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January, 2017

 

President Donald Trump Urges Leaders Of Pharmaceutical Companies To Lower The Prices Of Their Products

Assorted pharmaceuticals by LadyofProcrastination

Adding to a growing list of White House meetings with corporate executives, President Donald Trump held talks Tuesday with the leaders of pharmaceutical companies, in an effort to push them to lower the prices of their products. In return, he pledged to speed up federal approval for new drugs. “The U.S. drug companies have produced extraordinary… Read More


UK – British MPs Have Launched A Probe Into The Phenomenon Of Fake News

Quill and ink

Sometimes the truth may be stranger than fiction, but the line between fact and fiction is being blurred by fake news. UK So concerned are British MPs by the phony stories that they have launched a probe into the phenomenon. The head of the committee leading the inquiry said fake news is ‘a threat to democracy… Read More


Trade – The ‘European Investment Bank’ Announces The Approval Of New Financing Totalling EUR 7.8 billion

At its first meeting of 2017 earlier today the Board of Directors of the European Investment Bank approved more than EUR 7.8 billion of new financing to support investment in strategic infrastructure, innovation and more efficient use of natural resources, as well as backing more than EUR 3.1 billion of new support for small business investment.

European Investment Bank - Luxemburg 2012

“Without innovation, Europe will not become and remain competitive. Today the EIB has approved new financing to support development of next generation semiconductors in Germany, innovation to strengthen the nutritional benefits of dairy products in Denmark and upgrading university research in Ireland. The EU Bank is committed to unlocking investment in world class project such as these that build on Europe’s research and innovation strengths.” confirmed Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank.

The board meeting followed detailed discussions between EIB board members and representatives of more than 105 civil society organisations, business associations and think tanks from across Europe.

“Close cooperation with civil society helps increase the EIB Group’s impact. It helps us work better. It reflects our responsibilities as a publically owned bank. My EIB colleagues and EIB Board members welcome the scope and depth of discussion such as the one we had yesterday.” added Werner Hoyer.

New investment in industrial innovation and research:
Reflecting the EIB’s commitment to support innovation and world-class research new financing was agreed for semiconductor research and development and production of a new generation of semiconductors in Germany, innovation to improve the nutritional benefits of dairy products in Denmark and construction of an ultramodern, environmentally compatible silicon metal production plant in Iceland.

Support to education, healthcare and social housing:
The EIB board approved new support for construction and refurbishment of schools in Finland, refurbishment of the National University of Ireland Galway Campus, complete redevelopment of a hospital in the Italian city of Treviso, and social housing in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

Strategic infrastructure investment:
More than EUR 2.6 billion of new financing for strategic infrastructure was approved. This includes support for new investment to enable 70% of Italian households to access broadband wireless communications, financing for upgrading congested international road links across Poland and rural transport infrastructure in central Spain. The EIB board also backed financing for the new Blankenburg motorway tunnel to improve road access to the Europe’s largest port in Rotterdam.

Two new loans totalling EUR 550 million were also agreed to finance expansion of Orly airport in Paris and to cater for the expected increase in passengers travelling through Amsterdam Schiphol airport.

Renewable energy and environmental investment:
New support for renewable energy including backing construction of a 650 MW wind farm in Sweden as well as eight windfarms and two solar photovoltaic plants expected to generate 181 MW of green energy in France. Financing for a fleet of natural gas powered buses in Mallorca, upgrading wastewater treatment across Flanders and a new transmission link to a windfarm off the UK coast was also supported.

Smaller schemes with infrastructure investment partners:
The EIB is also expected to increase equity participation in two infrastructure funds focusing on the Baltic states and energy, transport and social projects in the Nordic region. A proposal to jointly finance medium sized energy-efficiency and renewable energy projects in conjunction with an Italian national promotional bank was also approved.

Proposed new financing for small scale flood protection initiatives and urban investment in the Netherlands and small scale leasing for companies in Germany was also agreed.

Improving lives and strengthening economic opportunities outside Europe:
The EIB board also backed support for water investment in Bangladesh to strengthen supply of clean drinking water for the 14 million people living in Dhaka, one of the fastest growing cities in the world. Proposed support for a new bridge over the Senegal River and support for small business investment in Egypt was also agreed.

