The Initiates Plc (INITSP.ng) listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange under the Support Services sector has released it’s 2017 interim results for the half year.For more information about The Initiates Plc (INITSP.ng) reports, abridged reports, interim earnings results and earnings presentations, visit the The Initiates Plc (INITSP.ng) company page on AfricanFinancials.Document: The Initiates Plc (INITSP.ng) 2017 interim results for the half year.Company ProfileThe Initiates Plc is a professional waste management company in Nigeria offering services for waste management, industrial cleaning and decontamination for the private and public sectors. The company head office is in Lagos, Nigeria. The Initiates Plc is listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange
“This Stock Could Be Like Buying Amazon in 1997” Sometimes very strange things happen in the financial markets. Yesterday was one such time. It was not do to with the stock market, but rather the oil price.Oil is split into two main varieties, Brent and WTI. The latter stands for West Texas Intermediate, and is extracted from oil fields in the US. In order to buy and sell oil, people use futures contracts. These basically mean buyers pay a price now for delivery of oil at a date in the future.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…Yesterday was the last day in which anyone could buy or sell the WTI future for delivery in May. Now, as the Covid-19 pandemic has ground industries to a halt, it is logical to think not many people would need to buy oil. Think of airlines such as EasyJet and Ryanair which have seen fleets grounded and share prices plummeting. Usually these firms buy huge quantities of oil, but not at the moment.So believe it or not, the price of the May WTI future dropped to negative $37 per barrel. That’s right — if you wanted a barrel of oil you would be paid to take it!How does the oil price impact companies?I mentioned this briefly above, but many sectors rely on oil in some way. Airlines need it for planes. Supermarkets need it for petrol garages. In an indirect way, any firm with a large distribution network (think Royal Mail, Eddie Stobart, Ocado) will also be impacted due to the demand for petrol.Obviously, it can be good and bad depending on which company you are looking to invest in. For a moment, consider oil extraction and trading firms BP and Royal Dutch Shell.Slippery slopeThe fall in the oil price over the past few months has hurt the share price of both firms. The BP share price has fallen 31% since early March, Royal Dutch Shell has fallen 29%. This puts both firms at multi-year lows. It should come as no suprise that this has happened given the high correlation between the oil price and the business operations of the two firms.Simply put, a lower oil price reduces the profit margins for both businesses. Yet with the move yesterday, I actually think this could make oil firms a buy for investors.This is because previously the price of oil was low, but not at such a painful level. Large oil exporting countries such as Saudi Arabia could still be profitable with oil around $25 a barrel. So the oil governing body (OPEC) only went for limited intervention. Now, however, the move is so severe that action has to be taken. OPEC will likely insist on a large cut in production in order to boost the price of oil.Further, this is only a temporary glitch in the oil price, as companies are not demanding oil for May. As soon as the global lockdown is lifted, and people return to flying, driving and generally trading, demand for oil will bounce back. This should be reflected in a bounce in the share price for firms such as BP and Royal Dutch Shell.Therefore, buying the shares now could be a very smart move if you are prepared to wait for OPEC intervention to cut supply and a post Covid-19 demand surge. Image source: Getty Images. Jonathan Smith | Tuesday, 21st April, 2020 Enter Your Email Address I’m sure you’ll agree that’s quite the statement from Motley Fool Co-Founder Tom Gardner.But since our US analyst team first recommended shares in this unique tech stock back in 2016, the value has soared.What’s more, we firmly believe there’s still plenty of upside in its future. In fact, even throughout the current coronavirus crisis, its performance has been beating Wall St expectations.And right now, we’re giving you a chance to discover exactly what has got our analysts all fired up about this niche industry phenomenon, in our FREE special report, A Top US Share From The Motley Fool. Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this. See all posts by Jonathan Smith Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee. Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares The oil price goes negative! Here’s why I’d buy BP and Royal Dutch Shell shares now I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. Click here to claim your copy now — and we’ll tell you the name of this Top US Share… free of charge! Jonathan Smith and The Motley Fool UK have no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.
