
In her resignation letter Portelli, said that she is not willing to participate in an entity that does not show respect to the people. The resignation, which was endorsed by party leader Adrian Delia, came after the PA board approved a controversial permit for a disused rural room in Qala to be turned into a sprawling villa. Marthese Portelli, along with the Board Chairman, ERA and eNGO representative voted against. The developer has since said he is withdrawing the application but NGOs have pointed out the permit is, in the meantime, still valid.
The MP has recently also highlighted certain issues she has with MPs sitting on boards in general.
Speaking with this newsroom, she said: "I do not believe that MPs should sit on boards. Our role is to legislate and to ensure proper governance which also includes the pushing for the revision of outdated policies and the introduction of new policies in the interest of the common good. Some may point out that one's vote on the Planning Board will show clearly the party's position - true, but that can also be conveyed through one's role in Parliament. I would prefer having a system where MPs are free to say what they believe in through their parliamentary seat, rather than to be shackled by sitting on the Board, especially in view of a recent court judgment which implies that voicing one's opinion prior to the hearing should lead to a recusal of such member. Whether I agree with that judgment or not is another matter for discussion, but ultimately that is what it is saying."
"On the basis of this court judgement, I was not free to criticise a permit before it appeared before the Planning Board. If I were to voice my opinion publicly prior to the actual hearing, it could well be the case that I would be giving ammunition to whoever wants to appeal on the basis that, because I spoke about the case publicly before it was decided, I could have preconditioned or influenced the other board members prematurely."
"Furthermore, what should one do when one is faced with a permit which is fully in line with policy, but that policy is in dire need of review? Should the vote be in favour of those who have a legitimate interest being given by the policy or should one take into consideration that it needs review? The role of the MP should be push for a better Malta, and not to be caught between these conflicting situations."
Regarding her actual reason for her resignation, she said that the Planning Authority is made up of many people all of whom have a bearing on a permit, from case officers, to their superiors, to the voting board members. "It is all about having people with integrity in place, who have good morals and a strong conscience, while also understanding and knowing the subject."
Asked if she believes there needs to be any regulation changes, through her experience within the board, Portelli said that "ultimately one could have the best good governance procedures in the world, and the best laws in place, but if there are forces and people who completely ignore the common good, work for personal interests and care only for their political conveniences, obligations and personal friendships, if the people who need to implement those policies and laws have no idea what they say, have no moral conscience,aren't of good character and easily succumb to pressure, then it is useless having the good governance procedures and laws. So ultimately it boils down to the people themselves. I resigned to send a clear message. I am not willing to form part of a board that is part of a systematic institutional breakdown."
Ryan Callus resigns from Lands Authority board
Portelli is not the only PN MP who resigned from a board recently. Just yesterday, Ryan Callus resigned from the Lands Authority Board. The decision was taken in agreement with the Opposition Leader, Adrian Delia, a PN statement said.
Callus resigned "because of unprecedented interference by the government in the board's functions and that of the authority, and after the government shifted the taking of decisions from being under the board's responsibility and gave them to Land Authority chairman James Piscopo," the PN said.
The PN said that Piscopo is very close to the Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri. In these circumstances, the PN felt it could not be an accomplice in manoeuvres intended solely for the benefit of the few to the detriment of the rest of the population. Malta belongs to the people, not to Muscat and Schembri, the PN said.
The government has reacted to these resignations. "The Nationalist Party is playing a dangerous political game that is aimed at undermining the country's institutions," the Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Ministry said. The ministry said the Opposition lacks credibility in its claims.
"On 29 October, Callus had shown his disagreement to what a PN colleague had previously stated in Parliament - that parties should no longer be represented on the Planning Authority and Lands Authority. Callus had justified this by saying that the opposition should be there to ensure transparency. Callus had resigned because of changes to the functions of the Lands Authority CEO, which were made three months ago. But his statement defending his right to be on the authority board came after the changes to the CEO's functions," the ministry pointed out.
The ministry said it welcomed constructive criticism and hoped that the Opposition was coherent in its position
Two environment NGO’s, Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar (FAA) and Ramblers Association, have called for the resignation of the chairperson of the PA’s Planning Commission (ODZ), Elizabeth Ellul, as well as for the setting up of a separate chapter in the Constitution which deals solely on the protection of heritage and the environment.
