Former BoE governor says extend furlough scheme indefinitely Tuesday 12 May 2020 11:16 am Lord Mervyn King, who was the BoE helmsman during the 2008 financial crisis, said today that the scheme should be in place until “the economy has recovered to a very large extent”. (AFP via Getty Images) “The furlough scheme ought to be linked to the performance of the economy and not to a particular calendar timetable.” The scheme sees the government pay 80 per cent of wages, up to £2,500 a month, to furloughed workers. Show Comments ▼ “These payments under economic schemes are transferred from taxpayers in general to businesses, it will lead to an increase in national debt, we can finance that over a long period, particularly giving to the real level of long-term interest rates. The real cost of this shutdown is not measured on the impact of public finances, but by the lost incomes and output in the economy.” Lord Mervyn King, who was the BoE helmsman during the 2008 financial crisis, said today that the scheme should be in place until “the economy has recovered to a very large extent”. (AFP via Getty Images) Also Read: Former BoE governor says extend furlough scheme indefinitely King told BBC Radio 4 this morning that Sunak should extend the scheme as it is indefinitely, while also allowing part-time workers to access it. The crossbench peer added that the scheme should be left in place until the British economy has fully recovered from the Covid-19 crisis. However, rumours have swirled in recent days that Sunak is set to cut the rate down to 60 per cent today. Rishi Sunak should announce an indefinite extension of the coronavirus furlough scheme today with no changes to the level of pay, according to the former Bank of England (BoE) governor. Stefan Boscia whatsapp “The principle has to be that firms are supported for the lost revenues they are missing as a result of the economic shutdown,” he said. The think tank argued it should be eased in step with the changing lockdown restrictions and that it should be altered on a sector-by-sector basis. So far, more than 6m people are being paid through the emergency package and it is costing an estimated £40bn for every three month it runs. “The criterion ought to be that the economy has recovered to a very large extent, back to the level of GDP we had when we entered the shutdown,” he said. whatsapp Lord Mervyn King, who was the BoE helmsman during the 2008 financial crisis, said today that the scheme should be in place until “the economy has recovered to a very large extent”. (AFP via Getty Images) Also Read: Former BoE governor says extend furlough scheme indefinitely by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeBleacherBreaker4 Sisters Take The Same Picture For 40 Years. Don’t Cry When You See The Last One!BleacherBreakerMisterStoryWoman Files For Divorce After Seeing This Photo – Can You See Why?MisterStorybonvoyaged.comTotal Jerks: These Stars Are Horrible People.bonvoyaged.comDaily FunnyFemale Athlete Fails You Can’t Look Away FromDaily FunnyNational Penny For Seniors7 Discounts Seniors Only Get If They AskNational Penny For Seniorszenherald.comMeghan Markle Changed This Major Detail On Archies Birth Certificatezenherald.comGloriousaOctomom’s Kids Are All Grown Up. Here’s How They Turned OutGloriousaNoteableyJulia Robert’s Daughter Turns 16 And Looks Just Like Her MomNoteableyBeach RaiderMom Belly Keeps Growing, Doctor Sees Scan And Calls CopsBeach Raider King’s comments come as Sunak prepares to outline the Treasury’s plans this afternoon for the future of the job retention scheme, which is due to end next month. Listen to our daily City View podcast as we chart the economic fallout and business impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Share A report out today from the left-leaning think tank The Resolution Foundation said the furlough scheme should be extended until September, with the pay rate remaining at 80 per cent. “Keep it at 80 per cent, I don’t think it makes sense to regard this as the major cost of the Covid-19 crisis in economic terms. Lord Mervyn King, who was the BoE helmsman during the 2008 financial crisis, said today that the scheme should be in place until “the economy has recovered to a very large extent”.