New EIB lending under the Investment Plan for Europe:
New support for 14 projects, representing more EUR 2 billion of new EIB lending, is expected to be supported by the guarantee under the Investment Plan for Europe. This includes financing for new investment in education, innovation, roads, communications and renewable energy. New lending backed by the joint EIB-European Commission guarantee will support investment in eight EU member states.

The EIB approved financing for four public private partnership projects in Italy, Finland, Poland and the Netherlands.

The EIB Board of Directors includes representatives of the bank’s 28 EU member state shareholders, as well as the European Commission.

This week’s EIB Board meeting follows a meeting of the EFSI Investment Committee, held on 30th January. It approved 14 projects which the Investment Committee had cleared for financing under the Investment Plan for Europe guarantee from the EU Budget. Projects approved by the Investment committee may be submitted to the next or future EIB Board meetings for final approval.

Negotiations for the approved loans are expected to be finalised in the coming months. All projects, including those earmarked for support under the EU budget guarantee, need to receive approval of the EIB Board prior to loan contracts being finalised. Loans and guarantees approved by the Board of Directors will be finalised in cooperation with promoters and beneficiaries, and figures may vary.

[Source: European Investment Bank-Press Office]

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The Leaked Internal EPA Memo?, Does the EPA knows what’s going on with the EPA?

Epaheadquarters

An internal email encourages EPA staff to ignore the press pexels The future of the EPA remains murky On Monday, Senior White House Advisor Don Benton sent an email to all EPA employees regarding public scrutiny of the EPA transition. Benton, a retired Republican state senator from Vancouver, Washington, was chosen by the Donald Trump Administration… Read More


Austria – Coalition Government To Ban Full-Face Veils In Public Places

Shalim

Austria’s coalition government has announced plans to ban full-face veils in public and to restrict eastern European workers’ access to the country’s labour market. The proposals were announced late on Monday as part of a wider government programme aimed at countering the rise of the far-right, anti-Islam Freedom Party. “The full-face veil will be banned in… Read More


US – Ex-President Barack Obama Throws Support to Protesters Against Trump Immigration Ban

Protesters march against Donald Trump (30606577750)

Former U.S. President Barack Obama has broken the unwritten Washington rule against criticizing his successor, to throw his support behind the protesters opposed to President Donald Trump’s ban on immigration from seven Muslim majority countries. His spokesman Kevin Lewis says Obama is “heartened by the level of engagement taking place in communities around the country…citizens exercising… Read More


Yemen – Houthi Militant Suicide Boats Attack Saudi Warship Patroling The Yemen Coast

Mosque, Yemen (10046608184)

A Saudi warship has been attacked off the coast of Yemen, causing a large explosion on board. A video released by al-Masirah television which is run by the rebel Houthi movement claimed to show the moment of attack. The Saudi state news agency SPA said the frigate had been on patrol west of the port of… Read More


US – The Army Has Scheduled 30 Forth Coming Exercises,Concentrating On Multi-Domain Battle Tactics

A U.S. Navy X-47B unmanned combat air system demonstrator aircraft taxis on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) off the coast of Norfolk, Va., May 10, 2013 130510-N-FU443-604

A Punisher unmanned ground vehicle follows soldiers during the PACMAN-I experiment in Hawaii. WASHINGTON: With one eye on China and another on North Korea, US Army Pacific is injecting cyber warfare and new joint tactics into every wargame it can. At least 30 forthcoming exercises — culminating in the massive RIMPAC 2018 — will train troops… Read More


Iran – Conducting Missile Tests, says not in violating of nuclear agreement

Emad missile by Tasnimnews 01

Iran’s missile tests do not involve rockets with nuclear warheads and are not part of a historic deal signed two years ago by world powers, according to the country’s foreign minister. Javad Zarif affirmed his position on Tuesday, a day after White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the US was “aware that Iran fired a missile”… Read More


The CIA said last year that the terrorist group’s official strategy is to hide its operatives among refugees entering Europe and the U.S.