“The Iz-Zejjed Kollu Zejjed protest was not our last one and people are fed up and are rebelling against the construction taking place on the island,” said FAA coordinator Astrid Vella.
She explained that people are not saying that there should not be any form of development, but the way things are being done is causing a number of physical and mental problems. There is a higher rate of children suffering from asthma, and more noise and air pollution is affecting the quality of life of the Maltese and Gozitans.
Vella said that FAA is requesting a separate chapter to be added to the Constitution, specifically dealing with the protection of Malta’s heritage, environment and historical landscapes.
Ingram Bondin from the Ramblers Association said that the authority is ignoring its duty to safeguard the environment and heritage. He said that Ellul, who is also a member on the Planning Authority Board, “has a duty to follow the constitution and the objectives of the authority, but failed completely in safeguarding our country.”
Elizabeth Ellul (left), and PA Chairman Vince Cassar
As a result, FAA and Ramblers Association are calling for her resignation. He explained that Ellul had written the rural policy and guidelines which allow development in ODZ. When such guidelines came out in 2014 for a public consultation, the majority of NGO’s participated in the public consultation exercise and provided their output, he added.
“It was clear that such policies would only add another new loophole allowing development in ODZ areas,” he explained. He said that, regardless of the public consultation, Ellul forged ahead with the original proposals. “We do not believe that Ellul is credible for such a position and to write new guidelines on this topic, as she herself misinterprets her own policies to allow such projects to continue,” said Bondin.
He described this as an old-trick of past administrations and that history is continuously repeating itself. “Our mission statement is for the authority to protect the heritage in the interest of the community, and of developers.”
Appeal to PM
Paul Cardona, Chairman of FAA, said the Maltese constitution highlights that the environment must be protected and yet, in the same chapter of the constitution, the responsible minister is allowed to grant permission to “write over” the constitution to provide to their clients. He said that this paragraph should be removed, as no one should have the power to be over the Constitution.
“I also appeal to our Prime Minister Joseph Muscat; all this is happening under your watch. I wish to remind the Prime Minister that on 19 July 2006, the FAA and Ramblers held a protest in front of Parliament. At the front of that protest, there was an MEP called Joseph Muscat. Is this the same Joseph Muscat, who took part in our protest?”
He said that the health of the population and the future generations are at risk if steps are not taken and the constitution is changed.
The Proposal by Integra and Aditus to decriminalise the Sex Industry is a gift to pimps and traffickers and would turn Malta into a haven for Sex Tourism and increase sex trafficking, a multi-disciplinary Coalition comprising over forty organisations who work in the area of prostitution, trafficking, equality and human rights, said.
"Integra and Aditus, largely focus on promoting the rights of migrants and the LGBTIQ. They should know that opening up the sex industry will not protect vulnerable people, but will increase the number abuses against vulnerable people and the incidence of trafficked victims. The relatively small number of transgender people and migrants entering prostitution, often do so not as a result of a free choice, but through desperation. This is not demonstrable agency and autonomy, but duress and coercion of circumstance, if not people."
"Instead of completely legalising prostitution, we should unite to address the deficits in society that produce that desperation. We should work together to and ensure everyone has equal access to legal and decent employment. We must not open up the sex industry for this small minority of people at the expense of the overwhelming majority of vulnerable and exploited people."
"If implemented, the Integra/aditus proposal will have devastating long terms physical and mental health repercussions on all prostituted persons, including those involved from the LGBTIQ and migrant communities. Prostitution can never be equated to a 'normal' job, a body can never been adequately protected as a 'place of work'."
Regulation of the sex industry has without exception, failed to deliver its promised improvements to both the health of and conditions for women, the coalition said. "Evidence in these countries proves unequivocally that conditions for women in regulated prostitution industries are far worse."
"In terms of public health, and on the premise of avoiding the spread of disease, compulsory medical testing of prostituted people is often required by law legalising prostitution. What this fails to realise is that diseases like HIV and STDs are overwhelmingly transmitted by men to women during intercourse. Yet, there are no requirements for male sex buyers to submit to disease control testing. Also, the incubation period of some diseases will give false negative results that present further health risks."
