AuthorTopic: Knarf's Knewz Channel  (Read 1917572 times)

Offline knarf

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'Execute them': Lebanon protesters demand revenge after blast
« Reply #16830 on: August 08, 2020, 10:39:32 AM »

Lebanese protesters hurl rocks towards security forces during clashes in downtown Beirut

BEIRUT - Mock gallows nooses tied to brooms: Lebanese protesters on Saturday clamoured for bloody revenge against a leadership they blame for the massive blast that engulfed their capital.

"There is hatred and there is blood between us and our authorities," said Najib Farah, a 35-year-old protester in central Beirut. "The people want revenge."

On a street leading to parliament, young men lobbed stones at security forces who replied with tear gas, a familiar sight in Lebanon since last October.

Thousands of young men and women earlier revived the main camp of a months-long protest movement, some of them carrying portraits of blast victims and a banner bearing the names of the dead.

They pinned the blame for Tuesday's mega-blast at Beirut port on leaders they say deserve nothing less than the fate of the 158 people who died as a result.

"My government murdered my people," read one sign.

"You were corrupt, now you are criminals," read another.

The explosion that disfigured the city and shocked the world is widely perceived as a direct consequence of the incompetence and corruption that have come to define Lebanon's ruling class.

After a morning of funerals, protesters marched through the wreckage caused by the monster explosion that killed over 150 people, wounded 6,000 and left an estimated 300,000 temporarily homeless.

The crowds that converged on Martyrs Square breathed new life into a protest movement that started in October but was snuffed out a few months later by the coronavirus pandemic and a crippling economic crisis.

"There is now an opportunity for real change, it's not like the other demonstrations since October," Farah told AFP.

- 'Them or us' -

Demonstrators walked over shards of glass from gutted windows, chanting: "Revenge, revenge, until this regime reaches an end."

Carrying a broom with a noose attached to it, Jad, a 25 year-old advertising professional, complained that the state was nowhere to be seen in the huge and ongoing cleanup effort across the city.

"Everything is trashed, we have had to repair the streets for three days, while there is no government presence at all," he said.

"We are walking on the rubble of our city."

This compounded the boiling anger many ordinary Lebanese have felt towards authorities since the blast.

"We are still under shock, but we know one thing for sure: we are going to wipe the floor with them," he told AFP.

For a Lebanese public already crumbling under financial woes and beset by economic disillusionment, Tuesday's blast was the straw that broke the camel's back.

Lebanon's worse political crisis in decades has plunged nearly half of the country's population into poverty, up from a third before the crisis.

A coronavirus outbreak further shuttered an economy that must now contend with more than $3 billion in damages from the blast.

One protester raised a poster bearing portraits of top politicians and the phrase "Execute them".

"The people want to topple the regime," protesters confronting security forces yelled, eyes reddened by the tear gas.

Medea Azoury, a 46-year-old demonstrator, said the fault lines have been drawn.

"We can't take it anymore: we're being held hostage, we can't leave the country, we can't withdraw money from the banks, and people are dying of hunger," she said.

On top of all that, "there are now 300,000 people who are homeless and Beirut has been completely destroyed," she added.

"This is the great return of the revolution and it's either them or us."
‘Rolling thunder. Shock. A noble one in fear and dread sets things in order and is watchful.’ I-Ching (Hex.51)

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Oil spill threatens ecological disaster as Mauritius declares emergency
« Reply #16831 on: August 08, 2020, 11:04:30 AM »

PORT LOUIS (Reuters) - Fuel spilling from a Japanese bulk carrier that ran aground on a reef in Mauritius two weeks ago is creating an ecological disaster, endangering corals, fish and other marine life around the Indian Ocean island, officials and environmentalists say.

The MV Wakashio, owned by the Nagashiki Shipping Company, struck the reef on Mauritius’ southeast coast on July 25.

On Thursday, the government said fuel was leaking from a crack in the vessel’s hull and Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth declared a state of environmental emergency, pleading for international help.

“The sinking of the #Wakashio represents a danger for Mauritius,” Jugnauth said.

Environmental group Greenpeace said the spill was to likely to be one of the most terrible ecological crises that Mauritius has ever seen.

“Thousands of species around the pristine lagoons of Blue Bay, Pointe d’Esny and Mahebourg are at risk of drowning in a sea of pollution, with dire consequences for Mauritius’ economy, food security and health,” Greenpeace said in a statement.

Satellite images released on Friday showed a slick spreading out into the turquoise waters surrounding the stricken vessel. Some fuel has washed ashore.

France was sending specialist teams and equipment to help Mauritius deal with the spill, French President Emmanuel Macron said.

A French military aircraft from the neighbouring island of Reunion, a French overseas territory, carrying pollution-control equipment would make two flights over the spill site on Saturday. A naval vessel carrying booms and absorbents would also set sail, authorities on Reunion said.

“When biodiversity is in danger, there is an urgent need to act,” Macron said. “You can count on our support.”

Nagashiki Shipping Company said it had tried to free the

the tanker but the effort was hampered by persistent bad weather.

“We will do our utmost working with the Mauritius authorities and relevant Japanese organizations to offload the oil still in the ship, clean up the spill and safely remove the vessel,” Nagashiki said in a statement.

The tanker is 299.5 meters long and 50 meters wide and has a crew of 20, it said. It is flagged in Panama with Okiyo Marine, an affiliate of Nagashiki Shipping, listed as the owner.

It is grounded at what the ministry of the environment has described as a sensitive zone with the leaking fuel spreading a black stain in the azure water endangering the diverse marine life that attracts tourists from around the world.

Videos posted on social media showed residents near where the ship was grounded dipping sticks into the ocean that glistened with the black stain of the spilled oil.

Mauritius, famous for its pristine beaches, is popular with tourists who last year contributed 63 billion Mauritius rupees ($1.6 billion) to the economy.

