Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Intercultural and inter-religious dialogue
Intercultural and inter-religious dialogue will be one of the main issues discussed at the autumn session (3-7 October 2005) of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE).
"Education and religion" will be the theme of a debate on Tuesday 4 October in which Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary General of the Islamic Conference, will take part, while a debate on "Women and religion" in Europe will include a statement by Asma Jahangir, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief.Read more: PACE
"god forgot to wake me"
Off-the-wall reasons for calling off sick are on the rise as U.S. workers are increasingly willing to blame everything from wet cement and snakes to ghosts and a higher power to get a day off from work, according to a survey released on Tuesday.
Reasons not to show up for work ranged from: "I was too drunk to drive to work" to "I forgot I was getting married today." One employee who did not believe in alarm clocks told the boss that "God didn't wake me."Read more: Sickies
Cultural differences in computer and TV use
Internet and TV consumption are vastly different among white, Hispanic and African-American households, reports a new survey from consumer research company Knowledge Networks.
Knowledge Networks reports that 70% of white homes have a home computer, compared to 55% for African American and 47% for Hispanic. In addition, 30% of white homes have broadband Internet access vs. 19% for African American households and 16% for Hispanic.Read more: Knowledge Networks
Public sector to have duty to promote gender equality
The government has launched a consultation document which would introduce a public sector duty to promote gender equality.
Meg Munn, deputy minister for women and equality, said proposals laid out in Advancing Equality for Men and Women would help the public sector ensure it "leads the way in rights and attitudes when it comes to gender equality". "This consultation is key to the public sector becoming the champion of gender rights," she saidRead more: Meg Munn
Practical approaches to implementing diversity & inclusion
Date: 22nd & 23rd November 2005
Practical approaches to implementing diversity and inclusion is a unique opportunity for you to share best practice, solve problems and interact with your peers; striving towards deeper penetration of diversity and inclusion into all facets of your organisation.
This forum will enable you to discuss vital issues such as:
• Embedding and intertwining diversity and inclusion into your company’s core processes
• Implementing a holistic approach to integrating diversity and inclusion into the business
• Engaging and maintaining support and buy-in from colleagues across your organisation
• Translating theoretically conceived policies into good working practice
• Maximising on the business potential arising from diversity and inclusion
Our leading speaker line-up includes expert case study presentations from leading companies such as UBS, Deutsche Telekom, Hewlett-Packard, Ford Motor Company, NHS and Lufthansa.Read more: Link
tourism staff given free language training
Tourism workers in the North East are being offered the chance to study three European languages as the region gears up to welcome increasing numbers of tourists from France, Germany and Spain.
The free courses at Northumbria University are co-financed by the European Social Fund and the Learning and Skills Council. The courses offer tourism employees the chance to qualify with a university Foundation Certificate, thanks to intensive language training aimed at providing work-related language skills.
The results is expected to be a huge boost to businesses in the sector.
Read more: Language
new monthly magazine for japanese language learners
A free monthly magazine targeting students of Japanese will be published Sunday in Japan and neighboring countries, the publisher ALC Press Inc. said Tuesday. The J-Life magazine, which will have a circulation of 60,000, will feature articles and interviews about living and working in Japan, as well as event information.
The publication is written in Japanese easy enough for anyone who has studied the language for a year or two to understand, according to the Tokyo-based publisher. The magazine will be released on the ninth of every month, and will be available at about 300 schools, embassies, shops and restaurants catering to foreigners, according to the publisher.Read more: Japanese
in praise of diversity
From Albanian to Vietnamese, encompassing Farsi, Gaelic, Kurdish, Punjabi, Urdu and 24 other languages along the way, a new set of poem posters are about to give Britain's health service waiting rooms a fresh injection of poetic inspiration.
The Poems for the Waiting Room project, which sends poetry posters to hospitals, GP surgeries, dentists, health centres and mental health offices all over the country is now in its third year, and the latest collection - In Praise of Diversity - is its most ambitious yet.Read more: Poems
multilingual news channel broadcasts in irelandA European television news channel began broadcasting in seven different languages to homes throughout Ireland today. The 24-hour a day station, EuroNews, which is available on the NTL Digital platform, is available in seven languages including English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.
