Make most of your employee networks

first_imgMake most of your employee networksOn 10 Jun 2003 in Personnel Today In less than a generation, the social fabric of our workplaces has undergonea number of dramatic changes. Now, chief executives come and go with alarming frequency, nobody believesin the notion of a job for life and union membership has slipped to around athird of the country’s workers, with the average age of members rising fast.Meanwhile, all the evidence suggests a lack of trust in business leaders. Working people no longer feel allegiances to the institutions that used tobuttress working life. People do not commit themselves to formal socialinstitutions in the way their parents did. So what are they doing instead? They are getting together in more informalnetworks inside and outside the workplace. Analysis of how we are developingso-called ‘social capital’ reveals there is a trend towards the formation ofloose types of associations – more personal and less visible social networks. When employees leave an organisation for whatever reason, they feel thatwhile they are changing their formal terms of employment, they neverthelesstake their social networks with them. This creates threats and opportunities in equal measure. The threat is thatknowledge circulates in ways that no longer benefit organisations. Opportunity,however, lies in the fact that informal social networks are extraordinarilynimble and can channel knowledge between key people in a way top-downdecision-making never can. So today’s managers face a struggle. They do notwish to destroy valuable social capital by attempting to institutionalise it,but must be equally wary of this asset going to waste. Solutions may be found in another area of our workplaces that has witnesseddramatic change over the same period – the widespread growth of information andcommunication technology (ICT), and in particular, of networked computing.Technology is good at storing and accessing large bodies of information, butcan it develop and harness social capital? Absolutely. Employers have to stop viewing social and technological networksas separate, and start recognising that the way employees communicate via theinternet holds great potential for knowledge sharing. Technology shouldn’t beused to inhibit the way people interact, by making them fear for their privacy.As my colleague William Davies argues in an intriguing new report You don’tknow me but… Social Capital and Social Software: “Technology should tapinto the social fabric of modern workplaces and improve it”. This is one of the opportunities raised by the newly emerged ‘socialsoftware’ movement, which unites software developers and social capitalanalysts around a shared agenda – how to create online tools that facilitatefairer and more productive types of informal social collaboration. For HR managers, it is still relatively early days, despite the prevalenceof e-mails in many UK workplaces. But, over time, social software systems mayoffer considerable benefits to organisations seeking to draw on their richbases of social capital. For now, use ICT to further the emerging new forms ofcollaboration. But don’t use it to control or you will have a revolt on yourhands. By Will Hutton, Chief executive, The Work Foundation Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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SOCSOUTH Host’s First Combating Terrorism Fellowship Program Conference

first_imgBy Dialogo September 16, 2009 U.S. Special Operations Command South (SOCSOUTH) hosted their initial Combating Terrorism Fellowship Program (CTFP) conference from 17-21 August that focused on the Caribbean and Central America regions. The purpose and theme for the conference was “Combating Illicit Transnational Activities and Creating Cooperative Solutions.” Brig. Gen. Hector E. Pagan, SOCSOUTH Commander and conference host, welcomed military and police representatives from Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Guyana and Suriname. In his opening remarks, Pagan praised their accomplishments, contributions, and willingness to cooperate to secure their borders against transnational illicit activities and efforts to enhance regional relationships. The weeklong conference highlight came as each country representative was given the opportunity to discuss topics affecting their country’s challenges in dealing with illicit transnational activities, such as narco-trafficking and gang violence. As the presentations progressed, a common theme emerged showing drug trafficking as a threat throughout the region. By the end of the partner nation briefings, one thing was clear – dealing with illicit activities is a ‘regional issue” that requires a regional solution. “Our goal was to bring regional partners together to discuss and share information on a common threat we’re all facing as we struggle together to deal with illicit transnational activities,” said Lt. Col. Mario Guerrier, SOCSOUTH planner and conference coordinator. “The first step was to admit we have a problem, the second step was to identify the common threads that bind us together and walk away with a resolution to help each other against a common enemy that’s growing in power, influence, and brutality,” added Guerrier. According to statistics posted on the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency website, just over 26,000 domestic arrests were made in 2008, a considerable drop in comparison to approximately 29,000 in 2007. However, Pagan feels successes can be achieved with continued communication and partnerships where regional nations work together to find solutions, independent of U.S. involvement. “Together we create cooperative solutions. We hope our partners continue to share information and that they continue to reach out to each other for assistance,” said Pagan.last_img read more