“The Secretary of State acted unlawfully by failing to comply with the Transparency Policy” Judge Chamberlain concluded in his judgment this afternoon. Government ‘acted unlawfully’ by failing to disclose Covid contract details, court rules Angharad Carrick Also Read: Government ‘acted unlawfully’ by failing to disclose Covid contract details, court rules The High Court has ruled that the government acted unlawfully by failing to disclosed details of its Covid contracts. “This was important not only so that competitors of those awarded contracts could understand whether the obligations owed to them under the PCR 2015 had been breached, but also so that oversight bodies such as the NAO, as well as Parliament and the public, could scrutinise and ask questions about this expenditure.” The Prime Minister’s former aide Dominic Cummings was recently accused of awarding a contract to Public First, a company owned and run by two of his associates. The research firm was paid over half a million to research the public’s understanding of the coronavirus. whatsapp by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeMoneyWise.comMechanics Say You Should Avoid These Cars In 2021 MoneyWise.comBrake For ItSay Goodbye: These Cars Will Be Discontinued In 2021Brake For ItTaco RelishSuspicious Pics That Are Fishier Than The SeaTaco RelishAtlantic MirrorA Kilimanjaro Discovery Has Proved This About The BibleAtlantic MirrorPost FunGreat Songs That Artists Are Now Embarrassed OfPost FunLiver Health1 Bite of This Melts Belly And Arm Fat (Take Before Bed)Liver HealthThe Legacy ReportMan Who Predicted 2020 Crash 45 Days Early Issues Next Major WarningThe Legacy ReportIkaria BeautyYou Need To Do This If You Have Sunken Jowls (Just Once A Day – It’s Genius)Ikaria BeautyMagellan TimesIf You See A Red Ball On A Power Line, Here’s What It MeansMagellan Times More From Our Partners Russell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comUK teen died on school trip after teachers allegedly refused her pleasnypost.comA ProPublica investigation has caused outrage in the U.S. this weekvaluewalk.comFlorida woman allegedly crashes children’s birthday party, rapes teennypost.comBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.orgBiden received funds from top Russia lobbyist before Nord Stream 2 giveawaynypost.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgNative American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.org Also Read: Government ‘acted unlawfully’ by failing to disclose Covid contract details, court rules whatsapp He added “there is now no dispute that, in a substantial number of cases, the Secretary of State breached his legal obligation to publish Contract Award Notices within 30 days of the award of contracts.” ““I’d rather that there was no need for organisations like ours to have to sue Government to get it to come clean. The public is plainly entitled to know how and with whom and at what prices Government spends public money,” Jolyon Maugham QC, director of the Good Law Project said. Friday 19 February 2021 12:21 pm “Anything else is a recipe for corruption. But until Government understands and respects that there is a genuine public interest in how they are awarding Covid contracts, including through the VIP lane, we have little choice.” The legal challenge was brought by the Good Law Project and three MPs – Debbie Abrahams, Caroline Lucas and Layla Moran – after the Department of Health failed to disclose information on pandemic-related procurements last year. “The Secretary of State spent vast quantities of public money on pandemic-related procurements during 2020. The public were entitled to see who this money was going to, what it was being spent on and how the relevant contracts were awarded,” Judge Chamberlain said. Share Show Comments ▼ The government has been accused of handing out contracts to close contacts of government ministers and failing to advertise the huge tenders.
