Tag Archives: Pledge

China N Korea pledge cooperation ‘in face of foreign hostility’

China N Korea pledge cooperation

Kim says China-North Korea ties are vital in the face of hostile foreign forces, while Xi promises to bring cooperation ‘to a new stage’,

The leaders of North Korea and China have exchanged messages pledging to strengthen cooperation on the 60th anniversary of the signing of their Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance.

In a message to China’s Xi Jinping on Sunday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said their relationship was vital in the face of hostile foreign forces, while Xi promised to bring cooperation “to a new stage”, according to North Korea’s KCNA news agency.

China has been North Korea’s only major ally since the two sides signed the treaty in 1961, and international sanctions imposed over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes have made it more dependent than ever on Beijing for trade and other support.

The friendship pact calls on the two countries to come to each other’s assistance should either side come under attack.

“Despite the unprecedentedly complicated international situation in recent years the comradely trust and militant friendship between the DPRK and China get stronger day by day,” Kim said in his message, KCNA reported, using the initials for North Korea’s official name.

The treaty is defending socialism and peace in Asia “now that the hostile forces become more desperate in their challenge and obstructive moves,” Kim said.

Xi’s message said he plans to provide greater happiness to the two countries and their people by strengthening communication with Kim and “by steadily leading the relations of friendship and cooperation between the two countries to a new stage,” KCNA said.

The China-North Korea treaty has a validity period of 20 years and was renewed in 1981 and 2001.

NK News, a website that monitors North Korea, said that it expected Xi and Kim to extend the treaty for another 20 years.

Xi and Kim’s exchange of messages is the latest sign of renewed ties between the neighbours, which analysts say is aimed at the United States amid gridlocked nuclear talks between Pyongyang and Washington and worsening US-Beijing tensions.

“It’s a marriage of convenience,” Park Won-gon, professor of North Korean Studies at Ewha Womans University, told AFP.

The two allies’ relations have had discord since the end of the Korean War, he added, and they will “never really trust each other”.

But they need each other to deal with Washington, Park added.

“And the closer they get, the harder it will be to denuclearise North Korea.”

Now Biden turns on AstraZeneca! US President's huge pledge scrapped in major U-turn

Now Biden turns on AstraZeneca! US President's huge pledge scrapped in major U-turn

On Monday the Biden administration announced further plans to share coronavirus vaccines with the world, but it will not include the Oxford AstraZeneca inoculation in its exports. The Biden administration will export 55 million doses of coronavirus vaccines to other countries. The vaccines, which will come entirely from the US, will not include the Oxford AstraZeneca inoculation until it is cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Meanwhile, the US will donate the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines to different parts of the world.

The announcement is a U-turn for the Biden administration’s original plans to share 60 million doses of Oxford AstraZeneca’s vaccine worldwide.

The FDA is still reviewing whether the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine is safe for human use.

Doses of the vaccine are produced in the US at a plant in Baltimore.

The US vaccine donations will be sent to COVAX, the global vaccine equity effort.

Most of the inoculations will be sent to countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia, and Africa.

An official from the Biden administration said that the US still plans to send AstraZeneca vaccines abroad, but only when they have been cleared by the FDA.

President Joe Biden has promised that the US will be the vaccine powerhouse of the world, and will donate millions of inoculations to help end the pandemic.

READ MORE: Coronavirus can infect testicles finds new study – possible symptom in men to look for

Identified locally as “Delta plus,” the new strain was found in 16 cases in the state of Maharashtra, Federal Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan told a news conference.

The vaccine roll-out effort in India has fallen short of stopping a devastating second wave of the virus.

So far, about 5.5 percent of the 950 million people eligible in India have been vaccinated.

Indian health officials doubt the nation can maintain the pace of vaccinating people against this new strain that has reportedly more transmissibility than former strains.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: World Feed

Gas boiler replacement warning: £10,000 bills to hit UK households over zero-carbon pledge

Gas boiler replacement warning: £10,000 bills to hit UK households over zero-carbon pledge

Gas boilers are used by around 25million households in the UK. With heating contributing to 30 percent of the UK’s total greenhouse emissions, the installation of gas boilers will no longer be allowed by 2025. The UK was the first major country to make it law that greenhouse gas emissions will be net-zero by 2050 and banning gas boilers is just one way the Government is tackling the climate crisis. Who will the change affect?

