Liberty in North Korea (LiNK), a grassroots nonprofit that works to improve the lives of North Korean refugees, described the situation inside North Korea as one of the “greatest challenges facing humanity today” during a lecture at Carey Auditorium on Sunday.LiNK representative Kirsten Pulles said in addition to refugee assistance, the nonprofit also hopes to change society’s idea of what is going on inside the country and how they can help.“I’m sure for some of you, when I say North Korea, some of the first things that naturally pop into your head are scary weapons, scary dictators with even scarier haircuts, and movies [like The Interview that] you’re scared to watch with your family in the room,” Pulles said. “That’s what you see on the news, because that’s the story and that’s what makes a great story. But … I want to replace those first impressions with the North Korean people — the hope that they have for their future, and the changes that are already happening at the grassroots level.”The United Nations published a report last year that found “the gravity, scale and nature of the human rights violations currently happening in North Korea reveal a state that is without parallel in our contemporary world.”“[The report] went on to say that these crimes against humanity include ‘extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions and other sexual violence, persecution based on political, religious, racial and gender grounds, the forcible transfer of populations, the forced disappearance of persons and the inhumane act of knowingly causing prolonged starvation,” she said.Pulles said these conditions have contributed to a per capita income in North Korea that is 20 times lower than that of their neighbors. Because of this, North Korean citizens are trapped in an enforced state of poverty.“This leaves an estimated one in four, or 28 percent of North Korean children, chronically malnourished,” she said.But the situation inside North Korea may be starting to change, in part due to a much greater access to outside media and information, Pulles said. Outside media is often smuggled across the Chinese border, where it is sold on illegal markets. Outside information comes from North Korean refugees, who often send money and news to their families back home, Pulles said.“In the mid-1990s, North Korea’s socialist economy collapsed, and this meant that among other basic needs, food rations from the government stopped being given to the people [of North Korea],” she said. “With their only source of food cut off, it’s estimated that up to one million North Korean people starved to death in the resulting famine.“People knew that if they were going to survive, they would have to get creative and learn to work around the system that they used to depend on. They began engaging in illegal market activities, which led to a process led to marketization from below. These markets provided access not only to basic needs like food and clothing, but they also provided access to new sources of information and a new place to meet and discuss new ideas.”This information cuts through propaganda that has successfully worked to subjugate North Koreans in the past, Pulles said.“[The North Korean regime] used to tell the people that South Korea existed only in an oppressive poverty, abused by their American colonial occupiers. People were taught to feel sorry for the children who were supposedly starving in South Korea and to feel grateful to live in their so-called socialist paradise. This propaganda narrative was effective for many years. But new sources of information showing the reality of the outside world are beginning to seep inside the country. South Korean films, TV shows and dramas are shared secretly among friends and relatives. This is helping people see just how advanced South Korea and the rest of the outside world has become, while they were left behind.”The new information also helps to build networks of trust between North Korean people, bringing them together, Pulles said.“In the past, the regime has tried to foster distrust among the North Korean people, encouraging them to turn each other in or report each other,” she said. “And they also tried to prevent any groups from forming outside of their direct control and supervision. But now, since people are getting their information from friends and neighbors, and they’re gathering in secret to watch this information, it’s starting to build the very trust the regime has tried so hard to prevent in the past.”Tags: grassroots, LiNK, nonprofit organization, North Korea
