Silvio Santos viaja neste domingo para os Estados Unidos


Enfim, férias
Depois de esticar o seu ano de trabalho além do habitual, Silvio Santos segue amanhã de férias para os Estados Unidos, mas como sempre sem informar a ninguém sobre a data da passagem de volta.

Para todos os efeitos será na semana do carnaval.


 Flávio Ricco com colaboração de José Carlos Nery

Confira as atrações de hoje , véspera de Natal, 24/12/2016 , do Altas Horas

Especial do Serginho – 1
Coube ao “Altas Horas”, do Serginho Groisman, ser o escolhido para fazer o Natal, da Globo, na noite deste dia 24 para 25.

Algo que levou apresentador se preocupar com seus preparativos muito antes. Foram praticamente dois meses de trabalho na produção do programa de logo mais.

Ramon Vasconcelos/Divulgação/TV Globo
Marilene, da dupla Irmãs Galvão, cai na gargalhada após dar selinho em Fábio Jr. no especial de Natal do “Altas Horas”imagem: Ramon Vasconcelos/Divulgação/TV Globo

Especial do Serginho – 2
O “Altas Horas”, deste sábado, vai contar com a presença de grandes talentos da nossa música, como Fábio Junior, as Irmãs Galvão, Sérgio Reis, Renato Teixeira, Sandy, Tiago Iorc, Maria Gadú, Vanessa da Mata, Tiê, Erasmo Carlos, Frejat, Anitta e Chitãozinho & Xororó.

Em suas apresentações os artistas serão acompanhados pela Orquestra de Viola ou pela Orchestra de Câmara com músicos da Jazz Sinfônica, sob a regência do Maestro João Maurício Galindo.


Flávio Ricco com colaboração de José Carlos Nery

A Perfect Trap And A President Re-Invented

Vladimir Putin reinvented his presidency — again — using fear and promotion to establish his personal rule.

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Alexei Ulyukayev, the former economic development minister, booked his place in modern Russian history with his arrest the night of Nov. 14.

The day after Ulyukayev was detained, police charged him with extorting a $2-million bribe from oil giant Rosneft. Authorities say the deal was in exchange for a “positive assessment” on Rosneft’s bid to purchase half of Bashneft, another recently nationalized oil company. The minister, whom Vladimir Putin quickly fired, was placed under house arrest, and now awaits trial.

At his arraignment hearing, Ulyukayev described himself as a “victim of provocation.” And he wasn’t lying. Ulyukayev now saw the bigger picture, and he understood that he’d been set up. He was also suddenly aware that he was in deep trouble.

“The evidence [against him] is huge,” a high-level source within Russia’s ruling establishment told The Moscow Times.

Police arrested Ulyukayev late on Nov. 14 as he left Rosneft’s offices in Moscow. According to a report by Rosbalt news agency, Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin had invited the minister for a private chat.

“It makes sense,” a state official told The Moscow Times. “Otherwise [Ulyukayev] would never have dared going there and taking the cash.”

Any federal minister knows how the system works. The decision to arrest Alexei Ulyukayev could only have come from the very top of Federal Security Service, and with Vladimir Putin’s direct approval.

The Kremlin has scarcely denied its role in the case. Putin’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters that the president was aware “from the very start of the investigative operations.”

To put it bluntly, Vladimir Putin orchestrated the arrest of his own minister.

But why?

Revising the Rules

With Russia’s next presidential election slightly more than a year away, Vladimir Putin will have to make clear at some point in the next several months whether he intends to stay or go. If he chooses another six-year term in office, he’ll be on track to remain in power for 23 years — the longest any Russian leader has reigned since Stalin.

Until recently, Vladimir Putin almost constantly reinvented the nature of his presidency.

He started out as Boris Yeltsin’s successor in 2000, still surrounded by the vibes and personalities of Russia’s revolution in the early 1990s.

From there, Putin advanced as a self-made hardliner, and three years later he administered a crackdown that put the Russian political system under the control of the Kremlin and his long-time friends and allies, mostly from special forces.


Next, he stepped behind the curtain, promoting Dmitry Medvedev to the presidency, and raising hopes that Russia could overcome its history and observe a constitutional succession of power.

In 2012, however, Putin returned, amid street protests in Moscow and other major cities, unlike anything seen in Russia since the 1990s.

