Thief may have been locked in Limerick business premises overnight

LIMERICK Gardaí are advising  business owners to thoroughly check their premises before locking up for the night after a premises was ransacked by a thief who may may have been locked in the building  overnight.

Limerick Garda Crime Prevention Officer Ber Leetch said that the offence was discovered when a woman arrived to open her business in the city only to find that it had been ransacked.

She made a call to emergency services after hearing a noise and fearing for her safety.

“As she was on the phone, she saw a woman leave the building with several items belonging to the business. The owner followed this thief at a safe distance until Gardaí arrived and she was arrested.

“The business owner believes it is possible that the thief may have been locked in the premises overnight,” Sgt Leetch explained.

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Rams-Seahawks Officiating Upset Executives and Coaches, per Report

The game played a huge role in deciding the playoff matchups.

Multiple NFL executives and coaches complained about the officiating in last week’s game between the Seahawks and Rams and are calling for the league to review its practices for hiring and training referees, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports.

That game, which had a significant impact on the playoff picture, was called “the worst officiated game of the year” by one source.

Seattle beat Los Angeles in overtime, which eliminated Detroit from the playoffs and put the Seahawks one Packers loss away from the postseason. Had the Rams won the game, the Lions would have clinched a playoff spot with their win over Green Bay Sunday night.

The differences in a few calls could have changed the outcome of the game and, as a result, the playoffs.

According to Schefter, the Rams, Lions and competition committee were all upset by the officiating during the game, with one source admitting that Detroit should be “livid.”

Among the criticized calls in the game were a Michael Dickson running into the kicker and non-calls where D.K. Metcalf appeared to put his fingers in Jalen Ramsey’s facemask and Geno Smith could have been called for intentional grounding.

This game seemed to be a tipping point for bad officiating, as one executive said that part of the game has been bad all year.

“(There is) a real groundswell of unhappiness with officiating that is much deeper than I’ve seen and frankly, I haven’t seen in this league in years,” the executive told Schefter.

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Government revisiting economic areas to enhance policy environment

Louise Maureen Simeon – The Philippine Star

January 15, 2023 | 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Marcos administration is moving to revisit economic areas that can be enhanced and to provide new opportunities to ensure broad-based growth for the country.

Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said the government is revisiting certain sectors such as mining, electronics and energy, whose policies can be strengthened to give more benefits to the economy.

These sectors will also be aligned with emerging trends in the global economy.

For one, Diokno said the mining industry holds the greatest potential to be a key driver in the country’s recovery and long-term growth, especially at a time when metal prices are high.

“The Philippines, after all, is one of the world’s most richly endowed countries in terms of mineral resources. As such, we will harness the potential of the extractive sector to drive long-term economic expansion,” Diokno said.

Diokno is banking on the approval of a new mining fiscal regime that will impose fresh tax rates to contribute to economic recovery.

The new regime is expected to provide close to P40 billion in additional revenues to the government.

Apart from mining, the finance chief emphasized that the government is committed to making the Philippines competitive in the semiconductor and electronics industry, which are the top contributors to the local manufacturing sector.

Diokno expects output to rise this year as demand picks up.

The Philippines is pursuing energy transition and has opened up the renewable energy sector to full foreign ownership.

Diokno said that a more liberalized renewable energy sector would expedite the country’s transition toward a clean, affordable, and desirable mix of energy sources, which in turn will create more green jobs.

“With stronger ties and an integrated supply chain, we can facilitate a seamless trade of goods that will contribute to the global transition to renewable energy powered by advanced technology,” Diokno said.

“This can be achieved by mapping critical mineral supply chains, improving traceability in key sectors, and coordinating diversification efforts,” he said.

Meanwhile, Diokno highlighted the need for the Philippines to establish strategic cooperation, resilient supply chains, and solid digital infrastructure among its regional peers in the Indo-Pacific.

The Indo-Pacific region represents 60 percent of the world’s population and two-thirds of global economic growth over the last five years.

It is the fastest-growing economic region and is projected to be the largest contributor to global growth over the next 30 years.

In May last year, US President Joe Biden launched the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity with Australia, Brunei, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam as initial partners.

The framework will help lower costs by making the country’s supply chains more resilient in the long term, thereby protecting it against costly disruptions that lead to higher prices for consumers.