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York [colored_box color=”red”]Dennis RodmanWe know that Dennis Rodman could dribble and talk at the same time, at least on the basketball court. Nicknamed “The Worm,” he is an NBA Hall of Famer after all. But when this cross-dressing, tattooed and body-pierced bizarro dude recently showed up in North Korea’s capital Pyongyang alongside dictator Kim Jon Un (both men in black), he drew a foul call heard ’round the world. The North Korean strongman is test-firing missiles, aiming at us, and threatening to start nuclear war while his own people literally starve. Yet Rodman tells Kim: “You have a friend for life.” So that proves the age-old adage: with friends like that, who needs enemies? Look, we know the Knicks need a power forward to boost their defense, but maybe even Jimmy Dolan would agree that this Worm has turned.Margaret SitteWhat’s going on in North Dakota? State Sen. Margaret Sitte, a Republican, sponsored a bill to amend the state’s constitution by giving human embryos legal protection—and it will be on the ballot in 2014. By her thinking, the zygotes have constitutional rights. What’s next for them? Driver’s licenses? Voter registration? Jury duty? It’s amazing that conservative zealots like her and her colleagues in Fargo don’t mind messing with women’s wombs but turn a deaf ear to making life better for those who are actually born, perhaps providing improved public safety, increased infrastructure investment, more affordable health care, etc., etc. The “Roughrider State” has only one abortion clinic, and according to Huffington Post, it’s the worst state in the country for women. Sitte must be a misogynist—she’s taking power away from a mother and giving it to a fetus. John PistoleInteresting coincidence that John Pistole, the head of the Transportation Security Administration, has a name that sounds like a gun, considering his agency’s fixation on weapons. But his decisions about what to confiscate seem rather illogical. The 9/11 terrorists used box-cutters. The TSA has collected passengers’ pocketknives, corkscrews and even snow globes. The TSA permits scissors, knitting needles and screwdrivers. Now Pistole wants to let people board with knives less than 2.36 inches long, hockey sticks and golf clubs. Yet still no soda cans or shampoos. Chalk up a small victory for the Swiss Army Knife and a defeat for common sense. Who says a putter can’t kill?Matt LauerNBC’s “Today Show” hasn’t been the same since J. Fred Muggs was their mascot. The chimpanzee made morning television must-see TV. But these days, should we decide to tune in, we have to endure that boring Matt Lauer, who is as appealing as a used banana peel. Last year he signed a contract reportedly worth $25 million a year. That’s not chimp change. Is he worth it? Certainly Ann Curry, his co-host that he allegedly threw under the bus because the “chemistry” wasn’t right, would beg to differ—if she could get a word in edgewise. The only network people benefitting from his hogging the airwaves are the rival producers of “Good Morning America.” Lauer should quit monkeying around.Harry Reid and Mitch McConnellThe nation is looking for Congressional leadership on gun control in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., massacre. But instead of doing the right thing for the country, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the Democrat, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Republican, both bow to the NRA juggernaut. Reid pulls the assault weapons ban from the basic bill, saying he didn’t have the votes to ensure its passage. McConnell hopes he can exploit the issue to take over the Senate in November. Both Senators can do the math—if they don’t count the 20 murdered children and six adults gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School, let alone the other innocent people who’ve lost their lives to gun violence since December—seven Senators are retiring, and 35 Senate seats are up for grabs. Both leaders know that public opinion has swung behind the ban and in favor of expanded background checks of gun buyers. After all, the ban was the law of the land from 1994-2004. But rather than take on the unpopular gun industry, Reid has cowardly ceded the debate to Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, whose $12 million ad blitz will target Democratic Senators in rural states with gun-owners who are vulnerable to NRA propaganda. If Reid frames the issue properly so law-abiding gun owners are reassured, he has a chance to stop the rampage and make America a safer place. McConnell should remember the children who were shot to death. It’s a good