‘Rolling thunder. Shock. A noble one in fear and dread sets things in order and is watchful.’ I-Ching (Hex.51)

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India plans to fell ancient forest to create 40 new coalfields
« Reply #16832 on: August 08, 2020, 11:12:50 AM »
Narendra Modi’s dream of a ‘self-reliant India’ comes at a terrible price for its indigenous population

Over the past decade, Umeshwar Singh Amra has witnessed his homeland descend into a battleground. The war being waged in Hasdeo Arand, a rich and biodiverse Indian forest, has pitted indigenous people, ancient trees, elephants and sloths against the might of bulldozers, trucks and hydraulic jacks, fighting with a single purpose: the extraction of coal.

Yet under a new “self-reliant India” plan by the prime minister, Narendra Modi, to boost the economy post-Covid-19 and reduce costly imports, 40 new coalfields in some of India’s most ecologically sensitive forests are to be opened up for commercial mining.

Among them are four huge blocks of Hasdeo Arand’s 420,000 acres of forest in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh, which sit above an estimated 5bn tonnes of coal.

It marks a significant shift. The coal industry in India is state-owned, but this auction of 40 new coal blocks will see the creation of a privatised, commercial coal sector in India. Among those bidding for it are India’s rich and powerful industrial giants, including the $14bn (£11bn) Adani group run by the Indian billionaire Gautam Adani, who operates India’s largest coal power plants and has close ties to Modi.

The coal auction has already proved controversial at both the local and political level. At least seven of the coal blocks up for auction were previously deemed “no go” areas for mining due to their environmentally valuable status and about 80% of the blocks are home to indigenous communities and thick forest cover. Four state governments – West Bengal, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh – have written to Modi in opposition or raised legal objections to the auction, and one coal block, which overlapped with the Tadoba tiger reserve in Maharashtra, has already been removed.

The forest in Chhattisgarh sits on huge coal reserves.

Amra, who is an Adivasi, a term used to describe India’s indigenous people, was one of nine local sarpanchs – village leaders – who recently wrote to Modi demanding a stop to the auction in Hasdeo Arand. He said: “If the government gave me the option to give up my life in exchange for no more mining happening in the forest, I would do it in a second.”

Amra has seen first-hand the environmental devastation wreaked by open-cast coal mines. In 2011, two vast open-cast mines were excavated on the forest’s peripheries, ripping up the fragile land and filling the surroundings with pollution, smoke, heat, noise and poison. Crime rose drastically in the area and the elephants that lived in the forest, disoriented by the new hostile conditions, became aggressive, leading to dozens of deaths.

The prospect of more significant blocks of the forest, the largest in India, being handed over to private mining operations was more than Amra could bear. Five villages will be destroyed and more than 6,000 mainly indigenous people displaced, as well as thousands of hectares of trees, torn down for mines and roads.

“If more mining happens everything will change; the natural resources will be gone, our way of life will disappear, everything will be under threat,” he said. “We are tribal people, we cannot go out and live in the cities and no amount of money can ever compensate us. There is no forest like this in the world – cut it down and it can never be replaced.”

While across the world governments have geared towards a “green recovery” post Covid-19 – the United Nations secretary general, António Guterres, said recently there was “no good reason for any country to include coal” in recovery plans – India is putting fossil fuel at the forefront of its strategy to turn the pandemic into economic opportunity.

“Why cannot India be the world’s largest exporter of coal?” asked Modi as he announced the coal auction project.

Yet with its 45% ash content, making it some of the most polluting coal in the world, there is unlikely to be an international market for Indian coal. In addition, many major factories in India cannot run on “dirty” domestic coal, meaning they will still need to import it from abroad.

There is also a question of necessity. While India is the world’s second largest consumer of coal, and annually imports 247m tonnes, costing more than $20bn (£15bn), India’s electricity demand is forecast to fall by up to 15% over the next five years due to the economic reverberations of Covid-19. Meanwhile, a report this week by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air concluded that the current state-run coal mines of India already have capacity to produce 20% more coal than the expected demand in 2030.

Environmental activists also question why India cannot be weaned off foreign coal through a gradual increase in investment in domestic renewable energy, such as solar. This month, Modi inaugurated Asia’s largest solar farm in the state of Madhya Pradesh. India is the world’s cheapest producer of solar power and the cost of constructing a new solar plant is 14% less than that of a building a new coal plant. With proper investment, it has been estimated that the solar energy industry could generate as many as 1.6m jobs in India by 2022, far more than would be generated by domestic coal.

But India’s joint secretary for coal, Maddirala Nagaraju, said that all the country’s projections showed that demand for coal would increase and insisted that increased domestic coalmining was the “cheapest way of meeting the energy needs of the people”.

“We are the country with the fourth largest coal reserves in the world and we need to provide energy security for over a billion people: coal is the only way,” said Nagaraju. He conceded that there would be “costly trade-offs” in opening up protected forest areas for mining, but said this had the support of local communities who “want the land to be acquired because they get high compensation packages”.

He added: “Yes, some people have objected, but the mining will bring a lot of development, employment and money to these areas. How else will we develop these Adivasi people in central India?”

Among the prominent opponents to the project is the former environment minister, Jairan Ramesh, who also wrote a letter to Modi condemning coal auctions. It was during his time in office that a survey was carried out in 2010 on India’s biggest coalfields and determined that 30% were “no-go areas” due to their biodiversity or resident tiger or elephant populations. Yet since Modi came to power in 2014, that 30% has been reduced to about 5%.

Ramesh alleged this was a direct result of pressure from the powerful corporate coal lobby, Adani in particular. The Adani group is contracted to operate two of the mines currently open in Hasdeo Arand, and has been pushing to expand mining operations in the forest for years, even reportedly offering microloans to local tribal people in order to win their support.

“Adani is behind this,” claims Ramesh. “He is one of the most influential forces on the government.”

“Modi poses as a great environmental champion globally but his track record is one of complete loosening of environmental laws and regulations,” Ramesh added. “The corporate lobbies are just too powerful and in the name of ease for businesses, environment has become the biggest casualty.”

The Adani group rejected the allegations as baseless and politically motivated. A spokesperson said the company: “Has always strived to provide balanced and affordable energy supply to an energy-deprived population of 1.3 billion people whose per capita energy consumption is less than half the world’s average and almost one-tenth of many of the developed economies.