By 2016, after squashing most public discontent and restoring his status as Russia’s unique and only ruler, Vladimir Putin set about revising his presidency, once again. This time, the country’s “managed democracy,” popularized a decade ago, would finally give way to open authoritarianism. The Kremlin and the Russian government now resemble an old-world royal court, more than a modern state.

“Individual rule is a trend,” says Valery Solovey, a prominent historian and political analyst in Russia. “But Putin will not be able to avoid collective leadership entirely. Rather, he relies on different groups of confidants regarding different questions.”

The New Guard

Evgeny Zinichev, 50, spent most of his career as an officer in Russia’s Federal Security Guard Service, guarding the country’s top officials. For four years, during the Medvedev presidency, Zinichev was a member of Putin’s personal escort.

It seemed natural this July, when Putin appointed Zinichev to serve as the acting governor of Kaliningrad, Russia’s European exclave. By that time, Zinichev wasn’t even the first bodyguard Putin promoted to work as a governor — that honor belongs to Alexei Dyumin, the acting head of the Tula region.

The surprise came two months later, when Zinichev suddenly resigned. Putin said he asked to return to Moscow for family reasons, but the elite didn’t believe him.

“Everything was fine,” Solomon Ginzburg, a Kaliningrad politician, told The Moscow Times. “The truth is that Zinichev hates publicity. He couldn’t stand his new job.”

Unable to cope with his new position, Zinichev found the courage to ask Putin for another assignment, a government source confirmed to The Moscow Times. Since coming back to Moscow, he’s reportedly accepted a role in the Federal Security Service as a deputy director.


Analysts seem to agree that both Dyumin and Zinichev have great perspectives in near-term. As Putin has started replacing his old guard with younger loyalists, both men are considered to be top candidates to lead Russia’s flagship defense and security forces.

Burdened with their own interests and connections, Putin’s older associates are being pushed out, in favor of ostensibly more neutral, non-ambitious executives who see the president as a boss, not a comrade.

Enter Anton Vaino, the president’s new chief of staff, who replaced Sergei Ivanov, Putin’s long-time ally. And meet Viktor Zolotov, the former chief of Putin’s security, who now heads Russia’s newly formed, wildly powerful National Guard.

The logic of this process is clear, a Kremlin insider told The Moscow Times: Vladimir Putin is building a system that gives him enough room to maneuver. He wants to ensure that the state will remain loyal to him, no matter what he does — even if he decides to leave office. Putin is remodeling the institutional power of Russia’s presidency into a force under his personal control.

The Loyalty of Fear

Just as he’s made himself essential to Russian politics, Vladimir Putin is involved in many of the country’s major business deals.

After the Swiss commodity trading firm Glencore and the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar acquired nearly 20 percent of Rosneft this month, the company’s CEO, Igor Sechin, thanked Putin for his personal contribution to the deal.


With his passion for entrepreneurship and backroom deals, the president sets an example among the ruling elite in Russia, where it’s already hard to separate government from private business, and where wealth and bureaucratic status go hand in hand. Almost every high-level Russian official is an experienced entrepreneur — in a country where it’s nearly impossible to run a business without breaking the law.

Of this group, an unlucky few land in trouble, often the victims of others’ conflicts behind closed doors. And Vladimir Putin encourages the hunt.

In 2016, Putin’s fight against corruption reached its highest point, with photos and videos of captured officials posed with rolls of illicit cash becoming a law-enforcement trademark. Nearly every area of public service has been hit: a governor, a deputy minister, high-ranking law enforcement officers, and others.

“When enforcing loyalty within the elite, Putin uses both tools: promotion, as well as fear,” says Solovey. “With Ulyukayev’s arrest, his policy of selective repressions reaches its climax.”

Alexei Ulyukayev was simply weak enough to serve as the fall guy, another Kremlin insider told The Moscow Times. His ministry, which specializes in producing economic forecasts and promoting economic growth, wields relatively little authority. And Ulyukayev is not particularly well connected, making him the perfect target.

In 2003, the Kremlin orchestrated the arrest of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the head of the private oil behemoth Yukos. That event sent shockwaves through Russia’s business community, “curing” entrepreneurs of political ambitions, and marking a global turn in Putin’s presidency.

As Solovey has put it, “What the Yukos case was for Russia’s business, Ulyukayev’s case is for Russia’s bureaucracy.”


