Sunday, August 31, 2014

dawn MQM hints at joining Islamabad protests By The Newspaper's Staff Reporter

MQM leader Dr Farooq Sattar. —File photo
KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement leader Dr Farooq Sattar has said that his party will have no option but to take to the streets if crackdown on protesters continues in Islamabad.
Talking to reporters at the MQM headquarters here on Sunday, he said the MQM and its chief Altaf Hussain tried to resolve the current crisis through dialogue. But the situation worsened after police acted against demonstrators.
He said that by using force the government had ruined MQM efforts to end the crisis peacefully.
He asked the government to stop using state power against the protesters who he said were exercising their constitutional and legal right. “We are already under immense pressure and we would be compelled to take to the road if the government action against protesters continues.”
Dr Sattar said that Mr Hussain and the MQM had been monitoring the situation and would soon announce their course of action.
Meanwhile, on Mr Hussain’s appeal the MQM observed a ‘day of mourning’ in protest against the action taken against protesters in Islamabad by the Punjab police.
A gathering at the Lal Qila ground near the party’s headquarters which was attended by MQM leaders and workers wearing black armbands demonstrated solidarity with the victims of the police action.
Published in Dawn, September 1st, 2014

Images of clash between protesters and police in Islamabad - thenews.com.pk

Images of clash between protesters and police in Islamabad - thenews.com.pk



 



 

Images of clash between protesters and police in Islamabad



 




August 31, 2014 - Updated 2243 PKT


From Web Edition
 
 
 25
 1
 23
 0




Hashmi exposed PTI, PAT working on foreign agenda: PML-N - Pakistan - DAWN.COM

Hashmi exposed PTI, PAT working on foreign agenda: PML-N - Pakistan - DAWN.COM



Also Read: Imran's move towards PM House prompted by a message: Javed Hashmi

But,
Mehdi lamented, the protesters changed their route and tried to enter
the Presidency. Announcements were made through loudspeakers asking
activists to occupy the Parliament House, he added.

He claimed
the government only discharged its duty of protecting and ensuring
sanctity of state institutions when the protesters “assaulted the
symbols of state”.

Responding to a query, the PML-N leader said
both the PTI and PAT leaders had brought supporters’ women and children
with them, but sent their own children abroad. He said Imran sent both
his sons to London on Aug 12, while Dr Qadri’s family went to Canada
before the start of the march. Similarly, he claimed, Chaudhry Pervaiz
Elahi’s son Moonis Elahi had also gone abroad.

Also Read: Imran parts ways with Hashmi

Referring
to PTI President Javed Hashmi’s press conference earlier on Sunday,
Mehdi said it exposed Imran and Dr Qadri’s “anti-people and insensitive
approach” and made it clear the two parties were working on a foreign
agenda for “blocking investment in the country and stopping Gwadar Port
from becoming operational”.

AWP: The Awami Workers Party has
reiterated its support for the parliamentary democratic system in the
country, and has once again rejected the “dubious methods of the PTI and
PAT”, warning that the mayhem that has unfolded in front of the
Parliament House and PM’s House may descend into total breakdown of
constitutional rule.

Political crisis must end through political means, Army says - Pakistan - DAWN.COM

Political crisis must end through political means, Army says - Pakistan - DAWN.COM













Army chief Raheel Sharif.
ISLAMABAD: After a lengthy four hour meeting at General
Headquarters, the Pakistan Army corps commanders came out with a
statement "reaffirming support to democracy" and reiterating that the
current stand-off between the PML-N led government and the Pakistan
Tehreek-I-Insaaf (PTI), Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) needed a political
solution.

The meeting, which was headed by Chief of Army Staff
(COAS) General Raheel Sharif, saw the corps commanders reject "further
use of force" in the crisis, an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR)
press release stated.

The commanders also expressed "serious concern" over the violent turn of events in the federal capital.

"The
Army remains committed to playing its part in ensuring security of the
state and will never fall short of meeting national aspirations," the
press release stated.

Dawn.com learnt that General Raheel Sharif
took the commanders into confidence over his meetings with Prime
Minister Nawaz Sharif, PTI Chief Imran Khan and PAT Chief Tahirul Qadri
last week.

The critical meeting, which was scheduled to be held on
Monday morning, was pushed up to today in light of rapidly unfolding
events.

The situation in Islamabad took on critical proportions
after the clashes began late on Saturday and led to at least three
reported deaths and countless injuries by Sunday night.


An apolitical army, for now


The meeting of the army commanders has a serious bearing on the
prevailing scenario, given the fact that the military had engaged in
'mediating' the crisis between the government and PAT, PTI.

The
Army's message in support of the political process comes at a time when
speculation is rife that the current crisis is being steered by, or has
tacit approval from the powerful military establishment. The
conclusions of the corps commanders meeting today will, for the moment,
help in allaying fears of military intervention in the crisis.

Multiple
events earlier in the week had suggested that the army and the
government were not on the same page with regards to the PTI, PAT
protests.

First the the government was left reeling from the
blowback of asking the military to step in to alleviate the prevailing
political crisis. Then a second jolt followed when the ISPR clarified
that it was the government that had asked General Raheel Sharif to
“facilitate” negotiations with the protesting parties, when Prime
Minister Nawaz Sharif had seemingly stated the exact opposite in the
National Assembly.

The events revived concerns about the
conventional issue in Pakistani politics: competition for power between
the military and civilian leaders. The new statement from today's
meeting however, suggests the army remains apolitical, despite its
direct involvement in the current crisis.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

​Rudy ​Carpenter’s coaching debut will reunite QBs

Carpenter’s coaching debut will reunite QBs

Ventura County Star (CA) - Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Readability: 9-12 grade level (Lexile: 1150L)
Author: Rhiannon Potkey is a reporter at The Star. She can be reached by email at rpotkey@vcstar.com.
Rudy Carpenter prepares to face a former teammate, Richard Mullaney prepares for a bigger role, and Toi Cook prepares for the Hall of Fame.

Local players and coaches are making news beyond the county lines. Here’s what’s being said and done ...

The handshake between coaching staffs could get awkward when Saguaro High meets Chaparral on Friday night in Arizona.

Westlake High graduate Rudy Carpenter is the offensive coordinator at Chaparral this season, and Sam Keller is the offensive coordinator at Saguaro.

The two quarterbacks were involved in a soap opera-like drama while playing for Arizona State in 2006.

Former ASU head coach Dirk Koetter named Keller the starter, only to change his mind two days later and hand the job to Carpenter.

See POTKEY, 2C

The spectacle included Carpenter debating whether to leave ASU, the team’s leadership council shouting at each other during a meeting and Keller transferring to Nebraska once Koetter reversed fields.

Carpenter and Keller told The Arizona Republic they haven’t kept tabs on each other since the episode. They won’t be able to avoid each other Friday when their rival teams meet in the season opener.

“One thing I learned during my time in high school and during my time in college and definitely in the NFL was just to stay in my own lane,” Carpenter told the Republic. “My philosophy honestly is I want to make it about the kids. That’s my biggest point.”

Carpenter did some private coaching when he lived in Westlake after his four-year NFL career ended in 2012.

He moved to Scottsdale to be with his girlfriend, a former ASU volleyball player who is an attorney, and decided to join Chaparral’s staff.

“I want them to learn the right way,” Carpenter said. “I want to foster an environment to teach these kids not just about football, but about life.” ...

Redshirt junior Richard Mullaney is the only returning starter at wide receiver for Oregon State this season.

Mullaney, a Thousand Oaks High graduate, caught 52 passes for 788 yards and three touchdowns last season.

“Richard is kind of Mr. Reliable for us,” Oregon State senior quarterback Sean Mannion told the Statesman Journal. “Great hands, good routes. He’s a very steady player for us.”