"The model advocated by the Coalition has been found to be the best model that protects the health and safety of the prostituted person as it shifts the power from the buyer, who has full rights when buying in a decriminalised environment, to the seller. In all countries that have decriminalised prostitution, the sex industry expanded rapidly and the demand for prostitutes has not been meet with the supply of 'voluntary' prostitutes, locally. In every country where this happened, many foreign women, the vast majority of whom are poor and desperate; are lured, tricked or trafficked into more affluent countries to keep the sex industry going. This raises class and race issues which are tolerated in a neo liberal economy that prioritises money over the well-being of those caught in the web of prostitution."
"This was clearly the case in Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, and New Zealand which have all seen significant increases in trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation. All these countries are now scrambling to control and reverse the disastrous consequences of their legislative mistakes. Integra and Aditus incorrectly assert that prostitution and trafficking are divisible - they are not."
Malta is at the cross roads and should learn from the mistakes made in other countries rather than fall into the same trap and suffer the same devastating consequences, they said. The entities supporting the equality model and its attendant proposals are endorsed by the following organisations, leading figures and activists:
Association for Equality (A4E), Attard Ladies Cultural Club (ALCC), Azzjoni Kattolika Maltija (AKM), Caritas, Dar Hosea, Dar Merhba Bik, Department of Gender Studies (UOM), Department of Social Policy and Social Work (UOM), emPOWer Platform, Business and Professional Women (Valletta) Malta (BPW), Foundation for Women Entrepreneurs Malta (FWE), Malta Association of Women in Business (MAWB), Malta Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society (MFWS), National Centre for Family Research, National Observatory for Living with Dignity, National Institute for Childhood, Malta Girl Guides (MGG), Moviment Nisa' Partit Nazzjonalista (MNPN), National Council of Women (NCW), Soroptimists International Malta (SI), Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), Faculty of Theology (UOM), Ghaqda Studenti tat-Teologija, Good Shepherd Sisters, Justice and Peace Commission, Local Councils' Association, Malta Association of Public Health Medicine (MAPHM), Malta Confederation of Women's Organisations (MCWO), Malta Medical Students Association (MMSA), Malta Midwives Association (MMA), Men Against Violence (MAV), OASI Foundation, Saint Jeanne Antide Foundation (SJAF), Solidarity Overseas Service (SOS) Malta, University Chaplaincy, Victim Support Malta (VSM), Women's Rights Foundation, Women's Study Group (WSG), President Emeritus Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, Dr Anna Borg - Academic and Women's Rights Activist, Ms Helen Burrows - International Human Rights Lawyer and Justice Reform Practitioner, Dr Angele Deguara - Academic and Social Activist, Dr Lara Dimitrijevic - Lawyer and Women's Rights Activist, Ms Francesca Fenech Conti - Women's rights activist and founder of the Women for, Ms Marietherese Gatt - Researcher and Women's rights activist, Ms Romina Gatt Lopez - Researcher - Dar Hosea, Dr Anna Vella - Management - Dar Hosea, Coalition Abolition Prostitution (CAP) International, Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW), European Network of Migrant Women (ENOMW), European Women's Lobby (EWL), Survivors of Prostitution Abuse Calling for Enlightenment (SPACE) International
Professor Raymond Galea, Head of the Malta Postgraduate Medical Training Program and Ivan Falzon, Chief Executive Officer at Mater Dei Hospital, issued a statement on Facebook, about fraudulant letters.
"It has been brought to our attention that third parties are being targeted with letters offering them an opportunity at the Malta Foundation School in Mater Dei Hospital. These letters are asking recipients to pay in advance for this training/courses. Mater Dei Hospital and The Malta Foundation School dissociate themselves from the contents of such letters."
"The matter has been reported to the competent authorities for further investigation and possible criminal action. We urge everyone receiving such letters to verify their authenticity prior to disbursing any funds or incurring ancillary costs to pursue what is maliciously being offered."
The government is still internally analysing the court decision on judicial appointments, Justice Minister Owen Bonnici told The Malta Independent yesterday.
The courts have upheld a request for a reference to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) by civil society activists Repubblika on the issue of the current system of judicial appointments. In a note filed before Mr Justice Mark Chetcuti two weeks ago, Repubblika said it wanted the ECJ to determine whether the current system of judicial appointments in terms of the Maltese constitution was in breach of the EU treaties and/or the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
Asked about this court decision, the minister was not willing to comment on the case directly, arguing that the case was still ongoing. He described the present system of judicial appointments as an improvement over what was in place for many years. "It is such an improvement that everyone in Parliament voted in favour of it, including the two lawyers appearing for the NGO."