Andrew said: “Households will have to rip out their gas boilers and replace them with more expensive heat pumps or hydrogen. 

“The climate change committee says that will cost £250billion, others put it much higher, who’s going to pay for that?”

Rishi replied: “Well we’re already investing in helping low income households with exactly that transition and that’s one of the things we will have to look to do.”

Andrew added: “The average cost of £10,000 per household, which will be mandated by the Government, who pays?”

The full details are to be confirmed in a new Heat and Buildings Strategy which is said to be published later in the year.

Heat pumps work by extracting warmth from the air or the ground, or from water.

Due to the huge cost that heat pumps come with, several organisations have signed an open letter calling for financial support for low-income households.

Eco-friendly boilers which burn hydrogen are also said to be another sustainable heating method, costing around £100 more than a standard gas boiler to purchase.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) said no new fossil fuel boilers should be sold, except where they are compatible with hydrogen, if the UK is to meet its target by 2050.

Juliet Phillips, a senior policy advisor at the E3G think tank, one of the organisations behind the call, previously said: “Moving from a gas boiler to a heat pump is one of the biggest carbon savings a household can make.

“But it must be affordable and we urge the Government to support our fair heat deal to ensure no one is left behind in the green industrial revolution.

“If done right, the UK can lead the world in reducing carbon emissions from heat while slashing energy bills, boosting the economy and protecting the fuel poor.”

Are you affected by this? Let us know in the comments section here.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Life and Style Feed
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After stunning withdrawal, tennis leaders pledge to address Naomi Osaka's concerns

After stunning withdrawal, tennis leaders pledge to address Naomi Osaka's concerns

The pledge came from the same tennis administrators who threatened disqualification or suspension for Osaka on Sunday if she continued to skip news conferences.

The leaders of the four Grand Slam tournaments reacted Tuesday to tennis star Naomi Osaka’s stunning withdrawal from the French Open by promising to address players’ concerns about mental health.

The pledge came in a statement signed by the same four tennis administrators who threatened the possibility of disqualification or suspension for Osaka on Sunday if she continued to skip news conferences.

The four-time major champion and No. 2-ranked player was fined $ 15,000 when she didn’t speak to reporters after her first-round victory at Roland Garros on Sunday. The next day, Osaka pulled out of the tournament entirely, saying she experiences “huge waves of anxiety” before meeting with the media and revealing she has “suffered long bouts of depression.”

Osaka, a 23-year-old who was born in Japan and moved with her family to the U.S. at age 3, said she would “take some time away from the court now, but when the time is right I really want to work with the Tour to discuss ways we can make things better for the players, press and fans.”

Tennis players are required to attend news conferences if requested to do so; Grand Slam rules allow for fines up to $ 20,000 if they don’t show up.

“On behalf of the Grand Slams, we wish to offer Naomi Osaka our support and assistance in any way possible as she takes time away from the court. She is an exceptional athlete and we look forward to her return as soon as she deems appropriate,” Tuesday’s statement from those in charge of the French Open, Wimbledon, U.S. Open and Australian Open said. “Mental health is a very challenging issue, which deserves our utmost attention. It is both complex and personal, as what affects one individual does not necessarily affect another. We commend Naomi for sharing in her own words the pressures and anxieties she is feeling and we empathize with the unique pressures tennis players may face.”

French tennis federation President Gilles Moretton, All England Club Chairman Ian Hewitt, U.S. Tennis Association President Mike McNulty and Tennis Australia President Jayne Hrdlicka pledged to work with players, the tours and media “to improve the player experience at our tournaments” while making sure the athletes all are on a “fair playing field, regardless of ranking or status.”

In a separate statement issued Tuesday to the AP via email, International Tennis Federation official Heather Bowler the sport will “review what needs to evolve” after Osaka “shone a light on mental health issues.”

“It’s in all our interests to ensure that we continue to provide a respectful and qualitative environment that enables all stakeholders to do their job to their best ability, without impacting their health, and for the good of the sport,” Bowler wrote.

Various tennis players, including Serena Williams, offered support for Osaka and praised her for being forthcoming in her statement on social media Monday.