Image source: Getty Images I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. Get the full details on this £5 stock now – while your report is free. Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee. FREE REPORT: Why this £5 stock could be set to surge In the low-interest-rate world we’re experiencing, I want to try and make my investments work harder. One way I can do this is by targeting high-dividend-yield stocks. In this way, I can achieve an income payout that’s higher than I could get with my money sitting in cash. Obviously this carries a higher risk and I need to be aware of this. Being happy with the risk/reward balance, here are two stocks I’d take a look at.A cash cowPhoenix Group (LSE:PHNX) is a large UK-based insurance group. It services 14m customers and is well established in its market. One of the appealing features of this industry in general is the high level of cash generated. Paying this out enables Phoenix to be classified as a high-dividend-yield stock.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…At present, the yield sits at 6.47%. Reading through the 2020 report, it’s clear that the dividend policy is a key focus for the company. It shows how the dividend per share has grown in almost all of the past 10 years. Back in 2010, it stood at 32.2p a share. Now it’s at 47.5p. As long as the business is functioning well, I’m confident Phoenix will remain a high-dividend-yield stock. The outlook does seem robust, with the business growing operating profit in 2020 to almost £1.2bn versus £810m in 2019. One risk is that I don’t know how much of the company growth is organic. The company has grown in part through multiple acquisitions, most recently ReAssure during 2020. Taking on this book automatically generates revenue from existing clients. The risk to me going forward is that without further purchases, growth could stall.Another high-dividend-yield stockNext up is M&G (LSE:MNG). I wrote about the company back in February from an income perspective when the yield was almost 10%. It’s reduced now, as the share price has risen from around 190p to 237p. The higher share price has reduced the dividend yield to 7.67%.Even with this, it’s still a high-dividend-yield stock. It operates as a savings and investment firm, again an area that offers good levels of liquidity. After all, M&G collects fees and commissions from the assets held under management (AUM). As long as performance is good, assets should increase and fees will follow.I think the outlook for the company looks strong. AUM grew in 2020 to £367.2bn, up from £351.5bn the year before. However I do need to note that this rise is largely due to an acquisition during the year. Savings and asset management posted a net outflow of £6.6bn.I think this was largely due to the market crash, and was a blip. Given the fact that we haven’t had another market crash since March 2020, I’d imagine inflows should tick higher throughout this year. This sensitivity to the broader stock market can be seen as both an opportunity and a risk.Another risk I need to note is the fact that M&G is a relatively new independent company, being spun off from Prudential in 2019. Therefore it’s hard to put a fair value on what the stock is worth after only a limited trading history alone.Overall, both high-dividend-yield stocks offer me the ability to hopefully pick up some good income. Jonathan Smith | Tuesday, 25th May, 2021 | More on: MNG PHNX Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this. 2 high-dividend-yield stocks to buy now Are you on the lookout for UK growth stocks?If so, get this FREE no-strings report now.While it’s available: you’ll discover what we think is a top growth stock for the decade ahead.And the performance of this company really is stunning.In 2019, it returned £150million to shareholders through buybacks and dividends.We believe its financial position is about as solid as anything we’ve seen.Since 2016, annual revenues increased 31%In March 2020, one of its senior directors LOADED UP on 25,000 shares – a position worth £90,259Operating cash flow is up 47%. (Even its operating margins are rising every year!)Quite simply, we believe it’s a fantastic Foolish growth pick.What’s more, it deserves your attention today.So please don’t wait another moment. jonathansmith1 has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Prudential.Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Enter Your Email Address Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares See all posts by Jonathan Smith
LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS His first season back was a fairytale as Munster beat Biarritz in the 2006 Heineken Cup final. They repeated the feat two years later and Kidney then got the top coaching job in Ireland. He was the obvious replacement when O’Sullivan stepped down.“Declan has the CV to match the criteria for any international coach. He ticks all the boxes,” said O’Driscoll at the time. “He knows how to get the best out of his players and his coaches. If he does that with Ireland hopefully we can get back to the heights we hit 18 months ago.”Almost immediately O’Driscoll was proved right, as Ireland won nine of Kidney’s first ten games in charge and lifted a Grand Slam in 2009. The transformation in Ireland’s performances from the 2008 Six Nations to the 2009 event was astonishing as Kidney nurtured young stars like Jamie Heaslip and Stephen Ferris and revitalised other players, notably Tommy Bowe.Since the Grand Slam, Ireland have been inconsistent. They blew hot and cold in this year’s Six Nations before thumping England 24-8 in the last game. So, after taking Ireland from eighth to fourth in the world rankings, can Kidney make them World Cup contenders?After failing to reach the quarter-finals at France 2007, their minimum target must be to get out of the group, but with Australia and Italy also in Pool C, that is not a given. However, maybe Kidney will exploit the fact that Ireland come into this World Cup with little fanfare.“Kidney has always known that Irish teams are woeful favourites,” says Wood. “The tag has sat uncomfortably on both teams and supporters. Winners in sport have always strutted their stuff but Kidney has taken a different tack. His self-deprecating, even bumbling, protestations that Munster were lucky to be there at all took pressure off his side for years and confounded opponents into thinking they only had to turn up to win.”Perhaps that tactic will work with Ireland just as well as it did with Munster.This article appeared in Part 1 of our Rugby World Cup Supplement.To get a copy of the supplement contact [email protected] Or click here if you prefer a digital version of the magazineAnd if you’d like 50% off a subscription to Rugby World Magazine click here Declan KidneyAge 51 (20 October 1959)Birthplace Ballincollig, Cty CorkCoaching history Dolphin, Munster, Leinster, Ireland ARecord as Ireland coach (November 2008-present)P29 W19 L9 D1Kidney’s three big trophies have all been won at the Millenium Stadium – two Heineken Cups and a Six Nations titleBe it school, provincial or national level, Declan Kidney has triumphed. Now to do the same at this year’s World Cup…He is one of the most famous faces in Ireland, thrust into the limelight thanks to his extraordinary ability to coach rugby teams to victory. From schools cups to the most coveted club and international trophies in the northern hemisphere, his teams have won them all, but despite being part of so many celebrations, Declan Kidney prefers to remain a private man.His successes with Munster and Ireland haven’t turned this fellow from County Cork into a media personality. He is often described as inscrutable, an enigma. He is undoubtedly a talented tactician but also has a reputation as being off-the-wall, dubbed by Ireland legend Keith Wood “a very weird, strange and wonderful man”.Kidney is certainly modest, playing down his own role in his teams’ triumphs. As one of his protégés, Munster skipper Paul O’Connell, says: “He gets his satisfaction from seeing a group of guys he’s worked with winning and achieving. He doesn’t want anything else. Not many people know him well and that’s probably a credit to him. It’s important the coach doesn’t put himself up there as the be-all and end-all.”So, if Kidney is not given to blowing his own trumpet, we need others to reveal the secrets of his success. How does he bring the best out of players? He is not dictatorial. He acts more as a facilitator, creating the right environment for players and assistant coaches to flourish. His attention to detail is phenomenal and he has an instinct for saying and doing the right thing at the right time.“Deccie has grown up with a lot of us,” says Jerry Flannery, hooker in Ireland’s Grand Slam and both Munster’s Heineken Cup wins. “He knows how people are feeling. He treats players like human beings and creates an atmosphere in which fellas believe in themselves, trust in each other and enjoy it.“He’s always doing little things which you only notice in retrospect. He sets challenges for you. Before the Gloucester quarter-final (in 2008) he told us only 8% of away teams won at Kingsholm. Coming into the Saracens match it was, ‘Lads, do you know Munster have never beaten an English side in a semi-final?’ You think back and say, ‘Geez, what he said made a really big difference’.”Educated at Presentation Brothers College, Cork, Kidney went on to teach maths at the same school for a decade – but coaching was clearly his forte. By the age of 19 he was already coaching schools rugby and he notched up five Munster Junior Cup wins with PBC, then took them to three successive Senior Cups in the early Nineties. He also guided Ireland Schools toa Triple Crown in 1993.His next step on the coaching ladder saw him steer Dolphin from the lower reaches of AIL Division Two to Division One and in 1997 he became co-coach of Munster, stepping up to head coach a year later. In that same year his Ireland U19 side – featuring Brian O’Driscoll and Donncha O’Callaghan – won the 34-team Junior World Cup.There have been a few fallow spells in his career. His stint as Ireland assistant coach under Eddie O’Sullivan lasted less than two years, ending after RWC 2003. In the summer of 2004 he joined – and left – Newport Gwent Dragons to take charge of Leinster. But there were rumours he was not universally popular at the Dublin province and a year later he returned to Munster.