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Entrepreneur’s guide to becoming a millionaire

first_img 4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Jeff Rose, AdviceIQWhat do you picture when you hear the word “millionaire?” Perhaps a well-groomed senior, lounging in a bathrobe, sipping champagne and overlooking acres of achievement from the portico of a mansion? You think you can never be a millionaire. But what if you can?Becoming one is actually simpler than you think. You may well be rich already. If you make $20,000 in net income every year, you’re among the top 3.65% richest people in the world, according to Globalrichlist.com.Simple tasks on the road to riches are not always easy. They can be effective:• Work smarter and harder than your competition. Identify your competition. What differentiators can you bring to your workplace or market?First, work smarter. There’s no sense in selling ice cream on your front lawn in the dead of winter. Instead, set up a booth at the park in the sizzling summertime. Commonsense changes can greatly improve your effectiveness.And we’ve all seen colleagues who work harder than anyone. Aren’t they the ones promoted? Don’t they often become the office linchpins? continue reading »last_img read more

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Rapid Rise in Super PACs Dominated by Single Donors

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York This story was co-published with the Daily Beast.The wealthiest Americans can fly on their own jets, live in gated compounds and watch movies in their own theaters.More of them also are walling off their political contributions from other big and small players.A growing number of political committees known as super PACs have become instruments of single donors, according to a ProPublica analysis of federal records. During the 2014 election cycle, $113 million—16 percent of money raised by all super PACs—went to committees dominated by one donor. That was quadruple their 2012 share.The rise of single-donor groups is a new example of how changes in campaign finance law are giving outsized influence to a handful of funders.The trend may continue into 2016. Last week, National Review reported that Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s bid for the Republican presidential nomination would be boosted not by one anointed super PAC but four, each controlled by a single donor or donor family.The Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling helped usher in the era of super PACs. Unlike traditional political action committees, the independent groups can accept donations of any dollar size as long as they don’t coordinate with the campaign of any candidate. Previously, much of the focus in big-money fundraising was on “bundlers”—volunteers who tap friends and associates for maximum individual contributions of $5,400 to a candidate, then deliver big lump sums directly to the campaigns. Former president George W. Bush awarded his most prolific bundlers special titles such as “Ranger” and “Pioneer.”While bundling intensified the impact of wealthy donors on campaigns, the dollar limits and the need to join with others diluted the influence of any one person. With a super PAC, a donor can single-handedly push a narrower agenda. Last year, National Journal profiled one such donor—a California vineyard owner who helped start the trend by launching his own super PAC and becoming a power player in a Senate race across the country.Beyond the single-donor groups, big donations are dominant across all kinds of super PACs, according to the analysis. Six-figure contributions from individuals or organizations accounted for almost 50 percent of all super PAC money raised during the last two cycles.“We are anointing an aristocracy that’s getting a stronger and stronger grip on democracy,” said Miles Rapoport, president of Common Cause, an advocacy group that seeks to reduce the influence of money on politics.ProPublica’s analysis identified 59 super PACs that received at least 80 percent of their funding from one individual during the 2014 cycle. They raised a total of $113 million, compared with the $33 million raised by the 34 such groups that existed in 2012.Donors who launch their own PACs are seeking more control over how their money is spent. And many have complained about the commissions that fundraising consultants take off the top of their donations to outside groups. But the move carries risks if the patron is new to the arena.In one cautionary tale, a reclusive 89-year-old Texas oilman with no political experience launched Vote2ReduceDebt, one of the nation’s highest-spending conservative super PACs. A ProPublica investigation found that much of the donor’s millions went to entities run by the group’s consultants or their close associates. The super PAC imploded as principals traded allegations including self-dealing, faked campaign events and a plot to siphon the PAC’s money to a reality TV show.Bill Burton, a former Obama administration official who helped found Priorities USA, the juggernaut super PAC affiliated with the president’s reelection campaign, said he expects donors to face more problems if they continue to go it alone.“One of two things is going to happen,” he said. “We will either see widespread flaunting of coordination rules or we will see some pretty spectacular failures to the tune of millions of dollars.”The single-donor super PACs identified by ProPublica span the political spectrum. Among the top conservative donors were Richard Uihlein, a packaging supplies businessman, and casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg spent heavily on both sides but leaned Democrat. Hedge fund titan Tom Steyer dominated on the left.In 2012 the largest single-donor super PAC was former TD Ameritrade CEO Joe Ricketts’ Ending Spending Action Fund, which raised over $14 million, 89 percent of which came from Ricketts. It was the ninth-largest super PAC by spending. In 2014 Steyer’s Nextgen Climate Action was the largest super PAC, raising almost $78 million, 85 percent from Steyer. (Steyer’s wife, Kat Taylor, is a member of ProPublica’s board of directors, and the couple has donated to ProPublica.)In addition to the super PACs dominated by a single individual, dozens more received the great majority of their funding from one corporation, labor group or advocacy organization. In 2014, those PACs represented 8.6 percent of super-PAC fundraising.PACs dominated by one donor could run afoul of disclosure laws, according to Larry Noble, the former top lawyer for the Federal Election Commission. Under the rules, political ads must include disclosures about who funded them. Noble said election law would require groups funded by one person to list that donor’s name, not just the name of the PAC—though he couldn’t recall the FEC addressing such a case.Naming the super PAC instead of the donor in the ad, Noble said, also allows the groups to delay disclosing where their money comes from until the next FEC filing date— potentially weeks after the ad runs.“It defeats the purpose of the law to allow someone to hide behind a super PAC if they are the only funder,” Noble said.“They want to make it more authoritative, like there’s more support. It looks better to say the ad is from Americans for Good Government than from John Smith2026 That just makes a mockery of the law.”Help us investigate: Have a tip about campaign finance? Email [email protected] stories: For more coverage of campaign finance, read ProPublica’s previous reporting on Super PAC Men, secret donors and gaps in campaign finance rules.ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. 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Stranded Northern Bottlenose Whale Euthanized in Long Beach