Community | Health | Housing | JuneauHomeless survey finds at least 70 in Juneau sleeping outsideOctober 11, 2015 by Lisa Phu Share:The Glory Hole, Juneau’s emergency homeless shelter and soup kitchen, organized this year’s Vulnerability Index Survey. (Photo by Casey Kelly/KTOO)Volunteers and staff from Juneau’s shelter and soup kitchen went to the streets and interviewed 70 homeless people over the course of a few days in September. It’s been three years since the vulnerability index survey was done in the capital city.The surveys can connect people to services, help The Glory Hole keep track of where people are sleeping, and social service agencies can use the data to guide practices and apply for funding.Audio Playerhttps://media.ktoo.org/2015/10/12SURVEY.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.It’s around 4:30 on a Wednesday morning. At The Glory Hole, groups of volunteers sip coffee and discuss plans for a second morning of surveys. Each group is assigned to search a different area of Juneau. The goal is to find homeless people who are sleeping outside and interview them.The morning before, Brad Correia’s group didn’t find anyone in the Mendenhall Valley or out the road.“We walked on a lot of beaches where they have shelters, like in the summer it would be really nice. We thought people would be sleeping in there, like they have fireplaces. But there was nobody,” Correia said.Brad Correia and his group searched for people sleeping outside in the Mendenhall Valley area and out the road. (Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)The group searched behind Safeway, looked around all the stores in the valley.“Just everywhere and we didn’t find anybody.”Correia thought they might find people sleeping in cars out the road.“‘Cause I thought, if I was homeless and had a car, that’s where I would go to where there wouldn’t be people bothering me, like troopers,” he said.Correia has been homeless. When he first got to Juneau about a year ago, he didn’t have any money and stayed at The Glory Hole. He remembers another man at the shelter who talked a lot.“I ignored him. I just acted like I was reading when he would come and talk to me. Just talk and talk and talk,” Correia said.Days later, that man, Gregory Dockery, was found dead, submerged in water in a ditch near Twin Lakes.This was last November. Correia is afraid Dockery died thinking nobody cared, “Last time I saw him, he was crying, ‘Nobody likes me, nobody cares about me.’”This is why Correia is volunteering to do the homeless survey. He thinks there’s a better solution than dying in the cold.Data from the 2012 survey has been used to apply for funding for Juneau’s Housing First Project.Clyde Didrickson was part of that survey and was just interviewed again. He was walking to the Glory Hole with his wife when a group of interviewers found him.“They let us know who they were and what they were up to asked me if I cared to be interviewed,” Didrickson said.Didrickson felt fine answering personal questions about substance abuse, race, health history, mental health, money, education, how long he’s been homeless. There was one question he found intrusive and didn’t answer: What’s your social security number?Didrickson won’t say where he and his wife spend their nights for fear of being harassed.Clyde Didrickson says he’s been homeless since 1981. (Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)“We found a dry spot,” Didrickson said.Didrickson is 63, originally from Sitka and a veteran. Didrickson said he’s been homeless since the early 1980s when he was arrested for a felony. His wife is 62. He carries their bedding around in a suitcase – an old tent they use as a tarp and blankets.“Usually after everybody closes up, basically when people stop moving around, we lay out the tarp to give us something dry to lay on and then we lay our bedding out on top of that and then the excess tarp we put over ourselves,” Didrickson saidThe couple wakes up around 5 a.m. They put everything back in the suitcase and begin their day.“Hardest part for us, especially at our age, is finding a facility to use,” Didrickson said.Some public bathrooms lock up for good after the tourist season ends. Others don’t open until later in the morning. Didrickson said he sometimes goes to the bathroom in the woods.At 7 a.m., he walks to The Glory Hole for coffee and warmth. The rest of the day, “Look for some place dry and warm to sit around. A lot of times wait for the library to open,” Didrickson said.At the moment, he’s sitting with his wife, 27-year-old son, and brother-in-law at a table at The Glory Hole.Didrickson says he’ll likely be back at the shelter for lunch and dinner before spending another night outside.Share this story:
Environment | Federal Government | Nation & WorldHopes for King Cove road renewed with new Interior secretaryMarch 3, 2017 by Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media Share:Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke rode a National Park Service horse named Tonto about a mile, posing along the National Mall for photos. The Park Service, the Mall and the horse are within Interior’s domain. (Interior Department photo)Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, a former Montana congressman, rode a horse to his first day of work in Washington, D.C., today.The Secretary of the Interior is an important position for Alaska, where more than 60 percent of the land is owned by the federal government.The Interior secretary is also charged with upholding trust obligations to Native tribes.Audio Playerhttp://media.aprn.org/2017/ann-20170302-06.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said she hopes she’ll finally get approval for a road to connect King Cove to the all-weather airport in Cold Bay with the new secretary.Zinke seems sympathetic to the need for what she called a “life-saving road,” Murkowski said.“He has had the opportunity to be briefed on it many times,” Murkowski said. “He has also met with some of the residents from King Cove. He has indicated his understanding of the situation.”Zinke, though, would face fierce opposition from conservation groups who say the King Cove road would damage the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge and important bird habitat.Soon after his swearing in, Zinke signed an order to reverse a last-minute Obama administration ban on lead ammo and fishing tackle in national wildlife refuges.That made U.S. Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, happy.The lead ban “had little to do with science and conservation” and was instead “one last parting gift to our nation’s most extreme environmental elite,” Young said.Steel shot and all-copper bullets cost more than those with lead.Some sportsmen also say the non-lead ammunition shoots differently.Those who want to ban lead ammo argue the toxic metal contaminates waterways, wildlife and people who eat game meat.Share this story:
Biden signs executive orders regarding COVID-19 response January 22, 2021 AdvertisementA planned protest will occur on Wednesday’s congressional meeting to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump.DC’s attorney general, Karl Racine said, in a statement that while DC respects freedom of speech and the right to protest, “the Constitution does not grant the right to commit violence or vandalize property, and there is certainly no right to engage in acts of hate.”A chemical-biological response team will be on standby if needed, the defense official said, which is standard practice for any large event. AdvertisementRecommended ArticlesBrie Larson Reportedly Replacing Robert Downey Jr. As The Face Of The MCURead more81 commentsGal Gadot Reportedly Being Recast As Wonder Woman For The FlashRead more29 comments The pension and perks Trump will get — If he keeps it January 20, 2021 AdvertisementTags: Joe BidenNational GuardWashington Advertisement The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved. Fugitive accused of child rape in Washington arrested off Fort Myers coast May 19, 2021 WASHINGTON — A request from the mayor of Washington to deploy DC National Guard forces to the city to support local authorities during pro-Trump demonstrations scheduled in the city this week was approved, a defense official told CNN.Mayor Muriel Bowser made the request Thursday in a letter addressed to Maj. Gen. William J. Walker, the commanding general of the DC National Guard, in which she referenced protests in the city in November and December that “resulted in a large influx of participants, violence and criminal activity.”“No DCNG personnel shall be armed during this mission, and at no time, will DCNG personnel or assets be engaged in domestic surveillance, searches, or seizures of US persons,” Bowser, a Democrat, wrote in the letter.DC Police Chief Robert Contee said that the National Guard will assist with “crowd management” and traffic control, freeing the city’s police officers to focus on potential acts of violence and other security issues. Advertisement RELATEDTOPICS AdvertisementDC Young Fly knocks out heckler (video) – Rolling OutRead more6 comments’Mortal Kombat’ Exceeded Expectations Says WarnerMedia ExecutiveRead more2 commentsDo You Remember Bob’s Big Boy?Read more1 commentsKISS Front Man Paul Stanley Reveals This Is The End Of KISS As A Touring Band, For RealRead more1 comments Here’s a schedule of the 2021 Presidential Inauguration Day events January 20, 2021