One of the more persistent arguments peddled in the Steffon Armitage selection saga is the one about ‘floodgates opening’. That should England coach Stuart Lancaster invoke the ‘exceptional circumstances’ clause and select the Toulon flanker in his World Cup squad, then before you could say ‘au revoir’, many of England’s finest would be surfing across the Channel on a wave of wonga.It’s a line of argument that demands closer scrutiny. So let’s start with the French clubs: are they falling over themselves to sign up the English? The short answer is ‘no’. One rugby agent told me last week that while the Top 14 clubs might be interested in a fly-half or a tighthead prop, in other positions they are more than adequately covered, particularly as none of this current England squad is in the world-class bracket.After a series of high-profile disappointments in recent seasons – Dan Lydiate, Gethin Jenkins and Jim Hamilton, to name but three – the French clubs are more circumspect about signing Home Nations’ players, preferring those from the Southern Hemisphere.Troubled times: Jim Hamilton was one of a handful of international stars who didn’t settle in FranceAdditionally, each player who comes to France has to be the ‘right fit’, the expression used by Pau head coach Simon Mannix when we discussed his recruitment policy last month. Similar sentiments have also been expressed to me this season by three other Top 14 coaches in discussing overseas signings. Clubs research the career of any potential big-money recruit, seeking advice from former teammates and coaches as to his character and attitude. It’s one reason why this generation of Toulon stars has been so successful, because the club diligently identified the players who were the right fit, having made mistakes in the past with the likes of Victor Matfield, Anton Oliver and Gavin Henson.How many of the current England squad are the ‘right fit’ for a French club? There has never been much affinity between England’s top players and French clubs, and in the last 15 years only a trickle have crossed the Channel, many in the autumn of their careers: the likes of Jonny Wilkinson, Jamie Noon, Iain Balshaw and Andrew Sheridan. That quartet thrived in France because they had the breadth of mind, the maturity and the intelligence to embrace the differences in rugby and culture. But for every Englishman who’s made a success of his time in France, there’s a Riki Flutey, Shane Geraghty, Paul Sackey or Ollie Smith. Will there be an exodus of biblical proportions from England if the exceptional circumstances rule was relaxed? Our French expert doesn’t think so… Perennial question: Steffon Armitage’s performances keep him in the news LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS A recent report from  DNACG, French rugby’s financial gendarme, revealed that the cumulative deficit of the Top 14 clubs for 2013-14 was €33.9m, of which 75% was incurred by Stade Francais, Racing Metro and Castres (the two Parisian clubs have taken a financial hit because Stade spent €95m redeveloping their Jean Bouin ground while Racing’s state-of-the-arena Arena 92 – which opens next year – is costing €350m). With Toulouse allegedly set to slash their budget for next season by as much as €5m because of financial difficulties, the overall picture painted by the report was not healthy with Toulon and Brive the only two Top 14 clubs in 2013-14 to post a profit.Happy larrakins: Matt Giteau and Drew Mitchell have enjoyed the French experienceSo the talk of ‘floodgates opening’ is just scare-mongering on the part of those who selfishly oppose Lancaster selecting Armitage in his World Cup squad. A shame, because Armitage would not only enhance the quality of the England squad, but think of all the inside information he could provide on Matt Giteau and Drew Mitchell, a pair so talented that they must be licking their lips at the prospect of testing the current England back-row, unbalanced as it is, on October 3. But even if a French club were to table an offer to an English player, would it really be so superior to what he’s already earning in the Premiership? The agent to whom I spoke said that a few of Stuart Lancaster’s squad are on “massive deals” and while one or two French clubs would have the means to better their Premiership wages, it is unlikely to be substantial enough to lure the players out of the comfort zone of their very professional environment, where all their needs are catered for.Successful sojourn: Andrew Sheridan immersed himself in French cultureIn fact there’s a growing feeling in France, articulated by Midi Olympique last month, that the era of Top 14 dominance in the transfer market may be drawing to a close. As the paper pointed out, the influx of overseas stars to France really took off in the wake of the 2007 World Cup. The tournament, hosted superbly by France, captured the imagination and also coincided with the start of Mourad Boudjellal’s project at Toulon. Could something similar happen in England after this year’s World Cup? Midi Olympique, with its well-placed sources, clearly believes it could, warning that far from the English flooding over to France in the coming years, “we could very quickly see the inverse and the French internationals traversing once more the Channel as was the case in the early 2000s.”