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In travel chaos, flight crews also suffer and still get blamed

FAA Outage

Just like everyone else stranded in the Kansas City airport on Wednesday, the flight attendant from Arlington, Va., was frustrated, tired and wanted to get home.

Three times, the captain had the flight crew board the plane, as the nation’s transportation officials worked to resolve a Federal Aviation Administration system error.

And three times, the flight attendant seated surly passengers, sorted overhead bins and absorbed the simmering — sometimes volatile — frustration of more than 70 travelers.

After all that, the flight was canceled.

The flight crew didn’t get home that day, and they didn’t get paid “because the boarding door never closed,” said Marivic, one of thousands of airline workers ensnared in the latest air travel fiasco.

As travelers, we curse the airlines when we’re squashed into shrinking, inhumane spaces, charged for water and every pound of luggage, when we’re left sleeping on floors and missing weddings because of poor planning and operational failings by companies poised to make record profits this year.

But the flight crews who get the full gale force of our anger — who are right beside us in all the inconveniences — keep getting shafted. Salaries remain stagnant while operational issues make their jobs increasingly insane. And though practices around curtailing pay vary by airline, these snags hurt employees as well as travelers.

They’re dealing with constant flight delays fueled by a changing climate’s weird weather and airline infrastructures that aren’t nimble enough to keep up. Meanwhile, the passengers they have to smile at and manage are paying higher prices for shrinking seats, lugging more stuff to dodge predatory baggage fees and seething with pandemic anger.

“Sixteen to 18-hour days, day after day after day. And, you know, with limited rest,” Randy Barnes, the president of Transport Worker Union Local 555 — the union representing baggage handlers and ground crew — told a local TV station during the holiday travel hell that upended trips for everyone, especially those using Southwest Airlines.

Some workers couldn’t get home between shifts because of bad weather, he added.

“I don’t think passengers realize that crew is subject to the same delays,” said Marivic, a 50-year-old flight attendant whose home base is Arlington. She asked that I withhold her last name and airline so she doesn’t get in trouble for speaking out.

In December, as passengers waited for hours to rebook flights during the Southwest Airlines meltdown, “We were having the exact same experience, on hold for five, six, seven hours waiting for an assignment,” said Sara Nelson, the international president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA.

Unions blasted the airline in December, accusing the carrier of paying dividends to stockholders rather than investing its profit in infrastructure and staff.

“And they’re not alone,” Nelson said. “We’re holding our breath,” expecting more disasters from other airlines that invested similarly.

Let’s be real: Airlines have been taking advantage of passengers and front-line crew for years now.

“People were really, really mad at the airlines going into covid — all the bag fees, change fees,” Nelson said after hearing horror stories from flight attendants who were spat on, harassed and even followed off planes and out of airports. “And we were dealing with all that.”

Flying in the United States had changed even before the pandemic.

After 9/11, we respectfully agreed to the shoe removal, the body scanners that produce ghostly nudie shots, all those seized tubes of expensive face cream. We even paid for it.

While most companies — like us here at The Washington Post — absorb the costs of increasing security, airlines get help from us passengers to cover security costs.

I just paid my 9/11 tax last month, as I do every time I fly — $5.60 each way. With about 2.9 million people flying every day, that means airlines save more than $16 million on security fees daily. What a sweet deal.

Once they figured out how to get their security costs paid, airlines decided to try offsetting rising fuel costs in 2008 by making us pay extra for the luggage that used to be part of the deal. They made an extra $2.8 billion in 2009 on baggage fees alone. Whoo-Hoo! It ka-chinged up to $5.7 billion of found cash by 2019, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistic’s numbers.

Meanwhile, the front-line workers trying to deal with the ridiculous amount of carry-on bags and various capers (that guy wearing his ski boots on board) got nothing for their increased troubles.

Then, the pandemic hit. Flight attendants — facing job insecurity and the risk of contracting covid — were deputized as mask police. Assaults against them severe enough to trigger investigations shot up to 1,099 in 2021, from just 155 10 years earlier, according to federal data.)

Nelson said that although masks may have sparked many of those incidents, alcohol was the real fuel. After a brief pause in liquor sales, airlines have resumed super-profitable alcohol sales, despite a call from Nelson and others to permanently ban booze. (Sales numbers are hard to find, but one market researcher found $43 million of alcohol sales on airplanes in just four months of 2014.)