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The first Northern Bottlenose Whale sighting in New York State came this week when a 14-foot female found stranded on the shore in Long Beach was euthanized, marine biologists said.Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation experts found the whale to be suffering from an unknown ailment after a member of the public made the discovery at 10 p.m. Tuesday, the nonprofit group said.“The most humane course of action was euthanasia,” said Rachel Bosworth, a spokeswoman for the group.This is the eighth large whale to wash up in New York this year, five of which were humpback whales. Northern Bottlenose Whales have previously been stranded in New Jersey.Due to the rarity of the case, experts collected samples and the organs Wednesday and took the remains back to the foundation’s facility, where they will conduct a thorough exam, Bosworth said.A necropsy revealed that the whale was suffering from renal failure. Biologists found parasites that led to abscesses and tissue necrosis in the kidneys, which supports the reason for the stranding, the group said. The parasites are being sent out for species identification.Northern Bottlenose Whales, the largest of the beaked whale family, can reach lengths of 32 feet as adults and weigh up to 17,000 pounds, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. They prefer cold, deep, temperate to sub-arctic oceanic waters usually deeper than 6,500 feet.The Riverhead Foundation asks that the public report sightings to 631-369-9840 or email images to [email protected]last_img read more

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Fears of escalation after 33 Turkish troops killed in Syria’s Idlib