“Interestingly, although there was strong support from mainstream and entertainment media, almost all the marketing driving the sales was online, especially through Robert’s own Facebook page (24 million likes).“His team posted regular updates and promotional messages, including ‘chance to win other goodies if you enter now’ type promotions, and a film about the Julia’s House children, in the last few days to maximize interest. You can still see these on his page”. Advertisement Robert Downey Jr announces the campaign Howard Lake | 9 April 2015 | News AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis1 143 total views, 1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis1 Martin Edwards The online raffle featuring the prize of a movie premiere evening in Los Angeles with actor Robert Downey Jr has raised a record-breaking $2,048,605 gross for Julia’s House, the Dorset and Wiltshire-based children’s hospice.This is the most successful fundraising campaign yet run on the ‘celebrity experience’ fundraising raffle site Omaze.After campaign, merchandising and currency transaction charges have been deducted, the charity will receive between £950,000 and £1 million.The Robert Downey Jr campaign on Omaze ran for a month, starting on 2 March. He described the campaign as “brilliant and somewhat surreal”, adding that it was “great news for the new Wiltshire children’s hospice”. Here was RDJ’s pitch at the beginning of the campaign: Robert Downey Jr online raffle raises $2m for UK children’s hospice Tagged with: Celebrity Digital Raffles Research / statistics About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving. Robert Downey Jr’s Facebook post announcing the $2m raised UK Fundraising asked the charity’s CEO Martin Edwards about the campaign and why it was so successful. He said: Game of Thrones case in International Refugee Commitee appeal (18 March 2016)Unicef prize draw offers a role in Star Wars episode VII (2 June 2014)Omaze house draw raises £1 million for British Heart Foundation (9 April 2021)
The following is Part 2 of an excerpted talk given March 21 at a Workers World Party meeting in New York City. The writer, the co-director of the International Action Center, was part of the March 9-18 delegation to Venezuela organized by the U.S. Peace Council.Venezuela’s conflict with imperialism seems to be entering a prolonged siege, where the masses’ ability to organize and develop domestic agricultural production will be tested. The government’s response is to reach deeper for more radical measures and find those that draw new layers of the population into political life.Since I’m a gardener, I met with the Minister of Urban Agriculture, Mayerlin Arias, and her staff. Venezuela is the only country that has an entire government ministry focused on rapidly developing urban agriculture.Urban farm in central Caracas, bordering the Hilton HotelUrban agriculture to feed the peopleMicrogardens are producing 25 percent of Venezuela’s food needs this year, using backyards, rooftops, vacant lots and small greenhouses covered with plastic tarps. It is projected they will produce 50 percent of the people’s food needs for the next three years. Venezuela is near the equator; it has a warm climate and the ability to produce three or four crops a year. The challenge is that the population is 89 percent urban. In the past, the country imported more than two-thirds of its food. Agricultural production depended on imported seeds, feed and supplies from U.S. agribusiness corporations. Recent efforts aim to break free of relying on these imports. The program of developing urban gardens has the ability to solve an immediate challenge. Thousands of small urban gardens are cutting out the wildly overpriced and corrupt underground market and the distribution networks of warehouses, supermarkets and shipping conglomerates — which are controlled by Venezuelan capitalists who are part of the anti-Maduro opposition and aligned with corporate U.S. They have used every trick to create continual shortages of essential goods.Food production in thousands of local gardens also reduces refrigeration, transportation, storage and packaging costs. Through a network of thousands of community councils, the Ministry of Urban Agriculture provides technical support, seeds, soil, basic tools; advice on composting and pests; and conducts educational programs and cooking programs for residents.Urban agricultural production is 100 percent organic and sustainable — as are larger farming efforts. But as the staff at the ministry explained, this level of production requires the latest scientific advances and specialized technical expertise.The Venezuelans are learning from Cuban, Vietnamese and Korean cadre who developed survival microfarming for their populations using small, diversified agricultural solutions while dealing with near-famine conditions created by U.S. wars and sanctions.Developing self-sufficiency in food productionPlans include planting gardens up to 1 acre on rooftops and in backyards and up to 3 acres in empty lots. The goal is to attain self-sufficiency in food production.We visited the crowded mountainside barrio of Catia in West Caracas, once one of the poorest favelas where 1.5 million people live. In one community grouping of about 200 families, there are extensive gardens, raised beds, tubing for drip irrigations, rain barrels, hoses, pumps and five large greenhouses.Animal protein has suffered the highest inflation-based price hikes. So a project has begun for families to raise rabbits. A community council member who heads the project explains that rabbits are easy to raise. They eat vegetable scraps, provide high protein and reproduce quickly. The plan also includes providing milk-producing goats for families with children. Chickens will also be raised to produce eggs and animal protein. Fish farms are being developed. Already more than 260 large fish ponds provide protein and ingredients for fertilizer.We visited a downtown garden in front of a large apartment block where beets, peppers, herbs, tomatoes, black beans, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, melons, mangoes, lettuce, and other vegetables and fruit were grown.Breakfasts