“The Adani Group has been a leading contributor to India’s vision for a balanced energy mix and an enabler of India’s leadership in meeting its [Paris agreement on climate change] target.”

It said it aimed to become the world’s largest renewable energy company by 2025.
‘Rolling thunder. Shock. A noble one in fear and dread sets things in order and is watchful.’ I-Ching (Hex.51)

Offline knarf

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More than a million people in the UK have quit smoking since...
« Reply #16833 on: August 08, 2020, 11:24:44 AM »
the start of the coronavirus pandemic

Before the coronavirus pandemic hit, Saurav Dutt smoked up to six cigarettes a day.

The 38-year-old author from London first took up the habit as a way to unwind from college exams. But as the years went by he found that it helped him focus, and it became essential to his writing process.

"Smoking inspires my writing ... and drives me out of dark moods when I hit writer blocks or doubt my efforts," Dutt told Business Insider.

But as COVID-19 gripped the world, Dutt — who had tried quitting in the past, but never managed to do so — decided it was finally time to give up.

So, after 18 years of smoking, he quit.

"I don't want to be one of those people in a ward with an oxygen mask over my face struggling to tell my loved ones what I'm feeling," Dutt said. "COVID-19 has brought the issue of personal health into focus for me like never before."

He is not alone. According to a recent survey by the UK charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), conducted between April 15 to June 20, more than one million people in Britain have given up smoking.

Of those poeple, almost half (41%) said it was a direct response to heightened health concerns during the coronavirus pandemic, the study added. COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, has so far killed more than 700,000 people worldwide.

Their reaction is understandable: COVID-19 is known to attack the respiratory system first, with symptoms including a bad cough and shortness of breath.

Smokers may have higher risk of getting severe coronavirus symptoms
In the last few months, researchers have been trying to find out how strong the link between smokers and severe coronavirus cases really is.

A recent study by The Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco found that smokers are nearly twice as likely to develop severe coronavirus symptoms.

The research examined more than 11,000 COVID-19 patients and found that about 30% of those who had a history of smoking saw their conditions progress to a more severe or critical state.

Another study published last month by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, found that one in three young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 are at higher risk of having severe COVID-19 cases, with smoking habits playing a big part.

Patients are considered vulnerable if they have at least one risk factor set out by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including health conditions and smoking habits.

More young people are giving up smoking
Younger smokers appear to be giving up smoking at a much higher rate than their older counterparts.

The study by ASH found that of the 1 million people who quit between April and June, 400,000 were aged between 16 and 25.

"For young people who have been quitting, there's a desire to generally be more healthy, and take control at a time in their lives where that control has been taken away," Hazel Cheeseman, the policy dierctor for ASH told Business Insider.

"Younger people are more likely to be in employment that's been disrupted, or have their education or social lives disrupted. Their lives have been much more affected by the experience of lockdown, whereas older people have been in their own homes and maintained their own space."

Cheeseman said that ASH's findings have been "surprising" considering it is older people who are more at risk of contracting the coronavirus.

"Older smokers have been smoking longer because most people start in their teens. They're therefore more likely to be more heavily addicted and therefore quitting is more difficult for them," she said.

"But they are also more insulated from some of the factors that have motivated people to quit right now."

While the survey results showed a sign of short-term success for smokers giving up, it remains to be seen if this translates into a continued pattern.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has also warned that the disease poses particular risks to smokers.

At a press briefing in July, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: "Smoking kills 8 million people a year, but if users need more motivation to kick the habit, the pandemic provides the right incentive."

That incentive has worked for Dutt. He said that while it hasn't been easy, he knows that it's for the better.

"Quitting has been incredibly difficult but nearing 40, the reality of looking after one's health is more important than ever, and I am no longer willing to allow a drug to rule my life," Dutt said.

WHO: Smoking cigarettes won't protect you from the coronavirus

Men represent the majority of coronavirus cases so far. Researchers think smoking could play a role.
France has banned online sales of nicotine substitutes after a study showed smokers are less likely to be admitted for COVID-19
Jefferies touts big tobacco as 'recession proof,' saying smokers aren't fazed by illness risks and the boredom of lockdowns will encourage more smoking
‘Rolling thunder. Shock. A noble one in fear and dread sets things in order and is watchful.’ I-Ching (Hex.51)

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Canada's last fully intact ice shelf has just collapsed
« Reply #16834 on: August 08, 2020, 11:32:48 AM »
Friday, August 7th 2020, 5:40 pm - Drastic warming due to climate change is causing widespread melting even in Canada's Far North.

The Milne Ice Shelf on Nunavut's Ellesmere Island, said to be the last intact shelf in Canada, has collapsed, according to observers.

The Canadian Ice Service announced the collapse over the past weekend on Twitter, saying the shelf had lost more than 40 per cent of its volume after it calved an enormous ice island around 79 km² in area.

"Above normal air temperatures, offshore winds and open water in front of the ice shelf are all part of the recipe for ice shelf break up," the service said.

Glaciers on Ellesmere Island seen during the Apr. 1, 2014, IceBridge survey flight.

Carleton University's Water and Ice Research Laboratory (WIRL) confirmed the breakup happened at the end of July, and the new island had since broken in two, likely 70-80 metres thick. Moreover, pre-existing fractures on what was left of the ice shelf made further fragmenting more likely.

WIRL says the Milne Ice Shelf is one of the last vestiges of a single ice shelf that covered 8,600 km² of the northern Ellesmere coast at the beginning of the 1900s. By 2000, it had been reduced to six rump shelves covering less than an eighth of that area, with periodic major breakups over the past two decades.

Luke Copland, University Research Chair in Glaciology in the Department of Geography at the University of Ottawa, explicitly drew a line between the decline of the ice shelves, and climate change.

“This summer has been up to 5°C warmer than the average over the period from 1981 to 2010, and the region has been warming at two to three times the global rate," Copland said in a release from WIRL. "The Milne and other ice shelves in Canada are simply not viable any longer and will disappear in the coming decades."

Eureka Sound on Ellesmere Island seen during the Mar. 25, 2014, IceBridge flight.