For decades, flight crews have been trying to bargain for better working conditions, for pay that starts when the job starts — not when the airplane doors close, for investment in staffing and infrastructure, for more-predictable schedules. Some airlines that unionized have this, Nelson said. But many do not. And she thinks there is enough public sentiment to push through serious reforms.

“I kept it to facts and federal rules” when passengers become hostile, Marivic said. “But on the sits I called or messaged my friends, family, boyfriend, all of my people,” for support.

Let’s vent at the airlines and not at the front-line workers, who are on the same, bumpy ride as all of us.

Petula Dvorak is a columnist for The Washington Post’s local team who writes about homeless shelters, gun control, high heels, high school choirs, the politics of parenting, jails, abortion clinics, mayors, modern families, strip clubs and gas prices, among other things. Before coming to The Post, she covered social issues, crime and courts.

The views expressed here are the writer’s and are not necessarily endorsed by the Anchorage Daily News, which welcomes a broad range of viewpoints. To submit a piece for consideration, email commentary(at) Send submissions shorter than 200 words to or click here to submit via any web browser. Read our full guidelines for letters and commentaries here.

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MUSIC REVIEW Apollo’s Fire @ BLU Jazz+ by Lisa DeBenedictis

On Saturday, January 7, Apollo’s Fire’s presented a performance at Akron’s BLU Jazz +, as part of their Baroque Bistro Series.

Music spanning from the 12th century to 19th century Appalachian folk music was performed on a dulcimer, lute, Baroque guitar and double bass, and the old Arabic stringed instrument, the oud (parent of the European lute). The performers are great storytellers. In the tradition of Apollo Fires’ great raconteur and founder Jeannette Sorrell, they do their homework and have stories to go along with their music that provide cultural and historic context.

Brian Kay provided most of the vocals, in addition to playing most of the guitar-like period instruments. His storytelling, delivered with panache and humor, enhanced the spirit of the evening.

The “Baroque-Folk Jam Session” began with the title song, “Drive the Cold Winter Away,” an appropriate beginning for a sold-out audience who just wanted to get out of the cold and listen to some music. The foot-tapping music inspired audience participation with clapping, stomping, singing and toe-tapping. The well-fed and watered patrons soaked up the music and repaid the performers with cheers. 

The unique trio, with Tina Bergmann on hammered dulcimer, Brian Kay on guitar and Bryan Thomas on double bass, opened with a 15th century Irish jig, which featured Kay on Baroque guitar. The trio then took its audience to France for “Leaping and Dancing,” before moving on to “Nottamon Town,” a piece that included a beautiful lute solo and vocals by Brian Kay. Kay is a versatile entertainer, using his lute as both a lyrical and percussive instrument.

The trio then moved to Spain, with Kay switching to an oud for “Quantas Sabedes” and “Como Poden.” Kay emphasized the multiculturalism of these songs, noting that the original manuscripts included illustrations portraying Jews, Muslims and Christians all performing together. Before taking a break, the trio switched back to America with a rousing version of “Cowhide Boots.” Virtuoso dulcimer player Tina Bergmann, and Bryan Thomas, who handled the unwieldy bass with the ease of a fiddler, along with Kay on guitar, made the odd transition jolly and seamless.  

After a 10-minute intermission the trio presented another series of songs. They began in the 13th century and continued through to “Pastimes in Good Company,” a song attributed to Henry VIII. The concert ended with “Breakin’ Up Christmas,” an energizing, enthusiastic performance harkening back to the Appalachian tradition of partying, dancing and music-making that ends up on January 6th, Old Christmas Day.

The dark days of January are always dispiriting, frequently dampening the Christmas Spirit. This concert left its audience uplifted and giddy. Blu Jazz and Apollo’s Fire should make this an annual post New Year’s tradition. I, for one, would always attend.

 [Written by Lisa DeBenedictis]


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Republican Congressman Calls For Ending Offshore Wind Projects in New Jersey Following Multiple Whale Deaths

Rep Jeff Van Drew (R-N.J.) is demanding an end to offshore wind activity in New Jersey after an “unprecedented” number of whales washed ashore in the area over the past month, and despite such projects being pushed forward by President Biden and NJ Governor Phil Murphy.