Advertisement“I was that child. I grew up in Florida and I was one of eight Jewish children in my entire elementary school. And I was often put in uncomfortable situations, and I don’t think it’s right to do,” she said.But however uncomfortable prayer makes people, the United States is guaranteed freedom of religion under the first amendment. America is not strictly secular, and freedom of religion does not mean freedom from religion. All six “no” votes were cast by Democrats, but some spoke in favor it it. Justice Alito says religious freedom is in danger, calls COVID-19 restrictions ‘previously unimaginable’ November 15, 2020 AdvertisementDC Young Fly knocks out heckler (video) – Rolling OutRead more6 comments’Mortal Kombat’ Exceeded Expectations Says WarnerMedia ExecutiveRead more2 commentsDo You Remember Bob’s Big Boy?Read more1 commentsKISS Front Man Paul Stanley Reveals This Is The End Of KISS As A Touring Band, For RealRead more1 comments Florida legislature passes bill that puts restrictions on mail-in voting May 1, 2021 AdvertisementTags: Florida Senatereligion RELATEDTOPICS “I can tell you that many teachers over the years would have loved if I was quiet for two minutes, so I’ll be voting for the bill,” said Sen. Jason Pizzo. Advertisement AdvertisementRecommended ArticlesBrie Larson Reportedly Replacing Robert Downey Jr. As The Face Of The MCURead more81 commentsGal Gadot Reportedly Being Recast As Wonder Woman For The FlashRead more29 comments TALLAHASSEE, Fla. [AP] – The Florida Senate approved a bill on Thursday that would require every public school to allow for up to two minutes of silence during first period. The bill would amend current law that allows school districts to have a moment of silence for prayer or meditation, but doesn’t require it. The legislation, passed on a 32-6 vote and is now going to Gov. Ron DeSantis for approval. “We want people to be free in that moment just to stop and reflect,” said Republican Sen. Dennis Baxley, the bill’s sponsor. “However you use it, just be still and listen and reflect before you start a day’s activity.”Opponents said the measure promotes prayer in school. Democratic Rep. Lori Berman questioned whether students could pull out a rosary, make the sign of the cross or use a prayer rug and wondered if that would make some students uncomfortable, Associated Press reported. Advertisement
Community RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Community By LaoisToday Reporter – 9th March 2018 Home Jobs JOB VACANCY: Kennel Assistant with the Laois Dog Warden service Jobs Pinterest WhatsApp The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) Laois Dog Warden Service, Ballacolla, Co. LaoisControl of Dogs Act 1986As a result of the ongoing development of the Laois Dog Warden Service, we are recruiting for the following position:Kennel Assistant (part-time 20 hours per week)Candidates should have a broad knowledge of canine careDog handling and animal welfare experience is essentialGood communication and organisational skills essentialMust be proactive, flexible and willing to work as part of a teamAdministration and IT skills is requiredGood standard of general fitnessFull clean driving licence requiredTo apply …Applicants should apply by emailing a current CV to include a covering letter to: [email protected] quoting reference A0318 in the email subjectThe closing date for applications is Thursday, March 15, 2018SEE ALSO – Check out the jobs section on LaoisToday.ie Ten Laois based players named on Leinster rugby U-18 girls squad TAGSISPCAKennel AssistantLaois Dog Warden Twitter Charlie Flanagan on Electric Picnic: ‘I’d ask organisers to consult with community leaders’ WhatsApp Five Laois monuments to receive almost €200,000 in government funding JOB VACANCY: Kennel Assistant with the Laois Dog Warden service Facebook Twitter Pinterest Facebook Rugby Previous articleSt Joseph’s to host Memorial Match in honour of late Liam KealyNext articleStorm Emma can’t halt Mountrath St Patrick’s Day plans LaoisToday Reporter
Pinterest Home News Coronavirus: 444 new cases and eight further deaths as professor says ‘small… News RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Laois Councillor ‘amazed’ at Electric Picnic decision to apply for later date for 2021 festival Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said; “Every piece of public health advice we have given from the outset of this pandemic is designed to keep everyone protected from the impact of COVID-19.“If you are a close contact of a confirmed case, you are asked to restrict your movements for 14 days and to attend for your two free COVID-19 test, one on day 0 and one on day 7.“This is because as an identified close contact, you have come into contact with the virus. It may take some time for this to become apparent, or for you to become infectious.”