thing these two spineless cowards weren’t in Congress when our country was fighting slavery.Hugh Hefner and Crystal HarrisThe 86-year-old “playboy” really does give a new dimension to the term “dirty old man.” Hugh Hefner just got married for the third time to Crystal Harris, who is 26. With their nuptials, the couple makes a mockery of marriage equality. That the media give them any notice at all for their nutty nuptials is pathetic. Why can’t Hef find a cave in the Himalayas to meditate in? If anybody should know something about the mind-body duality, it should be him, but the only wisdom he’s acquired is that of pubescence, not transcendence. He tells the April issue of Esquire magazine that he’s slept with thousands of women but he never cheated on his wife “when I was married.” Does he want a medal on his satin bathrobe? We don’t envy Harris her career move—in or out of the honeymoon bed. The sooner we forget Hef and her, the better.Justin BieberThe Biebs still has his hordes of girls behind him, but now that this white-bread teenage heartthrob has turned 19, his act is getting a little old. Since he broke up with singer-actress Selena Gomez, he’s been acting out in public. Maybe he’s miffed because she appeared in a video for Dustin Tavella’s “Everybody Knows (Your Boyfriend Is a Douchebag!”) and had a little too much fun with the chorus line. Hey, celebrity love sucks. We get that. But the Biebs is losing it big time. He got into a spat with the management of a London club and had to exit immediately. He took to strutting around chilly London without a shirt on while his purple pants were at half-assed. He began a concert two hours late, collapsed at another show and was hospitalized, and told paparazzi that he would “fucking beat the fuck out of you, man!” What a potty mouth! Perhaps, to overcompensate, he later went out on the town wearing a gasmask and a Brooklyn Nets cap under a pullover. We’ve wasted too many words on this has-been already. Enuff already.Ghostinthedark Satania BlazeFor a career in the nursing profession, the choices that Ghostinthedark Satania Blaze has made don’t inspire much confidence that she’ll ever provide patients with the same level of care that Florence Nightingale would have expected. “I’m the soul thief,” says this woman, whose real name Swiss authorities haven’t released. Clearly, she is a very naughty nurse who should have left her S&M playbook at home before going to work at the nursing home. On her Facebook page, she praises “Satan,” posts photos of herself posing with a corpse and asks her fiends, we mean, friends, to guess “if she is asleep or is she dead?,” we assume Blaze means the elderly patient who is an unwitting prop in this sick person’s self-promotion. Mark Burnett and Roma DowneyApparently there isn’t a commandment against turning the Old and New Testaments into low-budget fodder for basic cable, but if there were, then Mark Burnett (“Survivor”) and Roma Downey (“touched by an Angel”) would have some serious atoning to do. As producers of the History Channel’s series, “The Bible,” they cast Mehdi Ouazanni as Satan. The resemblance to President Barack Obama is, as the tabloids say, “uncanny.” The husband-and-wife team claims it’s just a coincidence. Ouazanni is “a highly acclaimed Moroccan actor,” they say. Our beleaguered president has enough problems dealing with conservative Christians and Congressional Republicans who probably do think he’s the Prince of Darkness. Considering that all the other major actors in this misguided mini-series are either white Europeans or Americans, let’s just say that this pair’s casting call was a sin of commission. [/colored_box]
continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Both chambers of Congress are in session this week, and CUNA will be engaged with a number of hearings and other meetings throughout the week. These include a Wednesday markup of several bills by the Senate Commerce Committee, bills that include the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act (S. 151).The TRACED Act aims to combat illegal robocalls, but CUNA has several concerns with the bill, including a lack of clarity on what constitutes “legal” calls and on any potential safe harbors.The House Ways and Mean Committee will also mark up several bills Tuesday, including the Taxpayer First Act of 2019 (H.R. 1957). The bill includes several measures designed to protect taxpayers from unfair practices and improve Internal Revenue Services operations and includes provisions related to suspected or actual “structuring transactions” and their treatment under the Bank Secrecy Act.