Oregon State head coach Mike Riley told the Statesman the next step in Mullaney’s development is to get stronger to help deal with press coverage at the line of scrimmage.

“Absolutely,” Mullaney said in agreement. “It was my first year starting (last year) and going against Pac-12 defenses. It was a surprise at first. I feel like I had a really good offseason, put on some weight.”

Mullaney has been dealing with an ankle injury in training camp, but he expects to be ready for the season-opening game against Portland State on Saturday.

“I feel like I left a ton on the field last season, so I am definitely planning on improving this year,” he said. ...

Jimmy Clausen beat out Jordan Palmer for the backup quarterback job with the Chicago Bears.

Bears head coach Marc Trestman cited Clausen’s youth and experience as two of the determining factors in the decision.

Clausen, an Oaks Christian School graduate who turns 27 in September, threw 299 regular-season passes during his rookie year with the Carolina Panthers in 2010. He passed for 1,558 yards with nine interceptions and only three touchdowns.

Trestman told reporters Clausen “came highly recommended to me from some people that I trust in Carolina. His ability to handle the adversity he had in his first year, his leadership qualities, he stood up tall through a lot of tough times in Carolina and gained the respect of teammates and the team there with the way he handled himself in a very, very difficult year.” ...

After such a successful run, the season couldn’t have ended much worse for Shane Austin and the Cleveland Gladiators.

The Arizona Rattlers routed the Gladiators 72-32 in the ArenaBowl last Saturday to win their third consecutive Arena Football League championship.

The 40-point defeat was the largest margin in ArenaBowl history.

Austin, a Rio Mesa High graduate, threw four interceptions before taking a seat in the fourth quarter. He finished 18 of 41 for 201 yards and three touchdowns.

Rather than dwelling on the final game, Austin chose to take a broader perspective of Cleveland’s 17-2 season.

“I can’t think too much about this game and the negativity of it, because we’re so close,” Austin told cleveland.com. “It doesn’t take away from our season. I mean, we had a great season. This was a team that nobody believed would come close and even sniff this. We proved a lot of people wrong, and that’s what I have to keep focusing on — the good from the season, rather than just one game.”...

Westlake Village resident Toi Cook is being inducted into the Stanford Athletics Hall of Fame in October.

Cook was a two-sport standout at Stanford, playing baseball and football.

As an outfielder on the baseball team, Cook started 192 games and was a career .317 hitter. He helped the Cardinal win the 1987 College World Series, going 3 for 5 with three runs scored in the title game against Oklahoma State.

As a cornerback on the football team, Cook finished with 17 career interceptions and led the Cardinal to the Gator Bowl as a senior.

He was drafted in the eighth round of the 1987 NFL draft and the 38th round of the 1987 MLB draft. Cook played 11 seasons in the NFL, winning a Super Bowl with the San Francisco 49ers in 1995.

Cook currently is the president of Empire Sports, a sports, entertainment and consulting company. ...

NFL teams made their first cuts this week to trim the roster to 75 players. The Baltimore Ravens waived running back Cierre Wood (Santa Clara), the Atlanta Falcons waived rookie quarterback Jeff Mathews (Camarillo) and the Green Bay Packers waived fullback Ina Liaina (Rio Mesa). ...

If anyone saw ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” report last week on sexual assaults by athletes on college campuses, Buena High graduate Nicole Noren was the producer.

POTKEY from 1C
Caption: STAR FILE PHOTO Westlake High graduate Rudy Carpenter ended his NFL career after failing to make the Dallas Cowboys as a backup quarterback in 2012. Carpenter will make his high school coaching debut in Arizona on Friday. AP FILE Thousand Oaks High graduate Richard Mullaney, a redshirt junior, is the only returning starter at wide receiver for Oregon State this season. 

Board rejects bonus cvusd MIKE DUNN Ventura County Star

Board rejects bonus cvusd MIKE DUNN

Ventura County Star (CA) - Thursday, August 28, 2014

Author: Rachel McGrath Special to The Star
A proposal to allocate surplus-property funds for a one-time 3 percent bonus for all employees of the Conejo Valley Unified School District failed to receive support from a majority of the district board.

Board member Mike Dunn proposed the motion, which was submitted in consultation with community members Tony Dolz and John Andersen, who are running for the board in November’s election.

The motion failed to get a second.

“I think making this 3 percent contribution to the employees, this gesture, is just a very small way of saying ‘thank you’ to them for the sacrifices they made,” Andersen said.

The district is placing a $197 million bond measure on the Nov. 4 ballot.
Caption: STAR FILE PHOTO Conejo Valley Unified School District. 

‘They are still people,’ jail chief says Ventura County Star Cmdr. Linda Oksner

‘They are still people,’ jail chief says

Ventura County Star (CA) - Thursday, August 28, 2014

Author: Cindy Von Quednow cvonquednow@vcstar.com 805-437-0208
As Cmdr. Linda Oksner walked through the long, gray hallways of the Todd Road Jail near Santa Paula, she chatted with inmates and staff members.

“Did you have a good day?” she asked an inmate, who answered positively. “Excellent,” she chimed back.

More than once, she called a member of her staff “awesome” during an introduction to visitors.

As the commander in charge of the facility, Oksner has made it a point to treat everyone fairly.

See Oksner, 2B

After more than 32 years with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, she will leave the agency Friday with plenty of memories and relationships.

“Regardless of what brought somebody into the jail, they are still people. It’s our responsibility to make sure we do everything we can to have them go through this time in a productive manner,” said Oksner, 55.

“Whether that’s by preventing any kind of self-harm or bad outcome or giving them an opportunity to find out what their goals are and get them to understand they can change, it’s going to take a risk on their part to do something differently.”

Originally from Illinois, Oksner and her family moved to Ventura County when her father became a Seabee at Naval Base Ventura County.

She had aspirations to become a physical therapist when her brother, studying at Ventura College, suggested she would thrive in criminal justice. She took his word for it and worked as a reserve officer in Santa Paula before completing the sheriff’s academy.

While Oksner has worked in an array of posts during her time with the agency, including stints as Thousand Oaks police chief and head of forensics and the property room, she has spent most of her career working in the county’s jails.

Oksner was a deputy at the main jail in Ventura and worked her way up to commander there before running the Todd Road Jail starting in 2011.

That was right before enactment of the state Public Safety Realignment Act, which called for nonviolent offenders released from state prison to return to the last county where they lived and serve time locally if they reoffend.

While realignment has been challenging for law enforcement and criminal-justice agencies, Oksner said she welcomed the changes as an opportunity to improve rehabilitation and work on opportunities for inmates and those returning to the community. Local inmates have access to mental health treatment, drug and alcohol programs and jobs, Oksner said.

“Realignment was a huge game changer for all of us,” she said. “Our job is to create opportunities for inmates to access the resources, treatment and training to allow them to have a much more productive future.”

Oksner has been a champion of mental health treatment for inmates and ensuring a “warm handoff” to social service agencies when those with behavioral or substance-abuse problems leave jail. She said the improvements are the result of partnerships between inmate services and other agencies in the county.

During her last year as commander of the main jail, Oksner talked an inmate out of jumping from the top level of a cell block. A crisis negotiation team responded but could not get the inmate to step down safely.

“Basically, I just talked to him, and we were able to have a very successful outcome,” Oksner said. “He wasn’t hurt; none of us were hurt. It had a very positive ending.”

Sgt. Denise Sliva, who has worked with Oksner, said the commander’s “soft side” helped her early in her career when a female inmate collapsed while in custody at the former Honor Farm in Ojai. Sliva and her partner tried to resuscitate the inmate, but the woman died.

“I was a new deputy, and that was traumatic. I signed up to save lives, so that was hard for me,” Sliva said.

“The commander came in and sat with the other deputy and I and recognized we needed this dump of emotion. She just had the right words to help me process that this was going to happen and I did what I could.”

