Putin defends Russian conservative values

first_imgNZ Herald 13 December 2013President Vladimir Putin cast Russia as a defender of conservative values against the “genderless and infertile” Western tolerance that he said equates good and evil.Putin’s state-of-the nation address also contained a strong warning to those abroad who he claimed were seeking a military edge over Russia – a clear nod at the US effort to develop long range non-nuclear weapons that Russia sees as a threat to its nuclear deterrent.The president also announced a sweeping crackdown on Russian offshore companies to bring billions of dollars home.Putin’s 70-minute speech marked a determined effort to burnish Russia’s image that has been dented by Western criticism of an anti-gay law which has stoked calls for a boycott of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Putin’s pet project.“Many countries today are reviewing moral norms and erasing national traditions and distinctions between nationalities and cultures,” Putin said.“The society is now required to demonstrate not only the sensible recognition of everyone’s right to freedom of conscience, political outlook and private life, but also the mandatory recognition of the equivalence of good and evil, no matter how odd that may seem.”Russia has insisted that a law banning “propaganda of non-traditional relations” does not discriminate against gays, but gay rights group say it has given a green light to harassment and intimidation.Without directly referring to the anti-gay law, Putin focused on upholding traditional family values, which he said were the foundation of Russia’s greatness and a bulwark against “so-called tolerance – genderless and infertile”.He argued that the “destruction of traditional values from the top” going on in other countries is “inherently undemocratic because it is based on abstract ideas and runs counter to the will of the majority of people”.Putin’s posture as a protector of conservative values and his scathing criticism of the West have been part of efforts to shore up his domestic support base of blue-collar workers, farmers and state employees against mounting criticism from the urban middle class.This speech was also pitched to conservatives worldwide.http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11171804last_img read more

Social Cohesion Ministry hosts diversity training

first_imgMembers of the Rastafari Core Group along with Social Cohesion Minister, Dr George NortonThe Ministry of the Presidency’s Social Cohesion Department on Wednesday hosted a diversity education and inclusion training workshop with the Rastafari Core Group. This is aimed at increasing awareness and sensitivity about behaviours that contribute to building better relations among individuals within communities.Social Cohesion Minister, Dr George Norton during his remarks at the opening session of the training said the events were introduced after it was recognised that there is a need for more introspection in an effort to promote the Rastafarians’ notion of “love, fairness and acceptance” regardless of differences. This, he said, is important in improving the Rastafarian movement locally and the world over. He emphasised the need for members to accept others’ cultures despite of differences.The Rastafari Core Group consists of other smaller groups and the Minister added that the training is a welcomed initiative which will aid in the department achieving its objective in community relations building.Norton highlighted that the Ministry sees that the group has been making progress as it has an increased membership and progress has been made in eliminating gender differences. He added that despite the transgressions that affected the movement, Rastafarians have made stride in embarking on a journey of equality rather than superiority.Minister Norton stressed that his Ministry is committed to capacity building and is enthusiastic about continuing these training sessions.The two-day workshop which is being held at the National Racquet Centre, aims to allow participants to explore the negative internalised attitudes, beliefs and stereotypes that impact the ways in which they perceive themselves and others. Further, it serves to give participants a better understanding and appreciation of diversity, particularly beyond race and ethnicity and to create opportunities for cross community understanding.The workshop is as a result of outreaches in various communities as the Ministry sees the need for continued work in this area. The training sessions will be conducted by Kala Seegopaul and Rolanda Kirton and will focus on areas which include understanding biases, values, understanding diversity, trust building and nurturing communities.last_img read more

Viacom split toasts ’06

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! NEW YORK – Viacom Inc. and CBS Corp. rang in 2006 as two separate companies, completing a breakup of a major media conglomerate in the hopes of winning back friends on Wall Street. The breakup was officially completed over the weekend, and shares of the two companies began trading separately for the first time Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange. CBS Corp., which is being led by former CBS chief Leslie Moonves, will include the television network, a group of affiliated stations and a major radio broadcasting group that was recently renamed CBS Radio from Infinity Broadcasting. The other company, which will keep the Viacom name, is led by former MTV chief Tom Freston and will house a large array of cable networks including VH1 and Nickelodeon as well as the Paramount movie studio. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson On their first day of trading, shares of CBS Corp. rose 70 cents, or 2.8 percent, to $26.20, while shares in the “new” Viacom rose 44 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $41.59. Shares of both companies had been trading on a preliminary basis on the NYSE in early December. Sumner Redstone, the founder and controlling shareholder of Viacom, has declared the age of the diversified media conglomerate over, saying the breakup of the empire he created was necessary to respond to a changing industry landscape. However, other large media conglomerates such as Time Warner Inc., The Walt Disney Co. and News Corp. have given no indication that they plan similarly radical steps to reorganize their companies. Time Warner, however, did sell off its music division and intends to float shares in its cable TV subsidiary. Viacom’s breakup did clear up questions over who would succeed Redstone, who is 82 years old, as the company’s chief executive. Redstone will remain chairman as well as controlling shareholder of both the new Viacom and CBS. last_img read more