first_imgTopics : The United States condemned the Syrian action, and NATO said it would hold urgent talks on the crisis on Friday.In a move that could have major repercussions for Turkey’s neighbors to the west, Ankara said it would open the way for refugees to go to Europe.”We will no longer keep the doors closed for refugees who want to go to Europe,” an official told AFP on condition of anonymity.Turkey also called on the international community to establish a no-fly zone over Idlib, where regime forces have since December clawed back chunks of the region, forcing close to one million people to flee their homes and shelters amid bitter cold.The United Nations said Monday that the latest fighting was coming “dangerously close” to encampments of the displaced, risking an imminent “bloodbath”.Turkey, which is already home to around 3.6 million Syrian refugees, fears more people arriving in the country where there is growing popular discontent against their presence.In a series of tweets, Altun accused Assad of “conducting ethnic cleansing” and seeking to drive millions of Syrians out of Idlib. “These people will try to escape to Turkey and Europe. Already hosting close to 4 million refugees, we do not have the capacity and resources to allow entry to another million,” he wrote.Groups of migrants have already moved towards western Turkey seeking to reach Greece, Turkey’s private DHA news agency reported.The international community voiced alarm over the latest violence in Idlib.”Without urgent action, the risk of even greater escalation grows by the hour,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement, reiterating Secretary General Antonio Guterres’s call for an immediate ceasefire.NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg urged de-escalation by all parties of “this dangerous situation” and condemned the “indiscriminate air strikes”, in a phone call with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.A US State Department spokesperson said Washington stood by its NATO ally and continues to call “for an immediate end to this despicable offensive by the Assad regime, Russia and Iranian-backed forces”.Under a 2018 deal with Russia meant to bring calm to Idlib, Turkey has 12 observation posts in the Idlib region — but several have come under fire from Assad’s forces.In its first response to the Turkish deaths, Russia’s defense ministry said the troops were among “terrorist groups” and that they had not communicated their presence in the area.Thursday’s attack brings to 53 the number of Turkish security personnel killed in Idlib so far this month.Elsewhere, jihadists and Turkish-backed rebels on Thursday re-entered Saraqeb, a key Idlib crossroads town they had lost earlier in February, reversing one of the main gains of the government’s devastating offensive.The counter-offensive could, however, be short-lived as Russian-backed Syrian troops continued to chip away at other parts of the rebel bastion, capturing 20 localities.Seven civilians, including three children, were killed in regime and Russian bombardment of Idlib, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, adding to more than 400 such deaths since December.State news agency SANA acknowledged there were “fierce clashes” between the army and “terrorist groups on the Saraqeb front”.An AFP correspondent accompanied the rebels into Saraqeb, where he found a ghost town of bombed out buildings.The counter-attack temporarily reverses one of the key gains of the government since its offensive against the country’s last rebel enclave in December.The cash-strapped government had been keen to fully secure the M5, a highway that connects Syria’s four main cities and passes through Saraqeb.The Syrian Observatory said the air strikes were carried out by Russia, heavily criticized by the West for the high civilian death toll from its bombing campaign.State media accused the “terrorists” of launching car bombings and other suicide attacks against government forces attempting to retake the town.It said the army had inflicted heavy losses on the attackers, despite the military support it said they had received from Turkey.Some 950,0000 civilians have fled the government offensive, raising fears in Ankara of a new influx of refugees.More than half a million of those displaced since December are children, tens of thousands of whom are sleeping rough in northern Syria’s harsh winter.Erdogan had vowed on Wednesday that Ankara would not take the “smallest step back” in the standoff with Damascus and Moscow over Idlib. Adding to the tensions, Moscow announced that two of its warships were transiting Friday through the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul in plain sight of the cityThe UN has repeatedly warned that the fighting in Idlib could potentially create the most serious humanitarian crisis since the start of the civil war start in 2011.But Russian vetoes, often backed by China, have chronically crippled UN action in Syria.Turkey retaliated to Thursday’s strike  by hitting Damascus regime targets “from the air and ground,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s communications director Fahrettin Altun said.center_img Turkey warned on Friday it was opening the gates for refugees to flee to Europe after an air strike blamed on Damascus killed 33 Turkish soldiers in Syria.The international community voiced fears of a rapidly-rising risk of escalation after the attack by Russian-backed Syrian forces in the province of Idlib, where President Bashar al-Assad is waging a bloody campaign to oust rebels from their last holdout.The deadly bombardment has added to weeks of growing tensions between rebel supporter and NATO member Ankara and Damascus ally Moscow.last_img read more

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Rupiah strengthens to below Rp 15,000 per US dollar for first time since mid-March