The Milne Ice Shelf is the northwest of remote Ellesmere Island, Canada's northern-most island. The island is home to fewer than 200 people, divided between the civilian community of Grise Fiord, the research base at Eureka, and Canadian Forces Station Alert, which is the most northern permanently inhabited place on Earth.

Ellesmere Island has been in the news already in recent days, making headlines when satellite imagery confirmed that two ice caps in the island's northeast, likely dating back to the Little Ice Age, had completely melted.
‘Rolling thunder. Shock. A noble one in fear and dread sets things in order and is watchful.’ I-Ching (Hex.51)

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Velshi: American Capitalism Exploits The Poor To Enrich The Wealthy | MSNBC
« Reply #16835 on: August 08, 2020, 05:13:35 PM »
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‘Rolling thunder. Shock. A noble one in fear and dread sets things in order and is watchful.’ I-Ching (Hex.51)

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New Rule: Here Lies Donald Trump | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO)
« Reply #16836 on: August 08, 2020, 05:55:19 PM »
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‘Rolling thunder. Shock. A noble one in fear and dread sets things in order and is watchful.’ I-Ching (Hex.51)

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Women are better bosses than men — here's why
« Reply #16837 on: August 09, 2020, 09:42:09 AM »
About 62 years ago, market research firm Gallup asked a group of adults in the US: "If you were taking a new job and had your choice of a boss, would you prefer to work for a man or a woman?"
A whopping 66% said they preferred a male boss; 5% said they preferred a female boss; and 25% claimed it made no difference to them.

Fast-forward six decades to Gallup's latest report, "State of the American Manager," which reveals a slight shift in those numbers.

In 2012, Gallup asked 11,434 adults in the US that same question. This time, only 33% said they preferred a male boss, while 20% said female, and 46% said they have no preference.

But perhaps more people should strive to work for female managers.


They tend to be better leaders than their male counterparts, finds Gallup.

The survey discovered that employees who work for a female boss are, on average, 6% more engaged than those who work for a male manager. (Female employees who work for a female manager are the the most engaged of any group of workers.)

The survey also found that women leaders themselves tend to be more engaged (41%) than men (35%).

The Gallup report says womens' higher engagement levels likely result in more engaged, higher-performing teams.

Here are a few reasons women make better bosses than man:

Employees who work for a female manager are 1.26 
times more likely than those who work for a male boss to strongly agree that "There is someone at work who encourages my development."

"This suggests that female managers likely surpass their male counterparts in cultivating potential in others and helping to define a bright future for their employees," the report says. "It does not mean that female managers are more likely to promote their associates, but 
it could signify that women are more apt than men to find stimulating tasks to challenge their employees, thus ensuring associates develop within their current roles and beyond."

Those who work for a woman are 1.29 times more likely than those who don't to strongly agree with the following: "In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress."

Female managers are more inclined to provide regular feedback to help their employees achieve their development goals — one of the three things workers said they most want from their boss.

Employees who work for a female manager are 1.17 times more likely than those with a male manager to strongly agree
 that "In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work."

"This suggests that female managers surpass male managers in providing positive feedback that helps employees feel valued for their everyday contributions," the report says. "It also indicates that female managers may be better than male managers at helping their employees harness the power of positive reinforcement."

Overall, female managers in the US exceed male managers at meeting employees' essential workplace requirements.

One possible explanation for this — thanks to the gender bias which still saturates leadership and management in the US — is that female managers "might be somewhat more adept and purposeful in using their natural talents to engage their teams because they need to exceed expectations to advance in their organization," the report explains.

But, no matter what the reason, Gallup concludes that organizations should place more emphasis on recruiting and promoting more female managers.
‘Rolling thunder. Shock. A noble one in fear and dread sets things in order and is watchful.’ I-Ching (Hex.51)

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Firms with more female executives 'perform better'
« Reply #16838 on: August 09, 2020, 09:44:09 AM »
London-listed companies are more profitable when women make up more than one in three executive roles, according to new research.

Listed firms where at least one-third of the bosses are women have a profit margin more than 10 times greater than those without, it suggests.

Of the 350 largest companies listed, just 14 are led by women, according to gender diversity business The Pipeline.

15% of companies in the FTSE 350 have no female executives at all.

The group's co-founder Lorna Fitzsimons said having more women in the decision-making room means businesses are better able to understand their customers.

The Pipeline's Women Count 2020 report "shows the stark difference in net profit margins of companies that have diverse gender leaderships compared to those who do not," she said.

The Pipeline says London-listed companies with no women on their executive committees have a net profit of 1.5%, whereas those with more than one in three women at that level reach 15.2% net profit margin.

The report also points out that in the largest 100 London-listed companies, the total number of female chief executives is the same as the number of bosses named Peter - six.

When it comes to chief financial officers in those firms, fewer than two out of 10 are women, while men make up 96% of investment managers.

The sectors with the lowest number of women in executive roles are construction and retail.

"If you look at retail, entry level jobs are usually 80% women," Ms Fitzsimons said. "But they don't make it to the executive level."

Former Prime Minister Theresa May, who contributed to the report, said there can be no good explanation for the massive underrepresentation of women at the top of British business.

"Every single male CEO who looks around his boardroom table to see nine out of 10 male faces staring back at him needs to ask himself what he is doing to make his business one which his daughter or granddaughter can get on in," she wrote.

Vanda Murray OBE led Blick PLC in the early 2000s. She currently chairs the board at Marshalls PLC, a FTSE 250 construction firm.

While she welcomes recent moves to encourage women to make up 30% of company boards, she says it's in executive, decision-making roles where women are still underrepresented.

"There are talented females out there, no-one could really argue against this," she said.

Leadership groups with people from mixed backgrounds, ethnicity and gender do better because "they challenge more, and they have more discussion and debate and that leads to better decision-making," she said.

Ms Murray said Marshalls has a female HR director, but the rest of the executive committee members are men.