Offshore wind projects (turbines placed in the ocean that use wind to generate electricity) should be stopped until research reveals the impacts these projects will have on the environment and the fishing industry, said Van Drew, according to a Jan. 13 press release. “Ocean life is being put at risk as our Governor and President force through their Green New Deal policies, without giving full consideration to their real-world impacts,” he stated.

“We have seen a complete lack of transparency from New Jersey’s leaders, as well as D.C. politicians who are ramming through these projects in order to push their climate agenda.”

Van Drew announced that once committees for the 118th Congress are finalized, he will be calling for congressional investigations into the issue. According to reports, seven dead whales have washed up along the coastline of New Jersey and New York in less than two months.

The most recent incident occurred late Thursday afternoon when a humpback whale washed up on the beach in Brigantine. Another humpback washed up on a beach in Atlantic City last month.

Pushing Through Offshore Wind Power Projects

At present, four offshore wind projects are being constructed off the coast of New Jersey and three off the coast of New York. On Jan. 13, Senator Vince Polistina (R-N.J.) called on Governor Murphy to order the suspension of offshore wind projects until the cause of whale deaths can be determined.

Some of the whales are on the endangered list. “The work related to offshore wind projects is the primary difference in our waters, and it’s hard to believe that the death of six whales on our beaches is just a coincidence,” Polistina said in a Jan. 13 statement.

Offshore wind projects are being promoted by New Jersey, New York, and the Biden administration as part of their climate agenda. Back in July, Biden insisted that offshore wind projects would power millions of homes and create jobs. The president has a goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind power within this decade.

On Jan. 11, Murphy announced signing a Letter of Intent (LOI) between the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) and Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind, LLC.

The company will lease 35 acres of land at the New Jersey Wind Port which it will initially use for “marshaling of the 1.5 gigawatt (GW) offshore wind project off the New Jersey coast,” said a Jan. 11 press release.

Marine Threat in New England

In May last year, Sean A. Hayes, Chief of Protected Species at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC), wrote a letter in which he warned that wind projects off the coast of New England threatened the region’s already dwindling population of right whales.

The letter, addressed to Brian R. Hooker, lead biologist at the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, pointed out that right whales are one of the most endangered marine mammals, with only around 350 of these animals remaining as of 2022, down from 478 in 2011.

Almost 50 percent of the reproductive female right whale population has been sighted in southern New England waters. Distribution of these mammals in the region occurs in and adjacent to offshore wind energy lease areas, Hayes pointed out while adding that the development of similar projects poses serious risks to this species.

“Displacement from a prime portion of their only winter foraging grounds due to disruptions in forage availability/distribution and/or exposure to other stressors (e.g., increased vessel traffic) could have extremely detrimental energetic effects, resulting in reduced calving success,” the letter warned.

“Additional noise, vessel traffic, and habitat modifications due to offshore wind development will likely cause added stress that could result in additional population consequences to a species that is already experiencing rapid decline (30 percent in the last 10 years).”

Naveen Athrappully

Naveen Athrappully is a news reporter covering business and world events at The Epoch Times.

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St. Louis Cardinals president confident in new bench coach

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The resignation of Matt Holliday as the St. Louis Cardinals bench coach caught team President of…

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The resignation of Matt Holliday as the St. Louis Cardinals bench coach caught team President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak by surprise, but he’s happy with the hiring of Joe McEwing.

Mozeliak addressed the media Saturday morning at Busch Stadium during the Cardinals Winter Up weekend. He said he found out that Holliday was going to step down Jan. 7.

“I’ve known Matt a long time and have the utmost respect for him,” Mozeliak said. “When you find out someone is stepping down from your coaching staff in the second week of January, candidly, it’s not ideal. But, I came in my office last Sunday, and for lack of a modern phrase, I looked at my rolodex to try and figure out what could we do.”

Mozeliak explained he explored internal moves and promotions to the position and examined what the domino effect of that would be on the organization. He also looked at what outside options he had to fill the role.

Mozeliak ended up choosing McEwing to come in for the job. Holliday, a member of the Cardinals Hall of Fame, was announced as the team’s new bench coach Nov. 6. Now, manager Oliver Marmol’s new bench coach is McEwing, a former Cardinal player.

“Beggars can’t be choosers but I can tell you as far as coming out on the positive side of this, I think we did,” Mozeliak said.