Similarly, Deputy Juliane Nesgis, who has worked at the Todd Road Jail for three years, said Oksner has been an inspiration for her to rise through the ranks of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office. “She’s been very motivational, and working with her has been a positive experience,” Nesgis said.

Oksner said she has most enjoyed working with other people in her agency, other colleagues in the criminal justice system and representatives of other organizations.

She attributes her success to learning from others.

“I’ve had a tremendous career, and I’ve been blessed beyond measure,” Oksner said. “I’ve met some really great people who have helped me in this journey, and I hope I have been able to pay it forward to the future of the organization.”

Oksner from 1B
Caption: photos by ROB VARELA/THE STAR Cmdr. Linda Oksner of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, who is in charge of the Todd Road Jail near Santa Paula, is retiring Friday. Oksner, 55, has spent 32 years with the Sheriff’s Office. In her career she also has been Thousand Oaks police chief and head of the forensics and property room. 

Isla Vista gun bill passes Ventura County Star ELLIOT RODGER

Isla Vista gun bill passes

Ventura County Star (CA) - Thursday, August 28, 2014

Author: Timm Herdt therdt@vcstar.com 916-444-3958
SACRAMENTO — On his right wrist, Richard Martinez wears six bands, each a different color, honoring the memories of the victims of the May 23 shooting rampage in Isla Vista.

On his left wrist, he wears the watch that his son, Christopher, 20, was wearing when he was fatally gunned down.

In his heart, he carries an endless grief.

“He was my son, and he was everything to me,” said Martinez, of Los Osos. “Christopher was my best friend, and I think of him every single day. Having a child killed by senseless gun violence is the worst thing that can happen to you.”

Martinez and Bob

See Isla Vista, 3A

Weiss, of Thousand Oaks, who lost his 19-year-old daughter, Veronika, that night, came to the California Capitol on Wednesday to urge lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown to enact proposed legislation they say could prevent future tragedies by getting firearms out of the hands of disturbed individuals whose danger signs have been recognized by loved ones.

After an early morning news conference on the Capitol grounds, they watched from the gallery as the Senate approved Assembly Bill 1014 on a vote of 23-8. The bill now goes to Assembly, where passage is expected later this week. As is his practice with most bills, Brown has not indicated his position.

“She was killed in an act of senseless gun violence, and now I’ll never get to watch her graduate, dance with her at her wedding,” Weiss said at the news conference. “I’ll never celebrate another Father’s Day with her, but what I can do is speak out so that other families do not suffer what my family has been through.”

The bill would allow family members or law enforcement authorities to seek what would be known as a gun violence restraining order against a person they believe to be so distraught as to pose a threat to themselves or others. If a judge were to grant such an order, the person would be required to temporarily surrender any firearms in his or her possession.

The procedure, modeled after the state’s existing legal protocols for obtaining a domestic-violence restraining order, would result in a three-week prohibition on possessing firearms. Upon considering further evidence, a judge could extend that ban for up to a year. The individual could contest the order in court.

The bill is supported by the California Police Chiefs Association and California Sheriffs’ Association.

Emeryville Police Chief Ken James said the bill would help authorities stop gun violence before it occurs.

Current law prohibits those who have been committed by a judge as result of mental illness from owning a gun and also allows police to place into temporary custody — called a “5150 hold” — those who meet stringent standards for mental instability that might render them dangerous.

“Not everyone meets 5150 criteria,” James said. “There may be a temporary crisis that they’re going through.”

James noted that the parents of Isla Vista shooter Elliot Rodger, 22, had asked police to conduct a welfare check on their son, whose behavior had concerned them.

“Deputies went to the house and evaluated him. They found a shy, articulate young man, but it just didn’t seem that everything was right,” James said.

“This is a law enforcement tool that is much needed to prevent gun violence.”

Assemblyman Das Williams, D-Carpinteria, whose district includes Isla Vista near UC Santa Barbara, is a co-author of the bill.

“I witnessed the devastation of friends, neighborhoods and entire institutions,” he said. “It was clear that the system was not equipped to take his parents’ input. They did not have legal standing, and I viewed that as a fundamental gap.”

The bill is opposed by gun-owner groups, including the California Sportsman’s Lobby and Gun Owners of California.

Amanda Wilcox, whose daughter was gunned down in 2001 while working at a mental health clinic and is now policy director for the California chapters of the Brady Campaign, said the bill strikes an appropriate balance between the right of gun ownership and protection of public safety.

“The very worst that can happen is that someone would lose their gun for 21 days,” she said. “You can always give a gun back. You cannot give a life back.”

Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, the bill’s principal author, noted that it includes provisions that would make it a misdemeanor for anyone to falsely assert that a relative is a danger or to seek a restraining order as a means of harassment.

In the Senate, the bill was supported by majority Democrats and opposed by most Republicans. Of the five senators present who abstained, one was a Democrat and four were Republicans.

A separate measure inspired by the Isla Vista tragedy, Senate Bill 505 by Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, was sent to Brown earlier this week.

It would require law enforcement agencies to check the Department of Justice’s gun-ownership database whenever they are requested to conduct a welfare check to determine whether the individual may be in possession of a firearm.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Isla Vista from 1A
Caption: Veronika Weiss AP PHOTO Richard Martinez (right), whose son Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez was killed in the Isla Vista shooting rampage, hugs Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, in Sacramento after Wednesday’s Senate approval of a bill to allow courts to temporarily remove guns from people who show signs they could harm themselves or others. At left, Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, is hugged by Bob Weiss, of Thousand Oaks, whose daughter Veronika also was killed in the rampage. AP PHOTO State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, urged Senate passage of a bill to let courts temporarily remove guns from people who show signs they could harm themselves or others. AP PHOTO State Sen. Mike Morrell, R-Rancho Cucamonga, on Wednesday calls for lawmakers to reject a measure to let courts temporarily remove guns from people who show signs they could harm themselves or others. 

County pension fund earns 18.5% Ventura County Star

County pension fund earns 18.5%

Ventura County Star (CA) - Thursday, August 28, 2014
Author: Kathleen Wilson kwilson@vcstar.com 805-437-0271
The Ventura County pension fund earned a return of 18.5 percent for the last fiscal year, preliminary results show.

Although not a record, the figure represents one of the highest returns over the past 20 years for the $3.6 billion fund covering employees of the county government, Ventura County Superior Court and two special districts.

The earnings slightly beat the market’s performance, said Tracy Towner, chairman of the board of retirement.

“I think it’s pretty good,” he said.

Towner said the county returns are preliminary because results from real estate investments and private equities won’t be available until late this year.

The county system also matched the rate of return for two state pension systems with hundreds of billions in assets.

“That’s tremendous,” said Robert Palmer, executive director of the State Association of County Retirement Systems. The association represents 20 counties with their own public retirement systems, including Ventura County and most of the state’s large counties.

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System, which covers employees of the 10 cities in the county, reported

See pension, 3A

earnings of 18.4 percent. The California State Teachers’ Retirement System, which covers public school teachers, topped that with 18.66 percent.

Still, trustees of the county system may need to shake up their investments.

A consultant told trustees last month the mix of investments they have established is not expected to produce the needed rate of return over 30 years.

Trustees are seeking 7.75 percent in average annual returns. Over 10 years ending in 2012-13, the system averaged 7 percent.

Consultant NEPC, which is headquartered in Boston, recommended trustees put a quarter of their portfolio in alternative investments instead of traditional stocks and bonds. That would be double the percentage targeted now.

The percentage devoted to domestic and international stocks would decline by six points to 48 percent. The percentage invested in fixed-income instruments would drop by four to six points, down to about 20 percent.

Towner said the board will have an in-depth discussion on the proposal during a board retreat in the fall.

The board has not yet made any decisions and is awaiting a study showing how the shift would change the risk for the total fund, Towner said.