Asked why the government would be appealing the case, instead of just allowing the European Court of Justice to decide, the minister said: "Firstly, there is no right for an automatic appeal. Instead, there is the right to request a leave to appeal. We are discussing the situation internally, taking the legal advice needed so that we can then make a decision."
Images showing hot tarmac overflowing from a road onto greenery in Wied Qirda are making the rounds on social media, and Zebbug local councillor Steve Zammit Lupi has hit out at the situation.
Local residents have also raised concerns and anger over the situation.
Writing on Facebook, Zammit Lupi described the it as the rape of the environment, and said that the path was being widened to 'improve' access 'without permission'.
The path tripled in size, Zammit Lupi explained, saying that some trees and rare flowers were cut down as a result.
Zammit Lupi says that the asphalt ended up there as the pathway gave way while a loaded truck was passing over it, which ended up head-first in the valley and needed to be lifted out by a crane.
The local council, he said, had filed a report with the ERA a week ago, "and yesterday the Mayor and I went on site together with Inspector Kylie Borg and Lands Department officials, as well as ERA officials," he said. "We asked that the works are halted immediately and that an investigation occurs."
"I remember Wied Qirda being in a bad state for as long as I remember, but what happened over the last week here is throwing salt in the wound."
Malta's financial services sector is exposed to flows of funds from higher risk jurisdictions and customers, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) has indicated in a report.
This is mainly due to the exposure to flows of funds from higher-risk jurisdictions and customers, Malta's economic policy, as well as the country's geographic location, it states. "Whilst links with higher-risk jurisdictions or clients do not imply the presence of money laundering or terrorist financing, we expect firms to have in place greater controls, to mitigate the risks associated with them."
The MFSA has laid down its supervisory expectations for licensed entities, supported by a number of best practices which these entities are expected to adhere to. Through the publication of a document entitled "Supervision: Risks Identified, Weaknesses and Expected Controls - A Cross-Sectoral Analysis", the MFSA identifies the key risks that authorised entities operating in the financial services sector might pose to their clients and the market in general and highlights the common weaknesses which the Authority has identified in the course of its supervisory work.
This document comprises of various Chapters. The first bit includes a dedicated Anti-Money Laundering and the Counter Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) section and provides a list of cross-sectoral risks, weaknesses and expected controls. Such risks, common weaknesses and expected controls apply to industry practitioners operating in the various sectors.
The second part then includes four dedicated sections. It identifies sector-specific risks, weaknesses and expected controls, each relating to the Insurance and Pensions, Credit and Financial Institutions, Securities and Markets, and Trusts and Corporate Service Providers sectors.
Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism weaknesses and issues
In light of the Results of the National Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Risk Assessment, the Authority considers the following as being some of the key financial crime risks in the financial services sector in Malta.
Firstly is the complex corporate structures and business models.
Secondly, the MFSA says that the exposure to flows of funds from higher-risk jurisdictions and customers, Malta's economic policy and geographic location mean that the sector is exposed to flows of funds from higher-risk jurisdictions and customers.
Thirdly, the authority mentioned specifically the exposure to the gaming sector.
Fourthly the authority highlighted the prevalence of cash and transferable cheques, in particular, in the real estate and luxury goods sectors.
Lastly, it mentioned the payment and e-money services.
The MFSA also identified a number of reoccurring weaknesses in the AML/CFT arrangements adopted by regulated firms. Such weaknesses include weak customer risk assessments and inadequate due diligence.
"Firms often fail to demonstrate that they have, through due diligence, understood their clients, and the risks associated with their business. Decision-making rationales are also often lacking from client files, making it very challenging, if not impossible, to establish how a firm has come to determine whether a client is within its risk appetite," the MFSA said.
The MFSA also highlighted issues with the timing of due diligence assessments.
"Firms not infrequently onboard customers even prior to the due diligence process being satisfactorily completed. This is indicative of ultimate beneficial owners or other indirect controllers exercising undue pressure over firms' compliance structures. This is considered as a serious governance breach."
Another recurrent weakness involves inadequate transaction monitoring.