McEwing, 50, spent 16 seasons in the Chicago White Sox organization. He worked his way up from minor league coach to big league third base coach (2012-16, 2021-22) and bench coach (2017-20). McEwing was let go after the White Sox named Pedro Grifol their new manager in November.

In nine seasons in the majors as a player, McEwing hit .251 with 25 home runs for the Cardinals, Mets, Royals and Astros.

McEwing also was one of five candidates to receive interviews for the Cardinals’ managerial position following Tony LaRussa’s retirement in 2011. That job went to Mike Matheny.

“We’re very fortunate to end up where we did,” Mozeliak said. “Joe McEwing is someone with experience. He has history with the St. Louis Cardinals. Anybody who knows him or been around him, he really does exemplify everything the Cardinals stand for. We’re really thrilled that we could end up with Joe given the short notice and the fact that look, in 3 1/2 weeks we’re down in Jupiter.”

The departure of Holliday was the fifth change to the St. Louis league staff this offseason. Bench coach Skip Schumaker left to become the manager of the Miami Marlins. Mike Maddux decided to leave and he has been hired as the pitching coach with the Texas Rangers. Hitting coach Jeff Albert departed and now has a coordinator role with the New York Mets. Bryan Eversgerd was reassigned in the organization as a special assistant.

The Cardinals filled those openings internally by promoting Turner Ward to hitting coach and Dusty Blake to pitching coach. Daniel Nicolaisen, previously a minor league hitting coordinator, also has been added to the major league hitting staff as a third hitting coach.

Holliday, 42, last played in the majors in 2018 and then retired. He had no previous coaching or managerial experience at the pro level before rejoining the Cardinals this offseason. He had served as an outfield and hitting coach for Oklahoma State, where his brother Josh is the head coach, from 2019-22.

Holliday has four children, three of them high school age or younger. The oldest son, Jackson, was the first overall pick in the 2022 MLB draft and signed this past summer with the Baltimore Orioles. The second oldest son, Ethan, is rated as one of the top high school players in the country and he has committed to Oklahoma State.

The Cardinals won the NL Central with a 93-69 record in 2022. They were swept in the best-of-three Wild Card Series by the eventual National League pennant-winning Philadelphia Phillies.


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Will Captain Sandy fire Alissa and Camille?

Captain Sandy Yawn on Season 10 of Below Deck
Captain Sandy isn’t here for Camille and Alissa’s fighting. Pic credit: Bravo

Below Deck Season 10 has been riddled with drama, thanks to Alissa Humber and Camille Lamb.

The most recent episode ended with the two stews yelling at the top of their lungs at each other in front of the charter guests.

Despite the guests being awful, it’s still not cool, and the fallout kicks off the next episode.

A new sneak peek at Episode 8, airing on Monday, shows things are getting much worse for Camille and Alissa.

Chief stew Fraser Olender also gets pulled into the drama, straining his relationship with Captain Sandy Yawn.

Oh yes, as Season 10 nears the halfway point, the tension is mounting, and jobs are on the line.

Below Deck’s Captain Sandy Yawn breaks up Camille Lamb and Alissa Humber’s fight

The new sneak peek features Alissa and Camille still screaming at each other. Hayley De Sola Pinto tells Captain Sandy that the two girls are fighting.

Captain Sandy rushes to end the fight as the charter guests look on, with Fraser also arriving to guide Camille, who calls Alissa a bully away. Alissa tries to discuss it with the captain but is reminded that it shouldn’t be done in front of guests.

“It’s never acceptable for a crew to fight. On a scale of one to 10, how unacceptable is this? A 10,” Captain Sandy shares in a confessional.

Will Captain Sandy fire Alissa and Camille on Below Deck Season 10?

After the argument is stopped, Captain Sandy asks to hear Camille’s side of the story. However, Fraser suggests they leave it alone and move on. Fraser’s words do not still well with the captain putting him in her crosshairs.

Back with Camille, Captain Sandy clearly states that she won’t tolerate another outburst like that in front of charter guests. She reiterates this sentiment when speaking with Alissa later as she hears Alissa’s side of the story.

Captain Sandy also wants Fraser to deal with the situation as it’s pretty clear things are not working. That talk is coming, but in the meantime, Captain Sandy doesn’t mince words letting Fraser know never to question her in front of another crew member.