In what could be the most significant change, the consultant has recommended entering the private debt market. The share of the fund in private debt investments would rise from zero to 8 or 10 percent.

Under that scenario, the retirement board would loan money to small and mid-sized companies that can’t get credit from banks but at higher rates than banks would charge, Towner said.

Trustees Art Goulet and Mike Sedell said they were open to exploring the idea. Goulet said careful research would be done on the companies.

“You investigate thoroughly and make sure there’s collateral to support the debt,” Goulet said.

Private debt can be less risky than stocks, Palmer said.

He said county pension boards have been moving cautiously toward alternative investments since at least the 2007-08 fiscal year, when the stock market plunged. They’ve had to diversify because bond returns are low and stocks are risky, he said.

Alternatives include an array of investments, including timber, real estate and currency, he said.

San Diego and San Bernardino counties’ pension systems are probably the leaders in the state in going in that direction, he said, adding, “Even there, they are going very, very cautiously.”

pension from 1A

Contractor kills valley oak tree in T.O. Ventura County Star WESTLAKE PLAZA

Contractor kills valley oak tree in T.O.

Ventura County Star (CA) - Thursday, August 28, 2014
Readability: >12 grade level (Lexile: 1460L)
Author: Rachel McGrath Special to The Star
A protected valley oak tree at Westlake Plaza has had to be removed after an equipment operator severely damaged its roots during renovations to the shopping center in Thousand Oaks.

Regency Centers, which owns Westlake Plaza, is carrying out a $25 million remodeling of the 40-year-old shopping center that will update buildings and add new pads and parking.

A construction worker excavating around the tree outside normal hours of activity damaged the oak on the evening of Aug. 15 or early Aug. 16.

The damage to the 35-foot tall tree, identified as Oak Tree 33 on construction site plans, violated the city’s oak tree ordinance and the conditions of the permit for the project, which requires that an arborist oversee activity and that construction workers perform exploratory trenching before excavating near a tree.

Regency Centers has admitted the violation.

“What it really boils down to is human error,” said Patrick Conway, the Regency Centers vice president overseeing the project. “It happens.”

“The contractor has been working on the site for months and has done tremendous work under a tremendous amount of scrutiny, really without incident,” he said. “He feels terrible.”

Angry residents in April protested the felling of dozens of trees at Westlake Plaza in a move that had been approved by city planners to make way for the improvements.

While legal, the removal of three native oaks as well as owner-planted valley oaks and landmark sycamore trees prompted a public apology from City Manager Scott Mitnick over the handling of the matter by city staff members and the lack of outreach.

The loss of the latest oak tree was revealed in a memo to Mitnick from the city’s community development director, John Prescott. The memo, dated Aug. 20, was circulated to City Council members last Thursday.

The memo says the violation is a misdemeanor under the municipal code and is punishable by a $1,000 fine and/or up to six months in prison.

Mark Towne, Prescott’s deputy, said Wednesday the city plans to levy the $1,000 fine and require Regency Centers to replace the lost tree with two valley oaks of similar height and similar trunk diameter.

One tree must be planted in the same location as the lost tree. The other will be planted elsewhere on the property at a site to be determined by the city.

Yvonne Brockwell, one of several community members who have been monitoring construction at Westlake Plaza, said she the news did not surprise her.

“I’ve been documenting all the trenching they’ve been doing around those trees,” Rockwell said. “On July 11, four of us submitted 26 pages of code-compliance complaints to the city, and one of our biggest concerns was that trenching was leaving roots exposed and that the roots would be damaged and the trees would die.”
Caption: star file photo Trees were cut down at Westlake Plaza in Thousand Oaks in April. 

25C POUND OFF VINE SUN ONLY Pick-your-own offered at farm Ventura County Star

Pick-your-own offered at farm

Ventura County Star (CA) - Saturday, August 30, 2014

Author: From staff reports
In keeping with a long-standing Labor Day weekend tradition, the Pick-Your-Own Romas event will take place Saturday and Sunday at Underwood Family Farms in Moorpark.

Visitors may pick as many Roma tomatoes as they wish for 25 cents a pound. Pre-picked tomatoes will be available by prior arrangement for 50 cents a pound.

Picking hours will be from 6 a.m. to noon both days. To facilitate weighing, visitors are asked to bring containers of equal size that will hold no more than 50 pounds each.

Several families have been attending the event for more than a decade. Some pick as many as 200 pounds of tomatoes before heading home for a day of cooking and canning.

There is no admission charge to visit the field.

The farm is at 3370 Sunset Valley Road. Call 529-3690 or visit http://bit.ly/1zSDI2b for more information. Visit http://bit.ly/1tKGmXQ for information about other pick-your-own crops and events at the farm.
Caption: STAR FILE PHOTO Families harvest tomatoes together during the Pick-Your-Own-Romas event that takes place every Labor Day weekend at Underwood Family Farms in Moorpark. 

Health plan faces state inquiry Ventura County Star GOLD COAST AG INQUERY

Health plan faces state inquiry

Ventura County Star (CA) - Saturday, August 30, 2014

ALSO IN LA TIMES 
Author: Tom Kisken tkisken@vcstar.com 805-437-0255
The California attorney general is investigating the Gold Coast Health Plan, gathering documents that detail the Medi-Cal organization’s financial relationship with a division of Xerox, according to legal records.

A July subpoena obtained by The Star requests records of contracts, payments, receipts and communications between Gold Coast and an arm of Xerox referred to in court papers as ACS (Affiliated Computer Services). The company contracts with Gold Coast to process claims, run a call center, process data files and provide other services.

Gold Coast Health Plan is a publicly funded organization that contracts with the California Department of Health Care Services to deliver Medi-Cal insurance to more than 160,000 Ventura County residents. Gold Coast entered a five-year contract with ACS in 2010, the same year the computer services company was acquired by Xerox. The company later took on the Xerox name.

According to Gold Coast’s budget, the plan will pay the Xerox division $14.58 million over a fiscal year that began in July.

Gold Coast CEO Michael Engelhard said Thursday the Medi-Cal organization is complying with the subpoena and provided documents by an Aug. 11 deadline. He noted many of the documents involve the initial contract with ACS four years ago.

Investigators have not revealed the nature of the investigation, except for demanding documents

See HEALTH PLAN, 2A

and information, he said.

“If you have the documents, you frankly know as much as we do,” Engelhard said, referring to the subpoena and an accompanying demand for information. He noted the attorney general’s office also issued a document hold, mandating Gold Coast preserve its records.

Nick Pacilio, spokesman for the attorney general’s office, said little.

“As a general practice, we can neither confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation,” he said.

A spokeswoman for Xerox released a statement Friday, saying the “company is aware and fully cooperating with the California Attorney General’s investigation of Gold Coast.”

Xerox also has a 10-year contract with the California Department of Health Care Services for $1.6 billion to process statewide Medi-Cal claims.

The subpoena asks for all records and documents regarding the contract between Gold Coast and ACS. It also asks for records regarding an implementation payment, an apparent reference to the $2.3 million ACS paid to Gold Coast in 2010 to help the plan deal with startup costs. Gold Coast started providing Medi-Cal insurance in July 2011.

The subpoena asks for monthly bank statements and credit card statements. It asks for financial statements presented by the plan to its governing commission, as well as records that show when the plan must seek approval from the commission.

It asks for copies of all checks issued from Gold Coast to its former CEO Earl Greenia and former CFO Darlane Johnsen. Both Greenia and Johnsen resigned in 2012.

The subpoena also asks for checks paid to Terrie Stanley. The former deputy director of the Ventura County Health Care Agency served as interim director of Gold Coast before Greenia was hired in September 2010.

The investigation is one of several issues facing Gold Coast. The League of United Latin American Citizens in Ventura County released a final report in June alleging mistreatment of employees and financial mismanagement.