first_imgThe rupiah has reached its strongest level since mid-March, appreciating nearly 3 percent on Thursday against the United States dollar amid hopes that a vaccine for COVID-19 is developed and central banks’ pledges to hold interest rates to support battered economies.Indonesia’s currency stood at Rp 14,881, appreciating 2.7 percent against the greenback at 4:46 p.m. Jakarta time to emerge from this year’s low of Rp 16,625 amid global recession risks. The rupiah once depreciated by as much as 18 percent this year before appreciating to the current level.Bank Indonesia’s (BI) Jakarta Interbank Spot Dollar Rate (JISDOR) showed the currency strengthening to Rp 15,157 per dollar from Rp 15,415 on Wednesday. On the same day, Fed officials said in a unanimous statement that it “will use its tools and act as appropriate to support the economy” and pledged to keep the interest rate near zero until the US economy returns to normal.Perry said further appreciation of the rupiah would be supported by this year’s lower current account deficit (CAD). The central bank expects the first quarter CAD to be below 1.5 percent and stay below 2 percent throughout the year, down from BI’s earlier projection of 2.5 to 3 percent.Furthermore, a yield differential in government debt papers between Indonesia and other countries was still attractive for foreign investors, Perry said.“This will attract capital inflow into Indonesia,” he added.By early May, BI will have injected a total of Rp 503.8 trillion in additional liquidity into the financial system to help cushion the economic impact of the pandemic and strengthen the rupiah as part of its quantitative easing measures. This includes BI’s bond buying worth Rp 166.2 trillion from foreign investors in the secondary market.The Jakarta Composite Index (JCI) jumped Thursday by 3.26 percent, led by blue chip stocks such as those of state-owned Bank Mandiri, energy company PT Medco Energi and state-owned toll operator PT Jasa Marga. Foreign investors bought around Rp 431 billion (US$28.7 million) worth of stocks more than they sold.As of April 23, however, foreign investors had sold Rp 159.6 trillion worth of Indonesian assets including bonds, stocks and BI certificates, according to Finance Ministry data.The government had successfully raised Rp 221.4 trillion from government bonds by the end of March. This is in addition to a $4.3 billion dollar-denominated bond sales in the US and Rp 11.38 trillion in bond sales at a greenshoe option bond auction on Wednesday, among other debt papers.It would sell Rp 856.8 trillion worth of bonds in the second quarter through to the end of the year to cover its widening budget deficit, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said.The country’s financial markets have started to recover since a slump in March as foreign investors sold Indonesian assets over fears of COVID-19.Topics : “We decided to hold [the interest rate] in the near term to prioritize maintaining the currency level,” BI Governor Perry Warjiyo told the House of Representatives Commission XI overseeing financial affairs on Thursday. “We are confident that the rupiah will further strengthen.”The central bank decided to hold its benchmark interest rate this month at 4.5 percent after a 50 basis points (bps) cut in total in February and March.“The rupiah appreciation is related to the US Federal Reserve’s policy on Wednesday to hold its interest rate at the zero percent to 0.25 percent range,” Bank Permata economist Josua Pardede told The Jakarta Post on Thursday. “In addition, biotechnology company Gilead said the development of its proposed COVID-19 vaccine was running well and that the drug was proven to cure at least 50 percent of the patients [who tested it].”A top US infectious diseases official said Gilead Sciences’ experimental antiviral drug remdesivir would become the standard of care for COVID-19 after early clinical trials showed it helped patients recover more quickly from the illness, Reuters reported on Wednesday.last_img read more

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Global smartphone sales plunge 20% in pandemic-hit quarter

first_imgTopics : Global smartphone sales saw their worst-ever slump in the first quarter as the coronavirus pandemic hit consumer spending, a market tracker said Monday.The Gartner survey found a 20.5 percent drop in the first three months of the year.The plunge came amid heightened economic uncertainty and government-ordered lockdowns in many parts of the world in March, Gartner noted. “Apple had a strong start to the year thanks to its new product line up that saw strong momentum globally,” said Annette Zimmermann, research vice president at Gartner.”Apple’s ability to serve clients via its online stores and its production returning to near normal levels at the end of March helped recover some of the early positive momentum.”Global sales amounted to 299 million units in the quarter compared with 375 million a year ago.center_img Another factor was the shutdown of factories, many in China, which produce the handsets for most of the major global smartphone makers, noted analysts at Gartner.The data showed Samsung keeping its leading position with 18.5 percent of the market even though sales were down more than 22 percent.Huawei remained at number two with a 14.2 percent market share, after a 27 percent drop in sales for the Chinese giant being hit with US sanctions.Apple held third place, seeing a more modest eight percent drop, giving the US firm a 13.7 percent share.last_img read more

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Belgium experts ask for end to euthanasia based on mental health problems