“It’s hard. Nobody really knows what anyone is going through, no matter how much they choose to show on the outside. I had no idea about her. But I respect her openness,” 20-year-old American pro Ann Li said after winning her first-round match Tuesday at Roland Garros. “Our generation is becoming more open and open, which can be a good thing and also a bad thing sometimes. I hope she’s doing OK.”

Gael Monfils, a 34-year-old from France who also won Tuesday in Paris, said he could relate to Osaka’s concerns to an extent.

“It’s a very tough situation for her. I feel for her, because I have been struggling quite a lot as well,” Monfils said. “What she’s dealing is even tough for me to even judge, because I think she has massive pressure from many things. I think she’s quite young. She’s handling it quite well. Sometime we want maybe too much from her … so sometime, for sure, she is going to do some mistake.”

And then Monfils offered a sentiment surely shared by many around tennis, from tournament and tour officials to athletes to the sport’s fans.

“We need Naomi. We need her definitely to be 100%,” Monfils said. “We need her back on the court, back (at) the press conference — and back happy.”

AP Sports Writer Sam Petrequin in Paris contributed to this report.

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This post originally appeared on CBS8 – Sports

Freeview TV gets HUGE investment as BBC, ITV and Channel 4 pledge MILLIONS to service

Freeview TV gets HUGE investment as BBC, ITV and Channel 4 pledge MILLIONS to service
BBC, ITV and Channel 4 have all pledged to contribute £19.1 million each to Freeview in the next three years. For those who don’t know, Freeview Play brings together some 70 channels and radio stations into a single interface alongside some 30,000 hours of on-demand content from catch-up services. Everything is free to stream and offers an alternative to paid-for services like Virgin Media and Sky Q.
The latest round of investment, detailed by Morning Star, courtesy of the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 arrive less than six months after broadcast transmission company Arqiva decided to pull its investment from Freeview. Standing down as a shareholder in Digital UK, which is the parent company behind Freeview, from March 2021, it was seen as a sign of the industry shifting away from traditional transmission towards streaming.

While it will no longer be involved at a high-level, Arqiva will still supply the Electronic Program Guide, EPG, for Freeview viewers nationwide.

The latest round of investment from the other brands involved in the Digital UK venture should help Freeview continue to expand in the coming years. And the service will need those funds as it has some big plans. Earlier this year, Digital UK confirmed plans to integrate with free-to-air satellite brand Freesat.

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Sky Q, Freeview and Virgin Media viewers will unlock dozens of free movies

For those who don’t know, Freesat offers access to a number of the same channels, but uses a satellite dish to connect viewers to their favourite shows. So, if you’ve decided to leave Sky Q but still have a dish strapped to your roof and don’t fancy a weekend of DIY – you can plug in a Freesat compatible set-top box to access free-to-air channels using your existing receiver. There are a few advantages to Freesat over Freeview, most notably, that the service leverages the additional capacity available when broadcasting via satellite to offer a selection of 24 high-definition channels, including those from BBC, ITV, Channel 5, Discovery Networks, France 24, Paramount Network, Bloomberg, RT UK and TRT World.

According to Digital UK, merging Freeview and Freesat will ensure both approaches to free-to-watch content benefit from innovations developed by one another.

For example, Freeview Play merges live and catch-up services into a single TV Guide, where scrolling to the left lets viewers “travel back in time” and jump into previously-aired shows still available from BBC iPlayer, My5, ITV Hub, All4 and others. In total, it pulls content from 10 on-demand catch-up services now, following the launch of POP Player at the end of last year. While this is possible with Freesat, the service doesn’t currently include any shows from All4, although that could change as the two firms share ideas and technologies.

Jonathan Thompson, CEO of Digital UK, said: “We welcome this opportunity to work more closely with Freesat whilst continuing to deliver our mission of ensuring everyone in the UK can access a high-quality TV service for free. The combined entity will promote the very best of free-to-view content whilst reflecting the changing nature of consumer consumption.”

Of course, the merger between Freesat and Freeview is conditional on regulatory approvals, although the green light is expected in the coming months.