Dave Rodriguez, state president for LULAC, said the group met with staff from the attorney general’s office to discuss the allegations.

“We were told they were investigating,” he said.

Gold Coast leaders have denied all financial allegations in the LULAC report but declined to comment on allegations involving current or former employees because of confidentiality laws.

The Ventura County Medi-Cal Managed Care Commission launched ongoing investigations into the allegations.

Engelhard also announced this month he will resign as Gold Coast CEO for another job. Commissioners and Gold Coast executive staff praised him for turning around a plan once mired in financial problems. The commission chairman and Engelhard said he is leaving of his own accord.

Regarding the state investigation, Engelhard said Gold Coast leaders are complying with the attorney general’s requests for records and waiting to see where the investigation leads.

“We just need to wait and see if anything comes of this,” he said, “and then we can respond.” 

Gold Coast falls under AG inquiry Ventura County Star

Gold Coast falls under AG inquiry

Ventura County Star (CA) - Saturday, August 30, 2014

Author: Tom Kisken tkisken@vcstar.com 805-437-0255
The California attorney general is investigating the Gold Coast Health Plan, gathering documents that detail the Medi-Cal organization’s financial relationship with a division of Xerox, according to legal records.

A July subpoena obtained by The Star requests records of contracts, payments, receipts and communications between Gold Coast and an arm of Xerox referred to in court papers as ACS (Affiliated Computer Services). The company contracts with Gold Coast to process claims, run a call center, process data files and provide other services.

Gold Coast Health Plan is a publicly funded organization that contracts with the California Department of Health Care Services to deliver Medi-Cal insurance to more than 160,000 Ventura County residents. Gold Coast entered a five-year contract with ACS in 2010, the same year the computer services company was acquired by Xerox. The company later took on the Xerox name.

According to Gold Coast’s budget, the plan will pay the Xerox division $14.58 million over a fiscal year that began in July.

Gold Coast CEO Michael Engelhard said Thursday the Medi-Cal organization is complying with the subpoena and provided documents by an Aug. 11 deadline. He noted many of the documents involve the initial contract with ACS four years ago.

Investigators have not revealed the nature of the investigation, except for demanding documents

See HEALTH PLAN, 2A

and information, he said.

“If you have the documents, you frankly know as much as we do,” Engelhard said, referring to the subpoena and an accompanying demand for information. He noted the attorney general’s office also issued a document hold, mandating Gold Coast preserve its records.

Nick Pacilio, spokesman for the attorney general’s office, said little.

“As a general practice, we can neither confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation,” he said.

A spokeswoman for Xerox released a statement Friday, saying the “company is aware and fully cooperating with the California Attorney General’s investigation of Gold Coast.”

Xerox also has a 10-year contract with the California Department of Health Care Services for $1.6 billion to process statewide Medi-Cal claims.

The subpoena asks for all records and documents regarding the contract between Gold Coast and ACS. It also asks for records regarding an implementation payment, an apparent reference to the $2.3 million ACS paid to Gold Coast in 2010 to help the plan deal with startup costs. Gold Coast started providing Medi-Cal insurance in July 2011.

The subpoena asks for monthly bank statements and credit card statements. It asks for financial statements presented by the plan to its governing commission, as well as records that show when the plan must seek approval from the commission.

It asks for copies of all checks issued from Gold Coast to its former CEO Earl Greenia and former CFO Darlane Johnsen. Both Greenia and Johnsen resigned in 2012.

The subpoena also asks for checks paid to Terrie Stanley. The former deputy director of the Ventura County Health Care Agency served as interim director of Gold Coast before Greenia was hired in September 2010.

The investigation is one of several issues facing Gold Coast. The League of United Latin American Citizens in Ventura County released a final report in June alleging mistreatment of employees and financial mismanagement.

Dave Rodriguez, state president for LULAC, said the group met with staff from the attorney general’s office to discuss the allegations.

“We were told they were investigating,” he said.

Gold Coast leaders have denied all financial allegations in the LULAC report but declined to comment on allegations involving current or former employees because of confidentiality laws.

The Ventura County Medi-Cal Managed Care Commission launched ongoing investigations into the allegations.

Engelhard also announced this month he will resign as Gold Coast CEO for another job. Commissioners and Gold Coast executive staff praised him for turning around a plan once mired in financial problems. The commission chairman and Engelhard said he is leaving of his own accord.

Regarding the state investigation, Engelhard said Gold Coast leaders are complying with the attorney general’s requests for records and waiting to see where the investigation leads.

“We just need to wait and see if anything comes of this,” he said, “and then we can respond.”

HEALTH PLAN from 1A

Development may be halted Conejo Creek Camarillo VC Star

Development may be halted

Ventura County Star (CA) - Saturday, August 30, 2014
Readability: 10-12 grade level (Lexile: 1200L)
Author: Mike Harris mharris@vcstar.com 805-437-0323
Voicing concerns about supporting the proposed Conejo Creek development, the Camarillo City Council has scheduled a September hearing at which it could derail the project.

For the development to go forward, the council would have to approve a general plan amendment rezoning the proposed site from agricultural to commercial/industrial/residential, City Manager Bruce Feng said Friday.

At the Sept. 10 meeting, the council will consider the amendment and could let it proceed, Feng said. Or it could stop the amendment or revise it, he said.

If the council stops it, “the project would not be further processed or considered unless they (the applicants) came back and reapplied,” he said. Conejo Creek Properties asked for the general plan amendment in 2007.

The council scheduled the proceeding at the conclusion of a lengthy hearing Wednesday night at which dozens of residents spoke out against the proposed development and urged the council to deny it.

Before Wednesday, the council wasn’t expected to consider the Conejo Creek project until next year after receiving a recommendation from the Planning Commission, which has yet to weigh the proposal.

Development Planning

See CONEJO, 2A

Services in Camarillo proposes building the project on an 895-acre site near the bottom of the Conejo Grade at Highway 101 and Pleasant Valley Road.

It would allow 2,500 housing units, most of them for sale; 218 acres of recreation and open space; 17 acres of institutional uses; 100 acres of industrial space; and 54 acres of office and commercial space.

Hundreds of residents packed City Hall on Wednesday night in opposition to the development and to comment on the updated draft environmental impact report. Released last month, the document concludes that even with mitigation, the development would significantly change Camarillo’s character with increased traffic and the loss of 648 acres of farmland.

A few speakers at the joint meeting of the City Council and the Planning Commission threatened political retribution for any of the five council members who supported the development. Council members Charlotte Craven, Jan McDonald and Mike Morgan are up for re-election in November.

At the conclusion of the hearing, which lasted more than three hours, each council member voiced concerns about supporting the project as it is currently designed and based on information submitted to the council and residents’ comments.

“Basically, all five members of the council said that with those caveats, ‘We’re going to have a lot of trouble supporting the project,’ ” Feng said Friday.

Mayor Kevin Kildee said Friday that, “as the project was proposed Wednesday night, there are serious concerns about it.”

Morgan agreed.

“With the information that we’ve received thus far and the public’s comments, I can’t support this project,” he said Friday, noting that community opposition to the proposed development is “very strong.”

Dennis Hardgrave, of Development Planning Services, did not return a call Friday seeking comment.

In an interview this month, however, he said the project would benefit Camarillo, bringing needed housing to the area. Five farmland owners, represented by Hardgrave, proposed the development several years ago.

One of the project’s leading opponents, Merrill Berge, founder of Camarillo Sustainable Growth, said Friday she was heartened by the council members’ comments.

“We’re cautiously optimistic and very hopeful,” she said. “It sounded like they had clear concerns.” 

City won’t provide crossing guards Port Hueneme Ventura County Star

City won’t provide crossing guards Port Hueneme 

Ventura County Star (CA) - Saturday, August 30, 2014

Author: Jean Cowden Moore jean.moore@vcstar.com 805-437-0236
Students in the Hueneme Elementary School District started classes this week with no crossing guards.