"We have plans in place. We have talent management programmes and training and development so that we can make sure the younger female managers come through."
‘Rolling thunder. Shock. A noble one in fear and dread sets things in order and is watchful.’ I-Ching (Hex.51)

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Women don't need to 'lean in' like men – men need to lead more like women
« Reply #16839 on: August 09, 2020, 09:47:46 AM »
We have been taught that if we want to get ahead we should act like men. Perhaps it’s time we stop doing that

Men could learn a thing or two from women, study finds
Jair Bolsonaro reckons he has mold in his lungs. Donald Trump and Boris Johnson, meanwhile, seem to have mold in their brains. Brazil, the US, and the UK have some of the highest death tolls in the world from Covid-19 thanks, in part, to their inept leadership.

While the world’s supposed strongmen have done a pitiful job at handling the pandemic, strong women like New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern and Germany’s Angela Merkel have won praise for their handling of the virus. A new study published by the World Economic Forum now confirms what many have suspected: “Being female-led has provided countries with an advantage in the current crisis.”

Because just 19 countries in the world are led by women, it’s hard to draw meaningful conclusions about leadership efficacy just by looking at overall Covid-19 cases and deaths. Instead economists from the University of Liverpool and the University of Reading “matched” female-led countries with their closest neighbour based on socio-demographic and economic characteristics considered important in the transmission of coronavirus. Germany, for example, was matched with the UK; New Zealand with Ireland. Bangladesh, which has a female prime minister, was compared with Pakistan. Serbia, which has a female and openly gay prime minister, was compared with Israel.

“Nearest neighbour analysis clearly confirms that when women-led countries are compared to countries similar to them along a range of characteristics, they have performed better, experiencing fewer cases as well as fewer deaths,” the study’s authors declared. “This is true whether we consider the nearest neighbour … or even five neighbours.”

A key factor in a country’s coronavirus outcomes, according to this study, was the timing of lockdown; “female-led countries locked down significantly earlier, ie when they were seeing fewer deaths (22 fewer) than male-led countries”.

Why did female-led countries lock down earlier? The researchers suggest one explanation might be the fact that women are taught to be more risk-averse than men. At the start of the pandemic a number of male leaders seem to have thought it was macho to act like coronavirus was no big deal. Trump shunned masks and downplayed the severity of the virus. In the UK, Johnson boasted about shaking hands with coronavirus patients in a hospital before he himself was hospitalized for Covid-19. And Bolsonaro famously dismissed Covid-19 “as a little flu” – now his wife has tested positive for it and he’s complaining about moldy lungs.

Another reason female-led countries have had a better response to the pandemic, the study suggests, is differences in male and female styles of leadership. Women are taught to adopt a more “more democratic and participative style” than men.

It’s important to stress, I think, that the big takeaway from this study isn’t that the world would be a lot better off if it was run by women – there are plenty of awful female leaders out there. Rather, the big takeaway is that the world would be better off if more leaders exhibited what we have been trained to think of as “female behaviour”. For decades women have been taught that if we want to get ahead we should “lean in” to male power structures. We should be more assertive and more competitive. We should speak louder, self-promote more, and never ever say sorry. We have been taught that if we want to get ahead we should act like men. Perhaps it’s time we stop doing that and, instead, start telling men that they’ll be more successful if they act like women.
‘Rolling thunder. Shock. A noble one in fear and dread sets things in order and is watchful.’ I-Ching (Hex.51)

Offline knarf

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Why Some Women Still Prefer Male Bosses And What We Should Do About It
« Reply #16840 on: August 09, 2020, 09:58:32 AM »

Be honest: do you have a preference for a male or female boss? If you don’t, you’re not quite in the majority but you’re in good company with a plurality of American s polled for whom a manager’s gender makes no difference to them.

This is refreshing fact at a time when the battle for the ultimate management job (President of the United States) is being fought in part, through a gender lens. But for those who express a gender preference, why are people more than 50% likely to prefer a male boss over a female boss? Is this simply unconscious bias at work?

Yesterday, the WSJ published results of analysis that may provide one explanation for the difference. Professors Lisa Williams of Goizueta Business School at Emory University and Larissa Tiedens of Stanford’s Graduate School of Business found that women are penalized for being “too aggressive”, even if their behavior is identical to men’s. They concluded:

Women were particularly penalized for direct, explicit forms of assertiveness, such as negotiating for higher salary or asking a neighbor to turn down the music. Dominance that took a verbal form seemed especially tricky for women, compared to men making identical requests.

The implications for women in management or leadership positions is that they may be judged unfairly or penalized for behaving in the same way as men. The researchers found that the penalty for women did not appear in the form of being judged less competent than a man, but being considered less ‘likeable’, which has career consequences (not just social ones). As Williams points out: “‘Difficult’ people are unlikely to be invited to join projects, teams or boards.”

The Gallup poll data showing more people preferred a male boss when they did have a gender preference was based on both male and female respondents. However, their results match up with a Fairygodboss poll which had 100% female respondents. Among Fairygodboss women, 40% of those surveyed said that male and female bosses were equally supportive of them, followed by male bosses, with female bosses coming in last. So, it seems that even among women, a larger percentage prefer having a male boss over a female one.

Fairygodboss Survey: Who do you think is more supportive: male or female bosses?

There are other potential explanations for why women may believe a male boss is more supportive of them. Certain women I have spoken to about this question of why women prefer working with me have said that there is a certain element of competitiveness. Certainly in Fairygodboss reviews, some members of our community say that some female leaders are not necessarily helpful to other women. It could be the phenomenon that Sallie Krawcheck has described as being “Queen Bee-ed”.

In other words, if there’s only room for a limited number of women at the table, it can be threatening to your own advantage to have too many other contenders around for your seat. Another explanation Krawcheck has proffered is that the rare women who make it to the top of their field may have less empathy for those who struggle because they don’t personally relate to those struggles. It’s a kind of “I did it, so why can’t you?” attitude which can make a generation of women pioneers seem steely and remote to another, younger generation of women.

Moreover, I can’t help suspect that for those women who have had a single or double bout of a bad experience with a female boss, there may be little subsequent opportunity to rectify their views. After all, there are relatively few female managers to begin with – so an isolated negative experience can be extrapolated far beyond its statistical significance.

Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCoPepsiCo"> recently made this statement at an AOL Makers conference: “I don’t believe women help women enough in the workplace,” noting that her mentors have all been male. While there’s no simple solution to changing our biases overnight, to rectify this situation, each of us women in the workplace should pause the next time we have either an opportunity to help another woman, or we are quick to judge another.

While some behaviors are unacceptable from a manager or colleague of any gender, we may want to check ourselves the next time we’re judging someone by their leadership style. For all of us in the workplace,let’s make sure we’re not unfair in our assumptions about how we think men or women “should” behave . That woman who has raised your ire may be less warm or empathetic than you wish her to be, but it may simply mean she’s busy trying to navigate a workplace with difficult social expectations…and busy trying to do her job (just like a man would).

Have you had a female boss or colleague who undermines you at work? If so, share your advice and opinions with other women in our community.


Fairygodboss is committed to improving the workplace and lives of women.
Join us by reviewing your employer!
‘Rolling thunder. Shock. A noble one in fear and dread sets things in order and is watchful.’ I-Ching (Hex.51)

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Gynocentrism and the undeserved deification of women
« Reply #16841 on: August 09, 2020, 10:00:52 AM »

In this article I will be examining Lester Ward’s theory on gynocentrism (see these links here1 and here2). I have chosen to write this to demonstrate that views on the supposed superiority of women are not isolated to just the last fifty years. The undeserved deification of women has been going on for far longer than fifty years. My issues with Ward’s theory are too numerous to write in one article, so I will provide my general criticism of his work. You will also notice that many of my future articles, including this one, are going to be considerably shorter than before. These articles are to encourage people to think more deeply about specific topics in the manosphere. I have laid the general foundations on my views on gynocentrism in my previous writings and have gone into great detail. It be should be sufficient now for me to provide a general outline on further topics I will discuss. Rest assured I could go into enormous detail on any given topic (as can be seen from my previous work), but I would rather cover more topics and rely on people to refer to my previous writings on gynocentrism if they need more information.

The Three Problems In Claiming Female Or Male Superiority

Lester Ward puts an argument forward about why women are the naturally superior sex in his theory. There are three major problems with claiming one sex is superior to the other. The first problem is defining what makes one sex superior to the other. Who decides what set of traits are important and what traits are less important? Who decides what combination of traits are relevant to determining which sex is superior? Who decides what even makes something superior? Claims of the overall superiority of a group are nebulous subjective value judgements. There is no universal definition that can be agreed upon, on what makes one group of people superior to the other. It makes far more coherent sense to claim superiority in relation to a specific metric, than to claim one sex is generally superior to the other. If I were to state that men on average have a superior height to that of women for instance, then that claim is far less vague and nebulous than stating that men are superior to women or vice versa.

The second problem with arguing one sex is superior, is that each sex are two interdependent and essential components of one biological system that replicates itself. We are not talking about two sets of organisms that exist independently of each other, where one can gain at the others’ expense over the long term. The relative success or failure of males and females which defines their value, is to some degree dependent on the relative success or failure of the other sex. It is the evolutionary success or failure of the whole biological system that males and females are components of, that determines the success or failure of males and females and thus their value.

The reductionist mindset cannot fathom the interdependent nature of a biological system and the emergent properties of such a system. The sum output of a system is greater than its individual components (synergy) and the components alone do not produce the desired output. The battle of the sexes, is really just a dysfunction of a bigger biological system that is temporarily out of equilibrium. Like cancer, intersexual conflict over the long term is a disturbance from the proper functioning of the biological system of the species. Just as cancerous tissue cannot ultimately gain at the expense of the body, neither can one sex ultimately gain at the expense of the other sex over the long term and not destroy the biological system that comprises the species as a whole.

The third problem with making claims of male or female superiority, is its usefulness. How useful is such a nebulous generalised subjective value judgement of entire halves of the population? It has no sustainable social or economic utility, because such claims are made about each sex in general and are subjective and not focused on just a specific metric or evidence that has practical implications. Claims of male or female superiority are nebulous. What do I mean by nebulous? There is a difference between suggesting that only women should run society because they are “superior”, without reference to any metric or solid evidence and suggesting men have superior physical strength and therefore need their own weightlifting events. One claim is specific to a metric (physical strength in this example) and backed up by evidence and facts and has practical implications, the other claim has none of those characteristics.

We also have to consider the destructive effects of claiming one sex is superior to other on society. How destructive is such a bigoted value judgement? We have centuries of history demonstrating how corrosive and how destructive claims of the superiority of one group of people over the other are. Genocides have occurred on the basis of group superiority and the alleged inferiority of the other group. Our society requires a certain level of cooperation, fairness and civility to function and remain stable and intact. Claims of group superiority of any kind whether it is based on race or sex (or some other characteristic), undermine these critical features that form the foundation of civilisation.

There has to be mutual respect and reciprocity for different groups of people to work together to form and run civilisation. Men and women cannot on their own form their own civilisations and so it becomes essential to maintain mutual respect and reciprocity between the sexes. Once you remove the basic level of respect men should have toward women and women should have toward men, you undermine the core relationship between the sexes that forms the basis of the nuclear family and civilisation itself. There is no relationship more fundamental to civilisation than that between men and women. For this reason we can in part measure the health of society, based on the health of the relationship between men and women. Claims of male or female superiority undermine the relationship between the sexes and thus society and the foundations of civilisation. This is why radical feminism, gynocentrism and claims of female superiority or male superiority, need to be addressed and not ignored.

The Greater Variability Of The Male Sex Does Not Make Them Inferior

Lester Ward’s theory argues that women are superior to men because the female sex is more conserved in nature and the male sex is more variable. That is essentially what his core argument boils down to. Evolution is driven by natural selection and natural selection drives adaptation and adaptation is the result of variation. The fact that the biological role of females is less variable in nature, does not then result in females being the naturally superior sex. Sexual reproduction and the origins of biological sex, result from the evolutionary advantage of variation that arises from them. Being more variable does not make males inferior. The greater biological variation of the male sex in nature, simply demonstrates the importance of the male sex and its role in reproduction, in providing the variation required for a species to adapt to its environment and also enhance a species evolutionary success in general.