"Automated and comprehensive monitoring of transactions is key to the detection of financial crime activities. In particular, the MFSA is concerned by the widespread failure, by regulated entities, to have in place transaction monitoring systems that are capable of comprehensively scrutinising their transactional data for patterns indicative of money laundering and terrorist financing and of doing so in a timely manner. The Authority considers the prevalent approach to the documenting of the discounting rationale for alerts and red flags to be inadequate."
The MFSA highlights that it has often found firms to have no or inadequate levels of management information in relation to the levels of money laundering and terrorist financing risks that they face. "This is, in turn, indicative of extremely weak governance structures."
It also said that firms have often failed to demonstrate that staff at all levels understand the money laundering and terrorist financing risks to which they are exposed and the controls in place to mitigate them.
"Compliance and control functions are often found to be under-resourced or controlled by senior management or indirect controllers. The Authority is generally dissatisfied with the controls established by firms when outsourcing compliance and other control functions."
When it comes to insurance and pensions, the ageing population was highlighted as a risk.
"With respect to the local context, the failure of any one of the local significant banks would have a major impact on the insurance undertaking interconnected with it, and a very significant impact on the stability of the life insurance industry in Malta."
In terms of credit and financial institutions, non-Financial corporate loans were highlighted as a risk.
Exposure towards residential real estate was said to be a weakness. "A number of credit institutions have significant exposure towards residential real estate in Malta. Although currently there seems to be no indication of any material over-valuation in residential real estate prices, the regulatory Authorities have introduced borrower-based measures to strengthen the resilience of lenders and borrowers against the potential build-up of vulnerabilities which could result in financial losses both to lenders and borrowers stemming from potential unfavourable economic developments."
Risks and weaknesses for the securities and markets sectors as well as the trustees and corporate service providers (CSP) were included in the report.
"Trustees and CSPs are deemed to pose a high level of AML/CFT risk in view of certain ML/FT threats faced by the trusts and corporate entities set up or serviced by trustees and CSPs. That is, tax evasion, local criminal groups, drug trafficking, fraud and misappropriation, corruption and bribery, unlicensed financial services and terrorist financing. Often Trustees and CSPs lack sufficient awareness of these risks and threats leading to the unwitting possible use of trusts and corporate vehicles for ML/FT purposes."
The MFSA, for all criteria, also included a list of controls it wanted to see the organisations and service providers include to counter the issues.
In conclusion, the MFSA said that the reoccurring weaknesses that the Authority has identified, and continues to encounter, as part of its ongoing supervisory work "are a matter of high concern."
"The MFSA's ability to protect the integrity of the Maltese financial services sector and consumers of financial services, rests on firms ability and commitment to comply with their fundamental obligations. The Authority is therefore communicating, to regulated firms, its views on the expected standards with respect to core aspects of authorised business' operations."
"The authority is aiming to increase the scrutiny of regulated operators in the industry. In the light of the various reoccurring shortcomings mentioned and the indicative guidance of expected controls, firms are strongly advised to review their internal control systems and procedures, to undertake a thorough and meaningful assessment thereof, and to proceed to take any corrective action to address possible identified deficiencies."
"As part of such a process, regulated firms are expected to fully undertake an assessment and self-identify any action that is required to comply with the letter and spirit and the expectations as these emanate from this document. The MFSA will expect to see this on-going exercise as part of the onsite supervisory work that will be undertaken."
In line with the Authority's strategy of enhancing its supervisory engagement, the MFSA will, in the coming weeks, also be publishing a document setting out its Supervisory Priorities for 2020. This document will indicate how, through supervision, the MFSA will be addressing the weaknesses identified in the document being published today.
The eighth edition of the Valletta Baroque Festival was launched on Wednesday.
This festival is an initiative of Teatru Manoel, which falls within the Ministry for Justice, Culture and Local Government.
"This edition is promising to be yet another spectacular celebration of baroque music in magnificent churches, theatres and palaces."
The forthcoming festival edition is predominantly secular, with various concertos from all over Europe, also infused with a dose of local talent.
Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government Owen Bonnici was present for the launch and said that "the festival has consistently gone from strength to strength, establishing itself in the baroque scene, whilst also enhancing our local cultural experience."
Thanks to an indicative first survey which was done in collaboration with the Malta Tourism Authority, the 2020 edition will focus more on paying further attention to the experience of concert-goers.