Parents picking up their children at Bard School on Friday afternoon said the situation puts children at risk. A crosswalk near Naval Base Ventura County especially is dangerous, said Corinna Savage, who was walking with her son, Kyle, 8.

“There are a few kids

See GUARDS, 2B

walking without parents, and that’s just not safe at all,” she said. “There were a few near-misses even with crossing guards there that I’ve seen. I can only imagine what it will be like without crossing guards. It’s too dangerous.”

The city of Port Hueneme stopped paying for the crossing guards in June, saying it was turning over the responsibility to the school district. The district, however, has been advised not to take on that liability, Superintendent Jerry Dannenberg said.

“Our lawyers and insurance companies are telling us that for liability purposes, we should not be taking on this responsibility,” Dannenberg said. “We see this as a policing function.”

The city stopped the funding after the state killed redevelopment and that money began going to schools and other agencies instead of exclusively to the city, officials said. The city had been paying about $65,000 a year for five crossing guards, said Robert Bravo, city finance director.

“We started looking at programs we were funding — ones that we could possibly change,” Bravo said.

Dannenberg, however, said the district didn’t come out ahead when the funds were redistributed.

“It was just a funding switch on the governor’s part,” he said.

The question of who should pay for crossing guards has been an issue for about 20 years, but cities generally take the responsibility, said Stan Mantooth, Ventura County superintendent of schools.

“It’s been more the case that the city would take care of that because those are city streets and crossings, not on school property,” Mantooth said. “From time to time — depending on the financial condition of the agencies, or the perceived financial condition of the agencies — some of the cost is shared.”

Schools also sometimes raise money to pay for crossing guards, or people volunteer for the job, he said. The city and school district differ on what happened when they tried to negotiate a compromise.

Bravo said the city offered to contribute $20,000 for crossing guards this year but did not hear back from the district, other than a letter from an attorney saying the decision was made “in haste.”

“We offered to help with training, with equipment,” he said. “We tried to make it work as best we could. We suggested that volunteers could do it.”

Dannenberg said the district offered to pay the full cost of the crossing guards, but the “city doesn’t want to do it.”

Before the school year started, the district sent letters to parents telling them there would be no crossing guards and suggesting they talk to their children about walking safely, or walking with them. The district also asked schools to talk with students about safely crossing streets.

Juan Noyola, who was walking home Friday with his children, Ava, 7 and Juan, 11, wishes the two agencies would find a solution.

“They should come out and take a look at the area,” he said. “If they were walking their own kids, how would they feel?”

Ideally, children’s safety would be the priority, Mantooth said.

“In a perfect world, everyone’s looking out for the kids,” he said. “Ultimately, if something went wrong, the fallout would probably affect both the school and the city.”

GUARDS from 1B
Caption: Juan Carlo/THE STAR Children from Naval Base Ventura County are escorted Friday morning across Ventura and Pleasant Valley roads to Bard School in Port Hueneme. There was no crossing guard at that intersection. Juan Carlo/THE STAR There is no crossing guard at Ventura and Pleasant Valley roads. Paula Mendoza is escorted by her parents, father Jaime and mother Miriam, across Ventura and Pleasant Valley roads as she walks to Bard School. Juan Carlo/THE STAR Children from Naval Base Ventura County are escorted by parents Friday morning across Ventura and Pleasant Valley roads to Bard School. 

Soft boots Samson Simon Sharaf

Soft boots 

Soft boots
 
August 30, 2014

2


 

 
During the tense moments at Azadi Square yesterday, Arshad Sharif of
Dunya News tweeted, “Here’s the smell of the blood still; all the
perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand“. He was
referencing to Lady Macbeth who had assisted her husband Macbeth kill
King Duncan in a rage of self-illusion created by his overheated brain
and witchcraft. I retorted with a line from Macbeth’s soliloquy, just
before the act of murder. “And on thy blade and dudgeon gouts of blood,
which was not so before. There’s no such thing”. Had Macbeth waited a
few seconds to cool himself, Duncan would never have been murdered. This
is what happens when emotions override the rain.
Mian Nawaz Sharif
(the Duncan) and the self-serving advisors (Lady Macbeth) made the
Parliament irrelevant during fits of grandiose illusions and fears they
let dominate. More than upholding democracy, their vulnerabilities and
self-preservations prevented the stretching of the imagination. In
peaking moments and rising adrenaline, he lost cognitive control to let
distortions dictate his decision fatale. Had Nawaz Sharif democratically
co-opted the house and not made them feel threatened, he would have
been in a constructive position of reviewing the situation. Had he
carried the house with him to re-engineer the entire system and then
resigned under moral compulsions, he would have lived to return another
day; perhaps stronger as a “Godot” figure. Rather than allow democracy
to grow, he went back to the institution that had bred and financed him
illegitimately for decades. This is an aspersion on his democratic
credentials behind a façade he created with aplomb, gratifications and
shady politics.
His capitulation was timid. From a hound who oversaw
the Model Town massacre, he became the hare running for cover behind
the boots he had publically ridiculed in concert with a media house. The
grandiose around him was built on a castle of sand with money,
manipulative politics, shady gratifications and narrow self-interests.
The capitulation from Reason to Boots (Daleel and Gulalil) was swift and
perhaps fatal. In one bad decision, he reduced Pakistan’s premier
decision making body to irrelevance, reflecting a mind-set that had no
faith in the system he allegedly manipulated.
The house he relegated
to ignominy deserved the treatment it got. Parliamentarians with an
elastic conscience sat timidly through the motions awaiting instructions
from their powerful party leaders. Most with stakes in the NRO imposed
system lacked the morality and ethical conviction to take a stand on
questions of moral authority. Why must Bilawal Bhutto Zardari tweet “BB
Hum sharminda hain” (Benazir Bhutto, we are ashamed) when his father and
co-chairperson could never rise beyond his balancing and compromising
politics. Rather, he left the party in the lurch to travel abroad. On
the other extreme, Maulana Fazalur Rehman and Mahmood Khan moved to play
their respective sectarian and ethnic cards. Qamar Zaman Kaira of PPP
played his role at his own initiative.
But it is too early to
predict the course of events. As time passes, second thoughts would
creep in. The opposition and PMLN allies in the parliament may react in
their own interests. Chaudary Nisar’s defiant tone means so.
The
entire edifice that perpetuates and strengthens political elites was not
crafted in a day. After the Supreme Court rebellion in 1997, PMLN
influence had permeated the apex courts. Politicised appointments were
made in the executive and lower judiciary have now grown to be the
decision makers. In 2006, elements in the judiciary and a media house
were co-opted to create a very strong non state group that could create
perception, punish dissidents and promote political interests. Monetary
gratifications were part of the package. If a sincere effort at
returning the system will reveal cabals, cartels and groups that work
together to malign honest bureaucrats, heads of regulatory and
accountability bodies to make shady deals. With remnants of Chaudary
Courts still effective, it will be difficult to solicit balanced legal
judgements. The unconstitutional precedent set by Justice Ramday
empowering the full bench to review every decision will continue to
haunt. Stay orders, writ petitions and delaying tactics may affect
timelines.
A case study of how and why the trio of Chairmen NAB,
SECP, NADRA and Governor State Bank of Pakistan were axed would reveal
the extent of complicity amongst the trio. The media house would carry
out the character assassination through select journalist; the targeted
officials would be coerced by the top management while judiciary would
move in through suo moto to misuse its writ. The same mechanism also
worked towards rigging the election as alleged by an ex official of
Election Commission and also the case of 35 punctures. The biggest test
of reforms will be reclaiming the extra space gained by the judiciary
through constitutional legislating. In case this is not accomplished,
all cases of high handedness, criminality and accountability are likely
to be over turned by the special benches.
The investigation of
electoral rigging should be carried out through both a judicial
commission and criminal investigations by Joint Investigation Teams. All
electronic trails, minutes at ECP and Ministry of Law, printing of
ballot papers, violations of Articles 62-63 and the individuals who
benefited must be subjected to critical criminal inquests. NAB is on
record having provided a list of individuals with records of corruption,
defaults and accountability cases. It must be questioned why this
information was ignored to benefit individuals and Chairman NAB removed
in a controversial manner.
PMLN has cleverly offloaded its burden on
the shoulders of the army. It is putting the army and protestors in the
same bracket. If PTI and PAT do what they threaten, the military will
be discredited. If the army does not sail through the rigmarole, it
stands to lose credibility.
In the scheme of events, the government
and sitting parliament will not cooperate; else soft boots are at risk
of becoming hard boots.
Brigadier (Retired) Samson Simon Sharaf is a political economist and a television anchorperson.