Females Are Not The Source Of Life

Lester also seems to hold a view that the female sex has existed long before the male sex and so that somehow makes them superior. Bacteria have existed long before humans, does that make bacteria superior to humans? Just because something has been around longer, does not make it superior. Aside from that reality, females have been around as long as males. The female sex literally cannot exist without sexual reproduction and the existence of the male sex. This should be obvious.

Ward shares a view in his theory, that females have been the main trunk of life. There is a trap in thinking that if less males passed on their genes, then males had a lower contribution to the continuation of the lineage. People fail to consider that in instances where fewer males reproduced, males that did reproduce did so at a higher frequency than females (where sexual reproduction involves an individual male and female, as it does in our species). Thus the total contribution of the male and female sex to the continuation of the lineage is exactly the same, regardless as to how many males versus females reproduce in a species like ours where each instance of reproduction involves one male and one female.

In relation to Ward’s view that females are the main trunk of life, Ward seems to think that asexual life can be considered “female” and therefore asexual life should be counted towards the female contribution to the continuation of life. It is scientifically and factually incorrect to conflate asexual life and the female sex as being interchangeable.

Lester says the following in his writings:

“Origin of the Male Sex. — Although reproduction and sex are two distinct things, and although a creature that reproduces without sex cannot properly be called either male or female, still, so completely have these conceptions become blended in the popular mind that a creature which actually brings forth offspring out of its own body is instinctively classed as female. The female is the fertile sex, and whatever is fertile is looked upon as female. Assuredly it would be absurd to look upon an organism propagating asexually as male. Biologists have proceeded from this popular standpoint, and regularly speak of “mother-cells” and “daughter-cells.” It therefore does no violence to language or to science to say that life begins with the female organism and is carried on a long distance by means of females alone. In all the different forms of asexual reproduction, from fission to parthenogenesis, the female may in this sense be said to exist alone and perform all the functions of life including reproduction. In a word, life begins as female.” 1,3

There is a big difference between the biology of an asexually reproducing organism and a biological female that sexually reproduces. It does do violence to language and to science to attempt to conflate the two. Most of the asexually reproducing species on this planet are simple forms of life and reproduce very differently to sexual reproduction. In contrast, most of the complex forms of life on Earth are sexually reproducing species. There is a big difference between the biology of bacteria asexually reproducing in a petri dish and a human female and how they reproduce. It makes no sense to categorise life that existed 3.8 billion years ago as “female”, or any other form of asexually reproducing life.  Life did not begin female, it began with asexually replicating single celled organisms and in the absence of biological sex. Females did not come before males, females originated at the same time as males did. The existence of the female sex, requires the existence of the male sex.

Females in our species and in many other sexually reproducing species, cannot reproduce or “create life” without the male. Females do not “create life” in our species, human males and females create life. This basic reality seems lost on Ward. Ward’s related and skewed presentation that males simply act as fertiliser, fails to properly represent the breadth of what males contribute. Males do other things other than provide sperm, especially in higher order species and in humans (i.e like paternal investment in offspring). Ward does not appear interested in exploring or examining that in any detail, aside from giving it a passing remark.

There Is No Universal Law Of Male Inferiority

A major flaw in Ward’s theory, is his use of different examples in nature of males and females to demonstrate the supposed superiority of the female sex. Examples in nature can be found to demonstrate the exact opposite (i.e “male superiority”), but he does not seem interested in citing those examples. This is confirmation bias, selectively filtering information to confirm an existing belief or conclusion. Ward seems quite willing to accept that the greater variation in males, may lead to instances where females are in a “superior” position to males in certain respects in particular species. In contrast Ward seems uninterested in giving equal consideration to examples where this same greater variation of males, may put males in a superior position to females in certain respects in other species. Who is to say either that what Ward considers is a weakness of a male of a particular species in one context, might actually be a strength is another context. A male spider of a species might be smaller and therefore considered “inferior” by Ward, but that same trait may allow the male spider greater mobility than the female to roam through its habitat and confer certain advantages.

Biology across all of nature is extraordinarily variable across species, families, phyla and kingdoms etc. To draw examples from widely different branches of nature and then form some grand unified theory that males are naturally inferior to females based on cherry picked examples as Ward does, is rife with problems. The evolutionary forces at work across different branches of life can be vastly different. It cannot be assumed that observing a similar pattern between the sexes in two or more different species (that allegedly demonstrate male inferiority), is the result of the same cause and that this cause is male inferiority from greater male variation. It is likely there are completely different forces at work that produce a similar pattern across the species he cites, given how different the biology and habitat of each species he refers to actually are. This would especially be the case when citing examples of males and females from completely different kingdoms as Ward does (species from the plant kingdom versus the animal kingdom)!

Why The Sexes Are Different But Equal

Ward’s theory on gynocentrism, is an example of the warped thinking that occurs when the brain is on gynocentrism- Reality goes out the window and people get selective with facts. I could write far more about why Ward’s theory is fundamentally flawed, but what I have written should suffice. Ultimately one can make arguments that men are superior to women and women are superior to men, but only in certain defined respects (i.e the greater physical strength of men or the greater immunity of women to infectious disease). However when it comes to the overall value of each sex in our species, neither sex is more valuable. For this reason, it does not make much sense to claim either sex is superior in general. In our species the male and female sex each produce exactly the same total number of copies of the genome/number of offspring (the source of biological value) and consequently our biology produces males and females in roughly equal proportion. See Fishers principle4 for more information on why this is so. As mentioned, even in instances where greater numbers of women reproduce in our species, the fewer men that reproduce will do so at a higher frequency than any individual woman and the total reproductive output of each sex will still remain equal.

