…in brief

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article This week’s news in briefAlstom cuts workforce Alstom, the French heavy engineering group, has announced it is to cut halfits 10,000-strong UK workforce. It blamed the decision on lack of domesticsales for the company’s trains and power products and a lack of support fromthe British Government in keeping manufacturing contracts in the country.  www.uk.alstom.comJobs at new low UK manufacturing jobs have fallen to a low of 3.51 million, prompting callsfor the Government to provide more support for the sector. The Transport & GeneralWorkers Union said manufacturing was an integral part of the UK economy.  www.tgwu.org.ukMore builders needed Almost 400,000 new construction workers will be needed in the next fiveyears if government targets are to be met, according to the ConstructionIndustry Training Board (CITB). The CITB is launching Positive Image 2003, arecruitment campaign to promote construction as an exciting and varied career. www.bconstructive.co.ukSpitting DNA kits Train staff are to carry DNA kits, in an attempt to clamp down on spittingassaults. Central Trains is the first rail operator in England to issue driversand senior conductors with swab kits containing a pair of gloves, an evidencebag and two sterile swabs to collect DNA from attacks.  www.centraltrains.co.ukPaid leave could rise The Government is considering increasing statutory paid leave above theexisting four weeks under compromise proposals that could allow the UK to keepits opt-out from the EU Working Time Directive which is currently under review. According to The Times, the Governmentbelieves this concession could help persuade the European Commission of itscommitment to work-life balance issues and avoid having to impose a maximum48-hour working week across the UK. Comments are closed. …in briefOn 19 Aug 2003 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

Commentary: ‘Exoneration,’ Then And Now

first_imgCommentary: ‘Exoneration,’ Then And NowApril 1, 2019 By John KrullTheStatehouseFile.com  WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oliver North started yelling.He and I, along with several off-duty police officers, were riding in a van. He was on a book tour.This was in 1993, during the early days of Bill Clinton’s presidency, and several years after North had emerged as a national figure in the waning days of Ronald Reagan’s administration.North had captured America’s attention by testifying before Congress about his contacts with foreign governments and agents in the complicated scandal known as the Iran-Contra affair. The scandal involved breaking American law to sell weapons to Iran and channel the funds to the Contras, a right-wing rebel group in Nicaragua.During his testimony, North acknowledged that, as a member of Reagan’s national security team, he’d lied to Congress and even other members of the administration about his Iran-Contra dealings.But he also displayed a potent charisma, a personal magnetism that transformed him overnight from a midlevel White House staffer into a man on horseback leading the rebel hordes as they stormed the castle.In some ways, he was Donald Trump before Trump turned to politics.What prompted North to start yelling was a question I asked him.When we talked, he was preparing to run for Virginia’s U.S. Senate seat. I asked him how he, as a U.S. senator, would react if a member of Bill Clinton’s national security team did what North had done – lied to Congress about a matter of national security.North erupted.As the van rolled along, he stood up from his seat and leaned over me. There was no comparison, he yelled. He loved America, he said. That alone justified anything he might have done.When North’s role in the Iran-Contra affair was first disclosed, he was fired from the Reagan administration and charged with committing 16 felonies. He initially was convicted on three of them, including accepting money illegally and obstructing a congressional inquiry.But North had testified to Congress under a pledge of limited immunity. His defense team argued, on appeal, that the prosecution had used North’s congressional testimony against him, thus violating the limited immunity agreement.The appeals court agreed, and North’s conviction was overturned.Most people would call that getting off on a technicality, but North didn’t.He said the court’s ruling “exonerated” him.I’ve thought about that long-ago conversation as I move through the nation’s capital. The talk here now is all about the special counsel’s report submitted by Robert Mueller III and summarized with astonishing rapidity and brevity by Attorney General William Barr.It’s another case of yet another charismatic man on horseback claiming that his love of America entitles him to ignore America’s laws while proclaiming that legal technicalities “exonerate” him.North did run for the Senate the year after he talked with me.He lost.Part of the reason was that his lies caught up with him. Once the light generated by his televised testimony faded and the American people could think about what he’d said, they weren’t as enthralled by North’s charm.They realized he was arguing he was above the law.The Republican he wanted to succeed in the Senate, John Warner, refused to endorse him. Former First Lady Nancy Reagan called North a liar on national television.North went on to a long career of preaching to the right-wing choir on Fox News and conservative talk radio. He’s now the president of the National Rifle Association.In none of these places was his record of treating the truth as a disposable commodity considered an obstacle to employment.It appears now that a more complete version of the Mueller report soon will be released to Congress and the American public.The bet here is that, once people have a chance to see it and ponder its findings, they will be less likely to accept the contentions of the president and his team that the report “exonerates” him and them.Their contention, after all, amounts to an admission that, while they didn’t cooperate with the Russians to sway the 2016 election, they did allow themselves to be used by the Russians in that effort.They weren’t conspirators.They were dupes.As in the case of Oliver North, the dust will settle.It always does.FOOTNOTE:  John Krull is director of Franklin College’s Pulliam School of Journalism, host of “No Limits” WFYI 90.1 Indianapolis and publisher of TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.Print Friendly, PDF & Email FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Corruption Risk Seen in Australian Coal Deals

first_imgCorruption Risk Seen in Australian Coal Deals FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Guardian:A new report shines a critical light on the links between mining companies, lobbyists and politicians, pointing to the Indian mining giant Adani as an example of how a company with a questionable record overseas can still gain mining approval in Australia.It warns the political mining complex in Australia’s two biggest mining states, Western Australian and Queensland, is “susceptible to corruption” due to key weaknesses in their approvals regimes, including inadequate due diligence investigation into the companies and individuals applying for mining leases.It also criticises the “revolving doors” of personnel between government and industry broadly, and political donations regimes.The report, published by Transparency International Australia (TIA), Corruption Risks: Mining Approvals in Australia, was released on Wednesday.Its authors conducted 47 interviews with experts from government, industry, civil society, academics, Indigenous traditional owners and consultants in Perth and Brisbane to gather its evidence. Its list of key weaknesses in the mining approvals regimes is long.The researchers says “industry influence” is a corruption risk in Australia, particularly with regard to large infrastructure project approvals in Queensland and WA.It notes the mining industry has disclosed donations of $16.6m to major political parties over the past 10 years (2006-07 to 2015-16), and warns the under-regulated system of political donations can allow special interest groups to attempt to influence policy-making at all levels of government.It highlights the “revolving doors” of personnel between government an industry as a risk in Australia generally.It points out 191 of 538 lobbyists (35.5%) registered by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, as of September 2016, were former government representatives.The researchers also warn government departments involved in the mining approvals process in Queensland and WA do not undertake adequate due diligence into the character and integrity of applicants for mining leases, including companies’ track records overseas, and investigations of their financial capacity do not involve an examination of beneficial ownership to understand who the real owners are.The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis also warned this week that Adani’s ambitions in Queensland faced a new risk, with the company having to refinance more than $2bn in debt on the Abbot Point coal terminal – more than it paid for the port in 2011.More: Mining companies’ links with politicians ‘susceptible to corruption’ – reportlast_img read more

Trump appears at Veterans Day event

first_imgMr Trump has yet to concede the election to his Democratic rival. US President Donald Trump has made his first official public appearance since the election was called for Joe Biden.He attended a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia for Veterans Day.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img