Also Pakistan - IV - Pakistan - DAWN.COM 60s pics

Also Pakistan - IV - Pakistan - DAWN.COM    

The first men on the moon land in Pakistan. Astronauts Neil Armstrong
and Buzz Aldrin (the first men to land on the moon), arrived in Karachi
in early 1970 during their tour of South Asia. Here they are seen being
greeted by an enthusiastic crowd just outside the Karachi Airport.
–Picture courtesy LIFE.


_________________________________


A young Pakistani woman sitting on her motorbike in the Soldier Bazzar area of Karachi (1969). –Picture courtesy Zarmeena P.


_________________________________


The December 1971 cover of Time magazine. The main story detailed the
breaking away of former East Pakistan (after a bloody civil war with
the West Pakistan army) . The picture is that of a Bengali militant
celebrating the defeat of the West Pakistan military.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Henry Kissinger on the Assembly of a New World Order - WSJ

Henry Kissinger on the Assembly of a New World Order - WSJ: "The penalty for failing will be not so much a major war between states (though in some regions this remains possible) as an evolution into spheres of influence identified with particular domestic structures and forms of governance. At its edges, each sphere would be tempted to test its strength against other entities deemed illegitimate. A struggle between regions could be even more debilitating than the struggle between nations has been.

The contemporary quest for world order will require a coherent strategy to establish a concept of order within the various regions and to relate these regional orders to one another. These goals are not necessarily self-reconciling: The triumph of a radical movement might bring order to one region while setting the stage for turmoil in and with all others. The domination of a region by one country militarily, even if it brings the appearance of order, could produce a crisis for the rest of the world.

A world order of states affirming individual dignity and participatory governance, and cooperating internationally in accordance with agreed-upon rules, can be our hope and should be our inspiration. But progress toward it will need to be sustained through a series of intermediary stages.

To play a responsible role in the evolution of a 21st-century world order, the U.S. must be prepared to answer a number of questions for itself: What do we seek to prevent, no matter how it happens, and if necessary alone? What do we seek to achieve, even if not supported by any multilateral effort? What do we seek to achieve, or prevent, only if supported by an alliance? What should we not engage in, even if urged on by a multilateral group or an alliance? What is the nature of the values that we seek to advance? And how much does the application of these values depend on circumstance?

For the U.S., this will require thinking on two seemingly contradictory levels. The celebration of universal principles needs to be paired with recognition of the reality of other regions' histories, cultures and views of their security. Even as the lessons of challenging decades are examined, the affirmation of America's exceptional nature must be sustained. History offers no respite to countries that set aside their sense of identity in favor of a seemingly less arduous course. But nor does it assure success for the most elevated convictions in the absence of a comprehensive geopolitical strategy.

— Dr. Kissinger served as national security adviser and secretary of state under Presidents Nixon and Ford. Adapted from his book "World Order," to be published Sept. 9 by the Penguin Press."



'via Blog this'

Henry Kissinger on the Assembly of a New World Order - WSJ

Henry Kissinger on the Assembly of a New World Order - WSJ: "The penalty for failing will be not so much a major war between states (though in some regions this remains possible) as an evolution into spheres of influence identified with particular domestic structures and forms of governance. At its edges, each sphere would be tempted to test its strength against other entities deemed illegitimate. A struggle between regions could be even more debilitating than the struggle between nations has been.

The contemporary quest for world order will require a coherent strategy to establish a concept of order within the various regions and to relate these regional orders to one another. These goals are not necessarily self-reconciling: The triumph of a radical movement might bring order to one region while setting the stage for turmoil in and with all others. The domination of a region by one country militarily, even if it brings the appearance of order, could produce a crisis for the rest of the world.

A world order of states affirming individual dignity and participatory governance, and cooperating internationally in accordance with agreed-upon rules, can be our hope and should be our inspiration. But progress toward it will need to be sustained through a series of intermediary stages.

To play a responsible role in the evolution of a 21st-century world order, the U.S. must be prepared to answer a number of questions for itself: What do we seek to prevent, no matter how it happens, and if necessary alone? What do we seek to achieve, even if not supported by any multilateral effort? What do we seek to achieve, or prevent, only if supported by an alliance? What should we not engage in, even if urged on by a multilateral group or an alliance? What is the nature of the values that we seek to advance? And how much does the application of these values depend on circumstance?

For the U.S., this will require thinking on two seemingly contradictory levels. The celebration of universal principles needs to be paired with recognition of the reality of other regions' histories, cultures and views of their security. Even as the lessons of challenging decades are examined, the affirmation of America's exceptional nature must be sustained. History offers no respite to countries that set aside their sense of identity in favor of a seemingly less arduous course. But nor does it assure success for the most elevated convictions in the absence of a comprehensive geopolitical strategy.

— Dr. Kissinger served as national security adviser and secretary of state under Presidents Nixon and Ford. Adapted from his book "World Order," to be published Sept. 9 by the Penguin Press."



'via Blog this'

90pc MPs are tax evaders and killers, claims Imran - thenews.com.pk

90pc MPs are tax evaders and killers, claims Imran - thenews.com.pk



partial copy here



He
informed the audience that General Raheel told him that Nawaz Sharif was
not willing to resign. Imran informed the army chief that an
independent probe into the vote fraud was not possible if Nawaz stayed
as the prime minister, which was also against the
internationally-accepted democratic norms.

The PTI chairman
continued that he told the army chief that he would not withdraw from
the demand for the prime minister’s resignation. He said those who stood
with Nawaz Sharif to save the democracy should listen that Nawaz Sharif
was also telling a lie to them.



On this occasion, Imran
warned his party legislators who had not resigned yet to tender their
resignations by Friday evening or they would be thrown out of the
party.The PTI chief stressed he would remain in Islamabad whether the
people showed up or not. “I have decided to win either freedom or death,
otherwise I shall not move from here,” Imran said.



In
another speech later, he alleged that Nawaz was in panic and was now
taking wrong decisions and pointed out that he had no personal tiff with
the prime minister.He said Nawaz feared if his rivals succeeded in
their ongoing movement what would be the fate of his rule and his family
business besides being deprived of commission.



Imran
noted that the genie had come out of the bottle and now the monarchy of
Sharif could not sent back into the bottle.The PTI chief referred to the
establishment of first welfare state in Madina, wherein law was equal
for all and there were no VIPs or special classes. “The state took
responsibility of the poor and the weak,” he said and also gave examples
from the tenure of the first two caliphs.



There were so
many cases against Nawaz and Leader of the Opposition in the National
Assembly Khursheed Shah, he alleged, that they would never allow the NAB
to hold them accountable. Similarly, he continued, in such a scenario
who would bring back Zardari’s money stashed in foreign banks.



Imran
vowed to bring back $200 billion from the Swiss banks. He regretted
that those in the assemblies became billionaires while the masses became
poorer.