Source : The Moscow Times

Televisores viejos contienen óxido de plomo

Falta un lugar de depósito adecuado porque son un riesgo a la salud
23/12/2016 14:54 (-6 GTM)
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En un contenedor del fraccionamiento Guadalupe Peralta cerca de la Línea Verde tiran televisores viejos, aparatos que tienen óxido de plomo y otros metales capaces de provocar afectaciones a la salud, por lo que es necesario un método de reciclaje para estos desechos.
En la imagen se muestra que en este depósito de basura, se tira de todo, pero en el caso de los televisores analógicos, la cosa es peligrosa, aunque las personas no tienen el conocimiento de que en su interior se mantienen considerables concentraciones de fósforo y óxido de plomo, que pueden dañar la salud de seres humanos y mascotas, esta situación sucede.
Dichos metales pesados son capaces de dañar los órganos del cuerpo, incluso, la exposición a este metal el óxido de plomo puede provocar anemia, hipertensión, problemas renales y otras afectaciones a la salud.
Actualmente no existe un método de reciclaje de estos desechos, pero, igual las autoridades en materia ambiental deben considerar al menos un manejo y hacinamiento adecuados, por lo cual con la compra de electrodomésticos el problema se acentúa en estas fechas.
Otra cosa que es “la gota que derramó el vaso” es el hecho de que los malvivientes destruyen en los depósitos estos aparatos, sin saber que estos tienen en su interior las concentraciones dañinas que les pueden causar padecimientos.
Cabe mencionar que el óxido de plomo es el enemigo silencioso y altamente mortal y al caso los volúmenes que se manejan en los televisores suelen ser letales, pues el plomo afecta al sistema nervioso, altera el desarrollo y durante la gestación, la exposición es directa cuando es por inhalación o ingestión, en caso de la inhalación también afecta ojos y al aparato respiratorio.
Guadalupe Digital

Comisión aprobó cambio de fecha de la Cuenta Pública

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VALPARAÍSO. El proyecto que busca cambiar el evento para el 1 de junio, fue despachado ayer a la Sala para su votación al retorno de la semana distrital,

Paolo Navia S.

La Comisión de Cultura de la Cámara de Diputados, presidida por el diputado Ramón Farías (PPD), aprobó ayer el proyecto de ley que modifica la fecha de la Cuenta Pública Presidencial, cambiándola del 21 de mayo al 1 de junio de cada año. De esta manera, el texto legal fue despachado a la Sala para su votación al retorno de la semana distrital.

Ante este importante cambio, el diputado Farías señaló que “estamos muy contentos con la aprobación de esta fecha que es muy representativa e importante para nosotros, ya que es el día del aniversario de nuestro Parlamento y coincide con la fecha que tenía nuestra Carta Fundamental del año 1833, en donde se daba inicio a las sesiones ordinarias de nuestro Congreso Nacional”.

Asimismo, el legislador destacó el respaldo transversal que ha tenido la iniciativa.

“En la Comisión de Cultura escuchamos al actual y exalcalde de Valparaíso, al Subsecretario de Desarrollo Regional y Administrativo, al Comandante en Jefe de la Armada de Chile, y al General Director de Carabineros de Chile, y todos manifestaron su respaldo al proyecto”, aseguró Farías.

En este sentido, y tras ser consultado sobre los beneficios que conllevará el cambio de fecha de la Cuenta Presidencial, Farías manifestó que “por ejemplo, para Carabineros es importante el hecho de que al no tener que preocuparse de la seguridad de la Cuenta Pública Presidencial, ellos pueden enfocar su trabajo en realzar todo lo que significa el desfile que homenajea a las Glorias Navales, pues el hecho de tener que preocuparse de tres eventos que son el 21 de mayo, la Cuenta Pública y las manifestaciones en Valparaíso, hace muy compleja su labor”.

“Es una buena señal”

Por su parte, Jorge Sharp, alcalde de Valparaíso, valoró la noticia, manifestando que “es una buena señal para la ciudad, pues es la ciudad la que en su conjunto se resiente cuando tres eventos de estas características simultáneamente se llevan a cabo, de eso hubo omisión en los proyectos de reforma constitucional y nosotros esperamos que el contenido de este nuevo proyecto contenga esta visión”.