“By staying at home for this entire 14 day period, you are helping to stop the spread of this dangerous disease. In following this important guidance, you are helping to bring this virus right back down to where we all need it to be and playing your part in this national effort.”New Cases in LaoisNovember 3 – 4November 2 – 8November 1 – 18October 31 – 7October 30 – 5October 29 – 11October 28 – 11October 27 – 6October 26 – 11October 25 – 14October 24 – 19October 23 – 7October 22 – 13October 21 – 1514-day case rate in Laois per 100,000 populationNovember 3 – 177.1November 2 – 194.8November 1 – 201.9October 31 – 205.4October 30 – 222.5October 29 – 233.8October 28 – 230.2October 27 – 256.21October 26 – 252.67October 25 – 244.4October 24 – 234.96October 23 – 221.97October 22 – 219.2October 21 – 222New cases in Laois during past 14 daysNovember 3 – 150November 2 – 165November 1 – 171October 31 – 174October 30 – 191October 29 – 198October 28 – 195October 27 – 217October 26 – 214October 25 – 207October 24 – 199October 23 – 188October 22 – 186October 21 – 188‘Small chance’ vaccine could be available by ChristmasUniversity of Oxford Vaccine Trial Chief Investigator Andrew Pollard says there is a ‘small chance’ a vaccine could be here by Christmas.Prof Pollard said working out whether or not the vaccine worked would likely come this year, after which the data would have to be carefully reviewed by regulators and then a political decision made on who should get the vaccine.Asked if he expected the vaccine would start to be deployed before Christmas, he said: “There is a small chance of that being possible but I just don’t know.”The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is expected to be one of the first from big pharma to be submitted for regulatory approval, along with Pfizer and BioNTech’s candidate. Bizarre situation as Ben Brennan breaks up Fianna Fáil-Fine Gael arrangement to take Graiguecullen-Portarlington vice-chair role By Alan Hartnett – 4th November 2020 There have been eight more deaths from Coronavirus as well as 444 new cases, according to figures released today.Of today’s cases, four of them are in Laois, meaning the county’s 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 people drops to 177.1 from 194.8 yesterday.It is the fifth day in a row that the Laois figure has declined. It had peaked at 256.21 on October 27 following a steady rise over the previous month. The rate is now at its lowest point in Laois since October 20.The national average is now 212.208 are men / 235 are women61% are under 45 years of ageThe median age is 37 years old158 in Dublin, 48 in Cork, 36 in Galway, 28 in Limerick and 174 cases spread across 19 other counties.As of 2pm today 310 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 41 are in ICU. 25 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours. Coronavirus: 444 new cases and eight further deaths as professor says ‘small chance’ of Christmas vaccine TAGSCoronavirusCovid-19 WhatsApp Twitter Electric Picnic organisers release statement following confirmation of new festival date Pinterest WhatsApp Facebook Electric Picnic Twitter Previous articleSchool secretaries pay and conditions to come before Workplace Relations CommisionNext articleMoment in Time: Des Bishop visits Portlaoise in 2004 Alan HartnettStradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016. Facebook Electric Picnic News
News By Park Seong Guk – 2012.01.08 9:30pm Entire border patrol unit in North Hamgyong Province placed into quarantine following “paratyphoid” outbreak Park Seong Guk The North Korean authorities have designated January 8th and 9th as public holidays, allowing workers two days of rest to commemorate Kim Jong Eun’s birthday. However, they did not allow any overt references to the birthday of the new leader in the media.According to reports from a source within North Korea, the authorities handed down the same orders for border security staff to be on alert that are ordinarily used on the birthdays of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. Also, in what was the only obvious media concession to the event, Chosun Central TV ran a special documentary commemorating Kim Jong Eun.Conversely, Chosun Central News Agency, Rodong Shinmun and other domestic media outlets all studiously avoided mentioning the special day. This obviously had the opposite effect; given the prominence of news about the new leader in Rodong Shinmun since the end of the mourning period for Kim Jong Il, the absolute absence of any mention of him in the January 8th edition made his birthday all the more noticeable.The day was originally designated as a public holiday last year, and as such the authorities also allowed the public a day off at that time. However, then there were no special rations to mark the event, and that trend has reportedly continued this year. This is not surprising given the time it would have required to prepare any such handouts compared to the time that has passed since Kim Jong Il’s death.Indeed, if anything, the date this year has been celebrated less than last year. In 2011, some city and provincial Party cadres held special events to commemorate the date; however, this year the entire day has been publicly skipped over without fuss.There were, however, movements out of the Kaeseong Industrial Complex from North Korean officials to indicate that it was not an ordinary Sunday. A source from the South Korean Ministry of Unification said that the North requested on the 6th that no additional work be taken on for the day, and the ministry confirmed that as far as possible people did not take on any extra work for the day. News SHARE News Birthday Passes with Minimal Fuss RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Facebook Twitter There are signs that North Korea is running into serious difficulties with its corn harvest News North Korea tries to accelerate building of walls and fences along border with China