first_imgFlanders Today 10 December 2015Euthanasia should no longer be carried out on the basis of psychological suffering alone, according to 65 Belgian psychiatrists, psychologists and professors in an op-ed published by De Morgen this week.On average, 2,000 people a year in Belgium choose to end their lives through euthanasia. Most are terminally ill, but about 3% of them request the procedure because of unbearable psychological suffering. In the past two years, there were about 100 such cases.The experts said they were “alarmed by the trivialisation” of the option. It cannot be objectively determined whether psychological suffering is incurable, they wrote, and pointed out that feelings of despair are typical of depression.Keep up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.Wim Distelmans, palliative health-care professor at the Free University of Brussels (VUB) and president of the Federal Euthanasia Commission, emphasised that the option is only available to those who have chronic and serious mental health problems. “It is only for those who have tried different medications, therapies and therapists for many years,” he said, adding that some patients, knowing they can turn to euthanasia if necessary, have found the strength to carry on.Distelmans has received support from political parties Open-Vld and SP.A. Open-Vld president Gwendolyn Rutten told Radio 1 that the measure is not available to just anyone who suffers from depression.http://www.flanderstoday.eu/innovation/experts-ask-end-euthanasia-based-mental-health-problemsEuthanasia-Free NZ 8 December 2015Open letter Remove euthanasia on the ground of purely psychological suffering from the law Death as therapy? We, representatives of various relevant occupational groups, are alarmed about the increasing trivializing of euthanasia on the ground of psychological suffering only.For the first time since the law was put into effect in 2002, a decision to allow euthanasia – the case of De Moor / Van Hoey – has been challenged by the evaluation committee and forwarded to the judiciary. The Australian broadcaster SBS made a documentary about this euthanasia case and the conversations between the patient and the doctor. The Economist also published a poignant video report (24 and Ready to Die) on a 24-year-old young lady from Bruges who was granted euthanasia on grounds of psychological suffering, but ultimately declined its execution.In our open letter in the Artsenkrant “Doctors’ Newspaper” (September 2015) we noted the legal uncertainty of a doctor approving euthanasia based solely on psychological suffering. In this opinion piece we want to draw attention to its specific problematic character, and in particular the fact that it’s impossible to objectify the hopelessness of psychological suffering.One would expect that this incurability is founded on indications of for example, organic injury or tissue damage – in other words, factors that are independent of what is subjectively felt and thought about the illness. Such objectification is problematic in relation to psychological suffering.Let’s be clear: psychological suffering is real and can be at least as severe as physical suffering. However, specific to mental suffering is the fact that you can rely only on the word of the sufferer to estimate it. And this is a good thing, because he or she is the only one who knows how much it hurts at that moment. At that moment… because when we suffer psychologically, we are often convinced that no other future is possible anymore. It is often precisely this thought that pushes a person into an abyss, because as long as there is perspective, a person can usually tolerate much.We see that some who are at first declared incurably ill, eventually abandon the notion of euthanasia because new perspectives appeared. In a paradoxical way, this proves that the illness cannot be called incurable.http://www.euthanasiadebate.org.nz/belgium-experts-call-for-a-removal-of-euthanasia-on-the-grounds-of-psychological-suffering/Thanks to Renee Joubert from Euthanasia-Free NZ for translating the documentlast_img read more

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City looking to seize initiative

first_img Press Association Manuel Pellegrini’s men can move two points clear at the top of the table, with just one game to play, with victory at the Etihad Stadium. City became overwhelming favourites as current leaders Liverpool surrendered a 3-0 lead to draw 3-3 at Crystal Palace on Monday. The picture has changed considerably since City were held at home by Sunderland three weeks ago – a draw which left them six points behind the Reds with just one game in hand – and Pellegrini is confident the 2012 champions can handle any nerves. The Chilean said: “We have experienced players, they’ve been in a similar situation two years ago. “We have the pressure to win, but we’ve had it the whole year. “From the beginning of the season I always said that this team wants to win the title. Now we will try to do it.” City will be without top scorer Sergio Aguero, who limped out of last weekend’s win at Everton with a groin injury. Aguero has been hampered by muscle problems in the second half of the season, missing 18 of the last 31 games, but has not yet been ruled out of the final game against West Ham. Pellegrini said: “It was not 100 per cent sure if he was completely fit, that is why I didn’t want to have a risk with him, but we will see during the week if he can play on Sunday.” Such has been Pellegrini’s focus on the visit of Villa that he claims not to have watched Liverpool’s dramatic late capitulation earlier in the week. The Merseysiders had looked like moving three points clear at the top, and putting City under greater pressure, when they conceded three times in the final 11 minutes at Selhurst Park. He said: “The Aston Villa game doesn’t depend on the result of Liverpool. “I was watching a tape and working. I knew the result once the game was finished. Other people told me at the end. “The only way to continue in our position is to win the three points (against Villa). All the other things we can analyse when the race is over.” Pellegrini has only occasionally let emotions get the better of him during his first year in English football and he is confident in his approach. He said: “If I try to be calm it’s because I think it’s the best way for the players to play these two games.” Manchester City will aim to take a giant stride towards regaining the Barclays Premier League trophy as they host Aston Villa on Wednesday night. last_img read more

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