Refugee march Hungary 2015-09-04 02

The Islamic State has planned to infect refugee flows to the West with mass killers, and it has had some violent successes. The CIA said last year that the terrorist group’s official strategy is to hide its operatives among refugees entering Europe and the United States via human flows out of the Middle East and North… Read More


‘U.S. Immigration And Customs Enforcement’ Arrested Nearly 2,000 Human Traffickers In 2016

ICE arrests nearly 2,000 human traffickers in 2016, identifies over 400 victims across the US

ICE.Arrest lg

In Fiscal Year 2016, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) arrested 1,952 individuals for human trafficking – the illegal trade and exploitation of people for commercial gain, most commonly in the form of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. From those cases, over 400 trafficking victims were identified and offered critical services.

This year marks the seventh anniversary of January as National Slavery and Trafficking Prevention month. ICE participates in a variety of human trafficking awareness events in January and throughout the year.

“HSI special agents work tirelessly to disrupt criminal trafficking networks, and just as importantly, to assist the victims of this terrible crime,” said Acting ICE Director Daniel H. Ragsdale. “ICE will continue to work with our counterparts at home and abroad to educate the public to recognize signs of trafficking and provide the crucial services needed to aid in the recovery of those impacted by this heinous act.”

While human trafficking can occur in a variety of scenarios and industries, indicators of trafficking activities often look the same across cases. Educating the public to recognize the signs is crucial to identifying victims and bringing traffickers to justice.

Since 2010, HSI has arrested over 7,000 individuals for human trafficking offenses. Examples of HSI human trafficking cases include:

  • HSI San Antonio was contacted by the San Antonio Police Department (SAPD) about two human trafficking victims. The victims said they came to the U.S. as domestic workers for an officer in a foreign military, but had not been paid for their services, and were not being provided sufficient food to eat. They added that their employer was in possession of their passports and refused to return them. The victims had also been refused medical care. The perpetrators were indicted on violations 18 USC 1589-Forced Labor- and pled guilty to Visa Fraud and Misprision of a Felony, agreed to pay restitution of $60,000 to each victim, and accepted Judicial Removal.
  • As part of Project Wire Watch, HSI New York and HSI Mexico City conducted an investigation into a sex trafficking organization after interviewing a Mexican female who was trafficked by a member of the organization. The victim provided information that she was smuggled into the United States from Mexico and forced into prostitution by a member of the organization. The victim identified several members of the organization and stated that their modus operandi was to recruit Mexican females, arrange for them to be smuggled across the United States border and subsequently forced them into prostitution. To date, this investigation has resulted in the rescue of 5 victims, 4 minor children reunited with their mothers, 5 criminal arrests, 10 administrative arrests, 4 indictments and 16 search warrants.
  • HSI Phoenix initiated a human trafficking investigation which identified a sex trafficking organization using Thai females posting as escorts in the Phoenix metropolitan area. HSI Agents and DPS Detectives executed search warrants at multiple brothel locations. Based on the information provided by the victims, it is estimated these traffickers earned a combined $1,248,000 a year. Victims were placed with an HSI-partnered non-governmental organization (NGO) to help facilitate recovery, housing and transitioning back into society.
  • HSI Columbus conducted an investigation into a father and son who together trafficked a 17-year old female victim, but separately and on different occasions also trafficked adult victims between Ohio, Kentucky, and Florida. The father often wore a military uniform when he traveled to gain the trust of new girls he was trying to recruit to work for him. The two were sentenced to a combined 282 months in prison.

ICE works with its law enforcement partners to dismantle the global criminal infrastructure engaged in human trafficking. ICE accomplishes this mission by making full use of its authorities and expertise, stripping away assets and profit incentive, collaborating with U.S. and foreign partners to attack networks worldwide and working in partnership with nongovernmental organizations to identify and provide assistance to trafficking victims.

If you notice suspicious activity, please contact ICE through its tip line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or www.ice.gov/tips. For more information about the Department of Homeland Security’s overall efforts against human trafficking, please visit http://www.dhs.gov/blue-campaign.

[Source: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Media Relations]

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History Quiz! – What Political Party,Some Members Now Big Names,Tried to ‘Block South Vietnam Refugees and Orphans’ from entering U.S.?

Processed Vietnamese refugees

Despite today’s liberal outrage over President Donald Trump’s refugee executive order, many liberals in 1975 were part of a chorus of big name Democrats who refused to accept any Vietnamese refugees when millions were trying to escape South Vietnam as it fell to the communists. They even opposed orphans. The group, led by California’s Gov. Jerry… Read More