Facebook Twitter RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR SHARE Analysis & Opinion How to Build on Growing NKHR Interest Analysis & Opinion Analysis & Opinion Daily NKQuestions or comments about this article? Contact us at [email protected] Analysis & Opinion By Daily NK – 2012.05.07 12:19pm The North Korean human rights crisis has recently been getting increased attention from the international media. There have been articles and op-eds in influential publications such as The Economist, New York Times, Guardian, Le Monde, Der Spiegel and many others. This is a welcome change from the traditional focus on security issues and North Korea’s reclusive leaders.It is worth considering why this has happened, and also what has held back international attention on this issue in the past. The answers may help those who are interested in maintaining and building on this new media focus on the North Korean people. There are several triggers for the new attention. Firstly, North Korea in general is a hot topic this year after Kim Jong Il’s death, with a lot of interest in North Korea under its new, untested and unknown leader, Kim Jong Eun.[imText1]Secondly, important new publications have provided focal points for attention on the regime’s human rights abuses. Blaine Harden’s book, ‘Escape From Camp 14’, which chronicles the story of Shin Dong Hyuk, the only North Korean refugee known to have been born and raised in a political prison camp, rams home the severity of the ongoing atrocities through straightforward descriptions of Shin’s harrowing experiences.The recent release of the second edition of David Hawk’s ‘The Hidden Gulag’ has also provided an essential update on the North Korean prison camp system, based on extensive research and interviews with former inmates and prison guards. These publications and the publicity surrounding them have helped expose wider audiences to the reality of North Korea’s human rights abuses.But human rights and humanitarian crises, things which are inextricably linked in North Korea, have been happening for decades now. So why has it been so difficult to get anything like this level of international attention focused on this issue until now? [imText2]Firstly, as The Economist pointed out in its leader on North Korea’s crimes against humanity, “the scale of the atrocity numbs moral outrage.” Many people find it hard to recognize that horrific human rights abuses on this scale, comparable to the nadirs of human cruelty in the 20th Century, can still be happening today. Frankly, for many people going about their everyday lives in their world of Facebook and iPhones, the severity and scale of the human rights abuses in North Korea is hard to comprehend.Also, this issue has lacked a North Korean equivalent of Aung San Suu Kyi or Ai Wei Wei, a North Korean individual who could advocate for their people on the international stage and give the issue a human face. That is starting to change with more North Korean refugees, including Shin Dong Hyuk, making admirable efforts. Confounding this is the relative lack of English language literature. Although Shin Dong Hyuk arrived in South Korea in 2006, it is only now, after an American journalist wrote his biography in English and released the book this year, that the rest of the world is really getting to know his incredible story. People on the outside know very little about any aspect of the lives of the North Korean people. The success of books such as ‘Escape From Camp 14’ and Barbara Demick’s ‘Nothing to Envy’ shows that there is high demand for insights into the human aspects of life in North Korea. It is a demand which is not yet being met. [imText3]In the absence of prominent North Korean human rights defenders, the only North Koreans known in the outside world have been its reclusive leaders. Again, The Economist expressed regret that their reporting had suffered because “it is easier to lampoon the regime as ruled by extraterrestrial freaks than to grapple with the suffering it inflicts.” It is illustrative that when Kim Jong Il died, one of the worldwide trending terms on Twitter was “Team America”, a comedic film portraying a puppet of a ludicrous Kim Jong Il