What next for Israel?

One of the most intractable problems of the Middle East is the relationship between Israel and Palestine. It's always been problematic and it always will be. I doubt that the problem will be resolved, at least any time soon.

I went to Bethlehem from Jordan three years ago, travelling into the Palestinian territory via the Allenby Crossing via bus, as a journalist.  I was with several coach loads of Palestinians going to Bethlehem to attend a conference on Palestine- or at least to obtain a visa so that he/she could enter the Palestinian territory in the first place. What an experience.

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Saudi royal family is still spending in an age of austerity

We DON'T want out anymore: Shock poll reveals Express & Star readers have changed minds on Brexit

A majority of readers would now vote to REMAIN in the European Union bucking the way the region voted six months ago in the referendum, according to a new Express & Star survey.

The poll – the biggest online news questionnaire this paper has carried out – saw nearly 10,000 people respond to five questions on what readers thought of Brexit since the historic vote.

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The man who studies the spread of ignorance-

An article from the BBC-  By Georgina Kenyon

How do people or companies with vested interests spread ignorance and obfuscate knowledge? Georgina Kenyon finds there is a term which defines this phenomenon.

In 1979, a secret memo from the tobacco industry was revealed to the public. Called the Smoking and Health Proposal, and written a decade earlier by the Brown & Williamson tobacco company, it revealed many of the tactics employed by big tobacco to counter “anti-cigarette forces”.

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Mats Anderson, speaks out at IFSWF

– by Lucia Dore

Mats Anderson, former chief executive at one of Sweden’s four pension funds, AP4, said that “sustainable investments are drivers for higher returns at a lower risk” and that “there is no conflict between returns and sustainability”. He also explained that the fund has three factors that come together to produce sustainability- environment, social and governance (ESG) but that “it all starts with governance”.

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Bluff marae- enjoying the artistry and digging for toheroas

Recently, I went with my Te Reo Maori class to the marae in Bluff, rated one of the best in New Zealand for its artistry. The main artist was Cliff Whiting, who also worked on Te Papa (NZ's national museum). It was a great experience, especially appreciating the powhiri (welcoming ceremony) and learning all about Maori culture. I also loved going to Oreti Beach- on the outskirts of Invercargill- ostensibly to get toheroas (a type of shellfish you dig in the sand for) since I grew up there and we used to go the beach often, sometimes to get toheroas when it was the season. You have to dig deep and quickly for the shellfish, which are generally below the shoreline, and to avoid the tide coming in and undoing all your hard work.

Here are some photos.

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What the Emoluments Clause means for Donald Trump

Lawyers find Trump in violation of Emoluments Clause. The president-elect's business holdings present significant problems under the Constitution's Emoluments Clause, according to a new study from Norman Eisen, Richard Painter, and Laurence Tribe. Should Trump refuse to divest from his businesses? The authors conclude that the Electoral College, Congress, and the Supreme Court are within their rights to deny or remove him from the White House.

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New Line of Trump Condoms Boast Thinnest Skin Possible

I'm posting this because it made me laugh. It came out first on December 11, 2016,

NEW YORK — U.S. President-elect Donald J. Trump held a press conference this morning to announce the manufacture of Trump Condoms, his latest namesake business venture, which will feature a gold foil-wrapped contraceptive touted as having the thinnest skin ever to hit the market.
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Five strategies for practising PR in Europe

This article is the fourth in a series adapted from Alaimo’s book “Pitch, Tweet, or Engage on the Street: How to Practice Global Public Relations and Strategic Communication.”

As part of the research for “Pitch, Tweet, or Engage on the Street: How to Practice Global Public Relations and Strategic Communication,” my new book on how to practice public relations in countries and cultures around the world, I conducted interviews with senior communicators in 31 nations about best local practices.

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What communication do employees want in the face of technological upheaval

This article on the impact on how communication impacts technological change that recently crossed my desk is an interesting read for everyone.

Ann Pilkington | December 6, 2016

The answer is: not always what they are given. So found marketing executive Charlotte Wallis when she picked this theme for her CIPR Internal Communication Diploma project.  Over to Charlotte to explain more….

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Lipsky: global economic outlook "favourable".

At the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds (IFSWF) held in Auckland from 8-11 November, economist and former managing director of the IMF John Lipsky debunked the arguments put forth by others, such as Bob Prince, Bridgewater associates, and Massimiliano Castelli, UBS Asset Management (see previous blogs) that the world economy would see low interest rates and low growth for the foreseeable future. “Despite the alternatives and the pessimism, the outlook, and trend analysis, the consensus forecast isn’t that bad,” he said, adding that “if it [an improvement in the global economy] can be achieved in a structural sense it will start to improve the performance and expectations that I think is going to set the stage ..for a much more favourable outlook ahead.”

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New Zealand PM bows out

Here's an article from The Economist which, while talking about John Key's resignation, states that NZ is "one of the most successful countries in the world. While this is debatable, there is no doubt that Key has had successes- namely international recognition- along with failures, housing, immigration and the environment. We have yet to see whether the new Prime Minister, John English, will have the same success.

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