It leaves Fraser baffled and taking a moment for himself before returning to service.

The preview footage ends there, but one thing is for sure. Below Deck Season 10 keeps getting heated, and the next episode brings the drama in just the first few minutes.

Below Deck airs Mondays at 8/7c on Bravo. Seasons 1-9 are streaming on Peacock.

More: Below Deck, Below Deck Adventure, Below Deck Mediterranean, Below Deck Sailing Yacht

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‘Wrap Their Heads Around’: Greg Norman Once Revealed How His ‘Generation’ Business Vision Left His Company Executives Stunned

A great businessman isn’t someone who scales his business quickly. Instead, a great businessman is an individual who can scale his business with plans for the future. In the golf world, there is possibly no one more successful as a businessman than Greg Norman. The Shark, following his golf career, built himself a humongous business empire. He once even left his executives stunned when he relayed to him his plans for the company.

Norman began building his business from scratch during his golf career. He credits his business success to his beliefs, generational vision and future planning.

Greg Norman shocks his executives with his century-ahead planning


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In an interview with Sports Business Journal in 2015, the two-time major winner opened up about his business. He talked about how he scaled his business to such incredible heights, and how his thinking helped achieve that. But not everyone in his company was aware of how his business mind worked. And when Norman finally revealed it to them, they were stunned.

The shark mentioned that he was once at a corporate retreat in Colorado, where he told his executives about his “12-year horizon.” They were awed by how far ahead Norman had thought for the company. That’s why his next notion left them open-jawed when Norman revealed to them his “200-year horizon” for the company.

Golf – The inaugural LIV Golf Invitational – Centurion Club, Hemel Hempstead, St Albans, Britain – June 8, 2022 Chief executive of LIV Golf Investments Greg Norman before the Pro-Am Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

They looked at Norman like he was a madman. “They looked at me like I was an idiot.” ‘200 years? Why would you go out 200 years?’” he stated. Norman looked at their shocked faces and said, “Why wouldn’t I?” He explained, “If I want to build equity in my brand in perpetuity, I want it to be able to survive my mortality.”

The shark’s vision inspired his executives


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The 20-time PGA Tour winner stated that his strategy was gradually becoming clear to the officials. He added that they began to understand that if they were in, then their kids could take over from them too because of the company’s long-term vision. Norman knew the commitment required to scale the company needed to be more than just five or ten years. “It’s a generation,” he said.

Norman understood their initial skepticism too: “It’s very hard enough for people to wrap their heads around a 12-year plan, let alone a 200-year plan.” But the shark was certain his belief would prevail. He believed that planning only a few years into the future was not the best way to build a legacy.


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Watch This Story – Greg Norman’s Message to Phil Mickelson Is Going Viral

Do you think 200 years down the line, Norman’s company will still be standing? And perhaps working on a plan for 200 more years into the future? Let us know in the comments below.

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(Video) Iran’s Democratic Revolution: ISJ Book Launch at Brussels Press Club – World News Report

On Jan. 10, the International Committee in Search of Justice (ISJ) held a press conference at the Brussels Press Club to introduce a newly published book, entitled “Iran’s Democratic Revolution”.This book was written by European politicians and experts.

On Jan. 10, the International Committee in Search of Justice (ISJ) held a press conference at the Brussels Press Club to introduce a newly published book, entitled “Iran’s Democratic Revolution”.This book was written by European politicians and experts.

Former MEP Paulo Casaca: "These executions are blatant. There were no free trials. There was brutal torture and forced confessions. Two more were sentenced to death and taken to solitary confinement and were to be executed but were stopped due to mass protests."

Former MEP Paulo Casaca: “These executions are blatant. There were no free trials. There was brutal torture and forced confessions. Two more were sentenced to death and taken to solitary confinement and were to be executed but were stopped due to mass protests.”

Former MEP Struan Stevenson: "The revolution has now gone on for four months. This shows the deep-rooted nature of the insurrection. Young people, led by women, have now become a recognized existential threat to the mullahs’ dictatorship."

Former MEP Struan Stevenson: “The revolution has now gone on for four months. This shows the deep-rooted nature of the insurrection. Young people, led by women, have now become a recognized existential threat to the mullahs’ dictatorship.”

Former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt: We want this revolution to succeed. "We want the women in Iran to know that in the rest of the world, we are mobilized to help them. We want our government to give an official backup to Maryam Rajavi."

Former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt: “We want this revolution to succeed. We want the women in Iran to know that in the rest of the world, we are mobilized to help them. We want our government to give an official backup to Maryam Rajavi.”

  Former EU Parliament Vice President Alejo Vidal-Quadras: "if there is one organization that has the characteristics of an alternative able to lead the transition from dictatorship to democracy it is the NCRI led by Maryam Rajavi."

Former EU Parliament Vice President Alejo Vidal-Quadras: “if there is one organization that has the characteristics of an alternative able to lead the transition from dictatorship to democracy it is the NCRI led by Maryam Rajavi.”

Mr.Paulo Casaca: “Many years ago, Mrs. Rajavi said that women’s rights are human rights. But we seem to forget that women are human beings, especially in Iran.”

Mr. Alejo Vidal-Quadras: “The alternative must be pluralistic. It must include all political tendencies and religious beliefs. It must include liberals, conservatives, and left and right.””


PARIS, FRANCE, January 14, 2023 / — On January 10, the International Committee in Search of Justice (ISJ) held a press conference at the Brussels Press Club to introduce a newly published book, entitled “Iran’s Democratic Revolution”.

The study which has been written by prominent European politicians and experts aims to provide a clear picture of how Iran has become a stage of fierce battles between its people and their democratic forces vis-a-vis the tyrannical dictatorships and their foreign backers.

A number of reporters as well as some representatives of diplomatic delegations based in Brussels participated in this conference and raised questions about the nationwide uprising of the Iranian people, the policy of the international community confronting Tehran, and the eventual prospects of a democratic revolution in the country.

Former MEP Paulo Casaca

“These executions are blatant. There were no free trials. There was brutal torture and forced confessions. Two more were sentenced to death and taken to solitary confinement and were to be executed but were stopped due to mass protests.” In reaction to these executions, the EU and the US issued condemnations. Are these condemnations sufficient? Should not the EU fully blacklist the IRGC as a terrorist organization? Shouldn’t we immediately expel the regime’s ambassadors, who are secret service agents who are affiliated with the regime’s terrorist activities? Shouldn’t we impose more serious sanctions on the regime? This is the context of the book that we are presenting today.

Former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt:

This is a revolution. This is not an ongoing protest of the Iranian people about how to dress. This is the first revolution in the world conducted by women. This will mark the history of nations. Many years ago, a woman said that women’s rights are human rights. This is obvious, but we seem to forget that women are human beings, especially in Iran.

“We here are fighting for our rights, too, in politics, in the business world, and salaries but what we see in Iran is about life. These women and the men supporting them are putting their lives at stake to protect their rights. They’re doing it for all of us, for humanity. If we don’t get this right, we won’t be able to fix the other problems in the world. We must address this fundamental problem, which is the space we give to women. People are dying because of this, men and women. As women are fighting for their rights, men are being attacked and persecuted by the regime to defy society. This is what the mullahs’ regime has always tried to do: defy society to impose its rule of segregation and abuse. It’s about humankind that we are speaking about today. There is a reality. In the world, we had never seen such a misogynistic regime as the one ruling Iran. We have seen glimpses of it, but in this systematic form of abusing power against women, we haven’t seen it. It should be something that we care about here in the West. When we supported the Iranian Resistance, we were targeted by the regime. We were the object of a terrorist attack attempted by three Iranian citizens, including an Iranian diplomat.”

“If we have a regime that is capable of killing its own people, its youth, if it’s a regime that is crazy enough to kill its own youth, imagine what they’re able to do with people who are not of their country. They have and will come after us. I’m saying this because I’m offended by the lack of action by our governments toward what is happening in Iran. They just summoned the ambassadors and expressed their outrage. We want more. They should start by calling back our ambassadors from Iran. And then we must shut down the regime’s embassies in our countries. And third, when we see what’s going on in Iran, we hear people saying they have to win this revolution, but who will be the leader? There is no one to build democracy. We know there is an option. It’s here. It’s the Iranian resistance. And it is a woman leading this resistance. And it should be a woman who leads the transition from a misogynistic regime to a democratic state. We need an official backup for a democratic woman leader that is fighting for Iran to become a peaceful, secular, and human rights–abiding country. We want this revolution to succeed. “We want the women in Iran to know that in the rest of the world, we are mobilized to help them. We want our government to give an official backup to Maryam Rajavi.” “There are many people, but only one organization can take over, and it is the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).”