obsessed with weapons of mass destruction (who also turns out to be an alien cockroach). Media focus on ridiculing the leadership and portraying the North Korean people as goose-stepping soldiers or fanatical loyalists participating in highly orchestrated celebrations of the state has made North Korea seem even more other-worldly and has made it harder for the international audience to empathize with the North Korean people. Efforts to humanise and normalise the North Korean people and make their lives and challenges more relatable are therefore an urgent requirement.Further, when compared with other human rights and humanitarian crises around the world, there is a distinct lack of celebrity advocates for the North Korean people. It is notable that this year’s Save My Friend campaign for North Korean refugees really took off in South Korea when celebrities became involved. The age of the internet and social networking sites has been hailed as giving everybody a voice. But conversely this also means that the average Twitter user, with just a handful of followers, is whispering into a storm. Celebrities on the other hand can reach millions of followers with a single tweet. This factor means that getting more high profile individuals to advocate for the North Korean people is crucial. The politicization of the issue in South Korea and the Seoul government’s historically troubled approaches towards their rival state is another factor that has arguably slowed the international uptake on this issue. Many South Koreans have a poor understanding of the human rights and humanitarian issues happening just a few miles to the north. If South Koreans, sharing the same language and now living in a country which is home to around 23,000 North Korean refugees, took more interest in the lives of the North Korean people then it would be easier to spread awareness to the rest of the world as well. It is also clear that the traditional attention on nuclear and security issues has crowded out discussion of the suffering of the North Korean people. The focus on security issues is understandable given that, including the U.S., there are four nuclear weapon states in the region, three permanent members of the UN Security Council, and because of the danger and costs to major world powers and the global economy of potential conflict on the Korean Peninsula. However at this level of international politics, the story is of locked, Cold War-style stalemate. Different countries have strong and competing interests on the Korean Peninsula, and they consistently undermine the strategies being pursued by others, leading to a distinct lack of sustainable progress and a tiresome cycle between negotiations and provocations. Excited commentators have sometimes described the Korean peninsula as a powder-keg waiting to blow up, but if this were true then there have been enough sparks over the decades to make it explode several times over. In reality, mutual deterrence has been effective, and save for limited provocations the general picture is one of stability. People are justifiably losing their interest in the high politics, and this may be providing an opening for more attention on the more dynamic level of the North Korean people.Focusing on the North Korean people’s crisis is more important than focusing on the security issues or its reclusive leaders. This is not just because the North Korean people’s stories ought to be known as they are the ones who have suffered the most out of this whole situation. It is also because, ultimately, change in North Korea will have to come from within, so a focus on the people is an important part of changing the whole situation.Raising international awareness is necessary to mobilize people and resources to come alongside the North Korean people and help empower them to push for change inside their country and ultimately bring this crisis to an end (what route this change takes, we cannot know). There is no silver bullet solution in North Korea, and it will require a lot of effort from different actors using a variety of approaches to encourage, facilitate, and accelerate change inside the country. Sustained focus on the people is also important to show policymakers of all countries, as well as North Koreans themselves, that citizens all over the world are concerned with the plight of the North Korean people. The recent increase in international attention on the challenges facing the North Korean people is an important development. Maintaining and building on this will be crucial for translating awareness into long-term interest and action that can help empower the North Korean people, and eventually bring about the change in North Korea that we all want to see. Is Nuclear Peace with North Korea Possible? Tracking the “unidentified yellow substance” being dried out near the Yongbyon Nuclear Center Pence Cartoon: “KOR-US Karaoke”