Our biology does not favour the production of “superior” males or “superior” females over the other sex (hence the roughly 1:1 sex ratio at birth), because each sex produces the same biological value (i.e number of offspring or copies of the genome). Any subjective value judgement of male or female superiority, is our own social invention.  As males and females are produced in equal proportion in our species and have the same total reproductive output, each sex faces equivalent selective forces to develop and harness their different strengths in equal proportion to propagate the genome. Nature abhors a vacuum and will select against any scenario where half the population does not pull its own evolutionary weight. Consequently males and females may have different strengths, but over time selective pressures ensure these sets of strengths of each sex have equal value in terms of propagating the genome and the lineage. Ultimately propagating the genome is where all biological value comes from and so each sex has equal biological value. For more discussion on this topic on the biological equality of the sexes, consult this two part article of mine (linked here5 and here6).

It is possible for the sexes to be different in relation to each other, but equal in relation to biological value. This is no different from two houses being different, but having the same monetary value. People who argue that differences between people make equality impossible, fail to consider people can be different in some metrics and equal in other metrics. People can indeed be different in one respect and equal in another respect. Reductionist bigots generally don’t like the complexity of realities like that, but that does not make these realities any less true.

Reference List:
Pure sociology; a treatise on the origin and spontaneous development of society (1903)’s%20principle%20is%20an%20evolutionary,celebrated%20argument%20in%20evolutionary%20biology%22.
‘Rolling thunder. Shock. A noble one in fear and dread sets things in order and is watchful.’ I-Ching (Hex.51)

Offline knarf

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Rivalry against trees - People Destroy plants planted under the Billion Tree...
« Reply #16842 on: August 09, 2020, 10:17:12 AM »
tsunami campaign in Pakistan

Tehsil Bara, District Khyber, KPK province, Hundreds of violent locals allegedly affiliated to opposition parties have destroyed thousands of plants, planted under Billion tree tsunami campaign, initiated by Pakistan’s prime minister Imran Khan.

According to details, on September 9, 2020, Prime minister Imran Khan has announced to plant 3.5 million plants across the country in a single day in order to fight climate changes threatening Pakistan’s feature. Ten billion trees are to be planted in five years in Pakistan under billion Tree tsunami campaign.

Soon after the plantation of thousands of trees in Tehsil Bara begun on sunday morning, Hundreds of locals, allegedly affiliated to a politician from opposition party, uprooted all the plants claiming that the land on which these plants were planted is disputed.

However, District administration said all the land is owned by the government and administration has taken permission to plant on this land. The said land was disputed a while ago when a local politician grabbed it during the tenure of His party’s government.

However, the government has taken the land back from him after a legal fight in the court.

Chief minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has ordered an investigation into the matter and take action against those involved in echo-terrorism.

‘Rolling thunder. Shock. A noble one in fear and dread sets things in order and is watchful.’ I-Ching (Hex.51)

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President Donald Trump arrives for the Independence Day events at Mount Rushmore National Memorial in Keystone, South Dakota, July 3, 2020.

White House aides reached out to South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem last year about the process of adding additional presidents to Mount Rushmore, the New York Times reported.

According to a person familiar who spoke with the Times, Noem then greeted Trump when he arrived in the state for his July Fourth celebrations at the monument with a four-foot replica of Mount Rushmore that included his face.
Noem has noted before Trump's "dream" to have his face on Mount Rushmore, the Coolidge-era sculpture that features the 60-foot-tall faces of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt.
According to a 2018 interview with Noem, the two struck up a conversation about the sculpture in the Oval Office during their first meeting, where she initially thought he was joking. "I started laughing," she said. "He wasn't laughing, so he was totally serious."
"He said, 'Kristi, come on over here. Shake my hand, and so I shook his hand, and I said, 'Mr. President, you should come to South Dakota sometime. We have Mount Rushmore.' And he goes, 'Do you know it's my dream to have my face on Mount Rushmore?'"
Trump also toyed with the idea of adding himself to Mount Rushmore in 2017 at a campaign rally in Youngstown, Ohio.
During his July Fourth speech to supporters in South Dakota, Trump fiercely defended Mount Rushmore -- which activists and native tribal leaders have long criticized for its history and purpose -- saying it will "stand forever as an eternal tribute to our forefathers, and to our freedom."
"As we meet here tonight there is a growing danger that threatens every blessing our ancestors fought so hard for," Trump warned.
A White House official noted to the New York Times that Mount Rushmore is a federal, not a state monument.
‘Rolling thunder. Shock. A noble one in fear and dread sets things in order and is watchful.’ I-Ching (Hex.51)

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North Carolina, Virginia rocked by most powerful earthquake in region since 1916
« Reply #16844 on: August 09, 2020, 10:31:47 AM »

A magnitude 5.1 earthquake along North Carolina's border with Virginia on Sunday shook homes and rattled dishes as far away as Atlanta.

No serious damage or injuries were immediately reported.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was the strongest to rock the region since a magnitude 5.2 quake in 1916. Sunday's temblor which struck at 8:07 a.m., was centered just southeast of Sparta, North Carolina, about 100 miles north of Charlotte.

"It felt like a big locomotive going by and a big wave coming underneath the bed," said Sparta Mayor Wes Brinegar told CNN. "A big wave coming to lift you. ... I've lived here my whole life and have never felt anything like that."

Brinegar said some foundations apparently cracked and books were knocked off shelves. More than 100 miles to the south in Stanley, Gary Hooper was sitting on my couch when the temblor hit.

"I felt the couch move and then all of a sudden it just shook the whole house for four or five seconds, although at the time it felt like it was much longer,” Hooper said. “I thought it was a tree falling.”

The quake shook residents out of their beds and drew a crowd to social media.

"OMG!!! We experienced an earthquake in Charlotte, NC this morning!!! Our whole house shook!!!" tweeted DJHiPrayzeRadio. "We are okay. There is no damage that we can detect!!!"

Bill Griesmyer, an engineer in Charlotte, said the quake was strong enough to drive people out of their homes.

"Not a big one but shook the house and brought the neighbors out in their yards to see what happened," he said.

In Atlanta, Aisha Howard tweeted that "I know I’ve been awake since 430am but I’m pretty sure my apartment just shook in midtown ATL. I might need to get some rest"
‘Rolling thunder. Shock. A noble one in fear and dread sets things in order and is watchful.’ I-Ching (Hex.51)