The PTI core committee also had its session at
the mobile stage and later Imran told the audience that his party
supporters would stage large protest rallies in Karachi, Lahore,
Faisalabad and Multan on Saturday.



In a new Pakistan,
Imran promised to ensure the supremacy of law and focus on fighting
poverty and job creation so that the state institutions such as the
police could not blindly follow the wrong orders of the rulers and open
fire at them.



He said there would be uniformity in the
syllabi without any discrimination between the rich and the poor. In
this context, he gave the example of his Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital
that offers treatment to the poor and the rich equally. He also
mentioned the Namal University, where 90 percent students could not
afford fee on their own and were studying on scholarships.



The PTI chief also promised to introduce reforms in the police department and the judici

Govt on back foot as army looks to continue ‘mediation’ - Pakistan - DAWN.COM

Govt on back foot as army looks to continue ‘mediation’ - Pakistan - DAWN.COM  



some story here 

However, shortly after the tweet, the government tried to fight back
from the awkward position it found itself in after the ISPR statement.

The
charge was led by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, who based
his defence on the claim that the government had asked the military for
“facilitation”, not “mediation”.

He accused the PTI and PAT of trying to use the army to further their personal political agenda.

Addressing a press conference, he said that confusion about the army’s role in the dialogue had been created deliberately.

“The
government has assigned the army the responsibility of playing a
facilitative role and nothing should be construed beyond that,” he
remarked, downplaying rumours of a rift between the civilian and
military leadership.

He said the armed forces were apolitical and
discharged their duties within the ambit of the law. The decision to
involve the army was also in line with the constitution, he said, adding
that the words ‘mediator’ and ‘guarantor’ were being used to convey an
incorrect impression. He said the ISPR statement had been issued in
consultation with the government and reflected the government’s point of
view.

He maintained that the protesting parties had confidence
in the army and had already rejected any mediation through parliament,
civil society as well as various administrative and judicial forums for
the settlement of the prevailing dispute.

The minister, though, was optimistic that a solution to the crisis could be found through dialogue.

He
said that two heads of state had already cancelled visits to Pakistan
over the sit-ins. The Chinese president is scheduled to arrive on an
important visit next month, a visit that will see energy agreements to
the tune of 10,000 megawatts and other pacts in the defence arena. “This
has also been conveyed to the army chief,” he said.

Separately,
sources from the government side denied Chaudhry Nisar’s claim that the
ISPR chief’s statement on Friday night was issued “in consultation” with
the government.

Published in Dawn, August 30th, 2014

Reluctant revolutionaries ‘bound to stay’ at sit-ins - Pakistan - DAWN.COM

Reluctant revolutionaries ‘bound to stay’ at sit-ins - Pakistan - DAWN.COM



some of story here  









Supporters of Pakistani
opposition politician Imran Khan and populist cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri eat
during an anti-government march in Islamabad on August 28, 2014. —Photo
by AFP
ISLAMABAD: Not all the demonstrators on Constitution
Avenue are there of their own free will. Indeed, there are many who want
to leave but are compelled to stay on. This is especially true for the
younger participants of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and Pakistan Awami
Tehreek’s sit-ins, who have better things to do with their time than
sitting around waiting on the world to change.

Najma Islam is a
19-year-old from Multan. She was sitting in the shade of some trees
outside the Federal Board of Revenue building, books in hand.

She
told Dawn she was preparing for her medical entry test, which was
scheduled to be held on August 31. “I am very worried about how I’ll
perform, because I’ve been here for the past couple of weeks, when I
could have been studying,” she said.

Najma’s father has been an
ardent follower of Dr Qadri for nearly a decade now and made his entire
family come to the march because “he had promised his leader”.


Not all participants of sit-ins there of their own accord


“I obtained more than 80 per cent marks in my FSc exams and was
enrolled in a tuition academy, preparing for the entry test when my
father told me we had to go to Lahore for the long march. It was very
difficult for me to study during the march. I could at least read my
notes in the daylight, but at night, there was no light to read by,” she
said.

The 47-year-old Hajra Bibi is from Hafizabad and has come to the march with her husband and children.

“My
husband is a school teacher and he decided he wanted to participate in
this march because he wants to change the political system of the
country,” she said.

Hajra told Dawn that when they left their house, he husband promised her that change would come in a few days.

“But so far, it hasn’t seemed like things will change anytime soon, even if we stay here for another week,” she said.

“It’s
horrible. I’ve had to make my children wear their old, dirty clothes
because there is no water available to wash them. Ever since we’ve been
here, my daughter has contracted cholera due to the unhygienic
conditions outside parliament,” Hajra added.

“I just want to take
my kids back home, because their schools have reopened. But my husband
keeps pleading with me to stay on until the revolution comes,” she said,
exasperatedly.

Ruqia Batool, a 22-year-old from Chakwal has also
come to Islamabad at the behest of her father. “He believes in Dr
Tahirul Qadri’s ideology. He asked my mother to come along as well but
she refused, so my sister and I came with him instead,” she told Dawn.

She
said she had found it very hard to sleep in the uncomfortable
conditions outside the corridors of power. “My younger sister had to sit
for the University of Engineering and Technology entry test and she
went straight from the sit-in,” Ruqia added.

Ishrat Jabeen, a 23-year-old from G-9, says she’s lucky to have a home in the city.

“My
family supports the PAT and while I like to visit D-Chowk with my
family every evening, I can’t imagine being camped out here for two
weeks or more,” she said.

She told Dawn that several women from
the PAT sit-in would give her their mobile phones to charge. “It pains
me to see the horrible conditions that these brave men and women have to
face while at Constitution Avenue,” she said.

Salma Mukhtar, 26, lives in E-11 and goes to D-Chowk every day to hear PTI chief Imran Khan speak.

The party leadership should announce an end to their sit-in, or they will lose their support and popularity in the days to come.

Ahmed
Khan, a 24-year-old from Karak told Dawn he had been in Islamabad since
Independence Day. “I am not used to living out in the open, but we’ve
persevered because we have been promised change by our leader,” he said.

Jody Hice: 'Most People Think Islam Is A Religion, It's Not'

Jody Hice: 'Most People Think Islam Is A Religion, It's Not': "Jody Hice, a radio show host and GOP congressional candidate from Georgia, made anti-Islamic statements in his 2012 book, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

"Although Islam has a religious component, it is much more than a simple religious ideology," Hice wrote in his book titled "It's Now Or Never: A Call To Reclaim America." "It is a complete geo-political structure and, as such, does not deserve First Amendment protection."

Hice is a Baptist minister who is challenging businessman Mike Collins in a July 22 GOP primary runoff for Rep. Paul Broun's (R-Ga.) seat. This isn't the first time he has made offensive comments about Islam.


According to The Citizen, at a July 12, 2011 event sponsored by the Coweta County Tea Party Patriots, Hice argued that Islam isn't even a religion.

"Most people think Islam is a religion, it’s not. It’s a totalitarian way of life with a religious component," he said. "But it’s much larger. It’s a geo-political system that has governmental, financial, military, legal and religious components. And it’s a totalitarian system that encompasses every aspect of life and it should not be protected [under U.S. law]."

Hice didn't stop there.

"This is not a tolerant, peaceful religion even though some Muslims are peaceful. Radical Muslims believe that Sharia is required by God and must be imposed worldwide," he said. "It’s a movement to take over the world by force. A global caliphate is the objective. That’s why Islam would not qualify for First Amendment protection since it’s a geopolitical system ... This is a huge thing to realize and I hope you do. This will impact our lives if we don’t get a handle on it."

He also doubted the compatibility of Islam and the Constitution.

"These things are in no way compatible with the U.S. Constitution ... Islam and the Constitution are oceans apart," Hice said. "It’s about controlling your behavior, when and where you can worship and legal issues. The number one threat is to our worldview and whether we chunk it for secularism or Islam."

"



'via Blog this'