and lunches are served at schools and workplaces. Teaching new, healthier eating habits, especially to youth, is another goal. One gardener told us: “We’ve gone from malnutrition to obesity with government food distribution programs. But now, especially for our children, we need to stress healthy eating.”Teaching every neighborhood how to produce basic foods empowers the population and mobilizes each community to participate in shared projects and basic decision-making. It gives people confidence that children’s food needs can be met. Also, it’s essential in preparing the people to counter further sabotage by the U.S. Community councils = people powerBut there are many essential needs that can’t be met by backyard gardens. To counter these shortages, the Bolivarian government has established a distribution network that serves 6 million families by importing food, medicine and hygiene products.Compare this situation to that in the U.S: Despite a well-developed infrastructure and enormous food surpluses, 41 million people go hungry every day, according to Move for Hunger.The government organization known as CLAP (Local Committees for Supply and Production) delivers boxes of essential supplies to community councils that service 6 million families — more than two-thirds of the population. Almost all poor, working and out-of-work families receive essential supplies of corn flour, cooking oil, beans, canned tuna, powdered milk, coffee, salt, sugar, shampoo, soap, and personal hygiene and paper products. Our young hosts in COSI (International Solidarity Committee) rely on these basic supplies. Keeping everything running is based on the collective determination of the local community councils. They make the decisions about community projects, gardens and distribution of CLAP boxes.We visited two of the larger barrios where there appeared to be 100 percent support for the revolutionary process. A big accomplishment of the early days of the Bolivarian Revolution was to break the forced isolation in these working-class suburbs. Districts that were once the worst shanty towns now have roads, sidewalks, storm drains, electricity, plumbing, stucco paint and new roofs on houses, medical clinics and schools.The district of Catia, home to 1.5 million people, was not even shown on city maps before the Bolivarian Revolution. The city didn’t acknowledge its existence — and therefore provided no services like electricity or plumbing. Catia’s population did not vote and was not counted in political representation.We also visited the formerly poor historic January 23 neighborhood. Perched above it is the burial site of the late revolutionary leader and former president, Hugo Chávez, in a military museum.Direct democracy through communesThe community councils and communes stem from a revolutionary concept that is being applied in Venezuela as a way of life. The idea of direct democracy was first advanced in the 1871 Paris Commune and in the soviets (elected councils in the former Soviet Union). In Venezuela a community council is a self-organized group of about 200 families, which applies for government recognition. They are based in all poor and working-class communities.Direct government aid is distributed through the councils. People are elected to them, and eight to 10 community councils make up a commune. There are 500 communes, and unions, collectivos, militia units and women’s committees are also represented in the communes. The councils then elect commune representatives to the National Constituent Assembly.The councils and communes have created a functioning popular power base and network throughout the country, which can tackle immediate problems. They coordinate their efforts to find workable solutions to the shortages that the imperialists have created through internal sabotage in their effort to create chaos and confusion. Involving everyone in problem solving empowers the population and energizes the people to meet the historic challenges they face. People’s militias — armed groups from among the masses — function through these organs of popular power, in coordination with the Bolivarian National Armed Forces.Right to housing is a realityThe achievements in housing are impressive, especially compared with the situation in the U.S. where there is a permanent housing crisis. The U.S. population is 10 times that of Venezuela’s, yet it has a total of only 1.2 million low-income housing units. Since 2016 the Maduro government has built 2.5 million new housing units throughout the country, which can accommodate almost one-third of the population. This housing construction was also a major jobs program.This is despite recent U.S. sanctions that have severely limited supplies of hundreds of essential parts used in modern housing construction.New housing complexes don’t just provide housing. They include schools, daycare centers, playgrounds, meeting spaces, medical clinics, bakeries, groceries, cafes and transportation. There are also community gardens and greenhouses.We met with the vice minister of peace. His department deals with creating social peace in urban neighborhoods. It had to do intensive work in 2017 at the peak of the street violence created by the opposition. As in many countries, including in Latin America and the U.S., gang violence, street crime and drugs can pull in alienated youth — unless there are community-based programs. The Venezuelan government is also building vertical gyms around the country. Each gym has space for 17 sporting activities, music, theater, dance and martial arts. There are also meeting rooms and health centers, and there is access to WIFI. Using hip hop, theater and all forms of culture, the Bolivarian government seeks to raise the level of social involvement.U.S. sanctions cut medicinesVenezuela is very proud of its doctors and medical technicians as well as Cuban medical doctors, nurses and technicians.The sanctions first imposed by President Barack Obama in 2014 have made it difficult to obtain necessary pharmaceuticals and medical equipment.Sanctions have resulted in an 80 percent decline in imports of essential medicines. Even treatments for such common health problems as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, asthma, epilepsy