"This falls in line with our strategy to make culture more accessible, in fact, this survey also highlights the economic benefits brought by the festival which gives tourism a boost during January," Bonnici continued.
Minister Bonnici also announced an extra baroque opera, which has not been performed in living memory. The opera Pelopida, by Maltese composer Girolamo Abos, was composed in 1747 for Teatro Argentina in Rome and will open the 2020-2021 Teatru Manoel season in September.
Just like last year, the festival has branched out of Valletta for the 2020 edition, exploring beautiful baroque settings such as the Verdala Palace in Buskett and the St Philip of Agira Church in Ħaż-Żebbug, bringing baroque music to the places it was composed for.
Some highlights for this year include the music of Pedro Riumonte in St John's Co-Cathedral, Music From the Missions by Florilegium which will bring music spanning from eight decades to the Jesuits' Church in Valletta, the Sacred Vivaldi Concert by La Serenissima at the Collegiate Church of St Paul in Rabat and the Bel Canto from Naples by Simone Kermes & Amici Veneziani at the Teatru Manoel, which will be closing off the festival in style.
Teatru Manoel Artistic Director Kenneth Zammit Tabona spoke about how the festival offers something for everyone. In his address, he said that "we have reached the 8th edition of the festival and the tangible support we are receiving is undoubtedly a tribute to its success."
The 8th edition of the Valletta Baroque Festival will be held between the 10th and 25th January 2020.
Achieving a sustainable lifestyle can feel overwhelming – where to begin? However, with the first-ever Malta Sustainability Forum taking place next week – and with a number of tickets for the general public still available – the organisers hope to empower society and prove that anyone can live a sustainable life when armed with the right information and by making a little effort.
One of the Forum’s speakers, Nicole Klaesener-Metzner, is set to demonstrate how to achieve exactly that. As a non-profit and humanitarian specialist, Klaesener-Metzner has 16 years’ experience managing programmes aimed at improving the quality of life for a variety of populations worldwide. Currently, she is managing the Project Aegle Foundation – a Maltese foundation focused on improving sustainable mobility.
Klaesener-Metzner’s mission through PAF ‘is to advance sustainable mobility solutions that improve Malta’s traffic situation’, thereby enhancing quality of life and improving environmental conditions for the Maltese population. “PAF approaches sustainable mobility as a network of travellers, services, and environments – rather than just vehicles and roads,” she explains.
“A sustainable mobility systemis one that allows the basic access needs of individuals and societies to be met safely, and in a manner consistent with human and ecosystem health, and with equity within and between generations.”
Klaesener-Metzner explains that this system shouldbe both affordable and efficient. “It must be a system that offers citizens a choice of transportation, and one that supports a vibrant economy,” she continues, adding that a sustainable mobility system must also limit emissions and waste within the planet’s ability to absorb them.
“For Malta, this specifically means that the Government’s task is to provide an enabling environment for a variety of sustainable mobility initiatives from the private sector to thrive. It can then fall to non-profits and others, jointly with the Government, to motivate behaviour change.”
One way that Klaesener-Metzner, together with the team at PAF, is motivating behaviour change is through the Sustainable Mobility Challenge – something she will highlight during her speech at next week’s Forum. “The latter offers rewards to people who use other modes of transportation besides their car,” she continues. “To take part, participants can visit Greentips.eu’s Facebook page to register and upload photos of their sustainable mode of transportation – be it walking, cycling, carpooling or taking the bus. In doing so, they then earn points that they can redeem for fun rewards, like cash prizes and vouchers.
“Through this challenge, we hope to motivate individuals who haven’t used public transport much – or even at all – to do so. We hope they will consider it as a great option to get them from A to B.”
Klaesener-Metznergoes on to explain that public transport – and, locally, buses – play a major role in sustainable mobility. But they aren’t our only option. “Choices like GoTo car-sharing and COOL ride sharing should get more attention for the positive impact they could have on reducing private car usage and the environment,” she continues. “Meanwhile, TD Plus – a public transport on-demand service operated by Malta Public Transport – is also worth mentioning here.”
Importantly, PAF’s efforts to trigger behaviour change aren’t limited to one generation. Klaesener-Metzner knows that, to ignite real change, the focus must be on moulding the citizens of tomorrow. “We strongly believe in the power of children as agents of change, and are therefore focusing on influencing and educating future generations.”