Did the Rubber Meet the Road?So many financial institutions have been focused on creating that ultimate digital experience – the focus was on design elements, process improvement, and an investment in technology components. So, how is all of this panning out in today’s environment? It has been challenging to say the least; while there is certainly the intent to serve consumers digitally, the execution of the strategy does not live up to the promise. No, the rubber is not meeting the road!Are We Truly Digital First?My friend Jason says it best when he states, “Don’t come to me with more people to solve a digital first challenge, figure out a way to reduce the amount of people to solve the problem.” That is a digital first mantra that should drive your digital transformation.Let us start by answering some basic questions:Can the consumer open an account digitally?Can the consumer apply for a loan without human intervention?Can we decision the account/loan through automation?How can the transaction be completed/fulfilled without paper?Can the account be serviced digitally?Defining Real Objectives & Measures of SuccessHere are five objectives and suggested measures of success:Digital should deliver on the promise of ease; you measure this by a goal of 99%+ completion of the application. If it was easy and convenient, the applicant should have no problems.Digital should be fast; our goal should be to ensure that it does not take more than five minutes to open a new account. Maybe four minutes? Can we do it in less than three minutes?Digital should be efficient; we do this by ensuring that we simplify the process and even minimize the number of (system) calls to complete a transaction.Digital should ensure correctness; there is no need to keep going back to manually check the completeness and correctness of transactions – how about a service level of above 99.5%.Digital should ensure independence; can we minimize the amount of people that may be required to complete the online task (application). How about a goal of less than 1%?We do not even need to look at Amazon. Think about those small retailers who have implemented electronic commerce – every single one of the objectives listed above are achievable. Else, you would not call it electronic commerce.Simplifying the AskWhen we have a conversation with the CTO/CDO/CIO, here is what we should be asking for:Automate repetitive processes, and digitize as much as possibleBuild our brand in the digital worldFind, engage, and serve consumers digitallyOur employees should be digitally savvy and become digital mentorsSystems we install HAVE TO integrate, reduce those one-off islandsThe insight garnered should be organized and sharedWe have to be agile, adapt to change, and keep improvingDigital has to drive real ROI. Think about our long-term strategy – can we support our current growth strategy through branch growth? How many more consumers can a physical branch support through the correct application of digital? Can we boost the adoption of financial solutions to the consumers we serve? Could we scale to more with our current infrastructure? Can we do more without adding people?What We Have & What We NeedOur current technology infrastructure includes these key components – a core banking system, digital banking platform, LOS/AOS, self-service, contact center, payments processing, databases, reporting, and consumer messaging.Progressive financial institutions are beginning to add an API tool kit, biometrics – for those we serve and for us internally, RPA for those repetitive tasks including complex repetition, AI to do even deeper thinking, analytics – for real-time queries to predictive to even prescriptive, omni-channel scheduling because time is money, and a focus on everyday payments – remember, our brand can be carried in our consumer’s pocket.Our people need to be empowered; we have to focus on educating them beyond just knowing the products we offer. To be appreciated as mentors, our people need to be looked upon as wise financial counsellors, who are empathetic and digitally savvy. Consequently, all our channels (especially our people channel) need to be selling those we serve on the access and availability we provide. Yes, digital provides 24×7 access.Avoid the Charlatans & Some Cardinal SinsMany digital transformation initiatives promised us the world and so much more. You know who they are – take a look at their initiatives, they have fallen way short of what they promised. All those books, all those articles, all those promises – clearly false.Also, do not tolerate your contact center or branch team telling you that they are unwilling to pick up the phone to help a consumer out with an application because it will mess up their performance statistics.And, please do not fall for cool. Seamless is a journey, not a destination – we keep improving.Driving Digital SuccessYour digital success is a journey and will be driven by a step-by-step approach. Focus on fulfilling journeys for the many personas you serve across multiple channels. So, in no particular order, define personas, identify journeys, and think about mapping these across channel.Think digital first (independence) as you chart these journeys. And while you do enhance your digital speak, remember that “Ohana” feeling of family. My friends from Hawaii say that digital is cool as long as your warmth comes through.Send me a note (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you want to join a digital readiness roundtable discussion with a dozen of your peers (this group is rocking digital). Also, remember my friend Jason – he is looking for someone to drive his technology transformation. And do let me know how your journey is going. Wishing you the very best through these trying times. 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Sundeep Kapur Sundeep has been assisting financial institutions with their omni-channel strategies – a more effective branch, a better online experience, & great consumer engagement. He is the author of an online … Web: www.emailyogi.com Details