and cancers are suddenly facing medicine shortages. The same is true of basic diagnostic tests. These medications, formerly imported at government expense, cannot be purchased due to cruel U.S. sanctions. This is a war on an entire people.Venezuela moves ahead, needs global solidarityVenezuela faces many other problems. The wild hyperinflation of 3,000 percent has made money useless for many transactions. Yet the government is making advances for the people. Transportation is now accessible to the masses. The metro is free. So is gas for cars and buses. Electricity and water are free. Food distributed through the CLAP program and the community gardens are very low-cost — nearly free.The meetings with officials, community councils and neighborhood people confirmed that the revolutionary process is moving forward. Profound changes have been made through a revolutionary approach to meeting people’s needs.However, there is still an entrenched capitalist class firmly allied with U.S. imperialism. Meeting this deadly threat requires more radical, people-oriented solutions to address this very real problem.Venezuela needs material support from countries around the world. The essential aid that is arriving is a lifeline, helping to combat the cruel sanctions. Venezuela especially needs political solidarity from the world’s people to push back U.S. imperialism’s war plans. This is our responsibility.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare this
August 29, 2009 – Updated on January 25, 2016 The enemies of press freedom to blame for journalists who disappear News As the world marks the 26th International Day of the Disappeared on 30 August, Reporters Without Borders has provided a grim reminder that nothing has been heard, sometimes for years, of scores of journalists, who have been kidnapped, arrested or simply kept “appointments” that turned out to be traps.“Whether carried out by agents of the state or local criminals bent on settling scores, the many disappearances of journalists highlights the fact that the enemies of press freedom have no hesitation in using the most cowardly and despicable methods to gag journalists. We restate our support for the families of the disappeared and we share the pain they suffer in the waiting and uncertainty about their fate”, the worldwide press freedom organisation said.“We urge the relevant authorities to systematically take these disappearances seriously and to open the badly-needed investigations to find these missing journalists and punish those responsible. It is moreover incredible that cases of ‘enforced disappearance’ implicating agents of the state or those acting with its support can still be going on around the world. We urge countries that have signed the International Convention for the Protection of Persons from Enforced Disappearance to ratify the law as quickly as possible so that it can be put into force”, it added.Mexico, where eight journalists have disappeared since the year 2000, is the country most affected by this plague. Mauricio Estrada Zamora, journalist on the regional daily La Opinión de Apatzingán, has been missing since 12 February 2008 in Michoacan state in the south-west of the country, an area notorious for crime and the illegal drugs trade. The management of his newspaper said that three weeks before he went missing he wrote an article that enraged an agent of the Federal Investigation Agency. Also in Michoacan, the editor of the weekly Ecos de la Cuenca, José Antonio García Apac, went missing on 20 November 2006 after he keeping an appointment after he received a phone call at 7.15pm. His son got a call from his father at 7.30pm which was interrupted by voices telling him to switch off his mobile phone and to identify himself. Nothing more has been heard of him since. A Reporters Without Borders’ delegation that visited Mexico in July 2009 met and talked to the families of these two journalists. .In January 2009, The International Press Freedom Mission to Sri Lanka condemned the “culture of impunity and indifference” surrounding the disappearances of journalists in the country. Soldiers arrested Subramaniam Ramachandran, correspondent for Tamil dailies Thinakural and Valampuri, close to a military camp, Kalikai Junction, in the north of Jaffna, in the north of the country on 15 February 2007. His family has heard nothing of him since then. He had been reporting on the illegal trade in sand, implicating a businessman and members of the military. The Jaffna office of the Human Rights Commission handled the case and it was referred to the military authorities, including the commander in chief for the Jaffna region. But as lawyer Mudiyapu Remedias explained, in this type of case “everyone is afraid of challenging the army, which denied any involvement”.Vadivel Nimalarajah, a sub-editor on the popular Tamil daily in Jaffna, Uthayan, which is highly critical of the government, has not been heard of since 17 November 2007 when, colleagues believe, he was abducted while cycling home after working overnight at the paper.In Iran, Pirouz Davani, editor of the newspaper Pirouz, has not been seen or heard of since he left his home one day at the end of August 1998. The authorities have never shown any sign of wanting to solve the case. Those behind his disappearance have thus been ensured complete impunity. The newspaper Kar-e-Karagar reported rumours of his “execution” in its 28 November 1998 edition. Journalist Akbar Ganji, working for Sobh-e-Emrouz, confirmed these rumours at the end of November 2000 and accused the former intelligence minister and current prosecutor general, Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Ejei, of involvement in the killing. No government officials have ever commented on this report. Davani’s family took their case to the UN Human Rights Commission in December 2002.In Gambia, “Chief” Ebrima Manneh, a journalist on the privately-owned The Daily Observer, has been missing since 7 July 2006, when he was arrested by the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) for an unknown reason shortly after the closure of the African Union summit of heads of state and government which was held in the Gambian