Even so, behaviour change must happen sooner rather than later, and next week’s Malta Sustainability Forum hopes to get participants started on a path to a more sustainable life. “The Forum,” Klaesener-Metzner concludes, “will doubtlessly inspire individuals and organisations interested in sustainability, and will give them the chance to learn more about specific initiatives and ideas. Armed with the right information, it will be clear to see how important is it – and easy it can be – to live a more sustainable life.”
Tickets to the Malta Sustainability Forum start at €20, including a networking lunch. To view the full agenda and register for the Forum, please visit www.maltasustainabilityforum.com
Today marks the opening day of the 2019 Malta Book Festival, which kicks off with "Strange New Worlds", a conference on sci-fi and fantasy literature, which is organised by the National Book Council.
The conference will bring together local and international authors who all have created their own fantastical worlds in their works. These include Loranne Vella (Malta), Joan Courtenay Grimwood (UK), Kali Wallace (US) and Dave Rudden (Ireland). The conference will be monitored by translator and writer of It-Tawmaturgu: Il-Hmura ta' Filghaxija Mark Anthony-Fenech. The Malta Independent contacted Mark to discuss the conference and its importance on sci-fi and fantasy fiction in Malta.
What are you expecting from the conference itself, given that there are four other authors who have created their own different fantasy worlds?
I am looking forward to hearing about each author's years of experience, knowledge and their take on the worlds they created, as well as their own ideas on what is essential when telling a sci-fi and fantasy story. I'm also keen on their take on the standing of genre literature vis a vis literary fiction; whether this fixation with pigeonholing stories is a fruitless exercise since some works transcend boundaries; whether it is an exercise in snobbery, or if this helps authors and readers discover science fiction and fantasy.
The science fiction genre dates back hundreds of year, during the time of great advances in science and technology. Yet in most recent years there has been a rise in sci-fi and speculative fiction, as more authors question what the future will look like.
What do you think is the reason behind this rise and what attracts authors and readers towards this genre?
One might say that the "Epic of Gilgamesh" is one of the first, if not the first fantasy epic. Of course, mythology might be seen as the precursor of fantasy, that is a testament to the human imagination, creating stories and other worlds to make sense of their own.
More recently, the likes of Mary Shelley, Jules Verne, H.G Wells, JRR Tolkien and others have spearheaded both science fiction and fantasy, with sci-fi keeping pace and running ahead with the scientific discoveries of the time and the angst they caused.
The age of the internet, Dungeons and Dragons, Game Workshop and the rise of blockbuster franchises such as Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe have made the genres more accessible and fired the imagination of millions. There are many reasons as to why an author writes in such genres such as the lure to create an alternative world, it's like playing chess with history and the future.
Apart from the language, do you believe Maltese local sci-fi and fantasy literature has a different theme and style when compared to international titles of the same genre?
It is too early to determine the voice of Maltese fantasy and sci-fi, but the present authors are carving their niches and lighting the way. Maltese literature as a whole is fledgling compared to English, American, French and Italian literature to name but a few. There is a beauty to this in that the authors are establishing the rules of the genre within the local setting for others to follow, and are shaping the language to the stories they create.
Which authors and events inspired you to write Tawmaturgu?
Where to start? Warhammar 40,000, Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, and movies such as Event Horizon, have all been great influences. Authors who have left a great influence would be JRR Tolkien, Frank Herbert, Dan Abnett, Aaron Dembski-Bowden and Graham McNeil to name a few. On the local scene, Trevor Zahra's Meta Jaqa C-Cpar was probably the first Maltese sci-fi book I've read and an interview with the author was essential in inspiring me to write when he encouraged would be authors to read.
I started writing It-Tawmaturgu after translating excerpts from Dan Abnett's Prospero Burns and Aaron Dembski-Bowden's Soul Hunter into Maltese for my MA in Translation dissertation. This showed me that not only was sci-fi in Maltese possible but that the language was malleable enough in the creation of neologisms and in telling a story with jargon related to military, astronomy and technology set in the far future. An excerpt from It-Tawmaturgu was edited by Joseph Sultana and Kit Azzopardi.
John A Bonello, National Book Prize Winner and author of Il-Loghba Tal-Allat trilogy and the Irvin Vella books, was my mentor and editor; who was extremely helpful and it was all thanks to him that I published the novel. I would like to call him the Master Jedi with me being the Padawan here.