Amid signs that federal pandemic assistance funds have not reached businesses that need them the most, Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) this week introduced legislation creating a new $2 billion emergency fund for Community Development Financial Institutions.The legislation, S. 4430, would automatically provide capital for CDFIs during a natural disaster or economic crisis. The legislation is cosponsored by nine Democrats and Independent Bernie Sanders of Vermont.“By creating a crisis fund for CDFIs with automatic triggers, we can quickly provide aid to the people and small businesses that need it most,” Schatz said.Any CDFI applying for funds from the program would have to commit to spending 90% of the funds in areas affected by the emergency, according to the legislation. The bill also sets aside 30% of the crisis funding for minority CDFIs. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
The ruling party denies the opposition’s claims of electoral fraud in the parliamentary vote.- Advertisement –
Noviono told reporters on Wednesday that there were three to four new ETF products to come this year, further expanding the contribution of ETFs to the company’s assets under management (AUM).“The contribution of our ETF products to the total AUM right now is approximately 75 percent,” Noviono said.With the launch of IPIM’s newest fund, the IDX has seen three new ETF listings this year. Last year, 14 ETFs were listed on the IDX. “We hope that this ETF can diversify investment options, which are needed by today’s investors, who are becoming more diverse,” IDX assessment director I Gede Nyoman Yetna said in his opening remarks on Wednesday.He added that IPIM, as a market leader in the issuance of ETF funds, could act as a reference for other fund managers to offer attractive ETF products that could help grow the ETF market in Indonesia.An ETF is a collection of securities, consisting of stocks or bonds, that tracks an underlying price index in the stock market.Despite being similar to a mutual fund, an ETF differs, in part, because it is traded like an ordinary stock on the stock exchange.ETF share prices fluctuate during the trading day in accordance with the market, while the prices of mutual funds are based on the day’s closing price. (ydp) PT Indo Premier Investment Management (IPIM), a subsidiary of PT Indo Premier Sekuritas, listed another exchange-traded fund (ETF) on the Indonesian Stock Exchange (IDX) on Wednesday.IPIM director Noviono Darmosusilo said in Jakarta that the ETF fund, called the “Reksa Dana Premier ETF MSCI Indonesia Large Cap”, was the third ETF listed on the stock exchange this year and tracked the performance of the MSCI Indonesia Large Cap Index which consisted of the 15 most liquid stocks on the IDX.“From the 600 companies listed today on the IDX, we took the 15 largest companies and most liquid stocks with a capitalization value representing no less than 70 percent of the free-float adjusted market capitalization of the Jakarta Composite Index,” Noviono said following the listing of the company’s ETF on the exchange. “We know there are the IDX 30 [and] LQ45, [which act] as reference indexes to form the core of a portfolio. Well, the MSCI Indonesia Large Cap is the core of the core,” he added.The IDX 30 index measures the performance of the 30 stocks with the largest market capitalization on the IDX and the highest transaction volume, selected from the constituents of the LQ45 index. The LQ45 index tracks the top 60 companies with the highest market capitalization over the last 12 months, among other indicators.Of the 41 ETFs listed on the IDX, 12 belong to IPIM, which means that IPIM’s ETF products make up almost 30 percent of ETF products traded on the IDX.The company, which was one of the first companies to offer such capital market instruments in Indonesia, added its previous ETF product over a year ago when it listed “Reksa Dana Indeks Premier ETF Pefindo i-Grade” on Dec. 21, 2018. Topics :