capital Banjul. The Gambian government has since then refused to reveal any information about his fate. Justice Minister, Marie Saine Firdaus, said on 6 April 2009 that the journalist had never been held in a Gambian prison. However, one week later, a police officer from Mile Two prison in Banjul, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he had seen the journalist for the last time inside the prison, in 2008, before he was taken away in the middle of the night by a police officer in plain clothes. “Chief” Ebrima Manneh has never been seen since.On the other side of the African continent, in Eritrea, scores of journalists have been arrested since September 2001 and most of them have disappeared into the country’s jails without their families knowing where they are. The authorities in the capital Asmara have remained completely silent about their fate.This list of disappeared journalists is far from exhaustive. Organisation RSF_en Help by sharing this information
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Required fields are marked * One of Pasadenaâ€™s most cherished institutions is turning 30 this year, and the public is invited to share in the celebration â€¦ and the good work.Founded in 1984, The Huntington Collection is a unique resale shop of Huntington Memorial Hospital that sells merchandise through consignment and qualified donations. All Huntington Collection proceeds benefit Huntington Hospital Senior Care Network, a nationally recognized program that helps older and disabled adults and their families remain healthy and independent.â€œThe Huntington Collection is a wonderful way for people to make a meaningful difference in the community while acquiring one-of-a-kind merchandise at really great prices,â€ says Betty MacInnes, founder of the Huntington Collection who remains a vital part of its operation. â€œOthers can make a difference by donating items that will turn into dollars and support the great work of Senior Care Network.â€The dollars of which MacInnes speaks are not insignificant. Earlier this year the Huntington Collection presented Huntington Hospital CEO Steve Ralph with a check in the amount of $230,000. It was the latest in a series of annual donations, which over the past three decades has surpassed $8 million.The Huntington Collection receives an extensive array of donated merchandise including clothing, china, crystal, jewelry, books, linens, kitchenware, toys, collectibles and decorative pieces. All are accepted and inspected under the trained eyes of volunteers and staff and then put out for sale if their condition is acceptable. In addition, The Huntington Collection accepts consignment items worth $250 or more after they have been appraised by qualified Huntington Collection appraisers. New merchandise is received every day.â€œWe try to make it easy for donors by offering an all-inclusive service for the appraisal, removal and sale of personal property,â€ says MacInnes. â€œA Huntington Collection appraiser meets with the donor; assesses that a Price and Pack is needed; and arranges for the pricing, packing and removal of all items to The Huntington Collection where they will be sold as consignment or donation. This service has proven to be ideal for older adults moving to a retirement or convalescent home.â€The Huntington Collection also offers month-end sales, usually held on the last Thursday or Saturday of each month, except holidays, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The sale features half price on all regular clothing plus featured sales on boutique clothing, linens, artwork and books. â€œBag Salesâ€ are also held three to four times a year where for $10 customers can fill a grocery bag to the brim with regular clothing and accessories. In addition, the Annex section of The Huntington Collection regularly features half price on all donated items including furniture, sofas, dining sets, armoires and rugs.None of this would be possible without MacInnes who created the shop in 1984 with the goal of supporting the hospitalâ€™s recently formed Senior Care Network. The Collection did not have a permanent home at the time; but MacInnes recruited volunteers to help run the sale and solicited donations of high-quality secondhand goods from the community, making the event a tremendous success.Soon after that initial sales event, and following The Huntington Collectionâ€™s move into a large space on Fair Oaks Avenue, MacInnes went to work filling the massive space with desirable items for purchase. In partnership with the Collectionâ€™s advisory committee â€” comprised of professionals from the retail, advertising and marketing industries, along with Collection volunteers â€” she led the store through decades of expansion.MacInnes now serves as the Collectionâ€™s assistant manager; and Linda Stephens, who has worked alongside MacInnes for 25 years, has taken on the role of managing the store. â€œBetty is so focused on the Collectionâ€™s success; this place is her lifeblood,â€ Stephens says. â€œShe has the kind of toughness that gets a lot done; and, at the same time, she remains wonderfully compassionate and patient.â€The Huntington Collection is located at 766 South Fair Oaks Avenue. It is open weekdays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., except Thursdays, when hours are from noon to 6:00 p.m. Further information may be obtained at www.thehuntingtoncollection.com.About Huntington HospitalHuntington Memorial Hospital, www.HuntingtonHospital.com, is a 625-bed not-for-profit hospital located in Pasadena, California. Huntington Hospital has been ranked nationally by U.S. News and World Report in two specialties and was named among the top hospitals in California. The hospital is on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HuntingtonMemorialHospital and on Twitter at @HuntingtonNews. Design The Huntington Collection Celebrates 30th Anniversary Resale Shop Has Donated $8 Million to Huntington Hospitalâ€™s Senior Care Network; Founder Betty MacInnes Still Going Strong 30 Years Later From STAFF REPORTS Published on Monday, May 19, 2014 | 12:10 pm Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. 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