Public confidence in the EU continue down

PRESIDENT MICHAEL D Higgins has said that if the fall in public confidence in the European Union goes unchecked it could “lead to a crisis of legitimacy and accountability and the erosion of solidarity between Member States.

Speaking at the Conference of the Committees of the National Parliaments of the European Union Member States dealing with European Affairs (COSAC), the president said that there was “no doubt” that the EU was facing profound changes, nuskin group adding that public confidence in the EU has fallen to “historically low levels”.

He said that if this trend was to continue it could lead to a crisis, adding that it was important for elected representatives to look for accountability.

He said that Europe’s citizens have been experiencing severe disappointment “in our institutions and their policy responses, particularly our banking institutions in which so many had placed their trust”. He said that there was nothing more corrosive to society and more crushing to its citizens than endemic unemployment, particularly among the young. He said:

The crisis we currently face is one caused in part by the failure of a particular system of ideas; by the failure of models of economy and society and their connection that were often invested with claims of certainty; and by the failure of policy makers and other leaders to adequately challenge prevailing assumptions and models which were regarded as unquestionable nuskin.
Higgins said that it was time to “recall the values that were central to the establishment of our Union and ensure these citizenship focused standards predominate in policy making”. He said:

Those values are set out clearly in Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union. They are strong and compelling values which include human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law, and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities.
President Higgins concluded his speech by stating that:

We cannot allow an economic crisis caused by speculation and unregulated markets which operated in an ethical vacuum to stall the progress of humanity, nu skin hk ensuring that one billion global citizens remain consigned to lives of relentless hardship and hunger.
Europe must take its rightful place in leading the global collaboration on poverty eradication and in the fight against hunger. To abandon this responsibility would be the greatest betrayal of the promise of Europe.

Four wheel motorcycle crash

Ashlee Shorrock suffered serious injuries when the quad bike, nuskin driven by her father Daniel McGregor and carrying her and three other adults went off the road and down a bank at Waimarama on January 2.

McGregor, 29, appeared in Hastings District Court on crutches on Tuesday to hear police were dropping three drugs charges laid against him in the wake of the accident, reports Hawke's Bay Today.

He had earlier pleaded not guilty to cultivating cannabis, nu skin hk possessing cannabis and possessing drug utensils.

McGregor admitted four charges of drink-driving causing injury and one of reckless driving in April.

Ashlee was thrown from the bike in the crash that took place shortly before midnight.

She suffered a fractured skull and other injuries to her face, neck, nuskin group spine and back.

McGregor broke his legs in the crash and the three others on the bike were also injured.

He will be sentenced on August 7.

A global ban on tobacco marketing

Douglas Bettcher, head of the WHO's non-communicable disease division, said on Wednesday tougher measures were needed to rein in tobacco use, which claims six million lives a year.

"This is an industry that sells a product that kills up to half their consumers," but companies are still able to draw in a new generation of smokers despite measures in a 2005 tobacco-control treaty, he said.

"Most tobacco users start their deadly drug dependence before the age of 20," he told reporters, ahead of Friday's World No Tobacco Day.

"Banning tobacco advertising, promotion, Claire Hsu and sponsorship is one of the best ways to protect young people from starting smoking as well as reducing tobacco consumption across the entire population," he added.

Bans on overt advertising are crucial, he said, but companies are masters at finding less-obvious means to attract potential smokers and ensure customers remain loyal.

"Tobacco companies are like a mutating virus. When you ban one type of advertising, maybe the most commonly-known forms, billboards, television, radio, they move into other areas," Bettcher said.

He pointed to tactics including selling branded products such as clothing, product-placement in reality TV shows, using social media to fuel a sense of consumer community, executive gift and event sponsorship.

"That's why the ban has to be complete in order to be fully effective," he said.

Bettcher noted that as of 2011, 19 nations had introduced total bans -- and seen a seven per cent reduction in tobacco use -- while one-third of countries had minimal or no restrictions.

Fresh data are due in July.

With increasingly-tough measures in developed nations, tobacco firms have moved to drive up demand in markets such as Africa.

Bettcher warned of a "perfect storm" on that continent, with health services even less able to cope with the impact of smoking than their developed-nation equivalents.

Bettcher also lauded Australia for its landmark plain packaging rules, in force since December, which require tobacco products to be sold in drab-green boxes bearing the same typeface and graphic images of diseased smokers.

New Zealand and Ireland have announced plans to follow suit, children’s bedroom furniture despite a tobacco industry-backed challenge to Australia at the World Trade Organization by cigar-producers Cuba, Honduras and the Dominican Republic, plus Ukraine.

The best looking long

After his remark that California’s Kamala Harris was the “best-looking attorney general in the country” sparked controversy, President Obama apologized for what some deemed to be a sexist comment, and what others argued was a dumb, but harmless, compliment cheap furniture stores.

The president called Harris to apologize for the comments hours after he made them on Thursday during a San Francisco fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee, according to White House spokesman Jay Carney.

“They are old friends and good friends and he did not want in any way to diminish the attorney general's professional accomplishments and her capabilities,” Carney said Friday at a White House briefing.

At the fundraiser, Obama called out Harris along with several other Democratic leaders in California.

“You have to be careful to, first of all, say she is brilliant and she is dedicated and she is tough, and she is exactly what you’d want in anybody who is administering the law, and making sure that everybody is getting a fair shake,” the president said. “She also happens to be, by far, the best looking attorney general in the country.”

When the crowd started laughing, the president added, “It’s true! C’mon.”

The comments made even typically ardent Obama supporters cringe. Political strategist James Carville, no stranger to making controversial statements, advised Obama to be more cautious International Relocation.

“Look, I’m a 68-year-old guy and I do notice honestly the way that women look sometimes, but you’ve got to learn to sort of keep your opinions to yourself,” Carville said on MSNBC’s “Jansing & Co.”

Jonathan Chait of New York Magazine said the way women continue to be judged by their looks makes it tough to reach gender equality in the workforce.

“It’s not a compliment. And for a president who has become a cultural model for many of his supporters in so many other ways, the example he’s setting here is disgraceful,” he wrote in an article headlined, "Obama in Need of Gender-Sensitivity Training."

But others came to Obama’s defense, demanding the nation ease up on its need to be politically correct all the time.

“Lighten up, people,” wrote Jonathan Capehart of the Washington Post.

“You’d swear the president was guilty of luridly cat-calling a woman he doesn’t know,” he said.

Politico’s media reporter Dylan Byers asked in a tweet, “How did it become so difficult to call a woman good looking in public?”

During a discussion on the topic Friday on TODAY, celebrity guest Liza Minnelli said she didn’t see anything wrong with what Obama said Claire Hsu.

“He can’t say she’s pretty?” she said. “When this lovely woman gets up in the morning and looks in the mirror and puts on her makeup and does her hair, don’t you think she wants to be attractive and wants to be thought of as attractive? She’s not doing that for no reason.”


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