Sin embargo, y a pesar de celebrar el anuncio, Sharp puntualizó que hubiera preferido el 11 de julio como nueva fecha para la Cuenta Pública.

“La medida permite fortalecer la imagen de Valparaíso en discusiones tan importantes como las que se desarrollan en el Congreso, aunque me hubiese gustado que la fecha hubiese sido el 11 de julio, que es el día en que se nacionalizó el cobre, pues ese día los partidos políticos y la sociedad estuvieron de acuerdo en la recuperación de los recursos naturales”, finalizó el jefe comunal porteño.

“La medida permite fortalecer la imagen de Valparaíso, aunque me hubiese gustado que fuera el 11 de julio, cuando se nacionalizó el cobre”

Jorge Sharp, Alcalde de Valparaíso”


El Mercurio

Condenações por corrupção são cada vez menos mas PJ investiga mais

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A PJ investiga mais de um caso por dia de corrupção. Condenações são apenas 0,04% do total registado em primeira instância

Os juízes dos tribunais de primeira instância condenaram, no ano passado, 25 arguidos pelo crime de corrupção. Já o número de investigações feitas pela Polícia Judiciária (PJ) apresenta valores mais expressivos: 473 investigações (média de uma por dia) no ano passado contra 345 em 2014. Os dados são da Direção-Geral de Política de Justiça (DGPJ) que revela estatísticas entre 2007 e 2015 (ver infografia em baixo). Desde 2007 até ao ano passado o número de condenações por este crime reduziu para menos de metade (de 52 para 25). O número de arguidos há nove anos era, no entanto, bem mais expressivo (102) face ao do ano passado (45).

Até setembro do ano passado, o Ministério Público (MP) – responsável pelas acusações – o deduziu 536 inquéritos que acabaram em acusação, ou seja, em que se considerou haver prova suficiente para levar a julgamento. No período homólogo deste ano (setembro de 2016) foram deduzidas 617 acusações. Ainda assim, com base nestes dados, não é possível fazer uma comparação direta porque os casos investigados, acusados e que resultaram em condenação nesse período, não são necessariamente os mesmos.

Contactado pelo DN, o diretor nacional da Polícia Judiciária (PJ) admitiu que os números de investigações e detenções de suspeitos por corrupção são “altos” mas recusa-se a fazer um paralelo entre estes dados e as decisões dos magistrados judicias em tribunais de primeira instância. “Porque obviamente que muitas das denúncias que nos chegam não têm sustentabilidade. Uma coisa é a investigação e outra é a acusação”, diz Almeida Rodrigues. “Analisar esses dados da acusação face às condenações é que faria sentido.” Porém, tal como havia referido no início deste mês, Almeida Rodrigues admite que, este ano e até ao início do mês, já foram detidos 119 suspeitos por corrupção. “O que faz uma média de um detido de três em três dias.” Mesmo depois disso já foram “pelo menos quatro suspeitos detidos, incluindo Cunha Ribeiro”. O ex-presidente do INEM e da Administração Regional de Saúde de Lisboa e Vale do Tejo, Luís Cunha Ribeiro, foi detido no dia 13 de dezembro por suspeitas de corrupção, tendo ficado em prisão preventiva.
A crise aumentou processos

O advogado Rui Patrício – ligado a vários processos em curso de criminalidade económica – admitiu, em entrevista ao DN, que a crise de 2011 fez aumentar as ações neste âmbito. Contactado ontem, admitiu não ser normal que todas as investigações e acusações “dessem em condenações, sob pena de o julgamento não servir para nada e de haver uma fé absoluta na infalibilidade das acusações, o que não pode seriamente defender-se”. Mas o advogado acredita ser perigoso analisar esta estatística e aplaude os números das detenções da PJ – “porque isso significa que as autoridades estão atentas e o sistema funciona. Mas investigar não é o mesmo que acusar, e acusar não é o mesmo que condenar”, explica. “Também poderíamos perguntar porque há tantas detenções e se são necessárias, e para quê, mas esse é outro tema, cuja reflexão exige mais espaço e mais tempo.” O advogado defende ainda que “uma eventual estranheza sobre acusações darem em absolvições não tem qualquer justificação, e só pode significar incompreensão do sistema penal ou então uma ideia perversa do que é a justiça em geral e a justiça criminal em particular”.

Balanço de acusações

Nos últimos dois anos, o Ministério Público avançou com 297 acusações por crimes de corrupção e outros relacionados. O número foi avançado pela Procuradora-geral da República (PGR), Joana Marques Vidal, durante a conferência “Corrupção, um combate de todos para todos” que se realizou há duas semanas. A PGR respondia a uma intervenção do juiz do Tribunal de Contas José Mouraz Lopes, que exibiu um quadro, mostrando parcos resultados da investigação criminal neste setor. Porém, como recordou o juiz à PGR, basta o sistema não “conseguir resolver um ou dois casos com forte impacto, que isso inquina a perceção pública”.

Comparando o número adiantado por Joana Marques Vidal com o último levantamento científico feito aos processos de corrupção no MP – da autoria do Centro de Investigação e Estudos de Sociologia do ISCTE e que abrangeu o período entre 2004 e 2008 – verifica-se um enorme aumento das acusações. Neste intervalo temporal estudado pelos sociólogos, só houve 47 acusações por crimes de corrupção, participação económica em negócio e outros relacionados. Entre 2014 e 2016, acrescentou a PGR, entraram 3360 processos só ligados à criminalidade económico-financeira.

Na mesma conferência, que decorreu na Gulbenkian, a ministra da Justiça, Francisca Van Dunem, procuradora do Ministério Público de carreira, transmitiu aos antigos colegas uma palavra de confiança para o combate à corrupção, relembrando que Portugal ocupa o 28º lugar em 167 países no ranking da perceção da corrupção, elaborado pela Transparência Internacional. Ainda assim, a ministrada Justiça declarou que fruto da corrupção “acumularam-se e fizeram-se riquezas ilegítimas”.


Diário do Notícias

„Die Gräben in unserer Gesellschaft nicht vertiefen“

Nach dem Anschlag von Berlin fordert der Bundespräsident Augenmaß in der politischen Debatte. Gerade in Zeiten terroristischer Attacken sollte es keine pauschalen Schuldzuweisungen geben.

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Bundespräsident Joachim Gauck hat angesichts von Wut und Ängsten nach dem Anschlag in Berlin zu einem weiter menschlichen Miteinander aufgerufen und vor dem Schüren von Feindbildern gewarnt. „Gerade in Zeiten terroristischer Attacken sollten wir die Gräben in unserer Gesellschaft nicht vertiefen, weder Gruppen pauschal zu Verdächtigen noch Politiker pauschal zu Schuldigen erklären“, sagte Gauck in seiner Weihnachtsansprache.

Das bedeute nicht, auf Auseinandersetzungen über die Flüchtlingspolitik oder über weitere Sicherheitsmaßnahmen zu verzichten. Es gelte aber, Augenmaß und die Achtung vor dem politischen Gegner zu bewahren.

Der Lkw-Anschlag auf dem Weihnachtsmarkt in Berlin habe viele zutiefst erschrocken und verstört. „Der Terror, den wir seit Jahren weltweit erleben, ist plötzlich vorgedrungen bis in unsere Hauptstadt“, sagte Gauck. Damit seien Wut, Zorn, aber auch Gefühle von Angst und Ohnmacht entstanden.

Gauck betonte in der Ansprache, dies seien „keine Wunschträume“. So habe er Augenzeugen des Anschlags getroffen, die – einem inneren Impuls folgend – zu sterbenden und verletzten Menschen geeilt seien, um zu helfen.

Hierin zeige sich auch die christliche Weihnachtsbotschaft, empfindsam, zugewandt und hilfsbereit zu leben. „Dann können sich Wut und Zorn in Kräfte verwandeln, die dem Hass, der Gewalt und der Verachtung des Anderen wehren. Dann bleibt unsere Gesellschaft ein Ort des solidarischen Miteinanders.“

Lob für Ehrenamtler

In seiner letzten Weihnachtsansprache hob Gauck grundsätzlich das Engagement vieler Bürger hervor, die sich in Beruf, Familie oder als Ehrenamtler für die Gemeinschaft engagierten. „Diese Menschen haben mich in meinen Jahren als Bundespräsident immer zuversichtlicher werden lassen“, sagte das Staatsoberhaupt, das im März 2017 aus dem Amt ausscheidet. „Dieses Land verdient das Vertrauen seiner Bürger. Auch gegenwärtig, da es mit ungelösten Problemen ringt.“

Gerade in Zeiten der Unsicherheit wisse er das zuverlässige Wirken so vieler Menschen zu schätzen, sagte Gauck und dankte unter anderem Krankenschwestern, Lehrern, Polizisten, Gewerkschaftern, Unternehmern und Flüchtlingshelfern. Diese zeigten, „dass man das Fremde nicht ablehnen und abweisen muss, um das Eigene zu bewahren und zu leben“.


Quelle : Die Welt

David Herkt: A summer to remember

By David Herkt

Christmas is the year’s most important holiday for a child, as David Herkt recalls.
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Illustration / Terry Moyle
Illustration / Terry Moyle

It was summer. We were at the beach. I was still a long way under 5 years old and distinctly unimpressed by the fact that my grandfather had taken over my round blue inflatable swimming pool, the one with the zebras patterned on the bottom. He’d put a dozen live scallops in the lukewarm water and their ridged shells were part-open, revealing fleshy interiors.

“It’s so they can spit out the sand they’ve got inside them,” he told me in explanation.
But I didn’t particularly want my paddling pool spat in by anyone, shellfish or human, without consultation, especially when my grandfather showed me how the scallops swiftly closed when the water was stirred.

Sorting out fragmented early memories inevitably means confronting Christmas. It is the year’s most important holiday for a very young child, and the mid-20th century was the time when the season, as we now experience it in New Zealand, was created.

The beach always seemed to be involved.

It was a long time before the suburban-isation of the New Zealand coast. Pauanui and Omaha hadn’t taken their planned developments deep into the Kiwi heart. It was still a home-made, somehow more organic, New Zealand world. Baches were grown over time rather than designed. Beaches were not necessarily white sand with surf-breaks.

We holidayed, then, at Clarks Beach on the Manukau Harbour, in a simple knocked-together bach with concrete floors. It was there that my memories first begin to cluster: an air over-full with cicada sounds, the silt and saline smell of the great tidal mudflats, and the familiar voices of relatives.

I was the first-born in a new generation of my mother’s extended family. Canvas tents flapped in breezes on the bach’s scant lawn. Tank-water was at a premium. Towels hung on a stretched-out rope. Santa delivered gifts to pillowcases at the end of beds.
Christmas trees were branches of pine trees in buckets of sand, slung with criss-crossed crepe paper.

The walk to the beach itself was down a crumbling, yellow rock slope, sharp with the tang of pine resin and the unique grey, dusty scent of fallen pohutukawa leaves and flowers. There was the slip and slop of the small waves from the beach below.

At that time, in Titirangi, directly across the Manukau, the New Zealand painter Colin McCahon was working on his great canvases of sea horizontals, landscape shifts, and huge, fractured skies, but my own focus was much more limited. It was the year I got a clockwork train from Santa.

I think I was 3. It was probably 1958. I was enthralled by the glossy reds and blacks of the painted tin locomotive, the carriage and guard’s van. When we had visitors, it was set up, going around and around me as I sat on a table-top.

While I might have been proud and fascinated, my audience had a more limited appreciation, moving past me to the door as they said their “goodbyes”. I was left alone with the now ludicrous mechanical circling and the clockwork winding down.

Christmas would also be the time when I’d finally be parted from my much-loved bottle.

It had been tried. The very last note in my blue, white and red Plunket Baby Record Book suggests that it needed to go. Even I had picked up on the fact that I’d had it too long. It wasn’t a source of sustenance anymore; it was simply the glass and nippled equivalent of a “blankie”. It was lugged around. It was comfort in bed. It was mine. The memory of its departure is vivid.

I was sitting on the bed in the sunlight of the unfamiliar Clarks Beach bedroom, having been put down unwillingly for an afternoon sleep. The bach had a concrete floor, made with cement, sand and shells from the beach, I think. I had been warned that it was hard and to be careful – if I fell on it, I’d break something.

And sitting up on the bed, chewing on my bottle’s teat, one thought met another.

I ended up, with deliberation, hurling my bottle at the floor, where it satisfyingly smashed.

When my mother arrived, alerted by the sound, I was nonchalant, something that was rewarded that same day by overhearing a muffled conversation about the matter.