With investment agreed, fingers crossed we’ll also see some exciting new features coming to Freeview Play. For example, while the service does offer a companion app for smartphones and tablets, there’s currently no communication between Freeview Play on your Smart TV or set-top box and the same service running on your smartphone. It would be great to see some of the features that Sky Q customers are familiar with – like the ability to schedule a recording on your set-top box when out-and-about using the smartphone app of the same name.

Either way, Freeview isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

This article originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

How an Abstinence Pledge in the ’90s Shamed a Generation of Evangelicals

How an Abstinence Pledge in the ’90s Shamed a Generation of Evangelicals

“We are the legacy of the purity movement, the people who grew up in it, who grapple with its impacts every day.” As a Christian teenager growing up in the Midwest in the 1990s, Linda Kay Klein got swept up in the emerging purity movement, which advocated strict sexual abstinence until marriage. “It had, in fact, started right around the time that I joined my youth group as a seventh grader. This movement saturated the lives of evangelicals, but that was really just the beginning. It entered into public schools, it entered into grassroots organizations.” “Sex is a great thing within marriage.” “Our country started to shift the way that we talked about sexuality. The purity movement introduced a purity industry, with purity rings and purity pledges and purity balls.” “A new ritual aimed at encouraging girls and young women to abstain from sex until marriage.” “I am living my life the way that I think it should be lived, and that’s, um, staying pure, so.” “They’re actually purity rings, and they’re promises to ourself and to God that we’ll stay pure until marriage.” But before purity made its way into pop culture, evangelical Christian teens like Joshua Harris often found themselves at odds with the world they were living in. “You had the culture pushing the envelope in different ways when it came to, to sex. Like, my generation growing up. Like, MTV for Christians was like, oh my gosh, you know, all these terrible things that are happening in these music videos and so on. So there’s a reaction in the, in the Christian culture to that.” “The campaign is called ‘True Love Waits’ and it’s sponsored by the Baptist Sunday School Board.” “Thousands of teenagers are vowing to be something that most teens are not: virgins until they are married.” “I make a commitment to God.” “To those I date.” At the time, fear over the spread of AIDS only bolstered the argument for abstinence above all else. “Stace and I don’t have to worry about STDs or contracting AIDS or having an unwanted pregnancy.” “You kind of have this sense of, I’m going to choose the more difficult path and do the right thing, and God is happier with me because of that. It’s kind of like the Christian form of veganism or whatever. You know? It’s like I’m, I’m special. I’m doing something different than everybody else.” By the time he was a teenager, Harris was becoming a leader among his peers. “I remember going out to Washington D.C. and there was a huge Christian concert/festival that was taking place. And they placed all of these promise cards on the mall.” “Teenagers signed cards pledging their virginity and planted 200,000 of the cards, creating a field of abstinence.” “[shouting] Woo! True love waits. Wait till you get married. Woo!” Rallies promoting purity were held across the U.S., and Klein, who became enthralled with evangelicalism growing up, still remembers the fervor of one she attended. “We were all, like, this is the biggest, best concert we’ve ever been to. And then there was a motivational speaker who spoke about purity and how important purity was. And in the midst of that, with tears rolling down people’s faces, they handed out these contracts: I promise that I will save my purity for my partner. I will not have sex before marriage. Uh, I’m making this commitment today, and I will hold to it, you know, for the rest of my life. As a young person, I was confused, and wanted so badly to be good and wanted so badly to please God and to be acceptable in my community. With my leaders looking over my shoulder and moreover, my peers sitting right next to me signing their contracts, I signed the pledge.” “[shouting] I want to know, how many virgins do we have out there?” “Woo!” “When I embraced my faith, I wanted to figure out, what did it mean to be a Christian and relate to the opposite sex, to think about sexuality.” Harris, who had come close to having sex at 17, doubled down on his resolve afterwards. “I ended up becoming, really, a spokesperson for these more radical ideas of saying, we should not only, you know, save sex for marriage, but we should do dating differently. We should reject dating because it’s leading us towards compromise.” “Do you see the problem with so many of our dating relationships today? Instead of guarding the sacredness of sexual intimacy, we are stealing from it.” “If you’re, uh, an alcoholic, don’t go into a bar. You know? It was like, if you don’t want to have sex, then don’t get into these, sort of, short-term romantic relationships where there’s an expectation to become