What are you expecting from the Book Festival? Do you believe it is an important event and why?
I hope it would encourage people to read and maybe write their own work. There are many different worlds and stories out there waiting to be discovered. I hope the presence of illustrious authors like Loranne Vella, Dave Rudden, Kali Wallace and Jon Courtenay Grimwood help shed light onto the genres of science fiction and fantasy and be inspiration to their audiences.
The Book Festival is a very important event, it encourages people to read, be more critical in their everyday lives and be more active citizens. I cannot stress enough how important or praise the stellar work of the National Book Council in promoting literature in Malta and the rights of authors.
What is your advice to inspiring authors or those experiencing writers block?
I have only written one novel and still have much to learn and will always do. My advice though, such as it is, would be to read, not only in the genre they're writing in but outside their comfort zones. They should be ready for criticism and should always have beta readers to read their work before submitting their work for publishing. As for writer's block, it comes and goes. Sometimes it's good to stop for a while, to let the work rest and start again after a break. That said, writing is mostly discipline, there is no such thing as the muse or waiting to be inspired- otherwise you would never finish anything.
What is next for you?
Translating It-Tawmaturgu into English (this has been a long time coming), and writing the sequel which is called It-Tawmaturgu: Il-Hmura ta' Filghodu (The Thaumaturge: Red Sky at Dawn).
Malta Public Transport installed a new e-bike station at the University of Malta, making it easier for students to commute between Valletta and university.
"Parking has become a persistent issue at university, but the easy-to-use Tallinja Bike system offers a convenient and affordable solution for students. Users set up a one-time registration at the station itself and they may then unlock a bike and dock it back when they reach their destination," a Malta Public Transport statement read.
"The introduction of Tallinja Bike is not only a practical measure to ease traffic congestion in and around the University of Malta," explained Ignacio Munoz, Product Manager of Tallinja Bikes. "It is also a clear signal by Malta Public Transport that it is committed to invest in new eco-sustainable solutions."
The university Tallinja Bike station was inaugurated at the start of the academic year last month and is the first extension of the service outside the Valletta zone. Other stations are currently located at the Valletta Terminus, the Barrakka Lift, Valletta Waterfront, Fort St Elmo, Marsamxett Ferry Terminal and the Floriana Park & Ride.
To further incentivise the use of these non-polluting means of transportation, Malta Public Transport is offering a 50% discount to students paying with their Tallinja Card.
V pořadu stanice ČT24 Studio 6 “Důchodový systém u nás” jsem dne 30. 10. 2019 odpovídal na otázky o minulosti, současnosti a možných budoucích způsobech řešení problémů našeho důchodového zabezpečení. Záznam si můžete pustit zde.
December S&P E-mini Futures: Temporary resistance is in the 3090-3100 zone. Much higher prices are likely during the coming months. The Lindsay basic advance which started from the December low remains intact and is likely to last two years and carry the ES to 3500 or so. QQQ: I think that this index is headed for 230-240 during the next 18 months. TNX (ten year note yield): 1.60% is now support.. I think the fast move up from 1.45% was the start of a big up swing in yield. This is likely to carry the 10 year yield first to 3.24% and then to 5.00 %. Contrary to popular belief higher yields will be bullish for stock prices since they will indicate confidence that more and stronger economic growth lies ahead. Euro-US Dollar: Resistance above the market is 115.50. The longer term picture is bearish. Dollar-Yen: The dollar-yen is trying to recover support at 108.00. If it succeeds then continuation up to 121 is likely. If it fails a drop to 100 will continue. West Texas Crude Oil: A swing down to 49 is underway. Resistance is at 57. Gold: Strong resistance level is 1515. A drop to 1400 is a reasonable expectation with even lower prices a good possibility. Silver: Support is at 16.50. If it fails a drop to 12.50 will be underway. Google: Support now is 1210. Next upside target is 1350. Apple: AAPL reached 250 and is now headed for 285. Facebook: FB bounced off of resistance at 198. Support is 188 and next upside target is 215. Twitter: The 28 level is support and if it fails continuation down to 13 becomes likely. Alibaba: BABA is starting to act as if a breakout above the 180 resistance level is imminent. If it occurs then BABA will be headed for new bull market highs. Visa: Support is at 160-62. V is now headed for 200.
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