“When I walked in,” I remember my mother saying, “he was just sitting there. He hasn’t
made a fuss. And we’re not going to make one either.”

Art Deco New Zealand: An Illustrated Guide, by Terry Moyle (New Holland, $40) is available now.

Source : New Zealand Herald

Jackie Trad warned of driver shortage and cancellations in October 2015

DECEMBER 23 2016 – 4:05PM

Felicity Caldwell

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Former transport minister Jackie Trad was warned of a looming driver shortage 12 months before a staffing crunch caused hundreds of cancellations following the opening of the Redcliffe Peninsula Line.

But Ms Trad has hit back, claiming Queensland Rail never advised that train crew availability was a risk to the opening of the new rail line.

An RTI has revealed a warning about a shortage of train drivers was made by a whistleblower in October 2015.

An anonymous QR whistleblower contacted the Department of Transport and Main Roads in October 2015, then under Ms Trad’s portfolio, warning of train cancellations as a result of a lack of drivers.

He told the department about a “disastrous situation” due to a large number of new services being rolled out without the necessary drivers because the training section had been disbanded, there was a blowout in driver training times, a lack of staff to train new drivers and a bulk retirement of experienced staff.

The revelations were detailed in correspondence discovered through a Seven News Right to Information request.

The call taker forwarded her notes to two senior advisers who worked for Ms Trad, but the response was “no further information was required”, Seven News reported.

More than 100 services were cancelled on October 21, following the opening of the Redcliffe Peninsula Line to passengers on October 4, despite a driver shortage.

A spokeswoman for Ms Trad said: “at no stage did Queensland Rail provide any advice to the Deputy Premier that train crew availability was a risk to the opening of the new Moreton Bay Rail Link”.

“Subsequent to this anonymous phone call, Queensland Rail briefed both the Deputy Premier and the Treasurer that they were recruiting 100 new drivers and 100 new guards to meet the requirements of projects like Moreton Bay Rail Link,” the spokeswoman said.

Transport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said Ms Trad sought advice from QR and was advised the train driver recruitment process had started.

“So the advice that she got in response to those issues being raised was, we are recruiting drivers, recruiting guards and reassurance that there would be no issues in relation to train crew in the lead-up to the opening of the new line,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“That was the same advice that I got when issues were raised with me.”

When asked if that meant there was a long-running issue of information not being communicated from QR to the transport minister’s office, Mr Hinchliffe said he was being reassured cancellations in October were a short-term issue.

“So advice was coming, obviously, to me during the whole time, during my time as minister, that… this wasn’t an issue, and that advice was coming from the operator, Queensland Rail,” he said.

“And clearly the same advice was made to the previous minister.”

When asked if he was satisfied he was receiving all the information he needed from Queensland Rail now, Mr Hinchliffe said he was “extensively examining and cross examining every bit of information and advice that I get from Queensland Rail”.

“Wherever there’s been issues and concerns about double-checking things, I’ve been doing that, my focus has been on the operations as we’re going forward.”

A Queensland Rail spokeswoman said it was co-operating fully with Philip Strachan’s investigation into the circumstances leading up to and associated with the disruptions on the network.

“While the inquiry is under way, we remain focused on implementing the government’s five-point plan to boost train crew numbers and restore services for the travelling public,” she said.

The spokeswoman said in December 2015, Ms Trad approved the recruitment of 100 extra drivers and 100 guards.

“We are working quickly to finalise this recruitment program and we are also fast-tracking the recruitment of an additional 100 drivers and 100 guards announced in October 2016,” she said.

“On-time running has been at an average of 94 per cent since the November 7 timetable was introduced.”

Opposition Transport spokesman Andrew Powell claimed Ms Trad, also the Deputy Premier, could have prevented the timetable debacle but “chose to do nothing”.

“First it was ‘I know nothing’ Stirling Hinchliffe, now we learn Jackie Trad knew about the looming train driver shortage a full year before the fact but put it in the too-hard basket,” Mr Powell said.

“Ms Trad was warned in no uncertain terms that a lack of drivers would lead to disastrous consequences but clearly it wasn’t high on her priority list.

“South-east Queensland commuters have experienced nothing but chaos on the rail network for months.”

The timetable meltdown led to the resignation of Queensland Rail chief executive officer Helen Gluer and chairman Michael Klug.

Source : The Brisbane Times

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