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October, 2015

 

Europe Has Been Betrayed

World Affairs

Open Eyes Opinion {source: HUgov}

Hungary

Europe has been betrayed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speaking about the immigration crisis at a conference introducing the discussion document “Signs of the Times” held in Budapest on Friday, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that Europe has been betrayed, and if we do not stand up for it, this Europe will be taken away from us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

He said that if we do not stand up for Europe, the continent will no longer be the Europe of the people who live here, but a few leaders never elected by anyone – propagandists controlling huge capital flows who think outside the boundaries of nation states – will realize their madcap dreams. “If the Soros Foundation comes into your mind now, that is not entirely unjustified”, the Prime Minister told his audience at the event, which was organised by the Federation of Christian Intellectuals, the Hungarian Civic Cooperation Association and the Batthyány Society of Professors.

Mr. Orbán said that it is hardly surprising that thousands of people are being transported to Europe every day: “this is not simply about impotence and helplessness”, but about the desire of some to implement a deliberate project, which can be described as left-wing and which seeks to marginalize nation states. Where they have failed to overcome Christianity and the identity of the nation state in conventional political struggle, they will attempt this by ethnic means.

“In opposition to this conspiracy, and against this betrayal, we must turn to democracy, we must turn to the people”, so that they can say “yes” or “no” to what is happening today, the Prime Minister said. He therefore suggested first the launch of a European debate, the purpose of which he sees as lying in the emergence of a strong, Christian Europe. He also spoke about the protection of Austria’s borders; on this he quoted Austria’s elected leader, who said that “we are not building a fence, but a gate – with long fixed sections on either side.

This reference to the recent words of Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann provoked a roar of laughter among the audience in the room. Mr. Orbán said that at first this may appear to be funny, but it is in fact pathetic. In his view, this shows that Europe – which used to be a world of freedom of speech – is now in such an intellectual and spiritual state that certain words, like “fence”, are not allowed to be used.

In his speech the Prime Minister also reiterated at length the history of the civic political community in Hungary after the fall of communism, mentioning, for example, 1994; that was when “the communists returned”, though in parliamentary elections, rather than “in tanks” – which was “a change in quality”. In that year, the first attempt was made to build a civic alliance, but the time was not yet ripe.

He also spoke about the relationship between Fidesz and KDNP, in which he described the role of the Christian Democratic People’s Party within the alliance as being like that of an anchor. It is likewise no mere coincidence, he continued, that the current composition of the Constitutional Court – which is, in his view, at least as important as that of Parliament – is fundamentally conservative and Christian democratic in its majority.

With its decisions the Constitutional Court seeks to uphold the constitutional foundations which Fidesz and KDNP created jointly, he said. As part of his historical overview, he further stressed that the Fundamental Law created in the first term of this government is the Hungarian nation’s first democratically conceived constitution.

In his forty-minute speech, Mr. Orbán reflected on the thoughts of previous speakers, including Zoltán Osztie, President of the Federation of Christian Intellectuals, who expressed his regret at the lack of a church strategy. The Prime Minister said that now that András Veres has been elected President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Hungary, there will be a strategy – but he is not certain whether the Government will like it.

Regarding the discussion document entitled “Signs of the Times”, the Prime Minister said that it may rightly aspire to become a compass for governments over the next ten years, which he hopes will be of the right. As the press release distributed at the event states, in the debate document Signs of the Times presented at the Italian Cultural Institute (which was home to the House of Representatives of the Hungarian Parliament between 1865 and 1902), Christian intellectuals evaluate “Hungarian reality”, “show society the way”, take account of results achieved, but also express criticism and make suggestions.

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[photo credits: “Statue of Stephen I of Hungary in Buda Castle 2010” by User:Sveter (Please credit as “Petr Šmerkl, Wikipedia” in case you use this outside WMF projects.) – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Statue_of_Stephen_I_of_Hungary_in_Buda_Castle_2010.JPG#/media/File:Statue_of_Stephen_I_of_Hungary_in_Buda_Castle_2010.JPG]

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U.S. Department Of State Announces $100 Million In New Assistance To The Syrian Opposition

News Snippet

Open Eyes Opinion {source: DOS}

Syria

 

Additional Assistance for the Syrian Opposition

 

 

 

 

Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
October 31, 2015

 


As Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced today at the Manama Dialogue, the United States will provide nearly $100 million in new assistance to the Syrian opposition, bringing the total support we have committed and are providing to the Syrian opposition since 2012 to nearly $500 million.

As part of our steadfast commitment to empower the Syrian opposition, this assistance will support local and provincial councils, civil society activists, emergency first responders, and others to meet the needs of the Syrian people.

U.S. assistance is helping keep schools open for Syrian children; restoring access to electricity and water infrastructure; supporting independent media and civil society to hold their local governments accountable, and building the capacity of the moderate opposition to play a role in a future Syria that respects human rights and the rule of law.

Part of this new assistance includes an additional $15 million contribution to the Syria Recovery Trust Fund (SRTF), which channels donor contributions in a transparent and accountable manner to priority projects inside Syria.

With support from 14 donor countries over the last two years, the SRTF is delivering over 20 projects that reach 2 million Syrians in the sectors of health, food security, water, electricity, agriculture, and waste management in areas of moderate opposition control inside Syria.

While our SRTF contribution today will help many, Syrians face significant challenges working to support their communities, and we continue to urge our international partners to contribute and help the SRTF fulfill its important mission.

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[photo credits: “Azaz, Syria” by Christiaan Triebert – Flickr: Azaz, Syria. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Azaz,_Syria.jpg#/media/File:Azaz,_Syria.jpg]

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Abu Dhabi’s Tourism Industry will Participate In London’s World Travel Market

World Travel – Tourism

Open Eyes Opinion {source: WAM}

Abu Dhabi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abu Dhabi tourism industry heads to World Travel Market in London targeting 20pc increase in UK visitors to emirate

ABU DHABI, 31st October 2015 — Abu Dhabi’s tourism industry will be at London’s World Travel Market (WTM) later this month – one of the world’s largest trade fairs – to highlight the emirate’s rich diversity of landscape, culture and attractions.

The WTM Abu Dhabi pavilion will be spearheaded by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) – with almost 100 products being promoted, many of them new-to-market, by the best of the emirate’s hotels, resorts, attractions, tour operators and destination management companies.

The trade fair, which begins on November 2, attracts travel professionals from 186 countries and regions and attracts more than 50,000 travel professionals annually.

“The UK remains the leading European market for visitors to Abu Dhabi with guest arrivals rising 16% year on year to 142,134, delivering 586,521 guest nights across the emirate, which is a significant rise of 10% on the previous year,” said Mubarak Al Nuaimi, Director, Promotions and Overseas Offices, TCA Abu Dhabi.

“WTM is a perfect platform for us to build on our successes and ensure we meet our target of a 20% increase in UK guests staying in our 163 hotels and hotel apartments and to increase their length of stay, which is currently 4.13 nights. Key to achieving our ambitious target is building on our existing relationships with agents and tour operators and establishing an even wider business network. We are confident of meeting these expectations by working with our stakeholders in highlighting our fabulous destination.”

The Abu Dhabi pavilion will emphasize the diverse nature of three destinations for visitors in just one emirate – Abu Dhabi city, the United Arab Emirates’ capital; Al Ain, the emirate’s heritage heartland; and Al Gharbia, the emirate’s Western Region, where the desert meets the sea, to offer visitors a chance to delve into Abu Dhabi’s rich history and culture.

The ‘Oasis City’ of Al Ain is one of the world’s oldest permanently inhabited settlements and is home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, forts and palaces. A new state-of-the-art museum, Qasr Al Muwaiji, the birthplace of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, will complement the region’s rich cultural attractions when it opens shortly.

By contrast, Al Gharbia offers desert adventures among the sand dunes of the Empty Quarter and the wildlife attractions of Sir Bani Yas Island. The home of the Arabian Wildlife Park has more than 130,000 free-roaming animals including cheetahs, giraffes and highly endangered Arabian oryx and offers visitors an experience like no other in the country.

Abu Dhabi has a year-round schedule of high-profile events and has recently seen the conclusion of a highly successful Abu Dhabi Summer Season which welcomed a series of international theater shows coupled with promotions, prize draws and offers for all the family held emirate-wide from June until September.

From November 27-29, Yas Marina Circuit welcomes the world’s best drivers for the Formula One Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for one of the biggest events of the year and the concluding race of the 2015 Formula One season. Along with the race, a series of high-profile concerts will be staged across the city as part of the largest city-wide entertainment program run by any Formula One host city.

Abu Dhabi Classics, the international concert season, which runs until May 2016, is currently well underway with a line-up of world-class performers and orchestras from across the world making appearances in spectacular venues across the emirate. This season will include 26 concerts including among others the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Kremerata Baltica with Martha Argerich, China Philharmonic Orchestra and Jordi Savall with Hesperion XXl.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi, the Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi – all under construction on Saadiyat Island – will also help cement Abu Dhabi’s credentials as a cultural hub of the Arabian Peninsula.

Another focus of the Abu Dhabi delegation will be the new state-of-the-art Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal which is set to open on December 13 and will establish the emirate as a leading winter-sun cruise destination and allow an expected 220,000 passengers from 113 ship calls a year to experience the city’s attractions.

The new terminal will be at Zayed Port and offer a range of facilities including 24-hour immigration and customs facilities, banks, shops and restaurants. MSC Cruises will be the first cruise line to make the terminal its home, followed by Celebrity Cruises in 2016/17.

Joining the Abu Dhabi delegation in London will be The Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital, the largest falcon hospital in the world. Its award-winning, unique and exciting tourism program showcases the world of falcons – the UAE’s national emblem – throughout history right up to modern times.

Dr Margit Gabriele Muller, Director Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital, said: “Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital is one of the main tourism attractions in Abu Dhabi and in 2014, our guest numbers rose by almost 40% showing the tremendous interest of visitors from all over the world. Moreover, the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital won the prestigious ‘Middle East Responsible Tourism Award’ from the World Travel Awards for the third consecutive year in 2015.

“The European market is one of the most important markets for us. We are planning to further expand our customer base in Europe by providing unique, exciting and unforgettable tours through the world of falcons. At the same time we offer the MICE service to this market by having opened the Shaheen Conference Centre as special venue all kinds of events. This gives the clients the opportunity to experience events in a traditional Emirati environment combined with latest technology. This combination is especially preferred by culture-loving Europeans.”

Also present in London will be TCA representatives showcasing the emirate’s rich maritime heritage of pearl diving, especially on the islands of Sir Bani Yas and Delma – one of the Arabian Gulf’s most important pearl diving areas first inhabited 7,000 years ago.

Visitors to Abu Dhabi can enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime ‘Pearl Journey’ experience aboard a traditional ‘Jalboot’ boat to understand the Gulf’s ancient pearling industry.

The five-star Royal Rose hotel in Abu Dhabi, operated by City Seasons, is aiming to capitalize on its rising room occupancy and room revenue from the UK market.

Elise Sarkis-Talj, Group Director for Marketing and Brand Development, said the hotel aimed to expand its contacts, spread awareness of City Seasons hotels and carry out productive networking at WTM. “The UK market has been a great addition to our business over recent months, therefore City Seasons is working to strengthen the relationships already acquired to help build stronger bridges as we believe the UK market is much larger than we have seen and should only expand in the UAE. One of our main targets for 2016 is to establish City Seasons as a strong name in the leisure markets coming from UK and northern Europe.”

Visitors to the Abu Dhabi pavilion will also be in with the chance to win return flights from London to Abu Dhabi and other prizes. WAM/MMYS

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[photo credits: “13-08-06-abu-dhabi-by-RalfR-088” by Ralf Roletschek – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:13-08-06-abu-dhabi-by-RalfR-088.jpg#/media/File:13-08-06-abu-dhabi-by-RalfR-088.jpg]

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U.S. DOT Announces Funding Grant For The Port Of Hueneme

World Trade

Open Eyes Opinion {source: U.S. Maritime Administration}

Port Hueneme Project

Projects Target Future Needs in Rural and Urban Communities Nationwide

 

PORT HUENEME, Calif. – Deputy Maritime Administrator Michael J. Rodriguez today announced that the Department of Transportation will provide $12.3 million for the Port of Hueneme Intermodal Improvement project in Port Hueneme.

The project is one of 39 federally-funded transportation projects in 34 states selected to receive a total of $500 million under the Department’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) 2015 program. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced project selections for this round of TIGER grants on October 29.

The Department received 627 eligible applications from 50 states and several U.S. territories, including Tribal governments, requesting 20 times the $500 million available for the program, or $10.1 billion for needed transportation projects.

“Transportation is always about the future.  If we’re just fixing today’s problems, we’ll fall further and further behind.  We already know that a growing population and increasing freight traffic will require our system to do more,” said Secretary Foxx.  “In this round of TIGER, we selected projects that focus on where the country’s transportation infrastructure needs to be in the future; ever safer, ever more innovative, and ever more targeted to open the floodgates of opportunity across America.”

As the only commercial deep-water port between Los Angeles and San Francisco, the Port of Hueneme is a vital intermodal facility that continues to boost the region’s economic development with more than $8 billion in cargo moved annually and more than $1 billion in economic activity—all while reducing shipping costs and the port’s environmental impact. 

The Port of Hueneme Intermodal Improvement Project will strengthen one wharf and deepen two of the port’s berths allowing vessels with up to 36-foot drafts to serve the port and modernize the port’s cargo-handling infrastructure. 

These critical infrastructure improvements will help increase the efficiency of the port, facilitate additional investment by private industry, and generate local jobs. The funding provided today, as well as the release earlier this month of the draft National Freight Strategic Plan available here, demonstrates the Obama Administration’s commitment to increasing and improving the movement of freight, while reducing costs and increasing economic competitiveness.

With this latest round of funding, TIGER continues to invest in transformative projects that will provide significant and measurable improvements over existing conditions.  The awards recognize projects nationwide that will advance key transportation goals such as safety, innovation, and opportunity.

“Through investment in new infrastructure at the Port of Hueneme, the Obama Administration is supporting California’s long term growth and further enhancing efficient trade for the Golden State,” said Deputy Administrator Rodriguez. 

This is the seventh TIGER round since 2009, bringing the total grant amount to $4.6 billion provided to 381 projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, including 134 projects to support rural and tribal communities.

Demand for the program has been overwhelming; to date, the Department of Transportation has received more than 6,700 applications requesting more than $134 billion for transportation projects across the country. 

The GROW AMERICA Act, the Administration’s surface transportation legislative proposal, would keep TIGER roaring with $7.5 billion over six years for future TIGER grants.

Click here for additional information on individual TIGER grants.

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[photo credits: “Port of Hueneme Yard” by Fettlemap – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Port_of_Hueneme_Yard.jpg#/media/File:Port_of_Hueneme_Yard.jpg]

 

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Singapore’s ‘Building and Construction Authority’ CEO Received Prestigious Chairman’s Award

World Affairs

Open Eyes Opinion {source: SGgov}

Singapore/Hong Kong

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BCA CEO FIRST IN SOUTHEAST ASIA TO BE CONFERRED THE WORLDGBC CHAIRMAN’S AWARD

Dr John Keung received this year’s prestigious award which recognizes visionary leaders in the global sustainability movement

Hong Kong, 30 October 2015 – The World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) has conferred its prestigious Chairman’s Award 2015 on Chief Executive Officer of the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) Singapore, to honor his energy and passion in advancing the global sustainability movement.

Dr Keung was one of three recipients this year and the first recipient from Southeast Asia since the launch of the award in 2011. He accepted the award at the WorldGBC Congress held in Hong Kong on 29 October 2015. He was nominated by the (SGBC), an established member of the WorldGBC since 2009, which has been working very closely with the BCA to green the local built environment through a variety of initiatives and programs.

As CEO of BCA, Dr Keung spearheaded Singapore’s green building movement with the launch of the nation’s first Green Building Masterplan in 2006. Forming the backbone of the Masterplan was the BCA Green Mark scheme, which served as benchmark for evaluating environmental sustainability in buildings. The scheme has emerged as the leading green building rating system of the tropics and sub-tropics today.

Under Dr Keung’s leadership, the green building movement took off in Singapore, with the subsequent formulation of the second and third Green Building Masterplans.

BCA’s efforts in the movement achieved international recognition, with key milestones such as the establishment of a Centre for Sustainable Buildings with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) in 2011, and the honor of being the first government agency outside of America and Europe to receive the International Star (I-Star) Award from US-based Alliance to Save Energy (ASE) in 2013.

Moving ahead, BCA continues to champion the vision of Singapore as “a global leader in green buildings with special expertise in the tropics and sub- tropics, enabling sustainable development and quality living”.

Mr Bruce Kerswill, Chairman of WorldGBC said, “Dr Keung’s efforts have been instrumental in advancing the movement, in raising awareness of the challenges the world faces and most importantly, in implementing policies and initiatives that advance the green building movement. The WorldGBC Chairman’s Award recognizes his vision and leadership, and we congratulate him on his achievements.”

Mr Chia Ngiang Hong, President of the SGBC, congratulated the achievements of Dr Keung. He said, “Dr Keung has been instrumental in the greening of Singapore’s built environment with the Green Mark scheme and in supporting the green building movement here, including the founding of the Singapore Green Building Council.

This has placed Singapore on the world map for green building excellence and leadership. It is a privilege for SGBC to nominate Dr Keung for such a prestigious Award, and we are very glad that his contributions are now recognized by Green Building Councils worldwide. This is a well-deserved testament to the efforts that Dr Keung has invested in advancing the green building movement”.

Dr Keung reflected, “I am deeply humbled and honored to receive this award. Our success would not have been possible without the commitment and close collaboration of the government, non-government organisations and industry stakeholders and the dedication and hard work of my colleagues in BCA. I dedicate this award to all my colleagues in BCA, our stakeholders and partners for their continuous support and invaluable contributions in creating a sustainable built environment. I would like to express sincere thanks to SGBC for the nomination, and WorldGBC for the award. I look forward to even closer collaborations with our stakeholders and partners for many more years to come.”

{Information Jointly issued by the Building and Construction Authority and the Singapore Green Building Council on 30 October 2015.}

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[photo credits: “Cloud Forest, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore – 20120617-05” by Allie Caulfield. – Flickr: 2012-06-17 06-30 Singapore 408 Gardens by the Bay.. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cloud_Forest,_Gardens_by_the_Bay,_Singapore_-_20120617-05.jpg#/media/File:Cloud_Forest,_Gardens_by_the_Bay,_Singapore_-_20120617-05.jpg]

 

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Detainee Released From Guantanamo Bay Facility

News Snippet

Open Eyes Opinion {source: DOD}

Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Detainee Transfer Announced

30 October 2015

The Department of Defense announced today the repatriation of Shaker Aamer from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to the Government of the United Kingdom.

As directed by the Presidential executive order, an interagency Guantanamo Review Task Force conducted a comprehensive review of this case. As a result of that review, which examined a number of factors, including security issues, Aamer was unanimously approved for transfer by the six departments and agencies comprising the task force.

In accordance with statutory requirements, the secretary of defense informed Congress of the United States’ intent to transfer this individual and of his determination that this transfer meets the statutory standard.

The United States is grateful to the Government of the United Kingdom for its willingness to support ongoing U.S. efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.

The United States coordinated with the Government of the United Kingdom to ensure this transfer took place consistent with appropriate security and humane treatment measures.

Today, 112 detainees remain at Guantanamo Bay.

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[photo credits: “Camp Delta, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba” by Kathleen T. Rhem – http://www.defenselink.mil/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=25882. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Camp_Delta,_Guantanamo_Bay,_Cuba.jpg#/media/File:Camp_Delta,_Guantanamo_Bay,_Cuba.jpg]

 

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Norway Proposes Increase In Aid Budget To Accommodate The Influx Of Asylum Seekers

World Affairs

Open Eyes Opinion {source: NOgov}

Norway

Refugee crisis makes changes to aid budget necessary

 

 

 

 

 

We are facing the largest refugee crisis in Europe since the Second World War. Current estimates indicate that at least 33 000 asylum seekers and refugees will seek protection in Norway in 2016. If these estimates are correct, three times as many people will seek protection in Norway in 2016 as in 2014.

The Government is proposing an increase in the aid budget for 2016 of NOK 1.2 billion,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

The proposed aid budget for 2016 is thus NOK 34.8 billion, which is over 1 % of Norway’s gross national income (GNI).

In addition, the Government is proposing to reallocate NOK 4.2 billion to cover the costs associated with receiving refugees.

‘Next year’s historically large humanitarian aid budget, which includes allocations to Syria and its neighboring countries, will not be affected by this,’ said Mr Brende, adding that the war in Syria has resulted in a humanitarian disaster and that the crisis is steadily worsening. More than 7.5 million Syrians are internally displaced, and over 4 million have fled to neighboring countries. Not since 1945 have so many people in the world been forced to flee their homes.

‘In its proposed aid budget for 2016, the Government is giving priority to the areas of education for children and young people, humanitarian assistance, and health in fragile states. It is through our efforts in these areas that we can make the biggest contribution to alleviating need, helping refugees close to conflict areas, preventing new crises from developing and ensuring long-term development in poor countries.

These priority areas will be shielded as far as possible from the changes to the aid budget we are now proposing. The same applies to allocations for the Middle East and Africa,’ Mr Brende said.

The rules for reporting of official development assistance (ODA) allow countries to use their aid budgets to cover the costs of refugees’ basic needs such as food and shelter for the first year of stay in their country of arrival.

‘We are now having to take difficult decisions and make changes to the aid budget in order to be able to receive refugees in Norway and ensure that they are treated with dignity. However, the level of spending on other forms of assistance will continue to be very high.

The Government plans to spend NOK 27.5 billion on aid in 2016, not counting expenditure associated with receiving refugees in Norway.

Norway’s total aid budget for 2016 makes us one of the largest aid donors in the world, both in terms of percentage of GNI and not least in terms of aid per capita,’ Mr Brende said.

The Government proposes reallocating NOK 3.825 billion within the part of the 2016 aid budget that is administered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and NOK 378.3 million within the part of the aid budget that is administered by the Ministry of Climate and Environment (i.e. Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative).

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[photo credits: “Stortinget, Norway”. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Stortinget,_Norway.jpg#/media/File:Stortinget,_Norway.jpg]

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FBI Presentation On Cyber Security Awareness – Cell Phone Protection

World Affairs

Open Eyes Opinion

{source: FBI/Public Affairs Specialist Leonard C. Peace}

Cyber Security

 

 

 

 

 

On October 29, 2015, Robert J. Shields, Special Agent in Charge of the Milwaukee Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) hosted a special presentation during National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Special agents from the Milwaukee Division gave a presentation that focused on mobile phone cyber threats. The presenters discussed the rising security threat to mobile devices and offered suggestions (included below) on how to safeguard smartphones connected to the Internet in an effort to prevent cyber attacks.

Media was allowed to view a display of the equipment used by agents and analysts during cyber crime investigations.

Although mobile phones are taking on more capabilities formerly available only on PCs, technical security solutions for mobile phones are not as sophisticated or widespread as those for PCs. This means that the bulk of mobile phone security relies on the user making intelligent, cautious choices. Even the most careful users can still fall victim to attacks on their mobile phones. However, following best practices regarding mobile phone security can reduce the likelihood or consequences of an attack.

  • When choosing a mobile phone, consider its security features. Ask the service provider if the device offers file encryption, the ability for the provider to find and wipe the device remotely, the ability to delete known malicious apps remotely, and authentication features such as device access passwords.
  • Configure the device to be more secure. Many smartphones have a password feature that locks the device until the correct PIN or password is entered. Enable this feature, and choose a reasonably complex password. Enable encryption, remote wipe capabilities, and antivirus software if available.
  • Configure web accounts to use secure connections. Accounts for certain websites can be configured to use secure, encrypted connections (look for “HTTPS” or “SSL” in account options pages). Enabling this feature deters attackers from eavesdropping on web sessions. Many popular mail and social networking sites include this option.
  • Do not follow links sent in suspicious e-mail or text messages. Such links may lead to malicious websites.
  • Limit exposure of your mobile phone number. Think carefully before posting your mobile phone number to a public website. Attackers can use software to collect mobile phone numbers from the web and then use those numbers to target attacks.
  • Carefully consider what information you want stored on the device. Remember that with enough time, sophistication, and access to the device, any attacker could obtain your stored information.
  • Be choosy when selecting and installing apps. Do a little research on apps before installing them. Check what permissions the app requires. If the permissions seem beyond what the app should require, do not install the app; it could be a Trojan horse, carrying malicious code in an attractive package.
  • Be sure to download apps through the official app store, stay clear of discontinued apps and make sure to read the user reviews.
  • Maintain physical control of the device, especially in public or semi-public places. The portability of mobile phones makes them easy to lose or steal.
  • Disable interfaces that are not currently in use, such as Bluetooth, infrared, or Wi-Fi. Attackers can exploit vulnerabilities in software that use these interfaces.
  • Set Bluetooth—enabled devices to non-discoverable. When in discoverable mode, your Bluetooth-enabled devices are visible to other nearby devices, which may alert an attacker or infected device to target you. When in non-discoverable mode, your Bluetooth—enabled devices are invisible to other unauthenticated devices
  • Avoid joining unknown Wi-Fi networks and using public Wi-Fi hotspots. Attackers can create phony Wi-Fi hotspots designed to attack mobile phones and may patrol public Wi-Fi networks for unsecured devices. Also, enable encryption on your home Wi-Fi network.
  • Delete all information stored in a device prior to discarding it. Check the website of the device’s manufacturer for information about securely deleting data. Your mobile phone provider may also have useful information on securely wiping your device
  • Be careful when using social networking applications. These apps may reveal more personal information than intended, and to unintended parties. Be especially careful when using services that track your location.
  • Do not “root” or “jailbreak” the device. Third-party device firmware, which is sometimes used to get access to device features that are locked by default, can contain malicious code or unintentional security vulnerabilities. Altering the firmware could also prevent the device from receiving future operating system updates, which often contain valuable security updates and other feature upgrades.
  • Report the loss to your organization and/or mobile service provider. If your phone or PDA was issued by an organization or is used to access private data, notify your organization of the loss immediately. If your personal phone or PDA was lost, contact your mobile phone service provider as soon as possible to deter malicious use of your device and minimize fraudulent charges.
  • Report the loss or theft to local authorities. Depending on the situation, it may be appropriate to notify relevant staff and/or local police.
  • Change account credentials. If you used your phone or PDA to access any remote resources, such as corporate networks or social networking sites revoke all credentials that were stored on the lost device. This may involve contacting your IT department to revoke issued certificates or logging into websites to change your password.
  • Change your passwords on your social media accounts. If you set your cell phone of PDA to auto log in, your password is then stored in the device. If you feel the device has been compromised, do not use the device to change your password. Log in from a secure, trusted computer system, such as your personal computer, to change your password. Do not change your password from an un-trusted computer system, such as a public computer used by unknown persons.
  • If necessary, wipe the phone. Some mobile service providers offer remote wiping, which allows you or your provider to remotely delete all data on the phone
    • If you have reason to believe your device is infected but AV apps are not finding anything, your last course of action is a factory wipe of all your data.
    • You may back up your personal media files, such as pictures or videos to a trusted computer system. This will remove any and everything local that might be executable.
    • You may back up all your pictures (and music and videos) to your Google account or Apple account. Google and Apple are great places to store your backup, however, it may come with a cost.
    • Take the SD card out of your phone if it has one and wipe and repartition it using the built-in software for disk management. It is best not to save anything on the card. Malware can hide itself on the media.
  • To conduct a factory reset:
    • On your Android, go into the Settings and look for the backup and reset options. You want to perform a full factory reset of all your data, including any local storage space.
    • On your iPhone, go into General—Reset—Erase all Content and Settings
    • Let it do it’s thing, and when you set it back up, be sure to not restore any backed up data from your Goggle or Apple account. The data backed up may contain the malware.
    • You still want to change passwords to your e-mail account and contact your credit card companies.

You also want to take a close look at the way you do things to try and prevent this from happening again. Before restoring any files, use the device for a short period. If certain apps are needed, download them from the approved vendor site, such as Apple or Google.

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[photo credits: “FBI Badge & gun” by not stated – FBI Photosimage source Dead links as of January 7, 2014. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FBI_Badge_%26_gun.jpg#/media/File:FBI_Badge_%26_gun.jpg]

 

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Germany Addresses The Illegal Migrant Crisis on The Germany And Austria Border

World Affairs

Open Eyes Opinion {source: DEgov}

Germany/Austria

We must return to well-ordered procedures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In view of the numbers of refugees at the Austrian-German border, Federal Minister of the Interior Thomas de Maizière has called for “well-ordered procedures”. The way Austria has acted over the last few days was not right, he said. At the same time, de Maizière expects the new package of legislation to facilitate swifter repatriation.

Huge numbers of refugees continue to arrive at the Austrian-German border every day. 

The Federal Interior Minister commented on the huge increase in the number of refugees arriving in Germany via the Western Balkans route. Only incredible efforts have made it possible to take in the asylum-seekers and refugees in Bavaria and reallocate them to other parts of the country, he reported. But Austria’s actions over the last few days have not been right, said Thomas de Maizière on Wednesday.

“We have to complain,” he affirmed, “that refugees have been driven to certain points in the dark with no warning, such that they arrive at the German border unprepared and without any sort of provision.” There have, of course, been intensive contacts with Austria, and we were assured on Tuesday that orderly procedures would be restored, he reported. “I expect this to happen with immediate effect.”

On Tuesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel said that she “was in almost constant contact with Austria”, as was the Head of the Federal Chancellery and the Federal Minister of the Interior. That is “normal for the way we act”.

Swifter return of migrants

On Wednesday Federal Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière spoke of the new legislation which came into effect last Saturday. “I am happy that the package I submitted has come into effect so quickly. This gives us the chance to return or deport migrants more swiftly. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees will be processing many older cases between now and Christmas at the new decision-making centres. This will mean that tens of thousands of asylum-seekers from the Balkans whose applications are rejected will have to leave the country. The deportation orders must be enforced. I am pleased that the new legislation provides the legal framework required.”

11,000 deportations

This year, some 11,000 deportations have been undertaken, he reported. To this number must be added 27,000 returnees receiving assistance. “That is also a large number. It is important that those who are required to leave the country actually do leave. I fully expect the number of repatriations and deportations to increase significantly over the months to come,” said the Federal Interior Minister. The federal police will play an active part. “I will be visiting Albania over the next few days to gain an impression of how deported individuals are received there.”

Afghan refugees

The Federal Interior Minister also took a stance on Afghanistan as a country of origin. This month, and for the year as a whole, Afghanistan ranks second in the most frequent countries of origin. That, said Thomas de Maizière, is not acceptable. “We are in agreement with the Afghan government, that this is not a state of affairs we wish to see. More and more of the Afghan middle class are arriving. Here too we agree with the Afghan government that the young generation and the middle class families ought to stay in their country and help build it.

A great deal of development assistance for Afghanistan

German soldiers are helping make Afghanistan a safer place. Huge sums of development cooperation funds have gone to Afghanistan. “It is then reasonable to expect the Afghans to stay in their country. The people coming to us from Afghanistan as asylum-seekers cannot expect to be allowed to stay in Germany, not even with tolerated residence status. I would not like to propose that Afghanistan be classed as a safe country of origin. Each individual case will be considered carefully on its merits in line with the rule of law, but we also have a very high level of tolerated residence status.” As one outcome of the meeting at EU level on Sunday, the European Commission is to negotiate a readmission agreement with the Afghan government.

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[photo credits-featured image: “SchengenGrenzeBayern-Tirol” by BlueMars at German Wikipedia(Original text: BlueMars) – Transferred from de.wikipedia to Commons.(Original text: selbst fotografiert). Licensed under Public Domain via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:SchengenGrenzeBayern-Tirol.jpg#/media/File:SchengenGrenzeBayern-Tirol.jpg]

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Hungary Rejects Migrant Quota System

News Snippet

Open Eyes Opinion {source: HUgov}

Hungary/Migration Crisis

Government of Hungary rejects quota system

 

 

 

 

 

October 29, 2015

Hungary will not take back a single expelled illegal migrant.

Government rejects quota system

Therefore Hungary will not take back a single expelled illegal migrant, the Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office stated.

János Lázár said: Western-European countries notified Hungary of the expulsion of some 40,000 people; however, they did not enter the European Union at Hungary but at Greece, and consequently, the individuals concerned must be sent back there.

He added: the southern security border closure is working, and successfully prevents illegal border crossing.

In response to the statements made by Colleen Bell, US Ambassador to Hungary, he remarked: not even at her request “shall we take anyone in, or shall we allow anyone to cross the country”.

He added: Hungary is a member of the European Union, and not of the United States, and will not tolerate the interference of any country that is not a member of the EU.

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[photo credits: “Migrants in Hungary 2015 Aug 015” by Photo: Gémes Sándor/SzomSzed – http://szegedma.hu/hir/szeged/2015/08/migransok-szazai-ozonlenek-roszkerol-szegedre.html. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Migrants_in_Hungary_2015_Aug_015.jpg#/media/File:Migrants_in_Hungary_2015_Aug_015.jpg]

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The Private Hospital Association Of Jordan Receives The Global Healthcare Leadership Award

World Travel

Open Eyes Opinion {source: medical tourism association}

Medical Tourism

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Private Hospital Association of Jordan was the recipient of the Global Healthcare Leadership Award, during the 8th World Medical Tourism & Global Healthcare Congress, 2015, in Orlando, Fla. 

For its ongoing role as an international destination for health and wellness travelers and significant humanitarian undertakings to treat Arab refugees injured in political conflicts, the Private Hospital Association of Jordan is a recipient of a Global Healthcare Leadership Award. 

“The increasing demand for medical services from both international and regional patients is a challenge facing healthcare providers in the Middle East and North Africa,” said Renée-Marie Stephano, president of the Medical Tourism Association®, at an awards ceremony during the 8th World Medical Tourism & Global Healthcare Congress, 2015, in Orlando, Fla. “Healthcare providers under guidance from the Private Hospital Association of Jordan have not only grasped this reality, but expanded services to include treatment of some 250,000 patients annually. And that number is growing.” 

The World Medical Tourism & Global Healthcare Congress accepts nominations to honor leadership, innovation, education, service and top facilities and destinations in the care and treatment of both international- and domestic-traveling patients. Stakeholders who make up the billion-dollar medical tourism industry are encouraged to forward news of tremendous performances that recognize customer-focused care, international quality and standards, patient safety and satisfaction, effective leadership and state-of-the-art technology within the calendar year 2015-2016. 

For complete information about award categories and the nominating process for significant contributions by staff, colleagues and facilities and organizations, go to: www.medicaltourismawards.com

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[photo credits-featured image: “Al khazneh” by Susanahajer. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Al_khazneh.jpg#/media/File:Al_khazneh.jpg]

 

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Eleven Major Companies To Promote Inclusion Of Persons With Disabilities

World Affairs

Open Eyes Opinion {source: ILO}

11 major companies to promote inclusion of persons with disabilities in the workplace

 

 

 

 

 

The new Global Business and Disability Network Charter is a global tool for businesses to promote the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the world of work

GENEVA : Eleven major international companies *  have become the first signatories of the newly-created “ILO Global Business & Disability Network Charter ” in a ceremony held at ILO headquarters in Geneva.

The Charter expresses their commitment to promoting and including persons with disabilities throughout their operations worldwide.

It covers a wide range of areas, from protecting staff with disabilities from any kind of discrimination to making the company premises and communication to staff progressively accessible to all employees with disabilities.

Employing persons with disability is not just a good moral cause, it is also good for business.”

Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General

“The lack of equal employment opportunities for persons with disabilities often means lives of poverty and social exclusion,” said ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder.

“By honoring the commitments of this Charter, the private sector will be showing real leadership in making it possible for people with disabilities to have productive work and to live in dignity.

“The first signatories companies to sign the Charter will help us spread a simple but essential message: employing persons with disability is not just a good moral cause, it is also good for business. This new Charter can also make a substantial contribution to realizing many goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development .”

Speaking on behalf of the signatories, the Network steering committee chairperson, Wendy Orr, said: “We are proud to be among the first companies to sign the Business Charter on Disability. This is one step further in demonstrating our commitment for the inclusion of people with disabilities in the labor market. We believe and have experienced how an inclusive and diverse workforce provides opportunities for employers, employees and society overall.”

We believe and have experienced how an inclusive and diverse workforce provides opportunities for employers, employees and society overall.”

Wendy Orr, Network steering committee chairperson

“We encourage other major companies to join us and sign the Charter in the coming months,” she added.

All signatories are members of the ILO Global Business and Disability Network , which brings businesses together to promote disability inclusion by highlighting the business advantages of employing people with disabilities. It also facilitates the exchange of knowledge and good practices between companies, company networks and the ILO.

Created in 2010, the Network acts as a facilitator and responds to requests from members to develop tools, share knowledge, and facilitate business-to-business meetings and dialogues around disability issues. It combines the interests of the ILO employer constituents and of multinational enterprises.

Its steering committee is composed of representatives from eight multinational enterprises, a global organization representing people with disabilities and two employers’ organizations.

The Network has produced a self-assessment tool which allows companies to assess how well they are doing in a number of areas regarding disabilities.

The Charter will be provided to national employers’ federations and national business and disability networks as a way of promoting the inclusion of people with disabilities among their member companies, including small and medium size enterprises (SMEs).

The Network also benefits from the invaluable insight of people with disabilities themselves, thanks to a partnership with the International Disability Alliance (IDA) , a network of global and regional organizations representing people with disabilities.

* The signing companies are: Accenture, AccorHotels, Adecco Group, AXA Group, Carrefour Group, Dow Chemical, Groupe Casino, L’Oréal, Orange, the Standard Bank Group, and Michelin.