Mark Mohan, sales and marketing director of NTL Ireland, said: “There is an increasing interest from our customers for additional quality multilingual channels."Read more: EuroNews
kurdish language schools flop
For years, Kurdish language instructor Aydin Unesi had to teach clandestinely throughout this city in Turkey's southeast region, home to the majority of the country's 14 million Kurds. But on April 1, 2004, he found himself presiding over the much-heralded opening of the first official private Kurdish language school here."We felt this was the moment, after 80 years of being prohibited, for this language to be permitted," Mr. Unesi says. The euphoria did not last long. Although the school had a capacity of 480 students for each of its 10-week sessions, it enrolled only a fraction of that number. And earlier this month, it closed with little fanfare, along with seven other Kurdish courses in Istanbul and southeast Turkey. Read more: Kurds
word of the day: beneficence
beneficence \buh-NEFF-i-suhns\, noun:
1. The practice of doing good; active goodness, kindness, or charity.
2. A charitable gift or act.
Lord Jeffrey told Dickens that it [A Christmas Carol] had "prompted more positive acts of beneficence than can be traced to all the pulpits and confessionals in Christendom since Christmas 1842." --Roger Highfield, The Physics of Christmas
From my grandfather Verus I learned good morals and the government of my temper. From the reputation and remembrance of my father, modesty and a manly character. From my mother, piety and beneficence and abstinence. --Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
cultural beliefs and breast cancer
A new campaign is being launched in Australia to end misconceptions about breast cancer among women from non-English speaking backgrounds. The National Breast Cancer Centre says a woman's understanding of the disease can play a key role in early detection and treatment.
However the centre's director, Dr Helen Zorbas, says women from different cultures believe myths that can impede their access to support and the correct information.Dr Zorbas says new resources will target women from Chinese, Vietnamese, Arabic, Greek and Italian communities.Read more: NBCC
tory mp's dismiss migrant workforce as helping with skill gap
The majority of Conservative MPs dismiss economic migration as a way of plugging UK skills gaps, according to new MORI research for Skills for Business.
Fewer than two in 10 Tory MPs support economic migration as a means to reduce Britain's skills shortages. This contradicts the views of MPs in the other two main political parties, the majority of whom believe that economic migration should be encouraged to close the UK's skills gap.Read more: Tories
n. korea's expat bar set to close
It looks as if Pyongyang's only bar for foreigners will have to close if, as North Korea demands, all foreign NGO staff leave by January next year. The U.K. Guardian reported Tuesday that the bar, which is run by aid workers, will probably not survive the exodus.
Some 300 foreigners live in North Korea, 90 percent of them working for international organizations. The remaining 10 percent are people who come and go on business, a handful of Western journalists, and five English teachers.Read more: The Bar
impact of bali bombing on multinationals and expats
When terrorists hit the holiday island of Bali in 2002, consultants at Control Risks Group were quickly inundated with calls from concerned corporate clients eager to evacuate staff and ramp up security.
Stephen Wilford, the group's senior south-east Asia analyst, flew from Singapore to Jakarta within hours of the tragedy, expecting a barrage of questions from clients. Manning the phones on Sunday, however, turned into a more humdrum exercise. “I'm absolutely stunned by my experience,�? he said. “Last time, during Bali One, we were inundated with queries from clients . . . This time we've had almost no queries.�?
The difference highlights what, three years after the first Bali bombings, is a markedly changed attitude towards the security threats facing foreign multinationals and their expatriate staff in Indonesia. It also points to why many economists are less worried about the economic impact on Indonesia this time, even if Bali's visitor numbers drop sharply.Read more: Bali
can breton language be saved?
They have their own schools, bilingual road signs, vibrant festivals and dubbed Perry Mason repeats on television. But even the most passionate champions of the Breton language admit that its survival is in question.
Native speakers are ageing, their numbers falling by 15,000 a year. And among those remaining, there is anger that the French government does more for Brittany's large influx of British settlers than for those campaigning to save Breton from extinction.Read more: Breton
British Council to Organize Workshop in Ethiopia
In collaboration with Macmillan UK, British Council Ethiopia is to organise training on teaching methodology for English Language teachers in Ethiopian primary schools.
Participants for the planned training will include potential trainers from cluster resource schools, curriculum experts from regional education bureaus and delegates nominated by the English Language Teaching Network for Ethiopia (EELTNET).
Macmillan UK is finalizing the process of publishing primary English textbooks base on Ethiopian Syllabus. The training methodology workshop will run at the British Council in Addis Ababa from 15-17 April.Read more: Ethiopia
word of the day: inchoate
inchoate \in-KOH-it\, adjective:
1. In an initial or early stage; just begun.
2. Imperfectly formed or formulated.
Mildred Spock believed that, at about the age of three, her children's inchoate wills were to be shaped like vines sprouting up a beanpole. --Thomas Maier, Dr. Spock: An American Life
She also had a vision, not yet articulated, an inchoate sense of some special calling that awaited her. --Linda Lear, Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature