'My advice to the Netherlands: have faith that women's quota works'

Since 2008, Norway has had a law obliging companies to grant at least 40 percent of management positions to women. This made the country a forerunner; within a few years, other European countries also set quotas for women at the top. Now the SER also recommends converting the non-binding advice of 30 percent to the business community into a mandatory quota.

The Norwegian example is a huge success, according to Norwegian recruiter Elin Hurvenes in response to questions from News Hour. She has been working for years for more women in leadership positions. “It worked great. When the law came into effect, the number of members of the supervisory board had risen from 6 to 40 percent. The number of women on boards of directors also increased, to 26 percent. And we are also seeing more and more women This year, for example, at the largest Norwegian bank, the DNB, and the aluminum group Norsk Hydro. “

Still, there was a lot of discussion about the measure in Norway. “Of course there was a lot of criticism, and a lot of questions,” says Hurvenes. “Where can we find them? Are there enough capable women?”

No more discussion

But in the end it wasn't too bad. “Now they notice the benefits of diversity,” says recruiter Hurvenes. “Women feel encouraged. It is still the case that if you ask a hundred men if they are CEO (Csaid Exectutive Officer, ed.) want to raise their hand more than if it asks for a hundred women. But women are educated in business studies, work their way up in the company, and see the example of a female CEO. “

The examples change how men look at women in leadership positions. But Hurvenes thinks that women also have a positive effect. “They see: this is not a superwoman, this is a normal woman with a family life and a private life. The director of Norske Bank is a woman in her thirties with three children. You also see that they change the style: They modeling their function around their families. Children are not an issue. More and more men want a good relationship with their families in addition to work.

Hurvenes is optimistic that the Netherlands will also benefit if a quota is set. “My advice to the Netherlands is: believe that this works. Do not look back, but look ahead. In Norway, there is no one left to question this policy after ten years.”

Our discarded telephones are full of valuable resources

The fact that we leave all those potential gold mines in our pockets and chests of drawers is also an issue for politicians. State Secretary Van Veldhoven of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management is therefore making a call. “If you have old telephones in your drawer, hand them in.”

European agreements have been made about the amount of electronic waste that we must recycle together. This therefore not only includes telephones, but also, for example, discarded fridges, washing machines and televisions.

According to the new standard, we have to recycle 65 percent of that stuff this year, but last year we only came to 49 percent in the Netherlands. So there is work to be done, says the State Secretary. “We really have to hand in more resources together, otherwise we will need three earths soon.”

Thailand: race against time to save sixty tigers confiscated at a temple

A race against the clock began in Thailand to save sixty tigers confiscated in 2016 from a temple that used them as a tourist attraction while dozens of felines from this much-maligned place have already died.

For years, the Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua temple in Kanchanaburi (west) has drained hordes of tourists to be photographed, against payment, among the tigers.

In 2016, the national parks of Thailand decided to confiscate the felines, withdrawn from the temple little by little, while the accusations of abuse and exploitation multiplied.

But since their transfer to two refuges in the country, only 61 of the 147 confiscated tigers have survived. The others died after suffering from distemper.

And of those who are still alive, a number are sick.

“Veterinarians have divided sick tigers into three categories” according to the symptoms they present, said Friday at a press point Banpot Maleehuan, head of the shelter Kao Pratubchang in Ratchaburi province, a hundred kilometers to east of Bangkok.

“Those with the most severe symptoms will be operated on,” he added, adding that the least affected cats would also be vaccinated against distemper.

For Edwin Wiek, founder of Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand, the deaths of 86 tigers confiscated at the temple “could have been avoided” if the shelters had asked for help.

Officials of Kao Pratubchang also presented tiger carcasses and the “formalin” technique they used to preserve them, while the trafficking of tiger cubs is very lucrative in the region. The latter, highly sought after in China and Vietnam for their supposed medicinal virtues, can reach astronomical prices.

Dozens of dead baby tigers had been found in freezers at Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua, probably for resale.

Marxists at Fridays for Future “We do not want to split”

Mr. Martìnez, what exactly do you do at Fridays for Future?

I am active at the university group at the Free University in Berlin. And I'm involved with Change for Future, the anti-capitalist platform within Fridays for Future.

And what have you achieved so far?

We have organized a plenary assembly at the FU, the largest in several years. There were almost 500 people there. We have formulated seven demands to the university management. Among other things, it is about no longer using the plane for business trips in Germany, making the university climate-neutral by 2025, but it is also about more sustainable offers in the cafeteria.

In the climate strike on 20 September, your anti-capitalist platform wants to be clear, virtually as the left wing of the movement.

We discussed that for a long time. But we have agreed on that now, yes.

How would you locate the group?

Change for Future is a heterogeneous movement. Within CFF organize themselves, socialists, communists, anarchists and other people. We all share the insight that we have to overcome capitalism to solve the climate crisis. We understand ourselves as an anti-capitalist platform within Fridays for Future, but we are not bound by any other organizations.

How did you find yourself?

There was an effort throughout the year to do something like this. The first major national meeting took place at the Summer Congress in Dortmund. Since then there are chat groups – and in such a I have been invited.

How many people are in the group?

Around 300, which are also organized in regional subgroup.

Do you want to split Fridays for Future?

We definitely do not want columns. Fridays for Future is a reservoir for all sorts of opinions. That's a good thing. But at the same time, anti-capitalist perspectives were part of the movement right from the start. We try to organize these positions in a more concentrated way so that the system-critical input can be better integrated into the movement.

This means?

Our economic system is incompatible with environmental sustainability. It increasingly exploits both major sources of our wealth: human labor and nature. As long as we do not change this way of doing business, it will go on like this. That's why we fight for a complete democratization of the economy and politics.

Is Fridays for Future not Democratic?

But. You can contribute through the local groups. It is also totally normal that you do not have the perfect structure right from the start. But we want to avoid that hidden hierarchies form and a small elite circle sets the direction and the contact with the individual local groups and the base is lost.

The danger do you see?

Yes, in any case. Of course, the media is always looking for personalities. That is normal. But we do not want the movement to be shortened.

You speak of Luisa Neubauer, who also writes a column for the star,

Neubauer has profiled the movement well, no question. But it is no secret that she is a member of the Greens. It stands for a bourgeois policy that is not shared by all.

What do you want to change?

It is important to us that we always rotate, even when it comes to press inquiries. And it is also very important that delegates are accountable to the grassroots at all times and that decisions are taken transparently.

Are Marxists fans of Greta Thunberg?

Why not? It was the entry into Fridays for Future for all of us. She has launched the movement, for which she deserves the utmost respect. It is admirable how icy cold she is in front of all these business people and politicians and does not mince words. What she does is great. She also expressed herself systemically. If change is not possible in this system, we may need to think about a change, she said.

They are committed to closer ties to the unions at Fridays for Future. Where do you see common interests?

We need to get our hands on it, because we can only build up enough pressure together to actually make politics give in – in a way that does not happen on the backs of young workers and precarious workers.

Frank Bsirske, the outgoing Verdi boss, supported the strike.

But not any more. He shies away from the political strike.

A political strike is not aimed at a collective bargaining party, but at politics. And this form of strike is also forbidden.

I find the statement wrong. It is a bit bold of Mr Bsirske to say that one should just stamp out. Only a few can do that. And then it is not true that the unions are not on a political strike. In 2007, IG Metall also called for a political strike against the pension at 67. At that time tens of thousands of people took part.

What significance does the strike have?

September 20 is an absolutely crucial day. We are very excited about how many people will join us now. It has to be a combative day. Different movements have also called for further actions, such as Extinction Rebellion and Ending terrain to occupations to paralyze the infrastructure.

Extinction Rebellion causes a stir with civil disobedience.

This disobedience is urgently needed. But just peacefully. The movement is from England. In London they have already brought all traffic to a standstill.

End of terrain is a bit more militant then?

Militant? No. They also have a peaceful consensus on action. Only they carry the whole thing more directly to where it is burning. They say openly: We will occupy the open pit, we will bring the machines to a standstill.

What is your everyday life as an activist? Do you get 27,000 Whatsapps a day? How much time do you use? How would you describe that?

The number is not that wrong. There's a lot going on in the Whatsapp groups. But then we organize plenary sessions here at the Free University, then there are telephone conferences, other events. It always depends on what's going on, but it can be up to two hours a day.

What are the biggest challenges for the time after the climate strike?

This is discussed a lot with us. We have to wait and see what the government submits. And then it is important that we do not let ourselves be put off. Because it is clear: we want to save the planet and not the profits of corporations.

But even if now run older. Above all, Fridays for Future is a movement of boys, right?

For sure. And it is a movement that is dominated by women. In Germany, Luisa Neubauer is the leading figure, internationally Greta Thunberg. This movement is clearly female dominated. And that's great.

'The war on drugs is the wrong approach, look at the money flows'

Yesterday was the day of the shock and bewilderment following the liquidation of lawyer Derk Wiersum, today of measures. Minister Ferd Grapperhaus wants to set up a special brigade that will tackle drug crime. The suggestion was made earlier by the CDA and police association NPB. Grapperhaus said today that he really likes that idea.

The brigade, which comes under the National Police, must have specialized knowledge about drug gangs. The brigade must also become an important link between the digital investigation and other police services in the Netherlands, Europol and the services in other countries.

Lex Mellink, former police chief at the Utrecht police (region) and former director of the police academy, does have an advice to the minister. “Such a unit should not be aimed at combating drug crime. It should be aimed at taking money away. That requires a different way of investigating. A way that is more focused on collecting data and providing algorithms. “


The former police chief refers to the hundreds of millions that top criminals earn. “The annual turnover according to criminal assets exceeds the budget of many a small country, 22 billion according to a recent study in Amsterdam. Police and justice take away about 200 million a year, that's a joke,” says Mellink.

The war on drugs is a completely wrong approach, according to Mellink, for decades. “That only results in a lot of deaths and little change. We need to ensure a broader interplay.”

He says that undermining and creating a position in the upper world is the goal of criminals. “Money is the motive, not drugs. The search is only a small percentage geographically, the search for money is really important. So I see an important role for the Tax Authorities in cooperation with investigation services. Other investigation services than traditional investigation services. “

Bezos wants to help fulfill the objectives of the Paris agreement

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and the richest man in the world, has put the weight of online distribution giant in a campaign to help fulfill 10 years in advance the climate commitments of the agreement from Paris.

“My commitment is to fulfill the objectives of the Paris agreement with 10 years in advance and Amazon is the first on the list”, which must involve other companies, explained Jeff Bezos during a press conference in Washington, presenting this new initiative called “The Climate Pledge”.

“We want to use our influence and size to lead the way,” said Bezos, promising that Amazon would have neutral annual carbon emissions by 2040.

Amazon, which has built its success on a huge road transport logistics network to ensure faster deliveries, is a major producer of greenhouse gases, the main culprits of climate change.

Amazon's server farms, which have made cloud computing another very important source of profit, are also extremely energy hungry.

“If a company with as much physical infrastructure as ours – which delivers more than 10 billion parcels a year – can meet the objectives of the Paris agreement 10 years earlier, then all companies can do it.” said Bezos, noting that other bosses had expressed interest in joining the initiative.

“The big companies that sign The Climate Pledge will send a strong signal to the market to remind them that it's time to invest in the products and services that the signatories will need to meet their commitments,” he added.