Former EU Parliament Vice President Alejo Vidal-Quadras

I have analyzed the existence of a real viable alternative to this regime. “If we want to replace this regime with a democracy, we need to have an alternative that is credible and substantial.” It must be an Iranian alternative. This alternative must have certain characteristics and certain features. One is organization and structure. The second is support inside Iran. It is evident that this alternative must have a solid organization and structure. It must have a network of members and supporters inside and outside Iran. An alternative that cannot be organized cannot reach its objectives.

There is a history of that in Iran. In 1953, there was a coup against the then-popular government of Mohammad Mossadegh. The coup was organized by the UK and the US. This coup was also in collusion with the Shah. It was also with the cooperation of the mullahs. Why did Mossadegh fail and why was the coup successful? Because the Mossadegh government didn’t have an active grassroots organization to counter the coup.

“If we reflect on this historical experience, we conclude that the alternative to the mullahs’ regime must have a solid structure. In 1979, Khomeini hijacked the revolution and attacked opposition leaders. There was again a lack of organization. “An alternative must have wide support inside the country and internationally. This popular support must be general. It must be in the universities, intellectual classes, and in the middle and other classes. It must be across all layers of society. Outside of Iran, the alternative must have support and the alternative must be able to count on its supporters. Internationally, the alternative must have a status, and legitimacy, and be recognized by the international community. The alternative must have a face, a clear leadership that we must all recognize and accept.

The alternative must have a plan of action. The plan must be credible and detailed. It must explain what to do with the judiciary, the economy, the environment, the rights of minorities, and all challenges of society. This plan of action must design the Iran of the future. The leadership must have proof that it has the capacity, strength, and charisma that makes it possible for the alternative to carry out its plan. The alternative must be pluralistic. It must include all political tendencies, religious beliefs, and the entire society. It can’t be just a part of society. It must include liberals, conservatives, and left and right. “We’ve heard this question a lot that what will come after the regime is toppled, claiming there will be chaos. This is not true. The alternative should guarantee democracy. It would be nonsense to replace one dictatorship with another. The alternative should ensure that the dictatorship will be replaced with a democracy. No Shah, no theocracy.”

My conclusion after many years of cooperation with the NCRI and the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK) is that, with all respect to all organizations and movements, “If there is one organization that has the characteristics of an alternative able to lead the transition from dictatorship to democracy it is the NCRI led by Maryam Rajavi.”

Former MEP Struan Stevenson

“The revolution has now gone on for four months. This shows the deep-rooted nature of the insurrection. Young people, led by women, have now become a recognized existential threat to the mullahs’ dictatorship.” The mullahs are doing everything in their power to crack down on the protests, including four executions of protesters. There have been 500 executions in the past year. This is the regime we’re dealing with. The regime has tried its utmost to annihilate the MEK. Having failed in their ability to annihilate the MEK, they began a campaign of vilification and demonization. The regime identified journalists in the West as soft targets and used them to spread their ludicrous propaganda against the MEK and NCRI.

Now, this campaign moves into top gear with the regime calling the MEK an Islamist Marxist group. I’m a conservative, Paolo’s a socialist. “We have supporters from all views across the world supporting the MEK. Over the past 40 years, the MEK has been the first and only serious opposition to the regime. The mullahs have trotted out a cyber-attack. Treadstone exposed how the IRGC and the ministry of intelligence of the regime flooded Twitter with 112,000 tweets targeting the MEK. More recently, the regime targeted the infrastructure of Albania with cyber-attacks. Albania closed the regime’s embassy and expelled their so-called diplomats. The UN Human Rights Council has agreed to establish a probe into the regime’s repression of the nationwide insurrection. There should be no impunity for those responsible for these atrocities. They must be held to account for these crimes. We call on the US, EU, and all democratic countries to take practical steps to stop these executions in Iran. If we remain silent, it will lead to more executions. Words are not enough. We need hard actions. We must withdraw our ambassadors from Tehran, close our embassies, shut down the regime’s embassies and expel their agents. That’s when we can start helping establish democracy in Iran.”

Shahin Gobadi
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ISJ Book Launch at Brussels Press Club- Jan 10, 2023

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