The preamble is also being changed to specify that “institutional investors are particularly important for companies”.It says institutional investors should exercise their ownership rights actively and responsibly “in accordance with transparent principles that also respect the concept of sustainability”.“The [commission] has therefore actively contributed to the debate, on a European as well as an international level, according to which institutional investors have particular responsibility in assessing how corporate governance is put into practice,” it said.Manfred Gertz, the outgoing chair of the commission, said the responses to the consultation underlined “the vast interest on questions regarding good corporate governance that exists within German listed companies”.“The focus is on strengthening self-responsible conduct by corporate bodies and committees complimented by a sensible level of transparency, allowing stakeholders to better assess how corporate governance is being put into practice,” he added.The changes to the code itself impose more transparency requirements for companies, with the commission seeing transparency as the basis on which investors can assess good corporate governance.The requirements relate to compliance management, supervisory board composition, periodic reporting to investors, and the role of the chair of the supervisory board in engaging with investors.Unlike in countries such as the UK where non-executive directors do most of the communication with investors, in Germany the law has traditionally been interpreted to mean that this has to be handled by the management board.This is changing, however, and the commission decided that supervisory board chairpersons should “be prepared (under appropriate conditions) to discuss topics relevant to the supervisory board with investors”.“These are issues within the sole responsibility of the supervisory board, and which it must decide upon on its own,” the commission said. “In accordance with this suggestion, the chairman of the supervisory board will have certain discretion with whom and when he/she would like to conduct a discussion.”The commission’s recommendation comes after a group of investors and other stakeholders developed guidelines for interaction between the supervisory board chair and investors in a bid to bring German corporate governance more in line with practice in other countries. Some of the members of that task force are also on the government corporate governance commission. Germany’s corporate governance code is being amended to emphasise that institutional investors have a responsibility to exercise their ownership rights.The amendments follow a six-week consultation period that generated a strong response, both positive and critical, according to the government-appointed commission responsible for the code. The commission decided on changes to the code itself and the preamble, which sets out the spirit behind the code.The preamble has been extended to argue that good corporate governance requires companies and their directors to conduct business ethically and take responsibility for their behaviour. The German word used by the commission for the latter is “Eigenverantwortung” – literally translated as “self-responsibility” or “own-responsibility”.The guiding principle of an “honourable businessperson” (“ehrbarer Kaufmann”) was introduced to the preamble to reflect this.
Members of various civil society groups in southern Negros denounce the atrocities committed by the Negrenses honor slain cop, condemn CPP-NPA atrocities Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army during their indignation rally in Bago City on Feb. 25. They also paid tribute to Captain Efren Espanto, who was killed by NPA rebels in Janiuay, Iloilo last Feb. 12. NOCPPO During the indignation rally, a formerrebel shared his experience as a misguided member of the NPA. He surrendered tothe government authorities after he realized the meaningless ideology of thecommunist-terrorist group.(With a reportfrom PNA/PN) Espanto, who was the team leader ofRegional Mobile Force-Western Visayas Reconnaissance Company, hails from LaCarlota City but has a residence in Bago City. Married to a fellow policeofficer, he was a member of the Philippine National Police Academy 2015 ClassLakandula. The activity, initiated in front of the ManuelY. Torres Coliseum on Feb. 25, also served as a tribute to Captain EfrenEspanto, a Negrense policeman who was killed during an encounter with the NPArebels in Janiuay, Iloilo last February 12. His remains were transferred from BaxterFuneral Homes in Bago City to to La Carlota Gymnasium on Feb. 25. He will Hewill be laid to rest there in his hometown on Feb. 29. Banners which read “Salute to courageand sacrifice. You will never be forgotten,” were brought by the participantsas tribute to Espanto. BACOLOD City – Around 300 Negrensesgathered to condemn the atrocities of the Communist Party of thePhilippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) during an indignation rally in BagoCity. “His legacy and bravery will remain inthe hearts of his fellow police officers,” he added. Major Edison Garcia, public informationofficer of NOCPPO, said members from various civil society groups organized therally, which was supported by the provincial police. Colonel Romeo Baleros, director ofNegros Occidental Police Provincial Office (NOCPPO), said in a statementreleased on Wednesday that the communist-terrorist group committed an inhumanact in ending the life of the captain.
Clark County, in. — Thursday at approximately 5:13 p.m., troopers from the Indiana State Police Post at Sellersburg responded to an overturned semi on the interstate ramp from I-265 WB to I-65 SB in Clark County.The preliminary investigation revealed the semi-tractor and trailer loaded with two steel coils was traveling west down the ramp, when the loaded coils shifted causing the semi-tractor and trailer to overturn. Roger L. Cole, 64, from Gainesville, GA was driving the 1999 International semi-tractor and was pronounced dead at the scene by the Clark County Coroner’s Office.