The Climate Pledge will require its signatories to take a scientific approach to their greenhouse gas emissions, with regular measurements and reporting. Subscribing companies will also need to implement “decarbonisation” strategies and neutralize residual emissions “with additional, quantifiable, real, permanent and socially beneficial offsets to achieve neutral annual carbon emissions by 2040”. a statement from Amazon.

– Electric vans –

Bezos said his company will order 100,000 electric vans from the American company Rivian, which will be operational by 2021.

According to Amazon's Chief Operating Officer Dave Clark, this is the largest order of electric delivery vehicles ever made.

The entire fleet will be deployed in 2030, according to a spokesman for the group. Mr. Bezos had previously mentioned the date of 2024.

Amazon also pledged Thursday to achieve 80% renewable energy by 2024 and 100% renewable energy by 2030 to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040.

The company has also announced a $ 100 million investment in “restoration and protection of forests, wetlands and peatlands in partnership with The Nature Conservancy”, an American NGO.

“The science is clear: forests, grasslands and healthy wetlands are the most effective tools for dealing with climate change, but we must act now to develop natural climate solutions,” said Sally Jewel, Director Interim NGO, cited in Amazon's press release.

Bezos' announcement comes just days before a special UN climate summit that will gather several heads of state and government in New York on Monday.

At this summit organized by the UN boss Antonio Guterres, the leaders of the planet are called to strengthen their commitments to limit global warming to 1.5 ° C or 2 ° C, compared to the pre-industrial period, in the 19th century.

More than a thousand Bezos employees have announced that they will be demonstrating on Friday as part of an international call to demonstrate for the fight against climate change.

In a 2018 report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that to contain global warming, CO2 emissions would fall well before 2030 (-45% by 2030) and the world achieve carbon neutrality in 2050.

Maladministration and corruption: Public prosecutor's office charges against ex-Bamf boss

In the case of alleged maladministration in the Bremen refugee office, the prosecutor has brought charges against the former Amtsleiterin and two lawyers.

The accused are charged with a total of 121 criminal offenses, according to the prosecution on Thursday. It concerns the period between June 2014 and March 2018. The defendants are accused of having created a permanent system for processing asylum follow-up applications. This is intended to protect foreign clients of the accused lawyers against deportation or to improve their residence status.

In the spring of 2018 there was initially talk of about 1200 cases. The suspected grievances and corruption threw a bad light on the Bremen branch office, the Federal Office in Nuremberg and the asylum system as a whole. Bamf head Jutta Cordt had to leave in June 2018. The scandal fueled the dispute between Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) and Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) on asylum policy. That would have almost led to the failure of the Federal Government.

Liquidation lawyer Wiersum: OM wants to continue to use crown witnesses

Westerbeke feels the same. But, he says, the investigation is still ongoing. “The scenario that we assume is indeed liquidation because he assisted the crown witness Nabil B. Then there is further hardening. That also means there is undermining of the rule of law, to frighten us.”

According to the public prosecutor, no one had taken into account that this could happen. “” Of course safety is mentioned. A threat may be greater based on information, but there was no such information. “

Grapperhaus today announced measures immediately: the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security (NCTV) is involved in the investigation and is in charge of a special team, together with the police and the Public Prosecution Service. Various measures have also been taken today to protect lawyers, prosecutors and judges in the case against the wanted criminal Ridouan Taghi.

Full power

Yet Westerbeke thinks the battle is not yet lost. “It is a big problem, but we are also achieving results. We have a complete criminal case against this man. We are fighting. We really need to talk about capacity, satisfying people, police, lawyers. We need to talk about that. We are working with full force. “

Rijlaarsdam believes that careful consideration should be given to how to address the risks to lawyers and those involved in these types of criminal cases. “It is a complex problem that there is no standard solution to. We must not bow to this kind of criminals. We must tackle and not let ourselves be packed. If lawyers can no longer do this work, we have a serious problem in our society “

Trump declares war on California on auto pollution

US President Donald Trump officially declared Wednesday the war on California's greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles, announcing it was removing the right to state to set its own standards in the matter.