intimate.” Harris’s book, “I Kissed Dating Goodbye,” went on to sell over a million copies. And as he and others pushed for purity, another more insidious message took root. “Well ladies, I believe you also have a unique opportunity to protect the purity of your brothers in the Lord. What I think you probably are not aware of, is how difficult it is for a guy to look at a girl with purity in his heart when she is dressed immodestly. You have no idea how difficult it is. You have no idea.” “I remember feeling like I was a threat. And I remember feeling like I was a bad person. My sexuality was dangerous. It was something to be feared. The narrative that we’ve internalized is that pure girls and women protect us all. They ensure by their proper covering up, by their not taking up too much space, whatever it is, then none of us are going to have sexual thoughts and feelings.” Klein had left evangelicalism by the time she was 21, but she continued to struggle for years afterward. “When I would have any sexual experience with my boyfriend, I would find myself in tears and in a ball in the corner of a bed, crying. My eczema coming out, which it does when I’m stressed, and scratching myself until I bled, and having a deep shame reaction. I could actually be this close to doing something that, if they were right, if the purity movement was right, would make me worthless.” Klein began reaching out to friends from home, and then, over the next 15 years, to other people all around the country, collecting their stories about growing up in the purity movement. She published a book on the topic in 2018 and continues to hear new stories all the time from people she meets at her book events. “This all feels really new to me. Like, it wasn’t until a few months ago that my therapist brought up the concept of purity culture to me, and I didn’t even know what that was. But I realized I was raised in it, and that led me to finding your book. And when I read it, I kind of cried through the whole thing because it now makes so much sense why I have this trauma that I carry and why it’s not going away.” “They had word for word been taught the same things that we were taught and were experiencing it in their bodies in the same ways that we were experiencing it. Once that happened not three times, not four times, but 30 times, 40 times, I started to be like, O.K., this is obviously much bigger than me, this is obviously much bigger than my youth group, this is much bigger than my state. During Klein’s conversations, one name kept coming up: Joshua Harris. Harris had gone on to become a pastor, but in recent years, was starting to question his leadership role, and quit in 2015 to enroll in graduate school for theology. Soon, he was also beginning to re-examine the messages of his book. “It was something that had given me a sense of success and personal identity. Um, and so, to question that felt like I was kind of unraveling myself, honestly. I remember one key moment that, kind of, tipped this into the public sphere was that, uh, a woman on Twitter wrote, your book was used against me like a weapon. And I responded to her saying, I’m so sorry.” “Whoa. That changed everything, right? All of a sudden, people were, like, what did you say? Did you say you were sorry for something? So now, we had this huge slew of people who were tweeting, I was hurt by this, I was hurt by this, I was hurt by this, I was hurt by this. You had all these different conversations going on, and they are really about people coming together and healing in a collective experience.” Harris, meanwhile, decided to engage with his critics in person, and made a film about the process. “I’ve looked into the eyes of people who’ve said, this created fear in me. This created intense shame and guilt for me. And your book was, kind of, in my head and shaped, you know, the way that I, I viewed myself.” Harris, who pulled his book from publication, faced some criticism that the film didn’t go far enough. He’s since issued more apologies. Last summer, he announced his separation from his wife, and that he no longer considers himself a Christian. “The process of unpublishing my books is a pretty big statement of, of regret for me. It doesn’t make up for, or fix the, the past hurt but I, I want to try to take responsibility for that.” Klein has continued meeting with women in towns and cities all around the country. “I like held hands with a boy when I was 14 and cried, like, you know, like felt really impure.” “The unintended consequences is what we’re really dealing with today.” “I didn’t know why I was physically shaking, why I would burst into tears, why I would cower in the corner, why all these things were happening to me.” “Some things that we put out there don’t work, but they don’t do damage either. This is something that didn’t work and that has caused a tremendous amount of damage.” “It’s not about taking big steps. It’s about taking these little steps. Teach your brain to function differently by like, trying to do just enough where you’re not triggering a huge shame response that reiterates that old neural pathway. Is that helpful?” “I think that change is going to happen when we have people on the ground, coming into voice with one another, and telling their truths to one another. We’ll all continue to learn. And that’s the real work.”

Clyde Haberman