“The Trump administration revokes California's federal emissions exemption, to produce much cheaper cars for consumers, while significantly improving the safety of vehicles,” the Republican president tweeted.

To add insult, the Republican President has chosen to make this announcement in the middle of a visit to the state led by his opponents Democrats, who wants to be at the forefront of the fight against climate change and who has almost always contested the measures taken by Donald Trump, a climate-skeptic who withdrew the United States from the Paris agreement in 2017 in this area.

The governor of California, Gavin Newsom, had anticipated the federal announcement, described as “political vendetta”, pledging to defend tooth and nail the derogation that his state enjoys on automobile emissions, granted under a law on the air quality.

“We can not afford to go back in our fight against climate change,” said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. Photo dated 1958 in support, he added on Twitter that “California began to regulate its air because the pollution was so important that some people wore gas masks outside”.

Donald Trump's decision to bring California standards into line with those in effect at the federal level should also end up in the Supreme Court.

The date chosen by the real estate mogul is itself symbolic, if not provocative: the UN organizes from Saturday a big climate summit in New York, and Friday will take place in hundreds of cities of the world “strikes for climate “, organized by young people.

Greta Thunberg, the young pasionaria of the fight for the climate who must take part in these events, called Wednesday the American Congress to unite behind the scientists calling to mobilize against the warming.

And UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, for his part, expressed his “strong support for a decentralized approach to these measures” to fight against CO2 emissions.

– The air and the economy –

At the time of the presidential tweet, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had not yet formally released text detailing the revocation.

But Governor Newsom defeated Trump's arguments that the measure would not only benefit consumers, but also builders and the US economy in general.

“Your standards are going to cost consumers $ 400 million, fueling the combustion and release into the air of an additional 1.2 billion liters of oil, and hurting the ability of auto companies to compete in global markets. It's bad for our air, bad for our health, bad for our economy, “the Democratic official criticized.

At the request of the government, the EPA has called for the cancellation of the stricter standards that were adopted under Barack Obama's presidency for car models up to 2025.

But California had decided to stay the course and negotiated this summer an agreement in principle with the Ford, Honda, Volkswagen and BMW manufacturers to adopt unique standards, an agreement immediately attacked by the Trump administration that triggered an investigation.

“We support federalism and the role of states, but federalism does not mean that a state can impose standards across the country,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler on Tuesday. speech to the Federation of Car Dealers.

The California waiver could create two standards for the US market: one for California and the other 13 states that follow, and another for the rest of the United States.

Since the election of Donald Trump in 2016, the US government has amended more than 80 texts related to human health or the environment by invoking the economy, corporate interests or the purchasing power of citizens.

Trump really toughens sanctions against Iran

Donald Trump announced on Wednesday a “substantial” tightening of sanctions against Iran, following Saturday's attacks on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia, whose responsibility was blamed by Washington on Tehran. “I have just ordered the Secretary of the Treasury to substantially tighten the sanctions against the Iranian state!” Said the US President on Twitter, without further details.

These sanctions, the nature of which is yet to be detailed, will be in addition to the already unprecedented punitive measures imposed by Washington on Tehran since the Republican billionaire withdrew his country in May 2018 from the Iran nuclear deal, which he considers it insufficient to prevent the Islamic Republic from acquiring the atomic bomb and destabilizing the Middle East.

“Ready to fight back”

Donald Trump, who has been less categorical than his own ministers in recent days about Iran's responsibility in Saturday's attacks, while confirming that he was the prime suspect, said Sunday he was “ready to fight back “and have many” options “.

The US administration does not rule out military retaliation after what it denounces as an “unprecedented attack” on global oil supplies.

US Chief of Diplomacy Mike Pompeo was expected Wednesday in Jeddah to discuss the response with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

(With AFP)